Moving The Needle

Essentially nothing has changed though, it is still going to be a Cavaliers-Golden State Finals (barring major injuries of course). I would have liked to have seen more player movement among the bottom teams to set up future moves during the draft, but whatever. We may look back on this trading deadline as the day that some GM’s cost themselves jobs. {Yawn} Wake me up when the playoffs start. Continue reading

Clicks to Pick Dec. 12-18 [Updated]

This week’s Click’s to Pick are brought to you by Aaron Ross from the Portland late night talk show, “Who’s the Ross?” Bmick returns from Bermuda next week (we hope) to bring you the column in its regular format.

With Xmas around the corner, this week’s Clicks to Pick are rated as classic children’s presents you may have found under the tree, back in the day.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 12

POR @ LACNBA LIVE 2016: We’ve played this game before… It’s not as much fun to play as the new version, but it’s familiar, and we keep coming back to it.

Can the ‘Zers avenge an early season beat down? Probably not. Do the slumping Clips need any more motivation than last year’s injury plagued 1st rd exit? Definitely not.  

  Even though this season is only entering the 2nd quarter, a win here would be huge for the Blazers, who have been viciously spanked by contenders this year, while another home loss for Doc, Son, & Co. could turn into the kind of finger-pointing that would signal an early demise for these “so called contenders.”

LAL @ SACEASY BAKE OVEN: You won’t play with this toy next year (Boogie will be gone), but with a stroke of luck, and Mom’s helping hand (Luke Walton), you might walk away with a tasty treat (or it’ll taste like garbage, and you’ll be asking yourself why did you waste your time?).

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13

OKC @ ZERS (GOOD ASS GAME OF THE WEEK) – YOUR FIRST BASKETBALL: The gift that keeps on giving, which you will use for years to come (until you leave it at the gym, someone else takes it, and your pissed-off parents won’t buy you a new one).

I’m a Blazers homer, so no surprise they dominate my Clicks to Pick. But there are four great reasons to watch this game:

  1. It features two of the most exciting point guards in the league, in their prime.
  2. The New O will be going for his 9th triple double in a row. (yes, the streak will still be alive) {Edit: It ended on Sunday against the Boston Celtics.}
  3. Last year, “Dame Time” became a national catchphrase when Lillard ethered OKC with 17 pts in the final 3 mins of a Jan. game at the Rose Garden, and don’t think Russ doesn’t want to duplicate this nuclear explosion, one year later.  
  4. The Blazers will be coming off another beat down to the Clip Show, and in desperate need of a home win, less than 24 hours later.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14

 BOS @ SA – SOCKS: Socks are the worst gift you can receive as a youth. (unless you’re a teenage Bobby Mickey, then you fill them shits right up! Skeet Skeet Skeet!) But as an adult, they are not only sensible, but can definitely add to your style game (I match my socks with my dress shirts and/or neckties *wink*).

 These aren’t the boring Spurs of you grew up with, but they’re not the most intriguing team in the league either…unless you’re a bball junky, then the ball movement, defensive close-outs, and Pops grouchy demeanor make you harder than Bobby Mickey peepin’ a primetime thigh after a long night of grading papers (ZING x 2!!).

 Facing the Eastern Conference’s best “other” team, this would be the 2017 Finals matchup if LeBron & Steph pulled an MJ and left the game at their peak–giving someone else a chance for a couple of years. But just to be clear, SA is only a smidge under GSW’s power ranking, whereas BOS is in a second tier, far below them. However, Beantown Brad’s Boys have the ability to beat an elite team on any given night (just not in a 7 game series). Is this that night? It’s possible. San Antonio has not been impenetrable at home this season, and Pop recently ripped his squad for their lack of effort.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15

CHI @ MILPLAYBOY MAGAZINE vs BRAZZERS SUBSCRIPTION – First off, no kid ever received these filthy-ass XXXmas presents…we stole ‘em! Secondly, there’s no reason to buy Playboy in 2016. But if you’re from my generation, there’s something refreshing about the tangible nature of a porno mag, plus the articles are pretty great. We’re talking knowledge & experience vs. balls out and…well, BALLS OUT! (set amongst the finest knockers in the game)

2016 Bulls, 2013 Nets, 2011 Celtics, 1997 Rockets. See the trend? Talent, experience, too late, nice try. WHO’S NEXT???

2015 Thunder, 1996 Magic, 1990’s Seattle Mariners. TALENT! TALENT! TALENT! WE NEXT! Will it gel? Probably not. But for a couple of years, it’ll be fun to watch, and that’s enough, especially coming from the Bucks, who’d be praising all major deities if they make it out the first round.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16

LAL @ PHI (GOOD ASS GAME OF THE WEAK) CHIA PET: Waiting…waiting…waiting. Will it ever grow? Why isn’t anything happening??? Oh shit! It’s hurt again?!? Wait…is it actually starting to grow, now?!? Holy shit, if this keeps up, it will be beautiful! Buuuuuuuuuut, it’ll probably end up failing in the long run.  

