The Playoff Blog Continues

  • Is there anything better than watching Ernie, Kenny, and Charles. Charles isn’t afraid to say anything on the air. He really would fight every Golden State fan right now. Kenny and Charles can both give solid analysis, and they mix in some other stuff. Ernie makes sure nothing gets out of hand and is a great mediator. They also always have a great personality as a guest. I am as pumped for this GS/Dallas game as I have been all season. The atmosphere is electric again, and the We Believe T-shirts are out. This seems like a nice time to point out that Golden State has one of the best looking floors in the NBA. I would have to say that Washington’s floor has them by a half a notch. An even bigger question is whether or not Dirk will show up tonight.
  • Earlier Steve Nash put on an absolute clinic in L.A. dishing out 23 assists while scoring in double figures as well. You have to love Amare pulling down 20+ boards, and Marion making hustle plays everywhere. That series is now all but over. Expect Phoenix to end it in the desert in game 5.
  • The Heat were swept away by the Bulls in Miami. An absolutely shocking series to everyone. I really don’t know what to say. The Bulls just played solid and had the Heat’s number.
  • New Jersey dominated an offense less Raptors squad. Jason Kidd again playing a great all around game. Now with a 3-1 series lead Jersey should be able to close in either game 5 or 6.
  • The Mavericks were off to a quick start against GS, but GS kept cutting the lead down throughout the first half with timely hoops and shooting a solid percentage from the charity stripe. The Warriors were getting open looks early and often, but just not hitting on them. Baron Davis still looks unstoppable out there, and Josh Howard was playing great for Dallas. Mickael Pietrus came in and gave the Warriors a much needed lift. With a huge follow up dunk and an even bigger block on Jason Terry on a fast break. Then he connected on a three pointer that made the crowd erupt. Can someone tell me why this guy has never been in the slam dunk contest. He can absolutely get up, and he is an ideal guy. Just when you think things can’t get any worse for Dallas Baron Davis hits a half court shot to end the first half that ties up the game at half. GS shot poorly in that half and Dirk had his best half of the series yet the game is still tied. That can’t be a good sign for Dallas. Golden State comes out like a ball of fire in the second half, with two offensive rebounds that lead to 3 pointers and a six point lead. Solid play throughout the 3rd quarter from both teams. Both teams had their runs, and GS was the team that closed with a great run. “B Dizzle” Baron Davis scored 5 points in the last minute to tie the game. Including out running the so called “Jet” Jason Terry for a loose ball and then dunking it. Regardless of what happens in the rest of this series Davis is playing as good as anyone in the NBA right now, and has clearly proven that he is one of the 10 most talented players in the league. Not too shabby of a fourth quarter either in this game. It was pandemonium in the “O” (Oracle Arena). Baron Davis lead his troops the whole way, I don’t think he came out the whole second half. GS used their ballhawk scrambling defense to frustrate the mavs. Along with the gang rebounding effort. Dirk was completely out of sync, and couldn’t hit anything. He couldn’t even draw iron until those late 3’s that he hit. He just has no confidence at all right now. I think now more than just the Warrior nation BELIEVES.

With the First Pick……

The Oakland Raiders select Quarterback, JaMarcus Russell, Louisiana State. No Mario Williams over Reggie Bush this year, the Raiders get the player they covet and a player to build franchise around, the right pick. But what makes this the right pick? Is it the fact that he is an ideal 6′5“, 256? Or is it the fact that he is ridiculously over hyped by this years draft craze? This happens every year, in every draft no matter what talent level the draft is at or how weak, the players are always made to seem as if they will start right away and they will become the next Donovan McNabb or Randy Moss.

This is why the draft is so great, each year you watch the draft and see the player your team selects and you see the future best player, who plays that position. But the problem is that is exactly why Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have jobs for a month out of the year and pray that no-one notices that basically any fan who follows college football could be doing what their doing. They sell us and future and we bite, hard. That is why these college athletes go through the combine and take tests and are judged to the smallest imperfection, because no one wants their future spoiled, no one wants Ryan Leaf or Courtney Brown, or Ted Ginn Jr. ……. Oh Wait.

The fact is with all of these tests and drills that these kids are going through the scouts are missing out on the most important thing to judge by, production. I mean all of these numbers along with time, and hype have screwed with our mind and made us reevaluate who the best players are.

