This is it: the third and final chapter of my 2013-14 preview trilogy. And I vow that this one won’t be remembered as the Return of the Jedi or even as the Jaws 3-D of the group. That’s because, if nothing else—and I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything else—this preview will cover the best part of the team: the guards.
Now, please bear in mind, that word “best” that I just typed is highly relative. This is a team that finished with the league’s 28th-rated offense and the 29th-rated defense last year, in terms of efficiency. So I’m using the word “best” the way General Custer used it when he thought, “I’ve lost all my men and I’m completely surrounded, therefore it would be best if these oncoming godless savages just shoot me repeatedly rather than slice off my scalp while simultaneously hacking me to pieces with tomahawks.” But from a positional standpoint, the PGs finished 2013 with a net-positive PER (19.1 to 16.4). Meanwhile, okay, yes, the SGs finished with a net-negative PER (14.4 to 16.4), but one that didn’t entirely outweigh that of the PGs! You see what I mean? Best!
So who made this basketball magic happen? Jennaro Pargo, that’s who. Remember how last time I described F Anthony Tolliver as a journeyman? Well, Tolliver would describe Pargo as a journeyman. Now in his 11th season, Pargo’s had more journeys than Natty Gann. He’s played for something like 7 teams. I say “something like” because it’s actually hard to even count the number of teams he’s been on; it depends on how you view multiple stints with the same team (e.g., Chicago from ‘03-‘06, and then again in ’09). Also, do you think he even remembers his 5-game career with Toronto? He, Stephen King, and Antonio Cromartie should have a contest to see who can be the first to name all of his own—respectively—NBA teams, book titles, and illegitimate children.