I’ve been busy the last few days, so I have not been able to catch much of Shark Week so far. But I assure you, it is one of my favorite weeks of the year. One of my lifelong goals is swimming with Whites. Definitely freaky, but I have to do it. Naturally during Shark Week, it’s only fitting to combine two things I love: sharks and basketball. Watching Great Whites feast on seals off the coast of South Africa is always the highlight of the week. For them it’s so simple: seek and destroy. Survive or die.
For NBA guys, it’s not that simple. But goals should be. So many players lose sight of what they’re aiming for in the daily grind. If they kept it simple, stayed focused, maybe they could rival the world’s greatest killing machine. Is this just a poor excuse to post videos of attacking sharks? Yes. But at the same time, these five players really do need a surprise attack, really do need to locate their prey, set their sights on exactly what they need to get themselves back on track.
THE PREY: a 40-win season, the best individual year of his career
It wasn’t too long ago that everyone was arguing Deron Williams for “best lead guard in the world.” By wasn’t long ago, I mean last fall. Chris Paul was hurt, or maybe he wasn’t, or maybe he was just coming back really slow from the knee injuries and didn’t look at all like the guy we saw in the playoffs. Russell Westbrook was just coming into his own, while Derrick Rose had yet to vault Chicago to the top of the league. I remember arguing Williams’ case as the best in the world not too long ago. Remember Utah’s string of come-from-behind classics early last season? I bet you forgot; Williams only hit two game winners during that four-game stretch while dropping 30 and 14 in another. It was Williams’ position, and he was having perhaps his best all-around year as Utah jumped to a 27-13 record by the middle of January.
Now Williams is stuck in limbo, on a team that could be good, but isn’t expected to do much this year and still doesn’t have a permanent home; with a contract situation that will surely be drastically affected by the new CBA; and with a game that suddenly became old news amidst a trade, a blow to his image and a wrist injury that dropped his scoring from 21.3 to 15. Time to show and prove all over again.
THE PREY: 20 a night, reclaim his spot as the one of the ultimate fourth quarter weapons
There isn’t a player in the whole league whose stock dropped more in the past two years than BG. And that doesn’t make sense at all considering he’s only 28 years old, should be in his prime, averaged nearly 21 a night during his final season in Chicago, is on a team that desperately needs a guard who can consistently hit open shots and create and flirted for a bit last year with a 50/40/90 campaign.
Something has to change. Because of the problems surrounding the Detroit organization, Gordon is being lumped in with all of the rest, and now, many want to describe him as a problem, a gunner, someone who cares only about the money when none of that’s true at all. There isn’t a player in the league who played with him who doesn’t rave about BG and his work ethic. Maybe Lawrence Frank will open up the offense a little bit and Gordon will flourish again. More than likely, someone must be moved.