Notes and Errata: June 9th, 2010

June 9th, 2010 by John Krolik

According to Windhorst, the Globetrotters have made LeBron and D-Wade offers to play with the team. So there’s that. Fun fact: Wilt Chamberlain, whose career path is looking way too similar to LeBron’s, actually did start his pro career with the Globetrotters. Times have changed.

-Finals stuff: Kobe double standard something something, redux. Yes, I got a little frustrated when talk about the differences in LeBron and Kobe’s play centered around “Kobe is, deep down, a superior version of basketball human than LeBron is” and not “Let’s look at the differences between how the Jazz and Celtics play defense.” Forget Cavs/Lakers or LeBron/Kobe. It’s talking about basketball vs. cheap armchair psychology. My allegiance to the former is much, much more powerful than my allegiance to any team or player, as passionate as I can get about the latter.

-But you know what? The Lakers won. Good for them. At halftime of game six, when LeBron was quiet again and Mo had carried the team to a lead, I thought to myself “You know how I would feel if LeBron got completely bailed out in this game? Awesome.” The goal is to win the game, and the Lakers did that tonight.

-Derek Fisher’s stats against the Celtics in the finals are slightly worse than Mo’s were in the conference semis. But I did have to check.

-Ray Allen: maybe available for the MLE again! And between Allen going 0-13 and Kobe going 5-22 from outside the paint, can we maybe put the “any player who struggles from outside against a really good defense has a horrible jumper and is failing because he did that one commercial instead of working on it” stuff to rest?

-I know it’s baseball, but good lord, Strasburg. That was something else entirely. Wow. A million times wow. I will go here: I haven’t had those type of debut tingles since LeBron’s first game. There was the hype, then there was the “oh, this guy’s going to be really good sooner than we thought” moment (summer league/the minors), then there was the “Holy living, breathing, Jesus” moment when they made their big-league debuts.

Seriously, two strikeouts PER INNING? And his only runs were given up on a cheap fly-ball homer thanks to the batter guessing changeup on a 1-0 count? Freaky, freaky stuff. Video-game stuff.

Here’s my best LeBron/Strasburg comparison:

-LeBron’s size and speed combination are Strasburg’s fastball/curveball combination

-LeBron’s court vision is Strasburg’s ability to change speeds and mix up his three pitches, including a filthy change

-LeBron’s “weakness,” his outside shooting, is the same as Strasburg’s “weakness”: he doesn’t really have pinpoint control like a Mark Prior did. I know he didn’t walk anyone, and he throws a lot of strikes, but a lot of that is because Strasburg’s stuff is so nasty he can just fire it to the middle of the zone when he falls behind, and won’t give up hits if he misses his spot when he’s ahead. He was able to get away with it against Pittsburgh (how about that time he blew three fastballs by the guy after falling behind 3-0?), but he’ll have to work ahead more and be a little bit more fine to dominate better teams.

Of course, Strasburg’s “lack of control” has the same caveat to it as LeBron’s “lack of a jumper does”: they both have good control/a good jumper, but Strasburg shouldn’t be nibbling and LeBron shouldn’t be settling for jumpers.

And to all of our D.C. area readers, I am aware that the vast majority of you do not like LeBron. I still plan on enjoying watching Strasburg pitch. Sue me.

All I’ll say before I end this unwelcome tangent is that I would be remiss not to mention that Ubaldo Jimenez is getting a very raw deal this year. He has a sub-1 ERA with the Rockies, his fastball is just as impressive as Strasburg’s, and he has that same video-game array of secondary pitches, including a wicked two-plane slurve and fading split/change.

Sorry about all of that. Strasburg just reminded me of when the entire basketball world truly and genuinely liked LeBron. That was a magical time. Actually, most people said he was overhyped and that Carmelo was better. There has never been peace. Someday, the Pax LeBrona (hat tip to Joey of Straight Bangin‘) will come.

-Benefits of insomnia: getting to be the first person (I hope) to link to Kevin Arnovitz’s video breakdowns. Here’s on on Ray Allen’s horrific night.

-Alright, that’s all for tonight. After the finals, I promise to get back to writing real posts instead of things that pop into my head at 3:40 in the AM. Until then, please read me over on NBC. I work very hard over there.