Huq’s Pen: August Potpourri

I’m back.  Sorry for the three-week hiatus.  I just took the Texas Bar Exam this past week, a three day foray through Hell comprised of fifteen hours of testing over a span of three days, covering every aspect of law in this jurisdiction.  Hopefully that’s done with forever because I don’t want to have to leave you all again, especially during such critical times.

While I was gone, I took note of some things upon which I wanted to talk when I returned.  Unfortunately that list got too long and I had to scrap it.  But here’s a dump of what’s currently on my mind at the time of writing:

  • In the days following Dwight’s escape to greener pastures, the predictable backlash which unfolded was one of the more embarrassing spectacles I can remember in recent history.  Coming from that camp, you had notable, respected journalists taking to print and the airwaves to unleash a preposterously absurd brand of revisionist apologetics.  As it was told, Howard was somehow foolish for leaving a bad situation because that bad situation involved a storied franchise that never suffered through bad situations…and the Lakers would rise again from the ashes of ineptitude solely and simply for the fact that they are the Lakers.  It was a fascinating story.  What was even richer was the narrative posited that with the big man’s departure, the Lakers actually were now better off as they were free to serve course until Lebron and ‘Melo rode in next year on their white horses to save the day.  Fortunately, for the sake of intelligent discourse, the fires of that illogical pipe dream too have been doused by some smart observance of actual reality.  I normally hold myself above this sort of thing, but because of what all was spewed in those weeks, I will take a deep enjoyment in the coming seasons out of watching that franchise fade away into irrelevance.  Lakers fans can seek solace in the “count the rings” tropes they’re so fond of throwing forth because that’s about all they’ll have to cling to going forward.  

  • The two worst offseasons indisputably were had by Dallas and Milwaukee, two clubs that splurged on middle of the pack talent that won’t help towards the bottom line.  Dallas is a more fascinating case due to the existential ramifications involving Cuban’s previous decision.  You broke up a title team to land, two years later, Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, and Samuel Dalembert.  That really stings.  But at the end of the day, I just don’t know if I can fault the billionaire.  While re-signing Chandler would have given the Mavs their only shot at defending their throne, it also would have locked them into forthcoming mediocrity with the opportunity cost being what seemed, at the time, a real chance at a possible dynasty (in bringing in Williams and Howard.)  Excuse me for going this route, but given what I just endured, I have to: in law, we have what is called ‘the business judgement rule’ whereby a manager cannot be held liable for breaching a duty of care as long as the decision followed some norm of informed decisionmaking and rationality; it can even be a horrendously bad decision, so long as there was some reasoned basis.  Cuban’s risk backfired, but it made sense and for that, I can’t cast blame.  
  • The Pelicans really, really intrigue me.  Because in a vacuum, signing Tyreke Evans and trading two lottery picks for Jru Holliday, I think, are bad moves.  But when you have the best big man prospect since Tim Duncan waiting in the wings, it works and makes sense.  Why?  Because everything depends on Anthony Davis.  And if Davis becomes who we think he is, everything fits.  That’s the thing about having true elite talent.  You can make other square parts fit into round holes and take risks where it otherwise would be imprudent.  That’s why you always see these guys like Jamal Crawford–guys with reputations their whole careers for being chuckers who adversely affect their teams–go to good teams and resurrect their names.  It’s going to happen on the Rockets too at some point in the next three years.  They’re going to sign someone who they otherwise would never want and he’ll make them look good because of Harden and Howard.
  • Has anyone in the league, of late, become more underrated than Jeremy Lin?  I have people in my Twitter mentions talking about him like he’s Matt Maloney or something.  Now, he certainly had a disappointing postseason, but I don’t think his year went as poorly as people are making it out to have gone.  I’ll resume my series on Lin next week, with Part 2, but as a teaser, I actually expect Lin to have the most surprising breakout of any player on the team next year, given one caveat.
  • Finally, I think it would be absolutely awesome if Lebron left Miami next season and went back to save the hometown Cavaliers.  It would be the ultimate narrative: the anti-Jordan mercenary returning to save the locals.  But more importantly, these recent rumors of James’ interest in pursuing the post of players’ association presidency are promising.  The league’s labor concerns are a pet issue of mine and the disparity in bargaining power is at the crux of the problem.  Having the sport’s most powerful figure taking a leadership role can only be a good thing though still just a very small step in solving the union’s heap of troubles.

That’s all for now.  It’s good to be back.

