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Old 01-25-2010, 02:46 PM   #1
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Default Re-evaluating Jason Kidd (article)

Thanks to Nike for posting this. This is a good enough article that I want to make sure people see it, so I'm making a new thread for it and moving the post. -Thig

Re-evaluating Jason Kidd

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/bal...urn=nba,215556

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The premise, the ideology, was correct. The Nets won the trade that sent Jason Kidd(notes) to Dallas.

They acquired a very good, borderline All-Star, point guard. The enjoyed some payroll relief, and pulled in two first round draft picks. Jason Kidd won't be playing in a few years, Devin Harris(notes) will be. And he'll be playing well. They won the deal.

Without actually winning anything, though. They won the ideology battle but lost the basketball war. Because after turning in a near-All-Star season last season, Devin Harris decided to take 2009-10 off.

And Jason Kidd? He decided to turn it all around.

Turned the tide, more accurately. Kidd is still averaging a career-low in points. And though he's clearly taking plays off, Devin Harris is still averaging 15 points and about six assists for the 3-40 Nets.

But the deal? The one that appeared so clearly and obviously wrong for Dallas from the outset? We were wrong about it. It didn't matter that Kidd was royally abused by Chris Paul(notes) in the playoffs immediately following the deal, and it didn't matter that Harris clearly trumped Kidd last season by any meaningful measure save for, yeah, playoff success and a statistical formula that the Mavericks use that we're not privy to.

What matters is expectations. And how we need to get better at realizing that these humans take games off. That while the overwhelming majority of them follow the same standard career arc, we can never accurately adjust for players suddenly giving two wits.

Kidd, in his last few go-rounds with the Nets, tanked quite a bit. He didn't play as hard as he could have. He let Vince Carter(notes) dominate the ball (which, back then, was actually a good thing). He took plays off. He feuded and fought and demanded a contract extension and indirectly forced us to be aware of his marital issues and generally acted like a prat.

With the Mavericks? He's St. Jason. The weirdness that was his co-incidental bout of "personal reasons" keeping him out from Sunday's Knicks game played in the town he used to live in, aside.

Harris? He took off last year, freed from Avery Johnson's steely grip. This season? He's just taking it off.

He's certainly not as loutish as Kidd, and his non-basketball foibles won't make the back page any time soon, but he's not nearly the player he was last season. Injuries have a lot to do with that, no doubt, but just watch this guy in a screen and roll (either working, or defending one). There's no attack, there. He's just going through the motions, waiting for this miserable season to end.

The problem with that is this doesn't have to be a miserable season for the Nets. It can merely be "pretty awful." Harris doesn't want to take that next step. The result? We're soon to hit February, and the Nets have won three times. Pinning it all on Harris? No way. And you certainly can't blame him for acting uninspired. Money can't buy you love. But he is the only Net who could clearly do something about this embarrassing run.

Kidd's the bigger issue here, though. This guy runs an absolute clinic most nights. The Dallas offense isn't among the league's best, and it certainly isn't nearly as flashy or fast-paced as the Suns or Warrior attacks, but you can tell Kidd is pushing his teammates and this roster to the absolute limit.

He just makes the perfect pass. And in a way that doesn't rack up numbers the way someone like Chris Paul does. I'm not calling him a stat hog, but CP3 does run a show that seems to credit him with every score, whether by awarding him points, or dimes. Kidd's ability to locate slashers and shooters at the absolute perfect time is almost without parallel, and that includes the fine work his former teammate Nash, working out of Phoenix.

These are things that can't be ably rewarded with assists, a supreme assist to turnover ratio (which he has, while we're at it), pure point rating, assist ratio, or even the myriad vagaries of adjusted plus/minus. Know why? Sometimes those teammates don't hit the shots. But they don't even get a shot off if Kidd doesn't nail them at the absolute perfect time. It's a game of centimeters and milliseconds, and Kidd's eyes just see levels of complexity that we mortals can't understand.

