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Matt Guokas Believes Malone is Best Fit For Spurs

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by HoustonForever, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. HoustonForever

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    Malone would boost
    Spurs' title chances
    Future Hall of Famer a good
    fit for San Antonio's front line

    Karl Malone (11) has drawn the interest of the Spurs in part because of his experience and his tough, physical style on defense, says Matt Guokas of NBCSports.com.
    COMMENTARY

    By Matt Guokas
    NBCSports.com contributor
    Updated: 3:59 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2005If Karl Malone decides to resume his 19-year NBA career by joining San Antonio, the Spurs, who are my favorite to win the NBA title, increase their chances of a championship. And Malone, who has never been on a title-winning team, may finally get the championship ring he covets.

    Ready to return
    Malone is 41, and he's the second-leading scorer in NBA history.

    advertisement

    After 18 seasons in Utah, Malone signed with the Lakers last season, taking a huge pay cut in return for the chance of winning his first NBA championship.

    But he injured his right knee and was out of action for 39 games in the regular season.

    Then in the playoffs he got hurt again and didn't play in the last three games of the NBA Finals.

    After the Lakers lost to the Pistons in the Finals, Malone opted out of his $1.65 million contract.

    As a free agent he can sign with any team, and he's interested in the Spurs as they are in him.

    Malone had knee surgery over the summer, and there's no way of knowing what he has left or where he is at physically.

    Malone's agent, Dwight Manley, says the future Hall of Famer is healthy, and has been working out every day.

    The very fact that Malone is talking to the Spurs indicates he feels he can play and contribute.

    Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who met with Malone on Feb. 5, and it appears that Malone believes he is ready physically to return to the NBA.

    The Spurs want Malone to be able to make a significant contribution to their team, and to do that he's got to be healthy.

    Meshing with the Spurs
    If you had to pick a team today to win the NBA championship, I think many people would say San Antonio because of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

    Both Duncan and Popovich feel adding Malone would be a plus, and would not disrupt the team's chemistry.

    Malone is attractive to San Antonio, and for several reasons.

    He has tons of experience, can make an outside jumper, will pass the ball and set screens.

    He's also a tough, physical defender, who will get the benefit of the doubt on a lot of calls from officials because of his reputation and experience.

    Anytime a team can add a veteran who knows how to play, it is helping itself.

    The Spurs play pretty much of a controlled game.

    Their style is not haphazard or up and down.

    An area where they are coming up short is upfront, where they don't have a lot of size.

    Malone is big and without getting double-team help, he can defend some opposing forwards as well as some opposing centers.

    The Spurs are looking to add another big body just to bang around inside so Duncan doesn't have to do most of that.

    I don't think the Spurs have been totally satisfied with 7-foot center Rasho Nesterovic.

    The Spurs are unsure what they will get from Nesterovic from game to game, and as they go deeper into the playoffs, they kind of feel they may get less and less from their starting center.

    Adding Malone would take some of the heat off of Nesterovic.

    Chasing history

    Without getting inside Malone's head, it's hard to say how a chance to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA record for most points scored in a career will influence his decision on whether or not to return.

    Malone is 1,459 points shy of that mark.

    I thought a couple of years ago that surpassing Abdul-Jabbar was important to him, but to do that he would have had to have played at least two full seasons with the Lakers, averaging around 10 points a game.

    So if Malone returns, he realizes that any serious run at the milestone will require him to play through next season at the very least.

    My guess is that pursuing the scoring record is still a factor for Malone in deciding whether or not to play again, but I don't think it's his top priority.

    I believe that more than anything Malone wants to go to a good organization and be on a team that has a chance to win it all.

    The Spurs fit that bill, and from all indications San Antonio looks like the only team Malone is interested in, but who knows, he may be talking to some other clubs.

    Salary secondary
    If Malone joins San Antonio, it won't be for the money.

    The most the Spurs can offer him is $1.1 million, the veteran's exception, and that would be pro rated.

    But Malone isn't looking for a lucrative contract, he's looking for a championship.

    That's what convinced him to leave Utah after nearly two decades, and join the Lakers.

    And that's what might lead him to suit up for the Spurs.

    © 2005 MSNBC Interactive


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6941007/

    If this has already been posted, please lock it up. If not, feel free to post replies.
     
  2. Val

    Val Member

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    At least we know he's a good fit for cool hand Luke:[​IMG]
     
  3. JusBleezy

    JusBleezy Contributing Member

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    Wow, way to go out on a limb Matt Guokas....
     
  4. Preston27

    Preston27 Contributing Member

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    Wow, never thought about Malone being a Spur. Guokas is really taking a chance here.
     
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