Being caught between your woman, your pistol and your chips is probably a tough spot to be in.
There's been a lot happening in ye olde Association these past few days. Instead of doing the hard work and coming up with an actual arc to it all, I'll just fire a few points off and we'll go from there.
Artest Traded To Sacramento
I think that both teams get better because of this trade, and I think we have NO idea what could happen with Ron in Sacktown. I mean it. There is absolutely nothing that would surprise me right now. "Hey, did you hear? Ron came out wearing a dress after halftime, and then he punched Adelman in the face!" Yeah, I'd believe that. "Yeah, Ron set up DJ tables at midcourt and tried to cut a rhyme during the game!" Yep, that's expected. I for one am happy to have him back. And that mix of players, with that coach... it could be very dicey. Keep your eyes peeled.
As for Peja, he will undoubtedly make the Pacers better, and they could pick it up in the second half. The only thing is that they have to play in the same division as Detroit, oh and JO is out for 8 weeks with a crotch pull, and well.... let's just move on.
Rob Babcock Fired By Toronto
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Couldn't quite hack it, eh Rob? Nah, the truth is that the Toronto Raptors basketball organization would probably fuck up a cup of Starbucks by adding too much cream or putting nutmeg in it or something. They're screwed up from the top to the bottom, and Rob was simply one part of the entire culture of failing. Still, he did nothing worthwhile when he was there, and he set them back a few years with the signing of Alston and the trade of Vince. The bottom line though is that they weren't going anywhere anyway, so don't put it all on Rob. He deserved to get fired though.... he's not NBA GM material yet.
(Wait just a minute... isn't McHale technically a GM? Let me revise that...)
Rob Babcock will probably land somewhere else by the beginning of next season.
Kobe Drops 81 On The Raptors
There's not much I can say about this that hasn't already been said. It was absolutely sick. I don't think I need to use this space to wax poetic on how it was or was not the greatest scoring performance of all time, I simply think I'll say "GodDAMN!!!! 81?!?!!?" and leave it at that.
The Nuggets Have Won 7 Straight
There is no useful comment to explain this. They beat San Antonio, Chicago, Cleveland, and Utah. Now they get to play the Clips in a home and home, and will probably win both of those. I've gone back and forth on the Nugs for awhile, and yes, they are definitely capable of playing good basketball in stretches (unlike the team I will discuss next), but I don't believe they can sustain a successful pace. By that, I mean they can stumble and skip to a Northwest Division championship, but until they show consistency for 2-3 months, I'm not convinced. They are talented, no question about that, but they are still prone to the 4 game losing streaks.
The Timberwolves... *sigh*
What to say? Early in the season, I made the comment that at least they hadn't been blown out yet. Well, the big losses came, and they keep coming. Terrible showings against Detroit, Memphis and Miami coupled with heartbreakers against Boston and Philly, and it's just been a miserable stretch. They're 5-8 in January, with no hope of getting to .500. And from there, the schedule gets tougher. They've lost almost all confidence to play a good basketball game for 48 minutes. Watching guys like Jaric, Kandi, Troy, and McCants, I basically just sit there and wait for something bad to happen. They play well in spurts, but the check always comes due. They are horribly inconsistent, and it seems like they fail when it matters most. We've talked an awful lot about how much a move needs to be made, so I won't go into that again, but the point is that they have fallen into a pretty significant rut, and try as they may, I don't see them getting out of it without some kind of outside help. If they stay with this current team, in this current configuration, we're looking at 40-42 wins, which will probably not be enough to get to the playoffs, which will REALLY suck because we won't even get a lottery pick as compensation for a bad season.
So, we sit, and we sigh, and we watch our mediocre team play mediocre basketball.