November 18, 2010

KD The Next MJ?

He became the youngest scoring champion in league history at a little more than 21 years of age. He's a budding superstar on a team that has recently rediscovered success. He has a solid sidekick who compliments his abilities on the court. Sounds a lot like Michael, right?

Here's the deal sealer.

He was drafted after a high profile center that turned out to be an injury-plagued bust. Speaking of...

Portland is having some issues

Greg Oden may not play 100 games in his career. Brandon Roy's, and I quote, "most athletic days are behind him," according to him. He's 26. Joel Przybilla is out indefinitely and rookie Elliot Williams is out for the season with a knee injury. Even their big offseason acquisition, Fabricio Oberto, had to retire due to heart problems.

Bill Walton disease strikes again.

Blog Rewind

With Kevin Love and Mike Beasley gettin' some over the past few weeks, I was reminded of a blog post from way back when those crazy kids played college ball:

Kids To Watch

Michael Beasley is going to show up early and often here because I think he's going to be KD 2.0. In two games this week he's averaging 31 points, 19 rebounds - setting a Big 12 record with 24 rebounds in one game. This kid does it all over the floor. I know he was sad when Huggins left, but I think staying at K-State will further ensure his status as a top-5 draft pick next year.

Kevin Love will also show up here often. His UCLA Bruins, ranked #2 in the country, went 2-0 this past week behind two solid performances by the freshman center. He averaged 21.5 points and 11 rebounds per game. I don't think he's going to throw up Beasley's gaudy numbers but I think he'll average a workmans double-double and be a factor in every game this year. (Love had 19 points and 9 rebounds last night too)

I have to say I'm pretty impressed with what I see out of these two so far this season.  They definitely bring some hope to this team - especially with B-Easy knocking down a game winning jumper with 2 ticks left on the clock last night.

November 15, 2010

The 2nd Annual 24-hour Basketball Marathon Live-Blog

10:52PM - Hola amigos! We are live!

Just a brief procedural announcement - in case you missed it last year HA HA HA HA no one was here - anyway, I try to keep this all contained in one post, but of course I may have to break it up as I add pictures and so forth. So for anyone out there who wants to contribute in anyway, feel free to just live-edit this post as it stands. If it ends up looking confused, I'll fix it later.

Anyway, Welcome to Memphis, where they love their Tigers (and cheating)!

11:21PM " The mohawk on Garcia from Memphis looks like the kind of thing you find when you clean out your shower" - Trip Darvez has entered the Sportsbook, and has already forced out an older couple on hand to cheer on Memphis.

11:32PM - Memphis and Miami like to git their buckets. There's many ways to accomplish this, but the one most often used is "recklessly attack the hoop and hope for a sicko dunk". The over for this game was at 142 to begin... and you can see why. They are capable of scoring 10 points in 20 seconds when they are motivated. A very fun night lies ahead...

Hey, must be different age-of-consent laws for tattoos in Florida, because that man just...

11:36PM - So the Barn tonight:

My attorney and I were there more for "scouting" than for enjoyment, but it turned out to be quite the game. The Siena coach wants his team to do well, and he lets them know this by screaming into their scared faces. Beautiful.

11:43PM - UCLA center Joshua Smith. 6'10" - THREE HUNDRED AND FIVE POUNDS. Is that "pre-season" weight? I like Diddy Riese cookies in Westwood as much as the next guy, but stick to the 3 for a buck.

11:36PM - The ad at center court in Memphis "It's time to start using the stairs" - why taunt these people, Blue Cross? Pulled Porkwich? That's what the vendors are for.

11:53PM - Memphis plays just like they used to with Calipari, but they don't pay their players anymore, so they aren't... quite... as good. They so want to be ghetto though... you can see the Barton brothers trying to emulate Chris Douglas-Roberts in all his glory, but they can't finish for shit. Miami meanwhile, they don't care at all. Lots of scoring guys, that's all we're looking for.

12:00AM - We head to the new day with a halftime score of 38-37. Well on pace here guys. Keep it up.

So Dickfer, we're gonna get SIU-Edwardsville to a #1 ranking within 5 degrees. They play Kennesaw State, at home, who beat Georgia Tech today. Tech will beat Maryland, who will inevitably beat Duke, and there you go. Start writing the article now. We could get this thing to UM-BC before all is said and done.

12:05AM - UCLA's victory has lead Laura to sing Kool and the Gang's song "Get Down On It" - I ask if this is because she doesn't want to do homework. "I'm not doing homework."

12:15AM - Getting back to the Barn tonight.... I don't know what to expect this year with the Gophs. Last year I expected a lot and I didn't get very much. They ended up right where they belonged, which I guess you can't really complain about, but still. This year they look good, they are more experienced at key positions, but man, that Big Ten is tough. The best they can hope for any year is just above .500 in conference play. So I suppose it's a big old wait and see. Though I did read somewhere that just by virtue of them taking a stronger non-conference schedule, they will get a higher NCAA rank. Which is bullshit, but it's something we all know. So what if you don't actually win the games, they say, just make sure you play the tough teams. It's why Duke and UNC consistently pull down 1 and 2 seeds even when they clearly shouldn't be. "Oh but they played Syracuse!!!!" Fuck off.

12:17AM - Bill Raftery is on cup of coffee #2...I'm highly anticipating cup #6 by overtime and Bill found standing on the scorer's table.

12:31AM - This game has gone ice cold. That's the problem with betting truly ghetto teams to go over... no one on the floor can shoot consistently. So even though they love dunking and throwing the ball to the other team, there will be periods of 4 minutes without scoring. So that kills the over. Oh well, the hedges were there, I ignored them. I've seen enough out of each of these teams to know that they're going to play Git Buckets the rest of the season, they're just going to have to match up well with their opponent. Miami v. UNC? I don't think so.

12:40AM - I have a question. I know why Kobe drives to the hoop even when he has little chance of making the shot... it's because he can get fouled and then get 2 free points. But if you play for Memphis, you have no interest in learning to shoot free throws. So why do you drive errantly to the basket and throw up a prayer? Because even if you are fouled, you will come up empty. I just... I wish I knew the answers.

12:36AM - Let's take a look at some early pre-season favorites. And by favorites, I'm meaning names.

Central Connecticut State is 2-0. One of their players is named Shemik Thompson. SHEMIK. He scored 25. Will they fare as well against Maryland - Baltimore County?

Cleveland State defeated Urbana tonight. Is that in Illinois? Well, this is their athletic director:

Everyone knows that the Blue Knights have their work cut out for them going against Cleveland State. But don't discount the football program. Here's one of their press nuggets:

"Senior running back Boise Moon rushed for 226 yards and 2 TDs in the football team's 42-25 win over conference opponent Missouri S&T last Saturday. Today, Moon has been named the Family Dentistry Student-Athlete of the Week."

There's not enough time in the day...

12:58AM - Miami has cut the lead to 1, but so far this season, they already played a game. Against who?


Wait, 1 person?

No, Barry. The Barry Buccaneers. Miami Shores, FL.

It's tough going for the Bucs. "Bucs fall short to Florida Memorial." "Get out there. BE A COP!"

1:03AM - "I've always found Miami to be a more patient team at 1 in the morning." Sean starting to get loopy.

1:11AM - St. Mary's underway!

And, as far as Miami is concerned.... we're gonna need overtime here, guys. And then some.

1:22AM - It wasn't really a prediction, but I was secretly hoping for overtime out there...just to see Bill delirious. Alas, Memphis gets the win and Miami a very sleepy flight home. Delta won't charge for the blankets overnight, will they?

1:31AM - A St. Mary's player was just fouled INTO THE POST, IN MID-AIR. Somehow, he gets up. Might be a smart time for a commercial. Well done, ESPN. I know this was an intentional foul, but the refs are aware that it's 2:30AM in New York right now, home of the "Red Storm." Not that late nights have ever been a problem for Slick Sidelines.

1:37am - CHRIS MULLIN SIGHTING AT ST. MARY'S Oh then, now the night has begun.

