Monday Morning Point Guard (A Few Days Late)
The Flip Saunders story (nothing new to report) has pushed back the final Monday Morning Point Guard a little later than usual, but with the regular season ending tonight, I had to finish out with a wrap-up and my picks for postseason awards.
This season revealed the expendability of NBA coaches and how injuries cannot only ruin seasons (see Gilbert Arenas, Wizards) but may also damage postseasons (see Manu Ginobili, Spurs and possibly Kevin Garnett, Celtics).
It also proved that spending big doesn't equate to winning big, as the Clippers opened the vault for Baron Davis and made a return trip to the lottery. Philadelphia dropped more than $80 million on Elton Brand only to watch him go down with a shoulder injury -- then played better in his absence. Houston lost Tracy McGrady to a knee injury and finally started looking like a legitimate contender.
The fun-n-gun, defenseless, Phoenix Suns were buried then rose again like, um, a phoenix, but too late for Shaquille O'Neal to keep his 15-year playoff streak alive. Dwight Howard proved that Shaq is no longer the last dominant center left, although the MDE was not impressed.
The defending champion Boston Celtics won 60 games for the second year in a row but aren't considered the favorite to win it all going into the postseason. The New York Knicks spent the entire season building cap space for 2010, when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh may or may not want to come. They basically told their fans, "Wait 'til next year -- next year!"
Derrick Rose made the Chicago Bulls relevant again. Allen Iverson brought down the Detroit Pistons, his play-through-the-pain reputation and the NBA's cornrow era all in one year. Chauncey Billups showed that you can go home again and made the Denver Nuggets a division champion.
The Portland Trail Blazers finally showed the promise of their youth, even as Greg Oden showed that it's going to take some time before he's going to have the same influence on the game as ... Joel Przybilla. The Spurs have been called "old" for years, but the one player they can't afford to show age -- Tim Duncan -- finally has.
Wade came back better than ever. Mo Williams helped James and the Cleveland Cavaliers play better than ever. The Los Angeles Lakers lost Andrew Bynum again, stayed atop the Western Conference and will have him in for the playoffs this season. Kobe Bryant and James led their teams to the top of their respective conferences and appear to be headed toward a ratings bonanza NBA Finals. The two best players in the game; the reigning MVP vs. the guy expected to win the award this season. Think people will watch that?
But enough with the rundown, the awards are coming ...
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Posted by: glawrence007 | April 15, 2009 10:24 AM
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