Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Couldn’t have phrased it better myself:

“Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t understand the love affair with John Calipari. He’s a terrific recruiter, but what is it about his 72-112 record with the Nets, along with his disappointing finishes in Memphis and Kentucky.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Top Two Turner

Securing the second pick in the draft certainly brightens the future for the 76ers.  It is simple; They desperately needed some relief and having their pick among a promising young litter of rookies (minus John Wall, who is a lock at number one), provides just that.  Unfortunately, this is where things stop being so simple.  Entering the free agent frenzy that is the summer of 2010 the team sits at a crossroads, and the management of the second pick is one of the most important decisions that has faced the franchise in recent memory.  The decision on what to do with this second pick determines the course of the franchise for the immediate future, and may allow the Sixers to lock up their next superstar; a spot that has remained vacant since the departure of Allen Iverson. 

The obvious pick here is Evan Turner, an explosive scorer and versatile guard from Ohio State, who many hail as the second-coming of turner 2Brandon Roy. Turner has the potential to provide the Sixers with a legitimate scoring threat and pairs well in the backcourt with second-year stud Jrue Holiday.  This duo could hold down the backcourt for a handful of years and may well be worth building around.  For all his talents however, Turner is far from a lock at the second spot.  Whispers from inside the organization lend to the fact that the Sixers are flirting with selecting a big man in the second slot, and the departure of longtime starting center Samuel Dalembert  only adds fuel to that fire.  Cousins and Favors, the draft’s two top bigs, are the other  names most often being mentioned as potential picks for Philadelphia. 

Other options include trying to move the pick and pursuing a top-tier free agent.  This however would require moving an enormous contract, either that of Brand of Igoudala, along with the pick, which may prove to be extremely difficult considering the Sixers overpaid considerably for both players.  Facing such circumstances, it seems that the reasonable thing for the Sixers to do would be to select the best overall player in Turner, who together with Holiday may help to provide the franchise with a sense of future security. 

Thursday will be an exciting day for the Sixers and Evan Turner alike, and if indications are correct, the two may soon be celebrating together.  


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Big Baby All Grown Up

The Lakers were supposed to win; Kobe making his Jordan-esce run at his second three-peat, Phil, in his twilight, going for an unparalleled eleventh.  The bench was there (Brown, Odom, Farmar), so was the second-option (Gasol), the ever-essential big time shot maker (Fisher) and finally, the shut down defender (Artest).   Yes, all the pieces were in place, and once The King’s quest for his first crown was cut unexpectedly short, many figured that the Lakers would have a cakewalk to their second straight title.

Enter:  The Boston Celtics.

They were supposed to be too old.  KG was supposedly a shell of his former self.  Doc is on the hot seat.  There was too much inner-team turmoil to truly contend for a title.   While much of the basketbalceltsl public wrote the squad off after a sub-par regular season, the Celtics maintained a focus and concentration that was  eerily reminiscent of the 08 championship team while dismissing Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard, respectively, from the post season.  Heading into tonight’s Game 6 the Celtics hold a 3-2 advantage over Kobe Bryant’s Lakers in the Finals, standing one win away from their second title in three years. 

What went wrong?  They had a defensive answer for Boston’s two best perimeter players.  They had a height advantage, and they had, of course, the best closer in the game in Kobe Bryant.   Rondo was supposed to be the only X factor.  It was very possible that he would prove to be too much to handle for Derek Fisher, but throwing a Fisher/Farmar/Brown combination at him would certainly be enough to stifle him, right?  Everyone was accounted for.

Enter: Glen “Big Baby” Davis.

Who would have ever thought that the momentum of the NBA Finals may hinge on the performance of the former LSU Tiger.  Glen Davis hasn’t always been a fan favorite and was in fact an afterthought for much of the Celtics inspired 2008 run.  Maybe it was his physique, which lends to the impression that Glen could spend significantly more time in the gym.  Or maybe it was his game, which seemed as though it wouldn’t translate well from college to the pros, andbig baby his early lack of production simply fueled this fire.  Or possible it was the seemingly ever-present look of shock and despair on his face, lending to his nickname, that annoyed fans so much.  Regardless of the reason for this initial distaste, Big Baby has altered his perception by his play in these NBA Finals.   By spearheading the Celtic bench and becoming a key ingredient in River’s recipe for success, Davis has won over fans in Boston and nation wide.  In this series he has come to represent everything basketball should be about: Hustle, determination, giving 100%, and sacrificing yourself for the greater good.  Davis is the biggest cheerleader on the bench and the hardest worker on the floor, tirelessly diving after loose balls and fighting for stray offensive rebounds.  Davis has been the consummate Celtic , providing the team with the fire and hunger necessary to win a championship; a fire and hunger that was characteristic of the 08 title team, but was largely questioned throughout this season. 

Yes, Glen provides this fire.  You can see it.  Other players feed off him, and it is becoming increasingly hard for Doc to saddle him to the bench during crunch time, knowing the importance and impact of his presence on the court.  Big Baby has grown up, and is one of the main reasons the Celtics sit one win away from the Title.



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