View Full Version : This week's Amico Report...

11-13-2004, 02:19 PM
LINK: http://www.insidehoops.com/amico-111204.shtml

Some interesting takes, for NBA fans at least ;)

11-13-2004, 02:26 PM
And especially for Sun fans:

1. The most exciting team to watch, hands down: Phoenix Suns.

The Suns play the game how it was meant to be played. Lots of running, lots of passing, lots of taking the ball to the rim, lots of scoring. Mostly, lots of fun.

Steve Nash is the West’s best point guard, having turned that old John Deere tractor into the sleek racing machine it’s always longed to be.

Amare Stoudemire runs the floor better than any big man in the league, and Shawn Marion is just flat-out electrifying -- not to mention a great finisher of the fast break.

Then there’s Joe Johnson, one of the most underrated players in the world, and Quentin Richardson, who has been given a new lease on basketball life after getting paroled from Clipper-land.

And you may not be too familiar with Mike D’Antoni, but the man running the Suns is my early favorite for coach of the year.

I still follow Nash around the league, as like I said before, that 1st round loss to Santa Clara still is bug on the brain.

further down, a little comment on RJ:

As for the Nets … well, despite the admirable determination and talent of Richard Jefferson, they are back to being the Nets we always knew and loved.

11-13-2004, 02:32 PM
The Amico Report is a quality read. They pretend to have no bias, and normally it shows in their writing.

I agree with the Suns take, but from what I've seen in their two games, I like Utah as well. Both have very good wing talent, both can score in the post. They are two, very well balanced offenses that I believe can carry the teams far. Both are very exciting to watch.

This was quite telling as well...

4. A marriage made in purgatory: Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets.

I’ve always said Yao lacks the aggressiveness to ever be anything more than a guy who averages 14 points and eight rebounds for his career. He‘s starting to prove me right.

Meanwhile, McGrady remains a remarkable offensive force and deserves praise for altering his game for the good of a team. Still, the move to Houston hasn’t kept his bad back from flaring up every time he hears the word “defense.”

This isn’t meant to trash the Rockets. I still really like Jimmy Jackson -- who only needs to play for about four more teams to run the board of NBA cities. Or as a good friend of mine said, “Jackson has to be the best journeyman in league history.”

11-13-2004, 03:17 PM
Latrell Sprewell:
"In light of his “I have a family to support” line and continuous whining about a contract that already overpays him, it turns out Latrell Sprewell is as much of a chemistry killer at 34 as he was at 24. "

Latrell Sprewell, Minnesota $13,500,000

What a schmuck..
You've got to be joking. You're lucky to be playing in the game after all your history. What a f.... n prima donna.. There's too many of them out there in the nba.

11-13-2004, 03:26 PM

Keith Van Horn makes about the same as Kobe???? Same with Zydrunas Ilgauskas? Vlade makes $12M? Cripes...

11-15-2004, 01:09 AM
Keith Van Horn makes about the same as Kobe???? Same with Zydrunas Ilgauskas? Vlade makes $12M? Cripes...

Kinda makes you wish you were either taller or European... :rolleyes:

F Duke
11-15-2004, 12:50 PM
Houston is better than Phoenix. Yao has looked great the last week and he and McGrady have played very well together. Stop being a hater JMJ b/c the Suns don't play defense. Just wait until McGrady comes back. You'll eat your words.

11-15-2004, 02:54 PM
Yao has looked good. Never said he wouldn't. However,Yao's stats are shameful when compared to the much shorter, much lighter and less developed Amare's.

Yao (7-6, 310): 19ppg, 8rpg, 1.0apg, .57spg, 1.4bpg, shooting 51-fg% & 75-ft%
Amare (6-10, 245): 25ppg, 9rpg, 0.8 apg, 1spg, 1.8bpg, shooting 53-fg% & 83-fg%

Yao LINK: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3599
Amare LINK: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3607

At 7-6, 300 pounds, Yao should stumble on the amount of rebounds and blocks he's averaging. There is no good reason why Yao isn't or can't average 12-13rpg and 3bpg.

Like I said, he's soft, GOOD, but soft and there prolly isn't anything that can be done about it. Even Yao's mother this past summer called him soft.

Rockets at 3-4 are still worse than Phoenix 4-2...

and if it makes you happy, I have already on other, more active boards, backed off my division crown claim...unless they stop playing small-ball.

This is the only reason the Suns lost the Kings game. Marion can't guard Webber. It was a joke to watch. Amare, again was in foul-trouble, trying to guard a taller, more skilled center.

