October 31, 2008
The NBA season kicked off this Tuesday so it’s time for some thoughts.
Aldridge and Roy
Greg Oden gets hurt in his first game in the NBA and is now out 2-4 weeks. People are making a ton of Sam Bowie jokes but I feel these are misplaced. As are the feeling that Oden should be the savior of the franchise. With players like Roy, Aldridge, and Fernandez there are plenty of other places to go. The Blazers will just have to figure out a way to utilize Pryzbilla in the starting line-up which is something that worked pretty well last season. Plus as the season moves along I’m predicting other players on the team will improve as well such as Channing Frye, Travis Outlaw, Jerryd Bayless, Sergio Rodriguez. It was one game and it was against an LA team firing on all cylinders while it looked like only Rudy Fernandez was at full speed on Tuesday. I still have high hopes for the TrailBlazers and expect them to reach the playoffs regardless of what Oden does. John Canzano of The Oregonian agrees with me.
Then we have my Golden State Warriors. With an off-season where we lost Baron Davis and Monta Ellis was injured in a freak moped accident (how bizarre is that) things are not looking great for the fans of Oakland. Luckily Correy Maggette was added to the mix and in his first game came out and led the team in scoring. Stephen Jackson played well also. Al Harrington is asking to be traded, and I feel that it’s probably time to let him go anyway as he doesn’t seem to be fully utilized in Nelson system. Hopefuly a complementary piece can come back in trade. I’m a fan and I hold out hope that they can make the playoffs, but things are going to have to fall into place pretty quickly for that to be an option.
People are talking about how the West is falling off compared to last year. And it pretty much had to. So many teams were at a basically level point of competitiveness in the West last year as the former(?) powerhouses of San Antonio, Dallas, and Phoenix saw a slight decline while other teams are becoming the new powerhouses like New Orleans, LA Lakers, Utah. The Rockets have maintained for a while, but adding Artest seems a savvy move that I think will pay dividends over the next couple of years. I think they’ll at least make it out of the first round of the playoffs (finally!).
The East is looking better with the Knicks and Heat looking like they could be competitive as opposed to the total pushovers they were last year. I still think the top of the east comes down to Boston, Detroit, and Cleveland, but the Raptors are on the rise and Dwight Howard and the Magic are nothing to trifle with.
My initial feeling is that we’ll see a New Orleans vs. Detroit final as New Orleans figures out how to make it through the playoffs and Detroit’s young talent becomes more valuable while the veterans will see little drop-off. I give it to New Orleans, though.
August 30, 2008
I’m visiting my parent’s this holiday weekend and am watching the football games. I have to say that I was pretty disappointed with Oregon State’s performance on Thursday against Stanford. They lost because of stupid mistakes, but they normally start off pretty slow so hopefully next week they can work on limiting their turnovers.
Chad Johnson has changed his legal name so he is now Chad Javon Ocho Cinco. While I can see how his actions may be distracting it does not seem like he ever does anything to harm anybody. He just seems to be enjoying life as much as possible. Good luck Chad Ocho Cinco.
Chad Ocho Cinco
The Golden State Warriors are investigating Monta Ellis’ injury. With how much money has been guaranteed for him they should follow up on everything. They’ve set him up to be the face of the franchise (I love Stephen Jackson but have you seen his face?), so the Warriors must do everything in their power to keep him healthy. I guess more on this to come. Read the rest of this entry »
April 27, 2008
I’m gearing up for game 4 between San Antonio and Phoenix. I want Phoenix to win for a couple of reasons. First, I made a bet with Jeff that no one in the West would sweep. Second, I really wanted to see a Lakers-Suns match up this year. That had a lot of potential plot lines. Shaq vs. Kobe (I liked the NBA Playoffs commercial they did too), Shaq vs. Los Angeles, Phoenix has knocked the Lakers out of the playoffs for the last couple years. The Phoenix vs. Lakers games in the playoffs were already really good, I think that adding in Shaq made it even more interesting. And the third reason is that my buddy Abel is a HUGE Suns fan. Things aren’t looking too great for Phoenix, but Abel will shortly be a father (his boy is due next week.)
One more thing on a Phoenix vs Lakers series. Kobe has been smiling so much lately I think he needs a little run-in with Raja Bell.
Delonte West just hit a killer three pointer to put Washington down 3-1 on the series. It seems like if at least two other people on Cleveland can have good offensive games that the Cavaliers looks like a team that should be in the Playoffs. Delonte West and Daniel Gibson were the ones for Cleveland in this Game 4. It looks like Cleveland should be able to finish this series without too much difficulty. Now what happens when they get to Round 2? Read the rest of this entry »
April 11, 2008
I’m currently watching the Blazers play horribly against the Kings. What I really want to do is watch the Lakers play the Hornets. How is this not on national television? I want to see these two teams. I’ll probably see them play sometime in the playoffs but things are heating up and on a Friday night I’d be watching that at the sports bar rather than sitting at home watching a less than exciting Portland game.
