Recent Comments by platocave


I wish people hadn't needed to see this game to realize how great Dirk is because he's been this way all year. I still strongly believe that Dirk should have won the MVP this year over Nash. But Dirk just seemed to be the forgotten MVP candidate because he fit the expected MVP-mold even less than Nash did and does. Especially if people hadn't watched any Mavs games this year, I think they tended to assume that since Dirk has always been known as a 7-foot 3-point jump shooter with little to no D that no matter what his individual stats or team wins, Dirk wasn't an MVP-type player. But if you did watch the actual games, then you saw that on the offensive end, Dirk can create his own shot now, from the elbow, from the low post, from drives, and of course from the 3. His passing out of double teams is now precise, and his D is better than average now. Last night just showed all of his improvements in spades, but he'd been doing that all season. Hopefully, after winning the championship this year, next year Dirk will get his.

posted by platocave at 11:21 AM on June 02, 2006

The Wages of Wins.

I agree with everett that Malcolm Gladwell is a pimp. "Two of the best books in the last decade" might be a bit strong, but The Tipping Point and Blink certainly have been two of the most influential books in the last decade for other popular science writers and readers. Just look at the similar iconography and design of recent popular science books like Stumbling on Happiness or The Wisdom of Crowds or Freakonomics, all of which Gladwell endorsed of course, when compared to the original The Tipping Point. But like Bill Simmons, Gladwell has, in general, become less and less sharp with his writing and ideas as popular acceptance has sapped his need to write well all the time. Gladwell's greatest strength has always been the clarity and simplicity of his prose style, which is another way of saying that he makes other people's (usually psychologists') complex ideas go down easy. But when he was younger, he would write longer articles and have the patience to find a clear, unifying, and most important, correct vision of his own that connected the other people's ideas. (BTW, this is why I think The Tipping Point is a much better book than Blink, which, while providing many interesting examples and anecdotes, never dovetailed into a strong material thesis like The Tipping Point did.) In the book review that lilnemo links to, like so many of Gladwell's recent book reviews, it's obvious that Gladwell hasn't fully thought through the book's ideas; he presents nothing more than what makes the ideas interesting when he should be exploring whether or not the ideas are actually worthwhile, relevant, material, correct ideas. Now I agree that statistics applied to figuring out what wins basketball games is not only an interesting but also a worthwhile idea, and I love what the guys at 82games have been doing. But whatever metric The Wages of Wins is using seems to me to be little more than fitting a wins formula to the data rather than actually figuring out what wins basketball games. The line that jumps out to me in the article is: "According to their analysis, Iverson’s finest season was in 2004-05, when he was worth ten wins, which made him the thirty-sixth-best player in the league. In the season in which he won the Most Valuable Player award, he was the ninety-first-best player in the league. In his worst season (2003-04), he was the two-hundred-and-twenty-seventh-best player in the league." What the hell? So Iverson went from being one of the worst players (267) in the league to one of the best (36) in one year? If you know anything about statistics, then the metric obviously isn't measuring the intrinsic wins worth of the player and therefore can't be used to predict how a certain player will be worth next year, which defeats the purpose of having such a metric in the first place. What's happening to Kevin Garnett is tragic, but is he really worth that many wins by himself? The answer is unknowable because basketball is so much more complex than baseball. If KG was on a different team, he'd have different stats and a different win metric - is that really him, or is it the effect of his teammates or his coach or the particular division he's playing in? I think it's this thinking that you can so easily quantify an individual's effect on a basketball win that is the problem with The Wages of Wins idea. Anyway, this was my long-winded way of saying that yes, I think you're right in being a bit skeptical, lilnemo, and no, I don't think Junkyard Dog was "actually among the strongest players of his generation."

posted by platocave at 10:33 AM on May 31, 2006

Why this year's French Open is so important

Delete this double post please.