1:43 AM - Alternate names for Steve Lavin:
Greaser McGee
Slick McWhip
Serge Sleaze-Handle
Grease ChinGrease
Browngrease Chinslick
Slickhead Shinez
"Leaking on the Floor" Lavin

Should I stop all of this because Steve's parents are there? HAHA - of course not! Of course, his team is leading, and he's "extending the zone" all the way to half court.

1:56 AM - You know your body is starting to wind down when the See's Candy Holiday catalog is holding your attention more than live basketball. I know about your Bridge's no "secret" to me. What am I saying? I've only SENT See's as gifts, but maybe eaten a piece of candy from them once or twice in my 10+ years in CA. What's going on with the game? Gaels with a pass to the 3rd row...ok good, so it's not just me. Steve with the lead at the half, and enough time to re-apply the VO5.

2:14AM - Watching basketball for 24 hours.... well, let's just go with a frame from Chopping Mall:

2:14AM - ESPN's ad inventory? Schick Shadel Alcohol Treatment Center. Pat O'Day, the legend of Seattle radio, does the ad. "Who I am doesn't really matter." Please! No coincidence that the center is also in Seattle. But the audience for this game must be high...or the degenerates awake at this hour are the same - the site is crashed. Pat's busy selling real estate in the San Juan

2:32AM - Hawaii's next opponent is the Central Arkansas Bears. Names?

JaDarius Davis
Dewan Clayborn
Mike Pouncy
Jacquan McClinton (didn't he play bass for Isaac Hayes?)
Imad Qahwash

Get there, Bears.

2:35AM -

2:43AM - Pop quiz!

This man just:

a) Killed your family in their sleep
b) Ate a bucket of sand
c) Made a basket in a sporting contest

2:46AM - So last year I bet on the Gaels and the Bows... this year, let's just say there's nothing new under the sun. Neither bet is making me too happy right now, but there's always time. Until there isn't.

So who's the big team this year? Michigan State? Eh, whatever. Duke? That would be like trying to predict who's ass smells the worst. Not Villanova, of course. Texas A&M still on the board! Kansas State is a flash in the pan. I'm going to go with Florida. Why? Because it's almost three in the morning and I'm about to watch two hours of basketball featuring the Central Michigan Chippewas. I am invincible.


3:04AM - The Gaels just do what they do, and run the lead to 10. Now let's just hold it boys. Your coach is losing the Grease Battle, but you can still win the war.

Taking a look at the Gophers non-conference schedule... Western Kentucky, NDSU, SDSU (no, not the Aztecs), Virginia, St. Joe's. Not bad at all. A good mix of mid-level talent that will do enough to impress voters if they go 9-9 again. The thing to remember is that when in doubt, the dumbfuck committee will ALWAYS go with a school like Minnesota over Milwaukee or St. Mary's. It makes sense in so many ways (except the one about, you know, picking the better team). So kudos to Tubby. But eventually, that would be really neat if they could compete for the Big 10 title. I know, I know. Give it time. But am I wrong to just want Blake to go back to shooting it from his ass?

(de-evolution of an idea: complete)

Greaser McFaceStain is going to have to teach some of these kids to shoot the basketball. Remember guys, you get that ball up over your forehead, and look through the window. Pick out the three hooks on the front of the rim, and aim for the middle one. Follow through. No, not every shot can be a dunk.

St. Mary's making their throws, man that's nice to see. I would've doubled the over in the Memphis game if they believed in practicing. Well, it's like my attorney said, "You don't walk off the island." And apparently, you don't shoot free throws out of Queens.


3:28am - Ahhhhhhhhhh, the Aloha State. I'm not sure what I'm in store for from the Bows, but any B-roll you can run of the North Shore sure would make my day. We weren't supposed to leave! We have to go back!

No HD cameras for this one, huh ESPN? Well that's not a surprise. Remember like 2 years ago when the entire US converted to over-the-air digital signal? And we all had to get those converter boxes, and the government gave us rebates, and so forth? Yeah? HAWAII DIDN'T DO THAT. They saw what was happening, and decided "No, our TV is good enough". And ain't a damn thing you can do about it, Obama.

You really should've seen that local coverage of the impending tsunami. Let's just say I've seen higher production value out of Channel 13 in Eau Claire, WI. They would cut to "experts", who of course are experts because they have lived on the island their whole lives, and have seen "stuff like this back in 62". The analysis was something along the lines of "If there's big waves, run". But really, the whole thing is a microcosm for life there. Tsunamis and traffic and the occasional murder... they don't mean anything. Life endures. The news is just a constant reminder that life on the island is fucking great.


So Ron Artest changed his jersey number again this year. He did this because he's absolutely bat-ass insane. But it makes you think.... how was he ever able to harness that immense physical ability with what is obviously a psychotic brain? How did he not end up in an institution with "talking doctors"? He took a shot in a game after everyone in the stadium, including his own teammates, were screaming at him to NOT SHOOT. He shot anyway, and when he was asked about it, he said "Just play basketball, man." He made Craig Sager say "Queensbridge" during an interview after he just hit the winning shot. The first thought he had in his head when he won the championship was to thank his psychiatrist (which makes perfect sense). When will he sign up for the NBDL, just because they have "nicer nets"?

4:10AM - Did you know we're coming to you live from "the island of Hawaii"? I was not aware this was being played on the Big Island. Oh, what's that you say? DumbFuck BrownStone doesn't know where he is? He thinks Hawaii is one big island and also that soda cans are too difficult to operate? Well, that makes sense.

They don't allow outside banks to operate in Hawaii. You can search all you want for a US Bank ATM, even in the heart of Waikiki, and you will find nothing. We joined First Hawaiian, and it was the best bank in the world. Our branch shared a parking lot with Pat's Pizza.

They just showed b-roll of Molokai, specifically the sea cliffs. I have climbed those cliffs. They zip over them in a helicopter and it's breathtaking how sun-drenched and green they are. Yeah, not when you are walking up behind ass-dropping burros. Then it all just looks like shit.

Did you also know about Hawaii that...............


9:43AM - We're awake on the Pacific Coast, and before we start our day, let's check in on the games. I hear cheering...South Illinois with the lead. I don't care where you are - Missouri Valley basketball before 8AM isn't good for your health. Good crowd for a breakfast game, though. Have the concessions adjusted? Can you still get a dog? Or is it all donuts. Now there's an idea. Shit, I have to get ready for work.

10:12AM - Dave Sliznewski here. Thought it was time I checked in. Better late than never.

A few things. This page may need a section dedicated to Barry basketball. Who doesn't want to cheer for Barry - single person or team?

Secondly, Mike Pouncy.

I sure was hoping he was fat - I had a pouncing-on-donuts joke all loaded up and ready to go. Oh well. Great name anyways.

I have to say the Gophers are looking like they may actually have a team this year. And by that I mean a team that might be able to at least compete in the Big Ten. With Mbakwe, they have enough size up front to keep any post scorers at bay - Ryan Rossiter, Siena's big fella, didn't do much damage. Of course, the Gophs still can't stop any wing players, so Kalen Luca will score 40 on them before they blink. But hey, the fat guy that's playing center for Sparty won't do much but eat donuts. Good. Got that donut joke in there.

11:05AM - (chugs coffee, grunts, opens Veetle, sighs)

Marist? +29 against Villanova? WELCOME BACK SWEET GAMBLING ADDICTION!!! If Siena can play with MN for 25 minutes, I've got to believe Villanova doesn't win by more than 20. Here's some money to back up that claim. We're back.
11:20 am. Dickfer with observations. Watching the heated rivalry of Southern Illinois and Northeastern. Might go double OT. No one wants this. The coaches, players, fans, announcers . . . they just want to go home. Fans are cheering . . . to go home. OH GOD CHRIS WEBBER TIMEOUT. Whoops, SIU. Any energy to make throws. Yes, the first one. Not the second. SIU can't do anything. Nap time for all.

Sliz says: 5 total points in OT, huh? Yeah Dickfer, nobody wanted to be there.