It was a partial reason to them losing in Cleveland, with Stoudemire scoring 20 points in 28 minutes of play before falouing out. Also, had D'Antoni left his starters in for another five minutes instead of taking them out with 10 minutes to play, the Sunslikely would have won that game.

Essentially, the Suns are two made baskets away from being perfect. One OT loss and another two-point loss. Oh well...

If it teaches them to go with a conventional line-up, then The two losses are great. If D'Antoni sticks by his, "it ain't broken, so why fix it" comment on itty-bitty ball, then the Suns will likely lose their next two games, at Dallas then vs. Seattle. Both talented teams with good shooters. Both games I fully expect to see small-ball rule the day, which means I fully expect two losses.

And the Suns do play defense, however, when they play small-ball, there is always going to be, 1. an automatic mismatch on defense, whether it's Amare on Ilgauskas, Marion on Webber...and 2. More liklihood of finding a mismatch, whether it's one of the four guards being posted up by a PF or Amare being taken out on the perimeter by Euro's like Z, Dirk and even Miller.

There will always be one spot where it's a liklihood to score. Webber had like 12 points after the first Saturday against Marion and had 20 points at half. When was the last time Webber had 20 points at half? Gooden had 16points and 21rebounds vs. Marion. Marion's more athletic, but Gooden is 3-4 inches taller, 30 pounds heavier and a good athlete himself, so Marion's advateage was nuetrilized and his disadvantage )height, weight) magnified.

Dispite all this, the Suns are a very good rebounding team, a very shot-blocking team and generate a good amount of turnovers. They have a good opposing FG%. So the defense is there, when the mismatch isn't exposed and becomes a disadvantage.

As long as there is small ball, the Suns are a .500 team for this main reason.

F Duke
11-15-2004, 03:44 PM
It's way too early to compare records between the two teams. Besides the fact that Houston's best player is out, the Rockets have also played a schedule that consisted of future playoff teams while Phoenix has played 3 of worst teams in the league.

You love to dog Yao. Sure, his numbers aren't what they should be. But they're still good and every GM in the league would take Yao over Amare.

The Rockets are designed for the playoffs. They run a half court offense and concentrate on defense. They're the 3rd best 3 point shooting team in the league and as long as Yao is in the game, the rest of the team will get their free looks. The Suns try to run you off the court. That strategy NEVER works when it counts. Just ask Dallas. Two teams. One is fun to watch. One is designed for the long haul. Big difference.

11-15-2004, 04:03 PM
You keep bringing up Dallas.

Dallas in 2002-03 finished tied for the best record and advanced to game 6 on the WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS...where they lost without Dirk who has injured in game 2or3.

I agree that Houston is without its best player. Fine, great. McGrady is the difference between them finshing 10 to 7th (like I said in plus/minus)...

Phoenix on the other hand, is two made shots from being 6-0. One can't say for sure, but the outcome of both losses likely would have been different had the Suns played a conventional line-up. Hunter averaged 9ppg, 5rpg and 3bpg in 16mpg in the two losses.

Houston still has big problems. Depth - Injuries will come. Age - an 82 game season will take its toll. Toughness - who? Name one guy. Rebounding - Soft frontcourt = bad rebounding. Perimeter defense - McGrady and Ward aren't much. Jackson is the best you've got.

Phoenix's issues are less of a concern if they stop playing small-ball.

Phoenix: Consistancy - Q and the bigs. Perimeter defense - Nash and Q are not that good, but Barbosa, JJ and Marion make up for it.

The Suns have very good 3-point shooters when stone-cold Q isn't going 0-4, 1-6 to pull down the percentages. Nash, Barbosa, Jacobson and even JJ and Marion have all been hitting from the perimeter.

Houston has the better coach and the "elite" center.
Phoenix has the better depth, athletisism and top player in Stoudemire.

If Phoenix make the playoffs, Stoudemire will be a top-10 MVP candidate with the year he's putting together. His jumper's falling, his FT% is that of a PG and his defense has gotton much better.

If Houston makes the Playoffs, I'll eat crow (even tho plus/minus said they could). If Phoenix doesn't make the playoffs, I'll eat crow...

Like you said, it's way too early to talk of such things, but the Amico Report was not my opinion, just a widely-renowned NBA report that agreed with me.

Plus, there is already talk of Van Gundy not being happy.

