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

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6 responses to Suggested Reading

  1. predicting has some risks, as we all predicted the Fantastic four+George would win the NBA, or the ones that predicted a sweep instead of a 7-game-serie between the Lakers and the Suns, or even the ones that predicted the lakers wouldn’t make the playoff…

    predicting and expecting is part of the game, at least for the ones who watch it and love it

    so im open to read your predictions :)

  2. My predictions for the 2006-07 NBA season:

    1. I will throw a projectile at the television screen at least six times. Something soft, like a pillow.

    2. Not a single NBA game will be broadcast without “Euro big” being uttered.

    3. A team from a city that begins with “C” will represent the East in the Finals.

    4. Isaiah Thomas will be Coach of the Year.

    5. The Dwyane Wade backlash will begin.

    6. The Western Conference Finals will be the highest scoring since the Seventies.

    7. Time Warner Cable will drop NBA TV.

    8. I will eat a lot of nachos. Seriously. Like way too many.

  3. First prediction for 06-07:

    The Christmas day game will feature at least 100 FTA by each side and will not end until after midnight EST. This is the reason it is no longer a double-header.

  4. From the New York Times:

    “In the past year, Los Angeles has seen three instant sports classics: Kobe Bryant scoring 81 points in a game for the Lakers; Texas winning the national championship on a last-minute touchdown at the Rose Bowl; and the Dodgers becoming the first team since 1964 to hit four consecutive homers in a game.”

  5. Well I am not sure that the rose bowl quite fits in with the others, because it was a local team losing. But still spectacular.

  6. you are right Gatinho, and the best one has Kobe as the main performer.

    some predictions for this year:

    1. On Christmas day we’re going to see fire in Shaq’s eyes when Bynum enters the court, and the same in Bynum when he’ll be again at home vs. Shaq

    2. Brown will stablish himself as an NBA starter with numbers arround 18-8 per game.

    3. Mihm will be traded by the Trade Dead Line.

    4. The Lakers will make again the playoffs

    5. Sacramento and Memphis will have early vacations this season and the Rockets, the Hornets and the Jazz will fight for the last 2 playoff seeds.

    6. Lakers will have 2 All-star players.

    7. Shaq won’t start for the East in the All-star game.

    8. Marvin Williams will show why he was a 2nd Overall Pick (but Hawks fans won’t forget passing on Paul… sorry mr. Knight)

    9. Eastern Conference finals will have a LeBron-Wade match up (sorry Bulls, Big Ben is a great defensive player but that’s all if Lebron stays healthy you won’t be in the EC finals)

    10. The blazers will have the worst record in the whole league, but again, they won’t win the lotery so no Oden in Oregon

    oh! speaking of NBA draft… remember that the Suns will get the Hawks 1st round draft pick if its not one of the Top3 picks bcuz of the Joe Johnson trade (great move again mr. Knight), that’s really scary…
    and of course Chicago fans praying everyday for the worst NY season ever.

    OH MY GOD, I can’t wait for the season to start :)