December 30, 2005

And I Was In It To Win It And Not To Lose, Shit'll Start Blown Up, Once I Lit The Fuse

Normally these year-end recap columns make me vomit (hey, great opening Drew!), so I'm not going to make any keen observations or hand out any awards. Because if I ever do that, just end it. Break this whole operation up like Jerry Heller.

So let's take a look at the standings right now and compare them to what was expected at the beginning of the season. Let's see who had themselves some (Clips WHAT!) and who failed at a little thing called life (Houston, where you at?)

I will only be focusing on the Western Conference, because breaking down the east means talking about teams like Milwaukee and New Jersey, and I don't like to talk about stupid teams

#1 San Antonio (23-7)

Oh just go get some, kids! If you didn't think the Spurs were going to be the #1 seed in the west this season, you don't know anything about basketball and you should try to find a new sport to be interested in. I hear NHL is taking applications.

Really though, the big surprise, for me at least, is that they have already lost 7 games. I didn't see that happening until February. I really thought with Finley and Van X they could challenge the Bulls. But still, they are absolutely dominating.

#2 Dallas (21-7)

Dirk, raze it up! This is a surprise to me. I figured they would be good, but not having an almost identical record to SA. That's tough. They're playing great. Watching them play the Wolves, they did everything they needed to do to win, and they never let the Wolves think they could be beaten. They'll be this good for the rest of the season, I think. But, eventually I think they will lose the #2 spot to....

#3 Phoenix (17-10)

No Stoudy and still they're eating donuts in Arizona! Phoenix is one of those teams who is probably going to rip off 13-15 wins in a row soon. And if Amare comes back strong, they'll do exactly what they did last year.... floss and toss into the playoffs and run into the brick wall known as San Antonio.

But I do think they'll end up with a better record than Dallas.

#4 Memphis (17-10)

Normally, I would say they are destined for a fall here, but Damon's got the dog in him this year, and Fratello's done it before. No Bonzi to fuck them up, Pao is going all ghetto now, and they have survived some tough tests. Prediction? Shit, I have NO idea. I see them around a #5 seed, but who can say?

#5 LA Clippers (16-11)

My partner (not THAT kind of partner) said it best:

Has Sam Cassell helped revitalize the laughing stock of professional sports organizations? Sure, this year. Has he held up his claims of being healthy and still being a very dangerous player? Absolutely. So far. Will he help them get into the playoffs? He certainly won’t hurt their chances of achieving that goal. Will he be around in the future, to continue the Clippers growth as a franchise? Absolutely not.


Now, I'm not going all White-Sox here and proclaiming that the Clips are going to tank, but I honestly don't think they can hang this high. If they make the playoffs, I see it coming as an 8 seed. But then again, who knows? There are a lot of teams in the west underachieving (Denver, Seattle, Houston, Sackramento), so the Clips have put themselves in a good position. But it's a long season, and the Maghettos of the world have no idea how to play meaningful games in March. So count this as a "wait and see" approach. By February, we'll know if they're for real.

#6 Minnesota (14-12)

Wally's drinking paint straight from the can, Eddie's knocking chips in stacks like this was Vegas, and Marko's looking awful dead-eye (and I don't just say that because sometimes he looks like a cyclops). Oh yeah, and Kevin Garnett.

Where will they end up? I think #7 or #8. They look like a playoff team. No, they don't look like a successful playoff team, but they keep beating the lesser teams, and if you do that, you'll make the playoffs. If you beat Portlands, Utahs and NOOCHes, you can take losses to San Antonios and Phoenixes (let's just stop with that plural city names, shall we?) The point is that beating inferior opponents is always a sign of a good team, and the Wolves are in a weak enough division to make the playoffs. Can't believe I wrote that.

Kevin Garnett.

#7 LA Lakers (15-14)

Hey, did you know Kobe Bryant plays for the Lakers?

They will not make the playoffs this year.

#8 Golden State (15-14)

*sigh*, whatever. The Warriors are playing well, sure. And there's no reason to think they cannot make the playoffs. They are balanced and have a very underrated floor general. They don't have defense, and if Baron needs a backiotomy, they're done.

Let's put it this way - there are 8 playoff spots. San Antonio, Dallas and Phoenix are guaranteed to make it. Right now, I would say Memphis is also a semi-lock. That leaves 4 spots for 7 teams (in my opinion). So out of Minnesota, Denver, Seattle, Lakers, Clippers, Sacramento and Golden State, 4 of those teams will make it. If you make me choose, I say Minnesota, Clippers, Denver and Sacramento. But really, I have no idea.

Really, the prevailing trend here is that nobody can knock off the top three teams. Yeah, the Clippers were out of their mind for awhile there, but they're not going to bounce with the Spurs or Mavs. They just don't have what it takes. Hell, no team does (save Detroit), so let's not worry about it. The Wolves will be locked into a fight for playoff position from now until April 19th, but it won't matter when they have to open the postseason in sunny Phoenix.

The rest:

#9 Denver (14-16)

They suck, they're punks, and they are underachieving. George Karl is not a good coach, and will eventually implode. They lost the only non-punk on their team (Nene) and Camby can't play like this forever.

Can they make the playoffs? Why the hell not.

#10 Seattle (13-15)

They can't shoot it as well as last year, and they just ran out of steam during last year's playoffs. I don't know if Nate McMillan was that big of a force on this team (he sure wasn't when he was playing), but something's wrong with them. That game on Wednesday was telling. Something's amiss. Or rather, something was wrong with them LAST season, when they were tossing out hits like E.A. Presley.

#11 Utah (13-16)

They'll be in this same spot all year. Call them what you will, but at least they are consistent. They will win somewhere between 35 and 36 games this season.

#12 NOOCH (12-16)

HEY!!!! Chris Paul is REALLY GOOD!

The rest of this team REALLY SUCKS. That is why they will not have any success this year. But yes, I admit, Paul is awesome.

#13 Sackramento (11-17)

They just feel like they will turn it around, don't they? Or am I lost here? I don't know what it is, but when Bonzi hit that dunko-donk in front of Skita's face, I saw some life in them. And they're too solid to not make the playoffs, right? Right? Anyone?

I'm probably wrong. They'll probably end up winning 30 games.

#14 Houston (10-17)

Unlike Sackramento, I think Houston is D-U-N done. They are doner than done. They are so done, they can't even talk about done anymore because done would come back and kick their asses and drink all their kool-aid. That's done.

McGrady just doesn't have it, and if he's not in the perfect situation, he's never going to be anything. Yao is pathetic this season. I'm doubting their whole team, from Van Gundy on down. He deserves better, but McGrady does not.

#15 Portland (10-18)

Nope, no way, not this year. They will win about 25 games, and NBA fans will wait with bated breath to see if Zach Randolph completely loses his shit on the court in April. There's a powderkeg in Portland, and when you hear things like "Joel Pryzbilla will likely leave in free agency" and that HURTS their team, you know there's trouble.

So - a summary:

San Antonio - Will continue to dominate
Dallas - Will be right there with the Spurs, until the playoffs
Phoenix - Will play the Spurs in the conference finals
Memphis - Will continue to play well, because Fratello is a disciplined coach
Clippers - Will collapse if/when Sam's dick breaks. Elton Brand will return to normalcy regardless
Minnesota - Will make the playoffs if not too many teams step up and fill in those last 4 spots. They will win 45 games
Lakers - Will not make the playoffs. Other than that, I don't care
Golden State - Will make or not make the playoffs (I care even less about them than the Lakers)
Denver - Will probably continue to tank, which will lead to a Karl meltdown
Seattle - Will not turn it around and end up trading a major piece of last year's team
Utah - Will continue to play basketball in Utah
NOOCH - Chris Fucking Andersen
Sackramento - Will prove me wrong by losing a lot of games and trading Bibby
Houston - Will contemplate trading Yao, which will end Jeff's life
Portland - Will get arrested

Have a good new year, scabs!

December 29, 2005

Caved In The Grave Cause You Didn't Know How To Behave, Playin Cowboy - Now You Sleep With The Slaves

I found The Score used at Cheapo for 3 dollars when I was 17 years old and it bent my mind.

It's still hard to come to grips with all that energy unfulfilled. Pras was the perfect complimentary rapper, a guy who could come in and "compress sound-sets with my rap DBX, then drop vocals on my four, five, six AMPEX". L Boogie could drop a "motherfucker so you ignorant niggas hear me" but also she could sing her soul out. Wyclef plays guitar, speaks Japanese, and covers Bob Marley, so don't worry about him. But they were only together for a brief time, and then egos got in the way. Now don't get me wrong. The Carnival is perhaps one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. No wait. Maybe the best ALBUM of all time, depending on the mood. And Miseducation is also a great R&B album, if you are a fan of that (which I am not). But collectively, they had something else, a different vibe. I won't discuss Pras' solo career, because it never happened. No, literally. He never went solo, never acted in a terrible movie, never teamed up with ODB and Mya for a stupid MTV single... never never never. This is all not to say that Wyclef is not a great solo artist. He is top notch, and I understand that his style is different than the Fugees style. I guess the point is that The Score was the best non-gangsta-rap hip hop album of the mid 90s, and I wish they could have given it one more shot.

But anyway, Wally must think he's a motherfucking cowboy lately, because he's PEELING OFF SHOTS LIKE JOHNNY WAYNE.

His confidence is up. The shots are falling. And everybody, including Case, trusts him. I really like what KG is doing with Wally. They are rolling tight together. KG knows Wally's talents, whereas very few NBA fans in this state fail to do so. Let's make it really simple:

Wally Szczerbiak is one of the best shooters in the NBA.

