Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The 3rd String Point Guard

“Telling you how to do it… from the bench”

Hot Larry- Sadly, that’s the best witty line I could come up with regarding the unfortunate firing of Lawrence Frank. Anyway, my main gripe here is when all the losses simply aren’t a coach’s fault yet he’s let go. Eddie Jordan, a former Nets assistant and another passionate, intelligent coach, was fired last year with Arenas out for the year and Jamison and Butler alternating between who was out for weeks at a time. Asked to win with Darius Songalia and Brendan Haywood (oh wait, he went down eventually too), the odds were simply against him. Did he deserve to be fired? Maybe but only because you can’t fire players and because management was desperate to shake things up. I completely understand how firing a coach can be a shot in an arm for a team, wipe away old gripes, enliven what was once a lost season but then there’s the desperation heave. Counter-example: I was all for the Byron Scott firing. He had been mailing it in on a team that quit on him since midway last season and was clearly using his friendship with Paul for job security while mocking the team (re-scheduling plane departures for his tee times) Although they’re not destroying teams, they’re playing cohesively without Paul and with two rookies leading the way for some big wins. Bruce Bower’s a guy that will at least care about the team regardless of whether he’s coach or back to GM next season. I’m looking forward to a run with Paul back.
In Frank’s case, he was doomed from the start. It’s one thing to come into the season with the youngest team filled out with middling vets, it’s another to start it with three injuries to starters (Harris, Yi, Lee) and another come down with swine flu (Douglas-Roberts). The guy had friggin’ swine flu! CDR wasn’t the focal point of their offense but jesus, that’s quite possibly the worst luck ever to start a season. So in closing, the Nets management can go suck it. Your team isn’t getting any better with Frank gone, if anything, it’s worse because for all their ineptitude, this team knew it had a guy who committed himself tirelessly to his job even with the odds against him. The team liked him so much that they all fought for him when his job was at stake last season (even Vince Carter who’s not known for fighting for anything, like ever, at all… in his entire life). You didn’t fire the next Auerbach, still, you got rid of a guy with a backbone (with him gone, Thorn’s the only class left) in an organization that’s in such disaray, it could disappear into a black hole with no one noticing. I can only hope that Dec. 31st passes with Ratner not breaking ground, Prokhorov backing out of the sale and the team remaining in New Jersey for good, to continue sucking, yes, but at least settled for once. It could happen, 31 days to go! Good luck in the future Frank.

Artificial Incompetence- I’m not the biggest fan of AI but I am an apologist on his behalf, doing what he’s done in this league is a rare achievement yet in the time between his trade to Denver and again to Detroit, something changed. Maybe Denver wasn’t the right fit, maybe Detroit screwed him but he quickly became a shell of himself, unable to cope with the loss of his skills or a diminishing role anywhere, even in Memphis. Tragic it may be although it’s hard to feel sorry for a guy who won’t come off the bench.
For a brief shining moment, it seemed he was headed to the Knicks and then everything fell through because (gritting teeth, rolling eyes) we didn’t want his minutes taking away from the development of our young players. That’s all well and good but then don’t go against your statement and not even let your young guys play while the losses build up. Douglas and Hill have barely seen the court since the deal fell through and the Knicks haven’t won a game either. I debated with myself and other b-ball fans for awhile about AI with the Knicks. People that were originally against it eventually had to concede that it was better than what we currently had going. I go to MSG even in bad times but the rest of Knicks fans would have to start caring, even watching games just for the spectacle. So what we learned is that while Donnie’s gotten us out of the muck, he’s basically conceded the past two seasons (even backing out on a meager one-year contract in a no-loss deal for a Hall of Famer who might have actually gotten you out of the lottery) banking on free agency that might never happen. Barring anything major, if you’ve already conceded the season, start getting Douglas and Hill as much minutes as possible for the future but please don’t lie to your fans and then spit in their faces. And don’t get me started on the Jennings screw-up, come on Donnie!

Friday, November 20, 2009

An update on the Nets scoreboard situation

So we just made like IZOD and went corporate. It's a tough economy, it happens. Speaking of IZOD, a recent trip there confirmed my worst fears. They covered the top sections in each corner of the arena with big IZOD flag-banners. Just kidding, just like in the case of I AM NOT A WITNESS, this isn't so much selling out as maximizing real estate. My worst fears were that the nonsensical in-arena scoreboard layout would be back for another year. And it was. At both ends of the arena (behind the baskets), there are scoreboards as diagrammed below. There are two other ways that the information could have been presented

Player # Fouls Points| Fouls Points Player #
15 1 21| 0 12 33
34 0 11| 2 15 23

Except it has 5 rows and lists all the players in the game for both teams. The lack of symmetry is what really kills me. Why not

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson could have been a professional in any sport of his choosing but I think we're lucky he chose basketball. From his crossover of Jordan to his collection of gravity-defying dunks, Iverson played the game with a unique flair for the dramatic. His youtube resume has it all: ridiculous passes, ankle-breaking crossovers, a high school football mix, and a legendary press conference.

