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. 
 

The Weekly Hot-Take Roundup

Welcome to the Weekly Hot Take Roundup (AKA Knasty Knapp’s Spicy Takes); a place where world renowned (his world) opinion-artist Alex Knapp, slings the spiciest of takes down the unsuspecting throats of Fullsass readers. Did you ask for these hot-takes? Does it matter?

Portland Trail Blazers
  • Evan Turner isn’t fitting in, can’t take enough of the offensive load off of Dame and C.J. to positively impact the game.
  • Myers Leonard has fallen out of the rotation and should be traded immediately, his trade stock is plummeting by the day
  • Dame can’t do it all himself, and unless other guys step up big time (think C.J.’s ascension last season) we will lose more games then last year. FACT
Golden State Warriors 
  •  The sentiment that “Zaza can’t stay on the floor” is overblown and people don’t realize David West is completely washed up.
  • They will go on a 10 game win streak as soon as Klay gets out of this 3pt shooting slump. It probably starts next week.
  • Lets give JaVale McGee some burn huh? Love that guy.
LA Clippers
  • Blake Griffin is a fucking beast and when engaged is an overall more impactful/better player than CP3. HOT TAKE!
  • J.J. Redick is off to a horrible shooting start (like Klay). Maybe its because he spent too much time on his podcast this off-season.
  • This team makes a trade for Rudy Gay and goes to the Western Conference Finals. FREE RUDY!
Minnesota Timberwolves 
  • If you’ve watched any of their games yet this season, you’ve seen why they won’t win more then 41.5 games (Vegas over/under).
  •  People need to stop hating on Zach LaZine [editor’s note: Do we?]. He is an athletic freak with a perfect form pull up jumper. Any good coach could make that guy a legit starting Shooting guard in the NBA–which Thibs will do.
  • Chris Dunn might be more of an impact than Ricky Rubio RIGHT NOW. Trade Rubio.
Orlando Magic
  • Gordon isn’t a good enough 3pt shooter to play the SF and isn’t able to utilize his athletic advantage (greatest strength) if not guarded by 4’s.
  • Elfird Payton STILL can’t hit a 3 pointer to save his life, this makes year 3, move on.
  • IF and WHEN they trade Vucevic they will effectively be tanking the season, as he is their only true interior scorer and the only one of their big man who rebounds. I feel bad for Frank Vogul that Rob Hennigan fucked this up so bad. FIRE HENNIGAN!
Dallas Mavericks 
  • This is Dirk’s last year. I can smell it.
  • Harrison Barnes is good enough to be the #1 scorer on a okay/bad team and #2 scorer on an okay/good team.
  • Deron Williams is playing well right now, and it WILL continue. He’s still got it. This team makes the playoffs.

 

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. 

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. 

The Award Tour

We are 11 days away from the beginning of the second season. I’m not sure if you watched any ball last night, but Boston vs. Golden State was undoubtedly the Good Ass Game of the Week. Golden State finally got beat at home; losing for the first time in 55 games. Their last loss was January 27th, 2015, against the Bulls, in what happened to be the Good Ass Game of that particular Week. Both games were filled with careless turnovers for the team, and both ended with the team in disbelief as the buzzer ended. The real difference is that the Warriors were a question mark going into the playoffs. This year they are the exclamation point.

The Dubs are upstaging the rest of the league in a year where most contending teams are having banner years. Cleveland has a .711 winning percentage, and are the odds on favorite (except to Alex Knapp) to come out of the East, but no one is really taking them seriously to win the Finals.

The Spurs just won a franchise record 64 games, 38-0 at home, and have a .842 winning percentage, but are a full 4 games back of first place in the West. Toronto has a .671 winning percentage, and no one is confident they will beat the Cavs. While Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers are respectively winning 69 and 62 percent of their games, but both teams will need tons of help to have any remote chance of competing for a Western Conference title.

