1. The “over-scouted” bench- Paul Flannery writes, “It’s no surprise then that Davis (second round), West and Robinson (late first round) and Daniels (undrafted) entered the league somewhat below the radar.
“They are all misfits in one way or another. Not so much under-scouted, but over-scouted in that the people who make decisions about basketball players knew all too well the things they couldn’t do, but failed to appreciate the unique things that helped them compensate.”
To this day, it’s easy to overlook most of the guys on the Celtics’ bench. Glen Davis has the physique of a whale, while Nate Robinson has the physique of a kindergartner. Marquis Daniels has the jump shot of a center (maybe not anymore) and the dazed look of a pot head, while Delonte West had to settle for a veteran’s minimum contract because of behavioral issues. Alone, they each have problems. But together, they cause problems.
2. Why doesn’t Shaq get more grief?- SI writer Michael Rosenberg argues that we give Shaq a free pass for his lassez-faire work ethic and sometimes destructive demeanor because Shaq is, well, funny. That’s partially true. We forgive him immediately for tossing verbal bombs at Stan Van Gundy or Kobe mostly because Shaq’s a lovable character.
But we also forgive Shaq for not getting in shape every year because his way has always worked. Unlike most underachievers in history (any underachiever in history?), the Diesel has four championships and 15 All-Star appearances to his credit, and deserves more than his one MVP. If Shaq had squandered all his talent and put together a forgettable career, that would have been one thing. But he somehow managed to half-ass workouts, enter training camp in bad shape every season, and STILL be one of the greatest, most dominant players ever. With that in mind, we can forgive Shaq for not reaching his full potential. What he did accomplish was impressive enough.
3. Every blogger’s dream- Zach Lowe, formerly of Celtics Hub, now has his own blog for Sports Illustrated. A well deserved honor for one of the best, most thorough NBA bloggers around. In one of his first posts at SI, Lowe discussed whether the preseason means anything:
“Maybe it does. At the Spurs blog 48 Minutes of Hell, Scott Sereday dips through nearly a decade’s worth of data and finds that a team’s preseason record is a strong predictor of what that team’s record will be in the regular season — perhaps as strong a predictor as that team’s regular-season record the year before. Sereday’s work builds on that of the great Roland Beech from 82games.com, who found that when a bad team does well in the preseason, it might be a sign of improvement to come.Does this mean preseason records really are important? The notion that they might be clashes with the very look and feel of preseason games.”
4. Handicapping the charge battle- Zach Harper would put his money on Jermaine O’Neal to take more charges than Glen Davis. If there were no odds, that is.
“Looking ahead to this season, Jermaine seems to be the early favorite,” Harper wrote on TrueHoop. “His defense has been pretty good in the preseason so far and he’s probably inline to get the bulk of the minutes with Kendrick Perkins being out for quite a while. Davis on the other hand is still struggling to find a consistent role with the team and will probably see peaks and valleys with his playing time.
“If I had to choose a winner straight up, I’d definitely go with Jermaine. But considering this is wagering (whether friendly or monetarily), there has to be some sort of odds or handicapping involved. If odds or a charge curve of some sort are given to Big Baby, I’m taking Shrek in this contest.”
5. Slam Online posted a collection of Ray Allen highlight mixes. Of the three mixes, the following was my favorite (mostly because of the catchy tune, but also because of Ray’s bounce). Ray, you’re as smooth as a freshly-shaved leg.
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