There were reasons why Mel Kiper Jr. had Brady Quinn ahead of JaMarcus Russel 2 days after any of these players would play another down of college football, and not 21 picks behind him. There were also reasons why Dwayne Jarrett was the second ranked wide receiver in all of college football and not the 45 player taken. There also might have been reasons why Levi Brown was the 3rd ranked Tackle coming out of the draft and not the 5th overall pick.Take a look at it, there were 15 players that were taken in the first round of yesterdays draft who were not on Mel Kiper’s Big Board of 25, 2 days after the national championship.

I’m sure Brady Quinn doesn’t appreciate the 4 months of time between Mel Kipers first draft projections and the moment when he put on a Cleveland Browns hat 20 picks later than he could have and $20 million poorer. This could have been the worst draft scenario of all time, a possible number one pick who falls through teams who need a quarterback, like Cleveland, Minnesota, and Miami(more on that in a minute) and thereby losing top 10 money. So he tries to console himself by saying “Hey, at-least i’ll go to a good team”, Nope. So teams like the Jets, Giants, Jacksonville, and Carolina all pass on him. Until lucky number 22 comes along and Brady sees the browns have traded for the pick. God only knows what he is thinking at this point, probably somewhere along the lines of “Cleveland’s a Nice Place to Kill Myself.”

But nonetheless the Browns take him and Brady takes his long walk from the green room to the center stage holding a browns hat, knowing that every one in radio city music hall is now taking pity on a millionaire. Through all this heartbreak, nothing could have been worse than when the Miami Dolphins passed on Quinn with the 9th pick. A good team in a great city, with great weather, and most of all a quarterback situation that could only be described as an inappropriate joke thatd ends, “Everyone gets a turn.”

While Quinn is half standing up to meet Roger Goodell, and all the experts are talking about what a great pick this is for the Dolphins, 2 words come out of the commissioners mouth, “Ted Ginn.” A quick pan to Brady Quinn, who because he knows cameras are on him and needs to say something turns to his girlfriend and says “Thats Impressive.” While proof that no one is happy with this pick, the TV then goes live to Miami where head coach Cam Cameron is being booed while he tells the fans about Ted Ginn Jr. and what he brings to the Dolphins, Return Specialist. Hmmmmmm…….. He did not use the word receiver once during the conference and trust me the Dolphin fans noticed. But don’t worry Ted Ginn has GREAT potential.

Welcome to the 2008 NFL Draft. The Oakland Raiders are now on the clock.

Kobe v Jordan

This is an article that I have been preparing, and very excited to write.

Kobe Bryant v Michael Jordan

Everyone take a deep breath. Sit down. I am going to say something more then shocking then when Robert Gaddell announced the Dolphins took Teddy Ginn. Kobe Bryant is a better basketball player then Michael Jordan. Still with me? If you have a basketball mind, you may have come to this realization already, if your Shaq, sorry ( but thanks for reading). Here is why:

There were two times in their career when their situations were very similar. Michael Jordan pre Pippen and Rodman and Kobe currently. MJ benefited from his supporting cast like nobody in basketball history. Now, MJ is still the GREATEST athlete. How he captivated, almost SAVED the game. His tongue hanging out, taking off from places Charles Oakley couldn’t make a jumpshot from consistantly. His gatorade commercials, movies, and buisness icon make him the biggest and GREATEST athlete of all time. However, Kobe Bryant is better at the sport. Has anyone watched him this year. There was a time when he could score 50 points whenever he wanted to. The Lakers are in the playoffs and have a chance in this suns matchup because of Kobe, and they have JORDAN FARMAR at the point. Could you imagine MJ in practice with Phil if he had Farmar running the offense?

There are two people to blame for Kobe’s appeal. First off us. We labled him the next Jordan when he got out the limo with Brandy at prom. However, he was not the first, the list ( not complete includes) Howard Minor, Vince Carter, Shawn Kemp, Grant Hill, Anfernee Hardway, and of course Kobe. While four of those guys were All Stars none of them could hold Michaels jock ( his jock used with the Birmingham Barons at that). After those guys seriously flamed out we threw the book out and said there will never be a player like Jordan. Which is true, but we would be wrong if we said no one will ever be as good as Jordan.For that, Kobe got screwed.

Kobe killed Kobe. He shot himself in the foot. There will never be a statue of him outside of the staples center. He will never be in a movie with Buggs Bunny, he will never be on the cover of time ( for a good reason), and he will never, ever, be the athelte of the century. Why? Because HE chose not to be. He made this decision when driving Shaq out of town, when elbowing Mike Miller and Manu Ginobili. He made this choice when he cheated on his wife and was charged with Rape. When comparing Kobe to Jordan off the court you only have to look at two twenty second clips. Kids signing “If I could be like Mike” drinking gatorade trying to be like their hero represents MJ. Kobe lifting, and shooting around saying LOVE me or HATE me is how i see Kobe. Nobody loves you. We respect you for who you are, the best player of all time.

