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. 

A Quick One (while he’s away) pt. 3

Last night was such a treat. Sunday and Monday night provided us with two of the better games of the playoffs. For all the talk about how the Eastern Conference was better than the Western Conference, I don’t think I’m out of line to use the trash, disguised as playoff basketball, as a counter to those claims.

Eastern Conference basketball has been awful to watch, and this has been no aberration. It has been this way for years. Just rip the damn thing up and start over. Send Memphis to the east, realign the conferences, and have the playoff seeding 1-16. If it weren’t for the Spurs-Thunder and Blazers-Warriors series, this year’s playoffs would be a bigger flop than the most recent Fantastic Four movie.

A few quick thoughts before tonight’s game 5:

  • Game 4 was just as intense as I was hoping it would be. I’ve been to a couple of elimination games, both in the Oracle, and at Chesapeake Energy Arena, and Sunday’s game between Oklahoma City and San Antonio might have been the most intense basketball game I’ve attended in person. The folks in OKC finally understand how to be a fan base. For years they needed the P.A. announcer’s assistance to know when to get loud, when to cheer, and when to chant. I wasn’t even on the court and I was affected at how loud it was in the arena. The only time it got quiet was when Kawhi dunked on Steven Adams, and I may have been the only screaming at that point–that shit had me juiced. I will say this though, YMCA strikes me as a song you would play in the arena, when the game is secured, in the regular seasonnot in the 3rd quarter of a hotly contested playoff game.
  • The refs from Sunday should never be allowed to work a playoff game together again. They were horrible. If players can get their pay docked for conduct detrimental to the league, then the same should apply to referees. Danny Crawford (go figure) and his crew could not figure out how they wanted to call the game. They would let one thing go–like Kanter throwing elbows as he bullied his way into the paint, and then call a touch foul against the defender guarding him. It seemed like every other foul was a make up call, and it marred what otherwise was a beautiful game to watch in person. At least we can say it wasn’t one-sided; they were at least consistently bad for both teams. We’d have been better off if the refs were sent home, and the players called their own fouls.
  • Minus a couple of lulls, Game 4 was the best game I’ve seen  Thunder play. They were great on defense–especially down the stretch of that game. The Spurs were making tough shots, while the Thunder were consistently finding ways to get easy buckets. They had 23 assists compared to San Antonio’s 12. Both teams had 12 turnovers, and the Spurs were only outrebounded by 6 boards, but it felt like OKC was killing them on the glass. Stephen Adams has been the biggest X factor among the Thunder role players, notching a double-double in each of their wins, while only getting single digit field goal attempts in their losses. Every time the Thunder went to the Westbrook and Adams, good things happened.
  • Gregg Popovich will have some tinkering to do to counter the Thunder’s game 4 adjustments. The Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, Dion Waiters, Russ Westbrook, Kevin Durant line provided the most challenges for the Spurs, and makes me wonder why it took Billy Donovan so long to try this out. While I wouldn’t call for him to make this his starting lineup, there seems to be merit for using this crunch time lineup for what is now a 3 game series. There are scoring options at every position, and OKC’s height gives each Spurs defender something to worry about. For as skilled as the Spurs are, their front line is a little too small vs.teams like Cleveland and OKC;who pound them into submission on the glass, and their backcourt is too small when facing teams like Golden State and Oklahoma City (who also happen to be bigger than them in the paint as well). It just goes to show well how the Spurs execute on both ends of the floor. Even with the size mismatches (and disparity in quickness), it still takes playing a perfect game to beat them.
  • As much shit as I’ve talked about Durant trying to play the villain, and the depths of busterdom befallen the Thunder, you have to be a real hater not to dig what happened Sunday night. KD put up 41 on the NBA’s best defense while his moms (the real MVP) danced in her courtside seats. When he got hot in that 4th quarter (scoring 17 points and having some timely assists to boot) it was eerily similar to the game 4 of the 2012 series where no one could guard him, scoring 18 points in the 4th quarter. With the ascent of Russell Westbrook and his scoring histrionics, it can be easy to forget the former Longhorn is still capable of outbursts like these.
  • Game 5 will be just as much of a dogfight as the past 4 games, if not more. Neither team wants to be one game away from elimination. The Spurs bench and role players output has been matched, (if not surpassed) by the Thunder supporting cast. Oklahoma City is outrebounding San Antonio, and they are getting way more easy buckets than the Spurs. I’m not sure if the Spurs can recover from losing two games at home in a series. Tonight’s tickets will read game 5, but it may as well read game 7. History has shown that most teams that win game 5 of the best of 7 series (when tied 2-2) end up winning the series.

