Saturday, June 25, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: On the Verge of a Lockout

NBA Draft recap:

Boston Celtics - I like how they took both of Purdue's best players (JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore). Granted, neither of these players are going to really break into the rotation for Boston because Johnson is just not big enough to do much on the next level. Moore has more of a chance to contribute).

Washington Wizards - Got Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Shelvin Mack
Vesely is highly ranked, Chris Singleton is a rugged, awesome wing defender, and Shelvin Mack is a fantastic PG on the little team that could (Butler). I just love this draft!

Charlotte Bobcats - Fisrt, they traded one bad contract of a good player (S. Jackson) for a bad contract of a worse player (Maggette). Then by the end of the night they got a long-term project in B. Biyombo, who is a PF. They also got Kemba Walker to be the PG rotation with DJ Augustin. However, Kemba is more of a SG in a PG body, so the backcourt is kind of screwy. It sucks having an owner with no money, I think that's the bottom line.

Sacramento Kings - You got rid of Beno Udrih for Jimmer Fredette. Tsk tsk tsk. They did get Tyler Honeycutt from UCLA who I like. I don't like Jimmer though. He doesn't like me either.

Loser selection -
Minnesota chose a guy in the 2nd round and they thought he was 21. He's actually 26. This is a problem because European players become undrafted free agents if they reach the age of 22... Minnesota's GM David Kahn always finds new ways to get in the news!

Cleveland - Yes, Kyrie Irving is the choice at #1 and that's good. However, I'm not exactly enthralled about the selection of PF Tristan Thompson at #4. The Cavs apparently were scared off from J. Valanciunas, a bona fide center who won't be getting out of his European contract for a season or two. Personally, I'd rather the Cavs have done that because it sounds like J. Valanciunas had a higher upside, and its not like the Cavs are trying to win next year. The one possibility for hope is that PF T. Thompson is very athletic though offensively challenged outside of dunking. Cavs are probably trading either Hickson or Varejao I'm guessing. Jamison is worthless (but may become worthwhile once the season starts since he's a $15 million expiring contract)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Who doesn't love a good Ron Artest post

What more can you say? I'd make a few jokes, but this speaks for itself.

Monday, June 13, 2011

NBA Finals 2011: The Aftermath

Normally, I wouldn't have much to say after an NBA Championship, but I can't resist bringing up a few interesting points.

1) Dallas Coaching Staff Includes a Stat Geek

I can't believe I didn't know this, but ESPN led me to discover that one of the members of their coaching staff is the founder of, Roland Beech. This is his 2nd season on Dallas. Officially, Roland Beech is listed as the "director of basketball analytics." is the first basketball website that I became aware of, maybe 5 years ago, that had "advanced" stats or non-traditional stats. Beginning with plus/minus, moving to efficiency, and even getting into win-shares, the advanced stats do a lot more to signify and explain in numbers what a player's impact is on the game (aside from just his shooting percentage). I wasn't sure how involved Beech is with the team, but apparently, according to ESPN's TrueHoop, Beech is involved in all film sessions and practices. This is a stunning and welcome development in my opinion. The fact that Dallas won an NBA championship with such a person involved in brain trust will probably cause similar positions to become available on other teams (outside of Houston, which is widely known to hire a number of statisticians).

2) Rick Carlyle Dominated The Playoffs and the Zone Defense is a Big Reason

I can't say enough about how great a job Rick Carlyle did this postseason. I really enjoyed watching his Indiana teams pre-Artest brawl (with Artest, J. O'Neal, S. Jackson). After the brawl, the Indiana team ended up getting rid of assets (Artest, S. Jackson) for nothing, and everything fell apart and Carlyle got fire eventually... but I always thought it wasn't exactly his fault and with a talented team he would be successful again. Carlyle is in the minority in the NBA in that he will employ zone defenses at times throughout the regular season and even in the playoffs. I think the different looks he provided with his zone really threw off the rhythm that LeBron and Wade had in this playoffs. Of course, it does help that he has the right personnel to do the system (relatively mobile big men, and a great defensive center tandem in Chandler and Haywood). However, I am excited for other teams to start copying Dallas to some degree and try to employ their own zone defenses. This championship represents a real positive for the league in that regard I believe. It's interesting in that zone defenses became legal in 2001-2002... but it took this long for a team to win a championship and be praised for its zone defense. Link
3) LeBron Needs a Sports Psychologist

