Thursday, April 4, 2013
Secondary Options In Basketball
It's no secret in basketball that if a team is going to win a championship, the superstars need help. Michael Jordan couldn't win until Scottie Pippen developed. But that's what makes it so weird because we see how often that a single player could put a team on his back yet in the playoffs that could only take you so far. Just ask Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter how hard it is to win on your own. Allen Iverson damn near did it against the Lakers but fell short. Ask Lebron James what it's like to rely on Sasha Pavlovic and Wally Szcerbiack to shoulder the load. Ask Kobe how much trust he had in Smush Parker as the number two option. The point is great teams need secondary options because even superstars have off games in the biggest moments. Shit look at 2010 Game 7 Lakers vs. Celtics. Kobe had an off game. Number 2 option Pau Gasol had an off game. Metta Word Peace was the one that sealed the championship with his late 3 pointer, yeah i don't understand basketball either. So here i'll giver you the best secondary options in basketball today because Lord knows in the playoffs these guys are going to have to come up big for their team to be successful.
30) Orlando Magic: When Glen Davis is your go to guy your team sucks.
29) Phoenix Suns: Goran Dragic is another 6th man disguised in a starters body. He should not be the first option. Neither should the Polish dude that came from Orlando i forgot his name nor Michael Beasley and i love Beasley. No wonder they aren't doing well.
28) Charlotte Bobcats: There's a reason why they are the worst team in the league. These guys need talent. It's not like they're the Thunder of a few years back when they sucked because the team was so young because the Thunder were so damn talented. Kemba Walker is their first option and that's the problem. Guy has 6th Man written all over him and a 6th man should never be the first option. I couldn't even name who the second option would be, Gerald Henderson? Look at some of the guys on the roster. Bismack Biyombo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were drafted the last two years with the knowledge they will never be go to scorers. Now i'm all for improving defense but drafting for defense back to back years when you lack a primary scoring threat is pretty fucking stupid. I think MJ is just looking for an excuse to get back on the court.
27) Minnesota Timberwolves: The whitest team in the League shows us once again you need brothas on a team to be good. Kevin Love is a stud who is a solid number 1 option but the guy himself said he is laving if the team doesn't get better. Ricky Rubio needs to develop a solid jumper to take pressure off of Love but even then i don't see him more as a number 3 option. Wayne Ellington can knock down 3's but again no one is looking to him to take over if Kevin Love is having an off night. Somehow Luke Rindour is still in the League so yeah.
26) New Orleans: The Hornets have a solid foundation. If Eric Gordon can get some reliable knees they have their go to scorer right there. Anthony Davis isn't and shouldn't be the guy an offense runs through. He just needs to focus on defense because that where his money will be made and put on some weight so he won't fly away when Ron Artest swings his elbow at his head and misses. I like Grevis Vasquez as a point guard and think Austin Rivers still could develop into a solid third option as long as he isn't a starter.
25) Cleveland Cavaliers: Yo Kyrie Irving is a stud and someone you can build a franchise around. The problem is his team needs to always have at least two other people who can shoulder the load because the kid is injury prone and will be guaranteed to miss a handful of games every year. That being said i like Tristan Thompson and the improvement he has shown but he reminds me of Jeff Green. He is more of a third or fourth option on a good team. Anderson Varejao was the second best player before he got hurt. That says it all.
24) Philadelphia 76ers: A team that fell apart because of one man, Andrew Bynum. He was supposed to be the focal point of the offense but going bowling took a lot out of him. That being said Jrue Holliday, Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young, and Evan Turner have been developing but the problem is none of those guys are primary options. Jrue is the closest to that category but he is still Jrue Holliday. They have depth and good players like Dorrell Wright, Jason Richardson, Nick Young, and not Kwame Brown but none of those guys should be relied upon to lead a team. The sixers are a team of supporters.
23) Detroit Pistons: Brandon Knight aka the most felt sorry for person in the NBA is yet another 6th man pretending to be a starter. You starting to see the trend with the worst teams and their go to scorers. I like Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond and think they will both be studs but who will feed them, Rodney Stuckey? I honestly don't know. i think they have a backstreet boy on their team.
22) Atlanta Hawks: The most underrated successful team of the last decade is going to lose Josh Smith because he wants a max contract. Josh Smith is not worth a max contract and he is their most talented player. I honestly couldn't name you another player off their roster other than Teague and Horford and far as i know those three aren't number 1 options and Smith on a good day is a number 2 guy.
