Running around to Give you the Reacharound


PART 1 of an Absurdly Long NBA Preview: Western Conference - Contenda's

Couple o' these guys have staying power. Can you find the one that doesn't belong?

Editor's Note: Intro and necessary punctuation added after-fact. All chat completed nonstop, over a period of 2-3 hours.

Hey, as a fairly hardcore Rockets fan for pretty much no reason at all, I hate to take a dig on dat Franchise boy. But look at the stark differential up there. This is how we measure how truly great our current greats are. And out of all of the above? For the record, for their prime, Sue's going to build her franchise around Timmy. Every time.

The Western Conference could be more open than we initially think. Some things were certain last year...several teams would compete at or near the top at an insanely high level, still competitive-but-not-as-spectacular teams will compete at the bottom. And we received one of the most impressive showings by an NBA conference ever. And lookie up there. You know who's missing from up there? I mean technically nobody because it's the starting lineup for the '04 Western Conference, but where's fucking T-Mac baby? In your face with Ron Ron watching his back, that's where bitch! Watch out for the Rockets this year. That's all I'm saying. Bets with Sgt. Joe Jibber Friday to come later and ongoing, folks. On to the preview...

JF:: Who's winning it all? Everyone and their mother's mother's picking the Lakers.

OBJ:: That's probably because it's an incredibly safe bet

And on that note, I'd like to introduce the only piece of existential introspection to this NBA Preview

I wonder, how much can an athlete drop off in a year?

Vicariously, of course, how much can I expect to drop off in a year?

JF:: Who you think is dropping off?

OBJ:: the nonstop chattering of which players are "dropping off" and by how much is a constant reminder of not only my own mortality, but also my dwindling youth

it's disturbing, frightening and a little depressing, but in a calming sort of way.

JF:: well, i think what we're seeing in that respect is pretty unprecedented...simply because that first generation of HS-to-NBA stars are finally hitting the end of their prime (KG, Kobe, TMac, J-O'N)

OBJ:: I only bring this up because I wonder how much T-DUNK has dropped this year

JF:: so they've played so much more games than most 30-32 year olds in history

they might be dropping off sooner than expected

OBJ:: hmm. That's true but they've also had unprecedented conditioning techniques and medical support

TMac hasn't played nearly as many games as those guys tho

Perhaps my love affair of T-Mac will end soon

Another first-round exit from the playoffs and I will officially give up on him as one of my favorite players

As I have with the Clemson Pussycats this year

JF:: It's not like T-Mac's body is any fresher or less banged up than those guys.

If anything, I like KG to be able to stay productive for a few more years morseo than the others

OBJ:: you would think i would be considering how many less games he's played. and that thought is ridiculous because he played less games 'cause of injury.

JF:: As Simmons pointed out, Kobe has been playing non-stop for about a year now

OBJ:: KG would be the safe bet to continue his production. His game requires a bit less athleticism than Kobe's and TMac's

JF:: Anyways thats what worries me about the Rockets...TMac-Battier-Artest-Scola-Yao is a helluva crunchtime lineup

OBJ:: and O'Neil is no longer in the discussion. He's gone to NBA Star purgatory in Toronto, where at best he'll be fighting for playoff spot


JF:: but I have a feeling for like 20-50 games this year their lineup will be Rafer-BrentBarry-Battier-Artest-Scola

and thats a lottery team

nah Raptors be solid yo

OBJ:: I'm sorry but I have to ask, how is T-Mac and "crunchtime" mentioned in the same statement

JF:: Bosh-J-O'N a nice front line, espically in the E.C.

OBJ:: Ugh.

JF:: he'll be out there, bringin the ball up, didn't say anything about crunchtime success

C'mooon. Y'know he wants it...

OBJ:: O'Neil is never going to win a championship there. Period

JF:: well yeah no shit

i'll probably be dead before Toronto ever wins a NBA title

OBJ:: My point exactly

So they'll be fighting for playoff participation, nothing more. His relevancy is gone, guaranteed no HOF.

JF:: still, it was a nice pickup


JF: I usually enjoy picking the Spurs to win the title, but I gotta say I'm dissapointed as fuck in how they refused to get younger this offseason

OBJ:: And I don't see O'Neil being the piece that a championship caliber team looks at and says, "That's what we're missing!!!"

They're pretty locked up in terms of contracts

I think after this year they'll start getting younger

Finley's last year methinks

JF:: They just re-signed Finley

OBJ:: Didn't hear that. And again, I have to say that the Spurs' odds depend heavily on how much T. Duncan has deteriorated

JF:: Bowen at 2 more years/8mil is a joke

OBJ:: Re-signed to how many years?

JF:: He's one of the worst starters in the league


still got scrub OBERTO

Manu out til December

OBJ:: Bruce Bowen couldn't even do his one thing last postseason, defend

JF:: i see them in the 6-8 range in the west til Manu gets back


OBJ:: 'Twas WEAK

JF:: he brings nothing to the table

OBJ:: I think the Spurs have a shot

JF:: I still like the man Kurt Thomas tho

wish he'd gotten more run in last year's playoffs

OBJ:: 100% depends on Timmy and his health

JF:: I do to...Dallas, on the other hand, they done

OBJ:: depends 30% on Kobe not having a meltdown

Dallas for sure done

JF:: (aside: teams/players/salaries)

OBJ:: Rick Carlisle was saying they're going to be running more

JF:: they should

OBJ:: "We've got Jason Kidd so we have to play up tempo."

JF:: plays to their talents


he'd be an idiot not to

or Mike Woodson


OBJ:: Isn't he a little old to be running up and down the court tho?