But now it's clear that for all the gifts AI has, fitting in on a team where he's not the focal point (or at least a starter) isn't one of them. So are the New York Knicks really the answer? Forget the fact that he would take time away from younger players (since this feels a little like tanking... if you can improve your team for a reasonable cost, don't you do that?). Is it even possible that this will work out? I talked him up going to Denver ("AI can do anything, play the point, focus on passing, play football.") and he didn't live up to expectations. This only became more obvious when Billups came in and improved the team. The team needed a pass-first guard to distribute to an awesome array of firepower and AI wasn't that guy (or wasn't willing to be that guy?). In Detroit, he should have taken a sixth man role to Rodney Stuckey who had the makings of being Detroit's "point guard of the future". He would have been the ultimate 6th man - providing instant offense and veteran leadership off the bench. But if AI can't start, AI isn't going to give it his all which he showed again in Memphis. So now AI is going to come New York? Seriously? People at Madison Square Garden boo loudly and irrationally (inadequate child performers are routinely booed) and they're not likely to have much to cheer about this season except a possible lottery pick. Of course, this all assumes AI refuses to give 100% toward helping the team win in every way possible. If he does that, his prodigious (if decreased) athletic talents could help the Knicks a lot. Or he could be the ultimate team player and become a total pass-first PG and help the Knicks young talent improve... I'm not saying he will but he could.

Ultimately AI wants a title, right? If he wants that to happen, he should show the league he can be an exceptional sixth man and then he'd be attractive to a contending team looking for more scoring off their bench (and who isn't).

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Knicks-Hornets Re-cap 11/2/09

On nights like this, no one except for me, John and all the other blatantly dedicated basketball heads in the world truly care about a game like this. It’s the fourth game of the season, the Knicks are 0-3, the Hornets are 1-3 and the Yankees are a victory away from winning a world series, what really matters here? I even had a friend bail on a ticket just to go all the way to Philly for game 5. Well, if you’re like me, you find baseball to be boring, annoying and stupid, you think Chris Paul is the bee’s knees and you equate the Garden*** to holy ground and being there to a religious experience then you know what really matters. Besides, even someone as willingly ignorant about baseball as me knew Cliff Lee would at least prolong the series one more game. So here’s a tidy re-cap of the game as viewed from the first row of the nosebleeds, mid-court (for the price and the view, if you can get the first row, those are the best seats in the Garden) on Monday night.

-To the victors, the Knicks, not only for getting your first W of the season but doing it against superior opponents after a rough start your first three games. Now just work on that consistency thing. Counting last season, you’ve beaten the Hornets three times so far and other good teams like the Hawks twice while losing to the Clippers twice and the Bobcats in double OT. Against the Hornets, you nearly gave up one lead, choked up another and still managed to have a ten point lead with two to go in the fourth by playing strong defense and moving the ball on offense. Let’s try keeping that up. Individually, I would like to thank…..

-The Rooster- If Greg Oden was showing the flashes of greatness that Galinari is, the city of Portland would need the world’s largest box of tissues. New York’s almost at that level with the Rooster but we’re restraining ourselves after other European disappointments (read: Lampe) but anyway, he’s active on both ends, isn’t afraid to take a big shot or look for the open man. Not ready to sign him up as an All-Star starter but we’re getting there.
-David Lee- He’s starting to hit that 15-20 footer consistently enough to make it a legit threat and thanks to Darko, he’s not an abomination on D. He should never be asked to play center either. So here’s hoping you earn that million if we get to the playoffs and here’s hoping that becomes a regular trend with all NBA contracts.
-N8 the Great- stay injured, Toney Douglas is maturing well, Larry Hughes is out of his shooting slump and they both play better D than you while you’re becoming a cancer. Thanks!
-Jared Jeffries- Unlike Curry, you’re earning your paycheck. Your ability to guard elite PGs and SGs like Paul helps us greatly (and people say D’Antoni doesn’t know D), but in this system, everyone should have carte blanche to shoot except for you! Unless you’re completely wide open and you have a gut feeling about it.

-On the other end, if Emeka Okafor continues to prove that Tyson Chandler was just a thin man’s Eddy Curry lucky enough to play with Chris Paul, I will continue to look like I know what I’m talking about. It’s hard to believe there are so many people who think a guy who can block some shots and catch an alley-oop is some sort of God of the hardwood. Okafor was pulling off post moves Tyson couldn’t do in his dreams and without any assistance from Paul. He’ll be the reason the Hornets limp into the playoffs. Honorable mention goes to Darius Songalia, another key off-season addition

-Finally, the Standard. Going into the third, 5 points, 11 assists. End of the game, 32 points, 14 assists. I don’t disrespect the Garden by wearing any visiting player’s uniform but I was proud to wear #3 to work the next day, even if it made no sense whatsoever.

In the end, my Yankee-fan friends only missed 6 innings of what would turn out to be a loss and instead got to see an entertaining game of basketball. On that note, screw the fall classic.

One Last Thing….

