The 2010-2011 "What Ifs"
I'm going to go through a few of the "What if's” that I have for the upcoming season, I'm sure that some of you may share some of the few "What if's" that I have. Here are my “What if's” they are not ranked in any particular order. Neither one is superior to the other.
What if John Wall has a disappointing 1st season?
A disappointing 1st season for John Wall is very unlikely. We don't know how he and Arenas are going to mix, and we can't really make an analogy based solely off of his summer league performance either. I must say, those turnovers he had during the summer league are definitely going to amplify against starting fives in regular season games if he's not careful with the ball. Getting to the lane won't be so easy in his first season either. Everyone in the league is aware of John Walls driving ability; teams will make sure to harass him every time he touches the ball and give him hell in his first season.
I believe Wall will claim rookie of the year honors despite having to deal with the pressure of coming into the league as the 1st overall pick. Like most successful top 10 first round picks, if they don’t impress you or meet expectations in the first half of the season, they usually have a surprise in store for us for the second course of the season. Last season, many thought that Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings had ROY honors locked. Tyreke Evans flipped the switch and Brandon Jennings couldn’t seem to put together back to back descent shooting nights. Jennings ended up shooting 37% from the floor in his first season.
Let’s not take credit away from him; he wasn’t even the first pick like John Wall is. John Wall is going to have more to prove as the first pick of the draft than Jennings and Tyreke Evans did as 4th and 10th picks. A disappointing 1st season will not be the end of the world for John Wall. In fact, he has history on his back that dates all the way back to 96 when Iverson was drafted. Iverson ended up finishing the season claiming ROY honors and went on to have a somewhat successful NBA career making an NBA finals appearance and claiming MVP honors.
Iverson will most likely go into the hall of fame despite never winning a ring. Then there was Derrick Rose, the next 1st pick guard that claimed ROY honors averaging 16.8PPG 6.3 APG and 3.9 RPG. Rose showed up in the second half of his rookie season and did not disappoint us in his following season either. If John Wall happens to have a horrible season, no credit will be taken away. We'll give him a pass. We can call it a typical rookie season and overlook history, just for one season.
A disappointing season for John Wall will most likely result if him and Arenas do not mix. There should be absolutely no reason that John Wall shouldn't blossom into a star and claim ROY honors following the trend of first round guard selections. I think we are going to witness a chain reaction.
What if Phoenix makes another deep playoff run?
I feel so bad for Amare Stoudamire. Why? For the time being, he’s going to have to settle for a downgrade while his team can potentially make another playoff push. The Phoenix suns went fishing this off-season after being only 2 games away from a finals appearance. It seems that the suns utilized their newly acquired fishing skills to catch some fresh fish for the upcoming season.
Those fish had names and were both caught in one catch.
Those names are Josh Childress and Hedo Turkoglu. Talk about versatility. Steve Nash is going to be one of the happiest point guards in the NBA. At 35, Steve Nash is still one of the top 10 Point Guards in the NBA. Some say as high as top 3. He’s not at an age where he wants to rebuild; he has nothing to prove.
The only thing missing on his resume is a championship. I don’t mean to go overboard; this new Suns team is far from being a championship team. With one piece missing from their potential championship run last season, management managed to stay on the same gear. I expect the suns to make it to the second round and keep Nash happy. The last thing I want to see is Nash go out as a loser.
As for Amare, I only feel sorry for him for the time being. I believe we will see New York make their biggest turnaround in the next 2 seasons. Hopefully Amare can stay healthy that long. Who knows, maybe a new trio will happen if Carmelo’s pen doesn’t touch the paper this season. How does CP3-Carmelo-Amare sound?
To me it sounds like the East would be the new West if that happens. A deep playoff run for the Phoenix would mean that their chances of adding talent to the roster will be high. They will be under the salary cap in 2011/2012, if Phoenix plays their cards right, who knows, they might be the team to beat in 2012/2013 when their salary is even lower. Deep playoff runs will simply attract players. It's as simple as that, everyone wants to win.
What if T-Mac has a little bit of gas left?