And then his hands and wrists do something about it. And all within a mediocre (13th ranked) offense, mainly led by an superstar who mainly does his best work in an isolation situation that doesn't require an immediate helping hand from Kidd. And you don't talk about Kidd getting beat on defense any more. He's still probably slower than just about any point guard in this league, but he's not getting beat. Why is that? Where's the adjustment? How impressive is it that he was able to change, so severely?

This guy turns 37 in two months. Steve Nash(notes) turns 36 in two weeks, by the way. What a time to be a fan.

My original point to this post, I must confess, was ably usurped by the fantastic Rob Mahoney at The Two Man Game (while quoting Thoreau, no less). Last week he put together a phenomenal presentation highlighting what I'd hoped to write about Kidd, words that were preempted and made useless by this must-watch video.

Everything about this guy just screams perfection. And think about who he's tossing to! How do you think someone like Erick Dampier(notes) feels when Kidd tosses him a lob? This guy hadn't been on the receiving end of an alley-oop since the first Clinton Administration, though he's quite able, so how chuffed do you think this makes him? Why wouldn't this guy, after tossing it down, want to get back and board and bang like a beast? What do you think this does for a team? The effect might be calculable, the evolution never stops and one shan't underestimate the potential of the human race, but I'm certainly not the guy to do it.

Again, the Mavs aren't the best offense. Kidd isn't the best point guard. He's not even the best old point guard we have in this game.

But he's worth lauding. We should really treasure the way this guy is playing, while being mindful of how it could have run along those same lines during his last few years in New Jersey. While pointing out that Devin Harris just doesn't seem capable, this season, of rising above what must a profoundly depressing situation.

And above all, it's worth pointing out that this game never stops teaching us new things.
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:47 PM   #2
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JKidd. One of the best.
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:44 PM   #3
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Harris is extremely overrated.
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:46 PM   #4
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Harris is extremely overrated.
can there be an overrated player on a team with less than 10 wins?
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:10 PM   #5
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can there be an overrated player on a team with less than 10 wins?
Can a player ever truly be worthy of all that much praise if they can't propel their team to more than 3 wins in a half season?

I mean its hard as sin to play 5v1, but even the worst teams win 15-30 games, and the Nets have at least as much talent as many teams sitting at .400 or so, so its not like Harris is truly out there with 4 d-leaguers. Douglas-Roberts is a stud. Lopez is a serviceable big man, even if he's no where near a star.

Sure Harris exploded for 21ppg, 7apg after leaving Dallas, but he also was able to shoot 50% more and probably have the ball in his hands more than twice as often.

I'd contend that there are at least 25 guards in the league that could put up those kinds of numbers, especially if you allow for 38% FGA, and 22% 3pt FG. Probably even Jason Terry.

I love Harris and I think he's one of the truly great guys in the league, but as a player we saw how easy it was for him to play alongside Dirk, and then saw his ridiculous numbers last year and we suddenly crapped ourselves about how good he is, when Dirk made the game easy for him here, and he was getting all the shots he wanted in New Jersey

Kidd is in decline. Its true, but Kidd is a great teammate, mentor and leader. He brings in free agents, he trains the young guys and provides stabilizing leadership on the floor. He may be getting older but he isnt cooked yet.

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Old 01-25-2010, 08:13 PM   #6
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Devin Harris is better than Kidd at this point but he can't stay healthy, if he was our starting PG we'd be 4th or 5th rather than 2nd or 3rd right now.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:25 PM   #7
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Devin Harris is better than Kidd at this point but he can't stay healthy, if he was our starting PG we'd be 4th or 5th rather than 2nd or 3rd right now.
Well if he is more fit, he is less likely to get injured. He seems out of shape as of late. But we got no shot with Kidd as our starting point guard and we were 2 games from winning it all with Harris as our point guard. To me, stats are meaningless. Team results are what matters. This team is almost identical to that team talent wise from positions 2-5.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:26 PM   #8
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Well if he is more fit, he is less likely to get injured. He seems out of shape as of late. But we got no shot with Kidd as our starting point guard and we were 2 games from winning it all with Harris as our point guard. To me, stats are meaningless. Team results are what matters. This team is almost identical to that team talent wise from positions 2-5.
your shtick never gets old

