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Note to the San Antonio Fans: This Is Your Finest Hour. - Sauce1977 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Note to the San Antonio Fans: This Is Your Finest Hour. [Jun. 11th, 2007|01:00 am]
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[Current Location |Detroit, MI, USA]
[In the Moment |impressedimpressed]

It's gotta be sad for King Stern to see how very little people care for his league and the game provided in favor of the high scores and selective stars that the league chooses to market on an ESPN-highlight level that lasts only a few seconds. What an utter failure for the commissioner, in sum, for this season's example.

When you spend years of burn for names instead of teams and the game, then you get absolutely what's happening with this season. It can only get worse.

Unfortunately, I don't have any further for sympathy for that NYC buffoon.

Imagine if the players and referees union scream for more at next juncture. The 05 CBA was more like an 05 Terrorist Bargaining Agreement.

I love a dominant team, and the Spurs are it. Shut down the Cavs offense in Game 1 . . . didn't scratch the surface of SA's offense, either. Game 2 . . . Cavs offense works slightly better . . . Spurs turn up the offense. If you grind it out, then SA will grind it out much better. If you run and gun, SA will do it better. If you send a superstar to defeat the Spurs, then SA will kill that man on the court. This is your dynasty, ladies and gentlemen. It should be given burn, not getting burned by absolutely little positive press. Remember, the national media and complacency in the front office threw Detroit under the bus in favor of talking this kid up as the league's hope for the present, not the future, of the very same dominance that San Antonio's put upon the league.

Regardless of media lunacy and the court jester that runs the league . . . thank you for providing your example.

Now don't screw it up over these next two games. San Antonio has the possibility to destroy the head while keeping the body alive.

As for Casual Fan ™ . . . your disposable income is greatly overvalued. Now stay away.


[User Picture]From: holzerhedrpca
2007-06-11 12:32 pm (UTC)
I blame a lot of this on the sports media, specifically, ESPN, highlighting "journalists" who perpetuate the myth that teams like San Antonio and Detroit are boring. Sure, they may not run and gun, but they win. If ESPN had its way, it'd be Miami and the Lakers or Cleveland and the Lakers in the finals every year because OMG KOBE SHAQ LEBRON WADE OMG.

Me? I'll just settle for more parity between the conferences. It's ridiculous how bad the East is this year, moreso than in previous years. Even in years when an Eastern team won, you can't tell me that the Heat would have beaten San Antonio last year, or (and I'm sorry) the Pistons would have beaten San Antonio their title year. Actually, scratch that. That Piston team might have beaten any Western team put in front of them. It's just the Lakers were glaringly overrated that year and had too many ego issues to be a slam dunk for the title. Detroit was a complete mismatch for them.

Still though... just give me a year where the Sixers have a punchers' chance playing against elite competition before they move onto the NBA finals. No more of this crap. I hope Chicago makes the leap, Detroit improves, Toronto gets tougher and Orlando actually plays to their potential. I want challengers from this side of the continent.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2007-06-12 01:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm with you there.

It doesn't look like the NBA is strong enough to withstand a stoppage of play. I'm all for one, actually. That needed to happen in '05. Instead, a pithy amnesty one-time for one contract was made, and that didn't really help all that much.

Revenue sharing does a lot for teams, which is the other problem.

Stern has no friends, and they all keep pinching away at the pie more and more . . . no real increase or better result.

