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What Everyone is Saying and Nobody is Talking About

Published: October 30, 2016

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. The recent trend amongst NBA experts, podcasters, bloggers, and the like is to inform us all of what everyone is saying, and nobody is talking about. And then, they so cleverly say the opposite of what everyone else is saying and begin to talk about what nobody else seems to have noticed. Because they are all so smart, original, and observant. They are all a special, unique snowflake that see what the other dummies neglect.

It’s hilarious, honestly. On the same network (Bill Simmons, The Ringer), Jonathan Tjarks and Chris Vernon went on about how EVERYBODY is projecting a good season for the Thunder, but they just don’t see it. While on another podcast, Joe House told Bill Simmons that EVERYBODY is down on the Thunder, and he was going the other way, projecting a good season for the team. Nobody is talking about how those two points seem to contradict each other.

So, here I am, joining the fray. I will come to you every week with this column to let you know what everyone is saying and nobody is talking about. Hope EVERYBODY enjoys.

What Everybody is Saying

1. Buddy Hield is Just Having Normal Rookie Struggles



The consensus seems to be that Hield is a little anxious, rushing it, and that he will be the scorer many projected in time. But are his struggles normal? And even if they are, should he be judged the same way we judge other rookies? Buddy Hield was supposed to be the most NBA prospect on the offensive end. Even without a mid-range game, he was at least supposed to be a knock down shooter for now. Flash forward three games later, and he is 0-8 from deep, with seven of those misses coming off open or wide open looks.

Now, of course he will get better, but the argument for the pro-Buddy crowd when many argued for Murray over him was, “Oh, so I guess you wouldn’t have drafted Lillard then, because he played four years!” Well, sarcastic Jimmy, Lillard scored 20 points or more in each of his first three games and hit 6 shots from deep in those games. So, if you are going to use an outlier to advocate for Buddy, then you have to continue to compare him to that same outlier throughout his first season. And Buddy is no Lillard. Maybe you can say he is JJ Redick, who went 1-5 from deep in his first 3 games and scored a total of six points. That’s the most optimistic I can get right now.

2. The Season is Over



Even Gentry says that everyone is saying this, so EVERYONE MUST BE SAYING IT!!!

Is the season over? Well, it depends on what over means. If it is title or bust, yes the season is effectively over, but based off of that, it never really started. If the goal is playoffs, it is by no means over. If the goal is improvement from game to game, then the season can not be over until April. The problem is that too many people look at a single season as a book, when in reality it is a chapter. This particular book ends when Anthony Davis’s contract expires. We are in chapter one of the second book in a series of his career. This is building to something bigger in future years. Look at it that way, and this season won’t be over for a long time.

3. Omer Asik is the Problem



Home crowd booing a player 3 games into a season. Guy must be returning after a suspension for domestic violence issues, right? Or, he used the n-word or a gay slur, right? None of those? Did he trash the city or fail to give effort? Really, none of those? Oh, so we are booing him for his performance, but we don’t boo Ajinca or Galloway or Hill, who have been worse? If you think Asik is stealing money, then Solomon Hill is Danny Ocean.

The guy is as advertised. He is an above average defensive player who can rebound and/or keep his guy from rebounding, and he keeps the big bodies off AD. He also does things that the average fan doesn’t pay any attention to. Remember when the Pels needed a three late in the Denver game? Well, they made sure to put Asik out there despite his severely limited range. Why? Because he is the best screener on the team and his screen got Moore a wide open look that he just failed to knock down.

He has faults. Several of them. He is overpaid for his production. He is a below average starting center. All these are true. But why single him out? Why blame him for the 0-3 start? For the same price, who has given you more: Asik or the Ajinca/Galloway combo? Asik or Solomon Hill? I’d take Asik, and even if you disagree, it’s at least debatable. Everybody needs to stop singling the guy out.

What Nobody is Talking About

Tyreke Evans Injury Paid for Alonzo Gee’s Salary

Proof: Tyreke Evans Insurance Payment leads to zero relevant articles

Tom Benson got applause from Pelicans twitter for swallowing Gee’s salary and going with Lance Stephenson instead. But in reality, the Pelicans are going to get insurance money to pay Tyreke’s salary as he continues to sit out. That money will be re-purposed, essentially, to pay for the dead money that they have to give Gee. Theoretically, yes Benson could have been ultra cheap, but like Teddy KGB famously said, “After all, I am paying you with your own money.”

This Draft is Loaded, But it Doesn’t Matter

Proof: There is no upperclassman currently projected as a lottery pick by any of the top websites

The silver lining of a poor season, some suppose, is that it will lead to another high draft pick to pair with Anthony Davis. And this draft, on paper, is far more loaded than last year’s class, so if they are bad enough the Pels can walk away with a potential superstar. Again, on paper, that sounds fantastic. But in reality, this draft is loaded with a bunch of 18 and 19 year olds, and this franchise is not using such a valuable commodity on one of those.

So, if the Pelicans are bad, you can count on that pick either being traded for a young vet or they will draft whatever upperclassman comes out of nowhere this season and soars up the board like Buddy Hield did. So, you can salivate over Jayson Tatum or Josh Jackson all you want this year, and imagine what they would look like on the wing next to AD. But it ain’t gonna happen. This franchise simply is not going to take a guy like that when the objective is to be as good as possible in a (relatively) short window.

Dante Cunningham’s Playoff Run was Better than Solomon Hill’s 

Proof: Googling ‘Dante Cunningham’s Potential’ leads no relevant results. Solomon Hill potential leads to several articles.

Prior to the playoffs last year, Solomon Hill was probably looking at a free agent deal that would span 1-2 year, for probably 4-6 million per year. At best. Then, he had a couple of solid games in a series against Toronto and next thing you know, he secures almost $50 million. What I want you to imagine is Dante Cunningham’s projected salary jumping 500% after  a few solid games in the series the Pelicans lost against Golden State. That would be insane, right?

Well, the two have had very similar ‘meh’ careers, and each had a nice little playoff run for a few games. Hill averaged 14.7 points per 100; Dante was at 14.6. Hill had a fantastic offensive rating of 143, but Dante’s was 180. Hill grabbed 7.6 rebounds per 100; Dante was at 12.5. Dante had more steals and blocks, almost double the PER… I can go on and on.

But nobody is talking about how it would have been insane to ignore everything else we have seen from Dante Cunningham, and instead paying him based off of one playoff series. But I am talking about it now, because that is essentially what the Pelicans did with Solomon Hill.



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