OK. It's midnight on Friday, and I have been overdosing on conference tournaments for the last two days. I probably reek of BO, my wife hates me, and I think I might have wizzed myself at some point during last night's 6 OT UCONN-Syracuse game. All that being said, I am convinced that I've had a basketball epiphany, and can see a path forward for our beloved Pups. Here it is for beter or worse...
Every good NBA team needs to have 6-7 well-rounded players that can score, play some D, and have a specific specialty (low post scoring, man to man D, 3 point shooting, etc...). Good teams start these players, then bring in specialists to give them a rest and impact the particular game based on what's going on. We basically have a team of one-dimensional specialist players, which is why we stink and have no ability to absorb injuries. For your consideration, here are the people in our rotation. I'm not even going to bother discussing throwaways like Mark Madsen, Bobby Brown, Shelden Williams, Jason Collins, and Kevin Ollie.
Bassy - Pace-pushing PG. Plays no D, no outside shot, and not a particularly effective executor of a half court offense
Corey Brewer - Plays D. Can't shoot, can't create, and general basketball IQ is questionable.
Brian Cardinal - The fact he's not in the "throwaway" section is amazing. Love the effort and energy, but he's in there to goon it up. There's value in that, but again, a 1 dimensional player.
Rodney Carney - Great fast breaker. Not much else. Gets hot from 3 occasionally. Very good at pressuring his man, very bad at letting said man blow by him and score.
Randy Foye - A scorer...nothing more. And a passive one at best. Ben Gordon type, except less explosive. Nothing more than a good 6th man that could bring scoring off the bench. Poor defender.
Al Jefferson - Great low post scorer. Doesn't play D, block out, or provide much help D. Love him, but way too 1 dimensional.
Craig Smith - Poor man's Corliss Williamson. Good choice in limited matchups, but an erratic that's a complete defensive liability.
Well Rounded Players
Ryan Gomes - A perfect 6th man on a good team. Good inside or outside. Can go left or right. Plays a little D.
Kevin Love - Great rebounder, good passer, great help defender, big inside & outside offensive upside.
Mike Miller - It pains me to say this, but Mike Miller is a hell of a player. That's why I'm so pissed that he self-limits his game. If he just shot more, he could be one of the best swing men in the league. Unfortunately, he is hell-bent on being the next Magic Johnson when the the next Ray Allen would be more appropriate.
Long story short, we have way too many 1 dimensional players on this team. There's only 1 position where it's OK to be that way - Center. A true defensive Center would be welcome, and allow Al and Kevin to play in their natural position. We need a better PG, SG, and C if we are ever going to move forward. That's why this is my dream draft:
1st pick (top 4) - Hasheem Thabeet - I have been a huge Thabeet detractor for a long time, but after seeing him lately, I'm willing to go with him. He should get better and better, and we desperately need someone to protect the paint.
Next pick (mid first round) - Ty Lawson - Great floor general that we need, excellent defender to help shore up our laughable perimeter D, and his outside shot has noticeably improved this year. I feel very strongly that he is this year's Deron Williams.
We take the other 2 1st round picks (and an expiring contract) and get Caron Butler from Washington to be our 2 guard. Not only do we get a great player, but his nickname is TUFF JUICE...I love it.
So we start next year with this lineup:
PG: Ty Lawson, SG: Tuff Juice, SF: MIke Miller, PF: Big Al, C: Thabeet
Now that's a lineup that can score, and actually stop people. Then, here is our bench:
PG: Bassy, SG: Foye, SF: Gomes, PF: Love, C: Collins / Random Free Agent
Then we have our specialists:
Corey Brewer is our D specialist, Rhino as the new Gary Trent.