NBA: Nothing But 4 (Injuries)

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NBA: Nothing But 4 (Injuries)

I was perusing some basketball news the other day and all at once I saw 4 injuries on my screen.  These 4 guys aren’t the 4 most important people in the NBA–not by a long shot–but they are 4 injured dudes who are harbingers of bad news.

Who am I talking about?  Michael Redd, Allen Iverson, Shaq, and Paul Pierce.  Pierce’s Celtics are flushing themselves down the toilet with every second they age.  I almost forgot the Bucks were in the NBA.  The Sixers are going to have to BEG their season-ticket holders to come back next year.  Oh, and Shaq hurt his little thumb–awwwwww.

I know, I know, you’re thinking that I’m so happy that Shaq hurt his thumb.  Nope.  Not being able to use your hand sucks.  But the Cavs should be screaming because of when he’ll come back.

This Little Piggy Went To Surgery…

The “thumb of Shaq” has put him out of commission for 6-8 weeks.  I know it’s hard to play basketball with anything aching on your hand, but couldn’t he have given Cleveland a little warning?

Shaq will miss the rest of the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs.  They probably won’t “need” him until later in the playoffs–but what then?

Shaq will return in the middle of the playoffs with the Cavs on a collision course with the Magic or a red-hot Hawks team.  Either way, it’s going to get messy.

Since Mike Brown is incapable of handling this team–his assistant draws up most of the plays–then he’ll have to “attempt” to reintegrate Shaq.  Only one problem…

Shaq will be out of shape and his hand will be sore.  He’ll have a short temper and a loud mouth.  He’ll end up annoying someone enough to cause discord in the locker room.  He’ll ruin the playoffs for the Cavs.

You can say that the Cavs have got it made because they got Jamison and they get Ilgauskas back, but I say the return of Shaq is the beginning of their demise.  Come playoff time Shaq will decide–indirectly–whether LeBron stays or goes.

Phrase That “Answer” In The Form Of A Question Please!

Allen Iverson is out for the rest of the regular season and now we have to start asking questions.  Can he come back?  Should he retire?  Is this the end of the road?  Is his body too beat up?

I’ve got a better question–what about Philly?

I know that Philly and its fans tend to be insufferable, but they need a little solace.  With AI9 not really “carrying” the ship you’d think that the tearful return of AI would mean something.

It didn’t.  The Sixers are floundering and he just can’t put the team on his back anymore.  This situation is only made worse because season-ticket renewals come out soon.

Do you hang around to see if AI can come back one more time?  Or do you jump ship now and save your money?

If I were a Sixers fans I’d be stepping aside and watching the games on TV.  Iverson is probably done.  He IS a first-ballot Hall of Famer.  He IS the best Sixer since Dr. J.  He IS a fabulous guard, but the road ends here.

I don’t want my kids to think AI is some pathetic-joke of a veteran who outstayed his welcome.  I don’t want him to keep playing and make people forget what made him so special–when he was healthy.

With Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala sucking ass in Philly it’s time for Iverson to go.  He needs to let these young bucks get paid and try to figure it out.  He may love the Sixers, but his presence only prolongs the fans’ tolerance of a crappyAI9/Brand combo.

Leave now AI and the Sixers can survive.  It isn’t your fault–it’s just “the way love goes“.

Geriatrics Not-So Anonymous

Paul Pierce has had to sit out a few games because he’s injured.  Or because he’s lost a few steps.  Or because he’s trying to figure out how the Celtics’ “window” closed so fast.

No matter what the REAL problem is you can bet that age is at the center of it.  Just look at that picture.  Ray and Paul look like a couple of old men sitting on a porch talking about Prohibition.

Don’t they?

Pierce returns to the Celtics to find that Ray Allen didn’t get traded, the team didn’t get any younger, and the ball is in Rondo’s hands.

Can Pierce accept the fact that he doesn’t have “that lovin’ feeling” anymore?  I don’t know.  It seems like we’re going to have to watch him try to run around the defense at the top of the key–only to be pushed out by the defense–until he retires.

He doesn’t have that “cutting” move that can get him to the basket.  Paul’s in denial.  KG knows he’s pretty much done, but I don’t think Paul has accepted it yet.

What does this do to the Celtics?  It puts them right back in the early 90′s when Bird, McHale, and Parrish fell apart.  Remember how bad they were after that?

The Celtics have no talent to leverage except Rondo–and they CANNOT trade him.  They won’t be able to draft it either because they’re too good.

Get ready Celtics fans.  This could be another bumpy ride.

He Addressed It To Michael “No Knees”!

Michael Redd used to be so hot you could cook eggs on him.  The Bucks went to the East Finals in 2001 essentially on the back of this new-found star…Michael Redd.

He could shoot, he was quick on his feet, and he could drive to the basket.  He came out of nowhere and everyone thought the Bucks would be a perennial power with Redd running George Karl’s offense.

Alas, 2 surgeries on the same knee later and the Bucks are still awful.  They never capitalized on their success in 2001.  They never properly utilized Redd, never protected him in his injury-prone state, and didn’t build around him well enough to keep the team going if he missed a month.

Now Redd is out for the season and this might be the end.  Something’s got to happen in Milwaukee before the beer-drinking-obsessives take over the Bradley Center.

While they pound Miller High Life and chant “No More Suck!” we’ll be treated to wall-to-wall coverage by George Smith.  Just as they cut to him the team will be sacrificing Andrew Bogut to the fans–in much the same way the people gave that Army dude to the monsters in “The Mist”.

It won’t mean much, but it’ll be a start.  It’s not Redd’s fault that the Bucks suck, but his injury had BETTER be the beginning of a SERIOUS overhaul.

If the Bucks don’t jump on this and try to make “something out of nothing” the eventual “Milwaukee’s Best” takeover will only involve fire, more beer, and a penance from George Karl.  You don’t want to be around when this team gets smited, do you?

I don’t either…

Shaq photo from:

AI photo from:  slamonline

Paul Pierce photo from:  At The Box

Michael Redd photo from:  NBA Fanhouse

Header photo from:  ESPN

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