First off: Baah. Life got in the way of posting last night, but I’ll have the aforementioned new feature up by tonight barring unforseen complications. Although I don’t want your hopes to be up at this point-it’s a trifling and inconseqential new feature. In the meantime, here are a few links:
The Onion AV Club’s Scott Tobias’ review of “More Than a Game,” via Twitter:
“More Than A Game (’09, Belman, B-) A case of being there with a camera at the right time. Sweet, but papers over controversy for inspiration”
So that’s the first opinion on the film I think I’ve seen from somebody who’s not normally involved with sports. Tobias apparently just did an interview with LeBron as well, so that’s something to look for in the coming days.
-More Powe Reaction from Celtics Hub, this one comparing Powe’s departure to Ryan Gomes’ and attempting to rationalize the Celtics’ decision to let him walk.
-via CelticsBlog, Ainge is saying the Celtics offered Powe the same deal that the Cavaliers did. Powe says Ainge may be misremembering the details of the situation. If the Celtics really did make the same offer, which I doubt, that would a bit of a watershed moment for Cleveland free agency, no?
-Good article over at Raptors Republic about Chris Bosh and his lack of a post-up game, especially because of Cavs fans’ similar laments regarding LeBron’s lack of a post game. I’ll talk about this more in some bigger posts later in the summer, but for now I’ll just say that hand-check rules have a lot to do with all of this, and that the Barkley/Malone “post” may be just as deadly as the low-blocks in today’s NBA.
-Charley Rosen doing what he does best in a post on the NBA’s best defenders, mixing extremely solid Xs-and-Os type analysis with some statements sure to ignite discussions. Rosen, of course, will probably never be Cavalier fans’ favorite writer, but he’s always worth a read nonetheless. Notable remarks from this article:
-Delonte West is praised as “perhaps the most nasty-minded defender in the league.” The purists, the kids, the jocks, the geeks, the motorheads, everyone loves Delonte West.
-Anderson Varejao is mentioned as a guy who’s not great as a straight-up defender, but is fantastic as a weak-side guy, which is true.
-There are some backhanded compliments for LeBron, which is to be expected, considering how hard Rosen’s always banged on the “LeBron can’t defend” drum. His point about screen-and-rolls is interesting, especially because LeBron will probably be playing a lot more at the 4 this year. And LeBron does seem a lot more comfortable going under screens. However, I’m not sure what the “balance” comment was about: LeBron pretty much never bites on up-fakes, and I sure don’t remember him getting blown by all that often.
-More baffling is the paragraph where Rosen calls out Dwight Howard as an overrated defender. Yes, a lot of blocks doesn’t make a great defender. But the Magic were the best defensive team in the league last year. If Howard isn’t all that defensively, how did the ball stay out of the net so much? Howard was the centerpiece of that defense, and there weren’t really any defensive studs surrounding him. Maybe he does like to gamble, but questioning his defensive value because of that feels like losing the forest in the trees. For me, the most compelling argument for James and Howard’s defensive value wasn’t shoe contracts and awesome blocks, but because they were the leaders of 2 of the 3 best defensive teams in the league.
-And finally, Eric Freeman is a guy who was a contemporary of mine at FreeDarko, writing under the name “Ty Keenan.” He’s extremely talented, but has been out of the blog game for a little while. Now he seems to be doing his thing writing about culture for a website called The Plasma Pool, and the stuff has been extremely good so far. So check him out if you’ve got some time and are in the mood for a good read. Until next time, all.