Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Low Ballers

A bunch of times when I ask people about their favorite teams, they're all like, "Lakers. Because of Kobe." or "San Antonio. Because they play team ball." or whatever.

Even a bunch of 'stonians I've asked have out-of-town favorites.

Well, I'm not really trying to talk about them. I'm trying to talk about teams that just aren't very good and about liking them for something other than winning. I'm talking about enjoying the pre-Maggette Warriors play (play everyone except the Rockets: they could really swarm Yao with Biedrins and Harrington and run over our guards with Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson). Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright are going to be pretty fun to watch I guess, anyway.

But for this upcoming season, there are a few teams out there that I really feel like I'll be rooting for:

In the West..


Al Jefferson is great to watch. He's a hard worker who puts up ridiculous inside shots that kill most PFs and Centers. Kevin Love is also a hard worker. He's got a great touch and is going to add so much to a team full of scorer-slashers. You've got a big in Al who can really hold down the middle and a big in Love that will get the young guards involved.

Then there's Mike Miller.

I know my friends and I joke about Shane and Mike having sleep-overs when they play each other, hanging out in Memphis together, etc. You know Tracy loved Miller's 3point touch in Orlando.
All in all, he would have been a great fit here in Houston. I still love having Artest, but can't you just see Miller opening the game up for everyone?

LA Clippers

Al Thornton was one of the most impressive rookies last year. Scola was new to the scene, so, yeah, maybe you say he was a rookie. Horford and Durant, yeah, everyone knows they're good.
Thornton is going to be a starter for a long time, and he didn't even get voted onto the rookie team for the All-star weekend game vs. the sophomores.

I feel sorry for Mobley, he's never really been around a great point guard. And for a shooter, that's got to take a toll on your game. But with Baron, Cuttino will really see some space for those jumpers. And don't get me started on Baron. He's always worth watching, and he doesn't let up in any part of his game. With a new coach and a new team, I think we might see a new Baron. But that's not to say he'll change the way he scores, maybe just the decisions he makes throughout the game, defense and offense.

I've got a league saved on NBA Live07 with all the trades updated (minus all the nonexistant rookies) and the Camby-Kaman-R. Davis-Mobley-B. Davis lineup is tough, even with Artest. They rebound and play D, and there's no shortage of perimeter scoring.


This team may come the closest of the lower-tier punk upstarts to contending with Houston's record, and I shouldn't really root for a team that could knock us into a bad playoff spot. But I can't help gravitating toward their roster.

Brandon Roy is like a taller, more shooting-guardish Andre Miller; so what's not to love.

Watching LaMarcus is like watching your kid brother or nephew or whatever finally shake out his lanky awkwardness and really put it all together for his sport.

Their role players are worth your attention. At least they come to play hard and play to win: Steve Blake, Outlaw, Pryzbilla, Webster, etc.

Then you add in three brand new, never-before-seen-in-the-NBA players: a #1 pick 7-ft. center, a Euro All-star, and a college standout. If I lived in Portland, I'd be buying tickets.

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