Ok, that's it. He's Peja, only shorter. He is as consistent a shooter as we have seen in years. He shoots the same percentage every year, he knows himself and his shot, and - though he does occaisonally run in streaks (who doesn't?) - he is probably the least streaky player on the team not named Kevin Garnett.

But everyone forgets this. Everyone talks about other aspects of Wally's game. And I'm not saying that that conversation is not worth having. But let's not forget what the Wolves have in Wally. No matter what you say about defense, ego, passing, hustle, whatever; you are always going to have to construct your argument around the fact that he is a dead-eye shooter who never goes cold for long stretches and almost always hits open shots when he needs to.

So, knowing that, don't even fucking talk to me about Artest.

Because we can bring him in, and that would be really fun. It would be fun for the authors on this site, because the ghetto-factor would immediately shoot off the charts. There would be quotes, oh god, would there ever be quotes. There would be a WHOLE different feel to the team.

You know what else though? The best shooter on the team would be Marko Jaric. And that would make us all hurt a little bit in our private areas.

A good shooter is an essential part of a good team. Look at Portland and New York. They are athletic as hell, can get to the basket and even play defense in spots. But nobody can shoot. I mean, nobody. So what happens when they can't get a layup or dunk? Joel Przbilly leaves in free agency, that's what.

So before we jump off the deep-end and buy into the Charles Barkley mentality of "superstars make teams great", let's think about what we have here in Wally. Because you give up that perimeter threat, you give up that intensity and consistency, you better damn well get something back that either replaces it in full, or changes the whole fucking thing. And yes, Artest would change the whole thing, and I'm not against him being on this team AT ALL (Bill Blaise better watch himself with that program though, that's all I'm saying). But there is nothing else in this town that's more like a fucking metronome than the chants of "Trade Wally, Trade Wally, Trade Wally", and nobody seems to stop and consider what he brings.

And if you saw him last night, you know what I mean. This team plays good with him on it, and let's not change that right now. Let the Lakers take Artest.



Oh wait. I just realized that Deadzo is in charge of these negotiations. That changes everything. I'll be happy if he doesn't trade KG for Jeff Foster.

December 22, 2005

Yo Rashad! Git Some Kiiiid!!!

The Wolves looked utterly dominant last night. New Orleans couldn't do anything on offense - they went over 10 minutes in the first half without scoring a single point. At one point in the second quarter the Wolves were shooting 58% and the Hornets were missing 80%. It was a tough go for the Hornets last night and a much needed rebound win after losing four straight for the Wolves. Wally looked good, again. He did his thing, going 8 of 15 from the floor for 21 points, but he was also busy elsewhere. He grabbed 4 rebounds, dished out 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block. Sure, they aren't gaudy numbers, but when Wally fills up a box score, you know he's doing his job. KG has a short night but still scored 17 points, 9 assists, but only 7 rebounds. Mike "I'm a total failure" Kandiluzki kept the boards clean for the Wolves, grabbing 10. Oh, and maybe more importantly, he only took 3 shots!

The guy that really got it done was Rashad McCants. 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting and six rebounds. He had a couple sicko dunks and some great moves on offense. He didn't look very good on defense, but he's clearly working to improve that part of his game.

They've got a chance to get back on the winning horse with a game Friday night at home against the Lozers - I mean Blazers, and they'll wanna go ahead a take that win because Phoenix comes to town after christmas. They've got Seattle at home and at Orlando to finish the year. So hopefully they can finish the year by winning 3 of 4 and run into 2006 with a 16-11 record.

December 21, 2005

Bent, Front And Back Glass Got Tint, Trying To Get Our Hands On Some Dollars And Cents

For about the last week, I've been listening to nothing but Ice Cube. Yeah yeah, I know. This ain't a live journal, you could give a shit about the music that's currently spinning at home, and they never named a whiskey after England.

Mood: Sleepy
Listening to: Gangster Rap!
"Every Rose Has It's Thorn"

Yeah, well, fuck that then. But no, Ice Cube. He has had quite the expansive career, and his albums are so diverse. Not from album to album, but from song to song. The album Death Certificate is the most perfectly eclectic groupings of songs from an NWA member. Bird in the Hand (oh my god, the beat!), My Summer Vacation, No Vaseline (best. dis. song. ever.), True To The Game, Wrong Nigga Ta Fuck Wit, and the aforementioned Steady Mobbin. The chorus of that song - sampled from a Parliament song, of course - goes...

Have you ever seen such a sight in your life?

And that's how to describe the left coast this morning.

62 like motherfucking JFK, son! In 3 quarters! Somebody back up the goofy wagon, and we'll ALL get on board.

That was one of those games that you really do just have to sit back and enjoy. You can't say anything bad or good about it, you just marvel. You open ESPN.com in the morning, and you stare bleary-eyed at the headline "Kobe's 62 Will Have To Do" (by the way, great headline guys! Was "Kobe Scores 62, How About You? Lakers Win By A Few, Over The Mavs Owned By Cu----- ban" the second choice?). I guess it's to be expected, but I still have a hard time with this Kobe thing.

And the reason is that he cost me money one time.

On Sunday, April 11th 2004, the Lakers played the Sackramento Kings in Cowbell Fun Arena. They were coming off a win against Memphis in which Kobe scored 33. After that game, Kobe was criticized in the LA Media and by Phil Jackson (for shock!) for taking too many shots and not deferring to Shaq enough. He was 9-23 on that night, but the criticism was part of a long-building season of selfishness.

So Kobe decided he was going to pout, and basically threw the next game.

In Sackramento, against a team that is thoroughly the Lakers' bitch, Kobe took 13 shots. He took ONE shot in the first half. Potsy and I watched this game in utter horror. We bet the Lakers, of course. It was surreal. Picture one of the best players in the NBA playing in such a way as he is expending energy, doing well defensively, but just flat-out avoiding doing the best thing he can. Like watching Roger Clemens throw nothing but curveballs. Or Mike Tyson try to wear out an opponent with jabs. Or Kevin Garnett shooting 3 pointers. It was amazing. Everyone in attendance knew it too. Check the quote:

After finishing with eight points on 3-of-13 shooting, Bryant insisted he wasn't avoiding shots -- even though that seemed obvious to everybody else at Arco Arena. His lone first-half shot was a missed 3-pointer when the shot clock was winding down midway through the second quarter.He did another strange thing afterward: He praised the Kings' defense, which has been among the NBA's worst this season.


WHAT?!?!?!? Here's more:

"They doubled me every time I touched the ball," said Bryant, who scored at least 34 points in each of his last five games against Sacramento. "So I just moved the ball, waiting for the game to kind of open up. I've done that before when teams have doubled me."

They did a great job. They played very well. (Kings coach Rick) Adelman had an excellent game plan for them. If we see them again, we'll figure out what to do to counterattack them."

Bryant's reticence might have been a response to coach Phil Jackson's recent criticism of the superstar's game. Jackson said the Lakers frequently suffer when Bryant concentrates solely on driving and scoring. Jackson wasn't making any guesses, refusing to take reporters' questions after the game.


It's unbelievable. He gets criticized for scoring (which is another matter entirely - Phil loves needling his players with shit like that), so he pretends that the defense was superb against him and flat out lies to the media. You must remember the Sackramento Kings from two years ago. They were the softest team outside of Dallas in the NBA (it's not much better now, but those old days... wow). I mean, Vlade "I Never Met A Flop I Didn't Like" Divac was their center. And he smoked cigarettes.

Why does any of this matter right now? Well, Kobe is such an enigma. What the hell is he? Who is this man? He is capable of scoring 62 points in three quarters, but not capable of making anyone on his team better. He plays excellent defense, is one of the best athletes in America, and yet has such a fucked up brain that he nicknamed himself the black mamba AND STARTED WEARING BLACK TIGHTS DURING BASKETBALL GAMES. He can score 62, and the next night, he may very well score 13 points, because he didn't like being called out by his coach. He's one of the hardest workers on the court, and yet completely unreachable off of it.

At least with Jordan, you knew his flaws. He was ultra-competitive, which led to his gambling and marital problems. But that was the reason behind everything. If he punched a teammate in practice, if he lost at a game of pool and smashed a trophy case, if he berated blackjack dealers and ran up ridiculous tabs in high stakes rooms, it was because he hated to lose. Kobe doesn't hate to lose. Otherwise he would have never tanked that Kings game. If he hated to lose, he would try his hardest all the time to do whatever it took to win the game. Watch those Laker games this season and tell me you think Kobe is doing everything he can FOR HIS TEAM to get the win. He's not. It's simple.

Phil Jackson once told a story about Kobe's high school days. He said that he heard a rumor that when Kobe was balling at Lower Merion (Bulldogs, have some kid!), he would intentionally tank for the first three quarters of the game, let his team go into a 20 point hole, just so he could bring them back at the end of the game to get the comeback win. I don't know if that's true, it might be something Phil made up or just bad information. The point is that you could absolutely see Kobe doing that, couldn't you?

Shit, I don't have to imagine it. I sat in front of the TV and watched 22 dollars get passed away. 1 shot in the first half. And because of some talk.

So, Lakers fans, you know what you're getting with this guy. But that's the problem. You DON'T really know. You're getting the most talented athlete in the NBA, one of the best scorers in the history of the game. But do you know the kind of effort you're getting night to night? Or, should I say, do you know where the effort is going to be directed night to night?

Because if the past is any indication, we ain't seen shit yet.

"Comin up short of the green guys,
And I might start slangin bean pies..."

The Stupid Things The Stupid Say

Steve Kerr is very entertaining to read. He’s an idiot and always gives me something to research. He makes some statement and I go on the hunt to prove him wrong. I do this because I’m always right. It’s like he opens his mouth and a stream of diarrhea comes spraying out.