posted by platocave at 12:02 PM on May 30, 2006

Hello, Larry

For a couple of minutes there in the third quarter, I thought that Isiah Thomas had struck a behind-the-scenes deal with his old buddy Joe Dumars to wreck the Spurs team by sending them Nazr's stone hands and inexplicable fouls. Every time Nazr was in the game, the Pistons seemed to go on a run. At any rate, to me, the turning point in this game occurred in the 10-minute stretch at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth where, first of all, San Antonio's offense ran through their two main guys - Duncan and Ginobili - as it should, with the sprinkling of Horry and Bowen threes off of Manu and Timmeh double teams to keep Detroit defenders honest. Second, in that ten-minute stretch, Detroit's offense was run through the last two guys that I would want running the offensel if I was Larry Brown: Rip "Anti-clutch" Hamilton and Lindsey "32% shooter for the playoffs" Hunter. Part of this was because of Pop's move of Bowen onto Billups again, but part of it was just plain stupidity on the Pistons' side. Billups and Sheed are their two main guys on offense, as was seen throughout this series and even later in the fourth quarter when the Pistons tried to mount a run off of Rasheed's turnarounds and threes, and Billups's drives, jump shots, and free throws. Overall, a Finals series that had plenty of wonderful moments. I look forward to more battles between these two organizations, so different - international versus hip hop, versatility versus toughness - and yet so similar - hardworking, classy, champions.

posted by platocave at 12:31 AM on June 24, 2005

Desperation 1, Expiration 0.

My (completely baseless, of course) predictions for Game 7: Close game, with San Antonio pulling it out in the 4th, scoring in the mid-80s. Bowen guards Billups for most of the night, forcing him into a similar stat line to Game 6 - 6/16 shooting - and less productive in total big points - 17. Parker has the same stat line he has had basically the entire series: 7/15 shooting, 15 points. Manu Ginobili has a big 4th quarter to atone for his Game 6 4th quarter performance but is almost completely canceled out by huge rebounding and energy from Ben Wallace. Neither Rasheed nor Horry have great games. Duncan shoots 70% from the foul line but misses a couple in the 4th quarter. He does enough, though, including blocking an important Rip Hamilton jump shot in crunch time, shades of Olajuwon and Starks in the '94 Finals Game 7.

posted by platocave at 03:45 PM on June 22, 2005

Robert Horry... Fraud?

Look, Robert Horry is not a Hall-of-Fame player as a HOF player has been defined in the past. I don't see why that definition would change in the future, but if it did to include Horry, I wouldn't cry bloody murder. But Robert Horry is not overrated. Until this guy wrote this article, I would have said that he was rated exactly where he should be - as a clutch role player who steps up in the payoffs. After the article, and the furor it caused here, I will have to say that Horry is a tad underrated still. Confirmation bias did not take over the 4th quarter and OT last night - Horry did. You can say that we don't remember the times that he didn't take over because of confirmation bias, but the truth is, there are thousands of role players who have never taken over an NBA game like that, much less in the Finals. You can't just dismiss Horry as a guy who is in the right place at the right time surrounded by great teammates, especially when, like last night, it's not just the final shot going in that we remember. It was the entire freaking 4th quarter and OT where he was the spark, the je ne sais quoi, the man carrying the franchise on his back.

posted by platocave at 09:19 AM on June 20, 2005

Horry's big shot wins Game 5

chicobangs, Horry didn't just sink the one three, he sank 5 threes that they needed desperately and also made that so-so-sick dislocate-his-left-shoulder Superman dunk over Rip Hamilton when they needed the spark in OT. Duncan had a great game until the 4th quarter. After he missed the gimme at the end though, it was obvious that he was on tilt in overtime, going way too hard off the glass, flubbing entry passes that were right on target. Horry saved him, but I will say that without Duncan's first 3 quarters and rebounding prowess, Horry would never have had the shot to once again become Big Shot Rob. I loved Pop's move to switch Bowen onto Billups and Parker onto Rip for OT because Billups is Detroit's "Mr. Big Shot" and at least Bowen could stay in front of him on his drives, unlike Parker. Perhaps more importantly, Rip is Detroit's anti-clutch player, from what I've seen - missed open jumpers and layups galore - so Parker on him as a changeup wouldn't be too bad. Lo and behold, Rip badly misses that jumper at the end despite clearing space with an elbow to Parker's head.

posted by platocave at 09:03 AM on June 20, 2005

Robert Horry... Fraud?