 

I may have already said this before, but I think the Curry injury has been one of the best subplots of the playoffs. His injury had many ramifications for not only the Warriors, but for everyone who, up until the injury, were playing for second place. Cleveland has been feasting on bad teams during the first two rounds, and they’ll probably sweep the winner of the Toronto-Miami series (especially if the Heat don’t have Whiteside). I can only hope that Miami will at least make the Cavs work for those 4 W’s.

Last night’s heroics by Curry ( 40 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists–17 points in OT) only proved why he is the unanimous MVP. But did anyone else see the game Draymond Green had? Not only did he fill the stat sheet, (21 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 7 blocks) but he also set the tone for the Warriors second half comeback.

The consecutive defensive sequences where he blocked first Plumlee, and then McCollum energized the team, and that was the point when I knew we were in for a #goodassgame. Make no mistake about it, last night’s game was the game of the year. With Curry’s status in limbo, Livingston getting ejected, and Portland having a chance to tie the series at home, those things only served to make things more lit.

Lastly, how beautiful was that inbounds play that Kerr and co. designed—the one to get the game tied at 3? Curry threw the pass before Harrison Barnes (maybe their  3rd best option to shoot a 3 pointer) had come off of screening Klay Thompson’s man. The Warriors’ floor spacing on that play was almost as gorgeous as the pass.

Though this series is pretty much over, I do not expect the Blazers to fold up like lawn furniture. They’ll take an L, but the Warriors are going to have to work for it. There is nothing to hang your head about Blazers fans. Everyone (including me and other contributors for this site) picked this year’s team to SUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKK, and they didn’t. That is a win in itself.

Last night’s game proves why it is always more important to make the playoffs (with the possibility of getting bounced) than to tank and hope for lottery ping pong balls. You can’t put a price on experience. The guys in that Trailblazer locker room will never forget the growth they experienced this year–from making the playoffs, to bouncing the Clippers, to giving the Warriors all they can handle in the semi-finals, and this can only help them in aligning next season’s goals.

If you are a free agent frontcourt player looking to play a prominent role for a contender, you have to at least take a meeting with Portland right? The draft is always a crapshoot. You never know what the ping pong balls will reveal, and not all top 3 picks are can’t miss franchise players (Portlanders certainly knows this is true). The Blazers run this year proves that if you put in the work and try your best, you never know what can happen. Sure the Blazer improbable run was helped by collective slides by Houston, New Orleans, and Utah, and then again by the Clippers suffering major injuries to key players, but their hard work, focus, and belief in each other put them in a position to succeed. Blazers fans should be greeting them at the airport when they get back from Oakland after Wednesday’s game.

Enjoy tonight’s game.

