One of the things that underlings and creatives in Hollywood have to learn to deal with in order to preserve their sanity is network notes. Many times, you have to listen to people who are technically higher up than you but who've never done your job or anything close to your job (i.e, they answered phones before getting promoted). More often that not, they don't really have anything useful to add but they have to justify their jobs so they gives notes that just tweak the show a little bit. Basically, you have to deal with people who just want to make things different but not better.
There are two reasons that I bring this up. The first is that this site keeps getting different but I don't think I've ever really made it better. I'm going to try to come up with something this weekend. I think it could just be focused more on ramblings from me, random writings and maybe some songs, and more about life in LA. I want to venture out into the City of Angels and check out the many different worlds it has to offer. So far my list includes Roller Derby and The Museum of Death so I need some suggestions.
The second reason that I bring this up is because the NBA season kicked off and three teams in particular really seemed to fit the description Not Better, Just Different. I'm not sold on Shaq in Cleveland. They'd have been better off going after a top shooting guard to team with LeBron. If they could have made a deal to snag Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson, it might have been a trade that brought home a title. As it is, they are still a team that looks like it will come up short in the playoffs. The other squad that didn't seem to improve is the Blazers. They are still a jump shooting team with no fire. Obviously Andre Miller wasn't going to add any enthusiasm to the proceedings but you'd think this team would have come out with more energy since they still have everything to prove. They almost seemed to have a been there, done that attitude even though they haven't even really been anywhere, nevermind done anything. Oden looked OK; still has no clue on offense. The fact that these guys haven't offered millions to steal Clifford Ray away from the Celtics is, for the second year in a row, the biggest non-move of the offseason. They still have a world of potential but they really need to make a trade to sort out the roster and fill out their weak spots.
The third team was the Mavericks but that shouldn't be a surprise. They added another over-the-hill player to a flawed lineup. They'll win some games, play the big guns tight, and (with the right matchup) might even sneak to the second round but this is a mediocre team.
Part of me thinks that the Rockets should dump Tracy McGrady's expiring deal for a couple of decent players and make a run at the playoffs but I think letting him walk might be the best idea. They'll have a decent pick, and 13 million in cap space to go along with Yao Ming's expiring deal (and if reports are true, he might be all done and then insurance will cover his contract). One thing they may want to consider doing, however, is dealing Shane Battier for a young talent. I'm sure there are a number of contenders who'd gladly give up a prospect and a pick for Shane and/or Scola (depending on how good the prospect is).
The Celtics looked good but that was expected. The season is all about survival; if the C's can enter the playoffs remotely healthy, they should make the finals.