11:39AM - The great thing about surfing around to different teams on is that you get to see the most recent video highlight that they produced for said team. Now, most of these, like Duke for example, had a video made of them yesterday... highlighting the challenges for the season, etc. But not the little guys. Take, for example, Maryland-Eastern Shore. That highlight? January of 2009. Blake Griffin, stone cold rocking it. I'm pretty sure we could find a video produced in the 90s if we dig hard enough. Coppin State? You gonna show Toby Bailey, errrrrrrrr?

FOUND IT: Winston-Salem. Yeah, you know, the Rams? That video that is linked to in the sidebar? DECEMBER 19, 2006. That was the last time that a major sports outlet even thought to air your "highlights". Of course, it is a game where you lost by FIFTY ONE to Kansas, but hey, git buckets.

11:58AM - Sliz back. Couldn't help but notice the offensive "heavyweights" that punched it out in West Long Branch, NJ this fine morning. They scored 100 points. No, not each. The Stonybrook Seawolves took it to the Momouth Hawks 51-49. That's less than half of the points scored in the average NBA game these days. I mean, the Wisconsin football team almost scored that many points this weekend.

More interestingly though, evey Monmouth player managed to score, including center Nick DelTufo (from Jersey of course). He managed to net 1 point in 14 "solid" minutes of play. Nobody scored more than 9 points, but hey - they all got buckets.

12:05PM - Trip here. I had good luck with Barry, so I'm scanning through tonight's games: Ap State has...Montreat College??? Is that a spelling error?'s a school in the "Blue Ridge Mountains." But what conference are....NAIA. Come on Appalachian State! What, all the high schools are booked? Maybe it was because Neumann was booked. They play Navy.

Neumann’s student-athletes play to win, but not only on a field, court or rink. With the guidance of their coaches and team chaplains, Neumann student-athletes learn to balance their athletic schedules with their coursework. They gain experience handling the pressure to perform on and off the court, bear the scrutiny of the media, and represent the good name and reputation of their university at other schools.
The scrutiny on the school is they're able to manage the stress is a mystery.

Sliz says: I didn't realize Chief's cat played hoops...

1:35PM - First of all, THAT'S the Golden Hurricane basketball we've been waiting for. T-U-L-S-A. Tulsa, Tulsa, heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Canes!!! (that is absolutely not their fight song)

Second of all, when you mention the college of Neumann, you just give me clearance to post this pic:

Notice how Newman, much like the student athletes, is having a problem figuring out just where the appropriate place to go to the bathroom is. It's not there, stupid!!!

I missed out on this Baylor bet. But I can't bet a team of murderers. At least not in NCAA basketball. The Ravens, yes....

2:52PM - The Sniz just got done watching a few minutes of the Baylor Felons, err Bears and the La Salle whatevertheyares (read: too lazy to look it up).  Baylor does two things. Ghetto and Ghatto. First off they are tall and it is very apparent that they don't practice shooting (Ghetto).  Well, I guess if the dunk shot is considered practice....  Secondly, their stud, LaceDarious Dunn, isn't going to be playing for a few games due to a felony charge (Ghatto). But hey, charges were eventually dropped. That's like innocent...

I Appreciate a Good Clown

What happens when Kevin Love and Wes Johnson can't connect on a simple handshake?


I know it's only one small event (and a super corny one at that), but I think we can all agree that this is something that would've NEVER happened under the old regime. Could you see McHale doing this? I mean, we all thought his Frankenstein impersonations were funny, but I don't think he really meant to be funny.  Stupid corpse. 

Glen and the boys have been losing money and now it seems that they're trying a new approach to marketing this team:  Keep it light and fun. Just like a certain baseball team did a few years ago. 

I'm not ready to say they're there yet, but this is a nice little preview of what could be, as far as an attitude shift in our NBA franchise's front office.

Plus, it helps that the basketball seems to be a bit better. Or at least more fun to watch.

November 9, 2010

Fearing the Greyhounds

It could be that Bruce Pearl has too much on his mind right now. Consider all that's going on:
  • The whole "providing false information" to an NCAA investigation
  • The hefty salary cut as a result of that misleading information
  • Hitting the town, looking for ladies

So, would any or all of those be an excuse to lose to the Indianapolis Greyhounds? (Editor's note: the Indianapolis Greyhounds are NOT IUPUI, a minor league hockey team, or a fictional roller derby team from the 70s sitcom "The Roller Girls") The final score was 79-64. Does that make it an upset in basketball if the win is that large? It wasn't a last second trick play, or a full-court heave. It was a better team defeating a lesser team. Kind of reads like business as usual.

Indy coach Stan "Point" Gouard played under Bruce at Southern Indiana (PARTY SCHOOL) and claimed, as a result, that he knew Bruce's game plan inside and out. Sure seems like it. Maybe Bruce took this "exhibition" too lightly. Or maybe, as a coach under some serious shit from the NCAA, he shouldn't say the following things in a post-game press conference:

"They were better coached. They knew exactly what they wanted to do and how to execute their game plan."

Bruce you might want to lay low for a while...stay with a friend...'till the heat wears off.

November 8, 2010

Houston, We Have a Problem

Or maybe it's hundreds of them.  The Houston Rockets managed to win their first game of the season. It doesn't suprise me that it was against our lowly Wolves. What I found interesting is that it was the first game the Rockets didn't give up 100 points. The Wolves also have one win - and also have only held one opponent below 100 points this season. 

Scoring seems to be up so far this season - 14 teams are scoring 100 or more points per game and 18 teams are giving up 100 or more points per game. The Wolves aren't scoring the least (97.3), but they are giving up the most (114.4).

A Deeper Look

Statistics, to me, are fascinating even if they don't ever tell a complete story.  You don't need numbers to tell you the Wolves aren't any good right now, but it's interesting to look at where they are particularly bad - or good.

As I discussed above, they are terrible in the scoring department on both sides of the floor.  In addition to points allowed and points scored, the Wolves are dead last in field goal percentage (.387) and assist to turnover ratio (0.86). This obviously tells us they aren't passing well. They're either dribbling too much and getting stripped or telegraphing passes and getting picked off.  It also means that the passes that do reach their intended targets aren't being delivered to a guy in a good spot, which leads to all the missed shots.

The return of Jonny Flynn might help in this particular area because he is considerably better than Bassy and Ridnour is still trying to figure everyone out. That and Kevin Love isn't going to shoot 39% from the floor for the whole season.

Speaking of Kevin Love, the Wolves are the best rebounding team in the NBA so far this season.  Love is fourth in the league in rebounding, averaging 11.7 boards per game and third in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game, a category the Wolves also lead the NBA in.  Of course with all the missed shots, there are a lot of rebounds to be had, but the fact that this has historically been a stat that the Wolves have lacked in is something to be happy about. 

The Wolves can't do much, but they can rebound.

November 2, 2010

How Bad is Bad?

With their win last night, the San Antonio Spurs have now won 17 in a row and an astonishing 26 of the last 27 games against the Los Angeles Clippers.  Ouch.  That my friends just might be the definition of domination. A long-term ass whooping of historical proportions.

That might even make the Yankees domination of the Twins seem a little weak.  Maybe not.

Anyway, upon reading this gem, I decided to check to see if there were any teams that have dominated our own squad in a similar fashion.

I took a look at the Wolves splits against all the other teams in the NBA since The Season (2003-04), which marked the peak of this franchise.  The sampling is a bit smaller - only 6 seasons - but it's big enough for this here blog.

First off, some bigger picture numbers for you to chew on.

The Wolves record since The Season is a putrid 170-322. (Clippers are 195-297)

Of the 29 other NBA teams, the Wolves have played .500 ball against two clubs (Bulls, Pacers), and have won more than lost against five teams (Clippers, Nets, Knicks, Sixers, Kings).  Their record against the 22 other NBA teams is 112-277. Winning less than 29% of your games is not the definition of success.

So who's have the Wolves been totally dominated by? There are seven teams that have absolutely owned the Wolves over the past six seasons.

7. Portland Trailblazers
Record Against: 8-16 (.333)
Streak: L-12

Wow.  This is one I didn't really expect to see this high on the list.  Sure, the Blazers have been building a winner for the past 6 years, but I guess I just hadn't noticed that they just plain beat up on the Wolves night in and night out. The Wolves have lost 13 of 14 games coming into this season.

