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I'll say it, I DON'T think Jermaine is our franchise player
I'm still inclined to agree with you more than disagree but this probably isn't the time for me to have this discussion. Tossing JO out with the trash probably isn't the answer but JO is at best a complimentary player at this point in his career. He can talk a good game but until he learns to share the ball, make quicker decisions, and keep his head in the game (all consistently) then I'm afraid I am going to have problems with him. This season the stars aligned for him to take his game to the next level and show that all this effort and growing pains of the past had indeed been worth it. It could truly be 'his' team. I don't think he showed that at all.
Let's not pretend JO before the injury was on a tear. He wasn't. He had some higher scoring games but he didn't necessarily shoot a good percentage to do it. More importantly, the team wasn't winning. More times than not he would shrink from the occassion. I know he's been injured but that injury just makes his refusal to pass out of double and triple teams, to force the ball, to shoot fadeaways all the more glaring as a deficit in his game. I don't think it is too much to ask that the face of the franchise circa 2005 make his teammates better and take pressure off of them. Did the JO we saw most games this season make his teammates better or take pressure off of them? I have to say 'no'.
Many times he was putting them behind the 8 ball by shooting woeful percentages and stalling the offense in the process. His lack of blocking out gave the other teams second chance opportunites. Few were the times where he got his teammates open looks by passing out of doubleteams to the open man. His 'highlight' defense was usually good (blocks) but his regular defense sometimes left things to be desired. It is not always the highlight reel plays that matter... it is most times the little things that really matter. And one of these days people will realize the little things aren't really so little. They matter. A lot.
OTOH, games like tonight show he can be effective... but we saw too little of that this season.
I know some are going to blame coach Carlisle for a lot of this. I have some thoughts on this as well but perhaps I should save them. As I said, tonight probably isn't the best time to get into some of this.
I'll just end by saying we have some Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde happening with this team and we will need to be getting that figured out and under control before we can hope to beat the Pistons in a best of 7 game playoff series.
My feeling is that I don't want Jermaine gone, because he is really talented and is a dominating offensive force when he's on his game. But it's the little things he doesn't do that make me wanna say, 'this guy can't be our franchise player'.
When I point to Ron Artest as our possible franchise player, I get ridiculed and no matter how many points I bring up, there are counter points and critics of all kind, so I'll plead the 5th for that right now. Save that one for another day.