November 30, 2005

…And with the 7th pick in the NBA Draft…

Expansion teams. The “not so horrible” lottery teams. The middle of the worst.

These are the teams that are usually stuck with the 7th pick. They were bad enough to not make the playoffs, but not quite bad enough to take home the Draft Trophy. They have the most work to do.

With the first 3 or 4 picks, there are usually guys who are obvious picks. They ACC player of the year, the Prep player everyone’s been talking about since he was in the 5th grade, the 8-foot Chinaman. Each year there seems to be a few no-brainer picks and guys who have so much upside, there’s no way one could pass on the chance to take them. There’s a lot of pressure at the top of the draft, but it mostly falls on the shoulders of the players rather than the team. If that player fails the onus is put on them. “He didn’t live up to his potential,” “He got himself in with the wrong crowd.”

Towards the bottom of the draft, 10 thru 13, there isn’t much pressure. You’ve got a decent team, that maybe just ran out of gas at the end of the year, so your needs aren’t as great as at the top. You’d obviously like to get a good player, but you don’t necessarily need that player to make an impact right away, so you can draft more for need than for talent. You can take the second best high school kid and let him develop, or take the four-year starter at an acclaimed University that maybe didn’t have a great senior season but is a proven winner. You don’t want to look stupid, but the weight of that decision isn’t as heavy.

At the 7th spot there is a lot of pressure, but it doesn’t fall as heavily on the player as it does in the first few picks. The team deals with most of that pressure. They’ve got to try to weed out the ‘Next Great Thing’ from the ‘Next Great Bust.’ ‘The Steal Of the Draft’ from the ‘Slug Who Sniffs Glue In the Back Of His Range Rover.’ If the player they take is a failure, it’s not only the player who catches flak for being a dud, but the GM and scouts also take some heat, because “with that high of a draft pick, you gotta get something good.” The pick is too high to take a “sleeper” but too low to get a guarantee. You have to take a player that is going to make an impact, maybe not this year, but in the next two years. If he doesn’t, you’ve failed in the eyes of everyone, or in simpler terms: Your mustache hair has fallen out and now you’re combing your head hair over your face.

That brings us to the point of this rant: The results of the 7th pick in the history of the NBA Draft. In looking at the history of this pick, I noticed one thing. There seems to be a fair amount of consistency with the pick. The first two or three picks fluctuate quite a bit. One year you get a stud, the next a dud. The later picks are the same except they’re considered sleepers(stud) or mis-scouted(dud). The 7th pick, however, seems to provide teams with less dramatic fluctuation. Sure, there have been some great players at the 7th pick. Chris Mullin, Bernard King, Billy Cunningham, and most noticeably Bill Russell, were all taken with the 7th pick. For every one of those you’ve got the Cliff Meelys and Roy Tarpleys of the world too, but it doesn’t seem to be as dramatic. There aren’t many superstars, but there aren’t many lumps either. Here’s a list of 7th picks.

Ed Conlin ‘49
Bill Russell ‘56
Billy Cunningham ‘65
Pat Riley ‘67
Bernard King ‘77
Vinnie Johnson ‘79
Thurl Baily ‘83
Alvin Robertson ‘84
Chris Mullin ‘85
Roy Tarpley ‘86
Kevin Johnson ‘87
Luc Longley ‘91
Walt Williams ‘92
Bobby Hurley ‘93
Lamond Murray ‘94
Damon Stoudemire ‘95
Lorenzen Wright ‘96
Tim Thomas ‘97
Jason Williams ‘98
Richard Hamilton ‘99
Chris Mihm ‘00
Eddie Griffin ‘01
Nene Hilario ‘02
Kirk Hinrich ‘03
Luol Deng ‘04
Charlie Villanueva ‘05

You don’t see a lot of big time players on that list, but you don’t see a lot of guys who didn’t get to another contract after their rookie one expired. There are no KG’s, but there are no Will Avery’s either. Luc Longley and Walt Williams retired and Bobby Hurley was in a major auto accident, but other than that the rest of the guys on that list are still playing. The more recent picks are coming into their own, or are already starring for their respective teams, and the guys who are in the twilight of their careers are contributing as well.

No superstars, but no complete fuck ups either.

So I guess maybe the pressure isn’t as heavy at the 7th spot than I thought. Or maybe that pressure causes GMs and scouts to really concentrate and focus on the draft, instead of just letting it go by (like a certain GM I wish I didn't have to trust my team with). Presumably the players that are taken in the middle feel like they have something more to prove since, more likely than not, they feel they got shunned by not getting taken higher, so they're more motivated.

Either way, teams have had good luck, more often than not, with the 7th pick in the draft.

Fuck A Gat, I Got My Bat, and Flak's Got My Back....

If there was one thing in the world I could do right now, it would be to crack Michael Olowokandi over the head, Louisville Slugger style.

I hate him. I wish there was a way he could be not on our team. Fire him, let him go, shit, I'll pay his damn salary. That's how bad he is. He's had two good weeks this year, and they weren't really that good. Yet, everyone is all "oh man, Kandi is gonna get his this season!" Maybe, but who cares. Remember when he was hunting for a contract back with the Clips? He had a great season, good enough to fool us into signing his dumb ass. Another reason why Deadzo is so fucking stupid. Kev, man, you were one of the great post players in NBA history. You couldn't see this guy sucked? Wow, you really are dead, aren't you?

Sorry, back to Kandi. Did you see him last night? DID YOU!?

In 24 minutes he amassed a whopping 5 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes. Now, that doesn't seem to bad, right? Elton Brand scored 19 points, mostly while Kandi was guarding him. Awful. I know E is a hell of a player, but at 7 feet, you should be able to slow him down, no matter how stupid you are. Apparently I was wrong. Corey Maggette had 10 rebounds. What the fuck!? I realize it isn't Kandi's responsibility to box him out, but shit, when their Small Forward has more rebounds than our center, there's clearly something devistatingly wrong with our team. Also, with no assists, no blocks, and no steals, Kandi provided nothing to our team. Oh. Wait. He did have 2 turnovers and 2 fouls. Thanks Mike. Thanks a lot.

There was another big man that played 24 minutes last night as well. Eddie Griffin. In the same amount of time as Kandi, Griff managed 9 points, 14 rebound, and a block. All this was accomplished without committing a turnover and only 1 foul.

