You knew I'd swoop in on the defense sooner or later. Let's get some facts straight:
1) Brandan Wright was drafted at 205 pounds. Bob Fitzgerald has mentioned on his radio show numerous times that Wright lifted serious weights this summer and is currently at 215. You can notice the definition easily compared to last year. Like AB, he hasn't "bulked up", but he has definitely toned up. I doubt many websites would bother reporting a minor uptick such as this, so go ahead and hit me with your links to Yahoo and ESPN and blah blah blah... but do with it what you will. He's 215 pounds according to the people that watch him every day.
2) That "intensity" and/or "fire" that people are speaking of is purely for the birds. Two years ago, the buzz phrase was "killer instinct". Now it's "fire". Basically, when people aren't wowed with a prospect because they don't hammer down enough thunderous jams, people question the kid's motivation. Was anyone complaining about Brandan's finese when he was aware enough to float a lay-up off the glass as the shot-clock expired
during the Thunder game? $100 says the flavor-of-the-week, Randolph, would have gone up, slammed down a ferocious BSPN highlight, and had the bucket waived off for not releasing in time (followed by that kid-who-just-lost-his-ice-cream scowl that everyone seems to be creaming over). Just because Brandan Wright is a finese player and not a power player doesn't mean he lacks "fire", or whatever else people are calling it now. Tim Duncan and Zydrunas Ilgauskaus are big guys who go about their business successfully without that "FIRE". Not everyone has to be Amare.
3) Brandan is a phenominal asset on the floor. His rebounding numbers won't count tips to teammates, but they'll make a difference. His defensive numbers won't count deflections that start fast breaks, but they'll make a difference. His shot-blocking numbers won't reflect it, but Andris Biedrins will be the first person to tell you that the only reason he was able to block so-and-so's shot was because Brandan jumped first on the man defense and AB was able to clean up with the help. The guy brings a game to this team that we are better with
. He's a basketball player in every sense of the word. It seems to me the most hate Brandan Wright catches are from people who don't watch every game and have to rely on his statline to gauge what kind of player he is. Please rest assured, people, that Brandan Wright is a keeper.
Here's some food for conversation: I think it's absolutely ridiculous that Anthony Randolph leap-frogged Wright in so many people's estimation BEFORE HE EVEN SET FOOT ON AN NBA FLOOR. Before the season, this kid was the best thing since sliced bread. Now that he's making stupid mistakes and burying himself on the bench, you aren't hearing so many of the boo-birds clamoring for us to "keep Randolph and trade Wright". Where'd you fools all go? I thought AR was the future? (note: I love Randolph's game, too... I'm simply playing devil's advocate to the Brandan-doubters in this thread)