Monday, August 29, 2005

Booze and Hoops (And Not Vin Baker)

Actually, it's hard not to believe the guys over at 120 Proof Ball aren't on more than just drink. They've taken the luxury to breakdown each team's offseason, and the dead brain cells are evident! (Note: their motto is "When it comes to baseless conjecture, we're experts." So at least you know what you're getting into.)

In fairness, the blurb on the Kings was obviously written pre-Shareef. Nonetheless, here's a fisking of what is actually there:

120PB says: "The thing is they still have a couple of decent players like Mike Bibby and Peja. Brad Miller doesn't suck too badly but none of the aforementioned three guys are franchise type players."

No, Brad Miller doesn't suck too badly. In fact, he's the third best center in the West, and that's counting Amare Stoudemire as a C. He's incredibly efficient, the best passing big in the game not named Shaq or Vlade, a decent on-the-ball defender and probably the most valuable King. And Bibby and Peja are decent players? Um, if decent means top 5 PG and best shooter in the game respectively, then yeah, they're decent.

120PB says: "The Kings learned that the hard way with Peja. The brass gave him the proverbial captain's armband when they sent Chris Webber packing and instead of becoming a leader, he became a douche bag and bitched nonstop about how he wanted out."

Facts always get in the way of a good opinion, no? The truth is that Peja was never looked at as the "leader" - Bibby inherited it when Webber left. Peja may have gotten top-dog status, but that just means the offense focuses more on him. When you have someone that can shoot like Peja, that's hardly a bad thing. And Peja didn't "bitch nonstop" - he made two public statements about a trade, if I remember correctly (once in Europe and once here). And that was BEFORE Webber was traded. (It all stemmed when Webb seemingly called out Peja after Game 7 of the '03 T-Wolves series - hilarious seeing as how Webber ruined the season for the team by coming back and taking the team's offense completely over). Peja said nothing about wanting to be traded once training camp begun last season. And since then, he's said his goal is to re-sign with the Kings. Whether that happens remains to be seen.

120PB says: "Wildcard: The cowbells. Seriously, few teams benefit from home court advantage more than the Kings. Those rednecks can ring a mean cowbell. Still, I don't think they'll have much to cheer about. Cow tipping anyone?"

Not much to cheer about but the second-best winning percentage in the league since 2000. And the fact that post-SAR-acquisition, our team is poised to be a top-three seed in the West.

Nice try, 120 Proof Ball. Here's our prediction: you'll be having crow for dinner this spring. (And if you think the Clips or Lakers will finish higher than Les Rois, you can't be saved.)


Anonymous Carl said...

Heh. Sacramento redneck jokes. Never heard those before. Hope those guys didn't hurt themselves with all that uncontrolled creativity bouncing around the room.

I think you can legitimately criticize Peja (no guts at all) and Miller (can't jump a lick, too slow to defend well) but the 120PB guys miss both critcisms completely. I'm not sure I agree that the Kings will win as much as you think they will, but they did get better. I DO agree that the 120PB guys have their heads up a cow's butt.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Todd Lerner said...

Incidentally, in our recent post, "Notable Nomads", we gave the Kings a bit more credit, due to the signing of Abdur-Rahim.

Stop by and take a look. Then you can fisk us all over again.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Torsten the Great said...

Nothin personal, dood. Until they got Shareef, I think the Kings were mediocre. In our latest article, we make mention of the fact that the Kings are now better for having acquired him. And to your reader who says we have our heads up a cow's butt, wow. That's just mean. There is a clear difference between being drunk and having your head some place nasty. Incidentally, thank you for linking to our Titans of Tantrum article. Much appreciated. Stop by for a shot of 120 proof sometime.

3:29 PM  
Blogger pookeyguru said...

