A Well Deserved Break

I’m not sure how many games I’ve watched this season, but I’m starting to suspect that I’m spending an unhealthy amount of time sitting in front of my laptop. I tried hanging out with some friends the other night, and caught myself thinking about the Mavericks-Blazers game. I’d check my phone and get texts that read “Dirk!!!!”, or “You watching this Mavs game?”

And honestly I wasn’t that upset about taking the night off. 82 games in a season is too many. Not only is harder to get hype for all of the Good Ass Games, but the players clearly don’t look as fresh the last couple of weeks.

Dudes are tired. Frankly, I’m tired. I have to force myself to go out to practice interacting with people again. I’ve begun to look forward to going to work on Mondays because I won’t leave my house unless I absolutely have to.

I’m looking forward to doing other things this weekend besides watching basketball. The All Star Game will be played at the “Mecca of basketball”, Madison Square Garden, and I can’t think of a better place to host a glorified pick up game in front of a bunch of rich celebrities. Sunday will be as if the Grammy’s or the Oscar’s held a basketball game between awards.

I’m sure I’d watch this year if I weren’t not committed to my out of town plans for the weekend. I’ll be asleep on a bus nursing a hangover, while the game is going on, but I’ll be sure to watch the highlights. Until then, let’s get to these Good ASS Games:

Monday

Clippers got dealt a big blow when they found out Beige Blake Griffin could miss a significant amount of time to a staph infection in his elbow. Ugh. That ain’t nothing nice. I’m not a fan of BG, but that can get nasty if treated the wrong way. It’s a good thing Donald Sterling doesn’t own the team anymore, or Blake would be pouring peroxide on his elbow to get that thing treated #cheapskate. This along with a back-to-back will give the Mavs an advantage tomorrow night–even without Rajon Rondo.

Tuesday

Houston vs. Phoenix

The Western teams not named the Clippers need to get their licks in now. Every win is important of course, and Phoenix, Oklahoma City, and New Orleans have to grab as many wins as they can. It will be rough to see any of these three teams not in the playoffs. They all deserve to be there and hopefully Adam Silver will fix this now dysfunctional playoff structure.

Wednesday

Memphis-Oklahoma City is my pick to click this week for Good ASS Game of the Week.
Memphis is so nasty right now, and one of the best benches in the NBA, has suddenly gotten better with Tony Allen giving up his starting spot to Jeff Green.

The Miami-Cleveland and Houston-LA CLippers games will be the equivalent of a 2 AM hook up from the bar. Not exactly what you want in your living room, but that late at night, sometimes anything will do. I mean its still basketball right? Well…….sort of…………

Thursday

Cleveland-Chicago will be the last good ass game of the first half. If you haven’t started partying for Mardi Gras at this point, I’d certainly recommend peeping this action. It’s all down hill from here– the 3 Point shooting contest, slam dunk contest, the All Star Game, and then the trading deadline. Before you know it, it will be April and the beginning of playoffs.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY-SUNDAY

ALL STAR WEEKEND!!!!! I’m a be like Dirk, getting my rest on. But before I go, we gotta hand out the Buster of the Week Award to

LeGarrette Blount. First of all, the shirt isn’t all that clever. I’d have been more impressed had the shirt read “BITCH MADE” That would have had me rolling–even if it isn’t true. Secondly, Blount barely had any yards in the Super Bowl.

Had it not been for Tom “Terrific”, Blount would be hanging out with Leveon Bell, trying to find a new weed connect. “Beast Mode” showed up, and had Russell Wilson had the balls to call an audible, he’d be getting hyphy with that Super Bowl Trophy for the 2nd time in two years.

Sometimes LeGarrette you just gotta shut up and ride the wave–especially when you ride someone’s coattails into a Super Bowl trophy. Instead of dissing on opposing players, he should be kissing Robert Kraft’s pinky ring for the second chance with them.

That’s all I have to say about that. Enjoy the festivities this week, and stay out of trouble.

Peace.

BM
#THISAGOODASSGAME
@Clickpicka79
bobbymickey@gmail.com

“We’re Going Streaking!!!!”

Atlanta tho!!!

The Hawks who I slighted in this year’s preview, have yet to lose in 2015; winning 19 straight and are 40-6 for the season. I tuned in to the watch the Atliens play Portland the other night and was impressed with how krunk it was. I guess I should not have been surprised, since it is the birthplace of Krunk music. What bugged me out though was the arena organ player throwing down some French Montana during a key defensive stand.They beat the Blazers and continued their streak. Hawks are fa’real ya’ll.

