For the past three-and-a-half seasons, Monta Ellis has been the honorary captain of my “Players I Love to Watch But Wouldn’t Actually Want on My Team All-Star Team”. The cat can score and swipe the rock in bunches, but he’s inefficient offensively, mostly ineffective defensively, and simply didn’t fit next to Stephen Curry in the long-term plans of the Warriors. His talent is undeniable, but he was wasting away on a franchise that is spinning its wheels and he deserves a shot at contributing on a potential playoff team like the Bucks.
I am very impressed with Jon Brockman’s trick shot acumen. I think we can all agree that this is a great trick shot video, one of the best. Classic Brockman.
But here is my only concern — Jon Brockman made more shots in this video than he has in the entire season and that’s if you include free throws. I am all for hilarious videos using Segways, boxing gloves and fake echoes, I just don’t want him to become a one trick (shot) pony. This is a guy who rocked a mullet and Billy Mays beard for Media Day, so he should be able to generate some buzz for some non-trick shot things. He dunked on a guy once, so he shouldn’t box himself in.
That being said, nice trick-shotting. Top notch. That is definitely how it’s done.
This Monday through Friday, I’m going to give my season predictions in a countdown from worst to first. The format will be three teams per post, one post in the morning and one in the afternoon. Whichever team you’re a fan of, there’s a good chance you’ll feel like I’m disrespecting them. I understand this, and I promise you I won’t take your insults personally.
21. Utah Jazz
There is a decent possibility I am severely underestimating this team. Sure, their 8-21 finish to last season didn’t inspire a lot of confidence regarding the immediate future of the Jazz, but there are a few things I like about the Jazz. They have a deep frontcourt, including third overall pick Enes Kanter, sophomore small forward Gordon Hayward raised some eyebrows with his late-season scoring exploits, and Mehmet Okur’s return after playing just 17 games last season will definitely improve their outside shooting.
But the one player to keep an eye on in Utah this season is second-year power forward Derrick Favors. If head coach Tyrone Corbin can find minutes for him, he could have a significant impact on improving the team’s 23rd-ranked defensive efficiency from last season. Now that Deron Williams is gone, Favors will soon be considered the face of this franchise. Comparisons to Karl Malone will be inevitable, and unfair. But with some added offensive polish, I see All-Star appearances in Favors’ future.
I am not sure how well the Stephen Jackson in Milwaukee experiment is going to work. He’s an older guy who just wants another championship. They’re a team caught in the middle, neither good enough to contend or bad enough to rebuild. It’s a weird fit and I’m not so sure that StackJack will be the easiest guy to deal with if he’s not happy with the direction the team is going.
That being said, since he’s been at training camp with the Bucks, he has dropped some pretty incredible quotes. These come from Jeremy Schmidt at Bucksketball, who was at Media Day to document these gems:
“If guys come in here not focused on a championship, just making the playoffs, we need to trade them. We need to be talking about championship and nothin’ else. You can’t limit yourself to just playoffs. Who wants to do that? Playoffs is not really an achievement to me. Anybody can get to the playoffs.” [...]
“If I’m shot, I’ma get stitched and play the next game. I got hit by a car and played two days later.” [...]
“[Scott Skiles is] a fiery guy, and I’m looking forward to me and him arguing, because that means the fire is on the team and we goin’ in the right direction. To be able to play for him and Jim is a blessing for me.” [...]
“Who won the championship again? I didn’t even watch the playoffs.”
“Dallas sucks to me.” [...]
“I don’t mind leading by example, I don’t mind fighting for my teammates, I don’t mind putting myself on the line for my teammates.” [...]
“Was there a lockout? I don’t know, I wasn’t even watching the news, I wasn’t affected by the lockout, I don’t have money problems. Yeah I wasn’t playing basketball, but I can’t control that. I was doing my music stuff at the time.”
“When it was over, they called us, told us to come. Now I know what’s going on.”
I love Media Day. It’s the first time of the NBA season where we get to see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. Not surprisingly, one thing that hasn’t changed is Kobe Bryant’s complete and total disgust for the enterprise.
But another thing that hasn’t changed is his ability to fake smile his way through.
Totally natural smile. Totally cool goatee.
One thing that has changed for the Lakers is Ron Artest’s name. And it’s as great as you could have ever imagined.