Thursday, November 8, 2012

Roles Reversed and Players Move

Coming off a 15 point win where we didn't play Tayshaun as an experiment (one he was none too fond of) I decided to make the changes official and see where we were. That means Kim English and Jonas Jerebko would move into the starting lineup, Stuckey would become the main backup guard with some help from Maggette who is healthy again (for now) and Prince would get some minutes here and there but pretty much in a timeshare backup role with Kyle Singler getting priority. Neither guy will be happy with the move but to me its a step closer to pulling the trigger on getting them out of town - if we can ever find a buyer that is.

With Maggette on the mend and wanting Singler to stay in the lineup I decided to send fan favorite Slava Kravtsov to the d-league. The NBDL season is underway and Khris Middleton is averaging about 11 a night there. Would be nice for Slava to get some consistent minutes somewhere.

Game #16 DETROIT 110, Portland 97
Nobody can ruin a career
like the Trailblazers can

Score one for the new lineup as we snare a 13 point win at home. Our 17-2 advantage in second chance points this game may have had something to do with it. For once we had a very balanced attack. Monroe was solid with 21 and 12 plus some great D, BK stepped up against a talented rookie in Lillard and scored 22 while handing out 7 dimes. Drummond did his thing for 13 and 11 and the two new starters combined for 22 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 concussion that forced Jonas from the game. He'll be out a few days.

Portland was very balanced as well. All five starters scored in double figures and the bench didn't do much of anything. We shot much worse percentage wise than the Blazers but we had twice as many free throws and the extra points off putbacks which more than made up the difference.

Player of the Game
Greg Monroe
21 points
12 rebounds
1 block
3 steals

Monroe v Duncan old school
Game #17 Detroit 98, SAN ANTONIO 127

We hopped a flight for a one game roadie to take on the Spurs. Both teams sat 10-6 headed into the game and both teams with an injury. Jerebko's concussion meant he didn't make the trip with us and Tim Duncan was nursing a bruised triceps but was playing through it.

With Jonas out and not wanting to mess with the new roles I promoted Kyle Singler to the starting lineup giving us BK, Monroe and the 3 rooks to start.
The Spurs came out quick 4-0 but a couple Kim English 3's had us back in the lead. That is until an 8-0 Spurs run led by numerous fast break dunks pushed in to 20-12 San Antonio. Knight had already committed three turnovers and we weren't even 8 minutes in. We traded blows and a Stuckey three ended the quarter 31-23 Spurs.

With Jerebko out we activated Charlie V and decided to give him a shot to start the quarter. 40 seconds later he had two fouls and was back on the bench. Thanks Charlie! Things went downhill from there - within three minutes the fouls were 5 to 0 for the quarter and Frank was steamed. It didn't take long for one more whistle and a T. A few Manu free throws later and it was 40-25. There would be eight Pistons fouls before one called on the Spurs and suddenly DeJuan Blair had a million points (ok 18). The Spurs were 13/16 from the line, we were 0/0. I could sense Frank getting ready to lose it on the sideline. Sure enough on the following possession Monroe got mugged with no call at the rack and Frank lost it. I can't blame him - I had begun warming up in the luxury box in case I decided to go down there and hurl a chair across the floor.

The free throws from that point on evened out but the game was out of reach at that point. The stats were rather irrelevant - its a blowout and the coach got tossed so not much use analyzing this one.

Player of the Game
Manu Ginobili
33 points
5 assists
4 rebounds
2 steals

A Deal Is Made...
The second trade of the year went down. The Spurs sent PG Gary Neal to the Kings for PG Jimmer Fredette and a 2nd round pick. Neal, a 2010-11 All Rookie 1st Team award winner (which I didn't realize until I looked at his in game player card) was not doing much for the Spurs and Jimmer wasn't even in the Kings rotation. With Neal's contract expiring it looks like the Spurs simply decided to get a different backup guard now rather than worry about paying Neal in the FA market.

Doug Collins returns to The Palace
Game #18 DETROIT 98, Philadelphia 112

We welcome Jonas Jerebko back from his concussion and Lawrence Frank back from his ejection as we try and upend the Sixers. Philly is 14-5, third best in the East, and Bynum has been a beast averaging nearly 22 and 11.

We came out much better this game taking a one point lead into the break but yet another 4th quarter swoon doomed us. A 32-23 finish gave the Sixers the W and left me frustrated by our late collapses. Monroe did his usual damage (24 and 11), Stuckey seems to be fitting in nicely with his 6th man role and scored 18 tonight and the other starters were alright although Drummond spent a bunch of time on the bench again with foul trouble thanks to Andrew Bynum and Jrue Holiday pretty much dominated BK. Bynum had 19 and Holiday 22.

Now if you told me only three Sixers would score in double figures and gave me those two I would say we should win that game. Except that the third was Spencer Hawes going off for 29. That's just a terrible effort by Monroe and Maxiell and really inexcusable. 

The upcoming week won't be easy but we really need to string together some wins. We get the Knicks again (who just beat us by 25 at our place) and then at Washington and home against Indy. We've beaten both those teams already so I'm hoping to come out of next week 12-9.

Player of the Game
Spencer Hawes
29 points
10 rebounds
2 assists

Let's Make A Deal 2
The first big trade of the season takes place in somewhat surprising fashion as the Celtics ship a youngster full of promise in Avery Bradley to the Bulls for Nazr Mohammed, Vlad Radmanovic and a 1st round pick. In other words a salary dump and a pick.

Bradley was only playing 8 minutes per game with Jason Terry and Courtney Lee eating up all the minutes and he clearly was not happy. He goes to the Bulls where they have said he'll start and that gives them one hell of a promising backcourt with Rose and Bradley.

In Other News...
Lamar Odom is unhappy - the former relevant basketball player turned TV Kardashian sidekick thinks he deserves more than 7.7 MPG. His NET of -10.2 and EFF of 1.4 and head coach Vinny Del Negro would suggest otherwise and did so to the media. Trouble in paradise...

As the story broke on TMZ (isn't that where all the celeb stories break) it got me to thinking. What happened to the basketball player Lamar Odom? He's only 32 - his skills couldn't have just vanished as quickly as a bowl of Skittles in front of Lamar could they?

Sometimes there are low risk gambles out there. I think Lamar Odom is one of them. He's on a one year deal for 8 million and he and the Clippers are at odds now. They want to get rid of him - will they take something I want to get rid of. I give the Clips a call and tell them Tayshaun would really like to go to LA. He's from there, he's been a champion, he could provide veteran leadership, he and Chauncey are know, the whole routine. No soap. They don't want his 3 year contract. Where's Elgin Baylor when you need him? Then it hit me. You've got a disgruntled, out of shape PF who seems to have lost his game. I've got a happy-go-lucky, out of shape PF who I don't think ever had much game. It was the perfect solution.

And so, my first deal is made. Detroit sends Charlie Villanueva to the Clippers for Lamar Odom. Straight up. They both make about 8 million this year but Charlie has a player option he'll surely exercise next year while Lamar is on a one year run. Charlie is 5 years younger which meant nothing to me because - well because he's not any good. Even if Lamar is a complete trainwreck the worst case scenario is we send him home to film I Love Khloe and we're 8 million bucks more free next year. But there's an upside - we can give Lamar the chance to resurrect his career. He's versatile - he could play the 3, 4 or 5 for us and this essentially renders Tayshaun useless. I don't know if there is any way possible to get rid of him though but I'm damn sure going to try.

1 comment:

  1. This is the type of small move I love making. Finding those veteran underutilized guys and grabbing them. I've established quite a tradition in NLL of picking up veteran guards and resurrecting their careers in reserve roles. Started off with Marcus Banks, then Steve Francis, then Jarrett Jack, and my latest success was Leandro Barbosa, who in the league was a great SG until we switched to DDS2, where the combination of age and engine switch had him shooting under 40% for 2 straight seasons. I got him as part of a package where he was just an expiring contract match. Next thing you know, he's shooting 48.2% and 44.3% from downtown for his best season in years. Course, I traded him out as part of a package for an upgrade at C, but still.