If you build it, there no one perfect way to do it
You know how there’s always a fair amount of consternation in some quarters about which is the best way to “build” a team and how some people think you need to stockpile draft picks and others say you have to make trades and others contend you need to get a group together and let it grow?
Well, all we have to do is look at the four teams left to fight for the NBA championship to realize how true that is; how obvious it is that there is no cut-and-dried formula because there are all kinds of avenues available and they all work.
Let’s look at them:
Built by continuity, consistency, a bit of draft luck (Ginobili 54th, Parker 29th, winning the Duncan lottery), some astute trading (Diaw, Green, Jackson) and the odd solid free agent picks (undrafted Gary Neal).
Built by excellent drafting (Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka) with some draft luck (how different are things if Portland does what turned out to be the right thing and take Durant rather than Oden), and good trading (Perkins).
All free agents (James, Bosh, even Miller and Battier) they are the one best example that if you are willing to live through years of true misery, you can make a huge free agent splash as long as you have South Beach and Dwyane Wade.
You need to be able and willing to make huge deals for immediate gains because the trades for Garnett and Alllen (only accomplished because they had the pieces to make them, of course) and it was nice to find Rondo late in the first round of the draft and it was prescient to keep Pierce around for more than a decade.
So maybe as we head into tonight’s festivities here we should once again sound that cautionary note, that there’s no one way to construct a team that’s better than another, that it takes a level of astuteness and a dose of luck to keep things growing year after year.
Yes, when the HOTH find out where they pick tonight (and what number draft pick they should try to trade) it will be an important moment but no more important than seeing “organic growth” or making a series of trades or finding some second-round draft picks who pan out.
Just a word of warning.
What else goes on at the lottery?
Well, since there’s almost an entire day to kill so GMs and Henchmen and others try to fill it with work.
I’m hearing the HOTH will, along with some other teams, got see Connecticut’s Jeremy Lamb work out somewhere in Manhattan today (no, media not invited) so there are some other things going on besides waiting around.
Don’t read anything more into that than you should. It’s a workout arranged by an agent for select teams and is just part of the draft due diligence process even if Lamb is probably going to be on a Raptors short list depending on how tonight turns out.
So, a few of us are the Mets game last night (thanks, Jim, for a nice relaxing night out) and two things struck me.
Citi Field (besides the abomination of a name) is a really nice ballpark, big but comfortable, excellent services without going over the top and far, far, far better than that joint in Miami we went to earlier this season.
(Yes, there did appear to be an outdoor bar in left field but it was not the Clevelander and we didn’t even venture out to see it).
I love real baseball parks (sorry, Rogers Centre with the roof and the plastic grass doesn’t cut it, even with the lid off and sun shining in the pitch of the seats is too gradual and there’s simply an antiseptic feeling to it) and this joint felt like it.
The other thing?
When we do all-time favourite mascots, how can we forget Mr. Met?
Sure, he’s goofy and rather pedestrian but he makes me smile every time I see him.
Put him on the list with the Original Chicken, Youppie and the Philly Phanatic as some of the best in the stuffed animal business and I’m wondering why it is that baseball has the best?
(Yes, Our Chicken is great, best in the NBA but the baseball things, well, I like ‘em a lot).
Is it that the pace of the game allows you to watch more? Is it the rather colourful garb (Mr. Met excluded, of course)? Not sure but you have to admit, when it comes to mascots, there’s nothing like baseball.
Momentary digression done.
Yeah, we better star the mail. I’m off to OKC tomorrow and it’ll be busy but there’s always time, right?
Been about a month since I travelled and I’d really forgotten the joys.
Arrive at Pearson early for the 7:30 a.m. American Airlines flight only to find out it’d been delayed until 10 a.m. (AA because of the addition of the “you can’t get there from here” trip to OKC) and arrive at posh Broadway hotel to find out the league hadn’t sent over the names for the rooms yet and no one at the desk had even heard of me.
Remember how we thought Spurs-Thunder could be, as the kids say these days, epic?
Well, the absolute truth of the matter is that it’s now basically a one-game series. If OKC doesn’t win Thursday, this one’s over and after seeing a lot of last night’s Game 2 (after the deluge and resulting hour-long rain delay ran us out of the Mets in the eighth), I’m wondering what it’s going to take to beat San Antonio.
They seem to get whatever shot they want whenever they want it and while they are far from the dominant defensive team they once were, they can turn the screws for a six- or seven-minute stretch when they have to in order to put a team away.
And here’s one of the more interesting points about this San Antonio team:
It’s the most explosive offensive unit still playing and who ever thought we’d say that. They score almost 105 points per game – about 10 more than Miami, about four more than the Thunder – and they are a joy to watch on offence.
I think we need to find anyone who still thinks they’re boring and send them off somewhere.