1. Elton Brand is in the best shape of his life and playing at an MVP level.
Okay, I can give you this one Steve, I mean the guy has been playing at a very high level for many years and this year he’s really playing great. Of course we all know that Sam Cassell is the reason for his increased productivity. Expect a return to planet Clipper when Sam’s hip falls out.

2. Sam Cassell has given the Clippers a swagger they haven't had since, oh, ever.
Absolutely true. Until, like stated above, his hip falls out, or his contract starts to itch.

3. Chris Kaman is one of the most underrated centers in the league.

“Seriously, right now, how many centers are better? Shaquille O'Neal, of course, and Yao Ming. Ben Wallace and Marcus Camby, and maybe Zydrunas Ilgauskas. But that's it. Kaman is a legitimate post presence with excellent moves and a nice touch. He's a solid defender who blocks about two shots per game, and he knows his role.”

Okay, now this is just ludicris. So Steve is trying to tell us that he’s the 6th best center in the league? Really? Cuz I’ve got 11 centers that score more than his amazing 8.8 ppg. There are 7 centers who average more rebounds per game (a sky high 8.1) and 12 centers who have a higher efficiency rating than Kaveman. Is he serviceable? Absolutely. But to say he’s one of the six best centers in the league? Bullshit. You’re an idiot Steve, shut up!

4. LeBron might be one of the NBA's best, but Carmelo isn't far behind.
God I hope you’re kidding! Statistically, LeBron is a better player. Emotionally LeBron is a better player. Physically, LeBron is a better player. I mean, really? Who would you rather build a franchise around? I wouldn’t even put Carmelo in the top 15. Has he improved? Yeah, sure, but he’s not nearly mature enough to be compared to LeBron yet – again. Sure Carmelo gets his, but his team is only 12-13, while LeBron’s Cavs are 14-9. LeBron can score and win while Melo can score but it doesn’t help his team.

See what I mean about Steve Kerr being stupid? Yeah, I knew you’d agree. He’s an idiot – see previous post (Steve Kerr Is Stupid) for a full opinion on The Stupid.

December 19, 2005

Twice on the Pipes if the answer is no

Here's reason 15,204 I enjoy college basketball: polls don't mean shit.

Look at the University of Texas.

Their amazing rise to the (near) top was aided by sportswriter's out-of-nowhere love for the team that was defeating the following heavyweights: Southern, Samford, LA-Monroe, TX-Pan America, TX-Arlington, and Rice. LOOK OUT! We have a real ball team on our hands! In the one game against an ok team (West Virginia) they won by one point.

And then they played White I mean, Duke, on a neutral floor, and received a pounding. But they're a top 10 team...they'll rebound, right? Well, Tennessee had another idea, and kicked the ever loving shit out of them IN Austin. The Longhorns have lost the last two games by a total of 48 points. But expect Texas to rise again, as Texas State and Prairie View loom large! The Longhorns have the 87th toughest schedule. Going off of a simulated RPI index, Texas is tied for 80th with scrappy Minnesota, a team with a far easier schedule (and, naturally, worse record).

In college football, where writer admiration can lead to success not otherwise deserved (Florida State's multiple "championship" game appearances) the tournament seems to separate the good shit from the stems. Ask Kansas about last season. Guess Bucknell was too much for them. But if we asked every overweight sports writer in New York (and there's a LOT of 'em) you'd hear otherwise.

So, enjoy the games, ignore the polls, and get ready for the Madness. The Bracket Beast cares not what the man with the mustache says you can do...

So Push It Along, Trails We Blaze, Don't Deserve The Gong, Don't Deserve The Praise

Quoting myself:


Regardless, I'm excited for these upcoming games. Not to discount what they have done on this past road trip and against the Kobes, but these next 4 games are going to give us a good glimpse into the true potential of this team.

God dammit all. I'm getting excited again.


WRONG CHOICE!

These last 4 games have been... what's the word? Awful? Heart-killing? Failure-inducing? Going-to-punch-my-goddamned-TV-if-I-have-to-watch-Kandi-play-on-our-team-anymore? How about just, "bad"?

Let's take a walk down memory lane!

Tonight vs Philly

You never know. Wolves have to be favored in this one, but Iverson.... well you know. Chris Webber - while certainly not a Timberwolves-killer - has done well against us though, usually because Bowl of Kandi is in the game. However, I think tonight's game will be different. And I predict Eddie G will be turning shots around to the direction they came (relax! I'm talking about basketball here!)


This was a good game, but KG missed the shots at the end, and Webber was playing sicko (as predicted above, skunt!). This loss was entirely acceptable.

Tomorrow vs Sackramento

That's right. From now on, they have the word "Sack" in their name. It's only fitting. This wouldn't be a concern except for the fact that they play tonight then have to fly home and play the next day. I don't think it's the travel that is that big of a deal, but the 2 games in 2 days is. Also, don't look now, but Sackramento has won two in a row. The game doesn't worry me nearly as much as the next two, but there's reasons to not overlook the Kings.


The reasons can be counted on three fingers. One, two, three, and SWISH! Bonzi Wells having himself some paint chips in front of the Wolves bench?!?! Skita had a front row seat! Watch for water spray!

Thursday vs San Antonio

The Timberwolves will lose this game. Oh, my stars, will they ever lose. The Wolves have been playing extremely well, and I predict they will give SA a game (especially because the game is at the TC), but they will lose. FEAR NOT! This will be a great learning game. They will learn from their mistakes, and Casey will see first-hand how to make adjustments against superior opponents. This is a very big milestone in the season. They either run and hide from the blowout, or they man the hell up and get back in there and get it done.


Well, as predicted the Wolves lost the game, but they kept it remarkably close. They seemed in perfect position for that "bounce back" game against Dallas...

Sunday vs Dallas

Oh boy. Well, that whole "Wolves will learn from losing to San Antonio and bounce back" theory will sure be tested here. First game after the world champs is against the Mavs... in Dallas. That's trouble. Oh well. If the Wolves can't pull it out, there's no shame in losing to these two teams. They are playing great, and the Wolves haven't seen any very good teams yet.


....and there it is. 4 losses in a row. I really can't say the Wolves "blew" any of those games, but they didn't do what it took to win (duh!), and the other teams did. I think Philly played great, as did Sackramento. The San Antonio game would have been a bigger blowout if Manu had been playing. And they should have lost by 20 to Dallas, and would have, except the Mavs looked as ugly as the Wolves in the first quarter.

So, that's that. No rest for the weary, though. They've got NOOCH and the Failblazers coming up this week, which could be really fun. Except that NOOCH just beat the fucking Spurs, so you know, that might get ghetto. And hey, how about the first week of January? At Miami, home against Dallas, at San Antonio and at Dallas? GREAT!!!!

Just a brief aside here, I simply have to document - again - how awful Bowl of Kandi is. I turned the channel last night after his second shot. Yes, that's right. I was all excited to watch the Wolves, laying on the couch, good green tea flowing through my veins, and then about 2 minutes into the game, I flipped to watch The Family Guy. Yes. I was sick of watching them play. And this is a team that has KG on it. And they were playing Dallas, a western conference powerhouse. But I still didn't want to watch the game while he was in. His offensive play is so horrible, he looks so incredibly stupid and lazy, I just don't have the patience for it. His defense, ok, sometimes it looks acceptable. But when he gets the ball and starts doing that GODDAMNED SPIN MOVE, which leads to that STUPID JUMP HOOK, which always results in THAT HORRIBLY-ANGLED SHOT, which usually brings us to THAT MORON-ASS AIRBALL, which starts THAT BASTARD FAST BREAK, I have to turn away. I can't watch that. It's too much.

I can't imagine any team in the entire league would want to trade for this waste. Seriously, how could any coach want this thing on their team? It just doesn't make sense. Not only is he not good, but he wrecks your team. I've been watching for 3 years now. Trust me. He wrecks your team. I changed the channel in the first quarter last night. That's not good.

December 16, 2005

Why didn't he just tell the cops he was Todd Bridges?


Jazz rookies cited for giving false names to police

Ummm, you guys playing for the Rim-Rockers, errrrrrrrr?

My favorite part:

The fight, which involved eight to 10 people, then spilled outside. Investigating officers asked Robert Whaley and Deron Williams to identify themselves. Whaley said his name was Bobby Williams and Williams identified himself as Torry Ellis, Ryan said.
I don't know what it is about fake names (Ron Mexico, have yourself some, kid!), but now I've got two more for the collection. Torry Ellis? Dude, you were the 3rd pick in the NBA draft. Now, I know you aren't very well known in the area, but come on.

Add it to my christmas wish list:

Eternally Verbally, I Have Numbers, Succumb To Time Outs, In Rhyme Bouts You'll Dial 9, Just To Get A Line Out

You haven't seen anyone write on this blog about the last 3 games because we've been too busy hating our lives.

Ok, seriously? The Wolves have lost 3 games by 5 points. I'm in a tough spot here. Part of me understands that it's a long haul, and there are a lot more games left, and we're still leading the Northwest, and the team is playing better than expected.

But the other part of me wishes Kevin Garnett could make shots when absolutely needed.

OH MY GOD! BLASPHEMY!

