Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NBA Small Forward Rankings

Part 3

30. Bobby Simmons – New Jersey Nets – 7.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 39% FG, 40% 3PT, 81%FT. Yikes.
29. Nicolas Batum – Portland Trailblazers – 4.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.9 apg, 43% FG, 38% 3PT, 69% FT. Doesn’t play much now, even though he starts, and will play a lot less when Martel Webster comes back from injury. He has a lot of potential though.
28. Jamario Moon – Toronto Raptors – 6.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.3 spg, 1 bpg, 45% FG, 34% 3PT, 82% FT. He can jump and defend, plus you always have to root for the guys that took the road less traveled to the league.
27. C.J. Miles – Utah Jazz – 10 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 49% FG, 41% 3PT, 84% FT. He’s a good glue guy for Utah and apparently fits in with what Jerry Sloan wants to do.
26. Quentin Richardson – New York Knicks – 12 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1 spg, 40% FG, 35% 3PT, 80% FT. We share the same birthdate.
25. Luke Walton – Los Angeles Lakers – 3.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 39% FG, 26% 3PT, 8-8 FT. He didn’t play much in the beginning of the year, as he was in Phil Jackson’s dog house. A good enough rotation player, who knows where he or his minutes will end up as the season moves along.
24. Grant Hill – Phoenix Suns – 9.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.1 spg, 51% FG, 30% 3PT, 78% FT. It was nice to see him get a few healthy years in Phoenix as his star-crossed career winds down.
23. Ryan Gomes – Minnesota Timberwolves – 9.9 ppg, 4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 42% FG, 37% 3PT, 73% FT. A versatile defender and scorer, while the casual NBA fan has probably never even heard of him.
22. Michael Finley – San Antonio Spurs – 10.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 44% FG, 38% 3PT, 77% FT. He spent the best years of his career in obscurity in Phoenix and in the collective shadows of Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash in Dallas. Now he’s a merely a serviceable role player for the Spurs.
21. Peja Stojakovic – New Orleans Hornets – 13.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.3 apg, 41% FG, 43% 3PT, 86% FT. He can still shoot, but he just isn’t healthy enough to be the guy the Hornets need him to be at the three.
20. Thaddeus Young – Philadelphia 76ers – 12.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1 spg, 47% FG, 33% 3PT, 74% FT. Young is turning in to a nice player in Philly. Don’t be surprised if he supplants the other A.I. as the Sixers go-to guy.
19. Shane Battier – Houston Rockets – 7.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 42% FG, 40% 3PT. Perhaps the league’s ultimate glue guy, he still starts and gets 30 minutes a game despite the team’s off-season acquisition of Ron Artest.
18. John Salmons – Sacramento Kings – 19.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.1 spg, 49% FG, 41% 3PT, 81% FT. With Kevin Martin on the shelf for most of the season, Salmons is making the most of a bad situation by putting up career numbers.
17. Al Thornton – Los Angeles Clippers – 16.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1 spg, 1 bpg, 44% FG, 24% 3PT, 77% FT. It’s going to be interesting to see how he develops on those bad Clipper teams.
16. Luol Deng – Chicago Bulls – 13.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1 spg, 44% FG, 33% 3PT, 80% FT. Deng has been steadily regressing since his breakout 2006-07 season, which is a bad sign for Bulls fans.
15. Marvin Williams – Atlanta Hawks – 13.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 47% FG, 38% 3PT, 81% FT. Although he’ll never make fans forget the Hawks picked him over Chris Paul, he’s at least gotten himself out of Sam Bowie territory.
14. Richard Hamilton – Detroit Pistons – 17.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.2 apg, 45% FG, 36% 3PT, 89% FT. The Pistons have been playing a whole lot better since going to a small-ball lineup of Rip, A.I., Stuckey, Tayshaun and Sheed.
13. Shawn Marion – Miami Heat – 11.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.2 bpg, 46% FG, 21% 3PT, 73% FT. I’m sure the Suns are way happier that he’s in Miami than he is that he got traded at this point.
12. Hedo Turkoglu – Orlando Magic – 17 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.1 spg, 40% FG, 34% 3PT, 83% FT. Hedo’s a big part of the ever improving and increasingly gelling Orlando Magic nucleus.
11. Stephen Jackson – Golden State Warriors – 19 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.3 spg, 39% FG, 28% 3PT, 81% FT. Getting traded to Oakland not only is one of the best things that happened to Captain Jack’s career, when you include his lack of off-season issues since arriving in the Bay Area, it might have saved his life.
10. Gerald Wallace – Charlotte Bobcats – 16.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.4 rpg, 1.9 spg, 1 bpg, 47% FG, 28% 3PT, 79% FT. Easily the least known and least wanted franchise player in the NBA.
9. Richard Jefferson – Milwaukee Bucks – 17.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1 spg, 43% FG, 40% 3PT, 79% FT. Richard isn’t having the type of season you would think he’d have as the guy with the Bucks.
8. Rudy Gay – Memphis Grizzlies – 19.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.3 spg, 44% FG, 31% 3PT, 81% FT. After a slow start, it seems like he and O.J. Mayo are finally learning how to play well together.
7. Josh Howard – Dallas Mavericks – 18.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 apg, 45% FG, 35% 3PT, 76% FT. Unfortunately, he’s becoming known more for off-season gaffes than his play
6. Caron Butler – Washington Wizards – 21 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.6 spg, 47% FG, 31% 3PT, 87% FT. Without Caron and Jamison, I’m not sure the Wizards wouldn’t still be winless right now.
5. Kevin Durant – OKC – 23.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg, 1 bpg, 46% FG, 42% 3PT, 84% FT. Its one thing to be on a bad team in Seattle but its far worse to be on one of the worst teams in NBA history in Oklahoma City. At least he might get the chance to run with Blake Griffin next year.
4. Danny Granger – Indiana Pacers – 24.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1 spg, 1.3 bpg, 46% FG, 38% 3PT, 85% FT. If this guy isn’t an all-star …
3. Paul Pierce – Boston Celtics – 18.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.1 spg, 42% FG, 37% 3PT, 85% FT. The truth, and still number three, although by this time next year he’ll likely be number five.
2. Carmelo Anthony – Denver Nuggets – 20.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1 spg, 42% FG, 43% 3PT, 79% FT. His scoring is down, but Melo is becoming a more complete player and is doing more to help his team win.
1. LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers – 27.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 6.4 apg, 2 spg, 1.1 bpg, 51% FG, 28% 3PT, 78% FT. Happy 24th Birthday King James!

Monday, December 29, 2008

NBA Shooting Guard Rankings

Part two of my NBA player rankings, with apologies to the injured (Kevin Martin, Mike Dunleavy Jr., etc.) I must say, the position is a lot weaker than you would think, as the demise of the center has been widely documented.

30. Donte Jones – Denver Nuggets – 5.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.8 apg, 44% FG. He only starts over J.R. Smith because George Karl hates Smith, but ultimately Smith gets most of the playing time.
29. DeShawn Stevenson – Washington Wizards – 7.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.2 apg, 31% FG, 28% 3PT, 54% FT. His numbers are pretty miserable, but he plays hard for them.
28. Damien Wilkins – OKC – 5.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 32% FG, 38% 3PT, 83% FT. Yikes.
27. Marco Belinelli – Golden State Warriors – 9.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 47% FG, 37% 3PT. Will likely be glued to the bench when Monta Ellis returns.
26. Rasual Butler – New Orleans Hornets – 8.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1 spg, 42% FG, 42% 3PT, 74% FT. He’s a good three-point shooter on a team with a lot of open looks via CP3.
25. Francisco Garcia – Sacramento Kings – 11.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1 spg, 1 bpg, 41% FG, 33% 3PT, 81 % FT. He’s a decent guy to have in your rotation.
24. Raja Bell – Charlotte Bobcats (8 games) – 8.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 39% FG, 43% 3PT. A Larry Brown guy on the downside of his career playing for Larry Brown, which means he’ll still get minutes.
23. Keith Bogans – Orlando Magic – 6.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 37% FG, 34% 3PT, 85% FT. He gets bonus points for a rep as a good defender.
22. Wilson Chandler – New York Knicks – 14 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1 spg, 1 bpg, 42% FG, 30% 3PT, 80% FT. I wonder what his numbers would look like with any team in the league besides these guys.
21. Anthony Parker – Toronto Raptors – 9.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.4 spg, 39% FG, 44% 3PT, 80% FT. I thought he would play better than he has so far and I’m guessing the Raptors did too.
20. Eric Gordon – Los Angeles Clippers – 9.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1 spg, 43% FG, 36% 3PT, 80% FT. With a stroke that pretty, it’s a wonder his shooting percentages are so low.
19. Mike Miller – Minnesota Timberwolves – 10.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.7 apg, 48% FG, 39% 3PT, 74% FT. He’s still a productive player and would probably be a better fit with a winning team, as the T’Wolves would be better served seeing what they have in McCants, Foye, Telfair, etc.
18. Ronnie Brewer – Utah Jazz – 12.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.9 spg, 47% FG, 25% 3PT, 69% FT. A solid defender and a good athlete, he’s a great compliment to Deron Williams running the point.
17. Marquis Daniels – Indiana Pacers – 16.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.1 spg, 47% FG, 19% 3PT, 75% FT. I probably like this guy a lot more than I should.
16. Roger Mason – San Antonio Spurs – 12.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 45%FG, 47% 3PT, 87% FT. I like this guy a lot more than I should too.
15. Delonte West – Cleveland Cavaliers – 12.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.5 spg, 45% FG, 39% 3PT, 85% FT. Believe it or not, the Cavs have a pretty solid team around LeBron James. While the king is playing as good as ever, it’s been the improved play of his sidekicks that make them a Top 3 team.
14. Andre Iguodala – Philadelphia 76ers – 15.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.6 spg, 44% FG, 24% 3PT, 73% FT. About that contract …
13. Ben Gordon – Chicago Bulls – 21 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 45% FG, 43% 3PT, 85% FT. A hell of a scorer and not much else.
12. Jason Terry – 20.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.4 spg, 47% FG, 36% 3PT, 86% FT. The Jet is having a career year in Dallas. The big difference between him and Ben Gordon is defense.
11. Jason Richardson – Phoenix Suns (5 games) – 16.8 ppg, 6 rpg, 2 apg, 46% FG, 73% FT. Although I wasn’t a fan of this trade, I must admit this was a hell of an upgrade over Raja Bell.
10. Michael Redd – Milwaukee Bucks – 18.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1 spg, 40% FG, 34% 3PT, 86% FT. He’d probably love to be LeBron’s sidekick right about now.
9. Allen Iverson – Detroit Pistons (24 games) – 18.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.8 spg, 43% FG, 35% 3PT, 84% FT. I wonder how much longer he’s going to play, as his contract expires at the end of this season.
8. O.J. Mayo – Memphis Grizzlies – 20.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.1 spg, 46% FG, 41% 3PT, 89% FT. Although he’s a ballhog, Mayo has played a lot better than I expected him to.
7. Ray Allen – Boston Celtics – 18.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 50% FG, 40% 3PT, 92% FT. Still has the prettiest stroke in the game.
6. Tracy McGrady – Houston Rockets – 15.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.1 spg, 40% FG, 40% 3PT, 83% FT. Sometimes I wonder if he wants it. Between the first round woes and the injury woes, it just seems like he doesn’t always go hard.
5. Vince Carter – New Jersey Nets – 23 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1 spg, 46% FG, 40% 3PT, 80% FT. In a season where most people expected him to mail it in, the back court duo of him and Devin Harris has arguably been the best in the east.
4. Joe Johnson – Atlanta Hawks – 23.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.2 spg, 45% FG, 36% 3PT, 82% FT. The Hawks hot start has him finally getting the shine he deserves.
3. Brandon Roy – Portland Trailblazers – 23 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.3 apg, 1 spg, 47% FG, 37% 3PT, 84% FT. After dropping 52 on the Suns the other day, the world finally knows who Brandon Roy is.
2. Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat – 28.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 6.9 apg, 2.2 spg, 1.6 bpg, 49% FG, 25% 3PT, 75% FT. He’s been the MVP of the league right now, and is closing the gap between him and you know who as the league’s best two guard.
1. Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers – 26.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.5 spg, 47% FG, 33% 3PT, 87% FT. All he needs is a non-Shaq title to solidify his status in the NBA Top 10 all-time.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day!