Rudy Gay declined to sign an extension with the Grizzlies on Monday night, thus making him a restricted free agent next summer. I’m stealing the basis for this idea directly from The Sports Guy but elaborating on it as a prospective Knicks trade. This is the one situation where I would be willing to give up Wilson Chandler: Rudy Gay comes to the Knicks along with one bad Grizz contract (Marko Jaric or anyone other than Z-Bo) for Wilson and Cuttino Mobley’s expiring deal. Tell your friends, spread the word, if you see Donnie on the street, propose this trade. It saves us the trouble of getting another star to go with whatever prospective player we get in 2010 and makes us better in the short term. Moreover, we could probably re-sign Rudy for less money because he’ll be so happy to be out of Memphis. If the Lakers can get away with fleecing Memphis, why can’t we?

***I will call MSG the Garden in this column. Why? Because it’s my column. Take that Simmons!

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Orleans Hornets Preview ’09:

“Hey, we’re not gonna win a title but let’s try not to lose a playoff game by 58.”

-The Paul/Scott Dilemma- If Chris Paul has any one weakness, it’s loyalty. Actually, it’s being friendly with division rivals (stop having dinner with Tony Parker during a playoff series!). But he’s too loyal, much like Garnett was with Minnesota. New Orleans took him in and in return, he’s the sole reason the franchise is still around and thriving, that plus David Stern’s strong-arming guilt tactics. But is he leading a winner onto the court? Aside from David West, the rest of his squad is overpaid and injured, young and inexperienced or floundering somewhere in between (and West ain’t no spring chicken either). The team’s finances aren’t his fault but if he’s serious about winning, he has to tell management to shake things up like any demanding, aggressive superstar would. Case in point: Byron Scott. He’s a great coach but like his previous stints have shown, success gives him a big head and causes him to get contentious with his players. Thing is, Paul has a competitive streak but is too much of a good guy to ever go against Scott let alone get him fired which is why he’s still around despite losing a playoff game by 58! But if Paul’s the sole force dragging this squad to 50 wins and an early round exit again with practically no assistance and an arrogant coach to contend with, maybe things will start to move in a better direction, like firing Scott.

-The Emeka Improvement- What happens when you trade an oft-injured lottery flop who blocks well but only dunks for a slightly better oft-injured lottery flop? You offense gets better and you save several million dollars! Just more proof that greatness on the court doesn’t equal greatness in the front office, either that or Jordan lost a bet to George Shinn on the golf course. Paul’s going to miss Tyson’s alley oops but he’ll be plenty happy dishing to Emeka on the pick-and-roll once they get a good rhythm going, which shouldn’t take long considering Paul’s ability. If he stays healthy, this is the trade that keeps New Orleans going despite their weaknesses.

-The Rookies- Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton aren’t exactly Blake Griffin or Stephen Curry but they fill critical needs for the Hornets if they step up. Collison provides the backup for Paul they’ve desperately needed and if he adjusts to the NBA pace, Thornton gives them an option at the 2-spot other than Mo-Pete.

-Health Issues- Sometimes injuries are caused by unexplainable bad juju (like the Mets this season). The Hornets have their share of potential woes as well: West’s spastic back, Peja’s entire body, Hilton Armstrong’s occasional brain malfunctions (I made that up but sometimes his actions are inexplicable). If these and more don’t all hit at once they’re fine, if one or more happens while losing Paul for a handful of games, they might want to find a back alley witch doctor in the Big Easy. Failing that, Haiti’s close by.

-Sean Marks- For the second year in a row, winner of the Chris Dudley Best Goofy-Looking White Boy Award! He isn’t going to the All-Star game or winning any beauty contests but goddamn if he doesn’t work his ass off.

-Chris Paul, The Standard, The Rising Tide- A rising tide lifts all boats, even if the boat is called Hilton Armstrong or Darius Songalia. Such is the case for The Standard, a player who can put the ball in the basket but can get it to the open man like no other and unless you want to pick a fight with me, is the best point guard in the league bar none. So can Paul continue to take lemons and paint them gold. His stats indicate yes, a drop in the standings and an exit in the first round last year indicate no but despite all their problems (weak bench, erratic injuries, arrogant coach), as long as Paul can keep being a leader while finding the easy bucket, all is well. Are they a legit contender? Not at all but I’d sure as hell like them to be and it isn’t going to stop me from watching anyway.

Trail Blazers ’09 Season Preview

(the team that’s keeping Seattle basketball fans from mass suicide)

-Less is More- Sometimes not overpaying for an aging star and a guy who will only be a great backup to LaMarcus Aldridge is a good thing. Turkoglu’s still at the top of his game but for the price of his soon-to-be waning talent, it wasn’t worth it just to have the guy run point-forward when Roy runs out of juice. Milsap may have been a steal but a cheaper backup can always be found elsewhere. In conclusion, one man’s trash is another’s gold: Hello, Andre Miller! He’s practically afraid to shoot the three, occasionally injured and on his last legs. Will he run the offense for Roy, control turnovers better than Blake, defend well and be a solid veteran leader? Absolutely and that’s really all the Blazers needed this summer

-The Trials of Oden- He’s lost 14 pounds, he’s more comfortable on both ends of the floor and he’s been injury-free for (fingers crossed!) not even close to a year. Is he still the next generation of big men…. No, that’s Dwight Howard if he can finally master some post moves. But at the moment, the naysayers (myself included) have to give him one more pass until he’s completely written off as a flop, maybe not a total bust exactly (read: Michael Olowokandi) but you get it. Of course, if he starts averaging 4 fouls in 20 minutes while Joe Pryzbilla looks like a workhorse, start worrying even if he stays healthy.

