Bucks Diary

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Here... comes... Swifty!

With a nod to the certifiably crazy Jim Cramer, here's my "Lightning Round" of random takes on anything NBA...

1. Look out for "da Utes"
Doing my WinSplit analysis the other day, what struck me hard was the balanced strength of the Utah Jazz. According to me, the Utah Jazz have a "56 win" offense, and a "53 win" defense. That's awesome balance. The only thing that troubles me slightly is their overwhelming home record. To misquote the Beatles "Can they do it on the road?"

2. The Spurs look slightly fraudulent
You ever notice how mainstream sports "analysts" will lean on past precedent regardless of current facts? (I remember in the 90s Chris Berman kept selecting either the 49ers or the Bills for the Super Bowl long after their reigns had ended). The same, I believe, is happening with the Spurs. A lot of NBA heads are choosing them to come out of the West, but according to my Win Score WinSplit analysis, they are a borderline team that is lucky to have as many wins as they do. Their offense is certainly not what it once was.

3. The Celtic Hammerlock on display at the BC
If you go back to my historical analysis of past NBA Finals, it indicates that defense wins championships. Actually, I think the proper way to characterize it is that it indicates "Defense wins wars of attrition, and therefore carries teams through the playoffs." That's why I love the Celtics. Playing them is like a kid wrestling his old man. Even when their offense goes cold, you can't gain any ground, because they won't let you out of that headlock they've got you in. So they can just weather any droughts they might encounter. Thus if you beat them, its usually like a one point game with a score in the 70s. Can any team do that to them 4 times?

4. Brooke Lopez is 2008's Big Country Reeves!
I think the safest, and possibly best choice in what I consider a weak draft is UCLA C Kevin Love. But, because he looks like his "Joe Atlas" kit never came, and because he's not the most athletic dude, people think he will flop. He won't. He may never be a superstar, but he will be a very productive starter. (If you're worried about his athleticism, I can provide numerous examples of similar athletically challenged big men who were hugely productive in the NBA -- Jeff Ruland, Moses Malone, Wes Unseld, Jerry Lucas, Dan Issel, Dave DeBusschere, Bob Lanier...) On the other hand, the guy who has "flop" written across his forehead -- Stanford's Brooke Lopez -- is a unanimous high lottery pick. I don't get it. Lopez is a 7 footer who -- in college, mind you -- has shot under 50% from the field, and has been a very poor rebounder for his height and projected position. That's the profile of Big Country Reeves and countless other big man flops.

5. Please don't do it Bucks!
The leading NBA draft sites have the Bucks choosing players that would make me violently ill if the Bucks actually chose them. Draftexpress.com has the Bucks choosing the underproductive, undersized shooting guard Eric Gordon of Indiana, and Nbadraft.net has the Bucks once again selecting the "International Man of Mystery" in this year's draft, someone named Danillo Gallinari. Haven't we had our fill of such foreign cream puffs?


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