-Starring Philly’s epic collapse, LO’s lost weekend, and the 2012 draft class…
1) The Sixers are in very real danger of missing the playoffs
Yep, it’s probably gonna happen. They’ve lost 10 of 14 after jumping out to an 18-7 start behind a home-heavy early schedule that featured just 9 road games in the first 25. Since then, well, they’ve simply come back to earth.
Most times when a team falters, you can get inot all number of fancy theories as to why. You know, everything from lack of talent, to injuries, to “they’ve tuned out the coach”, etc.
Well in the case of this team, add “maybe they just weren’t that good to begin with” to the list, and you’ll have some feel for why they are likely to drop into the lottery after a hot start that had the dizzier Sixer fans thinking they were legit contenders in the East.
Of course, it’s not a done deal just yet. Sure, they have 8 of the last 10 on the road, but only four of those games are against winning teams. Otherwise, they get Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto and through an odd scheduling quirk, three games against the Nets.
Should be interesting.
2) The Mavs have given up on Lamar Odom
Yep, after watching Odom sleepwalk through the season, essentially go AWOL after the All-star break and miss 66% of his shots for the year, they decided enough was enough and de-activated him for the remainder of the season.
No strangers to risk-taking, the Mavs likely saw the trade they made to acquire Odom as a no-brainer, and there was no reason not to. Still, everything that could have gone wrong did, and now they’ve decided that he’s not worth the distraction. Along way to fall in 12 months for the former 6th man of the year, but Odom’s problems at this point are way beyond the game of basketball.
Still, with Dallas holding an 8.2 million dollar option on Odom for 2013, I wouldn’t expect them to exercise it, which means Lamar will be free to sign wherever he desires.
Of course, you have to consider the LA teams to have an inside track here. Man, a rejuvenated Lamar Odom sure would improve the Clippers’ fortunes, wouldn’t he?
3) The 2012 Draft class is not going to save your shitty franchise
Yeah, I said it. All these months of hearing people lose their minds over the immense depth and talent available in this draft has caused a market correction of sorts. Truth is, the majority of the projected potential lottery picks has had their stock plummet in recent months, and while there are a few sure things here, plenty more of these kids are anything but. Just have a look at the top 10 or so (as per Chad Ford’s big board):
1-Anthony Davis Like I said, there are a few sure things. Worst case scenario for Davis would be the kind of career Greg Oden was supposed to have. And like I said, that’s worst-case.
2-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Another no-brainer for me. Destined for stardom, thanks to an insane work-ethic and the type of almost unhealthy competitive drive that alot of the greats possess.
3-Bradley Beal all the size 6’5, 195) and athleticism to make a great 2 guard in the NBA, but the shooting isn’t there yet and may never be. @ guards with 19 foot range are literally growing on trees these days.
4-Thomas Robinson Love the character, but how good can this guy be on the next level, really? And did you see his 6-17 shooting performance in the title game? Not what I’d call a good sign.
5-Andre Drummond Straight out of the “he looked like the #1 pick before the season started but he lost money with every college game he played” playbook. Have a look at the list of big guys whose stock dropped dramatically after being considered top 3 picks. usually means the kid has all the talent but none of the desire. Again, not a good sign.
Boatload of talent, questionable desire.
6-Cody Zeller White centers. In the NBA. In 2012.
7-James Michael McAdoo This is one of those “High School pitcher” type projections, based on what McAdoo did in a handful of games in March. The epitome of a crap-shoot.
8-Harrison Barnes I almost feel bad for this guy. After all, he went from “the next Kobe Bryant” to “maybe he’ll be Mikael Pietrus!” in about 18 months. If ever there was a guy who should have left school after his freshman year, it is him.
9-Perry Jones III Boatload of talent, questionable desire. Where have we heard this?
10-Terrence Jones Boatload of talent, questionable desire. Where have we heard this?
And so on…
hey, it doesn’t stop there, either. There are at least 10 or so more potential picks after that, from Tyler Zeller to J.J. Sullinger to Arnett Moultrie and beyond.
Point is, alot of teams have spent the last few years treating lottery picks in this draft like golden tickets, and this may no longer be reality. If you were holding out hope that your top 5 pick was going to rescue you from the depths of the NBA standings, you may be shit out of luck.
Talk to me about guys like Drummond, Barnes and Jones (both of ’em) in a few years. Something tells me this draft will go down as a bomb of epic proportions, at least in terms of expectations.
As usual, feel free to remind me if I’m wrong.