Robert Horry is a Nubian god.

posted by platocave at 11:29 PM on June 19, 2005

Detroit Rebounds

And my fault for misremembering as well: I looked at the play-by-play, and it was Beno Udrih and not Brent Barry who was the primary cause of the bad ballhandling and turnovers at the end of the 3rd.

posted by platocave at 10:09 AM on June 15, 2005

Detroit Rebounds

OK, I took it as a joke, a tongue-in-cheek joke rather than a meanspirited joke, but my fault for misinterpreting.

posted by platocave at 10:05 AM on June 15, 2005

Detroit Rebounds

daddisamm, I'm going to join you in hell for laughing so hard.

posted by platocave at 09:35 AM on June 15, 2005

Detroit Rebounds

I still say, from a basketball standpoint, that Game 2 has been the high point, where one team executed well for an entire game. Game 3 was similar to Game 1: road team surprisingly has an early lead through the first and second quarters, neither team executes their offense well in the second and third quarters although the home team starts building some momentum, and then in the fourth quarter the road team collapses, while the home team puts on a clinic. Ginobili's injury and lack of energy - in the fourth quarter, you could tell that he had no lift because both his threes and his layups were falling short - was the primary reason the Spurs lost but not the sole reason by any stretch. Brent Barry was godawful during the fourth quarter when he gave the ball away on 3 straight possessions. That was the collapse right there. He definitely is not the missing piece that the Spurs thought they were getting - his ballhandling and decision making were atrocious. Mohammed has bricks for hands, coated with butter, because he couldn't hold onto balls that came right at his palms. Duncan played way too slow and soft against the double teams. When your best offensive player is Bowen, you know you have issues. On the other side, Big Ben showed up: his offensive boards, spin moves to alleyoops, and filling his lane on the fast break were impressive, not to mention his D to start off the game. Chauncey also showcased his spin moves, postups, and dagger 3s, not to mention an uncalled intentional flagrant on Parker at the end of the first half. Rip had his curls off screens, 1-2 jumpshots, and upfakes going. McDyess has been a pleasant offensive surprise this entire series - I loved his up-and-under to a bank shot, then cool smile while he trotted back to the defensive end. The Pistons will have made it a series if they win the next game, but I still stand by my original prediction made a month ago: Spurs in 6. I was wondering if the Spurs had finally made the leap to dominant team after Game 2, but no, last night showed that they still can't put up a string of dominating performances in a row.

posted by platocave at 09:33 AM on June 15, 2005

Episode II: Return of the Zen Master

Jeannie Buss has magical powers, much like Katie Holmes. How's that for analysis, lilnemo? ;) Seriously, though, there's not a whole lot of basketball meat to this story. The takes are bound to be mostly soap-opera-and-talk-radioish. That said, I am interested in what wrinkles to the triangle PJ's going to put in next year in order to fit the personnel. If the Lakers make the playoffs next year, there should be no more questioning of Jackson's coaching ability.

posted by platocave at 03:14 PM on June 14, 2005

Ginobili Metio 27 Puntos y Los Spurs Aplastaron a Los Pistons

"It'd be nice if there was more than one team playing." There are basically two types of basketball games that I think are beautiful to watch: one is where both teams are fighting, equally matched, down to the wire, forcing each other to new heights of play; and the other is a dominant team ripping the hearts out of whatever team it's playing with precise superior play. I enjoy the distinct aesthetic pleasures of both types of games, especially when the two magically dovetail in the same series. But in the first two games, the Spurs (other than the first quarter of the game 1, when the script was switched) have imposed their wills so much that the games have become the latter type. It would be nice if there was more than one team playing, but I guess I find it odd how people don't seem to appreciate the beauty of one-sided dominance. (Is it just the American love of the underdog? Are humans hard-wired to dislike efficiency? Because the Spurs are playing that supremely well right now, and yet the praise is strangely muted.)

posted by platocave at 05:41 PM on June 13, 2005

Ginobili Metio 27 Puntos y Los Spurs Aplastaron a Los Pistons

Of course, thinking about the context of your post, you could just mean "ugly" in the sense that SA plastered Det, but I was on rant mode as soon as I saw the word "ugly".