This is the last full week of games, so let’s hand out a few end of the year awards while we have a chance. I polled a few NBA outsiders, Fullsassers, and avid hoop heads for their opinions and insight. Here are the results.

 

The Drake Award is for the most sensitive light skinned player in the league. Also known as the Jerryd Bayless award, also known as the fake tough guy award.

drake-10-15-2013

Nominees: 

Gerald Henderson for “always yelling at Meyers Leonard for being out of position”

Blake Griffin for breaking his hand over the equipment manager’s face over some jokes that cut too deep.

Austin Rivers for trying to always look hard when you know he is soft as “baby lotion”

Matt Barnes for driving to his ex wife’s crib and whupping Derek Fisher’s ass and giving inspiration to an ad lib in one of Kanye’s best songs in years.

Derek Fisher for getting his ass whupped for being a snake, then snitching on Matt Barnes to the cops. Ironically, this only led to further the perception that Derek Fisher was a snake, and a buster.

Winner: Biege Blake Griffin.

He took an L for going upside the Clippers equipment manager’s head, but the reason he did so, was because of some friendly ribbing. Matias Testi apparently kidded Griffin about the Clippers playing better without Blake, and this got Blake so heated that he punched his 5’9 homie in the restaurant, and then follwed him outside to give him a”two piece and a biscuit” for dessert. Whenever P.J Tucker and Zack Randolph got up on that ass, Blake somehow lost his nerve, but he got real froggy and leaped onto his buddy who apparently took things too far. Que lastima.

 

The Gin Baker All NBA Honors go to the players most likely to show up to a Sunday game hungover.

G  J.R. Smith –You know hit the big time when Miley Cyrus is asking what the post game plan is.

PF  Jahlil Okafor-Homie aint even old enough to drink, and he is trying to start real life fight clubs out in Philly and Boston. He must have grown up watching his pops play Urban Champion on the original NES game system. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if he should have been nominated for the “Drake Award” 

G  Ty Lawson for obvious reasons.

C  BOOGIE Cousins- This would explain why he’s so surly all the time.

SF  Nick Young- Oh man. If you thought he was getting it in while he was engaged to Iggy Azalea………well more on that later.

Aside Note: Don’t confuse any of these with the “Vin Baker’s Dozen” which was awarded to Jared Sullinger for gaining the most weight during the offseason. When I was watching the my first Celtics game of the season, I had to do a double take, because I thought that Glen “Big Baby” Davis had resigned on the team without me knowing it.

 

The “Seven Sloppy Seconds or Less” Award goes to the Los Angeles Clippers for acquiring Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson AND Josh Smith in the same off season. THEN getting rid of both of them during the trade deadline. Everyone on Earth thought this was a bad idea but Steve Ballmer and Glen Rivers.

How in the hell does that happen? Do they not have any friends in the league who they could have texted or called, just to throw the idea at them? I know when I’m considering doing something stupid, I at least have 3 or 4 friends who I can message and say “I’m thinking about hooking up with my ex-girlfriend this weekend–you know the one who was in the cult.” I know I’ll get some honest feedback within the next 20 minutes–something along the lines of “Are you that hard up, or are you just a masochist?” Baffling.

josh-smith

Honorable mention:

The Houston Rockets who took back Josh Smith during the trade deadline, after a weird and awkward goodbye last summer. Oh yeah. They also signed post-rehab Ty Lawson who they eventually let go during the trade deadline. I don’t know what the hell is going in Houston (But if you want to hear more about their miserable season, tune into Fullsass.com sometime this week to hear our Rockets roundtable, featuring Phillip Martin and Heath Hamilton).

