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Italy.jpgJust thought I'd let you know that I'm going to Italy on vacation and I won't be back until Easter. My wife and I have been planning this trip for years and I can't tell you how excited I am. In fact, you may have even picked up on it the last few days as I've been mailing it in on this blog worse than Vince Carter did North of the border a few years ago. I can't help it, I'm just giddy with giddy up and go.

Fear not, the blog will go on without me. Guest apperances will be made by some familiar faces. Besides, the community of this site is strong enough to keep the ball rolling all on its own.

I'll be missing 5 games (including the Bucks tankerific game) as well as the Final 4 (including Oden v. Hibbert), but I couldn't care less. I need this break and in my mind I'll be fast forwarding to the final stretch of the season. By the time I get back we should know where we stand in the standings. In fact, I'm hoping to set up magic numbers for the top 2 picks and track scoreboards around the league like a pennant race. Who knows what will happen while I'm gone? I'll be looking forward to seeing what you guys wrote while I'm away but I'm not sure if I'll even attempt to seek out a box score overseas. Even moreso I should be rested and refreshed and ready to dive into the most important offseason I can remember.

Still, I can't leave without some final parting shots, so here are some very random thoughts to empty my head.

  • I keep hearing how Perkins is a "backup center." Isn't that a relative term? He's a backup if you have someone better than him to start. Alonzo would be starting here but he's a backup to Shaq. Eric Dampier is a starting center on the best team in the league. What matters more is the lineup you put around him. If you need scoring from the center spot, Kendrick is not ideal. If you have a quality scorers at the other positions, you can afford to have a more defensive minded center. In other words, if we have a starting lineup next year of Rondo, Pierce, Durant, Jefferson, and Perkins, I'm totally fine with that. Likewise, if we get Oden and he legitimately wins the job from Perk (pretty likely), I'm fine with that too.
  • I change my mind about this daily, but I'm slowly coming around to the "keep Gerald & keep Theo's cap relief, go for smaller moves while the youth grows" camp. There are so many variables (where will we be picking? who could we get for that package? how will our future cap room be effected by extensions to players?) that it is impossible to say what the team should do yet. I'm just happy that we do have those assets to move if we chose to.
  • I can't tell you how sick I am of hearing talk of tanking. At first it was a joke, then it got old, then it got ratcheted up a notch with that Charlotte game and Doc's post game comments. I promise you it wouldn't have been as big a deal if Doc didn't give everyone a perfect little sound bite to use. It sickens me to hear the team laughed at on ESPN. We better get a top pick, or I'm going to be very bitter for a very long time about this whole process.
  • Nobody wants to be wrong about Doc more than I do. The players play hard (if not well) for him and it sure would be "fair" to give him a shot next year. Sam Mitchell and Maurice Cheeks have done a decent job with the shot they've been given. The thing is, if he gets another shot, how will the team evaluate him? What are his goals? With a healthy roster, you are almost guaranteed a better record next year. The East is still weak enough that we have a really good shot at the playoffs (even with a mostly-unchanged roster). Is that amount of improvement enough to give him a Zeke-like long term extension? Is the playoffs enough to prove Doc belongs? If not, then what would earn him some job security? Likewise, if he really isn't the right coach for this team, but he makes the playoffs, how do you fire him? The team has to think through all these things very carefully before making a move this summer.
  • Speaking of evaluation, it is a good thing I'm not graded on my predictions. I forgot how optimistic I was going into this season. Yikes. Also, it looks like I'm in no danger of getting inked anytime soon.

That's all for me. Have a great week everyone.  God bless.