Ok. Enough with the optimism. Let's take an un-biased, Kool-aid-less, look at the off-season and the last two preseason games.
Well, we lost Apostrophe. We're screwed. I mean obviously in the last 5 years we have not been able to handle the loss of the big guy, especially his defensive prowess. Look at the 05-06 team. Yeah, we got to the WCF, but that was due to a combination of luck, dancing fairies, and David Stern. We lost because we didn't have Amare to put his defensive clamps on Dirk Nowitzki. Oh, and we lost 23.1 points a game. And Nash has never been able to create without Amare. Seriously. 05-06... we could only create because of Diaw's great, consistent skills. And he's gone. So... yeah so much for that. Oh yeah, we also lost LB, who always made us smile. So now we'll be winless and depressed.
He's obviously on the downside. Let's look at the Stats and try to predict his statistical year for 2010-2011.
Year Team G GS MPG FG% 3 % FT % OR DR TR A Blk Stl TO PF PPG
PPG- went down 2.7 points and then 5.5 points. Look at that regression! Due to that pattern, it will go down exactly 11 points this year (since the regression doubled). That means he'll average .3 points a game.
Minutes- went down .3, then 5.9. That regression was multiplied by nearly 20! That would put this years regression at about 98 minutes. That would put Hedo's playing time at negative 59.3. I guess now we have minutes for Warrick, Lawal, and Clark.
Rebounds- went down .4, then .7. Again, nearly doubling in regression. That would put his new regression at 1.4 and his 2010-2011 RPG at 3.2.
Assists- Down .1, then .8. Regression multiplying by 8! That puts this year's regression at 6.4! And a negative 2.3 APG for this year.
Now for those of you keeping track at home, this is Hedo's predicted stat line of 2010-2011.
.3 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, and negative 2.3 assists per game... all in -59.3 minutes per game. That's not exactly what you'd expect from a guy getting paid $10 million this year. Although I will say, he's extremely efficient. Some how he's getting .3 points a game in negative 59.3 minutes. Crazy.
Oh yeah, and this guy spent his summer playing for the world championships... and didn't even win. So yeah, obvious lack of judgment there.
Well he's spent the last few years playing in Greece. Other than gyros, what good has ever come out of Greece? Ever? In all of history?
According to his Wiki page: Warrick's earliest basketball memory involves monkey bars. "[T]he older guys wouldn't let us on the court and me and my friends used to go over and play basketball on the monkey bars. So that's when I first started dunking and everything."
So he learned how to play on the monkey bars? Lord have mercy on us all.
Other offseason notes: Our point guard and emotional leader spent it shooting movies. Shows how much team spirit and commitment this guy has. Dragic also wasted his time losing the World Championships. Grant Hill got old.
Suns Vs Kings
First of all, they lost 109-95. Lemme go out on a limb here and say that no team, not one, can win a game when they lose the point-scoring battle by 14. It just doesn't happen in the NBA. Maybe in other circumstances, like high school or college, but not in the NBA. The talent level is too high, and you simply do not have room for that much error.
Stats for the game: 23 turnovers. -11 in rebounding margin. .125 3 Pt%. 6 fast break points. Allowed 50 points in the paint.
Analysis: Steve Nash and Grant Hill only played 8 combined minutes. Obviously Gentry no longer has confidence in them. Great. Two starters of last year obviously poised for bench play this year. Lawal and Frye didn't even play. They'll probably be cut.
Suns vs. Raptors
Welcome to hell. If the last meaningless preseason game didn't show you how much in turmoil this team is, then this debacle should dampen your spirits. Lost by 51 points. See above for the problem of the negative point differential.
Stats- 30 turnovers. Didn't even shoot 60% on freethrows. 16.7% 3-pointers. Again losing the rebound battle.
Analysis- This time, J-Rich only played 6-minutes. Another last year starter reduced to backup time. Warrick didn't play this game, he'll probably be cut too. Jared Dudley was our leading scorer, the offense will probably center around him this coming year. Our defense sucks.
Due to all of these, I would conclude several things.
1. The final make up of the team will be something like this:
First Team: Dragic, J-Dudz (uh leading scorer?), Childress, Lopez, and Earl Clark (higher ppg than Hedo in preseason)
Second team: Nash, Hill, J-rich, Janning, Siler
Fringe Guys: Hedo, Atkins
2. The offense will center around scoring stars Jared Dudley and Earl Clark.
3. The defense will not exist, setting new records in fail.
4. We won't win any games. We just lost by 50 to the Bosh-less Raptors. We have no hope.
So, let's stop looking at things with a very weakly based, optimistic view. Just take this year as a bust and begin to develop Dudley and Clark. In the end, we will all benefit from seeing things the way they are.