 

The “Adrian Dantley Award” for worst mid season trade/acquisition goes to the Orlando Magic. They traded Tobias Harris for Ersan Illasova and Brandon Jennings. As per Full Sass NBA analayst, Alex Knapp: “Jennings numbers are slightly up compared to the 20 horrendous games he played for the Pistons earlier this season, and yet his numbers are still by far the worst of any season of his career. Illyasova’s numbers are down across the board except for rebounds. The Magic are 8-14 since the trade and dropped themselves out of playoff contention. Horrible trade both short term and long term. They made a mistake, akin to most sloppy seconds choices.”

Conversely, the Mark Aguirre Award  for best midseason acquisition goes to the Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade is going to make one hell of a front office member when his career is over. He already had convinced Lebron and Chris Bosh to take less money to come to his team and win. Now he talked Joe Johnson into coming down and joining forces with him in Miami.

They have the perfect pieces to beat Cleveland in the playoffs–even without Chris Bosh. Joe Johnson is a guy who may not be able to light it up like he used to, but he can still get you buckets in crunch time. They have the best chance out of any East team to knock off the Lebrons, which would essentially make the Western Conference Finals into the NBA Finals.

michael_beasley_blunt_marijuana

Honorable mention goes to the aformentioned Houston Rockets, who strangley enough, signed former (?) blunt rolling specialist Michael Beasley. He has been surprisingly great for them. He is scoring double figures and getting rebounds. Most importantly, he is taking nothing but good shots. Whatever happened to him in China, may have been for the best.

Perhaps Stephon Marbury took him took an opium den, and offered some kindly, sage advice. Even stranger, is the fact that Lance Stephenson is suddenly the best thing to happen to Memphis since the movie “Hustle and Flow” was in the movie theaters. I personally prefer Mystery Train by Jim Jarmusch, but hey, whatever is clever. I just something disconcerting about seeing mid 50’s white women chanting “Whup that trick” in the midst of a Grizzlies’ commercial timeout.

The “Vinny the Microwave” Award goes to co-winners Steph Curry and Klay Thompson who heat up faster than Nina Hartley, girl on girl scene on Pornhub (fittingly this duo’s nickname is the Splash Brothers). I’ve never seen so many games where a team can take a 10 point deficit, and create a 30 point swing in a mere 4 minutes of game time. Klay in particular, has been on a tear the last couple of weeks, scoring at least 30 points in 5 games last March (2 of them back to back 40 point games).  This race wasn’t even close. The best anyone else could come up with besides Dame Lillard, was Will Barton from the Denver Nuggets.

splash

The Drazen Petrovic goes to Nicolas Batum for best unheralded European player. He has started 66 games for the #mesoHornets this year, while averaging 15 points a game, and providing veteran leadership and perimeter defense. It is no accident that he replaces Lance Stephenson and suddenly Charlotte is back in the playoffs.

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Honorable Mentions go out to Rudy Gobert (a French DeAndre Jordan), Evan Fornier, Boris Diaw, ZaZa Pachulia, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Jokic, internet sensation and 9th wonder of the world, Boban Marjanovic,and especially Bucks point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Bucks have been a disappointment this year, but the “Greek Freak” has been toiling away in near obscurity up in Milwaukee. I thought for sure this would be the year they took a step forward, but much like New Orleans, injuries and personnel changes hampered their growth. I like Jason Kidd taking a chance on this experiment of having Giannis play the point. We’re almost to the point where NBA basketball is positionless anyway.

 

The Charles Oakley Award for best enforcer goes to OKC’s Steven Adams. He is a dirty player, but he adds a toughness to a team that is a little soft. Outside of Adams, and Ibaka (who has gradually become a finesse player), the Thunder have no one on the roster to keep a team honest. No one is scared of Kyle Singler or Andre Roberson. He has a way of getting under a player’s skin, that I haven’t seen since Dennis Rodman was in his prime.

steven_adams_of_the_oklahoma_city_thunder_14785_9931

Having Adams on the team allows fake tough guys like Russell Westbrook to act an “ass” on the court without threat of retribution. Russ is amazing, but he can’t lose his shit every time he makes a basket, then get mad at Reggie Jackson because he wants to celebrate the moment.