Good Ass Games This Week

Monday

Atlanta-New Orleans

This is contingent on the health of “Lil Brow Wow” Anthony Davis. He is supposed to play tonight. We’ll see. Otherwise you’ll have to watch Memphis-Phoenix. If you are trying to watch some college hoops (which I rarely recommend this season), get down on some Iowa State-Kansas on the four letter network. Allen Fieldhouse should be hype, that is if the old people in the building don’t make the young fans sit down so they can see. TURN UP!!

Tuesday

Slim Pickings that night, but you can tap that vein as Golden State takes a trip down I-80 out to “Sactown”. Warriors will be getting it in versus the Kings. We know what happened last time don’t we?

Wednesday

Dallas-Golden State
Oklahoma City-New Orleans
Washington-Atlanta
Chicago-Houston

Bulls-Houston may be the best bet of the night. Oklahoma City has been struggling to get on the same page of late, and I’m convinced it isn’t just health. Their offense is explosive at times, but also highly predictable.

Good teams know how to D up for the Thunder. They don’t do anything fancy, they just try to out run, out shoot, and out jump teams.This strategy has its limits, and when the superstars sit down for any length if time, their offense becomes an eyesore.

I look at Atlanta as if they are a west team these days, so if you can sit through a Wizards game, go ahead and tune in to that game.

Golden State-Dallas would be a lot more sexy if Rondo was playing. Get well soon Rajon.

Thursday

Clippers-Cavaliers

Two really good teams that I really don’t like to watch play. Will I watch? Hell yes. Will I enjoy it? Maybe. I can’t lie though I was impressed with Kyrie Irving’s 55 point game. Bro was relentless against Portland. His game is nice for sure, but I’d much rather watch a certain light skinned brother out of Davidson play ball–but that’s just me.

Speaking of Portland, How did my man “Late Game Dame” get stuck on the outside looking in. Bro is an All Star and a sure fire lock to make first team on Bobby Mickey’s “Non-Kosher All Star Team”. Reserved for the ballers who have been going HAM!

Portland-Phoenix will be an up and down affair (big shout outs to the Jayhawk alumni who’ll be playing that night) with some elite guard play.

Friday

Miami-San Antonio

Should be a good one. I’m liking this Hassan Whiteside kid. He’s been a double-double machine since he got into the league (he even got a triple double one night–posting 12 blocks). After I found out he played high school ball with Iowa State legend, Deandre Kane, he was dope by association alone.

Clippers-Raptors and NOLA-OKC if yoy really wanna tap the vein, but nothing will be ass good as

the Good ASS GAME OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!
Golden State vs. Atlanta If you are a pretty girl who don’t like basketball and you see me at the bar; transfixed to the TV screen, just keep walking. If you ain’t messing wit hoop, I ain’t messing wit YOU.

Saturday

Dallas-Portland and Chicago-New Orleans will be entertaining, but I wouldn’t sacrifice a Saturday night (and your significant other’s wrath) for either of these games. If the only thing you tryna tap that night is them veins……. well this will certainly do.

Sunday

Atlanta-Memphis will overshadow all the other games on Sunday’s slate. Will the Hawks still be soaring by Sunday? Will they get mauled by the Grizzlebees? The only thing that would make this game better is if these teams were playing on Martin Luther King Day.

It is only when the Clippers come to Oklahoma City that I remember that Blake Griffin is a native okie.

Portland-Houston will be fun and the Raptors will give the Spurs a good run that night.

This is the first Sunday in a long time there will be no football to distract me, which brings me to the

BUSTER OF THE WEEK AWARD:

Pete Carroll had a chance to cement the Seahawks dynasty and spare everyone from a bukakke of “Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are the greatest coach and QB” headlines. I’ll give the Patriots their due. Sure they cheat, but that had nothing to do win Pete Carroll letting 53 grown ass men down when he decided to pass the ball from the 1 yard line; instead of handing the ball off to the best back in the NFL today. Everyone on that team did their jobs but Pete.

The margin of error is so small during the playoffs, and Pete Carroll had finally convinced me that he’d stop doing Pete Carroll type of things. #Baddecisions. The Seahawks lost that game more than the Patriots won that shit, and the blame starts and stops with Pete Carroll trying to be a rocket scientist instead of a football coach.

I can’t imagine what it feels like to be him, and I don’t want to.That was the most devastatingly bad decision I have seen on such a national stage. Unforgettable. Unbelievable.

People talk about Nelson Cruz’s missed catch in the 2011 World Series, or Bill Buckner’s gaffe. I remember where I was when Scott Norwood missed the game winner against the New York (football) Giants, and the Chris Webber timeout in 1992. This is way worse than any of those events. Never have I seen a coach pluck defeat from the jaws of victory on such a grand and national stage. Pete Carroll, you sir; are the BUSTER OF THE WEEK.

Alright, enough of that nonsense. Football season is over. I’m about to get down on these Good Ass Games.

Peace,

BM

bobbymickey@gmail.com
#thisagoodassgame
@clickpicka79

“A Quick One While He’s Away!”

Yo Peep!

This one is a going to be a real quickie–the Spurs play the Clippers at 9:30. I just finished watching the Cleveland-New Orleans game in which Cavs finally reached .500 for their Win-Loss record. Bron-Bron vs. Lil Brow Wow was all that it was cracked up to be. Lebron put in some work with 32 points, 12 Rebs, and 10 Assists on 9/17 shooting. He had way more help than Anthony Davis–a force of nature (27 points, 14 points, 4 assists,4 steals, and 3 blocks)– with Kyrie Irving (who went HAM down the stretch of 18 points on 18 shots, finishing with 32 points on 21 shots, and 9 assists) and Kevin Love’s very efficient 22 points (7-13 shooting, 6-9 from three pointers).

Besides Ryan Anderson, the Pelicans don’t have anyone. Austin Rivers plays like a Buster! Tryeke Evans is a poor man’s Lance Stephenson. Jrue Holiday is decent, but he probably shouldn’t be starting. Eric Gordon is in the graveyard of players Bill Simmons thought was going to be raw. They suck. It’s depressing to watch them down the stretch of games. FREE ANTHONY DAVIS! Run BROW RUN! Go to New York and play for Phil, or go to Washington and play with KD, but don’t stay in New Orleans longer than this contract. Just ask Kevin Love what happens when you sign an extension with a bad team without doing your homework.

That being said, I’m going to have to watch more of the Pelicans in order to get my Anthony Davis fix. This dude is like Tim Duncan but with handles, and Kobe’s explosiveness.

Speaking of teams I’m going to watch more than I originally expected, I kind of like the Kings. I feel like they are a superstar away from being legitimate playoff contenders. They have a good core of veterans in the locker room with Carl Landry, Ramon Sessions, and Reggie Evans. Enough has been said of the effect this summer had on “Boogie Down Productions.” He has been killing it. I wonder what would have to be done to make a Rondo for Rudy Gay trade work.

Last night’s game between the Suns and Warriors played out as exactly as I figured it would. The game was a sluggish one–the refs threw the game out of rhythm with a high number of whistles early on. The Warriors shot well enough to start, but were spent by the end of the game. You could tell that the back-to-back games had taken away their legs. They were also without Splash Brother Klay who was nursing a sprained wrist. Phoenix ran away with it around the 9 minute mark of the 4th quarter.

Good Ass Games of the week:

Spurs-Clippers in about 15 minutes….hopefully they won’t wear those ugly ass jerseys that were worn on Saturday. Them shits were “muy muy feo!”

Tuesday
Hornets vs. Trailblazers Two nasty backcourts going head-to-head.
Spurs vs. Golden State You know Popovich will be sitting some starters–but at least Kyle Anderson will get some minutes.

Wednesday
Houston vs. Minnesota Wiggins and Zach Lavine make a pact to try to get on the cover of “Slam” Magazine by dunking on Dwight Howard.

Lakers-Pelicans Would have been great to see Randle v.s Davis matchup.
Denver vs. Portland The matchup for nastiest backcourts continues with Wesley Matthews-Damien Lillard vs. Arron AfflaloI-Ty Lawson. If I were a person visiting Colorado for an indefinite amount of time, I know I would be at this game.

Thursday

Chicago-Toronto Worth checking out for sure. There is a very strong possibility these two teams meet in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Friday
“Hey! Hey! It’s the Weekend babayyyyyy!!!” I’ve crossed the threshold now where if a girl ain’t down with hoop, then she ain’t down with me. It’s almost winter time and I’m already prepared to hunker down with some crock pot chili (or pot roast) and geek out on roundball for the next 6 months. There just isn’t enough time in the world for a high maintenance girlfriend and basketball. She be like “Ugh Sports. What’s so great about basketball Bobby?”
and I’ll say ” Look baby if you really want me to pay more attention, learn how to jump 12 feet in the air off one leg and dunk a basketball. Then I’d never take my eyes off you again girl. Can you do that for me? Didn’t think so. Next!”

Charlotte-Phoenix Damn. It gets no easier for Stephenson and Walker this week. Quite the gauntlet for the Charlotte backcourt.

Spurs-Lakers I’m not much into watching ass whuppings, but for some reason it gives me great pleasure to watch the “Lake-Show” go up in flames. It’s like going to a Siegfried and Roy show knowing that someone is going to get eaten. I haven’t been disappointed yet with the Lakers this season.

Minnesota-New Orleans In my best Drake voice, “Anthony Davis!!! A-Wiggins!!!!”

Saturday
Charlotte-Golden State Damn. No breaks for Charlotte this road trip. At all.
Phoenix vs. Clippers Who does Beige–I mean Blake Griffin punch this night? I’ll give you 2-1 odds on the Morris brothers and 3-1 on p.J. Tucker. This plot alone makes them game a must watch.

Sunday
Golden State-Lakers Kobe gets hurt trying to keep up with young bucks. I’m guessing its just a hamstring pull. He’ll be day to day for the next 5-7 games.

It’s exactly 9:48 pm and the Spurs-Clippers game is already underway. It’s deep into the first quarter–but you know what? It figures. I’ve never been good at quickies.

MOUSE IN THA HOUSE!

And just like that, the season is here. What a treat opening night was. The Spurs get their rings and eek out a one point victory against the Mavs in what definitely was a “Good Ass Game.” Both teams a little sluggish early on (My boy Boris A.K.A. “the Big Pastry” looked especially out of sync), but by the 3rd quarter they were grooving. For a brief second I wondered if the Mavs were going to ride Dirk’s hot hand all the way to a “W”, and they even had the final shot at the end.

Somehow they managed not to exploit the switch on the pick and roll, which left Danny Green guarding Dirk for about 5-7 seconds. Chandler Parsons chucked it up for one of his 8 misses (2-10 for the whole game) and the Spurs escaped what could have easily been an opening night defeat. Now I may be giving the Mavs too much credit here (San Antonio is a little banged up and missing their Finals MVP–Kawhi Leonard– with an eye infection), but this could easily be a Western Conference Finals preview–don’t sleep on that Rick Carlisle and Dirk tandem.
Kiss the Rings BITCH!!

I peeped the majority of the disastrous Lakers-Rockets game. If you like watching isolation sets and one on one ball, then this was the game for you (38 combined assists for both teams). Besides James Harden, the Rockets have no one who can consistently create points for the team. The only excitement throughout the game was the weird 5 minute stretch where Dwight and Kobe had a tiff, and then Julius Randle (get well soon man) broke his leg on a freak play. It was not the kind of game that left me with swooning with excitement.

One bright spot was seeing my man Tarik Black out there on the court in an NBA uniform. I think he will add a little class to that Houston Rockets locker room. Dude is seriously one of my favorite players to come out of Lawrence in a long time. With his positive outlook and great work ethic, he should never have trouble finding work in the league. Big Ups!

There are going to be some good ass games this week tho:

OKC vs. Portland (Illard vs. Westbrook)
Washington vs. Miami
Milwaukee vs. Charlotte
Lakers vs. Phoenix (I forgot how much I enjoy watching the Lakers lose. I find Kobe at this point in his career as entertaining as Barry Bonds’ own “%&$@ it” period near the end of his own career. I like that brutal honesty. I think its good for the game–keeps all these yahoo media types on their toes.

Golden State vs Sacramento
OKC vs. Clippers (Thunder will go 0-2 to begin the season but Russell Westbrook will have a combined 75 points for both nights)

Cleveland vs. Chicago Possibly a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals
Golden State vs. Portland (two of the best backcourts in the NBA facing off)
Dallas vs. New Orleans (Can there be too much hype surrounding Anthony Davis at this point?)

Memphis vs. Charlotte (Grimey!!!)
Chicago vs. Minnesota (I get headaches from watching Minnesota homegames–not from the players–but because that court is so damn ugly)

Lakers vs. Golden State (#asswhupping)

Charlotte vs. New York Knicks (Two of Brooklyn’s finest coming home. No way in hell I miss this one)

Milwaukee vs. Washington (why not?)

Free Trial with NBA League Pass so I will be on that tip. This is the year I finally purchase it for real. It is going to be hard keeping a girlfriend who doesn’t like hoop. She better be damn interesting–that’s all I’m saying.

Run That Shit Back!

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We back! The NBA pre-season is upon us, which means we are only 2 and a half weeks away from the ball being thrown up for realsssssssss.

I can sum up this upcoming season by grouping the teams into four categories of watchability:

a) “Don’t Waste my Time”

b) “I’ll watch depending on they are playing”

c) “Oooh they playing tonight? Let me see what I got going on.”

d) “Cancel all my plans. I’m staying in tonight.”

Basically teams fall into these categories by whether they got better, got worse, or stayed the same. Some teams were so wack last year they couldn’t help but improve. Others thought (rightly or wrongly) that no changes needed to be made. Let’s get to it, this thing is already going to be long enough.

As much as I love hoop, I will not spend too much time in front of the tube watching the following teams:

Celtics, Lakers, Pacers, Nets, Utah and the Atlanta Hawks.

As a certain social philosopher likes to say, “NOT GONNA BE ABLE TO DO IT!” Not interested, not even a little bit.

How many uncontested layups will the Los Angeles Lakers give up this year? I’m willing to bet anyone that the Lakers will finish in the bottom five in defensive field goal percentage.
Kobe Bryant, Carlos Boozer, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, Swaggy P………if Jordan hill is your best option on defense…should I even continue?

Let’s just hope Jack Nicholson has low expectations this year, because I’d hate to see the old man blow a gasket after seeing his beloved Lake show give up bucket after 4th quarter bucket. Good luck Byron Scott. Lakers need to be in rebuild mode. Talk about being in denial. The Lakers will be right back in the lottery. Mark my words.
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With the loss of Lance Stephenson, I had Indiana being in the lottery even BEFORE Paul George got himself fucked up during the FIBA scrimmages.

I like what Danny Ainge is doing out in Boston, but it will be a couple more years before I can be excited about sitting down to a Celtics game. We’re just not there yet.

Even if the Nets were good, it would be hard for me to support anything Russian owned while that shit is going on in the Ukraine.

UTAH???psssttttttt just change your team mascot already. Saying there is Jazz in Utah is like saying there are good looking women in Maine. I’m sure at one time or another both have existed in each state, but neither are home grown products. If I knew anything about Utah other than Mormons, reformed Mormons, the X-games, and weed, I could come up with something clever–but I can’t. Let’s just move on.

I HAVE A DREAM…….that someday Al Horford will play for a legitimate NBA contender. Go to Chicago Al!!! Team back up with Joakim Noah, I swear I won’t root against you two this time.

DEPENDS ON WHO THEY PLAY

Memphis, Houston, Pelicans, Pistons, Bulls (without D. Rose), Orlando, Denver, Milwaukee, Philly, Knicks, Miami

After a couple of years of squeaking into the playoffs, I think this is the year Memphis finally misses the cut. Phoenix is better, and the Grizzlies are older. I think the injury bug will hit a couple of key veterans. The Grindhouse will not be rocking next April if my suspicions are correct.

I don’t find James Harden or Dwight Howard the least bit of entertaining to watch. I can’t stand Patrick Beverly, and if I wanted to watch someone shoot 30 free throws I’d go to the YMCA and volunteer.

Other than Kid Rock, Jalen Rose, and Eminem, no one outside of the state of Michigan is interested in watching Detroit basketball.

The “Brow” is almost intriguing enough to tune in, but the rest of his team is garbage. Next!

Orlando almost has enough pieces to warrant more than a peek in at their games. One more year of the lottery should get them in position to contend for a playoff spot next year.

Denver has the “Manimal”, and a nasty backcourt of Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson. But really that is about it. But props to Brian Shaw for smashing on Madonna (a remarkable feat that doesn’t get enough attention) in her prime.

Will Jason Kidd be the first NBA player-coach to suit up since Dave Cowens? I think they the pieces to grab that 8th playoff spot. The Eastern conference is wack as hell, and both New York teams will be in the toilet (more on the Knicks in a second) this year. Someone has to grab that last spot–it may as well be them. Peep the roster if you don’t believe me.
Gonna see a lot of this this year
I’m not even remotely interested in Philadelphia until they get completely healthy.

All the players on the Knicks I wanna see play are deep on the bench. I just don’t see how that roster can make the playoffs–even in the East. I’m not entirely sold on D-Fish as a head coach–at least right now. I believe he will have a pretty big learning curve. I think they will miss the playoffs, but just barely. Also Amar’e Stoudemire makes the most money on the team this year, and may actually play the least amount of minutes.

Do you remember when Chris Bosh was the best player on his team in Toronto? Well if you don’t, then this Heat team will remind you of what that was like. Chris Bosh is going to put up some numbers this year, and the Heat will not be as bad as you think. Don’t be surprised if they play Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals.

OOOOOHHHH THEY PLAYING?

Clippers, Bulls (with a healthy D. Rose), Raptors, Cleveland, Mavericks, Wizards, Hornets

These teams I wouldn’t exactly drop everything I’m doing, but I could be talked into meeting someone at the bar to watch any combination of these teams playing each other.

The Clippers were one of those teams that didn’t do much to get better or worse, but besides Jamal Crawford and Chris Paul, there aren’t any other guys who can create their own shot. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan will be better this year, but barring a mid-season trade (and injuries to OKC and San Antonio), I don’t see how they make it out of the west. I do think they will have the best regular season record and will get home court in the playoffs, but that guarantees little against the Spurs and Thunder.

Bulls are deep this year. I’m salivating on watching Noah and Gasol run that Hi-Lo in the post. The Bulls have Mike Dunleavy, Taj Gibson, Aaron Brooks, Doug McDermott and Kirk Hinrich as good role players. I would pencil them as Eastern Conference champs were it not for a few lingering questions.

1) Is the Curse of Michael Jordan real?

Ever since the Jerry’s ran off Phil, Scottie and MJ, the Bulls have had nothing but bad luck. Eddie Curry…..trading Lamarcus Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas, the Jay Williams motorcycle accident, Derrick Rose getting hurt during garbage time of a playoff game—-oh wait that isn’t bad luck— those are the result of bad decisions aren’t they?

2) Will Tom Thibadeau finally learn from the Spurs model and figure out a way to spell his starters so the team can be fresh for the playoffs? Thibs just has a way of grinding his players down. I feel like this is an under reported item concerning his coaching style.

3) The big question of course is will Derrick Rose make it to the All-Star break? He is the difference between them getting knocked out in the first round, and them losing to the Spurs in the finals.

Raptors made no significant changes, which was a good decision. They re-signed Kyle Lowry, which is almost like getting a big name free agent. They could should easily win Atlantic division this year.

People are hype about Cleveland, (and the should be), but why aren’t people also acknowledging that besides their “Big 3”, Cleveland still has a number of questions. Just how much better is Lebron’s supporting cast in Cleveland than the one he left in South Beach? Was James Jones ever that good?
He old and Cleveland is COLD.

I could write that sentence again in regards to Mike Miller and Shawn Marion. All three of these guys are in their mid thirties and have had the luxury of playing in warmer climates for most of their careers. Sure the game is played indoors, but that has to have some affect on your psyche–especially in a shit hole town like Cleveland. It aint ‘Zona or Texas or Florida.

How many games will Kyrie Irving play this year? He hasn’t played a full season of basketball since he was in high school. I’m not saying he’s bad, I’m just suggesting he might be a little frail. I’m not judging (I’m someone who gets hurt playing everything). But we can’t pretend like Irving is a guy you can pencil in to be healthy at the end of the year. Perhaps this wouldn’t be that big of an issue had Cleveland not wasted that pick on Anthony Bennett.

They opted instead for Victor Oladipo, but who is to say they wouldn’t have had to trade him for Kevin Love (imagine what an addition that would have been for Minnesota)? regardless Lebron not only has his consistently monster numbers, but will earn the MVP because everyone else’s stats will inflate because of his presence on the court (especially the Wins column).

Dallas as a team that would drop in the west, but I took a look at the roster and realized that Raymond Felton was indeed NOT the starting point guard for the Mavericks (the Jeopardy answer would be “Who is Jameer Nelson?”). I like their squad, and as I have said before, Rick Carlisle is the 2nd best coach in the NBA. Nothing could surprise me concerning the Mavericks–including another Finals run.

I like the Wizards running the same team back with the addition of Paul Pierce. He will be a great presence for them in the locker room. They are a dangerous team that has a top five backcourt. They could easily be in the Eastern Conference Finals as well.

Lance Stephenson was a great pickup for the Hornets (feels so right doesn’t it? I miss calling them that). Charlotte will be more entertaining to watch this year, but they will still get bounced in the first or second round.

“Alright stop what you doing cuz I’m about to ruin……”

You know what it is….every day I will circle the games these teams are playing and will make damn sure I get to watch them–even if its on replay.

