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.
April 23, 2008
After a week of rest it was time to break down the playoffs. And then we talked about hockey again. We’re getting better at it, although we’re still pretty bad. The non-hockey stuff though, pure gold.
February 6, 2008
Here’s a book I’m planning on getting the next time I can find time to actually make it to a book store. It’s called The Kitchen Readings: Untold Stories of Hunter S. Thompson. The excerpt was great, although a bit PG-13. Good times though at Hunter’s sporting events. My favorite line came early: “Hunter had no problem with children, as long as they were willing to gamble along with everyone else.” I’ll let you know how things go when I’m done.
If anybody saw that terrible Tom Brady post I regretted and eventually took down I want to make amends. A much better post than mine was done over at Girls Gone Sports. So in case anyone hasn’t figured it out the Patriots lost. I can once again root for the Celtics. I will no longer worry about the cloud of smug consuming America from Boston.
Shaq goes to the Suns. I was discussing this with various people and think that the Suns may improve because of this. They may also tank terribly. I have to think the team will do well though and especially against teams with big men. I think Marion will do well in Miami as well. Yeah, Miami probably won’t be in championship contention anytime soon, but Marion will keep doing what he does. With Wade as the other big name he’ll get the respect he feels he deserves. I think it was always hard for him to realize that Nash and Stoudamire were what the team was really about. But he’ll either be the guy in Miami, or duck out and find a different team next year. Time will tell. Read the rest of this entry »
January 16, 2008
My question is which of the teams in the West won’t make the playoff. They have ten teams that legitimately deserve (at least so far) to make it into the post-season. There are five teams that look like they’ll finish with over 50 wins this season. Then the other five look like they’ll finish over .500. The East has just six teams that are on pace to finish over .500. Can we just take the two teams from the West that should’ve made it and take away the 7th and 8th place spots in the East and have our teams compete in that bracket. It would make for a more exciting playoffs than the uninspired first (and some second) round play in the playoffs last year from the East.
I’ve been working on some statistical analysis regarding the streaks that teams go on. I’m hoping to be able to post a couple examples and break down what it means pretty soon. It’s just taking a while to build the system. But hey, on to the links.
The Blowtorches take on the enmity that exists between Ben Wallace and Joakim Noah. I do think that Joakim Noah is a player that is going to be pretty good. I do think that Ben Wallace has seen better days, but he is still a veteran and a presence on defense as well as the boards. Noah can complain all he wants, but all he’ll be doing is hurting his team. Read the rest of this entry »