Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wild Speculation and Outlandish Guesses: Who's Best Edition

Chris Broussard reported that, in December, the Warriors turned down a Rondo for Curry swap. Putting aside their contracts, who would you rather have for the next five years?

I know I never played above the 4th grade YMCA level, but DAMN Rondo's jumper is ugly.
Alex Maki: The Celtics have got to be one of the dumbest organizations in the land right now. The line-up they trot out there is ready to fall apart at the seams due to age. In fact, most of the team cannot even trot at this point. They literally limp out of the locker room. Rajon Rondo is about the only piece with brighter days ahead. But, he is a great one. One of the top six point guards in the league, and definitely a better find than Curry. Sure, Rondo is not as good of a shooter as Curry, but he is better in practically ever other facet of the game. And Curry has scary lingering injury issues.

Andrew Snyder: Woah woah woah. Quit this hating on the Celtics -- I'm still predicting a 1998-99 lockout season NY Knicks style run from them in the playoffs, led by Rondo messing around and getting more triple doubles. Steph's a nice player, but Rajon's the pick.

Jacob Greenberg: Rondo. No brainer. 18 points, 17 rebounds, 20 assists. Are you kidding me? And since "my team" is the Golden State Warriors, I'm pretty appalled we didn't jump on that deal. We never get stars. Ever. Let's make Rondo our guy.

Luke Hasskamp: Rondo. Easy question. Although his free throw shooting is ludicrous (he's marginally better than Dwight Howard), and he seems to do something really dumb every so often, Rondo has the ability to take over a game. We've seen it time and again. At times, he can be huge. Plus, he's already won a championship, so he knows how to do it.

Long Bui: Rondo, a star?! I mean, he is, and rightly so, but his attitude or something about him keeps fans (and his team?) from completely embracing him so I'm tempted to say Steph. You could posit that Curry would generate more revenue than Rondo and make you more attractive to future free agents, and it'd be hard to argue against. But then again, if you're into winning the ship, with apologies to Steph, ship his ass out.

Jason Arends: Would I rather have the great shooter who's good at everything else or the guy who is great at everything but shooting? I think I would take Rondo, by just a hair. His poor jump shooting is oft mentioned and it is a little frustrating to watch defenders dare him to pull the trigger, but his defense, play-making, scowling, and durability all seem a bit better than Curry's. I suppose it ultimately depends who surrounds them. If my team had solid shooters and finishers, I'd take Rondo. If my team lacked competent shooters, then Curry would probably help more.

Denver's Kenneth Faried and Minnesota's Derrick Williams have put up great numbers over the last few weeks. Who would you rather have?

I tried, but there just isn't anything
funny about this picture.
Alex Maki: Though Kenneth Faried might be playing a little bit better right now stats-wise, I'll still take my Wolf Derrick Williams. He has been playing at a pretty high level as of late, and nearly every facet of his game has been improving. His defense, while still not as good as it should be, has looked more consistent. He is getting to the line more often. He can attack the rim and not get lured into charges as easily as before. His rebounding is a bit better, and he is starting to find his groove from distance. To be honest, I don't know much about this Ken Faried character. But Williams is coming along nicely.

Andrew Snyder: Contrary to popular belief, Derrick Williams can shoot the ball, and he recently got pretty nasty in LA last week, going 9-10 from the field with 27 points, eliciting several "bingo's" from the inestimable Ralph Lawler. Faried can... rebound? Williams could be the next great 3/4 tweener, Faried could be the next Ben Wallace. It's like comparing apples and oranges, but I'm going with the tantalizing potential of Williams.

Jacob Greenberg: I've seen a bit of Kenneth lately, and I like him. He's a hustling high-flier who crashes the boards with reckless abandon, and has some sick dunks as well. But Derrick Williams has star potential. He can do a little of everything already, and has an impressive array of offensive weapons. Defense will come, hopefully, and when it does, he's going to cause problems for opposing teams.

Luke Hasskamp: Williams. As a Timberwolves fan, this is an easy question. Williams has looked better and better as the season has gone on. And he always seems to grab a key rebound or two or make a huge shot at the end of the game, which shows pretty awesome poise for a young guy.

Long Bui: Faried killed the Spurs this past week in the closing minutes of a very tight (and thoroughly entertaining) game to spoil Manu's triumphant return from yet another injury. He and Brook Lopez should form a support group for still skilled players who will never again be healthy. Yao Ming is of course invited, as are Greg Oden's knees. Faried on the other hand, healthy as an ox, and has the potential to turn into one of the best post defenders in the league. He not only broke Tim Duncan's NCAA DI rebounding record, but also got the best of him again when it counted with past Sunday. I also have to point out that he outrebounded Kevin Love to close the month of February in eeking out a 2 point win. Pretty legit. I can see him as a starting member of a championship team. Williams... he plays in MN so no one gets to see him.