I just wanted to give Dwyane Wade props for helping out a South Florida family that was devastated by an accident this Christmas. Read about it here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

NBA Point Guard Rankings

First and foremost, I'm bored at work. Second, I want to rank all of the positions, but I may or may not get around to doing it. Third, I didn't include injured players (Arenas, Monte Ellis), so don't ask about them. Without further ado, here are my point guard rankings for each current starting point guard in the league.

30. Mike James – Washington Wizards – (7 games with Washington) 10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 37% FG, 38% 3PT, 1.3 spg. Mike James is fairly useless as a point guard. He can’t really shoot, he’s not that quick anymore and he looks to get his shot off first. If he’s your starting or backup point guard you’re in trouble.
29. Rafer Alston – Houston Rockets – 12.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.3 spg, 38% FG, 38% 3PT, 83% FT. Skip would be a great backup point guard. He can hit open shots and put up points in a hurry. If he’s your starting guard, good luck. He can’t really defend and he’s not a true point guard.
28. Kyle Lowry/Mike Conley – Memphis Grizzlies – Lowry – 7.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.6 apg, 42% FG, 30% 3PT, 85% FT. Conley – 8.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.5 apg, 42% FG, 37% 3PT, 78% FT. Both of these guys have a lot of talent and a lot of work to do to improve. Neither of them will get much better as long as they are literally splitting minutes at the point. Conley gets a little more than 25 minutes a game, Lowry gets a little more than 22, which gives you about 48 a minutes, or a full game.
27. Mario Chalmers – Miami Heat – 9.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.9 spg, 42 % FG, 36% 3PT, 72% FT. He’s a decent enough scorer and a good enough defender to play this role for a while in Miami.
26. Luke Ridnour – Milwaukee Bucks – 10.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.4 spg, 41% FG, 30% 3PT, 87% FT. He’s a good free-throw shooter.
25. Russell Westbrook – The Old Sonics – 13.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.6 spg, 38% FG, 28% 3PT, 80% FT. He’s going to be a pretty good sidekick for Durant in the future. If they get Blake Griffin next year, they might start to show us a little something.
24. Beno Udrih – Sacramento Kings – 11.9, 3.1 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.4 spg, 47% FG, 23% 3PT, 83% FT. He will likely be lower on this list next year.
23. Steve Blake – Portland Trailblazers – 11.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1 spg, 44% FG, 43% 3PT, 85% FT. He doesn’t have to do much on this team besides hit open shots and give the ball to Brandon Roy.
22. Randy Foye – Minnesota Timberwolves – 14.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1 spg, 40% FG, 26% 3PT, 85% FT. Unfortunately, he’ll always be linked to Brandon Roy, as the Portland start was originally headed here after the draft.
21. Chris Duhon - New York Knicks – 11.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 8.6 apg, 1 spg, 42% FG, 38% 3PT, 88% FT. He’s putting up sick numbers in Mike D’Antoni’s system, which is a perfect fit for a former Duke point guard with a decent jumper.
20. Derek Fisher – Los Angeles Lakers – 11.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.1 spg, 42% FG, 44% 3PT, 92% 3PT. This spot might be a little high for him, but you can say he gets extra credit for his intangibles and his proven playoff experience.
19. T.J. Ford – Indiana Pacers – 14.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.3 apg, 1.1 spg, 43% FG, 37% 3PT, 93% FT. He’s playing decent with the Pacers, but he could be so much better with a decent jumpshot.
18. Mike Bibby – Atlanta Hawks – 15.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.4 spg, 46% FG, 43% 3PT, 78% FT. Sometimes he seems like he’s on the downside of his career, sometimes he looks the same as he did in the Sactown glory days.
17. Jameer Nelson – Orlando Magic – 17 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.3 spg, 53% FG, 43% 3PT, 85% FT. Jameer is having his best season in the league by far. His improvement is perhaps the most underrated reasons why Orlando is a Top 5 team this year. I guess its better late than never.
16. Andre Miller – Philadelphia 76ers – 15.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.2 apg, 44% FG, 84% FT. He’s currently leading the team in points and assists, somehow.
15. Jose Calderon – Toronto Raptors – 12.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 8.8 apg, 1 spg, 48% FG, 45%3PT, 100% FT (60-60). If he was a tad bit more aggressive, he’d be an awesome player. He’s still one of the few pure point guards in the league.
14. D.J. Augustin – Charlotte Bobcats – 13 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 4.5 apg, 41% FG, 42% 3PT, 93% FT. D.J.’s slowly becoming the Bobcats go-to guy.
13. Jamal Crawford – Golden State Warriors – (16 games with GSW) 19.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.1 spg, 40% FG, 30% 3PT, 90% FT, one 50 point game. He’s one of the hardest players to rank. Is he a 1 or a 2? Once you finally decide to put him somewhere, then you have to actually rank him, which is a tough task in itself.
12. Rodney Stuckey – Detroit Pistons – 11.9 ppg, 3 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.4 spg, 49% FG, 42% 3PT, 75% FT. Leads the team in assists, shooting and steals.
11. Rajon Rondo – Boston Celtics – 11.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 7.4 apg, 2.4 spg, 54% FG, 29% 3PT, 66% FT. He’s really coming into his own this year, and has 4x5 potential everytime he steps on the court.
10. Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls – 17.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.1 apg, 1 spg, 47% FG, 32% 3PT, 81% FT. He's playing 1,000 better than I expected.
9. Baron Davis – Los Angeles Clippers – 18 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 8.1 apg, 2spg, 37% FG, 30% 3PT, 78% FT. Baron just doesn’t look right this year. Maybe he’ll turn it around in the second half of the season.
8. Mo Williams – Cleveland Cavaliers – 15.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 48% FG, 36% 3PT, 95% FT (61-64). He’s been the perfect sidekick for LeBron. He can be a ball distributer, a spot-up jump shooter, a drive and kick point guard and a flat out scorer, making him one of the most versatile guys in the league in terms of scoring.
7. Jason Kidd – Dallas Mavericks – 9.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 8.3 apg, 2.5 spg, 43% FG, 40% 3PT, 79% FT. Seven might be a little high for him at this point, honestly. However, there still aren’t many guys better at getting everybody involved than him, which is still the point of being a point.
6. Chauncey Billups – Denver Nuggets – (25 games) 18.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 6.8 apg, 1.4 spg, 43% FG, 42% 3PT, 89% FT. He’s turned around Denver’s season and perhaps the fortunes of Coach George Karl and forward Carmelo Anthony. At this stage in his career he’s become a true point and you can see the difference his leadership has made for his hometown team.
5. Devin Harris – New Jersey Nets – 24 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 6.8 apg, 1.5 spg, 47% FG, 33% 3PT, 85% FT. Jason Who? He’s 6th in the league in scoring and 11th in assists. Lucky for him, he got out of Dallas and on a team that needs him to be this good.
4. Tony Parker – San Antonio Spurs – 21.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 6.6 apg, 51% FG, 33% 3PT, 80% FT. I wonder how much shine Tony would get if he played on his own team?
3. Steve Nash – Phoenix Suns – 15.5 ppg, 3 rpg, 8.5 apg, 48% FG, 42% 3PT, 94% FT. He might be here only because he’s my second favorite player, but he’s clearly on the decline now. Those years when he was the best in the game sure were fun though.
2. Deron Williams – Utah Jazz – 14.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 9.7 apg, 1 spg, 43% FG, 30 % 3PT, 83% FT. He’s been hobbled by an ankle injury all year, but most NBA fans know what he brings to the table.
1. Chris Paul – New Orleans Hornets – 20.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 11.7 apg, 3.2 spg, 51% FG 38% 3PT, 88 % FT. He was 2nd in the MVP race last year and his numbers are up across the board. What more can I say?

Abbreviated Curry Watch

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Curry’s off night the other day. Right now, this Davidson team might not make it past the first or second round in the NCAA if they can’t find a sidekick for Stephen. Right now, it’s like he’s playing point and the two at the same time. However, Saturday’s 5-26 performance against Perdue will probably be his worst of the season, and if he goes pro after this year, his career.

Two more of my favorite players, Eric Maynor and Blake Griffin, had pedestrian games in Saturday’s VCU/Oklahoma matchup.

Seth Curry’s getting a little more shine as well.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The BCS's BS is starting to make me sick

I came across this excellent article by Dan Wetzel about how big of a big money industry the Bowl System is, and how they are basically ripping the NCAA (and in some instances taxpayers) off.

Now, I've gone on record a trillion times saying that I'm not in favor of anything more than a "Plus 1" in college football, because I like the pressure of teams needing to win out to go to the title game. Most years, there are only three or four teams with a legitimate shot.

