Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ya Gotta Attend The History Lecture, Annual Winter Doubters

I'm doing mailbag here after long time, so quickly on to your e-mails...

Is NBA ever going to stop fans pick the All-Star starting fives? As Spurs fan, I can't believe T-Park is the ninth (!) guard in the West. That's ridiculous. What do you think? -Johnny J., Bratislava

It's a reality that the league first wants to get millions of voters' hits on its web site. That's why it wont be changed and the real quality will continue to be not so important. Not that everybody in the NBA likes this fact. Raptors coach Sam Mitchell (a great man) also thinks the fans should be disqualified as judges of talent if Tony Parker finishes ninth (update: he moved higher in the last returns of voting). He trailed Kobe (thats OK), T-Mac (gotta be kiddin me), Nash (OK), Allen Iverson (no objections), Manu (hmm... tough...), Jason Terry (fuck that shit), B-Davis and Chris Paul. (Note: CP3 behind McGrady or Terry?!?) *Don't go by the fans,* Mitchell said. *Really. Come on. Ask the coaches right now: the top three point guards in the NBA. You might be shocked. Steve would probably be No. 1, but Tony Parker would probably be two. And in some instances, when you look at the age and what he does, some coaches would probably say Tony Parker, because Tony Parker plays better defense. So I'm sure Steve would win, but it wouldn't be 90 percent to 10 percent. I can tell you that much. Tony's a key part of what /Spurs/ do. He gets in the paint, man. If he's the ninth guard in the NBA, then something's wrong. They've won three championships with him and if you look at 2007, who was the /Finals/ MVP? Tony Parker. But he's the ninth-best guard in the West? Come on.* I always liked Sam and he summed it up perfectly. However... do you think Tony (and Manu) wont be snubbed? Me neither.

It seems that your San Antonio cant hit anything last few games. This team has slow starts, is too old and hasnt got enough juice to repeat. Spurs' best days are behind them. You alone know it. -Ramones, Poprad

Welcome back, annual winter doubters. Yes, Spurs are in the slump, but why theyre there? One, the recent injury epidemic has resulted in some team-wide fatigue, you can see it in games. Two, until last two games, they havent played with whole big three since november. Three, its only january and Spurs are still too seasoned to worry about pre-All-Star-break struggles. Last year, they began february by losing four of five. In 2004-05 it was four losses in six January road games. In 2002-03 it was a 1-3 stretch at the end of december. And in 1999 it was a 6-8 start in February. All of those seasons concluded with parades down the River Walk in San Antonio. So keep up your Spurs are done stuff if you want, but history lessons are undeniable.

Hi Mr. FiCS. I like your blogs. Any thoughts regarding Portland Trail Blazers? This Portland team never seems to run out of surprises. Winning 13 games in a row is the best streak of this season. Do you expect them to be a playoff threat? What about their future? -Michal, Trencin

Portland is very good and will be even better with Greg Oden in 2008-09. 2009 title contender? Its possible. In this years playoffs, I guess theyll be a first round fodder for more experienced teams, but this will serve extremely well for POR in 2009. Theyve some very skilled guys and their coaching staff is great. In the offseason, GM Kevin Pritchard has to keep this troops together and add some other players if needed. What about players? Travis Outlaw is quick and has an unstoppable step-back jumper. Jarrett Jack is a tenacious defender, as well as being a clutch scorer. That helps when you have such kind of man. LaMarcus Aldridge will be better and better, he rebounds and knows how to score. Martell Webster is a shooter. Steve Blake is perfect floor leader for them. Why not play him more? Channing Frye is a superior mid-range shooter, stealing him from NY was a clever move. (It is better for them having Zach Randolph on the East coast.) James Jones shoots treys, is athletic and he can block people. (Plus he can singlehandedly set aside two stars - he proved that against Spurs, when Duncan and Ginobili were injured trying outplay him.) Joel Przybilla is a role player who gets boards, sets screens and blocks shots. And then there's Brandon Roy, who's easily the team's best player. He's much smoother than he was last season He's also cool-headed and totally comfortable being Portland's main man. Threes, driving, finishing, dishing, defending, passing - no problem. Hes also unselfish and has a low-post game, too. Roy is so good that he might merit consideration as MVP. Yes, MVP!!! Indeed, GO is a perfect fit for them. 2008-09, wow...

