Tag:Kevin Garnett
Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:42 pm
 

Celtics have a big problem

The Boston Celtics have prided themselves on being bullies inside. The Bulls showed that identity may be in danger of losing its muscle.
Posted by Matt Moore




The entire time you read this, just imagine a big Kendrick-Perkins-shaped shadow cast over it. The trade is done and over. But that doesn't mean the unspoken question isn't going to be about the trade of Perkins to Oklahoma City. This Celtics team will be compared to the 2008 championship and 2010 Eastern Conference championship teams, and those teams were known for their tough play inside, thanks in large part but not entirely to Perkins. That trade will hang over the franchise should they fail to bring home No. 18. For now though, the trade is over, and the Celtics have to deal with what they have and who they are. Just know that it's there. 

Against the Bulls Thursday night, the Celtics had the idea early. They moved Jermaine O'Neal into space, guarded by Carlos Boozer, and O'Neal converted. In the first quarter, the objective was clear. Boozer is the Bulls' weakest defender. That's where the Celtics need to hit them. But then, for the next two quarters, the Celtics moved away from it. They repeatedly went to unstable dribbles on ther perimeter, trying to find passing lanes through a defense that must have seemed very familiar for them, the hounding, relentless style. The result was turnover after turnover leading to fast break opportunities, especially for Derrick Rose who carved them into pieces. 

In the third quarter, when the Celtics closed the gap aggressively, they went to Kevin Garnett in space against Joakim Noah. Garnett worked Noah in the post, nailing a turnaround baseline J, then a face-up jumper from mid-range.

And that pretty much sums up the Celtics' efforts to score in the paint. 

More on Bulls-Celtics
The Celtics are used to being bullies. The bigger, tougher, rougher team. And against the Bulls, they should be. Instead, the Bulls used effort and execution to overcome any size differential, flummoxed and frustrated the Celtics, and dropped them like a bad habit. Look at the autopsy on the box score. Kevin Garnett was 3-9, thanks to Noah being active and help coming from all over. But the real culprit was Glen Davis, who repeatedly stopped the ball in favor of leaning fadeaway turnarounds and contested face-ups. Davis doesn't recognize his role in the offense, having too often been given the green light like some sort of novelty act that went on stage so long it thought it was part of the main show. 

Jermaine O'Neal, the biggest player the Celtics have active, played just 16 minutes and had no rebounds. But he was more active and physical, and wound up with two blocks. The Celtics will point out they were without Shaquille O'Neal, which is true, and O'Neal definitely would have made a difference. But the Celtics have to accept they can't rely on him. Either Nenad Krstic, Troy Murphy, or Jermaine O'Neal is going to have to step up, and if not, Kevin Garnett is going to have to put together a series of games we haven't seen since the middle of the 2000's. 

Which is still possible. The Celtics can turn it on when the second season comes. They did it last year. But the difference is that they look significantly different as that tough, brutal team that punished teams inside. Forget about the offense. Derrick Rose had an open invitation to the lane, and instead of winding up on the floor headed to the line, sore from a border-line flagrant, he swooped on through. That's not the Celtics we've come know. 

Derrick Rose put the finishing touches on his MVP season Thursday night. The question is if the game also served as a red flag that the Celtics' recent stumbles aren't a matter of effort and boredom, but legitimate issues with what they've come to pride themselves on. The Celtics have had a huge muscle advantage on the league for three years. The Bulls on Thursday showed that if you execute cleanly, the Celtics are no longer in a position to shove back. They have nine days to get that muscle back.
Posted on: April 7, 2011 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 4:20 pm
 

Road to the Finals: Boston Celtics

Posted by Royce Young



If I were writing this piece a month and half ago, things might be a bit more optimistic. If I were writing this piece a month and a half ago, I think I'd likely be skipping all talk about the first and second rounds and going straight to possible Eastern and even NBA Finals opponents.

But a lot happened over the past 45 days or so. A lot happened that drastically changed the outlook of the 2010-11 season for the Boston Celtics.

You know the story. Danny Ainge decided to trade ubuntu cornerstone and family member Kendrick Perkins away for Jeff Green and a balding 27-year-old. The team was now relying on Shaquille O'Neal's 39-year-old body to heal up and be ready for the grind of the playoffs. The team was banking on Green -- a notoriously inconsistent player -- to consistently provide a scoring punch off the bench and stabilize things on the wing. The team was trying to keep an eye toward the future while still focusing on the now.