Jason Arends: Kenneth Faried and right now it's not close. Derrick Williams may turn out to be a solid player who can stretch bigger defenders with his shooting and blow by smaller ones, but right now he's mostly attractive for that unrealized potential. If he starts shooting 3s anything like he did at Arizona I'll reconsider, but for now Faried is the man. Kenneth Faried has a non-stop motor and boards, protects the paint, finishes, and just gets shit done.

Baron Davis is finally healthy and #Linsanity is finally mellowing out. Who will be the Knicks starting PG in the playoffs (assuming no epic collapse)?

85? Not a basketball number.
Alex Maki: Lin should stay the starting PG. I don't think his hot streak was a fluke. Teams are "figuring him out," but that is part of the normal process in the NBA. Teams have to actually game plan for him now. But he will bounce back. There is little hope for Baron Davis. He isn't that good anymore, and he isn't the future. This team needs to learn to play with Lin because he is the leader of this team moving forward.

Andrew Snyder: I dont even care -- I might finally be over Linsanity after writing 2232341 words about it over the last few weeks. A better question: Why is Baron's beard so short, and will he regain his basketball abilities as it grows out and becomes the classic "Boom's Beard."

Jacob Greenberg: It's gonna be Lin. Lin's numbers will tail off, but that was to be expected. He still has this team playing confidently, and that's almost more important than stats. Baron Davis has looked exactly what he should look like: a talented backup. If the Knicks snag that eighth seed, Baron will be able to provide some valuable mentor-ship about unseating giants. Lin's story isn't finished yet.

Luke Hasskamp: Lin. Although he's come down to a more realistic level, Lin is still a better option than Davis, mainly because his teammates believe they can win with him, but also because Knicks fans wouldn't have it any other way. Plus, Davis' game just has too many question marks.

Long Bui: Lin. Just watch a Knicks' game, there's a marked contrast when Lin plays the point. The offense fundamentally works so much better though Baron has been playing starting caliber PG ball. But he's also Baron Davis, and you can't trust that.

Jason Arends: Mike Bibby! Outside of the playoffs in 2006, Baron Davis has never played quite as well as Jeremy Lin is doing now. The only way Davis gets the nod is if D'Antoni makes starting decisions on the basis of facial hair. Going on the assumption that Lin doesn't crater or get injured, he's the starting PG.

Rodrigue Beaubois, after looking so promising his first year in the league, has seen his progress stall (albeit injuries played a large part). Meanwhile, JJ Barea took advantage of those extra minutes in Dallas to spark the team to an NBA championship, and cash in in Minnesota. Who is the better player RIGHT NOW?

Happier times.
Alex Maki: RIGHT NOW? I think you probably need to go with Barea. I am still a believer in Beaubois. I mean, I am a stats guy. There isn't any possible way that advanced stats could have picked the wrong guy! But right now Barea is contributing on an up-and-coming team that can really utilize his speed, creativity, and "veteran leadership." And he is just a smarter player right now. But, long-term my money is still on Beaubois.

Andrew Snyder: Roddy Beaubois is a nice player, but I'll take the guy who's "married" to Mrs. Universe.

Jacob Greenberg: Barea. Barea's got a ring, can start or come off the bench, play either guard position, and he's got a ring. Beaubois isn't even in the rotation in Dallas. However, I once watched Beaubois hang 40 on -- who else? -- the Warriors, and he looked good. Guaranteed, he's still on GM's radars, and probably will be a popular commodity come next week.

Luke Hasskamp: Beaubois. As a Timberwolves fan, this is another easy question but with the opposite outcome. Barea has been very disappointing all season. He parlayed a good playoff series against the Lakers into a contract with the Wolves that he doesn't quite deserve. Seriously, he played well against Derek Fisher, but name a player who hasn't looked good when guarded by Fisher? Beaubois has had several very productive games this season, and we really haven't seen any true flashes from Barea.

Long Bui: Barea is sweet. I like his value as a "veteran," his energy, and his work ethic. He can run the point, score you some points, and be enough of a spark in the playoffs to make a legitimate impact on the game. That's not true of most backup point guards, for example, Rodrigue Beaubois.

Jason Arends: Roddy Buckets all the way. Barea has very rarely looked like the player who carved up the Lakers and Heat in the play-offs. His numbers are down across the board, except in the undervalued "turnovers" and "realization that you'd prefer Luke Ridnour to get extra minutes" categories. Beaubois isn't shooting quite as well as he did as a rookie, but his per minute stats then were ridiculous. He's turned out to be merely very good this year, having statistically improved every part of his game except scoring. Dallas has had a few problems this season, but keeping Beaubois over Barea isn't one of them.

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