Spurs Sweep Away Cavs

No big Surprise that the Spurs finished off the Cavs last night in Cleveland. Let’s face it Cleveland just wasn’t on the same level as the Spurs. Cleveland rode Lebron to the Finals, and probably shouldn’t have been there. Cleveland was honestly probably about the 6th best team in the NBA this year (Spurs, Suns, Mavs, Jazz, Warriors and Miami would have beaten them in a series). Tony Parker was amazing in the Finals and definitely deserved that MVP award. Something needs to be said about Parker. That is that he is absolutely living the dream. The guy is still very young, has already won 3 titles, has a finals MVP award under his belt, and is getting married to Eva Longoria (need I say more?). How about the fact that he is never even  considered when experts talk about the best point guards in the League. That is pretty amazing. The guy is lightning off the dribble, and has proven that he finishes better in the paint than most big guys (Varejao included). Also lately has become a more effective outside shooter, and can hit them when they count as he proved in the Finals. So I guess what I am saying to Tony Parker is “kudos” you are a great point guard with three titles and a beautiful gal.

Now onto this talk about the Spurs being a “Dynasty”. Not that it really matters that much, because there is no real certain criteria, but I just don’t see them as a dynasty. They aren’t that dominant team that everyone fears each year, and the team that dominates each year. They haven’t won back to back titles, they have no flash to them, and they have never really had any big moments. No game winning shots that were absolutely amazing. The only thing I think of when I hear Spurs and a game winning shot, is the one that Fisher hit to beat them in SA a few years back. They just don’t quite have that “Dynasty” thing about them. So for now I will just say that they are an unbelievable team that knows how to win when the money is on the line.

 The thing that hurt me the most about the Finals was not finding out about that patch of hair on Drew Gooden’s head. All I wanted was a special sitdown with Gooden, or at least a sideline report that told the story behind that patch of hair. Yet all I got were 4 games that lacked offense, and big moments. So be it now we can look forward to the draft and who the Celts will take. Just for the record if they take Yi Jianlan I might not be around to see his first game. I have said it before and I will say it again there really is something about Noah that just seems right. He fits the Celts need of a center, and the Celts offense perfectly. Doesn’t need the ball to be effective, and he can do all of the little things. He knows how to win, and is as much of a competitor that you will ever find. You need to look no further than his recent workouts for NBA teams, which he is doing with an injured shoulder. That isn’t stopping him from going hard every other day working out for NBA teams. I can just feel something special coming from him, and that is all I’m saying………..

Some Thoughts

  • Let’s start by talking about A-Rod, and what he did the other day. First of all let me say that I dislike A-Rod as much as anyone in the nation. He is definitely in my top 10 people I dislike the most, and that is a tough list to crack. You should know that his teammate Jorge Posada is leading the way in that categorie. Anyways A-Rod did his best Willy Mays Hays impression the other day by yelling something at a third basemen as he went to catch an infield pop-up. What’s got me going is that people are saying that he was out of line for doing it. Where I come from you do whatever it takes to win. If that means distracting an opponent while he is trying to field a ball then so be it. I once heard the great Red Auerbach say that one thing that the Celtics teams of the 50’s and 60’s did was get every little advantage that they could. They took every little advantage that they could get and they used it. They did what they had to do to win. If that meant distracting an opponent like A-Rod did then that’s what you have to do. Especially when you are on a Yankees team that is struggling like they are right now. What A-Rod did was the same thing that any NBA player does when they talk trash to another player who is shooting a free throw. Just a smart play by A-Rod and even though I despise the guy I have to say I loved that play. You play to win at all costs. Next time I suggest that Jeter tells a base stealer that there was a foul ball and he has to go back to first (as long as there is no throw from the catcher). That one works everytime, I used to do it in Babe Ruth and even AAU.
  • Now to the good stuff. Lebron. Lebron. and More Lebron. As much as I think Lebron has been a waste of talent so far, and isn’t the player that he should be I do have to say what he did last night was absolutely amazing. He single handlely beat the Pistons. I was sure that game was over when Detroit was up 88-83. Lebron had other ideas. A couple of rim rocking dunks later we were looking at overtime. Oh yeah and 25 straight points from the King himself. He does seem to be taking the steps to earning his nickname King James, but don’t think that he is there yet. We all thought that last year when the Cavs won the same game 5 in Detroit, but then Detroit came back to win the series in 7. Until the King finishes them off I won’t count Detroit out. What Lebron has done is kind of saved the playoffs in general. I was having a hard time watching games after Golden State and Phoenix both went out last round. One thing I can say now is that I am looking forward to seeing what Lebron does next and being a Witness.