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Total comments: 29
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Not that they have to be a package...but if I bet on both and one turns out, I have positive asset value. That was before Harden, and everything coming in was a means to flip to get an elite player. I def could be wrong, but with similar contracts and tactics I feel like that could have been part of the motivating factor. Hit on one and the other isnt as bad. Like splitting your pairs in 21 on 8s or aces. I may gamble too much as they are all my references....and also, yes I do have a bromance for Dork Elvis....itl be nice to play some 2k and have players to cheese with on my team. It will suck to go online and everyone is now suddenly playing with the rox though.

    I see your point on the splitting of aces, but I think the Rockets only want to get rid of one to relieve monetary considerations. if the chance comes along to move both......YES they take it provided they are getting a piece to aid in the building of this team. the owner has already said he will pay tax so it's not a force move just a wise one.

  • bearkat414 says 1 YEAR ago

    Not that they have to be a package...but if I bet on both and one turns out, I have positive asset value. That was before Harden, and everything coming in was a means to flip to get an elite player. I def could be wrong, but with similar contracts and tactics I feel like that could have been part of the motivating factor. Hit on one and the other isnt as bad. Like splitting your pairs in 21 on 8s or aces. I may gamble too much as they are all my references....and also, yes I do have a bromance for Dork Elvis....itl be nice to play some 2k and have players to cheese with on my team. It will suck to go online and everyone is now suddenly playing with the rox though.

  • Dan G says 1 YEAR ago

    I don't think either Lin or Asik like men. I could be wrong though. I don't understand your reference.

    He really isn't calling them gay just saying they turned out better than expected (better than Jacks). He did say he couldn't resist the pun. Sheesh, y'all gotta brush up on your poker.

    package deal? I seem to remember reading that they signed separate deals. Lin and Asik have nothing to do with each other's value in trade and don't need to be moved together no matter how much package you see. now they very well couldbe moved in the same deal, but the rockets aren't under any obligations to trade them or view them in this manner. I think you might be taking the bromance thing to far :lol:

    Well he did say two signings at the end of his comment and if Lin is to be traded, it is likely Asik will be included if we are getting someone like LA to make the salaries match. I agree they don't need to be moved together but it is much more likely they are traded together, but if anyone is going to be traded separately, it would Asik instead of Lin.

  • Dan G says 1 YEAR ago
    • Agreed LA is just crying because a big time FA actually left them for once instead of putting ink to paper. Looks like Kobe will just have to go down with the ship because Howard sure as hell wasn't gonna throw him a life preserver as he left in his raft.
    • I think you are much too hard on both Dallas and Milwaukee. Dallas is trying the approach we did. Maybe they will get lucky like we did but the alternative was sucking it up and trying to get lucky with the lottery. Luck will be involved either way so may as well win more games and go for the playoff spot to give Dirk some more playoff years in the twilight of his career. As for Milwaukee, I agree their offseason has been horrid but if you look at it in context, you can't blame management. You have an owner on his last leg and doesn't want to spend his final years looking at a rebuilding team. Can't blame him for that.
    • Agreed on the Pelicans.
    • I just don't see how Lin improves on anything else but maybe his assists. Both Parsons and Lin's scoring will go down due to the touches Dwight will demand. I like Lin as a leader and great clubhouse presence but I think we are gonna see much more of the same which isn't terribly bad but just not elite.
    • The Lebron situation intrigues me. If Miami 3-peats I find it hard seeing him leave Miami, but if RBF is correct and the parade is in Houston next season, I think Lebron's future is very much in the air and Cleveland is definitely in the mix to go along with Miami. But I know Lebron won't be taking his talents to LA unless LA hits the jackpot with the lottery, which would make me cry just a wee bit.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    On the Jlin...I dont think that you can over or under value him alone. I think that him and Asik were a package deal. Morey signs both with the statistical premise that either could become a really good player to have at 8.3 or whatever million (see Asik). The NBA is a poker game and the players are your hand. He figured he could bet on a pair of jacks, hoping either could develop into aces which could become trade fodder if needed. What he ended up with though, was a pair of queens. ....sorry, couldnt resist. But I do think the two signings together have a positive asset value.

    package deal? I seem to remember reading that they signed separate deals. Lin and Asik have nothing to do with each other's value in trade and don't need to be moved together no matter how much package you see. now they very well couldbe moved in the same deal, but the rockets aren't under any obligations to trade them or view them in this manner. I think you might be taking the bromance thing to far :lol:

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 YEAR ago I don't think either Lin or Asik like men. I could be wrong though. I don't understand your reference.
  • bearkat414 says 1 YEAR ago

    On the Jlin...I dont think that you can over or under value him alone. I think that him and Asik were a package deal. Morey signs both with the statistical premise that either could become a really good player to have at 8.3 or whatever million (see Asik). The NBA is a poker game and the players are your hand. He figured he could bet on a pair of jacks, hoping either could develop into aces which could become trade fodder if needed. What he ended up with though, was a pair of queens. ....sorry, couldnt resist. But I do think the two signings together have a positive asset value.

