Yesterday’s loss against the Suns was disappointing, but things are becoming more finalized. The result, along with our current schedule, might work in our favor, because it points out some decision making areas JD must face in relationship to the approaching Feb. 15, 2007 deadline. Right now, as JD and management ponder, he should know two important facts: Fact one: this team, as now stands, can not win it all. It can still make the playoffs, but only because of the weak conference, and this one might be determined by the last couple of games. Amazingly, it may be all ready too late for Miami…our advantage. Also, one should not ignore, at their own peril, the month of March, 2007. Any moves to be made, if they are any, will flow against this tsunami. Fact two: We have a clear separation aspect splitting the team…easy enough pointing this out, which should work to our advantage (at least for clarification purposes on the weak points). This duel nature (front-end vs. back end players) is not only split, but exposes an important direction on weight distribution. How is the correct balance to be found? The administration will have to adjust this teeter-totter and a direction will have to be found in finding the best fulcrum point. This is where it gets tough. Where do we locate the fulcrum point? The short end says we bring it toward us. Which, I will clarify as making a move before the Feb 15. 2007 trading deadline. What should be obvious to us is that we have a problem with the 5-4-3 slots. Forum favorites (or non-favorites) aside, this tandem brings a distinct talent approach on how it conducts its business. I am not saying this is bad, but how can we determine if it fits a talent mold that now has latched deeply into the NBA? ______________________ Here is the Stern-like (The Image) big picture. You need action to provide the pseudo-events that can sell themselves. This means adding proper images for the extensions to take effect:Organizations (expansion, superstars, corporate sponsors)Economics (ownership dependency from periphery to the center and accumulation)Political Process (concentration of power, propaganda, selectivity, acquiesce from the masses)Culture/sub-culture (personalities and roles fit the projections of expectations piggy-backed on the images or pseudo-events)._______________________ We can easily see that Detroit is caught short from having the last few years of successful playoff campaigns (lack of high draft picks; save one, which took years to work out) and a particular organization emphasis of astutely molding work ethic (defense) with available talent (values in proportion to dollars spent). In the mean time, things have quickly changed in your dad’s NBA. Turning to the short end again. Can any changes (I am assuming they would have to be somewhat incremental) be made to the team which will solidify winning it all? I say this is highly unlikely. It would be much better to concentrate on what talent (at this period of time) you can get out of the present players. Also, because talent flows from player maturation and at times, unique placement opportunities, it behooves one to survey your bench (and other teams) talent. Any movement toward final action or eventual player movement should be done with caution. This is important because we have a huge doppelgänger hovering over the scene…CB’s contract status. All moves in and out of the harbor will have to directed by this beacon, which will direct all team moves. It has not been lost on other league teams, that there is no guarantee of a player not walking during his FA status when signed in mid-season. Moving the fulcrum outward (end of season) gives you a big advantage: time for some strategic thinking. Seeing developments during the season unfold with regard to player’s abilities (hopefully under pressure situations); other league players; other team movements; budgets; FA; and availability with Euro and draft pickings. Most important, the CB situation will be finalized. For the average team, this last paragraph is typical organizational housekeeping. What I am interested in seeing is the approached JD takes with regard how his team stacks up for the next season with regard toward league emphasis. He also should be aware of the cultural element he has been part of with this team and how he might have to adapt to changing times. I hope he is having good arguments with staff. What will be the final result is anyone’s guess. Most know my emphasis on team direction, and some of you might be surprised to know that I am not completely sold on changes for changes sake. I am not high on the recent youth movement, which is seriously affected the league and complicates Union accountability. This also feeds into the image loop with drafting protocols and how it works against the leagues’ best interest. Speaking of drafting (which most of the time is trade fodder for me)…here is an aside from yesterday’s game with the Suns: Stoudemire….Suns draft pick 9 in first round (2002)….…31 pts. scoredNash………...Suns draft pick 15 in first round (1996)…...35 pts. scoredMarion………Suns draft pick 9 in first round (1999) ……15 pts. scoredBarbosa……..Suns draft pick 22 in first round (2003)….. 8 pts. scored -------------------------- 89 pts Good team direction (I will leave out strategic), good high draft picks, and league rule changes have been very kind to the Suns.