Basketball for Myopics, By Ailene Voisin

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Breaking news, breaking news: Ailene Voisin, the only basketball columnist at the only daily newspaper in the city, has an opinion on the Spencer Hawes trade. Take it away, Ms. V!

***

Spencer Hawes and Samuel Dalembert couldn't be any different if they were born in different countries, which of course they were.

I disagree. They could be more different. Say, if one was a Martian and the other a lamp. Or one was a jump rope champion and the other a telephone booth. Or one was a taco boat and the other a desert tortoise. Or ...

But this trade? The swapping of a young finesse center for an athletic veteran who runs, rebounds, blocks shots and promises to create major congestion in the lanes at Arco Arena?

Ummmm …

I'll take a pass.

Note for you Lost-a-holics: in the sideways universe, Ailene Voisin takes a pass on the Dalembert-Hawes trade, leaving Dalembert in Philadelphia and Hawes in Sacramento, where he can continue to receive passes from Ricky Rubio and set screens for shirtless Peja Stojakovic under the watchful glare of Bill Laimbeer.

Let's see how the ball moves.

I predict a Tyreke Evans insult in our future. Where's "Tyreke Insult" on my Bingo card ... ?

[...] Yet if Geoff Petrie sounds a little conflicted about giving up on Hawes after three seasons, well, he should be. Talented 7-footers don't escape the womb by the dozens.

And thank God for that! Can you imagine a woman giving birth to 7-footers a dozen at a time? And not just any 7-footers. Talented ones. Octomom is rolling over in her grave tanning bed.

Hawes, 22, is competitive and hard-working, and his edgy personality is more of a plus than a minus.

Especially on Match.com. Chicks love a bad boy.

True, he failed to establish an interior presence. True, his rebounding was inadequate. True, his constant questioning annoyed some of his coaches.

True, he was not good at most traditional center duties. Good point. I sense a "But ..." coming. Does anyone else sense a "But ..." coming?

But ...

There we go!

... he didn't deserve to be banished for a game (Feb. 23) because he discussed his coach's substitution pattern in that morning's newspaper. Seriously. That was a total overreaction, and one that infuriated Hawes' entire family.

"We're driving down Highway NaRC (Not a Real Center), and all of a sudden the driver takes the exit for Non Sequitor Irrelevant Town! Can you believe it?! I don't think we'll ever make it to our destination, The Point of This Column City!"

Hawes can even make the argument that he was a victim, that he should have complained louder while one of his best assets – high-post passing – was sacrificed to accommodate Tyreke Evans' ball-dominant, overdribbling style.

BINGO! I have BINGO!

God damn you, Rookie of the Year and franchise savior Tyreke Evans. How dare you minimize the need for our center's best un-centery assets with your "scoring more layups than anyone in the league" and your "team-leading 5.8 assists." How DARE you take our Spencey Hawes away from us!

On a roster with Jason Thompson, Donté Greene, Carl Landry and Omri Casspi, Hawes was the only frontcourt player to average at least two assists. And this is not an area that will improve with Dalembert.

In a band with Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison, Ringo Starr was the only musician to own a gong. And this is not an area that will improve with Davey Jones.

No, the trade makes sense only if the Kings exploit Dalembert's blocks and rebounds to trigger transition opportunities and don't make the same mistake as Eddie Jordan.

One could argue the trade makes sense if the Kings manage to get more blocks and rebounds in the first place, given that blocks and rebounds are important to a team's defense and given that during Hawes' tenure as the team's top center the team's defense has been wholly mediocre, and given that Dalembert is a good-to-great defender and one of the best rebounders in the history of Western Civilization (/walton'd), and given that despite Voisin's constantly refrained opinions otherwise, defense actually does count the same as offense in the NBA, so that a trade which doesn't necessarily improve your offense can still help your team immensely assuming it is a defensive upgrade, which this trade would appear to be.

The former Kings coach replaced Tony DiLeo's uptempo style with the more methodical Princeton offense and was fired at season's end. [Completely relevant Chris Webber quote.] With the NBA draft approaching and more roster shuffling anticipated, coach Paul Westphal isn't open to discussing possible changes to his offense.

Voisin buried the lede! She really got Westphal to say there's no chance he'll change the offense this season to help Sammy get some open court looks? Wow! News value, yeah!

"We have to add some players," he said. "Nobody can say what our team will look like."

Oh. So he's saying he's going to wait to make major decisions like a switch of offensive systems until he knows what his roster looks like? And he didn't really say he's not open to discussing changes? Oh. I guess I just thought when she wrote "coach Paul Westphal isn't open to discussing possible changes to his offense" she meant he wasn't open to discussing possible changes to his offense. Silly me.

"But we do think that one important ingredient of any team that does anything of note is that you've got to protect the basket. That's an important piece."

No argument there.

We all agree! Hooray!

Wait, is that ... is that another "But ..." I sense coming in the very near future? It couldn't be ... could it?

But ...

AAAAAAAAAAAAH! Not again!

... as the Lakers demonstrated again, ...

Next up on Ed Sullivan, "How the Lakers Winning the Championship Explains Why the Spencer Hawes Trade is Bad," a monologue in one part by Ailene Voisin.

... teams win when they ...

OK, the Lakers were good at many things, so we could be heading anywhere right now. Let's see, they were good at shooting. And offensive rebounding. And not fouling opponents. And defending. Really good at defending. Really, really good at defending. Excellent at defensive rebounding. Good at not turning over the ball. You know what, the Lakers happened to be good at just about everything, except for sharing the ball. If the Lakers had one fault, it'd be that they were pretty crummy at sharing the ball. I mean, teams including the Jazz, Celtics, Mavericks, Clippers, Cavaliers, Spurs, Bobcats, Rockets, Hornets, Pacers, Suns, Bucks, Knicks, Raptors, Blazers, Hawks, Sixers, Bulls, Warriors and Nuggets -- well more than half the league -- had more field goals assisted than the Lakers. The Lakers share the ball worse than all those teams, even the awful Knicks and Sixers and Warriors, but the Lakers do basically everything else at a sufficient level, so I'm going to say Ailene Voisin will finish this column on a strong note as long as she doesn't say ...

But as the Lakers demonstrated again, teams win when they share the ball.

NOOOOO!!!

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