Except the now might've been badly damaged.

Since the Perkins trade, the Celtics are 13-9. They're giving up more points per possession, scoring less and losing to teams they almost always handle. Now my personality is anti-panic, so I'm definitely not doing anything of the sort for Boston. But let's face the music here: The team is much different without Perkins. Differently in personality, different in personnel, different in ability. Boston is really missing not just that one-on-one post defender they had in Perk, but what his attitude and intensity brought as well. 

Road To The Finals
I really agree with Bill Simmons, who knows that team better than anyone. They really believed in their group. They believed in the fact nobody had ever beat them when they were at full strength. They walked with a serious swagger, they believed in each other. I'm not exactly sure what message was sent to the team when Ainge traded Perkins, but I don't think it was a positive one. You can spin that deal any way you want -- it was for the future, the Celtics needed a wing, it helps the bench -- the players didn't respond well to it. And the actual team is the most important factor in all of this.

As it stands going into tonight's matchup with the Bulls, Boston sits second in the East, tied with the Heat and three back of the Bulls. Gone is the possibility of the top seed and it'll be a tussle to place second too. The Celtics are headed for an opening round series with either Philadelphia or New York. Fifty days ago, Boston looks superior in every way against both those teams. Now, things look a bit more iffy.

But here's where we pump the brakes.

The Celtics are, in fact, still 54-23. (Know what they were last year when they stormed to The Finals? 50-32 and fourth in the East.) They Celtics are, in fact, still good. They still have Ray Allen. They still have Kevin Garnett, They still have Paul Pierce. They still have Rajon Rondo. Maybe they're missing a big, mean-looking piece in the middle, but it can be overcome.

They defend. They score in crunch time. They're playoff tested. These guys know how to win. They know what it takes. Nobody has quite the same motivation as the Celtics, because nobody else suffered a painful Game 7 defeat in The Finals last June. Doc Rivers talked about how the team has that same excitement for the game and each other that it had in training camp in 2007 when they went on to win it all. This team is still very, very good.

Keep in mind, Perkins had only played in 11 games with Boston this season. The Celtics have experienced most of their success this season without him. But again, that's just without him on the floor. People tend to underestimate things like chemistry. Though Perk might not have been playing, the rest of the team knew he was coming soon, and really just in time for when they really needed him.

Is this Boston group a true Finals contender? Of course. Absolutely they are. The Celtics could trade Ray Allen and Paul Pierce and they'd still have Miami's number just because they're in the Heat's head completely. But no longer can this group take things for granted. They aren't going to cruise past the 76ers or Knicks. And despite having the Heat by the tail, they aren't going to just skip past them either.

Then it's about the Bulls. Doc Rivers and Ainge can tell themselves that getting Shaq back will be an answer in matching up inside with Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. That might be true. But things are different now for the Celtics. They've lost a little something. An edge, a mentality, a swagger -- whatever. And they may have lost their chance at it all this year too.
Posted on: April 5, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Philly's best approach versus Boston? Run

Posted by Royce Young



The Celtics have slipped quite a bit in the last couple weeks. They've gone from the top of the East to now the three-seed.

And come April 16 when the playoffs start, they may really regret that.

There are a number of things for them to be a bit anxious about, most notably the health of Shaquille O'Neal, but setting themselves up for a first-round matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers is surely worrying Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge.

They lock up again tonight, but so far this season, while the Celtics are 2-1 against the pesky Sixers, the three games have been decided by a total of just eight points.

Why do the Celtics have such issue with the young 76ers? To me, it's simple: The Sixers can play any game the Celtics want.

What makes the Sixers so dangerous is that they're absolutely capable of beating the Celtics at their own game. Philadelphia can slow it down and play 48 minutes of grind-it-out basketball. The Sixers can put the weight on their defense to get stops. They can beat the Celtics in a 85-83 game.

However, I can't see the Sixers beat the Celtics four times at their own game. Once, yeah. Twice? Maybe. Three times is pushing it.

Philadelphia will have to make a tactical adjustment against Boston to really press last season's Eastern champs. The 76ers have the ability to speed up the older Celtics. Much in the same way Oklahoma City really pushed the Lakers by using their athleticism, versatility and speed, the Sixers need to make the old men in green move.