USC is probably the best team in the nation right now, and probably won't even finish in the Top 3 at the end of the year. However, I'm not sad for them at all. They have so much talent that they have no business losing to anybody, including a good but not great Oregon State team on the road.

However, some of the things pointed out in this article are pretty shameful, you should check it out.

** FYI ** ESPN owns and operates six bowl games: the Papajohns.com Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, Armed Forces Bowl and the St. Petersburg Bowl.

Check out the date these things were founded:

Papa John's Bowl - Started 2006 in Birmingham, Alabama. This year they get Rutgers (7-5) and NC State (6-6).

New Mexico Bowl - Started 2006 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This year's matchup is Fresno State (7-5) and Colorado State (6-6).

Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl - Started 2002 in Honolulu, Hawaii. This year's match up is Notre Dame (6-6) and Hawaii (7-6).

Las Vegas Bowl - Started in 1992 in Las Vegas. This year they get BYU (again [4 straight years], which is strange considering the Mormon background of BYU juxtaposed with Sin City. They're 10-2) and Arizona (7-5).

Air Force Bowl - Started in 2003 in Fort Worth, Texas. This year's game features Houston (one of your few chances to see a black head coach this year, 7-5) and Air Force (8-4) in a rematch.

magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl - Started in 2008 in St. Pete. Great ESPN, exactly what we needed, another bowl. Let me guess ESPN, you're going to get the home town team in there too. What a surprise, South Florida (7-5) and Memphis (6-6) kicks off this great tradition. And what the hell is a "magicJack" anyway?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quick Hits 12/16


Charles Barkley is right to be ashamed of his Alma Mater and Auburn fans are right to be outraged. Hiring Gene Chizik over Turner Gill is inexcusable. It’s a bad move that will probably blow up in Auburn’s face, just like firing Tommy Tubberville was a bad move in the first place.

However, this may be a blessing in disguise for Gill. With Florida, LSU, Alabama and Georgia seemingly poised to dominate the SEC for the next few years, Auburn would’ve been a bad job for Gill. Anything less than an SEC championship within two or three years would’ve had him on the hot seat by year four.

This is the biggest by product of the black head coach problem in college football: most black coaches are pushed to bad jobs, fail in bad situations and fade in to oblivion. Heck, Buffalo was a bad job, but Gill made it work.

At Auburn, he probably would’ve gotten about the same chance to fix their program as Ty Willingham had at Notre Dame. And while Auburn is a much better program than Mississippi State, Gill would’ve been in a similar position at Auburn as Sylvester Croom was with MSU as the first black coach in the SEC. Croom couldn’t compete with the bigger SEC schools for talent, and therefore his teams couldn’t compete on the field. He just resigned after his first season, even though he’s won the conference’s Coach of the Year award during his tenure.

Gill will definitely get a shot to coach “big time” college football. For his sake, hopefully its at place where he’ll be in a position to really win.


The reason why the Celtics are even better than they were last year is definitely Rajon Rondo, which should go without saying. While he’s not a pure point guard, he’s developed into the player the Celtics need him to be: a consistent scoring threat, good rebounder, serviceable passer and tenacious defender.

And really, he wasn’t that bad last year and the Celtics had no need to waste the time and money they did on Sam Cassell. Check out what Rondo is doing this year though:

10.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 7.4 apg, 2.3 spg, 51.3 fg%.

Those are solid numbers across the board.

While I’m definitely enjoying the regular season so far, the inevitable Eastern Conference finals between Cleveland and Boston will certainly be something to watch.


Stephen Curry continues to dazzle. In case you missed it, over the weekend Curry dropped 41 pts, 4 rebs, 6 asts and a steal on Chattanooga over the weekend in a 100-95 Davidson victory. Curry hit 11-22 shots, 5-11 from downtown and added another 14 from the line (on 18 attempts).

At the point, with apologies to James Harden from Arizona State, the Wooden Award is a two horse race between Curry and Blake Griffin. Here’s the tale of the tape as of 12/15

Curry – 9 games, 31.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 6.8 apg, 2.9 spg, 48% fg, 39% 3p5, 85% ft – remember he had a 0 point game where he was 0-3.
Griffin – 10 games, 23.1 ppg, 15.1 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.9 spg, 1.1 bpg, 68% fg, 62% ft

** Bonus Seth Curry Watch ** 22 pts, 1 reb on 8-13 shooting (4-8 3pt) and 2-2 from the line in a December 15th victory against Anderson (SC), whoever they are.


Kudos to ESPN for blowing the T.O/Dallas/Romo/Witten situation out of proportion. You ever notice that whenever Dallas loses, T.O. is mad? Anybody at the Worldwide leader ever think that maybe this guy just wants to win and maybe he thinks the best way for Dallas to win is for him to always have the ball?

The biggest difference between this situation and the Philly and San Fran situations involving Owens and QB’s is that he’s not questioning Romo’s character, ability or physical condition. This time, he was just politicking for the ball more and wondering if there’s a reason why he’s not getting the rock all the time. (Of course, its probably because he’s always among the lead leaders in drops, which he will fail to recognize).

Regardless, the two best teams in the league are Pittsburgh and Carolina, who both have chances to exert themselves as the true top dogs in the conference this week, with games against Tennessee and Carolina.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Steve Kerr Hates Fun

That must be why he insists on taking apart a team that embodied fun.

The “Seven Seconds or Less” Era in Phoenix was easily my favorite set of teams to watch since I was enamored with Air Jordan growing up. Their almost champion run will likely go down in history along side teams like the Malone and Stockton’s Jazz, Reggie Miller's Pacers, Pat Ewing's Knicks, GP and Shawn Kemp in Seattle, etc.

However, out of those groups of teams, Nash’s fun bunch was easily the most entertaining to watch. The two-time league MVP would sling wild behind the back passes, weave in and out of traffic and make circus shots at will.

Nash, The Artist Formerly Known as the Matrix, and Amare Stoudemire were the staples of their run. Besides that trio, their core grew to include Raja Bell at shooting guard, Boris Diaw essentially playing positions 1-5 and filling in however necessary and Leandro Barbosa providing offense off the bench. The other two rotation spots were usually filled by a random big man and one or two gunners-for-hire.

Enter Steve Kerr. I liked him on TNT and was definitely a big fan when he hit the shot to win the Bulls 5th ring in the 90s, but I’ve come to loathe him. Kerr brought in an aging, but still effective Grant Hill as his big offseason signing and immediately began to implore Mike D’Antoni’s bunch to play more defense.

The rest is history. The Matrix was dealt mid-season for Shaq and D’Antoni was exiled to New York shortly thereafter. If the Shaq deal was the death of Phoenix and D’Antoni’s departure was the funeral, Wednesday’s trade was the widower’s first awkward, post-death relationship.

Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and Sean Singletary were dealt to the Charlotte Bobcats for Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley. That’s it. On paper, Phoenix has moved on and has a traditional team now.

Shaq clogging up the middle at center, Amare struggling to find his role at power forward, Grant Hill struggling to stay in front of anyone and/or hit an outside shot at small forward, Jason Richardson throwing up 17 shots a night at shooting guard and Nash at the point.

Nash manning the point is like Jeff Gordon driving around in a Prius. Sure, he can drive a regular car, but that dude was meant to go fast. And so was Nash. Having him playing a Chauncey Billups like role on this team is a waste of Steve’s last good years. Instead of building the team around him, like New Orleans has done with Chris Paul, Steve Kerr has taken Nash’s team from him.

At this point, although they’d never do it, it would be probably better if Phoenix parted ways with Nash. He’s still a top-five point guard, but he’s making an awful lot of money to just be a role player on a non-contending team, which is what he is now.

After this season, the Suns organization will be at an interesting crossroads. Get rid of Kerr, who dismantled a contending team and turned them into a borderline playoff team, and his hand picked head coach Terry Porter, who seems just as confused as the players about what type of game to play, or trade Nash in the last year of his contract and throw their hat in to the “Class of 2010” ring.

Who knows? Maybe this thing will work. One thing Jason Richardson isn’t is a defensive stopper. Raja Bell, even though he was struggling, was Phoenix’s go to defender on the wing. Perhaps this trade is a recommitment to offense, which is what Jason brings to the table. Maybe he can help restore the alley-oop to Phoenix, which was a common practice by Nash and Marion and Marion and Diaw.

If I were a Phoenix fan, however, I would not be optimistic. They only have to look to Detroit to see what will likely happen, as a lot of the elements are the same. Shake up a perennial borderline contending team with parts that don’t fit, add an overmatched and increasing unpopular coach and voila.

In little over four months, don’t be surprised if both franchises who have become accustomed to chasing titles will be left hoping for luck in the Blake Griffin Sweepstakes instead.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quick Elton Brand Thought

Is it me, or does he called for traveling more than any player in the league? I've watched about 3-4 Sixers games this year, and in each game he's got whistled for traveling at least once. In the Hornets game a few weeks ago, he had to have traveled five times.

Has he been traveling under the radar the whole time he's been in the NBA, or is this a new phenomenon? Regardless, Philly can't be too happy with their Brand investment. Its a shame too, because he's one of the good guys in the league. At least the Clippers got one thing right this year.

College Hoops x Football x BCS Rant

Another day, another bad college football-college basketball, playoff/BCS comparison. Look, the two sports aren’t comparable. Stop it.

By the middle of the year, there are at most six teams that can win a college football champion. Usually, by the end of the year there are two teams standing tall. The last two years have been the exception, not the rule.

Just look at the records of the top 10 teams in the BCS. A combined record of 114-9. Out of those nine losses, six of the losses were to teams in the top six (two by Ohio State to Top 3 teams). Only three upsets. And who knows what would have happened if Utah or Boise State played in one of these conferences?

Imagine the NCAA tournament with only six upsets? It would definitely be a disappointment. The point is, in Division I-A college football, upsets just don’t happen as much. With rosters nearing 100, big-time college football programs might have twice as many five and four-star recruits on their roster than an entire college basketball team. Meanwhile, for a school like TCU, getting a handful of four-star recruits is a big deal.

Or you can just watch a team like Davidson in college hoops. Having one Stephen Curry changes them from a Southern Conference also-ran, to a Top-25 team. And while the media pays attention to the BCS conferences, teams like Davidson, VCU and St. Mary’s keep chugging along. Add that to the fact that a good mid-major team is usually full of seniors and juniors, while the fates of many major college basketball teams hinges on the play of an 18-year-old.