A year ago, these teams were helpless busters! Shit, a month ago, these teams were helpless busters. But all of a sudden Luke’s Lil’ Lakers & The Process are two of the most intriguing teams in the league. With Kobe out the picture, these young guns have been let loose, and EMBIID! EMBIID! EMBIID! has reminded us that a Big Man with ACTUAL POST MOVES is not a myth! This game means nothing in the now, and these teams may never materialize, but at least it will be fun to watch.

ZERS @ GSWPOWER WHEELS vs A REMOTE CONTROLLED CAR: One is fully powered, the other is a smaller imitator that can’t keep up.

A year ago, I thought the Blazers nailed the Golden State formula, and were on their way to being a young, shoot the lights out, run & gun, small ball team that was one piece away from turning the corner to being an elite team.
I was wrong. They are AT LEAST one piece away from being a top-tier team, and moving to the next level may involve trading a key piece (CJ). These boys need defense, and a real inside presence to make it out the first round, and that ain’t coming this year, unless Neil Olshey makes some magic happen before the trade deadline (which I don’t see him doing).

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17

LAKERS @ CAVS (TRAP GAME OF THE WEEK) 3-D PUZZLE: At first you’re a little disappointed you got a fuckin’ puzzle, but once you start putting it together, it’s way more exciting than you anticipated.

Last time the Baby Lake Show was on the road against the league’s best team, they smoked ‘em like Gouda, sausage, or the sweetest Oregon sticky icky. This is the type of game young, hungry, well-coached teams surprise you with, and I see the Lakers coming out on top against a Cavs team thinking ahead to an Xmas Day matchup with their only real competition in the league.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18

NO @ SAENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA: When unwrapped, no one wants this present. Whether it was hardback, CD-ROM, or however a kid receives an encyclopedia nowadays (I assume it’d be like donating to Wikipedia on a child’s behalf, which is corny as fuck! (although I may pull that move for a little bastard down the road, just cause).  But down the road, you will retain the knowledge you received from the encyclopedia, and while you may not fondly reflect on where it came from, it will be beneficial to your growth as a Bball fan.

The game’s best big man, backed by the worst “others” in the league play the team that ALWAYS has the best “others.” Take note Pelicans: if you wanna keep the Brow Down, you need to figure out how to build a team around him, and we all know you can’t spell TEAM without San Antonio!

image1   AARON ROSS is the host/head-writer of “WHO’S the ROSS?” – Portland’s weekly late-night talk show. You can catch him at Dante’s every Tuesday night, right down the street from Voodoo Donuts and the spot where Ndamukong Suh had that car wreck. 

Knapp Time: Alex’s Picks To Click For the Week of Nov.14th-20th

This A Good Ass Game will be run by carefully chosen special guests while Bobby Mickey is on vacation in Bermuda. This Week’s Clicks to Pick are brought to you by Alex Knapp. You can also check out Alex Knapp’s Weekly Hot Take Roundup here. #fullsasstakeover

 

 

MONDAY

Thunder @ Pistons 7:30pm EST

Record wise this is the best game of the night, and somehow the Pistons got off to a decent start despite missing their all-star PG, Reggie Jackson. I could see Westbrook going for 45 but the Pistons still wining this game. Should be fun to watch.
Mavs @ Knicks 7:30pm EST
Old man Dirk vs Young man Zinger. Worth a click.
Magic @ Pacers 7:00pm EST
Here are two young and fun east coast teams battling for a playoff spot. Each team needs to win this to prove to they belong in the playoffs.
Indiana is better but I think Orlando gets the win.

TUESDAY

Bulls @ Blazers 10:00 pm EST (NBA TV)
The jury is still out on the new-look Bulls. After a hot start they’ve stalled with 3 straight losses (can’t score sometimes).
When they shoot above 40% from 3pt land they win. When they shoot below 36% from 3pt land they lose. There is very little in-between.
Dame vs Rondo, C.J. vs Wade/Butler, Myers Leonard vs Doug McBuckets?!?!?!
Toronto @ Cleveland 7:30pm EST (NBA TV)
Oh you that lame kind of NBA fan who only watches “the best” teams play? That is sooooooo cool LAME.

WEDNESDAY

Golden State vs Toronto 7:00 pm & Memphis vs Los Angeles Clippers 9:30 pm
Both the ESPN matchups will likely be more blah then exciting. I can’t stand watching Toronto or Memphis. I hope KD and Curry go for 80 combined and Blake Griffin ends somebody career with an earth shattering dunk.
Rockets @ Thunder 8:00 pm EST
Harden vs Russ. Gonna be high scoring!!!
Bucks @ Hawks 7:30pm EST
If the ESPN games don’t hold your attention, then watch the Greek Freak play a squad with an actual good team defense. They will be a good test of his skill level. NBA nerds will get off watching how many different defensive looks coach Bud throws at him.

 THURSDAY 

Blazers @ Rockets 8:00pm EST
Both the TNT games kind of suck here too (Philadelphia vs. Minnesota; Los Angeles Clippers vs. Sacramento). You can call me a homer but I’d rather  watch Dame and Harden go buck wild on each other (neither of them can play a lick of defense).

FRIDAY (GOOD ASS GAME OF THE WEEK)

Warriors @ Celtics 8:00 pm EST (ESPN)
Celtics always want to beat this team, and coach Brad Stevens usually has a good enough–
creative game plan to make it fun and exciting. My money is on an overtime win by the Celtics.

SATURDAY (Go Do Something Fun)

Warriors @ Bucks 8:30pm EST
Maybe…
Hornets @ Pelicans 7:00pm EST
Watch “The Brow” drop 50 on Kemba and company.
They have no big man to guard him. Cody Zeller, Roy Hibbert, Marvin Williams? Get the fuck outta here with that weak shit.

SUNDAY 

I will be at the Blazers @ Nets game, so I hope it’s a blowout.
Other than that, this looks like a football day (Cowboys-Steelers; Patriots-Seahawks).
f16fe4_33a1706de82a46a9b053723415da08dc      Alex Knapp is a Portlander who has lived in Brooklyn, New York for the past 7 years. He is a filmmaker and actor currently working in HR to pay the bills. Alex is an avid NBA basketball fan who likely has an opinion on every team and every player, seriously – try him. You can check out his podcast with Anthony Levy, PDXPATS on iTunes. 
 

Better late then never: Top 8 Over/Under’s & Award Predictions

[Editor’s note: After a full NBA Season, 2 blown 3-1 series leads, and an east coast west coast podcast beef, our hero Alex Knapp returns with another series of wild predictions and theories for the 2016-2017 season. Betting with Vegas has closed for the season, but we at Fullsass will gladly take bets with anyone willing to fork over some cash.]

THE UNDERS

OKLAHOMA CITY 45.5: UNDER (lock)

This team will be trash. I don’t believe in Westbrook to WIN, yes maybe he puts up crazy numbers (except any of the efficiency stats), but none of that will translate to wins – in fact by the end of the season it will be known that his wild ball-hog dominate-everything style of play will translate to a lot of their losses. This team won’t make the playoffs.[UPDATE* – They will make the playoffs if they trade for Rudy Gay, he would become a great addition to their squad and surprise a lot of people with how he can help a team win.]

UTAH 47.5: Under

I don’t necessarily believe the hype. Adding “Iso” Joe, Boris Diaw, and George Hill doesn’t translate to 8 more wins,as I think Joe and Boris are both washed up at this point. This team is solid, but unless Gobert becomes Dikembe (which could happen), I don’t see this team being as good as everyone wants them to be. They could win 45 games though. I just think the difference between being good to being great is a big leap in the NBA. Plus Hayward is slated to miss some time with a finger injury. He is more important than people realize.

PORTLAND 46.5: (Under….I know…sorry)

With Ezili still sidelined (until possibly February–yikes!) we still have yet to fix our interior defense (Statistically Plumlee was the worst interior defender out of all 30 starting centers). The jury is still out on whether Evan Turner can actually fit in and impact games, or if he is destined to land in Stotts 3/4 merry-go-round rotation. Crabbe isn’t worth 17 million. Dame and C.J. are the same turnstiles on defense. We don’t have a consistent 3rd best offensive option – in a league that demands one. Basically we are the same team we were last year –a team that overachieved last year –and will regress to the mean this year, at right about 42 wins. I’m pessimistically taking the under.