No, I'm not saying anything, it's just that over his career, KG hasn't been the "dagger" guy that he could be. There have been incidents, sure, where KG hit the clutch shot and deflated the other team (playoffs against Sacramento in overtime, bitch WHERE?!?!!?), but the amount of misses outnumbers the makes. The facts are simple: if KG makes the last shot in those three games, the Wolves win 2 of them and send another to OT. It's too bad, because he's such a great player, but when the game comes down to one posession, the other team does a great job on keying on him and knowing it's going to go through him. It's like the "superstar" theory is working in reverse. Now, instead of forcing KG to make a pass or something and letting the other guys burn you, they just key on KG and the KNOW he's going to shoot. I mean, let's be honest here. You're not trusting a last-second shot to anyone else on this team, except maybe Wally if you need a three. And that's rare. Usually, it's going to KG, he's going to shoot, and let the chips fall where they may. I don't necessarily have a huge problem with this.... I just wish he would make more.

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, and if you can't ride on this train, bail at the next station. KG is god, and if god wants to shoot, he shoots. That's part of being a fan of this team. You go as KG goes. It's almost fatalistic in its nature. We know the best player on the team is going to shoot the ball at the end of the game, but the other team knows it too. And you basically just hold on for dear life, because all that's going to decide the game is one shot. That's it.

Again, the reasonable part of me enjoys watching this team play (except for the village idiot who wanders onto the court and begins throwing up hook shots outside the paint. HINT: rhymes with "Coal of Bandi"), and I know that they are getting really close to being a consistently good team. They STILL have not been blown out this year, and that's huge. I like that a lot. I felt like it was going that way last night, and that was fine. I was willing to accept a blowout loss to SA. My pride ain't bigger than Tim Duncan. But I don't know, these tough losses make me feel a little ill. I feel like we're teetering between a Good Team and a Bad Team, and these losses could just shove us down the wrong path. I doubt that is true, but you never know. Reactions to losses are much more important than reactions to wins. Look at the Atlantas and Torontos of the world. If they lose a close game, they mail in the next 5. Because why even try? They came close once, and lost, so it's not even worth it. I know the Wolves aren't to that point yet, but this is a big test. Come on boys. Get some.

As far as specific analysis of this game, or the last two, I don't think so. I think if you watched the games you saw the same thing I did, and if you didn't, you saw the same thing I did. They played hard, in stretches, had offensive lapses (but very few of the defensive type), came back strong in the 4th and fell painfully short. The thing that makes me nervous is that it's a pattern now. The last 3 games have been EXACT copies of each other. And that's not good. They need to blow out an opponent, soon. Shit, Dallas coming up on Sunday, then NOOCH, but then, ahhhhhhhhhhh. Portland. Beat them by 40, and this whole thing could turn around.

December 15, 2005

It Doesn't Come Back To Us

Remember the day we found out that the Wolves would be making their first trip to the post season? I do. I hadn't been that excited about a sports team since the Twins took home the baseball crown in 1991. Finally, we had broken through, gained a little respect, and taken a step forward. They then got swept in the first round, but that was okay, they had finally gotten a taste of the playoffs.

There was a guy on that team that provided a hard-nosed presence off the bench. His line-drive jumper from the baseline seemed to always go in when we needed it most. He played gritty defense and always played well down the stretch in close games. He spent 10 years with the Wolves in all and was always a fan favorite for the way he played and the way he handled himself as a professional. He left for a couple years via trade, but came back when his contract was up. He was a big, physical guard who spent most of his time playing the small forward position, guarding the opponents best offensive option off the bench. Kevin Harlan gave him a name and that name was 'Sam I Am.'

Sam Mitchell was everything a team could want from a role player. He played tough D, wasn't a liability on offense, always played hard, and never ever complained about his role on the team. He was an early mentor for Kevin Garnett, helped him further develop his work ethic, and was a staple for many years on the court for our beloved Wolves.

So what happened? Where did that guy go? Where did the consumate professional disappear to? Because the man known as Sam I Am, who is now the head coach in Toronto, is not the same man who graced the Target Center floor for a decade. The Sam Mitchell in Toronto is a guy who places blame everyone except himself. He's the kind of person who holds his players accountable for things he doesn't hold himself accountable for. He's even become the guy who gets into physical altercations with his players in the locker room. The head coach is supposed to be a professional. He's the official spokesperson for the team. He answers all the questions reguarding the results of a specific game or player. He's also the biggest figure in the organization to the players. They see him everyday, listen - or hear - everything he has to say, and are putting their career development in his hands.

It's okay to get on your guys here and there because sometimes they need it, but to resort to throwing haymakers? Unacceptable.

Clearly the Raptors organization is a disaster. Their coach is not mature enough to lead his players and the GM doesn't know which end is up. I mean, when you mail it in before the season even starts, you know you've got some problems. Your problem is choosing your words. Sure, after Rob explained what he meant we all got it, but it was too late for the players. They heard what they heard and that team has played like it thus far. Sam Mitchell yelled at Charlie Villanueva for being soft on defense. That's fair, he's a rookie, he's got to learn, but maybe someone should try teaching him. Of course when you've turned your veteran leader even further away than his malcontent tendencies have already turned him, you can't expect anyone else to follow you. While we're on it, I can't imagine any player wanting to play for a guy who's so emotionally unstable that he'll resort to violence.

I'm not familiar with the assistant coaches and training staff in Toronto, but if Sam Mitchell and Rob Babcock are any indication, I'm sure they're awful. I mean, I guess atleast they got two guys that breath for Vince Carter, but that's about all that can be said about that trade. The Rafer Altson-for-Mike James trade was a good one, but it was forced because Sam I Am and Skip to My Lou got a little gangster in the locker room.

Point being, no one can put any blame on the Minnesota Timberwolves for the man Sam Mitchell has become, because he was never anything but a stand up player here. If Babcock was smart he'd dump Mitchell and go after Van Gundy - oh wait, I forgot, he "stepped down" to "spend time with his family." Oh well. Too bad.

December 13, 2005

Strange Day In The Basketball Federation Of America

So...

The Hornets won in Phoenix.

The Pistons lost their third game of the season... to Utah.

The Lakers beat the Mavs in Dallas.



I don't think the Wolves loss looks so bad compared to those other ones.

December 12, 2005

Winning Streak Explored: Stat Style!

Offense

93.6ppg
47.2% FGs
Scoring more than 21 points in every quarter (27pts in 4th)
Outscoring opponents by 10 ppg (by 7.6 pts in 4th quarter)

Defense

83.6ppg allowed
43.5% FGs allowed
Outrebounding opponents by 3.6 rpg (only outrebounded in one game)
6.8 steals per game
5.8 blocks per game

Individuals

Wally Szczerbiak 24.4ppg 5.2rpg 63.8% FGs 62.5 3p%
Eddie Griffin 7ppg 8.8rpg 3.4bpg
Marko Jaric 10.6ppg 5.6apg 1.8spg
Kevin Garnett 21.4ppg 9.8rpg 52.5% FGs 1.6spg 1.4bpg

Case has the kids playing pretty damn well right now.

Bound To Go To War, But This Ain't The Middle East, We're Knockin Fools Out For Revenge, Forget Peace

MC Ren, what happened, man?

There was no doubt that he was the best lyricist in NWA, yet somehow he was surpassed in the solo game by Eazy E, Ice Cube, hell even Dr. Dre (who frequently sounded like a sped on efiL4zaggiN). I think the only member that MC Ren beat in the sales charts was DJ Yella, and maybe The Arabian Prince. And with names like that, it's not hard to see how. Even D.O.C. had a hit record.

The one gem to come out of Ren's solo career was the track Mayday on the Frontline, which was featured on the CB4 soundtrack. It's got a hard beat and golden lyrics. Alas, this was the last quality thing I heard from Ren, and that film was released when I was in high school. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Ron got fired by the Slickster today, but I don't care about that.

The next 4 games are going to be all about pulling it out and assessing weight, volume and density.

Tonight vs Philly

You never know. Wolves have to be favored in this one, but Iverson.... well you know. Chris Webber - while certainly not a Timberwolves-killer - has done well against us though, usually because Bowl of Kandi is in the game. However, I think tonight's game will be different. And I predict Eddie G will be turning shots around to the direction they came (relax! I'm talking about basketball here!)

Tomorrow vs Sackramento

That's right. From now on, they have the word "Sack" in their name. It's only fitting. This wouldn't be a concern except for the fact that they play tonight then have to fly home and play the next day. I don't think it's the travel that is that big of a deal, but the 2 games in 2 days is. Also, don't look now, but Sackramento has won two in a row. The game doesn't worry me nearly as much as the next two, but there's reasons to not overlook the Kings.

Thursday vs San Antonio

The Timberwolves will lose this game. Oh, my stars, will they ever lose. So far this season, the Wolves have not played one legitimate championship contender (if you say Clippers or Cavs, you need to go away). Not only will they be playing a contender, they will be playing THE FATHER KINGDOM OF CHRIST TEAM led by a 7 foot tall swimmer and a minute Frenchman. The Wolves have been playing extremely well, and I predict they will give SA a game (especially because the game is at the TC), but they will lose. FEAR NOT! This will be a great learning game. Guys like Jaric, McCants, and even Eddie will see how a top-shelf opponent carries themselves and what kinds of things they do to win tough games. They will learn from their mistakes, and Casey will see first-hand how to make adjustments against superior opponents. This is a very big milestone in the season. They either run and hide from the blowout, or they man the hell up and get back in there and get it done.

Sunday vs Dallas

Oh boy. Well, that whole "Wolves will learn from losing to San Antonio and bounce back" theory will sure be tested here. First game after the world champs is against the Mavs... in Dallas. That's trouble. Oh well. If the Wolves can't pull it out, there's no shame in losing to these two teams. They are playing great, and the Wolves haven't seen any very good teams yet.

Regardless, I'm excited for these upcoming games. Not to discount what they have done on this past road trip and against the Kobes, but these next 4 games are going to give us a good glimpse into the true potential of this team.

God dammit all. I'm getting excited again.

