Did you watch the Knicks game? If you did, how many time did you see Jamario Moon “drive the basket aggressively”? You didn’t because it didn’t happen so I’m going to go ahead and say that Mike Ulmer didn’t watch the game or if he did he was baked out of his skull at the time. A worthwhile quote from that article is Andrea Bargnani admitting that his mid-range jumper is much better and how its something that he’s been working on. I was surprised at how much softer it had become since last year when the only destination for it was the back-rim.
Sherm the Germ mentioned it during the Knicks game and the Toronto Sun is insinuating it too: Will Solomon is Jose Calderon’s primary backup. Two pre-season games is not an indicator of how good or bad a player is so I wouldn’t read much into his decent games except that he’s a feisty little guard who’s looking to stick in the league. He’s not TJ Ford but I could see him coming off the bench and providing a defensive lift while sparking the offense; ironically that’s the role Jose Calderon was asked to play the last two seasons. I think Roko Ukic is on line to have a season like Mo Pete’s rookie one where he moved without the ball, played hard and converted his open shot opportunities. I wouldn’t hand the job to Will Solomon just yet, he might get the early dibs on it because of his experience but Ukic is the guy you want in that role.
From the same piece we learn that Jermaine O’Neal will play about 30 minutes in Sunday’s game so we should see a bit more of him this time around. Our twin towers are going head-to-head against Philly’s and it should make for an interesting dynamic. I would count this one as something more than just a warm-up game, you want to send a division rival an early message just like Boston sent us one last year. Hopefully Mitchell realizes this because for a team that’s looking to find an identity its games like these that help towards building one. The matchup features the two teams who made the biggest acquisitions in the East in the hopes of usurping Boston but before we can attempt to do that we should try settling the score between us. This will be a good test for our interior defense, Bargnani’s post-up ability and our perimeter defense which Iggy licks his chops at.
Lang Whitaker finally finished reading the Pedowitz Report and finds a sentence in it which summarizes it succinctly:
We have discovered no information suggesting that any NBA referee other than Tim Donaghy has bet on NBA games or leaked confidential NBA information to gamblers.
I suppose this means Scott Foster is off the hook and we can go right back to respecting and loving NBA referees and pretending their personal biases don’t come into play (ahem Hue Hollins, Steve Javie, Joey Crawford, Jess Kersey). I think a lot of the referees in the league are arrogant little power-tripping ****s, sure there’s always the honest hard-working “the game is above me” type ref but they’re in the vast minority. The only thing that I can say in their defense is that the NBA is the hardest league to referee.
There’s much being made about Bill Walker’s dunk on Theo Ratliff (YouTube) but the only thing that it convinces me is that you can find some talent in the second round if you’re prepared to look hard enough. Adding a young athletic winger can never hurt, especially as a second round pick since there aren’t any contractual commitments. It’s not like it’ll become a “Joey Graham situation”. Of course I’m referring to CDR being picked a spot ahead of us because we didn’t bother targeting him and picked a Sashimi raw big man that’s got heart issues even though we needed to get more athletic.
Bleacher Report time. Relax, nothing bad this time. It’s a piece by Messiah2315 where he argues how Jose Calderon is far from an ideal point guard. It’s a great read if you doubt Jose’s PG abilities, not so much if you don’t. This might be a good time to mention that according to Hollinger TJ Ford is better than Jose Calderon. That’s from his PER rankings where we also learn that Chris Bosh is deemed the second best PF in the league along with other meaningless rankings. I really hate this system.
Frank Zicarelli reminds us how David Stern cost us Greg Oden. I’d like to remind you that Voshon Lenard cost us a shot at Lebron James (think about it). Vince Carter left a game injured and Ball Don’t Lie is picking the Sixers to win 50 games.
Finally a little quiz. Who do you think Draft Express is projecting as the #1 pick in the 2009 draft? Think about it and when you’re done click for the answer.
That’s it for this morning, feed anyone?