Shit, I’d probably be the same way if I beat Westbrook in anything. When dudes wanna bring all that extra into anything, I’m gonna amp it up too. I don’t give a damn if its ping pong, Madden, or pickup basketball. I bet it feels damn good giving Westbrook an L.

Honorable mention goes to Andrew Bogut. Bogut doesn’t need to score to feel involved. He is a great high post passer, and sets effective screens. He isn’t afraid to mix it up down low either. It is a different game when he is not in the game. Festus Ezeli is an athletic guy who can explode to the basket and catch a lob or block a shot, and Marreesse Speights is a fantastic change up off the bench. Bogut brings a different dimension altogether, and part of the reason the Warriors lost Friday night, was because Bogut never came back from the rib injury he incurred.

Juwan Howard

The Juwann Howard “Damn you still be going to the Club at Your Age? ” Award goes to Nazr Mohammed, who talked someone into to paying him to sit on the bench and mentor some young folks. This award is for players you almost forgot were in the league. Sometimes this is because they are buried so far on the bench. Sometimes it is just because they play in places like Philadelphia or Brooklyn.

This could have also easily been named the Joel Anthony, the Prigioni, the Sciola, the Tayshuan, or the Kris Humphries, or the “Perk” award.

The “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe Award” for worst locker room presence in the NBA. Which D’Angelo Russell wins by a landslide. We could have easily said “J-Smoove”, or Lance Stephenson, but it is hard for me to recall an event so disruptive and destructive that did not involve Donald J. Sterling. Even Terrell Owens had at least a couple people who rode with him at his worst.

Twenty years ago, this would be called the Toni Braxton Award for the irreparable damage that her love triangle with Jason Kidd and Jim Jackson caused. The locker room tension forced a rebuilding period that put the 90’s Mavericks into a deeper hole that took half a decade to recover from. Russell is only 20, and this is the kind of stupid mistakes 20 year olds make when they are “playing around”,but this has huge ramifications on that locker room.

Even if the Lakers wanted to trade Russell, there is too much heat on the dude for another franchise to bring him into their locker room. The only way he’ll be able to get through this is to play hard, play well, and keep his nose clean for (at least) the rest of his rookie contract. This is the kind of mistake that can jeaopardize a player’s career.

iggy-azalea-nick-young-9

The other day on SportsNation, Spurs superfan Michelle Beadle was visibly upset because no one was taking Nick Young to task for “cheating” on Iggy Azalea. First of all, it isn’t like Nick Young was openly bragging about fooling around on his fiance (for all we know they may have some strange arrangement that no one is privy to). Russell can be heard asking Young probing questions to get him to admit to his actions.

Taping Young without his approval is the first offense. Secondly, you have to address why Russell would think it would be fly to share Nick Young’s private sex life with other people in the worst possibleway–on social media. If you don’t get that, then there is no understanding why this is such an egregious breach of trust.

Nick Young was secretly taped without his consent, and then that sensitive information was shared with the general public–information that could put his current relationship at risk. Now if you rode with Erin Andrews on her stalker case (which I’m sure Beadle did), then why can’t she understand why this is such a terrible thing to do to someone?

My last point, and this is still uncomfortable, is that Tony Parker had to endure a public divorce because his famous wife found inapropriate texts to his teammates’ wife. I didn’t even know who Michelle Beadle was back then, but I do wonder how she felt about that situation, and what she said publicly about our boy Tony. I’m not saying anything to disparage Tony, because that sounds like a terrible situation for everyone involved. Though I imagine that it raised some eyebrows in that locker room, and among the Spurs management.

 

People who argue that “Nick Young shouldn’t be cheating are missing the point altogether.


 

With the top standings pretty much set, the only games that matter outside of Golden State’s record (they must go 4-1 for the remainder of the season) pursuit are the ones involving middle tier teams.