Therefore, come tourney time you might see a good, underrated #12 seed stocked with upperclassmen and maybe even a fringe NBA prospect knock off an overrated, under experienced #5 seed team from the Big East.

In college football, most kids have to stay until they’re at least a junior and a lot of the games best players are seniors.

In short, the games aren’t comparable. The regular season in college basketball is important because teams are jockeying for those 64 slots and a chance to make a run. RPI, strength of schedule, common opponents, etc. can make the difference between the NCAA and NIT for a lot of teams. And in reality, while the Davidson’s and George Mason’s of the world are fun to root for, the UNC’s and Kansas’ of the college basketball world always come out on top.

In college football, the regular season is exciting because it’s essentially a playoff for the BCS schools. Strength of schedule doesn’t matter as much as outlasting everyone else. It’s not the computers; they do get a chance to determine what happens on the field. And in a case like Texas, it’s their conference’s fault for not having Texas and Oklahoma play again for the Big 12 title, the clear solution for this quagmire that no one really talks about. (Conferences with “divisions” should have a provision that places the two best teams in the conference tourney regardless of their division, which should be in place for scheduling purposes only)

True, the Ohio State/Michigan game to close the regular season would’ve meant more if Ohio State was vying for a spot in an 8-team playoff, just like the Auburn/Alabama game would’ve been rendered meaningless as Alabama would’ve been in regardless. The more teams you have make the playoffs in college football, the more meaningless the regular season becomes.

This is different than college basketball because in hoops, unlike college football where there’s usually at least one undefeated team, losses are inevitable. Running the table rarely happens, and it’s an understood part of the game. The biggest losses in college hoops happen when a mid-major #1 seed losses in their conference tournament, or a 19-10 ACC team loses in the first round of their conference tournament.

Regular season games, like last night’s Texas/Villanova game, are good for the same reason the Rose Bowl between Texas/Michigan was good a few years ago, or the Boise State/Oklahoma game. They’re good because they’re good games, not necessarily because what’s on the line.

However, the BCS and the Bowl System in general, will ultimately fail without major changes. With more competition at the top, we are starting to see three to four teams with legit title shots. Adding a plus-one would definitely help, but the NCAA seems allergic to this.

One of the biggest problems with the bowl system, and what may ultimately be its downfall are the bowl tie-ins. Instead of the best matchups, bowls pick the matchups they think will be most profitable. Instead of Alabama or USC versus Texas, we get Alabama vs. Utah and USC vs. Penn State.

And so on and so forth. The bowl tie-ins were good in the past, because they gave a chance for fans to watch teams from different conferences play each other. With most teams playing 12 regular season games, out of conference matchups aren’t that uncommon. And with the explosion in the number of bowl games, each year there are at least one or two rematches in the lower rungs of college, which aren’t good for anyone.

College football should either get rid of the bowl tie-ins or make the criteria for selection stricter and reduce the number of bowls. Instead, big money college football will keep shoving bad bowls down our throats, we’ll get more matchups like January 1’s Gator Bowl featuring underachieving Clemson (7-5) versus Nebraska (8-4) until the public demand for a playoff (which grows every year) becomes too great and the system crumbles.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Steph Curry Watch 12/9


Another day, another Curry watch. In fact, Curry is so exciting that he made me not watch LeBron (The Cavs played the Raptors on NBATV tonight). The result? A mostly bad game by Curry.

And by bad i mean 27 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Now, he shot horribly (33%), had a lot of turnovers and worked very hard for those 27 points, but still, the bar is pretty high for this guy when that statline is looked at as a bad one.

However, he scored 13 of Davidson's last 14 points and helped his team regain the lead. You can tell he was off most of the game, but he stuck with it and it paid off.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

College BBall Quick Hits 12/7

Seth Curry and his Liberty Flames played their second game in a row today, losing to Clemson 80-75. Curry had 24, 4 and 1, and shot 9-16 from the field (6-9) from three.

Liberty, a small school founded by Jerry Falwell in his hometown of Lynchburg, VA, has a pretty brutal travel schedule. Yesterday, the played at home in VA, then traveled to Clemson today. Their next game is the 15th at home, then they travel to DePaul on the 17th, St. Louis on the 19th and out to Northern Colorado on the 22nd.

Meanwhile, Seth's older brother Stephen leads the country in scoring with 31.3 ppg. Looking at his stats, I had to give props to Eric Maynor at VCU. These two small college guards are definitely 2 of the top 10 guards in the nation, if not top five. Check out their numbers:

Curry - 7 games, 31.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 6.4 apg, 3 spg, 50% fg, 41% 3pt, 88% ft
Maynor - 8 games, 23.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.5 spg, 53% fg, 44% 3pt, 73% ft

And just for the heck of it, here are Blake Griffin's numbers after seven. (At lunch Friday, we figured out that Griffin has Amare's athleticism with Duncan's fundamentals. He HAS to be the #1 pick in this year's draft.)

Griffin - 7 games, 25.6 ppg, 17.3 rpg, 2.7 agp, 2.0 spg, .9 bpg, 68% fg, 62% ft and he's 3-3 from downtown so far.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Quick Hits 12/6 - I told you so version


Well, Ball State got what it deserved and lost to the Buffalo Bulls. Instead of a matchup of undefeated mid-major powerhouses with Boise State, Ball State is now headed for the GMAC bowl against an ACC also-ran (or maybe Notre Dame). Buffalo is headed for the International Bowl in Toronto as 2008 MAC champions, and Boise State is likely (hopefully) going to play TCU or BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl in lovely San Diego.

For the rest of college football. I don't know if I see any more upsets on the horizon. Florida was going to have a tough time against 'Bama anyway, and now Percy Harvin is out. So far, Alabama is winning the physical battle. In the other "semi-final," Oklahoma plays Missouri in the Big 12 Championship. The Sooners will definitely have their hands full in Kansas City, but I think they'll pull it off.

If Oklahoma and Alabama win and face each other for the title, here are the matchups I'd like to see in the BCS games:

Rose Bowl - USC vs. Florida
Orange Bowl - Cincinnati vs. Utah
Sugar Bowl - Penn State vs. Virginia Tech
Fiesta Bowl - Texas vs. Ohio State

Although we're more likely to see

Rose Bowl - USC vs. Penn State
Orange Bowl - Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Sugar Bowl - Florida vs. Utah
Fiesta Bowl - Texas vs. Ohio State

If Missouri knocks of Oklahoma, and sends Texas to face Alabama, I'd like to see the Sooners face Ohio State. What if Missouri and Florida win?

Rose Bowl - USC vs. Penn State
Orange Bowl - Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Sugar Bowl - Oklahoma vs. Alabama
Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State vs. Utah

How about that Sugar Bowl matchup? I'd love to see that, along with a Texas/Florida final. Go Gators and Tigers!


Curry Watch

Davidson (6-1) defeats NC State (4-1)72-67
Curry 44 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals.
45% fg, 29% 3pt, 77% ft, and 61% of Davidson's points.

Honestly, he was gunning today. On a poor shooting night, he still had 44 points. However, his team is dependent on him gunning, so we give him a pass. Its not like he's dribbling 20 seconds off the shot clock before hoisting up an off balanced runner. He's cutting and coming off screen after screen, to go with an array of runners, floaters, scoop shots and nifty-layups. There's no way this dude doesn't drop 50 at least once this year.

Seth Curry, aka S. Curry 2.0, had 15, 5 and 5 today in a Liberty win over Gardner-Webb, along with a steal and a block. He was only 4-14 (3-9 3pt) and 4-6 from the line, so you can say it was an off day for the whole family.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ball State Chickens, I mean Cardinals

One of this year’s most intriguing bowl matchups won’t happen. Talks for undefeated Boise State to face potentially undefeated Ball State have fallen apart. What a game that would’ve been.

The two non-BCS undefeated teams facing off with a #5-10 ranking on the line. With most of the non-BCS bowls mired in mediocrity, this would’ve been a joy for college football fans, along with excellent exposure for both programs and in turn, both colleges.

Instead, after Jason Whitlock pumped them up, Ball State has chickened out, and will play in the GMAC bowl against a BCS conference also ran in a probably boring game in Detroit.

That is, of course, unless they lose tonight to Buffalo. This game has been considered a foregone conclusion. However, teams have gotten closer to Ball State as of late, and it’s hard for anybody to run the table. Couple that with undefeated/bowl hype and karma, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Buffalo knocked them off tonight, sending them to an even worse bowl than the GMAC.

After (if) they lose to Buffalo tonight, they’re going to wish they accepted that bid to play Boise on the blue turf.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Quick Hit on S. Mitchell

Point Guard A - 14.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 5.6 apg, 1.1 spg, 45% fg, 37% 3pt, 90% ft (60-66)

Point Guard B - 12.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 9.5 apg, 0.7 spg, 45% fg, 40% 3pt, 100% ft (43-43)

Which one of these guys would you take? Well, it probably depends on if you want an aggressive, freestyle guard or a more passive, traditionalist point guard.

Those are the stat lines of T.J. Ford (A) and Jose Calderon (B, and 2nd in the league in apg). I bring this up because in the wake of the Sam Mitchell firing, GM Bryan Colangelo has come under some fire by talking heads and bloggers alike.

Personally, I like the Raps’ roster and I never was a big Sam Mitchell fan. Yeah, he did win Coach of the Year a few years ago, and Jerry Sloan has won that award exactly 0 times. So who’s the better coach?

With Colangelo, he wanted a guard that can play with a fast tempo and keep everyone involved. With Ford and Calderon on the roster, he chose to keep Jose and trade Ford for Jermaine O’Neal, to help clean up the glass with Chris Bosh. Bosh is more comfortable on the wing than in the low post, so at least on paper you wouldn’t think they would clash.

Meanwhile, under Jim O’Brien, Ford still plays an uptempo game with Indiana. If O’Neal can be productive and give Toronto 60 games, I think it will be an even trade. It’s better for both Ford and Calderon to be in positions where they’re getting 35 mins a game, not splitting 24.

The fact of the matter is Mitchell is one of those iron-fist coaches that never really had a grasp on this team, nor wanted to play the style of ball fitting the team BC assembled. Unlike the Kerr/D’Antoni fiasco that’s backfiring in Phoenix this year, I think this GM/Coach force out was actually a good move.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Reason # 1223123 Why I'm Starting to Hate the NFL

Besides the product getting worse (raise your hand if you watched last night's Houston/Jacksonville fun fest, and you're not a Texans or Jags fan), the NFL is taking the whole "No Fun League" thing to another level.

