Tag Archives: Andrew Wiggins

The Ave Podcast – #WeTheNorthern Edition

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee. Episode 20: #WeTheNorthern Edition

Today on The Ave Podcast, I invite Vidal Massiah (Northern Kings AAU Coach/Founder), as we discuss his AAU & Hoop Factory programs, his 2017 Final Four Experience, the golden era of Canadian Basketball, the NBA MVP talks, the 2017 NBA potential superstars, and more.

*** Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and the blog below. The podcast is available for download. ***

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee // Episode 20

 

To download the podcast, feel free to click the link below:

https://app.box.com/s/xg6rlbcyqh7b5rel7b4l3yrkcbzgxy4d

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to South Shore Ave, click onto the Follow button, and enter your email address, or click onto the RSS Feed. Very special thanks to Vidal Massiah for his guest appearance on this podcast.

The Ave Podcast – The NBA Western Conference Preview

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee. Episode 10: The NBA Western Conference Preview

Welcome to The Ave Podcast. Today, we break down the Western Conference with 1st time guest Julian aka Jules Da Commish, as we rank each team in the West from the bottom to the top during the NBA’s Opening Week.

*** Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and the blog below, and also, the podcasts are now available for download. ***

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee // Episode 10

Part 1: The Lottery Teams

Part 2: The Playoff Teams

 

To download the podcast, feel free to click the link below:

Part 1: https://app.box.com/s/nzmtmvyz1tu3k2ekb7mjb0gck4yp5wqs

Part 2: https://app.box.com/s/q5tl68ulgtqy6jwmwcqx938n0dn471rb

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to South Shore Ave, click onto the Follow button, and enter your email address, or click onto the RSS Feed. Very special thanks to Julian for his guest appearance on this podcast.

 

Why Wiggins Needs To Be a Sixer

Here’s a simple equation:

Andrew Wiggins + Philadelphia 76ers = A perfect marriage.

 At least this is how it should be.

 We all know that Wiggins has been touted as the best prospect since LeBron, and if the “No HS players can go directly to the NBA” rule hadn’t been enforced, he would have just finished his rookie season after jumping straight to the pros last year. His freshman season was successful (17 pts/6 rds/45% FG/34% 3P) even though it stripped some of the unrealistic hype away from him at the same time. At this time, here’s what we’re essentially left with: A player who’s a super athletic talent, can run the floor, play defence, score the basketball, may have a questionable motor, & even if he might not be the most NBA ready player in the draft, without question he has the highest upside on any player.  

As a fellow Canuck, I would love nothing more than for him to reach his full potential. Not only does it help boost Toronto’s profile further as a new basketball haven, but it also helps to raise the profile of Team Canada. For Wiggins to reach said potential however, I –much like a lot of people — would like to see the level of his aggressiveness being raised. It doesn’t have to be anything demonstrative, or having him constantly beating on his chest & pointing in the stands. But it can small & simple simple changes to his mindset on the floor. For example: as athletic as he is, he barely showcased that in the paint. He didn’t use his 44-inch vertical to tear the rim off on guys, or dunk in traffic. A lot of times, he would attempt the layup instead of dunking it, & didn’t have a huge amount of success finishing at the rim (only converted 63% of his attempts at the rim). I do, however, expect that to change once he starts playing this Fall (or hoping to) with the big boys. 

With Joel Embiid’s injury, it throws off the whole draft lineup. Most likely it would have been Embiid # 1, Parker at # 2 to the Bucks, & Wiggins ending up a 76er. No one has any idea what’s really happening now, but it’s starting to look like Wiggins will now go to Cleveland or Milwaukee. Here’s a quick reasons as to why I do NOT want to see this happen: 

CLEVELAND 

Addressing my concerns with his ability to drift in & out of games, why the f*** would I want him to go to a team that doesn’t necessarily share the ball??? Listen, we all know Dion Waiters is a talent, but let’s face the facts here. He’s not passing the ball unless every pass he makes attributes to two points in his stat line. If Wiggins does end up going to Cleveland tonight, they need to trade Waiters tomorrow. As far as Kyrie Irving goes, I absolutely love his talent, especially the way he can score in the half court. Everyone wants to put him on the pedestal as the next best PG to one day take the title away from Chris Paul…… however, people are not seeing that his game & the effect it has on his team is more Stephon Marbury-like than people care to consider. The only problem with that comparison is Marbury passed more (averaged 8.4/per his 1st 3 years; Irving: 5.8/per) and was a lot more durable. Wiggins will need the ball in his possession more to help keep that “Dawg Switch” on, & his handles are not the strongest part of his game at the moment. Therefore, someone will have to set him up & help create opportunities for him on the floor. So if this backcourt stays together, we’re really to expect that these two ball-dominant players are going to help nurture Wiggins’ switch? Gimme a break! 