5 things i must point out:
A bibby a top 5 PG (i been a kings fan for a long way in hell)..not only does he not play defense the man is so terrible @ shot selection i swear he costs the kings close to 50 pts a game on offense & defense combined. For years he froze out peja becuz he simply felt it was his turn (it didnt help webb that the 'leader' did it as well as bjax but hey its the way it goes..peja also didnt demand the ball the way he should either...rarely is there less than 2 sides to a story)but he loses track of the whole offense & the tone of the game very easily. Combine that with the fact that the team needed a leader & all he did was do what franchise alley I and starbury have been criticized for their whole careers of being. A 1 dimensional 1 sided player who cares about the glory & not the work that goes with it. To be fair to iverson he did make many strides a yr ago to becoming a better player than that.But having said all that i believe bibby is on trial this year to become the player that his status (not to mention his saying he's gonna be a leader this year...very cwebbian bibbinator..proud of ya) & salary demands. Will he continue to quick shoot the ball have poor shot selection in general & fail to recognize opportunities for his teammates? Or will he play as well as he did his first season (something too often forgotten) where he simply made the kings an unbeatable team much of the season with his ability to see the floor in the open court & in the halfcourt start the offense & let the other guys do their thing. Once the 02 playoffs finished he believed his role had changed & his play has gotten steadily worse. Ankle & knee injuries havent helped the situation but in truth his attention to detail has slipped as well. I believe for the kings to consider him a major part of the future he will have to revert to his 01 02 form where he simply was all the things they need him to be this year for this team to even have a shot @ a champoionship.
B peja IS the best player on the kings..the only question will he separate himself from bibby & miller..or will he be laid back this year..he clearly needs to expand his passing leadership & overall shot selection as well as creating of shots not to mention the too often criticized idea of rebounding. 1 point here if peja is 20 feet away from the basket he doesnt have shawn marion's pogo stick...he doesnt fly thru the air so he is put @ a natural disadvantage as it is. That being said he doesnt nearly use his body well enuf to grab 6 boards a game (not an impossibility on his part) since he seems to grab them when the game is on the line or he absolutely has to do it.
C miller is alot of things & not alot of things but the kings didnt have his failings in mind when they paid him the 68 mil..they never do, also he is a better player than yao ming if u consider all of yao's ability & what he makes he worth more than miller??? i dont think he is (@ least on the court anyway)..just my opinion tho
D In the time ive been a kings fan (since the early 90's) ive never see nat'l outlets get much right about the kings for whatever reason. Either they A dont care or B dont know who to contact here to get info to make sure their comments dont stink. After all the cowtown effect clouds up the nat'l sportscene
E 'Not much to cheer about but the second-best winning percentage in the league since 2000. And the fact that post-SAR-acquisition, our team is poised to be a top-three seed in the West' That last quote was not only the best quote but also a truthful quote. The kings effectively not only upgraded a starting unit that quietly has a very effective double double player in kenny thomas who is now coming off the bench, but it also aligns shareef & brad together while aligning the ex sixers trio as the backup front line which makes perfect sense in alot of ways. Thomas has more ability on the perimeter & while he can play inside he's clearly more suited for the outside play. Williamson is the best low post player of any SF & his game mesh's well with thomas if they can dictate a spot for skinner to be while those 2 work their game. Also becuz thomas is quick enuf to defend 3's it will make williamson's lack of foot speed less a difficult challenge for the kings as a whole to make up defensively. U counter this with reef's ability to play down low & brad's inability to play down low & it makes it so that certain players who probably could play with each other regardless (thomas skinner come immediately to mind) will now have a greater chance of succeeding on both ends. Petrie had another masterful summer (as he always seems to do with the kind help of another brilliant GM on his way out the door ...yes jerry west), the maloofs didnt spend it bitching about a new arena and the kings had a very smart upgrade on their team. Ill be surprised if this team wins 60 games...but ill be shocked if they dont win minimum 55 barring unforeseen things. Sorry about the long diatribe..but i had alotta stuff to get off my chest..thot i would do so today rather than 6 months from now lol

12:40 AM  
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10:14 PM  

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Tom Ziller

The Sacramento Kings are a tough act to follow, literally.

SKB does the dirty work so you can forget about the blood, sweat and tears.

Oh, you'll still need the tears in April, though.

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