I'd contend that our Nash/Finley/Dirk team was a better overall team. If we still had Nash...I mean stats are meaningless...dur

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Old 01-25-2010, 08:36 PM   #9
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anyone else think it's extremely interesting that (mavsfan)1000 milimeters is 3.28 feet, which is JJBarea's exact height without basketball shoes?
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:48 PM   #10
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Excellent article. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:36 PM   #11
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I've got nothing against Kidd, but if he was half as good as this article makes him out to be the Mavs would be on pace for 70 wins this year.
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by EricaLubarsky View Post
your shtick never gets old

I'd contend that our Nash/Finley/Dirk team was a better overall team. If we still had Nash...I mean stats are meaningless...dur
Alright stats aren't totally meaningless but there is a lot to the game that stats don't show. For example how much attention a certain player gets and how good a player is at grabbing loose balls. Also the shooting percentage off a players passing. Everyone knows Kidd likes to pass and are not going to leave someone open when he has the ball. See what I mean? It's not a simple answer just because a person has a high assist account that the team is going to be efficient.
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I've got nothing against Kidd, but if he was half as good as this article makes him out to be the Mavs would be on pace for 70 wins this year.
Glad someone is reasonable here. If Kidd is what we needed, what is causing us not to be a great team?

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Old 01-25-2010, 10:12 PM   #13
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I've got nothing against Kidd, but if he was half as good as this article makes him out to be the Mavs would be on pace for 70 wins this year.
a great distributor --> one consistent scorer = not on pace for 70 wins
a great distributor --> many consistent scorers = on pace for championship
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:19 PM   #14
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a great distributor --> one consistent scorer = not on pace for 70 wins
a great distributor --> many consistent scorers = on pace for championship
67 wins and 2 games from a championship came with one consistent scorer. But we had one extra scorer at the point guard back then and he could play some defense as well. I'm fine with Kidd distributing but we need a guard that can slash off the dribble to create some openings for others. We are going nowhere until we get that kind of player.

