Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why I Don't Really Respect Lebron...Yet.

#1. I just never bought into the hype. Has the guy been a tremendous ball player? No doubt. He's definitely earned ever contract. And if this was wrestling, then sure you'd kinda have to buy him as the next big thing. But in real live game? He's only impressed me once. last year against the Pistons. That was a real pro performance. I dig that guy. And we've gotten a bit more of him this year.

#2. But just like everybody downplays Kobe for his allegiance to Jordan you have understand that Lebron didn't understand the NBA til he spent a summer with Kobe. Remember, coach K didn't even want Lebron for the current USA squad. After the world championships the US coaches felt like Lebron was their biggest handicap, because they had to play him, while he had no idea how to play nice with others. This summer, Kobe's 1st in USA basketball, Lebron learned what it means to be the top dog. Kobe didn't have to take the most shots, or dominate the ball. But everyday in practice, and come game time he imposed his will. Lebron learned. I respect that.

#3. Lebron kills his teammates. Can't blame it on the coaching cause it was happening before Mike Brown, plus it's why they hated him in USA basketball. Name one player who has played better with Lebron..? Darius Miles, Ricky Davis, Donyell Marshall, Damon Jones, Smush Parker, Dsagana Diop, Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Wally Sczerbiak. The List get's longer every time he adds a teammate. Some of those guys were better before playing with him, some rebounded afterwards, but the key is that they sucked being on the same floor with Lebron. Everybody talks about how gifted a passer he is, but in the actual vibe of the game he kills guys. He destroys offensive systems as easily as he splits Detroit double teams. They talk about Kobe as a ball hog, but there's numerous guys (Luke Walton, Brian Cook, Sasha Pavolic, Smush Parker, all post-Shaq guys) who owe their careers to KB.

#4. I don't see Lebron as anything more than a big Allen Iverson. Understand, I believe AI is a first ballot HOFer and one of the greatest guards to ever play the game. But just like Philly eventually realized, there's only so much of a team you can build around this type of guy. defensive oriented, with a couple guys who can hit shots (remember Aaron Mckey and Raja Bell in AI's MVP year). Wow, and how shitty for Larry Hughes that he's had to play with both these guys?! He spent 3 years in between those two with Gil Arenas in GS and Was. and was damn near an all-star. And you saw what he was doing when he got minutes in Chi. Back to the point though, Lebron, at this point in his career, is an offense killer. Sure his numbers are sweet, but it's cause he eats everyone else's game. Face the facts.

So is the kid amazing? Absolutely! I don't doubt his skill. Can't doubt his skill. My issue is his effect. Sure he made it to the Finals, in a clearly shitty conference where he faced an injured Wiz (No Arenas. No Butler.), and the Nets (Lebron versus Vince, really?). Ugh, I just threw up in my mouth. It kinda taints my appreciation of the one series he did have against Detroit. I mean, this is the same conference where JKidd took Keith Van Horn and Kerry Kittles to back to back finals. When Kobe said "Put me in the East" it wasn't just about the numbers he'd put up, but the wins he'd put together. And as DWade proved, all you need is an opponent to choke...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Free Thoughts...

on the MVP race...

  • There only been 3 guys who deserve discussion here: Kobe, Lebron, CP3. Period. No other players are more important to the NBA this year.
  • Quite honestly, Lebron is in the convo but really has a limited chance. He's not doing anything Kobe hasn't done in the past couple years without being shout down. Over the past two seasons no one was more dominant, in live action, or in numbers than Kobe. The knock was that team excellence outshines individual excellence. That same argument disqualifies Lebron.
  • If either Kobe or Paul win the West then that guy should get the hardware. You know who I'm pulling for...

on Houston's streak...

  • 22 straight is amazing. I hope the fans enjoyed it. No way in hell this team wins a playoff series. Playing night to night against different teams in different situations is tough, so winning 22 straight demands respect, but playing 7 straight games against the same team is a bit different. It tends to destroy smoke and mirror gimmicks. Ask Steve Nash. Hell, as T-Mac!

on the Celtics...

  • Those guys play ball. Smack them in the face, they're gonna smack back. And fortunately for them no one in East is capable of throwing more than one punch. I really hope to see them versus both Lebron and the Pistons for 7.

on Dwight Howard...