Harris Smith, has catapulted into the fictitious name hall of fame (this, of course, is the name Plaxico Burress used at the hospital. He also told them he was shot at an Applebee's). However, the NFL has already banned fans the right to make a "Smith 17" New York Giants jersey. Lighten up already National Football League.

Steph Curry Watch ... Kind Of

Did you know there's another one? Steph has a little brother, Seth, who is a freshman guard at Liberty. I'd been wondering what was up with Liberty, I saw they had a couple of big wins so far in the season, but I didn't know there was a Curry involved.

For the season, the young Curry is averaging 22 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. His Liberty Flames are 5-1, including a road victory at UVA, in which he dropped 26. In case you were wondering, he's shooting a little about 37% from three.

Keep an eye on this 6'1 freshman I didn't know existed until today.

Monday, December 1, 2008

NFL MVP Quick Hit

If the Falcons some how make the playoffs, and "the burner" keeps doing what he's doing, Michael Turner should be the NFL's MVP.

Why? He leads the league in caries and touchdowns, and is third in yards. Plus he's a big enough threat to take pressure off his rookie QB Matt Ryan. Teams have to respect Turner, which has helped open up Atlanta's passing game. I'm putting it out there because I don't see much about Turner for MVP.

Quick Hits 12/1


Steph Curry doesn’t play until later this week, but I did catch that entertaining game between Tennessee and Gonzaga last night. I like the Zags a lot this year. They have a lot of balance and always play a tough non-conference schedule. With the rise of St. Mary’s, and Patrick Mills, Mark Few’s team will be as prepared as ever come tourney time.

Other than that, it seems like college football is blanketing college basketball TV coverage on the weekends. I’m looking forward to the coming weeks, as college football will take a temporary backseat to basketball until bowl season really kicks off. (As far as I’m concerned, all those Sportsology.Blogspot.Com Euphoria Bowl’s are a waste of everyone’s time, except for the diehard fans and family members of those involved.)


Plaxico Burress is an idiot. That’s been well documented. However, athletes definitely have valid reasons to be afraid for their safety. Sean Taylor, Dunta Robinson, Darrent Williams and Javon Walker have all been attacked within the last few years. However, Plax went about things all wrong.

First, if you’re afraid for your safety you might not want to go places where you feel like you may be a target. Second, if you think you’re in danger, hire security. I’m sure he has enough money to hire at least one guy to watch is back on weekends, he got paid $7 million this year. Third, if you’re going to pack your on heat, make sure you have the appropriate licenses.

Honestly, he’ll be lucky to beat this rap. If he doesn’t have a good lawyer, his career path could be headed down the way of Mike Vick.

As for the rest of the league, I’m pretty sure the Lions won’t win this year. However, stranger things have happened. The Cowboys are using matchups against bad teams to help build momentum, but they’ll be in a dogfight for a final playoff spot with the NFC South teams and the Redskins.

In both conferences, there are going to be some good teams left out of the playoffs. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but the NFL needs to seriously think about expanding the number of teams that make the playoffs.

This year, it may not matter who makes the playoffs, as the Giants might not lose again this year. They are strong in all phases and subphases of the game. Offense, Defense and Special Teams; passing, running, receiving, blocking, run defense, pass defense, pressuring the quarterback, blitzing, kicking, punting and special teams coverage. I don’t see a team out there that is as solid as they are across the board.


Once again, the BCS bashers are out in full force. This time, its Oklahoma going to the Big 12 championship game via the BCS. However, this isn’t the BCS’ fault. People say, “They should decide it on the field.” Well they did. They all are about even.

In this case, I think it definitely should come down to strength of schedule, which Oklahoma won over Texas. If you use the BCS to eliminate the third team, then it would go to head to head between the Sooners and Texas, which would put Texas in the game. This isn’t the BCS’s fault; this was the choice of the Big 12. Or you can do what Mike Leach suggested and send the team with the best graduation rate. Of course, big time college sports are about money and not academics so this would never happen.

Once again, this controversy can disappear with a Missouri victory over the Sooners on Saturday. Keep in mind that recent Bob Stoops teams have had a penchant for looking ahead, or flat out crapping the bed in big games. Throw in a dinged up Sam Bradford and a potent Missouri team and anything can happen.

The one controversy that is out there that nobody is talking about is what’s the difference between USC and Florida? Nobody is really talking about the Trojans, while everyone is penciling in the Gators to play either Oklahoma or Texas, which comes with the assumption that they will beat Alabama this weekend.

Honestly, I think the Trojans might be better than the Gators. If strength of schedule was more important in the BCS, they might just win that battle.

USC lost one game, on the road, by six to a good Oregon State (8-4) team. They will finish the season with 6 road games and 6 home games. Their non-conference slate featured home games against Ohio State, Notre Dame and a roadie to open the season against UVA, along with no I-AA teams. They played three ranked teams and won by a combined score of 96-16. Their opponents’ record is 67-73 (including upcoming 4-7 UCLA), which isn’t good, but this is because two of the worst teams in college football are in their conference.

Meanwhile, Florida has lost one game, at home, by one to a decent Ole Miss (8-4) team. They’ve played 7 home games, one neutral site game (with another on the way) and only four road games. Their non-conference slate included home games against Hawaii, the U, and Citadel (a sorry I-AA team) and a road game against the ‘Noles. They played four ranked teams (thanks to an overrated SEC), and won those games by a score of 201-52. (While their margin of victory in ranked games is 37+ points versus USC’s 26.6 points, keep in mind that Urban Meyer is notorious for running up the score and USC could’ve very easily hung 100 on the two Washington schools.) Their opponents’ record is a whopping 87-56 (excluding 4-8 I-AA Citadel), aided by the SEC whooping up bad non-conference teams and avoiding teams like Auburn and Mississippi State.

I think a question not being asked is if Oregon State is better than Ole Miss. I think so, although not without Jacquizz Rodgers. If that’s the case, I think you at least have to consider USC over Florida. However, if the Gators knock off the number one team in the nation, there’s no way anyone would put USC over Florida. However, I think that USC can beat Alabama too.

The simple solution that the BCS for some reason has yet to institute is the good ole “Plus-1.”

Let’s assume Florida knocks off Alabama and Oklahoma defeats Missouri. Imagine Florida versus USC in one game and an Oklahoma/Texas rematch in another semi-final.

Let’s say Missouri and Alabama win. A Texas/USC rematch in one game while Alabama would take on Florida/Texas Tech/Utah/Penn State in the other game.

Add the excitement of the winner-take-all regular season and you can’t tell me this isn’t better than a playoff.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stupid Me - Featuring Derrick Rose's crossover on Andre Miller

I take back everything I ever said about Derrick Rose. I referred to him as more of a Jamal Crawford type than a Deron Williams type in my draft preview rant saying Beasley should be picked over him.

Meanwhile, Mike B. has become Derrick Coleman while Rose flourishes in Chicago. Rose isn't another Jamal Crawford, like I called him over the summer. He reminds me of a mini-LeBron.

He's definitely not a pure point, but he doesn't have to be. He's just physically better than everyone else at his 'position.' Just like LeBron is bigger, faster, stronger and has more ups than every 'small forward,' Rose has the same advantages over all point guards in the league.

There really isn't a point guard in the league that can check Rose. He still has a lot to learn, and will struggle at times, but he's a shoe-in for Rookie of the Year at this point. He's single-handedly turning a bad Bulls team into must see TV, especially with moves like this (love the commentary on this, by the way):

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Charles is Right: Shut Up LeBron

So Charles Barkley and LeBron James have been going at it in the media recently. First, Barkley said LeBron should "Shut the hell up" about the 2010 season, calling the speculation disrespectful.

LeBron responded by calling him stupid.

I agree with Barkley. LeBron, who comes across as one of the most egotistical people alive, is clearly basking in all the media attention about his future. He always stops short of committing to Cleveland or confirming he's leaving; his standard line is he's going to go where he has the best chance to win a championship, opportunity for his family, blah blah blah.

I'm at the point now where I'm convinced there must be a contract clause with Nike to give him more money in a bigger market, i.e. NY or LA.

Otherwise, he'd be better off to stay in Cleveland. In case LeBron hasn't realized it, he's on a championship contending team already in Cleveland. The Cavs are 13-3, 9-0 at home, and look like the third best team in the league behind the Lakers and Celtics.

Cavs GM Danny Ferry has built the perfect team for a player like LeBron. He has a ton of shooters and versatile big men that don't need the ball to be productive and aren't lane cloggers. This gives him freedom to drive, confidence to dish to teammates when defensives key on him and the ability to get extended periods of rest during the regular season, instead of dragging his team through the playoffs like years past.

Additionally, he finally has a viable sidekick in Mo Williams. The Larry Hughes experiment was a bust because he is (to borrow a phrase from Simmons) a derelict's version of O.J. Mayo: an injury-prone slasher with a suspect j and declining athletic ability.

Williams, meanwhile, can transition from spot up shooter to distributer to aggressive scoring option with ease. Why the hell would LeBron want to leave, unless he cares more about partying and his image than winning? This Cavs team is pretty young and are poised to dominate the East now that Detroit is (secretly) rebuilding and the Celtics are getting older. In addition, they're going to have a boatload of cap space in two years as well, with Mo Williams as one of the few players under contract.

Why not chill in Cleveland, contend for a title for two years, then bring one of your boys like Chris Bosh in town for an extended title run? LeBron is already the most famous basketball player and easily one of the 10 most famous athletes in the world. There isn't much LeBron stands to gain from moving to New York besides increased media coverage and scrutiny, which will be coupled with a loss in privacy.

Despite frequently coming off like an a-hole, he's a God in Ohio. Stay in Cleveland, where his private live has remained mostly out of the public eye, and win championships. Or go to New York, have all of your business in the open, be heavily criticized for every mistake and probably not win a championship.

In two years, the choice will be yours. Try not to diss the Chuckster when he's giving you great advice as well.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Curry Watch

So Steph Curry only scored 0 points yesterday in a 78-48 Davidson victory over Loyola, Maryland. Hold on, what? How many points did he score? 0? How many minutes did he play, 5? He played 32? Well, what the hell happened?

Apparently Loyola double-teamed Curry the whole time, regardless of score or scenario. In response, Curry just stood in a corner and watched his team play 4-3 on every possession. Annoyed, Davidson coach Bob McKillop kept Curry in the game.

You can read the article here, as Loyola coach Jimmy Pastos tried to justify what he did.

