Excellent grilling of Diop about his summer regiment, Milky. You totally caught him off-guard, which just does not happen often at all & won't start happening this season. That he's in premium shape is reassuring that he has to improve on last year.
If Diop can turn the clocks back & find a way to give us two efficient stocks (steals + blocks, per Bill Simmons) in a quarter or so of play, we could develop a formidable defense...
...I don't mean to imply Diop would be any sort of anchor for us. I believe that opportunity falls on a fellow I know too well from his Los Angeles days - Kwameazy. Kwame & Diop on the court at the same time tastes sour initially, but it's becoming palatable as the delirium from a weekend on "The Trade" watch convinces me they actually should play well off each other, if & when...
now on to my mini-Brown breakdown.
Kwame's aggregate stats will never be sterling, which is frustrating when he can boast a 30pt / 19reb game against C. Webb's Sac-Town Royalty circa 2004. He plays small for a 7-footer too, with .6 blocks per game (& 1.2 stocks)
Alas, I stand in defense of the man. His career path has been aligned with greatness - the Wizards (with a basketball-savant & average minor league baseball player named Jordan & a legendary owner in Abe Pollan), the Lakers (Zen Master Jackson & 1998 slam-dunk wunderkind Kobe-bean), the Grizzlies (ok, less greatness for Kwameazy to soak in there, but he got out with the quickness for bluer pastures), and the Pistons (Dumars before-or-while the franchise was getting flipped on its head. The man is still ultra-sage). Kwame's basketball IQ can't be & really isn't bad at all, if not inconsistently legitimate (this is the only case study on earth where that statement holds water).
He can be our team's best interior defender on any night, which doesn't show up in the box score so easily. Shutting down passing lanes; cutting off paint-penetration; keeping opponents FG% sick with his hustle; I'm excited to see him excel at the dirty work again. Occasionally he can dominate the glass &, while he's no offensive specialist, he can give you several buckets on 50+% shooting. Just don't expect clutch free throws. Or regular non-clutch free-throws, which is a pill to be swallowed in the league for the sake of a 7-footer on the floor. Hey, Biedrins shot 19% from the line last year so I'm not complaining about anything there.
With Diop in his best shape in recent years, & Nazr as the incumbent starter & in a contract year, I really hope that Kwame is motivated to get back from his injury with more enthusiasm & effort than ever to carve out his role on the team.
I'm hoping Kwame channels his classic energies ... beyond his injury-loaded, lost in Memphis / Detroit years ... back to a time when Kwame showed us his dunkface and we didn't turn away
Is it too much to think of Kwame as the defensive glue-guy when he settles into the rotation? Can't wait for more brilliant posts & threads from all you savvy 'Cats all season