-Breakout Year?- Personally speaking, I’m on the Aldridge bandwagon. Others call him overrated. There’s not many power forwards his age that have his skill set already and are still improving drastically every year. Did he deserve to beat out other big name forwards for an all-star spot last year? Depends on who you ask but if he keeps it up, it’ll be a shame if he doesn’t get one this year. Honorable Mention: Nicholas Batum, a high-flying shooter going into his fourth year, expect to see him in highlights.

-Dark Horse?- Brandon Roy is somewhere in the top 10 of the league’s best players depending on your opinion and he’s just getting started. Athletically, he’s no Lebron or D-Wade but aside from Kobe, he has the best supporting cast surrounding him despite their youth and Oden’s uncertain future. Last year, they were one of the few teams to play the Lakers not only consistently but blow them out twice and had me salivating for a 7 gamer versus the now champs but they were easily exposed by the efficient Rockets. Can they win a championship this year with Miller running point? Probably not. Will they make it out of the second round? Hopefully. Are they my favorite dark horse to cause a major upset? Yes.


Yes, as in someone decided it would be cool to hack in to our low-key blog but not do anything except lock us out. Completely pointless. Now John, Drew and I know what the NBA referees felt like during their lockout.

There is a silver lining to this in that we are determined to post even more rambles and rants than ever. Take that, David Stern!

Comments to lead us to potential perpetrators of this cowardly act are most welcome. At the top of my list are a low-level idiot in LeBron's posse who took offense to the blog name, or someone in Mikhail Prokhorov's crew. You know, because dominating media and stepping on little guys is a cool thing to do in Russia.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New York Knicks 2009-2010 Preview

New York Knicks 2009-10 Season Preview (If you’re not a diehard Knicks fan, just don’t bother caring till July 1, 2010)

-Let’s get this out of the way first: No one knows what Lebron’s going to do! Not his momma, not his agent, not his wife, probably not even him. So unless some sort of irresistible Gretzky-like trade arises (damned near impossible) or Lebron unequivocally states his intentions (ditto), here’s an idea: just leave it alone and enjoy the season. The Knicks may very well be horrible or a pleasant surprise this season but regardless, endless speculation about the unknown will quickly go from entertaining to hopelessly annoying (read: Brett Favre and Sportscenter for the past four summers). Quick example before we initiate the moratorium to illustrate my point, the apparent Braylon Edwards-Lebron beef made me think for a split second his presence on the Jets would prevent James from coming to NYC. I mean, the Jets need a #1 receiver but not if it costs the Knicks! Moving on…

-The Summer that wasn’t- They courted some vets to no avail and rather than splurge on an oft-injured untested with “potential”, Donnie decided not to jeopardize any cap space. Could we have traded up for Rubio or Curry? I certainly hope they would have! On the plus side, Quentin “Man Boobs” Richardson is no longer around in favor of the biggest lottery bust since, well, that depends on your personal opinion of Kwame Brown. As a desperate fan, you wanted some sort of splash anywhere. As a smart fan, Walsh may look like a genius in hindsight.

-The Certainties- A happily signed Lee and hopefully humbled Nate will be the main driving force behind the NY offense. Will they play defense? Probably not. Also, if Al Harrington can avoid getting technicals that cost us games versus the Clippers, he’ll continue to be a valuable veteran presence and I won’t have to throw a brick at his head. Wilson Chandler will struggle at the 2 spot at first but will quickly adapt

-The Uncertain- Eddy Curry: Actually correct that, he’s certain not to contribute anything positive. Before he lost the weight, I was really holding out for a heart attack, oh well. Jared Jeffries: If Mike D’Antoni can turn a player who gives me palpitations every time he touches the ball into a legitimate offensive threat/leader, I may not be willing to give up my first born for him to be traded. The Rooster: Did Coach say he was a great shooter to help his confidence or did he lose a bet. He gets the benefit of the doubt for pre-season but if he keeps bricking it up, I’m gonna keep dreaming Westbrook dropped in our lap last draft.

-The Rookies- Jordan Hill, thanks for coming out, keep up the good work, now sit on the bench until David Lee leaves. Toney Douglas, you’ve got bigger shoes to fill. Just outshine Nate Robinson at every turn while playing better defense (that shouldn’t be too hard) and keeping Chris Duhon’s legs fresh.

-Trades! (please?)- Thanks to the recession, we kept Lee and Nate because no teams could afford to overpay them. Could we get lucky and fleece a team in a lop-sided salary-saving trade? Enter Cuttino Mobley, or rather the insurance on his expiring contract that comes off the books. Walsh has already said he has no intention to move the contract but he might want to see what happened when the Blazers didn’t move Raef Lafrentz’s expiring deal last season. They saved money by staying put but sometimes it’s better to get something back in return, not to mention the possibility of packaging Mobley with Jeffries or Curry (if there’s a God) for cap relief and some draft picks which we have none of in a possibly stacked 2010 draft. Much like this summer, I won’t hold my breath.

