I still miss Baron Davis. But Ron Artest, not so much.
I imagine Davis’ gaping hole in the Golden State Warriors’ lineup will only get bigger as we jump head first into the NBA season. But as Don Corleone would exude, “Fugghet about ’em.”
There are slim hopes for Northern California teams and even slimmer hopes of maintaining the progress seen in the last two years at either the Sacramento Kings or Warriors. It’s setting the stage for either a huge surprise or the most precipitated duds in a basketball season since before Rick Adelman and Don Nelson (the second time) ventured the west coast.
Unfortunately, I have an end of the world approach when I look at my favorite teams. I looked at the San Francisco Giants before their season started and figured they’d touch 110 losses easy. I sized up the A’s and realized they were trying to lose — astonishingly. I looked at the 49ers and Raiders and still have yet to recover from all the wild shaking of my head.
(I’m still in a daze after the last few weeks. October has been rough.)
But where I was off in my assessment (+15 losses for the Giants), I was spot on in my evaluation of the talent. Or, I should say, the lack thereof. Let me not venture into the realm of absurd punditry but go so far to say that the Warriors will unequivocally be a red herring in the Western Conference as they get up and down the court with the Hornets, Spurs, Lakers, Mavericks and Jazz but get down on themselves because of a lack of a go-to player for two months and an inconsistent low post defense. The games
will be exciting, but the end results will be hard to swallow. There’s just no way to defend against Yao Ming, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitski, Andrew Bynum, Greg Oden and the formidable Carlos Boozer without addressing the issue.
Can Andris Biedrins, Ronny Turiaf and Anthony Randolph measure up? Their play will be the deciding factor in the Warriors’ success.
The Kings on the other hand, are have little going for them other than Kevin Martin. But you know that already. So I pose this question to faithful Kings fans: Who do you trade to get better fast?
You know that’s the only way to turn things around now, right. You also should know that trading is going to be tough because of all the contract bricks the Maloofs have been laying, there’s not much wiggle room.
Kenny Thomas, thanks to his $9 million salary and inability to crack the lineup, looks like a good option. But with his salary, he’s almost impossible to move. Sort of like Brad Miller. The overwhelming feeling is that the Kings are stuck with a lineup of role players and heavy contracts for at least a couple of years before they can get enough capital to go heavy in the free agency market come 2011.
In the interim, they have to hope John Salmons, Spencer Hawes, Francisco Garcia and Jason Thompson make impacts on the court every night. The young guys have to step up while the franchise is in such a delicate state of dismal, turnover and renewal.
The problem is they’ve already traded their tradeable pieces, with Mike Bibby and Ron-Ron sent packing last season. Now we have to sit around and wait till the Kings “figure it out” for two years and hope that some good comes of it.
Reminds me of those A’s.
I think I’ll pass. I can’t keep investing time into franchises that refuse to have a win now mentality. And unfortunately for Sacramento’s sake, they’re handcuffed for two years.
I’ll check in with the W’s two months from now after Monte Ellis returns and see if there’s something worth cheering then.