The Sixers are much more athletic than the Celtics with players like Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala. And they've got to utilize that in order to push Boston. Like I said, Philadelphia is capable of playing the Celtics game, but the best approach for the Sixers if they truly want to challenge Boston it to make the Celtics adjust to them.

Philly doesn't play especially fast at a pace of 91.2, but that doesn't mean they can't go up tempo a bit. Finding easy baskets in the halfcourt against Boston isn't easy, so utilizing Young's versatility, Iguodala's freakish transition ability and a playmaker like Holiday is key.

What's really turned things around for the Sixers after an atrocious 3-13 start is a renewed committment to defense, but also coach Doug Collins trust of his younger guys. Collins knew Holiday had the ability to be a very good starting point guard, so he put the ball in his hands and let him go. He convinced Iguodala to settle into more of a role rather than playing the star. He started getting some production out of the awesome talents of Young. And Elton Brand has really rediscovered himself as a quality power forward.

(One thing that must be mentioned: The Sixers aren't going anywhere without Lou Williams. He provides such a punch off the bench and really gives Philly quite the second unit. He said he hopes to be ready for the playoffs and he better be if the 76ers have any dreams of actually pushing the Celtics.)

Across the board, the Sixers have the ability to match up with Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. Where they have struggled and will continue in the future against Boston is finding points. That's why playing a bit quicker and looking to move the ball up the floor rather than setting up in the halfcourt could help. Playing small with Brand at center, Young at power forward, Iguodala at the 3 and with Holiday and marksman Jodie Meeks really gives the Celtics a difficult matchup, especially if they want to play Shaq.

The Sixers could eliminate Shaq (though he might be eliminated because of a bum heel already) just by using their versatility. The Sixers kind of hold the cards in the matchups. But they can't beat Boston in a series playing in the halfcourt.

I get the feeling the Sixers have Boston's full attention and it would probably be in the Celtics best interest to go ahead and move up to the two-seed and avoid the young 76ers altogether.
Posted on: March 25, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2011 4:37 pm
 

Garnett: Celtics told Rivers to stop 'soft' talk

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett says the team wasn't pleased that coach Doc Rivers called them "soft". Posted by Ben Golliver. kevin-garnett-mouth

This week, there were reports that Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers had called his notoriously intense and tough-minded team "soft" at halftime of a recent game.

During an interview with Boston radio station WEEI, transcribed by SportsRadioInterviews.com, Garnett said the Celtics pushed back against Rivers' message.
"That really wasn’t cool at all, but Doc has a way of motivating us in more than one way. He knows how to push buttons and get guys to respond. … If he has something to say to you individually, he’ll say it … but I don’t think there was a guy in the locker room that was feeling that. We told him after the game, ‘Don’t ever say nothing like that ever again.'"
Touchy. Touchy. Touchy.

The only way this back-and-forth really matters in the big picture is if Garnett or others in the locker room harbor resentment over the team's trade of Kendrick Perkins. Indeed, no one could blame the Celtics for being a little bit defensive at the "soft" label given that they are playing without Perkins, the brutish centerpiece of their defense and rebounding efforts, as well as fellow big men Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal

Garnett, however, seems to state that the Perkins trade is fully in the rearview mirror.
"As much as it does hurt, as much as you are emotionally attached, you’ve got to get over it. … From that standpoint, I think we’ve all been doing that."
If we take Garnett at his word that everyone has gotten over the Perkins trade -- at least as much as possible -- I'm a little disappointed in the Celtics. It's not like Rivers is clueless when it comes to personality management. This isn't Pistons coach John Kuester or anything; Rivers guided the Celtics to a title and generally treats his players with the utmost respect. 

Here, he was obviously he was looking to push a button. And, equally obviously, that button pushing prompted the reaction he was looking for. Does Rivers actually believe his team is soft? No, probably not. Is he less than thrilled that they're 5-5 over their last 10 games? That would certainly be understandable, given that the Chicago Bulls are now a game up on the Celtics in the race for the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed. 

Considering the circumstances, Rivers just wasn't out of line. No player or group of players, not even a former champion or a trio of future Hall of Famers, is above criticism.
Posted on: March 18, 2011 11:04 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 11:09 pm
 

Jason Kidd to retire if there's a lockout?

Dallas Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd said he might retire if there's a lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver. jason-kidd

When you've been doing your job for as long as you can remember, but then something comes along to interrupt the routine, it can cause you to re-think everything. Especially if you're doing something that you love. 

