Friday, February 17, 2012

Melo's O, Iman's No-Go, and other tidbits

* I'm still annoyed by all this Carmelo-will-kill-the-offense talk being bandied about. Not since "Bobby Brown introduced Whitney to coke!" have we seen a bigger revisionist historical account being so widely accepted. (And for the record, Whitney was a 26-year-old, world-travelling, other-worldly star of a woman when she met a little 20-year-old young man named Bobby in 1989. If you think Whitney made it thru the entirety of the 1980s entertainment party scene without being exposed to and sampling coke lines, you are a gullible blithering idiot. I know that's harsh, but it's 2012, so apparently, nothing else has gotten thru your rose-coloured glasses by now. Whitney found coke the same way Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Len Bias, Bobby, Rick James, and every other entertainer and athlete in the 1980s did: by being a megastar and going to parties where coke lines were laid out like pretzels and dip. Please buy a clue...As for Whitney, it's utterly sad that we lost her so young. 48 is just too young. Whitney, we will always love you too, your talents and personal demons alike. May your soul be at peace.)

But as I failed to restrain myself from responding to the empty-headed recitations of Carmelo's supposed offensive deficiencies, I came across a few more interesting, glaring, statistics:

2011 Nuggets: with Melo: 107.75 ppg. w/o Melo: 107.16 ppg.
2011 Knicks: w/o Melo: 106.2 ppg. with Melo: 106.8 ppg.

Hello! For all the "Nuggets are better without Melo" talk du dour, both the Nuggets AND the Knicks scored more points per game with Carmelo on their teams than without? Like hell you say! How could this be?

It "be" for the simple sad fact that this generation of people, armed with all the tools of the Information Age, are every bit of the -- and maybe moreso -- misinformed, lazy robots as we've seen in any other generation. It is...well, sad. If Carmelo somehow "clogs" an offense, then I'd hate to see what happens when we add Liquir Plum-r.

* Iman Shumpert snubbed for the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge game.
Are you kidding me? Like, are you for real? Let's take a look at the rookies who *were* selected:
MarShon Brooks (Nets), Kyrie Irving (Cavs), Brandon Knight (Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (Spurs), Markieff Morris (Suns), Ricky Rubio (Wolves), Tristan Thompson (Cavs), Kemba Walker (Bobcats), Derrick Williams (Wolves).
Irving, Rubio, Brooks, all don't-even-try-to-argue selections. Walker, Knight, Williams, Morris (as of late), no qualms. But umm...Kawhi Leonard? Tristan Thompson?

Let's get something out right now: since early in the season, has had Iman Shumpert firmly seated in the 3rd slot on The Rookie Ladder (their rookie rankings). Basically the best of the class outside of Rubio and Irving. Walker has currently joined the upper rankings, so Shumpert is now 4th. Hardly anything to be upset over. But the 3rd-to-4th best rookie in the entire NBA doesn't make the rookie challenge? Leonard isn't even in the top-10, and Thompson? He didn't even make the just-missed-the-cut list. How do you not find room on this team for the rookie who's top-5 in the entire NBA in steals? I rarely complain about snubs this openly...but this one defies any stat-based, performance-based, by-position-based, or any other, explanation.

To quote Coach D'Antoni, upon receiving the news of Shumpert's snub: "Defensively I can guarantee there's no rookie better. That's half the game; so half the game he's better and the other half he's played well. He's been put into a spot where he had to be the point guard and he's not naturally a point guard. His best position is the two. He can play three. He's probably one of our best post defenders. He has to get better like all rookies, but he's played well. I'm shocked."

I am too coach. I am too.

* There seems to be more and more bad news recently. Rest in peace to ex-49er great, wide receiver Freddie Solomon. One of Joe Montana's top-2 targets in the 1982 and 1985 Super Bowl runs, and still the 49ers team-record holder for highest yards-per-catch average over an entire season (a hefty 21.4). Also, rest in peace to ex-Met, Hall-Of-Fame catcher Gary Carter. One of those guys who carried himself in a way and gave the vibe that made you feel you couldn't help but respect and admire him, no matter which team or rival you rooted for. Hope they're both at peace.

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