Guess what? There are unicorns in Siberia too.
[sarcastically] You see, Mr. Prokhorov, politics here start by winning over the locals. Granted, this may be confusing to you, as Russian leaders are not always known as endearing individuals. Mr. Putin likes to spend his time arresting punk bands of anonymous females. Mr. Yeltsin liked to get drunk and throw them into the ocean.
In fairness, Mr. Yeltsin did just about everything else drunk too...
Here in 'Murica, winning starts on the home turf. If your own people don't sign on, you're probably in trouble. I mean, Al Gore lost Florida that one time, and look what happened to him.
So when you want to sign some Siberian Unicorns to play basketball for you, it's probably best to promise them things like playing time and winters as cold as the ones in St Petersburg. You were close on the latter half with the whole New Jersey thing, but then you went and moved your team to some basketball mecca or whatnot, and....well, now you've paid the price for that. That's what you get for spending early on Kris Kardashian. Tsk tsk. He played his high school ball here, you know. We could have warned you.
Oh, and Jay-Z? ***** please. We got
a the Prince.
[unsarcastically] Let's just start with this: Andrei Kirilenko is really really really really really really really good at basketball. Got that? Seven reallys. More than I have awarded to any Timberwolf not named Kevin Garnett. The guy is as complete a two-way player as there is in the league right now. Tonight's line: 16 points on 7-11 shooting, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks, just 2 turnovers. That's a serious Russian-on-Russian beatdown. Just as important as the giant Montenegrin's 21 points and new-found passing ability.
And by that, I mean real passing ability. Not like an "oh $@ I'm triple-teamed must get rid of ball" kind of passing. He's got a "hey, my teammates can get easy buckets if I do this" kind of passing. Good stuff.
Now, the days when Deron Williams was up there with Chris Paul in the 'Best NBA Point Guard Discussion' died with his career in Utah. That said, he's still a top-notch player who tore us up for the first three quarters. So who does Adelman turn to? Well, his Spanish Unicorn is grounded, so I guess the Siberan one was the only other choice. And he earned his wings by vexing Williams defensively while pulling off something of a miracle on offense. Shved finally remembered he knows how to put the little round orange thing through the other red hoop thing.
If there's one thing I appreciate about his game, it's that he sees more than the points column. Some guys in his situation get tunnel vision. Remember Sasha Vujacic? You could practically see a ticker above that dude's head scrolling his thoughts on by. 'Must get ball must get ball must get ball must get ball must get OMG I HAVE BALL MUST SHOOT MUST SHOOT MUST SHOOT!!11!1!!11!'
That said, Shved's got a talent for creating shots that this team is in dire need of. He needs to use it.
And.....Derrick Williams. I'm not sure what more some of you think you need to see, so I"m at a loss of what to say here. He's a #2 pick who...at best....can't differentiate himself from a #33 pick. While Williams is scoring 8 points on 12 shots, Cunningham is doing his best Kirilenko impression (11 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks). That's worth 4 reallys, in my book.
Not to mention that the former was part of a 22 point hole, while the latter helped spark a historic comeback win.
It seems like some here need Williams to be Rodney Stuckey bad before calling it. Don't get to that place. You'll end up as drunk as Mr. Yeltsin, and for all the wrong reasons.
Tonight, the Pups pulled of as improbable win as you'll probably get this season. They came in severely shorthanded, and went all Joker on the established order by playing team basketball and reflecting the attitude of their head coach: the game isn't over until the final buzzer sounds. It won't shock the world quite like James Harden in red or an undefeated Knicks team, but that's ok. It shocked us....in a great way....which is the best thing that's happened since Corey Brewer used Derek Fisher's personal space as a launchpad to the moon. Yeah.
PS, them Knickerbockers are good. If you want to know what a Beasley or Williams type of power forward should look like, take a gander at what Melo's doing this year. Dude is playing seriously stellar basketball, and I mean that as unsarcastically as possible.