-Playoffs?!?!?!- Last season, I bet a bartender 20 bucks the Knicks were 35 wins or better. Mind you, that was when I figured Z-Bo and Crawford, for all their faults, were good for a couple of random wins. That didn’t make paying the bet after avoiding it for a couple of months any better. In the long run, what’s wrong with another losing season when we’re finally under the cap and I get to hear Paul Simon every time Al Harrington scores at MSG? But is this team capable of 35 wins, let alone the playoffs? Ummmm, I don’t know, maybe, no, be optimistic, of course they can, after the Big Three, the East is wide open and there’s plenty of crappy West teams, get a little momentum, they could totally do it! Will they? If they do, I’ll be friggin’ ecstatic, if not, I’ll continue to be entertained by a team I have no idea what to expect of anymore. Go Knicks!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2009-2010 Predictions

I couldn't tell if these guys were serious or not but I posted it anyway. These views do not necessarily reflect those of the site proprietors. But some of them do...

Drew: Steve Kerr will announce that he has find his long lost twin, Fox Biz correspondent Robert Gray! the resemblance is uncanny

Gen: the clippers will sign AI and the team will be fun to watch even though they don't make the playoffs. blake griffin's career never reaches it's full potential as a result of him taking up pot smoking. in hindsight, though, the sessions wit baron, ricky davis and AI are epic and he only kind of regrets it all.

Drew: stephon marbury is the best point guard in the nba, you don't have to tell him, he knows this! he's also got a movie coming out this christmas with brooke shields..... let's hope it's called truck party 2

Sean: Tim Duncan snaps from all the "good guy" talk and strangels pop a la Latrell Sprewell when he mistakenly refers to the spurs as tony's team

Gen : spurs become the first team to win the championship while not having a starter play more than 30 regular season games. Duncan wants to strangle pop but david stern beats him to it - just slightly ahead of every fan who ever bought a ticket to see the spurs and was stuck watching bench players.

Drew: kobe and ron-ron become the world's best-selling rap duo, kobe occasionally raps in italian about rape, ron-ron just raps in english but about killing homosexuals

Bobby: Michael Jordan comes out of retirement to play for the Bobcats. He averages 10 a night, but still somehow scores 55 against the Knicks in MSG. Ahmad Rashaad finally comes out of the closet and admits that he has been in love with Micahel for all these years, Michael responds by saying, "whoa whoa whoa, you sucked my dick." By December he and Larry Brown are taking shots at each other in the media, leading some to say, maybe Larry Brown is just a douche.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WNBA Plays of the Week

Will they be a bunch of buzzer-beaters and lucky shots? Will it focus on actual skills that young aspiring WNBA players can emulate? Only time will tell so here we go... the plays.

10 - Becky Hammon tosses in a nice little reverse with a small ball-fake thrown in. Of course neither game nor highlight announcer points out how this subtle little move kept the defender from blocking her shot. Nice play for #10.

9 - Tina Thompson with the long hook bank shot. You know what... I found this boring but perhaps it will inspire a budding post presence to practice the lost art of the bank shot. Not exciting me by any means but not that bad for #9.

8 - Sylvia Fowles with an awkward layup. She did get fouled but I wasn't wowed by it.

7 - Keisha Brown with the behind-the-back dish. Now this is a decent play. Nice pass, nice finish... can there really be 6 plays better than this?

6 - Indiana Fever - apparently not since this was only a block and a layup...

5 - Sue Bird with a beautiful pass to the cutting Tanisha Wright. If I had to break down one play so far for instructional purposes, this would be it. Nice screen by Jackson, great pass by Bird, tough finish by Wright, and, most importantly, good spacing from the other Storm players. I approve of this play.

4 - Tina Thompson - Nice pass, I guess, and a breakaway layup. Could there really be three plays better than this?

3 - Becky Hammon again with a similar look-off/ball-fake move and this time the announcer acknowledges it well. Hammon's slight move gets her by the defender just enough for the hoop and the foul. If you want to play in the WNBA someday, watch Hammon. No, forget that, if you currently do play in the WNBA, watch Hammon. Few players in the league finish in traffic like she does.

2 - Deanna Nolan with a hard drive, spin, and circus layup. Not a #2 play in my opinion but I love Nolan so I'll let it slide.

1 - Leilani Mitchell from 3/4 court. Definitely should have been in the Top 10 but #1? C'mon, the WNBA has an issue with the perception that the quality of play is low. Was that a skilled play? Doesn't that kind of imply that a fluke play was more exciting than everything else that happened that week?