MINNESOTA 41.5: Under

This is an all time hype line set by Vegas. People want this team to be so good so fast that they would probably be willing to bet the over no matter what it was set at.
Yes, this team is exciting. Yes, a bunch of young athletes just got the coach they desperately needed. BUT NO – Tibs is not worth 13 games this season, just not this season.
This team will get to 38 or 39, contend for the 8th seed – and then, next season…Explode for to a top 4 team in the West. I don’t know why people still hate on LaVine, guy is an athletic freak with a motor and near perfect form on his JUMP shot.

THE OVERS

HOUSTON 41.5: Over

Can they score? YES. Can they defend, TBD. I like the additions of Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon letting it fly from deep. I think Clint Capela will and can anchor their interior defense – whether they let teams bomb from 3 may not be something he can control. I think they secretly have a very competent and fun, deep bench with guys like Montrezl Harrel, K.J McDaniels,  Tyler Ennis, and Portland-native NBA-underdog Kyle Wiltjer (dude won’t play, but he can score).
With Hybrid PG Harden running the show, what could go wrong?

INDIANA 43.5: Over

Eastern Conference Finals dark horse winner right here:
Competent PG’s, top 5 player in the game, Myles Turner is a beast just needs to get more consistent every night, Thad Young is a professional starting NBA PF, and a decent enough bench. They need to find a way to rebound and guard the 3pt shot (ultimately that’s just effort). Nate McMillan doesn’t add any wins to this team – but the addition of Thad and emergence of Turner does.

DALLAS 39.5: OVER (lock)

In the last 15 seasons (Dirk/Cuban era) the Mavericks have missed the playoffs ONCE, in ’12-13 with a record of 41-41. That was also their lowest winning percentage in the last 15 seasons.
This team wins more than 40 games and makes the playoffs every year, and this year will be no different. Lock of the century.[UPDATE* They started 0-3 and I still don’t care. This team will make the playoffs. ]

NEW ORLEANS 36.5: Over

When you read my individual award selections below, this “over” will make more sense to you:
Another year of Gentry to install a faster paced offense, a handful of decent/hungry FA role player signings to help build out around Davis, hopefully Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday come back sooner rather than later to give Ant more offensive options to play with. My boy Tim Frazier finally gets the burn he deserves (ghost handshake). Davis is a fucking beast, so if he can get even a tiny bit more help than last year and stay healthy, this team should clear this over/under.

2016-2017 Individual Award Predictions. 

The predictions below take into account the Las Vegas betting odds, specifically the “Moneyline odds”, the number in parenthesis is how much money you make for every $100 you spent betting on this specific thing. These can also be translated into more standard fractional odds (+1300 = 13/1).
My picks are what I think the pre-season “best bets” would be. Where you can make the most money for something that actually has a chance of happening.

MVP

My Pick: Anthony Davis (+1300) – I think the Pelicans have a bounce back season under Gentry and with a restock of roll players, and Buddy Hield firing from deep (see below), I think they make the playoffs. Davis’s 25ppg, 13rpg, 2 blkpg could make a strong case for him. [UPDATE* – Dude averaged 42 points through the first 3 games. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?]
More likely to happen: Kawhi Leonard (+1100) – The best bet if the Spurs have the best record in the NBA–which I think they could. Kawhi is going to be all over the floor, on every end, and with Tony Parker’s decline in production, and Duncan doing laps in a pool somewhere – Pop will lean on Kawhi to shoulder the offensive load a lot of nights. I’m excited to see it. 
Long Shot: Paul George (+2200) – A bit more of a long shot bet, but he is the 2nd (maybe 3rd) best two-way player in the league. I think he is going to put up super dope numbers and Indiana is a top 4 team in the East (see above). PG for 3!!!!

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

My Pick: DeAndre Jordan (+800) – DeAndre could possibly just beast shit up this season. He’s consistently averaging around 15rbs and 2.5 blocks the last couple seasons. He anchors the Clippers D and yet is athletic enough to chase stretch 4’s and 5’s to the perimeter when necessary. Watching him defend the Pick and Poll during the last playoffs was pretty devastating. He impacts EVERY shot at the rim. This could be his Dwight year.
 
Could Happen: Rudy Gobert (+550) – IF the Stifle Tower becomes Dikembe Mutumbo this season, then Utah will be a serious team to deal with, and all the Jazz hype will be vindicated. This goes contrary to my Utah under 47.5 pick (see above), but for those of you inclined to agree with the likes of Zach Lowe – then this might be the pick for you.
 
