Bosh learned from the best (cont.)
As the Roy-led Trail Blazers prove they may be ready to contend for a Western Conference crown sooner than expected, we asked a scout about the often overlooked LaMarcus Aldridge (16.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks).
"He's like a young Rasheed Wallace. He guards people and is capable of blocking shots. He has the ability to score in the post with a lot of moves and good footwork, and last year he started to move his jump shot out to deeper range. When Aldridge is spaced out on the perimeter, that gives Greg Oden a chance to go one-on-one, which allows him to score on a lot of people just with his brute force. Aldridge is also a pretty good passer. I don't think he's as good a high-low passer as he will be. But when that happens, and Oden becomes a better scorer, that's going to be tough to guard because then you have to respect Aldridge's shot and his being in a one-on-one position."
They said it
"I'm earning my check by doing nothing. I'm enjoying it to the fullest. I can go in and out of the country when I want during the season. ... I'm getting healthy, adding two, three years to my career. This has been great for me, able to heal."
"I was going to wear the whole Santa outfit, but then I realized he's overweight and out of shape and, well, I'm not out of shape."
I'm not the guy that can make the sausage, all right? But I like to eat it."
The way everybody's been killing us lately for our trades and coaching change, you'd think we broke up the '27 Yankees."
Philadelphia Daily News: The Sixers' DiLeo isn't letting the grind of the regular season stop him from altering the team's playbook. Phil Jasner explains how.
Basketball Prospectus: Kevin Pelton explores the issue of whether an interim coach can turn around a team in a single season.
New York Times: Though attendance as a whole is about the same as last year, Howard Beck reports that several teams have experienced sharp declines. With the economy in the tank, this can't be good for the league.
Sporting News: Before we all get carried away with comparisons between this season's Celtics and the 72-win Bulls of 1995-96, Bethlehem Shoals considers whether Boston's numbers are a little misleading.
1. It seems winning can't solve every problem. Last week, backup point guard Jordan Farmar became the latest Laker to grumble about his role. With such a deep roster, we suppose it's natural there would be some friction in establishing a pecking order behind Kobe Bryant. And, to date, the public griping by Farmar, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom hasn't hurt a team that stood 21-5 through Sunday. But if the Lakers are this disgruntled when things are going well, how will they react in a tight playoff series when personal agendas have to take a backseat to cohesiveness? Here's an idea: Listen to the guy on the bench with nine rings.
2. Memphis may be tempting the wrath of a conference rival in signing former Trail Blazer Darius Miles, but it's a gamble worth taking. Most teams have shied away from the former No. 3 overall pick because of a knee injury deemed career-ending by a doctor. There's also the matter of how Miles affects Portland's payroll; if he plays 10 games for another team, the remaining $18 million on his contract would go back on the Blazers' books, taking away some of their cap space next summer. But this is business, and if you can make it more difficult for an opponent you see three or four times a year to add even more talent to an already deep roster, why not?
3. Timberwolves coach Kevin McHale lamented last week that the expansion in media coverage and blogging of the league plays a big role in the lack of job security for coaches. We'd argue the intense scrutiny means a lot more people are thinking about the league in creative and critical ways than before. And if that means coaches who show little aptitude for the job are shown the door quicker than in the days of mainstream-only media, is that so bad? If McHale and his counterparts want to avoid the wrath of the dreaded media, there's a simple solution: win, or at the very least, show progress.