7.21.2006

From amidst the burning mud



Summertime NBA means feeding on scraps or, in FreeDarko's case, occasionally remembering that we have humanly functions to tend to. Sometimes this takes the form of felicitous healing, as with J.R.'s deliverance; today, it's a bit less glamorous.

From the "WHERE IS TREVOR ARIZA" files, I would now like to take notice of the Wizards' acquisition of Darius Songaila. Since I generally find myself uncharacteristically invested in Arenas's playoff run each spring, I know exactly what this team so sorely lacks. And Songaila, another one of those solid, solid players who for some reason never gets fit in the way everyone brags he could, provides the kind of connective glue the Wiz Joint sorely requires. The White Darius is tough and skilled, inside and outsider, a fantastic complement to Jamison that allows the witless inside presences like Haywood and Thomas to underachieve without tremendous consequence. Washington played its damnedest this May when Michael Ruffin manned the post; what's Songaila if not a younger, more versatile Michael Ruffin? Play them together, or pair one with one of the two limp shot-blockers, and suddenly that frontline has a palette to work with.

I am perfectly willing to accept that I might be falling prey to the mindless funk known as "fandom," in which self-serving projection temporarily replaces the possibility of real knowledge. Though I think that I'm on relatively rational ground here—"younger, more versatile Michael Ruffin" is something you'd ask of a mid-first rounder, which Songaila is certainly the equivalent of.

(To the best of my Cyrillic knowledge, the bobblehead is Songaila.)

10 Comments:

At 7/21/2006 12:17 PM, Anonymous seezmics said...

the zards were trying to get twd last season as well. apparently they feel his above-average mediocrity is the perfect fit for a team of ebb and flowers.

as a zards fan, i am all for any additions that may change us from brenda-soft to ruffin-tough. and yes, i said us.

 
At 7/21/2006 1:25 PM, Blogger R.G. said...

My esteemed colleague Seezmics couldn't have put it more eloquently. US 'Zards fans have collectively needed new vocal cords at the end of these past two seasons from yelling at Haywood to play defense and for Jared to finish a freaking play.

Although Darius has the potential to fall in love with 20 footers, the possibility of interior toughness was to good to pass up for Big Ern Grunfeld.

 
At 7/21/2006 2:25 PM, Blogger pat buchanitar said...

I was a big Songaila fan in his college days, and there was nobody more willing to bang and get the tough points/boards. As rg said, he tends to gravitate towards the mid-range J sometimes, but he's still a valuable "wheel" in my old coach's "the team is a car" metaphor.


PS: Shoals just likes him because he's Lithuanian..

 
At 7/21/2006 2:29 PM, Anonymous august strindberg said...

I don't know if Songaila has Ruffin's brutish frenzy (or his chemical engineering degree, or his reptile collection). I see him more as a worse, smaller Brad Miller. Is this totally off-base? Anyway, yes, he's a good fit.

Meanwhile, is there a more codependent pair than Antawn and Jared? The whole justification for Jared's existence is that he can guard either forward -- i.e., whichever one Jamison can't even pretend to guard.
I'm definitely crossing over into fandom here, but this is why this one-year contract (for Jared) is a good idea -- once Jamison leaves, so should Jared. If this is a League of Psychology, Jared could serve as one of those Visible Man toys; you can actually observe, in real time, him thinking, "okay, coach said I should take it to the hoop more often -- okay, now i've got the ball -- okay, here i go."

 
At 7/21/2006 2:58 PM, Anonymous le pen&zizou said...

Indiana basketball legend Jared does nees to learn to finish, but the 'zards would be better off keeping him after next year and losing jamison. more shots for gilbert, jj can get an offensive board or two and is not a black hole in the mid-post (he is the exact opposite.)

 
At 7/21/2006 4:04 PM, Anonymous White People Don't Know said...

Is Shoals lithuanian?

I'd give you a traditional kinsman greeting, but at this point it's a challenge for me to locate the homeland on a map.

 
At 7/21/2006 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a white hole in the outer-post?

 
At 7/21/2006 4:06 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

one quarter litvak.

 
At 7/21/2006 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the cyrillic letters read: "D. Songalia"

 
At 7/27/2006 5:44 PM, Anonymous Graham A said...

regarding the brad miller comparison, is songalia as good of a passer as brad miller? otherwise, the comparison doesn't seem that bad to me . . .

 

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