Sorry for the lack of posting over the last few days. I went out of town and simply refuse to post from my iPhone. So, I did miss out on writing a recap for the last Cavaliers’ game against the Nuggets, but I think we all know that wasn’t missing much. I mean, I can only write the same things so many times. You already know what I’m about to write. The Cavs suck on defense. This remains true. It was true in Denver the other night as well. Let’s hope the Cavs play somewhat better back home (it can’t be worse can it?).
Now, on to some random observations from the MLK day games.
I love Chuck, but He’s Wrong.
No, Derrick Rose is not the best point guard in the NBA. Any statistical measure you feel like using will show as much. If we rank just by PER, the current rankings might honestly be how I would rank the group of PGs. In terms of PER, Rose is 5th, behind Paul, Nash, Westbrook, and Williams. That isn’t exactly how I would rank the PGs, but it gives you a good idea of what the stats are saying.
Now, it isn’t all about numbers and Chuck did make a good point. That Bulls team has been winning games and has barely been totally healthy. Noah was on his way to an all-star game this year. Boozer, playing at this current level, could have made it as well. However, neither are going to make it (most likely) because they have been hurt to much. Yet, here the Bulls are at the number 3 seed in the East while missing two potential all-stars for large stretches of the season. A lot of credit has to go to Rose.
However, in that same vein, you have to give a ton of credit to Chris Paul for turning that team into what looks like a solid playoff team. Understand this, he doesn’t have a lot of offensive help. After David West, it’s a nightmare. Trevor Ariza has continued to prove the Laker’s right. He wasn’t worth the full MLE (and I thought he was). That NBA Finals was just a flash in the pan. Okafor is what he has always been on offense. Ok. Yet, there are the Hornets looking like a solid playoff team while Paul leads the NBA in PER. No, Rose is not a better player than Chris Paul.
Now, on to Deron Williams. Chuck thought that the Jazz had been slightly disappointing and part of that was because Williams wasn’t a good enough leader. Understand this, Al Jefferson is a good, but not great player, Paul Millsap is a good, but not great player. Yet the Jazz are in real contention for the 3 (possibly 2, but I doubt it) seed right now. Where exactly did Chuck think they would end up? Anything higher than that was asking to much. The Jazz are actually on pace to have their best record since STOCKTON AND MALONE. That’s right, this Jazz team is currently better than any Jazz team during the height of the Boozer years.
Finally, understand that the Bulls have played quite a weak schedule. It has been especially weak since Noah went down. They lucked out by playing a hurt Miami Heat team. Would the Bulls be 28-13 had they played the same schedule as say the Hornets, whose schedule ranks 6th toughest in the league (Bulls are 23rd)? No way of telling, but I’m doubting it.
The PG position is extremely tough to rank and it has changed for me multiple times over the course of the season. But at no point has Rose ever been in my own consideration for best PG in the league, nor is he now. For those who care, my top 5 PGs in the league are as follows:
- Deron Williams
- Chris Paul
- Rajon Rondo
- Derrick Rose
- Russel Westbrook (the nonsense about him not being a true PG needs to stop. Look at the numbers. The question has been answered)
That list right there lets you now how loaded the position is. I mean, when Steve Nash, the greatest offensive PG of the last 20 years doesn’t make the list, it’s a tough one.
Blake Griffin: Yes, he did that
I posted a few days ago about the awesome that is Blake Griffin. The awesome is even more now. He has single-handedly revived Baron Davis from his slumber. That alone is worthy of being granted iconic status. But one day after beating the Lakers, he proceeds to obliterate the Pacers, shooting 19-24 and going for a league-wide season high 47 points. He is an all-star and there is no longer a debate to be had. It’s over. Sorry Tim Duncan, Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge and any other forward who might want that spot. It belongs to Griffin. Also no longer up for debate, he is absolutely, without a doubt, having the best rookie season since Tim Duncan and if he keeps up the pace he’s been setting over the last month and a half, it will be BETTER!
It is more than just stats and highlights, too. Griffin has that team winning games and beating REALLY good competition. They started out 1-13, and since then have been a winning team. Yes, I know you can’t simply remove the first 14 games but understand that the increase in Griffin’s level of play has directly resulted in the Clippers W-L total. He isn’t simply putting up empty stats. He is making a real, tangible difference. I’m going to say this with great trepidation….the Clippers will make the playoffs. They are currently 6 games behind the Blazers for the 8th seed, and I think they are good enough to catch them. Yes, I know that I just cursed the rest of their season.
Dallas: Do not Freak out.
Dallas is slumping, but they shouldn’t panic. They have been without two starters for this stretch and Dirk just came back today. Give it some time before freaking out. I ultimately think this team will be more than fine IF Roddy “buckets” comes back healthy. As I’ve said before, he will more than make-up for the scoring lost by Butler’s injury.
That said, they have the pieces to make a serious move. If you’ve read anything about Gerald Wallace and the Bobcats, you’ve heard they’ve been shopping him to simply dump salary. Now, who knows if they will actually go through with it (I doubt it) but Dallas certainly can offer up some enticing goodies. Butler’s expiring contract + a couple of draft picks could be good enough to get the job done.
I’m still on the Steve Nash to Dallas bandwagon, though. I do think he would be great fit there. That does mean Jason Kidd gets benched, but so what? It’s for the betterment of the team and that’s how it goes sometimes. I’m still saying this deal does happen, although I don’t think it NEEDS to happen in order for Dallas to be a serious contender.
Random Bullet Points Because I’ve typed to much as is
- The Bulls are elite. They are the scariest match-up for Miami in the East because they can hide Boozer on Z or Anthony while letting Noah take Bosh. Also, Arroyo has less of a chance at stopping Rose than Deng does at stopping LBJ.
- Orlando has to make one more move. They NEED another big. End of story.
- The Hawks could be a real threat if they did something, ANYTHING adventurous at the deadline. I mean, why not take a chance on an Andre Miller? They just need someone other than Bibby and they could be scary.
- After watching the Kings, there is no doubt whatsoever who the worst team in the NBA is. Ladies and gentleman, your 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers!!
- The Thunder need a shooter and a big man. Jeff Green just kills that team. I really do hate him as a 3rd wheel alongside those guys. Maybe if he was the third wheel on a team that had a 1st or 2nd wheel that played in the post, it could work. My proposed trade: Nenad (expiring), Green (expiring, RFA), and Maynor (cheap) for Nene. I would think Denver would do this in two seconds, but OKC probably wouldn’t without assurance Nene re-signs after this year. Also, ANTHONY PARKER!! YOU NEED HIM OKC!!! Please….
- Boston is a frightening offensive team right now. I just can’t see how they lose to anyone in the East playing offense like this.