NBA Draft Lottery Dissapointment

  • Well so much for tanking the second half of that season. So long to Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. Goodbye to an overhyped 2007-08 season for the Celts. So much for the luck of the Irish. Somewhere deep inside of me I knew that this would happen. Now the Celts are left to choose 5th, and all of their tanking efforts of 07 got them nothing at all. Maybe Ainge secretly knew this before the lottery was shown on ESPN and therefore gave Doc an extension so he could tank us right on through next season to try to get the #1.
  • I need therapy.
  • Looking on the bright side (if there is one) the Celts can still get a decent player with the 5th pick. They have a young team already (doesn’t need to be any younger), and a few veterans that can get it done. So what do they do with the 5th pick? I think it is pretty simple. You have to go with Noah. Let’s face it he is a WINNER. Shouldn’t we be talking about him as the next Russel instead of Oden. After all he is the one with back-back titles. He does all of the little things that Russell did. Rebounds, blocks shots, and comes up with all of the big hustle plays. He can play the center position, and pass from the high post in Doc River’s offense. He fits perfectly alongside Al Jefferson who will see the majority of touches in the low post, but Noah can post up once in a while too. The thing that you have to love about Noah is that he is soooo intense when he is out there. He is going to give you 110% each time he is out there. There really isn’t a better fit for the Celtics in the draft. He passes, scores when you give it to him in the right spots, wins, rebounds, plays D, plays hard, and fills the spot that the Celts need to fill.
  • That being said I still think that the most talented overall player in the draft is Corey Brewer, and he will be an absolute steal for someone.
  • Besides Oden is like 28 years old, and Durant is bound to be a bust. Right? (banging my head on desk).
  • The real question here is……who is the uglier human Oden or Noah?

The Playoff Blog is Back

  • First off thank you Jason for the in depth research on that former Team USA-er Nick Collison. I think it comes as a surprise to us all that he is still in the NBA.
  • Not much to say about that opening game between NJ and Cleveland. Donyell Marshall was hitting threes? and the Nets couldn’t throw it into the ocean. Not really much to say in general about the Eastern Conference playoffs. I wish Miami was still playing, because at least they would shake things up a little bit and make me watch. Although there is something that I have been meaning to mention. In game 3 in NJ Jason Kidd pulled down a rebound, then preceded to throw a perfect lead pass to Vince Carter who then dunked it. What was so great was how Kidd came down with the rebound then without hesitation threw the perfect lob pass. Carter was smiling, and just appreciating his teammate as he caught it and went in for the dunk. Just a really cool moment to see. Carter knew how great Kidd was playing, and could only marvel at it with the rest of us. Also in Game 6 Kidd threw an incredible “thread the needle” pass to Mikki Moore. Really have to love Kidd averaging a triple-double in the playoffs. Hoping to see him on Team USA.
  • Now for the big show. Spurs/Suns in SA tonight for game 6. Very anticipated game with Stoudemire and Diaw coming back. Pretty much everyone that I talked to during the day was excited to watch this game.
  • Bowen is playing unbelieveable defense on Nash, and should be congratulated. Parker dominated the first half, and Ginobli had 10 pts in his first 11 minutes. Then Duncan got it going towards the end of the half. That being said you would think that the Spurs were in total control, but it was just a two point game at the half. Nash is being followed by Bowen and an extra defender wherever he goes yet he is still able to deliver to his teammates. Just when I thought I had definitely seen the best pass of the night from Kidd, Nash throws a wrap-around pass as he is flying through the lane around Duncan right to Stoudemire. Just a remarkable pass.
  • Big run for the Spurs in the third quarter. They weren’t missing from the perimeter. Phoenix just isn’t on their game tonight. Nash is frustrated and no one can make shots. I think we can all say that these are the two best teams left in the playoffs playing.
  • Suns come into the 4th down 81-67. San Antonio wasn’t looking back, still making everything. Then Nash decided to finally take over. After scoring 10 points in a row by himself, the Suns found a few rare defensive stops. Then a few more hoops and Nash crossing up Bowen and making him fall over on his ass (that’s more like it Steve). The ensuing basketball by Nash cut the SA lead to just 9. The Suns gave us one last great spurt. Showing what great team basketball they are able to play. Nash was immaculate in the 4th quarter, but to no avail. I’m just sad that we won’t be seeing the game 7 that we should be seeing on Sunday. Just sad that the NBA did that to the Suns in game 5. Still though a great series played by the dirty Spurs.

