Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Slick Riley Fooling Us (?) About B-Easy
There are rumors that Micheal Jackson sleeps in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to stall the aging process.
There are not rumors that Heat’s Pat Riley is fooling us, big time.
A couple of weeks ago, the official/unofficial word was that the Heat continue to wait and hope that somehow Derrick ‘PG Diamond’ Rose falls to them at No. 2. And that if the Bulls take Rose with the first pick, there are growing signals out of Miami that the Heat will either trade the pick or select O.J. Mayo (Good game, bro!) at No. 2. The Heat’s private workout results with Mayo were very positive. Look, much has been said about the conundrum the Bulls face, but I don’t see that much knotted. The Bulls GM John Paxson hasn’t got the grit to pick Micheal Beasley over Chicago-area son Rose, whose desire to win under any circumstances is amazing. And he’s a great guy... meanwhile, B-Easy is a... crazy guy. So the Bulls will take Rose at No. 1, that’s set in the stone, even if: A) they sorely need a big man scorer, B) B-Easy is going to be way better pro than Rose. Pencil it in.
During the NBA Finals, the Heat continued to sing that they want Mayo and that they want to trade No. 2 for, say Grizzlies’ sharpshooter Mike Miller plus anything. It’s a tought choice - Minnesota (No. 3) and Seattle (No. 4) don't have any tradeable assets the Heat want. That (reportedly) leaves Miami trying to cut that deal with Memphis and hope that Mayo's still on the board at No. 5. And he won’t be there.
ESPN draft guru Chad Ford’s words: *I really don't see Beasley wearing a Heat uniform.* Fooled?
Turn the clock one week later and another round of mock drafts. (By the way, I love them all.) Everybody’s mock draft notes kept telling us that the Heat continue to wait and hope that somehow Rose will fall to them at No. 2. Wait a minute. That was the first time someone came with this question: *Or do they?*
Source close to the process said Pat Riley thinks Rose is a bad fit in the backcourt with Dwyane Wade, because drafting Rose would give Miami two athletic slashers who are subpar shooters (Rose’s J improvement is just the matter of two, three pro seasons) and would have to try to share the ball. The Heat are bluffing about their interest in Rose in the hopes that Beasley falls to them at No. 2! Revealed!
We just exaggerate things, like Beasley isn’t the type of player Riley appreciates and that has to lead to ‘Riley doesn’t want Beasley’ conclusions. Just look at the 2006 Heat championship team, was that a roster of 15 Saint Angels? Nope.
John Hollinger’s mad numbers work sometimes and sometimes not. He projected (by formula that is, frankly, beyond my comprehension) players’ PER for the third season. Beasley's rating is the highest of any player going back to 2002 (higher than everyone’s from the famed 2003 class, for example), and it's the best by a pretty sizable margin.
Nobody doubts this guy's talent level. However, I’m not sure if Riley is a magician or the public just doesn’t like B-Easy, but hey, wake up, he had a better college season than Kevin Durant! If you remember the time before last year’s Draft, everybody was drooling over Durant. Now, look at Beasley’s body and game and tell me he’s not gonna be better than Durant (His good friend. The possibility of Durant-Beasley combo in the Sonics jerseys in Oklahoma City really intrgues me.). Shit! I shit you not!
Unless Beasley is such a train wreck off the court that he sabotages his own career, he’s the next big superstar of the league. Bigger than Durant, Oden or Rose. Really, he might be way better than people realize. Somehow Beasley didn't resonate quite as strongly, (perhaps because of the aforementioned concerns over his character), but if he keeps his head on straight he's going to be insanely good. Bet your car on it.
Yesterday I read an updated draft notes and rumors and what struck me was that the Heat might really deal (a very long list of trade scenarios) way out of B-Easy pick. (Fooling us, Padre?) I don’t believe it. I just don’t. One trade I’d approve in three seconds is Elton Brand and Clips’ No. 7 swapped for Miami’s No. 2 and Shawn Marion. Yup, one respected GM holds the forth about taking Beasley over everyone: *"Michael Beasley is far and away the best player in this draft. He's going to dominate in this league. How could you pass on him? I know everyone is talking about character this and character that, but come on, he's not a bad kid.* Miami passing on him at No. 2? *"It's a joke. He's so much better than anything the Heat are going to get offered. I don't understand it.* Me, too. Padre Riley is joking. He can crack jokes with B-Easy on the podium.