21) Sacramento Kings: Another squad with a solid foundation talent wise but this group is way too immature. Teams like the Wizards from a couple years ago and the Kings tried to follow the Thunder recipe of collecting very good, young, talented players and hoping they could be a great team after sucking for a couple years but the part the Wizards and Kings fucked up on was that they drafted kids while the Thunder drafted men. Demarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans have the potential to be a great 1-2 tandem except they are stuck in neutral. Boogie Cousins doesn't fuck with being told how to get better and Tyreke is allergic to learning how to shoot a jumper. They need a veteran coach but it's a shame seeing how these dudes probably won't be playing together again in the future.
20) Toronto Raptors: I like what the Raptors have. They have a guy in Rudy Gay who is the man and another one in Demar Derozan whose skill set screams complementary piece. He is a guy that will go off for 25 every now and tehn but most nights will give you 15. If Andrea Bargani can find his huevos then i would say Toronto has three solid scoring options but Andrea has to first change his name to Andre and grow a pair.
19) Washington Wizards: Another team with potential. The thing they are missing though is a go to guy. I know John Wall thinks of himself as a max contract player and just went off for 47 the other week but idk i wouldn't feel comfortable giving out a max contract to someone who can't hit a jumper. He is a stud though seeing as the Wizards are actually over .500 when he is in the lineup plus they have a possible dynamic number 2 in Bradley Beal. They have the big man down low who will get the hustle points in Nene and Jan Veesly and they have been ridding themselves of retards like Javale McGee and Andray Blatche so things are looking up for the franchise.
18) Dallas Mavericks: The problem with Dallas is they have a number 1 guy, clutch scorer, need a bucket he'll give it to you in Dirk Novitzki. The problem is he was hurt for so much of the year and is finally getting healthy but there's only like 8 games left. He is starting to hit his stride but it might be too little too late. Classic case of a team that could not come up with enough firepower. They aren't like the Bulls who after not having Derrick Rose the whole year are still a dangerous team because of their youth and defensive tenacity but the Mavs are old and can't play like the Bulls night in and night out because they are humans and humans get old as shit. 7 years ago if you had a team with Shawn Marion, Vince Carter, and Elton Brand to team up with Dirty Dirk you'd be like holy shit who is going to stop them. But it's 2013 and these guys aren't what they used to be. They MIGHT give you a big game every once in a while but when you're relying on this to score you know you're old. They have a lot of role players like Anthony Morrow, Darren Collison, Brandon Wright, and i like Jae Crowder off the bench again these dudes aren't going to carry you night in and night out. They relied on OJ Mayo to shoulder the scoring load while Dirk was out...exactly.
17) Portland Trailblazers: Portland personifies the need for better role players probably better than anyone in the League. They have two legitimate studs in All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and Damien Lillard. An inside out combination that can both shoulder the scoring loads. Then they got Batum who is developing into a very reliable secondary option. However, a lack of talent on behalf of the rest of the roster leaves them in the position that they are in today. Makes you wonder what could have been if Greg Oden stayed healthy.
16) Milwaukee Bucks: This pains me to say it but Monta Ellis isn't and shouldn't be a number one option for a team. I love the guy but just look at the facts. The Warriors were showering with mediocre water while Monta was there and now are most likely going to make the playoffs in their first season wihout him. He is too small to defend other shooting guards but he can score as well as anyone. That skills set just screams 6th man and instant offense off the bench which as we know by now means 6th men are not primary options. Then they have Brandon Jennings who thinks he is a max contract player yet is averaging a career high 19 points a game and shoots under 40% for his career. Yeah that's like Monta Ellis's numbers from his third year and he didn't get a max contract. I guess that 50 point game 4 years ago against a Don Nelson coached team aka Defense is taboo got to his head. Shout out to Ekpe Udoh, Warriors could use you right about now.
15) Chicago Bulls: I've already spoken a little bit about the Bulls and their ability to compete because of their swarming defense. Without Derrick Rose the main guy has been Luol Deng and when when you are relying on Luol Deng that is not a good look. He is a good player no doubt but no one is going to mistake him as someone leading a charge to the championship. Shit Marco Bellinelli has been counted on to lead the offense at times. If Derrick Rose can come back at his MVP level then yeah the Bulls are a threat but don't mistake them as a team destined for a championship. Just remember a couple years ago when Lebron decided to guard Rose and no other Bull stepped up...they lost in 5 games. Boozer can get you buckets but he has showed he can't put a team on his back. I like Joakim but no one is mistaking him for an offensive savant. I don't even think they draw plays up for him.
