Let's see; we've seen a total of one preseason game and one made-for-tv scrimmage (provided you have access to NBA TV). I'd say that's plenty of information to make sweeping generalizations and over-the-top judgments about the team and players! Won't you join me?
Start Patrick O'Bryant! I mean, if he is going to be hitting the boards, blocking shots, scoring off of open looks, and passing like he did last night, who needs Perk right?
Ok, stop throwing things at me. Of course the Beast is the starter. No question there. However, for all my hand wringing over the summer, if O'Bryant can play aggressive and pick up the defense enough, there's no reason why he can't fill in that backup center spot. He's got more than enough talent and length to give this team minutes. I'll say he benefited from playing with the first unit a lot. Still, you know there will be nights when Perk picks up two quick ones, and he'll be the first off the bench by necessity. I'm no longer scared by that prospect.
Bill Walker for Rookie of the Year! The dunks! The aggressive attacking of the basket! The dunks! Line up now to signup for the Bill Walker Fan Club!
Yep, he was impressive, and poised, and composed, and I have nothing bad to say about him. Still, let's not get ahead of ourselves. He's still a rook and he'll make his mistakes and learn his lessons along the way. With that said, I am less and less worried about the backup 3 spot.
Cut Scalabrine! JR Giddens is a bust! Brian Scalabrine looked horrible. Whatever value he ever had is a distant memory now. Where was JR? I blinked and missed him.
Honestly it has been a while since I've seen Scal give me a reason to defend him. At one point I enjoyed his fundamentals, but even those seemed lacking last night. I thought he was at his best on those New Jersey teams when he could be a role player, but there's no role for him here. He's a walking contract at this point. The only reason to keep him on the team (aside from his winning locker room personality) is the value that his contract could bring in a trade next year. Honestly though, I don't know if that's worth giving up a roster spot for. I think cutting Scal is a very real possibility at this point.
As for JR Giddens, I'm disappointed in his slow progress, but it is obviously too early to give up on him. He was drafted for a reason and I'm sure we'll see that reason take shape at some point this year. I hope the staff gives him some more run next game if only to get a better look at him. That said, if I had to pick a young player to package with Scal to get his money off the books and maybe bring back a servicable bench player, I'd lean towards this guy right now.
The starters looked great! We're the favorites to win the title!
Well, actually, that's not really an over-reaction. That's pretty much how I feel. All this other stuff with the bench is second fiddle to the fact that we have the best starting lineup in the league. So we've got that going for us. Which is nice.