SONS ARGUE AMONGST THEMSELVES, PART 2: (Miami's third wheel, Same old Hawks, Golden State's backcourt of terror, etc…)


So, it turns out we still had a little more to say about the first two weeks of the season…


  CHRIS BOSH IS A THIRD WHEEL IN MIAMI



JOHN HATHWELL: Talk about your awkward situations.

I mean, when it comes down to it, Bosh doesn’t fit in with these guys, being that he’s a face-up player on a team that already has two really good ones.

For all practical purposes, dude is just a 3rd rate version of Wade and James, in that he can be a deadly iso. scorer, but isn’t exactly Hakeem (or even Al Jefferson) in the post.

I mean, what are you gonna do? Bring ’em off the bench in the instant offense roll? Tell him to get his ass down to Pete Newell’s Big Man Camp? Hire Jon Koncak to help him master the fine art of pick-setting. Face it, Bosh doesn’t fit here. The guy is a redundancy, like Tom Smykowski in “Office Space” . To be fair,the season is still only 2 weeks oly, so it could be that I’m just
 jumping to conclusions.

Thing is, I can’t imagine Pat Riley not knowing this was going to be the case, but since Bosh had more or less hitched himself to the LeBron wagon (witch James appeared to be fine with), he became a “gotta take this guy if you want that guy” proposition.

Honestly, if this was a NBA 2k11 or something, I’d trade Bosh for a legit interior presence and be done with it. In real life, however, this is gonna be alot trickier.

Anyway, I’m calling it now: I wouldn’t be shocked if Bosh doesn’t last 3 years in Miami.

WES LILLIMAN: In my Heat preview I said that I thought Bosh was a big fish in a small pond up in Toronto and  I didn’t know what to think of him because he’s completely unproven in situations that matter. I still don’t know what to think. Of course, he’s a very talented basketball player and an asset to any team, but it really looks like he needs a specific type of situation to prosper…

… and Miami ain’t it.

I don’t even know he’s on the court half of the time. He’s pretty close to falling into that group of Heat players known as “anybody other than Wade or James.” As you pointed out, he’s not talented enough in the post to do anything against anyone of note, and the rest of his skills are trumped outright by those possessed by Wade and James.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not all his fault. The Heat, in my opinion, are severely lacking when it comes to fundamental half-court offense. It’s usually about letting James or Wade do their thing, and that either results in them scoring or drawing enough attention to kick to somebody for a jumper or a nice feed to an interior player under the basket. Every once and a while, Bosh is the beneficiary. But it might be interesting to see how he’d play with a more sophisticated scheme where plays were designed for him. I just don’t see much of that happening here.

I give Bosh credit for getting himself lumped in with the other two in the offseason happenings. To this day, a lot of people I know who don’t really follow much basketball respond to the name of Chris Bosh with “… I don’t even know who that is.” Yet, he’s a part of the BIG THREE, so he’s done something right. 

It’s kinda like Destiny’s Child in their prime. You had Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and… the other one. True fans would know that it was Michelle Williams and that she was talented in her own right, but you never heard a song where she was emphasized in the slightest. The other girls were too big (not literally), so the other was just perceived as a third body to complete the trio.

So, the jury’s still out, but Bosh is lost in the shuffle as of right now.

WHAT THE ATLANTA HAWKS AND THE TALKING HEADS HAVE IN COMMON…



JH: …As in, this team is the same as it ever was.

It’s funny, but I read alot of people saying this team would go backwards this year. Problem with that is, why would they when there has been virtually no changes made to the roster? Is the idea supposed to be that the contract they gave Joe Johnson so bad that it’s supposed to suck the morale out of their locker room?

I don’t get it.

Far as I can tell, this is still a pretty solid young group of guys that have now played together for a long time, at least by 2010 standards. They still have to worry about how to keep Josh Smith (answer: they can’t), but for now, it’s the same team that surprised everyone by getting out to a hot start last year before doing a major 
 dicktuck in the playoffs.

So far this season, nothing looks different. Of course, we’ll have to wait until April before we know for sure.

WL: Perfect team to start off the year hot. As you said, same core group of guys from last year. Additionally, they’ve got a ton of youth that’s ready to come out of the gate furiously because they’re hungry and they already click, while other teams are working out the kinks and what not.

Yes, they’ve started off hot. However, take a look at who they played:

Minnesota, Detroit, Cleveland, Washington, Philadelphia, and Memphis.

That’s not exactly running a “gauntlet of terror” or anything. Plus, once they started playing tight games against teams that have big game experience, they started losing (to Phoenix and Orlando, respectively). The Phoenix loss (at home) was particularly revealing because they should have won, but they made stupid mistakes and couldn’t seal the deal.

I stand by my beliefs regarding Atlanta. They’re talented and they’re easily a playoff team, perhaps even as high as the 4th seed in the East depending on how Chicago and Milwaukee’s situations play out. But, put the postseason pressure on, and combine it with savvy teams that are peaking at the right time, and the Hawks will fall. They might not get MURDERED like they have in the past few years, but nothing right now indicates that they’ve taken some dramatic step to compete with the beasts in the East.

