Friday, November 16, 2007
Basketball Thoughts on a Friday
This new post needs a name. It will be a weekly examination of the world of basketball, sometimes pros, sometimes college, sometimes both. My interests shall obviously lie heavily with the local professional cagers, the Denver Nuggets.
Maybe, “The Looksie,” in an attempt to look back while looking ahead in the world of basketball.
I know that the majority of our vast reading audience is not made up of diehard basketball fans, but I have read the comments and if they want it…., then they want it. And if you want to know my professional opinion (which is actually somewhat valid, here) subjectively, this is one of the top three teams in the entire NBA. Unfortunately, talent and flair don’t add up to diddly-squat come the hellish grind that is the NBA Playoffs.
Yes, I believe and have seen already in this young campaign that things are changing around the Pepsi Center. Despite some deplorable defensive performances during the early stages of last week’s east coast swing, Head Coach George Karl is serious (no longer “Furious”) about his team’s actual defensive performance. The walls of the locker room and practice courts are lined with recent stats regarding team defense and its effect on winning championships. Even right now, as the Nuggets sit nicely at 5-3 and obviously in the middle of a good stretch of team play (some of the best I have witnessed in over a decade), the Nuggets are still coming up a bit short on the defensive end. Their rank in the stats that Karl and Company deemed important (I’m gonna assume that Doug Moe had nothing to do with any ‘defensive’ scheming), those being defensive points per game, field goal percentage allowed, and steals made were all in the 20’s. They were not even flirting with the top ten.
Most of you know how I feel about defensive (ie BORING) ball and the up-tempo styles of the ABA and 80’s NBA, and specifically how they relate to a fun style of not only viewing, but PLAYING! I was relegated (my bad, I guess) to a slow-it-down, defensive-focused team in college where my talents (and interests) were not utilized. I like to see the ball pushed and I like my matadors on weak-side help. Get it and go.
Unfortunately, this holds no historical weight, as even remember that even the Showtime Lakers played some defense led by Pat Riley, who has since become a defensive asshole. That team also was good because they had Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Bryon Scott, Michael Cooper, and the NBA’s All-time leading scorer who was more “unstoppable” than Michael Jordan. Who(m) stopped Lew/Kareem during his ENTIRE career? Put Yao Ming on stilts and he still ain’t blocking the sky hook.
I am way off topic, but you get the point. I will be trying to put together a Friday morning post that has nothing to do with the NFL. Let’s get this shit organized!
The Nuggets are really good; although so are the Utah Jazz. They have some more home games over the Thanksgiving holiday, hosting New York tomorrow, the Bulls on Tuesday, and the TWolves on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. All wins. I would be surprised if the team does not take all three and handily, I might add.
Need ideas for the post name! TONIGHT: Rockets @ Spurs followed by Pistons @ the Lakers. I miss the old NBC NBA song and those corny intros.
“Catch it, as Shaq and the Magic face Hakeem and the Rockets!”