Cut Antoine Walker

Thoughts and analysis on the NBA's most overrated player

Location: New York City, United States

Monday, January 02, 2006

Walker Sucks Versus Detroit

In the Heat's toughest and perhaps most important game of the season at Detroit on December 29th, Antoine Walker was a non-factor. In 15 minutes of play, Walker scored 3 points, grabbed 1 rebound, and dished out 1 assist. This was a very discouraging loss for the Heat, as Detroit's level of play was mediocre until the end of the fourth quarter and Miami still managed to fall short. Detroit is simply in a different class than Miami right now, and with the current rosters intact, there's no way that Miami could beat Detroit in a seven game series.

The Heat should make a move to acquire Ron Artest. The market value of Artest is ridiculously low right now, and Miami likely wouldn't have to give up much to get him. Obviously, I'd want Walker to be shipped off for Artest. Shit, package him with a draft pick or two, Wayne Simien, and a signed photo of Jessica Alba wearing that see-through top and bring Artest to Miami.

You may be thinking, "Why on Earth would a good team like Miami risk destruction at the hands of Hurricane Ronnie?" Well, it's pretty simple, really -- Miami can't beat Detroit, and its window is quickly closing. True, the demigod Wade will continue to improve, but he can't be counted on to carry this team past the Pistons. Shaq isn't SHAQ! anymore and his skills and health will continue to deteriorate over the next few years. The rest of the supporting cast is nice, but they're not enough to get over the hump. That's where Artest comes in. If Miami can't get past the Pistons without Artest (whether Riley wants to accept this or not), why not give it a shot with Artest? What's the absolute worst that could happen? If he flips out and goes AWOL, great -- just deactivate him like the Pacers did. Besides, it's not like Miami will be losing a lot in this scenario -- remember, they're not going to have to give up a lot to get him.

Ron Artest is a Tru Warrior.

How crazy is Artest? He's pretty nuts, but even Artest wasn't loco enough to fight Ben Wallace in the infamous brawl at The Palace. So, I'm guessing Shaq, who's much bigger than Wallace, would be able to keep Artest under control. And if not? Well, like I said before, deactivate the maniac.

What it comes down to is that this is a very low risk/high reward scanario for Miami. I hope it's an option they explore. And besides, don't you think Artest would love the chance to knock off the Pistons? I do.

The one hitch in this plan, of course, is the Pacers' reluctance to trade Artest to an Eastern Conference team. So maybe I just wasted 10 minutes typing this entry. Whatever, I would have been playing Duck Hunt anyway and wanting to shoot the dog instead of the ducks.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Walker Showered With Boos at Home

That's "boos" as in "you suck and can't shoot worth a wolf shit," not "booze" as in "yeah, this is getting me drunk but it sort of stings my eyes and pee hole."

Anyway, it's about time. Despite Walker's best efforts to thwart a Miami victory, the Heat prevailed over the Bucks tonight, 109-98. The home Heat crowd was treated to a typical Miami Heat game: a solid Shaq performance, a stellar Wade performance, and a 2 for 10 shooting night from Antoine Walker. For good measure, Walker threw in four turnovers and zero assists just to keep things interesting.

I'm so excited that the fans have finally turned on Toine. Not only was he booed, but after Riley pulled Walker from the game, the crowd erupted with cheers and applause. That's what I like to see. Hopefully this will continue and Walker will demand a trade or become a chef or something. Just anything but play for Miami, please.

There's other guys on Miami's bench that Riley can use to spell his starters besides Walker. It's not a tough decision. I mean for me, picking between Walker and someone like Shandon Anderson is like picking between taking a Heart Container or the Red Medicine. It's so painstakingly obvious which one you choose.

By the way, I never heard of anyone getting the blue ring before upgrading from the wooden sword to the white sword. Maybe this person would choose the Red Medicine that is Antoine Walker after all. And then they'd get killed by a Pol's Voice or something lame while I owned Gannon's mushy ass.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Walker Improving

The Heat finally lost under Riley, suffering a road defeat at the hands of Lebron James and the Cavs. Miami bounced back quickly, though, as they returned home and crushed the Atlanta Hawks last night.

What's notable is that Walker played well in each of the Heat's last two games. I think it's too early to attribute his improved play to Pat Riley, but maybe just the mere presence of Riley has had a positive effect on Toine.

I'm not getting my hopes up, though. I'm sure that in a few days we'll see the Antoine Walker of old launching up wild shots, screaming at handicapped children, and raping the homeless. I'm just joking. That guy he raped actually lived in an apartment on Collins Avenue.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Riley, Shaq, or both?

The Heat are now 3-0 under coach Pat Riley, with road victories over the Bucks and the Sixers. I would have updated this blog sooner and provided some thoughts on those games, but The Man at work has been trying to keep a brotha down.

