Friday, January 16, 2009

Chauncey for MVP? Shaq for All-Star?

  • Some days ago, someone I know brought up the case of Chauncey Billups to be part of the MVP discussion. Now that we know Denver will be without Carmella for a long stretch, myself and others decided this was a great time to use as a measuring stick for his candidacy. After seeing Denver outlast Phoenix last night, I was all prepared to sign off on putting him into the debate -- that is until I remembered that Phoenix was without Shaq last night.

    So, since Anthonia went down, the Nuggets have beaten:
  • the aforementioned Shaq-less Suns
  • Dallas, who's in the midst of a losing streak which includes a loss to the Kings and a beatdown by Memphis
  • Miami

    It's not a bad stretch, but it doesn't really excite me either, so I'm gonna reserve judgment. If Denver holds their own over the next 2 weeks, with games against Orlando, Houston, Utah, and New Orleans, and beat the other teams they're supposed to beat, I promise to come back and declare Chauncey fit for MVP consideration.

  • You must always, as many Caribbeans like to say, "give jack he jacket" (give credit where it is due). So without further ado, I must give it up to Mr. Shaquille O'Neal for his play lately, for turning back the hands of time. Admittedly, I haven't watched much of the Suns this year, but one of my coworkers is a huge Suns fan, and he's proven to be a pretty knowledgable and non-shemotional fan at that. (For starters, he's one of the few people that remember that Steph Marbury actually played pretty well for Phoenix, regardless of how people wish to twist his time there).

    Anyways, between looking at the raw numbers -- 7 double-doubles in last 10 games is putting in work, no matter how you frame it -- and listening to my coworker and others, I'm duly impressed. I'll sign up for saying Shaq is earning a spot on the All-Star team. I never thought I'd be saying that again without stepping into a DeLorean.

    However, I'd be remisce if I didn't point out a couple things:
  • I said before the season that there are certain players who just need to be given occasional time off, based on the amount of time they've missed in the past few seasons. Shaq was the first, along with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. Just go ahead and work out a schedule for them to take games off occasionally, because they are going to miss games regardless. At least this way you can be pro-active and try to prevent the kinds of repetitive-stress injuries their bodies seem to keep succumbing to. Nice to see at least Phoenix "listened" to me.
  • Phoenix is still not a top contender for a title. I bet you didn't know that they are playing worse defense -- putting up poorer defensive efficiency numbers -- than at any point during the Mike D'Antoni era? I bet you didn't.

  • In case you're wondering why I have been butchering Carmella Anthonia's name, allow me to clarify: when you punch-and-run, you get a girl's name. Man Law.

  • Five hours until the Magic play the Lakers. Tick-tock-tick-tock. I am such a junkie.
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