Sunday Stories

  • The Magic were finished off yesterday in Orlando by the Pistons. Not much of a series, kind of like the rest of the Eastern Conference series. The Cavs took a commanding 3-0 lead over the depleted Wizards squad. The Wiz have hung in there in the last two games, but haven’t had the scoring down the stretch to beat the Cavs.
  • In the West the Spurs took one from the Nuggets in Dever 96-91. The Spurs trio of stars got it done again last night. While Iverson had a bad shooting night, and Melo’ couldn’t hit from the free throw line (6-11). In the nightcap the Jazz looked strong at home vs. a homesick Rockets team. I thought this was the year that T-Mac was going to get out of the first round? Look for the Rockets to bring their A game in game 5 in Houston. I see this series going all 7 games.
  • The Yanks ended their seven game skid yesterday. With a solid pitching performance by some unknown Igawa guy. Who pitched six scoreless innings. Then Rivera was able to come in and get the save with some nice defensive help from A-Rod. The Cubs took another from the rival Cardinals by a score of 8-1. The man that I say will hit .400 this season, Derek Lee was 2-4 and is now about .390. Ok maybe I am going out on a little bit of a limb here!
  • Michael Jordan’s son Jeffrey is planning on going to the University of Illinois, and becoming a walk-on player. We’ll see how this one plays out, he should receive plenty of media coverage. I don’t think he will do much there, but he will definitely see time because of the name on the back of his jersey.
  • I guess I should mention the NFL draft. Detroit took another WR high in the first round. I’m still not sold on Calvin Johnson. When is the last time a WR single handily won a game. Sure he can be a game changer, but he really isn’t going to turn your franchise around. Russell was the correct pick for Oakland to make at 1. Cleveland redeemed themselves by going out and getting Brady Quinn after passing up on him the first time around. He may be a bust, but when you are in Cleveland’s spot and he is available then you have to take a shot.
  • Some great NBA games lined up for Sunday. Kobe will try to beat the Suns again, but don’t count on that happening. Miami looks to at least save a little bit of its pride vs. Chicago. The least that they could do is win a couple of games like they are capable of. I will be surprised if Riley lets those guys throw in the towel. Jason Kidd will try to become the second player ever to post back to back triple-doubles in the playoffs (Baron Davis being the other). While the Raps need this win or else their season is just about over. Saving the best for last…..the Mavs look to get back on the winning track that they are accustomed too. The Warriors are just the Mavs kryptonite. This will be a great game to watch, because you can guarantee that the Warriors fans will be as loud as ever and they will push this Warriors team to do great things. I just can’t wait for this game. If GS is able to take another one then you have to believe that the Mavs just can’t beat this team, and GS is just a hot team right now that anyone else would lose too. Just a tough break for the Mavs to play them in the first round when GS is pretty much the only team in the league that has their number. Enjoy folks!

The SZ is living the dream

Just want to throw out a big thanks to all readers. The SZ had a record number of views yesterday, and was one of the top growing blogs. This was the contract year breakthrough performance that we were waiting for. Thanks for the viewing and we will be sure to keep the good stuff coming. We’re the Sports Zip and we’re just living the dream.

