Cohen 8-Ball: True or False
May 15, 2013
Team that wins draft lottery should celebrate like they won NBA title – FALSE – Cohen’s Analysis: In contrast to some years when winning the draft lottery suggests landing a “savior,” this year it just implies that you have the opportunity to outwork your opponents. There is a lot of symmetry among the top prospects and the teams that do the most extensive research will likely ultimately be the real winners.
Magic will be contending for title by 2016 – TRUE – Cohen’s Analysis: A high draft pick this year and presumably next, when a loaded 2014 draft class is unveiled, together with the development of blossoming young talent like Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless and a plethora of salary cap space will likely have Orlando in position to be among the elite teams in three years.
It would be smart for Dwight to stay with Lakers – FALSE – Cohen’s Analysis: Forget this notion that Howard’s reputation would be ultra destroyed if he deserted L.A. Cite excess pressure, injured teammates or cracked relationships, Howard can’t win with the Lakers and should relocate to a place where he can restore interior dominance. Yes, he can earn $30 million more in salary by staying, but throw in California income tax and that surplus gross pay is significantly reduced. Texas, meaning Dallas or Houston where there is no income tax, would be more logical destinations.
Rose should have played this season – TRUE – Cohen’s Analysis: Doctors cleared Rose to return in March, nearly two months before the start of the playoffs. He has been practicing with the team. Yet, Derrick didn’t feel comfortable enough to test his status. If player contracts weren’t guaranteed and Rose opted to continue resting without pay, I would applaud his decision to wait until the start of next season to return. But there is something about being eligible to play, refusing not to and still collecting $16 million that bothers me a little.
Harkless will resemble Paul George in three years – TRUE – Cohen’s Analysis: As long as Harkless stays focused and spends countless time in the gym tooling his skills, he has the potential to be very similar to the Pacers All-Star. Harkless’ length, athleticism and versatility all remind me of George.
Pacers are second best team remaining in playoffs – TRUE – Cohen’s Analysis: With Russell Westbrook out for OKC, Indiana has climbed up to second best. Problem is; the top team, Miami, is in its conference. The Pacers are the premier defensive squad in the league and if conferences weren’t divided in playoffs they would play the Heat in the NBA Finals rather than conference finals. Indiana has an outside shot to eliminate Miami if Wade is ineffective because of his achy knee.
Magic will be big spenders this summer or next – FALSE – Cohen’s Analysis: It’s far more beneficial in the long run for Orlando to continue saving money rather than indulge in any of the middling free agents that may be available in 2013 or 14. The summer of intrigue is 2015 when there will be a plethora of top-tier talent obtainable. By that time, all the young talent accumulated by the Magic will make a big jump. The 2015-16 season may prove to be an extra special one in Orlando.
Curry is best PG in NBA – TRUE & FALSE – Cohen’s Analysis: It’s true that Stephen Curry is the top point guard “today.” But this position fluctuates hourly. This just can’t be a consistent debate. There are so many elite floor generals. Next season there will be days we claim it is Kyrie Irving. On other days we will decide it is Damian Lillard. Then out of nowhere, we return to Chris Paul or Tony Parker as the premier PG. Let’s not ignore the injured, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose, either. It is all over the place and will continue to be for the next several years.