This isn't blasting the current unit, I'll give them all the praise required for reaching the .500 mark: Congratulations. However, we played similar level basketball in 2008 and 2009, falling to the Pistons and Magic in both six game series. The same is likely to occur this year.
What exactly is the point of all this? I'd understand if we have a bunch of young players with upside, we have half of that. We have a bunch of young players, but Paws(Hawes), Speights, Lou don't look like guys with upside. TK76 gives Thad the excellent comparison of sixth man for the Lakers James Worthy for Thad. I could live with that, I just want to hold onto hope that Thad's a SF. He'd be so much more dangerous there. But whatever role he takes, whether it's as the improved rebounder Dweebs talks about, or that future 3. I'd love to have him here. There's no such thing as overpaying, unless the lot of your money is going towards mediocre talent but this isn't a thread for that.
Jrue/ET is obvious, so obvious the question is why is it that Lou/Jodie are getting the bulk of the minutes? Obviously for the aforementioned playoff push but that goes back to the question stated on the headline: What's so good about .500?
This isn't a team that hasn't been to the playoffs in YEARS. This team is merely Post-Jordan, you could've hired a clown and gotten a better team than Eddie Jordan. This isn't disrespecting Doug Collins or slighting him in anyway, far before Dei Lynam and ESPN and the whole crew. Say like 12 games into the season, I called for Doug's COY to be gift wrapped and handed to him. The team understood things like trusting the pass, they understood floor spacing. They took excellent shots.
That's actually quite a difference from the teams in the past. So why can't I enjoy it? Because although the play on the court has changed, the think tank has not changed whatsoever. The notion now is to just wait until Brand, etc expire and then take another swing at free agency.
That's not how it works. San Antonio built through the draft, so did the Thunder(it also helped that their team was more than willing to trade assets to acquire assets. Hence, is what a trade means). The Lakers never imagined that they could get Pao Gasol, but alas.
Kapono and Nocioni are 10M in expirings, this isn't seen as assets but rather, as savings for comcast. Especially with the oh-so-feared "new CBA". The fear is overhyped. The Players are gonna get tired of sitting on their behinds, the owner and the commish are going to get tired of getting flat out broke via no games and come to an agreement that ironically in the end would suit everyone just fine and it would've been an agreement they could've come to much earlier.
That's how negotiations play out, oh 90% of the time. I wouldn't fear the new CBA if I'm a GM, quite the contrary. I'm acting under the psychological expectations that there'll be NBA basketball in 2011 and beyond. Or at worst, 2012.
But what good is .500? If you're a young team, under the cap I understand. Then I'm excited, we're some 10-12 million over the salary cap however and we're not young. Brand will be 33 or so next year, Iguodala 28-29.
And Jrue/ET/Young aside, the rest of the team is too meaningless to even mention. So again, why .500?
Winning? This core knows winning. Jrue, playing under Ben Howland(did I get his last name right?) in UCLA, knows how to win. ET knows all about winning and heart and hustle. Guy came back quicker than scheduled from a broken back or something to that extent.
If you want Jrue/ET to win, here's a hint: Build around them. The Thunder built around Durant. The Spurs built around Duncan. The Sixers need to build around our 20, and 22 year old guards. Both of whom are excellent playmakers. Both of whom are gradually learning how to play off the ball and play a two man game.
Their learning process might go quicker if they're given the bulk of the shots and minutes. Does that mean sacrificing .500? Yes it does, Comcast you might lose some meager profits. Actually, no, I prefer to call it an investment. You're going to invest a few thousand dollars and eventually you might just build a damn good core around Jrue/ET.
And instead of hovering around the .500 mark, this team might actually be a significantly over .500 team.
What a concept!