Long Shot: Jimmy Butler (+330) – I consider this one more of a long shot, but if the Bulls are going to be any good this year, somebody is going to have to play lockdown D and it seems like Butler is the only one we can turn to. If some crazy sport tracking data comes out where Butler is the best on-ball wing defender in the NBA (opponent shoots lowest FG% against him, opponent takes less shots, opponent is forced into higher degree of difficulty shots, etc), then Jimmy may have an outside chance.
 

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

My Pick: Buddy Hield (+1400) – Buddy is the Jimmer we always needed. The guy can flat-out score and with Jrue Holliday away from the team, Tyreke still injured, and a cast of new characters – Buddy will crack the starting lineup, play at least 20 minutes a game and lead rookies in scoring, while helping Anthony Davis get back to the playoffs (see above).
Could Happen: Buddy Hield (+1400) – I’m all in on Buddy.
Long Shot: Joel Embiid (+900) – Let’s say Ben Simmons misses the entire year with his foot injury. Let’s say one of Okafor or Nerlens gets moved for a competent wing/guard. Let’s say somehow the 76ers are halfway decent, even just winning somewhere around 25 games. Let’s say Embiid doesn’t get seriously injured this season and plays 70+ games. This would be your rookie of the year – he’s that talented….but only if all those other things I said happen.
 

COACH OF THE YEAR

My Pick: Stan Van Gundy (+2000) – If the Pistons win 55 games this year (oh baby watch out), that’s an 11 game upgrade over last season – Then SVG will be the COY. Or maybe I’ve just become brainwashed from JJ Redick saying he is the best coach in the NBA over and over on his podcast. GET OUT OF MY HEAD JJ! 
More Likely to Happen: Brad Stevens (+700) – People love this dude, and for good reason. He is probably the best coach at drawing up after-timeout plays (ATO’s), and it seems like Boston is primed to make a serious push for the best record in the East (they added Al Horford and I think Lebron will chill during the regular season).
Long Shot: Rick Carlisle (+5000) –  This Mavericks team WILL make the playoffs this year, just like they have 15 of the last 16 years since Cuban bought the team. AND, they will win more than 40 games, just like they have 15 out of the last 16 years (The shortened lock out year they went 36-30, and lost in the 1st round of the playoffs). AND if they compete for the 4th seed (it could happen), then Carlisle WILL be your Coach of the year. All he does is win.

FINALS

Western Conference Finals

Golden State Warriors vs San Antonio Spurs
That’s right, we are going to get the matchup everyone wanted last year – and this one is going to be a doozy. The Warriors are going to be the best offensive team we have ever seen in the history of the NBA by several metrics. And this Spurs team is going to fare better in the playoffs then they did last season with the addition of Pau Gasol. They still have a solid bench with Patty, Manu, Simmons, Kyle Anderson, and I like the additions of David Lee, Dewayne Dedmon, and Dejounte Murray.

Eastern Conference Finals

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics 
I really want to pick my sleepers of Indiana or Detroit here, and I actually think the Eastern playoffs are going to be chalk full of awesome series. But you just can’t bet against Lebron, the guy is just the GOOG (Greatest Of Our Generation) and Boston is primed to take the leap after adding Al Horford and Brad Stevens in his 4th season.

Championship Series

Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers
I have never done this in my life. I have never EVER picked a repeat title series. It’s just not something I do, it’s completely the opposite of my personality. VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE! I’m the kind of guy who can’t order the same thing twice in a row when visiting a restaurant, even months apart. “I had the burger last time…so I HAVE to get the chicken…” But this is different, I just see it in my head – the epic climax to the three-part series. Curry and new best friend KD try to prove they are the best tandem in the history of the game, while Lebron and his Frien-emies, Kyrie and KLove try to work together to repeat for the title. Dubs in 7.

  f16fe4_33a1706de82a46a9b053723415da08dc  Alex Knapp is a Portlander living in Brooklyn, New York for the past 7 years. A filmmaker and actor currently working in HR to pay the bills, Alex is an avid NBA basketball fan who likely has an opinion on every team and every player, seriously – try him. You can check out his podcast with Anthony Levy, PDXPATS on Itunes. 

Finally Some Games That Count

Being the hoops junkie that I am, many people are surprised when I tell them that I don’t watch preseason NBA basketball. Sure it’s an early peek at the rookies and NBA retreads who are fighting to make the rosters, but I just (metaphorically) can’t get it up for games that don’t count for anything.