The Warriors play the Spurs twice this week, and I seriously doubt the Spurs will even dress any of their starters. It hurts to see the Spurs concede that final home game against the Dubs on Sunday, because they could have the only undefeated home record in NBA history. But I get it.

Management planned ahead with the signings of Kevin Martin and Andre Miller for this 20 game stretch where players would need rest, but the team would still need wins. The Spurs understand something that Kerr said the other night; which is “records are made to be broken, while championships are forever.” The Spurs need a healthy backcourt if they are going to wear down the Warriors in the Conference Finals.

This week’s games are posted below in bold.

Peace,

BM

#fullsass #thisagoodassgame

thisagoodassgame@gmail.com

Monday

 

North Carolina vs. Villanova

 

“Tap that Vein Tuesday”

 

Detroit vs. Miami

 

Wednesday

 

Oklahoma City-Portland

Dallas-Houston

 

Thursday

 

San Antonio-Golden State 

 

Friday

 

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah

 

Saturday

 

Golden State-Memphis

Boston-Atlanta

 

Sunday

 

Golden State-San Antonio (Good Ass Game of the Week?)

 

 

 

You Can’t Predict The Future: Kristaps Porzingis Edition

Guest Post By Alex Knapp

Let’s play a little game.

Below are 5 different unnamed players, and their stats for their rookie season.
Now don’t cheat – but one of them is Kristaps Porzingis. I SAID DON’T CHEAT. 

(Player 1)

MPG 34.3,  PPG 16.1, APG 2.8,  RPG 2.6, SPG 1,   BPG 0.4, FG% .456, 3pt% .389

(Player 2)
MPG 27.4,  PPG 13.1, APG 1.1,  RPG 8.1, SPG 0.8, BPG 2.0, FG% .431, 3pt% .316

(Player 3)
MPG 37.2,  PPG 20.1, APG 5.8,  RPG 5.3, SPG 1.5, BPG 0.4, FG% .458, 3pt% .255

(Player 4)
MPG 25.1,  PPG 11.6, APG 0.8,  RPG 3.9, SPG 0.5, BPG 0.8, FG% .427, 3pt% .373 

(Player 5)
MPG 22.1,  PPG 9.0,   APG 0.4,  RPG 5.0, SPG 0.3, BPG 1.2, FG% .503, 3pt% .000

So why am I doing this?

I’m trying to prove a couple points (I’ll reveal who each player is in a second). First let me say, I personally, as a self-indoctrinated basketball analyst,  put a large emphasis on statistics. I actually do think they matter.

I love advanced metrics, and I think you CAN get almost as much from diving into a team or players game data as you can watching the actual game. Calm down I said “almost.” By the way this is my favorite website right now –  GO BUCK WILD!

I believe that good players produce positive statistics for them and their team(Al Jefferson), the best players can do this at an extremely high level while still being super efficient (Steph Curry). And worse players fall short in one of those two categories. This is how you can have a guy who scores a lot, but still “sucks balls.”

SIDE NOTE: A guy like Andrew Wiggins doesn’t “suck balls” but he is 16th in PPG, while being 72nd in offensive efficiency in the NBA. That’s the largest disparity of any of top 30 NBA ppg leaders.

That would tell me that Wiggins probably takes a ton of hard shots, Iso’s way to much, doesn’t get easy scores, and generally isn’t ready for the alpha-dog role that he’s been pushed into on such a young team. Andrew Wiggins being forced to be the T-Wolves best player/scorer is the reason they are 11-16, although I think that team has a ton of talent and could be great in a couple years.

Anyway, let’s get into it.

Player 1 = Eric Gordon.

Played a ton of minutes his rookie year, scored well, generally filled up the stat sheet, shot very well from the 3pt line – especially for a rookie.

Player 2 = Kristaps Porzingis.

Decent scoring (although not anything special, especially for being the 2nd option (green light) on a shit team in the east). By far the best rebounder of the list. 2 blocks per game is solid. Shooting percentages are okay

Player 3 = Tyreke Evans.

