Saturday, March 8, 2008
Hood Rich and MVP
The Suns now definitively suck in the post-Marion Shaq Era. They are 3-6 since the acquisition of the Big Rumpelstiltskin and are giving it up more often and more willingly than that Kardashian skank that got railed by Ray J. The Suns have given up at least 113 points in seven of Shaq's nine games, including 120 or more in four of the last five. Last night's 126-point turd to the Jazz is just another day in Shaq's Phoenix.
Fortunately for the Suns, they were winning at such an impressive clip before dealing Marion that it's nigh impossible for them to miss the playoffs unless they suffer a long-term injury to Nash or Stoudemire or simply lose 10 of their next 13; in either case, that Suns team wouldn't deserve to be in the postseason. They've never been able to play team defense during Nash's four-year tenure in the desert, but Marion always provided a tremendous one-on-one matchup and usually guarded the opponent's best offensive player, regardless of position. In the NBA, where individual performance is critical to team success, one good man defender can mean the difference between a title run and the lottery. Steve Kerr and the Suns seem to be learning that too late.
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors grow more hood rich every day, and last night they put up 134 points on the nuclear-shark-attack helpless Miami Warmth. As long as the Suns continue to flounder (and there is no evidence to suggest they won't), the Warriors look like a good fit at the six seed, where they will likely face Houston or Utah in the first round. I personally would prefer them to face the Rockets first, not only because I think Utah is a better team, but because a seven-game first round series between the Hood Rich and the Whiteys, with every single game scored 147-14, would simply be too awesome for the first round of the painfully long NBA playoffs. Utah-Golden State is more of a Western Conference Finals matchup. Unfortunately, one of those teams won't be there because the New Orleans Hornets are winning the NBA championship this year. Speaking of the Hornets....
....Let's talk about my NBA MVP Chris Paul and the unhealthy love I have for him.
When was the last time a six-foot shrimpy kid was unequivocally the best point guard in the league? Could it perhaps have been 12-time All-Star and Finals MVP Isiah Thomas? I think so too!
Even if you don't think this is CP3's year, and, I'll admit, it very well might not be, is his future even measurable in terms of Awesomeness To Come? Let's examine the Hornets' starting lineup in 2008:
PG- Chris Paul, 22 years old
SG- Morris Peterson, 30 years old
SF- Peja Stojakovic, 30 years old
PF- David West, 27 years old
C- Tyson Cleotis Chandler, 25 years old
"But Nick," you protest, "that's not very young, except at the all-important point guard and center positions." And correct you are. Let us examine the old farts' younger replacements:
PG- Chris Paul, 22
SG- Jannero Pargo, 27
SF- Julian Wright, 20
PF- Hilton Armstrong, 22
C- Cleotis, 25
NBADraft.net has New Orleans selecting Ryan Anderson, a 6-10 forward from California, with the 26th pick of the first round and Anton Ponkrashov, a 6-7 combo guard from St. Petersburg in the second round. I usually agree wholeheartedly with NBADraft.net's prognostications, but these picks are just straight up stupid. I have two ideas:
First Round: Robert Vaden, 6-6, 205 swingman from UAB (junior)
Second Round: Joey Dorsey, 6-9, 250 power forward from Memphis
But Dorsey is a well-documented asshole and Vaden might not even declare this year. Soooooo:
First Round: Jason Thompson, 6-10, 245 power forward from Rider
Second Round: Shan Foster, 6-6, 205 swingman from Vanderbilt
I like this scenario a lot better because you don't get a headcase in Dorsey and you get more value from your second-round pick. I think Foster has a bright NBA future because of the depth of his shot. He's averaged 21 points and 5 rebounds per game this year in the SEC and his 122 three-pointers are fifth in the nation--four spots behind Vaden's 135.
With that in mind, the eventual Hornets lineup could look like:
PG- Chris Paul
SG- Shan Foster
SF- Julian Wright
PF- Jason Thompson
Average age: 23