December 10, 2005

5 In A Row, 2.5 Game Lead

I love the way this team plays. I can't say it enough.

The Wolves looked great against the Lakers tonight. Kobe got his, but noone else did anything of note. KG had arguably his best game of the season, just based on when he hit his shots. 30 points, 8 rebounds, on 12 of 22 shooting. The first home game back from a long road trip can be a tough one, especially against a team that's won 4 in a row and have one of the best offensive players in the league. I realize they - the Lakers - played a tough game lastnight, but still...

Marko followed up his very impressive game against Portland with 12 points and 9 assists, while giving LA fits on defense. Rashad scored 8 points early, as Minnesota took the game over in the first quarter. The Lakers came back a couple times, but never really got into the game.

I listened to the pre-game interviews with Dwyane Casey and I can't say enough about him. He's a great coach and really has his team playing his way. He doesn't seem to have much of a personality, but he clearly knows what he's doing on the basketball court.

On a side note, directly related, there are three things I really love about this NBA season....

The first, as stated above, is Dwayne Casey's success. Flip was a fan favorite in this town, and is loved dearly by yours truly. I was skeptical about how Casey would run this team, but after the first two games, that doubt was erased. Their defense is amazingly better and as they've gotten used to Casey's system on offense, they've improved dramatically in the past 5 games.

The second is Flip's success in Detroit. Everyone was talking about how great Larry Brown was there, and how it was going to be tough shoes to fill for Flip. He's done amazingly. Clearly, he's a better offensive mind, or rather, a more free offensive mind than Brown. The Pistons are scoring more points per game than last year. They aren't beating teams by as many, but they're getting it done when they need to. I'm so happy to see Flip gettin' some in Detroit and am not-so-secretly rooting for the Pistons to win the championship this year.

The last thing I'm happy to see this NBA season is Larry Brown eating shit in New York. I hate the Knicks. A lot. I liked Larry Brown until he started flirting with Cleveland about their GM job when he was in the playoffs. I know, his players were supposedly good enough to push that distraction from their minds, but seriously, you can't believe that they were really all the way there through 7 games. If he doesn't do what he did, the Pistons beat the Spurs. Yeah, I said it. The Spurs are an amazing team, but the Pistons ripped the Holy Lakers from balls to chin the previous year, and they were as good the next. Larry Brown, although a great NBA mind, he's a moron for alienating his team. I can't wait to watch the Knicks eat his soul because, as long as Isaiah Thomas is incharge of that franchise, they will fail. Mark my words (I'll eat them if I have to, but I'm not betting on it)

The Nuggs got kicked in the nads by the Magic tonight, so that lead in the division climbed to 2.5 games. As Steve and I discussed, there is nothing more important to your season than a great start. Mr. Simpson quoted someone else as saying, in the first half of the season, you can't clinch a playoff birth, but you can lose one. So true, remember the Wolves last year? Did you really think they were going to come all the way back? I didn't, but I'm as asshole.

Kevin Garnett is the best player on the planet, Dwayne Casey will be coach of the year, and Wally Szczerbiak will be a fan favorite this season

December 9, 2005

Mark Madsen has a blog!

Yes, it's true. And although it only has 5 posts, they might be the best 5 posts I've ever read in my life.

I won't even bother to quote the material, just go check it out:

Mad Dog Blog


There's gold in there. I sincerely hopes he updates it more. As you may know, Madsen is one of my favorite players, because he is the NBA player most likely to wear a sweater and read Yeats in his study. God speed, Ol' Dirt Dog.

Also, do yourself a favor and check out Mark Madsen dot com. "The rest of the story" indeed. The amount of misspellings on that website is staggering. Marko Jaric's name is misspelled incorrectly, twice, with two distinct errors, on the front page alone. It melts the mind.

That's What I'm Saying!

From 82games.com.....

One of the hard things to accept as an NBA stats analyst is why teams make decisions that fly in the face of pretty convincing statistical evidence. A case in point is the Timberwolves' continued usage of Michael Olowokandi. In 2004-05 the T'wolves were -51 in net points with the Kandi-man on the court and +166 without him. This season the tally runs at -24 with Olowokandi, +85 without. Sense a pattern here?
What's more significant is this: Kevin Garnett is clearly the heart of this team, and there is one guy on the roster who, when on court with KG, produces incredible team results: Eddie Griffin.

2004-05Garnett/Griffin on floor: +177
Garnett without Griffin on floor: -37

2005-06Garnett/Griffin on floor: +63
Garnett without Griffin on floor: +18

.....Thank you. Thank you for doing my research for me. Thank you for statistically proving the Wolves are worse when Kandi is on the floor.

December 8, 2005

I Got Cosmophonic - Press A Button, Change My Face. You Recognize, So What? I Turn Invisible, Make Myself Clear, Reappear To You Visual

Kool Keith is a unique motherfucker.

I can't possibly do his career justice in such a small place, but needless to say, his varying styles and personas mixed with his jester-like attitude towards each and every project he has done has positioned him as pretty much the only of his kind. Over his career, Keith has appeared as: Dr. Octagon, Dr. Dooom, The Analog Brothers, Ultramagnetic MCs and of course, Black Elvis (and many more). Personally, I love the idea that a rapper can just change personas on a whim, like "I'm sick of Dr. Octagon... I'm going to invent a character that kills him." Some would compare it to 2pac becoming Makaveli, but it was much less serious than that. Keith didn't give a fuck... there are rumors he spent time in a mental institution, and I'm inclined to believe them. How else can he come up with songs like Half Shark-Alligator, Half Man? Anyway, for my money, it's all about Dr. Octagon. Earth People is swanky funky stank, and Real Raw is... well, really raw. On one hand, I'm surprised Kool Keith has never achieved major label success, but then instantly, I'm reminded of the chorus to Sex Style. It's so bad, it can't even be printed here. At any rate...

"I'm strictly monster with turtlenecks like Frankenstein,
Drop that mic kid, you're lost, now that ass is mine."

KG n The Gang opened it up last night and let the ghetto flow, unleashing a furious 4th quarter on the Blazers and making Nate McMillan look fat.

Wait...

Like Dave already stated below, the game was a total clusterfuck, punctuated by Zach Randolph NOT EVEN WALKING DOWN THE COURT in the last 30 seconds. Did you see that? He just stood under the Wolves basket after free throws. Portland went down on offense and played 4 on 5. Now, listen up. The game is over, everyone knows it. The Failblazers were down by 10 points or whatever, so no need to even try anymore. I understand. But you've got to run down the floor. Or at least jog. This is the kind of shit that tore me up last year about the Wolves. Those times in late blowout wins, when KG was still giving everything he had (because, surprise surprise, he LIKES playing basketball) and dumbass Kandi was moping around, taking his time passing the ball in after another defensive breakdown. It's things like that that turn a fan-base off of a team. Again, I don't mean to blow this thing out of proportion: obviously Zach was tired and the game was over... ok, no big deal. But come on. You have to at least jog. Can you do that? You are getting paid almost 20 million dollars a year. Think you could jog?

It's indicative of a larger problem: the Failblazers really just aren't giving a consistent effort. There is potential there, but Nate's got to get them going hard every night, otherwise they're never going to improve. Look at Martell Webster... he had a great game and looks to be quite the baller, but if he plays on this team longer than a year, he's in trouble. Zach Randolph is very talented, but no one has ever said that he gives his best effort every time on the court. Combine that with D Miles, a guy who's had everything handed to him and has never given a consistent effort, and you've got a trouble situation. Not as bad as it once was, of course, but still bad. Hopefully McMillan can get these guys to give their best, but it's not looking good. I don't know if I've ever seen a 4th quarter collapse quite like that one. I mean, the Wolves weren't even doing extraordinary things.... the Blazers just plain stopped trying. It was quite amazing.

"Take that sleep with NoDoz, that common style is cheap". Indeed.

Now then, this road trip was quite the litmus test for the season, and obviously, the Wolves passed with flying colors. But let me ask you this - last year and two years ago, if the Wolves won games like this (playing awful for 3 quarters then turning it on in the end), people would be clamoring to put them down and make sure they realize that "Playoff Teams" can't do that. Why is it different this year? And I'm not even talking about the media, I'm talking about individuals. Why do I feel so different? For example, last night in the 4th, when the Wolves were down by 10, here were my exact thoughts:

"Awww, it's ok. They just didn't have it tonight, and the Blazers made shots when they had to. Kandi sucks and Troy's out, Wally wasn't quite good enough, and nobody figured Przbilly was going to pop his top like a cop. It's all good. Still went 3-1 on the road trip, and we can't win every game..."

That's seriously what I thought. And I was resigned to the loss, but it wasn't a crushing feeling. It was calm, under control. Then, even after the comeback, I was thinking:

"Wow, the Blazers fucking suck. I mean, there's suck, then there's suck-suck, then there's Kandi, then there's Deadzo, then there's the Blazers, and THEN there's the Raptors. But still... right before the Raptors; Blazers."

Last year would've been completely different. I would've been so upset that they let the Blazers hang around that long, I would have worried that Sam and Spree were getting used to taking 3 quarters off, giving effort in the 4th, and coming away with a win (which was true). This year, man, it's all good. I wouldn't have felt bad at all about losing to the Blazers. I mean, they're not good, but the Wolves aren't championship-material either. When you're one of the pack, and you play another one of the pack, sometimes you eat the Bear and sometimes the Bear eats you.

So yeah, the win was nice, and these last 4 games have been fun to watch. Got a big one coming up this weekend against the Fakers. Man, that would be nice to go up 3-0 on the Kobes. It would totally erase the conference finals. "Yeah, you may have gone to the finals, but who's up 3-0, batch-o's!?!?!?!?!? Raise up, Mihm! You have insulted my honor!"