  • Losthief says 1 YEAR ago

    why can't evens play SF, isn't he like 6'6?

    good point on the pho thing. +rep :D.

  • Stephen says 1 YEAR ago

    Re Dallas.
    Dalembert as a big key to Dallas? Uh-oh. The same Dalembert who was benched in Sac,Hou and Milwaukee-three teams that NEEDED a defensive C?
    Carlisle is a great coach,but at some point the players have to be coachable. At this point,it's debateable whether Monte can change his game. If Carlisle and the Mavs grew frustrated w/Mayo,I can't imagine what they're going to feel about Monte.
    That said,I think the Mavs will hang around the Play_off fringe as they will score,and score and score. But against good teams,their defense is going to lose the Mavs a lot of games in the 4Q.
    As for Cuban,he screwed up royally. No way Orlando was trading Howard to Dallas and to get Howard in FA would have been impossible w/Dirk and Williams on board. Just Dirk and Williams alone make over $42mil this season,w/everyone else gone,just w/Cap Holds alone the max Dallas could have offered Dwight was $15mil. Which coincidentally is $1mil more than Chandler is making this season.

    Davis is going to be a PF,a KG type,not a C.
    And I completely question NO's thinking. They have way too many guards and someone's going to be massively unhappy-or traded(yes I looking at you mr Gordon.) Evans is not a SF.

    I question the thinking in GS as well. Their Cs are Bogurt,has problems staying healthy,and their newly signed back-up O'Neal,who couldn't stay healthy in Phoenix.(One of my three rules of the NBA,if you can't stay healthy in Phoenix,you're not staying healthy anywhere else.)
    Then there's Speights,massively talented but a complete disaster on the court.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I'm predicting that Dallas gets either the 6th, 7th, or 8th seed this year.

    There are 3 things I think will happen that will make this come true.

    1.) Dirk will be healthy. He's not injury prone, just unlucky last year.

    2.) Carlisle will develop a defensive system that will hide the flaws of their players. Dalembert is a huge upgrade over their previous center in Kaman. He will anchor that defense. Plus you still have Marion and Carter who play intelligent defense.

    3.) Ellis will finally play in a system suited to his strengths and I think he'll be coachable because he has a coach that has won a ring and tons of vets who have enough cache that he'll listen to him. I think Ellis is an allstar this year.


    Agreed. I see Portland and Dallas making the playoffs, although Minnesota and New Orleans should be in the mix fighting for a spot.
  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    Half of the Wolves team will get injured again.

    The Pelicans have ZERO chemistry and I think Davis is a few years away from being a Chandler/Asik/Howard/Gasol type center of a defense.

    The Nuggets lost their GM, their best player, and their coach. I don't know if they make it in.

    The Blazers.......They're pretty good but they're banking their entire season on an unproven rookie and the bad half of the Lopez brothers.

    Nuggets will still be competitive, the wolves should have a healthy season and NOP will be a wild card for 8th seed
  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 YEAR ago

    You forgot 4.) Beat out the Blazers, Wolves, NOP, and the nuggets, so good luck.

    Half of the Wolves team will get injured again.

    The Pelicans have ZERO chemistry and I think Davis is a few years away from being a Chandler/Asik/Howard/Gasol type center of a defense.

    The Nuggets lost their GM, their best player, and their coach. I don't know if they make it in.

    The Blazers.......They're pretty good but they're banking their entire season on an unproven rookie and the bad half of the Lopez brothers.

  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    I'm predicting that Dallas gets either the 6th, 7th, or 8th seed this year.

    There are 3 things I think will happen that will make this come true.

    1.) Dirk will be healthy. He's not injury prone, just unlucky last year.

    2.) Carlisle will develop a defensive system that will hide the flaws of their players. Dalembert is a huge upgrade over their previous center in Kaman. He will anchor that defense. Plus you still have Marion and Carter who play intelligent defense.

    3.) Ellis will finally play in a system suited to his strengths and I think he'll be coachable because he has a coach that has won a ring and tons of vets who have enough cache that he'll listen to him. I think Ellis is an allstar this year.