Just a thought

Just wanted to use this time to say that I am the man because I wrote about Timmy Duncan being underrated and then a more well known sportswriter named simmons wrote about the same thing, that is all on that note.

On a more sensitive note, the team SZ is pulling for GOLDEN STATE baby went down sadly 3-1 to the Jazz last night. As you can see, we are all in a state of depression and discontent during these difficult times. Alliteration aside, we won’t give up hope until it’s all said and done. Nor will we write about anything else.

Also, The NBA lottery is looming a mere 8 days away. My prayers go out to the Celtics who need the first or second pick. If not because we won 24 games, but because we just extended Glen ‘Doc’ Rivers’ contract. It would just be too much if they didn’t. As I watch Duncan systematically dismantle the defenses of the best teams in the league, while playing some pretty damn good D on the other side of the court, I can’t help but imagine what it would be like if he was doing this in a green jersey. It brings tears to my eyes.

Playoff Blog

I wasn’t planning on adding to the playoff blog tonight, but after watching this Golden State game I couldn’t possibly not write about the incredible game that I saw. First off I think I need to say that it will be a nearly impossible task for anyone to beat Golden State in Oakland. That crowd just pushes these guys to new limits. You can’t say enough about the noise level and the overall togetherness of this crowd. Also you have to love how ESPN needed to install the sound level meter to give the fans an idea of how loud that place is. Mike Tirico had to say how the crowd in Utah was loud too just to keep the Jazz fans happy with ESPN’s coverage, but we all know that Tirico wasn’t in Utah for either of those games.

A great start to the game for the Warriors who were connecting on everything early. Then they went through a dryspell at the end of the quarter and let Utah back into it. Then came a huge outburst in the second quarter. Just incredible shooting and energy by the Warriors. Really special to watch. I can’t tell you how enjoyable it is to watch this team play with this atmosphere. Utah is counting their blessings for GS blowing that game 2, because if they hadn’t then this series would be all but done. I was riding a huge high after that second quarter, but it would only get better. Baron Davis’ performance in this game was absolutely incredible. He is unstoppable right now. The funny thing is that everytime I talk about GS I find myself saying how great Baron Davis is right now. He hit some of the most difficult shots and layups that I have ever seen. Oh yeah and that rediculous posterizing dunk on Kirilenko. Not bad for a 6’2 guard with bad knees right? Kirilenko had been dominating the series on the defensive end, and Davis still went right at him. Davis’ performance in these playoffs has been one of the greatest ever, and it will only get better by the looks of it. The sky is the limit for this Warriors team with him leading the way. Did Deron Williams even play tonight? Mehmet Okur? They might have, but I didn’t see them because I was too busy being amazed by the Baron.

