Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In Search of Yang...or Yin: Part 3

In Part Two, I analyzed the beings of Dwyane Wade and Brandon Roy, and discovered the yang to their respective yin in the persons of Gilbert Arenas and Nick Young. Now, I'll make a slight deviation. After the picture, let's see what door the Realm of Basketball wants to be opened next...

Certain yin/yang relationships have worked out so that the two forces are on the same team; allowing for their powers to form a closer bond and help each of them achieve their respective basketball potential. In short, they need each other to be the best. For example, Walt "Clyde" Frazier and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe combined to be the greatest Knicks backcourt. The Pearl played with flash and flare, while Clyde was the coolest man in NBA history (he never got a technical foul). After yet another random picture, I'll examine a few of the present-day Clyde/Pearl relationships...

Yin: Joe Johnson

Yang: Josh Smith

Joe Johnson is one of my favorite players to watch—even more so than one Kobe Bryant. Now, that definitely doesn't mean I think he's better, because he isn't. But the reason why Johnson is so aesthetically pleasing is because he has a flawless offensive game; and that takes residence in the heart of basketball purists such as myself. He scores from the perimeter and the post, and can play the point if needed. Josh Smith, one of the last prep-to-pro players, is pure kinetic energy at the forward position. With youthful exuberance, he wreaks havoc on rims while finishing Hawks' fast breaks and on defense when opposing players attempt to score. As Joe Johnson does everything on offense, Smith is the same on defense. He's the youngest player to reach 500 blocks, and averages close to three a game...at small forward.

Each one of these Hawks helps each other to thrive in their own elements. While Johnson is a solid defender, having Smith takes the pressure off him to be that, letting him to provide more on offense. Smith's offensive abilities are developing, and Johnson allows him to expand his arsenal at a more comfortable rate. Smith occupies the starlight for Johnson, who is a naturally unassuming person. Smith is embraced as a Hometown Kid in Atlanta, and Johnson is able to be that integral part without having to be the "star." They have attained perfect harmony.

Yin: Tracy McGrady

Yang: Ron Artest

Every hoops fan knows the path that Tracy McGrady has taken through the Realm of Basketball. A meteoric rise from Toronto to Orlando has been hindered by constant injury-laden obstacles in Houston. Some have even questioned his passion for the game, citing that he--like cousin Vince Carter--only play because they're naturally gifted at it. I disagree on the McGrady side of that, mainly because I think he's easy-going as opposed to Vince being a little lazy. Casual fans tend to forget that a fully healthy T-Mac is Joe Johnson with a mean streak. There's nothing on the perimeter that is out of his reach, but due to what can only be described as, "freak accidents," he falls into that "What If?" category.

Similar to McGrady, everyone knows of Artest's past transgressions throughout his career. Volatile and unstable, Artest was brought to Houston to instill some fire into tranquil personalities like Yao and McGrady as the baking soda to their vinegar. Like McGrady, Artest has had his own falls during his stay in the Association, with most of them being creations by his own ignorance. But when he's focused, Ron-Ron is the best defender on the planet, and an underrated scorer at the three.

The reason they are yin/yang is because of their inner spirits. McGrady is too calm to maintain consistent passion for the game, and Artest is too combustible to maintain consistent focus. Hopefully, they rub off on each other so that we may see the culmination of their complimentary talents.

Yin: Rashard Lewis

Yang: Hedo Turkoglu

I'll start with Hedo. He, like Joe Johnson, is the do-everything player for Orlando at the swingman position. He plays with a little bit of flare; something that's rarely seen from European players. Most are just standstill shooters, but Hedo is an outstanding playmaker. He doesn't have that typical "Euro" game, and has a flair for the dramatic.

Rashard Lewis does. He shoots threes, plays the perimeter power forward, and has a bit of a mid-post game. It's as if he and Turkoglu are living each other's lives, or were misplaced at birth.

There may be other pairings among today's Association, but these three are the most compatible. With them being on the same team, they can use their forces for the betterment of their teams, and not just for individual juxtaposition


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