posted by platocave at 10:37 AM on June 13, 2005

Ginobili Metio 27 Puntos y Los Spurs Aplastaron a Los Pistons

Obviously, not 11 different guys but 11 different passes. Sorry.

posted by platocave at 10:34 AM on June 13, 2005

Ginobili Metio 27 Puntos y Los Spurs Aplastaron a Los Pistons

Ufez Jones, "ugly" in the sense that Detroit's offense was discombobulated? Because San Antonio's fast breaks, cuts, backdoor passes, and reversals to open 3s on the other side were all gorgeous to watch for me. I'm starting to think that people really don't know how to see the beauty in a basketball game. ABC, which normally has crappy basketball analysis and converage, laudably showed one San Antonio sequence last night sped up where the ball was zipped to 11 different guys, inside and outside, until Rob Horry had an open 3 which he drained. Pure visual poetry. How about Manu's give-and-go with Parker that took up half the court and happened in a blur? How about Manu's own cut to the free throw line, then perfect V-cut back to the basket for Parker to find him for the layup? How about Manu's points-per-shot-attempt being above 3 points - 27 points on 8 field goal attempts!? That's insane. What more do you want? Yes, it wasn't beautiful basketball from both teams, but can you appreciate what was there? Because what was there was spectacular.

posted by platocave at 10:33 AM on June 13, 2005

Ginobili Metio 27 Puntos y Los Spurs Aplastaron a Los Pistons

I want some of what Horry was drinking last night.

posted by platocave at 09:05 AM on June 13, 2005

Pistons Step in Pile of Manu

rcade, matchups-wise, I would go with Chauncey over Parker, Ginobili over Rip, Tayshaun over Bowen, Duncan over Rasheed, Big Ben over Mohammed, Spurs' bench over Detroit's, Popovich over LB. It is pretty even, but the Spurs do seem to be just barely the better team when you look at all the matchups. And the last matchup - Popovich over LB - may end up determining how quickly the Spurs win this series. The reason Manu went off in the 4th quarter of Game 1 was because LB didn't have Tay guarding Ginobili anymore. The combination of Lindsey Hunter and Antonio McDyess guarding Manu was laughable.

posted by platocave at 11:55 AM on June 11, 2005

The Picture is getting Clearer

But bperk, the Spurs do do both, as shown in Game 1 yesterday.

posted by platocave at 02:34 PM on May 23, 2005

The Picture is getting Clearer

Good recap of last night's game and the upcoming Spurs-Suns series here.

posted by platocave at 10:13 AM on May 21, 2005

The Picture is getting Clearer

Geez, rcade, bitter much? ;) As far as my picks go, I still think the Spurs are the best team in the league, although they never seem to be able to put up a string of dominating performances in a row and sometimes even choke a game or two away. Even when they won their two championships, they never really dominated because that's not who they are. I still pick the Spurs over the Pistons, though, for the reasons listed by dusted - I just don't expect them to blow anybody away. So yeah, most likely a boring Finals. The Conference Finals will be mighty innerestin' though.

posted by platocave at 09:52 AM on May 21, 2005

A glimpse into the future. Possibly?

As far as the linked article is concerned, I agree that the Bulls, barring injury, will battle Detroit for the Central title next season and that the Celtics still have a LONG way to go to get back to glory days. I disagree with the rest of his predictions, some mildly, some not. Nuggets and Nets really weren't that good this season, even with their respective late charges. Take a look at who the Nuggets played when they compiled that "impressive" 25-4 closing run. The Nets have more of a chance to improve because they're in the East, but they needed a super-charged Vince just to be an above-average team in the East, a super-charged Vince that only showed up in the last month and then promptly disappeared in the Miami series.

posted by platocave at 10:18 AM on May 10, 2005

A glimpse into the future. Possibly?

Spurs-Suns will be a GREAT rivalry for the next 5 years.

posted by platocave at 09:56 AM on May 10, 2005

A glimpse into the future. Possibly?

Let me try for a prediction that is rapidly becoming description: Amare will be (is already?) the new Shaq, the ultimate game-changer, essentially unguardable in a couple of years. Just take a look at the numbers from last night: 40 and 16, more Shaq-like numbers than Shaq himself has put up in the playoffs thus far.

posted by platocave at 09:53 AM on May 10, 2005

'An Earthquake Happened'

Thanks for the video link, rcade. Yeah, ZDYOLDMAN, I also felt ripped off that we didn't get to see Tiger make his charge up the leaderboard in the morning either. Hopefully, whatever contractual obligations led to the lack of live network footage will be cleared up as soon as the current contract can be renegotiated. chicobangs, well, "only a matter of when" is pushing it a little, don't you think? In the past two years, Tiger also gave himself opportunities to make great plays on most every hole, but they didn't drop, even though he always (as all great competitors do) believed that it was "only a matter of when". What made yesterday's shot so special was that finally probability, belief, necessity, and reality all aligned themselves together in that one instant.

posted by platocave at 02:10 PM on April 11, 2005

Lakers Officially Out of It

Not to toot my own horn, but I called it way back. And dusted, speaking of Schadenfreude... :) And in the perfect twist, I like how the Lakers got eliminated on the same day that the Heat clinch the East. Good stuff.

posted by platocave at 04:24 PM on April 07, 2005

I know Barkley and Magic said it 8 million times tonight,

direct links to videos on blogs

posted by platocave at 09:02 AM on February 20, 2005

I know Barkley and Magic said it 8 million times tonight,

Does anyone have a link to video? ESPNMotion should have it up soon, but are there any direct links to blogs or whatnot? Thanks.

posted by platocave at 08:57 AM on February 20, 2005

McGrady scores 13 points in the last 35 seconds

wfrazerjr, I assume you were tongue-in-cheek when saying "Doesn't anyone pass the ball?" because at crunch time, coming back from a ten-point deficit, T-Mac should definitely NOT have passed the ball unless triple-teamed. T-Mac's problem is that he enjoys scoring way more than he does, say, defending or moving without the ball on offense. At crunch time, though, unleash him.

posted by platocave at 09:28 AM on December 10, 2004

Is Tim Duncan Better than Kevin Garnett?

In a game of one-on-one, Garnett. Stats-wise, fantasy-wise, Garnett. Making the guys around them better, even. The traditional franchise guy you'd want to build your team around, Duncan. Who's better? It really is a tossup, but personally, I'd go with Garnett - he's just hungrier. As for the others - Ray Allen, Kobe, Dirk, LeBron... Ray Allen I dismiss because I have to spell out both of his names, meaning his level of play this season has been stellar but over his entire career he hasn't been that franchise guy or else people would know who I'm talking about if I just said Ray. Kobe I dismiss because at 7-feet, Garnett does everything better even at the skills of a guard except perhaps wanting to be the man in crunch-time and Duncan is a better center than Kobe is a guard. Dirk I dismiss because although he's improved, he is not nearly as good a defender as either Duncan or KG. LeBron I dismiss because he's still not there yet - this season, he's finally controlling games at the end instead of just putting up stats, but over the entire course of a game, at both ends of the floor, making his teammates better, LBJ is not at Duncan and KG's level. Fearless prediction: he will get there.

posted by platocave at 09:15 AM on December 10, 2004

Armstrong punishes a personal enemy

squealy, what if Simeoni is lying?

posted by platocave at 05:11 PM on July 25, 2004

Armstrong punishes a personal enemy

There is nothing wrong with that, Fat Buddha. You said you were perplexed as to why Lance would be so angry. Well, Simeone was as surprised as anybody that Lance took it personally, but Lance obviously did take the intention to sue personally. All I was saying is that that prickliness seems to be in line with Lance's character; to ask why seems like asking why the earth is round.

posted by platocave at 04:50 PM on July 25, 2004

Armstrong punishes a personal enemy

If you got sued, Fat Buddha, you wouldn't get angry? Even if you wouldn't, people are different. Some people accept their diagnosis of cancer and try to live as full a life as possible in the time remaining. Lance has said that he thought of cancer as an enemy, that he was in a huge fight, that he got pissed off at his cancer. You don't think he would get pissed off at Simeone?

posted by platocave at 01:34 PM on July 25, 2004

Armstrong punishes a personal enemy

France's reaction to Lance's win.