Let's keep it real. T-Mac can still ball. McGrady, like all other players, had a lot of rust to shake off after coming back from a long vacation…I mean Injury. If you watched McGrady play with the Knicks, you would have noticed that he would usually slow down the offense to make plays simply because he is not an up-tempo type of player. I think McGrady would be a great addition for any medium paced team in need of a scorer, whether he plays as a role player or as a starter.
I think a lot of teams will regret not giving him an opportunity. He came back from a Knee injury, he's not just going to click after 20 games or so, it takes time. Arenas is an excellent example...Of course he went back to shot jacking; but that's Arenas. Grant Hill is a greater example. He's in his 30's and played an important role while running with the Suns..
Guess what? He’s still playing. It looks like a few teams caught McGrady in their sights. It seems as though the Bulls are interested in acquiring the 13 year veteran. I think McGrady would fit perfectly in the Bulls system.
Derrick Rose would obviously be the primary ball handler while T-Mac can find comfortable spots to shoot from. At 6”8 McGrady can play in either the SG or the SF position. If there’s any weakness on the Bulls team, I’d have to say it’s the SG position. He may not be able to keep up with todays shooting guards, but if he can find some rhythm in his offense, who knows, maybe his offense can make up for his defense. It’s a poor excuse, but it’s the only one I can think of if he is to put in 25 to 30 MPG in that position.
His best bet would probably be to back up Luol Deng at the SF position. A successful T-Mac season would leave many organizations wondering why their 500 piece puzzle only came with 499 pieces. They will be left with an unfinished framed masterpiece. Organizations will be sure to count their pieces before assembling another puzzle in the future making sure they looked everywhere. If T-Mac can put up a 17-4-4 type of season, he will increase his value.
I think a 5 Million a season contract would seem logical. Some teams have nothing to lose. With Miami in the way, half; if not 90% of the NBA is already considered eliminated. Why not try a new recipe and see how it tastes since chances are most teams will be fishing before the playoffs even start?
What if Miami doesn't win?
You wanna talk about the biggest upset in sports history? You wanna revert back to Wades world trade center comments? If Miami does not win a championship it will be all over the news for days, weeks, or months. Miami will be new skits for comedians to feed from, extra material for radio talk shows, and snacks for bloggers. Anything other than a championship in Miami is not acceptable.
These 3 Olympic teammates took a pay cut (Still wipe their bottoms with $100 bills though). LeBron made it clear that they will win multiple rings "Not 1, not 2 not 3...." bla bla bla... Sometimes too much talk can get you in trouble in the long run. People don’t forget predictions when they come out of a superstars mouth.
So again, what if Miami does not win? What happens? The memories of all the upsets in NBA history will be erased. The 1st seeded Dallas Mavericks losing to the 8th seeded Golden State Warriors in the first round of the 2007 playoffs will be distant memories of the past and barely brought up. Team USA settling for the Bronze medal in the 2004 Olympic Games will also be forgotten.
Yes, it’s that serious for the Miami Heat. If you don't believe that Miami losing seems possible, go back to the 2008 Olympics when team USA (which included the trio) beat Spain by 11 points in the final match thanks to a good 1st quarter. Team USA’s bench was filled with superstars, superstars of which 3 of them thrown on any given NBA team would instantly create a dynasty...Still the result was an 11 point outcome.. In games that weren’t as important as the finals, team USA cruised past everyone, we know………. But we can’t use that as our formula.
Yes, that was just one game, but the Spaniards weren’t loaded with as much talent as Team USA; no team in the Olympics were. Their leader happens to be on the defending championship team, that’s good news for the Lakers. Remember at the end of the 2010 regular season how everyone cruised past the Lakers? Remember how L.A. and Boston flipped the switch and surprised everyone in the playoffs? Playoff basketball is completely different; it takes more than individual skill to win.
It requires teamwork as seen in the Olympic Games and many successful non loaded teams such as the OKC Thunder. We’ve seen plenty examples of how to define playoff basketball, this year’s playoffs had many examples. A failed first attempt will not be the end of the world for the trio. However, they would be compared to the Celtics and how they clicked in their first season. Still, it won't be the end of the world for the Heat.
Regardless of how many superstars you throw onto one team; team chemistry still has to take it's place. These 3 have already played together, so it shouldn't take long for them to play team basketball. Let's just say Miami already has a head start.