Kandi sucks. All who are smart know this. I, as many, were really excited about the potential of this man, but clearly everyone who scouted this waste was wrong - except those who chose to pass on him of course.

KFAN says what?

I hate these guys who call in and try to get Kandi's back. What are you doing? Trying to give him confidence? Stop it, cuz it's probably working. The last thing we need is someone telling Mike to shoot more, cuz jesus, he's awful outside 1 foot. He's a terrible player, a waste of money and a roster spot, and let's all pray we can dump him on someone before the season is out.

The second thing I'd do, would be to track down all the idiot rubes who think Kandi is good and beat them too!

November 23, 2005

I'll Give You 2 Liccorice Snaps For That Tootsie Pop...

I love trade rumors. I love reading about them, rolling them over in my mind, and spitting out what I think about them. I love reading the crazy shit that some Chicago beatwriter comes up with while neck deep in a bottle of sour mash. The Bulls are gonna trade for Shaq! HOLY SHIT DUDE! And then someone else, somewhere else, reads the article and puts it to fact and then someone else and someone else and blah blah blah blah. Then I read it and laugh about it, say "oh man, that'd be crazy," and even sometimes catch myself spouting the rumor as fact - hey, I know it so lay off the cookies.

Sure, some of them come to be, but most never see the light of day. The crazy ones are hilarious, the resonable ones are fun to think about, but never do I get upset - well, not very often anyways - or do these rumors make me nervous. Unless of course I hear something regarding my squad, no matter how crazy they seem. Wolves trading KG? In the back of my mind, scares the shit out of me. It would force me to make a horribly difficult choice. Who would I follow? KG or the Wolves? On one hand, I've bled blue and green since the teams inception and have never stopped cheering on my boys, even through the 15-67 year. I watched Bill Mussleman destroy our rookies, Doug West drink himself right out of the NBA, and Scott Roth go 0 for 10 on a regular basis. Still, I was there. Watching, cheering, hoping. Hoping the Wolves would get the next superstar. Laettner didn't pan out due to being a perennial role player. JR Rider was too busy hittin' pop cans in the back of a jeep and Starbury was just a little too much of a bitch to make it.

Then, on blind luck, it happened. Magic Johnson decides he wants to play again and the Wolves drafted a little, skinny highschool kid with the #5 pick. It dawned a whole new era for the Wolves. He was the first kid in 20 years to be drafted right out of highschool. I have never cheered harder or with more hope and passion since the arrival of KG. There is nothing that makes me more proud to be a fan of the Wolves than KG. He softens the blows the team regularly deals. You know, Deadzo and company's inability to attract good players or draft or really, run a basketball franchise anywhere but into the ground. KG made it easier to deal with the whole Sam/Spree debacle of last year/offseason. He even makes it easier to watch Wally play defense. KG and the Timberwolves are synanamous to me (didn't I read that somewhere in here?).

If KG was dealt, I would be very, very bitter. Glen Taylor would become my new Isaiah Thomas, and Deadzo would go down in history as the stupidest person to ever walk the planet - yeah, he'd be dumber than Chris Kaman looks. I would hate the management and the organization for doing something so unfathomably stupid. I would cry when the papers railed on KG and made him the scapegoat of the team's lack of success(I swear I've read that somewhere...). I would cry because I'd no longer get to watch KG play a game he loves, in a jersey he loves, in a city he loves, all of which I love. The depth of my reaction would depend on what KG was dealt for. Here are some I've heard and what my reaction would be:

KG and Wally to the Knicks for Penny and Antonio Davis - I would probably kill myself. Who wants those cast offs? Sure, I loved Lil' Penny as much as anyone did, but when that's the highlight of your career....

KG to Detroit for Sheed and Darco - I would immediately consider suicide bombing the Target Center, but then realize that maybe - a big maybe - Darco would become a star.

KG + to Golden State for Jason Richardson, Troy Murphy, Ike Diogu, and 2 first rounders - I'd be really sad to see KG go and would be mad as hell for awhile, but then I'd realize that Mullin gave up a rediculous amount and the 2 first rounders would eventually sell me on the deal. But I'd become a much bigger Warriors fan than I already am.

Now, again, If the Wolves traded KG I would be outraged and would want nothing more than Deadzo's head on a stick. The severity of my reaction would depend on what they got in return.

But then of course a KG trade is rediculous and not even something I should be worried about, right?


November 22, 2005

Who's The One You Call Mr. Macho, The Head Honcho, Swift Fists Like Camacho...

I could never get into the posthumous releases from Biggie. I think it really all came together on Ready To Die. Life After Death has some rock solid hits, but Born Again doesn't have the same quality that RTD had. I think basically, Juicy is like the story of Notorious B.I.G. It's damn near a perfect rap song. "Blowin up like you thought I would, color "crip", same number same hood, it's all good..."

All that said though, Dead Wrong knocks you the fuck out. Relax and take notes...

Anyway, thanks to that panhandled segway, I guess we can get into the purpose of this post.

Sometimes, I need to just admit that I'm wrong about sports.

I am rarely one to really jump out there and give bold predictions. I content myself to make comments on the current condition of the sporting world, make snide observations about local athletes and sports celebrities, and generally just say shit that everyone else knows anyway. To the tune of rap lyrics. But there are occasions where I will go out on a limb and profess to know something about sports that few others do. It is in these times that I feel a sense of power, like I'm telling people something they don't know, and above all, I'm RIGHT, and they know I'm right, and there's no way to disprove it because it hasn't happened yet.

The problem, Jack, is that usually, I end up wrong about things. I'm only forgiven from being wrong by the fact that the people I give my predictions to have very bad memories. But I remember. And it tears me up.

