It's a little too early to...

Call Greg Oden a bust: Hold on everyone. What is all this Sam Bowie and Bill Walton talk? The Blazers are cursed? Stop it. Yes, the guy had to have arthroscopic knee surgery before he played a single NBA game, and he rolled his ankle. Calm down. I'm not saying he isn't injury prone because he clearly is, but to start these comparisons and shoot him down before he has even really got up? That isn't fair. Let him come back healthy, and then we can talk about what he can do. An injury is one of the most frustrating things for a player to go through. When expectations are high, there is almost no doubt that the player won't meet those expectations. If he comes back and drops 20 and 10 a night, people will just ignore the Bowie and Walton comparisons and pretend like they never happened. Those people who lobbied for Kevin Durant back before the 2007 draft will become silent. There is no better remedy for criticism and negativity around a sports team than success. I'm not saying that Oden doesn't bust, and I'm also not saying that he will be the franchise center Kevin Pritchard thought he would be when he drafted him. All I'm saying is we need to reserve judgment, and get a better perspective on his play. If he continues to get injured for the next year or so, then we can talk.

Call Derrick Rose the Rookie of the Year: He has played fantastic. Incredibly underrated jump shot. The prototype NBA point guard. He has the complete package. With about a week and a half into the season he has put up 17.8 ppg, 4.2 assts, 3.6 rebs, a steal a game, and shooting 45% from the field. Incredible numbers for a point guard. There is no doubt that he is the future of the Bulls, but he only has 5 games under his belt. With those ROY-worthy numbers he still has 3 TOs a game and we haven't seen the full potential of other contenders like Beasley, Jason Thompson, Mario Chalmers, and OJ Mayo. Rose has gotten the most press because he is on a big market team on a historic franchise, but we can't forget about the other big name rookies coming into the draft. Mayo is competing with Rose in virtually every category except for assits. Mayo averages 16.8ppg, 1.6 steals a game, and 4 rebs. Mayo just dropped 28 against Sacramento last night, and had 6 3pointers. Didn't hear about it? Makes sense, it was Sacramento and Memphis. Beasley is averaging 17 ppg, 6.5 rebs, and 1 block a game. You can't count the other 2 top 3 picks out of the ROY race. Thompson was a shock in the draft out of Rider. Thompson is an amazing defender and has averaged 13.6 ppg and 6.8 rebs a game. He also does a lot of stuff that won't show up in the box score. Mario Chalmers has also been another shock, and could be a dark horse candidate for ROY. Miami thought they had no point guard, but Chalmers' solid play has earned him the starting job. Chalmers is averaging 8ppg, 6 assts, and 3.8 steals. He had 9 steals last night against Sacramento! The point is, don't assume anything at this point.
Rose had an incredible opportunity to play against the Redeem Team this summer, and tested his NBA talent. He was NBA ready long ago. He is clearly an amazing player, and will be one of the best point guards in the league in a couple of seasons, but we have to give credit to guys like Beasley, Mayo, and Thompson who have also had much bigger seasons than they were projected to have. Don't forget the other rookies who are having big impacts for their team. We'll talk again in two months.

Talk about a Lakers championship: Anyone who knows me, knows that my heart is Purple and Gold. Even the most prideful fan of the Lakers knows that we have to keep composed. The Lakers are 4-0. Not that impressive yet. Some of the Lakers have told confidants that the Lakers are trying to shoot for 70 wins according to ESPN. You have to love to see your team shoot high, but we have to be real here. The West is incredibly strong this year, and the East has closed that gap significantly. The league is filled with talent, and the level of play is higher than it has been in the past few seasons. Shooting for 70 is a great goal, but not going to happen, especially in the West. Furthermore, to talk championship right now? No chance. Laker fans more than anyone know how dangerous it is to talk championship before anything has even happened (As 2004 told us). The Lakers might be considered to be favorites, but if you ask any of the players, they are focused on home court advantage right now. The words 'championship' and 'Lakers' in the same sentence is a taboo subject in LA. For the rest of the basketball world, they may talk about a Lakers championship, but it will not be an easy road by any means.

Say the Spurs not contenders: Sure they started the season 0-3. They had to struggle last night to beat the Wolves in 2OT, and Tony Parker had to drop 55 and 10 assists to make it happen. We have seen this from the Spurs before. They take the regular season off for a bit, but turn it on when they need to. They are an aging team, and like to conserve energy. I'm not saying that is what they are doing right now, because they are undoubtedly playing with a sense of urgency. At this point, the Spurs are trying to stay around .500 until Ginobli comes back, and that is fine. They will still make the playoffs, and they will still make noise in the playoffs just like every other year. We don't count out a veteran team with that much championship experience 4 games into it, and without one of their Big 3.


Sports Illustrated put up a full copy of the Pedowitz Report. It is the investigation released by the private investigation the NBA hired to look into the Donaghy scandal. It exonerates former friend of Donaghy, Scott Foster, among other things. It is 133 pages, but worth a browse.

No comments: