Thursday, February 18, 2010

NBA Trading Post

One of my favorite times of the year..the NBA trading deadline..its like basketball toys for alot of teams..some good some..not lol..heres how it breaks down.

From earlier in the week:

Mavs get Caron Butler/Brendan Haywood/Deshawn Stevenson
Wizards get Drew Gooden/Josh Howard

The Mavs get the better part of the deal because they get 2 starters that are both weaker parts of Dallas' rotation(its rare you get what you need these days) but yeah I think the most important player in the deal was Haywood..if the Mavs have any shot at beating LA they need frontcourt depth.They had Gooden playing the center spot behind Dampier and while that was was just they have a legit player who is better than Dampier and young which is rare to find in the center spot.Great move.

The Wizards are salary dumping..well sort of here..Howard isn't really expiring(team option) but he's still a pretty good talent when healthy/not moody and Gooden was later tossed into another trade(read on)

Blazers get Marcus Camby
Clippers get Steve Blake/Travis Outlaw

This is one of the most short term deals you'll ever see..all 3 players are capable of playing while all 3 are also expiring deals at the end of the year.This is how it shakes out.Portland was killed with injuries this year but hit the worst at center with Oden and Pryzbilla out for the year..and while Juwan Howard was filling in as best as he can..if you want to make the playoffs,you need better..bam..Camby is better..2nd in the league in rebounds and will block a shot like no one's business..great short term fix..Clippers it gets a little dicier.They could go either route of getting a young emerging wing player(Outlaw) and a very solid if/when Baron gets hurt(Blake) but if not...more cap space works out both ways I guess.

Cavs get Sebastian Telfair/Antawn Jamison
Wizards get Z.Ilgauskas/Brian Skinner/Al Thornton
Clippers get Drew Gooden

The Cavs clearly get the best part of the deal here in every way.Jamison is the best player in the deal and actually fits better with the Cavs than Amare did(in my opinion) He plays better defense(by default) , a better rebounder,doesn't clog the middle(like Amare would;not his fault) and there was never a personality conflict ever attached with Jamison(unlike Amare).You could argue that Cleveland was the favorite last week before all this happened but now they get a 20-10 player for basically nothing.And here's a larger trend that these days..there is a likely chance that the Wizards will be buying out Ilgauskas so he could go back to the Cavs in 30 days.Yeah...not fair lol.And Telfair,while hyped coming out of high school massively,he can be a small asset in terms of playing backup point guard.

The Wizards(again)are dumping salary left and right..they realized that this current team wasn't getting anything done(albeit a few years late but yeah).So they ship out their high-priced guys for scraps..not much more to add.

The Clippers are really trying to get something done for the future(read that one again...and again...and They are clearing some space for this summer and are trying to make a play for someone big.There are rumblings that Gooden could be bought out and could go back to Dallas.

Celtics get Nate Robinson/Marcus Landry
NY gets Eddie House/JR Giddens/Bill Walker

This benefits more so Nate and the Celtics than the Knicks but the relationship between Nate and D'Antoni wasn't really working out. He has an expiring deal but apparently it wasn't fast enough(lol) so you ship him to a team he wants to go to(he has a no-trade clause;that he waived for this one) Eddie House has a short deal too and D'Antoni likes him, but its more money on this one..theres also a chance of House being bought out and going back to the Celtics(sense a reoccurring theme?)

NY gets McGrady/Sergio Rodriguez
Kings get Larry Hughes/Carl Landry/Joey Dorsey
Rockets get Kevin Martin/Jordan Hill/Jared Jeffries/Kenny Thomas/Hilton Armstrong

That was messy..okay..there isn't much actual talent here..I'd say that NY isn't focus on talent,more money..who knows if Tracy McGrady can even play at all but his contract is a great piece to have go away at the end of the season.D'Antoni loved Sergio so that could be nice for the remainder of the year.
The Kings make away with a decent off guard in Larry Hughes and a legit low post guy in Carl Landry..they have a bit of a logjam up front but I'm sure someone like Jon Brockman will be buried somehow in all this but they have that much young talent there.I'm a little surprised that they gave the Evans/Martin experiment about a month or so..they werent the reason they were tanking.
The Rockets make out very nice again with Jordan Hill and Jared Jeffries...Jeffries is a great role guy who can do everything a little bit well..defend 4 positions..rebound..pass..think of his new teammate Shane Battier but less of a jumpshot and more height. Hill is a longer termed project at this point but he's shown flashes of rebounding ability so that could prove useful down the road. Oh they also make out with an easy "how did that guy get 20+ points tonight off 9 shot attempts" in Kevin Martin..that upgrades the guard position for them tremendously.With Houston I'm thinking in terms of when Yao gets back and I think that Martin is a great fit with him. Now the real question is how reliable is Yao in terms of being healthy..don't have to answer that one until next year.

Bulls get Hakim Warrick/Joe Alexander
Bucks get John Salmons

The Bucks needed to get help at the shooting guard position with Michael Redd out for the year again with a knee injury.Delfino and Stackhouse are alright but you'd rather have the combination of Salmons and Delfino at the off guard spot. I don't think much of Salmons but he is a long wing who can play defense and hit a few jumpers.Milwaukee needs someone who can do that.

The Bulls have an unusual logjam at the 4 now with Ty Thomas/Taj Gibson and now Warrick coming in.Taj has taken the starting spot away from Ty and I'm sure Warrick can do whatever Ty can..he may be the next guy out.

(Literally right after that this happened)

Bobcats get Ty Thomas

Bulls get Flip Murray/Acie Law

I guess I was right..I would think they could've gotten a better talent deal but its a nice salary deal.Flip is a guy who could score off the bench if given the chance and the Bobcats get something for nothing..Any one with any sort of personality I think that they will clash with coach Larry Brown and this is no different..Stephen Jackson seems to be doing fine but we'll see how that works out for them.I would suppose that he would back Diaw at the 4 and be a 5 on a small lineup?....or maybe just provide energy off the bench in generally.

Jazz get 2011 1st rd pick
Grizzlies get Ronnie Brewer

Its a little hard to quantify this trade for Utah just because they were playing so well up until this point..are a top 3 seed in the West and have a lack of depth at the shooting guard spot..who gets these minutes now?..CJ Miles?..Kyle Korver?..Wesley Matthews?...uh I guess but he's better than all of those guys..maybe another salary cutting deal here.
The Grizzlies get another young athletic swingman to get running.He'll back up OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay and provide much what they do.Solid defense and slashing for points.Good pick up for them.

Friday, February 12, 2010

All Star Picks

I won't get into how Kobe,Iverson,and Brandon Roy have to miss out on the All Star game being replaced by David Lee,Chris Kaman and Jason Kidd(Yeah..?) I'll just do picks..

Rookies over Sophmores
Steve Nash in the Skills Challenge
Stephen Curry in the 3 point shootout
Shannon Brown in the Dunk Contest
West over East
MVP Dirk

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sporting Randoms

I guess I'll start off with the NBA All Star Rosters..for the most part I'd say that they got it right..this is who they are sending out

G-Dwyane Wade
G-Allen Iverson
F-Lebron James
F-Kevin Garnett
C-Dwight Howard
Well clearly KG and AI shouldn't be there this year..but its the fans and they vote of popular players..fine are the reserves

G-Rajon Rondo
G-Derrick Rose
G-Joe Johnson
F-Gerald Wallace
F-Paul Pierce
F-Chris Bosh
C-Al Horford

Well..I don't think Horford should've made it..New Jersey's Brook Lopez or New York's David Lee play the same position and are playing better..but..the theme is "winning teams" instead of "best players" so I suppose thats fair all things considered(Even though AI is the anomaly here).I'm really happy Wallace got his due and was recognized making it,he's on my underrated list(noted for later)

And for the West?
G-Kobe Bryant
G-Steve Nash
F-Carmelo Anthony
F-Tim Duncan
C-Amare Stoudemire

Amare is the one here..given the options on the ballot yadda yadda..thats why he's here..he doesnt even play center for them this year,Robin Lopez or Channing Frye does..but I digress..oh yeah..I'm glad that David Stern put a freeze on Tracy McGrady's all star ballots so he wouldn't make it in(In your face China!)...onto the reserves...

G-Chris Paul
G-Deron Williams
G-Brandon Roy
F-Kevin Durant
F-Dirk Nowitzki
F-Zach Randolph
C-Pau Gasol

Again..only one player I would take out which would be Pau..the Clippers' Chris Kaman is my pick but it goes back to the rule of record over yeah.

I'll only touch on the Gilbert situation briefly..he was suspended for the rest of the season without pay...I can agree with that for the most part..dumb if he can avoid any jail time there is an outside chance he could sail his way out of the miserable Washington franchise with a lowered buyout...or he could just come back for his $80 million.

Kurt Warner retired from the Arizona Cardnals..paging Matt Leinart...paging Matt Leinart...

Jim Zorn the much maligned former Redskins coach takes the job as the Baltimore Ravens QB coach...thats nice that he landed somewhere..

Here is a list a complied of some of the NBA's most underrated players

Gerald Wallace(Bobcats)-Has always been overlooked even back in Sacramento when he couldn't get any burn on those playoff squads..the guy plays a wing position but yet avg 10 boards a game.He's a statistical anomaly and he has really come a long way from coming into the league,his style of play is very reckless and gets injured a fair amount of times so thats the only thing that could set him back.

Rajon Rondo(Celtics)-Its hard to be overlooked on a championship level squad with 3 hall of fame level players..but I would argue in a way it is.Its very easy to overlook his skill and just blanket it with "he plays with the big 3" and be done with it but there are things that he was doing things before they got there.His defense at the point guard spot is on a elite level,his steal total is an accurate depiction of that..His jumper is coming along quite nicely..he reminds me of a version Jason Kidd the way he gets rebounds at his size

Taj Gibson(Bulls)-Now heres a sleeper of a rookie...he was underrated at college with the OJ Mayo show at USC and it wasn't until Tyrus Thomas went down with an injury that he was able to show what he had. He's not a sexy player but the most productive players in the post is the classic "overlooked" combo.He rebounds well,has a decent midrange game and can post..he fills Thomas' role almost seamlessly.

Carl Landry(Rockets)-If you are wondering who is scoring the ball with Yao hurt and Tracy sent home,this is one of those guys..he's a bruiser(he was the guy who got two teeth ripped out from a collision with Dirk's elbow,gross I know) and gets to the free throw line allllot..I believe he is a top 5 scorer in the 4th qtr..think about that one for a moment

Chris Kaman(Clippers)-This guy is constantly overlooked as a top center in the league as well as one who has a great array of post moves.He has been the only constant for the Clippers(Hard to do right?) But he's averaging over

Marc Gasol(Grizzlies)-As most of the pub gets hit on Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph for the surprising start for the Memphis Griz,Pau's younger brother should be getting some as well. From a talent standpoint he was a techical throw in in the trade to get Pau Gasol to the LA(LA had his rights..interesting right?)

Omar Casspi(Kings)-I won't stop singing this guy's praises..Tyreke is the big rookie we all know but Casspi isn't too far off..he's another form of Rudy Fernandez in that he was a standout overseas playing for a big team so when he gets over here, his adjustment curve is much shorter than what people gave him initially.He has no problem taking and hitting big shots,not having much fear..he deals with contact quite well and is the anti-euro in that is aggressive on defense

Jerryd Bayless(Blazers)-Arizona's own...I won't gush too much on the guy but I knew he was going to be a player but it was just in what context on what team...Portland had too many young guys to really play him and the signing of Andre Miller seemed like the next progression of a guy on his way out.With the rash of injuries to almost everyone on the roster,they had no choice but to player the young guy and he exploded onto the scene. When he has everything going offensively he's almost unstoppable because of his quickness,ability to to get to the rim and mid-range jumpshot.Portland is going to have a real interesting decision to make when everyone gets healthy again.I don't think you can bury talent like that for very long.

Eran Ilyasova(Bucks)-What do you know about Turkey?...if you are like me then the answer is not too much..but Eran took an interesting route..being drafted...sucking...going back to europe..then coming back to the NBA and being a contributing starter..most don't get that 2nd chance. He can shoot the lights out when given a chance for the Bucks and he's aggressive offensively and thats always a plus for a 6-10 player.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

NFL Picks

Colts over Jets
Saints over Vikings


Saturday, January 16, 2010

NBA Hitters

Its almost the midpoint in the NBA season and its about time to start acknowledging some surprises as well as disappointments thus far.

