Friday, March 30, 2007

News amd Notes

The regular season is drawing to a close, with only 12 regular season games remaining! So we being here with my favoite conference, the Eastern. Don't look now, but the New York Knicks, a team that I praised on here for extending Isiah, have gone 1-6 since the extension, and are now a season high 10 games below .500. Perfect timing.. Staying on the Knick front, has anyone seen Steve Francis play lately? wow. This guy use to be a stud, a 1 on 1 nightmare, now all he is is a headache and a ball stopper.. He actually makes the Knicks MISS Jamaal Crawford. Remaining in the East, how about the Indiana Pacers? The season of injuries and turmoil just keeps coming. A team that was once on the cusp of the Finals, is now a team that is struggling to make the playoffs. Look for there to be some major changes in the off-season, regardless of wether or not they make the playoffs, starting with franchise PF/C Jermaine O'neal. Shifting gears to the west, the Los Angeles Clippers seem to be playing the best ball of the season. As of today the Clips are sitting in the 7th spot, with a favorable schedule down the stretch. What makes this all so interesting is they're doing this without Injured G's Sam Cassell and Shaun Livingston. I am one who wouldn't mind seeing the Suns V the Clips in the first round! The recent TEAR that Kobe Bryant has gone on, has brought many people to begin spectulating on whether or not he's a legit MVP option??? I look at it like this... From the start of the season to today, it's been a two horse race between Steve Nash (my choice) and Dirk. Both Phoenix and Dallas have been the class of the league since October, and even though the Lakers are in the 6th spot in the west, to say that the Lakers are on the same level is just not right. Also, look at it like this, Dallas and Phoenix have already surpassed 50 wins, and no player has won the MVP award on a non 50 win team since 1982. Think about it. Rookie Note: Did anybody see Grizzlies rookie Terrence Kinsey? The rookie from South Carolina went 10-18 from the field and a late 3 (24 pts) to clinch an 88-86 win against the surging Lakers... only thing better than the Lakers losing was kobe's stat line... 7-26 from the field for a total of 23 points... First Round exit here we come!!!! And just in case you live in box, Ron Artest sent a text message to Corliss Williamson saying that he was contemplating retirement...I hope he does. All he's done since he's been in the league is ruin TWO franchises (Kings and Pacers), go crazy on my native Michiganders, beat up his wife, refuse to feed his dogs, ask for time off after 10 games and shave crazy stuff in his head, for the love of God he put "spinners" on his DaDa's..... retire Ron, please!!

Icelandic League Note: Were in the finals!!! Game 1 is saturday night!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Little bit of everything

For any of you following on here, you'll know that in my last post I mentioned high energy guy Renaldo Balkman, and how I think he will be a solid pro... and how did he respond? 7-7 fg's, 15pts, 12 rebounds in 28 minutes in fueling a Knick comeback against the Raptors. Hey, maybe now he'll get more minutes. The Celtics made history the other night in San Antionio, THEY WON!! First win in S.A. in 17 years!! It's times like these that make me proud to be a C's fan! The race for the East's final playoff spot is starting to really get "competitive". The Knicks are trying to catch the Nets who are 1.5 games ahead of them as of today, but thats not the amazing part, this is..... both teams are a combined 10 games UNDER .500! In the west the sub- .500 teams are busy worrying about getting fined for talking about Greg Oden/Kevin Durant (Boston doesn't have to worry, they've already been fined 30k).It now seems like Kobe is going to return to the Kobe of old. With the lakers in the middle if a 7 game losing streak last week, Kobe finally decided he had had enough. He then proved that he's the most talented player in the L, going off for back to back 50+ games, with the first being a 65 point explosion. All I can say about that is simple...enjoy the first round, because that'll be as far as you get! Millwaukee fired it's head coach last week, not his fault he has no players, and when he does they're hurt, but I guess thats the biz.
Little bit on the college scene... I grew up watching the 1990 and 1991 UNLV Runnin' Rebels (I still think the '90 team is one of the best ever), and was highly excited to see this year's Rebels back in the sweet 16! But make no mistake, the 2007 version of the Runnin' Rebels is nothing like the great teams Tark had, and are hardly the "rebels" that donned the jersey in the early 90's, but either way, I'm glad to see them back. Next stop for the Rebs, Oregon. Kevin Durant and Texas were eliminated late sunday by USC, is there any chance he comes back? His parents say maybe, however Texas head coach Rick Barnes isn't so sure. Cnnsi is reporting that Durant to the NBA is no lock. None the less, his Freshman year was one for the ages, and if he doesn't get national player of the year, then something is seriously wrong.

Monday, March 19, 2007

More News... More Notes... More Basketball....

For any of you following on here, you'll know that in my last post I mentioned high energy guy Renaldo Balkman, and how I think he will be a solid pro... and how did he respond? 7-7 fg's, 12 rebounds in 28 minutes in fueling a Knick comeback against the Raptors. Hey, maybe now he'll get more minutes. The Celtics made history the other night in San Antionio, THEY WON!! First win in S.A. in 17 years!! It's times like these that make me proud to be a C's fan!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

News and Notes

In a time when the NBA is in the background of the NCAA tournament, there are still many things taking place across the L. First off, today Knicks owner James Dolan extended Isiah Thomas' contract for multi- years. All I can say about that is this.. about time. It should be noted that I am NOT a Knicks fan, but Thomas has done a very solid job with a team that was expected to do nothing. He has used interesting schemes and rotations to keep them playing with energy. Mixing stars like Marbury and Curry with high energy guys like David Lee (who smashed on me in college) and Renaldo Balkman (I like him a lot). Thomas deserved to get the extension, and I hope they make the playoffs. On the opposite side of the fence: The Indiana Pacers, proud owners of an 8 game losing streak, droppping them a season high 4 games below .500. I don't understand why the Pacers insist on playing Jamaal Tinsley (who was recently suspended for excessive tardiness). I didn't like him at Iowa State, and I don't like his game now. Someone tell me one POSITIVE thing he has done during his tenure in Indiana... the silence says it all. I am a Rick Carlisle fan (member of the greatest NBA team ever, '86 C's) and he does have Bird's and Walsh's support, but how much longer can he hold on? When your All-Star center has stopped listening and losing productivity, and you just traded for Mike Duneleavy thinking he can help, maybe a change at the top can be good. And if Carlisle stays, I would be willing to bet that Tinsley doesn't, too bad, go play at the Rucker. On the same side of poor as the pacers, would be the struggling Orlando Magic, who started the season at 14-5. With every loss the pressure continues to mount on Brian Hill, and it's probably just a matter of time before the axe comes down. I do like the Magic, but there run at the end of last season put a lot of high expectations on them for this season, and they haven't lived up to them yet. My personal opionion is that they're a player away from being contenders in the East. So don't be surprised when this summer comes and they move classy Grant Hill's expiring contract and make a strong pitch to Vince Carter, who lives nearby in the off-season. Rashard Lewis will also be available and could demand some attention.

Interesting note: Icelandic league playoffs start next week!! Currently holding down a tie for first and home court, final two games this week to decide homecourt...

Saturday, March 3, 2007

NCAA Update

There won't be many NCAA posts on here, but today I am making an exception. I got to play in the NCAA Tournament at EKU in 2005, the school's first trip to the dance since 1979. It was a time in my life I will never forget. So the reason for this post is simple. EKU is playing in the OVC Finals again tonight, with a trip to the dance on the line, against Austin Peay... Game is set for 8 on ESPN!!! Go Colonels!!

What Could Have Been, What Might Be....

Chauncey Billups. Joe Johnson. What do these two All-Stars have in common? Both of them were drafted by my beloved celtics in the Lottery, and both were traded away way to soon. Let us begin with Chauncey Billups, the 3rd pick in the 1997 NBA draft. Chauncey was a victim of the Rick Pitino era in Boston, an era that I believe set the C's back roughly 6 years, and we are still feeling it. Billups never even had the opportunity to shine in Bosotn, or play for the matter. He left Colorado after his Freshman season, making him a 19 year old rookie. Of course he was going to need time to develop, but Pitino (a GREAT college coach) traded him away BEFORE the all-star break of his rookie season!! It's save to say that had he been given a chance to play significant minutes, he probably wouldn't have been traded so early. But Bosotn was looking for that quick fix, something to happen fast and speed up the re-building process, and it didn't work, and we lost a a very good point Guard early in his career. Now let's move to the Ultra-Smooth Joe Johnson. Johnson was drafted 10th overall in the 2001 NBA draft (right before the C's 11th selection Kedrick Brown, wow). Johnson, like Billups, was never given the proper time in Boston, and he too was traded before the completion of his rookie season. Johnson played sparingly in his time in Boston before he moved on to Phoenix and now to Atlanta where he is dominating for the hawks, who, by the way have a better record than the C's!! Think of how good Bean-Town's guard play would be if they had PP, JJ and Chauncey... thats a backcourt that is contending for east supremecy every year!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

International Love.

I live in Europe. I am constantly surrounded by Eurpean basketball players, all of whom tell me how great the European game is. And I must admit, it is great, it's more physical, more skillful and just a generally cleaner game. One of the people always telling me how great European basketball is, is my roomate, the Itialian. Since day 1 he has been telling me how GREAT Andrea Bargnani is, and at first I laughed. He would tell me how he was going to win rookie of the year, and again I would laugh. But then I began to watch and look at the kids stats, and how every game he was getting better, I then stopped laughing began to think... this guy is a stud. He is going to be special. Living in Europe and playing here, I get to watch a lot of games I generally wouldn't get to see. I get to see guys who are already on the NBA radar play live, and it's great. I get to watch 21 year old Tiago Splitter play (6'11'' 250), a potential lottery pick. I also get to watch people like "the best player not in the NBA" Louis Scola of Argentina, this cat is the real freak'n deal, a four man with range and pure strength, and by the way if he ever decides to come to the NBA (he won't) the Spurs own his rights. Players like Marc Gasol (FC Barcelona), Juan Carlos Navvaro (FC Barcelona), Splitter (TAU Vitoria), Bellinielli (Bologna) are all already drawing MAJOR NBA waves, within this year or the next. And that's only a few of them, there are tons of players in Europe generating major buzz. Pay attention to the next few months, as the Euroleague playoffs and playoffs in general begin. As all of you know, this is a great time to rise and fall in the eyes of the NBA executives. It should be a fun and interesting time of year!