Monday, February 25, 2008

NBA Trade Deadline Re-Cap

The trade deadline finally came and went with a few minor trades, two semi-important trades, and a huge deadline deal.

For the minor deals, Toronto traded Juan Dixon to the Pistons for Primoz Brezec. No comment about this one.

Houston traded Kirk Snyder and a 2nd round pick for the T’Wolves Gerald Green. Its bad news for Green when a team like the Timberwolves gives up on you.

Portland traded Taurean Green to the Nuggets for Von Wafer. Yawn.

In a very interesting move, the San Antonio Spurs acquired Kurt Thomas from the Supersonics for Francisco Elson, Brent Barry, and a 1st round pick. This is a big, big move for them. Thomas gives them depth and good shooting from the center position that the Spurs seem to reserve for players that provided defense and rebounding only.

Add to the fact that Brent Barry was bought out by the Sonics soon after the deal and could re-sign with the Spurs. If he does that, they would’ve upgraded from Elson to Thomas at backup center at the low cost of a low first round draft pick. Amazing.

Another interesting trade was New Orleans getting Bonzi Wells and Mike James from the Rockets for Bobby Jackson. Bonzi is an excellent role player for a team lacking depth, although he’s nuts. Playing with CP3 might keep him sane at least for the rest of the season.

However, I think Mike James is a downgrade from Bobby Jackson. The only thing that’s good about James is he’s a lot more durable than Jackson. For the Rockets, they continue to have one of the weirdest rosters around. They have no depth at the 2 or the 3, but seem to only acquire power forwards and point guards.

Of course the biggest deal was the three team trade between Seattle, Chicago and Cleveland. The Sonics received Adrian Griffin, Ira Newble, and Donyell Marshall; Chicago got Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Shannon Brown, and Cedric Simmons; Cleveland got Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West.

For the Sonics, they continue to cut salary I guess to help make their move cheaper. This sucks for Seattle as the NBA is going to sit back and allow a franchise with loyal fans to be moved in the name of corporate welfare.

For Chicago, they got rid of Ben Wallace’s ugly contract and officially ushered in the Joakim Noah/Tyrus Thomas era. The move also suggests that Ben Gordon’s Bulls days are numbered, although I still think the Bulls should just buy Hughes out.

For Cleveland, LeBron finally has a decent supporting cast. I don’t know where Ben Wallace fits in, as he’s just a more expensive Anderson Varejao. Joe Smith is a smarter, although less athletic, Drew Gooden. Szcerbiak is not the catch and shoot guy he’s been made out to be, but he’s a hell of a lot better than Larry Hughes (and cheaper too).

He didn’t fit in with KG, which should be another red flag. Still, he has to fit in better with this team than Hughes.

My favorite part of this deal for the Cavs is the addition of Delonte West. I don’t know why nobody wants to keep this guy. He’s solid at all aspects of the game; he can shoot with range, play defense, rebound, and pass. Him and Boobie Gibson are a solid young point guard combination, comparable to the Lakers combo of Jordan Farmar and Sasah Vujacic.

Now that everything’s said and done, doesn’t this year’s playoffs seem like they will be epic? I can’t wait.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Dunk Contest Vinsanity ...

I’m tired of everyone saying Dwight Howard brought back the dunk contest this year. Uhhh didn’t Amare and Josh Smith do that two years ago?

For the record, this past weekend’s dunks were average. I like what Amare and Smith did in 05 better than this year and what Andre Iguodala and Nate Robinson did in 06 better.

Reggie Miller even compared this year’s dunk contest to the ’88 contest between MJ and ‘Nique. Are you f’n serious??? In the words of Roy Jones, y’all must’ve forgot, so allow me to remind you about … Vinsanity. Yes, 2000 Dunk Contest, the greatest display of consecutive dunks ever. (excuse the foul language on the song: Dipset – “Dipset Anthem”

More Trade Talk

Two more big trades went down in the NBA in the past few days.

First, the Atlanta Hawks made a big move by picking up Mike Bibby from the Sacramento Kings for Tyronn Lue, Anthony Johnson, Lorenzen Wright, Shelden Williams, and a 2nd Round draft pick.

For the Hawks, they finally get their point guard after not picking Chris Paul a few years back. Anthony Johnson was actually supposed to do the job for them, but he’s washed up.

In addition to getting Bibby, they didn’t really give up anything, making it a win-win situation. Bibby and Joe Johnson form a very formidable backcourt and his addition should be enough to propel them to the playoffs in a very, very, very, very, very weak Eastern Conference this year.

For the Kings, they’re essentially giving up and starting over. They have actually played good ball this year when they’ve had their entire team healthy, but in a season where a 50 win team might miss the playoffs in the West, their 07-08 campaign is a wash.

