Saturday, February 9, 2008

I’LL TRADE YOU SHAWN MARION FOR SHAQUILLE O’NEAL

Sounds like a big fantasy trade. Rarely, do you see big trades like this, but I guess it’s happening more and more in the NBA. Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Shaq, Marion.

Most reactions from this trade were: What was Phoenix thinking? But I’m gonna defend the trade for the following reasons.

THE MATRIX RELOADED

Shawn Marion is an amazing athlete. His nickname is The Matrix. I originally thought it was because of his Keanu Reeves impressions, (”I know Kung-fu.”) but it was really because of his acrobatic moves to the basket. I have a soft spot for him too because he shoots the ball with 2 hands just like me----so if your coach ever tells you to change your shot because it looks funny, just look to Marion as defense case #1. But here’s the thing: How good is Marion without Nash? In fact, look at some of Nash’s teammates in the past and the present: Quentin Richardson, Joe Johnson, Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa—around Nash they are sick, but without him, they’re OK. Marion will do fine in Miami, but my point is, he may not be missed too much in Phoenix because Nash can make anyone into a scoring machine.

SHAQ’S HEALTH

Shaq is washed up. His health has deteriorated and even his acting career has diminished. (He’s gone from leading roles, Kazaam and Blue Chips, to doing awful Vitamin Water commercials where he rides a donkey.) But the Suns didn’t acquire Shaq for his acting prowess or even for the regular season; he’s there for the playoffs. The Suns will rest him for the next 3 months (since the NBA season is like 11 months long, you can do things like that.) And they will still finish in the top 4 in the West. People might say: “Shaq doesn’t fit into their style of offense!” That style has bounced the Suns from the playoffs every year. Why? Because the playoffs are different: teams actually play defense and it’s more of a half-court game. So if Shaq can rest up and get healthy over the next 100 days, the Suns could finally go from scary regular season team to very scary playoff team.

THEY NEVER WOULD’VE BEATEN THE SPURS

Now they have a chance. In the past, it’s pretty clear; the Suns didn’t stand a chance against the World Champs. This throws a curveball at Tim Duncan and his boys. Do you think the Spurs are excited to face Shaq regardless of how old, fat, and annoying he is? Probably not.

RISK/REWARD

The Suns lost in the 2nd round of the playoffs last year. Sure, one of the refs was betting against them, but do you think that really mattered? Once again, there is no way the Suns could ever beat the Spurs in a 7 game series. But now, things could change. And if they don’t, so what? They lost in the 2nd round last year. If they lose in the 1st round instead, is it really that much of a difference?

AN INTERESTING PATTERN

If you were to work four jobs in 4 different cities, where would you wanna go? Shaq has been to Orlando, L.A., Miami, and now Phoenix. All warm weather climates with hot girls. A pretty lucky man. And oh yeah, he’s won championships in L.A. (3 of ‘em), Miami, and made it to the finals in Orlando. I wonder if this pattern is a coincidence or if it has something to do with his ability and leadership. I guess we’ll find out in a few months.

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