I think its unforgivable. You're basically saying to your team, "I don't believe you can't win. I'd rather be able to say 'hey, we held Steph Curry scoreless' than give you guys a chance to win." Yeah, he dropped 44 on Oklahoma and probably would've had 30+ last night. But hell, the game probably would've been closer had they played him straight up.

For the record, he's now putting up 29 ppg, 3 rpg, 7 apg, 3 spg.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

LeBron Quick Hit

Ben Wallace – 6’9, 240. Elton Brand – 6’9, 254. Carlos Boozer – 6’9, 266. David West – 6’9, 240. Amare Stoudemire – 6’10, 249. All of these guys are decent to phenomenal power forwards.

Then there’s this guy, who’s 6’8, 250. He’s LeBron James, a “small” forward. I say this because according to 82games.com, Cleveland’s most effective lineup is one that features LeBron at power forward.

This lineup is Boobie Gibson at the point, Delonte West at two, Sczerbiak at the three, King James at power forward and Anderson Varejao at center. Also, the team with the best power forward PER is Cleveland, probably aided by times when LeBron plays the four.

LeBron is a killer at four because he’s big strong to defend the position, but he’s way faster than most power forwards. This means when he drives by them he’s either going to draw extra defenders, then dish to one of the three shooters (assuming Cleveland is playing their best lineup) or hit a cutting Varejao near the basket for an easy bucket.

If Mike Brown is smart, he'd find more and more minutes for LeBron at the four.

Yet, he might not win MVP, again. Chris Paul is playing better than ever, Dwayne Wade may very well drag his motley crew in Miami into the playoffs (as predicted here) and Kobe’s Lakers look better than ever.

Just something I thought of today. I’m going to go back to watching the King play his future (I hope not) team on NBA TV, the greatest channel on the dial, and fooling around on 82games.com.

Actually, before I go, I just want to proclaim that all of Steph Curry’s games should be televised from now on. Can we make that happen please? 35 ppg, 8 apg, 3 rpg, 3 spg, 53% from the field, 45% from three and 91% from the line. Is that not TV worthy? Ok, I’m done.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kudos to Myron Rolle

Ok, I screwed up. I failed to acknowledge Myron Rolle's accomplishment over the weekend. Rolle is now a Rhodes Scholar. We spend so much time picking on and ridiculing every misstep and mistake athletes do that we often ignore or downplay the good they do.

Not every athlete is a thug, malcontent or dufus. Rolle is an intellectual who happens to crack a few skulls on Saturdays (and Thursdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and whatever days they play college football on now).

I'm glad he didn't let football get in the way of his academic goals. Its funny too that Rolle would come from a school like Florida State, who's football players get way more publicity for the bad things they do off the field.

I hope he continues to shine academically and I hope more athletes like him get more shine in the future.

Quick Hits 11/24


So I finally got a chance to see the Hornets play on Friday night. Chris Paul was amazing, they d’ed up and slaughtered their opponent. On Saturday night (in a non-televised game), they pretty much did the same thing on Friday and CP3 notched his first triple-double of the season. The problem is they played Kevin Durant’s team both nights.

As far as the rest of the league, the Lakers and Celtics are dominant again. The Rockets and Cavs are better and the Magic and Bobcats are making me look bad, as they do every year. Derrick Rose > Mike Beasley and Marc Gasol, O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay are going to be a good trio soon (random Grizzlies note of the year).

I could go on and on about every team, but I’m not. Just like last year, I’m loving the NBA.


The McNabb era has come to an end in Philly. Hopefully he’ll end up on a good team with receivers and finish his career with some dignity.

Meanwhile, an old Super Bowl favorite is getting healthy and picking up some steam. Yup, the Dallas Cowboys are looking good. I could definitely see them getting hot, winning the rest of their games this year and set themselves up for a classic NFC Championship game against the Giants, who are rolling.

In the AFC, the Jets are getting a lot of hype, but the pundits backing them are forgetting two things. 1. Brett Favre is Brett Favre, who is always likely to make a mistake at a costly time. 2. Brett Favre was on the cover of Madden this year. I don’t know if his unretirement and subsequent trade has made him Madden Curse exempt, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Meanwhile, if the Steelers and Colts can stay healthy, play close attention both teams going forward in the AFC. The Patriots are looming as well.

On another note, I love it how all the NFL’s Thursday night games suck. This year, they seemed to start earlier than ever. You know that eventually they’re going to have at least one if not multiple games on the NFL Network each week. Just like Wall Street, greed is eventually going to kill the NFL.


This year, the NCAA has two guys who are can’t miss, watch every minute of the game players. They are sportsology favorite Stephen Curry and future #1 draft pick Blake Griffin. Curry is averaging 34 points, 2.5 rebounds and 9 assists a game. He’s shooting 53% from the field, 43% from three and 90+% from the line. Griffin is averaging 26 points, 20 rebounds and 3 assists a contest. He’s shooting 57% from the field.

Now those numbers are insane, but they are only four games worth of stats. However, both players are the real deal. Griffin is going to come on TV more, so you might get away with missing and Oklahoma game every now and then.

Curry’s Davidson Wildcats are a mid-major team in a conference without a major TV deal. Therefore, its imperative that you watch every minute he plays this year, as he might end up with one of the greatest seasons of all time when its all said and done.


Texas Tech lost, as predicted here (finally!), but damn I didn’t expect them to get killed like that. With that beatdown, Texas v. Florida is now Oklahoma v. Florida, and I’d definitely take the Sooners in that contest.

Elsewhere, Charlie Weis is taking a lot of heat at Notre Dame, and will probably finish the year with a 6-7 record after bowl season. Notre Dame is probably cursed for screwing Ty Willingham; at least Weis’ tenure is. Unfortunately for him, he made it very easy to root against him with his early braggadocio and ridiculous contract extension.

As the season winds down and every game takes heightened importance, enjoy the games. Games of this intensity level would not happen with a playoff system, which is why it the BCS needs to stay with some small adjustments.

I know this post was kind of dull, but too much happened over the weekend for me not to address it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quick Hits 11/20


Note to the NBA: Stop showing the same teams over and over again! Every year, the geniuses that set the NBA’s TV schedule select about 6-10 teams to play on TV everyday. This year, the Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, Nuggets, Bulls, Blazers, Heat, Rockets, Mavs, Cavs Spurs and Suns are always on TV.

Good teams from last year, like the Hornets, Raptors and Jazz, and up-and-coming teams like Atlanta and the Knicks (yes, they seems to be playing exciting ball under D’Antoni) are never one. I would love to write about what’s wrong with the 5-5 Hornets, but I’ve only seen them play once; a Saturday night game on NBA TV versus the Heat, which they won.

C’mon Stern, give the fans some diversity on the tube.

NCAA Football

In college football, Newton’s law is the law of the land, especially if BCS implications are on the line. I’m bringing this up to foreshadow what might (and probably will) happen if Texas Tech loses on the road against Oklahoma on Saturday. Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma would then finish with one loss a piece, to each other, which basically says that they are fairly even – which they are.

Their fate would then be determined by the pollsters and computers, via the BCS, to see which team would square off against Missouri in the Big 12 Championship game with the BCS title on the line.

I love it. Because the team that will probably come out on top is the team that actually played tough non-conference competition. Without the BCS, teams would just load up on creampuffs and I-AA (I’m still against the whole FBS and FCS b.s.) schools in non-conference play. At least this system forces teams to schedule decent competition, or face the wrath of Jeff Sagarin.

Texas Tech played four non-conference games: 2 home games against I-AA competition (Eastern Washington from the Big Sky, whom they defeated 49-24, and UMASS from the CAA, whom they defeated 56-14), played Nevada on the road (35-19) and crushed SMU at home (43-7). That’s horrible.

Texas played no I-AA schools in their four non-conference games. They had a road romp over UTEP, 42-13, and three home victories over Florida Atlantic, Rice and Arkansas, all with the score of 52-10. Rice is 1st in their division in Conference USA.

Oklahoma crushed one of the worst teams in I-AA, Chattanooga (57-2), whipped possible Big East champ Cincinnati at home (52-26), crushed Pac-10 doormat Washington on the road (55-14) and handled #24 TCU (35-10) at home.

So if Texas Tech loses, they’re done. That creates an interesting scenario between Texas and Oklahoma. Texas defeated Oklahoma and played no I-AA schools. This should give them the edge in the polls, but who knows how the computer will rank Oklahoma’s victories over TCU and ‘Nati.

Florida vs. Texas in the national championship? Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Curry and Griffin live up to expectations

Although I’m usually not a big fan of gimmicks, I must commend ESPN on their college basketball marathon yesterday. At midnight, I got a chance to get a sneak-peak at Memphis and future star Tyreke Evans, who was unimpressive in the action I saw before I went to sleep.

Yesterday morning, my Drexel Dragons knocked off the Penn Quakers in a game played at 10 am, which was also the first time Drexel has ever hosted Penn in basketball. UNC looks like they could win the championship even without Hansbrough and Ginyard, either that or Kentucky is going to be very bad this year, or maybe even a little bit of both.

UAB looked pretty good in the first half against Arizona (although the game came down to the wire well past my bedtime).

But of course, the game of the night yesterday was Davidson at Oklahoma, which did not disappoint. Davidson, of course, is powered by superstar Stephen Curry. Oklahoma is led by 2009 #1 NBA draft pick Blake Griffin. Both players put up impressive numbers played big roles in the outcome of the game on off nights!

Blake Griffin was outscored by his brother Taylor in the first half and only had 4 points while Curry had 17 points, but missed the last 6 minutes of the half with foul trouble. Yet, Griffin finished with 25 points and 22 rebounds and Curry had 44 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists when the fat lady sang last night in Norman.

Get this about Curry – he only shot 41% from the field and 40% from three (he was 14-14 from the charity stripe). He could have very easily had 50 points in this contest. Oklahoma tried all they could to keep the ball out of his hands, but what likely saved them was Curry’s first half fouls and fatigue.

Curry went through a stretch where he missed three straight 3’s off the front of the rim and he also missed a few floaters and fingerolls that could have upped his total to fiddy. I don’t know if his size will play well in the NBA, but he is the most exciting player and best shooter the game has seen in a long, long time.

As for Griffin, he’s the truth. He doesn’t have much range, but he can handle the ball very well and even led some of the Sooners’ fast breaks last night. He’s good from the line and unstoppable from close range. He’s a ferocious rebounder and is very tenacious when it comes to finishing. His brother, too, was impressive. He reminds me of a Paul Millsap kind of player.

