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.
May 20, 2008
Last night the Hornets lost to the Spurs finalizing the final match-ups in the Conference Finals. The Hornets did an amazing thing this year, they made people realize how good they were and got their attendance to a point where it no longer seems like they’ll have to move from New Orleans. Chris Paul had a breakout year to become the best point guard in the league. The Hornets got much needed experience (which really looked to be what San Antonio used to finish the Hornets at home.) Look out for them next year.
I’m taking San Antonio in 6 over the Lakers. A lot of people have the Lakers as a favorite, and a Lakers Celtics Finals would be crazy, but I still think the Lakers are a year away. The Spurs have had a much tougher road to the Conference Finals. When they played the Suns it only went 5 games, but it was 5 hard fought games. Plus they didn’t get a rest because the Hornets took down the Mavs in 5 games as well. Then it took 7 games to put away the Hornets. I have a feeling that the Lakers will come out big in Game 1, but wil then start having problems in Game 2. Kobe has been good, but it seems like he’s shifting back into a me-first offensive style. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how the games actually play out.
Boston against Detroit should be good times. The “best team of the regular season” has been anything but in the playoffs. If not for Paul Pierce having the biggest game of his career (he may have had a better game before, but this was a game 7 shootout with Lebron James) the Celtics could have been sent home. If a Cleveland player (other than Lebron and Delonte) was able to hit a couple of shots it could have made the difference. Then it also took the Celtics seven games to beat the Hawks? I am going to pick Detroit in 6 for this series. Detroit knows how to keep their composure, and they look like a better team than they were last year. I don’t see Boston being able to maintain unless Ray Allen is able to make his presence known. Boston won’t be able to maintain for long if they don’t turn things around. The Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers are both teams that should have taken Boston no more than 5 games a piece to beat. They are currently underachieving by 4 losses at this point (by my reckoning). I think it may be too late for Boston to turn things around. Detroit is going to be fresh when they tip off tonight and I think that they have a real chance to steal home-court advantage in one of the first two games.
Again time will tell, but I’m feeling that we may be seeing a Detroit vs. San Antonio Finals again. David Stern will not be happy, and neither will I. But then again the Hornets were the last team in contention that I was able to root for. Now it’s time to root for good games and see which team is truly the best this year.
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 »
February 2, 2008
The Super Bowl is tomorrow. I’m going with the Patriots. Let’s say 31-21. I think that the Giants will beat the spread, but will be unable to win the game. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.
The Madden predictions for the Super Bowl. Well it doesn’t seem to have been wrong since they started doing it. And I think it’s going to be right again this year.
I talked about this in Podcast 9, but I’m still excited that Chris Webber is rejoining the Warriors. He has yet to play for them, but I think he’ll make a good addition to the team. They are a run and gun team, while Webber’s knees may not be great for that type of offense. But having Webber as a second option, slowing down the game on occasion and then speeding it back up when he’s out might serve the purpose of leaving there opponents with having to constantly change their offense to adapt to Golden State’s play. It’s another thing where we’ll just have to wait and see how it all turns out though.
I’ve been fascinated by the Hollinger’s playoff odds since I first saw them. It currently has the Trailblazers at a 48.3% chance of making the playoffs. They need to pick up their game or else they aren’t gonna make it this year. On the other side, though, Golden State is currently at a 74.9% chance of making the playoffs. One of the teams will make, but hopefully they both will. Portland needs to start really playing. They lost a close game to the Cavaliers that they should have won, and they squeaked out a game against the Knicks. They’ve beaten teams that played better, but they aren’t playing as well as they were a month ago. Read the rest of this entry »
January 27, 2008
The Suns are planning to play a game outdoors. The NBA will not be upstaged by the NHL and their outdoor hockey. In all seriousness, though, now that I’ve heard about it I’d like to go to the game. Maybe this can become a more common thing.
Here is an article that Jeff and I discussed for a moment in Podcast 8. It is about the Blazers and their “old men” ways.
On the last links post I complained about how bad the games were last night. Well the double header today may make up for it. Apparently I just need to get out of the house more on Saturday nights.
A Red Sox fan finds out that success and championships has its negative consequences for the fans as well. We’re beginning to feel this in Portland with the Trailblazers as tickets are beginning to be more and more scarce. The deals aren’t as good of deals as they used to be either. But it is what comes with success. Other Read the rest of this entry »
January 17, 2008
So I just found my old address on the internet. It’s from a family newsletter that is now published online (I guess when your extended family reaches upwards of 600 it’s much cheaper to do it that way.) At least it’s not my current address, though. Just makes me a little uneasy how easy it was to find.
Thought that this story about a Packers fan that went over the top when disciplining his son for not wanting to wear a Green Bay jersey during their win against Seattle.
A breakdown of this weekends NFL games that mirrors my thoughts. Only it’s from a guy who knows more about football than I do so it’s much better than my solo breakdown of the game would be.
Turns out its not such a great thing for a city to host a college football team. I used to live in Corvallis and I do have to say that the outcome of the Beavers winning or losing had a definite effect on how the rest of the night would play out. It was a college town so there was weird crap happening all the time, but on those nights where we lost the party participants did seem more aggressive. Or at least they didn’t care how much damage they did to whatever was in their path. Hey I’ve been one of them more than once (although I usually just head straight home and pout.) It’s part of the excitement of college football. Read the rest of this entry »