The Goods

-Houston-You would be hard pressed to find a person who would say this team would be 22-18 without Yao Ming and an exiled Tracy McGrady. They are the anti-notion that you need star players to be moderately successful and it shows.They have alot of pieces that can shoot(Battier,Brooks,Budinger) mix it up defensively(Landry,Lowry,Ariza,Scola) and you aren't sure where the scoring will come from next. That's how they get you.

-Sacramento-They were widely considered the worst team in the league coming into this year for various reasons(I didn't buy it but would be in the bottom 5) but the emergence of Tyreke Evans even without Kevin Martin playing for any length of time has pleasantly surprised the league. Evans is going to be an elite talent and the pieces of Martin,Hawes,Thompson and Cassipi all complement him pretty well.They won't push for the playoffs in the deep west, but they are on a higher curve than people considered them earlier.

-Memphis-Another team that had some talent but not many thought that they would piece it all together for the better. The Allen Iverson experiment never got off the ground to "work" and so I think that helped the younger players(Conley/Mayo) not have to look over their shoulders for playing time. OJ Mayo,Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay have all taken a collective step forward and anytime that happens you will see the results quickly.Also another risk that has worked out quite well is the signing of Zach Randolph. He has always had the 20pts/10rebs, but it has been the bad plays and lack of defense that has killed him in many circles and thus far he has shook that stigma and turned it into a positive with a 20-18 record

The Bads

-New Jersey-I thought they would be bad..sure..3-36 bad?...never..that is so bad its almost painful to watch.They've been relatively competitive in their games so its not a lack of talent technically.Brook Lopez and Devin Harris are good young players but they are misused. Also the surrounding pieces aren't really working at all..Bobby Simmons,Trenton Hassell and Jarvis Hayes shouldn't be seeing the floor at all when you have Chris Douglas-Roberts,Terrence Williams and Courtney Lee..doesn't add up at all.

-Washington-Yeah...yeah...the Gilbert Arenas situation isn't helping but they weren't winning when he was playing.The team is poorly constructed and no one plays defense.Caron Butler is in love with taking bad shots and the funny thing about taking those are,more than likely you won't hit them.The only people who are producing and giving real effort are Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood and only Jamison is truly producing to his capabilities. This team needs to be blown up as soon as possible.

-Portland-Not for a underachieving standpoint..they are doing quite well in that aspect..just in terms of luck.This team is soooo unlucky in terms of injuries its almost funny...heres a list of injuries this year.

-Nicolas Batum-Torn Shoulder
-Rudy Fernandez-Leg/Back pain(returned)
-Greg Oden-Knee
-Joel Pryzbilla-Knee
-Steve Blake-Pneumonia(returned)
-Brandon Roy-Hamstring
-Travis Outlaw-Foot
-Nate McMillian(Coach)-ACL
-Paul Allen(Owner)-Cancer

Yeah..wild stuff..

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quick Picks

NFL picks(I went 1-3 last week lol)

Colts over Ravens
Cardinals over Saints
Vikings over Cowboys
Chargers over Jets

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quick Coaching Hits

I'll start with the random one with USC..

Lane Kiffin bounces from Tennessee after one 7-6 season..random..but not really that random..only out of the blue because no one thought he was on the list to leave..again after one season. But he was under Pete Carroll for around 5-6yrs so he's familiar with the school..he's also been a questionable guy..he has Tennessee under alot of NCAA violations and oddly enough..the whole Al Davis thing in Oakland was weird but alright coach overall though.He also somehow lured the offensive coordinator Norm Chow from UCLA(who was at USC prior..big rivalry eh?) back to USC..Kiffin can't stop pissing people off lol.

The man that Kiffin is replacing has gone to the NFL..the team being my Seattle Seahawks and the coach is Pete Carroll.I like the move personally..Jim Mora was not the answer( I knew all along,but I digress) and I think trying something new is always appreciated rather than running the tread off of the same NFL coaches again and again. For Pete I really feel that if he was going to leave it would have to be a west coast city and the run at USC was kinda closing faster than he would've like to.Regardless he had a wonderful run with USC and I think he'll be okay in the pros..he won't be a savior of a franchise..if so not right away..but with anyone coming in you need consistency and patience.