Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Not-so Secret 7 - Part 1

Part-1 of SonDog's professional analysis of the Sacramento Kings:

It's here. No, really, it's here. I can hardly believe it myself. But, nevertheless, it's here.

The NBA is back. Training camp is underway, and millions of unskilled fans who wish they were 6'5", 200 pounds, are spending their nights awake, wondering what needs to go right in order to define the success of their respective teams.

With that in mind, this unskilled fan will provide the top-7 question list as to what will define the success of the 2005/2006 Sacramento Kings.

But, before doing so, let me get one thing straight. I'm a 5'10", 180 lb mayonnaise-white guy with limited to no jumping ability. In addition, I don't have a jump shot. Really, not to use a cliché, but I don't think I could hit the ocean if I shot from a boat (wow, that was a serious cliché, wasn't it?). If that weren't enough, I have limited lateral quickness and my dribble-drive consists all of one move, which doesn't come close to involving my left hand. Defensively, I'm as active as a fence post. The words "blocking" or "out" exist nowhere in my vocabulary. The last time I grabbed a rebound was my freshman year of college, and I ended up dating her for about three years. Impressive, but it didn't involve a basketball. While I always considered myself "coachable," coaches never considered me "playable." With all that going for me, I have absolutely no right to critique the game of NBA players. However, since I've never trusted my better judgment before, why start now?

1) Will the real Peja Stojakovic please stand up?

The Peja of 2003/2004 was considered an MVP candidate in some circles (not this circle, but then again, I'm the only MVP candidate in this circle, so that should tell you something). The 2004/2005 Peja was considered an incredible disappointment in some circles (this circle included. That being said, that's one-too-many circles.). The 03/04 Peja played sans Chris Webber. The 04/05 Peja... not so much. I'm sensing a theme. If the 05/06 Peja could play more like the 03/04 Peja, rather than the 04/05 Peja, then the 05/06 Kings stand a better than 50/50 chance of improving on their 50 wins. If that happens, and 7, 34, 52, 12, and 73 all hit in Powerball this week, I'll be the richest man in the universe (because I'm betting money in Vegas that Peja produces). Three things are going for him this year: 1) Contract year. 'Nough said. 2) No C-Webb. 'Nough said. 3) Lots of people are doubting him + thing 1 and thing 2. 'Nough said. Put all that together, and in the immortal words of Dave Chappelle, "I'm riach biatch!!!" Peja, you better not let me down.

2) Will Bonzi Wells stay out of trouble?

Since Sac acquired Bonzi from Memphis, I cannot get this fact out of my mind: Wells was told by Memphis Grizzlies' coach Mike Fratello in the playoffs last year that if he came anywhere near the arena during game 4, he would be arrested. Seriously, I'm not making this up. Therefore, my nickname for Bonzi, until he proves me otherwise, will remain, Bonzi "If You Come Anywhere Near the Arena During Game 4, I Will Have You Arrested" Wells. Bonzi, however, has a couple of things going for him: 1) Contract year. (Seriously, between Wells - starting shooting guard -, and Peja - starting small forward, I really hope there are enough balls to go around. Both are playing for a contract. Both want to score and prove doubters wrong). 2) No Mike Fratello. 3) Lots of people are doubting him + thing 1 and thing 2. Hang on one minute; I need to go put a bet down on Wells.

Bonzi Wells, before game 4 of the Grizzlies' first round playoff...

3) Can Shareef Abdur-Rahim contribute to a winning team?

This has to be the most hyped acquisition of Sacramento's off-season. Give him this: SAR has always been productive. He's one of the few men in the NBA that has averaged close to 20 points (well... almost) and 10 rebounds per game in his career (as point of fact, he's NEVER averaged 10 rebounds a game, but that's just splitting hairs). If that weren't enough, SAR has NEVER played for a team that finished .500 or above. The only time he came close was his first season in Portland, and he wasn't acquired until mid-February. He also is trying to replace arguably the most productive and popular player in Sacramento's history. (Personal Aside: It really burns me that people still use the phrase "arguably" to describe the Chris Webber reign in Sacramento. Simply put, Chris was the best player to EVER don a Sacramento Kings' jersey. in 2002/2003, Webber was one of the three best players in the game. Had he not screwed up his knee in the playoffs that season, there is a good chance the Kings could have run through the NBA for their first championship. Sadly, he was never the same after his operation. Without a doubt, Chris Webber was the best player to ever wear a Sacramento Kings jersey. The word "arguably," from this point forward, will never be used to describe anything about him in this blog again.) Personally, the SAR addition has been a little too over-hyped for my taste. Is he a solid player? Yes. Has he proven ANYTHING in his NBA career? No. I'm not saying he can't, but let's give him a shot to prove something this year. If he does, it will go down as one of the best signings of the Geoff Petrie era.

Questions 4-7 will be arriving shortly...


Anonymous said...

Um...did you honestly reference your ex in a post? I met her...she was alright...

OZ said...

There is a problem with SAR. The reigning Webb replacement, with his deflated ego and delicate feelings, is not ready to give up his spot. Kenny Thomas proved a few Philly execs wrong and some na-sayers in Sac, but he still looked like he could break out in tears at the thought of going back to the bench. If he doesn't start, the meek and timid Adelman will have a disgruntled and whiney KT on his hands, and given Adelman’s tendency to ignore blatant personality conflicts and stick with the plan he come up with 3 years earlier, this could be a problem.

Bonzi will prove you wrong about his personality and right about his drive for a contract.

I haven’t worn my Peja jersey in a while. Hopefully, these addition will be the boost he needs to get open and drill the long jumper, but I think too many teams have realized how ineffective he is if you just pressure him, so they won't stop.