Friday, September 15, 2006

Off-Season Moves

OK, this isn't MY take on off-season moves. It's my take on Mark Stein's take on off-season moves.

When all is said and done, this may be the reason I started blogging... so that I could rant about the silly, unjustified things that I see written all the time, and more importantly, so I could write my own silly, unjustified stuff.

In Stein's own words, he is making a list of "offseason assessments, not predicted order of finish for the coming season." If that is the case, how can you make Miami number one in the East? Doesn't that sound a LOT like a predicted order of finish? I mean, you're setting the bar pretty low if NOT losing your coach vaults you automatically to the top of the list.

Miami's rotation goes 8 deep. Anyone who says that Jason Kapono or Michael Doleac counts is kidding themselves. In fact, Derek Anderson and Shandon Anderson represented their 'depth' after the first 8, and they're both gone.

Of the 8 man rotation, 5 of them are over 30 years old (GP 38, 'Zo 36, Shaq 34, Williams 31 and Walker 30). Hell, Posey will be 29 in January. What I'm saying is, an off-season assessment should be about, did the team get better or worse during the off-season. What else could it be? Miami got worse - they were old and they got older.

There's nothing so egregious in Stein's Western Conference report card. Hard to argue with the Hornets in the top spot, or the Grizz in the last spot (if we're counting injuries). But San Antonio in third is totally unjustified. He tries to 'justitify' it by applying a double standard. Did the Hornets overpay for Peja? It doesn't matter, they got better so they are number 1. Did San Antonio lose both their centers? Sure, but they replaced them by splitting the mid-level, and they'll be able to reload around Timmy, Tony and Manu in 2 years. Wait a minute? Is this off-season assessment about being better than last year, or about making good business decisions? Make up your mind.

By the way, the Clippers came out fourth in the West. I would argue that there isn't much personnel upgrade from the end of season edition - Tim Thomas for VladRad is a small upgrade. But the Clippers are the anti-Heat on the age thing. Sure Sam Cassell got older - but so did Shaun Livingston and Chris Kaman.