The Fundamentals

» September 3, 2008 7:35 AM | By Brandon Hoffman

Daniel Howes of The Detroit News:  “A new poll for Detroit Renaissance, to be released today, suggests how that race might shape up: Dave Bing, the former Pistons great turned industrialist, would beat all likely comers in a special election to replace Kilpatrick. Some 72 percent of those polled believe Detroit would be better off with someone other than Kwame Kilpatrick as mayor, and 75 percent say the city charter should be amended to elect council members by district.” [Via Detroit Bad Boys]

Mike McGraw of The Daily Herald: “It’s possible Gordon would prefer joining a European team over signing the one-year qualifying offer from the Bulls worth $6.4 million. One site pegged CSKA’s offer at $5.5 million. Either way, Gordon would become an unrestricted free agent next summer, when several NBA clubs are expected to have salary-cap room. If he signs the Bulls’ one-year qualifying offer, Gordon’s playing time could conceivably drop because the team has a surplus of guards and he would be expected to leave after the season. The No. 3 pick of the 2004 draft, Gordon has been the Bulls’ top scorer for the past three years.”

WaitingForNextYear:  “Rather than providing answers, what these estimates show us instead are what possibilities will be out there for the Cavaliers in 2010. If you look at the numbers, it actually will be possible for the Cavaliers to sign another max player in 2010 besides LeBron. However, it will leave the Cavaliers without much depth at all. Other than the future draft picks, who are unlikely to be contributors, the Cavaliers would only have 6 players, plus possibly a 7th player they could get with their Mid Level Exception who you could expect to play meaningful, significant minutes. It just seems to me that to sign a player like Dwyane Wade to a max deal will make it awfully tough for Danny Ferry to build a complete team around LeBron and Wade without getting extremely lucky in the 2009 and 2010 drafts.”

The Rocky Mountain News:  “With Beijing behind him, Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony is already looking to the future. Despite losing first-team, All-NBA defensive center Marcus Camby during the offseason, Anthony is confident the Nuggets will find a way to make some noise during the upcoming 2008-09 season. “We will be a Western Conference contender,” Anthony said today as he flashed his Olympic gold medal for the media.”

Travis Heath of HOOPSWORLD:  “So is the criticism of Anthony’s defensive effort for the Nuggets unfair? “Yeah, I think that’s an unfair criticism but that only motivates me.  You know, it’s easy to say when you look at our team — you know the Nuggets — we average 111 points and we give up the amount of points we give up.  People say we can’t play defense, but at the end of the day the best player on the team gets criticized for it. “I always tell people there is no ‘I’ in ‘defense’ and there is no ‘I’ in ‘lose.’  But there is an ‘I’ in ‘win.’  You know what I’m saying?  There’s not an ‘I’ in ‘Team,’ either.  And I think this year I can bring what I brought to Team USA back to the Nuggets.”"

Keith Langlois of  “Of the four other players in line for serious roles this season, only Amir Johnson wasn’t a first-round pick. Johnson was something of an unknown quantity when he came to the NBA straight out of high school – the last high school player to be selected before the collective-bargaining agreement was changed that summer – as the No. 56 pick of the 2005 draft. Rodney Stuckey, who’ll play starter’s minutes, was the No. 15 pick in 2007, 12 spots higher than Arron Afflalo went that year. Jason Maxiell was the No. 26 pick in 2005. The NBA talent pool now spans the globe. So think about that. Ninety percent of the players expected to comprise Detroit’s rotation this season were deemed among the 27 best draft-eligible players in the world in the years they were selected. You think it’s tough getting into Harvard, run the odds on that against making it to the NBA.”

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Upside and Motor:  “Then again, there’s the chance that Amare’s game just gives the illusion of fragility. He seems like a product of the system, and while I know for a fact his life is going to get more difficult post-Nash, he’s talented enough to rise above. He’s shown improvement in his mid-range game to his credit, but at this point I don’t see a reason to include him in the “If you could build around any player…” upper-echelon with the likes of LeBron, Wade, Paul, Howard, and Williams. Or even the less established Oden or Durant. Because of the nature of his game and his numbers, Amare could be an all-star until his knees explode, but in terms of playing a branch of superstar basketball that helps taems win while being “the man,” I’m more than skeptical.”

