Sunday, February 26, 2006

The "Anything But Francis" Thread

Everything that can be said about the Steve Francis trade has been said. But seriously, what the hell is Isiah Thomas thinking? Okay, sorry, gotta let it go.

But wait, is he actually TRYING to screw the Knicks over? Ah, crap, my bad. I promised to leave it alone.

As you probably know, the Francis trade signaled rock bottom for the embattled NY GM, and it has become one of the easiest punching bags in the history of sportwriting. I don't think there is one sane person on the planet who honestly thought that trade was a good idea. But just in case there was, back-to-back blowout losses to the Nets and Wizards took care of that particular movement.

Consider this the place to come chat about the (boring) trade deadline, the lack of a functioning brain inside Isiah Thomas' skull, or anything else. In fact, we prefer "Anything But Francis."

(Don't have any other ideas? Here are some primers: The fact the 76ers are considerably better whenever Webber is not on the court, the fact that the Celtics are 5-2 since they started playing second-round steal Ryan Gomes for 42 minutes a game (and making Draft Guru Dritz and I geniuses in the process), the mystery that is "T-Macs personal problem," the distinct possibility that Eric Snow is the very worst player in the NBA, and even an investigation into the fact that seemingly 60 NBA players are claiming to be on the next Olympic team. Have at it.)


Chris said...

John Hollinger of ESPN disagrees with you about Gomes. In his chat today he said that his stats show him to be "marginal at best" and that he looks like an 8th or 9th man in the rotation. When someone called him out for using a sample size that was too small, Hollinger stuck to his guns saying, "It's not that small, he's played 510 minutes." Is Gomes the key to the Celtics? Is their 5-2 record a coincidence? Who is right, Hollinger or you?

Adam Hoff said...

Well, I guess only time will tell. My big problem with relying completely on stats is that you don't get a feel for someone's energy or the way they influence their teammates. I'm guessing Hollinger didn't watch the Celtics-Lakers game last night, because if he had, he wouldn't be discounting Gomes so quickly. The guy is unselfish, he hustles, he has tremendous instincts (Greg Anthony mentioned this approximately 714 times), and he cleans the glass. Who wouldn't want to play with a guy like that?

Besides, I don't care what Gomes' overall stats look like. I am more interested in how he has done since moving into the starting lineup. In those seven games, the Celtics are 5-2. I don't know about you, but that "stat" looks a lot better than the 18-31 mark they had before he joined the rotation.

His first game as a starter wasn't all the special, with only 4 points to go with 9 boards; however, since then, his stats are actually very good. In those six games, he is averaging 39.7 minutes, shooting 61% from the floor, and going for 14 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game.

His only weakness is probably the lack of any blocked shots and maybe his 71% shooting from the line. However, when you consider how many possessions he is getting for his team, that is nothing. In fact, in addition to his terrific rebounding and the steals, Gomes has only committed 4 turnovers in 238 minutes over the past six games. That is incredible.

It looks to me like Gomes is a keeper. Not only that, but he appears to be the type of players that other guys like playing with, that does the little things for his team, and that has an infectious energy. I think the stats look just fine, but forget about stats and watch this guy play before you relegate him to "9th man" status.

Jeff Dritz said...

I agree, I was high on Gomes while he was in college, and I thought he was a great pick by the Cs in the 2nd round. He brings energy and hustle, and has a decent level of skills to round it out. He's the type of player who does the little things and improves his team, even though it may show up on the stat sheet. The team's record with him in the lineup is the ultimate stat.

The US national team "tryout" roster was released today. Couple of surprises, especially Allen Iverson's being left off the roster after lobbying hard. I'm not sure this was the wrong move. My own personal issue, as a Bulls fan: Why choose Luke Ridnour over Kirk Hinrich? Hinrich seems ideal for this team; He's the ultimate team player who does the little things to help win. He dives for loose balls, fights for boards, locks down players on D, knocks down open jumpers and 3s, penetrates and dishes, and looks to pass. We don't get to see Ridnour very much on TV here in the Midwest, so perhaps he does all these things just as well.