6. Houston Rockets
Record Against: 6-15 (.286)
Streak: L-11

What!? Yao and Tracy McGrady dominated the Wolves? I could understand Clyde and Dream, but Yao and T-Mac? The Injured Assassins? I think they averaged as many missed games per season as they did points. Apparently it didn't matter because the Wolves just can't win against their Western Conference foes.

5. Denver Nuggets
Record Against: 6-18 (.250)
Streak: L-12

This one really kills me.  Even though it hasn't been a rivalry since KG left, I still hate the Nuggets. I can't express how badly I want them to lose every game they play. Maybe that's overstating it, but still, this one hurts the most.  We absolutely owned the Nuggets in the playoffs for two years. It felt so good then.  Payback is a bitch I guess.

4. Los Angeles Lakers
Record Against: 5-16 (.238)
Streak: L-11

This one doesn't surprise me. At all. Kobe and the Lakers have owned the Wolves forever. They also happen to have won the last two NBA Champtionships. They've also won 12 of 13 against the Wolves. Yeah, Corey Brewer can neither play Kobe in the triangle offense, or guard Kobe at anything. Even tiddly winks.

3. Dallas Mavericks
Record Against: 4-18 (.182)
Streak: L-2

You might be saying, 'Dave, losing two in a row isn't a big deal.'  That's true, but the Mavs have won 14 of the last 15 "matchups" against the Wolves. When Dirk is involved the Wolves can't do anything. Well, other than fail down their legs until the final whistle blows.  Too bad Dallas screwed up that NBA Finals against the Heat way back when.  Beating the shit out of the Wolves don't get you no where, even if you are a star.

2. San Antonio Spurs
Record Against: 2-19 (.095)
Streak: L-12

Man, it just sucks. Tim Duncan and Greg Popovich have pretty much owned the NBA for the past decade. Even when they're not winning every other title, they just pile up wins. Against everyone. I don't feel so bad that they've owned us to.  They do what they have to do to stay successful and that's bitchslapping the bad teams. Twice.  What does hurt is losing 17 of 18.  I mean, the Wolves aren't Clippers bad. Yet.

Wait, the Spurs aren't number one on this list? Yeah, I was surprised when I finally compiled the numbers.  I was blown away by this one.

1. Toronto Raptors
Record Against: 0-12
Streak: L-12

I can't even begin to fathom this one. The Raps? Isaiah Thomas's old ballclub? Really!? They haven't beaten the Raptors since 03-04 - Chris Bosh's rookie year. Ouch. He's the biggest bitch in the NBA. Here's hoping the Wolves can put an end to this streak this season - and I'll count a win against the Heat as ending Chris Bosh's dominance of the Wolves.

October 27, 2010


The NBA has instituted a rule that prohibits players from wearing headbands upside down. 

Yeah. They have that much time.

Can you name one player that you've seen wearing a headband upside down? I couldn't. I never even noticed. The NBA logo is very small on a headband and it is especially hard to discern which way the logo is pointed when players are running around on the court.

I can't get into the new and "improved" Rasheed Wallace rules, because they're stupid and will ruin a number of NBA games this year.

But this rule? David Stern, as has been pointed out on the blog a number of times, has lost his touch.  He's gone from the guy who helped save the NBA to a clueless moron who is slowly but surely ruining the NBA.

Even The Logo is mad about this one.

October 26, 2010

It Ain't All Rainbows And Sunshine in Miami

You can be on either side of the fence when it comes to the new Miami Heat. Based on the assembled talent it isn't a surprise that people are so optimistic about their chances at winning an NBA Championship. It also isn't a surprise that people are doubtful that the ego powers in South Beach won't be abld to mesh well enough to achieve greatness.

So which way would you bet?

Does the fact that Deadzo is all over Miami's prink affect your decision?

It does for me.  I would be rooting against them anyways, but now that Deadzo has given them his "blessing" I don't see how it makes any kind of sense to bet on Miami winning a title. At least not this season - maybe ever based on the kind of luck McFail spreads.

It's too bad that's the only kool-aid he's chugging. Where's Jim Jones when you need him?

"Hey, do you guys like my sweater?"

October 22, 2010

Base Line / Bottom Line

How pained David Stern must be at this moment. The fact that truth - not always likable, not what he wants to say - had to come from that smelly mouth of's unreal. Yet there he was, with two points.

1. He tried to tell owners what to pay players - specifically, less. Economic adjustments of which they are aware.

2. We might have too many teams.

The league wants teams in the "best available markets." Now, there's no definition to that phrase: certainly David would not provide you with one. A large market that supports a basketball team is one thing...a team simply in a large market is another. Let's not confuse the two. Would fewer teams help the NBA's bottom line? At first...but then you're hoping the rest keep things afloat. Knowing his expansion history, if teams are contracted...once things get better, he'll want expansion yet again.

There isn't enough talent to fill 24 teams, let alone the 30. Combine that with how teams are run, and it gives you a good indication of who might be first to go. Forbes updated valuation list won't arrive until December, but here's the most recent stats:

At the end of last year, both Memphis and Sacramento posted the largest yearly decline in value. Sacramento won't build the Maloof Brothers (who, you know, are poor) a new arena. California is flat fucking broke. That view certainly won't change in the state capitol. Memphis has a new arena. For Memphis, they currently post more debt than value, which is no way to run a business. That happens when you generate the lowest amount of revenue of any team. Memphis might complain of market size, but then you'd have to think: what the FUCK are they doing there if the market is "small?"

Despite a positive uptick in value, Portland posted the largest fall in operating income. History shows us that the area will support the team when it's not filled with Failblazers...and you can't say they were treated to sterling moves over the last 10 years.

Indiana might be "basketball crazy" but one thing they DO have is options. If you're a basketball fan, and you don't care what kind of basketball, why not save a few bucks? The Pacers have found this out before, and a telethon might not save them this time...continued decreases in value and income don't leave a lot of options in the Midwest economics of today.

Dallas has a wealthy, business savvy, batshit crazy owner. He hates Stern, which is entertaining. He's also posting the 2nd largest income slides of the league. Mark makes deals...don't think acing this team (he's already made PLENTY off the deal, and will if he sells whenever) hasn't crossed his mind. Plug in a mumbling know-nothing owner taking his place, and you might have David lamenting that basketball in Dallas "doesn't work" because "it's a football state." Houston is making good sugar and San Antonio is doing its thing, so he might remind everyone of that to "soften the blow." After all, people in Seattle now must root for Portland...right, David?

Speaking of...the Wolves have falling value and income, but their debt is relatively low. So is their revenue. A few more years of "the same" and...wait a minute. In my lifetime, the Wolves were already to have moved to New Orleans...would more turmoil of such affairs (moving/contraction) be any surprise?

The future for the NBA is lean and mean. If regular folk can't afford to go to a game, let alone any kind of ticket plan, that Sixers/Pacers match-up (which is on TV at the bar) is an attraction to no one. Is David finally realizing this? Hard to say - he always seemed like the kind of guy to throw away his shoes instead of cleaning up the shit in the yard.

September 16, 2010

For the Gophers, "points" = $$$

This is not a common occurrence, but maybe it happened to you. You’re living in an apartment building. Nothing fancy, but it’s not bad. Seemingly out of nowhere, one day you receive a letter from the company that owns the building. It describes “exciting opportunities” and a “chance of a lifetime.” What they’re really doing is asking for more money. BUY the apartment you’re renting from us for an insane price. This way, we won’t have to fix anything in your shack, and we have more money than the actual value.

I’ve received a letter such as that, and it came to mind reading a letter written by U of Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi. Cryptically dated “August 2010,” Joel included this letter with the season tickets for men’s basketball. I will now translate the letter, with statements in each paragraph.

“I’m asking for your continued support as we make some changes to our Preferred Seating program.”