Playoff Blog

  • As my dad and I watched the first half of the Raptors and Nets game all we could do was marvel at two things. One was the lack of love for sports franchises in New Jersey. At the Devils game the night before there were 3,500 empty seats and at this Nets playoff game there were definitely some empty seats. How can fans pass up this chance to watch a great trio of players that includes a human highlight film, an incredible point guard, and a great all around player. If the Celtics ever do make the playoffs again I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Neither would the whole fan base so that means that there wouldn’t be empty seats to be seen throughout the arena. Anyways what those fans were missing was that second thing. That was the incredible play of Jason Kidd. Behind Nash he is the second best point guard in the league. He is also one of the most valuable players in the league to his team. Without Kidd getting almost a triple double a night and distributing the ball and keeping everyone happy this Nets team would be much less successful. Let’s remember when Byron Scott was in the doghouse in NJ people were talking about Kidd being a player/coach. That is pretty high praise, since that has never happened in my lifetime. I mean this isn’t a men’s league team its the NBA. Most of all Kidd is a winner. He will do whatever it takes to win and believe me he will win. So we sat and marveled at the 14 assists that Jason Kidd put up in the first half of the game vs. the Raptors, because you don’t see players like him come around too often. Just as Henry Abbott of truehoop predicted Kidd would play (dead left knee) and he would play well. The game finished with the Nets winning 102-89. They dominated the game, or should I say that Jason Kidd and VC dominated the game. Kidd finished with one of the best lines that I have ever seen – 16 pts, 16 reb, 19 ast. That guy is some player. Nets now lead the series 2-1, and if they can take game 4 at home the series should be all but over. Don’t expect Toronto to roll over though in game 4. I think it will be a heck of a game.
  • Great first half in the Miami-Chicago game. A must win for the Heat, and you could tell. Wade looking for his offense early and plenty of post entries to Shaq who again was in foul trouble. The big half provided off the bench by my boy toine’ who included a beautiful finger roll and a fouled in transition. Followed by a semi-shimmy shake, which brought the Miami crowd to their feet. Is there anything prettier that Dwyane Wade’s bankshot that he hits from the left side of the floor. That shot is absolutely beautiful. Also you have to love the white out crowd in Miami, and of course that crazy spiky sphere thing that is inside the panels of the jumbo-tron. Don’t really know how to explain the breakdown that Miami suffered in the second half. Just solid defense and offense by the Bulls. Now Miami faces a 3-0 hole, and if anyone is going to comeback from down 3-0 its Miami but I wouldn’t expect it that’s for sure.
  • Great crowd at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Those fans were going bananas after every hoop by GS in the early going. Here’s Bill Walton’s take on the Warriors, “These Warriors are for real.” Have to love the coverage by ESPN. Showing all three games on this Friday night in HD. Somewhere Charles Barkley is loving his first day off all week. I do have to say Mike Tirico is as good of a play by play guy there is around right now. What a step up from having Brent Musberger doing these ESPN/ABC games. Is it strange that the Warriors logo has a lightning bolt instead of an actual Warrior? What a great start for the Warriors in this game, they really looked amped up to play and behind only the Suns they are as good of a team that there is for a fan to watch. Truly an incredible performance by Baron Davis, J-Rich, and the Warriors in this game. How about the experience that the fans of GS got by watching this game. Those fans were on their feet the whole game. Dallas was completely out of sorts, and where was the so called MVP of this season. Nowitzki can’t do anything except shoot the ball well. So when that part of his game isn’t working he can’t do anything. That means that he isn’t the MVP. Right now Baron Davis is looking more like an MVP. He is clearly the best player on the floor in this series. Unstoppable off the dribble, then he can finish in the lane or find his teammates on the perimeter. The energy level on the floor for Golden State was absolutely unmatchable. After such a big deal was made about all of the GS technicals in game 2, Dallas was the team that decomposed and was called for technicals in this one. Can’t say enough about the hustle plays by both Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus. Who isn’t rooting for the 8 over 1 upset at this point. This is the playoffs and this is what it is all about.

Simply the Best

As I was being lazy just like any other typical Friday I was thinking about TV shows. I am almost always watching ESPN so hardly ever do I watch some drama series or comedy on ABC, NBC, or CBS. Excluding a one hour period every Wednesday night, which is when I watch “Lost.” So there I was again on the couch watching ESPN slate of afternoon sports shows. Then it hit me. The best show on TV, and the best 30 minutes of sports talk on TV is definitely PTI. C’mon if you love sports then you must love to sit down and watch Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon battle it out at 5:30 est. Even if you don’t watch it everyday and it doesn’t mean that much to you, that doesn’t mean that when you get the chance you pass it up. What is better than Tony waving goodnight to Canada everyday with his little Canadian flag, or even just the jokes that they crack at the start of each show.

So other than those couple things what makes the show “the best.” Well how about the set up of the show. You start out with the biggest 5 or 6 stories in sports from the previous night or present day. Then comes “five good minutes” with a guest that is usually a great guest. Then an section that changes every day with a variety of good cop/bad cop, mail time, odds makers, role play, psychics, and toss up. Heck I’m probably forgetting something too. Then the happy happies, and the big finish and they even give you something to watch for that night. So you get every sports story covered all with the high comedy of Mike and Tony. You have to love the music and the set too. The many heads in the background and the bobble heads that they always show. Those are things that you can’t overrate. So other than all of these things what makes it better than all of the other shows like ATH, Sports Reporters, Jim Rome, 1st and 10, and the many more. Well it is the guys doing the show. Mike and Tony are the perfect team. They mesh perfectly, because they always have different opinions on things and usually cover all of the basis for an argument. All while being funny enough and do it within a certain time constraint that keeps people watching. So for whatever it is worth I am here to say that PTI is simply the best 30 minutes on television.