This is kind of a detour type post except everything here is basketball related.
I was listening to an interview with Eric Snow on the radio today where it was mentioned Michael Jordan won his first championship in his seventh year and how this is Lebron's seventh year as well. I think most experts have the Cavs as the front runners for the title this year which got me wondering something. If Lebron is the modern day MJ, then who is his Scottie Pippen? Surely none of Lebron's current team mates are to Pippen's status. Are they? I do not ask this in jest. The earliest memory of Pippen I have is probably around '94, and by then he was a bad ass. He was carrying teams by himself to 50 win seasons and then when his airness returned, Pippen played robin to three consecutive titles.
So, you old folks (JRW, Wayne, SiMA), in 1991, going into the playoffs, how was a young Scottie Pippen thought of?
Next. I made some CRAZYstatement a little while back that I'd rather see the Laker's earlier than later (in the playoffs) and I got called senseless. I still contend that we match up better than most against the Laker's when Tony is healthy because the Laker's have a tough time with quick point guards. My most recent proof is the NOOCH. A few days back the NOOCH played Chris Paul and Darren Collison at the same time for extended minutes and it gave LA fits. CP and Collison combined for 32 pts (11-20 fgs) and 16 assists and 7 rebs for good measure. The Hornets got the win, the Lakers are sputtering.
Can Tony and George not duplicate this? Throw in the rest of our bunch (Manu Ginobili?) and I like our chances!
Last thing. I want to quickly touch on Tiago Splitter. I wrote a post over the summer about trading Tiago. My thinking wasn't that I believed Tiago won't pan out in the NBA but that he is more of a future piece. My concern was Timmy and especially Manu (remember his was coming off a big injury, seems so long ago huh?); their deterioration as players. As they slowly decline our championship window gets smaller. But I was wrong. I expected Manu and Tim to take a notable dip in play this year. I also expected Tony to increase his level of play. None of those things happened. You might argue that Timmy has slowed towards the end of this season but I think he's taking it easy more than he's out of gas. He's still solid.
Manu and Tim have good years left that can coincide with Tiago's time here. I hope Tiago comes next year and I have uber high expectations for him. They are even higher after hearing RC down play Tiago. This really has me believing he's Just an athletic Brad Miller, Plus. He's the piece we will need to repeat next year :)