  • How come this guy isn't dominating games? Sure he's young and all, but have you watched him? He can get awfully invisible for long stretches. I love his numbers, and he seems like a nice guy, but how is Hedo Turkoglu the leader of that team? Reminds me suspiciously of David Robinson.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Killer Instinct. That's what's separating the teams in the West right now. The Lakers employ the ultimate killer. San Antonio has three guys who would legitimately shank you for two cigs. Chris Paul hasn't proven his killer credential on the Playoff stage, but we all know it's coming. Even in the East you have to fear guys like Lebron, Billups, and Sheed. And the Boston guys to some lesser extent.

Outside of those teams, who do you love? I mean certainly Utah is a solid team, but do they scare you? Over the course of 7 games do you really see Dwil and Boozer out battling any of the previously mentioned guys? No. Me neither. Down the line...maybe, but right now those guys rate as B+'s in a league heavy with A's.

The same could be said about Melo, AI, TMac, even Nash an' 'em. The league's littered with these guys who you trust to win maybe one big game in one big series, but don't have the constitution to do it series after series until the one king is crowned.

To me, Dirk is the walking definition of these killer B's. I remember two years ago when Avery's prescence was still new and he effected Dirk the same way he did Mr. Robinson back in the day. remember the '06 playoffs when Dirk averaged 27 & 12 over a 23 game playoff run that saw him single-handedly destroy two top notch Spurs and Suns squads. Ultimately though, the soft doughy heart that is Dirk Nowitzki came through.

Up two games, and about to close out a third against the Heat, Dirk took a break. For 101 basketball games and 3 quarters, Avery begged, pleaded, or otherwise cajoled Dirk to rebound, to D-up, to work the post, to take the open shot, to take the big shot, to never let up. One step from the crown, Nowitzki let up.

Enter JKidd. At 35, Kidd is no longer a dominant player. And there's no question that, on paper, Dallas gave up way too much to get him. Kidd alone simply cannot put Dallas over the top. The future of the Cuban-era Mavericks has always rested in the heart of Dirk Nowitzki. Avery Johnson, at one point, provided a shot of nitro. But like any additive there is a point of diminishing returns. The aborted Finals appearence. The grind of of a 67-win season. The devastating first round loss to Nellie's Warriors. Whatever mojo Avery started with is clearly depleted. Now it's Kidd's job (or at least that's what both Cuban and Avery are betting on) to apply a little pressure to the gas. Not just juicing up Dallas's stale offense, but also applying on-court pressure to push Dirk to his best.

Oh and um, is anybody really surprised that the Suns suck now? A bad defensive team gives up their best defender, and they're supposed to improve? It's really time to stop drinking that Nash kool-aid y'all.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


A couple quick thoughts on the now defunct Yao and the Rockets:
  • How come nobody is mentioning Zydrunas Ilgauskas? didn't he go through, and eventually get over, all these repeat foot breaks? Yao should call that guy.
  • This could be the greatest oppurtunity of T-Mac's career. If he can singlehandedly carry this team into the playoffs, and then..(CHECK THIS)..and then will his team to a first round upset! Wow, how bout that huh?!
  • In reality the Rockets are screwed.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back...

Yoooo...It feels good to be back. Not a hundred percent sure why I lwft in the first place. But I guess first thing's first. The Western Conference Arms Race. And yes that was my term first, so fuck anybody on ESPN who feels original stealing my shit...Chris Sheridan.

Pau! I mean what more is there to say. And I know I'm late on this, but if you've watched an Laker games, Pau fits into the triangle like no big man we've ever seen. Honestly think about Phil and the triangle, and big men, and you come up with memories of Bill Cartwright, Luc Longley, Bison Dele, and at it's best, Shaq. So okay, this uber-young Andrew Bynum fits right in there. But what happens when you add Pau? A seven-footer who naturally plays the 4, he can shoot out to 20 ft., handles the ball, and can pass as well as any big man in the game. And he's your 4.

Understand this, the triangle was made for a Russell/Wilt type big man. Now plug in Pau and Bynum.

Understand this, the triangle was perfected by an unstoppable guard. AKA Micahael Jordan. Now plug in Kobe.