 

Peace,

BM

thisagoodassgame@gmail.com

#thisagoodassgame #fullsass

 

Good Ass Games of the Week 5/8/16

Some quick thoughts before we get into this week’s slate of games:

  • Tomorrow’s Spurs-Thunder could have huge ramifications down the road for San Antonio. If they win, they go home with a 3-1 series lead and a chance to go for the juggular. I’m not liking the body language for KD or Russ during their pressers, and it seems as if everyone is pressing as the intensity ramps up. As the oldest team in the NBA, the Spurs need as much time off as possible, and with a team like Oklahoma City, you don’t want to ease up when they are on the ropes. I expected this to be a dogfight, but the Spurs could lose more than a game if they don’t take care of business. The Thunder will not give up, so it is important for San Antonio to keep their foot on the gas. I think the Spurs chances of winning the title decrease the longer this series lasts. All that being said, this is easily the best series of the four, with games 2 and 3 being nailbiters. I don’t expect tomorrow’s game to be any different.
  • San Antonio did catch a break (or did they?) with a Warriors loss tonight in Rip City.Lillard went illard and put up 40 points while “dropping” 10 dimes. I’m almost certain that Golden State will win the next two games convincingly, but the way the Warriors flexed the other night without Steph Curry…….. well let’s just say I was almost sure they could beat ANY team with or without him. Now I’m not so sure.
  • I been sleeping on  Jonas Valanciunas as a viable front court threat against the Miami Heat. The man has been cleaning up on the glass, and now with Whiteside’s health in doubt, the Rappers Raptors have a chance to ruin Amin Elhassin’s dream vacation on “Heat Island”.  Big ups to Dwyane Wade for reminding people (including me) why he’s a Hall of Famer (he still dirty as hell, but that didn’t stop John Stockton from getting inducted).
  • Tomorrow is most definitely a #pitinogame. By 5:00 in the evening tomorrow, there will only be 7 teams left in the playoffs. This is exactly why I wanted the Celtics to advance, because Cleveland has barely broken a sweat these first 3 games. People are pushing each other down to jump on the #Cavs’Dad’s bandwagon, but they are forgetting that a) Kyrie Irving is a shaving accident away from being on the IR, and b) the Cavs haven’t played anyone yet. They got the easiest draw out of anyone in the playoffs, and there were two teams that had much better records than they did. What sense does that make? I’m still in wait and see mode on them.

 

 

Good Ass Games of the Week:

 

Sunday

Cleveland vs. Atlanta   ABC  2:30 pm CT

San Antonio vs. Oklahoma City

 

Monday

Toronto vs. Miami  TNT 7:00 pm CT

Golden State vs. Portland TNT 9:30 CT

 

Tuesday

Oklahoma City vs. San Antonio TNT TBD

 

Wednesday

Miami vs. Toronto TNT 7:00 pm CT

Portland vs. Golden State 9:30 pm CT

 

 

Thursday to Saturday games are TBD–games are scheduled as necessary.

 

BM

Thisagoodassgame@gmail.com

#thisagoodassgame #fullsass

 

 

Good Ass Games of the Week

Sunday

Charlotte vs. Miami (in progress) ABC

Portland vs. Golden State (2:30 PM CT) ABC

Indiana vs. Toronto (7:30 PM CT) TNT

 

Monday

Atlanta vs. Cleveland (6:00 PM CT ) TNT

Oklahoma City vs. San Antonio (8:30 PM CT) TNT

 

Tuesday

Portland vs. Golden State (9:30 PM CT ) TNT

 

 

Wednesday

Atlanta vs. Cleveland (7:00 PM CT) TNT

 

Thursday

 

No games scheduled

 

Friday

Cleveland vs. Atlanta (6:00 PM CT) ESPN

San Antonio vs. Oklahoma City (8:30 PM CT) ESPN

 

Saturday

 

Golden State vs. Portland  (7:30 PM CT) ESPN

 

First Round Thoughts

A few thoughts this first week of the playoffs:

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder have gone from a borderline busterish collection of individuals into full on busters. Their antics seem hackneyed and trite, in their attempts to be (fake) tough guys. I’m not saying the Mavericks are choir boys, but all the extra stuff with Westbrook is #divariffic. By the time their series is over against the Spurs next round, I’ll be a full-blown Thunder hater. I can just tell.
  • Speaking of the end first rounds, I’m looking forward to jumping on Amin Elhassan’s twitter feed, immediately following tonight’s game (assuming Dallas loses), and playing the Pitino Game. The basic gist of the game is that team that gets beaten succumbed to the victors because they were lacking in some way. The name is based on this infamous press conference by former Boston Celtics coach and alleged dirtbag , Rick Pitino. The onject of the game is for people to tweet the most random, obscure name that ever played for that particular franchise. I’ve got a decen list of names from the early 80’s that I can’t wait to throw out. This is the perfect night for my podcast partner, Craig Stein to jump on the twittersphere.
  • Let’s give a round of applause for the Memphis Grizzlebies, Detroit Pistons, and the soon to be eliminated Mavericks, for showing up and making their opponents work. Neither series were exactly “byes”, even though two of them were sweeps, and the Mavericks might extend this series for one more game. There is a huge difference between being out matched and being out worked. Fans of Memphis, Dallas, and Detroit have nothing to hang their heads about.
  • Too bad I cannot say the same for the Rockets’ fans. I’m not even sure if James Harden even likes basketball. While teams like the Warriors and Spurs reaffirm my love for basketball and all that is holy about the game of roundball, the Rockets suck the everliving joy out of the ball. And why is that major superstars get routinely injured in games against Houston? This should be investigated when ESPN does a 30 for 30 on RUN OKC (they can bring Billy Simmons on to pontificate the what ifs and rehash old columns).
  • I’m still rooting for Boston to come out of this first round and give the Cavs some run, but the constant cut aways to New England Patriots personnel and management makes me have second thoughts.

 

Good Ass Games of the Week:

 

Monday

If the Heat don’t get this win tonight against the Charlotte “Me So Hornets”, they will be in for a dogfight. They better handle up. (NBATV 7:00 ET)

OKC-Dal (TNT 8:00 ET)Two words: Pitino Game

If the Clippers know what is good for them, they will be looking to put the hammer down on Portland tonight and Wednesday. With Steph Curry out for a minimum of 2 weeks(Grade 1 sprained MCL), it would behoove the Clippers (and the rest of the league for that matter) to start the next round as soon as possible.(TNT 9:30ET)

TUESDAY

Indiana vs. Toronto (TNT 6:00 ET)

Another best of 3 series. This no normal 2 vs. 7 seed series. This may have been the worst matchup for the Raptors to have in the 1st round.

Boston-Atlanta (TNT 8:30 ET) Suddenly it is a best of three series. Celts bringing the heat even without Avery Bradley. Who would have thought this would be the best series of the first round (Celtics fans that’s who)?

 

Wednesday

Hornets vs Miami (TNT 8:00 ET)

Portland vs. Los Angeles (NBATV 10:00 ET)

Golden State vs. Houston (TNT 10:30 ET)

 

Thursday

 

Atlanta vs. Boston (TNT TBD) 

Game 6 eh? You know the Garden will be rocking that night.

 

Friday

Indiana vs. Toronto

HMMMMMM Game 6 in Naptown then Purple Rain on the big screen afterwards? Sounds like the perfect Friday night to me–date or no date.

 

Enjoy the games this week. As Steph Curry’s freak injury illustrates, things can get weird in a hurry. Warriors fans were oh so confident 24 hours ago, but I’m sure they realize just how fragile things are between the lines. It is easy to get caught up in the hype of blowouts and crazy highlight plays, but even something as minute as a Rockets employee missing a wet spot on the floor can derail a championship season. There are hundreds of clichés we could throw out at this point, but eff that, life is too short.

 

Peace,

BM

thisagoodassgame@gmail.com

@clickpicka79

#fullsass #thisagoodassgame

 

 

 


Moving Right Along

cgahifxwiaaxgon

 

Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors on their record-breaking evening. There is a reason only 2 teams in my lifetime have achieved 73 wins. Even the best of teams lose occasional back to back games, or they suffer letdowns to inferior teams. The Warriors only had a couple of losses that had nothing to do with scheduling or injury.

I would also like to take the time to celebrate the end of the Kobe Bryant’s playing career, a man who was the last link to the Lakers’ dynasty. I thought about watching his very last game, then decided I could be doing better things. Hitting the refresher on twitter each time brought me updates as he hit 30, then 40, then 50, then finally 60 points. The man chucked up 50 shots, but what surprised me is that he only had 45 points with about 5 minutes left. The man put on a show for his home crowd and I have to respect that.

I can’t say I agree with people’s G.O.A.T. assertion, or the revisionist history that does not include his sexual assault trial, or that he was such a terrible teammate that no one wanted to play with him; and that is the reason why he only has 5 rings instead of 11 (like say Bill Russell). Most Lakers fans are insufferable, but Kobe fans are twice as hard to talk sensibly with. I for one, am extremely happy that this farcical farewell tour is over with, and that I never have to see Kobe Bryant play on live television ever again.

snapshot_20160414_000247

Unfortunately, I feel there is a good chance that this also the last season we’ll ever get to see Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Vince Carter, and Paul Pierce play meaningful games as well. I’m just happy they didn’t announce their intentions before the season was over also. It would have been an overload of goodbyes. I have to give Kobe credit though for him scoring 60 and leading the Lakers to an end of the season win. It does make for a good story, and I’m halfway sorry that I did not watch it as it unfolded. But then I think about it, and it makes me feel like the Jazz are some busters–proving to me they didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs anyway, if they can lose like they did last night.

 

PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!

First Round Matchups

 

West

Houston vs. Golden State
Man the Rockets were terrible this year and they managed to suck the joy out of basketball. Warriors in four
Dallas vs. Oklahoma City
I can see Dallas stealing one, maybe even two games out of this series. Give me OKC in 6
Memphis vs. San Antonio
You have to give credit to Dave Joerger and the Grizzlebees for hanging in their after losing Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, but they are just chum in the water. Spurs in 4
Portland vs. Clippers 
This will be the most entertaining matchup of the first round and will certainly have 2-3 “Good Ass Games” before Portland knocks them out in 7.

East

Miami vs. Charlotte
Best games in the east this round.
Detroit vs. Cleveland
I’m happy for Detroit basketball, but it should not take the Cavs more than 5 games to beat Detroit.
Indiana vs. Toronto
This series is going to ride the fine line of being competitive and downright ugly basketball. This sounds crazy but I’m going to take the naptown boys in 7.
Boston vs Atlanta
Will Boston become Al Horford’s next stop? The Celtics will have a two-week recruiting period to give him their pitch. Boston in 7.
Enjoy the first round because it’ll be over before you know it.
Peace,
BM

The Finish Line

Here we are at the finish line. If the season ended today, the first round would look like this:

Eastern Conference

Cleveland vs Indiana

Toronto vs. Detroit

Atlanta vs. Charlotte

Boston vs. Miami

Western Conference

Golden State vs. Utah (please Hoops Gods, for the love of everything sacred about basketball, don’t let the Rockets get in)

San Antonio vs. Dallas

Oklahoma City vs. Memphis

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland

Wednesday is the last day of the regular season. By Thursday the playoff matchups will be set, and by then it will be fairly easy to predict what the Finals matchup will look like. At this point, Golden State vs. Cleveland seems to be a forgone conclusion, but anything can happen in 2 months of playoff ball.

Spurs fans should pray that someone beats up, or knocks off the Warriors before a potential playoff meeting, because that is a really bad matchup for them. The length and athleticism on Golden State is just too much for San Antonio. Watching them play reminds me of the Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis fight. Lewis was too fast, too strong, for the past his prime Tyson.

The Warriors have a far superior backcourt, and the slim advantages that the Spurs have in depth and coaching aren’t enough to overcome that mismatch (Not to mention that Harrison Barnes is a huge x factor to plan against, Barnes is about to get PAID).