You see, it’s not enough to just have season tickets, nor is it enough to hold them for a long time. As a matter of disclosure (and the reason for my receiving a copy of the letter) is that Gophers Men’s Basketball tickets have been in my family for 5 decades, entering the 6th. With such longevity, you get to know the other ticket holders, and see them go through life. The guy that sat behind us came to my graduation party with his new family. The couple to our left came to visit while I was in town this summer. When the U updated Williams Arena, we moved 3 rows closer to the court. The guy behind us was sent back about 15 rows. He’d only held tickets since the late 70s: not enough to make Joel’s Preferred Seating program. Tell us, Joel, what are the changes?

“Prior to the 2012-2013 season we will be expanding the existing Preferred Seating program and use Gopher Points to re-allocate season ticket locations in Williams Arena.”

Translation: You were getting a free ride with simply BUYING season tickets. That’s simply not enough.

That sentence is enough to make anyone anxious.

“The system (Gopher Points) combines a number of factors to rank each season ticket holder, including ticket history, donations to athletics, donations to the University, and being a graduate of the University.”

Translation: We’re ranking ticket holders by their extra donations.

When we received the surprising seating upgrade from the U, a donation was sent to the “Williams Fund,” which, we found out, was used to pay teachers to write term papers for the players.

“Donations from Preferred Seating assist us in paying our annual scholarship bill of $9 million for our student-athletes, as well as making facility improvements.”

Translation: It’s not enough to just be a public university. To free us of managing our department with any care or reason, the influx of cash will cover any mistakes, such as hiring incompetent coaches, overpaying them, and doing so while interest fades.

So, is Joel going to admit that? No, he’ll just repeat the same poop falling out of his mouth.

“First, these changes will provide increased donations to meet the on-going financial challenges we face. Second, while asking many of you to make a donation in addition to the coast of the season ticket is never easy, expanding the Preferred Seating program is the best way to meet our ever increasing financial challenges, making facility upgrades, and improve the fan experience.”

Translation: I’ve repeated myself because I can’t admit the truth.

The price of tickets is NOT a donation to the school. Got it?

“Please know the decision to re-seat Williams Arena was made only after serious assessment of financial trends, research of peer institutions, and discussions with season ticket holders and University leaders.”

Translation: We asked our largest donators (most of whom hold us in their pocket) and they’re fine with this.

How much would you like to wager they hardly asked ANY season ticket holders? Wait, my seats could be moved? Why? Hello? Hmm, must have hung up.

“We are sensitive to the fact that changes of this magnitude will affect many of our loyal supporters, and that this is certainly an emotional issue.”

Translation: We know you’re pissed. And…yeah.

“We welcome your comments and questions to-“

Translation: You’ll speak to a student who doesn’t really know what’s going on.

And, as you’d expect, that first call went nowhere. During the Gopher Football “open house,” my Ma cornered Joel and politely told him of the B.S. in this letter. As Joel stammered, who came to his rescue? Harvey Mackay! Wait, Trip, is it that Harvey? Why is Harvey even allowed on school grounds? They must have brushed all that under the TCF Stadium rug.

As she spoke to another school official later that afternoon, this person shared little insight. Who came to this guy’s defense? Harvey, of course, spouting the same bunk in Joel’s letter. So, a call the next day to this hotline found an accidentally honest student. “You’ve had tickets for 60 years? You don’t need to make a donation. Who told you that?”

I don’t profess to have the answers on how to run a big-time athletic department, but it’s entertaining to watch from afar how Joel continues to take one step forward, one step back. Maybe that’s his plan: that way, there’s always the need for increased donations and those beloved Gopher Points.

September 1, 2010

Ok, so this is great

Just look at Stern's face changing, and Delonte...

August 23, 2010

Not Enough Vowels?

Headline:  Thunder's Krstic fears FIBA ban for role in brawl.

Really Nenad? I mean, you got arrested. ARRESTED!!! Not even Ron Artest got arrested.  Oh, and why did you get arrested?

Krstic hit Greek player Yannis Bouroussis in the head with a chair

In the head. With a chair. WWE-style. Niiiiice...

July 27, 2010

Counterpoint: I am OK with the Heat winning it all

I am not going to "follow" them this year. I am not "cheering" for them this year. I am simply OK with them winning it all. This is because I only see the NBA as a business of betting overs. Oh sure, I follow the Wolves, hope they do the correct thing. KG has a ring so who cares. I follow enough to stay informed.

How many times have you seen a star athlete towards the end of his career jump the team he has played for forever just for that shot at a ring with a "good" team? Enough times for me. Why did he jump for a "good" team? Because he couldn't win it on his own. There. None of these three players we going to do anything if things stayed the way they were. I don't buy the giving up money for winning argument since, if they win it all, they will make it up in endorsements. They want to win, though. Good for them. Does Lebron have a huge ego? Yes. Is Bosh insanely lucky? Yes. Good for Dwayne Wade.

Would we be mad if they played for the Wolves, or the Clippers!, instead of the Heat? No, we would be fine. I am guessing more than the lower bowl of Target Center would be filled and we would tell everyone to kiss it.

This is the way I see it. I am just a NBA fan on the surface, remember.

July 20, 2010

Sterns' Three Kings

It kills me to say this but maybe Team Stern is a good thing for the NBA. I know, I know, I’ve hated everything that’s happened surrounding the Bullshit Show that went on in Miami a couple weeks back. I hate that Stern let a team take full advantage – borderline abuse – of the salary cap rules like the Heat did. It’s stupid and wrong, but it might be exactly what the NBA needs right now.

Before The Circus, there were 4 teams in the NBA that legitimately had a shot to win the title: Boston, Cleveland, Orlando, and Los Angeles. I don’t remember what the odds were during the season, but I bet they weren’t too different at varying times throughout the year. Cleveland had the best record, L.A. the best player, Boston the best trio, and Orlando the best big man. Each team had something to lay their championship hopes on. Of course, as is the case most of the time, the team with the best player won the title. (Congrats to the Lakers, by the way.)

Of the three teams that didn’t win a ring, which one do you think would really give the Lakers a challenge in the next, say five years? I say none. Boston is old and has one, maybe 2 seasons left as contenders. Orlando won’t sniff the finals again, at least not until they can spend Vince Carter’s money on a winner, and LeBron didn’t seem to be able to will his team to the title like a certain other 23.

Which brings me to my point: I actually think LeBron going to Miami with Bosh and Wade is a good thing for the NBA. Remember the Bulls? No, not the scrappy kids we’ve seen do their playoff-thing the past five years. MJ’s Bulls. The Six rings-in-eight-years Bulls. For Chicago and Jordan fans, those were the golden days. The Bulls were the NBA. Yeah Houston nabbed a couple rings when Michael decided he was a baseball player, but the league
was theirs – well Jordan’s anyways. They were a dynasty, like the Lakers and the Celtics before them.

With that kind of success comes adoration and hatred, and nothing in between. Back in 1994 you either loved the Bulls or you hated them, except for Knicks fans, then it’s all hatred, all the time. The NBA was great back then because it was everyone against the Bulls. Everyone. The Jazz, Cleveland, New York … EV-ER-Y-BOD-Y. Who, that wasn’t a Bulls fan, didn’t cheer for KJ’s layup to go in over Horace Grant? Or hope Charles Oakley finally hurt Jordan? Or for Craig Ehlo to actually be able to play defense? Okay, no one outside of Cleveland cheered for Ehlo, but you get my point. Having a nemesis, someone to hate, made the games mean so much more to the hardcore fans.

That’s what Team Stern has provided for the today’s NBA. The Celtics, with their KG-centered Big Three were only mildly dislikeable, but the Heat are downright putrid. Assuming of course you’re not living in Miami-Wade County of course. I hated the Bulls until they were done winning, and only appreciated their excellence after I had some time to get over my hatred – they were top-five team(s) of all-time. The only thing that’s missing to make Team Stern complete is an arch rival. Hush Lakers fans, you’re not their arch enemy. Yet. The current version of the Celtics need to go away, then you’ll have another team to hate with all your star-studded might.

