At the behest of those who enjoy watching beautiful people doing beautiful things, Ben Wallace has announced he will retire at the end of this season. One of the hungriest underdogs to ever play basketball, Wallace hammered himself into a niche with unprecedented brute force, becoming known for much, much more than a scraggly afro.
He was respected, beloved, and, to some degree, feared. Wallace was a rare breed: SO good as a rebounding defensive presence and SO bad as an offensive threat. In his honor, I’ve decided to rank all the modern day one-dimensional players, with Ben Wallace in mind as the Godfather of them all. The league has very few players who’re equally effective on offense as they are on defense, but one doesn’t have to overshadow the other (for example, the 2008 Kevin Garnett tilted the entire league with his defensive intensity—it became apart of his identity as he forced the Celtics to keep up on their way to a championship—but it wasn’t like he struggled on offense); this list highlights 14 guys who excel on one end of the floor while leaving much to be desired on the other. Read more…
This week I’ll be ranking who I believe deserves to be a reserve in the 2012 All-Star game. All 14 players, from both conferences, will be lumped together and placed in order—from “totally obvious” (1) to “I guess he could maybe be an All-Star?” (14). Read more…
Keeping up on an ongoing miniseries, here’s in depth, incredibly important analysis on my fantasy basketball draft, which took place on December 17, 2011. A glorious evening it was. For more info on what’s going down here, go check out the initial entry. Due to this taking me a lot longer than expected, analysis must now include up to date production—it’s unfair, but so goes the world of fantasy basketball.
Team A: Tyson Chandler
Team B: Chris Bosh
Team C: Danilo Gallinari
Team D: Luol Deng
Team E: Jrue Holiday
Team F: DeMarcus Cousins
Team G: Andre Iguodala
Team H: James Harden
Team I: Andrea Bargnani
Team J: Kyle Lowry
Team K: Carlos Boozer
Team L: David West
Best Value: Lot of great value picks here, but judging by the dramatic improvement we’re continuing to see from Kyle Lowry, that’s where the selection goes. He’s hovering at the top of the league in assists, knocking down threes, and apart from his two point performance over the weekend (in which we witnessed 18 assists), the scoring has been better than expected. Lowry is headed for his first All-Star team.
Worst Value: Whenever the word “worst” is placed in front of the word “value” in any English born sentence, Carlos Boozer is usually the reason why.
Overall Reaction: As we go deeper and deeper into the draft, two things are valued above all else: consistency and expertise. Tyson Chandler and DeMarcus Cousins are two great examples of players who will take care of rebounding (Tyson should also give a leg up on blocked shots) and field goal percentage while letting other guys on the team fill in for their many weaknesses. We’re also seeing tons of upside with some owners intelligently betting on breakout seasons from the likes of James Harden, Jrue Holiday, and Danilo Gallinari.
First things first. It’s absolutely fantastic to have the NBA back in our lives. Today’s game at Madison Square Garden between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks paints a beautiful, gritty picture explaining why. Heading in, both teams had major questions to answer, and both—one would assume—are poised for a bloody battle over the Atlantic Division’s crown. In what will be a new feature coming to Shaky Ankles this season, here are some quick hit points of interest delivered in the always awesome, easily readable bullet point format. Merry Christmas! Read more…
Yesterday, it was reported that Tyson Chandler, the much desired free agent center who’s assumed a fair share of praise for helping Dallas defeat Miami in last year’s NBA Finals, will meet with Golden State team officials this week. The cement mix is far from dry—Houston, New Jersey, Dallas, and an always lingering team in the shadows all want him badly—but if the Warriors are able to use Chandler as an announcement to the league that they’re serious about trying to win big—and soon—then we might be witnessing the birth of a legitimate contender, sooner than anybody could’ve imagined. Read more…
Rising: Greg Monroe
In college, he was the unselfish friendly big man, always hanging out at the high post making sure everyone’s comfortable, like a big brother who protects his little siblings by standing taller than everyone else in the neighborhood. His technical skills were vast, and the way he made the Princeton offense sing made every first time viewer aware of the team’s best player before a basket was even scored.
Either due to the depressing team he played for or the slow-but-steady-wins-the-race style he exudes, last year Greg Monroe went through one of the most delightful rookie seasons a center has had in years, and very few noticed. (Monroe was “awarded” sixth place in the running for Rookie of the Year.) Former coach John Kuester dialed up just a handful of plays for arguably his team’s best player—one of the many reasons he no longer works there (“I probably could count them on my hand, the plays that were called for me throughout the year,” Monroe said last May.) Read more…