Cohen 8-Ball: Would You Rather...
January 27, 2013
Josh Cohen’s Analysis: Would you rather Andrew Nicholson or Maurice Harkless get more playing time in the second half of the season? Like most rookies, both Drew and Moe need a full offseason to improve their strength and overall repertoire. Nicholson has a very special offensive game, largely because of his impressive footwork and touch around the basket. Harkless seems to have the intangibles and if he can refine his skills, could be an indispensable two-way talent for many years. For now, I probably would favor Andrew, mostly because he needs to learn more about the competition down low and what it’s going to take to become an elite power forward.
Cohen’s Analysis: If the Magic make a trade by the deadline, would you rather them make a deal that gives them future draft picks and/or financial flexibility or one that involves a quality player that has already reached his ceiling? There are two essential follow-up questions: would the draft picks be unprotected picks and would the acquired player be an “average Joe” or an All-Star caliber talent? I would rather Orlando get future draft picks that are unprotected from teams that could miss the postseason this year or next than get a good, but not great, proven player. But an established “superstar” in his prime trumps all.
Cohen’s Analysis: Would you rather the Magic focus more on offense or defense as they continue in this renovation? Obviously, we all want both, but most teams usually favor one or the other. For instance, teams like Chicago and Indiana are more defensive-driven. Oklahoma City and Brooklyn, on the other hand, are more offensive-based. It’s probably most essential to piece together an assemblage of players that coexist, first and foremost. Often underrated, team chemistry will frequently motivate guys to commit to both ends of the floor.
Cohen’s Analysis: It’s obviously early, but would you rather the Magic draft a frontcourt prospect, backcourt talent or simply best player available this June? It’s been apparent all season long and certainly when Glen Davis was absent with the shoulder injury that Orlando does not have a shot-blocker and intimidating presence to deny opponents from attacking in the paint. If there is a defensive-oriented big man available, that may be a target when scouting the talent. However, assuming Orlando is in the lottery, it’s usually most rational to select the best overall talent available and maneuver from there.
Cohen’s Analysis: If LeBron James opts to become a free agent in 2014, would you rather him stay in Miami, join the Lakers or return to Cleveland? These are the three choices that have been reported in the past; although it’s possible another city and team could enter the sweepstakes by next year. It would probably bring some joy to Magic fans if the Heat watched their prime attraction desert south Florida. With Kyrie Irving budding into a legit superstar, Dion Waiters not far behind and another high draft pick on the horizon, if the Cavs added LeBron, that could be lethal for the competition for many years.
Cohen’s Analysis: Would you rather the Sacramento Kings stay in northern California or relocate to Seattle? This is an extremely sensitive topic, especially because if the Kings did leave Sacramento, it would be heartbreaking for all the loyal supporters and those that rely on an NBA franchise in Sac-Town for their livelihood. Although of course, that happened to Seattle a few years back when the Sonics moved to OKC.
Cohen’s Analysis: Would you rather see the Heat fail to win their second straight title or the Lakers not make the playoffs and tear apart their roster? On one hand, Miami losing in the playoffs would generate colossal intrigue because it could lead to LeBron deciding to leave after next season when he could become a free agent. On the other hand, we all know it would be satisfying to see Dwight contend with more drama and ambiguity. It’s very possible both will happen, but if you had to pick one? Hmmm...Lakers.
Cohen’s Analysis: Would you rather the NBA adopt a single-elimination tournament to determine the No. 8 playoff seeds in each conference or the NBA not make any playoff changes? First off, there is no mention or consideration for a new playoff structure. However, I strongly believe the league needs to consider an end-of-season tournament for teams who presently have very little at stake in the second half of the season. Not only would it allow for every team to stay motivated, a NCAA-style bracket would create extraordinary excitement.