ESPN led me to believe that the Los Angeles Eagles had put together a dream team. I heard they obtained the best quarterback available and surrounded him with championship material. The LA Eagles, along with the Memphis Grizzlies, seem to be the unanimous pick to come out of their respective divisions. I mean, you throw a bunch of perfect ingredients in the pot and how could you expect anything but the perfect dish? This recipe never fails.
Oh, right, the Miami Heat. The two best ingredients the NBA had to offer couldn't beat a real team. The Philadelphia Eagles didn't live up to their paper value? They already failed to make the playoffs. And the LA Clippers fell well short of their contender status. Yes, all is right in the world.
Building a team the right way pays off. This is a team sport. Flashy players do not win championships. Athleticism does not win championships. And I'm sorry to report this, defense doesn't win championships, either. Teamwork wins championships. Teamwork that is developed over years and sweat and tears. There are no magical ingredients. Hard work pays off and that is why team sports are king. We love it. The good guys win. That's how it always works.
I wrote the following last night for an article that most likely will be published this Friday.
"The Clippers look better on paper than they actually are. This is a team that might develop into something scary at the end of this season or next year, but until then, they will simply be a team you wouldn't want to play a pickup game against."
I stand by it, (obviously, I was right)! They are not yet a team. It could happen, but I think the LA Eagles might have to look in a different coaching direction for it to materialize. Andy Reid, I mean, Vinny Del Negro, is not championship material, and I am a Vinny fan. I used to go to the Concord Athletic Club and shoot on the same basket as him back in the day. He was one of my favorite Spurs, (although, the fact he had to step on the line every time he attempted a three still kills me.)
Your Three Stars
3.) Vinny Del Negro
Was he awake the entire game? Yes? Would you bet your life on it? You wouldn't? Exactly. It appeared as if Vinny took Algebra 2 all semester and accidentally stumbled into the Calculus final. That, my friends, was not a good showing on his part.
2.) Tiago and TJ. (RJ gets honorable mention.)
Tiago has brought us a defensive flexibility that I have not witnessed since the Admiral roamed the paint with Tim. I know, that's a little too much, too soon. But how nice is the ability to have a seven footer in the game at all times? And even better, we can go BIG! Fantastic. Antonio, you were a great Spur, but thank you for retiring gracefully and clearing out some space in the paint for my main man, Tiago.
TJ is the best backup point guard Tony has ever had, and it's not close. In fact, I will even state that TJ is the best point guard on the team, (okay, fine, pure point guard). The second unit is no longer a liability. TJ ensures that the second unit always takes a high percentage shot. He is a master at controlling the tempo of the game, which is probably the most important quality a backup point guard can have. I can't overstate this; Tiago and TJ make this team significantly better than last year's squad.
1.) Manu, easily.
I think it's fair to say that if Manu stays healthy, the Spurs should be the favorite in the West. If you disagree, you probably missed our first two games.
I only watched Final Destination I, (because I felt violated after watching), so please excuse me if the rest took a different angle. (You're right, these kind of movies never take a different angle.) So, it's my belief that Manu has a Final Destination ability. He sees the play before it happens. He has that Dennis Rodman ability. The difference is that Manu is a basketball player. He uses the ability for all aspects of the game, whereas Rodman was only able to utilize it for rebounding purposes.
Teamwork pays off. Manu is the best player in the NBA. The Spurs will not lose a game this season. Spurs win! Spurs win!