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Has Bill Walton Fried My Brain?

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After years of complaining about Bill Walton rambling on like an idiot during ABC telecasts a weird thing happened this weekend - I actually agreed with something he had to say.

While talking with the New York Post, Walton told them that, “I voted for Nenad Krstic as the All-NBA second-team center and I’m hopeful he is going to be the prototype of center play in the future. His game is not based on size and strength. It’s not based on huffin’ and puffin’ [or] smoke and mirrors. It’s based on skill, timing, positioning and an analytical approach to winning.” Usually when I read or hear something out of Walton’s mind I laugh and don’t give it a passing thought but this time I think the big lug may be onto something. While I wouldn’t rate Krstic as the second best big man in the League - Yao Ming and Ben Wallace are clearly ahead of the youngster right now - I can see Krstic becoming one of the top centre’s in the League within the next few seasons once he figures out how to stay out of foul trouble.

This year Krstic hit nearly 51% of his field goal attempts while 13.5 points per game and 6.4 boards per game. Keep in mind that these numbers would have been much higher if Krstic hadn’t found himself in foul trouble in nearly ever Nets game this season. As a young player he got burned by some cheap calls by officials and he just hasn’t learned how to play aggressive and smart. For the season Krstic averaged 3.7 fouls per game but that stat doesn’t fully explain the foul trouble that plagued the big man. He spent the majority of second quarters this season riding the pine because he picked up some quick fouls which prevented him from findings his groove early on in games. When he finally returned in the third quarter to games he picked up his third foul fairly quickly and was then relegated to picking splinters out of his butt until the fourth quarter. By that point he had been sitting on the bench for the majority of the game and it’s hard to find your “flow” in the fourth quarter.

Once Krstic can earn the respect of the refs and stop getting the cheap fouls called against him and he learns a little more restraint I believe that he’ll be a solid 20 point and 10 board player for the Nets - even with Richard Jefferson and Vince “Wince” Carter hogging the ball on offense.

Am I getting weak after all these years? Have I caved and finally gone to the dark side?

I hope all these year of listening to Walton haven’t ruined my brain…


Mon 05/08/06, 6:27 pm EST

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