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Old 01-25-2010, 10:30 PM   #15
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Well if he is more fit, he is less likely to get injured. He seems out of shape as of late. But we got no shot with Kidd as our starting point guard and we were 2 games from winning it all with Harris as our point guard. To me, stats are meaningless. Team results are what matters. This team is almost identical to that team talent wise from positions 2-5.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:06 PM   #16
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Yes I know it's depressing to think of it that way but the truth hurts sometimes. Harris had great chemistry with Howard. It's too hard to duplicate what they had but it worked on the court. Kidd hasn't found that niche with Howard and hasn't with Marion either really. And the pick and roll doesn't work with Kidd as both players will most likely head toward the other player unlike Nash who is a dangerous player shooting or passing. Seriously though people need to relax. If you are satisfied with a slightly above team, then fine. I'm not. We need changes.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:08 PM   #17
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Yes I know it's depressing to think of it that way but the truth hurts sometimes. Harris had great chemistry with Howard. It's too hard to duplicate what they had but it worked on the court. Kidd hasn't found that niche with Howard and hasn't with Marion either really. And the pick and roll doesn't work with Kidd as both players will most likely head toward the other player unlike Nash who is a dangerous player shooting or passing. Seriously though people need to relax. If you are satisfied with a slightly above team, then fine. I'm not. We need changes.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:14 PM   #18
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:29 PM   #19
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I wish I could neg rep you again. I really, really do.
I guess I don't expect to be liked. I have a different opinion from others here and no one wants to listen to anything other than Kidd is the greatest. I thought the dropoff of 2007-2008 season was enough evidence to say we made a mistake. We get rid of Avery as everyone started to blame him. Now another respected coach in Carlisle and things still don't improve to the point of where they were.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:04 AM   #20
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a great distributor --> one consistent scorer = not on pace for 70 wins
a great distributor --> many consistent scorers = on pace for championship
I wasn't criticizing Kidd I just thought the article was a little over the top praising him.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:23 AM   #21
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I guess I don't expect to be liked. I have a different opinion from others here and no one wants to listen to anything other than Kidd is the greatest. I thought the dropoff of 2007-2008 season was enough evidence to say we made a mistake. We get rid of Avery as everyone started to blame him. Now another respected coach in Carlisle and things still don't improve to the point of where they were.
Others teams in our conference, actually league, improved drastically. The west is A LOT more competitive than it was even 2 years ago. Teams have to evolve with time and adjust to match ups in their divisions and conferences. Mavs had to evolve or get left behind, and now that we've had time and proper perspective to evaluate the trade: there's not doubt in my mind that we're better off. Adapt, evolve, or die.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:01 AM   #22
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Others teams in our conference, actually league, improved drastically. The west is A LOT more competitive than it was even 2 years ago. Teams have to evolve with time and adjust to match ups in their divisions and conferences. Mavs had to evolve or get left behind, and now that we've had time and proper perspective to evaluate the trade: there's not doubt in my mind that we're better off. Adapt, evolve, or die.
Well we still need something. I'm gonna leave at that as I made too much out of this already.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:05 AM   #23
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I guess I don't expect to be liked. I have a different opinion from others here and no one wants to listen to anything other than Kidd is the greatest. I thought the dropoff of 2007-2008 season was enough evidence to say we made a mistake. We get rid of Avery as everyone started to blame him. Now another respected coach in Carlisle and things still don't improve to the point of where they were.
Look, dude, it's got nothing to do with that. At least not for me. I'm not concerned with what you're arguing, I'm all about the why.

If you came in here with some valid points about why Harris would be the superior option, I would entertain them. But your argument is based on a lot of flawed premises and assumptions:

-You say that we were "two games from the title with Harris as our starting PG," ignoring the fact that Terry played PG for a significant percentage of the time during that title run (especially in the finals and the Suns series). Do you even remember what Harris looked like in the NBA Finals? He was one of the worst players on the team. He consistently drove foolishly into the teeth of the Miami zone, only to chunk up some heavily contested layup and get it knocked back into his face by Zo, Shaq, Haslem, or Wade. People constantly want to bring up that we "wouldn't have beat the Spurs without him," which I think is probably true, but those folks also tend to forget that he was absolutely terrible in Game 6 (3-14 shooting, 3 assists) and Game 7 (2 points, 0 assists in 33 minutes!). So let's quit acting like he dominated that series. Fact is, he was inserted into the starting lineup in Game 2 and had a few nice games. That's about it.

-You claim that this team is "equally talented at the 2-5 positions" as those teams with Harris. First, I don't think that's true. I think this team is actually more talented. Which leads me to my next point...

-Your argument that the team has regressed without Harris completely ignores the primary reason the Mavs have had worse records the past couple of seasons: the league has improved tremendously. The Mavs were winning 60+ games when the only real competition in the West was SA and Phoenix. That all changed when the Lakers traded for Gasol, the Nuggets, Rockets, Blazers, and Jazz all substantially improved, and CP3 developed into a premier point guard. If you threw even the 07-08 Mavs roster into the 2005-2006 season, they probably would have come pretty close to 60 wins.

-Finally, and perhaps most frustratingly, your entire argument is based on your own misguided conception of "the ideal point guard." You keep insisting that a point guard "must" be able to drive the lane consistently, and "must" be athletic, and "must" be able to do this and that. You're just wrong. The only thing a point guard "must" be able to do is set up his teammates efficiently, and Kidd is one of the best at that. I already pointed out how utterly ridiculous your statement that a guard "has to be athletic" was, but you conveniently ignored that.