Another factor is, as much as I love guys who grew up in the same city, playing together on the same team, there are still so few Canadians in the league today. I want that talent to be more spread out. I really don’t want all of them (Wiggins, Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett) on the same team. On the floor, I’m also afraid of what it might do to Bennett’s potential (and mentally) if he’s not getting as much time on the floor as his Torontonian friends. Yes, essentially, the same thing will happen if Parker plays for the Cavs as well, but it hurts a little worse when it’s the guys from the same city getting more minutes than you are. And out of the three (Thompson’s game is more inside, boards and garbage points), it would potentially hurt Bennett if Wiggins comes aboard. 

MILWAUKEE

1. It’s Milwaukee. I never been there before, but I mean….come on. 

2. The further away from Larry Sanders he is, the better. I don’t want any of Larry Sanders’ knowledge, words, sweat or DNA passed on to him. I don’t even want him to pass Wiggins 1s at the local strip club. The answer is also “Yes” if your question is Is your bitterness of Sanders because you spent $30 for him in your fantasy draft last Fall? The answer is “Yes“. Always “Yes“. 

3. Although he has more opportunities to score the ball here than in Cleveland (let’s face it, he’d be the #1 option), no one else is a real threat offensively. I’d like him to play with at least another scoring option, so teams are not loading up on him exclusively. Unless Giannis Antetokounmpo jumps a level across the board (who I like a lot AND grew two inches since last year’s draft) or you can somehow get Dr. Emmett Brown to gas up the DeLorean, drive back to 2006 & kidnap Michael Redd before he blew his knees out. 

4. The team doesn’t run, which doesn’t benefit Wiggins athleticism in the open floor. 

5. Their PG situation is horrid, and of course, they don’t really have a PG that can help him become better. They are either journeymen PGs who’ve bounced around the league (see Wolters, Nate or Sessions, Ramon), or aren’t really true PGs as it is (see Knight, Brandon). 

Ok, we got that out of the way, right? Now here’s why he needs to go to Philly….. 

PHILADELPHIA 

1. The team sucks. BUT they are also a running team & played the fastest pace in all of the NBA. Sure, almost half of the roster was filled with DIII & CIS role players, but they still ran at the very least. 

2. Philly has been salivating at the thought of having Wiggins probably since he was a senior in High School. It’s always good to be in the hands of a team that is dying to have you. They will put you in the best position possible. Plus they are a blank slate as a team right now (I mean, look at this season’s roster!). They will also be able to pick up a few veterans to help his progress as well with the unlimited amounts of cap space that they have. He would immediately become the absolute face of the franchise and the #2 scoring option at worst, if not #1 by the start of the season (depending on what they do with Thaddeus Young). 

3. As the face of the franchise, the team will look to develop him & put him in the best position to succeed. On a team that runs, who better to pair him up with than ROY Michael Carter Williams, a running PG that loves to pass? Imagine that tall & lengthy backcourt on the fast break running at breakneck speed. Having a PG that not only can run with him, but will know how to create plays for him is so important to his development and to help keep his confidence high. 

4. Although you certainly couldn’t tell from last year, I also like the fact that Coach Brett Brown (a Gregg Popovich disciple & a graduate of The Spurs University) gets to mold him. I’m all for anyone from the Spurs University that can assist this young man develop. There’s a reason any coach/executive from the Popovich-Spurs Tree (not including Jacques Vaughan) are successful, or at the very least respected. I’m willing to take my chances with that, than with the options they have in Cleveland or Milwaukee. 

