Suggested Reading

Kurt —  September 18, 2006

While we suffer through what feels like the dullest NBA off-season of all time, there are still few things worth reading out on the Web. That starts with the latest Carnival of the NBA, which is now up.

• Over at the very good Blazer’s Edge, he posts something we should all remember as when training camp opens in a few weeks, the 10 Commandments of the preseason:

1 THOU SHALT NOT believe anything you read in glowing reports about returning players until thou hast seen it demonstrated with thine own eyes during the regular season…repeatedly. Everybody is talented in the off-season.

2 THOU SHALT NOT put any stock whatsoever in any team’s pre-season record or what it might indicate.

3 THOU SHALT NOT clamor for a player who gets 22 minutes a game in pre-season (for purposes of evaluation and giving the veterans a rest) to get that same 22 minutes once the regular season starts.

4 THOU SHALT NOT pass judgment on the current year’s draft picks until at least an entire season has passed, preferably two or three. Pre-season is too soon!

5 THOU SHALT NOT judge veterans by whether they show up for unofficial pre-training camp workouts with their teammates. This does not guarantee team cohesiveness or better play. The classic example is the 1996 Indiana Pacers who, after going 52-30, winning their division, and losing the Eastern Conference finals in 7 the year before, showed up to a man a month early to train together. That year they played inconsistently, finished with the exact same record, and bowed out in the first round. Rookies and young guys need to work early. If vets want to rest their bodies, let them.

6 THOU SHALT NOT believe that a guy who comes into camp out of shape can play his way into shape during the season. That used to be true but the pace and intensity of the game has changed. Only two things happen to guys who come in out of shape nowadays: either they get benched and don’t play a lot or they do play a lot and get injured.

7 THOU SHALT NOT give too much credence to stories of personal reform. Guys who have truly reformed don’t tell everybody about it beforehand and expect immediate credit for it, they hush up and let their actions speak for them.

8 IF THOU HAST SPENT the entire offseason convincing everybody in earshot why thy previously putrid team hast improved, thou shalt not abandon said position in disillusioned cynicism when they getteth off to a 3-10 start. And thou certainly shalt not then regale us with stories of how they really suckest! It’s early in the season, improvement is incremental, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If thou expectest more than that, it is thy problem, not the team’s.

9 Similarly, IF THOU HAST SPENT the entire offseason predicting that thy team will stink, thou shalt not gloat, nor even be happy, shouldst thou turn out to be correct. Realistic analysis is fine, but be a fan first, a smug smarty-pants second.

10 THOU SHALT NOT brag that your pre-season predictions are holding true in Week Two. Period!

• Finally, it’s not really Laker related, but great stuff from Roland Lazenby on the glory years of the Celtics:

For example, the Celtics won 11 NBA championships between 1957 and 1969 (seven of those victories came at the expense of the Lakers). Yet throughout that great run, the Celtics seldom sold out Boston Garden. Year in, year out, they drew average crowds in the range 8,000, leaving more than 5,000 empty seats most nights.

Kurt

Posts