So, even though it seems unfair and an exercise in rule-bending, don’t be too quick to pass off The David Stern Variety Hour as all bad. Sure, Cleveland gets screwed, as does the rest of the Southeastern Division. And sure, Miami fans get a team that they probably don’t deserve, but the rest of us get something too. The NBA gets a team to hate. And frankly, nothing fuels competition like hatred, and maybe that’s exactly what the NBA needs right now: some fierce competition.

July 14, 2010

Who's The Mack?

I'm sitting here listening to Ice Cube - you know, like every Wednesday evening - and my head is just absolutely buzzing about The Association. I don't think people understand what has occurred in recent months, both at home and abroad, and I think it's time for O'Shay Jackson to take us through it like only he can...

"You wanna leave, but Sonny start talkin fast / And it make you want to go and sell more ass"

To KAHN! Wow, he must be talkin' slick, because I still believe.

Let's just say this: at least half of the current GMs are incompetent children who could fuck up a cup of Twinnings. They put together their teams based on the philosophy of "YOU WANNA RIDE BIKES?!?!!?!" They get lucky (see: Milwaukee) or they stay perpetually unlucky (see: Clippers) which is what they deserve. We used to have utter incompetence as our GM. Just walking death. And now we've got someone who is thinking. He at least is acquiring assets. Now, these assets may amount to nothing. And this whole thing could crumble. But you know what we have until it does? HOPE. And Deadzo never ever ever gave us hope. As soon as he had an asset... oh, like say, A FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICK, HE TRADED IT FOR MARKO JARIC, SWEET JESUS CHRIST IT STILL HURTS MY HEART. Deadzo never held onto any asset... he always had to trade it for a "ballplayer". Kahn at least has goals, and works to achieve them. If he's just talkin slick, well, that make me wanna go and sell more ass.


"You give him a dollar or a quarter and he's on his way / Then you see his sorry ass the next day"

David Stern. I never thought it would happen in my lifetime, and let me just say upfront that it hasn't happened YET, but I think we're starting to be able to have a conversation about a passing of the torch. The torch, of course, is The Commissioner Of A Professional Sports League Who Can Barely Speak For All The Owners' Ding-a-Lings In His Mouth. This, of course, has been held by Bud Selig since 1994. But now, oh boy.

David Stern lies every single day of his life. Nearly every press conference or statement, he lies. He lies about the financial situation of the league, to appease the owners. He lies about the referees and how fucked they are. He lies about "vision" of the NBA. (Pssst, here's a hint: the NBA has no vision whatsoever other than Git That Money Now And Fuck Everything) He lies about transactions and what he "would like to see". He lies when he gives out fines to Phil Jackson for saying the refereeing was "uneven". He lies to colleges when he repeatedly changes his mind (which is just the owners changing THEIR minds) about the entry age. He lies to the consumer every single time he opens his mouth by telling us that EVERYTHING IS JUST PEACHY FOLKS!

Gary Bettman could walk into a Starbucks and walk out without coffee. Tagliabue and now Goodell run their shit like this is Kiev. Bud Selig is such an obvious whore that it's not even worth a joke anymore. But Stern. He's a lawyer, so he THINKS he's putting all this over on everyone. But how long has it been since we've seen through the cracks? 4 years? 5? THEY HAD A REFEREE IN CAHOOTS WITH THE FUCKING MOB AND STERN SAID LIKE 4 SENTENCES THE ENTIRE TIME. It's such a joke.

So now we come to this Miami Go Party, and of course, Stern watches and doesn't know what to think. Why? The owners haven't told him what to think. He fired off some bullshit about how it wasn't "handled" properly, but yet nothing about collusion. Nothing about LeBron and the fact that he decided to do this two years ago. Nothing about Pat Riley, who must have photos of Stern, who gave the Wolves Michael Beasley, a #2 draft pick, for Jack and Shit. Free agency is one thing. But this amount of back-room dealing and collusion from both players and teams... it's just staggering. Are there even rules about this shit anymore? There used to be. The Wolves got their ass handed back to them with a receipt for under-thundering Joe Smith. We lost 5 draft picks. Miami? Well, just look at Riley's hair. Not any less greasy...........


"No I didn't kill or steal or rob / Locked up for what? Cause I'm rollin with the Lench Mob"

Hey there B-Easy! Welcome to Minnesota!

So this team... I just think we're on the right path here. B-Easy is the best talent the Wolves have had since KG was traded. I would say Al Jeff was up there, but he is broken now. And he likes playing defense as much as I like getting jobs. That is to say NOT AT ALL. But let's just put on the goggles for a minute: next year, if it's Rubio, B-Easy, Brewer, Milicic, Wes Johnson, not to mention whatever we can get in a deadline deal (Josh Smith) and all that extra money to get a free agent.... hell man, that's becoming a respectable team. I'm not saying great. But it's getting there. If we can turn a few draft picks into solid pieces, and our coach turns out to be smart (which we haven't had since... oh god, Flip? In 2004? AIIIIIIIIIIIIII), we could be building a foundation. One thing that the Deadzo era made us is patient. As long as we see something, some progress towards something, we can wait. Because with Deadzo, every single year felt like a step back. Except that one year. That was fun.


"That's why I'm sick of getting treated like a motherfuckin step-child"

Oh Cleveland. First LeBron, then Harvey Pekar? "Hey lady, I'm just a kid from the neighborhood!"

So Long, Al

As the final cog from the KG trade has been jettisoned from the machine that is our Wolves, I got to thinking about what we've done with all the other pieces that were - at one time, anyway - supposed to be the building blocks with which we were to rebuild our franchise.

There are a lot of laughs in there.  Prepare thyself.

Just to refresh our memories, here's the original deal:

Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, Our 2009 first round pick (Jonny Flynn), Boston's 2009 first round pick (Wayne Ellington).

That was it. Sad to remember, but less painful now.

  • Ryan Gomes was traded to Portland for Martell Webster
  • Gerald Green was traded to Houston for Kirk Snyder and their 2010 2nd round pick (Paulo Prestes)
  • Al Jefferson was traded to Utah for Kosta Koufos and two first round draft picks(details yet to be fully discovered)
  • Theo Ratliff was waived
  • Sebastian Telfair was traded in a package for Quentin Richardson
  • Kirk Snyder left fia free agency
  • Quentin Richardson was traded to Miami for Mark Blount - AH HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
  • Mark Blount was released

So, in the end, we turned the best player in franchise history into the following:

Martell Webster
Jonny Flynn
Wayne Ellington
Paulo Prestes (draft rights)
Kosta Koufos
Two future first-round picks

It's not getting any better, although my favorite transaction was the Q for Blount deal - since we'd tricked Miami into that one the year before.  I guess we really "missed" his "presence" or something.  On that note, he's not the only guy we've traded for after they'd already played for us.  Dean Garrett and Darrick Martin also hold that distinction. 

July 9, 2010

The LeBrottery Reaction

No, not from me.  From the Cavs fans...

(keep the volume low at the beginning of this one)

A few things to note in this "special" video.
1) Check out how they decided to light the jersey on fire. Really guys? The stove?

2) The guy opening the door once they have their flame - he has a little skip in his step.

The Classy Version

And the team owner? How does he feel?

He's definitely not happy.

July 8, 2010

Free Agency and the Summer League

This time of the year is to non-NBA fans what most of the off-season is for non-NFL fans.  It's annoying, stupid, boring, and it takes up all the sports news. 

Being a die-hard NBA fan, I feel slightly different about this time of year in the NBA. Key word being slightly.

This year thus far has been especially difficult due to the circus that surrounds LeBron James and his NBA crown.  There is no need for him to be announcing his decision on national television. That's for things like Magic announcing he was HIV positive, not where Free Agent X will be signing. This sort of attention-whoring makes me like LeBron less.  He's not Brett Favre yet, but he's close to Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling territory. This whole thing is tarnishing his crown.  Soon, his NBA Gold will tarnish and he'll simply be LeBronze.

Summer League Notes

I was checking out some of the box scores of the Vegas Summer League to see how some of the rooks were performing and I came across a few things of note.

Doodi Ebi is back in the NBA where he belongs: three DNP-CDs in three games.  He rides pine with the best of them.

