Stream of Consciousness

By: Eric Rajala
By: Eric Rajala

It's been awhile...random thoughts.

Have any two players ever delivered less than the O’Neals in Boston? The C’s traded Perk with the belief that at least one of them would contribute. Jermaine has at least seen the floor in the playoffs while the Diesel has spent the postseason in street clothes. Lucky for both, the Celtics live to fight another day…with the Heat (probably). More on them later...

I’ve never seen the media talk more about such a mediocre quarterback draft class. None of them have the “look” of a star in the NFL, while all have at least one quality that makes you think they could become great. Together they look fantastic: combine Locker’s toughness, Mallett’s arm, Newton’s freakish size and athleticism, Dalton’s brain, and Gabbert’s hair. Now that’s a franchise quarterback! Can the Lakers complete a “three-peat?” I don’t know of a team as bipolar as L.A. Maybe Ron Artest has rubbed off on them. Some games they look flat-out bored. Other games they look like assassins. I guess that comes with winning the West three years in a row and winning the Finals in back-to-back years. I don’t like the “flip the switch” attitude, but when a team has the coach (Phil), the Hall of Famer (Kobe), the star sidekick (Pau), the size, and the depth of the Lake Show, anything’s possible.

Back to the quarterback draft thing: who will the Panthers take with the first pick? All reports indicate Cam Newton. That makes me cringe. I love Cam’s athleticism and I love his track record of winning everywhere he goes. I don’t love his “extra marshmallows with his Lucky Charms and I can’t remember a play from college” attitude. That being said, this draft has a lot of good players, but I’m not sure any worthy of a top overall pick and the burden of saving a franchise (although the paycheck makes it sting a little less). Pass rushers, quarterbacks, and offensive tackles dominate top picks. When none look the part of a Hall of Famer, I guess taking a 6’6” quarterback with otherworldly size and speed, two national championships and a Heisman Trophy on his résumé makes sense. Who am I kidding? The kid’s gonna be the next Brady.

I love the contract extension Ryan Braun signed. Five years and $105 million sounds like a lot, but when you consider the rate of inflation and the deal not kicking in until 2015, Braun will probably have to look at income-based housing in a few years. Kidding aside, I love the deal because it doesn’t pay Braun into his 40s, he hits for average AND power and the Brewers haven’t had a player of Braun’s caliber stick around since Robin Yount 20 years ago. In my opinion, they need to pay Prince as well. Those two batting three-four in the lineup guarantee run production for the next decade. I’m not a GM, but I say dump $150 million over seven years on Fielder. Front load the contract so if his productions slips, or his weight balloons, Milwaukee can trade him to the highest AL East bidder.

Also, the Hornets just tied their series with the Lakers and Chris Paul turned in an all-timer. Good to see he can still light it up. After all the attention given to D-Rose, I feel like Paul has gotten lost in the shuffle. Or maybe he just plays in a small market on an average team that may or may not exist in two years. Even so, he deserves more credit. He’ll get it…in two years when he plays with ‘Melo and Amar’e in New York. Now that team could “flip the switch” and win it all!

Finally, when the Heat get hot, they look like an AAU team playing jayvee teams. However, sometimes they look like the bully from A Christmas Story after Ralphie goes ballistic. Today I watched them hit the Sixers with a scoring assault to take the lead before halftime. Then when the Sixers retaliated in the fourth quarter, the Heatles wilted. If they don’t have the killer instinct of a championship yet, they had better find it, because Boston has it, with or without the O’Neals.

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