“If we lose to Minnesota today I”ll shoot myself”, were the exact words I emailed a mate yesterday morning. Of course it’s easy to say something like that when you don’t give your opposition half a chance. Seriously, the T-Wolves? The team that lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder? I’m speechless. I can honestly say that is probably the most shocking regular-season defeat the Pistons have endured in the past half decade. Iverson, Rip and Sheed plain sucked, and what the hell is wrong with Rodney Stuckey? Since those dizzy spells that guy has been shooting like a turd – hasn’t hit a field goal in his last two games!
The Pistons are in very dangerous territory right now. With the AI transition still in progress if they lose too many games it will lead to a lot of doubting and finger pointing and nights spent staring out the window dreaming of Chauncey Billups. Remember when the Mavs picked up Jason Kidd last year and they sucked? It basically ripped apart any dreams they had of Kidd being the missing ingredient for a championship. Look at them now. They still suck and they’re not going to win a championship. Same thing could happen to Detroit. Pistons fans were wishfully thinking this could turn out like the Sheed trade back in ’04. Well after Sheed came along the Pistons were immediately transformed and dominated the last two months of the season – i.e. they went 12-3 in Sheed’s first fifteen games. AI comes along and the Pistons go 4-5. Notice the difference?
Bogut Watch: I was pumped to see how Bogey would go against the league’s best center Dwight Howard today, and from all accounts he certainly held his own. ESPN said “Bogut got the better of a matchup of back-to-back No. 1 overall draft picks early” while Brew Hoop said “He thoroughly outplayed Dwight Howard”. Not often you hear that kind of praise for a Dwight Howard opponent. Unfortunately for Andrew he got hit in the knee and had to leave the game. It appeared serious, serious enough to get X-Rays taken in the locker room, but the man himself doesn’t sound worried: “I took a charge in the first half and got a knee. But I’ll be OK.” That’s why we’ll never have to tell Andrew Bogut to harden the fuck up. And extra ‘man points’ (I like it CP4) for this dunk on Emeka if you didn’t already catch the clip.
Larry Hughes! Ok we already knew he was a very good shooter but this is ridiculous. Wow. I don’t think there could be a more insulting way to lose than have Larry Hughes bury a tough jumper (lets be honest the defender was all over him) at the buzzer. In Utah of all places. I told one of my work friend’s and I think his reaction sums it up best: “Larry Hughes hit a shot?” Here’s the clip.
I was chatting with Chucko today about the Lebron 2010 saga and a few interesting thoughts popped into my head. Despite the massive amount of cap space the Knicks will no doubt have, would Lebron (or Bosh or Wade or anyone) really want to go to a club who will most likely be full of misfits who have lost 70% of the games they’ve played the last two years, have no winning culture, and no playoff experience? Is that really going to be an enticing environment, EVEN IF the Knicks could HYPOTHETICALLY sign two big names? Let’s compare that to say a team like Detroit (not trying to be bias here), who will probably have enough cap space to sign a Lebron/Wade/Bosh (but not two), but also a playoff battle-tested team with a healthy winning culture. I’m not trying to rag on the Knicks becuase I honestly think they’re turning things around. But I do think they need to make sure they have some pieces in place to attract the Lebons and Boshs of this league, rather than just a deep wallet.
Some people also seem to think the Knicks situation in 2010 would somehow resemble last year’s Celtics – pick up two stars like Lebron and Bosh (or KG and Ray) and the title is in the bag. But the big difference there is that the Celtics already had a proven All-Star in Paul Pierce, a guy who had been to the playoffs a few times and proved himself as a big game player, and a guy who commanded serious respect amongst his peers. That’s why KG and Ray were so happy to go to Boston. You think the Knicks will have anyone like that? I doubt it. I’m not trying to go back on what I said the other day, I still think it’s worth taking the risk on Lebron (here’s a couple reasons why). But who knows what kind of financial situation other teams in the league will have in 2010? The Knicks and Pistons have been getting a lot of the media attention lately – they won’t be the only two teams to attract Lebron’s eye, just the first two.