That's exactly where a number of the NBA's old guard players are sitting right now, staring down the barrel of a lockout and a potential work stoppage that could call into question their future as productive pros. 

Back in December, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said the lockout would make him think twice about retirement. On Friday, Dallas Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd expressed similar thoughts to Yahoo! Sports
“This could be it because it would be hard to come back after a lockout,” Kidd told Yahoo! Sports. “I would probably move on and join the next chapter of what I would be doing in life. But I hope that isn’t the case where it just ended without having one more season.”
Kidd also noted that he had already started thinking about his career options once his playing days are over and also expressed concern about the toll a shortened season might have upon his body.

At 37 years old, Kidd is still extraordinarily productive, averaging 8.2 points, 8.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. And, under his leadership, the Mavericks are one of the league's best teams, poised to make a playoff run yet again.

So before we go waiving Kidd off into the sunset, let's remember that he's still logging 33.5 minutes per game and hasn't missed a single game this season. A gradual, or even steep, reduction on his minutes or a switch to a backup role could certainly allow him to stick around well after a lockout, assuming his passion for the game and desire to put his body through the hell of an NBA season remains strong. 

And that's what this is really about: disrupting the routine. If the regular season smoothly transitioned into the playoffs, which smoothly transitioned into the offseason, which smoothly transitioned into training camp, as always, we probably don't hear a peep from Kidd, who is under contract through next season. But the disruption that a lockout and potential work stoppage represents has the power to stop everyone, even a veteran like Kidd who has been through one before, in his tracks. 
Posted on: February 20, 2011 6:33 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2011 7:28 pm
 

2011 NBA All-Star Weekend: quotable Kevin Garnett

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett discusses the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. Posted by Ben Golliver.

kevin-garnett-asw

There's no one else in the NBA quite like Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, and thank goodness for that. His antics, trash talk and intensity have helped make the Celtics a perennial contender but have also drawn criticism from opponents, media and fans. During his All-Star Weekend media availability on Friday, Garnett said he was looking forward to a break from the constant competitiveness and had a number of funny one-liners and interesting observations. 

Here's a collection of Garnett's best quips from Friday.

On whether his fellow All-Stars are thrown off by his on-court demeanor and profanities when they see him at All-Star Weekend: "I don’t swear that much. But I do play hard. I do play with a purpose. My demeanor on the court is what it is, and my demeanor here is a whole different thing."

On whether he will be playing lockdown defense and getting into his teamates' faces on Sunday: "I think offense is the priority here… The fourth quarter is really only the serious time too ... I’ve been doing it for what, 14 years, competition is one thing, socializing and being friendly is another. I know how to separate the two."

On his pre-game music: "In the early years, I used to listen to a lot of hardcore stuff. Now I’m doing my yoga days -- Namaste -- R&B, sort of stuff that calms me before the game."

On what his job would be if there was a work stoppage next year: "An architect. Being somewhere putting some things together. Illustrating.  I’m very much into putting things together, starting from scratch, going forth with that, making it concrete where you can see it.

On whether the Eastern Conference has restored the balance of power against the West: "To be honest, I think it’s 50/50 now. Night in and night out you can see teams from the East beating teams from the West, and vice versa."

On "fraternizing" with opponents over All-Star Weekend: "All-Star weekend is a chance for all players to sit down and relax. Get to know one another. I don’t like the word 'fraternizing' and I don’t like the word 'fronting'. It’s the one time that we get to socialize and be friendly, I don’t think it’s fronting, I think everybody is sort of in a relaxed state."

On what it's like to be one of four Boston Celtics in the game instead of as the lone representative of the Minnesota Timberwolves: "You tend to come here by yourself, sort of got used to that. The fact that I’m up here with three other guys is remarkable."

Posted on: February 20, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2011 7:29 pm
 

NBA All-Star Game: 5 Things To Watch

5 Things to Watch in the NBA All-Star Game. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Here are five things to watch in tonight's NBA All-Star Game

1. The Last Ride?

Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce. This could be the last ride for those players to all be in the All-Star Game. Most of them will be around in Orlando next year as All-Stars (if there's an All-Star Game next season, if there's a next season). But this is the last time to see them as all having earned their way through their play and not as legacy selections (you could argue Duncan's already hit that point but seeing as how his team is six games up in the West, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt). We do wish Steve Nash could have made it though. It's a shame the point guards in the West are so talented and deep, because it would have been good to see Nash out there one last time. 