Despite the postseason outcome becoming fairly apparent way early in the season, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what this year brought. The Timberwolves were a nice little story despite the Flip Saunders tragedy. Karl Anthony Towns is going to be a force to reckon with, and Andrew Wiggins can be the Kobe to his Shaquille (but without the fight for Alpha dog status). The Spurs had a very fun and memorable season and despite what happens going forward, it will be remembered as a success.

There was a lot of goofy shit that happened off the court that isn’t worth getting into, but it did affect the on the court product for the Lakers, Clippers, Sixers, the Cavaliers, and the Kings. People who expected the Pelicans and Bucks to improve upon last year’s success were disappointed.  Hopefully next year will be just as exciting on the court, but with less off the court b.s. My wish list? Alright, twist my arm.

  1. Shabazz  Muhammad to the Mavericks. I think he and  Rick Carlisle would be good for each other.
  2. Tom Thibodeau to Sacramento. All I want in this life is to see Ben Mclemore and “Boogie Down” Cousins to play for a real coach.That Kings team was too talented to not make the playoffs this year. #dysfunctionjunction
  3. Kevin Durant to Golden State and Harrison Barnes to Portland. Aren’t you just a little curious? Despite what people think, I’m not sure KD is obsessed with getting his touches. I bet he’d be satisfied with an 11 for 15 line and a legitimate chance at a chip. For some reason I think Barnes with Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum would be a great trio to build around. All you would need to do was add a rim protector and suddenly they are a contender.
  4. Thomas Robinson to the Spurs. T-Rob has not gotten a fair shake in this league yet. I think Gregg Popovich could use a guy like that. Imagine Dejuan Blair, but with knees.
  5. Shelvin Mack and Gordon Heyward to Boston. I know it is unrealistic, but I can’t be the only one fantasizing about them reuniting with Brad Stevens. The “Salt Lake City Punks” would be crazy to give up Heyward. It is in Utah’s contract to always have a white superstar for their franchise, and Heyward is that face. gordon-hayward-nba-utah-jazz-golden-state-warriors5

If at least one of these things occurs, I will consider the 2017 season a success.

I’m not sure how many of you have subscribed to Shea Serrano‘s Basketball and (Other Things) Newsletter, but I would recommend you peep game. Last week’s “Assault on Precinct 1” issue was easily one of the funniest things I have come across this year. It was so good that it inspired me to do an ESPN REMIX using the exact same premise. You can’t be the “World Wide Leader” without having snitches, police, double agents, and confessions. So according to the format provided by Serrano, just who on ESPN is police?

Are Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith police?  Typically in comic books, graphic novels, Edgar Allen Poe short stories, movies and television shows, the police are depicted as inept, bumbling and comical—“so dumb that they have to be told to come out of the rain” as an English professor once told me. Bayless and Smith, if they are cops, would be likened to the Smitty and Hoppy characters from Sanford and Son. Bayless and Smith are mostly on some harmless buffonery in ESPN’s attempt to get ratings. I guess it works. People watch them and let themselves worked up. Do they mislead people to get ratings? Do they take quotes out of context and run with them? Oh you betcha. Do they say things they really don’t believe just to stir up controversy? Absolutely. They are definitely the “Po-Po.”

Is Bill Simmons the police? You ever see those cop shows, where there is a detective who always thinks he is the smartest guy in the room? You know– the cop who does things according to his rules, they call them “rogue cops.” That is Simmons. Simmons thought he was Dirty Harry, but went out more like Officer McNulty from the Wire.  Simmons got wind of the corruption in City Hall and threatened to expose it. Tired of the office politics at his particular station, Simmons goes rogue once too many times, and gets shown his walking papers. The police chief, John Skipper said “Gimme your badge Simmons. You’re done here. Consider yourself retired, you can cash in your pension at the district offices.” Then Simmons was like ” Fuck this department. You know where you would be without me? You’d still be showing Roy Firestone interviews on ESPN2, on the 4pm time slot, if it weren’t for my brilliant police work.” Then on his way out, he slams the office door so hard that the glass shatters everywhere. Skipper’s personal assistant immediately tries using his stack of paperwork for a dustpan as Simmons walked past him, but Skipper tells him to just leave it. Simmons then waits outside the station for his Uber before the scene cuts to a commercial. So yes. Bill Simmons was once police. Now he is not. He’s more like a private detective now.

