Creepin' out vastly

After yesterday's crock of panic, I feel I owe to you and all others involved in this enterprise to come with something moderately composed. I have also been in the throes of a sudden sickness, making it all the more difficult to wade through the eternal mush that is the patented FD approach to things. So while I still believe that I had something worthwhile going on in yesterday's post, we can pretend the last two days never happened and get on with more immediately germane business, namely: THE GREATEST FREE AGENT CLASS IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.

Of course, this is the most brutal of fallacies. Anyone with half a pencil and a high-speed opportunity knows that this group of free agents currently poised to spring itself upon the field of thirty odd NBA franchise is, quite honestly, pretty weak. Yet how soon we forget the utter mayhem that was Playoffs 2006, which turned out so hair-raisingly tight that the most forgettable of players did/almost did/easily could have made all the difference. Tim Thomas? A competent shooter on the Cavs? Anyone on the Mavs willing to guard a PF? Some range for the Lakers? More interior defense for the Bulls? And let's not even forget about the countless franchises who fell beneath the cruel blade of elimination before the Tom Petty had even rung throughout the alleys and byways, many of which are in prime position to squeak in this year.

In short, the NBA has somehow managed to become outlandishly competitive without having to resort to the utterly demeaning taint of parity. Thusly, adding one or two key players to any number of rosters will propel them further this coming season, or at least might have made the difference in '06. Already, we've seen Peja, Vlad, and CV presumably end up on teams that were about that far away from the next tier of things; had this draft had anything in the way of talent that was both ready and able (usually the province of the mid- to late- first round), this off-season might be having an unprecedented effect on the peaceful jumble that is the choir's pre-season expectations. An aging Ben Wallace is certainly not the direction-changing presence he might've been two years ago. . . but in this pitched climate of near-misses and wholly credible fearlessness, he can for the moment put a team like Chicago high atop their most immediate concerns. Wallace, Gooden, or Przybilla won't make a team that much better, objectively; however, all they need is just a little bit to seem to all the world and their fans like they have made a majestic leap.

The same might even go for any number ordinarily undesirable trade options, like Randolph, some Knicks, or Jermaine O'Neal(Iverson exluded--he's not going to a contendor precisely because of what I'm outlining). Remember Sheed to the Pistons—right now, it seems like a tremendous amount of team can solidly claim that they're in the midst of some kind of window, or that the sacrifice of taking on one of these contracts will be worth the dividends they pay. That, presuming that these adjustments will have some standing for several years to come, and that we won't be seeing an '03 like crop of mega-talent dropping upon its own head anytime soon.

One more thing about this already-batty off-season: watching the Suns throughout is kind of amazing. Like fuck a Tim Thomas, fuck an Eddie House player option or lost draft opportunities. They're riding out next season with Nash, Amare, Diaw, Marion, and Barbosa. I told someone pre-draft that with Isiah coming to the bench, the Knicks were essentially finally getting the real Eddie Curry out of these summer months; the Suns are getting one of the most talented nuclei to ever tromp upon the sands of time without having to even lift a finger. Now that's providence.


At 7/02/2006 5:10 PM, Blogger there is no you or me without Suomi said...

Without T.Thomas though, the Suns are kinda back to where they were at the end of the season- thinner than a sopapilla. Yes, #1's back, but who's going to spell him? Kurt Thomas? Pat Burke? Are we all still high on his playoff three pointer? They go from their weakness (having to start either Thomas) becoming a strength (making them 7th and 8th men) back to it being a weakness again.
What the hell's TT thinking anyways? Going to the team you beat? He had a bad reputation before, and not that playing for more money should bolster that, but he looks less about winning than ever.
Nice move of the Suns to not even have a plan B by way of the draft too. I'm less high on Rondo than anyone I know or have read, but he seems like he could have actually found a place with the Suns, as he'd be the only guy besides Bell who might could be considered a stopper.

wv: bputxb- is probably valid code in some language

At 7/02/2006 5:38 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i refuse to believe that a team that's replacing tim thomas with amare stoudemire--and just came off nearly making the nba finals--is suddenly in rough shape. they've still got bell and barbosa, too, and did a fantastic job last year turning outcasts and cast-offs into valuable contributors. something tells me that they'll be just fine.

i apparently will be bed-ridden for at least the next ten hours, so anyone else who comments can also unexpect a disgracefully prompt and animated response.

At 7/02/2006 6:45 PM, Anonymous ml said...

they've got skita!

At 7/02/2006 6:57 PM, Blogger coach said...

the suns will not be the same even with amare back . no , it's not the players. it's the management. d'antoni holding a dual position is bound to make personnel mistakes. w/out colangelo there , the suns decision making is questionable . especially w/ the cost cutting pressure coming from the owner.

At 7/02/2006 7:30 PM, Anonymous johnny5 said...

Skita (or as we called him, Tsakalidis) got waived and picked up by Portland.
D'Antoni has the title, but he's modelling on Popovich. He's got David Griffin and Mark West doing the grunt work.

This Suns fan was never that excited about keeping TT. Like Jim Jackson the year before, he's just another replaceable shooter. Yeah, he had a fire that carried us sometimes, but that fire can turn on the team pretty quick. TT is this playoff's Jerome James, off to cash in.
Going to the Clippers the first day, after saying money wasn't important anymore, reinforces the perceived attitude problem.

