Archive for the ‘nba’ Category

81-81

May 21, 2008

The Lakers-Spurs game finally got good.

Duncs’ biggest flaw: the ceaseless crying about fouls or the poor free throw shooting? I’m leaning toward the former. I know Sheed complains all the time, but that seems more… light-hearted, somehow? Probably just home-team bias.

Also, I forget where I heard this, but Duncs’ jersey is the all-time number five most-sold jersey at the NBA store in New York City. It’s like Jordan, Iverson, Kobe, Yao, and Duncan. (I’m hazy on the details, but that’s the gist.) I have NEVER seen someone wearing a Duncan jersey. Is there anyone who doesn’t live in metro San Antonio or the Virgin Islands that rocks a 21?

Not saying he’s not the best power forward ever. But he’s about number 86 on the list of jerseys I most want.

The biggest eight point lead in the world

May 15, 2008

Five fouls on Paul and West in about a one minute span in the third quarter of game six—now they each have four. Could be the difference! Let’s go to the comments!

Now the tech on West. This is the “young team” stuff everyone was predicting all season.

Wednesday night wacktion

May 14, 2008

To use some Canadian cadence, the Wings got hosed. That goal that was rejected was ridiculous. But I’m not too worried—the Wings just wanted to pump a few extra dollars in the Detroit economy by finishing off the Supernovas in the D. What selfless strategery.

The Cavs had a lot of opportunities to beat the Beaneaters at home, but Delonte West set a record for out-of-control, impossible drives to the basket. LBJ had the quietest 35 in the history of the NBA. He really needs to stop taking three pointers.

Not sure why Andy Varejao isn’t starting. He killed them at the free throw line, but he’s just much better than BWall at this point, and the Celtics seemed to shoot about 75% over the last 30 minutes of that game.

Just a hunch, but I’m predicting Utah in game five. JERRY MOTHERNAMING SLOAN.

One and done

May 13, 2008

I’ve long been opposed to the NBA’s one year beyond high school policy. Obviously the NBA is a business and businesses want to protect their financial interests. The NBA is only helped by having young guys grow up and get years of free publicity and branding while the NBA waits to profit off their celebrity. Current NBA players like having a few less guys fighting for their roster spots. But the OJ Mayo situation is leading some to question the conventional wisdom that the ban is good for college ball.

The big question for sports fans should be: what’s good for the athletes themselves?

A lot of guys have been ruined by leaving for the league too soon, but should we deny kids who are capable of getting paid to play that option? And can we support the charade of student athletics?

We need more safeguards but less outright restrictions. One small step is that teams who draft anyone without a degree should have to deposit 50 grand a year in some kind of education/career training fund for that athlete for their first four years, money that would be forfeited to scholarship programs if the athlete became a legitimate NBA star.

Sorry for the delay, internet connections issues

May 7, 2008

There’s a thin line between good defense and terrible offense, and I think we’re going to see that boundary mutilated during this Celtics-Cavs series.

That was the worst playoff game I can remember Lebron playing, and I’ve seen all of them. The fact that he could play that badly and the Cavs still almost won at Boston is amazing. But almost doesn’t mean anything. If the Cavs lose this series, this game will probably be the deciding point.

Also, I dislike everything about Cavs coach Mike Brown. When Doc Rivers is coaching circles around you, your team is in trouble.

If I must

April 29, 2008

Brohan thinks Larry Brown’s acceptance of the Bobcats job deserves a post.

I used to really like LB—he’s got a great basketball mind, he’s a good teacher. But he’s terrible at developing young talent, which is what the Bobcats have, and he’s loyal only to Larry Brown. I wouldn’t trust him to run any business that I owned.

I could see having him coach a team like the Celtics, that’s near championship-level, but not an embryonic squad like Charlotte.

Ultra-quick NBA thoughts

April 20, 2008

I’m overwhelmed by sports viewing. I’m trying to watch Wings-Preds and Lake Show-Nuggs while typing these thoughts. I promise general incoherence, sacrificing both quality and quantity.

Orlando-Toronto: Despite my obsession with these playoffs, I cannot get too excited about this series, or really any series involving the Raps. Their crowd is always nuts though, so the games at Toronto should be more exciting. Imagine if they got some value from their number one selection in the 2006 draft (LaMarcus Aldridge, or Brandon Roy perhaps? How did Portland get the only two all-stars from that entire draft?) Whoever wins this series will get swept by the Celtics.