There are dynasty possibilities with the NFL style. Nobody can tell me the Pats aren't a dynasty, still in the running. There are shit GMs in every league that stay there because there are shit owners in every league. Arizona and Detroit have had horrible ownership for decades. Their front office decisions have been insane. Just because a league has a hard cap and there's no way a team can house Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, and Amare Stoudemire, all on the same team . . . that doesn't mean that you won't get a team that will keep winning it more often than not. Spurs look like they could re-tool indefinitely, and with some fortune, they'll keep winning after Duncan's done. Also, having an NFL style won't stop Kevin McHale from being a horrible GM. Isiah, either. King, either. Bird, either. Jordan, either. It doesn't stop Matt Millen from being the worst executive in all of pro sport . . . never will.
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[User Picture]From: holzerhedrpca
2007-06-12 02:02 am (UTC)
I agree with you 100% re: the dynasty comment. Really, can you tell me that the Spurs aren't a dynasty right now? Four titles in seven years? That's incredible. Basketball dynasties are always the most likely because one player can make such an impact. In football, Barry Sanders was the greatest football player I've ever seen take a snap, yet he couldn't lead Detroit any further than getting annihilated in the NFC Championship. Yet, his equivalent in the NBA, Michael Jordan, won six titles and could have won two more had he stuck around. Of course, the case could be made that no one was stopping Olajuwon and the Rockets for two years, but the way Jordan came back with a vengeance in his first full-time season back... could any team have stopped him?

All you need is a superstar or maybe two (let's not discount Scottie Pippen... although really, Duncan doesn't have a second superstar right now) and the right role players and a good coach. The difference between a San Antonio romp and a possible Cleveland title is that Duncan has the right role players and the best coach in the NBA on his side. LeBron has ass surrounding him and perhaps the worst coach to take a team to the Finals in history.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2007-06-12 02:20 am (UTC)
Actually, Scottie Pippen woulda been at least a Reggie Miller, if not more, had he been by his lonesome on some derelict roster.

Jordan couldn't win shit without Pippen, Grant, and company.

The "One Guy Beat Five in Game 5" shit makes me sick, and it's not because LeBron's lacking greatness . . . he improves his game, and that may actually be true for him . . . but that Game 5 ECF, the one that Joe Dumars admitted today on WDFN as making him lose sleep . . . it wasn't the fact that LeBron did it against Detroit, that he did it at all . . .

Everyone acted like they've been waiting for this game to become standard for LeBron James, since he came into the league. It didn't matter to anyone to give partial credit to Detroit screwing up, big time, on defense and offense to close out that game and help LeBron do his thing.

Suddenly, this kid is painted as a modern legend who slayed the unsightly and uber-dominant cast of Detroit ballers, when prior to this game, nobody cared about the Pistons or would even admit to their dominance on the court. Since '04, it's been "man that's a shit ball club of has-beens and never will bes."

All of the sudden, for one moment, it's "LEBRON KILLS THE PISTONS JUGGERNAUT ALL BY HIMSEELLLF!"

I think Marv Albert nutted in his pants that night, watching it happen, like he'd never fucking seen a night of Jordan's action.

One man does not ever beat five, all by himself. Ever. Game 5 doesn't count. In theory, it just doesn't work.

You're spot on with role players, too. Lakers had D-Fish. Spurs have Horry. Pistons had Mike James. Bulls had Hodges. I'm naming 3-ball sharpshooters, but there's that guy, the rebounds-only guy, the Bowen-like black hole on the perimeter . . .

So many things make up one guy beating five that it's a complete fucking joke to say it . . . and these idiots mean it and desire it.
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[User Picture]From: holzerhedrpca
2007-06-12 12:02 pm (UTC)
I don't subscribe to the five against one theory, but I do think it's a lot closer to being true in basketball than in any other sport, even hockey, where a hot goaltender can do wonders for you. However, I saw a Flyers playoff game last spring where Robert Esche stopped 50+ shots and we still lost to the freaking Sabres because we couldn't score a fucking goal. In basketball, if you have one guy who can take over a game, you can win at least one game in a seven game series on his merits alone. That's why I feel like this isn't going to be a sweep, because LeBron can win a game by himself.

However, when talking about a seven game series, I think you and I are in perfect agreement. You aren't going to beat Duncan, Parker, Bowen, Oberto and Finley with Ginobili coming off the bench if the only other quality players you have are Drew Gooden and Daniel Gibson. And when your coach is dumb enough not to have Gibson in there, then you're doomed even further.

Seriously, we need some quality GMs and coaches out East. The only good ones, by my reckoning, are in Chicago, Detroit (only a GM there... I don't know how you live with Saunders after he was the only person in the world who could have been outcoached by Mike Brown) and Orlando.

