11.30.06

Urban On Dunleavy At The Crossroads

Posted in Basketball at 2:38 pm by

The Examiner’s Mychael Urban submits that Don Nelson’s 2nd tour of duty as Warriors coach will have one of two results for Mike Dunleavy, “with Dunleavy either having finally validated the Warriors™ decision to make him the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2002, or with him having made Chris Mullin look like a fool for giving him a five-year, $44 million contract extension last fall.”

(AP photo by Dino Vournas, SF Chronicle, 10/04/04)

Dunleavy, despite a combination of size and all-court skills that seem to scream NBA success, did very little in his first four seasons in the league. In fact, his greatest contribution to the basketball world over that time was in adding fuel to the fire of every Duke hater who likes to point out ” with plenty of supporting evidence ” that Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski runs a system that almost never produces a four-year player who can thrive at the next level.

Nellie™s run-run-run system, designed to create and exploit mismatches all over the floor, is built for multi-dimensional players like Dunleavy. So it™s possible that, with time, Dunleavy will flourish in this system and develop into a star worthy of his lofty draft status.

If that happens, he™ll either be a valued contributor here for a long time, or he™ll be shipped out at the February trade deadline while his value is high enough for a one-complementary-piece-away contender to willingly take on his salary.

If it doesn™t happen, Dunleavy will be here a long time ” or at least until the Nellie Era II ends ” without contributing, because (a) Nellie doesn™t dole out playing time based on cap figures (right, Adonal Foyle?) and (b) no team will want a seemingly prototypical œNellie player who can™t actually play for Nellie.

The Association’s Craig Kwasniewski would prefer to “wait until AK-47 and Boozer put in 30 games before we count the Jazz as contenders,” surely a reasonable stance. But 13 double doubles in 16 games isn’t what anyone expected from the previously statuesque Carlos.

Gilbert Arenas writes that he and Adam Morrison hung out all night playing video games. Anytime Agent Zero wants to keep that kind of thing private, it’s ok with me.

The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola
, along with mentioning that Steve Franchise expects Nate Robinson to carry his bags, pays homage to the Knicks’ Quentin Richardson.

Eddy Curry and Jamal Crawford look up to Richardson because he is an unselfish, tough-nosed player who doesn™t make excuses and actually cares whether the team wins or loses. It™s all about having credibility and nights like last night when Richardson out-plays a superstar like LeBron James, he earns the respect of all his teammates.

The dilemma the Knicks now face is when Jared Jeffries returns from right wrist surgery in three to four weeks. Jeffries is a good defender and can handle the ball on the perimeter. However, Jeffries is not an accomplished shooter and one of Richardson™s strengths is that he stretches the defense because of his ability to shoot threes.

Unless Thomas is thinking about using the weak rebounding Jeffries at power forward, the best move would be to keep Richardson as a starter and bring Jeffries off the bench.

Plenty of (lousy) seats available for December and January Knicks games at MSG, $10 each.

Ever wondered what former Hoosier PG Isiah Thomas and his old Indiana coach Bobby Knight might talk about if they got back together? Me neither, but the conversation would probably go something like this.

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