Anybody remember back to 04-05? It was the Spurs first post-Robinson Championship, and it was obvious that Manu was tired of being shitted on by Kobe. Manu made the same leap in 04-05 as Parker made last year. Think about it. Remember how that Manu was shittin on cats, dunkin all over the place? Except now it's '08 and Manu is playing like '05 Playoff Ginobili. Plus Kurt Thomas is sweet As a Laker fan, the Spurs are the only team that scare me. They actually have players to matchup with Pau, Bynum and Kobe. Lamar will be the difference, one way or another.
Anybody remember what Bonzi did to the Spurs two years ago in Sacto? Bowen couldn't guard him. Manu couldn't guard him. And Duncan wasn't even interested in trying. Well the team with the best record in the West just got Bonzi, plus Mike James who was on that championship Piston team. If I were a Spurs fan I'd be scared. As a Laker fan I have four words. Kobe, Odom, Pau, Bynum.
Believe it or not, I like the Shaq deal. Understand he's never gonna be Laker Shaq again. But Shaq is still Shaq. Just like grant Hill will never be Detroit Grant Hill, but he's still Grant Hill, when healthy. Over the course of a 7 game series can Shaq win one game? Can Grant? Can Nash? Can Amare? Well yeah, that's 4 games...
Fuck Dallas!
And that's on the real. That's a bitch ass team, and it all starts with Dirk. Kidd ain't gonna change Dirk. So that team is stil screwed. Period.
Fuck T-Mac!
For real! He's on some real Garnett shit. Mr. Hollow Numbers can't carry a team. And Yao is his protege. And Rick Adelman! Ha! Van Gundy is rolling in his grave. Win a series then hit me back.
is actually sweet. I like that team. They don't scare the Lakers or Spurs, but they can beat everybody else. In the East, they'd make it to the Finals.
The Nuggets just plain suck. Nobody is scared of them, and they aren't getting out of the first round. Period.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Summer League: New News

At this point I think it's fair to say I've watched too much summer ball. I've seen pretty much every team in the two leagues at least 2-3 times. And you can see that for the players it's gotten to the point where the NBA caliber guys are quite clearly standing out regardless of role on the team. You get some guys (Andre Owens and Von Wafer for instance) who have the confidence to put up big numbers in summer league, but lack the skill to be able to do it consistently in the NBA. I like to call these guys the Euroleague Allstars, even though most of them stick around playing in the D-league, getting a 10 day contract or two and basically fighting to live the dream. The problem, both with their game and way of life, is a failure to adjust. These guys don't ever really make it in the NBA because they can't adjust their game. Wafer, for instance, is a high volume, low efficiency shooter. Has been since high school. He believes in his game, and it's not changing. Period. Just like he can't make the adjustment in his mind that the NBA is the only place to play. If I'm Von Wafer I'm taking my shoot'em style over to Europe where I'll avg 20+ pts a night and really enjoy the good years of my professional career, while making a multi-million dollar salary and absolutely pounding the hell out of Euro chicks. I mean, with a slight adjustment for location, wasn't that the dream in the first place? Moving on...


  • JJ Redick put up another 24 pts on 9-14 shooting. Last year he missed out summer league and training camp do to injuries and legal matters. This year he's got himself together and is looking like the Redick Orlando thought they drafted. That is to say they're hoping his jumper makes up for his inability to create a shot on his own and his defenseive shortcomings.

  • Rodney Carney is looking like a dominant player. The key is that he's doing it off the ball. Which is perfect considering he plays with Dre Miller and Iguodala, two guys who like to have the rock. Carney's jumper is looking pure and he's moving in the offense like he spent all summer in the playbook.

  • Teams are game planning for Yi. It's kinda shocking to see the constant double teams and traps being run at him in summer league.

  • Alando Tucker is looking good. He has a nice range to his game that would be perfect for Phx if they hadn't sold his minutes to rickety old Grant Hill.

  • Cory Brewer is gonna start from day 1 in Minny. He has amazing court presence that's generated by his energy, especially on the boards. He's not the defender that everybody talked about though. The energy is there, it's focus that's lacking. He has 0 stls and 1 blk in 2 games. I know, defense isn't all about numbers. But then this is just summer league so you'd think a strong defender would put up better numbers than that.


  • Nick young is not 6'6. No way in hell. But he is very exciting. Brings a ton of energy onto the court and is gonna fit perfectly in the Washington system.

  • DJ Strawberry is as advertised defensively, even though I still don't see him getting minutes in Phx.

  • Sean Williams is bad! Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning sucks dick with sharp teeth. Maybe they need to let him start smoking weed again or something.

  • Jared Dudley has a nice, composed, all-around game. But Charlotte has spent big bucks this offseason on Jrich, Gerald Wallace, Matt Carroll, plus they still have Walter Hermann, and last year's bust Adam Morrison vying for minutes at the swing spots. Morrison, by the way, looks like he's been going to the same dentist as Sean Williams, but he'll still get minutes just because of his draft status.


