Tag Archives: josh smith

Florida Is Proving Their Worth

Note to self, Florida might be the best team in the southeast bracket of the NCAA.

We all doubted Walker and the Gators... oops.

After holding off UCLA 73-65 in front of a Florida dominated crowd  the Gators have positioned themselves as the team to beat in that region.

Not bad for a squad that was considered by many as a team that got a fluke two seed.

The man mostly responsible for Florida’s longest tourney run since the Joakim Noah title teams of the 2000’s is Erving Walker.

After Jai Lucas bolted Gainesville for Austin, Walker stepped right in and stepped up way past his diminutive 5-8 height.

Against UCLA Walker made all of the plays necessary to hold the Bruins at bay. He scored 10 o the Gators last 12 points, hit a three that put them up for good an hit and unreal circus shot in the paint over 6-10 305 pound Josh Smith that will require multiple replays to gain understanding for what he just did.

Walkers clutch play more than made up for the lack of production from Chandler Parsons and Kenny Boynton who couldn’t find their shot all day.

What they couldn’t get on offense they more than made up for on the defensive end holding the Bruins to 41% shooting including 23% from three. The shots that the Bruins got against the Spartans were non-existent today with the perimeter play and inside presence of Alex Tyus who neutralized Smith on the boards.

All of the bad momentum that followed Florida from the SEC tournament has been erased in two games including the 79-51 beat down of UCSB. The Gators have taken control of the weakest bracket in the field and look to be a serious Final Four contender.

The rest of the bracket gives them more fuel for their optimism.

Up next are possible matchups with either BYU or Gonzaga. Without Brandon Davies in the middle there isnt an answer to hold Tyus and Florida is more than capable of limiting Jimmer Fredette. And while Gonzaga does have athleticism they’re not as disciplined as the Gators on offense or defense.

So you can pencil the Gators into the elite 8. What most experts perceived to be a short stay in the tourney might be a long one. Florida has proven themselves to be worthy of that controversial number two seed and could bring back the glory days of just 4 years ago with another run to the Final Four.

Not bad for a team that was supposed to be done before the beginning of spring. Continue reading

Joe Johnson Not A Max Player

Joe Johnson is not a max-deal player, there I said it.

Joe Johnson's that guy in the middle if you care.

With all of the discussions about the class of 2010 and the meetings between players and the recruiting trips teams are going on to get them we have sort of lost a sense of what these players have actually done and what their true worth really is.

We know that Dwyane Wade is the only champion of the bunch. We know that LeBron James is the only two-time MVP in the group and with Dirk Nowitzki they are the only players other than Wade to be in a final.

We also know that Paul Pierce is 32 going on 40 as we saw in the playoffs, we know that David Lee and Amar’e Stoudemire could guard a bottle of Knob Creek bourbon if their lives depended on it and we also know that Joe Johnson is the most overrated member of the group.

Did any of you watch the playoffs this past year? Joe Johnson played worse than any guard looking for a max-deal that I have ever seen. He shot 39% for the playoffs including a horrid series against the Magic which saw him go for 13 points and four assists a game while shooting 29.8% from the field.

Johnson has watched his scoring average dip from 25 points per game to 21.3 points per game in the last three seasons. His assists have decreased as has his free throw attempts per game.

Another big red flag to consider, he’s a 29 year-old shooting guard. Shooting guard are like running backs, once they hit a certain age their productivity decreases and their effectiveness dwindles. Keep this in mind Hawks fans, when Joe Johnson hits the fourth year of his deal when it increases to over 20 million a years he will be 32 years old, look at the production of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen after the age of 32. Look at the decreasing production of Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter since age 30, do you want to pay a player who is better off as a role player 20 million dollars a season until he’s 35? I would hope not.

Yet here are the Hawks offering a huge chunk of salary that they could use to pay Al Horford or Josh Smith or even the actual face of their team Jamaal Crawford to Joe Johnson. Johnson would be a fool not to rob the Hawks blind of 12o million dollars over 6 years. However that’s only because the Hawks are the even bigger fools of giving it to him.