Smack / Aug 14, 2009 / 12:12 am

Westward Low

King of the Pacific

King of the Pacific

In pretty much every sport — NBA, Major League Baseball, college football/hoops, boxing, gambling, competitive eating, etc. — optimism is at its highest before the real games start. The same holds true for the NBA. But when we previewed the Pacific Division yesterday, even the preseason optimism couldn’t hide one fact: This is the worst division in the League. All due respect to the reigning champs, but after the Lakers, the Pacific consists of four Lottery teams (Suns, Clippers, Warriors, Kings) who could all easily make an encore appearance at the event that Mike Dunleavy Sr. probably thinks is a mandatory spring-time BBQ with some co-workers … And yet, the Pacific can still be one of the more entertaining divisions out there. Never mind that the Lakers will win it going away — they might as well start sewing the banner now, if the Lakers even recognize mere division titles like that — but you’ve got five teams that are at least intriguing to watch. Kobe and his guys are of course worthy TV material; Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire are trying to take things back to ’05; Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson are gonna lead the Warriors to some Pop-A-Shot numbers; Tyreke Evans and Kevin Martin will lay the foundation for what should be one of the most explosive backcourts in the League in due time; and the Clippers actually have reason to get excited about their future with Baron Davis, Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin … The smart money is on Blake to cop Rookie of the Year, but his toughest competition will come from within his own division in Tyreke and Stephen Curry. Playing for weak teams built to put up points, both of them will at least get plenty of chances to get their numbers … Dime’s Ben York called Griffin, “the most NBA-ready player to emerge in the draft since LeBron.” Are you buying that? Some of our Blazermaniac friends wanted to put Brandon Roy in that discussion. (For what it’s worth, they want to put B-Roy on every list. If you ranked the best places to get a turkey sandwich on the West Coast, somebody from Portland would submit “Brandon Roy’s House” as an honorable mention.) Chris Paul and Derrick Rose deserve some mention as far as being NBA-ready, with Ricky Sanchez and Fran Vasquez ranking somewhere around 355th and 356th … (Speaking of NBA-ready, did you hear where Rudy Gay claims he’s put on 20 pounds of muscle this summer? That would put him at 240 or so; if he hasn’t lost any of that vertical, speed and flexibility, he’s gonna be a BEAST this year) … Also on that optimism tip, Flip Saunders is talking big about the Wizards, the same team who won 19 games last year. Having seen Gilbert Arenas work out recently, Flip told the Washington Post, “No question, a player of [Arenas'] talent, when he’s playing, he puts us from a team that’s competing for the playoffs to a team that’s an elite team in the playoffs. When you walk in the gym right now, you wouldn’t think that he’s hurt. If he’s at that ability when our season starts, we’re going to be an elite team in this league.” … If Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison are anywhere near the top of their game, the Wizards definitely make the playoffs. Are they a top-four squad who puts a scare into Cleveland, Orlando or Boston, though? Maybe if a guy like Andray Blatche starts playing out of his mind. And we’re a little concerned Washington seems to be putting so much stock into Fabricio Oberto. It’s great that Fab won a ring with the Spurs two years ago, but on the low, the 34-year-old fell off quicker than Drag-OnQuentin Richardson got traded AGAIN, this time from the Wolves to Miami in exchange for Mark Blount. Is Q at least getting a t-shirt from the teams that are picking him up and dumping him like a Blockbuster rental? We’d analyze how Q helps the Heat, but who knows if he’s even gonna be there next week … Whatever happened to “It’s just part of the business”? From everything we’ve read and heard, Courtney Lee is having an allergic reaction to being traded from Orlando to New Jersey — as Dwight Howard was quoted in the New York Post, “He’s not just upset, he’s hurting.” We’d already penciled Lee in to start at two-guard and make a big leap in his second year, but if he’s gonna keep acting like Steve Francis when Cuttino Mobley got traded, he’ll mess around and watch Terrence Williams steal his spot. Hopefully, Lee doesn’t think he got traded because of one missed layup, and turns the sting into motivation instead of letting it set him back … You kind of figured Rick Pitino would slither out of this latest scandal relatively unhurt, but this quickly? After Pitino did the whole public apology thing (which included some odd references to 9/11), Louisville’s university president basically asked everyone to please get over it and that nothing was gonna happen to “our guy.” Do you think Pitino should be forced to resign his post at UL? Should he face any kind of disciplinary action? Over on High School Hoop, we talked to one of Louisville’s top recruiting targets about how the Pitino situation has impacted his view of the ‘Ville … We’re out like Oberto …

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  • nola

    first is for losers.