5. Most importantly, Wiggins will be in the same division as his hometown team, therefore, Toronto get to see him live four times a year in the division. #Selfishreasons

6. An Even More Important point that Joel Embiid ruined: I think not getting the #1 overall slot secretly provides the chip on his shoulders that Wiggins would need. At the very least, it would be beneficial. His whole career, he’s been viewed as a can’t miss player. Someone who will be drafted #1 overall whatever year he comes out. After a Freshman season that didn’t end well (6 pts vs. Stanford in Round 2 of March Madness) & a season that didn’t quite live up to the lofty expectations, somehow not one, but TWO players are getting drafted ahead of him??? If after everything he still goes #1, then everything that happened all season is justified. If the opposite happens, there’s a better chance that missing that #1 slot would piss him off enough that he would make the NBA pay for this slight for the rest of his career. But then Embiid breaks his foot, throws everything into wack, and this whole paragraph will probably become moot. Oh well… 

Most importantly is this, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where in the draft you get drafted. It doesn’t matter if Wiggins goes 1st, 2nd, or 23rd, what matters most is that he lands somewhere that best suits his game. No one will care if he went 1st overall if he’s maxing out his potential in the right system & on the right team. Philly needs to select this kid come hell or high water. 

SOUTH SHORE AVE’S 2014 MOCK LOTTERY PREDICTIONS 

1. Cleveland: Jabari Parker, SF (Duke)

2. Milwaukee: Andrew Wiggins, SF/SG (Kansas)

3. Philadelphia: Dante Exum, PG (Australia)

4. Orlando: Marcus Smart, PG (Oklahoma St.)

5. Utah: Aaron Gordon, PF/SF (Arizona)

6. Boston: Joel Embiid, C (Kansas)

7. L.A. Lakers: Julius Randle, PF (Kentucky)

8. Sacramento: Noah Vonleh, PF (Indiana)

9. Charlotte: Doug McDermott, SF (Creighton)

10. Philadelphia: Gary Harris, SG (Michigan St)

11. Denver: Nik Stauskas, SG (Michigan)

12. Orlando: James Young, SG (Kentucky)

13. Minnesota: Adrien Payne, PF (Michigan St)

14. Phoenix; Elfrid Payton, PG (Louisiana-Lafayette) 

SIDELINE NOTES 

New York Knicks fans, you should be happy with what’s happening here. Carmelo Anthony is a great talent, but you can’t tie up the next five years paying him $129M, you just can’t do it if you’re actually trying to remain competitive. It doesn’t matter what he says publicly, Phil Jackson is secretly hoping he bounces too….. With that said, IF Melo is going to leave New York, his best option is Chicago. The team has a great coach, defense is completely solidified, Derrick Rose is coming back (****praying that he’s healthy***), & the 3rd biggest TV market in America. The only thing they are missing is his scoring. Forget Houston & for the love of good, please kill those Miami rumours dead please! I can’t imagine any athlete — much less Carmelo — leaving as much as $75M on the table, which he’ll most likely have to do to head down to Biscayne Bay. That would be insane, although stranger things have happened….. RIP to Shawn “Biggs” Green who suffered a heart attack while playing basketball last Saturday afternoon in Downtown Toronto. Green for those who don’t know was a legend in the Toronto Basketball community. The closest thing to Charles Barkley that I ever seen in person, Green left us too soon at 41 years old. Hope he’s in a better place……

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#TANKCITY 2014

#TANKCITY

“Tank City Bit**/Tank Tank City Bit**/50, 60-something losses equals Wiggins Biiiit**…..”

With the the high amount of teams looking to sell themselves out flagrantly for the chance to land a lottery pick in the 2014 NBA Draft & select players such as Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Dante Exum, & others, I figured it would only be right to list the set of teams that are tanking or should be tanking. Man, there’s a lot of teams that suck right now. Let’s get started, in random order…

PHILADELPHIA

When I look at the progress of the Sixers, currently sitting at 8–20, and are the 3rd worst team in the NBA, I can already imagine the conversations that occur between the CEO of the Sixers, Scott O’Neil and his GM Sam Hinkie.

***O’Neil opens the door in Hinkie’s office to find Hinkie surfing the internet & bobbing his head to this instrumental. O’Neil immediately starts bobbing his head & starts dancing with a mean looking face***

Hinkie: Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! Go O’Neil! Go O’Neil! Get it! Get it! Get it! Get it!

O’Neil: Hahahaha! Whooooo!! I’m loving the progress so far! I am loving it!!

Hinkie: I told you this was gonna work out. We are on our way!! Ha-haaaaa!

O’Neil: Wow! It’s so amazing! And to think, when Carter-Williams started off averaging 20 & 8, and help beat Miami with 9 steals & then beat Chicago in the same week, I was getting ready to fire your ass!

Hinkie: Yeaaaahh—–um….huh?

