Posts Tagged ‘jj redick’

Monday Medley

What we read while Warren Buffett slept soundly…

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An Ode to Jon Scheyer

Saturday’s Duke-UNC game was the best Senior Night Cameron Indoor Stadium has seen in at least five years. And not just because the Blue Devils got their first home win against the Tar Heels since Tyler Hansbrough entered UNC, and not just because Duke got its most lopsided win in the last 45 years of the rivalry. Those were important, of course, but not as important as the last game in Cameron for Jon Scheyer, the best player to graduate Duke since J.J. Redick.

Scheyer’s career as a Dukie has been a turbulent one. His freshman year saw the embarrassing first-round loss to VCU, and his second year saw him lose his spot in the starting lineup. Midway through his junior year, he was asked to move to point guard, a position—as we were constantly reminded on every broadcast—that was not natural for him.

Most of all, though, Scheyer’s time at Duke, at this point, has become—fairly or not—recognized as Duke’s fall from the national stage. Scheyer saw the VCU loss, the near-upset to Belmont, the embarrassment to West Virginia, the blowout against Villanova, not to mention last year’s route at the hands of Clemson. And unlike Greg Paulus, a player also associated with (and probably more representative of) Duke’s “fall”, Scheyer was never part of a dominant Duke regular season team. In Scheyer’s four years, Duke has had the #1 ranking for a total of one week (and a winless one at that)—fewer than any four year player at Duke since before the days of Christian Laettner.

In many ways, Scheyer has become representative of Duke’s new perception: Unintimidating, but effective. Scheyer doesn’t wow fans with any one skill: He’s not the sharpshooter that Redick was; he doesn’t dunk like Gerald Henderson did; he doesn’t handle the ball as well as a lot of point guards, or blow by defenders off the dribble. But Scheyer has handled his role—whether it be shooting guard, sixth man, or starting point guard—with surprising aplomb. Continue reading

Aught Lang Syne: Athletes of the Decade, Part I

You thought we were done, didn’t you? That we would stick to our promise to end by December 31? Please. We’ve still got two posts to go to determine the most important title of all: Athlete of the Decade.

In defining what exactly constituted the “Athlete of the Decade” in a sport, there’s a fine line between who is best and who is the most iconic. I tended toward the latter, which runs the risk of predicting how future historians remember the Aughts.

And a little wrinkle: The order in which I present the sports counts down to the Athlete of the Decade across sports. That is, the last sport I do will have the No. 1 Athlete of the Decade, the penultimate is the second-best across sports, and so on. Here are Nos. 6, 5, and 4. Continue reading

The NBA Finals, Noted

I’ll be honest: I no longer have the time nor effort to think coherently about the NBA. Instead, I’m more of a bullet point kind of guy. So, some thoughts while I skipped Game 1 to see Star Trek:

  • The real reason the Magic are in the Finals? Pinstripes. The last four years Orlando has donned pinstripes = two Finals appearances. The 10 years in-between = irrelevance.
  • I know it’s supposed to be “Magic is,” but that just don’t sound good.
  • And could it kill them to taper the stripes the same on the front and the back?
  • How could the Lakers reach the Finals without being able to defend the pick-and-roll? Isn’t that, you know, kind of important? That’s like a team reaching the World Series that has trouble fielding ground balls.
  • Wait…the Magic won 59 games this year? That’s the Dave Holmes “Say What?” Stat of the Week.
  • Wait…the Magic have been around for 20 years? That’s the Joey Lawrence “Whoa!” Stat of the Week.
  • Sure, the Lakers looked good in Game 1, but isn’t there a small part of them thinking, “If only we had kept the other Gasol…”?
  • An Orlando win totally vindicates Patrick Ewing, right?
  • It was nice to see J.J. Redick get some playing time earlier in the playoffs, but come on, when the rookie from Western Kentucky comes back from injury, you can’t expect Redick to crack that rotation.
  • Is Amway Arena the same building as the old O-Rena? Either way, why don’t they call it that anymore?
  • Isn’t it about time to get on the Spurs’ front office for letting both Luis Scola and Hedo Turkoglu walk?
  • Do you ever think that Adam Morrison sits on the bench and says to himself, “Man, I should have come out a year earlier.”
  • I don’t care how it turned out: That was a terrible contract Orlando gave Rashard Lewis.
  • And how didn’t Lewis and Ray Allen team up for multiple Northwest Division championships in Seattle?
  • If you constructed an all-time Orlando Magic roster, where does Tom Tolbert fit in?
  • That was a rough Game 1 for Orlando. I can’t remember the Magic having a worse start to a Finals series, right?