Just some random thoughts I wanted to get out of my system...
1. Bill Simmons is a fucking idiot.
I can't believe this guy wrote a 700+ page book about basketball (which figures to be one long love poem to LeBron, Durant, and all things Celtic) and he knows so god damn little about basketball. I'm perfectly at ease admitting the guy knows more about personnel and how stuff like salary caps and trades work than I do, but for basic basketball x's and o's strategy, I think I definitely understand the game better than Simmons.
He's blaming George Karl for the Nuggets losing Game 1 last night because of a bad inbounds play with Anthony Carter as the inbounder like that one play lost the game. George Karl didn't tell his team to miss a bunch of free throws. He didn't tell them to give up 17 offensive rebounds to the Lakers. He certainly didn't tell Kenyon Martin to foul Kobe 20 feet from the basket with less than a minute to go. The players blew the game, not the coach. Even in the first half, when I saw Denver missing all those freebies, I knew it would come back to bite them. Your margin for error in winning a road playoff game in LA or Cleveland is small. You have to play almost a perfect game. You just can't piss away 10 free points like Denver did and expect to come away with the win. And Martin has always been a dumb player, and not clutch at all.
2. No really, Bill Simmons is a fucking idiot.
The Sports Fella had an amusing chat today where he reccomended that the Spurs trade Tony for - get this -
For instance, a deal that makes sense to me is Parker to the Wolves for Randy Foye, the No. 6 pick and expiring contracts. Something like that. And if you're the Wolves, you'd do a deal like that because that gives you a foundation of Jefferson, Love and Parker... you need 3 building blocks to contend and those are 3 good ones. Reminds me of the Ray Allen/Boston trade a little.
Oh yeah, that makes total sense. Let's trade our superstar for a scrub, the 6th draft pick of what you termed "the poop sandwich" draft, and some expiring contracts. Even if those contracts and getting rid of Tony's contract opened up 30M of cap room, I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense to waste what might be Duncan's last "good" year, and for all we know Manu's as well, on a team that has no chance to win and is just waiting for 2010 to do something.
The problem is that Simmons, in his fantasy of wanting to be the Wolves' GM, is thinking of the deal only from Minnesota's point of view. Since it'd be a great move for them, it makes sense to him. You know, I almost want him to get the job, just so he could be publicly humiliated by how awful he'd be at it. Maybe once the twentieth straight GM laughs in his face after Simmons pleads on the phone, "But... but... this trade works on ESPN's trade machine..." he'd get the hint that he was better off writing about Rocky IV.
I'm not going to admonish Simmons for having dreams and fantasies. I certainly have mine and recently most of them have involved my friend "Justine" from the Crazy Horse in San Francisco. But personally, a deal that makes sense to me is moving Tony and Red Rocket for LeBron. It totally works on the trade machine too.
3. I thoroughly enjoyed tonight's Orlando-Cleveland game.
And not just because my bet with my friend Roh is looking good. We bet before the series on how many games the Magic would win and I said at least two and he said none or one, so it's looking good for me, thanks to the sensational fourth quarters turned in by the Magic's forwards, my homey Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis.
I think Orlando is an awful matchup for Cleveland. They can initiate their offense in three different ways. They can dump it in the post to Howard and have him kick out to shooters. They can run the show with Rafer Alston who's more of a traditional, versatile point guard than Mo Willams, who's basically just a short shooting guard. And of course, they can run things through Turkoglu, who's an awesome point forward and a very underrated passer/playmaker.
The Cavs on the other hand only have one guy who can initiate their offense. They also have only one guy who can post up. And in a bizarre coincedence, they're both the same guy. Neither Williiams nor West can create any good shots for themselves or their teammates.
James is a superstar and definitely the best player alive, but he can't beat a team like Orlando singlehandedly. He scored 49 tonight and it wasn't enough. I think he might have already thrown his best punch for the series. He's not going to average 50 unless he shoots a ridiculous percentage from three and hits way more free throws. When you factor in that Orlando has a much deeper bench (I can't believe nobody's noticed that the Cavs bench kinda sorta sucks) there's no way they're going to win the next four games straight. Orlando will make them work and an outright upset wouldn't shock me, but I doubt Stern would allow such a thing.