EDIT: By the way, It's great to have another fan is differing opinions on this board. Makes for good bantor. Hope you keep frequenting...

F Duke
11-15-2004, 04:08 PM
The Suns should be able to stack up wins early on as they have a pretty easy schedule until the month of January. I don't think you'll be able to tell exactly how good Phoenix is until January when they play a minimum of 10 playoff teams.

Sun 2 Portland
Tue 4 at Minnesota
Wed 5 at Houston
Sat 8 at LA Clippers
Sun 9 Indiana
Tue 11 Miami
Wed 12 at Utah
Fri 14 at Indiana
Sat 15 at Washington
Mon 17 at Detroit
Wed 19 Memphis
Fri 21 San Antonio
Sun 23 New Jersey
Tue 25 at New York
Wed 26 at Milwaukee
Fri 28 at Boston
Sun 30 at Toronto

F Duke
11-15-2004, 04:13 PM
Van Gundy is never happy. I think the Rockets are going to keep starting Maurice Taylor to increase his stats so they can trade him. Bobby Sura comes back after January and is more than servicable at Point Guard. Amare is not better than McGrady. Phoenix will never be an elite team with Jakle Voskuhl at center.

11-15-2004, 05:58 PM
F-D, there isn't a GM in the League who would take McGrady over Amare. The Magic wanted Amare in the McGrady trade from Phoenix and was willing to take back Eisley's contract in return...

There are a premium on 6-10 bigs with historic-level athletisism and drive, post moves and attitude. He's not even 22-years of age, missed half of last year and he's destroying people. He's just killing them. He's done it his entire career with averages of over 20ppg vs Garnett and Duncan, the most best defenders at his position.

Your kidding yourself if you think McGrady's better than Amare. Maybe more marketable, yes more popular...but better...there's no way.

I agree with your schedule take.

Thing is, with the new conferences, the three division winners are automatically the top three seeds in the playoffs. I still believe that Phoenix is a division contender. Sacramento benifitted from small-ball and was exposed by Amare and even Hunter 13 minutes 4p, 4b...as a weak or soft frontcourt.

Hunter has been very good the past two games and has been a solid contributor whenever he's gotton consistant minutes. He's averaging arounf 7ppg, 4rpg and 2+bpg in limited minutes this season, so Voskuhl would be relagated to a hustle-bum role, coming in and causing havoc in about 12-15 minutes a game. The two, while not great, if both got consistant minutes could average 8-7-3 (hunter) and 4-4-1 (Voskuhl)...that's 12-11-4 from the center spot. That's pretty darn good.

I agree that the Suns aren't contending for a title this year. San Antonio, Minnesota and Utah are my top three. However, I do feel that the youngest team in the League has enough talent to compete with said teams, but we'll see.

Should make for an interesting season.

F Duke
11-15-2004, 06:05 PM
Sacramento is definitely on the decline. They're still a good team but they just aren't as nasty as they used to be.

And you're crazy about Amare and Yao. GM's would take Yao everytime. Amare is a great player but you're hyping him up a little.

11-15-2004, 06:17 PM
I didn't say Yao over Amare. I said Amare over McGrady.

Most GM's would take Yao over Amare for two reasons

1. He's a 7-6, 300lb center
2. He has elite-level marketability.

Right now, Amare has better numbers in every major catagory (mentioned above) and is playing center himself. Yao, though good (again, mentioned above) is soft. He shows little desire on the court and doesn't appear to try for anything. He won't dominate without 1. a meanstreak, 2. some selfishness.

Right now, Yao isn't aggressive enough or selfish enough to be a No.1 guy.

He'll still be very good, but not Amare good. Amare...RIGHT NOW...is most comparable to Moses Malone at the same age. Yao...RIGHT NOW...Rik Smits.

If Houston had Yao paired with Amare instead of McGrady, they'd be favorites for the Championship.

F Duke
11-15-2004, 07:16 PM
I read your post about Amare and McGrady incorrectly. My bad. GM's would definitely take Amare over T-Mac. While Yao may only be Rik Smits, you have to remember that there are no Olajuwons, Ewings or David Robinsons in the league anymore. Rik Smits and Brad Dougherty would rule the world these days.

11-15-2004, 07:22 PM
Agreed. The Power Forward is the new Center.

Yao is good right now, close to very good. I wish he would become more agreesive, but that's asking alot. You can't teach it. Amare has it, Yao doesn't, so despite Yao being taller, stronger and much more skilled, agressivness is the difference between the two.