Played a Metric fuck-ton of minutes. Great scorer. He gets assists (cuz he had the ball a ton), great rebounder for his size and position. Good FG%, shit 3pt %.
Had by far the best per 36 minute stats of everyone. Won rookie of the year (deserved it).

Player 4 = Andrea Bargnani.

Scored okay, underwhelming rebound numbers, didn’t do much else, shooting %’s are solid.

Player 5 = Lamarcus Aldridge.

Played least amount of minute of the 5, scoring was nothing special, rebounded okay – not great, good field goal percentage.

So looking at those stats, here is how these players would rank from best to worst:

1) Tyreke Evans
2) Eric Gordon OR Kristaps Porzingis
4) Andrea Bargnani
5) Lamarcus Aldridge. 

Do you think anyone predicted Lamarcus Aldridge would turn into a perennial all-star? He became a franchise cornerstone that at one point was a top 10 player in the NBA, and arguably the best player at his position, certainly the most skilled.

Conversely what do you think the media / fans reaction to Tyreke’s rookie season stats was?

Here’s a quote – “He’s going to be the hero for the Sacramento Kings.” WELL THAT WAS FUCKING WRONG, RIGHT?
Read this article for a look at the Tyreke hype:

So here is a fact, stats collected during a rookie season are not indicative of the number of all-star games, all NBA teams, or MVP’s that players will win.

However, they are usually a predictor of at least general future statistics and NBA aptitude. All the players above are at the very least solid NBA rotation players–if not starters, with Larmarcus being a perennial all-star.

I like to think of it as – “Do you even belong in this league / in the starting lineup?” test.
That’s probably the only thing someone can really get from a rookie campaign.

Ultimately, players that get an opportunity to play significant minutes and get offense touches on shit teams, put up numbers. And while Andrea Bargnani has never produced to the level that Toronto wanted with their #1 pick, he’s been in the league for 10 years, had a couple decent scoring seasons in Toronto, and still gets minutes at 30 years old. The guy is nowhere near the big bust people make him out to be.

Speaking of Bargnani – notice anything interesting from the stats above?
How about the fact that Porgingis is just a better rebounding Bargnani. HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT!???

In fact, the only thing that stands out statistically about Porzingis is his rebounding. He seems to be a pretty special offensive rebounder (top 15 in ORPG and OffRebRate), while also being a solid defensive rebounder (top 35 in DRPG and DefRebRate).

Of course the SportsCenter highlights would lead you to believe he’s one of the best put-back rebounders/shot blockers of all time. All this being said, Karl-Anthony Towns (KAT) is close behind in offensive rebounds, while essentially shitting on him in every other statistical category.

Listen: this guy is good–fuck he was a top 3 pick in the pick in the NBA draft. A ton of analysts said he would be good. Anyone who watched summer league or youtube clips knew he could shoot and was long as hell.

Really when you think about it, it was all the Knicks fans who were furious that they took him at #3. It was all the Knicks fans and NY media that doubted his ability. And now that he is playing well (he is literally playing  pretty fucking average), itis all the Knicks fans that are freaking out (to relatively normal numbers all things considered).

There are only a handful of cities/markets/teams that could lower the expectations of their own player by fan and media criticisms, only to yell “fuck you all, I told you!” once the player exceeds those lower expectations.

It’s kind of genius when you think about it. Let’s always say our players are going to suck, so if they do suck we’re right, and if they are good we can be pissed off that people said they sucked (even though it was us). Only in New York, these people are assholes.

P.S – Here is the last time this happened in NY.

 

 

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. 