Speaking of Orlando, that team is going to be absolutely sick next year. Dwight Howard is a beast, and I love Jameer Nelson (not just because he's a Philly boy either!). If they can find someone to replace Grant Hill (could it be Darko?), they could win that division next year.

Complete aside... where do you think Arenas goes after next season?
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2007-06-12 01:33 pm (UTC)

Arenas = Billups, and DC Similar to Detroit.

Arenas stays in DC, unless the climate gets sick between now and this time next year.

This DC season ended up scratched because of major injuries to Arenas and Butler. Healthy team next year, and they don't make playoffs . . . that's the sick climate I speak in reference.

Arenas is doing the same thing Billups is doing.

Dumars came out on the radio the other day and addressed the shenanigans with "blowing up" this team as exactly what they are . . . foolishness and frustration.

I think DC's committed to keeping a more free-wheeling style of play with Arenas, Daniels/Stevenson, Butler, and Jamison. Unfortunately, they have the same problem Detroit does . . . the center doesn't fit their style. Haywood/Thomas is a poor fit because those guys are both pure half-court. It bogs everything down like Webber bogged Detroit's offensive interior. Watching those guys lumber up the court, all three of them, especially kills the buzz of the other racehorses.

Both Detroit and DC need at least one of those guys on the bench to make sure that a particularly tough interior D with a bigun on their roster won't get away with half-court murder, but none of those three are starting material. Never were, never will be from about the start of 05-06 onward. Detroit was especially lucky to get anything out of Webber in the 2nd half of the season. That guy has to retire if he thinks he's worth more than 15 mpg off the bench on a competitive roster. Webber just can't run anymore, and he takes way too long to figure out what he's going to do in the paint. A fast break from the guy is asking too much.

Haywood wants Eddie Jordan gone, and I agree with him. But there aren't too many people willing to balance a tighter perimeter D with a transition and pace-pushing game out there. They can't go get Carlisle because his game pace is extremely slow . . . pure half-court.

I think Haywood exits, and they look to get a big guy who can run and won't cost them an absolute lack of interior defense. They tried that big freak Peter John Ramos from Puerto Rico, but his problem was like most young kids in the NBA - really fucking stupid on defense. Fouls a plenty. He was semi-athletic but not worth the 5 years it'll take to get him to be worth anything to anyone. So they haven't made wise decisions in youth at the center position, that's for sure.

I can't believe Joe Dumars will let Flip Saunders stay without his own share of the blame. Joe, on that media day yesterday, really avoided specifics, but he pretty much hinted at a team-wide blame for the Cleveland series and the lack of oomph in their playoff run. The lack of oomph is clearly Flip's playbook. Failure to push aggressively inside and deal with more turnovers among bigs when the team takes away the perimeter . . . that's Flip's great sin. And the defense was going to slip in Detroit's interior with Webber, but there's absolutely no excuse for the defensive breakdowns from Flip. His stinking zone really isn't anything special, and Detroit's perimeter players aren't lightning fast to be able to recover when the opponent collapses that zone. Detroit's a much better man-to-man team, among their starters. Getting away from that isn't going to work in the playoffs, anyway. Zone is something you pull when absolutely nobody can shoot from the outside . . . or when your interior D sucks so much that you absolutely have to gang up with a big paint island. And since Detroit still has Rasheed Wallace, that's not entirely horrible defense. Live with a Webber giving up points to mediocre centers and only trap when it's available and opportune. Flip forces way too much shit out of these vets in his plays. It seems way too rigid in design . . . and way too easy to give up, player to player, on the offensive end . . . which is why all those guys kept hanging around on that perimeter and forcing shots. Detroit's bigs and vets know how to ball in the paint - not enough plays are called through the inside-out.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2007-06-12 02:07 pm (UTC)

Part 2: Eastern GMs: Focus on John Paxson.