I have to believe that it's Shaq's return, not Riley's, that has transformed the Heat back into a contender again. Many people take for granted how much Shaq changes the game just by being present on the court. I mean, when Gerald Fitch and Jason Kapono are sniping away and killing you from the outside, you have to infer that Shaq's presence down low is the direct cause.

And Pat Riley knows that. It's just too early to attribute the Heat's turnaround to a coach who hasn't looked at a playbook in over two years.

Pat Riley has always had a great center on his team - Jabar, Ewing, Mourning, and now Shaq. He knows how to use his center as just that -- the centerpiece of the offense. And yes, before his kidney ailments, Alonzo Mourning was a great center. There weren't too many big men in the league better than Zo when he was in his prime.

Antoine Walker has played well (from an offensive standpoint, at least) during the Heat's last two victories. Against Philly last night, Toine shot 6 of 12, making three three's in the process. Against the Bucks, Toine shot a very respectable 5 of 11.

And that's what he's got to do. I don't expect him to shoot around 50%, especially when his career field goal percentage is somewhere around 40. What I do hope he does, though, is become more selective in launching up shots, since the return of Shaq gives him that luxury. Walker's a role player now, and his acceptance of this fact can only help the team.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Trying Out Titles

Just want to see if I can start putting titles above my posts. I'm guessing most will contain any combination of the words "Antoine" and "penis mutilation."

Statistically, Antoine Walker had a pretty good game last night. He scored 14 points on 5 of 11 shooting, including 3 of 5 from three point range. I didn't see the game, so I'll assume that most of his shots banked in unintentionally and he played horrible defense the entire game. I refuse to consider video evidence to the contrary.

Tonight, the Heat take on the Bucks.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Shaq's return last night paid immediate dividends for Miami. The Heat topped the Wizards in overtime, 104-101. A free throw by Shaq with one second remaining in regulation tied the game and sent it into overtime. Shaq had missed the first of two free throws but miraculously drilled the second. Walker was pretty much a non-factor, shooting 2 of 8 from the field. Wade did the bulk of the work for a change, scoring 41 points.

Of course, the big news today wasn't Shaq's return or the Heat's nailbiter of a victory over division rival Washington. Rather, it was the (un)surprising resignation of head coach Stan Van Gundy.

I, for one, don't think Van Gundy simply 'resigned.' I don't know that he was fired or forced to resign either, though. I think it's probably somewhere in the middle. At any rate, Pat Riley is once again the head coach of the Miami Heat.

What does this mean for the Heat and Antoine Walker?

I expect the Heat to struggle at first, despite Shaq's return. Riles himself said that he hasn't looked at a playbook in over two years, and Van Gundy was notorious for being well-prepared. Just like Shaq, Riley is going to have to shake off some rust. You can't just jump back into a coaching gig, especially one at the professional level. Of course, maybe Riley's fooling us all. Maybe he's been plotting and meddling all season long and is far more prepared than he's willing to let on. Only time will tell.

It's no secret that Riley is a huge proponent of defense and hard-nosed basketball, so this could mean a welcome deterioration of Antoine's playing time. We can only hope that Riley becomes fed up with Walker's complete lack of effort (or ability, it doesn't matter) on the defensive end that he's shopping him left and right in just a few short weeks.

Or, you know, you could just cut him, Pat.

I'll address the Van Gundy resignation and Shaq's return later, but for now, here are the results of an interesting ESPN poll:

9) Who do you think was the worst offseason addition?
40.8% Antoine Walker
26.3% Gary Payton
13.2% James Posey
10.5% They were all good additions
9.2% Jason Williams

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson? Swanson? What's it say on the briefcase?


Oh, I was WAY off!

The Heat lost to Denver last night, despite a pretty good game from Antoine Walker. I'll take my crow with a side of dick sauce, thanks.

Toine shot 7 of 12 from the field and also dished out five assists. Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 40 points to lead Denver to a road victory. Apparently these guys read my blog and really wanted to stick it to me. Thanks, jerks.

Dwyane Wade poured in 37 points and made it to the free throw line a whopping 21 times.

The Heat are a pretty good team without Shaq, but it's pretty clear that they get into trouble when Zo has an off night. He can't be expected to grab double digit rebounds and swat four shots every night. Still, even without Shaq, the Heat should enter the postseason as no worse than a 3-seed, as Miami should have no trouble winning the very weak Southeastern division. At any rate, they should be beating teams like Denver when playing in Miami.

Shaq is expected back next week. I really hope he's not rushing back. Like I previously stated, Miami should be fine without him, and his return is a bad idea if it's going to jeopardize his playing at a high level in the postseason. I expect him and Zo to split minutes at first, with Shaq's playing time increasing gradually over the next few weeks.

Imagine having sex with Shaq. Jesus.