Huq’s Pen: Garnett, Robinson, Agency Cost, Lin

  • I find myself somewhat disappointed that no member of the Garnett, Millsap, Jefferson, Smith group was moved as I had been hoping for something of an arms race atop the Western Conference.  On the note of Garnett, he would have markedly improved the Clippers to the point of, in my opinion, solidifying them as the clear cut favorite over Oklahoma City in the West.  But would such a deal have been the right move?  I waver.  On the one hand, DeAndre Jordan is part of a core that should compete for years; after Garnett’s retirement, that void in the middle won’t be easy to fill.  But at the same time, the chance at an NBA title–as big as a window may seem–is really a rare thing, even taking the Clippers’ youth into consideration.  When weighing it out, though, I do think LA ultimately made the right decision in holding off.

  • I’ve been trying to read up on Thomas Robinson as much as possible, and the one thing that stands out and serves as the greatest case for hope is the motor and the accounts of a great work ethic and desire to improve.  Typically with ‘busts’, you have guys who possess the physical tools but don’t really have it between the ears.  The hope is that with work with Kevin McHale, Robinson can refine his lousy post-game and develop one or two dependable moves; look at the tape on Greg Smith and realize how this can work.  In the meantime, the team would be best served to unleash him on the glass and let him do what his instincts know best.
  • Speaking of McHale, his recent grumbling regarding the deal come as no surprise and are exemplary of the ‘agency cost’ dilemma I’ve discussed at length in the past.  In summation, it’s when competing motives within a corporation result in waste or financial loss.  Kevin McHale does not care about the long-term health of this franchise.  His immediate objective is his legacy and reputation as a coach.  To that end, he must secure a postseason berth this season and begin undoing the tarnish stains suffered as result of his stint with the ‘Wolves.  Daryl Morey, on the other hand, while mindful of the present goal, needs to build a contender.  It’s not of relevance to him if his maneuvers make that present goal more difficult, so long as they assist towards the ultimate end.  The voice in McHale’s mind is saying, “I’m barely clinging on to the #8 seed and you trade my entire power forward rotation for some bust rookie?  Is that what your numbers told you was smart?”  Morey, on the other hand, is saying, “look, we’ve seen what Marcus and Pat can do, and they’re not getting any better.  Donatas and Terrence have more upside.  If you don’t play them, I’m just going to trade the former two away.  By the way, Thomas Robinson has more upside than both of the former Rockets combined.”
  • I don’t watch as many games as I previously did because a) I don’t have Comcast and b) due to my ACL tear, I hadn’t been driving.  So while this point has already been hammered home, I have to remark that while watching Wednesday’s game, I couldn’t help but be astonished at just how fundamentally unsound Jeremy Lin is as a point guard.  So the fact that he can still be so effective at times speaks volumes to his raw skillset/physical attributes.  Watch him closely.  His left hand is almost a vestigial organ.  He simply cannot make quick, strong drives to his left.  For this reason, his version of going left is bursting right and then kind of spinning back left after beating his man.  When he does go left from the start, he almost kind of just pats at the ball in slow motion.  His other major flaw is that he rarely gets low while dribbling, something which prevents him from being able to play at different speeds.  While his shooting is often cited as an area requiring major improvement, he’d behoove himself to really also focus on using both hands this summer.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of

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The Daily Blast – February 22, 2013

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