I'll give you a brief example. In October 2004, after game 3 of the ALCS, I wrote this to my friend:

I'll say this about the Yankees and Red Sox, and you and I have different perspectives: The Yankees are all about winning. For the purity of the game, they represent the closest thing to perfection there is. They are built to win, always. They are the alpha and the omega. Now, most other teams in baseball have figured this out, and have gone about their business in their own way. It's like the Yankees are the Romans, and most of the other teams are content to just carve out their piece of land, try to prosper, have a good time, and occaisionally make an effort to take down Rome. But they don't obsess over it. Then there's the Red Sox. This is a team, an entire CULTURE built SOLELY for the purpose of defeating the Evil Yankees. They have the inferiority complex to end all inferiority complexes. Their entire existence is defined by the Yankees. Yankees get A-Rod, they have to go get Schilling. Yankees get Olerud, they have to get Doug from the Twins. Everything they do, every action they take is viewed through the lens of defeating the Yankees. But here's the thing: They're not as good at running an organization as the Yankees. Nobody is. Their culture breeds incompetence. Why is their manager so stupid? Why do their players act like idiots? Why are their fans so completely insane? Because their culture is so atomistic, so intensely focused on the Yankees, they don't ever stop to think about, oh, I don't know, PLAYING BASEBALL LIKE ITS SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYED. Now you've got the long hair, the beards, the goofy handshakes and the general clown-ness of the team. And that's all good and everything, but I think they're selling their fans out. The fans in that city expect them to eventually, some day, best the Yankees. But the players are playing the role of the stoner going in for a job interview. Yeah, to the stoner, even if he doesn't get the job, he's still living his life and having fun, and that's great. But he's being selfish. It would be great to win a world series with a team full of clowns and long-haired hippy types, but it's not going to happen. So just cut the fucking mop and stop whining, Damon. Derek Jeter is better than your whole team because he's more of a professional than anyone you have. Now, this isn't a ringing endorsement of the Yankees, it's more of "What are you doing?!?!?" to the Red Sox. Nobody on the Yankees gives a shit about a curse or the past or being superior. They just care about winning. Isn't that the purity of sports? I understand there is a lot to be said about the way you play the game and if you have fun, but at the end of the season, there's only one team left. That's why you play. Or, at least, that's a big reason why you play. To paraphrase Notorious B.I.G.: The Yankees tell it how it is, the Red Sox tell it how it might be.
Ok, that's just wrong. Wrong wrong wrong, and I feel like a moron for ever thinking it. Yeah, in retrospect, nobody predicted The Comeback. But still, it was stupid stuff to say, and had no logical bearing. I learned from that incident to never form an opinion about something until there has been resolution, one way or another.

Here is a short list of things I have to admit that I was wrong about.

  1. The Chicago White Sox
  2. The Minnesota Twins in 2005
  3. Larry Brown
  4. Dirk Nowitzki
  5. Pau Gasol
  6. Grant Hill
  7. Eli Manning
  8. Brad Johnson
  9. Tony Dungy
  10. David Ortiz (oh god, it still hurts...)
  11. Chauncey Billups
  12. Dan Monson
And, I know there will be more. These tend to be in the "Thought that person/team was going to suck royally, and later had to accept that they were decent" category, but I've been wrong the other ways too. I was sending emails like a nuthouse mumbler when I found out Jordan was returning to play with the Wizards and I kept pimping him, even though it was obvious that he sucked. It wasn't until after he retired again, for the first time for the last time, that I realized how stupid that was, and how I should've just looked at his stats and examined his game, instead of cheering for him like some child. I guess the point is that I wish I could learn to not judge players/teams until a rational opinion about them can at least be formed. For example, the reason I thought the White Sox sucked this year is because "The White Sox always suck". The reason they were going to choke in the playoffs? "They always choke in the playoffs". But there is no evidence for this. There is no logic behind it. It's time to view things more objectively, and stop attacking players that I don't like.

What spurred all this? Mostly Brad Johnson. I watched the game last night and fondly remembered when my cousin and I would mercilessly tease and berate Johnson to one another, when he was a backup quarterback for the Vikes. I can remember dropping back, throwing a pass, and having my cousin tell me it "looked like a Brad Johnson pass". That hurt the most. He was nothing, he was a nobody, he never played, so we thought - naturally - that he would never be a starter, and certainly never be any good. 14 years later, he's a super bowl champ and a solid quarterback. Meanwhile, I type this in between phone calls with batshit loonballs. So, Brad Johnson, you won. Drop it.

November 21, 2005

I'm The One-Man Army, A-Son, I Never Been Tookin' Out, I Keep MCs Lookin' Out...

I drop science like Cosby droppin babies...

I miss O.D.B.

Anyway, if you navigate to this page, you'll see the following headline:

"Bulls hold off Lakers despite Kobe's 43"

No shit? Really? They held off the Lakers even though Kobe, of all people, scored 43 points?!?!? Holy moses, I have been removed!

I don't think there will be a more repeated headline this season than "_________ (defeat) Lakers despite Kobe's _____" I've seen some funny things in the NBA this season, and I have to say that watching the Lakers play basketball is almost the funniest thing in the league. It would take the top spot if it weren't for the complete clown show happening in Toronto. We're roughly half a season away from a murder-suicide involving Rob Babcock and the rest of the Fun Squad.

Watching the Lakers play basketball is like watching one of your best friends overdose on drugs. At first, you just watch in amazement as they do things you didn't think were possible. Make no mistake, Kobe Bryant is VERY good at basketball. He pretty much scores at will most of the time. He can get to the basket whenever he wants. His jump shot just keeps getting better. And he's clutch as hell. Big Bang Baby, it's a crash crash crash, and all that. You marvel in amazement at Kobe twisting, turning, crashing his way to the rim, and then, just as you think it's completely out of control, he regains form, and places the ball softly in the basket. And one, bitch.

However, after you watch your friend flip out and hypothesize on the fundamental color of life for a few minutes, it begins to transform into some different form of entertainment. You don't sit in awe anymore, you watch with a repulsed gaze, a fleeing sense of disgust, and mostly, sympathy for everyone else surrounding your friend. You wonder just how his family holds up with him acting like this, and just what his life is truly like. It's like that with Kobe. I find myself asking "Is this really how this team plays basketball? Like, they do this all the time? This whole 'clear out for Kobe' play, is this the only one that they run?" Then, just like wondering what your friend's parents must think of his lifestyle, you think of the Lakers' coach. "So Phil is just standing there, watching this happen? And he's not trying to stop it? Wait a goddamned minute here... he's SUPPORTING this! What's going on?!?!?!"

And then it's just pity. You look at the fans (or friends) and pity them for having to watch this. You wonder if they go through the same emotions you do, only more intensely, because they watch it every game. Or you wonder if they are immune to it now. "Oh yeah, that's just Kobe. He just went to the basket, did a 360, double pumped, and hit the shot as he was falling backwards out of bounds, with a foul. That cuts the lead to 15. Maybe the rest of the guys will feel up to playing defense this time down..." And then at the end, as they drop another one to the Clips, you have to just stand back and realize that their lifestyle is ultimately destructive, and though they may be having some fun, it's just going to get worse and worse.