O’Neil: Don’t worry about it. It’s water under the bridge now. I heard Iverson’s retirement event inspired our rookie for that week. That’s cool, but make sure Allen’s not allowed in the building again until 2015. We don’t want to take any chances here.

Hinkie: No problem. ***starts typing out an email to the security department to put Iverson on the “Banned in Arena” list***

O’Neil: What’s the status on the other rookie?

Hinkie: Who, Noel?  Yeah, um, we’re still continuing to sit Nerlens for the season & we won’t put him on a weight program until after the season ends. I’ve instructed our chefs in the cafeteria to continue serving him fruits & veggies until further notice. He will continue to look malnourished I promise you. Also, on a sidenote, Hawes can’t continue playing this well either even though I know he’s in his contract year. Don’t worry, we’ll reduce those minutes just enough so that we can afford him, and then we could…

O’Neil: We’re not signing him back.

Hinkie: We’re not signing him back, so it’s all good. Errr, it’s gonna all work out. I’m not worried, Mr. O’Neil, everything’s working out according to plan. We’ll get it done. We have two draft picks, one of them will get us high in the lottery, if not both. It’s gonna work out sir, I promise.

O’Neil: Okay, okay. No problem. I don’t really like the fact that we’ve reached 50% of our target win total & it’s not even New Year’s yet, buuuut other than that….keep up the good work!

Hinkie: Thanks a lot sir.

O’Neil: Who made this beat anyway? Turn this up! Is that what the kids say?

Hinkie: I think it’s “Turnt up” or, um “Turn up”. It’s “Turn up.”

O’Neil: Yeah, yeah, that’s it. Turn up man! TURN UP!!!

***Hinkie turns the volume up in his office to maximum levels***

BOSTON

In their loss to Memphis earlier this year, starting forward Gerald Wallace played 28 minutes. In those 28 minutes, he did not make one shot. Hold up, I’m not done. He did not even TAKE a shot in 28 minutes. A 13 year veteran & starting forward did not take a shot in 28 minutes. I see you Boston, I see you. I don’t even care if they’re in contention for the Atlantic at the moment, Danny Ainge is too smart for that. He’s gonna do what he has to do.

MILWAUKEE

Larry Sanders, fresh off of signing his new contract as one of the cornerstones of the Bucks franchise, averaged 2.7 pts & 3.7 rbs before deciding to take on local club goers like Andre the Giant in a steel cage match and breaking his thumb for weeks on end. The blessing of his stupidity of course is that it made the Bucks go into tank mode by default. Now they sit way at the bottom with the worst record in the league. So in a very weird way, the Bucks management should thank him. By the way Larry, I spent $28 on you in my fantasy draft. If anything, you’re supposed to help your team tank, not mine!!! I’m suffering in the blocks department because of you!!! By the way, I’m not bitter.

Whenever he does come back though, can you imagine Milwaukee’s frontcourt with him, John Henson, & Giannis Antetokounmpo (please don’t ask me to pronounce his name) on defense? If they keep that core together, will anybody be able to get a shot off??? Add the addition of previous lottery pick Brandon Knight, and this is something that the Bucks can build upon moving forward. Even if they don’t get the #1 pick, if they can walk away with someone like Marcus Smart or Dante Exum for example to go with what they have here? My goodness. If they can develop the right way, they will make a jump into playoff contender status within 2 years if that happens.

CHARLOTTE

Jalen Rose said earlier this year in his Grantland NBA Season Preview of the Bobcats that Michael Jordan will play one game this season, and I actually agree with him. Especially if it means solidifying a top 5 pick. He’s the most competitive athlete of all time in any sport. If he sees a competition for winning the #1 spot in the draft, he’s gonna want in on it. Even if it means blowing out both of his ACL’s to get it done.

By the way, I won’t lie to you. I kind of like how this team is playing so far. Kemba Walker is starting to look like he’s about to jump another level if he hasn’t already. Al Jefferson is probably the 1st quality big man they’ve had since Tyson Chandler was still on the roster. Gerald Henderson is a quality 2-guard who’s re-upped for 3 more years at a very respectable number ($18M), and they have some solid young pieces in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, & Jeffrey Taylor (who unfortunately they lost for the season with a ruptured Achilles vs. Detroit over the weekend). They are currently fighting for home court advantage in the Eastern Conference which is despicable in itself, but their draft pick this year is top 10 protected (Chicago has rights on their pick for anything lower than that for this season & can be rolled out as an outright unprotected pick in 2016 if not used until then). Do they go the other way here, try to dive out of the playoff spot & hope their pick lands them in the top 10 during the draft lottery? Or do they go all out for the playoffs & see where it takes them?

