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24 January 2005

Must. Finish. Player Grades.

Robert Horry, 6'-10" PF, 34 years old, 4.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG and 35.6% 3P% in 15 MPG

Horry never seems to do much when he's on the court. He'll shoot the occasional top of the key three pointer and block a shot once in a while. But things just seem to go smoothly when he's on the court. He doesn't make defensive mistakes and rarely takes a bad shot. You don't have to worry about him and I think that's a big reason Pop brought him back.

I give him a solid B.

Linton Johnson, 6'-8" SF, 24 years old

He's yet to suit up with the Spurs due to surgery on a stress fracture in his left ankle. Hey, a guy on IR that's actually hurt. That's allowed?

He looks like the tall and long type. He averaged 4.5 RPG, 0.8 BPG and 0.9 SPG in 18 MPG for the Bulls last year. Those numbers are promising, but he only played in 41 games and he also shot a meager 36% from the field. Eesh. All in all, not a bad guy to have holding your 14th or 15th roster spot.

I give him an N/A+

Sean Marks, 7'-0" C, 29 years old

The California alum made his Spur debut last night against the Kings. He played well in limited minutes against Sacramento's second team. From what I've read, he can run the court and hit the outside jumper, but his slight build hampers him on the defensive end.

He's from New Zealand and therefore probably has a bitchin' accent. He earns an N/A++.

Tony Massenburg, 6-9" PF, 37 years old, 2.7 PPG and 1.7 RPG in 8.6 MPG

Veteran? Check.
Big? Check.
OK with playing few minutes? Check.
Willing to bang? Check.
Defense first? Check.
Hungry for a title? Check.

He's done all that has been asked of him. I give him an A (remember, you simply do not peev off Tony Massenburg).

Tony Parker, 6'-2" PG, 22 years old, 15.4 PPG, 6.0 APG, 2.7 TOPG and 49.1% FGP in 33.2 MPG

People seem to forget he's 22. Twenty-two. And he's dating this woman. Yeah, I know, he just signed a 66 million dollar contract. But forgive the guy for being a little distracted-- for starting the season a little slow.

His negatives are pretty obvious. You can take him out of the game by playing him physically, which is what the Lakers did for games 3-6 of last years playoff series. A bad first quarter will ruin the entire game for him. He's still not a good three point shooter and a subpar free throw shooter.

However, he's a great finisher for a point guard. He's great at pushing the ball and can run all day. He's a good team defender. He's good with the ladies and says "Timmeh" in a funny way. He has the ability to dominate a game. He's improving his passing. He's 3rd in the NBA in point guard shooting percentage (surprised?). He puts up with Popovich screaming in his mug on a daily basis.

And he's probably still five years away from his prime. Is there a point guard in the league you would rather have for the next five years? No, sorry, Lebron's a shooting guard. Bibby has that goofy line-beard thing and he just plain looks funny. Kidd is whiny, old and overpaid and does that dumb kissy-poo thing at the free throw line. Allen Iverson doesn't like to practice. Marbury has a funny shaped head and a scary contract. Billups is already 28 and makes dumb commercials. The only I would even think about is Gilbert Arenas, but shouldn't he be averaging more than 4.9 APG on a running team with Hughes and Jamison?

Tony gets a B+.

That leaves Rasho, Malik, Beno, Sato and the 14 year old Wilks. Raaasho deserves his own column. Wilks deserves the chance to finish high school. I'm going to bed, whether I deserve it or not.

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All content copyright Matthew Powell 2005.