Moving forward, Davidson will be much better when the tournament comes around, as their role players will become more acclimated to playing in the spotlight. The “White Lobster” Bryant Barr was 1-9 from the field, including 1-7 from downtown. In fact, besides Curry, the rest of the team shot horribly -- 12-39 from the field (31%), 4-14 from 3 (29%), and 6-12 (50%) from the line. If his team continues to play this poorly, Curry will be a shoe-in for player of the year, as he can and will continue to carry them.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma could be tough team, but there are a few things about them that troubled me. Their outside shooting was poor and needs to improve. Willie Warren can fly and Jeff Capel needs to turn him loose. I assume he will as Warren gets more experience. And perimeter defense needs to improve, as regardless of who you’re playing against, you can’t give up 44 to a guy.

As for the game, it was one of the better regular season games since maybe the Texas-Oklahoma State triple-overtime game a few years ago when Mario Boggan squared off against Kevin Durant. I can’t wait to see either one of these teams again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2 for 1: Thoughts on McNabb's lack of thoughts

Ok, I have to address this. How does Donovan McNabb not know there is only one overtime in the regular season? A tie in the NFL happened not too long ago, 2002, and it involved one of the game’s most exciting players at the time – Mike Vick.

His line about, the playoffs or Super Bowl is even stupider. The team that beat him in the NFC Championship game to advance to the Super Bowl in 2004, the Carolina Panthers, did so after knocking off the Rams in a double-overtime game on the first play in the Divisional Round of the playoffs that year.

Maybe this is why he got confused. The reason why the regular season only features one 15 minute period is probably risk of injury. Plus, it rarely happens. If ties were more frequent, I’m sure the NFL would adopt an NCAA style of overtime.

Still, Donovan has to know this rule. That game pretty much ended the Eagles playoff hopes and was probably (or hopefully) the last scar to McNabb’s star-crossed career in Philly. Good luck wherever you play next year, and thanks for ruining my Super Bowl pick.

Steph Curry Star Power

America's favorite college athlete is back at it again. The son of Dell dropped 33 on James Madison in 31 minutes. He shot 14-19 from the field, including 4-6 from downtown, and also dropped 9 dimes.

Now here's how much star power young Curry has. At 9pm tonight on the 'Worldwide Leader,' UNC plays Kentucky in one of the most anticipated early season games. However, at 9:30 pm on ESPN2, Curry and Davidson square off against Oklahoma and super soph Blake Griffin. Which game are you going to watch? I assume most will work the remote like a mad man shifting games, but if Curry goes off, I know where everyone will end up.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Can anyone save the Lions, and other cool stuff too


This is a real quick one. I just wanted to point out this blog about who would star in a 2008 version of NBA Jam. I’m so jealous I didn’t think of this first. I’m thinking about doing a tournament edition one, but I don’t want to be a biter.


There’s so much to talk about in the NFL. Most of my playoff picks are in the dumpster (as usual) and most of the playoff spots seem like they will be up for grabs in the next few weeks. The Kurt Warner for MVP bandwagon is picking up steam, as Warner keeps playing like its 7 years ago (32-44, 395 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT yesterday). Marion Barber has literally become the equivalent to a closer in the NFL, as I’m sure you’ve heard 1,000 times this weekend.

One thing I wanted to look at today is parody in the NFL. Most of the league’s teams are average or above average, with the exception of the Titans and Giants. However, there are a lot of bad teams in the NFL. Most of these bad teams have been bad for the last few years.

These really bad teams are the Bengals, Chiefs, Raiders, Seahawks, Rams, and Lions (who are making a serious run at 0-16). The big question for the league is “Can any of these teams ever be good?”

(Note: I didn’t include the Browns, Texans or 49ers on this list because they are worst than they should be. These teams have been fairly “scrap-less” all season).

To make it easier on the commish, I’ll judge their chances on a 10 point scale.

Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati seemed on their way to being good winning their division in 2005. In their playoff game against the Steelers that year, Carson Palmer blew out his knee and things haven’t been the same since. 8-8 in 2006, 7-9 last year, and this year they can’t finish any better than 7-8-1.

They have talent, but without Palmer, it’s useless.

Chances: 8

Solution: Get rid of Marvin Lewis (sorry Marv), get Carson healthy, draft character and talent.

Kansas City Chiefs
Remember when they used to get thrashed by the Colts every year in the playoffs? Now, they have a fairly uphill battle to the top. They have a decent coach in Herm Edwards (good motivator and mentor, not an X’s and O’s guy) and talent sprinkled around old and unhappy players.

Hopefully for their fans, they won’t be fooled by Tyler Thigpen’s recent performances into going into next season without a good QB.

Chances: 6

Solution: Trade LJ and Tony G. for draft picks and young talent. Get a franchise QB in the draft, another receiver to go with Bowe and a running back that actually wants to be there. Some talent on defense wouldn’t hurt either.

Oakland Raiders

Call this the curse of Rich Gannon? Or not. Either way, this franchise is a mess. Apparently nothing can get done around there as long as Al Davis is around and he’ll never relinquish control of the team. Ever.

Big spending didn’t work for them, after a few years of trying to build through the draft and trades.

Chances: 2

Solution: Besides Nnamdi Asomugha, Darren McFadden and JaMarcus Russell, there aren’t too many pieces on this team worth keeping. I’d start by rebuilding the offensive line and go from there.

Seattle Seahawks

This is going to get worse before it gets better. Their window has closed. All their stars are old and past their prime, with few exceptions. Time to rebuild.

Chances: 7

Solution: Get rid of the money guys and bring youth in. Hopefully, they’ll get a good coach to lead the transition in the post-Holmgren era (not Jim Mora, Jr.)

St. Loius Rams

This is an ugly situation. Their stars aged a lot faster than anyone could have expected. They need to find a way to keep Stephen Jackson healthy, and go from there.

Chances: 5

Solution: Get an offensive line! Get rid of the malcontents. Get at least a decent coach; try somebody with a new, fresh approach. Draft some talent on defense.

Detroit Lions

They need to get rid of everyone except for Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith. And pray. Seriously.

Chances: 2

Solution: New coach, QB, o-line, d-line, more depth at receiver, new tight end, new linebackers (except Sims), new defensive backs, new special teamers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hidden NFL MVP Information Inside


Very quietly, Kurt Warner is having his best season ever (so far). Yes, 2-Time MVP Kurt Warner has opened the season better than his 1999 and 2001 MVP years. Flanked by two All-Pro receivers (Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin), two solid complimentary players (Steve Breaston, Jerheme Urban) and Edgerrin James 2.0 (Tim Hightower), Warner is the mid-season MVP in the NFL so far.

Check out his numbers from ’99, ’01, and ’08 through 9 games:

Kurt Warner Through 9 Games

1999 – (7-2) 191-279 (68% comp.) 2454 yards, 26 TD, 6 INT, 117.8 QB Rating
2001 – (8-1) 224-327 (69% comp.) 2709 yards, 17 TD, 13 INT, 94.7 QB Rating
2008 – (6-3) 238-337 (71% comp.) 2760 yards, 19 TD, 6 INT, 106.4 QB Rating

A close second is Adrian Peterson, who is literally carrying the Vikings on his shoulders. However, once Kevin and Pat Williams are finally suspended, look for the Vikes to fade to black.

A close third is Clinton Portis, who will probably pass AP and challenge Warner. But props to Warner, who has the Cardinals cruising to their first playoff birth since the Jake the Snake era. I assume Warner would give props to God, then to his crappy division for his quasi-resurgence. I say quasi because he balled out last year too.

2007 – (8-8) (7-7 as starter) 281-451 (62%) 3417 yards, 27 TD, 17 INT, 88.9 QB Rating

Don’t sleep on Warner, or the Cardinals, who seem like they’re going to be one of the few teams to fulfill my expectations.

Other NFL Awards through 9 games

Offensive Player of the Year – Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
Defensive Player of the Year – Too Close to Call
Coach of the Year – Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans
Offensive Rookie of the Year – Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Defensive Rookie of the Year – Chris Horton, Washington Redskins


Once again, the BCS haters were out in full force crying about how Penn State was going to get shafted, only for them to fall at Iowa over the weekend. For years, college football has always seemingly worked itself out. At the end of the year, there are usually one or two undefeated or standout one-loss teams.

Before the BCS, they may or may not have ended up playing each other in the same bowl. Now, it’s a guarantee. I’m not saying the BCS is perfect, but I will say it’s much better than the previous system.

The thing I like about the BCS is it makes every game important. How exciting would that Iowa victory over Penn State have been with a playoff? The Nittany Lions would still likely make an 8-team playoff, sucking a lot of the air out of the Hawkeyes victory.

And when Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma all finish the season with one loss, how will their fate be determined? Strength of schedule, via the BCS, which will continue to encourage teams to stop putting creampuffs on their schedule.

As for the latest darling of the playoff proponents, USC, they lost to Oregon State and play in an inferior Pac-10. Who cares? At the end of the season, nearly every fan is usually satisfied with the team who is crowned champion by the BCS. After all the hot air is blown, the clear cut champion usually proves itself on the field and vindicates the BCS.

And, as I always argue, who would you determine who does or doesn’t make the playoffs? Probably a BCS-like system. And for the mid-major fans, a playoff would likely hurt your team, because a team like Utah would end up seeded 7th and have to face Florida (not a good matchup). Now they’ll probably go to a BCS game against a lesser opponent and be able to compete.

Ok, I’m done.


Great start to the season so far. Not much else to say. A lot of people continue to bash the NBA, but they obviously weren’t paying attention last season, during one of the most interesting campaigns in recent history. You don’t want to be that guy that misses out on the fun this year. Don’t wait till the playoffs to tune in, as you’ll definitely be confused by who’s in, who’s out and who’s good all of a sudden.

NCAA Bball
The title is UNC’s for the taking. However, after that I think its up in the air. I am interesting to watch the play of two mid-major guards, Eric Maynor of VCU and Stephen Curry of Davidson, who have the chance to solidify themselves as lottery picks.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A.I. for Mr. Big Shot = Push

While I was out with a throat yesterday, there were a few big moves in the sports world that went down.

In college football, Phillip Fulmer was forced to take $6 million over four years to no longer coach Tennessee.

However, more important to me was the NBA trade where the Nuggets sent A.I. the Pistons for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess (who will be bought out and re-sign with Detroit, allegedly) and some random dude (Cheik Samb).