Just like Jordan in Washington, or your friend Rick who just scored a King Kong sized bump, it's going to end badly.

November 18, 2005

In A Game Of Fools Without The Rules, Got A Hell Of A Nerve To Just Criticize...

Fort Sumter is on high alert.

Something bad could start to happen very soon.

It just got posted to the front page of "KG Questions McHale's Leadership".

I wonder if I'll be able to type from the fetal position.

I've thought about this too much in the past year, and it's getting unhealthy. Every time I consider that Deadzo might be stupid enough to trade KG or let him walk, I start to get a buzzing in my stomach. Inevitably, the only thing that makes me feel better is to repeat the same mantra over and over again: "I'm a Timberwolf for life, man". That's from KG's mouth, and I've never had reason to think he is a liar.

But this whole thing just reeks. It reeks like Vince Carter. It reeks like Shaq. That feeling of The Superstar vs. The Team. Does it ever end well?

Let's just state a few truths here:

#1 Kevin McHale is not a good GM. He has been woefully inadequate at providing Kevin Garnett with on-court support for almost his entire tenure. The notable exception was Spree and Sam, which were two deals he walked completely backwards into.

#2 Kevin Garnett is the best player in the NBA, and probably the best at making others around him better. Sure, there are arguments to be made, that's why I say "probably". Duncan does a phenomenal job of making his teammates better, as does Kidd. Shaq makes things easier (there's a difference), and Steve Nash let's his teammates do simple things better (again, he doesn't necessarily make anyone better, but he does simplify it. Instead of doing anything related to skill, all Amare has to do is run towards the basket and the alley-oop is coming), but again, I don't think that anyone else does what KG does. For fuck's sake, occasionally he makes Bowl of Kandi look good. He deserves a medal for that.

#3 Kevin Garnett doesn't need superstars around him. But he also doesn't need no-name role players. He needs the in-between guys, the wild cards, the guys who don't have any discernable skills other than being pure ballplayers. Kevin McHale has surrounded KG with low-talent role players for his entire run at GM. Spree and Sam are the obvious exceptions, with Wally close behind. I won't count Stephon, because he's a complete fuck-up, and doesn't need to be mentioned on this blog or any other ever again.

Here is a brief list of players who look good on the Wolves (in the same way Spree and Sam looked good):

Ricky Davis
Al Harrington
Shareef Abdur Rahim
Earl Watson
Bonzi Wells
Cuttino Mobley
Darius Miles
Antawn Jamison
Rashard Lewis
Jamal Crawford

This is a small list that I just came up with in about five minutes. I'm sure it's much more extensive. The point is that any one of those players would thrive with KG, and none of them are role players. None of them are Trenton Hassell or Anthony Carter.

#4 The Wolves probably would have defeated the Lakers in the 2004 Conference Finals if Sam had been healthy. I know, it still hurts. But it warrants mentioning.

#5 Kevin Garnett is the Timberwolves and the Timberwolves are Kevin Garnett. If he leaves, by trade or free agency, the blame lies solely on Kevin McHale and Glen Taylor. I cannot stress this enough. Because eventually, in this process, the player is going to be made the scape-goat by more than a few media outlets. Let's not forget the reason KG is frustrated: because Deadzo has simply not done a good job at being an NBA GM.

Panic. That's what this feels like. A low hum of panic. It makes you think crazy thoughts. You think about Minnesota basketball without KG. You think of the Target Center, cheering through the introductions, until the last name is called... "From Farragut... Academy.... Number 21...." and at that point, you can't even hear the announcer, because all noise has been replaced with maniacal cheering. You think of that, and you think of what it would be like with someone else in that place, someone else getting announced last, someone else living in KG's shadow. You think of how it's cool to wear Timberwolves jerseys now, and you remember the Laettner and Rider jerseys that were like cruel jokes. But mostly, you think of Toronto. You look at their record every day... 0-7, 0-8, and on and on. You look at LA, and Kobe hoisting up 35 shots a game while Phil sleeps on the bench and Lamar goddamned Odom scowls.

It doesn't have to happen this way. It didn't have to happen like it did. He doesn't have to leave, we don't have to trade him. Deadzo is stupid, but is he that stupid?

Christ, I'm getting sick again. Timberwolf for life, timberwolf for life, timberwolf for life...

November 17, 2005

Time For Carrots Again?

So today I leave for Arizona and will not have access to the internet, so once again, you're getting your Bunnies a little early, but really, I don't think one day is going to make a difference this week....

PG - Chauncy Billups 3 G 24.3ppg 10.3apg 48.9%Fgs
Wow. So Chauncy woke up and look what he's doing for Flip. You think Flip missed him after Minnesota didn't want to pay him? His numbers this week are Tim Hardaway-esq, except for the shooting, which has been blistering. He had three double-doubles this week, but what stood out in his gaudy numbers were his lack of turnovers. He had 31 assists compared to 5 turnovers this week. The Pistons keep winning and he's been a huge contributor for them. GIT SOME KIIID!!!
Honorable mention: Gilbert Arenas 3G 31ppg 7apg 56.6%Fgs

SG - Allen Iverson 4 G 34.5ppg 8.8apg 3.3spg 49.5%Fgs
I know, I know, he's techincally playing the point, but seriously, did you see him this week? The Sixers have won 6 in a row and, as always, he's the engine that makes their team go. We all know he can score - his worst output of the week was 28 points, but he had back-to-back double-doubles showing that he indeed can play the point.
Honorable mention: Larry Hughes 3 G 18.3ppg 5.7rpg 6.7apg 2.3spg

SF - Rashard Lewis 4G 27.3ppg 6.5rpg
After a relatively slow start to the year, Rashard has finally woken up to help Ray-Ray get the Sonics going. In the game against the Raptors Lewis blew up and dropped 41 points. He was 12 of 20 from the floor, but what really made the deal was his freethrows. Rashard was 14 of 16 from the charity stripe, leaving the Raps in serious foul trouble for much of the game, all while he was getting free bunnies on the line. The boxscore of the week for him though was two nights later in Boston: 22pts, 8rebs, 6asts, 5 stls
Honorable mention: Ron Artest 3G 27ppg 6rpg 3apg 3spg

PF - Dwight Howard 2G 21ppg 18rpg 66.7%Fgs
He only played two games this week, but they were both monsters, including a 21pt/20reb night. This young man has been under the radar since he was drafted. He quietly does everything the Magic need from a forward. He started a little slow this season, but he's picked it up and is performing like a college sophomore should - oh, wait...
Honorable mention: Rasheed Wallace 3G 16.3ppg 9rpg 3.3spg

C - Marcus Camby 4G 16ppg 15.8rpg 3.5bpg
Repeats are not my favorite but I tried to give this out to someone else and there just wasn't another center this week that out performed this man. He played like a monster again, recording 3 double-doubles(the 4th was 11pt 9reb) grabbing 22 rebounds over KG's head. He's the anchor of Denver's defense and he's becoming an even more solid contributor on the offensive end.
Honorable mention: Raef LaFrentz 4G 15.5ppg 6.8rpg scored a career high 32pts Houston

November 16, 2005

Bored Again, So Here You Go...

