2. Hawks: Joe Johnson.
3. Nets: Vince Carter.
4. Bucks: Michael Redd.
5. Celtics: Ray Allen.
6. Pistons: Richard Hamilton.
7. Bobcats: Jason Richardson.
8. Bulls: Ben Gordon.
9. Knicks: Jamal Crawford.
10.Cavaliers: Larry Hughes.
11.Wizards: DeShawn Stevenson.
12.Pacers: Danny Granger.
13.76ers: Willie Green.
14.Magic: Trevor Ariza.
15.Raptors: Anthony Parker.
This was the ranking given to the Eastern Conference's starting shooting guards by Sun-Sentinel writer Ira Winderman.
And as one of our readers pointed out, Winderman sure seems to have gone to the "Marty York school of journalism."
Just looking at this list made me laugh, not only because Anthony Parker is somehow ranked last, but also because even at the top of the list the order seemed wrong. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't rank Joe Johnson above Michael Redd or Ray Allen.
Everyone is indeed entitled to their opinion but when someone who is being payed to discuss sports ranks a one-dimensional chucker like Willie Green above Parker, you've gotta scratch your head.
On my list, Parker would be ranked around the eighth spot. Is he better than Ben Gordon? That's tough to say. Gordon is definitely a more explosive offensive player, but Parker is the superior defender.
The other problem with a list like this is that it doesn't take situations into account. Maybe Jamal Crawford is a more talented player than Parker...but he'd be a terrible fit on the Raptors which makes A.P. that much more valuable to Toronto. In fact turning back to Gordon, there's a reason his name keeps popping up in trade rumours year after year...he's just not the best fit at that position for the Bulls. So if the Bulls were to look at this list, I'm pretty sure they'd value a player like Parker over Gordon at the 2-spot.
The list itself really tells more about the author than the seeded athletes themselves. Ranking Parker last stinks of ignorance towards the Raptors giving us here at the HQ yet another example of US media indifference. (I'm hoping that will change after the Raptors paste the Heat a few times this season...)
It also gives another example of the pros and cons of sportswriting in the world of Facebook and Myspace. Anyone and everyone with access to a computer can give their thoughts and while sometimes that's beneficial, it's also sometimes severely frustrating when the people speaking on these topics have been labeled as "authorities" despite their obvious lack of knowledge.
We've come up against this plenty of times on the site whether it be a local writer or someone from the US media and it's extremely refreshing to log onto the site each day and find our readers pointing out inaccuracies in their coverage.
On that note, let's turn to some coverage from overseas as Eurobasket 2007 is starting to wind down.
The top two teams Slovenia and Lithuania meet today in a battle for first. Both squads are 4-0 and the winner will sit atop Group F. Sarunas Jasikevicius has been playing like a man possessed for Lithuania while the Raptors own Rasho Nesterovic has been humming The Raconteurs so far in this tourney - "Steady As She Goes." He's averaging 11 points, seven rebounds and about a block a game for Slovenia.
Former Raptor and Rasho's team-mate Uros Slokar has fared a bit better in his last two games averaging about 10 points in about 11 minutes of action however he's still just not getting the touches taking only eight shots.
Italy will need a big lift from Andrea Bargnani today as they hope to get one of the remaining spots in the quarter finals by beating Germany today. This is a game I'd love to see as it will pit Bargnani versus his doppleganger, Dirk Nowitzki with the winner remaining alive in the tournament.
Italy's played better as of late and not surprisingly, so has Bargnani. Particularly encouraging has been Il Mago's rebounding as he's averaged 6.5 over the past two matches.
With a win, Italy will join Spain, Russia, Greece and Croatia in the next round as the other four clubs have already assured themselves of a quarter-final birth.
A final note from a Raptors fan point of view; Roko Leni has been decent statistically the past two games but hasn't blown anyone away. He scored only five points and had four turnovers to his two assists in Croatia's loss to Russia yesterday. He did score 10 in the previous game against Greece but was 0 for 3 from behind the arc.