Thursday, June 25, 2009

Busy Day in the NBA

Busy day in the NBA- the key moves being VC to Orlando, Courtney Lee to NJ, Shaq to the Cavs, Wallace/Pavlovic to the Suns, RJ to the Spurs, Fabricio Oberto to the Pistons, Miller/Foye to Washington. Whew.

I tend to enjoy the more technical side of sports, and therefore often find myself interested in rather obscure topics and situations. Of these trades, the two teams I find myself most interested in are Washington and New Jersey, especially New Jersey.

The Washington Wizards, with the (fingers crossed) return of a healthy Gilbert Arenas are sure to be video game favorites next year, whether your poison is Live or 2k. Their multitalented offensive line up actually reminds me more of Manchester United's attack (offensive total football?) than anything in basketball.

Their starting lineup, if I was their coach:
1) Gilbert Arenas
2) Nick Young
3) Caron Butler
4) Mike Miller
5) Antawn Jamison

Obviously, a very weak team defensively but one that should do surprisingly well on the boards, as 1-5 will all be doing their share. In addition, all 5 are willing and extremely able passers and 3 point shooters. Randy Foye and Arenas' inadequacies as point guards should be covered up by Mike Miller's floor leadership and vision. Think Golden State Warriors, except with a chance to win every night, against ANYONE. In addition, with good coaching they'll be able to execute in the half court too. Probably an 8th seed at best, but if they get into the playoffs they'll be fun to watch.

The New Jersey Nets are going to be the polar opposite of the Wizards. In Devin Harris, Courtney Lee they have two of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Hassell, and to a lesser extent Lee, are offensive liabilities however, and the same can be said of Brook Lopez. With Yi Jianlin, Bobby Simmons, and the newly acquired Skip to my Lou rounding out the core of the team, the Nets look very young and limited offensively.

What they do have on their side is youth and speed, and lots of it. Devin Harris is possibly the fastest player in the league with the ball in his hands- and without. Courtney Lee is no slouch either, and Jarvis Hayes is an able finisher on the break as are Yi Jianlin and Bobby Simmons (former Most Improved Player on the clippers). Brook Lopez has shown that he's in great shape, and should be able to outrun most big men in the league.

What this boils down to is that the Nets are going to be like the Celtics lite- great defense leading to fast breaks, but with a faster pace overall. Unfortunately, as is, the Nets look like a sub .500 team. What makes them interesting however, is they seem to be one or two players from becoming a VERY good team, but if that's going to happen they're going to have to establish a strong defensive identity early in the season.

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