Posted by Kelly Dwyer
After an unfortunate separation with the Minnesota Star-Tribune, it appears as if Steve Aschburner has landed on his feet. Good thing. Not only is he a Lyons Township grad (along with Jeff Hornacek, Owen Brown, and Kevin Dwyer), but he was long one of the better NBA beat writers out there, and offered a consistently-good Sunday column.
Kurt with Forum Blue and Gold offers a great take, without any of the "punks need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps" tripe, regarding Team USA. Defense is key. Fans were clamoring for small-ball for years with Team USA, and they got it last year; but it meant Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James had to be the team's help-side interior defenders at times. As we saw, especially when those international guards would slip the screen and roll and dive towards the rim, Carmelo and LeBron stunk it up defensively. It wasn't their fault, and had nothing to do with age -- they worked their tail off (everyone on last year's team did), but they just weren't used to having to keep one eye on their man and one on the rim. Go small, but leave a guy to guard the rim out there. It was a shame Elton Brand and Dwight Howard didn't see more minutes on last year's team, hopefully a few wrongs are made right this time around.
Tom from Sactown Royalty is very delicate in dealing with a pretty dodgy rumor regarding Reggie Theus' Sacramento ascension.
Good times ahead -- the Basketball Jones is going to giving us a team-by-team season preview. The first entry, taking on the Atlanta Hawks, is quite good.
Stephon Marbury's NY Post blog is, unsurprisingly, an entertaining read. For several reasons. I'm also excited to note that Marbury actually wants to file a game story after a Knicks game this fall for the Post. Nothing bad can come of this.
Fascinating discussion (follow the BS Report link) between Michael Wilbon and Bill Simmons. Well worth your time. I will argue two points -- the discussion regarding why Kevin Garnett didn't want to head to Boston wasn't a "cold weather"-thing, it wasn't a "big city"-thing, and I'm less and less convinced that it was a "perception"-thing. It was a Celtic thing. That roster, before last month's draft, wasn't even a 50-win contender even if Garnett had been traded to Boston for Al Jefferson. Also, Bill makes a good point talking about veterans who, once bought-out of their contracts, always go to warm-weather cities. One problem with that: Joe Smith (in 2000), and Chris Webber (in 2007) went to Detroit. I'm sure there were more.