As much as they should make all of their 39 fans happy and play in the playoffs, they need one more young asset &/or stud to make their future really bright. They need to stay in #TankCity just a little bit longer. Unfortunately, the East is so horrible this year that they still might make the playoffs by default. It’s almost like trying to get out of a club but the bouncers keep shoving you back inside. They may not be able to leave, even if they tried. Smh….

PHOENIX

The process has already started since last summer by drafting raw center Alex Len, trading their valuable veterans Jared Dudley to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe & Caron Butler, then sending Butler to the Bucks for a 2nd round draft pick. I like the fact of actually trying to gut out the team & start from the bottom to get better. Wanna give PJ Tucker & Gerald Green 30 minutes a night? Go right ahead! Bledsoe taking a leadership role on the team, and taking game winning shots? Why not?! Goran Dragic rolls his ankle? Take 15 games off to let it heal. Don’t worry Goran, the paychecks still clear, so take your time! I’m sure though that Suns CEO Robert Sarver & GM Ryan McDonough DEFINITELY were not expecting 1st time coach Jeff Hornacek to have this roster 6 games over. 500 (16-10) at any time during the season much less going into the New Year. I have a feeling he’ll be called into the office soon.

Underrated note:The Suns decision not to sign Bledsoe to an extension. A little surprising but why commit $10M/yr to him when he hasn’t proven that he can run a team full-time as yet? If he doesn’t live up to the hype, you can either renounce his rights or pay less than that initial value for him. If he plays great, you then lock him into a 4 year deal & you have another cornerstone to put beside potentially Wiggins, Randle, or whoever you get with what would hopefully be a top 5 pick. Right now, he’s looking like he could be worth that money. As long as no team tries to overpay for him & force their hand to match it, this was a very smart move by Phoenix.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

I know their intention is not to tank, to appease Kobe Bryant & the Lakers fan base to continue to make the playoffs & everything…..but I really don’t understand why. After this season, only Steve Nash is under contract. You have Pau Gasol whose contract can still be used as a great trade asset, Kobe is still coming off a serious Achilles injury & now done for another 6 weeks with a fractured knee, plus we have no idea that he will even be the same player (most likely not). To me, it doesn’t make any sense to lose out on a high draft pick while trying to fight for the right to lose in 4 or 5 games to the 1st seed. This is what they need to do: Tell Kobe or better yet, massage Kobe’s mind on the idea to come back in late February or March to better get his legs underneath him for next season; beg Nash to retire (as much as it hurts me to say because he’s one of my favorite PGs of all time); trade Gasol for expiring contracts &/or a 1st round pick (if not, then just let it expire); and lose anywhere past 50+ games & collect as many ping-pong balls as possible. When free agency hits in 2014, you can sell any major free agents on the idea of rebuilding a team with all that cap space AND you have one of the top studs in the strongest draft in almost two decade on the roster to represent the future. That sets them up for the next 10 years easy.

Look, Kobe is the franchise & has been playing there longer than any Laker in team history, but he is not the future here. He will get his jersey retired in the Staples Center rafters & will get the statue like all the Laker greats….but if I was Jim Buss (& I know he would never do this), I’d would have taken the chance & let him hit the free agency market. You know he wasn’t gonna leave LA for anywhere else at this stage of his career & no team was gonna fork out the big dollars to have him relocate. It could have been possible that he might have taken less money to stay. But by committing to a 2 yr/$48M extension, you basically wipe out any chance of one of these major stars to opt out of his contract after this season & really making a push to Laker Land. If you’re say, Carmelo Anthony here, do you leave the Knicks, come to Hollywood to play a supporting role to a Laker Legend coming off of his 18th season with a recently repaired torn Achilles (& now another lower extremity injury)? I say supporting because anyone coming to LA knows it won’t be a super team here, but it’ll still be Kobe’s team & his alone until he walks away. That’s not an attractive option for major free agents trying to capitalize on their prime years. That’s part of the reason why Dwight left LA this past summer. However, say Kobe would have stayed for around $15M, put him beside a major free agent or possibly two, plus one of the studs in a major draft pick as the cornerstones, this doesn’t look like a better proposition for the Lakers for the present AND the future???