What's not to love about Kansas State’s Beasley? The sweet lefty stroke that pulls the D away from the basket? The handle borrowed from a shifty guard? Those coast-to-coast forays that start with a space-clearing rebound and end with an emphatic slam? A dizzying blend of grace, power and skill. Lack of determination? *You don't have to worry about that,* Beasley says. *There is nobody who's going to play harder. I don't want to be the next anybody. I want to be the best there ever was, plain and simple. No disrespect to MJ.* Beasley is as accomplished a goofball as he is a baller. (I call him the next Chuck Barkley.) At Kansas State, postpractice high jinks were the norm: impromptu dodgeball games, mock interviews, dunking contests on lowered rims. A YouTube clip that follows his ongoing fascination with an iPod that keeps showing up at his press conferences has drawn more than 30,000 hits. *I'm not a serious person, I like to have fun,* he says. *But I know when to turn it off.*
His best quote according to me: *Losing makes me stronger, but winning makes me invincible.*
His tattoo reads ‘MARRIED TO THE GAME’. What's not to love?
You know what? At the end of the day, Riley is fooling himself. And B-Easy creates The Two Minny Towers. Micheal Beasley & Al Jefferson. What’s your cell phone number, Mr. Riley?
BAFS vs. BAFS Freaks Update: It’s tied, 2-2! Game 5, Thursday!
Game 1: B-Freaks 83, BAFS 73.
Game 2: B-Freaks led virtually the entire half and quarter. But there would be seven lead changes in the final three minutes of play. Enrico hit a huge three-pointer to put us ahead 82-80 with 55 seconds remaining. B-Freaks’ captain Chris Tobey hit a three-pointer to them back on top. The game came down to BAFS’ Coco taking the ball out of bounds for one last play. Marco popped free and was momentarily open. But Coco found George, with Jamie Rupp in his face, and George drained an 15-footer to win the game!
BAFS 84, B-Freaks 83.
Game 3: This was a wonderful game. Valdes was hot (33 points!) and Enrico joined the party (23 points). The most exciting moment belonged to Pieter, whose 17-footer with 15 seconds remaining gave us the lead (78-77). Eddie Davidson then missed a 10-footer with five seconds remaining that would have given B-Freaks the lead. Our defense held Tobey to only 2-of-14 in this game and scored only 10 points.
BAFS 78, B-Freaks 77.
Game 4: Coco and Kevin Downey battled it out. Downey scored 20 points in the last 15 minutes. He hit a shot with two minutes left left to give B-Freaks the lead. We were just a couple of plays from winning the series! But after that shot, we were totally frozen and couldn’t hit anything. They scored 10 unanswered points to finish the game off.
B-Freaks 90, BAFS 79.
I’d love to have Courtney LEE (No. 26) on the Spurs roster.
School: Western Kentucky
We need help at the shooting guard slot. With Manu as the sixth man, Courtney Lee can step in from day one and become an important shooter. His ability to shoot and score would be a big help. It's no secret that the Spurs are looking for a 2 guard. Now they got a chance. Either Lee or CDR, Chris Douglas-Roberts. Lee is the better shooter, while Douglas-Roberts is more of a slasher.
Nos. 45 & 57:
*Josh Duncan, SF, Xavier. Skinny: An athletic forward, Duncan can shoot the 3-pointer and run the floor. Plus, having two Duncans would be funny.
*J.R. Giddens, SG, New Mexico. Skinny: On talent, Giddens is one of the top 30 players in the draft. But his off-the-court antics have hurt his stock. He is starting to get his life back together and would be tough to pass on this late in the draft.
Trent Plaisted, C, BYU
Plaisted's athleticism, energy and toughness would be major assets. He hasn’t a big offensive repertoire, thus he’ll likely fall out of the first round.
Posted by Foreigner in CS - Jun 24 2008 8:20PM
Posted by Luke_Mellow at 8:20 PM