What does surprise me is how little I missed the NBA this off-season. Opinionated hot takes of Kevin Durant’s departure aside, there was little to glean from checking the web everyday for NBA news. I watched nearly 300 games last season, and by the time Golden State choked away the NBA Finals, I needed a break from watching basketball. I thoroughly enjoyed living like a normal person this summer.

I did a little bit of traveling, read a few (basketball) books, moved cities, found a new full-time job, and spent some time with my non-basketball friends and family. But all that shit is over come Tuesday night. The season is starting, and despite the inevitable Dubs-Cavs Finals on the horizon, it will be an enjoyable one to watch. While most people were chomping at the bit, I’m of the belief that the season is starting at EXACTLY the right time. In fact, it was only a couple of days ago that I realized that opening night was on Tuesday–the off-season just flew by.

The reason I watch so much basketball is so that you don’t have to. There are tons of games to comb through, but I’m willing to step on any potential land mines so you can live the normal life that I can only dream about. I could have used maybe one more week to get my life together, but no matter; the time has come for us to admire dunks, emit loud shrieks and weird squeals. So without further exposition, I give you the first Good Ass Games of the 2016-2017 NBA season. Buen Provecho.

          GOOD ASS GAMES OF THE WEEK

Monday

No games scheduled

Tuesday

Utah at Portland (Good Ass Game of The Week)

Expect to see me talk about Utah a lot this season. They have a bunch of interesting players on this year’s roster; including one of my favorites, the infamous Boris Diaw. Portland is already embarking on a Joey Harrington type MVP campaign for Mr. Damien Lillard. This is a late game, but the high I’ll be feeling on Wednesday morning will be worth the lack of sleep. If this don’t turn out to be a Good Ass Game, then my name ain’t Bobby Mickey.

San Antonio at Golden State

This game will be a nice snapshot of what Spurs fans have to look forward to this season. San Antonio will have a great season and will probably grab 50 wins. They will beat the teams they are supposed to, but they will get their asses handed to them by teams with top-tier point guards (they will especially feel the loss of Danny Green in this one). Wins against Cleveland and Golden State will be tough to come by.

Wednesday

Dallas at Indiana

I’m willing to bet any Mavs fan their favorite flavor of Gelato that the Mavs take their first L of the season. Any takers?

Charlotte at Milwaukee

This one is going to be a low-key Good Ass Game. If you miss it, at least watch the highlights. I bet there will be at least 3 top ten plays from this game alone.

Minnesota at Memphis

OOOOWEEEEEE! Teen Wolves go to the grindhouse. Who else is excited for the first appearance of the vein in Tom Thibodeau’s forehead? To quote the great Marv Albert, “YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!”

Sacramento at Phoenix 

File this under TAP THAT VEIN GAMES.

Thursday

Boston at Chicago

This game has the potential to be a snoozer, but I gotta know if this has all been an elaborate Machiavellian plan by Rajon Rondo to get close enough to Dwyane Wade for payback for that time Wade dislocated his arm. If you think I’m not hoping that Rondo gets his revenge, then you don’t understand the depths of my pettiness. I hope Rondo makes Wade’s life a living hell for the duration of this season.

San Antonio at Sacramento

One day, we may finally get to see Boogie Cousins play for a stable organization. Sacramento is still a shit show, but they have just enough good players to make you intrigued.

Los Angeles Clippers at Portland 

This is the real pick to click of the evening. It’s a TNT game, and a 9:30 tip-off. I’ll be lucky to  be able to watch any of this game. But you definitely should if you have cable and you like watching beige acrobatic dudes make fake tough guy faces.

Friday

Phoenix at Oklahoma City

Just for funzies, if you have nothing better to do around this time of the evening, I’d suggest watching the first half, hitting the liquor store, calling in a pickup order, and then getting back home in time to watch the 4th quarter.

Charlotte at Miami

There is a faint buzz surrounding the “Me So Hornets” (I’m sorry I had to) this season as they should be the favorites to win the Southeast division with or without a healthy Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Holy Shit! I think I’m starting to get excited about the season starting).

Los Angeles Lakers at Utah

In a first for this site, the Salt Lake City Punks have made the Good Ass Games of the Week three times in a week. What better way to spend a Friday night than ingesting legal substances and watching some west coast basketball.