However, when talking about a seven game series, I think you and I are in perfect agreement. You aren't going to beat Duncan, Parker, Bowen, Oberto and Finley with Ginobili coming off the bench if the only other quality players you have are Drew Gooden and Daniel Gibson. And when your coach is dumb enough not to have Gibson in there, then you're doomed even further.

Seriously, we need some quality GMs and coaches out East. The only good ones, by my reckoning, are in Chicago, Detroit (only a GM there... I don't know how you live with Saunders after he was the only person in the world who could have been outcoached by Mike Brown) and Orlando.

You're on the right track . . . here comes my assist.

I don't regard Chicago's GM to be all that fantastic. The Bulls could be in the Finals with just one big above-average point-scorer of any quality, and they had perimeter players to deal for Zach Randolph last year.

Even if Memphis or Minnesota wouldn't budge off Deng, I'm sure somebody whose big man was capable of 15-20 a night was going to part with him for some perimeter guys.

Duhon has average shooting, passing, defense, but is a minutes-eater. You lose in the long run if Duhon's on a SG or a bigger point guard, but he can do well enough on pure perimeter D if the coach manages subs right.

Nocioni is a nice offensive bench-energy player that is a really poor ball-handler, pure catch-and-shoot, also bad on D. Nocioni, like Varejao, tries to make up for it with charges and slapping guys, but Nocioni really fails at that game.

Ben Gordon is a pure bench undersized SG with a sweet shot who cannot move or pass the ball well but tries to do so and fails miserably with turnovers.

In fact, I go as far to say Ben Gordon sucks a bunch to combat the local media love that guy gets. They love his shooting so much that they're willing to overlook everything else that is either average to poor.

Ben Gordon's the most clearly overrated player on that team. No defense whatsoever for stretches, and his idea of defense usually is a mix of letting most guys burn him around the corner (he's not that fast) . . . or, I watch in horror (or amusement when Chicago plays Detroit) as Skiles puts Gordon's dumb ass on a bigger player for a huge height or size mismatch. Deplorable.

They are way too patient in Chicago, and if they don't get that big man over the summer, the price will get even steeper as Deng gets better - but with the Ben Wallace clones (old Ben = P.J., young Ben = Tyrus, fat Ben = Sweetney) on that team, I mean, who the hell thought that one up? It would be like Detroit stocking Rasheed Wallace (PF with range) but getting Donyell Marshall (Rasheed's ability in about 4 years), Troy Murphy (all offense, perimeter game, no defense, will rebound though), and Austin Croshere (pure victory cigar perimeter big) in their front court. Completely stupid.

And that, my dear Holzermania, is the state of the Eastern GM situation in the third largest population/market in the country. Again, deplorable.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2007-06-12 02:36 pm (UTC)

Part 3: Paxson and Joe D - Best in East, at Least.

Joe's not without blame, either, but I'll take Joe D every time over John Paxson.

Joe D lowlights - The Darko thing was waiting to happen to anyone without the first pick . . . right through the 10th pick. They really built that guy up, and Detroit was the only one looking for best available in a sea of needs. So they got screwed, and Joe D never saw it coming. His loss.

Side note on Darko . . . to come.

But Darko isn't the first head-scratcher Joe's done. Mateen Cleaves was a Joe D draft pick (his first transaction as GM), and that was bad from the start.

On the 2000 draft tip, though . . . that was Joe's first year . . . man, to think how Detroit was literally Philadelphia, 06-07, after Hill decided to sign with Orlando and take the legitimacy with him . . . that was one hell of a bad crop of kids. Kenyon Martin at first overall? Mateen Cleaves, mid-round? The very next pick . . . Jason Collier . . . he's dead.

What Joe D does better than most GMs is fixing mistakes. Mateen was dealt to Kings for Jon Barry - who got his best burn as a player during Jon's twilight in the Detroit days. Joe also got a first round pick from Kings in a future draft, sometime after 03-04? season, which was probably re-dealt in his frequent deals.