How USA Basketball should be run…

This is a topic that absolutely kills me every time someone brings it up. Whenever I hear something about USA basketball I can’t help but think about the lack of competence of the people in charge. The US team has been embarrassed over the past 4 years in International competition. There was the struggle at the World Championships in Indianapolis, and then the horrible performance at the Olympics that still makes me want to throw up everywhere. Even before these disappointments USA basketball had been struggling. Heck the only thing I can remember from before these things already mentioned is when Vince Carter jumped over that 7 footer. Sure you always hear about the dream team and how dominant they were, but really we can’t live in the past anymore. We have been the ones underachieving each and every year. So that is why I am writing this post. To tell you how I think the next USA team should be put together.

To start I need to say that over the last year or so the directors have done some nice things. The coaching staff that they have put together is a solid one, and they have the correct people in charge. That is all well and good, but the real problem with these past few USA Basketball teams has been the players. I don’t think I need to say that there have been too many one-on-one players who don’t know how to play team basketball, and have no interest in playing defense. Everyone already knows that (well except for the guys who pick the team each year). I liked the steps taken last year when they looked for a defensive stopper, but they ended up going with Shane Battier. I know Coach K and him go way back and everything, but really Shane Battier? Out of everyone that you could pick, you picked Shane Battier? Here is a nation that has all of these wildly multi-skilled stars that are athletic freaks, and you choose Shane Battier. Like I said I love that fact that they are looking for a locker-room guy, and a solid defensive player, but you can find someone better than Shane Battier. So they were looking for a role player, but what they forgot was to bring along a shooter. You look at all of these teams that they lose to and they all have players who make 3’s. How about we use all of this talent and athleticism that we have and spread these teams out like the Suns and Mavs do then dribble penetrate (which no one will be able to stop) and then dish it out. The thing is you have to have players who can make the trifecta. Sure we had the young stars playing like Lebron, Wade, Carmelo, and Paul, but none of those guys are even really dependable 3 point shooters. How about Michael Redd? Does that name ring a bell to anyone. Here is a guy who would have been in high contention for the MVP award had he not sufferred a knee injury in January. This guy can flat out shoot the rock. Heck, he can flat out score period. Yet he doesn’t even seem to be on team USA’s radar screen. If that doesn’t work for you then how about Gilbert Arenas who was left off of last year’s team USA. Oh yeah one more solution to this shooting problem, his name is Ray Allen. He happens to be the record holder for most 3 pointers made in an NBA season. Yet he isn’t the one that is playing, it is his “half as talented teammate who can’t shoot it into the ocean” Luke Ridnour. At least two of these 3 guys that I just mentioned need to be playing significant minutes in the next Olympic Games.

So after we get a few shooters on the team we have to go after some guys that get after it. Some guys who are intimidating. Some players who are going to give you 110%, and they don’t care who they are playing. They are going to be the ones who are inflicting pain. Way too many nice guys on this team. Do you think Jordan didn’t trash talk all of these guys when he was playing on the dream team? How about Bird? Yeah remember Larry Legend, the same guy who took the 3 point shootout like it was going to kill him if he lost. Nowadays you have guys like Lebron who cruise through the regular season, then go to the All-Star events, and moves as fast as Rosie O’Donnell in the Skills Competition. Ok, so we need someone like Ron Artest. He’s a defensive stopper, as good a defender as there is in the NBA one-on-one. He can make the trifecta at a decent rate, and he can score one-on-one in the post and get to the line. Oh yeah also, this guy is scary. Guess what if you were playing for Argentina you probably wouldn’t want to be going up against Ron Artest. Sure you have all the baggage that comes with him, but really come on you have to try to win at all costs. I love Bruce Bowen and his game, but Artest is twice the all around player that Bowen is.