NDBL, Raise It Up Buster!

The Wolves have two players playing in the NDBL, Bracey Wright and Dwayne Jones. Here's how they're doing

Bracey Wright
27.2ppg - leads the league
5.3rpg
2.8apg
54.1% Fgs
43.8% #3's

Not to bad for a second round draft pick. I know the competition is even worse than summer league, but still, 27 points is 27 points. He supposed to be transforming into a true point guard - or the Wolves are hoping so, but the team (Florida Flame) isn't playing him that way.

Dwayne Jones
7.5ppg
9.5rpg - would be 3rd in the league (only has played 4 games)
1.5bpg

Again, he's only played in 4 games, but he's started three of them. He'll be a project and we knew that going in, so look for this kid to improve as the season rolls on.


Other NDBL Notes

Marcus Fizer is playing in the league. It's sad to see someone who's had a fair amount of NBA experience to be so bad that he has to get a special exception to play in the developmental league.

Yuta Tabuse - The Japanese Rocket, who tried to break into the league two years ago with Phoenix and again this year in L.A. with the Clippers, is back at it again in the NDBL. He helped lead the Albuquerque Thunderbirds to the championship last year and is having a similar season this year. I wouldn't expect him to get called up any time soon, but some day he'll make his way onto an NBA roster

Jeff Hagen - The old Minnesota Gopher has worked his way from being a bad college player to playing in the NDBL, a pretty huge feat to accomplish in 18 months. Before he started his senior season at Minnesota, he was hard to watch. He played with passion and energy, but he also played with a plate of wings around his waist at all times. He chissled himself up, worked on his game, and turned in a great senior year, which helped land him on the bench in Austin, for the Toros.

Shawnson Johnson - I don't know who this guy is, but what a great name. Just say it a bunch of times, trust me, it'll be funny

More Like Failblazers

Trail, Jail, or Fail?

With a 10 point lead at the end of the third quarter, the Blazers looked like they had the game in hand. The Wolves had no life and Joel P was owning the paint. Then Wally made a shot. Then KG made a shot. Then Wally went to the basket and drew the 6th foul on Przybilla. Then Marko hit a three and the Wolves had erased what had been a 14 point lead. The Blazers just collapsed. As soon as Minnesota had cut their lead to 7, they gave up. They totally quit. Sure, the Wolves got hot, removed Joel - who was reeking havoc in the paint all night, but man they just mailed in the last 6 minutes. They got outscored 33-13 and they looked worse than the score suggests. Give some to the Wolves for playing well in the final stanza and coming up with the energy in the 4th in the last game of a long road trip, but really, the Blazers gave this game away.

Hey Ref!

Boy was the officiating bad last night. There were a rediculous amount of missed calls and make up calls. Both ways. Reuben Patterson had two hands on KG almost every second he was guarding him. No calls. Jarret Jack is flying on the fast break, takes 4 steps - no call - then gets fouled hard by Anthony Carter and AC wasn't going for the ball either. Yet, they didn't call the flagrant. So to make up for the missed travel call, they skip the flagrant call. The next time down the floor Jarrett Jack drives the lane, runs into Wally - who's standing still - shoulder to the chest, bucket - and 1! What? Wally was outside the circle and standing still. Of course, down the stretch, when the Wolves were making their run, Jack went into the lane again, where he got Hassell up in the air. Hassell blocked the shot, but fouled him in the process - no call. I didn't see who was officiating, but they just had a really bad night.

Yo Webster! Pass The Kool-Aid

Martell Webster is going to be a player. He looked pretty damn good lastnight, especially for a 19 year old. He hit a couple threes, played under control, and most importantly, played within his teams offense. Hassell was guarding him most of the night and he still scored 13 points. Playing in Portland is probably the best thing for this kid right now since he's starting. Sure, he's not going to win many games, but he'll get a lot of minutes and a lot of time to work himself into the NBA game. He may not end up a superstar, but he'll be around awhile. As long as he doesn't hang out with J.R. Rider.

Aw Man, The Bus Is Outta Gas

The longest road winning streak for the Minnesota Timberwolves is 6 and they've done it twice - once in 2000 and again in 2003. They've won 4 in a row, with the next road games being Philly, Dallas, and Orlando. They swept the road trip they just finished, making it only the second time in franchise history they've gone 4-0 on a road trip. Speaking of 4. Last night marked the 4th double digit comeback this season for the Wolves. They were down 14 last night making that the second largest comeback of the season - the first being the 18 point deficit they erased against the Lakers on Friday.

A Game In The Life

So, before last nights game against the Blazers, I decided I was going to focus on Michael Olowokandi for the entire game. I felt I may have been unfair in judging the horrificness of his game and since I hadn't had the opportunity to watch an entire game, I felt I needed to. I made a note every time he did something good as well as any time he did something bad. Red is bad, Green is good.

1st Quarter - 10 minutes
1. no boxout (2pts)
2. got shot blocked
3. bad switch (2pts)
4. def rebound
5. no boxout
6. bad switch (bailed out by bad pass)
7. bad movement on offense (KG dumped it to Marko and Kandi was bringing his defender to him)
8. loose ball foul
9. off reb
10. made basket
11. no box out (2pts)
12. airball (6ft)
13. blocked shot
14. travel
15. got shot blocked (dunk)

2nd Quarter - 4 minutes
1. bad switch (bailed out by missed dunk)
2. bad recovery (bailed out by Eddie G block)
3. bad help (2pts)
4. made basket
5. missed shot (5ft)
6. lost rebound (2pts)
7. made basket
8. bad help (bailed out by Eddie G block)
9. no box out (bailed out by Eddie G reb)
10. bad recovery

3rd Quarter - 6 minutes

1. no boxout (2pts)
2. offensive foul
3. lost rebound
4. made basket
5. switched out to guard PG
6. was guarding Hassell
7. awful shot missed (10ft)
8. foul and 1 (3pts)

4th Quarter - 5 minutes
1. double foul
2. missed shot (3ft)
3. bad switch out
4. foul (unecessary)
5. good defense
6. awful defense (bailed out by turn over)

So, of the 39 times he impacted the game, only 7 of those times did he impact the game in a possitive manner. He spent the whole first quarter disrupting the offense and letting Joel Przybilla do whatever he wanted (6pts 6rebs 2blks). Kandi would get the ball in the post and Portland would double team him because they knew he was going to pass the ball. Fortunately Casey decided not to play him much the rest of the game.

After watching this game I feel pretty comfortable with my assessment of Michael. He's awful and he doesn't deserve to wear any teams jersey. If there was a way for use to send him to Portland, I'd be willing to eat Theo Ratliff's contract for a couple years($13 m).

December 7, 2005

You May Have Noticed

That a new link has been added to this site. Now, don't be shocked, it's a Lakers blog, but it's written by Michael Balzary. Who you ask? Well, he's better known as Flea, the eccentric bass player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now, I hate the Lakers as much as anyone - although not nearly as much as I did 3 years ago, but his ramblings about his team are histerical. For those of you who don't know, Flea is as die hard of a Laker fan as there is. The Peppers have written songs about them and flaunt their Laker pride every where they go.

Even if you hate the Lakers, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, music, life, whatever. Read this blog. It's a damn clown.

"the laker scouts are probably over in europe drinking absinthe and chasing girls in bohemian bars in prague. come on guys!!!!"

Yeah, that's him referring to the Lakers inability to draft good foreign players since Vlade.

"the lakers will win the championship this year, even if they don't make the playoffs, i will celebrate their winning ofthe championship, just to stay in celebration shape"

Clowned!

December 6, 2005

Kandi Land: An Essay In Photographs






Michael Olowokandi. He's bad at life and bad at basketball. Like here, you see Kandi playing horrible defense. He's letting AK-47 get a layup and fouling him at the same time. Awful. ....................................................................................................................................

Here, you see Kandi playing more bad defense. He's letting an old smoker make a hook shot after he fouled him because he's busy complaining to the officials. Mike, your expression matches the one I have when I realize you're on my team. ...............................................................................................................................

In this photo, Mike's offense was so bad, Nene decided to punch him. It's sad when the other team thinks you're so bad they feel sorry for you so they try to hurt you to keep you from embarrassing yourself. ......................................................................................................................

Remember when you tried to guard Shaq? No? That's because you didn't. You tried to foul him and failed. He then dunked on you and made the free throw because you're so bad. ...........................................................................................................................

Then, on the next play, you fell down and lost the ball out of bounds. When you tried to get up, you fell down again, and Shaq stepped on you. Then, after you finally got up, you went down to the other end and got "posterized" by Kobe Bryant. ....................................................................................................................



So, here's to you, Michael Olowokandi. Here's to your complete and utter failure, in all aspects of life. Remember when you got hit with a couple tasers? Yeah, that's pretty much as good as you're going to get. I hope that you find what you're looking for, cuz it ain't in this life.

No Way You'll Never Make It, Come With That Weak Shit, I Break Kids, Step Into My Zone Mad Rhymes Will Stifle Ya

Gang Starr came along in the early-mid 90s, took an underground New York style, smashed it up with a gangsta persona, and unleashed it on the world. Guru and Premier are probably two of the most underrated hip hop performers in history. And yes, you can still say that, even though there are probably 23 million "underrated hip hop performers" out there. EPMD anyone? Anyway, Gang Starr kept coming with the heat consistently until they dropped Moment Of Truth, which cold knocked the rest of hip hop out the box. The year was 1998, and Mos Def's Black Star Movement was gaining steam, along with a slew of other NY underground groups and rappers. But - at least for me - Moment of Truth stood out among the crowd. The album opens with "You Know My Steez", which is a hallmark Premier beat, laced with the monotone Guru style. And the whole album flows like that (there are some dropoffs, Royalty being the most pronounced, but still). The tracks The Militia, New York Strait Talk, Betrayal (oh my god, Scarface, oh my god), Work, and B.I. vs Friendship cold knock you the fuck out. Man, M.O.P., what happened? I bought their album Warriorz... not good. Not what I would describe as "good" at all. Back to the point though, Gang Starr can be a threat, in New York they rep. That's where they come from, that's why we're feeling it, so why suppress it? They'd rather be revealing it.