Is Dan Lebatard the police? Yes, but in the way that David Simon was police. Simply putting reporting crime in hopes of weaving together a tale that will someday get him a tv deal.

Is Zach Lowe the police? No. Even in a fictional world, Zach Lowe is a reporter who just wants to do good work and go home to his family. He is thorough, and methodical and enjoys his job. He is a man above the corruption and politics. He usually asks the right questions that hint at plot twists, and reveals. In a police movie, he would be the reporter who got himself kidnapped because he got a little too close to the truth.

Is Jason Whitlock police? HA! Have you seen Jason Whitlock? He wouldn’t be able to pass the physical exam. If he were police, he’d be an extra on a Police Academy remake. That being said, Jason Whitlock has a reputation of being a hater, and a suspected snitch.

Is Adam Schefter police? Man. What do you think? Is there anybody on that staff with more eyes and ears on the streets than Adam Schefter? Schefter is the kind of cop whose motto is you are only as good of police as your informants.” Hell yeah he police.

Other notable ESPN police:

Amin Elhassan- Yes. A dirty one. Officer Friendly from Master P’s “I’m Bout it” movie. He is every black cop you’ve ever seen (on tv or in real life) who is an asshole for no reason at all. That being said, a great twitter follow. The man is such a fantastic shit to everyone (to be fair he’s bombarded with tons of idiotic tweets) that it is impossible to take your eyes off his timeline, but it may be better just to avoid this guy altogether if you to. 

David Jacoby –Maybe he is, or maybe he isn’t. But anybody who claims to love hip hop and says they don’t know about Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video, is in my mind suspect. “Pleasssssse. Check him for a wire or an ear piece.”

Notable Non-Police:

Jalen Rose– Just that dude from the neighborhood who knows everything that is going down before it even happens. Homie is like Huggy Bear from the Starsky and Hutch series. He may work with police, but he ain’t police. Also check out his autobiography, “Got to Give the People What They Want.” It is a pretty entertaining read. I’ll be doing a book review on it later this week on the site.

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Bomani Jones– HELLLLLLLLLLL NO!

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Big ups to Shea Serrano, one of my favorite writers right now, who I hope isn’t offended that I borrowed his format and ran with it. As a hip hop fan (whose book I will be purchasing this week sometime), I hope he thinks of this as someone freestyling over a beat he made hot, as opposed to straight biting his style (Call me crazy, but I think we may be able to get him on the Full Sass Podcast someday).

Good Ass Games of the Week are posted below, and remember folks, “Be careful out there.”

 

Peace,

BM

#fullsass #thisagoodassgame

thisagoodassgame@gmail.com

 

Good Ass Games of The Week:

 

Monday

Dallas-Utah 

Somebody has to play the Spurs, and somebody has to play the Warriors.  This game is basically flipping a coin to determine their team’s playoff fate.

Charlotte-Boston

Both teams are just jockeying for seedings, but no matter the result, it looks like those first round matchups out east are pretty much set.

 

“Tap That Vein” Tuesday

Memphis- Los Angeles Clippers 

This may be a preview. We may see these teams face off in the playoffs. This is like getting a first round bye for whoever gets to play Memphis. They got decimated with injuries this year and still made the playoffs. #respect

Oklahoma City- San Antonio

I doubt either team will play their starters, but it is always fun to watch the Spurs bench whup on the other teams’ reserve players.

 

Wednesday

Spurs-Dallas

Dallas will try to win this game and still may get blown out.

Memphis-Golden State (Good Ass Game of The Week)

This could be win number 73 or this could be win number 72. We’ll see how San Antonio plays things tonight against the Dubs.

 

END OF SEASON. NEXT WEEK: FULLSASS PLAYOFF PREVIEW