There is a lot of speculation that Detroit did this move to shake things up, clear the way for Stuckey to start next year, and clear cap space to make a run at LeBron/Bosh/D. Wade in 2 years. Much of this is fueled by A.I.’s expiring contract.

He doesn’t seem like a good fit for this team on paper, but their max seemed to be another Eastern Conference Finals loss anyway. Perhaps Allen’s personality or the sheer volume of Dumars trading away a team leader could shake things up and give this team a spark.

If it works, they can possibly resign him or even try to get him to sign a 1-year extension. If it doesn’t work, you let him walk. Either way, you avoid pissing your fans off by rebuilding.

As for Denver, this trade looked a lot better before I learned they weren’t keeping Antonio McDyess. He would’ve helped provide them some much needed front court depth. Adding Billups, however, will solidify their point guard position and getting rid of A.I. will allow J.R. Smith to start.

Billups seems like a much better fit for Denver than A.I., although he has lost a step since he was the 2004 Finals MVP.

I think the final verdict on this trade is a draw. Even with Billups, Denver is a 6-8 seed in the West at best and A.I. doesn’t make Detroit any better than it already is, and his style of play could actually hinder the team’s chemistry.

As always, I’m interested to see what happens.

Monday, October 27, 2008

NBA Season Preview

I've finally gotten a chance to do something productive with this blog and make some predictions before the league I'm talking about actually starts. In my opinion, there are more questions than answers this season in the NBA, but i'm pumped up.

Truthfully, the NFL has been garbage this year, so I'm more ready for the NBA than I think I've ever been in October. Without further ado ...

Eastern Conference

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – The time is now for LeBron to put up or shut up. Last season, he snickered and sneered his way to 30, 7 and 7 despite an open disdain for the play of many of his teammates. Now, they seem to be one of the deepest teams in the east. I expect them to make the leap, with King James finally ascending to the NBA’s throne.
2. Boston Celtics – This year, I expect a lot of parity in the NBA for a change. That said, the Celtics and Pistons will probably do what most veteran contender teams do in the NBA; take off the first 1/4 or 1/3 of the season, then turn it on down the stretch.
3. Detroit Pistons – Joe Dumars should’ve blown this team the past few years. The problem is, they are always good enough to finish no worst than third in the East and make a championship run, even though they need a chemistry change to get them back to the top.
4. Miami Heat - D. Wade is back, and he has a nice mix of youth and experience with him. If they pick up the pace (which they should sans Riley), they can easily take control of the weakest division in the NBA.
5. Toronto Raptors - The 4th best team in the East is here only because of NBA alignment rules. The pick up of Jermaine O’Neal shows an interesting potential rift between coach Sam Mitchell (a traditionalist) and Bryan Collangelo (a big fan of the international, fast pace style of ball). J.O. will also relegate more bench time for Andrea Bargnani, who may never live up to his #1 pick potential.
6. Philadelphia 76ers – A good, but not great team with too much hype.
7. Charlotte Bobcats - I don’t know how, but I have a feeling that Larry Brown will find a way to get these guys in the playoffs.
8. Washington Wizards – These next few teams are pretty much interchangeable (and definitely Charlotte at #7 as well), as far as potential. The Wiz have too many injuries to really be a threat, and are married to this bunch of players that doesn’t quite fit for the foreseeable future.
9. Atlanta Hawks – The Hawks have good talent, but an aging Bibby and constant friction between players and the coach, the coach and front office and the front office with each other usually isn’t a good mix for a winning program.
10. Orlando Magic - I might be the only person who has these guys out of the playoffs, but I’m not sold.
11. Indiana Pacers – If they stay healthy, they could easily sneak their way into the playoffs.
12. Chicago Bulls – They need to make some moves quickly to get better fitting parts if they want to make a playoff run this year.
13. New Jersey Nets – Everyone is expecting Vince to mail it in. Also, I’m not that big on the whole Devin Harris going to the next level in New Jersey theory. I saw a stat somewhere that showed his shooting percentage dropped by like 6% after he moved to Jerz. This is because in Dallas he was taking mostly open jump shots and layups. Asked to carry more of the load in New Jersey, he’ll be prone to taking bad shots.
14. New York Knicks – Love D’Antoni, hate this team.
15. Milwaukee Bucks – Probably like this team more than most, hate Skiles.

Western Conference

1. New Orleans Hornets – I think Posey puts them over the top. Overall, I think this year will have the most parity/mediocrity in the league in recent history. I expect them to be one of the few dominant teams.
2. LA Lakers – I think the West will be N.O. and the rest. These guys could easily drop lower, with injury and chemistry problems seemingly on the horizon. It would be in their best interest to trade L.O. as soon as possible.
3. Utah Jazz – The Boozer situation could get ugly, and so could the situation with D-Wil’s ankle. If they hold it together and keep Booz or get equal value, they could jump the Lakers.
4. Houston Rockets – T-Mac and Yao are going to get hurt. They will likely be hurt at the same time, at least for a few games, putting the keys in Ron Artest’s hands. This could either validate them as a title contender or validate the critics of the Artest experiment.
5. San Antonio Spurs – They’ll mail in the first half season, especially with Ginobili out for a while, then turn it up after the all-star break. Be prepared to read several articles abut how scary they are in March.
6. Denver Nuggets – Like spots 7-13 in the East, 6-14 is up for grabs in my opinion. The Nuggets have an ugly team but before you put them out of the playoff picture, you have to remember that Melo always makes the playoffs.
7. Dallas Mavericks – Do not be surprised if they don’t make the playoffs, especially when Jason Kidd misses the inevitable 10-15 games.
8. Phoenix Suns – Definitely don’t be surprised if they miss the playoffs. Nash, Shaq, Raja Bell and G. Hill could combine to miss 100 games this year. Even if they all play 82, this team doesn’t fit well together and Nash is essentially a waste in a slow paced offense.
9. LA Clippers – Don’t be surprised if they make the playoffs. They have a team of hardheads, which could be problematic for chemistry, but if B. Diddy stays healthy, the team meshes quickly and Dunleavy gets his rotation in order, they’ll definitely be playing ball well into April.
10. Portland Trailblazers – Too many people on the bandwagon, but should definitely be a playoff team in 09-10.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves – A potential sleeper this year, should be a definite sleeper next year.
12. Sacramento Kings – Ditto.
13. Memphis Grizzlies – Ditto.
14. Golden State Warriors – Ugly, ugly situation in Oaktown. They are definitely “Atlanta Hawks West.” It sucks because they had so much momentum with fan support after they knocked off the Mavs a few years ago.
15. Oklahoma City Liberty – Bad karma from Seattle, worst uniforms in the history of professional sports hands down. I hope they only win 8 games and still miss out on the #1 pick.

MVP – LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Coach of the Year – Jerry Sloan, Utah Jazz
ROY – Greg Oden, Portland Trailblazers
6th Man – James Posey, New Orleans Hornets
Most Improved – Jose Calderon, Toronto Raptors
Defensive – Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks

C – Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
PF – Amare Stoudamire, Phoenix Suns
SF – LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
SG – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
PG – Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets



1st Round
def Washington (again); Boston def Charlotte; Philadelphia def Detroit; Toronto def Miami

Conf. Semi’s

def Toronto; Boston def Philadephia

Conf Finals

Cleveland def Boston


1st Round
New Orleans def Phoenix; Lakers def Dallas; Utah def Denver; San Antonio def Houston

Conf Semi’s
New Orleans def San Antonio; Utah def Lakers

Conf Finals
New Orleans def Utah

NBA Finals
New Orleans def Cleveland

Friday, October 24, 2008

Extra Belated World Series Preview

Ok, so I was going to post this before yesterday's game, but blogger was down. But alas, I felt obligated to do it anyway. So folks, here is essentially a preview of Games 3-7.

(check out this interesting Bill Rhoden article about the potential impact of the Rays black players on growing the game in the inner city.)

Now that I’m a grown up, I need to stay in shape. That, plus the ridiculous nature of traffic here in the DMV, usually sends me to the gym after work for at least an hour every night. To make a long story short, these long days of work x the gym usual has me home after 8 pm every night.

That’s not really conducive to getting things done outside of the work place during the week. This week, I’ve avoided the gym in an effort to get things done. After a productive Monday, I had a completely unproductive Tuesday, followed by a Wednesday where I started making headway in a lot of situations I had been stalling with.

But I forgot one major thing. MY WORLD SERIES PREVIEW!

Ok, so Game 1 is in the books (3-2 Phillies Victory), but there’s still six* games to go! Here’s the tale of the tape.

Rays Offense vs. Phillies Pitching and D

The Rays can mash, we’ve all heard that and about what B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria have done in this postseason for weeks. What is an underrated topic is the Phillies pitching. Ok, in my last Phillies related piece, I noted that they finally have good enough pitching to go with their hitting.

However, their arms aren’t good enough to hold down the Rays, except for Cole Hamels (as he showed last night). As I was watching the Phillies play the Dodgers, I noticed about four things about their pitching staff.

1. Brett Meyers is decent. 2. Jamie Moyer is hit or miss. 3. Joe Blanton is miss, miss, hit, miss.

And 4. Brad Lidge is going to blow a save at some point in this series. In Game 5 (I believe) he almost gave up 9th inning homeruns to James Loney and Matt Kemp. In the regular season, he’s definitely walked guys and given up big hits, only to get bailed out by a Shane Victorino throw.

Oh, and Ryan Howard is the worst baseball player on the planet.

Advantage: Rays

Phillies Offense vs. Rays Pitching and D

The ex-factor is really David Price. The Rays starting is decent, although slightly overrated, and their bullpen is hit or miss too. But David Price is a beast. I really hope Maddon unleashes him more in this series.

The Phillies offense is very potent 1-6. After that, unless Brett Meyers is pitching, you can count out the bottom of the lineup. I’m not too hot on Chris Coste at DH either. But since I’m not too sure of what Price’s role in this series will be, I’ll call this even.

Advantage: Even


Normally, I always take the smarter guy. But lately, the coach you think will win the big game or series loses. Maddon is the thinker, Manuel is Manuel. I can’t call it.

Advantage: Even


The intricacies of “The Trop” vs. the bandbox that is Citizens Bank. The Phillies inevitable choke x The Curse of Billy Penn vs. the Rays inexperience. Old Brad Lidge vs. New Brad Lidge.

Once again, I can’t call it.


Rays in 6.

(Sorry this kind of got a little sloppy and short towards the end, “the man” is on to my blogging habits).