NHL sidenote: The announcers in this Wings game might both lose their voices by first intermission.

Dallas-New Orleans: How about this for a playoff debut—dominate the other team’s hall of fame point guard, be the best player on the floor, single-handedly decimate a semi-contender in the second half, lead your team to an easy victory, drop 35 on 15-23 shooting with ten dimes and four steals? Good god. I watched this game back-to-back with the Cavs game, and I’m not sure whether CP3 or Lebron is the most dominant player in the league. Wow, what a game.

Cleveland-Washington: Lebron’s team isn’t very good (though big Z showed how effective a healthy big Z is), but he’s really really good. Washington should have stolen the first game at Cleveland, but they didn’t. I don’t care that he’s an indestructible force unlike anything I’ve ever seen—you can’t let Lebron go something like 12-15 down the stretch. You can’t. I’m officially sick of the Wizz and Gil in particular until they do something.

Utah-Houston: I’m officially cheering for the Rockets (along with the Stones and Hornets), but it didn’t help. They just don’t have enough to beat Utah right now, especially when AK47 is playing inspired ball. Also, this is based solely on very brief interviews, but Yao seems like a really nice, really cool giant human being. I’d like to hang out with Yao Ming. Maybe after the sweep we can get together—call me Yao.

San Antonio-Phoenix: Instant classic. What a game. Say what you will about Tim Duncan, but he might be the greatest winner we have in American sports right now. And Manu seems to be getting better every game. Instant classic. What a game.

My biggest complaint so far: it’s too bad we have to be watching this series now. Aside from the most probable conference final matchups (Boston-Detroit, LA-Suns/Spurs), this matchup is better than anything we have coming up next round. It feels slightly wasteful, right?

The best 40 days of the year

April 17, 2008

Take that, Lent!

NBA playoffs: I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m really damn scared:

Let’s start with the home team: I hate the Sixers matchup for the Stones. Hate it. The Sixers are everything the Stones aren’t: young, hungry, playing the best ball of their lives. I’m hardly the first person to say it, but Detroit has been overwhelmingly overconfident in every playoff series since winning the title. It’s really frustrating, and I don’t think there’s any solution for it. Maybe a great coach, a Jeff Van Gundy type would help? I don’t know. I don’t think Flip takes us past Boston. But talent and experience alone should win this one. Stones in five (could very easily be six or seven.)

Boston-Atlanta: This is the most lopsided matchup in the first round by a mile. I knew how good KG would be, and what Ray Allen would offer, but I had no idea how well Pierce would adapt. He’s been incredible. And Rondo and Perk have made huge leaps this year. I like Atlanta’s core, but this is a terrible match for them. Celtics sweep.

Orlando-Toronto: The series I’m least interested in watching (though I’m still going to watch it to see the Pistons’ foe.) I like Chris Bosh, but Dwight Howard is a force of nature, and Hedo and Rashard can score enough to beat the mercurial Raps. I like Orlando in six.

Washington-Cleveland: The Wizz are much much much much better than the Cavs right now. The Wizz have the second, third, and fourth best players in the series. I just don’t know how Gilbert is going to play, and I don’t think Lebron will allow himself to go out in the first round. Cavs in seven.

San Antonio-Phoenix: I’ve never been this excited about a first round series. There are so many variables in the west (will teams exhaust themselves in seven game battles? who’ll be the healthiest? will officials blow this matchup again?) but I think whoever wins this series wins the West. And whoever wins the East I think wins the whole thing. In the end, I think Amare breaks out in a really public way and dominates this series. Phoenix in seven, but I would not be surprised whatsoever to see the Spurs in the finals. (Phoenix was my preseason pick, by the way.)

Los Angeles-Denver: I really like Denver, and I think they could probably take out Houston or maybe New Orleans, but there’s no way they beat LA with Kobe scoring 60 every night. Lake Show in five.

New Orleans-Dallas: Chris Paul is my absolute favorite player to watch in the league right now. If you haven’t gotten a chance, take this series to fall in love with the best point guard in the world. Unreal talent. Dallas has shown a lot in the last week, and they have more good players, but New Orleans has unreal chemistry and karma. I think this could go either way, but I really want it to be Hornets in seven.

