Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Week-Long Memory - 5 Studs That Busted A Move
What's up everybody? FiCS here. And NBA, where The Thunder happens...
Well remember that night as the Boston Celtics 17th championship banner ceremony, a night, highligted by those superb-glossy champs rings and that emotional speech by Paul Pierce, who looks like a guy women love to be with. Because ladies love emotions. I love em, too, and watching PPs face with tears in the eyes made the evening even more enjoyable. The game itself had its own gloss, ending with the C's on the winning side of the final score, this one a 90-85 victory. At least for one game, we got the memo: no lack of hunger or poise. PP led all scorers with 27 points after that teary-eyed speech to the crowd. As something weve come to accept like a traffic jam, somebody outside of the best three players (I hate that nick Big Three, thats why I dont use at all. I just say every team has three best players, like it has two best players or four best players. Honestly, the term Big Three annoys me.) stepped up. In a final 12 mins in which Ray Allen, Pierce and KG combined for only eight pts, the champs let Tony I-aint-Rays-brother Allen (seven points) and second-year pro Leon Powe (four points) handle most of the load. In a similar note, LBJ wasnt a biggest boost for the Cavs in the fourth, because the scrappy Andy Varejao, who got the boards (7) and let KG shoot as many as one shot in the final 7:30. Predictably due to the ceremony before the game, the Celtics were sloppy over the first 24 minutes, but they seized control of the fight in the second half. James (who now looks like a guy destined for his own piece of jewelry, whatever that means baby) had two chances to keep Cleveland within striking distance late in the fourth, but he missed the first of two FTs with 10.6 seconds left, blowing a chance to pull the Cavs within one, then missed the first of two with 4.8 seconds left when a pair of makes would have gotten the deficit down to two. (By the way, I love calling LeBron James. What, that sentence doesnt make a sense? I just call him James. No LeBron. For me, hes James. Thats kinda cool to me.) Very nice and unforgettable evening, overall. Ive got a hunch that Tuesday night was a preview of the East Finals.
As the NBA season opened up Tuesday, we got the rare chance to see the last two No. 1 overall draft picks play on the first night. Derrick Rose survived and has a very bright future ahead of him. Like MVP-bright. However, as everybody confessed, we came to watch Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden. Wow, it couldnt have been a shorter performance. Wrist. Knee. Ankle. Who knows whats in store for him next? Being a Blazers fan now gotta be like losing the drivers license - youre not allowed to have one because you just caused a road accident. Youre going to get it back at some point, but this whole situation sucks and you wonder if this is your fate, filled with bad luck. If anybody saw a Blazers fan smiling the following morning, send me his e-mail. Oden played 13 scoreLESS mins and pulled in five rebs before leaving with a foot (2-4 weeks of grueling inactivity, gents) injury in a 96-76 loss to the Lakers (after the opening week of play, they look like a juggernaut of juggernauts). He showed flashes why hell be a superb defender, though. But Oden got destroyed by Pau Gasol in transition. His reaction to missed shots was: its time to catch my breath. Wasnt: Its time to race back! I wonder when/if hell have that 100 per cent agility. Another big concern, as experts say, is that G.O.s upper body is so much bigger/stronger/heavier than his lower body. That may cause even more injuries to his legs. However, one game doesnt make a career. Though with Oden, you just root for him to heal and be able to play several of those games. Greg, get well soon dude!
KNICKS & THEIR SACRED DUO/TRIO
If being a GM or team executive was easy then... having the mess the Knicks have in their house, you would... send Steph Next question Marbury ASAP as far as it gets. Just say Italy. Or Saudi Arabia. But youre helpless. You see him in street clothes on the bench, you see him everywhere you look. The only thing you can do is make sure your coaches dont have weapons in their pockets. Having the mess the Knicks have in their house, you would... trade Eddy Curry for two balls, a shooting coach and, perhaps, someone like Desmon Farmer. We all know that those two arent in Mike Antonis (no D, baby!) strategies/plans. Marbury was inactive again Sunday when the Knicks lost badly to the Bucks. The mess is heating up. Knicks president Donnie Walsh plans to speak with 'Antoni and his mannequin point guard this week in hopes of clearing up an uncomfortable roster situation. (Best of luck, Donnie.) The Marbury situation is so unpleasant that we got to see 48 game-mins of bench-time for Jerome James, who is a disgrace in his own magnificent way. I bet my hands hes not in coachs plans, either, but at least has his mouth shut so Im not going to criticize him too much... Antoni could have got himself in the comedy HoF if he had let Jerome play just one second. Because for his new-brand up-tempo Knicks having a 7-foot-1, 290 pound stiff on the floor, that basically means big-time-craziness, for a lack of better word. But so far, Starbury is a model citizen, saying all the right words. (If political correctness didnt exist, these two sides would have been in a (word) fight from Day 1.) Its gotta be nice to have a contract that will pay you more than $21 million this season and watch NBA games from the first row and be with the team wherever the team may be. Thats a fans ultimate dream. But hes named Marbury... Hes impossible to trade. He won't take a buyout for less than his full salary. The ultimate moment of this saga (at least for me) came in the Knicks opener - Marbury in his jersey prepared to play only finishing with DNP-CD - when some fans started chanting *We want Steph!* and Antonis head almost blasted into three pieces. This recent Antonis quote clearly solved something: *He does make a lot of money and you never know what happens. Obviously we went into a different direction but at the same time we owe him money and if an injury happens I wouldn't hesitate [great word, Coach!] putting him back in. I wouldn't even hesitate putting him back in as a starter [!], but if an injury happened at a certain spot. But until that happens, then I think common sense is just that he's inactive right now.* In the top of my e-mail box, I have a line from Marbury that makes my each morning a funnier one: *Im every disease you could possibly think of.* Good luck with him, Knickerbockers.