With this new Kobe injury, & all the PG’s on the roster in street clothes (including Nash who’s out another month to deal with the nerve issues in his back), it gives them some time to mull over the tanking option. I say to Laker Nation, give up this 8th seed odyssey, get the No-Limit Tank encrusted type piece & support the cause. Short term pain for long term joy, let’s do it!

TORONTO

I’m so excited about Masai Ujiri’s moves since he’s come to Toronto; I’m doing this next part Busta Rhymes style….

***Putting on Busta Rhymes cape***

First things first lemme salute the GENERAL Masai U-JIRI for the big boss moves he’s made out here. My n**** be out here taking over the MUTHA-F****** game on these n***** my n****! How he broke down the Knicks & traded f****** Bargani, Bargialani, whatever that n****’s name is…..that long-foot EYE-talian ass n****…..he got rid of that f*****-up contract, that was on some IMPERIAL shit right there! Now he got rid of that inconsistent maw-f***** Rudy Gay! That n**** sent his ass & his contract far, far away from here & shit. Got a f****** restraining order from that contract n****! My n**** Ujiri is a BEAST! This is an EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT shit right now! He seeing the big picture right now, he see the future with that Wiggins kid, Parker, Exum, uh, uh that n**** Randle, he wiping the slate clean! I’ma tell you on tha real, U-Jiri & my n**** Lieweke, when they put they minds together…. it’s gonna be that, that…..that un-SPEAKABLE, that un-F***WITTABLE, that un-FEASIBLE, that un-CONQUERABLE type level shit! They gonna be the new bosses of this rap ball shit! Trust me my n****….trust me….

Translation: I like what Ujiri’s doing. If he gets a chance to ship out Kyle Lowry before the trade deadline, he would have cleared more than $30M off the books since he got there. He is not wasting any time at all. Masai Ujiri & Tim Lieweke have a goal to be a legitimate championship franchise & right now, the pieces that the Colangelo regime brought do not fit into that scheme. So yes, even though they are dropping off the deposit to stay in #TankCity for the next year or more Raps fans, it will be worth it in the long run as long as they stay the course here. Why fight for the right to get pummeled by Indiana or Miami in four games & keep an expensively mediocre roster together? It doesn’t make any sense, you know it & I know it. Don’t worry Raps fans, to alter the words of the illustrious poets Mobb Deep,

“We’re in this together, your pain is mine. As long as the sun shines to light up the sky, we’re in this together, your pain is mine.”

*** Of course since the Gay trade, they have gone 5-3 while beating Dallas AND Oklahoma City back-to-back on the road. Sigh. The same sigh I just let out I’m sure was done by Ujiri. Trust me, they’re not done trading just yet. I think Lowry to be safe should be walking with a carry-on suitcase at all times. ***

BROOKLYN

Whoops. They don’t own their draft picks for the next 5 years mortgaging their future to win now with pieces that include that includes 19-year vet Kevin Garnett, 16 year vet Paul Pierce, 15-year vet Jason Terry, whatever’s left of Andrei Kirilenko’s body, and former Raptor jacker Alan Anderson to surround their core (Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, & Joe Johnson) to contend for the NBA Title…..as well as 1styear coach Jason Kidd who demoted the most expensive assistant coach in NBA history Lawrence Frank ($1M per over SIX years) to file paperwork with the rest of the interns in the Brooklyn Nets Mailroom Department. To make matters worse, Lopez is now done for the season with a broken foot. For what it’s worth, I thought that this would work this summer as long as the vets helped everyone else buy into Kidd’s philosophies, and if the roster stayed healthy of course. They will still make the playoffs, but their ceiling — being lowered already from possible Finals-contending status — will now officially be “1st round or Bust” playoff contenders  now.

Here’s a question: When Mikhail Prokorov is in Russia & calls up his GM Billy King on the phone, does King pretend he doesn’t see it & let it go to voicemail? I think we both know the answer is yes. He’s lucky Prokorov doesn’t own a cell phone because for sure he would be texting him on BBM & WhatsApp and just waiting for the “R” and double checkmarks to appear respectively.