posted by platocave at 11:42 AM on July 25, 2004

Armstrong punishes a personal enemy

Basically, I don't see how anyone can be so goddamn certain either way, and until something real comes up, I will not treat Lance as guilty. Evidently you can.

posted by platocave at 09:30 AM on July 25, 2004

Armstrong punishes a personal enemy

Fat Buddha, you're one to talk about "escalation in hyperbole." I've said that I don't know whether Lance is doping or not; lil_brown_bat said that he didn't know either. You're the one talking about "plain as the nose on [my] face" and "If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, there is fair chance that it is a duck": statements that show your lack of reasoning and serious discernment on the matter. It is not plain because there is no evidence. You're spouting generalities and promoting stereotypes without any rigorous logic behind your thought. Of course, there is no guarantee that logic is the most important thing in being right - I still may be wrong, I'll admit - but burden of proof is something that you can't cast off so blithely. Here are the facts: The sport is rife with drugs - true. Simeone sues Armstrong - true. Armstrong is an arrogant, competitive sob - true. Armstrong decides to take out Simeone personally on Friday - true. Armstrong is definitely a doper - ? The logic just isn't there. But ultimately, what is more important than logic is evidence, and you have none of that either. Case closed for now.

posted by platocave at 09:22 AM on July 25, 2004

Armstrong punishes a personal enemy

Fat Buddha, take a good hard look at my post. I never said that because Lance has never failed a drug test that he must not be taking drugs. I don't know. But squealy doesn't know either when he says so confidently that Armstrong is a "drug-taking cheat." A basic rule of logic is that the burden of proof is always on those who say something is the case because you can't prove a negative. If you say that gremlins exist, I can't prove to you that they don't because I necessarily have no evidence that they don't - therefore, you have to give me physical evidence to prove that they do exist before I change my stance. I'm not "trusting"; I'm just skeptical about people's half-assed blind-faith assertions that "they are ALL doping." I find it just as hard believing that everybody's all-bad as I do with everybody being all-good.

posted by platocave at 04:29 PM on July 24, 2004

Armstrong punishes a personal enemy

Look, squealy, I don't see how "he's clearly a cheat." Give me physical evidence, and then I'll believe your opinion. Lance withstood 5 years of the most rigorous drug testing without any failures; the burden of proof is always on those who say that something is the case. There has been no physical proof. On the "self-important, vindictive bully" part of your post, maybe so. But Michael Jordan did the exact same thing to anyone he perceived to slight him. Examples: destroying Gary Payton early in his career after some comments GP made, something like 3 steals and 15 points in 3 minutes; busting Bob Sura's nose with his elbow when Sura defended him too close in '96; the list goes on and on, and these are the minor examples. The point is, MJ was not doping, he was just competive as hell. Being competitive as hell does not mean you're trying to hide something, as you try to insinuate in your post. And billsaysthis, you cannot try to beat the pack all the time alone in cycling - it's just not possible. That's why it's a team sport. Science has measured that you have to work 300% harder without anyone breaking the wind in front of you. No one, not even Lance, can be that good all the time. If Lance tried to do something like that with the overall race already sewn up for him, the pack would try to kick his ass and would probably succeed; he'd probably lose time by overexerting himself, so it just wouldn't be worth it. Lance, like all great athletes, picks his spots, and when he does, no one can match him.

posted by platocave at 09:31 AM on July 24, 2004

Defcon 2 Jerk Alert

The Lakers w/Kobe still won't make playoffs next year. Even with some necessary roster moves to bolster their currently undersized and, there's no other word for it, pathetic front-court, the Lakers just don't have enough. Spurs, Wolves, Rockets, Nuggets, Jazz, Kings, Blazers, Grizzlies, and Mavs are all much better talent-wise, size-wise, and chemistry-wise.

posted by platocave at 04:41 PM on July 15, 2004

Defcon 2 Jerk Alert

Kobe's on the Lakers, so long Clips, had fun leading you guys on.

posted by platocave at 02:47 PM on July 15, 2004

Rolling... in my 5.0 with my rag-top down, so my hair can blow.