8 games in to the season, there are plenty of surprises and plenty of things we expected.

Phoenix Suns - There's no real surprise that they're the best offensive team in the league. Steve Nash can run any offense, especially a run-and-gun one. They'r missing Amare, but mostly on the defensive/intimidation side of things. James Jones has filled in nicely for the departed Joe Johnson, and how can you not love Leandro Barbosa. He's like a gnat with a jump shot.

Detroit Pistons - Everyone knows they can play defense, surrendering under 90ppg. There were some definate question marks about how well Flip would do in Detroit, especially since his Minnesota teams didn't always play consistantly good defense. Here's the thing. Flip didn't have to teach them defense, that team already knows how to lock someone down. The surprise is their ability to put the ball in the basket. Under Larry Brown the Pistons were a defense-only team, but in Flip's system Rip and Chauncey have flourished offensively. With the reigns loosened, Detroit is averaging over 100ppg. Surprise, surprise.

Washington Wizards - At 5-2, they lead the Southeastern division by a half game over the Heat. We all knew they wouldn't miss Kwame Brown, but I figured they'd be hard to up replace Larry Hughes on both ends of the floor. I was wrong. Gilbert Arenas is becoming the 60 million dollar player he is supposed to be, and Caron Butler is continuing to show he can fill up a box score. Antawn Jamison is as he was and Antonio Daniels has struggled, but the Wiz are on their way to a second consecutive trip to the post season.

November 10, 2005


What's that 'D' stand for anyways? Normally I'd say Defense, but man, I will probably start referring to it as Dwayne, as in Dwayne Casey, Mr. Defense himself. So far this season I've seen the Wolves do two things they didn't do last year. First off, they look like they care, which is a huge improvement over last years squad that probably wished they gotten their salaries in stamps - and no, not food stamps. Secondly, this team looks like they actually can play defense. Effectively.

Over their first 5 games opponents are scoring less than 90 points per contest(89), shooting a cool 42.3% from the floor, and a miserable 20.3% from The Land of Three. In wins, the Wolves are yielding a meager 79.3 points per game, all of which have been at home. All of those numbers are an improvement on last season's dismal effort on the non-Sam Cassell end of the floor. They're forcing 4 more turnovers per game this year, blocking more shots(7.6bpg), and picking more pockets(6.4) than last year as well.

Sure, the offense isn't as potent, but when you can lock guys down(see Kobe Bryant's 4th quarter on Wednesday) it's not as important. That and you know what they say about defense: It wins championships - see Spurs and Pistons.

Now, I'm not going out there and saying we're gonna win a championship, but it's nice to see that we didn't lose the tools to be a lock down team(see last 9 games before playoffs two years ago), it just took a different system and a different voice on the bench to make that happen.

Defensive Stars Thus Far

Kevin Garnett - Yeah, no, I know he's God, but he's still gettin' his on D. 1.8 blocks and 1.4 steals per game, plus all the times he alters shots, draws extra blockers, and yells in the face of his opponents.

Eddie Griffin - We all know he can't hit anything when he's shooting at peo...I mean three's, but he's definately the benefactor of the extra attention KG gets when they're on defense. 2.4 blocks a contest shows me that he not only has a natural ability for blocking shots, but that he knows he's KG back-up thug in the paint.

AC and Hass - These guys don't do much in the defensive box score, but man, when you need to clamp it down, they come in and make it really tough for opponents to score.

This Week's Bunnies

C - Marcus Camby 3 G 17.3 ppg 11.7 rpg 4.3 bpg
Camby was a monster this week for the Nuggets. Of his three games, two of them were 20 point, 6 block efforts, not to mention his dunk on Brad Miller last night - sure he fouled him, but it was still sicko. The Nugs obviously expect his rebounding and shot blocking, but anytime you can get more that 10 points out of Camby, you're probably looking at a W.
Honorable mention: Alonzo Mourning 11.3 ppg 8.8 rpg 4.8 bpg

PF - Tim Duncan 4 G 23 ppg 12 rpg 3.5 bpg
I will try not to pick the obvious dominators too often, but shit he was damn good this week. double-doubles in all four games and two 6 block efforts. The stat - besides 3.5 bpg - that stands out is his free throw percentage. He shot 90% this week, which is more than 20 points better than his career average(69.3%). We all know he's good, but man, he's really good.
Honorable mention: Kevin Garnett 21.8 ppg 12 rpg 6 apg 1.8 spg 1.8 bpg

SF - Richard Jefferson 4 G 25 ppg 12 rpg 6.8 apg
Yeeeah Boiiiiii!! Git some! WHAT!? RJ had a monster week, recording four double-doubles (three with pts and reb, one with pts ast). His Nets are a top the Atlantic Division, and he's helped carry them there. About the only black mark on his week was gettig ejected, but frankly I think that's a good thing. It shows you care about the game.
Honorable mention: Boris Diaw 12.5 ppg 6.5 rpg 8.5 apg 3 bpg

SG- Paul Pierce 3 G 29.7 ppg 6.3 rpg 4.7 apg 2 spg 58.8% Fgs
Holy shit. That all I can say. Everyone knows PP can score with the best of them, but to see him straight up dominate like he has this season is rediculous. His stats this week are pretty much the same as they've been all year so far. He's continued with the transformation into an all around, multi-facited, non-God fearing, superstar. There are few teams who wouldn't love to have a two guard half as good as Boston's Face. And they wanted to trade him. Hmp!
Honorable mention: Ray Allen 25 ppg 5.3 apg 2.3 spg 10 3's

PG - Dwayne Wade 5 G 26 ppg 7.5 rpg 7.8 apg 1.8 spg .8 bpg
Mr. Marquette keeps climbing his little mountain to stardom, one game at a time. His numbers are Kidd-ish. He does everything, all the time, with a flair and passion that is only rivaled by all those kids in the Hall. He still turns the ball over a lot(he had a triple-double with turnovers ala Jerry Stackhouse), but when you throw up box scores like this man does, it would look funny with a blank spot.
Honorable mention: Chris Paul 12.5 ppg 6apg 2.5 spg 1 to

November 9, 2005

If You're Talkin Bout Drinkin, Here's a Suggestion, People Listen Up, Here's a Question... Do You Drink Crown Royal?