14) Houston Rockets: James Harden made the jump to superstar and has proved this year he is a bona fide #1 option. The thing i like about him is that he can put up 20 points on like 5 shots. The man gets to the free throw line like his life depended on it and i don't like how he draws contact but whatever he does it works for him. The problem for Houston is that they don't have a number two. Their offense is entirely dependent on either James Harden or hitting the three ball. Now they could steal a game or two by going crazy from three but it is not likely to get hot for an entire series so unless Jeremy Lin returns to Linsanity form they go as far as Harden goes.
13) Boston Celtics: The Celtics should be in the same boat as the Mavericks but they play in the East so that helps them. Need a bucket you go to Paul Pierce and even though he isn't a prolific scorer he has shown numerous and multiple and countless times that he raises his game as the stakes get higher so there's no question there. They lost Rondo for the year and he, like Pierce, would rise to the occasion and elevate his game to where he could actually take a game over despite not being to hit a jumper or free throw. KG isn't what he used to and spends his days now guarding the paint and hitting open jumpers. Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee aren't going to be counted on to score 25 and i don't know if Jeff Green feels like putting up 43 again but if he does that solves the second scorer problem. They don't have enough then again you can never count out these old ass geezers.
12) Indiana Pacers: The Pacers are another one of those teams without a go to guy but have a plethora of second options. Even if Danny Granger comes back and finds his all star form again they still don't have the GUY. David West gives them a scoring threat inside and Roy Hibbert went missing this year so West is doing it alone. Paul George has the potential to develop into the guy but he is still improving and not yet at that level. They defend the living hell out of the basket but i don't feel have enough offensive fire power to get the necessary buckets in a tight game.
11) Utah Jazz: The Utah Jazz are one of a few exceptions in the NBA right now that are successful without a primary option along with the Nuggets, Pacers, Grizzlies, and the Rose-less Bulls. But that lack of a stud is why no one is picking these guys to win it all. They are very good in what they do which is pound it inside to their 4 post players and let the big boys go to work. Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson, and Enes Kanter would each be an excellent inside presence for any team but none of them are go to guys. Gordon Hayward, Randy Foye, Mo Williams, Marvin Williams, Jamaal Tinsley, and Earl Watson...which one do you feel comfortable taking the last shot. Yeah moving on.
10) Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies are similar to Utah in regards that their offense runs through their two big boys. The problem Memphis has is they lack depth. Now Gasol and Z-Bo can win you a series like they proved against the Spurs two years back and gave the Thunder all they could handle the next year but those two big guys have to be on their p's and q's every game. Mike Conley can run an effective game from the point guard position and Jerryd Bayless can give you points off the bench but i'm not convinced they have the shooters to stretch a defense which would give the big boys more room to operate. If they had a guy or two that can kill a defense from the outside or can make plays with the ball in in hands *cough Rudy Gay cough* then they would be a serious threat. But as is they have as good a starting 5 with arguably the best post tandem in the league.
9) Los Angeles Clippers: Now we get to the LA Clippers aka Flop City. They are a weird team because they don't really have a go to guy to get you 25 every night but they have enough talent and Chris Paul playing point that they don't need one guy to take over the whole game. However, when the game gets tight the ball is going to be in CP3's hands and he is deadly. Yeah Blake Griner averages 20 a game but it is the least technical 20 points a game and if you need a clutch bucket CP3 is for sure not going to him because he can't hit a free throw. They have Jamal Crawford off the bench who can heat up in a hurry and Chauncey Billups can be counted on to facilitate and hit shots when necessary. In short all their hope rests on Chris Paul but that's a good thing.
8) Golden State Warriors: They have a solid starting 5 and the best shooter in the game right now with Steph Curry. They have David Lee who is a double double machine and Klay Thompson who is in the conversation for second best shooter in the game. The problem is that their scoring comes mostly from these three guys and Jarret Jack off the bench. Yeah Miami won last year off of three guys but those guys were LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Another problem is that Steph and Klay are high volume shooters who need their touches to truly have an impact and if they are having an off night, David Lee is not going to go out and win a game for you. Harrison Barnes seems only interested in driving to the bucket, Carl Landry is underutilized for some reason, Bogut seems tentative, and Draymond Green is Draymond Green. So yeah the Splash Brothers need to hit their shots.
