Tuesday, January 11, 2005

King Me!

``Him not being here is going to be tough for me. I don't know what I'm going to wake up for.''
- Steve Francis, on the trade of backcourt mate Cuttino Mabley to the Sacramento Kings.

Poor Stevie Franchise. Just when things were starting to turn around for him, his best pal gets shipped across the country in return for that guy with the crazy wife. Remember, this is a guy who refused to play for the team that originally drafted him (the then-Vancouver Grizzlies), and then whined his way out of Houston and a chance to play with Yao Ming. Francis doesn’t seem to be as concerned with winning a championship as he is with being happy, which I guess is a valid outlook on life. However, he definitely allows himself to be a little down emotionally, and that can effect his game. Last year, Francis was certainly unhappy in Houston, and it took a huge toll on his stats, as he posted career-low numbers in points, 3’s, offensive rebounds, and FG%.

All I’m saying is this, Magic owners: You’ve got a lot of money invested in this kid. If he’s not happy, he won’t be playing at the top of his game. For you Francis owners out there, it isn’t time to reach for the panic button just yet, but he only played 27 minutes last night, dished only 2 assists and grabbed only 3 rebounds. Magic coach Johnny Davis seems to be playing good cop to GM John Weisbrod’s bad cop, feeling sympathy for his star guard. But Francis has to pull himself out of his funk soon, and his owners have every reason to be a little worried that this could take some time.

Meanwhile, how about the guys that actually got traded? Doug Christie shouldn’t see his stats change all that much. Just like in Sacramento, he’s playing with a shooting point guard, and will be probably the 4th option on the court. The big issue for Christie is that the big men for the Magic (Dwight Howard, Kelvin Cato, etc.) aren’t nearly the kind of passers that he was used to playing with in Sacramento, where Chris Webber and Brad Miller could find him open on the outside a couple times a game. However, his scoring is already way down this year (just 7.3 ppg), and he isn't shooting the three nearly as much as he used to. He is marginal-at-best roster filler as it is, and this move might send him to the waiver wire.

As for Cuttino Mobley, this is actually a pretty nice position for him to be in. He had a tough time getting acclimated to Orlando, posting 6-year lows in boards, steals, and assists while dealing with various injuries. The one area he’s really improved in this year is his 3-point shooting, where he’s knocking down a stellar 46% of his bombs and racking up 2.5 3’s a game. A new setting may be just what he needs. A fast-tempo team like the Kings, where he can get out on the floor and run, get the ball in good spots, and have the ball in his hands more than before, should be great for him. Plus, with Bobby Jackson out for the year, he’ll have plenty of time on the court. Look for him to improve those assists and rebound numbers, and return to the form you were hoping for when you drafted him this year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys rock!
Always on top of all the latest stuff.
I only wish you were in bands so I could check out your bands and dance and swoon.

12:03 PM  
Blogger bv said...

you know, we get that all the time.

1:52 PM  

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