I’m excited about Jonny Flynn

I felt slightly embarrassed while typing that title.  But I have to admit.  I’m excited about Jonny Flynn.  In suppressing our intrigue and tempering expectations, we overlook the intrinsic uniqueness of the point guard position and the men who list it as their occupation.

We’re hesitant to have hope because Hill, Thabeet, and Williams have all struggled so mightily and appear unlikely to succeed.  But point guards are different.  When big men struggle, or bust out of the league, it’s usually due to laziness, lack of desire, or some innately immutable mental characteristic.  Bigs get picked high and carry expectations despite their flaws because of the scarcity of their breed.  But as a point guard, you can’t even get to Division 1 basketball without competitive fire; if you’re under 6’3, there are hundreds or even thousands of other men ready to kill you and take your spot.

(The issue of ‘talent’ or ‘skill’ isn’t even germane to this discussion.  Nobody takes point guards based on ‘potential’ talent development.  If a point guard is taken high in the lottery, rest assured he’s damn good talent-wise.)

When young point guards struggle, it’s usually because they don’t understand the game.  They’re either selfish or don’t yet know how to play the position.  The good news is that this can be fixed with time and experience.  These problems can be healed with age and tutelage.

Sometimes it does not work out.  Steve Francis is an example.  Sometimes it does work out.  Rajon Rondo is an example. But examples exist on both sides.

This takes us to Jonny Flynn.  So far, he’s a bust.  But by all accounts, he does not lack confidence or competitive desire. The likely cause of his struggles is an inability to play the position.

Of the team’s four draft busts of 2009, Flynn in my opinion is the likeliest to succeed just by virtue of the above hypothesis.  It’s likelier that Jonny Flynn learns how to play point guard than it is that Hasheem Thabeet gains self-respect and a desire to protect his paint; It’s likelier that Jonny Flynn learns how to play point guard than it is that Jordan Hill gains focus and intensity.

I expect Flynn to succeed.  I don’t know if it will be with Houston, but I think he will turn it around.  That’s a catch 22 because Goran Dragic is fantastic and Kyle Lowry has been Red94′s favorite player since its birth.

If things work out, the team will have options.  I don’t think you could keep both Flynn and Lowry – the two are quite similar.  Lowry is the Rockets’ leader but at the same time, he is the single most attractive trade chip on the roster.  With a modest annual salary and near All-Star tier production, Kyle could be used to entice some team into trading its star. But that scenario is a long way’s away.

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