By Justin Cherot
THE NBA IS BAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!!!!!
And, you know, we here at Pick and Pop try to keep it as fresh and quirky as possible. So, my plan for the next 32 (or some odd) days is to not break down how a team will do. That’s for sportswriters with degrees and such, although I guess a night before the season tips off Colin and I will do something like that.
Instead, I’m giving every single player in the league, even some guys that won’t even make the roster, a little ink. Because not all players are created (and adored) equally by yours truly, some will have much longer anecdotes/analysis or what have you than others. Case and point: would it be fair to give Dirk Nowitzki and Adam Morrison the same amount of space? I haven’t gotten that far yet, but I’m willing to bet I won’t do that.
I guess to make sure the pecking order of the NBA isn’t completely ruined, I’m going to go in ascending order in terms of how I predict the teams will finish… meaning I’ll start with the lowly Sacramento Kings.
Because the Kings are atrocious, half the people reading this probably don’t even know how good this kid is. Truthfully, I’ve been high off the Martin fumes for a minute. When the Kings initially took him 26th in 2004, I told everyone–my boys, my girlfriend, my psychiatrist, the guy I got free subs from in Subway–that K-Mart, Jr. would eventually pan out to be a 20+ point scorer in the NBA. Yep, I love being right. It’s just too bad that Maloof and Co. won’t surround him with enough talent for this team to ever be mentioned in casual NBA conversation. Oh well. If they ever do put him on TV again, savor it… because you may never see him again. Hopefully, he’ll end up on a halfway decent team while he’s still in his prime.
The Other Starters
Hawes is one of only three players on this current roster that this team should keep to build around. Yes, he’s goofy-looking and doesn’t exactly scare you with his athleticism, but centers who can play aren’t easy to find in the NBA. Book it right now: this man will average a double-double this season.
Kings’ fans probably almost had a heart attack when Thompson got picked so high last season. But, from watching the draft night video highlights (yeah, I know, sometimes they can be deceiving), I at the very least knew he wouldn’t be a bust. He doesn’t have that “wow” game, but he’s a nice solid piece who I see playing in the NBA for many years because he’s a big guy who can face up.
He has surprised me. I didn’t think he had as much range as he did coming out of college, but then again sometimes even I can be wrong (see, Week 3 Picks ). I still think he’s limited skillwise and would be much better suited for around 20 minutes a night on a good team.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the worst starting point guard in the NBA! I believe I could step in there with my ailing back and there wouldn’t be that much of a drop-off in production. What do they have to lose?
The Kings are so bad that Evans might unseat Udrih before the season even begins as the starting point guard, which despite plenty of opinion to the contrary they do not want to do. Not a knock on Evans, but to me he doesn’t exactly shout “Team First”. I do admit that he’s pretty much unguardable from 15 feet and in, and maybe the Martin-Evans combo will compliment each other well. And maybe Michael Vick will start next week.
Love him as a player. If the Kings were smart they’d find a way for him to be on the floor 30 minutes a night.
He has deficiencies, yes, but he’s better than Beno. If he can find his jump shot, he may be a good pick-up.
You’re 31, Des. Learn something else besides dunking.
Casspi will be out of the NBA by 2012. Who wants to take action on that?
On a team going nowhere fast, I think he at least deserves to get some minutes. If he ever learns to get aggressive, Greene could end up being a good one.
Kenny Thomas makes HOW much???
Low risk, how reward signing for the Kings. Personally, I think if he ever gets over his weight issues he can contribute in this league.
Because one white player from Washington is never enough.