An assortment of quotes from Kevin Garnett found in the Star Tribune article here:

"I've been handling that for quite some time," he said the other day. "[Owner Glen Taylor] and Kevin [McHale] have to make some decisions on what they're going to do with this team and if they really want to win. I feel like we need a couple of guys who not only can draw defenses but make everybody else better. And that's out of my hands.

"You can talk to Glen until you're blue in the face, but at the end of the day, I think he trusts Kev. That's the thing you take when you make sacrifices. The organization wants to do one thing, and as a player you expect another thing. When they don't match up, sometimes you have problems.

"So I tend to do the things that I'm focused on, and right now that's just leading this team, leading these guys. If Glen and Kevin decide they don't want to bring anybody else in here or go in a different direction from bringing in the most talent to make the team better, decisions will have to be made.

"I'm trying to win. I'm not trying to restart, I'm not trying to revamp. To play to win is now. Not tomorrow."


There was a man in a restaurant who told Garnett, "Man, I hope you don't have to go anywhere, but if you do, I understand."

Said Garnett: "It's kind of weird to hear that. If anybody, I guess Glen and Mac need to hear that.

"But I'm here, man. I intend to work and perform as long as I'm here. I'm like P. Diddy, this is my city. I take a lot of pride in adopting Minnesota. I take a lot of pride. These are my soldiers. These are my people. ...

"I'm not Jimmy Jam. I'm Kevin Garnett. 'Ticket.' There's only one of him."

Ok, if this was anyone else, I'd be worried. It certainly does sound like he's nearing the end of his proverbial rope on the whole "rebuilding" thing. I can't say I blame him. I think the 'man in a restaurant' above pretty much sums up all of our feelings about KG. Namely, it would completely suck to ever lose him, but we would understand, and would love nothing more than to see him have some team success.

In fact, I think I would even go a step further. If Deadzo ever let this man (sometimes, you have to stretch the definition of 'man', where really, "savior and lord" is more apt) walk away from this team, I would immediately become a fan of whatever franchise KG went to, at least until he retired. I'm serious. Could you imagine Wolves basketball without KG? It's impossible for me. I know that eventually he'll retire (and God is going to need someone to play the 4 someday too...) and that's ok. But if he's still playing, I'd rather see him have success than the Wolves. He's given us so much. He's the greatest athlete in Minnesota sports history. I don't even think there's an argument to be made, but I'm sure people will chirp about Carter, Kirby, Mikan, Killer and the others, and I just don't buy it. KG is the best. It's almost like an afterthought when you say it, but you can't say it enough. KG is the best. He's the most consistent performer in the NBA, and he makes basketball really fun to watch in Minnesota. Part of the reason I follow basketball like I do now is because of him. He shaped me (and thousands of others) as a fan, and we honestly can't praise him enough.

But yes, if he decided to jump ship, I'd be torn up, angry, and probably end up sweeping up little pieces of TV screen glass. But I'd wish him all the best, and would be ecstatic to cheer for his new team. Yes, even if it was the Lakers. Or the Nuggets. Or, god forbid, the Knicks.

Because the truth is simple: I'd rather see KG win a championship than a Wolves team without him.

Of course, time would heal all wounds. And eventually, the Wolves would find their new star. And we'd be happy, and ringing a stuffed animal in the dead of winter because the latest incarnation of Fred Hoiberg just sank ANOTHER three pointer, bitch what!!! Can't stop the rain, baller!

Anyway, like I said at the beginning though, I'm not worried. KG once said he "bleeds blue and green". This is his team, his city, his state. He knows it. He's probably the most unselfish man (there's that inadequate word again) in the NBA today. Not only on the court, but off it as well. He will do whatever it takes to win, and it doesn't matter who is on the floor with him. Glen, Deadzo, and every other Wolves fan knows this.

Just get the man some help... soon.

You Seen This Shit!?

The West Isn't Winless
Of the 30 NBA teams, there are still three that have yet to win a game. It's not suprising that those three teams haven't won yet - Atlanta, New York, Toronto - but what is kind of weird is that they're all in the East. Every team in the West has won atleast one game this season. Of course to offset that, the only two undefeated teams - Detroit and Washington - are also in the East. What does that mean you ask? I don't fuckin' know, I just saw the shit!

Detroit Is Mad Good
I know, it's very obvious, as they've spent the better part of the past three years dominating the East. There were questions as to how the team would respond to a new head coach. Well, for one, you know Rip Hamilton is happy because he's been given a little more slack on offense, and it's been effective so far. On average, the Pistons are outscoring their opponents by 17 points a game this season, compared to 3.8 points per contest last year. Their scoring average is 9 points per game higher than it was last season, dumping 102.3 points on opponents on an average night. They've also dropped their opponents scoring average as well, 89.5 last year to 85.3 thus far this season. So Flip, how's Detroit? Loving it? I bet. You now coach a team that is really good, plays together, and most importantly, really cares about the game of basketball. Man they're good.

Sam Cassell Stearin' The Clip Ship
Yeah, that's right, the Clippers began the season 3-0 for the first time in 20 years. Of course they lost their next game because God - aka KG - said it was their time to lose. Did you see Sammy's first game? 35/11/5 2 steals, a block and 54% from the floor. Damn kid! Git some! Of course, have you seen what he's done since? In the three games following he scored a total of 35 points and 14 assists, all while shooting a blistering 29%. Oh yeah, and 8 turnovers. Ouch. It hurts to be old don't it Sam? Now don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing Sam per say. It's just all those Clippers fans that thought they were going to win a championship. They thought Sam Cassell, with both S's and both L's, would take them to the promised land - well, okay maybe not the promised land, but atleast to the playoffs. Well, here's the thing guys. It's Sam. He's good in the first year with a new team, or rather he has been good. He's old, he's broken, and there ain't much gas left in the tank. You're not going to get the Sam Cassell the Wolves had two years ago. You'll get a little bit healthier version of the Alienosaurus from last season. Again, I'm not trying to be too hard on Sammy C because I really do like him - or atleast when he's not bitching about his contract.