Lance Stephenson - aka "Born Ready" - is making a solid showing thus far.  He's averaging 18 points on 75% shooting - only taking 9 shots per game. I'm not saying that's going to translate to the NBA, but it's a good start for a kid with a lot of question marks.

This isn't so much from the Summer League, but I noticed it on the web page....

I know Wes Johnson got a lot of flak for his draft night outfit, but Cole's "ensemble" is definitely in the same league of ugliness.  Although he has an excuse.  He's from Minnesota.

It's Official!!

Troy Hudson is officially off the books in the NBA.  Yeah, that's right.  NO TEAM is currently paying him. Not the Wolves, not the Warriors, and not the Wizards.

Man that feels good to say.

Speaking of things said...

July 5, 2010

Amare . . . the pioneer

Amare is going to the Knicks. He feels good about it. What if Lebron doesn't go to the Knicks, Amare? Then you are simply playing for the Knicks. Good luck with that.

More importantly for this blog . . . David Lee. Now what for him? Do we get him now? Do we want him? Sliz, others, your thoughts . . .

July 2, 2010

Thank You Memphis

Thank you for not allowing us to over pay for Rudy Gay.  By putting $82 million, 5-year contract in his hands, you've saved us from doing something similar. 

I like Rudy Gay, I think he's a fine young player, but he's not a max contract player.  20 points 6 rebounds isn't worth $16 million a year when that's all there is.  He's Rashard Lewis without the three-ball threat.

Speaking of Rashard Lewis...

I was looking at NBA salaries today and noticed that Mr. Lewis is the second highest paid player in the NBA this year.  He's making $20.5 million and coming off a season in which he scored 14.4 points per game. I mean, that's more than KG scored but he's only making $18.8 million this year.

Big Al's $13 million is looking pretty reasonable right now.

June 29, 2010


Remember this time last year? Remember how good it felt to be off to a fresh, somewhat exciting start? Out with the old regime, in with the new, very different, front office.  The draft in which we gutted our exisiting roster to get additional first round picks. The exciting surrounding the fortune that put Ricky Rubio's draft rights in our hands? It felt good to be restarting.  It was a refreshing feeling to be starting new.

That's where the Washington Wizards fans are sitting right now. They won the lottery and have made some trades and are now staring at an almost fully turned over roster.  Gone are ex-Wolves Mike Miller and Randy Foye, as well as All-Stars Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, and Brendan Haywood. Eddie Jordan has been replaced by Flip Saunders and Josh Howard and Yi Jianlian have been added to the mix which already included budding forward Andre Blatche and franchise guard Gilbert Arenas.  Of course you can't forget about the addition of #1 oveall pick John Wall.

That all sounds pretty good, doesn't it? I know it makes me a little jealous.  On paper, the Wizards certainly turned around last year's debacle very quickly. There are some question marks, but as a fan, you have to be fairly pleased with what they've done in D.C. 

Of course, we Wolves fans know how quickly that can all change. For their fans sake I hope the Wizards have figured out how to turn it around so quickly.

June 24, 2010

Call Me KAHN!!!

There are quite a few stories - opinions really - about how Kahn! is going to screw this draft up somehow. Most of this is centered around the Nets trying to dupe him into giving them a draft pick to NOT take Wes Johnson.  This is something McHale would fall for - well, he'd probably trade two draft picks.  I have to say that in the event he does give the Nets #23 for the rights to draft Johnson, I will officially be done with Kahn!.

And I'm not going to lie. I'm nervous. Nervous as hell. I've spent too much time watching this franchise muck up things that are nearly impossible to muck up not to see the possibility of another poorly done draft and offseason. So, in order to keep myself from overreacting to rumors and such I've decided to put myself in Kahn!'s shoes and highlight a few things I might try to do if I were him.

First thing I'd do is pull the trigger on the Al Jefferson-for-Zach Randolph trade. No hesitation.  Z-Bo is in the last year of his contract versus the 3 years Big Al has left on his.  Maybe you try to buy him out or maybe he ends up being a useful trade piece in the near future. He may have the history of being a lockerroom wrecker, but this lockerroom ain't exactly tight as it is anyways so I don't see much harm in having Randolph for one season.  Getting out from under Al's contract is worth that.  Plus, you then have a decision made for you: Kevin Love is your power forward.

Next I'd make sure and re-sign Darko.  He looked good in the few games he played considering it'd been a year since he'd seen much playing time. He and Love looked good together last year and with a full training camp I think they could be the beginnings of a solid front line.

I would then try to trade #23 pick to Portland for shooting guard Rudy Fernandez.  Rumor has it that the Blazers are trying to get into the first round, somewhere in the 20's and hey, we have a pick that - to us - is totally useless.  Not only is Fernandez a decent player and in the final year of his contract he is Ricky Rubio's running mate on the Spanish national team.  Now, I'm not holding my breath on Rubio ever playing a game in a Wolves uniform, but why not make an effort to improve those chances by trading for, and then extending the contract, for one of his buddies.  If you can sell Fernandez on the franchise then maybe he could help sell Ricky on the Wolves too. 

As far as the #4 pick goes, if Wes Johnson is there, I pick him. If New Jersey really is serious about drafting Wes Johnson I would call around to the few teams below us in the draft about making a deal to trade down. I'd look at Al-Farouq Aminu, the small forward from Wake Forest (CHRIS PAUL JERSEY!!!).  He's a freaky athlete who can get up and down the floor and play defense. No, he's not Corey Brewer. 

If that works out then I look at trading up from #16 to get Gordon Heyward, the kid from Butler.  He's a solid playmaker and he can shoot the ball, two things the Wolves don't have on the wings right now. I would love to see some crazy pick-and-rolls up top with Flynn, Love, and Heyward.

If I can't trade down to take Aminu, then I might trade further down to take Heyward.

As far as the second round picks go, they're always a crapshoot, so I'd just grab the best available talent, regardless of position.  Based on some of the mock drafts that are out there, I would aim for Jarvis Varnado, the shot-blocking power forward from Mississippi and Jon Scheyer, the point guard from Duke.  I kind of hate Scheyer, but he was a four-year starter under Coach K and he can shoot, so he'd be worth a chance at #56 and Varnado averaged 4.7 blocks a game for the past three years.

It all goes down this evening.  Here's hoping the real Kahn! doesn't do something stupid. Or a bunch of something stupids.

May 27, 2010

Eastern Conference Finals

Is it just me or are the Eastern Conference Finals this year a complete pile of moose dung? Seriously. I mean, I think I want the Celtics to win, but Doc Rivers is the worst coach in the NBA and KG is getting old and bitchy.  Orlando is the biggest group of whiners this side of Phil Jackson talking about the Antawn Jamison trade. I'm pretty sure that Dwight Howard was possessed by the ghost of Sam Cassell after their first round series - ask him, he never comitted one foul.  SVG sure likes to talk about the officiating too.  It's like reading about Shaq and his troubles with the refs 15 years ago - I guess Dwight just follows in all of his footsteps?

When Boston put a beat down on the Magic in game three I was happy.  Not because I really want the C's to win, but that I was glad the series was almost over.  Of course SVG did his best Ron Jeremy impression to get his boys up for game 3, which of course got the media all boner-rific for the Magic. Great. This series just got more annoying.  Then the C's made pee pee in thier shorts in game four, further extending the stupidness that is this series.  I mean, it's like watching Patrick Ewing's Knicks against The Mailman's Utah Jazz - there are few things I hated more passionately than those two things. I just want to punch myself in the face.

I guess I want the Celtics to win, but it's not because I want them to play in the Finals.  It's because I don't want to see a rematch of last years NBA Finals. 

But Dave, how can you be so sure the Lakers are going to win!?

That's a fair question. And I'm not sure the Lakers will take care of the Suns - I would bet they will, but I'm not willing to put much money where my mouth is.

But frankly, I wouldn't want to see a Suns-Magic series either. Or a Suns-Celtics series.

I'm only mildly interested in a Lakers-Celtics series and that's mostly because of the historical significance of that match up, not so much because I like either of those teams this year.

