Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Beware prognosticators - most know nothing

One of the problems we sports nuts deal with is listening to or reading the predictions of those who don't know a blessed thing of which they spew.

It's NBA draft time, so that means there are more folk than normal talking loud and saying nothing.

Around these parts in Sacramento, the hot talk pertains to the Kings' possession of the No. 5 pick in next Wednesday's draft.

People all over the country predict or guess whom the Kings will select. However, these prognosticators truly have no idea, so why pretend to know or even have a legitimate clue.

Clearly, the Kings would love to get a physical big man to play in the middle and that description has Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins written all over it. Cousins is a 19-year-old talent with the skill to perform around the basket and on the perimeter.

Cousins, though, is described by many as a young man who has been difficult to deal with. He carries a label as having, "red flags."

One wonders how many of those labeling him also would have fit that category as a 19-year-old. I've had major problems finding out definitively finding out what these red flags are other than the kid has a little attitude.

He argued with John Calipari? Yeah? And? If that gives you a red flag, then the people distributing those flags probably are out of them.

Cousins has a weight problem as in he can't wait to eat. That's a red flag?

Certainly, it's something to be considered and worked with, but if the cat loves to play basketball (as I've heard he does) and is intelligent (as I've heard he is), then that's why teams have organizations - to help young talented guys become better players and people.

No doubt Cousins has issues. So do I and so do most humans. From what my sources say, Cousins needs most to increase his endurance.

Talent wins in the NBA and the Kings need it, especially with this kid's characteristics. If he's there at No. 5, the Kings need to grab him and begin the process of helping him maximize his abilities.

Of course, there is the possibility the Kings decide to trade their pick and move down. Those decisions most often are made during the draft when players are selected and teams believe they can get a player they like with a lower pick.

If the Kings opt to choose Cousins, they have a coach in Leonard (Truck) Robinson, who is tailor-made for this project. Robinson doesn't play, as in take any stuff.

Game 7 - it's on

Seeing Kendrick Perkins go down with a knee injury in Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals was heartbreaking. He's in one of the biggest games of his young career and a freak accident like that occurs.

All Perkins does is play hard and egolessly, yet life dealt him that card. I thought I was one of the few who ran into dealers like that.

Yeah, he complains about nearly every foul, but the young man plays hard. Here's hoping his long-term career isn't stunted by torn knee ligaments.

On the other side of the ledger there's Andrew Bynum. Now this kid has jeopardized his career by continuing to play with torn meniscus in right knee. Bynum, whom Kobe Bryant suggested as trade bait a couple of seasons ago, has shown nothing but heart while limping through the playoffs.

Bynum has been courageous playing through obvious pain and putting the team ahead of his personal future. Regardless of what doctors say, there is no way to know if he's doing irreparable damage to his knee.

Only time will tell.

However, we do know the young man is showing large gumption every night Boston's talented and physical front line.

What cracks me up is hearing and reading folks talk about trading him to bring in Chris Bosh. The only way the Los Angeles Lakers should do that is if they believe Bynum never will be healthy again. In five seasons, Bynum has played all 82 games just once. In his past three seasons, he's played 35, 50 and 65 games, respectively.

He won turn 23 until October. It's a little too early to give up on a guy who goes to the house strong even on a gimpy knee.

Moreover, Bosh is a talent, but when I've seen him, he's been a 6-11 jump shooter. Now, his shot is nice, but tell me we haven't reached the age when big men no longer even try to play like big men.

As for Game Seven, once again, the team for which the most players perform closest to their peak level will win. That's nothing new. Barring a truly dominating one or two-player performance, that's usually the way games, playoffs or regular-season, work.

It's not rocket science, folks.

Perhaps as important as anything will be the performances of the officiating crew. The guess here is we'll see Joey Crawford and Danny Crawford. As for the third referee, Eddie F. Rush is another likely choice.

The officiating, particularly early in the Finals was inconsistent and difficult for both teams to figure.

However, the NBA has been hamstrung by its current low quality of officials and injuries to Steve Javie and Mark Wunderlich. Wow! Javie used to be a veritable technical machine, but definitely has become one of the league's best.

The Celtics will not go down easily. They have too many seasoned and clutch veterans, but I like the Lakers in a close game.

After all, I picked the Lakers in six or seven. Ride or die.

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