You Want Some Gravy On That?
Smush Parker. Have you seen this guy? Here's a guy who's career scoring average going into this season was somewhere between zero and four. Now, in Phil's offense he's droppin almost 18 points a night! Smushy's havin' some! In four games this season, he's scored 20 point in three of them, while averaging 3 steals, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per contest. Again, the triangle system turns someone with a bare upper lip into a contender. I'm not ready yet to say this is gonna be consistant, but Smush Mouf has finally gotten himself into a position to, as a friend of mine likes to say, 'Git Money!'

Pass the potatos kid, I'm out!

November 7, 2005

Yo Fuze, Rub The Record In...

A couple of overtime losses don't much matter at this point. I'm glad to see that the things we were concerned about still warrant concern (Bowl of Kandi is like a joke at this point. No seriously. He's a joke. Only it's not one of those "Did you ever notice..." jokes. It's the kind that ends with a sexual innuendo and you getting dragged to HR on a wednesday with the first question being "Do you know any lawyers?"), but there are some things that we just KNOW are going to be All Right (Kevin Garnett, lord, is he good at basketball). Everybody else seems to be filling in nicely. I'm up on Jaric and Grif (having himself some in the paint, bitch why?!?!?!). I'm a little down on McCants and Wally. But overall, it's a cruise, baby. And we're looking ok.

The thing is, Sam Cassell REALLY wanted to show you and everyone else in the world how enormous each of his balls were during the game on Saturday. Did you see that line? 5-19 from the floor! 44 minutes played and only 12 points! He did dish out 7 assists though. It was obvious that he really wanted to show his former team how heavy that sack is. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. But his team got the win, so in the end, I'm guessing his shorts were dragging on the hardwood. Seize the day, Sammy.

Whatever, I'm still glad he's gone because it looks like the team tries now. I never really grasped that before last year. As a fan, there is really nothing worse than cheering for a team that is not trying. And nobody can tell me that everyone on the Wolves was trying their hardest last year. Spree opened the season by spending a few thousand dollars at the post office, making sure he had enough stamps to MAIL IN EVERY GAME (note: Check and Mate!). Sam broke his back, his neck, his neck and his back. So when he was "full strength" - a relative term for Aliensaur - he wasn't trying because he didn't want to get hurt again. Hudson, jesus christ. If he's trying, I don't want to see what 'not trying' is. And Bowl of Kandi... I don't think I should type anything here. The bottom line is that there were three players who gave their best effort night in and night out, two of them (Madsen and Hoiberg) were hurt for substantial stretches of the season, and the third (God) had a hurt knee. Yet he still tried more than anyone else on the team. Strange.

I've never been exposed to it in sports before, and it felt strange. That feeling of "this team just doesn't give a shit". Because it was just obvious. And then Deadzo blamed Flip for it, which made it hurt more. Then newspapers and morons started saying that it was the "chemistry" of the team that was affecting their play. Nobody would come out and admit that SPREWELL WAS JUST PLAIN NOT TRYING. And if you think him not signing with a team yet this season doesn't have anything to do with a strong desire to just call it quits, you may be mistaken. I think he's had enough basketball for right now. I can't imagine he finds it very fun anymore. I mean, he hasn't even been trying out for teams. You think he cares anymore?

Anyway, back on point. I don't think there's anything worse than having a good team not care. The Twins didn't have success this year, but it wasn't because they stopped trying. The Wild can never be accused of not giving 100%. And even the Gophers, lame as they are, at least give effort. But the Wolves, last year, just didn't care, and that was awful. So I guess the point is: I don't care what this team does as far as wins and losses. I've been burned by a sports team, and it's time to heal. I don't care about playoffs, championships, MVPs or any of the rest. I care about watching the team go after loose balls, jump for rebounds, and pass the basketball to each other. I care about them being happy for one another and the coach supporting them and not walking around the sidelines like a 4 day old corpse. I care about them respecting KG and following his example.

I just want them to try. Let the playoffs wait.

November 4, 2005

Speaking Of Bunnies...

The first week of the NBA season is coming to a close - actually since I don't work tomorrow, it's over as of yesterday. I'm going to try, every Friday, to put up my 'All Bunnies' team for the previous week. So, here it goes!

PG - Chris Duhon 1 G 18pts 10rebs 12asts
Hey C, how you recovering from that concussion? If that's how you respond to a shot to the head, then we should get out the baseball bat before the next game! Clearly the Bulls knew what they had when they resigned this young man. And to think he was a second round pick who had to fight his way onto the team in the first place. In the words of Stu Scott: "Boo Yah Kiiiid!"
Honorable mention: TJ Ford 2 G 18.5ppg 6.5rpgs 10apg

SG - Michael Redd 2 G 35.5ppg 5 of 10 3's
Damn son! There was a lot of talk about whether or not Mike was worth the max contract he recieved - atleast in my circle - but through two games he's showing why the Bucks paid the man so much money. 50% from both the field and from behind the line, Redd is looking like he's in midseason form already. Can he keep it up? We shall see.
Honorable metion: Kobe Bryant 2 G 36ppg 6rpg 4.5apg

SF - LeBron James 1 G 31pts 6 of 7 3's
If this is a sign of things to come then the East is in a lot of trouble. It's like he's making the adjustment MJ did many years into his career, except Bron is only in his third season. At the end of his rookie season he set out to improve his FG% and he did just that, increasing from 41.7% to 47.2% in one year. This offseason he spent his time working on the three-ball.
Honorable mention: Andrei Kirilenko 1 G 5asts 10rebs 6blks

PF - Pau Gasol 1 G 26pts 12rebs 4asts 3blks
He's healthy. He's hot. He's French - er Spanish. Pau has turned into Shareef Abdur-rahim. He always produces, but never has a break out season. This could be it. He'll get more touches in the offense and looks to be in better shape. And if his first game is any sign, Pau's gonna be handing out beatdowns around the league this year.
Honorable mention: Chris Webber 24ppg 11.5rpg 3apg

C - Andrew Bogut 2 G 11.5ppg 13rpg 1.5bpg
We all know he can't see good, but so far the rook's got an eye for the ball. I don't expect him to keep this up because I'm a Bogut hater, but he's had a hell of a start to his career. Of course so did Willie Burton, but that's not really fair. Good first week for the Aussie.
Honorable mention: Mehmet Okur 1 G 27pts 8rebs 2blks 2 3's

November 3, 2005

The First Impressions

Marko Jaric - He looked pretty good. He kept the offense moving relatively well, even though they didn't score a whole lot. What stands out the most are his rebounds(6), steals(3), and assists(5). He scored 14 points as well, most of which came in the flow of the offense and on the break.

