Nobody puts Bonzi in the Corner
Bonzi, Bonzi, Bonzi....what's the deal. You are a maniac for 40 of 80 games. A maniac for 20, incredible production. Then you got injured. But I know you. For 40 games I'm sure you were probably a maniac on the PS2 playing with a team full of Bonzis and K. Marts in NBA Live. Then you come back for the last 20, and you get SAC in the playoffs. While you were gone your spawn showed its talent, and then respectfully stepped aside to let you finish the job. You taught him well.
Its not that some people, some leagues here and there are sleeping on Bonzi. Its the fact that literally everyone has him outside the top 100. That is very shocking after what he did last year. And the rockets are a good fit.
Remember Memphis they say! Well I have about 1 million words for them:
Bonzi didn't fit in well with Memphis when he arrived around the AS break in 02. And I'm convinced it is because he is a very rounded player and doesn't shine in any one position. And he doesn't do well when the only superstar is a 3 positional monster player like Gasol. It takes away from Bonzi's thunder. When Bonzi runs around under the hoop then beyond the arc switching from 2, to 3, to the 4 he is ill for a fantasy team. What unfolded last year on the Kings was a VERY interesting story.
The story of Bonzi Wells in the NBA wanders though 8 years of growth, stagnation, misunderstandings, misrepresentations, and finally illumination, epiffany, and serendipity baby. Last year, after nearly 10 years in the the NBA we have finally figured out its not who Bonzi is. Its who he wants to be. And you know what? He is gonna wind up being what you want him to be. Except for inexpensive so for SAC he's out quick. But good old true of heart Bonzi Wells appreciated his short time in SAC so much that he bestowed his powers onto a young chosen rookie. His name is Martin. Kevin Martin.
Bonzi was traded to Memphis before the AS Break in 02 right when he started hating life in Portland. It was the start of that slow decline from a top western contender into the most embarassing team in the NBA for D. Stern. Bonzi entered the fresh, young, and deep Grizzlie Team that was revived by Hubie Browns team orientated coaching, and rejuvinated by Gasol having an exemplary Sophmore season to trump his surprizing 01/02 Rookie of the Year break out performance. They had so many avg/abv avg players on that Memphis team when Bonzi got there it was just more talent that had to figure into the equation. Moreover, the talent Bonzi brought was in the style that Pau brought, just not as grand. Bonzi and Pau are players that can put up the same type of numbers from 3 different positions. Bonzi at the 2-4 spots, and Pao at the 3-5 spots. Bonzi was brought into Memphis to be a SG only. Memphis had depth in the pure PG role and they were so f'n deep at the 3-5 it was insane.
Get this stat: the Grizz had 11 plyrs to average 20+ min. a game by the end of the season and Bonzi was one of them. Now that happens sometimes, not too common, but it can level out that way when its over. What makes that stat incredible is that all 11 players played in 60 or more games (Bonzi had 59 - close enough). That is almost impossible! Pau lead in min. and was most dominant but only played 30.
Now a guy like Bonzi's game works in different ways vs. different teams depending on the matchup. He's best when a team draws attention with their stars, and they forget about Bonzi. Good Ole' Bonzi will simply use his superpowers to expose a teams weaknesses when they D up this way. And....oppps....he did it again now that they are pressing that way. But really, thats what he does. He doesn't play one position or one style the whole game. Most likely that weakness will change and vary at times during the game with different combos of different 5 men on the floor. When Bonzi's on your team he can most likely match up well against most if not all of the looks your opponent throws out at you. No team is totally out with Wells. The recipie for the best Bonzi is to get if not 1 then 2 star to superstar caliber players that are defined positional players on the team. Not like Pau. Not like Kirelenko. Riiight? Opponents have focused matchups and schemes against teams with positional superstars. Think of how Shaq and TMAC changed the league with zone and new rules about illegal D and defensive 3 in the key. Well, thats gonna leave a lot of eyes not looking at Bonzi. bonzi at his best will never end up as your first option as the plan entering the game. His strengths will present themself when he knows its time. He's a chameleon so he provides in all major stats (some more than others) relative to what surroundings allow him to take. And he takes so hard it gives! He is a madman on the boards, or from 3 he'll let loose and hit 4 or 5 and not hit another for 4 games. Same on D. He'll get 1 or 2 steals a game But some games bonzi feels necessary to rip 5, or block 6. His game in game out avg reflects a decent amount at the end of the year, but its staggared and meaningful.
In Portland he came in the league and played with Rasheed (all 4 yrs), Pippen in his last few good years when defenses over played him, Steve Smith same situation, Derek Andersen had his best young years at that time, same with Isiah Ryder, Z. Randolph had yet to break out. So he was developing into the player we see now, not as defined, but growing up in the league he was learning to produce wherever he found an opening - an opening caused by other players drawing focus. Then he went to Memphis which sucked for his game. Now, last year in SAC he was not a fan favorite to start the year because there was some bitterness about losing Peja. They had Positional Stars in bibby, webber, and miller. but no more Peja. WAAAAH!!! Nobody saw him starting as hot as he did. In Game 2 he almost beat the SAS all by himself. He Destroyed that team who matches up very well against mostly every team in the league. 38 pts- 12 rebs- 3 3's- 12/20 fo FGs- 9 of 12 for FTs. And he kept going and going and then got hurt. He came back for 2 games, grabbbed 24 boards, and then got injured in the 4th quarter of that second game. When he came back its was christmas all over again, but not for me cuz I dropped him after the re-injury and didnt see it when he came back. No was was on that tip. Never rely on Yahoo for important injury scoops, NEVER! It looks like Sacramento found the equation that maximized Bonzi's talent that Memphis never wanted to see. Then SAC didn't resign him because (a) he performed way above expectations consistently throughout a contract season, and to add to that he was suffered a bad injury TWICE in right in the middle of the season and returned after 20 games out without missing a step which is almost as valuable as not getting injured in the contract year - and because (b) Kevin Martin emerged as a freaky spawn child of the injured Bonzi. He took the bench at the end of the season to let Bonzi go nuts, but he's gonna be good. Talk about a crazy mid-season plot for a GM to be monitoring. Iin that time mid-year as. it hisYou get Bonzi onto a team that has 1 or 2 defined positional superstars and the more a team prepares for them, and the more the team switches their plan mid-game, the more Bonzi will thrive.
Huuggffgh. Deep Breath. Man that took forever to get to here...
But Bonzi on the Rockets will be starting by the end of the year. Or getting more minutes and stats off the bench than Battier and Juan Howard combined. This is a team with players nailed into positions. Bonzi is going home again. His leash will be cut and he will give you numbers all season long that you wish he gave you all last season. I think it will take a few weeks to get going because he isn't an automatic 25 minutes by the looks of it right now. I'm not really sure. But he will be fighting for that starting position and he'll get it i'm sure..
Draft Bonzi Wells please. If you don't want him, I'll trade you someone for him. I could use a few more Bonzi's on my team. You know what, we all could.
Give Kevin Martin 2 years and he is is a top 20 fantasy pick if Sacramento plays it right.
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