Sunday, October 11, 2009

Back on the Warpath

I finally understand how hard it is to write about hoops in the off-season. And I give ultimate respect to FreeDarko and the other basketball blogs out there that kept the quality of their content in mid-season form. Searching for a quality topic that was up to FU standards, I probably threw good ideas away in hopes of sparking great ones. However, I am back from hibernation with to bring you loyal readers that Basketball philosophy that goes beyond the superficial. This season should be a fun one, and I thank all those that come along for the ride. And yes, there still will be random pictures.

The reason I couldn't post anything in the past few weeks is because I didn't have much that really excited me during the off-season. Then it hit me. I'm gonna share the storylines and situations for the 2009-10 season that do spark interest. Everyone can talk about Boston, LAL, San Antonio, and Cleveland. That's easy; I'll worry about them in April. Teams like those, barring injury and "Banderas Complex", are proven commodities with only stats and records to fill in. Even the potential 'Sheed outburst is a given. There will also be teams that disappoint and teams that surprise. With that said, this season has me more amped than any other before.

The Coming. I've been trying to tell anyone (literally) about Anthony Randolph, the second-year forward out of LSU. I think I'm interested in his development more than I am with Steph Curry's. AR is a legit 7 feet with the aggressiveness that Lamar Odom can't harness. Not as polished, yet; but no one is as skilled as Odom at that height. The speed in how Randolph matures may determine how willing the Warriors are to trade Stephen Jackson. If Monta sees the light and recognizes just how much space playing with Steph will give him, the Warriors may just be more impossible to defend than they were in the "We Believe" era. The Key is Randolph; for he is the one true mismatch on the team. I sure hope Don The Mad Scientist has one more concoction he can experiment with; because that's too much talent to not be on the same page.

The Corollary. Some athletes want to assimilate into the professional world and "blend in;" and some march to the beat of their own drum. Well Brandon Jennings must have his own live band because he's definitely different, and I respect it. His decision to forego college for overseas has made him polarizing in the Basketball community; stirring up the same divisive feelings that AI being the Christopher Columbus of hip-hop in the Association did in '96. "The Corollary" may not catch on as a nickname for Jennings, but his Iverson-like persona makes him the answer to The Answer. It's as if he's cosigning, but with his own response. Of course, in order for him to be taken seriously, he has to pan out and be a good player on the court. Eccentrics like AI, Arenas, and Rodman were able to be so because they're productive and vital components to their respective teams. Yes, that goes for Gilbert, too. Jennings' style is what made him the highly touted prospect that he is, and if he sticks to that, he should do good things for Milwaukee even though the Knicks should have drafted him.

Legend of the Fall-Offs. Like clockwork, when an athlete's ability to play at a high level goes, it goes. Even MJ, the G.O.A.T., couldn't escape Father Time and could no longer call forth his magic at his whim. Regardless of how great a player is, at some point, he will lose a considerable amount of that greatness. Every star player with at least a dozen seasons under his belt is battling Father Time tooth and nail. This applies to Kobe, Ray Allen, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, KG, with AI, Jason Kidd, and Rasheed Wallace already beginning to lose the fight. I'm not rooting for any of them to drastically decline; but it'll be interesting to see which ones stay consistent and which ones look "old." Timmy has the best chance because he never relied on explosive athleticism to be effective. Kobe and Ray will be relying a little more heavily on those outside shots. I am slightly concerned with the Maestro, though. This is the seventh year of him in SSOL Mode, and I'm not sure his back can take another 82 games of that without a viable backup. Phoenix may have to rely on more Amar'e post isolation offensive sets just to keep Nash upright. Every Suns teammate, except maybe Grant Hill and Barbosa, depends on Steve Nash to put them in positions to score. That's a lot of mental strain combined with the physical strain of playing uptempo for 82 games. I don't know how much longer Nash can be on the front lines of the Revolution.

R versus R. My last pre-FU post was a comparison between Chris Paul and Deron Williams. A couple years later, and another young PG juxtaposition in the other Conference interests me more than that one did. Boston and Chicago played the best first-round series ever. Spawning from that is a 1-guard rivalry for the next decade. Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose are both unorthodox and free-flowing. Neither follows the John Stockton model of being a point guard. Rondo is the injection of youth that fuels the veteran Celtics, and Rose is the one Baby Bull with transcendent talent. Each of them has sparked change in different ways and should have very entertaining bouts in the East for coming years...with inclusions of Devin Harris.

This is the first time I've missed Basketball this much, and after hibernating, FU will be better for it. We're back with more of that Basketball truth rarely talked about in the mainstream. Thanks for your support, and I won't let you down. To steal from the WNBA: Expect Great.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good shit im ready for the season now