JF:: its all he can do tho

Kidd can still push it

Kidd: What a Mighty Good Man

OBJ:: f'sho

but man he didn't do shit except bring his "leadership" at the olympics

I love J-Kidd

but he's looking old out there. It's sad to watch

JF:: aint like he's a scrub tho...he still does it in the up-tempo game

OBJ:: Does assists

still no points

good for a few rebounds per game

JF:: thats better than most PGs

H'ain't what you wanna build around, but could make an argument for him being a GAMER?

OBJ:: Which you don't need from your Point any way

Don't get me wrong:

I would love to have my crappy Hawks paying J-Kidd $40 million over the next 3 years, and him pushing us into middle-of-the-pack relevancy (although I like Bibby a LOT), but I'm just saying I don't like him on a Championship contender

unless he's a bench player

JF:: so who do you like in the west then

aside from Lakers

thats cool, here's my 8

1. Lakers

OBJ:: Shit sidetracked. This is 100% West. I'm trying to look at this damn site

JF:: 2. Jazz

OBJ:: It's got too much information

JF:: 3. Nola

4. Houston

5. SanAn

6. Dallas

7. Portland

mah bad

7. Phoenix

8. Portland

pains me to say, but I finally will admit Shaq done

OBJ:: Mine's close to that

JF:: Phoenix got old as shit quickly

GHill, Nash, Shaq...even Amare seems like an injury case

but they do got that wunderkind medical staff

OBJ:: Amare young as shit man

his numbers took a huge leap last year

I'm going

1. Lakers (grudgingly)

JF:: you think Bynum the real?

OBJ:: most interesting thing about the Lakers isn't how many games they'll win, it's how many they'll lose before trading Odum

JF:: i mean just having him around gonna help Gasol tremendously

OBJ:: Gasol0l

JF:: but you think Bynum a legit offensive option/defensive presence?

:10 OBJ:: 7'1" behemoth of a pansy

I haven't seen him play since early last year

it really depends on that recovery

JF:: if you're the Lakers what do you even want for Odom?

what can he bring in that would improve that team?

:14 long range shooter?

OBJ:: Trying to think here

Lockdown D off the bench?

man IDK Odum's pretty good

Guy gets no dap whatsoever though

2. Rockets

100% entirely dependent on Artest acting like a normal human being and T-MAC and Yao not missing a combined 10 games

*20 games

JF:: thats retarded

theyre missing 20 each


OBJ:: they miss 20 games each?

you wanna bet on that?

JF:: yeah

have they ever not?

Yao just played through an injury for China

*the people's republic

OBJ:: dude that's like 28% of the season for both of them

Hmm I forgot about that toe injury or whatever

i like this bet

JF:: last 3 years Yao played in 57, 48, 55 games

Tmac 47, 71, 67

82 games in a season

OBJ:: so Yao hasn't done it

and neither has Tmac

but he came close

JF:: hasnt done what

OBJ:: not missed 20 games last 3 years

JF:: ???

OBJ:: i like my odds on this though

:20 TMAC has missed at least 20 games the last 3 years

so has YAO

JF:: Yao's missed 25, 27, 35 the last 3 years

TMac 35, , 15

anyways continue yo

OBJ:: man I'm tryin to work. SHIT. how much you wanna bet on it

JF:: $100

->1 hour later

OBJ:: Back. Sorry had some "work"

JF:: u had rockets 2

OBJ:: 3. New Orleans

JF:: i didnt buy NO all year last year

OBJ:: FSR, I am not afraid of a Sophomore Slump-type slip in relevancy for this squad

JF:: picked them to lose to Dallas in rd. 1


OBJ:: Yes I remember that

JF:: agree FSR

OBJ:: you were very wrong about last year's playoffs. cost ya a buck or two.

JF:: prolly cuz theyre PG is da fuckin main


OBJ:: yeah. He really is easily the best PG in the league right now, but it's not fair to Deron Williams who plays in a much more restrictive offensive scheme

JF:: yeah I think Williams could be just as good

if not close

Paul is insanely good, but all this "ALL-TIME BEST PG EVER!!!!" talk a tad premature, imo

OBJ:: certainly premature

4. San An

for most of the season they will likely not be here, but I don't think they'd have too much of a problem beating the Jazz in the playoffs

so that's why they foe

5. Jazz

I keep waiting for that team to fall

I just don't get what they have other than a really good coach

that ugly ass shit russian they got on there always seems malcontent too

so, 5 for them

JF:: I like Jazz

DWil-Boozer solid

i like OKUR

i dont get the irrational ROCKET love

OBJ:: I think the Spurs could take them in a series

JF:: oh word

OBJ:: dude they rattled off like 27 wins in a row last year without Yao lol

and they just got one of if not the best defender in the league, placed on the 2nd all-around defensive team

sorry man but the Rockets are going to be fucking good

Adelman in his second year

Theyr'e gonna score too

eoug man that OKC graphic ugly as fuck

looks like a 3rd-tier semi pro hockey team

6. Suns

JF:: yeah i dont get that

they shoulda picked the name Barons

that perfect for OKC

OBJ:: dat woulda been coo

JF:: i bet if Baron Davis was a) a scrub or b) out of the league

they woulda

but Thunder sounds like a damn arena league team

OBJ:: yeah. "Knife Swallowers" woulda worked out better IMO

7. Dallas

8. Denver

that's my western conference and I'm sticking with it

JF:: Denver D-U-N

those the same 8 from last year

watch portland yo

ok the east

there seems to be alot of disagreement on MIA

OBJ:: denver didn't make the playoffs did they?

same 8 as last year damn. that's weak o' me

JF:: personally, i think they'll be pretty fuckin good

OBJ:: dude EAST gotta wait till after lunch

i got shit to do

JF:: k

No comments: