Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some Thoughts on the Trade Deadline

Yawn...Kind of like masturbating without, well, without the grand finale.

Vince Carter stayed put. Raef Lafrentz’s expiring was held onto. Wally World is currently on his hands and knees thanking every known deity. Amare and Bosh are still in Phoenix and Toronto. Even a slightly better than marginal difference maker like Richard Jefferson didn’t move. The Wizards are exactly the same.

I had a whole post about Tyson Chandler that you can check here, but that had to be scrapped because, well, that trade was scrapped.

Alston to the Magic still doesn’t make them a legit contender (not anything close to what Nelson did), but it gets them out of the first round now. Watch out for that Rocket defense to suddenly start imposing its will on teams. Kyle Lowry is a pitbull defender and lightning quick. Shane Battier’s rounding back into shape. And now that T-Mac is out for the season, Artest will move back into the starters roll. That defense could be 22-win-streak good. Potentially anyway.

Thabo Sefolosha to the Thunder was a great pickup. If Chandler was on their team, despite my post about him not being that good, would have made OKC by far and away the undisputed winners of this year’s deadline. As it is, they still might be. Sefolosha gives them a wing who can defend. He’s 24, so there’s a possibility that shooting stroke develops with more consistent playing time.

The Kings cut a lot of salary for next year. Good for the Maloofs. Bad for their fans. Nocioni won’t help them much, especially considering he plays positions that are currently filled on the roster with actually good or developing talent.

Watch out for the Suns. Grant Hill is jumping and playing like it’s 99. Nash is back to the MVP-in-the-SSOL-system point guard everyone loved for the past half decade. Amare is dropping 40 point games. Shaq is running. I mean, who gives a crap about defense? If they can drop 120 points every night, I’d love to see what team can defend all of those offensive weapons. Hell, J-Rich, the number one option on last year’s Cats is the fourth option on this team. He’s a career 18 ppg scorer. And that bench has suddenly become an honest to goodness asset. Sure, I’m not going to overreact just cuz the team straight murdered the Clippers on back-to-backs, but I will say that this is the most talented team that Phoenix has had in the entire Nash era. I mean, Barbosa is literally the sixth option on this team.

Hell, Goran Dragic loves him some D’Antoni ball. In his last three games, he’s shooting 72 percent (13-18) while averaging 11 points and 3 assists in only 21 minutes of game time. The turnovers are high, but comparing that to what he was two months ago?

The Suns are scary now. The Lakers should be scared. They’ve got the offensive firepower, the size, and the star power to match up with the purple and gold. And they’ve also got a whole team worth of experience.

In the second half, look for the Jazz, Suns and Rockets to rise, while the Mavs (just not as good), San Antonio (injured Manu) and Hornets (no depth) fall.

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