THE MONTA ELLIS/ STEPHEN CURRY BACKCOURT IS THE REVELATION OF 2011 (WELL, SO FAR, ANYWAY)




JH: it’s no secret I’ve got a major crush on the new look Warriors, and it really all starts with these guys.

I mean, it was less than two years ago that Curry was a little busy destroying teams single handedly in college (despite them gearing their WHOLE DEFENSE to stop him) and GM’s were busy wringing their hands over whether Steph could make it in the NBA (too small, not athletic enough, blah, blah, blah).

Now, it sucks to be anyone who passed on this kid. Even more so if you’re David Kahn and you passed on him TWICE.

All I keep thinking is it’s a good thing Monta Ellis isn’t the GM of this team, considering he made the statement before last season the he and Curry wouldn’t be able to play together (see picture above).

Flash forward a year, and these guys look like they couldn’t possibly fit any better. Ellis, the mercurial shooting guard, a scorer of rare capabilities who still needs to be occasionally reminded of simple principles like “there are four OTHER guys playing on your team” and “yound don’t have to shoot just because the ball is in your hand.

Of course, when he’s got it going, he’s more or less unstoppable, as was the case on opening night (to a Bill Withers soundtrack!).


On the flip side, Curry has turned out to be not only a deadeye shooter, but an actual legitimate point guard, capable of consistently making the right decision and running the team like a guy who has been doing it for years. And if that weren’t enough, he’s got the unmitigated gall to actually PLAY DEFENSE. I guess at 22, he’s simply to young to know any better.

Of course, he has sprained his ankle 17 times in the first 7 games, but he’s tough enough to just lace his sneaker tighter and trot back out there. Gotta admire that in the era of guaranteed contracts. 

Fuck it, I’m worked up enough to call this a playoff team right now. My love is that deep.

WL: Man, you really do love these kids.

I, on the other hand, am “cautiously optimistic” with the Warriors. I think it’ll be a “ping-pong” type season where they score 140 points and win on one night, and then follow it up with a close loss the next night. Then, they’ll beat a upper level team on the road, and follow it up with an embarassing loss to an elite team at home. They have the capability of getting some serious momentum going, and if they can do it at the right time, maybe the playoffs are possible.

I’m not so completely sold on them, but Mr. Hathwell is beaming with so much joy that I refuse to even try and rain on his parade here. Plus, Curry truly is the real deal in every way, as far as I’m concerned.


THE WASHINGTON WIZARDS CAN HARDLY HIDE THEIR DISDAIN FOR THE GAME OF BASKETBALL



JH: First it was the opening night abomination, which seemed to get lost in all the bells and whistles surrounding John Wall’s debut. I mean, am I the only one that noticed them getting their brains beat in by Orlando and Andray Blatche looking like a guy playing pick-up ball at the park?

After that, they managed one victory in the next four games, an overtime squeaker over the hapless 76ers in which Cartier Martin (what, you’ve never heard of him) saved them with a 3 pointer at the regulation buzzer.

Now comes word that Coach Flip Saunders  WALKED OUT OF PRACTICE because he was tired of the lack of effort.

And you know what the best part of this is? I mean, beside from them being 1-4 and thinking they are too good to practice?

I haven’t seen or heard Gilbert Arenas mentioned in any of this.

In other words, this team needs to be blown up. Like, yesterday.

WL: Sweet Lord.

Don’t let your friends or anybody you care about watch the Wizards. Not even for John Wall. It’s one of those horrible situations where there’s a talent that you’d go out of your way to watch, yet that talent plays on a team that you’d do anything to avoid. There’s nothing worse than determining that you’ve got some time to watch some basketball, tuning into NBA TV, and finding out that it’s ________ vs. Wizards, with Rick Kamla and Eric Snow providing coverage from the studio. It’s like, “Eh, I think I’d rather go clean the bathroom and get an early start on my taxes.”

The opening night game against Orlando was one of the worst stretches of time I’ve ever experienced. I somehow (sadly) sat through the whole thing and likely lost years off of my life, as the human body isn’t meant to withstand such continuous pain. It was Wall and a bunch of zombies with seemingly no concept of “basketball.”

The Wizards are like your alarm clock waking you from a glorious sleep, sending you to the shower, only to have the hot water run out on you about a minute into it (after you’ve lathered yourself with the wrong kind of shampoo that you mistakenly purchased the night before). You know that car in front of you that slows WAY down before they get into the turn lane, as opposed to gradually slowing down AFTER they’ve gotten into the turn lane? That’s the Wizards. Seriously, if you call Flip Saunders right now his voice mail says:

“Hello. You’ve reached Flip Saunders. Please use your message to try and talk me off the ledge. I don’t care who you are – I envy you.”

Oh, and I didn’t even mention Gilbert Arenas, either.


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