There have been many stand-out stars in these playoffs, but none has surpassed his supposed potential as Ronny Turiaf. Coming into this post season, not a single expert had him atop their Best 12th-Man boards, many not even placing him in their top 10. But critics have been silenced as Turiaf has out-benched everyone in the playoffs so far. While some still call his benchplay overly flashy, others see Turiaf as a savant and liken him to other 12th-men legends, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Scott Hastings (heady company indeed.) No doubt Turiaf cannot change the minds of most Scalabrine die-hards. But the young man is showing that he will have a bright future on playoff sidelines for years to come:
Who can ask for anything more? This is why we get up in the morning.
It's not for the French Toast. It's not for the freshly crisp copy of
the Nation waiting for you at the end of the brick-pavers.
MoveOn.Lebron. The Conference Finals are here. And I, ladies and
gentlemen, could not be more enthusiastic. Greg Popovich, the military man. Phil Jackson, the hippie. This, ladies and gentleman, is the 60s. This is the culture war. I will wear this tie-dye, Mr. Walton. I don't care if you pay my tuition. And a One. Two. Three. Four. What are we fighting for? The ring. The glory. The legend. How can you not watch? Dale Ellis, the sharpshooter
of Najaf. And Kobe Bryant, a man, a morality play. I smell a trap.
The full-throated hands of Lindsay Hunter balanced by the hungry feet
of the rookie Randell Stuckey. And the Boston Celtics. Oh. The Boston
Celtics. Those were the days. Stephen A. Smith, have you even ever
heard of a man I affectionately call Larry Bird? Kevin McHale. Greg
Kite. Now, that, was a Big Three. Germany, Italy, Japan, now, that, was an axis.
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Let's begin with a philosophical question: If we all know he will be a sleeper, is he still a sleeper?
We know JOEY DORSEY is gonna be a player in this league. Time and again, we have seen how pogo-sticks like Dorsey can make a difference on a team. We know he'll be a fan favorite and a web-darling. We know that any team that drafts him will feel blessed that he fell that far. At worst, an energy guy off the bench and an alley-oop machine. At best, a defensive stopper and an alley-oop machine.
And yet, the best draft analysts around rate him as no better than a second round pick.
1) It is unclear that the Lig fined Pierce because his “menacing
gesture” was gang-related. The Lig dished out the same fine to
Stevenson for a throat-slash. Sometimes a “menacing gesture” is just a
“menacing gesture.” The gang connotations are fascinating, but seem to
be an association that has been made in retrospect by reporters and
2) It seems just as plausible (if not more) that the Lig was
concerned about the macho-grandstanding in the first round. And wanted
to nip it in the bud before the games really counted. It appeared as
preemptive action in accord with the rule that players are not to leave
the bench. Stern and Stu have made a concerted effort to make sure they
don’t have to legislate another Malice in the Palace.
3) I’m always puzzled by the authority that is afforded to Stern.
Stu Jackson is the dispenser of Lig justice. He’s also a respected and
accomplished basketball professional in his own right. Not only does
the blaming of Stern for all Lig decisions continue this myth of
one-man rule, it disrespects Lig figures like Jackson and members of
the rules committee who themselves negotiate and help decide the rules
of the Lig.