I'm not going to delve too far into the thicket of LeBron talking points (because there are many, and there are many opinions). I really rooted against him this year but mainly because I did not want the trio to just believe that the 3 of them alone with a bunch of spare parts could win a championship immediately. I don't intend on rooting against LeBron again like I did this year (though I won't root for him). I think the adversity will be good for LeBron especially and their championship day is inevitable... but they still need another capable guard and big man (plus LeBron probably needs to see a sports psychologist after this series). If you want to read a great little article on LeBron, I really like Rosenberg's on Sports Illustrated, as he hopes LeBron learns humility.

Friday, June 10, 2011

As good as its gonna get

This is about as happy Cleveland fans can be right now. Might as well live vicariously through another team by hating Lebron.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

This Week in Random Lists: Top 10 Greatest Cereals

Top 10 All Time Cereals as decided by me, really early in the morning and therefore have no basis in reality . This list is based on how awesome the cereal is with reasons provided

10 Raisin Bran
For post Passover
9. Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
Honey Nut Cheerios comely but not pretty sister

8. Frosted Mini-Wheats
Health meets sugar. Also has some heft

7. Crispix
Best snacking cereal. Basis for party snacks.

6. Trix
Best fruity cereal. Also comes with drug addicted rabbit

5. Frosted Flakes
Best sugared cereal although flakes do get soggy too quickly

4. Honey Nut Cheerios
Childhood memories. Babies love them. Quality mascot.

3. Rice Krispies
Best cereal for creating a marshmallow infused desert.

2. Lucky Charms
Best cereal that comes with marshmallows already in them.

1. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Best cereal based on taste, utility, and staying power.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Monday Questions

As part of a vain attempt to get back to writing about sports despite a pretty slow pace of things so here's the attempt/

1. MLB Draft

The MLB Draft has long lagged the hype and coverage of the NBA Draft or NFL Draft although that seems to be changing as of late - This year I think the interesting question surrounds Arizona - who is the first team to have 2 picks in the top 7. Obviously that's not enough to turn around a franchise but it does seem a huge opportunity.

2. BoSox Rebound
It seems like only a few months ago that the Red Sox were flailing about in putridity. However they have rebounded handily, sweeping the Rays , and now stand only one game back from the Yanks. It will be interesting to see how active they are in the trade market given their off-season acquisitions.

3. NBA Draft
Speaking of top picks, all eyes should be on the Cavs with their # 1 and #4 picks. However the #4 pick is really dependent on the crazy machinations of Kahn and Minnesota. What will they do? Make a pick? Fling feces? Who knows...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Mike Brown, Clueless

Ignoring for a moment his reputation for being clueless as an offensive head coach, it’s new Lakers head coach Mike Brown’s staggering lack of understanding of PR that makes me believe he’s destined to fail in Los Angeles.

See the excerpt below, with italics for emphasis:

“We’re not going to run the triangle offense, but we will have bits and pieces of it that will be incorporated,” said Brown, adding that his offense will be tailored to 7-footers Bynum and Gasol, similar to what was run for big men Tim Duncan and David Robinson during his time as an assistant in San Antonio.

Brown was on the Spurs’ staff when they won the 2003 NBA title.

Brown ticked off his top three essentials on both offense and defense.

If they don’t buy in right away, they will,” he said. “If they don’t, there’s going to be a problem because I’m going to hold people accountable.

Really, Mike? You’re going to publically announce that you’ll run the offense through a duo that includes the oft-injured Bynum and the unmotivated Gasol? When you have one of the ten best players in NBA history on your roster? When that player – Kobe Bryant – is the key to whether you keep your job or not?

I get not kowtowing to a prickly, aging superstar and I get that you want to come in with the respect of your players – hence the line about accountability and everyone buying in – but you catch many more flies with honey than with vinegar and if there’s one thing we know about NBA superstars it’s that they don’t respond well to veiled threats, especially not from guys with no credibility in the league. Phil Jackson could be a smug bastard and take shots at his players through the media because he had 11 rings. Mike Brown is a nobody in basketball by comparison.

Mike, baby, learn your place. You were hired to be the coach but if you don’t know that Kobe calls the shots, you’re hopeless.