Next, another panic trade went down. The Mavs finally got Jason Kidd (and Malik Allen), for Trenton Hassell, Keith Van Horn (kind of – he’s retired and will stay retired, he just has to “unretire” long enough for this deal to go through), Devin Harris, DeSagana Diop, Maurice Ager, two 1st Round draft picks, and $3 million bucks.

What a bad trade. For starters, Devin Harris was supposed to be their point guard of the future. Instead, they get an aging Kidd who can’t shoot anymore for a few seasons. Their biggest problem was the lack of a clutch player, not a point guard.

If they wanted to replace Harris, they should’ve got Mike Bibby – a clutch point guard. Additionally, everyone in the West seems to be getting bigger (Gasol w/ LA, Shaq on Phoenix, Webber on Golden State) … Why on earth did they trade their best defensive big man? What sense does that make?

For the Nets, they get a young point guard who can make a lot of plays. Maybe Diop will pick up for Jason Kidd’s rebounding. For as bad as people have made the Nets out to be, they’re still an Eastern Conference playoff team.

Going back to the Mavs and I guess everyone else in the West, I never expected every GM to react to the Pau Gasol-Lakers deal by panicking. This deal and the Shaq deal have panic written all over them. I wonder who will panic next. Maybe the Rockets will trade T-Mac to the Knicks for Zach Randolph and Jerome James or something stupid like that.

One player that could’ve actually used some of these guys, especially Mike Bibby, is LeBron James and the LeBronaliers, I mean Cavs. He has to be pissed that his team didn’t get Jason Kidd or Mike Bibby.

They could’ve arranged for Larry Hughes to be bought out by somebody and got a deal done. I hear Vince is available; maybe they can send Hughes to the Nets for Vince and call it a day. Say what you want about Vince, but I’m still a VC guy. For about the same amount of money, at least he’s better than Larry Hughes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Steroids? We're talkin' bout steroids man, not the game, steroids ...

The Roger Clemens fiasco hit a new low Wednesday, as he testified on Capitol Hill. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform embarrassed Clemens, Brian McNamee and themselves during the made for T.V. extravaganza.

For Clemens, it’s becoming more and more obvious that he’s lying. In attempting to clear his name, he’s thrown his friend, trainer, and even wife under the bus. Yet, he always comes off worse every time he opens his mouth.

He even stooped as low as to basically bribe Congress members of the committee with autographs and photo shoots. It seemed to work, as some Congressmen seemed to be wholeheartedly on his side.

One guy couldn’t understand why we were supposed to believe McNamee, who previously lied about Clemens’ use of performance enhancing drugs. Uhh, Mr. Congressman, uhhh, you ever think that maybe he lied originally to protect Clemens?

Speaking of Congress, what a waste of time it is to even have them. With all of the issues going on in our country, they decided it was a good use of time to put Roger Clemens on trial Wednesday. I recall a Congressman in the beginning say something along the lines of ‘It may get a little hectic today because of voting, but we’re going to keep it moving anyway.’ I hope there weren’t any important topics being called to the floor yesterday.

I don’t know what was accomplished by that hearing. What difference does it make if Roger Clemens lied or not lied about steroid use, or if he used at all? That’s a baseball problem. I thought the purpose of that hearing, the one in 2005, and the Mitchell Report was to analyze steroid use in baseball, see how it became so prevalent, and what can be done to slow it down or curtail its use.

Instead, all any of these things has ever accomplished was embarrassing people. I’m disgusted that our tax money contributed to that charade of an event.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tale of Two Trades

For the Lakers, they got Pau Gasol for 1 cent on the dollar. Kwame Brown’s expiring contract, the draft rights to Pau’s little brother, Aaron McKie’s contract, two draft picks (likely to be late 1st rounders), and Javaris Crittenton.

So basically the Grizzlies gave up their franchise player, a 20 and 10 guy, for a rookie combo guard and two draft picks. No wonder Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was so mad.

There’s no question the Griz could’ve gotten a lot more for Gasol than they did. It appears as if they were looking for young players, draft picks and cap room, not current value (like the Bulls or Nets could’ve gave them).

For Memphis, it assumes that someone would want to sign there. I’d say that’s a bad assumption. For the Lakers, they will now have arguably the best starting lineup in the league when Andrew Bynum comes back.

Bynum at the 5, Gasol at the 4, Odom at the 3 (an all 6’10 frontcourt), with Kobe and Derek Fisher in the backcourt. They still have depth too, with Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, Rony Turiaf, and Trevor Ariza coming off the bench.

In fact, I think they’ll be the favorites to win the west if Bynum and Ariza make it back this year.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns made one of the biggest head-scratching trades of all time. They shipped disgruntled forward Shawn Marion and bench riding backup point guard Marcus Banks to Miami for Shaq.

This is a trade that makes little sense, especially now. Their thinking is Shaq can defend guys like Tim Duncan, Andrew Bynum/Pau Gasol, and other big men in the west that usually torch Amare Stoudamire.