The Pistons used Jon the right way, perimeter, jack the threes, and pass-around plus inside-out for that to happen with a lot of success. Jon Barry still doesn't make up for Mateen, not when locals felt Morris Peterson was better - and that was backyard info - but getting anything in return, let alone a first round selection and a useful player - that's usually not the case with other teams.

Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton, and Chauncey Billups were brought to Detroit in trades. Every one of those guys was worth every penny, and of those four, Rasheed was an essential point-scorer from his first day in '04 . . . and Detroit doesn't succeed nearly as much if Billups wasn't running the game. Both those guys are top-tier players that don't get burn like they should. I want to spit in Chris Sheridan's drink. That ill-timed article on Billups was cheap and dumb. Pure hack writing . . . his chats are balanced, so it must be ESPN calling for that crap to fill clicks on the Daily Dime.

Joe D's best pick of many non-factor choices, so far: Tayshaun Prince. People regarded Mike Dunleavy to be the best and only option that year. Score one for Joe. Maxiell may be another gem from PF sub level. Rest of Detroit's draft picks aren't nearly as great under Joe D.

As for Joe's wheeling and dealing, he doesn't always make the best bench fits. That's his problem, along with overall drafting record, and that's still better than what Paxson's doing because Paxson has the opposite problem - nice drafts, has no idea how to put together a team, poor decision in Scott Skiles as a rather mediocre coach in his own right . . . at least Joe's had Carlisle and Larry Brown to provide clearly better floor management, for comparison.

Plus, Paxson hoards these youngsters that don't all fit together and keeps swapping used up vets for used up vets.

And while Chicago did slightly hurt Detroit by signing Ben Wallace, they did it at an enormous cost to their franchise. Instead of being patient this year, they blew their entire cap on Ben . . . and now they cannot partake in the free agent free-for-all that may take place this summer. Last year's crop was pretty damn weak, for comparison.

Between the Skiles decision, the Rose for Antonio Davis for garbage deals, plus the dealing of JR Smith for nobody after getting JR and PJ Brown (who wasn't dealt at deadline like he should have been for that big point-earner), I mean Jesus, Chicago's never going to win with Paxson doing this crap. He hoarded that NY draft pick after dealing Curry, too, and that amounted to not a top 2 pick, so now it's not nearly as useful as it was back in February.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2007-06-12 09:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, LeBron having shit surrounding him is probably making his chances of dunking for the Lakers greater by day.

But even if they had a Horry . . . Donyell Marshall never had a 3-ball shot as great as other bigs. The same can be said for Antoine Walker. Those guys loved jacking up an inferior shot from the outside.

Varejao's a poor substitute for a Rodman-like wing. He can't rebound all that well, and his defense is actually terrible outside of getting too much benefit of the doubt on his flailing hacks at a shooter's arms. His charge-flop is his only defensive skill. Offensive rebounding for Anderson's okay, but he can't create shit and is too thin to have a valid post-game.

Larry Hughes is never going to be a point guard. Eric Snow was never a great point guard . . . Eric Snow is essentially Lindsey Hunter, all defense, no jumpshot or layup ever worth taking.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas is way too fucking slow for his own good. He's Webber-slow without the ball. The only way he's effective is if he has time against a half-court setting to amble over to an indecisive back-to-defender post-upper. On the break, or when a slashing guard makes his inside cut, he can't bother the shot at all like most people his size . . . even his arms are too slow.

These are a collection of guys who should be making no more than a mid-level per year, clearly off the bench, if this club is to be called playoff-caliber, historically . . .
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[User Picture]From: jmack109
2007-06-12 09:01 am (UTC)
If you send a superstar to defeat the Spurs, then Bruce Bowen will incapacitate that player by any means.



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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2007-06-12 09:13 am (UTC)
At least Wally World will never be forgotten. It's probably the best T-Wolves highlight outside of the media clip back in late '04 when Spree complained about "feeding his children" on something like 7 mil per year.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2007-06-12 02:37 pm (UTC)
I could stare at this for hours. I wish that was a valid move in NBA 2k series.
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[User Picture]From: jmack109
2007-06-12 02:55 pm (UTC)
I would be content for it just to be in the mini-highlights they play on the Jumbotron before the games. I don't think they've updated those since 2k3.