    You forgot 4.) Beat out the Blazers, Wolves, NOP, and the nuggets, so good luck.

  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    Lin's impact is debatable and has been debated. since we don't view him as a agreed upon commodity debating his investment outlook is useless.

    Agreed, that is for time to decide the outcome.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Lin has not been a loss. Just not up to expectations. It's like you're still making a profit, just not as much as you expect. Now the smart thing to do is give it some more time to grow under the new circumstances and if it doesn't you still haven't loss anything, however you would lose if you gave it up to early. If its a win then fantastic, if not then no harm no fowl. But you just don't want to be the one left regretting that you gave up too soon.

    Lin's impact is debatable and has been debated. since we don't view him as a agreed upon commodity debating his investment outlook is useless.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 YEAR ago

    I'm predicting that Dallas gets either the 6th, 7th, or 8th seed this year.

    There are 3 things I think will happen that will make this come true.

    1.) Dirk will be healthy. He's not injury prone, just unlucky last year.

    2.) Carlisle will develop a defensive system that will hide the flaws of their players. Dalembert is a huge upgrade over their previous center in Kaman. He will anchor that defense. Plus you still have Marion and Carter who play intelligent defense.

    3.) Ellis will finally play in a system suited to his strengths and I think he'll be coachable because he has a coach that has won a ring and tons of vets who have enough cache that he'll listen to him. I think Ellis is an allstar this year.

  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    I didn't say Lin was bad for the locker room. I said we can live without him.....big difference......also for investment proposes good investors also know when to cut their losses and move on.

    Lin has not been a loss. Just not up to expectations. It's like you're still making a profit, just not as much as you expect. Now the smart thing to do is give it some more time to grow under the new circumstances and if it doesn't you still haven't loss anything, however you would lose if you gave it up to early. If its a win then fantastic, if not then no harm no fowl. But you just don't want to be the one left regretting that you gave up too soon.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    @feelingsupersonic

    I do believe your outlook on Dallas is well within the realm ofpossibilities for their season. I'm more incline to disagree on the basis of Dirk's ability to pack a bunch of misfits to the playoffs. as long as they have a healthy Dirk they will be a playoff threat

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    I also agree Lin isn't terrible. I know since I talk down about him some assume I hate him, but he is not totally without value. I have said before we can survive with or without him and I still feel that way. my line of thought on him is we are not getting max bang for the buck. we can do better. I don't put any value on his locker room presence. our locker room will also be fine with or without him. he is only one of what I think is a great group. I hope if kept (which I doubt) he will blossom into a better player. however I have my doubts he will.



    I agree with your opinions on Lin. I am just not bullish on him. It's just not the right fit for him to be the best he can be. I also believe his locker room manner though a big positive is not really essential.

    I disagree with you on Dallas too many other teams improved in the Western Conference and their defense will be abysmal ( Carlisle will get the directive to focus on offense to maximize the value of their acquisitions). I don't believe they will get the chemistry going enough to be able to secure a play off spot when coupled with competition from better built teams down the stretch.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Lin has a high locker room presence, if you looked at who led the team, it was Harden, Lin, and Parsons. They even had a special ritual prayer they did right before each game. Also you said bang for your buck, in the business world the smart investor lets their investments grow so they can reap the largest profit margins later.

    I didn't say Lin was bad for the locker room. I said we can live without him.....big difference......also for investment proposes good investors also know when to cut their losses and move on.

  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    I also agree Lin isn't terrible. I know since I talk down about him some assume I hate him, but he is not totally without value. I have said before we can survive with or without him and I still feel that way. my line of thought on him is we are not getting max bang for the buck. we can do better. I don't put any value on his locker room presence. our locker room will also be fine with or without him. he is only one of what I think is a great group. I hope if kept (which I doubt) he will blossom into a better player. however I have my doubts he will.

    Lin has a high locker room presence, if you looked at who led the team, it was Harden, Lin, and Parsons. They even had a special ritual prayer they did right before each game. Also you said bang for your buck, in the business world the smart investor lets their investments grow so they can reap the largest profit margins later.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 YEAR ago

    The ONLY way LA rebuilds itself next year is if Kobe retires. Then I think Lebron and Melo have a chance to be lured there. But since, Kobe is obsessed with being the leading scorer all time, he won't retire until that's accomplished. Nobody in their prime wants to play with Kobe Bryant. His track record with playing with other stars is horrible. He ran Shaq off. He ran Dwight off. He publicly bashes Pau. The Lakers are in for a LONG rebuild. It won't get truly started until 4 or 5 years from now when Kobe retires.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    The whole post Dwight decision reaction in Los Angeles was hilarious. I was listening to some of their local radio shows and reading pieces and comments on Laker blogs and it was downright pathetic. It's not uncommon to read Laker fan opinions that they can reach the second round which will never happen. I will enjoy watching the Lakers decline this year and well Kobe won't get number 6 right?

