Fine I’ll do this quickly. The column by Dejan Kovacevic is a classic, “I’m just asking questions,” thing. It is meant to provoke debate and little else.
“Wow, that’s a hard one. Not sure how to answer,” Jamie Dixon was telling me Sunday after practice at the Pete. “I mean, what we have going is smaller and quicker, and it does change how you play. And some guys individually have stepped up. But Steve’s a great player. I don’t know.”
Hmm. So maybe the notion isn’t all nuts.
Right. Because Coach Dixon was going to say something that would denigrate the present team by saying he wants another player. Of course not.
Would Dixon take Adams back now? He simply smiled at that. Of course he would.
But he quickly followed up, “We loved having Steve, but you move on. I like this team we have. I like it a lot.”
That’s about as far as you will get from Dixon.
Pitt is not “better” without Steven Adams. They are different. As Dixon says, they are smaller in the frontcourt. They also can stretch defenses with guys like Artis and Young able to step out and hit 3s.
With Adams they would be even better on defense, because the interior defense would be huge. Pitt would still be able to run in transition. Adams was not some slow, lumbering big man. He could run almost as well as Talib Zanna.
Which is better? That’s really where the debate lies. A more traditional team with as big a frontcourt as possible, but not as much shooting range from the 4 and 5. A team that is effectively with two power forwards that can step out from beyond seven feet.
The only other sure thing if Adams was still at Pitt. The Panthers would have been ranked going into the season with Adams.
After that you start fantasy land regarding players and their development with or without Adams.
The only thing worse than this is the message board tripe “asking” if perhaps other players were jealous of Steven Adams last year and froze him out of the offense. Not based on anything except what appears a serious dislike/blaming of Tray Woodall, since Lamar Patterson and James Robinson are still playing.