2. The Boston Pops

How will Doc Rivers play the four Celtics? Will he play them together, giving them the chance to share the floor for their accomplishments? Will he hold them back, knowning that rest and injury are the two biggest concerns for the Celtics this season? The Celtics don't exactly get along with their Eastern teammates. Dwight Howard's been known to swing a few elbows and the Heat clearly have a problem with them. All teams are competitive, but the Celtics' culture takes it a bit further than most. Seeing how the Celtics play in what lineups, and how the L.A. crowd greets them will be worth watching, especially if it's anything like what greeted Paul Pierce in the three-point contest Saturday night. 

3. Rebounding Dominance

Dwight Howard, Al Horford, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin. Four of the best rebounders in recent history are in this game, and if they give even three-quarters effort, this could be fun.  Defense isn't going to be played at all, but rebounds are necessary regardless, and all of these players are instinctive rebounders.  Love has something to prove as the replacement addition when everyone's wondering why LaMarcus Aldridge was left out, even with Love leading the league in rebounding. Howard can make a statement about his position as still the league's most dominant big, and Blake Griffin just wants to kill everything that moves. Speaking of...

4. Simply Blake Griffin

There are multiple championship rings taking the floor today, yet the biggest buzz will be when Blake Griffin takes the floor. A rookie, in the All-Star Game, for the Clippers, has captured the imagination of the NBA world. If that doesn't telll you how quickly his star has risen, nothing will. Griffin has to watch it, though. He's got to peel it back, or he's going to get on the nerves of his teammates who are pretty much there to not play defense and launch ill-advised three-pointers. But the first guy he posterizes is going to be seen on the news for the next 24 hours around the globe. Something tells me the Eastern centers will be watching out when Griffin makes a cut. 

5. Durant's moment? 

Kevin Durant is still the humble superstar. But he's also still the leading scorer in the NBA, and the leader of a club that no one seems to have noticed is closing in on first-round home court advantage. Durant's had a quiet season despite his scoring dominance because of heightened expectations. But the All-Star game could be his time to step up and showcase his abilities. He needs to after a dreadful performance in the three-point contest. An All-Star MVP trophy would go far in kicking off his MVP campaign in the second half of the season strong. 
Posted on: February 20, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2011 7:27 pm
 

NBA All-Star Game Preview: Lights, Camera, Action

We preview the NBA All-Star Game (Sunday 8 p.m. EST) by looking at what Hollywood films the All-Stars compare to. 
Posted by Matt Moore




The big game is here. OK, so the game's not actually all that big, considering it's a group of severely hungover 20 and 30-year-olds not playing defense and winging up ridiculous shots with little effort or focus. But it is a staple, a part of the game, and the crown jewel of sports' best All-Star Weekend, the NBA All-Star Game. It's a matter of recognition to be among these players, the best in their industry.  This year they're in Los Angeles, Hollywood, and in the spirit of that, we thought we'd break down for you what some of these players will be showing us tonight in relation to some classic movie performances. 

Carmelo Anthony as Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) in the Twilight Saga. You see, just as Bella must choose between werewolf beau Jacob and vampire soulmate Edward, so too does Carmelo Anthony have to choose between the New Jersey Nets and certain money/bigger market, and the New York Knicks, his franchise soulmate, who he's longed for for so long. All-Star Weekend has adopted the role of the woods where so many deep and meaningful conversations between Belo (see what I did there?) and his prospective mates have occurred.  After long conversations and serious contemplation, Belo must choose what life he is to lead. Plus, just like the Twilight Saga, everyone is completely and totally sick to death of this story. It's meandering, pointles storylines and overdramatic interpretations have left us weary, longing for the days when players played out their contracts and vampires were actually tough.  Sunday's game represents Breaking Dawn, the finale to this traveshamockery, and we all pray that afterwards we never have to hear about it again. 

