The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Courtney Lee Has Contacts, I Guess

Why the yinyang else are people still saying he “could be [a] starter on championship-caliber teams” and that he’s “proven to be a valuable piece to a championship-caliber puzzle in the past”?

Dude played one season for a losing finalist viewed as a fluke at the time, a season in which he was below average offensively (10.7 PER) and worse in the playoffs (9.3) despite filling a low-volume defensive stopper role, and where his being barbecued in the finals was a contributing cause to his team’s defeat. Subsequently, that team was completely sanguine about throwing him into a like-for-like positional trade after that season, viewing him as a piece which could be upgraded to get them over the hump. People who like him keep pointing to his defense, and I keep waiting for evidence. His adj. +/- for his career is -1.54; his 1 year defensive rating is better, but realistically speaking he’s playing for one of the worst teams of all time- being better than the backups on the 2010 Nets is not a massive achievement. None of this is intended to be personal criticism or writing the kid off; he seems like a nice guy, he’s very young, and the final book on his career is far from being written. But so far he just hasn’t done it, there’s little more than fleeting evidence of him doing it, and the idea that he’s timelessly proven something about himself as a player just does not appear to be grounded in any sort of objectively verifiable data. He’s the Nets’ Abou Diaby.

Incidentally, and this may get a breakdown after the season if the current trends hold up, I do not buy the argument that the Nets are less than the sum of their parts. I think they may be more or less exactly the sum of their parts, the trouble is that the parts build a Rube Goldberg machine which makes losses. There’s just no nice way to say it, but if you look past the organization havoc, inept coaching and some of the antisocial tendencies of some of the roster (which have an effect, but are not the main story), the bottom line is that this is a collection of mostly really, really bad basketball players this year judged by the NBA standard. This gets hidden partly by the chaos, partly by some of the players having (questionably earned) big names either based off of what they did last year, or what they did in college, or what people dreamed they did on another team. If the Nets could field those reputations they’d be golden, but they can’t. They have to send out the actual Courtney Lee and his .415 shooting % percentage for the #27 defense in the league, and not to pick on him because I could use 10 guys as examples, but that ain’t cutting it. This argument needs more fleshing out to be sure, but suffice to say I don’t think there’s any way you could rearrange the Nets’ current roster at their current level of play and get anything more than 15 wins in a season out of them.

A final quote note: “Frank was the kind of coach who let his players play”

…What? The risk of saying things like that is why I will never write here about, say, the Milwaukee Bucks for anything other than trade breakdown.

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February 12, 2010 - Posted by | The Nets

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