Eddie Jordan still has his head up his ass. Don’t get me wrong, I like Eddie quite a bit, but his in-game coaching is indefensible. Eddie came into the season basically admitting that he had no fucking clue what he was going to do with his seven-man bench, which is pretty ridiculous considering the roster at his disposal. Instead of putting together a basic rotation Eddie chose to play everybody for at least five minutes. During one stretch of starter-less basketball the 11th and 12th men, Dee Brown and JaVale McGee, shared the floor. And that was in the second quarter. I was thrilled to see Baby Face McGee get on the court in his first game, but there is no reason that he and the team’s fifth guard should be racking up over eight minutes of playing time a piece in the season opener. Oh, and if anyone can give me a reasonable explanation as to why Etan never returned to the floor after being subbed out with four minutes remaining in the third quarter I am all fucking ears.
Swagga Like Us. Just as I’d hoped (and Pradamaster predicted) the team’s new intro music is Swagga Like Us by TI (along with Jay Z, Kanye, and Weezy). I just hope half of the other teams aren’t using the song as we saw last year with Kanye’s Stronger. Unfortunately they stopped playing Jeezy’s Go Getta during warmups, meaning I need a new ring tone for my phone. They should really start playing MIA’s Paper Planes during warmups to coincide with the intro music, then my ringtone could be gunfire! And hell, as long as I’m going on about stadium music, Big Tigger needs to start playing Welcome to DC before warmups. I’ll shut up now.
Nick Young loves his nickname, and I love Nick Young. Between last season and summer league Nick Young knows me pretty well. That probably has something to do with me always calling him “City” at the top of my lungs. Regardless he always responds to the nickname with smiles and nods. The man that was almost known as Bean Burrito looked great, especially when being led on back-to-back breaks.
Dan Crawford is still the best referee in the league. And not just because he seems like the only ref capable of throwing a halfway decent jump ball on a consistent basis.
Quality entertainment all over the place. The new dance team looks much better than their website led me to believe. I’m a bit distraught that my two favorite veterans are gone, but the overall squad has improved (aside from one girl who looked like she practices about as often as Plaxico Burress). The halftime entertainment from Nuttin’ But Strings was pretty impressive, and having Big Tigger as your in-house DJ is still awesome. On a side note, if you yell out “O” during the National Anthem you should be escorted from the building and beaten with sticks.
Caron is the star. Both Juan and Etan received a lot of love from the crowd, but everyone knows that this is Caron’s show. He was introduced last and came out in his jersey rather than warmups, the place went nuts. Not “holy crap Gilbert just walked out of the locker room in uniform” nuts, but pretty impressive nonetheless. It immediately made me worry that Gilbert would rush his return out of fear that Caron could usurp his role as the fan favorite. Or maybe he’ll try to drown Caron in the grotto. Nobody knows.
The Wiz are still pure entertainment. During a break in the action the ginormous HD screens showed a video of each player attempting to identify the theme song from Sanford and Son. Needless to say, it was pure comedic gold.
The Nets don’t totally suck. Granted, Jarvis “Jonas” Hayes won’t show up like that on a regular basis, as we know all too well. What really stuck out is Yi. That kid was unstoppable last night, and the entire crowd was relieved to see the braintrust of Lawerence Frank and Brian Hill sit him in the game’s final minutes. Put both of those guys together and you have 8 feet of terrible coaching.
Do not panic, we’re going to be okay. Caron and Antawn were downright awful, yet the game was never out of reach until Carter’s dagger with a minute to play. Neither of them could find their shot, or their flow. Of course that could be attributed to Eddie Jordan’s refusal to run an offense.
Play of the night. City’s aforementioned dunk/layup combination was fun, but JaVale McGee came across the lane to swat away a would-be basket. When Etan does go to the bench it will be nice to have a guy like that in the middle. His athleticism is a huge advantage on the defensive end, and he presents a good target for entry passes on offense. He just needs to calm down when he gets the ball near the basket and all will be well.
Get a hold of yourself, Andray. I love Andray Blatche, but if he keeps picking up awful fouls I’m going to snap. The youngster has gotten himself into fantastic shape and he’s in a position to really flourish, but once again he picked up two early fouls thanks to two mindless decisions. The only difference between this year and last is that we can no longer afford to sit him on the bench.