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1 29th March 23:49
sashank varma
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Default cold sweats


you ever wake up in the middle night, suddenly remembering
some awful event from the past or realizing its implications
for the first time?

i was just read john hollinger's nba beat at si.com. the
question of whether brad miller will be an all-star for
the hypercompetitive western conference was raised. now
this is not, in an of itself, a problem for me. while i
lament the loss of kooky ron artest in the jalen rose,
trade, i'm glad mercer's gone and know there's no way
the bulls would have signed miller to that hefty contract
he *earned* this off-season.

in answering the question, hollinger ran down his
list of western all-stars: "I'd take Garnett, Duncan, Peja
and Brand over him in a heartbeat, but choosing between
him and Randolph, Kirilenko, Corey Maggette, Pau Gasol and
Dirk Nowitzki involves splitting some extremely fine hairs."
my mouth went dry and the blood drained from my face.

god damnit we traded brand, a 20-10 guy as a rookie, for
chandler! it's so easy to look at chandler and think
"tall, lots of potential, competitive spirit" and view
him as an asset. do this enough and you forget we didn't
gamble a second round pick on his potential. we trade the
best post-dynasty bull for him!

i'm pretty sure beer will taste a bit more bitter for
a while now....
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2 29th March 23:49
x
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Default cold sweats


Let us never forget, as we watch Antonio Davis move up
and down the court, and fill our minds with memories of
Jalen Rose dribbling out the final shot at Milwaukee
last season, that Elton Brand "was not worth a maximum
contract."

He just wasn't. He just played hard, scored, rebounded
and defended.

You can find that anywhere for cheap.

Instead of this unproductive power forward named Elton
Brand (who was never going to get better), we have
budding superstar Antonio Davis who, when he matures
a little bit, will be the envy of the association.

Player 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06

Antonio Davis $12M $12M $13M
Elton Brand $10M $12M $13M


It gets even worse, because the Clippers are anchored
down by this outrageous charlatan for several more
years!

People say we should just let this all go. It's easy,
they don't have to watch this travesty every night.
Their team didn't go from best to worst and then
even worse once the faintest glimmer of hope appeared.
We're sitting here putting together all-star teams
of POST-DYNASTY Bulls players.

There's probably no way we would have kept Miller
for the salary he got. But treating a genuine center
as a throw-in with your OTHER future all-star and
defensive player of the year award winner for Jalen Rose.


Thank god for matinees. At least I can go to sleep
sober on a gameday for once.
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3 29th March 23:49
davidisilbxxx
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Default cold sweats


I was in favor of trading Brand, then AND now - you can't build around
a power forward, no matter how good: you need to start with your
floor leader, maybe center. Perhaps the best PF ever, Karl Malone,
needed Stockton to get him the ball. And Brand is as much of a
defensive liability as Curry - well, maybe NOT QUITE as much, but....

There were 2 problems that I have with the Brand trade: (1) It never
should have happened because Krause never should have drafted Brand -
Francis was the guy, a potential franchise floor leader; (2) Krause
didn't get enough for Brand - you don't get only a high school player
for a 20-10 guy - should have had Richardson or someone thrown in.
David Silberberg (get rid of the *** before replying by e-mail)
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4 29th March 23:50
sashank varma
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Default cold sweats


Well we traded him for another power forward, Chandler...

Surely you jest! At the very least, Brand averages more
defensive rebounds, blocked shots, and steals.


A lot of people felt this way.

I for one will never forget the image of a petulant Steve
Francis as he was passed over by the Bulls and then drafted
by the Grizzlies.

Things have worked out funny here -- not funny haha, but
funny surreal. The next year, we draft the consensus best
point guard in the draft, Jay Williams, who showed only
flashes and then destroyed his knee this offseason. Last
year, we draft yet another point guard, who appears to be
really good (though not great). Francis develops debilitating
medical problems like chronic migraines, and perhaps a
reputation for selfishness following the drafting of Yao Ming.


Agreed. Given that Brand was traded for the pick, Richardson
or Maggette should have been throw in back then, before either
had emerged.
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5 29th March 23:50
sashank varma
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Default cold sweats


This was repeated as a truism many times after Brand
was drafted and then again after he was traded.

However, the Spurs did it twice with Tim Duncan. The
Timberwolves may just do it with Kevin Garnett.

Put it another way: The two best players in the NBA for
the past two seasons have been power forwards. It's
a pretty important position...