7) New York Knicks: They have the alpha male in Carmelo. That is the problem. Melo is a dam good player but there is no consistent 2nd option behind him. The next most talented offensive player is JR Smith. If JR Smith is what your team needs to be successful rather than just another piece that is scary. He could go off for 30 one night but the next night he might put up 5 points on 2 for 16 shooting. I have no doubt in my mind JR thinks he is the best player in the league but what can you expect from a delusional person. Knicks fans better not be mad when JR continues to chuck up 3's like they're going out of style despite not having his shot that day.
6) Los Angeles Lakers: Here is a case of a new coach trying to get his new team that is old acclimated to his system built for young people. They have the biggest alpha male in all of sports, Kobe Bean Bryant, and another that you can build a franchise around in Dwight Howard. They have one of the better secondary options in all of basketball with Pau Gasol even though he is softer than a load of towels fresh out of the dryer (c'mon Pau, your rape screams don't impress anyone). They have the perfect guy to run D'Antoni's system in Steve Nash. They have some solid guys off the bench in Jodie Meeks and Jordan Hill but the system just isn't meshing. Once they figure it out next year and put everything together they'll return to the top of the conference assuming everyone comes back and can stay healthy.
5) Brooklyn Nets: The Nets are a team that is actually loaded with 3 very good offensive players. Despite Deron Williams having a down year this year he is still Deron Williams and can do anything asked of him. Joe Johnson is on the wrong side of his prime but the man still knows how to put the ball in the bucket. And Brook Lopez is in the conversation for best offensive skilled center right now. Shit even Kris Humphries will give you double figures. Plus they have Gerald Wallace to give you hustle points and CJ Watson off the bench to keep the game moving along when Deron needs a breather. If they can get their chemistry to click watch out for Brooklyn to possibly steal a series.
4) Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets are the opposite of the Pacers. The Pacers like to play a half court offense and rely on tough defense while the Nuggets don't go less than full speed and treat defense like it Chinese, ain't nobody got time to learn that. The thing they do have in common is that both teams don't have a superstar. They are a bunch of complementary pieces running the perfect system for their talent. I guess Iguodala would take the last shot but i'm sure that doesn't inspire confidence in everyone. Their best bet to win is to outrun their opponent and pray the game isn't close. I just want to see Javale McGee in a high pressure situation with something significant on the line.
3) Oklahoma City Thunder: If they still had James Harden the Thunder would no doubt be at the top of the list yet Russell Westbrook is as good as it gets when it comes to sidekicks. Although watching the man play is sometimes as frustrating as hearing Lil Wayne spit another verse he came up with while taking a shit when Westbrook gets it going he and Durant can't be stopped. I don't even have to speak on Durant because we all know he is the best scorer in the game right now and the multitude of ways in which he can score combined with his height and physical abilities is unparalleled. That being said Durant is one of the few guys that can actually win a game by himself but as he showed last year against the Heat, the man needs help. If Westbrook is being the bad Westbrook then i don't know who they can turn to, Kevin Martin isn't what he used to and no one else strikes fear into their opponents. Whatever happened to Perry Jones III?
2) San Antonio Spurs: These guys are like the Nuggets and Pacers on steroids. They have it all. They can defend, play a fast paced offense, play in a half court set, and shoot the 3 to win games. They have 2 legit guys who can have the ball in the last moment with Ginobili and Parker and those two scare opponents. And that is without even mentioning Tim Duncan aka top 3 Power Forward in the history of the game. Danny Green, Matt Bonner, Kawhi Leonard, and whoever else can just chill around the 3 point line and let it rain. If the big 3 aren't having great games Stephen Jackson can facilitate the scoring until one of them gets back into their groove. They have it all and have no weaknesses.
1) Miami Heat: For 1 thing they have the best player on the planet by a wide margin in LeBron James. Then they have D Wade who has shown the ability to put the team on his back if necessary. Then the third component of the Big 3, Chris Bosh, gets knocked for being very feminine but the man can play ball. Then they have Battier, Chalmers, Cole, Ray Allen, James Jones, and Mike Miller (idk if he's healthy) to knock down threes. That is six guys they have chillin on the perimeter while Bosh, James, and Wade do the dirty work inside. That is unfair. They have two superstars, a third star, and a lineup of guys whose only job is to hit threes in their rotation. Let me coach that team.
Cam'ron- Down and Out feat Kanye
gotta turn that ignorance up
Pusha T- Alone In Vegas
Pusha T- Millions feat. Date Rape Extraordinaire aka Officer Ricky
if you got speakers bump it