Being friends of the people involved the From the Stands podcast, I always download and listen to their shows over its different iterations. I decided to finally give in and deconstruct their discussions onto a post.
The first episode I will decipher and react to would be Episode 10.
Rain or Shine: I think the great stretch that RoS had can be attributed to the cupcake start to the conference. With the format being a quick single round robin, it would be advantageous to have a quick start, which they did in winning three straight. Sure helps when you have an import like Hassan Adams.
B-Meg vs SMART Gilas: What made that game fun was that at the same time it was being played (It was on a Wednesday), was that simultaneous to it, the Philippine Men's Football Team, or most commonly known as the Azkals, were playing in Burma against Palestine. That game was not shown on live television, but most of us were tracking the tweets as it came. Both games went down the wire, making it a double thriller when we were at the NSG.
SMART Gilas: If you look at the international game now, the three-pointer have become THE weapon of choice for the offense. The main reason we needed Marcus was that need for a legitimate big man who will do the dirty work. One might say, a really really bigger version of Marc Pingris or Doug Kramer. In the PBA, given the lack of size, it bodes well for us to take advantage of Marcus in the pain, thus the huge numbers he is putting up. It's clear what the roles are on the team. You are either one or more of the following: distributor, creator, shooter, defender, hustler. If you can do more than one of those, that would be even better.
On Japeth Aguilar: He screams (to borrow Dick Vitale's terms) Potenial! Potential! Potential! On the cusp of possibly becoming an Ateneo legend, he abruptly goes to the States to pursue his dream, entering Western Kentucky and becoming the first Filipino on the roster of a team in the NCAA Tournament in the modern era. Unfortunately, he never really got on track to playing for Darrin Horn (who recruited him there) due to an injury, then when Ken McDonald took over as Horn left for South Carolina, he did not get much floor burn. It's definitely a an issue with confidence for him. Not just that, he is also having an identity crisis as to what his exact role is. He looks like a stretch four like a Channing Frye but he could be more than that. I agree that our patience is wearing thin on him, but there is still time for him to rectify some things and habits.
Greg Slaughter: It's nice to know he has stepped up in play when he is being asked to contribute as the main back-up for Marcus. It's also encouraging that he's going to be even better come the UAAP season.
Chris Tiu: If you are a PBA team looking for maximizing marketing potential, he is probably the biggest meal ticket in a while. With his squeaky-clean reputation, no franchise can refuse his charm. He'd be a mighty fine backup combo guard for a good team who could start in a pinch.
Nelson Asaytono vis-a-vis Kerby Raymundo: It's like the Amar'e Stoudemire vis-a-vis Carlos Boozer. The Bull was an unstoppable force on the offensive end, unleashing hell on whoever tried to defend him. Kerby on the other hand, can be an unstoppable force if he decided to turn on the jets, but also recognizes that he can contirbute on other aspects as well as be deferring when needed to. He also inherited the perpetually injured gene likewise.
The New York Knicks: The three were trying to figure out the malaise that affected the Knicks, pointing out the Melo trade and whether they should have pulled the trigger. I believe we have gone through that road previously. I think the hosts missed what probably is the most important issue that is ailing them during the stretch (7-11 record in March, including a 6-game losing streak), which has always been the lack of a consistent effort on the defensive end. They allowed an average of 106.3 PPG in March. That, of course, is par for the course in the SSOL of D'Antoni. People also have to realize that the Knicks are still an unfinished product that is happy to have made their return to the playoffs.
Post-AS Weekend runs of LA and Chicago: Let me show you how good the Lakers are when they decide to just turn it on.(ATL, @POR, LAC, @OKC, @MIN, CHA, @SAS, @ATL, @MIA, @DAL, ORL, MIN, POR, PHO, LAC, NOH, DAL, @UTA, DEN). Just two losses (Miami and Denver) during that span. Said interval also showed a commitment to defense. If you look at the box scores, there were just 3 games where the opponent scores 100+ and 8 games where opponent scores 90+. The champs are currently chasing down Spurs (2.5 games back from home court as of the time I was writing this). But the more important underlying current is that they're 1 game back from Chicago and 2 ahead of Boston (again, as of the time I am writing this). Lakers want to secure home court if they ever make it back to the Finals, especially if the Celtics win the East.