Saturday, February 23, 2008

Is That All You've Got: An Anal Thermometer Watch

If you were to ask Black and Blue and GL who the biggest pick-up outside of Kevin Garnett was going into this season, they'd surely say it was Orlando's addition of former Supersonic Rashard Lewis. And why wouldn't they? With the size to post up smaller defenders and range to pull the larger ones away from the paint, Lewis has a career average of 18, 5, and 2. His ability to stretch the defense would hinder the competition from double-teaming franchise star, Dwight Howard. That alone would be worth his max deal paid over six years, right?

So far, not so much...

While his scoring average has dropped slightly, it is consistent with his career numbers. The big knock against him: he hasn't shot this poorly since his rookie year yet, he's jacking up a league-high 6.9 threes a game and shooting 2 less free-throws a game.

Enter the Holy Turk. Despite uncertainty of his role on the team or if he'd even make it through the season without getting traded, Hedo Turkoglu is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, and free-throws attempted. He's emerged as the team's best facilitator in the half-court offense while proving he's the most clutch player on the team when the game's outcome hangs in the balance.

Unfortunately, he's reminding those optimists from the pre-season that Lewis isn't a spring chicken anymore and that he will never become a player worthy of wearing the title of superstar. In fact, he fits more closely into the category of good player on a bad team if anything. I don't want to rain on the parade of those who've fallen in love with Howard and the Magic, but Lewis's massive contract will prove to be a major roadblock in the road to a championship for the next 5 years. With Lewis clogging up the salary cap, can you really expect this team to make it to the finals, much less put up a decent fight against any power from the West? Because that's what this is all about at this point.


ivro89 said...

What? How is he a good player on the bad team? The Magic are 3rd in the East and ahead of your Cavs who just finished off a terrible trade. Given he has a terrible contract and his offensive numbers are down but you don't talk about the fact that he's guarding PFs every game when he's a natural SF. He's expending a ton more energy on the defensive end banging with guys and Turk is getting all the easy touches on offense because the 2 best defenders are guarding both Dwight and Rashard. The only true missing piece for the Magic is a true PF to move Rashard back to the 3 spot, and that player is Tony Battie whos been out all season. I agree in overall what your trying to say but you're taking a lot of this too far.

Black and Blue Jor said...

Sadly, unless he steps up in a big way in the second half of the season, I have to agree with your opinion of Rashard so far. Still, while he isn't doing spectacular, the real dissapointment thus far is another long term contract: Jameer Nelson.

The worst part is that a ton of role players are leaving this offseason because their contracts are expiring and the team will really want to fill those holes (that's what she said).

Black and Blue Jor said...

I have to add that there's still time for Rashard to be worth the money.

Damn, I can't even let my moronic optimism for my own team down for one second. It's my curse.