Thursday, June 9, 2011
Then the game played out and something happened I never imagined, James played more like "pre-Gasol" Kobe Bryant. He just looked disinterested. Almost, as if to say, "fine, you think it's Wades' team? Let's see how they do without me." Seriously, I have watched the game twice now and that is the only conclusion I can come to. James' inability to get involved crippled the Heat. The Mavericks had no business winning the game. Terry finally contributes with 8 points in the 4th quarter, Kidd slashed to the basket and made the defense work (oh yea, that was Barea) Kidd continues to be dead, and Dirk was missing shots he would normally hit with ease. Yet, it was enough.
As both teams head into Thursdays Game 5, we see two stories shaping up rit in front of us. The Mavericks are finding just enou ways to stay in the games and make this one of the most exciting series in history, while the Heat are on the verge of tearing at the seems. Yes, the Heat prognostication seems a little drastic but if James comes close to emulating Game 4 than will they not be unraveled?
As a fan of the Mavericks, I offer no predicition or false hope ( if I did it would read like this: LeBron James takes every shot in the first quarter and then walks off the floor with both hands flashing "#1" never to be seen again. But I won't share hopes). Instead, I hope we continue to see a great series. Let's appreciate greatness when greatness is before us.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Butler (8 seed) and VCU (11) have reached the Final Four by defeating the likes of Kansas, Florida, Pittsburgh, and Florida State...OK, well, the first three were upsets. No one, expert or amateur, predicted VCU to escape the first round, much less make the Final Four. (This is the part where we recall what Dick Vitale had to say about VCU making the tourney.) As great as the stories have been, does the public really want to see Butler of VCU crowned champion?
March Madness is great for the casual observer. Cinderella stories are essentially what drives the NCAA tournament but are they really good for the sport? Sure, it is an entertaining story but ratings show that people would rather view two "powerhouses" instead of two mid conference teams. Veiwership is the ultimate reason for the tournament field being as large as it is. More viewers equals more revenue. You understand.
I find March Madness frustrating. It tears me in two between the fan who wants to see strictly entertaining games and the fan who wants to watch the sport be played at its best by its best. The concept of a playoff in NCAA football is entertaining and the case is strong for one. My hesitation lies in its ability to stay exclusive. If, and only if, the officials can gurantee to limit a football playoff to the top 6 or 8 teams would I sign off. Remember, viewership is the goal of all this; not Championships. The more teams brought into the field the more people watch your program. You understand.
So as America sits back this weekend to watch Cinderella prolong midnight, ask yourself if the idea of Butler or VCU calling themselves the best team in the nation sits well with you as a fan of sport.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Top Underrated NBA players is compiled on a wide range of sources. As I am currently reading Jonah Keri"s The Extra 2%, my mind is forcing itself to look beyond the traditional statistics. Thus, along with personal perception and traditional stat lines (i.e PPG/RPG/APG), I will also be incorporating Hollinger's saber-metric system ratings. (No Big Baby, you will not be in this list I don't care how much you try and say you deserve it.)
|That attachment to her shoulder is|
Nets forward Kris Humphries.
9. Danny Granger SF-Pacers- Scoring 20 points a game is enough to justify the offense running through him even though he is only pulling 2 rebounds per game. Leading the Pacers to playoff contention, even after a coaching change, seems to go unnoticed.
8. Dwight Howard C- Magic- That is correct. 23 PPG, 14.3 RPG and a PER of 26.27 (2nd in the NBA) and he still does not get the respect that he deserves. He is officiated differently than any other superstar. His supporting cast is dependent on the "three" ball far too much to be considered a legitimate threat in the playoffs. Yet, he continues to dominate the NBA and lead his team to contention every year.
7. Luol Deng SF-Bulls- Derrick Rose is the flavor of the month and deservedly so. However, without Deng the Bulls would lose not only 17 points a game but also their top perimeter defender. According to Hollinger, if Deng were not on the Bulls, they could expect a 7 win/loss differential. According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Deng is an "All League defender, he guards everybody." Pretty substantial for a guy we never hear about.