Kobe Bryant as Seth Gecko (George Clooney) in From Dusk till Dawn. Kobe Bryant said last week that his favorite Robert Rodriguez movie was Desperado. But Byrant bears little resemblance to the tender-hearted, vengeance-starved dreamboat from El Mariachi. Instead, Bryant most closely resembles George Clooney's take on a violent criminal turned hero when a Mexican brothel turns out to be a feeding ground for vampires (I know, two vampire flicks in a row. Bear with me.).  Like Bryant, Seth is a cold hard killer who will do what it takes to survive and thrive, but is also portrayed as a hero due to the circumstances he falls under. You're left wondering if Gecko was a good or bad person, but you have no question as to whether he's the toughest S.O.B in the room. And, like Gecko, Bryant is forced to try and protect and carry along those weaker than him, like his Laker teammates. In short, expect a lot of firing out Bryant's guns, even in an All-Star Game he'll mostly be taking off due to injury.

Kevin Garnett as Jaws in Jaws. Garnett's coming off the bench for this All-Star game, so much like his counterpart, you won't see him for a while. But there's likely to be some scary moments when he steps on the floor, as Garnett struggles with turning his hyper-intense attitude off. Much like the gigantic man-eating creature in the horror classic, Garnett's mouth never stops moving as he's always running it at opponents. And like the monster, it takes a ridiculous sequence of events to destroy Garnett, involving a tank of compressed gas and a rifle shot from a piece of flotsam when the creature opens it's mouth having lodged the tank in its teeth.  This isn't exactly like the knee injury that sidelined him in 2009, but it's close. You also get the feeling that after this spring's playoffs, LeBron James may be left saying "We're going to need a bigger boat." 

Derrick Rose as Jules Winfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction. A postmodern neo-noir exposition on the concept of cool? That's the very mark of Rose, who now steps into the spotlight as a starter for the first time in the All-Star Game. Rose is cool, calm and collected, much like Winfield, and just as Pulp Fiction is often overlooked now for its influence and yet wildly overrated for being a work of complete genius, so too does Rose both outperform our expectations and suffer from an overload of hype. Those who "get" Rose adore him, and those who don't think his game is little more than a flashy version of Stephon Marbury. But the impact of his play is just as considerable as the film that pushed Tarantino from indie-filmmaker to one of the world's premier directors. 

LeBron James as Josh Baskin (Tom Hanks) in Big. Yup, I went for the cheap laugh here. The overgrown child who winds up succeeding beyond his wildest dreams thanks to his natural ability? Hello, Lebron. But while Josh is endearing to the audience in Big thanks to Hanks' delicate performance of naivety, instead we play the part of John Heard's Paul Davenport, the annoyed boyfriend of the love interest who can't undestand why this guy keeps getting pushed when he's such a moron. In this way, LeBron reveals that we're at once right, and wrong, and it doesn't matter because in the end he gets to play with his friends and that's all that matters. 

Dwyane Wade as James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) in Star Trek. Smooth, aggressive, and constantly doubted by those in his life, Wade ends up saving the planet because of his ingenuity and bravado. That's Wade. This J.J. Abrams re-invention of the classic sci-fi tale serves as a comparison for Wade re-inventing himself as part of an ensemble cast rather than the lonely lead.  In this scenario, the 2007 season was Wade's time spent as Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) in Moon. Wade brings fast action and a nice smile to the game, and the knowledge that when you put him on the big screen, this flick is going to sell. Try not to get lost in the fact that J.J. Abram's penchant for formulaic character concepts wrapped in overly-developed plots are desperately similar to Erik Spoelstra's offensive schemes. 

Kevin Durant as Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) in The Bourne Identity. Humble, unassuming, and kill you quick. That's Durant. Durant also seems to have a hidden past, as he shows up as this fully formed phenom despite his time in D.C. And similarly, Durant is looking to escape the shadowy organization out to take hold of him. In this case, the media. 

Dwight Howard as Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) in The Truman Show. Just as the movie reprsented Carrey, the biggest comedic star in Hollywood at the time's first real attempt at drama, so too does this season see Dwight Howard straining for serious recognition as the best player in the game.  In the end, it's Carrey's humor that helps deliver the emotion and empathy needed for the Peter Weir film to carry us to a place of consideration, just as it will always be Howard's goofy demeanor combined with his freakish athleticism that puts him on the front page of the NBA paper. But whereas Carrey's Truman steps out of the world he's been placed in in order to experience reality, Howard seems to further immerse himself in the cocoon that's been placed around him, refusing to take responsibility for his part in the Magic's championship hopes and instead holding the threat of his departure to a bigger market over the heads in Orlando like the giant metal moon in The Truman Show
 
 
 
 
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