  • BRUCE

    What are people so high on Kevin Martin? He is not an elite SG, good numbers but will never be an All-Star. Maybe, if Kobe retires but other than that, no chance in hell.

    Doug Christie would have shut him down and if Mrs. Christie told Doug to score 40 points, count on Doug to score 40.

  • BRUCE

    Quentin Richardson is trying to catch Chris Gatling! I am pulling for you Q. Q is not the same after the breakup with Brandy. Somebody better get Q some brandy!

  • http://Shaqtus.blogspot.com Lets Go Hawks

    yo, i just gotta say that the “Brandon Roy’s house” line was hilarious.

    and i also feel for Q

  • nick

    q will have a career yr in miami. fine women and ballin, whats not to like. playing with dwade should help get him some wide open 3′s.

  • KCL

    man this pitino stuff needs to get over with, this is a personal and PRIVATE mistake (at least it should be) that has nothing to do with basketball, I find people asking for hi to resign or be fired stupid because it hasn’t got a thing to do with his coaching abilities. If Louisville wanted to fire him they would’ve, since they haven’t I say case closed and leave it alone. Love the Brandon Roy line its true we worship Brandon here in Blazerland and can you blame us?

  • sh!tfaced

    Still no news about AI? Even Michael Vick has found a team already…

  • lifep

    @ Bruce: Kevin Martin is the only player in the NBA that can score 50 pts. on 4 field goals.

    Shout out to Dime for using a Drag On reference!! That’s the most I’ve heard from him since that movie he did with DMX.

    Q is going to get traded to every team in the NBA. It’s punishment for that “head pound” thing he and Darius Miles use to do.

    How will Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis coexist? Golden State is like a professional AAU team…think about it.

  • quest???

    LMFAO @ DIME…great ricky sanches reference….he still sucks. He will never wear an nba uniform. He hits alot of threes here and he is tall (6\10) but he is way to soft and skinny pause to play in the nba.

  • Da_Griff

    Miami will keep Q unless they can trade him for an even more expensive expiring contract.

    With Q and Jermaine on board, that’s 33 million bucks comin’ off the books next year. I bet they’ll even try to recruit LeBron.

  • mumadone

    i can blame you for worshipping a man

  • BRUCE

    Daequan Cook is Miami 3-Point specialist, Q better be a salary move. If not, Wade is Chicago bound!

    What can Kevin Martin do? No signature moves, awkward movement in his shot, and some vertical. He is not committed to defense and lack lateral quickness. I just never like the guy. Lottery bound again.

  • BMW

    For all the people to be out like y’all choose Oberto…Damn…I’m out like this line

  • “Big Hook” Nunez

    I agree Kevin Martin is one of those Anwtan Jamison/Ced Ceballos types, he gets you the 25 real easy and puts up the numbers but does he really impact the game? And when he gets his 25 the guy he is guarding usually gets 25 back on him.

  • That’s whats up

    Rudy Gay adding twenty pounds of muscle is just going to put that much more stress on his knees – I can see him sitting out with a knee-something at some point this season

    Q-Rich = Drunk girl at a party

    ….as far as Pitino…. the main thing going for him, aside from his whiteness, is that it happened 6 years ago. I run into pieces from that far back that have to remind me of our relationships

    ..and I guess when Courtney Lee was leaving the Magic GM’s office the door hit him in the vagina

  • http://www.imeem.com/dialogs/standaloneplaylist/?p=ztKqfEZj smoove chips

    if the Lakers even recognize mere division titles like that…
    nope,we don’t.it’s a mindset thing really.keeps you from being mediocre.If we played on sesame street we dropping buckets on big bird,oscar and all they goofy friends.P.double sed it too.we play to win the whole shyt,right?

    @lifep
    too true.dude don’t make a sound when he’s murdering the opposition.that’s the scary part.while most cats hold the ball quite a bit to a whole lot to make an impact,martin makes the most out of any possesion he has.I’d say hands down the most effecient player in the L.real talk.win or lose,you got mad buckets from him.

    @BRUCE
    agree somewhat,his d needs work.On offense he puts up similar numbers to allstar players.He’s a very good player in a league plagued with doing just enough to get by.Just a few more tweaks n that dude’s elite.I mean if he wasn’t that nice he’d be getting bounced around like Q.

    @dime
    you can never question a clippernation fan’s loyalty.real shyt lol.are we gon have any more pictures of the interns?I was jus starting to get interested.he’s a new prank.have holly n the dimes in a cubicle doing research and have austin in the restroom with a lighter next to the smoke detectors.see where i’m goin..

