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Old 06-13-2006, 10:37 AM   #1
kentatm
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Default Walker - "Who's the supporting cast?"

posted whole article b/c there are no 4's.

Quote:
Antoine Walker confused on role
Trigger-happy forward must lend more support

Published June 11, 2006

DALLAS · The question was innocuous enough, something about the Heat's "supporting cast" and whether it could take sufficient pressure off the Diesel/Flash glamour combo in these NBA Finals.

Antoine Walker's answer was both instructive and disturbing.

"Who's the supporting cast?" Walker shot back Saturday afternoon at the American Airlines Center. "I'm just a player, man. I ain't no supporting cast. I don't characterize myself as that."

So here we are, 100 games and more than seven months down the path from opening night, and it seems Walker is still stuck back at the start.

Ambivalent about his role.

Uncomfortable as a (distant) third scoring option.

Unwilling to admit his shimmy-shaking days in the spotlight must be safely behind him if this combustible Heat formula is to produce a championship.

For all his surface attempts to accept third-wheel status, Walker sure sounded Saturday like the same guy who was complaining about a reserve role after two exhibition games.

Sure sounded like the troubled soul who needed a pep talk from Shaquille O'Neal just to make it through the regular season under the burden of decreased minutes.

Nice timing, huh?

"I'm not a supporting cast," he added. "I'm Antoine Walker, the basketball player."

He shook his head. His buttons had been pushed.

"We have the most dominant player in the middle and we have a talented 2-guard," he continued. "Of course we're going to run 70 to 80 percent of our plays for those guys. But `supporting cast' to me kind of downgrades players on a team. The words `supporting cast,' I just don't like."

Really rolling now.

"I'm not a supporting nothing," he said. "I'm part of 15-strong. A team."

Yes, but here's the problem with that logic. Only eight guys play for the Heat these days, the other seven reduced to practice fodder.

Of the eight, five seem to realize their primary job is to make things easier for the Diesel/Flash combo. If that means scoring at times, fine, but for the most part it means feeding the two best players on the court and getting the heck out of the way.

That leaves Walker, who still seems stuck between his starring past and his less-essential present.

Did you catch his act in Game 1? On the good side he banged in a couple of 3-pointers that built an 11-point lead early in the second quarter.

One of them came from the shadow of the Finals logo painted at midcourt.

Unfortunately, Walker kept getting left open on the perimeter -- by design, obviously -- and he just kept firing away.

Impervious. Oblivious. Insidious.

"I thought I got great shots," Walker said. "A couple shots went in and out. I got to the basket for a couple shots. The opportunities were there to have a big night."

Too many opportunities, as it turned out. Walker wound up 7 for 19 from the field, his attempts trailing only Dwyane Wade's 25 among all players in Game 1.

Nine of Walker's tries came from beyond the arc. He, like the rest of the supporting cast, never made it to the foul line.

The Diesel? He played only four fewer minutes than Walker and somehow took only 11 shots from the field.

That's why everyone from Heat coach Pat Riley to Wade to the rest of the team's supporting cast spoke often the past two days about getting the big man more "touches."

Walker mentioned that too. Briefly.

For the most part he sounded like an unreformed gunner whose trigger finger remained dangerously itchy.

"As the series goes along, those shots will start to go in," he said. "It's nothing [the Mavericks] did. They're not doing anything. Actually I think they're kind of like leaving me too open sometimes."

Well, duh.

"Hopefully they continue to do that," he added.

Oh, don't worry. They will.

Mavericks coach Avery Johnson is no dummy. He has wisely scoped out this Heat team and opted to double down on O'Neal and shade toward Wade whenever possible.

The Mavs played plenty of zone defense in Game 1, and should play more tonight.

That means Walker will almost certainly be left alone on the fringe, clutching the ball, eyeing the rim and dealing with his demons.

To shoot or not to shoot?

To pass or not to pass?

To meld or not to meld?

What's it going to be, 'Toine?

Last edited by kentatm : 06-13-2006 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:38 AM   #2
joewait
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I hope he continues to think this way because right now he is Dallas' MVP
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:39 AM   #3
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Stupid article, its really reaching. They need jumpers so it has to be walker or j-will because wade cant shoot
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joewait
I hope he continues to think this way because right now he is Dallas' MVP

well you're finally admitting it's not dirk. you're making progress. good for you.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:56 AM   #5
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I think that's a good attitude to have. The writer seems to be trying to put his words into a different context.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:02 AM   #6
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Walker shouldn't shoot threes, bottom line. They are detrimental to the offense.

I could live with his other shots. Those crazy drives to the basket actually get him pretty good looks, he just never makes them for some reason.

Basically the Mavs are going to continue giving Toine whatever he wants, and the Heat are screwed.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:07 AM   #7
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The writer messed up by including the "15 strong team" comment. If he left that out his motive of making it seems as though Walker is destroying the team would have been achieved.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
"As the series goes along, those shots will start to go in," he said. "It's nothing [the Mavericks] did. They're not doing anything. Actually I think they're kind of like leaving me too open sometimes."

Well, duh.

"Hopefully they continue to do that," he added.

Oh, don't worry. They will.


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Old 06-13-2006, 11:10 AM   #9
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Default Re:

Jet Terry is the Mavs MVP



Walker is doing an okay job, but his TOs and Wade's massive TOs hurt the team
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:10 AM   #10
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people are making a big thing about his three's but he gets blocked cleanly on drives so it's not like he's gonna have success playing any one way.

But they are missing lay-ups..so doubling Hard on SHAQ is working...when guys start making layups consistently doubling SHAQ is gonna become a problem right now they look like einsteins.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da KO King
The writer messed up by including the "15 strong team" comment. If he left that out his motive of making it seems as though Walker is destroying the team would have been achieved.
I actually applaud the author for not taking Toine's quotes out of context. He allows us to draw our own conclusions, while still providing his own opinion.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:12 AM   #12
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Riley should start Posey, he has been on fire this post season from 3
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VCDrivesAPorscheToWork
Jet Terry is the Mavs MVP



Walker is doing an okay job, but his TOs and Wade's massive TOs hurt the team

he's the Mavs MVP much like Parker is the Spurs MVP
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joewait
he's the Mavs MVP much like Parker is the Spurs MVP

like i said the mavs are like the pistons were. it's the collection of players not one individual. and of course there's some good coaching over there.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Younggrease
Stupid article, its really reaching. They need jumpers so it has to be walker or j-will because wade cant shoot

Iīm far from a Walker fan and as a Mavs supporter you can only be happy that he doesnīt put the ball on the floor more often, but maybe heīs scared of getting fouled with his horrible FT percentage. BUT I donīt think heīs taking too many or bad shots, he just doesnīt make them. People give Shaq too much of a pass for missing free throws or not rebounding, focusing on the wiping boys like Walker. While this series is far from over, remember Spurs/Pistons last year it might just be a case of the Heat being too old. Gary Payton got abused by TP two years ago, why should he suddenly be a better player. The Heat just had some favourable match-ups with Nets and Pistons, whose point guards are bullies not speedsters. Who knows if the Heat had survived the first round, if Chicago had Damp and Diop in the middle instead of Chandler/Sweetney/Schenscher.
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