Richie Frahm - Welcome to the team bro. 5 of 6 from the land of 3's? Noice!! 18 points in 15 minutes is a rediculous average. Especially over 48 minutes (57.6ppg). Of couse no one expects Richie to do that on a nightly basis, but without Freddy, it sure is nice to get a guy who just makes shots. I have a sneaking suspicion that Fred put on a Richie mask and snuck into the game, no disrespect to Richie of course.

86 pts allowed, 7 steals, 8 blocks - Yeah! Defense! I know it was against the lowly Blazers, but I think this game is a sign of things to come.

Freethrows - Making them has never been a problem for this team. Shooting them has. Of course lastnight they were 10 of 18, which is awful. KG didn't get to the line once, but again, it's one game - the first game - so I expect the percentage to change, if not the number of FT's taken

Overall, I was happy with the way the boys played. I think this season will be trying early, what with all the new personalities on the team, but I think they'll get it. We all know Casey can coach, and so far, it seems like the team had more fun last night than all of last season, but we'll see. If they make the playoffs, I'll be happy. Anything past that is just gravy.

You heard the name, R Frahm, I'm known to go off...

Richie Frahm WHAT!

28 year old Bulldog got some bunnies last night, hooking it up Hoiberg-style and canning 5 in a row. Fred who? Let's take a look at R
ichie's basketball life (courtesy of

Played college ball at Gonzaga till 2000.
Never drafted by an NBA franchise.
Selected by the Sioux Falls Skyforce as 98th overall pick in the 2000 CBA Draft.
Selected by the Kansas City Knights as 36th overall pick in the 2000 ABA Draft.
Joined the Las Vegas Silver Bandits of the IBL in 2000-01.
Signed with the Phoenix Eclipse of the ABA in 2001-02. Moved to the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals (Philippines) in February.
Signed with the Portland Trail Blazers in September 2002. Waived in October.
Signed with Darussafaka (Turkey) in 2002-03.
Signed with the Seattle SuperSonics in September 2003.
Selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004 Expansion Draft.

So, yeah. The Talk 'N Text Phone Pals. That's the name of a basketball team.

You think Richie's happy to be knocking them down in TC? Hell yeah. Best grab a 'brella, Przbilly! IT'S RAINING FROM DOWNTOWN, SKUNK!!!!

Darussafaka, stand up and be counted.

November 1, 2005

Shootout at the Doody Ranch

So Deadzo cut Ndudi Ebi, leaving him free to acquire Ronald Dupree, who was cast to the depths by Flip Saunders. Deadzo and Flip are supposedly still friends, but when they met on the court before their first preseason meeting, they both told reporters that they hadn't spoken to each other since Flip was fired last year. Hmmm, Deadzo, I don't think he likes you anymore. And with good reason. You sold him out because Spree wouldn't pass the ball and Sam's dick was broke.

Anyway, whenever the topic of Ebi comes up, a certain boss of mine (who shall remain nameless, and trust me, I have somewhere between 5-10 bosses) always brings up Josh Howard. Because, in case you didn't know, the Dallas Mavericks came through with the ABSOLUTE STEAL OF THE DRAFT, BITCH, WHAT, WHO IS DOING THE FUCKING NOW, BEST TEAM IN TEXAS, NUGGA!!!!!!!!! when they drafted Josh Howard at #29, 3 spots after Ebi.

But just like being a fan of a team that is 2-4 yet somehow only 1.5 games out of first place, you've got to have perspective.

The Wolves got 2 years out of Ebi, and though they never got meaningful production, at least they didn't sink their entire hopes and dreams into him either. He never took up a roster spot when it couldn't be used on someone else, he seemed to work really hard and keep his mouth shut, and presumably, he didn't get any altercations outside of any gentlemen's clubs (Toronto, up!). Plus, when he debuted the goggles, the team got just a little clownier.

Comparing Ebi to Josh Howard? Yeah, ok, but like Swoopes, you have to go both ways. Let's look at the guys who were drafted BEFORE Doody:

Zoran Planinic - New Jersey #22 - The only reason this guy got playing time was because Jason Kidd's knee hurt after he injured it kicking the everloving shit out of his... never mind. That's just cruel anyway. Hasn't the man suffered enough? Anyway, back to Zory, would you really want a guy who looked like this on your team? Well, if you were Stan Kroenke, maybe.

David West - New Orleans/Oklahoma City Refugee Camp #18 - Yeah, he gets PT, but he plays for the Hornets. I mean, whatever bitch. It would only be a matter of time before KG Romanowski'd this guy's eye socket if he played here, so I'm glad we didn't trade up. Or something.

Zarko Cabarkapa - Phoenix #17 - I'm not sure this man is even still alive.

TJ Ford - Milwaukee #8 - Hey, I'm not trying to be mean. But you saw the draft reports same as I did. If Milwaukee chooses to ignore the "Prone to leap like a freak into the air and go ass-over-teakettle on Mark Madsen after which Madsen will stand over him and go all 'bitch, who?' which will lead him to break his fucking spine" label, they make their own bed. We all saw it coming.

Darko! - Goddamned NBA Champs #2 - You know what? There's nothing to say here. Yes, it was a horrible pick, and Darko sucks total ass. You know what else? He's got more rings than Carmelo and LeBron. So I need to shut up.

So, in summary, the drafts are always a crapshoot, and hindsight is always 20-20 (unless you're Andrew Bogut, and those records are sealed, Rick). It's very easy to go back in time and say we should have drafted Josh Howard. It's also easy to go back in time and say we should have taken Rip Hamilton, Shawn Marion or Ron Artest instead of Wally. I'll be sad to see Doody go, because there was always the potential there, but potential doesn't feed kids (at least, not my kids), and Dupree can shoot the snack with the best of them.