Tom Withers of the Associated Press:  “LeBron James has gone from the gold-medal stand to the silver screen. The Cavaliers’ megastar, fresh off helping the U.S. basketball team win gold at the Beijing Olympics, will be at the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend for the debut of “More Than A Game,” a documentary chronicling his rise to stardom and how he and four childhood friends overcame long odds to win a national championship in high school.”

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:  “I’m not surprised chief marketing officer Greg Economou left the franchise, but I’m not surprised when any business-side executive is let go by the Bobcats. From the day Ed Tapscott was ousted several years ago, there’s been an obvious pattern to each season: First, majority owner Bob Johnson sets revenue goals that are somewhere between optimistic and delusional. Then the staff fails to reach those goals. And then some high-ranking executive is removed in something like an off-season ritual sacrifice. What’s that expression? A sure sign of insanity is repeating the same act and expecting a different result. 2. The net effect of these changes is widening the authority of CEO Fred Whitfield. This is not surprising because of his close relationship to Michael Jordan. At this point, it’s hard to hold a major role with the Bobcats without being a friend of Michael.”

Adam Lauridsen of The Contra Costa Times:  “The Warriors averaged 111.0 points per game last year.  With Davis, Pietrus and Barnes departing and Ellis recovering from being hit by a satellite (or whatever the latest theory is regarding his injury), the Warriors have lost a combined 55.7 points — or more than half of their offense.  They gain some of that back with Maggette’s 22.1 points, Turiaf’s 6.6, and Williams’ 5.9, but they’re still down roughly 22 points.”

Matt Steinmetz of The Examiner:  “The NBA team in Oklahoma City will get its official nickname on Wednesday, and all indications are that it will be “Thunder.” That’s right: Thunder. That decision probably didn’t sit well with the Golden State Warriors. Not to mention the guy who wears the suit. Why? Because “Thunder” is the name of the official Warriors team mascot NBA-approved, by the way.” [Via Golden State of Mind]

Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal:  “A franchise that has remade its roster figuratively using Geritol and Ben-Gay within the past three seasons is now preparing to operate with a different formula. Similac, anyone? Of the 13 players on the roster, eight are 23 or younger. Half of that group will be only 20 when training camp opens later this month. The Grizzlies’ brightest returning star, Rudy Gay, is about to enter his third season. Their presumptive starting point guard with star potential, Mike Conley, will arrive for just his second campaign. O.J. Mayo is perhaps the best household name. And he’s a rookie. Then there are the free agent acquisitions, Spain’s Marc Gasol and Iran’s Hamed Haddadi, who have yet to even sit on an NBA bench. Yes, the Griz are young — but hopeful.”  “Spurs guard, Manu Ginóbili is in Los Angeles with specialists who will perform arthroscopic surgery on his injured left ankle on Wednesday.   Speaking to Argentina-based newspaper Olé, Ginobili  says the Spurs’ medical staff were convinced that surgery was the only way to definitively resolve the injury. The subject of recovery time and how long Ginobili might be out of action has been widely debated among Spurs fans and experts alike, but some with knowledge of the injury say that no matter what, Manu will not be allowed to return to action until he is completely healed and ready, “no matter how much he begs and pleads.” “I do not know what the recovery time might be,” explains Ginobili. “I do know that I’m going to undergo rehab and therapy in San Antonio and that the timeline for a return is inaccurate at this point. First I was told six to eight weeks, now seems to be between ten and twelve (weeks). I do not know… I reckon two months or two and a half months before I start playing again.”"

Doc’s Head Games:  “What was, and is, most impressive about the former league M.V.P. is his mental and physical conditioning. He consistently plays at an exciting pace, from a fan’s perspective and a teammate’s point of view. His capacity to perform at Nashspeed, both on the court and in his mind, is what makes him special. He can anticipate action as good as anyone — and better than most — and possesses uncanny instincts, characteristics that allow him to create and finish plays with impeccable timing and draw-dropping reactions. It is important to note that he was not born with Nashspeed; rather, he became a student of the game.”

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