The NBA Through Unpaid Eyes is a weekly blog by Men's Fitness intern extraordinaire and wealth of basketball knowledge Collin Orcutt.*
*The two statements expressed about Collin's intern and basketball prowess are not necessarily those of MF. Nor are the necessarily correct. Except for the unpaid part.
Before I start, allow me to recognize the historic event that transpired this past Tuesday. Whether you are Democrat or Republican, young or old, black or white, the moment of Obama's acceptance speech was breathtaking and uplifting. To have witnessed such a moment is one of the proudest moments of my life. Congratulations President-Elect Barack Obama.
Congratulations also to Greg Oden for making it through a week without incurring another injury--history in its own right.
Lets get into it.
- Someone get Marbury a donut (no not the chocolate frosted kind)
The hemorrhoid kind. Because he's going to have some serious tingle pains at the end of every half and fourth quarter if not.
Don't feel too much grief for him though. Although he hasn't really done anything wrong this season, he was basically "TO the short" for the past two seasons. And he just surpassed NFL kickers and Matt Leinart as having the cushiest job in sports.
All Marbury does is get paid obscene amounts of money to watch NBA games. Granted one of the two teams he has to watch is the Knicks, which has been a health hazard in the past, but still. He doesn't have to practice. He doesn't have to dress. The fans cheer for him to play. All he has to do is sit back in his front row seat, relax, and get richer (or, if he has energy to burn, he can go back to his off-season workouts, or go back to school).
And if he waits like a good boy, there's a chance a playoff contender will work a deal for him.
This is the first time in my life I have ever uttered these words: I want to be like Steph.
- NBA Stars come out
The season started off a little slow. Kobe was chilling for the first few games. Melo was busy being suspended/altering his image. LeBron was testing out his new teammates. It was a little like the first pickup game on a Sunday morning: people are there, but no one's going hard yet.
All that changed Wednesday. First, Amare pumps out 49 points on 17-of-21 shooting on the Pacers, including 21 in the first quarter. To Jeff Foster's delight, he adds 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and five steals.
Then came LeBron. Oh lordy, LeBron. The league was put on alert during LBJ's 41 point, 9 rebound, 6 assist performance against the Bulls. Did I mention he did the majority of that ass-whooping on an ankle he sprained early in the game, or that he played only 35 minutes? Bron-Bron attacked the basket like Kobayashi attacks hot dogs, and the Bulls were merely the buns. If he plays with that unstoppable desire every night, he'll average 30, 8, and 8 this season--there's not a doubt in my mind.
To cap it off, Tony Parker goes off for 55 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds himself in a double OT nailbiter against the Twolves, including the shot that sent the game into its second extra session. Then he went home to Eva Longoria. The only downside to that video game-like line is that it took every stat-stuffing ounce of it for the Spurs to eke out their first W of the season, against a highly inexperienced Minnesota squad no less.
- Is A.I. the Pistons new spark plug?
This Iverson for Billups/McDyess/some guy you've never heard of trade is hurting my brain. I have changed my mind daily about who got the better end of the deal. As of this morning, I'm pretty sure it's Detroit.
For the Pistons, adding Iverson could be a huge blessing, just as long as they don't let him destroy Rip's flow. If Iverson is going to ball dominate, Rip will be the equivalent of a hamster in a wheel, running off of screens just because they're there. Not that Iverson's greedy, he just doesn't get those kind of assists. Most of his dimes come off of drive and dishes--basically when his chance at scoring has disappeared. Nothing wrong with that, I'm just saying.
To prevent that, Detroit should play small ball. Curry has the potential to run Stuckey at the 1, Iverson and Rip on the wings, Prince at the 4, and Sheed at the 5. That way Iverson can look to score freely, skinny Rip gets his looks, and Stuckey gets plenty of minutes. Neither Prince or Rasheed are shot-demanding players, and both are good spot up shooters--perfect for the penetrating Stuckey and Iverson.
On D, you've got a ton of know-how and toughness. Plus Iverson can now freely go for steals with such a solid core behind him. This could be one the NBA's all-time scrappiest lineups.
Denver could also improve, but I think it would take a better coach than George Karl to do it. It just doesn't seem like he's got any control over that squad.
Billups, in theory, instantly makes Melo and J.R. Smith better because he's a true point guard (although the chances of J.R. Smith's shooting arm falling off from overuse just increased ten-fold). And I don't doubt that their numbers both increase. I'm just not sure that more points for them means more wins for the Nuggets. Does a starting five of Billups, Smith, Melo, K-Mart, and Nene scare you if you're the Rockets, Jazz, Lakers, Hornets, or Suns? Maybe a minor tinge of doubt. Nothing to make you hide under the bed, though.
Plus, I don't see Billups being very happy about this trade, even though it's a return to his college days. Detroit is where Chauncey came into his own, where he became Big Shot.
And lets not even get into McDyess, whom I doubt will ever suit up as a Nugget. Seems like it will be underachieving as usual in the mile-high city this season.