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Time To Chill

Obviously Dwayne Wade played very well this season, and has played very well in the playoffs, but don't you think it's a bit premature to offer him the title of Best Player in the League or Second Coming of His Airness? The internet, as we all know, calls for fast commentary, but this seems like the sort of question you want to take a little time on. For all we know, the Heat will wind up getting stomped by the Pistons in the conference finals (Shaq & Wade are nothing to sneeze at, but neither were Shaq & Kobe) and next season Wade won't play quite so good. Or maybe the Heat will win the championship and next year a slightly older, slightly wiser Wade will be better than ever. We've sort of got to wait and see. Nevertheless, it's always worth revisiting the fact that Darko Milicic was picked second in that draft and while some criticized the move at the time I don't recall anyone, anywhere suggesting that Dwayne Wade would be a better choice . . . just think how good Detroit could have been.

May 17, 2005 | Permalink

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» Luck from Kalblog
Matthew Yglesias hits on something interesting here: Nevertheless, it's always worth revisiting the fact that Darko Milicic was picked second in that draft and while some criticized the move at the time I don't recall anyone, anywhere suggesting that D... [Read More]

Tracked on May 18, 2005 5:03:53 PM

» Luck from Kalblog
Matthew Yglesias hits on something interesting here: Nevertheless, it's always worth revisiting the fact that Darko Milicic was picked second in that draft and while some criticized the move at the time I don't recall anyone, anywhere suggesting that D... [Read More]

Tracked on May 18, 2005 5:04:49 PM

Comments

Yes, let's let him win a couple of rings first. Nonetheless, let's remember that Wade was being defended by Larry Hughes - allegedly a First Team All Defense player. He's had quite the impressive year.

Posted by: Al | May 17, 2005 1:10:35 PM

ESPN's NBA commentary is, increasingly, an embarrassment. I cannot believe that no one (like SI, or TSN) is making a concerted effort to round-up better commentators and steal market share.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | May 17, 2005 1:11:05 PM

The Milicic pick was ridiculed even at the time it happened because he was taken ahead of Carmelo Anthony, who was fresh off leading Syracuse to the NCAA championship. I don't think anybody's truly surprised that both Anthony and Wade have turned out to be much better pros than Milicic. If you don't recall people saying _Wade_ would be a better choice, it's probably because the critics were saying _Anthony_ would be the better choice. A more astute criticism would be to say that "nobody" had said that Wade would be a better pick than Anthony. Pretty much everybody was saying either would have been a better pick than Milicic. And that's not with 20/20 hindsight - it was obvious at the time.

Posted by: Rick | May 17, 2005 1:14:07 PM

ESPN's Marc Stein and Ric Bucher are pretty good, but that Scoop Jackson guy is a tool.

Posted by: Haggai | May 17, 2005 1:14:08 PM

Anthony has also not turned out to be a better pro than Tayshaun Prince, which is why Detroit didn't pick Anthony at the #2 spot. But obviously Wade would have been a better choice than the one they made.

Posted by: Haggai | May 17, 2005 1:16:31 PM

ESPN's NBA commentary is, increasingly, an embarrassment.

Perhaps it's just that they make people pay for an ESPN Insider subscription to get access to their best commentators. (You know, like Chad Ford. Not.) What kind of fool would pay good money for ESPN commentators when there is lots of good analysis out there on the internet for free?

Posted by: Al | May 17, 2005 1:16:46 PM

Hey, i like what i've seen of wade, too, but sheesh, pound-for-pound the best player in the league? what kind of nonsense is that?

as for milicic - jury is still out on him. But exactly how many minutes would Wade be getting on the Pistons? 15-20 a game? I see zippo chance that Larry Brown would be starting him over billups or hamilton. Milicic may turn out to be a gigantic dud, and he may turn out to be an excellent player, but i'm not ready to criticize Joe Dumars for not taking wade over him....

Posted by: howard | May 17, 2005 1:20:49 PM

I'm also not critical of Dumars for not taking Wade, as I don't remember too many people saying that he'd be better than Darko, and practically nobody thought that Wade would be this good this soon. But he's clearly a superstar, and Detroit would obviously be better right now if they'd drafted him, even if he was getting limited minutes off the bench.

Posted by: Haggai | May 17, 2005 1:26:41 PM

Weren't people calling Grant Hill the second coming? Lots of things can happen.

Posted by: theCoach | May 17, 2005 1:28:09 PM

No, no. Grant Hill wasn't the Second Coming. That was Vince Carter. (Hey, with any luck, maybe VC will STILL BE the Second Coming...)

Posted by: Al | May 17, 2005 1:30:33 PM

"Obviously Dwayne Wade played very well this season, and has played very well in the playoffs, but don't you think it's a bit premature to offer him the title of Best Player in the League or Second Coming of His Airness?"

No.