Bottom line, I don't have any problem with you personally, nor do I take issue with you wanting to have a different opinion than me or most of the board. My concern is that you haven't done anything to substantively back up your take, other than to repeatedly list the qualities you think a point guard should have.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:09 AM   #24
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I guess I don't expect to be liked. I have a different opinion from others here and no one wants to listen to anything other than Kidd is the greatest.
Such a martyr.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:28 AM   #25
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67 wins and 2 games from a championship came with one consistent scorer. But we had one extra scorer at the point guard back then and he could play some defense as well. I'm fine with Kidd distributing but we need a guard that can slash off the dribble to create some openings for others. We are going nowhere until we get that kind of player.
Well .. keep this in mind. Yes, we had Devin Harris, the slasher, during those years. But look at what has happened to the players who you would consider our "core" since those years.

Stackhouse got old and tired
JET is as inconsistent as ever
Josh is injured, unmotivated, somewhat of a lost cause
Diop became completely inefficient

Somehow I don't think Jason Kidd is the main problem. Look at the holes we have in our roster based on the roles that Stackhouse, JET, and Josh use to sufficiently fill. Dampier/Gooden is far more effective than Diop/Dampier, but still not stellar.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:14 AM   #26
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Can a player ever truly be worthy of all that much praise if they can't propel their team to more than 3 wins in a half season?

I mean its hard as sin to play 5v1, but even the worst teams win 15-30 games, and the Nets have at least as much talent as many teams sitting at .400 or so, so its not like Harris is truly out there with 4 d-leaguers. Douglas-Roberts is a stud. Lopez is a serviceable big man, even if he's no where near a star.
Err, admittedly I haven't watched many Nets games recently.. But my impression is that Lopez is a stud, and Douglas-Roberts is a serviceable wing player, even if he's no where near a star.

What's so great about Douglas-Roberts? What am I missing here?
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:59 AM   #27
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Err, admittedly I haven't watched many Nets games recently.. But my impression is that Lopez is a stud, and Douglas-Roberts is a serviceable wing player, even if he's no where near a star.

What's so great about Douglas-Roberts? What am I missing here?
Yeah, same here. I was kind of surprised Lopez fell a bit in the draft that year. He's not ever going to be a superstar imo, but I think there are at least 20 teams that would probably be thrilled to have him as their starting center.
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:16 AM   #28
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What am I missing here?
If you're not watching the Nets, you aren't missing much. If you are watching the Nets then you're missing plenty of good games that are playing simultaneously.
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:17 AM   #29
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Douglas Roberts has impressed me and a few other people I know that have seen him. He plays hard, rebounds decently well for a 2, has a good eFG% and defends with length. His range is still limited but some of that is that he's rarely found while open on the perimeter. For a sophomore player he's definitely been pretty studly. Nowhere near an allstar or MIP, but a nice little wing with only one year of NBA experience.
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:44 AM   #30
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Acutally there is a huge chance that Brook Lopez will cost the Knicks Lebron...

He is one of the rare young good center, the Knicks could have him instead of the Nets but they drafted a SF. The Nets have a complete roster (missing just a star SF), the Knicks have a bunch of wings, no center and no pg.

Jennings (but they got Hill)
Chandler
james
Lee
Lopez (Galinari)

That would look even better than the Nets now...

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Old 01-26-2010, 03:51 AM   #31
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oops
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:52 AM   #32
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Acutally there is a huge chance that Brook Lopez will cost the Knicks Lebron...

He is one of the rare young good center, the Knicks could have him instead of the Nets but they drafted a SF. The Nets have a complete roster (missing just a star SF), the Knicks have a bunch of wings, no center and no pg.

Jennings (but they got Hill)
Chandler
james
Lee
Lopez (Galinari)

That would look even better than the Nets now...
Agreed.