Golden State made a controversial move in ousting Mark Jackson, but they couldn’t have made a less controversial hire in Steve Kerr. I think he will fit in fine with the front office, and will be a breath of fresh air for the franchise, believe it or not. Their season depends on how many games they can squeeze out of their front court players, David Lee and Andrew Bogut.

I’m also curious as to how well Harrison Barnes is integrated into the playing rotation. They need him to play as well as he did during the 2012 playoff run, if the Warriors are to take that next step. Continuity is a huge factor every year, and no major moves were made this off-season. The core remains intact with a couple of key additions in their back court. The Splash Brothers will actually get some rest if Leandro Barbosa, Shaun Livingston, and Brandon Rush can contribute off the bench.

Super Bowl champion Head Coach Jimmy Johnson used to say, “If you are not getting better, then you are getting worse.” This adage pretty much sums up what the Thunder did this off-season. They wasted this summer’s draft picks, lost their best perimeter defender in Thabo Sefalosha, and only managed to sign Anthony Morrow. That being said, the still have two of the best five players in the NBA. That alone will be good enough to get them to the Western Conference Finals. Steven Adams will be starting at center no later than the All Star Break.

Portland didn’t do much to improve either. Then again, any off-season moves to be made on that roster would’ve had negligible results (Is the difference between a 7 seed and a 5 seed in the west worth messing up team chemistry?) Portland’s bench is better based on another year’s experience for Thomas Robinson and C.J. McCollum.

Phoenix will for sure be in the playoffs. They re-signed Eric Bledsoe, bringing back the nastiest back court duo west of San Antonio and east of Nevada. They managed to draft Tyler Ennis, T.J Warren, and acquired Isiah Thomas. The Morris twins re-upped and so did P.J. Tucker’s drunk driving ass. They won’t be sneaking up on no one this year. They ready. Fools are gonna get banged on when they play the Suns.

The T-Cubs will be the newest fun team to watch this year. It is too bad Rick Adelman won’t be around to coach this team. I think this is the second coming of the Baby Bulls, and early 2000’s Sacramento Kings. Rubio finally has some guys to run with him. Look at who the Timberwolves have: Zach Levine, Shabazz Muhammad, Glenn Robinson III, Corey Brewer, Mo Williams, and my boy A. WIGGINSSSS!!!

Last year, the Wolves were 3rd ppg, 6th in rpg, 5th assist, 26th in points allowed. If they can even get into the top 20 in team defense, I think they can contend for a playoff spot until the final week of the regular season. I’m excited to see this team play. Andrew Wiggins wins Rookie of the Year award (even if he has to share it with Jabari Parker–I think getting shunned by the Cavs/Lebron will be the best thing to ever happen for his career–this is the chip on the shoulder he needed).

You know who didn’t have to do a damn thing this year? The NBA (World?) champion Spurs re-signed their role players and drafted triple-double machine, 6’9 PG Kyle Anderson from UCLA. I see this being a quiet title defense for the Spurs. Everyone is going bananas over the revamped Cavaliers, when the Spurs dismantled a team that currently looked better than what Cleveland is running out onto the court. I see the Spurs just chilling in the cut until their “Rodeo trip” and then landing a #3 seed in the playoffs. Health is the biggest factor for them. Their bench players will play just as big a role (probably a bigger role) as last year’s title run.

Anyway, enough with all the formalities. Time to put my name on the line.

MVP Lebron (of course)

Co-Rookies of the Year
Andrew Wiggins/Jabari Parker

Eastern Conference
1. Cleveland
2. Wizards
3. Raptors
4. Chicago
5. Miami
6. Charlotte
7. Milwaukee
8. Atlanta

Western Conference

1. Clippers
2. OKC
3. Spurs
4. Mavericks
5. Warriors
6. Phoenix
7. Portland
8. Houston

Western Conference Finals

Spurs over Oklahoma City (again)

Eastern Conference Finals

Cleveland over Washington

NBA Finals

Spurs over Cleveland to defend their title and shut down any remaining naysayers. Cleveland isn’t ready yet. This year will be a toss up in the East, but by 2015, it will be Cleveland and then everyone else. As evidenced by all the hype surrounding his return to Ohio, this is still Lebron’s league.

Fighting the Doldrums [originally posted 2/10/14 on sportsblog.com]

Winter has hit us pretty hard here in Lawrence. The snow we had shut things down for a few days. By Friday I was sitting at my desk watching the Pebble Beach Pro-Am just to have some sort of escape from out beautifully dreary weather. I think I’m going to start watching the golf channel whenever I need to take a nap. I find it oddly soothing. Something else I learned from watching golf this weekend, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are pretty decent golfers. For all the talk about how ‘humble’ both players exhibit on the football field, their real life swag as rich white men couldn’t be more noticeable in their relaxed golfing attire of pullover sleeves and brown corduroys pants. forget what the scoreboard has read in past Super Bowls, both men are winners at life.