Houston at Dallas

Let’s be honest Dallas fans. This is the year the bottom finally falls out. After years of post 2011 mediocrity, the Mavericks will finally be bad enough to land a lottery pick. Or will they? They are a difference making point guard away from giving teams trouble in April, but for some reason, people don’t like to come to Dallas. Is it because their genius head coach is an asshole? Or is it because the Mavs owner has been piecing together the kind of rosters that NFL Fantasy owners scramble through during bye weeks. Old man Dirk won’t be there for you forever Mark Cuban, the losses are going to come for you, and when they do, they are going to want some cocktail……….FRUIT!!!!!!

Saturday

Minnesota at Sacramento

I’m pretty sure this is an NBATV game so if there is a party or social function you’re getting pressure to attend, do that instead–especially if you have League Pass. This will be one of those games no one talks about, but then you check your Twitter feed, and there will be four or five GIF’s and Vines documenting sick dunks and crazy highlights.

Sunday

Golden State at Phoenix  

I’m curious about how the Suns will play this season. It is weird to see Earl Watson go balling for the UCLA Bruins to coaching an NBA team. It makes me feel old. This probably be the last time I mention the Phoenix Suns this season, unless it is to discuss trade possibilities. They have some young talent on this team, and may be where Utah was 2 seasons ago, unfortunately for Suns fans, ownership can get out of its own way. By February, you may see half of these players playing significant roles for playoff teams.

San Antonio at Miami 

We are finally going to find out if Erik Spoelstra is a good NBA coach. If the Heat win more than 42 games, he may be a candidate for NBA Coach of the Year.

Milwaukee at Detroit

No Reggie, no problem. This game may not get out of the low 90’s, but it should be competitive (in a Princeton-Boston College second round NIT game kind of way). This may be the earliest playoff preview we get this week.

BM

profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at Fullsass Studios. Follow him on twitter @clickpicka79. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com. 

Unpopular Opinions

THESE are actually the players The Portland Trail Blazers (and others) should be targeting in Free Agency:

 

Okay WOW. I’m just going to assume you were watching when Lebron “put the team on his back doh”  to win the NBA finals last week.
I’m also going to assume you set your internet browser to hoopshype.com/rumors a couple of days before the NBA Draft to get all that juicy news pop’n off right now.
AND I’m going to assume you watched the draft and/or at least have been paying attention to the picks / trades that have gone down in the last couple days. WHOOAAAAA! We are in for a fun summer.
Side note – I’m going to assume you DIDN’T get tricked by that fake Woj twitter account when he tweeted out Jimmy Butler being traded to the Heat. You know who you are….
So here we are, a couple of days after the draft….WHAT NOW??
Well we are going to look towards free agency and all the possibilities that adding (or re-signing) a player to your respective squad can bring.
“Yo, Kevin Durant to the Lakers would be dope,” says the idiot Laker fan who lives in a fantasy world.
BUT I DON’T CARE ABOUT KEVIN DURANT. Hell, I don’t even care about Al Horford, a guy most Blazers fans have at the top of their list. No, not me.
This list is the list of actually attainable players that the Blazers (and other NBA teams) should target this offseason. Guys who’s on court value is realistically more or equal to the price tag that they could be had for. They call me the bargain hunter. Why spend max salary money (roughly 20 million annually) for Ryan Anderson, when you can have the first guy on our list for half the price?

#1 MIRZA TELETOVIC 

That’s right, starting with a BANGER !
At 6’9 242 this guy is the epitome of a modern era stretch four. For god’s sake, he shoots 40% from 3point land and has almost identical per36 numbers compared to Ryan Anderson, who by the by is going to get close to a max contract, when this Bosnian Brotha could be had for less then half that. And it’s not like Ryan Anderson is some defensive stalwart, so don’t even try to bad mouth Mirza’s lateral foot speed. Save 10 million bucks and get 85% of the value. The Blazers could use an actual knock-down stretch 4 off the bench (you heard me Meyers).

#2 LUOL DENG

Let me throw some terms and phrases at you: long, athletic, veteran, savvy, can guard multiple positions, still has some gas in the tank, known as one of the best locker room guys in the league, and won’t break the bank. We are basically hoping Aminu becomes Luol Deng in the next year, so why not bring in the man himself to teach him the ways? I guarantee he will get close to Harrison Barnes production next year, at a fraction of the cost.