Claim: No championship team has featured fewer than two
hall of famers (or future hall of famers) except for the
Spurs of the past two years.[*] This shows that it's
usually fallacious to condition the championship hopes
of a franchise on just one player. Even if Brand isn't
as good as Duncan and can't lead a team to a championship
all by himself, that doesn't mean he can't do it in
tandem with another superstar.
[*] Caveat: The Rockets teams falsify my claim if Drexler,
a borderline case, doesn't make the hall of fame.
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6 29th March 23:50
bing
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Default cold sweats


So you are saying Robinson and Duncan are not future Hall of Famers?
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7 29th March 23:50
sashank varma
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Default cold sweats


D'oh!

Anyway, they were the lone caveat (now excised -- thanks!)
to my general argument that it takes more than one
superstar to win a championship, and thus calls to trade
Brand because a power forward can't do it alone were
stupid -- no player can do it alone.

Okay, I'm gonna stop beating the dead horse of a two
year old deal now.
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8 29th March 23:50
x
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Default cold sweats


I don't really know if the PF thing is true. The thing
is, the Bulls were not substantially better playing
Brand and 11 stiffs (okay, 9 stiffs and 2 guys that
might, in two years, become pretty good). It wasn't
like we were the 1980s Bullets, with a team good enough
to barely miss the playoffs every year. We still would
have maxed out at 15-25 wins, depending on the players
around him. So we would have had substantially the same
position in the lottery.

When one star player is ALL you have, I don't think
it matters. Guys like Shaq, who because of his position
and his talent at that position stand so far above the
competition and give your team something that no one
can really fight against, just don't come in big
quantities. Probably not more than 1 or 2 ever ten
years, which is why it's ridiculous to try to "target" them.


? Confusion of correlation and causation. Karl Malone in
his prime never played with anyone else. For that matter,
Shaq won nothing without Kobe. So do all centers need a
superstar wing player as well? Are centers bad to build around?


No way. When the Bulls at the end started playing him at
center, sure, but even then...

I agree with that. But I mean, again, the Bulls won with
BJ and a gimpy Ron Harper, and the Rockets with Kenny
Smith, and the Lakers with Derek Fisher. Neither Francis
nor Brand would have been enough with the people around
them to lift the team out of the lottery anyway.

Or... stuck with Brand, Miller and Artest. Miller's contract
expires and the Bulls, aside from possibly having something
to show for that, also have a young center stepping in THIS
year. No need to spend the exemption on Pippen. No need to
sign E-Rob.

Brand playing with Artest would be tough defensively. Heck,
anyone playing with Artest would be tough defensively.
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9 29th March 23:50
td
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Default cold sweats


That simply isn't so. You can build a team around anyone. SA built
its team around a power forward. Garnett, Nowitzki,O'Neal. People
said a team couldn't be built around a 6'5" shooting guard....teams
can be built around any position.


For some reason the discussion around Brand often comes to this.
Either he is a super stud or he is worthless. Brand clearly has the skill
to be the second option on a very good team and he would improve
virtually EVERY roster in the league. And you don't have to "start"
with any particular player. You take the talent that is available and
build around him from there. Furthermore the Bulls traded Brand for
another power forward so that shoots that whole line of reasoning straight
to hell.

td
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10 29th March 23:50
davidisilbxxx
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Default cold sweats


Your floor leader doesn't have to be your point guard: BJ and Harper
were not the floor leaders - Jordan was; Fisher is not the floor
leader, Bryant is. The floor leader is the guy with the ball in his
hands with 8 seconds left on the clock (game or shot) - the guy who
either takes the shot or gets it to the guy who does.

Except for Houston, I can't think of a championship team (or many
finals teams) that didn't have a terrific floor leader, altho several
didn't have a terrific center (adequate but not necessarily terrific):
Boston = Bird, LA = Magic, Detroit = Isiah, Chicago = MJ, LA = Bryant.

No, neither Francis nor Brand would have put the Bulls in the playoffs
by themselves, but it would be easier to find a competant PF to
complement Francis than a competent floor leader to complement Brand.
Francis plus your improving players thru the years (assuming....)
would lead to a better record than Brand plus your improving players.


Not if they are Shaq - how many of them are there? And even Shaq
needs - if not a superstar wing - one who can control the court.
Jabbar couldn't win without Oscar or Magic.

You are right - my point is not proved by Malone, because we never did
see him without Stockton.

Centers are different - you can build around a superstar center -
Brand certainly isn't a superstar, at center or PF. But PF is the one
position that I don't think you can build around.
David Silberberg (get rid of the *** before replying by e-mail)
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