Anyway, I managed to watch a little basketball this weekend, but not nearly as much as I wanted. Living with 30 plus people during a snowstorm doesn’t lend to great bandwidth. It’s also embarrassing to admit that I fell asleep midway through the KU-WVU game on Saturday. Either I’m getting old and need more sleep, or I’m just bored with the way conference play has turned out. Either way I snored my way through the 2nd half. Impressive eh? I looked at the box scores and things seemed rather ho hum. Maybe the “little brothers” (who by the way put it on the same UT horns who thumped the Jayhawks last week)will provide some drama in the little apple tonight. Here are some random notes from the last week of Snowpocalypse:

From what little I did see of the game, Juwan Staten and Erron Harris make up a pretty good backcourt. I heard a couple of analysts say possibly best backcourt in the conference. I looked in the box score and saw they accounted for 39 of the 69 Mountaineer’s points. They definitely have my attention. The next time they face a good team, I’ll probably tune in and check out their game.

Melvin Ejim- WTF! 48 points 18 rebounds on 20-24 shots. Unreal. I know its just TCU, but the horny toads are still a D-1 school. He only missed four shots as well. Pretty dang efficient if you ask me. I don’t know what this means as far as his future in the NBA, but it certainly makes a person pay closer attention to what is going up in Ames.

I got to watch a little NBA action this week. Golden State vs. Chicago wasn’t as good of a game as I was hoping, but I did enjoy it. Besides reminding me about how good of a passer Joakim Noah is (his passes to Taj Gibson out of the High-Low sets not a surprise if you remember his playing days with Horford), this week gave us this tweet.
When his playing days are over, and he can keep it one hundred without fear of repercussions from the league, Noah is going to make a great interview. I’m officially a fan.

Illard!!!

Pacers vs. Trailblazers was everything you could ask for in a game. It was back and forth, a couple of game changing shots in the last minute, and overtime. There was an ILLard outburst, with a 38, 3, and 11 line for the box scores (in OT it felt like he was the only one with anything leftin the tank for Portland) and a humongous game by George Hill (37 pts, 9 boards, 8 assists, 2 steals and 1 blk). The back and forth nature of the game kept me squealing and you could tell that Jon Barry was getting into the excitement as well. David West was hitting clutch buckets, and Wes Matthews put on a show down the stretch too. This was one of the better games of the year. I’m glad I got to watch it in real time.

KD for MVP (revisited)

I’m hoping that KD’s performance yesterday can finally put to rest any doubt that Durant deserves MVP over Lebron. Guarding Carmelo most of the game, Durant managed to score 41, grab 10 rebounds, dish out 9 assists, and keep Melo scoreless for the 4th quarter. I have heard people argue that Durant is only a scorer, and that may have been true going into last year. But people c’mon. KD has done nothing short of step up when his team needed him the most. In fact, everyone on the team has stepped up in Westbrook’s absence (especially Serge Ibaka) and a lot of that is KD making everyone else around him better. You can even see it during the huddles and timeouts; KD directing traffic, and giving feedback when needed. No one knows how the second half of the season will play out, but if MVP were voted on today, I think he would have to be the winner.

Big game tonight against K-State. Although he’s been flashing bits and pieces of brilliance, seems like Joel Embiid has been slightly off his game (from what little I have seen the past few ballgames). He’s still rumored to be the number one pick; which got me to thinking about the ideal spots for Embiid to land next year, should he decide to leave Lawrence. He can’t drive a car yet so maybe that would affect the scenario a bit, but I’m going to give it a few days and chomp on this a bit, and get back to you. Hopefully he’ll get in a groove tonight and have a monster game. All Star weekend approaching and all this snow outside makes me wish I made plans to be in New Orleans this Saturday and Sunday. What perfect timing to be in the N.O.–warmer weather, a great line-up of festivities, Mardi Gras approaching, and of course, its New Orleans. I’m a little jelly of those who get to make it down there. As exciting as it would be to go to New York for next year’s All Star Weekend, it will still be February in New York. Not quite the same. One thing is for sure, I won’t be leaving the house unnecessarily for the next 6 weeks–perhaps this will result in more blog entries and less shenanigans. We will see.

Stay warm out there.