The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

And Another Thing

To expand one of the below points past Courtney Lee, look again at the idea that he’s “good enough for a contender.” What made Orlando a contender last year? Lee? Certainly he played a role; but he role he played was a role which nearly every team needs and many can fill with players in a roughly similar talent zone. The difference between Orlando in the finals and those teams out in the early rounds or on the golf course before the playoffs started is not Courtney Lee, fungible asset (or a similar player), it’s Dwight Howard or Rashard Lewis or Hedo Turkoglu or etc. etc. A suitable and solid role player is a nice thing to have and once in a while they can even be crucial under the right circumstances- but they never even get the chance to be so unless unique or extremely rare and special players like Howard elevate the team to the point where contendership is even feasible. Guys like Howard are the foundation; Lee is more like a decorative cornice.

To put it more simply, Courtney Lee can be Courtney Lee for either a contender or for this year’s Nets or anything in between, because he is not a crucial difference maker; Dwight Howard could never be Dwight Howard for these Nets, because the fact of his presence would change and improve the team dramatically. That’s why saying that he’s been a role player “for a contender” makes so little sense- that it was for Orlando and not, say, Golden State or Memphis is an accident of the draft and not a result of anything intrinsic to Lee. You can’t give a man much credit for being lucky in his choice of teammates.

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February 12, 2010 - Posted by | Other NBA, The Nets

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