(sigh) The Eastern Conference is stupid. Just like football.

May 19, 2010

2010 NBA Durrr - I mean Dra-urrrr. Damn It! NBA Draft!

Not that we, as Wolves fans, should've expected anything more than picking 2 spots below where we should be picking, but it doesn't make it any less disappointing. Kahn! jinxed us earlier this week when he said there were three players that were worthy of being the top pick. Just by saying that he doomed us to the #4 pick. I'd also be interested to hear who Kahn! thought the third player was? John Wall and Evan Turner are no-brainers, but after that you have issues. I guess maybe it was Derrick Favors. Wes Johnson, who most mock drafts have us taking, would be a fine pick, although I don't see him being a star. He's been compared to Joe Johnson, who's turned into a pretty good player - not a max guy in my opinion, but better than Rashard Lewis. By the way, how's that working out against the C's SVG? But I digress...

Dickfer nailed it as far as McFail taking Cole Aldrich. I mean he's white, he's big, and he's from Minnesota. McFail would be drafting himself. I pray to God that's not what Kahn! does. I don't want Greg Ostertag II on my team. Of course McFail could also go in a slightly different direction and take Demarcus Cousins. Based on his Isaiah Rider pick, he didn't have too much of a problem taking attitude problems - and Cousins will be an attitude problem. If they took Cousins or Aldrich I think that would be it for me as far as the Wolves go. I had a hard enough time watching the garbage that was on the court last year.

I also think Dickfer is right about trading down. It'll depend on Wes Johnson's workout, but I think they'll trade down unless he blows them away.

So who do they trade with? Hard to say. Kahn! talks about all the assets we have but, other than picks, I'm not so sure anyone else in the league is interested in what we have. According to the rumor mill there is some talk that Houston and Portland are interested in trading up to #3 or #4, although who knows how desperate they are to do so. Portland has pick #22 which does us no good and frankly they don't really have any players they'd be willing to part with that I'd be willing to trade the #4 pick for. I'd be interested in Rudy Fernandez but only because having him on the roster may make it more likely that Ricky Rubio plays at least one NBA game in a Wolves jersey. I'd need more than that though - say Przybilla and another first round pick next year. I still don't think that'd be enough for me.

Houston is a bit more intriguing, although I'm not sure how possible a deal would be there either. With Yao bitten by the injury bug and no real back up option at center, there is a possibility that they might be willing to take on Al Jefferson and his reasonable contract. He would fit their style of play as he's about as mobile as Yao. And $13 million for a 20-10 guy who doesn't negatively affect your locker room is not a bad deal.

Package Al with the #4 pick for Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, and the #14 pick. Based on mock drafts, Ekpe Udoh is available at #14.

Of course if they did this, I'd suggest throwing out the triangle offense and run something more like Phoenix does. Pick and rolls all day, from all over. Flynn and Love up top with Martin and Budinger spreading the floor. It looks good when I write it.

You would also have to pray there'd be someone that Houston liked as much as they like Kevin Martin, which is unlikely, but this is the type of deal the Wolves should shoot for.

Here's praying Evan Turner somehow slips to 4.

May 18, 2010

The 2010 NBA Draft - Lady Wins Bingo

Was that not the most awkward, funny, and awesomest (it's a word) draft ever? Please watch the whole thing if you can find it. You have Granger for the Pacers pissing off whatever pick they get because he is not Wall, you have ESPN saying the widow's last name was "Poland", you have the Nets owner who wants to takeover China and the world with the Nets. Oh, and Kahn! gets asked a question and he just simply explains he understands how to be a GM. Aaron Brooks . . . nice glasses. Tyreke Evans, are you happy with the selection? Seriously, when the Wizards won, the only thing I could think of is a scene from Swingers. The blackjack scene where she gets 21 and gets comped breakfast or something. Everyone claps. Some hotel like Gold Spike or Lady Luck (if it still was functional).

Who are the other players in this draft (besides Udoh, of course)? If McFail is picking, we are taking Cole Aldrich . . . easy. And that might be a good pick, I am just saying what McFail would do. You know Kahn! is trading down. In fact, I say we lock up every 1st round pick in a draft so we ensure we get the 1st overall. 2039, here we come. The rebuilding ends that year. I can wait.

Kahn! will trade down and get: a hot dog, a hamburger, milkshake, potato chips, Atari 2600, bag of basketballs, Pop Hits 2002 Volume 1, weber grill, half a cow, some basketball player, daily card from the U, chain link net, new pair of Chuck Taylors, dorm fridge, rotary phone, front row courtside seats . . . for Sioux Falls, . . . sweet jesus will this be great.

May 17, 2010

'Sheed Says It Straight

"A lot of them jump shots, the buttholes get tight."

Rasheed Wallace in reference to the inability of the Magic to make threes in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals.

It's true, them buttholes do get tight.

May 11, 2010

Now McFail WANTS To Coach?

Does anyone else think it's weird that Kevin McHale is actually expressing interest in coaching? I mean, he spent most of his final three years in Minnesota talking about how he didn't want to coach - even when he was having some moderate success. He complained about the travel and the long hours. He even flat out said he had no desire to coach, but was simply doing the owner a favor.

But now he wants to coach?

If he hadn't been so adamant about not wanting to coach, I could see why he'd be interested in the Chicago job. He spent some time as a VP trying to get Kirk Hinrich to Minnesota. Noah and Gibson are raw bigs that could learn a few things from McHale. And really, who wouldn't love to coach Derrick Rose?

But he was so against wanting to coach - well, at least up until the Wolves fired him. Then he was interested. Seems like maybe he's not so much interested in dancing, but wants to go to the ball badly enough to pretend?

May 3, 2010

The Magic of David Stern

I have an announcement to make. There will be four days off, during a series, in-between playoff basketball games.

I know that in the past, the longest I would go within a series is three days. That is much too short. Four days it will be.

Why? Um...I couldn't tell you, beyond my own self evaluation of being dumb as shit.

April 17, 2010

Q: What's wrong with this picture?

A: Three players are in the lane before the free throw has been shot. That is a lane violation.

Wait - this is the NBA. AND it's the playoffs. Excuse me...

A: Nothing.

Get ready for nearly two months of the same old bullshit.

April 7, 2010

The Ghost of Myles Brand comes clean

Drew mentions both sides in his post, and I have to be honest (and hopefully not annoying) in using this to reply. There is one giant hurdle with the NCAA and expanding the tournament. Before I get to that, I'll list the minor bumps that won't bother this cash cow at all:

1. Either way, they make a shitload of money. Sure, they give some of that to schools. Some.
2. Their placing the same bland court on each site. This is a personal annoyance, but keeping the regular court was just as much the fun of it. When you're watching games, how do you know the difference if the game is in Salt Lake City, New Orleans, or Providence? You don't, which is pretty annoying. I couldn't figure out what game I was watching, which was maybe their point.
3. Jim Nantz made sure to mention the tribute to Brand on the court of the Final Four. Clark Kellogg, as a good employee, echoed the statements. Brand always did a good job of stroking both sides of the NCAA lifeblood: the money, and the schools.

Brand, as President of the NCAA, was keen to point out that it wasn't exactly beneficial for the largest schools to adopt a win at any cost view. He didn't do anything about it because, well, there's nothing he could do.

Brand also made public the graduation rates of each school's basketball team. This usually came up around tournament time. here's a chance to enforce something. Such as, if your graduation is below a certain percentage, you can't play in the tournament. Whether you agree with that kind of rule or not, it's something he COULD have enforced.

But like the parent who simply calls out the child of his problems to make them known and then does nothing about it, the problem (it's only a problem to the NCAA, not the schools, of course) wouldn't go away. Myles would just smile and cash in the free spa visit ticket from Dick Vitale.

The expansion of the tournament comes down to one thing. And if the NCAA simply comes to terms and admits this, it can pave the way for a Division I football tournament.


Whew. Felt good. That's the elephant in the room. Can we all admit this? Once we get past it, we can deal with 90 schools in a tournament...40 of which are actually any good. But that's the fence, NCAA. You gonna climb over it?