On a Sunday filled with mediocre NFL games, featuring the Packers’ first loss, the Colt’s first win, and New York football misery, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect upon some thoughts I had today. Please keep in mind that this is in no way structured. In fact, I probably didn’t have any of these thoughts until the very moment that my fingers hit the keyboard. Enjoy.
1. Here’s why Tim Tebow and the Broncos lost:
2. Dwight Howard is an asshole
I’ve always thought Dwight Howard had very little character and equally as little respect for his teammates and peers. Today’s pre-season loss to the Heat proved that to me. “Superman,” in 30 minutes of action against an underwhelming collection of centers (heck, Joel Anthony only played 7 minutes), grabbed 6 rebounds and scored 5 points. Sure, it’s hard to grab rebounds when your opponent shoots 59%, but that’s even more of an indictment of the lack of effort Dwight showed on the defensive end and as a leader in the middle. Dwight’s -20 +/- was a giant middle-finger to Otis Smith and the Magic’s front-office, and should be taken seriously. There is rarely a scenario where such an incredibly physically gifted center comes around, and all of the other teams are aware of that fact. I’d give up 10x more to get Dwight for a year than I would to have CP3′s services for 2 years. It will certainly be interesting to see how the D12 story transpires. One thing’s for sure though, his level of respect for his teammates shown by his insulting effort Sunday is certainly reminiscent of that of another big guy who played for Orlando way back when:
The difference is that Shaq didn’t respect his opponents (Sacramento Queens), while Dwight clearly doesn’t think very highly of the guys wearing the same uniform as him.
3. Dallas is back to being Dallas
We’ve grown accustomed to seeing Dallas teams riddled with talented players, but unable to perform well enough defensively to win an NBA title. This year’s team is a prime example of that. As if losing Tyson Chandler wasn’t bad enough for their defense, the Mavs signed Vince Carter to play alongside Dirk, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Roddy Beaubois (not to mention Delonte West, Brendan Haywood, Shawn Marion and Lamar Odom). While Dirk’s victorious season last year will do much for his leadership and confidence going into this year, don’t be surprised to see an early exit in the playoffs for this Mavs team. Despite the western conference being weak compared to previous years, especially for the teams with experience (see: Lakers, Spurs, Blazers), there are a ton of talented, young group that will have their mouths watering at the thought of going up against the Mavs aging core (see: OKC, Golden State, Memphis, Sacramento, LAC). Dallas lost to the 8th seeded Warriors a few years back because they couldn’t keep up with Baron Davis. Without Barea to save their asses, I don’t like their chances much better against any of the aforementioned teams.
4. Northwestern might be the worst 10-1 team in the history of college basketball
I don’t even need to argue this point. Their close games against Central Connecticut State and Eastern Illinois, coupled with their embarrassing home defeat to Baylor make the ‘Cats an easy pick for this award.
5. Jimmer Fredette is an amazing offensive player, but his defense might be the worst the NBA has ever seen
Watched a few minutes of the Jimmer last night against Golden State. His 21 points was beyond impressive:
He’s going to get shots in the NBA he couldn’t even dream about in college. No team is going to build defensive schemes around him, especially with some of the other young talent Sacramento has, so he’s going to get some really quality looks every single night. The question is whether or not his defense will become such a huge liability that his team won’t be able to keep him on the court despite his offensive prowess. I wish I had a “highlight” reel of his defensive efforts, but you’ll have to take me at my word that it was really, really, really bad (you actually will have to take me at my word because unless you buy NBA league pass, you’re not gonna see the kid play… maybe ever).
6. I’m excited to see Kyrie Irving play 66 games
Kyrie brings something to the Cavs that they haven’t seen in December in years – 2 years to be exact – and that’s excitement. I watched the first half of the Cavs pre-season debut against the Pistons on Friday night (yeah… I know), and I was exceedingly impressed with his ability to get to the basket, draw fouls, finish in traffic and hit free-throws. While Cavs fans will question whether or not they’re better off with Irving and Tristan Thompson instead of Derrick Williams and Brandon Knight until the end of time, it’s easy to see why the Cavs placed so much faith into Kyrie as the #1 pick. He’s a well-spoken, mature guy who shows more humility in every interview than LeBron did during his entire tenure in Cleveland. No one’s really seen what he can do given his injury at Duke, so everyone ought to keep an eye on the young fellow’s efforts in Cleveland as the season progresses. He’s not Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook simply because he lacks the physical gifts that those two possess, but he certainly has the potential of a young Chris Paul. Cleveland’s likely headed to another top-5 pick this year, and whoever is chosen, while unlucky to be in Cleveland, will be very lucky to play alongside Kyrie for 7 years (before bolting to South Beach).
And that’s it. I’ve got nothing else for now.
Until next time.