Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Big Fantasy Move...

This is the time of the year when fantasy football is all the rage and certainly at HS8T HQ, we share in the excitement of football season and having control over my team and its fate.

While looking for some information for this week's draft, we ran across this little ditty. You can read the details, but all I needed to see was...Jerry West is available. Yep, the same guy who got Kobe, who put together the first Laker dynasty of the 90s, and who even built the Grizzlies from nothing to mediocrity before stepping aside. Simply put, it's like I always say in fantasy - you always upgrade. If you have Ben Roethlisberger and you have the chance to get Drew Brees, you go get Drew Brees. (Fantasy speaking right now)...

So, in this sense, if you have Rick Sund - no matter how much you like him and Jerry West is available. You go and find out if you can get him. Now, reality says - this isn't going to happen, but that's why we call it a fantasy move.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Earning or Losing The Job? That is the question

Looks like the big homie MC is back and working hard and we got this little missive from him today - one speaks to what has been the bane of our existence for years - starting point guard.

You can check out the link here.

Now, I'll just summarize my thoughts in a few bullet points:

1. In theory, every player should EARN their position. It's laudable to say and believe it. But can the guy ahead of you just lose his position? Does it always have to be earned? Simply put, I wrote a blog at midseason saying Teague MUST start for this team to go further in the playoffs. Many thought - it's too much of a risk. I said - it was a no risk move. You either prove that Jeff has the upside to take us further than an aging Mike Bibby or you prove that you need to get in the Darren Collison sweepstakes this offseason. Regardless, last season, Mike Bibby did everything to prove that he doesn't deserve more than 15-20 minutes of time in a reserve role playing 2nd stringers who can't light him up on the defensive end. I don't say that to disparage Mike Bibby, but to say- he's only going to be effective toward the goal of winning a title in a reserve role. Conversely, the only way Jeff Teague will be useful next season and, in the future, is if he's the starting point guard whether he 'earns' it in training camp or preseason or not.
2. Which brings me to Larry Drew - I'll buy the motivational angle of saying what he said, but certainly - there is no time left to waste in transitioning this team to be led by Jeff Teague. So, on the motivational end - you got my support. But the main point here is if Teague outplays Bibby, Teague's your Game 1 starting point guard. If Teague is outplayed by Bibby in training camp and preseason, Teague's your Game 1 starting point guard. The growing pains should start in Game 1, not Game 50. If anything, let Jeff Teague LOSE his job, not have to earn it. Anything else just continues to delay the inevitable that says either Jeff Teague is the answer OR we need to go find a new answer via free agency, trade, or next year's draft. Anything else is what I'd consider the anti-championship move.

And with that, I'm done.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer Time Musings

Str8 Talkers,

It's still summer and we're a few weeks away from NFL Football and then a few more weeks away from the glory that is NBA Basketball, so we're really excited to just say that nothing BAD has happened since we last left you...

Now, that shouldn't be confused with any changes and at this stage in the game, the only thing left to ponder is who our 13th man will be. My bets are on Mario West (and I'm not kidding here) vs. a bunch of guys we don't know trying to find a roster spot. While this pains in the way that it should a fan searching and yearning for a NBA title, it also kinda delights me a tad with regard to my general rightness about this franchise's leadership.

By nature of the type of blog this is, straight unadulterated truth as I see it...I sometimes get in trouble with commenters, bloggers, and friends alike regarding my take on the NBA and my beloved Hawks because I'm willing to go THERE. Going there over the past 3 years is not being blinded by winning more games each year and confusing that with true progress toward a title. The truth is - we stopped moving toward title-ville right around the time that we had problems with getting championship level coaching and let scouting and player development fall by the wayside back in '07. I hate to say it, but we have been running sideways ever when we forgot that having a point guard led team on the offensive and defensive side of the ball was just as necessary as having versatile players on your basketball team.

I actually get Billy Knight's vision now and part of it was - since the team doesn't have the deep pockets necessary to fill all the niches of a championship squad - I need to get players who can do multiple things on the basketball court. Now, he took that combo guard, forward, center thing to the extreme, BUT no one can fault him for believing that Boris Diaw would be worthwhile or that Joe was worth having or that Josh Smith could become a star. Which leads us to where we are and that's about 2-3 pieces away from a title, not to mention schematic and heart/emotion/leadership transplants. I know it's hard to hear that and it's even harder to say it, but this team needs someone to stand up for it and say - WE AREN'T TOUGH ENOUGH, TALENTED ENOUGH, OR HAVE ENOUGH LEADERSHIP on our squad to win a title. It would be nice if it was the owner or the GM. That would send the signal that if you don't figure it out, we'll find someone who has those qualities to replace you.

That's what this team lacks...(not to mention someone to accurately point out the problems this team faces on defense - I think we know our problems on offense..whether Larry Drew can do anything about them remains to be seen, but offense ultimately isn't my worry. The Celtics had problems with offense and were an injury away from a title. It's the defense and the mentality of our team that is what is a complete roadblock and I continue to see no effort to address it. It won't change with Shaq, Jason Collins, or Josh Powell. It might have changed with useful replacements for those guys and that 31st pick or using the last 2-3 2nd round picks on players you planned to put on the team. [Note: Unlike most, I think getting these foreign players is just another way of not paying for players, which is utterly STUPID if you are going to use that money to keep Jason Collins and Mario West on your team.]

So, that's my word for now - I'm going silent unless something happens til training camp. Til then, see you in the comments...