I was watching one of my favorite sports shows, Washington Post Live on Comcast SportsNet, when the host Russ Thaler said, about the reported KG trade, “this changes the whole balance of power… do we have a new favorite in the East?” I understand why Russ was asking the question. On paper the Celts have three All-Star caliber performers in KG, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. An issue that I have with creating their reservations for the Eastern Conference finals is…
- They play a team sport and each of the Celts version of the “Big three” is used to being the man on his previous team, as such we do not know how well they will jell playing with each other and taking fewer shots
- Just because a team has three prolific scorers, does not mean that it will translate into a playoff success. The last that I checked the Wizards have had the highest scoring trio over the last couple years
- While it appears that the Celts have improved themselves greatly, there are still other teams in the East that they will have to contend with – Pistons, Cavs, Bulls, Heat, Wizards, Bucks, etc
- At times, some franchises are just cancerous and even though you bring “talent” to them the cancerous franchises ruins the talent – see Oakland Raiders as one such example
- Their version of the big three is getting old, which means that their window is not open very wide. KG is a a 12 year vet, Jesus Shuttleworth, I mean Ray Allen is a 11 year vet (but one year older than KG) and Paul Pierce is a 9 year vet. There big three is or will all be 30 years or older at the start of the season. And while 30 might be the new 20, it is getting a bit long in the tooth for NBA stars – especially for those who have had to be their team’s focal point for much of their careers
Now, with all of that said I believe that assuming the three stay healthy, the trades make the Celts viable again. If nothing else, they will be a fun team to watch in the regular season. Given the state of the Atlantic, they should easily be a playoff team. But, I do not believe that they will get anywhere near the Eastern Conference finals this season.
Well according to Ivan Carter it appears that the talks with Andray Blatche are creeping closer to a close. I for one am very happy. My personal belief is that Andray is an important part of the new Wizards nucleus – which should position them to have success in the short-term but also position them well for continued success in the future. In virtually every sport, the most successful franchises find ways to keep their young talented players and grow them within the organization. Andray is one of those players for the Wiz. And while $11M over 3 years is not a monster contract in NBA terms, he is young enough that he will be able to earn a much bigger payday in the not too distant future.
Just as importantly, getting this deal done, cost effectively, should make it easier for the Wiz to sign my new favorite “youngin”… Dominic McGuire. I was one of the freaks who watched every moment of the Wiz summer league games (thank you Tivo!) and I was very surprised and impressed by McGuire. (Disclaimer – I fully understand that these were SL games and not NBA pre-season or regular season games) During the SL, McGuire appeared to be the type of player that they need – one that was able to block shots, defend multiple positions, handle the ball, hit jumpers, and just do the dirty work. While he finished as one of their leading scorers in the SL, he was able to make an impact on the game in nearly every facet of the game. I look forward to the preseason and seeing him with the big boys. Ernie easily found a first round talent in the second round. It was wonderful to see the Wiz SL team with the equivalent of 3 first rounders on the floor.
Since the Heat have signed Uncle Traveling Matt… I mean Smush Parker; it would appear as if they are out of the running for JCN. I say appear, because I find it a bit strange that Pat Riley would travel to Spain to talk with the player – who according to reports, he loves – just to drop out of the running. Honestly though, I am not crazy about a team dealing with a conference foe, but that is just me.
It does appear that Miami’s gain, was the Lakers loss and now they are entering the JCN bidding, according to the Post’s Ivan Carter. Now, the Lakers may not have what the Wizards need – we sure as hell don’t want Kwame back – but I am much more comfortable dealing with them then the Heat. It is nice to be in a position where people need/want what you have. As Ivan points out, I am sure that Ernie will make a deal by the deadline, the question is how good will the deal be. Hell, we have had his rights for five years, and almost anything is better than what we have had, but I am very confident that Ernie will not “give” him away. Which of the reported eight teams will become most desperate as the week creeps closer to the end? In a strange twist of fate the deadline that FC Barcelona put on the Wiz, could actually help them. Teams who need a point guard / scorer now have very limited options and a deadline of August 3rd to make their move (and 7 other bidders). Why would Ernie and the Wiz not be happy with this situation?
I’ve been in the “DMV” (DC, Maryland & Virginia metropolitan) area for approximately 12 years, and I have been following the Bullets / Wizards during this length of time. I can’t remember the Wiz having a situation quite like this in the last 12 years. Juan Carlos Navarro provides them with a valuable asset, one in which they can trade to improve their team. They can attempt to trade JCN for some immediate help, they can use him to remove some unfriendly contracts (see Thomas or Daniels), or a combination of picks and short-term contracts. Any of those situations will help the Wiz. Combine that with the talent that Ernie has been able to assemble in his relatively short time with the Wiz and it is hard to be anything but impressed with Ernie’s performance thus far.
I know that I am much more comfortable with Ernie calling the shots, then past Wizards leadership. And while JCN’s former team has placed the August 3rd deadline on the Wiz, I am comfortable with Ernie.
Training camps are opening. It is a wonderful time of the year. Nearly every fan of an NFL team believes, rightfully so, that their team has a chance to make it deep into the playoffs. I tend to be very optimistic when it comes to my favorite team – which is why I do not gamble – I cannot separate my head from my heart when it comes to my favorite teams. As the heat and humidity kick up and the pads thump at training camp, I still am left with a troubling question. When will the Redskins finally wake up and hire a Football man (or woman) to run the team. Maybe after this season, Gibbs will move to the front office full time, but until he does every successful team has had a very competent person running the front office. But as this season gets underway, I will not let that get in the way of my enjoyment of the NFL (and football in general). It feels like it has been an eternity since the last snap. Welcome back, football.