The hot news of the day is of course the Lakers' acquisition of Dwight Howard and how the realignment of his cape-wearing superpowers will impact both the West and the East. I for one would like to get Shaq's take on all of this, since Howard has now stolen Shaq's gimmick AND his place as the starting center for the Lakers.
By dealing Bynum for Howard, the Lakers still have a giant front line at a time when the other two title favorites — Miami and Oklahoma City — thrive with smaller, quicker lineups. Defending those lineups will be an issue, but there comes a point where you have so much talent to throw at a problem that it ceases to be a problem.
But given all the talk of competitive balance, and given the newly arrogated and not-yet-dusty veto power the commissioner recently used so strangely in the name of fair play, how are non-aligned fans supposed to feel about this deal? What are we supposed to believe, besides that the deck is stacked or the dice are loaded or some other cliche of your choice related to gambling paraphernalia?
The Magic fans are, shall we say, feeling a bit ill at ease today. Remarkably, they are now a team that has only existed for 24 years, and in that time have drafted and lost both Shaquille O'Neal AND Dwight Howard while winning zero championships.
We are all quick to praise OKC GM Sam Presti, and for good reason. He makes the most of what he has. How did the GM's involved in this mega-trade do in the process? After some head-scratchers earlier this off-season, I like what the 76ers are up to.
Here is something so far unconsidered - LA's jump in stature bodes well for OKC's focus. Last season, the Thunder clearly lapsed in their attention to detail down the stretch. Having a powerhouse sitting across the table from them all season long will keep them in my better alignment as the season goes on.