FATHER’S DAY, NBA DRAFT, TUNA DESIGN

June 23, 2009

Ray Ratto was reading my thoughts about this week’s draft and said, “Now I don’t know how the division of credit breaks down at your house, but the
folks I know operate under the assumption that the father is typically wrong until he is adjudged by the other family members to be even more wrong than
they originally thought. Father’s Day is traditionally their way of softening up the old man for the next 364 days of blame delegation.                                                                                                                       
At least that’s our story, and we’re standing on it.”
A few of you wanted to know why I didn’t list any centers on my watch-for list- the answer is that this draft is a pretty shallow one and I agree with, as
much as it pains me to say it,  Celtics GM Danny Ainge when he reasoned, “that he doesn’t expect to make a trade during Thursday’s draft, and any roster additions will likely come via free agency, which starts in July. The Celtics have only the 58th pick in the draft, in the second round. “We have nothing close to happening,’’ Ainge said. “I would guess that there would not be anything [on draft night]. We like the free agent market of veteran players much more than we like the draft.’’ On the wild trade rumors concerning some Celtics, Ainge said, “I just assume all of them are jokes when I read some of the junk out there and some of the things involving us that seem invented out of the blue sky.’’ Another GM said, “This draft is so weak that someone selected at No. 12 could end up being as good as someone drafted No. 4.

Bruce Jenkins gave his take on those guards, “It won’t be the Warriors, who can’t afford anothersmall guard in the backcourt, but whoever takes North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson – winner, leader, three-year collegian, allergic to turnovers – will be extremely happy … Caught some video of Brandon Jennings, the point guard who went from high school to the Italian league, and whatever faults he may have, wow, is he unstoppable on the dribble. Quick, long strides and as many moves as you like … Understandably particular about where he plays, Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio is wading through a distasteful minefield (Memphis, Oklahoma City, Sacramento) as the draft approaches. What he’s probably thinking, after watching countryman Pau Gasol win a title: Somehow, some way, get me to the Lakers. I’m betting it happens before Rubio turns 25.”

Mike Reiss said in the Boston Globe that, “Phil Simms once made the point that the Giants teams he quarterbacked in the 1980s were constructed with a
purpose.                      
Simms said that coach Bill Parcells had NFC East foes foremost on his mind when he pieced together the Giants’ roster. The Redskins, for example, had
“The Hogs’’ on the offensive line – a big, physical group that Parcells felt had to be countered by a big, physical defensive line.                                                                                                    
Two decades later, Parcells’s divisional mind-set is still apparent. One look at the Dolphins’ offseason activity provides confirmation.                                                                                      
Parcells, in his second season as executive vice president of football operations in Miami, has orchestrated a significant overhaul of the secondary. The Dolphins signed free agent safety Gibril Wilson to a lucrative contract, added cornerback Eric Green in free agency, and drafted cornerbacks Vontae Davis (first round) and Sean Smith (second round) – four moves aimed at improving a pass defense that ranked 25th in yards surrendered per game last season
(227.8).                                                                                                         
Think Parcells had the Patriots and their high-flying passing attack in mind?                          
There is little doubt, not to mention the addition of receiver Terrell Owens in Buffalo, and to a lesser degree Jerricho Cotchery in New York. Phil Simms
once made the point that the Giants teams he quarterbacked in the 1980s were constructed with a purpose.

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