Well, no matter what the Sonics did last season, you had to know the experts wouldn't be fond of them this year. And, guess what, SI's picked them to finish 7th, and 2nd in the Northwest behind mighty Denver. I guess since the Nuggets played well in the 2nd half and the Sonics played well in the first, that means Denver is better, right? I missed the memo where it was revealed that Julius Hodge can shoot with either hand from 35 feet out. Whatever.
As a side note, you've got to love SI's "Telling Number" about the Sonics. Apparently, Seattle ranked last in the league in assists last year, a telling indication the Sonics are not for real. After all, the league champ in assists was Sacramento, and we all know the Kings are much better than the Sonics, right?
Boy, this is the weakest preview I've seen from Sports Illustrated in, well, forever. Not because of where they pick the Sonics (though I disagree with it, of course), but because it's the flimsiest, lesat in-depth team-by-team preview I've ever seen.
It's like, 1 stat and a small piece on one player. The sonics are gonna have a tough time with Denver, but I think they can do it. Denver still has no scorers outside Boykins and Carmelo. Why Julius Hodge and Linas Kleiza? Seriously, Salim would've been the best choice. Andre Miller is big enough that they could get away with Salim at 2 guard. He and a returned Voshon Leonard would've solved their 3 point shooting problem. Anyone else think Will Conroy will be the starting PG in LA sooner that later? His only competition is Aaron McKie, who is not a PG and is 57 years old.
Sadly for the Lakers, it looks like the leading candidate to be their starting PG is Smush Parker. And people think they're a playoff squad...
The Lakers released Conroy today. Looks like it's Smush-time in LA, baby!
Danny Fortson NEEDS to be traded!
At any rate, the most plausible scenerio regarding Fortson -- including any chance, no matter how small it may be, of acquiring Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics -- is that of trading him away to another ballclub for a player with a similar salary who has expiring contract (e.g., Indiana's Scott Pollard); consequently, it would allow the Supersonics to release the incoming player, which would thereby make room on the regular-season roster for shooting guard Alex Scales.
If Fortson's albatross of a contract were gone, then the regular-season roster -- along with minutes per game -- would most likely be the following:
C Vitaly Potapenko (12)
PF Reggie Evans (24)
SF Rashard Lewis (32)
SG Ray Allen (40)
PG Luke Ridnour (32)
C Mikki Moore (8)
C Robert Swift (NBDL)
C Johan Petro (NBDL)
PF Nick Collison (24)
PF Vladimir Radmanovic (28)
SF Damien Wilkins (16)
SG Ronald Murray (8)
SG Alex Scales (Inactive)
PG Rick Brunson (8)
PG Mateen Cleaves (8)
Seems to me Petro is going to make the team. In the two games I have seen him, he looks a lot more comfortable out there than Swift, and does not seem to be intimidated by the opposition. He also transistions well, and did not seem to be out of place too much. In contrast to Rashard when he came into the league, Petro is way ahead of him. I would not be suprised if Petro starts logging a lot of minutes, and is starting by the middle of the year.
Plus, I think he got a hold of a copy of D'Qwons Dance Moves, as his dancing prowess has been displayed on the Areanavision.
AK, what happens if the Potato can't play and we get rid of Fortson? Do we ask the NBA if we can sew Petro and Swift together so we can keep anyone over 250 pounds from just walking up to the rim and laying it in? Why would Indiana want Fortson anyway? Who would take him and his 13 million dollars? I say we use him to clear the lanes and keep opponents from scoring down low at will. And in your drean scenario, does Pierce play the 5? What do we do with Ray and Rashard? They both play the same position as PP. (I seem to remember having this conversation before) Anyway, I don't see PP stopping Duncan or KG, and I don't see Ray or Rashard sitting on the bench to give him minutes.
DannyF's right. No matter what anybody says, the one key ingredient to all great, non-Jordan teams is a strong presence at center.
In fact, you'd have to go back to the 70s to find a championship team without and all-star caliber C and/or PF (with the exception of the '88 Lakers, and they only had the highest scoring player in NBA history, Kareem, averaging 14.6 ppg). Paul Pierce ain't no center, and he ain't going to put us over the top, any more than he's put the Celtics over the top.