NEW YORK KNICKS

Oh yeah, they don’t own one either. Yikes. At least with Brooklyn, you could sort of blame injuries. You can’t even do that here. Personally, last year was their window to do big things, & now it’s slammed shut. There’s no way around it, this team sucks. Some Knicks fans who read this might get mad at me, but the reasonable ones know just by looking at this roster that this can’t work. Their only hope is that Chandler coming back can shore up their issues on defense, and while he helps them out in this area, he’s not Bill Russell. They’re way over the cap, guys take turns hogging the ball on offense, they don’t have any young legs to help them persevere in the open court, & if that’s not enough, they’re blanketed with the thick air of James Dolan’s ongoing overall paranoia with his franchise. If this mess hasn’t been exposed enough, just wait until they play Oklahoma City on Christmas Day. I’m almost certain by the 2nd half you’re gonna hear lots of disgruntled moans from the Madison Square Garden crowd after every Durant shot or Westbrook play, a sad Spike Lee sitting courtside & the announcers taking turns discussing the dysfunction of the team. At least it will be entertaining…..as long as you’re not a Knicks fan of course.

Underrated Note: Andrea Bargnani’s attempt to replace JaVale McGee as the lead star on Inside The NBA’s Shaqtin’ Da Fool segment. He’s done some really boneheaded things on both sides of the floor for the Knicks this year that I can’t quite remember him doing in Toronto, even though admittedly he hasn’t played as bad as I thought he was going into this season with New York. But that three that he took vs. Milwaukee at the end of the 1st OT instead of holding the ball & essentially ending the game has to be the biggest brain fart in the calendar year by far. The funniest parts of the footage:

  • The reaction of Tyson Chandler after he fought to get the rebound & passed if to Bargnani.
  • The reaction of the announcers on both New York & Milwaukee’s telecast.
  • Bargnani’s nonchalant “My bad fellas…..my bad” while tapping his chest as if he turned the ball over in the 1st quarter is underratedly hilarious.
  • The reaction of the Knick’s bench.
  • The non-reaction of Ron Artest sitting there with that, “What’s the big deal? I’ve done that before. So what??” look on his face

UTAH

I’m all for the core of Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, & rookie Trey Burke going into the future to build the start of a foundation, especially Burke who I think will be a stud within the next 2-3 years. Here’s the question: What happened to Enes Kanter??? I thought once he came out of the shadows of Al Jefferson & Paul Milsap, he would improve with more playing time. It’s still early in the season, but so far, it’s been underwhelming (11 pts/5.9 reb/46.4 FG%). If there was a team when a young Mormon can be a local superstar, it’s Jabari Parker. He has the totally skillset, perfect size, & the religious beliefs to take that town over. The Jazz are literally praying that they get one of the top two spots.

SACRAMENTO

They just committed $60M to DeMarcus Cousins over the next 4 years to be the face of the franchise. If that doesn’t tell you they’re tanking this season away I don’t know what will. Potentially great talent, love his skillset, but he has an Isaiah Rider maturity trait about him that scares me if I was banking on him to be the future of an Insurance company, much less an NBA team. One of my friends mentioned this after the Rudy Gay trade.  The moment Gay starts taking more shots than Cousins, Cousins might will meet Gay coming out of the shower & knock him out like Deebo did to Red when he wanted his bike back in Friday. Rudy might not want to start that, “Fella, NO stat sheets in the locker room after the game, all we care about is about wins & losses” movement in Sacto. Do your thing, but stay in your lane Rudy. For your own safety.

CHICAGO

Come on. You telling me you haven’t thought about it a little? Not even a little bit?? It hurts as a Derrick Rose fans watch him have to go through another length rehab process on his right knee after spending almost 1.5 years rehabbing his left knee. He still is the future in Chicago, but for the first time since they drafted him, they may have some doubts about that. They are currently out of the playoff race, they don’t have any guys on the team that can create shots for themselves & their teammates on a consistent basis outside of possibly Luol Deng; & not to mention Deng being an unrestricted FA at the end of the season. It may look bad, I know. I’m pretty sure if you tell Tom Thibodeau you want to go this direction, he may pull out his chair, walk out of the building, & never return. However, IF they do decide to chalk it up to a lost season with Rose being on the shelf, they can take the stance of letting Deng walk after the season & replacing him with Jimmy Butler, & hoping to pick up one of wing players in the lottery. They can also flip Boozer’s deal which expires next season for future cap space, some other players that can help shore up their weak spots and/or future picks. Once Rose returns, sure they team might look a little different, but a core with him, Noah, Butler, Lottery Pick player & cap space relief could be a better outlook for the future moving forward. It’s something to at the very least think about.

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

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Have a safe & happy holidays everyone, & to those suffering in the Toronto Ice storm right now, stay safe, & we hope your power will be up as soon as possible.