Ok, that problem is solved. Now there is a problem that I really don’t know how to solve, but there must be a way. USA Basketball has to get all of the players who want to rest in the offseason to want to play for their country in these events. I don’t know how you do that, but there has to be a way. You do whatever it takes to get guys like KG to play on this team. I don’t care what you have to offer them, or what you need to give up but you need to do something. You can’t have guys like J.J. Redick and Adam Morrison on your roster. Seriously those guys are probably the two biggest NBA duds of all time. Everyone knew that it was going to happen like this. Morrison had an outside chance of being solid, but c’mon the guy is a cone out there on defense, and he isn’t that great of a shooter. Also he isn’t going by anyone on the offensive end. I don’t care what anyone says, but both him and Redick need to be removed from the possible roster immediately. Looking back USA Basketball has made this mistake before. Remember the 2004 Olympic team. Yeah me either cause they sucked, but Nick Collison was on there roster. Yeah that’s right that isn’t a typo I said Nick Collison. No really Nick Collison. No I don’t know who he plays for now either. Wait does he still play?

Lastly we need to adress the style of play of this team. You need to take two centers on this team at most, and neither of those centers need to be named Brad Miller. Look at the coaching staff that you have. Coach K, D’Antoni, McMillan. We need to be playing uptempo basketball, and rotating in players like a hockey team. That is one of the HUGE advantages that we have. We are about 20 stars deeper than every other team on the planet. We have sooo many guys who can flat out play. So why not use them all. Keep fresh bodies out there at all times, keep the pace up, and if someone gets hot then leave them out there. You have to take a couple Centers just so you have some type of post-up threat, and you have someone to clog up the lane. So with all of this being said I will now give you my proposed Roster for the 2008 Olympic team.

PG: Jason Kidd (I don’t care how old he is. this guy competes, and knows how to win and distribute the ball.)

SG: Michael Redd (guy can flat out shoot, and flat out score. He will only get better over the next couple years.)

SF: Ron Artest (Yeah that’s right, shut down defender, formidable scorer, and a scary dude.)

PF: Lebron James (You laugh, but really he is 6’8 with plenty of rebounding ability. remeber we are spreading the floor out and rotating guys in like crazy. Obviously him and Artest are interchangable.)

C: Amare Stoudemire (A finisher inside, solid rebounder, will be a very solid jump shooter by this point. Also very solid pick and roll guy.)

BN: Shawn Marion (your do it all hustler/defender/finisher) BN: Raja Bell (yeah I know a bunch of Suns, but he goes along with the toughness/defense/3 pointer shooter theme.) BN: Tim Duncan (I know it will be a task to get him to play, but he is as consistent of a player that you will find. also gives us a post-up game.) BN: Dwyane Wade (electric guy to have coming off of the bench, and probably will be the best player in the world at this point.) BN: Gilbert Arenas (another scorer/shooter coming off of the bench. This guy is determined and if he isn’t hitting shots you can just yank him. He can also play some decent D if he plays limited minutes.) BN: Dwight Howard (we all know that this guy is a freak. He is a monster inside, and hopefully will have a formidable post-up game by this time. We need him on this team.) BN: Baron Davis (We are all seeing what this guy is capable of. He is a ball hawk on defense, and can score at will. If he is healthy why not take him.) BN: Chris Paul (Probably the future of American point guards along with Deron Williams. I can’t decide between the trio of Paul, Williams, and Davis, but you have to go with two of them. I leave out Williams for now, but injuries or other circumstances could change that.) BN: Ray Allen (just feed him and watch them drop.) BN: Gerald Wallace (This guy can do it all, and is a guy who would definitely give 110%.) BN: Chris Bosh (Last big guy on the team, will be a perennial all star at this point in his career.) BN: Josh Howard (He will probably the best all-around player in the league year in and year out at this point.)

If USA Basketball does this I promise you we will be a success in the next Olympics. With the right blend of role players and stars playing for the right coaches no one should be able to stay close to us. Obviously there are notable guys missing from this team. Kobe has just logged too many minutes, and I hate to leave him off but really I don’t think he would be a help to this team. If he was put on the team though it wouldn’t reck my world. Carmelo is another guy I left off, because all he can really give you is offense, and it is all one-on-one. And that’s the way the cookie crumbles…….