#3 IAN MAHIMINI

That’s right, it’s ya boi YAWN. All aboard the Mahini-mini-me-express. This bro loves to do the dirty work, he’s gotten better every year he’s been in the league, he’s played for winners and great coaches (Spurs and Mavs early in career), and he’s used to getting paid peanuts. You can have a starting center in the NBA for 8 million a year. I’LL TAKE IT! This guys basically a better/stronger Ed Davis, although I do love E-D.

#4 DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS

“Whoa you mean that dude with the hurt back, on the Rockets?” YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT I DO.
Dontada Umblegata is a young (25) Lithuanian (Sabonis) with a big body (7ft) and a scorching 3 ball (37% when healthy in 2015). Did I hear someone say stretch 5?  And for those of you who are still worried about his back injury, and the fact that him traded away from the Rockets was rescinded this year because of it – lets not forget in 2009 when the Thunder rescinded the trade that would have sent them Tyson Chandler because of his big toe (yes, his big toe). Tyson went on to win a title with the Mavs as their star center, and the Thunder went on to lose the title to the Heat because of a lack of center.

#5 JARED DUDLEY

A vet, and a knock down 3 point shooter, who might be the best ref talker in the league. This is a guy you want in the locker room and on the court to shepherd your young stars and teach them the “right way” to win games. Am I biased because I think he’s a good podcast guest, yes. But will his 6 million a year salary pay off when he knocks down a corner 3 in a close playoff game, also yes.

#6 DWIGHT POWELL

This is basically the PF/C version of Aminu last year. He was a backup on Dallas–an  athletic big man who came in, rebounded his ass off, ran the court, and still has high level potential. He will be had for a very cheap price, and he will produce for a team within a year or two. After the success of Aminu shouldn’t we just keep grabbing undervalues Dallas assets?

#7 ERIC GORDON

Can he stay healthy? No of course not. But Eric Gordon is not a bad player because of his actual stats and play on the court (had a 22 ppg season, never averaged less than 13 ppg, hit 45% from three in his last healthy season), he gets a bad rap because of the initial expectations set upon him. If you’re expecting/needing him to score 20 ppg, play 30 mpg, and play in 65+ games then good fucking luck. BUT he can be an off the bench scorer at 20 mpg that the Blazers so desperately need. Imagine if we had another C.J.on the bench to come in for C.J., wait WHAT?!?! Dude will go to a team for like 7 million annual and be “6th man of the year” within 2 years.
Honorable mention:
MICHAEL BEASTLY:  Following his career is addicting, and I can’t help but love when he succeeds. Legit the 2nd best player on the Rockets once they signed him (for 306k salary!!!)
TIMOFEY MOZGOV: There are rumors of a secret devastating knee injury/surgery over last summer leading to him to falling out of the rotation this year. Still huge, still relatively athletic, still young, worth a flyer.
GERALD GREEN: Uber-athletic wing who is super fun to watch/get frustrated at. Might have some psychedelic drug problems, but who doesn’t? Will go for undervalue somewhere– likely a smart team.

 

 

Alex Knapp is a Portlander living in Brooklyn, New York for the past 7 years.

A filmmaker and actor currently working in HR to pay the bills, Alex is an avid NBA basketball fan who likely has an opinion on every team and every player, seriously – try him. 

Last Time

This is the first time in years that I have felt serious doubt concerning the Spurs in a series. I was actively worried before it started, and now the uncertainty has turned into full-blown dread. The series against the ’08 Lakers was the last time I felt like the Spurs were just a little bit “too old”. That series, if you recall, had a controversial ending in game 4. The refs missed an obvious foul by Derek Fisher on Brent Barry, one that would have allowed the Spurs to shoot 3 free throws, and a chance to go to overtime.

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Three of the five games this series have been decided by less than 5 points, and the Spurs cannot let it stay close and hope that the refs will get things right. The game 5 loss hurt so much, because not only did the Spurs let a 4th quarter lead evaporate in a matter of 3 minutes (tops), but it amplified just how difficult a chance at a title was going to look.

Even if they somehow win tonight, and then again on Sunday, I’m not sure if they will have enough juice to get through the Warriors, and THEN the Cavaliers. Regular season records are nice, but I think everyone can agree that a 2nd round knockout is a disappointing way to end the season (a season that looks dangerously close to being Timmy and Manu’s last).

Regardless of score, I will watch until the very end. And if this is the last game for this era Spurs, then so be it. The Portland fans aren’t the only ones that have something to look forward to next season. All that being said, I don’t want Tuesday night to be the last game that the Spurs played this season. Don’t miss game 6 tonight.

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BM

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