Shit Harpring, you come with that weak shit, Eddie's going to break you.

I had to actually stand up last night and scream "Git some KID!" for the first time of the season. That felt good. Felt like old times, like we were out in the Guerilla Lounge, hiding from life and ensconsing ourselves in Timberwolves. Brats sizzled and rolled, Old Dutch chips were stacked like cordwood on the couch, and the Premos just never stopped. Ah, spring. Anyway, I haven't been as enthusiastic during Wolves games this year, for a few reasons. One is that it doesn't make much sense to stand up and scream when I'm the only one in the room, because then you might as well put on a Vikings jersey and see if they have any Pig's Eye left at the corner liquor store. And more importantly, I have been tentative about this Wolves team, at least in-game, because I like to watch what they're doing and analyze how Casey has taught them and how they relate to each other. This has resulted in me watching Wolves games in an almost zen-like state. I become one with the cathode ray tube, and I can feel the players' colors and energy. Can you blame me? Two seasons ago I was a raving lunatic, screaming until I could no longer speak out front of the TC after we sent the Nuggets away in game 5. I nearly had a hemmorage when Webber missed the 3 in game 7, and I drank two bottles of champagne that night with my attorney by my side. Then came the Lakers series, and I FUCKING WENT ALL THE WAY TO LOS ANGELES JUST TO BE THERE FOR GAME 6!!!* Of course, last season was the complete opposite. I was a pessimist from about game 15 on. I didn't like the way they played, KG was hurt, and I kind of wanted Sam and Spree to go to a club, only this time, instead of getting in a fight out front, I was pulling for them to be shot in the face, Shyne-style.

Well, now, wait. That's just mean. I'm sorry.

But still, I watched those games like a corpse (INSERT JOKE ABOUT MCHALE HERE), and when Flip was fired, that sealed it... the season was over. I never questioned myself as a Timberwolves fan for completely abandoning the team. I knew I would be back. I just needed some time off, and mostly, I needed to forget about the players that made me hate the team. They did a great job of getting rid of two of them, but they kept two others (and if you don't know that the two others are Troy and Kandi, you aren't paying attention, soldier), so that made me wary. I obviously still enjoy watching the Wolves, that will never fade, but I just wanted to feel them out and not commit to anything this early in the season.

But last night, man, Eddie was movin' boxes.

How can you not stand up and be counted when Eddie's getting some bunnies with the bedonka-bump INYOURFACE bitch WHAT!!!! blocks all night? 8 blocks?!?!?! That was sick. Last night Eddie looked like what Kandi should be. An absolute monster in the paint, biding his time on offense, and just plain making all the white Utah boys look sad when they came in the lane. Did you see him against Harpring? Oh my. Someone get that poor boy a dump truck, because for the next 10,000 years, he's going to be shoveling shit and eating it because he's on re-feed. Granted, I can see why Harpring would be scared of Eddie, seeing as how Eddie's, you know, SHOT AT PEOPLE before... but still. I think Matty's shorts might have been wet, and if you can't figure that comment out, I mean to say he WENT POTTY IN HIS PANTS!!!!

So yeah, there's no shortage of love from Wolves nation on last night's win. And like the article in the Star Trib said... who cares who they are beating? Who cares if the Jazz are hurt and the Lakers are a joke and Portland might as well not even play with a basketball anymore? The point is the wins, and how much fun the team is having, and how much fun the fans are having. Even in losses, I've felt good about this team, and that's saying something. Is it saying I'm a fair-weather fan? Perhaps. But it also might be saying something like "We all aim for the big picture, but to me it don't mean shit if my dogs ain't wit cha"

Friends. Business. Friends. Business. Friends. Business...




*I was in L.A. for game 6, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the Wolves. I actually spent that Memorial Day listening to the game on the radio (with those L.A. announcers, hey guys, do you like the Lakers at all? Is every foul against Kobe "a joke"? You guys like the chili better when it's cooked at home, hmmm, hmmm?), because the Sportsman's Lounge wasn't open on the holiday. Good thing too. From the sound of it, Kareem Rush had some paint chips for breakfast that day.

Just To Reiterate...

I love this team. I love how they play. I love the energy they bring every night. I love the defensive attitude this team has. I love the fact that KG can shit himself offensively on any given night, and the boys still get it done.


Minnesota 91 Utah 77

Pimps Of The Game

Wally Szczerbiak
8 of 16 from the floor 3 of 5 from the land of three, 7 of 8 at the charity stripe. These are what made Wally an All-star three years ago. He's one of the best pure shooters in the game. If he has time to set his feet, it's lights out.

Eddie Griffin
Git some kiiid! 6 of 9 from the floor, 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 blocks. 8 blocks!? Three of those were in the 4th, when the Spazz were trying to make a run. That's what we need off the bench.


Slug Of The Game

Michael Olowokandi
Why is he in the NBA? I mean, I know he's a 7 footer, but seriously. One night after looking okay, scoring 13 points, he looks like a complete idiot. 20 minutes 6 points, 5 rebounds, 5 fouls and a turnover. I feel like a broken record, not just because I hate Kandi, but because it seems like every other game is one like this. I know I predicted he'd look lost all night, but seriously, just try to stay in the game you numbskull.

10-6, 2 games ahead of Denver in the Midwest Division. Not to bad boys, not to bad at all.

December 5, 2005

Room for one more Rusty Nail?

This was my first occasion to see this year's maroon and gold, and considering injury this was a huge win over Arizona State. It's hard to make judgments against a team missing their giant bag of nats out with a sore hand, but this win was all the more impressive considering:

1. A shit start. It was matched likewise by ASU, but seeing this disorganization didn't make the left coast feel good early. Someone (Boone, Tollackson, or just an overall team jump) will have to cover this. And by shit start, I refuse to discuss the shit pre-season start and a certain game against Gardner-Webb.

2. Let's work on driving the lane. I mean...am I missing something? Do we have to drive and stop with both feet on the ground, jumping up as if the ball weighs 10 lbs? Was this a freak occurrence? If you have anyone in your face and give them that extra beat to get in front of you, a jump ball is more and more likely. This happened over and over again. You guys are from the Big Ten! Plow through em!

3. They're free. Sometimes you get one throw. Sometimes two. Making half would be swell.

All those things aside, the Gophs still guts it out. Let's hope this turns the trend and sets a strong foundation when Grier returns.

Failing At Life


Why do the teams this man plays on fail so bad?

He's not a bad player, is he? Well, he's no superstar, but he's a very very servicable "4".

So why then, with so much of the failing?

Shareef Abdur Rahim has averaged 19.8 PPG, 47% FG, 82% FT, 8.1 RPG and even 2.7 assists per game for his 9 full seasons. Last year was the first season in which he did not play in nearly every game... he had an injured knee, which would later result in a blocked trade to the Nets in the offseason. Nothing at all about his game or his stats screams failure. He's not selfish - not great assist numbers, but certainly no ball-hog. Doesn't miss a lot of shots, as is evidenced by the 47% field goal percentage. He is a help-player, his defense is very solid, and he is not known as a particularly abrasive teammate (at least, not on the court).

Here are his season win-loss numbers:

96-97 14-68
97-98 19-63
98-99 8-42
99-00 22-60
00-01 23-59
01-02 33-49
02-03 35-47
03-04 34-51
04-05 27-55
05-06 7-10

That adds up to a staggering 222-504 record in 9 seasons.

That means he wins 31% of the games he plays in at the pro level.

And on that note, for the curious, Shareef's college record looks like this:

95-96 2-26

Yes, that's right. His team was 2-26. They had most of their wins wiped from the record because of an ineligible player. I understand that this should not count against Shareef, but it is still very very funny. His win percentage in college was 7. 7 percent.

Back to his NBA career... if you averaged out Reef's percentages, his teams would win an average of 25 wins a year. He has never played on a winning team (surprise), in fact the only time he's ever even had something resembling success is the Blazers' record after they traded for him in 2003-2004. They went 17-16. AH AH AH, though... Reef didn't play in their first game after the trade... so technically they went 16-16 with him on the team. .500 is not a successful mark. Maybe in baseball. But in the NBA, .500 gets you nowhere. I hardly consider that a success.

In the strike shortened season of 98-99, the Grizzlies won 8 games and lost 42. They finished 29 games out of first place. There were only 50 games played. And they finished 29 games out. I don't need to say anything else about that.

I guess the point is this: Be afraid Sacramento. Be very very afraid. This man does not fuck around. And based on the game I watched last night, it's already happening in Arco.

Failure has never been this perfect.

The Utah Spazz

They're bad, huh? Yeah, real bad. Poor Jerry Sloan. His career leaves him (Stockton and Malone), he gets teased by one great year by his youngsters, then they make like the Titanic and barrell head first into an iceberg. Things haven't gotten much better for them this season either.

Deron Willims has been eratic, but no more than a rookie who's a starting point guard should be. AK-47 and Carlos Boozer are still battling injuries, and they don't have anyone who can shoot. Harpring is a great role player, but stands exposed without help. Giricek is just not very good. Mehmet Okur certainly is looking like he's worth the money they paid him, and that's really all they've got. They would be the Raptors this year if it wasn't for their coach who, as much as it pains me to say, is a really great coach.

