Category Archives: Hypotheticals

Chris Webber Should Replace Mark Jackson

Mike Breen has been hassling Mark Jackson on national TV since he accepted the Warriors gig a few days ago.  While it may seem like all fun when listening on TV, the reality is that he and JVG know that without Mark Jackson, that announcing team has a lot less credibility and the personality dynamics will go to shit.  So while I was watching Lebron piss away another “most important game of [his] life,” I realized the NBA would be losing a key component of its recent TV success if they didn’t find a way to keep Breen and Van Gundy on the air together.  That, obviously, means replacing Mark Jackson with someone of equal caliber.  They can’t bring in Dennis Miller.

It’s interesting that I feel this way.  At one point during the 2010 Finals I wished there was a Mark Jackson mute button.  But the more I think about it, the more I realize that his insights into the game are directly attributable to his immense knowledge of basketball, being one of the best point guards of the modern era.  Also, his personal relationship with JVG is unmatched.  That may be irreplaceable.  But if you are looking for a smart, intelligent, well-versed TV personality to replace Mark Jackson, there is no better choice than Chris Webber.  Why? I give you one example.

Nothing more needs to be said.  Any one that tells David Khan to his face how awful he is deserves to be on television (or in the GM suite).  In any case, Webber has my pick for the NBA on ABC team for 2011-2012.

 

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Monta Ellis Would Be Perfect

I know I’m going to take some heat for this one (even here at JBH), but hear me out: Monta Ellis is exactly what the Lakers need right now, and should do everything that is reasonable to get him.  Why Monta?  Let’s take a look at the glaring weaknesses for the Lakers in 2010-2011: lack of athleticism, weak guard play on the offensive and defensive ends, poor bench production.  If done correctly, a trade for Monta Ellis could be an answer to all three of those issues.

Let me explain.  If we consider that everyone on the Lakers’ roster is one year older, then there is no doubt that the championship window closes after next year, at the latest.  At that time, the Lakers will have shed essentially the entire roster, save for Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant, with Lamar Odom‘s contract only partially guaranteed in 2012-2013, and Andrew Bynum up for a contract renewal in the same year.  The team would be heavily relying on two aging superstars in Pau and Kobe, and would have nothing left to put around them.  So, at the risk of losing some familiarity, if the Lakers go out and get someone young and athletic that can ease the scoring burden on Kobe over the years, and be a reliable #2 option to Andrew Bynum, the Lakers would immediately add some juice to an increasingly disinterested set of veterans, and also return to some of the “Showtime” glory that the Buss’ reportedly are craving since Phil Jax’ slow it down, kill you slowly, style.

Who do you give up?  Either Pau or Lamar.  Kobe is Kobe and he’s not going anywhere.  Andrew Bynum is younger and more dominant than Monta can ever be, and is the kind of guy you trade for Dwight Howard.  If you trade Pau you end up with a starting 5 of: Blake/Fisher, Kobe, Ron, Lamar, Bynum, and a second unit of: Fisher/Blake/Brown, Ellis, Barnes, and a yet to be named backup PF and C, but in reality you can put some heavier minutes on Bynum and Odom.  That second unit would put great scoring pressure on opposing teams, and would make up for lack of size on the defensive end with better quickness and fast breaks.

If Lamar is the one to be chosen, which is more likely due to his contract situation, then your starting five remains unchanged from this year, you find some depth at the PF position in free agency, and you hope that Pau and Drew can play big minutes to lock down the interior in the second unit.  But the most exciting prospect of adding Monta isn’t in the first five minutes of the game, its in the last five minutes.  If you believe Mike Brown and his insistence that some elements of the triangle are going to be kept, then this late game rotation would be absolutely unstoppable: Ellis, Kobe, Ron, Pau, Bynum; OR Blake, Ellis, Kobe, Pau, Bynum OR … You see what I’m getting at?  Putting Monta at the PG position on this incredibly PG-weak team would open up all kinds of insane options for Mike Brown to play with, and just having him in the line-up would provide Kobe with the ball-handling make-your-own-shot kind of guy he’s been looking for for years.

I’m not saying it would be perfect.  And seeing Lamar or Pau go would be painful after the wild success they’ve shared since 2008.  But the reality is that the league is getting quicker, in direct response to the Lakers dominating with size.  If the Lakers adjust back to add the most dynamic scorer available, well, I think Lakers fans will need to offer up some more cheese.

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The Grudge Match!… Kinda.

I really wish the Lakers were in the finals right now.  As far as Lakers fans go, my sentiments are not so unique.  I expect to win, I expect success.  So much so that I have created a scenario that, for me, morphs this years’ NBA Finals into the grudge match, Lakers vs. Celtics that I’d hoped it would be.  The Mavericks and Heat are not only the two teams that dismissed the defending Eastern and Western Conference champions from the playoffs, but they are two teams specifically built to compete with the Lakers and the Celtics.

I explain…

Obviously the original “Big Three” inspired the new South Beach version, but the process began years ago when they knocked LeBron out of the playoffs in 2008 and 2010 and eliminated Wade in 2010.  (Note: The Celtics faced Wade, LeBron, Dwight Howard, and Kobe last year, 4 out of the top 5 MVP candidates, saved the best for last and came up short.  Suck it Boston.)  The Mavericks added two seven-foot centers in Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood to combat the Lakers giant front line.

I’d like to think they strategically added JJ Barea but I’m not going that far.

If Lakers fans didn’t already have a good enough reason to cheer for the Mavs over the Heat, now they do.  Think of it as a team built to beat LA vs. a team built to beat Boston.  Our style vs. their style.  West vs. East.  No matter how it is spun, GO LAKE—I mean Mavs!

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