Huh? Well, D.F., you didn't properly read my scenerio; I suggest that you read it again.
In any case, if Rick Sund was to ever inquire about acquiring Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics, then Rashard Lewis would be the centerpiece of the deal.
Also, in any of my previous posts wherein I specifically outlined any situation concerning trade proposals, did I ever refer to Pierce as a center? Yeah, I didn't think so . . .
Ultimately, even though my ideas are somewhat far-fetched and idealistic, they are nevertheless plausible; I'm not a goddamn idiot.
Anyhow, that notwithstanding, the manner in which you attempted to refute my arguement was flat-out illogical. I will wholeheartedly agree, however, that the members of the Indiana Pacers front office most likely want nothing to do with Danny Fortson. Hell, who in their right mind would want Danny Fortson on their team? Answer: Nobody.
At any rate, Danny Fortson is a completely useless player. Fortson will, so long as he's on the roster, cause numerous problems this season; I have no doubt about it.
Anyway, in regards to the center position, both Vitaly Potapenko (who is still overpaid, as no other team would've probably offered him more than a one-year deal worth the veteran's minimum) and Mikki Moore -- along with Johan Petro and, especially, Robert Swift -- are pretty much worthless.
As it is, Vladimir Radmanovic will probably get a lot of the minutes in lieu of the abovementioned bums, while Reggie Evans and Nick Collison shift over from power forward to the post when Radmanovic is on the court.
Lastly, I'd almost rather have Calvin Booth around still instead of Danny Fortson, since Booth -- who has since been replaced by a quasi-clone in Moore -- was at least a team player who, on occassion, blocked his fair share of shots.
"At any rate, the most plausible scenerio regarding Fortson -- including any chance, no matter how small it may be, of acquiring Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics.."
I am not sure, but it sounded to me like you wanted to trade Fortson for Pierce. If that was not what you intended, I apologize. And according to you, all of our centers are worthless. Besides Shaq and Yao, name 5 centers that are worth a damn, and shoot better from the line than Fortson. I suggest that you read John Hollingers assesment of Fortsons abilities.
If you don't have ESPN Insider, here is a portion of it.
"Let's start with the positives. Fortson is an incredible rebounder who ranked fifth in the league in Rebound Rate and had been No. 1 two of the previous three seasons. Like Reggie Evans, Fortson pulls down so many boards because he is incredibly strong and has a nose for the ball. Unlike Evans, he also has a soft touch around the basket and can finish plays when others set him up. He hit his free throws too, enabling Fortson to post the highest TS% in basketball at 68.2."
TS% True Shooting Percentage calculates what a player’s shooting percentage would be if we accounted for free throws and 3-pointers. True Shooting Percentage = (Total points x 50) divided by [(FGA + (FTA x 0.44)]
He did go on to say "Fortson is one of the worst ballhandlers in basketball history, finishing last in the entire league in both Assist Ratio and Turnover Ratio."
My take is a big man should not be handling the ball, he should rebound and take up space. Now this only holds true if you have a good shooting team, which we do. All Fortson has to do is mug people, rebound, hit his free throws, and put the ball in when available. The end. All the rest does not matter.
They, like me, realize that Johan Petro was the final piece of the puzzle to the championship.
Petro has a lot of star potential. They compare him to Sam Dalembert already. Thats good. Swift has Jeff Foster potential. I think a lot of teams would like to have that combo for the next ten years.
In all reality, Robert Swift's closest equivalent in the NBA, oddly enough, is Curtis Borchardt.
Anyhow, Jeff Foster is a glass-pounding, close-range shooting (via offensive rebounds) power forward who plays center in Indiana due to the Pacers' lack of a true center -- 'xcept for second-year reserve David Harrison, who is practically a clone of Benoit Benjamin -- and has a totally different style of play than does Swift.
In the end, sadly, I predict that Swift will, just like Borchardt, be a complete and utter bust.
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