Maybe I’m just feeling bitter that it now seems like my Golden State Warriors may not make the playoffs (true fans always keep hope until it’s statistically impossible). So if the Warriors do not make it I’m going to have to throw my support behind the Hornets. With CP3 hopefully clinching up an MVP award tonight the Hornets are not a team that someone wants to go up against in the playoffs.
Just eight more days until the playoffs kick off. Maybe it’s time for me to do some end of the season links as the game progresses.
I really enjoyed this website about LaMarcus Aldridge being the league Most Improved Player. Being a comic book fan and a Portland resident it resonated with me. Good job Portland in knowing your audience. Now, is it going to work on the voting committee?
Paul Shirley retiring? Well at least he had a good run. He managed to get a book published was able to travel the world was playing a game and was paid for the whole thing. I have a feeling that he’s going to be alright in his post-basketball career. Although I wonder if he’ll ever be able to get away from basketball or if he’ll just explore where he fits within the world. And a shameless plug to read his book. Anyone who wants to know what the harder side of professional basketball is give it a gander.
March 27, 2008
Good by Chris Webber. I enjoyed you in the beginning of your career as you played on my team. I enjoyed watching you make Sacramento a power to be reckoned with. I even got excited when I heard you were coming back to Golden State. Now you get to retire a Warrior. Leaving the league with the team you started with. Thank you for your wonderful career.
March 25, 2008
Poor Dallas. I had already picked them as the team to fall out of the playoffs and then Dirk gets hurt. As a note I said either Phoenix or Dallas would fall and then Phoenix won their next seven games so I’m stuck with Dallas as my prediction. But Dallas is not looking good at only 1 game ahead of Golden State and only 1 1/2 games ahead of Denver. Tonight they play the Clippers. If they do not win this game I don’t see them being able to stay where they’re at.
Denver and Golden State are going to win more games than they lose, but I’m not sure that Dallas will do the same thing. Dallas and San Antonio are the worst teams in the West’s top 10 in the past ten games. Dallas is 5-5 and San Antonio is 4-6. Most teams only have about 12 games left on their schedule. So if Dallas loses two more games in that stretch than Denver or Golden State they are done for.
Should Avery Johnson be on the chopping block? I say no. He’s done amazing things with this team. I think the fault lies in the trade. If they had gotten Jason Kidd a month earlier they might have been able to do it. And maybe those 12 games will be enough time. But with Dirk out indefinitely (which can mean anything from next week to next season) they are going to have to rely on their bench, but the trade I think hurt them there too. The West is entirely too strong to change the decision maker in mid-stream.
March 13, 2008
I just saw that Golden State lost to Phoenix. I was sad. Golden State is better than Phoenix. But regardless of that the standings tonight were very interesting to me. Like the fact that Golden State is in danger being only 5 games back. Denver is only 7 and smelling blood.
I’m scared for Dallas unless they put on a really strong showing. Actually I’m excited to see what happens in the West here at the end where a lot of games happen in conference. The Blazers just lost a game to Sacramento. I’m still projecting Portland to finish above 500 at a win rate of 43.
I got off topic there for a second, but the West is looking ridiculous. Denver is having problems because they can’t reach that .600 mark that’s needed to make a playoff seed in the West. And then Hollinger has Chicago making the playoffs. Really?! Portland made a ridiculous come around to be a .500 team. Denver is aFREAKINGmazing and might not make the playoffs? And yet Indiana (who still hasn’t recovered from the brawl) is in playoff contention. I mean the team that Iverson left has a 98.0 percent chance while Denver has a 49.0.
I want to say that it is ridiculous that Denver may not make the playoffs (although look out Dallas, things are awful close.) How is it that sub-.400 teams can make it to the playoffs while post-.500 teams can miss? I think it’s time to rethink things.
The best strategy I’ve heard is to allow the top six teams in each division clinch a spot and the other four spots are decided by record. It’s enough that any travel concerns will be put mute. Unless Portland is playing London in the first round and they have to skip so many days that they don’t know what week it is. Oh wait, that won’t happen for a decade. But something needs to be done to even out the East and the West. While there are some dominant teams the difference in competition between conferences is so striking it’s nearly the difference between 5A or 4A ball. You have a some teams who could compete on the 5A level in 4A ball. But some of the 5A teams could compete on another level, and almost everyone in 5A ball could at least evenly match the highest end 4A competitor. C’mon, the reason that high school has so many levels is that there are that many level of athletes. I think that the NBA may need to take a breather before they commit to too much expansion.