First of all, I honestly can't see a reason why Jason Kidd is THE problem to our chances of winning a championship. It was clear from the beginning that we would need scorers around him to succeed, and with Stack's total decline and Josh's partial decline we lost two important contributors on the offensive end that helped us greatly in 2006 and 2007. Not to mention that it forced JET into a position he's not really capable of playing, and that's the constant second scoring option.

I don't even want to start imagining how bad we would look like without Kidd right now as long as we're not playing the Knicks 82 times a year. The most impressing thing is that pretty much all of us considered the Harris/Kidd deal as the ultimate "win now" scenario with 2008 and maybe 2009 in mind. Now, we're thinking about saving Josh for the offseason to package him with Damp for a huge star, therefore not winning the title this year in order to go for a title in 2011. Who could have reasonably imagined back in early 2008 that we'd be thinking about winning a title with J-Kidd in 2011? It's a testament to his unparalleled qualities and greatness. With that said, I actually wouldn't want to waste any time and instead go for a trade involving Josh until February to maybe have good shot at a ring this year. Kidd is about to turn 37 and we shouldn't be interested in stretching our luck too much.

As far as the Nets and Knicks are concerned, to me the Knicks are much more of a mess than the Nets despite their records. New York's neither talented nor young. All they have is cap space. New Jersey, however, is a young, cheap and arguably talented team with lots of cap space that made the right call in trading Kidd for Harris (in fact, Dallas AND New Jersey won in that trade). They should get a very high draft pick in the summer to add further talent, and if they were able to sign Lebron and another quality player this offseason, which they could financially, they might be on their way to the top presuming that this season doesn't take a toll on their psyche. Harris, Lopez, Yianlin, Lee, Douglas-Roberts, Williams and Humphries + a high draft pick + Lebron and another star player in a new arena sounds at least promising.

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Old 01-26-2010, 03:43 PM   #33
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Douglas Roberts has impressed me and a few other people I know that have seen him. He plays hard, rebounds decently well for a 2, has a good eFG% and defends with length. His range is still limited but some of that is that he's rarely found while open on the perimeter. For a sophomore player he's definitely been pretty studly. Nowhere near an allstar or MIP, but a nice little wing with only one year of NBA experience.
His eFG% is only .467 and he's not really a three point shooter... So I definitely don't understand that argument. He does seem to be a slightly above average rebounder and defender...

I guess you and I have different ideas of what a "stud" NBA player is. Averaging almost 19 pts, 9.5 rebounds and 2 blocks per game in a sophomore season is studly in my book. 14 points on 46% shooting and 4 rebounds per game is alright, serviceable I'd say, but not what I'd call studly.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:31 PM   #34
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Well if he is more fit, he is less likely to get injured. He seems out of shape as of late. But we got no shot with Kidd as our starting point guard and we were 2 games from winning it all with Harris as our point guard. To me, stats are meaningless. Team results are what matters. This team is almost identical to that team talent wise from positions 2-5.
We were also 2 games from winning it all with Avery Johnson as head coach and Stackhouse getting significant minutes. Maybe that needs to come back for us to be a contender again?

Also, the "ONLY CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE MEANINGFUL" chant gets tiresome sometimes. Sure, at the end you want the trophy and the rings. But there are plenty of great players that never won championships, and plenty of benchwarming scrubs that have rings. The regular season DOES mean something, and individual stats CAN be used to judge the caliber of a player. Otherwise, toss Nash, LeBron, Karl Malone, Barkley, and Dirk out with the garbage.

Bringing it back to the point of the thread, we can sit around wishing for a point guard with the basketball IQ of Jason Kidd and the athleticism of Chris Paul, but those are a bit rare. Instead of wishing for another superstar to out-superstar our superstars, why not try to get a SG to complement the strengths of the star players that we DO have?
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:22 PM   #35
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I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:24 PM   #36
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With some of the comments on here, it stands to reason that Robert Horry is the greatest NBA player of all time...after all, look at his Championships, doesn't he have billions of them...not bad for a scrub player...
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