My Solution So I Stop Whining So Much
The WNBA should have two top tens each week. One with all the lucky fluke plays that apparently the people like... and the actual skilled plays which demonstrate the immense skill of the players. Then girls who aspire to be WNBA stars and who come to WNBA.com looking for plays they can practice will have some to copy. The WNBA has a ton of exciting talent and action... I don't know why they don't always produce videos that fully showcase this talent.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

2009 Draft

Interesting draft because it sets up the summer to be intriguing. Half surprised conspiracy theorists aren't saying stern rigged it so 3 picks in the top ten were by teams who already had that position filled and intended to trade them at a later date. Minnesota took 3 point guards in the first round (Rubio, Flynn and Lawson) to be mentored by Sebastian Telfair. Golden State got another shooter, Curry, to compliment Sjax, Monta Ellis and Jamal Crawford. And the Knicks took a power forward - the only position they actually have a lock on. Moves will be made.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thoughts on Playoffs Eve

...by Drew.

I was going to write this earlier in the week but thank Jesus I didn’t, it’s amazing what a few thrilling overtime games on both sides of the conference can do to ruin your favored matchups but now that the field’s shaped up, it’s time to start splitting hairs on first round matchups and beyond. Or…. if you’ve been too engrossed of late, take a quick break to eat, bathe, converse with loved ones, etc.

Team(s) that could beat the Lakers:

They’re both playing each other in the first round which kind of ruins the possibilities of each team getting a shot at The LA Accused Rapists but considering one team hasn’t won a playoff series in around a decade and the other is young and inexperienced, maybe that’s the best we could hope for depending on how you look at it. Either way, the Rockets and Blazers have the best shot of stunning the Lakers on their pre-ordained return trip to the finals. Each has a deep bench that can match up well with LA’s ten-man juggernaut, play well at home and bring their own separate intangibles: Houston has Artest as a Kobe-stopper, Portland has a ride-the-coattails star in Roy (not to mention Portland’s been beating up on nearly everybody lately, even reducing LA to play dirty and drive Rudy Fernandez’s head into the ground in a blowout). And their faults can be turned into positives easily; Houston lacks a number 1 scoring option but it means they’re nothing if not diverse, Portland lacks experience but it means they have nothing to lose and everything to prove/learn in the long term. I only hope they have some gas left after their tough series. The only problem is that both of them won’t make it to the second round.

Lingering Fart ?s:

The entire Eastern Conference hinges on Kevin Garnett’s knee. Recently, I bet mostly against the Tar Heels in the NCAAs because I just wasn’t sure about Lawson’s toe, which ended up biting me in the ass. But Garnett isn’t a teenager with a jammed toe, this is in fact his first major injury and time spent away in 13 years, even if he comes back fairly able, who knows how he’ll hold up in an arduous seven game series.

Can the Cavs beat the Magic in the second round? Despite being the best in the league, the Cavs are the worst against the other top 5 teams in the league, particularly in blowouts against the Magic. Why? Because Orlando defends in transition, guards the perimeter, and uses D-Ho as a roadblock against any and all Lebron drives, which basically makes the entire team impotent. If there’s one fault with the Cavs, they are somewhat of a one-trick pony no matter how cool the trick is. Things always change in the playoffs though.

Team I’ll miss after the First Round:

The Standard did everything he could to get them in good position, but in the end, the Hornets will be undone by injuries and their lack of a reliable bench. If they won a few more games against weak opponents, they might be in better position to advance against a weaker opponent (revenge series against the Spurs maybe), instead they’re going into the playoffs injured without homecourt advantage. This isn’t to say they can’t beat the Nuggets but the odds are against Paul and co.

Team I wish would just die:

The Spurs are the before version of a herpes commercial, they won’t go away without proper medication. After they surrendered a lead to the Blazers, Ginobli went down and Duncan was hobbling, they seemed primed for a first round upset to the Blazers or Hornets but as they do, they righted the ship and now have the Southwest crown. I’d say that they could easily lose to the Mavs or even if they survive to the second round, they won’t last long but they just won’t die, most especially when I count them out. So I’m biting my tongue because I’m superstitious about jinxing.

One final regular season thought, I know they care more about winning a championship and already have homecourt advantage but why didn’t the Cavs play Lebron for a half so they could tie the Celts’ home record, even if it’s a tie, it’s still a slap in the face to the current Celtics. Their reserves almost beat the Sixers’ starters, the game would’ve been over early if Lebron played a little bit

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Night Basketball

Three games on tonight - Hornets/Hawks, Heat/Bulls and Pistons/Magic.

Ten minutes of NOH/ATL yields multiple Chris Paul highlights. He's the most exciting player to watch in the NBA. I realize I'm putting him ahead of LeBron who is a (but not "the")

Shaq "

Sunday, March 8, 2009

D-League Fandom

"What movie would you compare being a fan of the D-League to?" - asks loyal reader Matt. Well, Matt, being a fan of the D-League is too

D-League Fandom

My buddy asked me what movie I'd compare to being a fan of the D-League to.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Two Cents on the NCAA vs. NBA: Godfather I or II?