What Suns GM Steve Kerr didn’t realize is that Shaq is not only washed up, but he’s worst on defense than he is on offense.

One mistake people have made about criticizing this trade is saying he’ll mess up their fast break offense. You don’t need five players to run a fast break. He messes them up in the half court.

Now, the Suns half court revolves around Steve Nash running around making plays, pick and rolls, and everyone staying active around the perimeter. The lane is usually clear, giving Nash opportunities to penetrate and get lay-ups or get open shots for other players.

With Shaq, the lane will now be clogged up. Additionally, you can’t really run a pick and roll with Shaq at this point in his career. Also, he’s just as big of a crybaby as Shawn Marion is about not getting touches.

He still draws double teams on occasion, which could open up the perimeter, but they never had a problem opening it up before.

I definitely understand that somebody had to go between Amare and Marion, but that person really was Amare Stoudamire. They had one of their best seasons the year he was injured. Boris Diaw was allowed to start, where he’s best, and he flourished.

The perfect trade would have been Amare for Rasheed Wallace and another bench contributor. Rasheed can play defense and he can shoot the tree, making him the perfect fit for what Phoenix does.

If they were going to deal Marion, deal him for some one better than Shaq. Get multiple talented players, like Andres Nocioni and Tyrus Thomas from Chicago, get Jermaine O’Neal, get Richard Jefferson, get a Pau Gasol.

Instead, they panicked and traded for Shaq. Good luck with that for the next 2 ½ years.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Another Bad Prediction

I can't believe it.

The New England Patriots lost. The team that I had been predicting to go undefeated for most of the season failed me in the end.

Worst, they lost to a team I predicted to finish last in their division. Yup, I thought that between losing Tiki, Tom Coughlin's nagging, and Eli being Eli that the Giants were doomed this season.

Instead they're Super Bowl champs. As for the "Big Game," there's only one thing to blame for the Patriots loss.


Interestingly enough, I wrote in this week's Triangle about how the NFL did a good job of squelching all Spygate talk.

Instead, those chickens came to roost two days before the Super Bowl, with the accusation that New England cheated in their first Super Bowl victory against the Rams.

In case you didn't notice, the Patriots came out flatter than they've ever been and it cost them. They never truly had their swagger for this game, which might be due to distraction. Oh well, now I can go back to hating the Patriots with a passion.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Super Bowl Preview, Sportsology Style

Time for another tale of the tape, Super Bowl XLII edition. This game might be a tad easier to predict than others, as these two teams played an epic match up on the last game of the regular season.

The New England Patriots are on the final leg of their quest to go 19-0, but if you don’t know that then you’ve either been in a coma for a really long time or don’t know how to read. If you have just awaken from your coma, I’m happy for you, although its kind of sad that you chose to come here for your sports news.

Without further ado, here are the match-ups.

New England Passing Game vs New York Giants Passing Defense

The Patriots torched the Giants through the air in their last match-up. However, the recent trend against the Patriots is to double Randy Moss and not give up anything deep. Obviously, this strategy hasn’t worked, but it has sort of slowed New England down. To be quite frank, there’s nothing anybody can do to stop the New England Passing game. However, the Giants do have pass rushing horses to make things a little more difficult.

Advantage: New England

New England Running Game vs New York Giants Rush Defense

A lot of people seem to say that the Patriots weakness is their running game. They obviously don’t pay attention to detail like me. In fact, Maroney (who was lauded as a stud rookie last year) had a better season this year than last.

Look at his stats; in 1 fewer game (but 10 more carries) he had almost 100 more yards than he did last season. The only thing that really holds him back is the shotgun spread, fast break offense New England has employed for most of the season. But when they’ve needed to pound the rock, they know they can rely on Maroney.

Don’t be surprised if the Giants get a heavy dose of Maroney early and often, as they may be expecting another gunslinging game plan.

Advantage: New England

New York Giants Passing Game vs New England Patriots Passing Defense

Sooner or later, Eli Manning has to start playing like Eli Manning. In the biggest game of his life, I expect him to choke in the bright lights down in Phoenix.

Advantage: New England

New York Giants Running Game vs New England Rush Defense

The Patriots only weakness is their run defense. Their linebackers are old and will give up a lot of yards. Oddly enough, their defense seems to get better as the game goes on. Still they pretty much are a bend and sometimes break front seven (in particular the line backers, more specifically Junior Seau and Tedy Bruschi) against the run. If the Giants want to win, or keep it close, they must rely on Brandon Jacobs and company, not Eli Manning.

Advantage: New York

Special Teams

Both teams kicking games worry me.

Advantage: Push


There’s no need to even get into this.

Advantage: New England

New England is clearly the better team. With 16-0 on the line in December, they played a decent game. With 19-0 on the line in February, I expect them to play a complete game. The Giants have showed a lot of heart this year, and they have a great foundation to build upon for next year. However, a lot of heart is no match for destiny.

New England 31
New York 20