1) Kobe is crazy. I don't see any particular way the 92 Team loses to this one or the 08 team. There's about 4 guys on this team that would have a shot to make the 92 team (Kobe, LeBron, Durant, and Paul), over Laettner, Bird (retired and injured), and probably Malone or Mullin in my mind. Howard might have a case over Ewing also if he was healthy and Rose or Wade would be other options if healthy over Drexler and Magic (couldn't guard anyone and was, like Bird there because of the name more than his remaining skill level). Main reason I'd take the 92 team, other than the obvious MJ in prime feature, plus Pippen, Robinson, Barkley, Stockton in primes, was that they're a way better passing team at every position. Ewing might have been the worst passer on that team. In an international or all-star game, that matters. Hell, it matters at the NBA title level. Teams that can move the ball and run plays or set each other up play unselfishly and conserve energy for defence. Which speaking of which.. that team would also look better given that they had two centers who could run the floor and were all-NBA defence (Ewing/Robinson), two defensive player of year perimeter guys (Jordan/Pippen), a decent defensive point guard (Stockton, who did after all get the steals record too by the way), and a number of guys at every other position who could rebound and jump passing lanes. Again, Mullin, Malone, injured Bird and Laettner are the only liabilities there (and three of those guys could get after the glass at least). So yeah, count me in the consensus that says that wouldn't be all that close of a game.
2) I'm not sure why NY is so annoyed about the Lin signing. I do think they could have done some way to swallow the poison pill deal that Houston offered (3rd year) by using it as an expiring contract deal to trade off to some other team (or to free up cap space themselves down the road), and it is NY after all. But it was probably way overpaying his actual performance on court versus merchandise value and possible new fan base. I'd be a little concerned about losing both him and Fields and replacing that with an aging Kidd/Camby combo and another point guard that can't shoot (Felton). They had better start hoping that Amare remembers how to play in the offseason up there.
3) Boston way overpaid Jeff Green. That one draws an eyebrow from me. Getting Sullinger, and predictably noting that he can't get his shot off inside in summer league games, also odd. He does however dominate the glass and can sink a jump shot, and has some inside moves. So it's not a bad fall. Terry helps cushion the Ray Allen FU move on the way out (taking less money). I can't say I'd blame him though.
4) Kind of interested to see if Brandon Roy has anything in the tank left. Medical tech seems to be advancing such that he should be able to wrangle a couple of productive years and he does fill the biggest void in the Wolves roster (Wesley Johnson? Wayne Ellington?). They could be pretty good over the next couple years with their young core (like OKC did, getting better every year). A core of Love, Rubio, Williams, Pekovic, and Roy, plus some role players (Budinger or Barea), doesn't sound too bad. Add a couple draft picks and/or signing Batum and it starts to look interesting.
5) Not sure what the Clippers were doing signing Jamal Crawford. I think there's a good reason he parlayed a sixth man award into only a one year contract last year after all. Predictably, Blake tears up his knee during Olympic duty. I suppose Crawford is a slight upgrade over Nick Young, but that's not saying much.
6) Houston is fucked if they don't get Dwight. Scola, Lowry, Budinger, Dalembert, probably Lee also, all gone. They did get Royce White and Terrence Jones in the draft, and still, for now, have Kevin Martin (efficient all offense player unlike inefficient all offense Monte Ellis), and a couple other decent roles but that's a 30 win team without Howard.
7) I don't think the Lakers are title contenders with Nash. They still can't guard the point, and Kobe needs the ball to score. Or wants it at least, when it should be going more to Gasol or Bynum. Chemistry is not that easy to do. If they get Howard, then they start to look more interesting.
8) Golden State can stay healthy they might be about to make some noise this coming year. Starting five looks interesting. Bogut, Curry, Barnes (a big maybe there), Klay Thompson, and David Lee. If they keep Rush and Jack, that's not bad off the bench. It's not a 50 win team, but it might slip into the playoffs the way Utah did this year.
9) Phoenix, or Portland didn't do much to add value and are basically blowing up their teams. I'd expect them of them to drop like a rock. Ditto Atlanta and Orlando.
10) Brooklyn should actually be good but not that good. Joe Johnson is perennially overrated as a star quality player. Dumping a few of their bad contracts wasn't a bad move (Morrow especially), but that won't make them into a contender versus Boston, Chicago or Miami in the conference, much less OKC and co out West.
11) Denver and Philly did very well in a shorter condensed schedule by virtue of having deep benches. I'm not sure that Philly will still be around, depending on if they trade Iggy or not (they're already down Lou Williams and Brand and Kwame Brown is not a name one wants to see on the "additions" ledger, neither is Nick Young), and Denver has some skilled players but I'm not sure how they'd move up with what they've got.
12) Going out on a limb, Charlotte and New Orleans will not be as bad as last year. New Orleans may have a very outside shot at the playoffs, though that depends on Davis being as very good as advertised, Rivers not being as terrible as many project, Gordon being Gordon, and chemistry working to form. Charlotte will just not be the dregs of the league history repeated.
13) Dallas and San Antonio being a year older will not amount to much improvement. Dallas has a shot to miss the playoffs with this team. All things considered, they did have some decent value pickups. Collison, Kaman, and Crowder for example. But none of those are jumping out as outstanding moves. San Antonio has advantages of retaining the team chemistry from a year ago and a couple of skilled younger guys (Parker is sort of younger even though he's been around forever, and Splitter and Leonard are very good).
California labor market sentences to ponder
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