A lot of great points have been made on this particular debate on the overall quality of each organization, but particularly in regards to defense. Gen and John made the best arguments for the NCAA having better or at the very least, more inspiring defenses because of hustling average white boys backed by a strong team mentality that covers up their mistakes. They had me going but Gen’s fell apart when he claimed allegiance to the Spurs and disparaged Steve Blake’s reputation and John can love zone defenses all he wants, it doesn’t mean the rest of us have to find it entertaining. John’s argument may also be a little too idealistic, these average guys who hustle on defense may take pride in their schools and put it all out on the floor but it’s because they know they’re never going to play basketball after college and after that, they have to work at real jobs and put in effort to get laid like the rest of us. Wouldn’t you give it all for one more game of glory? Those guys and their superiors would and are getting torched off the ball in the NBA because for even the rare individual defensive hustler (Artest, Kobe, Battier, Bowen) the quality of talent is just that good.

My whole opinion on the argument boils down to one question: which do you like better, The Godfather Part I or II? Both films are absolute classics without any question but which do you prefer: Part I which lovingly introduces you to a criminal, yet dignified, family that has to protect itself from its enemies or Part II which shows the darker side of the Corleones and the reprehensible yet necessary actions they make to get or remain in power? What in the hell does this have to do with basketball you may ask? If Godfather I is the NCAA, it’s the reason you fell in love with movies (or basketball), if Godfather II is the NBA, it’s not as awe-inspiring as the original but in the end, it’s still the far superior product despite all the times it makes you cringe. As in Godfather Part I or in the NCAA, the Corleones and inspirational, team-oriented defenses can do no wrong in the viewer’s eyes. They’re the underdog, you root for them to take on all comers and win. As in Godfather Part II or the NBA, things aren’t so pretty, Michael has to kill Fredo even though he’s not a threat/teams have to flop and whine about calls to gain an advantage, young Vito goes to Sicily to avenge his family even though the guy’s half-dead/overpaid players that are ghosts on D still play because of their offense.

In the end, though, those gray areas and the overall better quality in the NBA (and Part II) are what makes it better. When the great individual and team defenses step up in the NBA, it’s against the best competition while also dealing with the competitive disadvantage of incompetent refereeing. Last night, I watched the Cavs down 11 in the 4th go on an 18-2 run by trapping D-Wade at mid-court and forcing him to give up the ball to his lesser players, forcing turnovers and getting transition baskets. What the Cavs did to the Heat, they had done to them last week when Artest and Battier shut Lebron down. Also last night, the Hornets beat the Sixers by daring them to shot three’s (which they can’t do) and clogging the lanes on the drive, when the Sixers tried trapping Paul, they had Posey bring it up and have Paul create off screens and then feeding West. These were either in-game adjustments or were quickly fixed with a single timeout. This Saturday, there wasn’t one good game of college ball on because every team decided to play uncoordinated offenses, have unforced turnovers and fumble for rebounds. Some would say those games were defensive battles, I say they were simply sloppy but I’ll be quick to point out when those actually occur in college because they are a thing of beauty, just far too rare. So, in case you’re wondering, I like Part II more. It shows you the real side of the Corleones, dark, murderous and corrupt, but the film itself is cinematic genius a tiny notch above Part I, like the NBA is over the NCAA, that all depends on how you look at it. The sane folk probably checked out of this inane argument two minutes ago.

Update on my fantasy team

I'm playing fantasy basketball for the first time in my life and it's going pretty well. After not setting a lineup for the first four weeks, I've ridden D-Wade, Brandon Roy, Devin Harris, Tony Parker, Yao, Josh Smith with contributions from Kendrick Perkins, Barbosa and Posey back into the 6th and final playoff spot. Now I know you could care less about my fantasy team but I'm telling you anyway.

Garcia dribbles around, pulls up for a three which misses back iron, gets his own rebound and sets up Jason Thompson under the hoop for 2 free throws. Good.

Doesn't help on defense and his teammate McCants commits a foul. Questionable decision but what do I know.

Garcia drives left off a screen by Jason Thompson who dishes to Spencer Hawes for a dunk. +1 hockey assist for Garcia.

Garcia spots up quickly (he has a kind of split-legged pull-up jumpshot) and nails a long two. Not to be picky because he might actually be really good at this but c'mon, get your feet behind the line.

Garcia blocks from behind and starts a break that ends in Bobby Jackson tossing an alley-oop to Spencer Hawes. (Bobby Jackson follows it up on the next play by saving a long pass through his legs to Spencer Hawes for the dunk, which earns a ("If you don't like that, you don't like Kings basketball!")

Francisco lets Troy Murphy dunk over him. Luckily, that doesn't matter in fantasy. Next possession he helps well on defense and then denies his man well on the inbounds. Finally, he stumbles around a Jeff Foster screen and Marquis Daniels hits a long two. In my opinion, it's more the move by Daniels and less Garcia's bad defense which caused the play.

Kevin Martin doesn't get a pump-fake-jump-into-the-defender move which makes me very happy. I like Kevin Martin and I think he's a very good player but he's a flopper and that is annoying.

Garcia dislocates a finger on his shooting hand and goes
Troy Murphy drives and throws down a sick reverse dunk which the Kings announcer describes as "surprisingly athletic".
Angela Tsai tells us that Garcia has dislocated his right ring finger and his return is questionable. Awesome.

