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, 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

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.