7-10 is certainly not a bad record, it's the 2-6 at home that hurts a lot. It's not the 91.2ppg(7th) their defense is giving up, or the 42.7%(5th) Fgs their opponents are shooting. It's the 88.2ppg(27th) their offense is scoring, while shooting 41.3%(29th) from the floor, the 15.8tpg(27th), and the 26.1 fouls their committing per game, which is dead last. Defensively they're playing perfectly well, it's the offense that is pitiful. Sure, they're offensive weapons are all hurt, but wow, they are just awful on the fun end of the floor. Sloan has never had Dallas Maverick-type teams, but they've usually been atleast competent on offense. Sloan's hard-nosed style is working out defensively, which is about the teams only saving grace.

Anyone reading here has probably seen how the Wolves are doing - see previous post, opinion shared.

Match-ups

PG Marko Jaric v Deron Williams
Deron's quickness will give Marko some trouble, but experience will play heavily in this matchup. Jaric, at 6-7, should spend as much time in the post as KG does. If Casey decides to let Jaric get some touches down there, it's gonna be a long night for Williams.

SG Trenton Hassell v Gordan Giricek
Giricek has a hard enough time putting the ball in the hoop all by himself, so with the defensive stopper of the Wolves on him, he's gonna have a really long night, unless someone makes Hassell play a lot of help defense.

SF Wally Szczerbiak v Matt Harpring
This is actually a pretty good matchup. Wally is bad at defense and Matt is not very good at offense, and the opposite is true. Wally is shooting well, so he should win the duel with Harpring pretty handily because Matt will be called on to help out on KG

PF Kevin Garnett v Andrei Kirilenko
This is also a pretty decent matchup. Both guys know a lot about defense, but AK-47 is playing horribly on the offensive end. Look for KG to get some on both ends because he doesn't have back-to-back cold games very often and Andrei is still playing hurt

C Michael Olowokandi v Mehmet Okur
Bowl of Candy is going to get destroyed tonight. Okur can play all over the floor and, as we saw against Shareef Abdur-rahim last night, Kandi can't guard anyone who's more than 6 feet from the hoop. If KG and Eddie G don't play great help defense, Shareef dumps 30 on Kandi lastnight. Look for Kandi to be really confused all night. If Casey is smart, Eddie Grif will play the center position all night.

This is going to be an ugly game no matter how it's played. Utah can muck it up with the best of them, but if the Wolves get going early, this game will be over before half time. If they don't, then expect a game with final score that resembles a pre-shot clock game.

Money-hungry Honies Around, The Killer Streets And The Law, The Opium In The Raw, That's What I Live For

Shyne came along and done fucked the whole rap game up.

If you never heard him, you never caught gangsta at its darkest. Pac and Biggie paved the way for Shyne, by mapping out the way to street lyrics and grimy beats, and he followed in such a way as to somehow make him MORE ghetto than those who came before him. He samples a D.O.C. song for "That's Gangsta", and kicks it Jamaican in "Bad Boyz". It was a self-fulfilling lifestyle though, and Shyne left us with only one full album and a string of unreleased material currently available on many of the P2P networks.

But what he did was hardcore. It may have looked like a formulated act, but I believe he was truly ghetto - maybe not as ghetto as his lyrics - but look at his court case. He's currently doing 10 years in Clinton for shooting someone in the face at a club. So, you know, that's kind of... what's the word? Gangsta.

(wait for it....)

(the connection to the wolves is coming...)



Kevin Garnett is more gangsta.

Last night was a real pleasure to watch. Here are a few things I noticed about the game.

1. Michael Olowokandi is awful. Hey, have you read that here before? Yeah, so even when he scores 13, he is still awful. His offense literally makes me queasy. Every time he touches the ball, it's wrong. Yes, his defense has at least been more consistent this year, but as far as him, as a player.... please trade him. Please please please. Wait, I'm asking a corpse for a favor. Let's move on.

2. Don't cheer for Troy Hudson, you're only encouraging him. Troy was getting sick last night, and it had nothing to do with the 12 species of bugs living in his hair. What I like about Troy is how he goes to the basket in equal proportion to his "heat check" 3s he loves launching. Defensively, he was at least able to keep up with Bibby. I think that's more of a comment about Bibby though. Did you see that game? Wow, Sacramento isn't even trying anymore. Peja is god awful. Brad Miller looks like he's trying, and Corliss Willaimson is still putting food on the table (Hogs up!) but the rest are just terrible. Bibby looks like he is about to cry most of the time, and Rick Adelman still needs to get a personality. Anyway, back to Troy... yes it was a good game. But let's not encourage him. Tonight, I'm predicting 12 3-point attempts, with 1 going in. Have some, kid, or something.

3. Rashad McCants makes me nervous. At halftime, there was a segment where the resident sideline female reporter went to Rashad's apartment in Minneapolis and did a little "MTV Cribs" thing. So there's two other dudes who live with Rashad... one of them "is in charge of the food" and the other "is in charge of the video games". He has a very small apartment, but still manages to fit a pool table in the dining room. On the surface, he looks very much like a classic NBA rookie, spending his first paychecks on electronics and basically just hanging out and trying to learn basketball. But there's something else there. There is a general uneasiness that follows him around. I'm not one to judge on little things like "Rashad was held out of the game because he missed a bus to the arena". I mean, it's just a bus, he's not a criminal. But man, there's something about him.... I could see him going Rider with a Pepsi can, if you know what I mean. Cloned cell phones, hell, that's the easiest money you'll make. I hope I'm wrong, but the tats aren't saving any grace here.

4. Kevin Garnett realizes the dope game is infectious, and that it's got him living reckless. Feds get uptight when they see his watch and necklace. You see, every day I wake up is another day that KG is watching over me, filling me with pride and a warm glowing warming glow. He's just marvelous. He started the game going something like 1-132, but it didn't matter. Was I worried? Were you? I remember distinctly thinking "Well, he's not hitting, but that's ok". See, that's the definition of a true superstar. It's like when Jordan wasn't hitting, you just thought "He's going to have to pick it up defensively and on the boards". And he always did. KG couldn't hit shit last night, but he was so active on defense and within the flow of the offense, it didn't matter. That's what makes him great, that ability to do different things depending on what he's feeling. If Paul Pierce isn't hitting shots, he doesn't have another mode to go to. He just keeps shooting until he's on again. Same with Ray Allen. And Michael Redd. And those guys are definitely superstars, but they have off nights. KG never has an off night. He brings it all the time, and when he can't hit shots, he does other shit. 4 assists and two steals, bitch who!

5. I didn't realize Shareef plays for Sacramento, and that's funny. Man, he's just.... I can't describe his NBA career. Has anyone had less success at life than Shareef? He always gets his, but man, his teams are just terrible. Something is happening here. Trade him to the Spurs, we need to test this out.

6. The Wolves are fun to watch... christ I needed to type that. Yep, it's official. No matter what, they're fun to watch. They only scored 85 points, but the effort was there and there was no "Sam-complaining-to-the-official-after-he-dribbles-another-one-off-his-leg" last night, and there certainly was no "Spree-not-listening-to-flip-or-KG-during-timeouts-then-going-in-the-game-and-
firing-up-baseline-floaters-like-he-accidentally-fell-off-his-chair-
and-bumped-his-head-sustaining-brain-damage" either. That was nice. Jaric tries. So does Dupree. The coach breathes air. I like watching them.

I like what I see, and I wasn't expecting much this season, so it's a very nice surprise. This can of Camo is for you, guys.

December 2, 2005

Tough Times In LaBatt Country

A friend of mine says to me today:

"Guess what the projected win total is for the Toronto Raptors this year?"

I reply: 11

"No. Five."

Five? Five wins? The previous low was 9 by the Sixers in the 72-73 season. The Nuggets tried to get there a few years back, but came up with 11 wins. Sorry guys, so close.

FIVE!? That's less than one win a month. That's one win every 16 games. That almost guarentees 5 double digit losing streaks! That's horrible!

The Raps have had problems at every position except wherever on the floor Chris Bosh is playing. Jalen complains constantly about everything, some of which is warrented - ie, his GM letting them know that he's got 82 stamped envelopes ready to go. Mike James has had some great games, but likes to shoot his team out of games, and really really likes to give the ball to the other team. Charlie Villanueva is a rookie, as is Jose Calderon, so they don't really count. Eric Williams is also bitching. A role player, burried on the bench is complaining. Ouch. On an interesting side note, the leading scorer on 97-98 Nuggets team that lost 71 games was none other than Eric Williams. Failure begets failure I guess.

Hey Babcock! Rock out wit'cho cock out!

The reason this display of utter failure has been brought to my attention is, as I was parusing their roster I noticed a certain name. I did a double take, slapped myself in the face, shook my head, rubbed my eyes, and pinched myself to make sure I was actually seeing things correctly.

There was a player on the Minnesota Timberwolves two years ago that we lovingly referred to as "6" due to the lack of a name on his jersey in his first game after signing a 10-day contract.

That player was Darrick Martin, and he now plays for the Toronto Raptors. Now, don't get me wrong, I love "6." He provided endless entertainment and hilarity. But when your team has to resort to Darrick Martin as one of your point guards, you know you have major problems. The Wolves were stupid enough to sign and trade for him on a few occasions, but now we know who was responsible. Some might say he's a Babcock guy. And frankly, nothing fits better. Here's a player who bounced between the NBA and CBA for a decade, pretty much stinking it up wherever he went, never doing anything but filling up a roster spot on shitty or desperate teams.

Just fucking unbelieveable. It's a sad day when "6" is on your roster.