ASG 2010, CROWD OF 100,000?
They say everything is bigger in Texas. Theyre right. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (great job, Mark!) joined forces with Dallas Cowboys to stage what will be an unforgettable and historic weekend in the February of 2010. The 59th NBA All-Star Game is coming to the Cowboys' new $1 billion stadium in Arlington, Texas. *The NBA All-Star Weekend has become the biggest party weekend in the country,* said Cuban. This time, hes right.
Cuban happily envisions an amazing scene of 100,000 fans (I guess that number is too high, but if an over/under would be 80,000, Id take over.) packing the stadium for Sunday's West-East showdown. That Sunday will romanticaly fall on Feb. 14, so if you wanna marry somebody, what would be better than asking her during half-time? The 2010 ASG will shatter the All-Star attendance record of 44,735 set at the Houston Astrodome in 1989. (For David Stern, a crowd of 80,000 would be a success.) The NBA traditionally controls 16,000-18,000 tickets for the midseason exhibition, which are distributed to league partners, thus ASGs are impossible to attend because the actual, ordinary fan is left with no tickets to buy. So here comes Cuban, the savior! Now, probably over 50,000 tickets will be available worldwide. Its your chance to be at the ASG. In 2010 or never. One of the highlights of the stadium is the massive 60-yard video board stretching from one 20-yard line to the other. Wow, this game will be a classic of classics!
Just two games into the season and we have such a trade? With A.I. involved? Gee! Thats your annual trade deadline megadeal... in November. Thats just the risk-taking genius of Joe Dumars. Its basically a Billups-Iverson swap, considering Denver is expected to waive McDyess, who has no interest in playing for any team other than Detroit. Perhaps hell change his ways when Gregg Popovich comes knocking on the door of his house. Hed be an ideal frontcourt mate for TD. The Spurs should lure McDyess. Somehow. Please. Back to the backbone of the trade: Chauncey Billups is a perfect player for the Nuggets - suddenly, theyre another playoff contender out there in the West. A Denver native, who starred collegiately at the University of Colorado and is a former Nugget as well, Billups adds defense, playmaking and leadership to the team. And hes capable of hitting some big shots. I think Carmelo is very excited, because at the end of the day, hes better off with dude such as Chauncey as his teammate and point guard. The Pistons got star material. Billups became expendable thanks to the development and rise of R-Stuckey. Although Iverson is past his prime (anybody to argue about that?), hes still an elite player/scorer. The most important question is this: Can Detroit break the conference finals ice and be a basketball champs city again? Remains to be seen. Were gonna see whether A.I. makes the Pistons a better t-e-a-m. He has 80 games to gel with his new teammates. Should this fail, hes in the final year of his contract and becomes a free agent in the summer 2009. So his salary is off the books by then and Dumars can continue his reboulding efforts. Like another makover highlighted by acquring some summer 09 FA star. One way or another, the season just got even more intriguing. I cant wait for a DEN-DET game. I have to look up when theyre scheduled to meet. Allen highfiving Rasheed Wallace after a successful play in the postseason? I love this game!
My predictions for 2008-09 NBA awards and the like:
MVP: LeBron James
ROY: Derrick Rose
Most Improved: Al Jefferson
Comeback Player: Gerald Green
Defensive Player: Ron Artest
Sixth Man: Andrei Kirilenko
Coach: Jerry Sloan
1st Team All-NBA: Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tim Duncan
p.s.: *It wasnt my idea. It was fine with me to weigh it year to year. But they came to me and wanted me to commit to three years and, uh, Im pretty excited about it. Its quite an honor really to be wanted. At my age, youre lucky if anybody wants you. Hopefully your wife,* said Warriors head coach Don Nelson on his contract extension.
p.s.2: November 4, McCain or Obama! My pick? Barack!
Posted by Foreigner in CS - Nov 4 2008 9:53PM
Posted by Luke_Mellow at 9:53 PM