Check the Suns' record before and after Thomas came aboard. Fact is, Phoenix swooned in the second half of the season after Kurt got hurt. Maybe the importance of defense to the Suns this year got lost in hard numbers (check defensive efficiency instead), but he's more important to the team than the latest gunner for hire.

Suns win percentage:
before TT: .696
with TT: .577

word: fxuiere - pidgin French infinitive

At 7/02/2006 7:55 PM, Blogger there is no you or me without Suomi said...

eh..like Thurgood to Samson, I stick by my story. They'll be plenty good enough to get exactly as far as they got this year, but I can't see them surpassing it. Their lack of depth's killed them two years in a row now, why should we think it won't again, or that Nash and Marion won't wear out or worse? I think Amare's only going to be about 75% of the player he once was. Has anyone ever really gotten all the way back from his type of injury/procedure? Jason Kidd is about the only one I can think of.
T.Thomas is not the key to their success, I'm just saying the door's going to at least remain sticky with that splinter of a bench. Doesn't matter if they go 8 deep in the reg. season, D'Antoni has showed both years that's 6 in the post, which is much more a problem when you push the tempo. The LB-era Pistons could kinda hide their complete dependence and un-interchangeability with their style.

wv: abgvo- andrea bargnani gives voracious otolaryngylotical

At 7/02/2006 8:09 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i am seriously considering deleting any comment skeptical of amare's complete and total comeback.

one thing i was just considering: d'antoni's rep as a personel genius is pretty much based on "discovering" diaw. question: did he know when the suns acquired him? could this just be a matter of the hawks having done a really, really aggressive job of burying his worth?

At 7/02/2006 9:10 PM, Blogger there is no you or me without Suomi said...

I thought Diaw just got misread as a guard in Atlanta, that their people saw "great passing skills" and forgot all about someone like Divac or any of Nellie's "point forwards" being able to have same. Also- I figured D'A's 'genius' was more in realizing putting 3 wings on the floor was their strongest lineup, taking the gamble on Nash that Cuban wouldn't (or maybe that's more to Colangelo's credit?).

< goad > Oh, I'm sure he'll be at least as good as Webber, Allan Houston, Penny Hardaway, Zach Randolph, Jamal Mashburn, and Kenyon Martin are now... < /goad >

wv: vawod- vicious amare words? ossuarific disintegration

At 7/03/2006 12:14 AM, Anonymous spider said...

T. Thomas wouldn't really have decent playing time anyway in the coming season. Tim came aboard PHX this season at the end of February, right around the time K.Thomas broke his foot. So he was basically taking the minutes of both Kurt and Amaré. This is probably all for the best, financially and basketballly. James Jones should practice his 3-balls, meanwhile.

However, PHX's decision to not take Marcus Williams (or any other respectable PG) in the draft was poor. Four years from now, when Nash likely retires, Amaré and Diaw will be only 27. Who will run their show?

At 7/03/2006 12:29 PM, Anonymous Ra said...

Anything less than a title this year, you can expect the Suns to blow up the roster. They have 3 first round picks in the draft next year. One is a lottery pick. They will get a backup PG then as well as some other pieces.

At 7/03/2006 12:39 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

here's the problem with having such a concentrated armada of talent: how do you "blow it up?" nash is the franchise; amare is (was) arguably the most terrifying offensive force in the league since shaq; diaw is exactly the guy every euro-smitten scout dreaming of pulling out the draft each year as the new soul of the nba future; marion, i guess, is dispensable, but for what, tyrus thomas?

At 7/03/2006 1:21 PM, Anonymous spider said...

PHX just signed Eric Piatkowski to throw up more 3 balls. What is his nickname? The Polish Hammer or something like that?

Is Eddie House coming back?

At 7/03/2006 3:59 PM, Blogger Ra said...

Blowing up the roster would mean probably getting rid of the Matrix and his huge contract for a smaller contract player, and possibly Leandro Barbosa as well as some of the lesser players.

I know the Suns want Leandro to be the point since he is too small for a 2 guard but if he cant run the team this year they may just get rid of him. Most likely they will draft someone who can run the team with their lottery pick next year in the "stronger" draft.

Diaw can pretty much fill the role that Shawn does for a lesser price. I really like Marion and i hope they never get rid of him... if he would just STOP SHOOTING outside of 7 feet.

The scrappy Eddie House won't be back unless nobody else wants him.

At 7/03/2006 4:02 PM, Blogger Ra said...

Oh, Amare is the franchise, Nash is the maestro.

At 7/03/2006 4:05 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i'm saying, trading marion is hardly blowing up that team. he's probably tied for third best on there.

At 7/03/2006 4:59 PM, Blogger Ra said...

True I guess not blowing up quite like portland. Maybe a hand grenade explosion and some shrapnel.

Next season's lineup is going to be real horrorshow. Diaw has the potential to be a perennial all-star/superstar (yeah I said it), love his game. Diaw-Amare frontline is going to be straight up showtime. The Matrix is going to cut up the lanes and fly through getting so many rebounds and oops. Can't wait. Nash averages 13-14 assists?

At 7/03/2006 6:38 PM, Anonymous spider said...

Nash will break alltime record for APG


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