Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Alright, so the Heat finally made a move. Do I like it? For the moment, I do. Ricky Davis and Mark Blount are a marked improvement over the outgoing male that are currently on their way to Miami International Airport. Ricky only is here for the season, but it is a contract year, so he may ball out of his mind to put himself in the position to get another set of fat checks for the next 3 or 4 years. Play your cards right and you may have a home here for a little longer than 2008.
What do the Heat lose? Two character guys and a character all his own. Wayne Simean just couldn't catch a break from injuries and ailments, but seems to have a nice interior game that may be able to flourish elsewhere. Michael Doleac is a serviceable backup and a genuine nice guy but his value, especially on the current Heat team, is non-existent. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle who will be flashing a boarding pass is Antoine Walker. Do I hate him? No, not really. Do I think he's WAY overrated? Hell yeah. Did he contribute to the Heat's title run? Mildly. But he held the promise of so much more and never met Pat Riley's demanding standards. I guess the idea of shooting for 4's instead of 3's never really materialized. And his continued conditioning issues made him the poster child for the return of the Ginomorus Burger at Burger King. Poor Antoine. Although, he is extra blubbery, just in time for a cold winter in Minnesota.
So how will it help the Heat? Ricky can score. In bunches if need be. But for the better part of this season, he will need to be a role player, in a system designed to showcase two of the games greats. Can he sacrifice his game to the point of fitting in? I think it can happen. Hey, they can at least compete in the East now and if Riley can somehow get one more glue guy on the roster, I think they have the ability to take the East. Things start and end with Shaq and D-Wade, but the right pieces will make this years ride that much smoother. Blount can at least provide another big body if need be and with the potential additions of a couple of Heat newcomers from training camp, the Heat's front court shouldn't be an issue. One more good three ball shooter/strong defender puts the team in the catbird seat in the East, so I'll hold out hope that Riley can get that type of deal done before the trade deadline. Shit, he bamboozled Kevin McHale into taking Toine. That is a masterstroke in itself. Ricky, keep the self rebounds to a minimum and you'll be alright. Things look a whole lot brighter today than they did in Heatland yesterday, so at least the start of the season doesn't seem so bleak anymore. Now if the rest of the season can just pan out a little better than last......
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Just a quick update. I will be out of town and out of communication for about 2 weeks. To my SLAMOnline partners in crime, I just didn't want you guys to think I forgot about you. Or got locked up or had Sam and Lang cut my connection to the SLAM site permanently. I'll be around every now and then to see who's running their mouths about me while I'm away, but to the people who have love for me and I have right back, I know you'll put those fire's out for me. Well, at least I hope you will. I'll be in the New York City/New Jersey area visiting family, friends and good food for the first time since the birth of my son. I'll be all over the place up there. I'll miss my daily conversations with everyone around the country and the globe (hi Izzo, Tariq, Hisham, etc.)but I'll be up and running with you guys in full-court press mode on 10/22. Look for your boy to return with NY/NJ swagger in full-tilt mode for a long Heat season. Be safe and talk with you soon. Eboy.
BTW, that's my Simpson's image that the SLAM guys turned us on to. I take credence in the fact that I make Ryan Jones look like dogshit, BTW!!!!! It's all love, Jones.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Alright, there will be a much more detailed Heat preview coming (just keep looking....) but this is my abbreviated take on the upcoming season.
Atlantic (The Growing Pains Divison)
Boston 56 26
Toronto 52 30
New York 48 34
New Jersey 43 39
Philadelphia 29 53
Boston rides rocky early in the year and Toronto and the Knicks provide some entertainment until the Boston massacre takes hold late. Sorry, Jersey, mediocrity is not working for you this year.
Central (The Centralized Monopoly Divison)
Chicago 57 25
Detroit 53 29
Cleveland 50 32
Milwaukee 40 42
Indiana 35 47
Chicago steps up big. The Pistons lose a little horsepower. Cleveland realizes that repeating as conference champs is rough. The Bucks and the Pacers are looking up.
Southeast (Southland Tales)
Miami 53 29
Washington 46 36
Orlando 44 38
Charlotte 40 42
Atlanta 37 45
The Heat come back hard for one last Shaq/Wade run. Agent Zero gets the Wiz to move up and into the playoffs again. Orlando, Charlotte & Atlanta all improve but will watch from home (maybe for the last time).
Northwest (Northern Exposed)
Utah 55 27
Denver 52 30
Portland 34 48
Seattle 32 50
Minnesota 25 57
Utah uses their playoff run and holds off a Melo/AI duo that finally gets it together. Portland's big Oden blow kills their shot at a playoff run, while the Rookie of the Year reigns in Washington. Minny is just that.
Pacific (California Dreaming)
Phoenix 57 25
Golden State 47 35
Lakers 45 37
Sacramento 37 45
Clippers 28 54
The Suns rise again. Although not quite as high as last season. The Warriors put together a nice season, just a little better than those Laker boys. The Kings will be slightly better that the Clippers due to Brand's injury.
Southwest (Lone Stars)
San Antonio 60 22
Dallas 58 24
Houston 54 28
New Orleans 42 40
Memphis 35 47
The class of the West, the Spurs and the Mavs will battle for the division title until the last week of the season. The Rockets will be stronger and ready for the playoffs, finally. New Orleans, maybe next year.
Chicago Too much D, too much depth. Gil better have a pair of shoes with blood droplets and bull horns on them.
Boston No upset against the "Big Three". Unless Gorilla-Face suits up for the Knicks and claims harrasment against KG.
Miami Sorry Lebron, unless your boys play out of their minds for 4 games, you're leaving in six.
Detroit Nice series. Maybe seven games. Experience and frontcourt depth wear down Bosh's boys.
Miami (sorry) Revenge is sweet. It will be the Heat's "championship".
Boston The Big Three come through big and use their experience and desire to pull this series out.
Boston The Diesel will finally wear down, the Heat's lack of perimiter D speed will catch up to them and Boston will complete their big return to the Finals.
San Antonio Another first round exit for Kobe and the boys. San Antonio cruises in five.
Phoenix Most entertaining series, maybe in the entire playoffs. Phoenix wins out on Nash's brilliance.
Denver Contrast of styles. AI/Melo beat the Williams/Boozer combo. Great series.
Dallas 7 games. Rough, physical series. Dallas eek's it out.
San Antonio Another 7 game series for the Mavs. Prove's to be too much.
Denver I know I'll get eaten alive for this, but I think that much like the Heat will upset Chicago, Denver has the ability to do the same.
San Antonio Denver's mountain high success reaches it apex and burn's out. The Spurs keep marching forward.
Spurs in 6
I believe this is the Spurs last hurrah as champs and I think they get it done and repeat for the first time. Boston's big moves pay off for the city of Boston and they have the nucleus for another strong run in '08-09.