Sunday , Nov , 21 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

NBA Trash Talk: Volume 2.1

Hi, all, and welcome to volume 2.1 (reasons why later) of Yeah, I Said It. I hope you’ve all been keeping well since we last met.

<b>NBA Trash Talk</b>: <I>Volume 2.1</I>“/>Is it just me, or has there been a recent increase in vicious and unlikely dunks of late? While the game has been played above the rim for some time, it seems now as if every other play ends up with someone finishing right at the hoop, often with a defender or two underneath him. All week players have been making straight for the rack and hammering it down and, to top it off, LeBron put down one of the more impressive dunks in recent history last night, looking as if he could have thrown his leg in the rim on that play. If he hadn’t taken off from outside the key, he may well have caught his laces in the net. <BR><BR>Once again I remind you all that <I>YISI</I> relies on your feedback. Each week I’ll be writing an article on a topic selected from your emails ( and replying to any of your questions. If you have any questions, suggestions or recommendations, don’t hesitate to send me some mail – I reply to everything I receive either personally or in the column. Talking of which, let’s see the best of the mailbag: <BR><BR><STRONG><I>What do you think Toronto should do with Vince?</I><BR></STRONG><BR>In short, shift him. At his age he should be near the peak of his game, but he’s putting up some of the worst numbers of his career. It’s been reported that there’s a Vince and Jalen for Shareef and Nick Van Exel deal in the pipelines (perhaps with Derek Anderson in place of N.V.E.), which I think the Raptors should go through with if given the opportunity. If Air Canada can recapture his old form they’ll regret it, but it seems a decent risk to take for Toronto management at the moment. <BR><BR><I><STRONG>What’s wrong with Denver and Memphis?</STRONG></I><BR><BR>This is a question I myself have asked more than once over the opening games of the season. Right now, I’d put it down to inexperience. Both teams are very young and coming off seasons in which they surpassed expectations and both can be forgiven for being a tad over-excited coming out of the starting gates. If their respective coaches can calm them down and remind them what it was that brought them their success last year, they should be back on track soon enough. Fortunately, neither team has lost its swagger, so a small run should be enough to have them right back where they were in ’03-’04. <BR><BR><I><STRONG>What happened to Dwayne Wade? How come he’s suddenly so good?</STRONG></I><BR><BR>Firstly, it’s “Dwyane”. D-W-Y-A-N-E. Looks like a typo, but it isn’t. Secondly, he was always pretty good, though Coach Stan has given him far more freedom with the ball this year. He clearly improved over the summer, gaining invaluable experience from his trip to Greece, the first time we saw him playing as a true point for extended periods. He came back with even more dunks, ankle-breakers and downright amazing plays and seems set to hog the highlight reels all year. While I don’t think it likely that he’ll keep playing at this level for the entire season, it’s a good sign that he’s found a rhythm so early on. We saw signs of brilliance in his rookie year, but now it’s his consistency which is most impressive. <BR><BR><I><STRONG>Who’s going to win it all this season?</STRONG></I><BR><BR>I may be alone in this, but I believe it’s San Antonio’s year again. The team carries itself with such poise, and with Tim Duncan at the helm they’re a model of consistency. Add to that the speed and creativity of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili and one of the league’s stronger supporting casts, and you have a championship-calibre squad. That said, on their day, Miami, Minnesota, Detroit and perhaps even Dallas could take them over the course of a seven-game series. <BR><BR>I imagine some of you are wondering why this week’s edition is titled <I>Volume 2.1</I>, and the reason is this: I’ve decided to experiment with spreading the column over two consecutive nights. That means that you’ll have another dose of <I>YISI</I> each week with which to entertain yourselves. While I’ll be playing around with the format over the next fortnight or so, I’ll make a decision with your help (once again, get me at as soon as possible. So, until tomorrow, when I’ll be posting the article chosen from your suggestions, sit tight and catch whichever games are being televised in your area. <BR><BR>See you soon, <BR>Chuck. <BR><BR></p>