Trade deadline is closer and closer, which players might be traded? Any chance J-Kidd will be sent elsewhere? -Luke, Nymburk

The list of players likely to be traded: Matrix Marion, cos Suns need to make some move to challenge SAS; Marcus Banks, cos theyre playing him more AKA increasing his market value; T-Mac, cos going further his trade value will be lower and lower, Houston can get two solid guys plus high draft pick and play everything through Yao; Wally Szczerbiak, cos he is on the wrong team in Seattle, somebody can make an offer for him; Eddy Curry, cos he aint a match for Knicks (Bulls get him! Lol); Starbury Marbury, cos Knicks would get rid of him even for a bag of apples; Mike James, cos hes expendable for Rockets; Ronny Artest, cos Miami and NY want him bad... what a gamble...; Mike Everyone Forgot Me Bibby, cos some contending team might want a quality PG; Chris Mihm, cos I believe Mitch Kupchak will make some move to better the roster and Mihm is tradeable; Kenyon Martin of Nuggets, cos Denver really does not need him; Vince Carter or Jason Kidd, cos Rod Thorn finally must change something (yes, JK is likely to be shipped); Sam Dalembert, cos Philly realizes hes too limited; Benny Gordon and Kirk Hinrich, cos Bulls WANT a post-up man; Juan Dixon of Raptors, cos Toronto doesnt need his game; Reggie Evans, cos hes poised to be a chronic journeyman; Pau Gasol, cos theres a lack of low post threat in the field; Damon Jones, cos Cavs have to do anything and, ahem, hes their biggest trade asset, lol; Darko Milicic, cos hes not suited for Memphis; Jermaine Baby Face O'Neal, cos somebody might just risk obtaining him and then battle for rings; Smush Parker and White Choco Willimas, cos Heat have no other choice; Malik Rose, cos he wants out of NY mess; J.R. Smith, cos hes doing more harm than good. Well... and if these players get traded in february, then call me Mr. Trade-Guru.

Im curious, have you experienced any crazy road trip with your BAFS streetball team? -Petr, Brno

Hundreds. OK, thats a stretch. Tens. Once, we had indoor tourney in Trencin and on the way back home, there was a huge winter blizzard. We had an old van and my teammate Pieter was our driver. His driving skills were severely tested then. Dark, blizzard, a lot of snow. Covering the distance from Trencin to Zilina (about one hour by car) as quickly as possible was imperative - Pieter didnt care about weather because his girlfriend was impatiently waiting for him, but we were scared to death. He stepped on the gas and plowed through centimeters of snow. He even amused himself by spreading the newspaper crossword puzzle and tried to fill in the blanks. We all survived the trip and arrived healthy. And eventually it turned out that Pieters GF wasnt at home - she had decided to go shopping.

Look at the young NBA players and tell me whom you like the most? I mean, not only his game, but overall, his appearance on and off the hardwood. -Martin Novak, Prague

Oh, thats a tough question... but with his recent play (and personality), Id say Rudy Gay. This is a guy who cant even use his name properly, lol. Just click on whichever Dime blog including his name and youll see that his surname is written (censored) BLEEP. Are you kiddin me? However, thats not the only reason I like Gay. Without question, he's the best all-around athlete on Grizzlies. Hes got long arms and long strides get him to the hoop with ease. Oh, those dunks! Gay has an excellent range and is getting better and better every day. And his biggest underappreciated plus is defense, but because Grizzlies dont give a fuck about defense, he gets overlooked in this skill. This is his sophomore season and hes much more comfortable out there playing. (FYI: Hes also no. 48 on Simmons Trade value column). P.S.: I cant believe I just picked the kid who had killed Spurs with his buzzerbeater. P.S.2: Hes got a great smile (his knocked-off tooth is repaired).

Imagine you are a bookmaker for tonights NBA games. What choices would you recommend? Thanks and have a nice day. -Brano & Bella, Nitra.

Sixers at Raptors TOR win
Cavalies at Hawks ATL win
Bobcats at Celtics BOS win (No-brainer.)
Sonics at Nets NJ win
Rockets at Knicks NY win (Surprise.)
Heat at Bucks MIL win
Lakers at Hornets LAL win (Hornets are weaker at home.)
Pistons at Mavericks DAL win (Believe me.)
Pacers at Suns PHX win
Warriors at Blazers POR win (Potential bet-destroyer.)
Magic at Clippers ORL win
Fell free to stake 10 or higher. Good luck, my friends.

p.s.: *i fed off this building. these fans are the spark plug and i just plugged in and didn't even think what i was doing,* said kevin garnett, after taking on the role of defending yao ming down the stretch to spark boston's 97-93 win over houston.
p.s.2: *i talk to the guys here all the time. they call and check on me. bruce and tim, manu has reached out to me a couple of times, and tony is always on the phone to me. it's been great having those guys as friends. know: 'things that don't kill me /knicks horrible season/ only make me stronger,'* said malik rose, a former spur.

Posted by Foreigner in CS - Jan 9 2007 3:23PM

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