Posted by: praktike | May 17, 2005 1:31:04 PM

The Pistons would not be that much different with Wade. Whose minutes would he take? He doesn't hit spot-up jump shots as well as Rip Hamilton. He may create shots better and draw more fouls, but that isn't Rip's role. Rip causes team defenses fits with his off-the-ball activity; this acticity also tires out the opposing two guard. Would Wade take Chauncey's minutes? Chauncy won the NBA Finals MVP award last year, and hit big shots at every imaginable opportunity. I'm not saying that he is better at any skill than Wade, but he was pretty darn good, and he might be more clutch than Wade (only time can tell). Would Wade take Prince's spot? Wade couldn't guard taller threes in the post, and would have a lot of foul trouble. Last year's Pistons had to play against Kobe, Artest, and Richard Jefferson in the playoffs. Prince guarded all of them well, and did a wonderful job on Artest and Kobe. Without that defense, the Pistons aren't the Pistons. If Wade plays in a three guard lineup, you would have Rasheed, Wallace, or Prince sitting, which would immesureably hurt the Pistons defense. In other words, the Pistons made the correct choice when they chose Darko, as odd and silly as that is to say.

Posted by: blogsy mcblog | May 17, 2005 1:31:59 PM

The hype over Grant Hill in his first couple of years easily matched Vince's, and probably exceeded it because of the "he's such a nice guy, too!" angle with Hill. Another young two-guard who teamed up with Shaq in his first couple of seasons in the league was a certain Penny Hardaway. He was absurdly good for a couple of years, but injuries and lack of motivation caught up with him.

Posted by: Haggai | May 17, 2005 1:33:15 PM

Detroit is awfully good as-is. I don't think Anthony would have helped them much, as he's a whiner and a bit of a ball-hog, and Larry Brown wasn't going to put up with that after leaving AI behind. Besides, in the limited action he's seen, I don't think Darko has been that bad. He probably wasn't worth a #2 pick, but even that won't be certain for a couple of years.

Wade might not have been as good in Detroit as he is in Miami. He would have been coming off the bench and playing in a system that doesn't emphasize the fast break like Miami does. Detroit plays slow, grinding basketball, and that just isn't where Wade thrives.

Posted by: Chris | May 17, 2005 1:33:17 PM

Haggai, i agree that i'd rather have wade than arroyo, no question, but i'm also implying that a guy who can't start on the defending champs shouldn't be regarded as the finished hall of fame product either....

Posted by: howard | May 17, 2005 1:33:25 PM

I can agree with that, howard. This Pistons fans wouldn't mind having Wade taking minutes from Lindsey Hunter.

Posted by: Haggai | May 17, 2005 1:35:37 PM

on that front, haggai, my money remains on the pistons to repeat....

Posted by: howard | May 17, 2005 1:38:02 PM

I hope they've woken up, howard. Game 4 on Sunday was their return to realizing that they actually need to play four quarters of decent ball to win, after shaming themselves with expansion-team level play for most of Games 2 and 3.

Posted by: Haggai | May 17, 2005 1:40:01 PM

well, that's really been the whole season for them, hasn't it, haggai? You kept feeling they were better than their record, and then they finally closed strong.

But yes, defensive teams need to work 48 minutes a game, but when push comes to shove, i still see them as the likeliest team to get a critical rebound or stop of the remaining 7.

(and speaking of underperforming, however in the world have the spurs lost 2 in a row to the undermanned sonics?)

Posted by: howard | May 17, 2005 1:42:29 PM

No, no. Grant Hill wasn't the Second Coming. That was Vince Carter."

Actually, I think Harold Miner was crowned the second coming before either of them.

Posted by: Aziz | May 17, 2005 1:47:57 PM

Wade wouldn't start over Billups? You're crazy.

What you'd have is a repeat of the 1990's Pistons, with Wade as Isaiah, Rip as Dumars, and Billups in the Microwave role.

Posted by: Al | May 17, 2005 1:48:19 PM

Spurs are kicking themselves for losing Game 3, which they obviously should have won. They aren't likely to commit 10 million turnovers again like they did in Game 4, and are the Sonics really going to get 15 again from...Damien Wilkins?!

I thought Detroit's main problem in the two losses to Indy was more on offense than defense. They were standing around, jacking up terrible shots, not even trying to get the basket most of the time, and committing moronic turnovers to boot. They cured most of those problems in Game 4, although they still turned it over too much, only to have Indy oblige by committing even more awful turnovers (including one of the worst of all time--getting stripped at midcourt while trying to call a timeout, and giving up a fastbreak dunk as a result). Plus, Prince and Hamilton need to produce more, Rip in particular needs to get to the bucket.

Posted by: Haggai | May 17, 2005 1:51:46 PM

Al, since when in the history of his lengthy coaching career has Larry Brown (who loves Billups) started an unproven (especially defensively unproven) player over an established (especially defensively established) player. in addition, as someone noted up above, wade doesn't exactly play the pistons style, which isn't to say that he doesn't clearly have the court sense to adapt.

Aziz, iirc, Harold Miner was referred to as "baby jordan," which was supposed to be a compliment....

Posted by: howard | May 17, 2005 1:51:56 PM

Yeah, I think the people here suggesting Wade wouldn't start for Detroit are being a bit silly. The Pistons play the way they do not because that's the style that Brown is forcing them to play, but becuase that's the style their personnel dictates.

When Brown was in Philly, their offense was different, focused around AI. Put Wade on Detroit and he starts over *either* Billups or Hamilton, and Brown would adjust their playing style accordingly.

Posted by: DT | May 17, 2005 1:52:23 PM

haggai, i'm as old school as they come on this matter: defensive intensity breeds offensive execution in my (and larry brown's) book!

(and yes, i do expect the spurs to emerge in the end from the west, and i do like their depth when it comes to the finals....)

Posted by: howard | May 17, 2005 1:54:40 PM

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