6. Nene C-Nuggets- He has no stat line that stands out to you. He only brings in 7 rebounds a game, little offensive production but he is always around. Watch the Nuggets and you cannot help but notice Nene. He is the Gruden of the NBA, nothing great but for some reason he is all over my television.
5. Monta Ellis SG-Warriors- Electric comes to mind. So does Allen Iverson but we will instead focus on electric. Bringing 24 points into every game along with almost 6 assists, Ellis finds himself overshadowed by Steph Curry and the obscurity that is due to the Warriors being forever irrelevant.
4. Kevin Martin SG- Rockets- Top 20 in both PER and EWA (estimated wins over replacement) as well as 23 points a game and somehow he continues to go unmentioned by most media outlets. Sure, winning will alleviate some of this issue but the man has game regardless of wins and losses.
3. Kevin Love PF/C- Timberwolves- How does a guy whose historic double-double streak made nightly highlights make the underrated list? Did you know that besides his 20 points and 15 rebounds per game he has an estimated win/loss differential of 16.5. Here is a little perspective. Kobe Bryant has a 15.9, Nash has 11.7 and Dirk has 13.7. Those three have 4 regular season MVPs.
1. Zach Randolph PF-Grizzlies- Is this the same guy who was traded by numerous teams because of character issues and work ethic? On a team with Rudy Gay (if I ever write an "Overrated" list I believe I have a lead candidate), OJ Mayo, and Mark Gasol, Randolph is the catalyst. Averaging 20 PPG as well as 12.3 RPG, Randolph has carried the Grizzlies to playoff contention in the Western Conference and you never even heard about it.
Monday, March 21, 2011
|This is the view during my offline |
draft. Now you know why
Im doing this online.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Check out our picks:
1. Albert Pujols- There's no other option here. Not only is he the best 1B but he's far and away the best player in baseball. He hits way above a .300 average, 35 plus home runs, and he'll steal you a dozen or so bases. Also he's a two time gold glove winner. He's the complete package.
2. Joey Votto- He's your reigning NL MVP for a reason folks. He had a higher OPS, AVG, and SLG Pct than Pujols with just 5 fewer homeruns and the same amount of steals. He's only 27 and could be a stud in this league for years to come.
3. Miguel Cabrera- So maybe he has a tiny problem with alcohol. Nothing a little rehab won't fix. Anyways he's another 1B who's going to hit for power and average. He's almost 35 and .300 in the bank. If he stays off of grandpa's cough medicine then we could be looking at another monster year from Miggy.
4. Mark Teixeira- Another guy who has huge power at the 1B position. He's had 30 home runs and 100 rbis for seven seasons in a row. If he comes back healthy then you can expect that number to increase to 8.
5. Prince Fielder- His numbers in 2010 were down from his incredible 2009 season, but I expect that Fielder will bounce back. Sure, it may have something to do with it being a contract year because let's face it, money talks. You can look for another 40 home run season from the Prince.
6. Adrian Gonzalez- I'm starting to notice that there's a trend at 1B. Here's your 6th guy in a row who has, or has the ability, to hit for 35 homeruns and a .300 average. If you aren't familiar with baseball then you have no clue how deadly of a combination that is. The fact that Adrian moved to a much better lineup in Boston means that his production should only keep going up.
7. Ryan Howard- The former MVP used to be the clear cut number two on this list, but his production took a big drop in 2010. He still hit 31 homers last year, which isn't a bad number at all, until you consider he hit 45 the year before, and 58 back in 2006. Hopefully Howard can bounce back after last year's disappointment.
8. Justin Morneau- I'm listing Justin at 8 with lots of optimism that he recovers from his injury. Morneau missed significant amounts of time last season with a concussion and post-concussion syndrome, but if he comes back healthy, then he has the potential to be a top 5 1B in the league.
9. Kendy Morales- Another guy who is extremely productive when healthy. I expect him to stay healthy and perform at a high level all year. As long as he doesn't go to crazy after a grand slam again...
10. Billy Butler- The local kid from here in Jacksonville, FL is only 24 and has all the potential to be a great star. He has incredible plate discipline and will almost guarantee you a high batting average. He hit 45 and 51 doubles the past two years. Imagine if half of those doubles start going over the fence next season.