Garcia to the hole, a little out of control but he gets fouled and knocks down two at the line.

Garcia missed a jumpshot

Non- displaced fracture… late injury report

DVR malfunction – skip ahead to 6 minutes in the 4th Kings down 13.

Garcia forces a long two and misses.

McCants (he plays for the Kings, in case you were wondering) makes big plays at both ends of the floor to cut the Pacers lead to 10 but Travis Diener and Jarrett Jack knock down shots prompting garbage time.
Got some randomness for all of you dedicated readers. Thanks to Matt for the contributions.

You can all breathe easy now, Johan Petro has an official website.

Rod Benson is on Twitter (and apparently no longer on Dakota) and he's just dropped Boom Tho Girl 2 on the world. It's good but I'm kind of partial to the original, myself.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Nets vs. Hornets Re-Cap 3/1/09

Guest post by Drew.

Getting to the Izod Center is such a trifle to get to, it’s no wonder the Nets can’t sell the place out or get their home crowd riled enough to get a home record better than 13-15. By the time you deal with the traffic, get anally raped for parking (12 bucks!) and walk there, you’re ready for a stiff drink and a nap. So what’s worse than the trek from the Giants Stadium parking lot in the freezing cold? Getting a call from A&E telling you he overslept and he’s on the way to his bus and still has to get the tickets from his office. I should’ve expected that from the bastard but I digress, it’s his birthday and the tickets aren’t costing me anything. His being late allowed this story to happen:
I’m standing near the will call station and two middle-aged ladies walk by wearing #12 Hornets jerseys. I’m wearing my Standard shirt/jersey and some people are even wearing old school LJ-Charlotte jerseys (Is it cool to wear the jerseys of a departed franchise? I suppose but I don’t think I’ll see any Durant-Sonics jerseys in OKC anytime soon) but really two people both wearing Hilton Armstrong’s jersey? You either have to be his best friend or a direct relative to wear the jersey of a player who’s currently losing minutes to Sean Marks. Eventually, a young man with two kids shows up also wearing Armstrong’s number. I ask if they’re friends with Hilton and the man tells me the one woman is his mother. I say Hilton’s having a good year coming off the bench and I hope they enjoy the game before saying goodbye. Two hours later, I’ll feel bad for Hilton’s Mom because he didn’t touch the floor all game (DNP-Coach’s decision I discover later) .
Now for the actual game. We missed the first quarter but judging by the score, didn’t really miss much. I’ve watched a good amount of both the Nets (cus they’re local) and the Hornets (cus I stalk Chris Paul) and if there’s any one problem with either team, it’s that they never seem to have a definitive game plan. The Hornets are overly reliant on Paul and if things don’t go smoothly or he gets in foul trouble, things hit the breaks and Byron Scott says his big men have been suffering from “fat lady syndrome”. The Nets revolve around VC and Devin Harris, who’s stepped it up a lot this year, but if they aren’t hitting their shots, the rest of the team fails to step up because they’re young.
So the game tended to vary between a bunch of high notes and plenty of low ones. The Hornets dominated, by 13 at one point on a healthy diet of Chandler alley-oops and moving the ball through Stojakovic, West and Butler for the bulk of their offense. But the Hornets floundered and the Nets came back through the 3-point shooting of Jarvis Hayes and VC while Harris made it a point to take on Paul throughout the game, which he did for 26 pts., 14 assts. In the pre-season, Harris claimed that he was in the top 8 of point guards in the league, with Paul clearly at the top, after breaking out this season, he said he’s now in the top 5. I asked A&E if that’s true, who are the other three? I say it’s Williams, Nash and Billups. Despite his love for Nash, A&E says Nash definitely isn’t in the top 5 anymore although he’s still bringing the noise and the funk and Billups neither, but look at the Nuggets and Pistons’ records and tell me he isn’t. We agree Calderon and Rose will probably replace both of them in a year or two, then got distracted by the game and never got back around to it. What about Tony Parker you might say? Well that’s because I don’t respect the French douche, that’s why. In other news, Antonio Daniels is improving as CP’s backup and Sean Marks is my favorite goofy white boy in the NBA right now. He hustles constantly, gets dirty down low, he’s from New Zealand and he’s 34 so he looks like he should be playing in an old man league on Wednesdays in a high-school gym. We haven’t seen a guy like this since Chris Dudley.
Anyway, each team did a great job of trying to not win the game. The Nets employed a lousy zone defense in the fourth which the Hornets missed a lot of open jumpers in but thanks to West crashing the boards and The Standard managing the game well, they overcame their deficit to win the game. The Nets are still a great team to watch and will be even better once their young guys get more comfortable or in Sean Williams’ case, stop being stupid. Lopez, Yi, CDR (hopefully Ryan Anderson) and are all amazing building blocks to put around Harris, it’s all about getting value out of trading VC this summer (just one of many that are sure to move this summer, including AI and Richard Jefferson). The Hornets, meanwhile, pulled out a squeaker but are still in a tight race for the playoffs. If only they’d give Hilton some more minutes!