    I am also intrigued by NOLA. They could be sneaky good by the end of the year.

    I agree Lin is not as bad as his detractors make him out to be but his contract just doesn't work with the roster as configured but if they win I guess it is an inconvenience that can be tolerated. Also I just don't know if he fits but I hope he proves my doubts wrong. He is a strong locker room presence which I put some value on.

    I also agree Lin isn't terrible. I know since I talk down about him some assume I hate him, but he is not totally without value. I have said before we can survive with or without him and I still feel that way. my line of thought on him is we are not getting max bang for the buck. we can do better. I don't put any value on his locker room presence. our locker room will also be fine with or without him. he is only one of what I think is a great group. I hope if kept (which I doubt) he will blossom into a better player. however I have my doubts he will.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    welcome back Rahat......hope all things went as planed

    I see Lin has gained some favor in your eyes while you been gone. however he hasn't in mine :PI disagree on Dallas off season but agree on the bucks. Dallas made arun on the playoffs last year with Dirk missing a major chunk of the season. the team around him while not contender status did get better overall which (IMO) should make them a reasonable 7th or 8th seed. I also agree NO got much better.....I expect them to contend for the final playoff berth, but fall just short. as for the stuff coming out of LA what can I say......you know I predicted it in the end of a dynasty thread. however the fun is just starting for the Lakers. everyone thinks they can bounce back next year......I don't.......Lebron or Melo aren't going to LA. I don't thinkKobe's I can teach you speech is going to impress either of those players or any other star for that matter. it will probably go over about as well as it did with D-12 :lol:Kobe may be a great player, but sometimes he can be so full of himself that it oozes from his ears :lol:watching the Lakers implode will be almost as much fun as watching the Rockets blastoff.

  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago Taking the bar has made Rahat go insane. Jeremy Lin underrated? Please. Overrated. Matt Maloney is embarrassed by the comparisons.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago Also I agree with Rahat that Dallas is horrible. The losing that team will do is a quick recipe for bad chemistry.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago The whole post Dwight decision reaction in Los Angeles was hilarious. I was listening to some of their local radio shows and reading pieces and comments on Laker blogs and it was downright pathetic. It's not uncommon to read Laker fan opinions that they can reach the second round which will never happen. I will enjoy watching the Lakers decline this year and well Kobe won't get number 6 right?

    I am also intrigued by NOLA. They could be sneaky good by the end of the year.

    I agree Lin is not as bad as his detractors make him out to be but his contract just doesn't work with the roster as configured but if they win I guess it is an inconvenience that can be tolerated. Also I just don't know if he fits but I hope he proves my doubts wrong. He is a strong locker room presence which I put some value on.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 YEAR ago

    Here is Cuban talking about his moves.

    http://espn.go.com/dallas/nba/story/_/id/9536572/mark-cuban-blogs-dallas-mavericks-roster-overhaul-expresses-confidence-future

    He basically says the same thing I did, that he believes Carlisle can remake Calderon/Ellis/Dalembert into better players.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 YEAR ago

    I disagree with you on Dallas. Obviously, Dallas did not take the ideal route. They were going to do a quick rebuild through free agency. But that didn't happen because all of the stars were extremely hesitant to be the first to go there. Dallas realized that it had to pull a "Houston" and be good enough to attract free agents to put them over the top. I think in Carlisle's system Calderon and Ellis will shine and they will become massive trade bait if they lose out on Lebron/Melo/etc.... next season. I think they have enough, with a healthy Dirk, to be a playoff team this year. Getting Dalembert was a really good upgrade. They shouldn't have lost Chandler for nothing, but seeing free agency unfold like it did, Dallas had to change strategy.

    A well coached, starting 5 of

    Calderon

    Ellis

    Marion

    Dirk

    Dalembert

    with Vince being the sixth man is a playoff team. Dallas wasn't an extremely talented team when they beat Miami, they just had role players who knew what to do. I think that can be the case this year. And if anyone had a shot to revive Ellis' career outside of Pop, it'd be Carlisle.