Utah-Houston: I want TMac to win a series, but it’s not happening here. I think my namesake is a huge advantage over Adelman (despite the great job he’s done without Yao) but Rafer’s injury was the last straw. Jazz in five.

Quick hits for posterity’s sake: Celtics over Lebron in five, Stones over Orlando in five, Suns over Hornets in six, Lakers over Jazz in seven, Celtics over Pistons in seven (somebody kill me), Suns over Lakers in seven (can you imagine that series?), Celtics over Suns in six.

If the Stones play the way we all know they’re capable of playing, they can beat the Celtics and anyone else. But I haven’t seen enough of that to justify the pick. But if it happens, let me rank the teams I don’t want to see in the Finals.

1. Utah Jazz—We always steal games on the road, and they are so good at home. I think Deron Williams takes away a lot of what Chauncey brings. I think Jerry Sloan would murder Flip coaching-wise, and everyone would be cheering for him to finally get a title. We don’t have to worry about this though, because Stern would not allow a Stones-Jazz final.
2. Spurs—The entire basketball world would revolt if this happened. I don’t think we have anybody who can guard Parker or Manu, they kill us. And we wouldn’t get easy baskets.
3. Lake Show—If Bynum were healthy, I think they run the table. Not even close. But I don’t think they have enough firepower without him.
4. Suns—I know I’m picking the Suns to win the lethal West, but I like the way we line up against them. I think we neutralize Amare by throwing a plethora of our big bodies against him, I think our bench destroys their bench, I think Flip might actually have the coaching edge here. I would love to see the Suns.
5. Dallas—Kind of the inverse of San Antonio at this point: I’ll expect the choke job until I see the opposite happen.
6. Hornets—This Paul fellow should stick with the whole basketball thing, he’s solid.
7. Denver—AI steals a game, Camby gets five blocks a game, I yearn for Carmelo’s 25 a game. At least we still have Darko.
8. Houston—Yao would be helpful against us. Hopefully China doesn’t run him into the ground this summer.

I might have to leave this city for a few weeks if Boston wins the title.

Somebody buy me this shirt

March 19, 2008

Here.

Unrelated note: Juwon Howard is still in the league? Did not realize that.

Andrew Bynum note: He’s not coming back until the playoffs, but I really don’t think that kills the Lakers. If he can come in and be healthy enough to defend Dunc/Amare/CBooz, I think they can still go all the way.

Programming note: Detroit at Lebron tonight. I’ll be cheering for the away team.

The Kidd and the Mavs, together again

February 20, 2008

Despite his talent and one-time “best current player at the position” status, I’ve never been a huge Jason Kidd fan. So I certainly don’t think an aged Jason Kidd makes the Mavs a Spurs-conquering contender, or improves the team in any kind of long-term way.

That being said, I’ve become obsessed with the importance of ideas like chemistry and leadership and tone-setting. The Sheed trade changed the Pistons in ways I could never have expected or anticipated. Dominating the Eastern Conference for a few years also changed the Stones in ways I could never have expected or anticipated—although they were all negative. Who knows which way this one goes.

Who’s getting the shots at big moments? A still shell-shocked Dirk? a still emerging Howard? a gimpy JKidd? Kidd is fearless, he will take the shot. But he probably shouldn’t.

This team seems more in need of Shaq’s sunny demeanor than the Suns. I think Dirk would do a lot better if he didn’t have to be the center of attention all the time. And Shaq, regardless of current playing ability, is always the center of attention.

My hope for the offseason—Beasley goes to the Supersonics.

Imagine the Western Conference at that point, to a casual fan:
Seattle—Beasley, Durant, Green
Portland—Oden joining a near-playoff team
Lakeshow—Kobe, Odom, Pau, Bynum
San Antonio—the dynasty
Houston—Yao and TMac
Utah—potential title team
Dallas—Howard, Dirk, Kidd
Phoenix—maybe the best team in basketball
Denver—Melo and AI
Golden State—the most fun team in the league to watch

Those are ten legitimately exciting, need-to-see-them-in-person teams. The NBA is in a very good place right now (so we’ll probably have another unwatchable Cavs versus powerhouse slaughterhouse of a Finals…)