I don't think Wally World's agent would take too kindly to that, though, nevermind the pretty boy himself...
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2007-06-12 03:06 pm (UTC)
It says nothing against Wally, since he wasn't particularly asking for it - he's just not the highlight-reel type because he's almost total perimeter for his game.

It's like Indy's tight end getting all huffy about Madden football using that replay where he gets clothelined over and over again with the replay function. Who gives a shit? It's a game - AND that type of outcome happens rather frequently in the NFL. Getting "jacked up" has now become popularized in a MNF segment where they go over all the blinding hits from the weekend of play.

So Wally got "jacked up" - it's rare in the NBA, yeah, but you can add that to the nut shot that Webber took in the last stage of the Cleveland series, the Shaun Livingston injury, the countless freak plays that happen per NBA game, and make a highlight reel that buries Wally in that lowlight.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2007-06-12 03:30 pm (UTC)

Complete Rambling Rant on Eurobasket.

Did you ever notice that every foreigner that comes to play in the NBA expects to take a starting role in a league that, while pretty shitty overall for American standards, is clearly better than anything outside of North America?

I don't get how guys like Theo Papaloukas expect to look at top tier clubs in the NBA and desire to sign and start for them. Theo's 30 years old. The time to do that jump and create a spot for one's self was back at least in the '99-00 season, not now. Theo expects to consider the NBA this next year as his destination after CSKA. If he chooses NBA by mid-July, he has to know that Cleveland, Phoenix, San Antonio, Detroit, Utah, Dallas, and company are not going to be able to sign him to what he wants. He has to expect that the only place he'll get burn is a place like Atlanta, but that's the very place he's trying to avoid. Theo should just keep his veteran foreign ass where it belongs. We had Sarunas, and he was a bench warmer for Golden State this year after clearly not being all that great in Indiana the previous year.

I mean, look at most of this shit besides Splitter.


This list screams that foreigner, Ivan, from Eddie - the guy who said, "I make basket."

I don't know what's worse - glorifying these pieces of And-1 shit from America (Rafer Alston, would-have-been-Globetrotter Sebastian Telfair), or allowing these pieces of shit from abroad to think they can come in and take Steve Nash's place as starter for the Phoenix Suns.

Eurobasket is such garbage. These guys come over here, and almost 60-80 percent of them can't ball like Manu. Manu's got fucking grit - true fucking grit. Ditto Tony Parker. They use their speed to slash the lane. They find the open man for a J after they've collapsed the D by beating their guy on the slash. Or they finish on a shitty interior D, and often get the and-1. Find me more than 3 guys in Eurobasket who can drive the lane from this league of perimeter shooting guards who play too nice and drop like Varejao at first contact. I mean, Trajan Langdon, for God's sake.
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[User Picture]From: jmack109
2007-06-12 04:55 pm (UTC)

Re: Complete Rambling Rant on Eurobasket.

Lol. Foreigners. My make-shift crappy team (with Darius Miles, Matt Carroll and David Lee being it's best players (it makes it obscenely challenging)) just got beat in NBA 2K7 by a buzzer-beating 40-footer by Vladimir Radmanovic. I semi-broke the controller; the right side is somewhat shattered on the bottom. Not that I have problems losing tight games, I just hate losing at the hands of SHIT players, even with my POS team.

60-80% sounds about right. The only good reason I can think of their pretentious is the big fish, small pond analogy. The talent level in the Eurobaketball pool is far lower than the NBA lake. They light up the lackluster defense of Euroball and think that they are the best, which leads to their arrogance.

About 60-80% of Euros are good for one thing: shooting open jumpers over the late Euro defense. They aren't good at defense and make many mistakes all over the floor (Sasha, anyone?). This can lead to their benching and, sometimes, their fading away into obscurity.

Euros, much like the American Dollar, have much more value in Euroland. End of story.
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