Michael Redd was twice the player that Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis currently are combined. Redd had a great understanding of what he could and couldn’t do. Redd couldn’t pass. So he didn’t pass. He couldn’t rebound, so he didn’t rebound. He couldn’t play defense, so he never even tried. But he could shoot. His understanding of himself created a plan and a purpose for each and every possession. Sure, that plan was just to make it rain (which at the end, totally chafed fans), but for one and half seasons, his mindset plus his skill lead to self-actualization. Michael Redd was a flawed basketball player, but he was the perfect Michael Redd.
Ellis and Jennings have no clue who they are as basketball players. They do things just because that’s what starters are supposed to do. Passing is good, so they pass. Threes are good, so they shoot threes. There is no plan from possession to possession and the offense is impotent because of it. They’ve never taken the time to think: am I capable of this? Is this a good idea? Am I any good? They scaled their usage to all-star levels and now they’re trying to find their efficiency. That’s not how that works. You find your efficiency, then you scale your usage up.
There may be an argument that the structure of the rest of the team demands much out of them. I’d argue that the structure of the team doesn’t demand all the stupid things they try. I’d also say that Redd’s teams had A LOT of weaknesses, but Redd played to his strengths, not the teams. Those teams were not good, but this isn’t an argument of results. It’s an argument about process. The only way the Bucks will ever have a good team is if the players know who they are and the team has fewer weaknesses.
I’d much rather go back to Michael Redd do his absolute best and fail than watch Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings ruin my life.
Choose the Form of the Destroyer
Rajon Rondo is the perfect player for what I’m talking about. He has such a great understanding of what he can and can’t do that it’s almost a detriment to himself and his team. Dude deliberately passes up open lay-ups to get assists.
Since I was so mean to Ellis this entire preview, I will say that he’s an exceptional interior passer. However, Rondo is the best interior passer in the game. Celtics possessions don’t even start until Rondo is deep in the paint.
I’m really upset that Drew Gooden is playing again. I’m not upset because he’s a bad basketball player – he’s serviceable, but goofy. I’m angry because I was really liking the idea of Gooden getting paid millions to watch NBA games courtside. He seemed to really enjoy himself – doing the “Flexing” celebration with Marquis Daniels and lecturing the rookies about the virtues of passing the ball into the stands.
Ekpe Udoh All-Star Watch
I’m looking forward to an eleven rebound effort for Udoh tonight. The Boston Celtics have just completely given up on rebounding. They’re 28th in the league in true rebounding percentage and dead last in offensive rebounding percentage. Kevin Garnett is the only viable big man for the Celtics. Every other big man is generally bad. Jared Sullinger can’t jump, but Boston fans like him. Don’t listen to them. Boston fans are terrible people.
I mutter greater than 37 obscenities at Jennings and Ellis tonight.