Dwyane Wade and Shaq is as good a combo as TMac-Yao right now, imo. In 3 years, that's not going to be the case, but "maybe make it to the playoffs" is way too pessimistic. Barring injury, the Heat have made a move that will almost assuredly make them Finals contenders for the next 2 years. 2 years after that, they will have $30 mil worth of salary cap space with which to lure another superstar. So this is not a bad move at all for the Heat. What's interesting to me is just how bad the Lakers are looking talent-wise, even with this trade, next year. Jaric/Livingston certainly looks better for the future than Payton/Fisher (if they even retain Fisher), Maggette v. Butler and Brand v. Odom already show the Clippers with a decisive edge now. The Clippers honestly have the better talent, and the Lakers are lucky they can pay Kobe $30 mil more than the Clippers or Kobe would have already bolted.

posted by platocave at 08:49 AM on July 12, 2004

The Mailman hangs 'em up.

Speculation like this pisses off the Benefactor, but my 2 cents anyway: Karl Malone was one of the dirtier players in the NBA, but he also was easily one of top-3 power forwards of all-time skillswise. And I agree with lilnemo that he was the key to the Lakers last season. They still probably wouldn't have won even had he been healthy, but they were immeasurably better both on and off the court because of his presence.

posted by platocave at 01:40 PM on July 01, 2004

Mercifully, T-Mac has landed.

On the question of whether the Magic have a more well-rounded roster... What if THIS is the season that Grant Hill finally pulls it together? *runs away*

posted by platocave at 10:58 AM on June 30, 2004

Take the best player

My 2 cents on Darko's effectiveness... Darko Milicic is the William Hung of the NBA. Seriously, the guy does not look like a basketball player when he goes out onto the court and yet he is cheered madly, even by opposing fans, every time he touches the ball. And, as Bill Simmons pointed out, everything he does seems to score highly on the Unintentional Comedy Scale. The godawful-looking tape over his ears from a horrible piercing job, the broken bone in his hand from 2 minutes of play? I know from reading an article in ESPNMag that Darko supposedly recorded an unbelievable time in an agility drill, and that's why JoeD took a chance on him - his "potential". But even William Hung has a nice voice, if you listen closely and don't pay attention to his interpretative dances. His voice has an agreeable pitch, smooth and mellifluous. But having a nice voice doesn't necessarily make you a good singer. And being extremely agile for a big guy doesn't necessarily make you a good basketball player. I just wonder if, when Darko demands playing time next season - and gets it because of JoeD - we won't start seeing a serious Darko backlash, similar to the anti-William Hung stuff we're seeing now. Currently, Darko's career seems to be akin to the beginning of the William Hung phenomenon, where he became wildly popular on the internet from a few clips. But overexposure and lack of skills next season may start the same booing for Darko that William Hung sees now. What do you think? Maybe I'm wrong. But, as the Chuckster says, I doubt it. P.S. What was Larry Brown's take when he was on David Letterman? “I have a 10-year-old son, and I think he's a lot more mature than Darko right now." Hmmm.

posted by platocave at 04:25 PM on June 24, 2004

Take the best player

Alright, I've give you Red...

posted by platocave at 10:56 AM on June 24, 2004

Take the best player

I'll have to agree more with John Hollinger on this one than cg. Melo would have been a better draft choice for the Pistons than Darko; DWade would have been even better. If you don't think either of those two would have helped more than Darko in this year's playoffs, then you didn't watch them play. But the reason DWade would have been a better choice is because he wouldn't have taken precious chunks out of Prince's PT like Melo would have, so I do agree that need is a factor. It's just not as big as talent. For further argumentation, take a look at the draft choices of the agreed-upon best-GM-of-all-time: Jerry West. He always drafts talent over need, and that's why his roster is always stacked, even in Memphis. They can go 10-deep because they don't have a single bad player. They don't have GREAT players, but that's mostly because West didn't have much to work with when he started and hasn't had a high draft pick yet. But West seems to follow Hollinger's analysis to a tee - confounding analysts with his drafting choices because he already has similar guys, and then swinging trades during the regular season for needs and more talent. In only two years, the Grizzlies are a team on the rise because of it.

posted by platocave at 08:40 AM on June 24, 2004