  • fk

    @16

    Did you really just make a sesame street reference??

    Homo

  • shake&bake

    The main issue with Pitino is that he’s supposed to be a role model for the kids he is coaching. However, in my opinion, firing him would be the wrong thing to do because then it would send the message that people should never make mistakes, and if they do, they shouldn’t have a chance to apologize and make up for it. I say let him keep his job because his main punishment will come from his wife.

  • http://www.imeem.com/dialogs/standaloneplaylist/?p=ztKqfEZj smoove chips

    @ fk
    of all the points I mentioned,you wanna assert your intelligence over big bird n shyt.
    I’m too amused to even get pissed off.Grow a brain then come back.

  • http://www.imeem.com/dialogs/standaloneplaylist/?p=ztKqfEZj smoove chips

    @ shakenbake
    for real.if she stays with him,she gon constantly remind him about that on totally unrelated arguments.Bet you Bill catches all kindsa hell over that lewinsky shyt.If she leaves,well the gvt proceeds to cut his wallet in half.flucked if you do flucked if you don’t!

  • http://www.random-ish.com Sccob

    Damn yo…y’all didn’t have to go at Drag like that. What did Drag-On do to you? That’s foul.

    Anyhow, Chris Paul, B Roy, and Derrick were ready to play in this league. The Clippers have a decent squad. However, they need a better coach. One with discipline on both defense and offense. Cue the “little general” here.

    Courtney needs to man up. He can be the man out in the swamp. They gotta a decent squad that can make the playoffs on the lower end if they go hard.

    The Wizards are a good team. However they lost focus last year. If they discipline themselves they can upset a few squads in the east.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qtOTBQcbiM&feature=related rodnets

    Oberto will make Wizards better.
    He is old but smart, and really unselfish, something uncommon in that team, the Wizards need.

    The regular Dime Arenas “ass kissing-boot licking” comment was something we are a bit tired of

    Peace

  • KnicksFan84

    MAYBE Q-Rich gets traded back to Knicks for Eddy Curry LMAO!!!

  • fk

    @ smoove

    You try to type all fuckin gangster and you throw out shit like that? Fougaze

    I’ll go grow a brain, and when I do I will come back and debate you on K-Mart2 being a tweak away from elite level. Till then I will keep thinking that he is a high scoring, no D playing, non-difference maker who noone will remember in 10 years. But an elite level one.

    Do I need to go add a few words like shyt and sed so you can grasp what I am sayin?

  • w@rr3n

    ‘if you ranked the best places to get a turkey sandwich on the West Coast, somebody from Portland would submit “Brandon Roy’s House” as an honorable mention.’

    LOL!!!!!!! btw, they do great fkn turkey sandwiches there.

  • http://www.niketalk.yuku.com/forums/8 NTstateOFmind

    lol, the drag-on comment

  • jzsmoove

    Dont count on Q getting buckets in Miami yet. Q is the centerpiece of an NBA gangbang, and they are not done with him yet. Next!!

  • http://www.imeem.com/dialogs/standaloneplaylist/?p=ztKqfEZj smoove chips

    @fk
    typing gangster?what the fluck is so gansta bout typing?Get off you stephon pills you douchebag.
    Kmart2,a non-difference maker ? I reiterate.Grow one.

    and just for amusements sake what’s yo beef with oscar em!

  • Diego

    I could see Q sticking with Miami for the season–or at least a portion thereof. I think Miami needs an additional scoring weapon (beyond basically Wade), and it would be great opportunity for Q (contract year).

    But I think it will hurt Beasley’s playing time, which in long run is not good.

  • JH

    K-Mart II is solid good…but basketball is a game of 5 on 5…not 1 on 5. Even Kobe couldn’t get his squad into the playoffs in 2005. Sacramento has potential but have had a less than stellar squad the past few years. The fact that K-Mart II can still put up great #’s despite being the focus of a defense is very impressive.

    You wanna talk over-rated…lets talk Hasheem Thabeet.

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    The Pitino case as well as the Z-Bo case are both shakedowns. Seriously, this girls claims that Rick raped her, once, and then again at a different location two weeks later. Dude gets severely beaten in a Donut Shop in LA. Neither of them call the police, but months later, they are threatening lawsuits, punitive damages, but not even talking about getting their supposed perps put behind bars. Fn blackmail artists. It’s like every family that ever accused Michael Jackson of child molestation–why were they all previously convicted of being con artists?