  • if the Celtics are relying on Rajon Rondo to run the point they are in trouble. Don't get me wrong, he's a dynamo and definitely a plus to have on the court, but when it comes down to decision making and having a guy who can help facilitate offense for your big 3, he's not the one.

  • if the Lakers sign Derek Fisher then Jordan Farmar will be traded. Brian Shaw again coached the Laker squad and started Javaris Crittenton, and the Lakers won again. In the 2 games Shaw has coached Critt has avg. 22 pts, 4rebs, with .600 fg%, and 0 turnovers. Farmar, through 3 total games has decent numbers of 13-4-4, but would be an unecessary third wheel with Fisher in the house. Oh, and for the Coby Karl fans, he's the only laker to hit double digit scoring in every game and is leading the team with 15 ppg. He's looking more and more like a Phil Jackson kind of guy everyday.

Oh and I'm trying to get pics of Toby Bailey's mustache, but David Stern must have outlawed it. I keep searching though!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summer League Update

I currently have the Clipper/Rocket game on broadband internet, and the Knicks/China game on the tv. But I'm about to hit the movies so here's quick update before I go.

  • Tyrus Thomas has been working on a 15 ft J. He's killing the Pepsi-Orlando League. He'll be starting this year, expect a more explosive, more dynamic version of David Lee.
  • The Pepsi-Orlando League sucks. There are 6 teams. Chicago, Indiana, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando, New Jersey. Possible regular season starters like Kareem Rush and Raymond Felton played in the first games, but once coaches saw the overall talent those guys got yanked. So you end up with Marcus Williams and Tyrus Thomas looking all world. NBA should revoke this league's summer league status.
  • Yi Jianlian got absolutely shutdown by vegas brickhouse Renaldo Balkman. So far in 2 games Balkman has put up avgs. of 10 pts, 7 rebs, 3 stls, and 2 blks with 50% shooting againt Yi while allowing 0 made shots from Kevin Durant and Yi Jianlian. Wow.


  • Last year Chris Kaman signed his big money second contract, but then didn't have the season he wanted. So he signed up for the Clippers summer league team just because he wants to get better. Andrew Bynum is nowhere to be seen for the Laker squad.
  • Kurt Rambis is a terrible coach. The Lakers have Rambis and Brian Shaw alternating games as head coach of the summer squad. Shaw delivered a game 1 victory by making adjustments. Namely, he noticed Jordan Farmar struggling with decision making and having trouble staying in front of Milwaukee's Lynn Greer, so he put the ball in Javaris Crittenton's hands and also let Critt defend Greer. Tonite against Philly, Farmar played much better, but still could not stay in front of Louis Williams (which, to be fair, no one has done), and still made bad decisions with the ball. The stat line will tell you Farmar went for 18 pts, 11 asts, 2 to, and 7-10 shooting. Sounds good. And I agree, Farmar played really well. But having watched the game I saw how he struggled when pressure was on. for instance when he overdribbled and didn't allow the team to get off a possible game winning shot at the end of regulation. I also saw that Loius Williams took 22 foul shots because Farmar had no answers for him. I also saw that Rambis decided to play Crittenton 7 minutes each half, and not at all in OT. I cannot understand why you would not play your #1 draft pick major minutes in summer league. I also cannot understand why you would refuse to use your best on the ball defender when you're getting ripped by dribble penetration, or why you don't put your most dynamic player into a close game. Somehow I imagine Kobe doesn't like Rambis.
  • Coby Karl is an NBA player. He has a tremendous basketball IQ and an NBA jumpshot.
  • Balkman is killing China at the point. He has 4 steals at the half.


  • The Spurs had 3 young guys on last years roster who they are hoping to see something out of. Melvin Ely hasn't signed yet, so he's blowing his shot. Jackie Butler is working hard to show an all-around game. He might end up being something. James 'Flight' White is a premier disappointment. Basically all he can do is jump really high. Through 3 games so far he's been outplayed in the backcourt by CJ Watson, whoever the hell that is.
  • If some of the old guys on Dallas get hurt, they will learn they have a couple ball players in Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Jose Juan Barea, and Maurice Ager. I'm not really sure why the resigned Devean George or Stackhouse.
  • Philly's Jason Smith moves really well for a 7-footer. He reminds me of Brad Miller when Brad Miller was good.