The 35/55 Rule : A Guest Post by Alex Knapp

Let’s get one thing straight. I’m a Portland Trail Blazer fan. I WANT them to win.
I’m not going to hide my bias or pretend I don’t care about the outcome of a game, or even the ten thousand variables that went into said outcome of that game (if a Pat Connaughton flaps his wings).
In fact, I’m going to use this bias and knowledge of the team to better inform my predictions of their success this season. After all, this is the team I read about and watch the most – shouldn’t I be relatively knowledgeable about them? And aren’t I capable as a rational human to formulate thoughts that aren’t only purely based out of emotional feelings towards the success of the team?
“THE BLAZERS ARE THE BEST CUZ I LIKE THEM A LOT.” – dumb fan with zero basketball knowledge or insight
Therefore, I wrote in my previous guest post – and will continue to believe that they win less than 27.5 games this season (the Vegas over/under).

Now we are 5 games into the season and the Blazers are 3-2. Fans are scoffing at the 27.5 win line, with most eyeing a 35-40 win season, and the select few who wear Rose city colored glasses lamenting an 8th seeded playoff berth – “Listen, CJ is a top 5 SG in the league and Ed Davis is a skinny Z-bo. WE ARE GETTING THE 8th SEED!”

Yet, I’m holding strong.

I don’t think the Blazers have the horses to consistently put up enough points in the stacked west. I think our team is made up of unproven, slightly above average – mismatched  pieces, with horrible perimeter defense from our starting guards, and a general lack of rim protection behind that. I think we lose a lot of close 4th quarter games, and are always at risk of blowing a big lead that we get early in the game. Make no mistake, this team is lottery bound. AND THAT’S OKAY!!!!! 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…to why we are actually here….

The 35/55 rule.
I’ve developed a simple theory/mathematical equation to predict the probability of the Blazers success this season. By keying in on a few simple box scores numbers, I believe I could successfully tell you the outcome of a game, without having the final score revealed to me.

This theory revolves around the scoring of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Separately and in conjunction.
Why? because their scoring is the single most consistent thing about this team, or at least fans of them winning hope it is.
It’s also the greatest predictor of our offense putting up enough numbers to be even competitive in any game.
The difference between Aminu putting in 6 and 18 points essentially has no baring on whether we win or lose.
Ed Davis playing solid defense and snagging 12 rebounds isn’t a strong enough correlation to us winning games.

Simply put no one else on this team impacts the game enough to make a difference – other than Dame and CJ’s scoring output.

So let’s look at some numbers:

Game 1:  37 + 21  = 58  = W
Game 2:  16 + 24  = 40  = L
Game 3:  15 + 23  = 38  = L
Game 4:  18 + 34  = 52  = W
Game 5:  27 + 35  = 62  = W

Are we noticing a trend…..?

It’s really simple guys, the first column is CJ’s points that game, the second column is Dame’s points that game, and the third column is their combined points.

Each time one of them scores close to 35 points, and combined they score close to 55, they win.
Each they don’t do both of those things, they lose.

Let’s take a second look with everything labeled:

               CJ     Dame     Both   Outcome
Game 1:  37  +   21      = 58     = W
Game 2:  16  +   24      = 40     = L
Game 3:  15  +   23      = 38     = L
Game 4:  18  +   34      = 52     = W

Game 5:  27  +   35      = 62     = W

My prediction : They will continue to win whenever the 35/55 rule is reached, and will continue to lose every game it’s not.
Now this isn’t an exact science, if Henderson comes back and puts up big numbers or Aminu gets hot and puts in 25+ one game (allowing CJ to take a night off), then those nights the rule won’t be reached and the Blazers might get the Win. I hope they do.
However, I truly think around 85% of games this year (70 games) will fall under the 35/55 rule, and it will become the easiest predictor of success for the Blazers this season.

This is also why I believe Lillard has a punchers chance of the Points Per Game title.
He will need to average close to 28 ppg if this team is going to win any where close to 30 games.
Take a gander at the box scores every night and do the math in your head…you’ll start to see I’m right. I’ll post another update to this rule every 20 games or so just to show the progress.

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.