Clicks to Pick Week of 11/20/17

Monday

 

Los Angeles Clippers at New York    League Pass

Anytime you can catch a marquee game at Madison Square Garden with the Knicks feed, I suggest you do it. The commentary duo of Mike Breen and Clyde Frazier is unmatched.

Washington at Milwaukee                     League Pass

John Wall vs the Nigerian Natural #getsome

Oklahoma City at New Orleans            League Pass

New Orleans has been an entertaining team to watch, and they just got Rondo back. Ojo!!!!!!

Cleveland at Detroit                               League Pass

Detroit may be the biggest surprise of the season. I didn’t even have them making the playoffs, but they are off to a good start. They don’t have a single superstar on that team, but they are doing their thing. Stan Van Gundy might get Coach of the Year for his efforts with this squad. This feels like a trap game for the Lebrons.

Tuesday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

 

Wednesday

Golden State at Oklahoma City (Good Ass Game of the Week)  ESPN

Great read by Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher about Seattle losing the Sonics and how that shaped Kevin Durant’s decision to eventually leave Oklahoma City.

San Antonio at New Orleans   

If you like watching big men who pass well, then this is the game for you.

Thursday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

Friday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

Saturday

 

New Orleans  at Golden State      League Pass

New Orleans will keep this close, but the Warriors offense is like a dormant herpes colony: You don’t know when it will erupt, but its an explosive display whenever it happens. Don’t get gassed up on last week’s game against Boston. They’d be lucky to win two games in a first to seven series.

Sunday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

 

 

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

 

Community Quick Hits [originally posted on sportsblog.com 11/24/13]

Random basketball thoughts from last week:

1) Indiana’s Paul George must have been inspired by Larry “Legend” the other night against the Knicks. Certain players know how to really dial it up whenever they are playing Madison Square Garden. Anytime Jordan played there you knew he was going for 30 points (at least). Kobe was the same way. If Kevin Durant or Steph Curry go to MSG to play, I’m going to at least look and see if the game is televised. It may be time to add Paul George to the list.

What he did down the stretch of the 4th quarter and in OT against the Knicks was reminiscent of the way superstars take over the game. He played D on Carmelo Anthony and still managed to make tough shots down the stretch. It was pretty hype. I’m all in on the Pacers if they get more bench help. Injuries aside, I’m saying it’s going to be a Pacers-Spurs finals.

2) Most blowouts are boring to watch, but a KU blowout is still pretty fun. Friday night’s game against Towson was exactly the kind of game you want to see if you are a Jayhawks fan. They didn’t play down to the competition. They came out aggressive and when the opportunity arrived they went for the jugular and put the game out of reach.

I don’t expect many teams to lay down for the Jayhawks. In fact, with all the scouts and hoopla surrounding the team, they will probably get teams’ best shot. If I were a junior or senior, I would want to ball out and leave something for the NBA scouts to remember about me. I don’t expect many more blowouts like the one they had against Towson where the game was over 10 minutes in. On a video game you can hit reset or turn the game off. In real life you just have to take the ass whupping. Scouts take note of how well players respond when getting blown out like that–whether a player crumpled up like a folding chair and mailed it in, or if they left it all on the court.

John Wooden used to say that when you are playing basketball, you are not playing against an opponent. You are playing against your best self. I like the way the Jayhawks went into that game aggressive and never let off the gas. That’s the way championship teams approach things every night.

Towson didn’t play particularly well. Everyone seemed to be looking for their own shot instead of moving the ball and moving without the the ball. Towson started out like 1 for 7 in the first half and for every miss, the Jayhawks took the long rebound and pushed it for a fast break. I was hoping that they would hit a 100, but I knew that Towson would probably score more than 16 in the second half.

3) Joel Embiid probably won’t be around for long if he keeps playing like he has been. His numbers have been nice, but you have to watch him play to get the full gist of how good he can be. He flashed some serious signs of basketball brilliance in both games this week.

Against Iona he showed how athletic and graceful he is, impressing me with how fluid his movements were. Against Towson, he made me squeal with a couple of beautiful Duncan-esque outlet passes. Right now on some mock drafts, he is listed as high as #7.

4) Andrew Wiggins made an excellent decision in coming here to Lawrence. Had he gone to FSU, he’d be in the ACC with Jabari Parker. Though this sounds titillating to have that matchup twice in one year (assuming KU and Duke don’t face each other again in the tourney), he’d be playing on a mid-tier team in a stacked ACC.

Could you imagine Wiggins playing for Kenutcky? The Wildcats already have spacing issues with their difficulties hitting the deep shot. Wiggins would have just added to that. Randle commands a lot of space in the paint and there would be little left for Wiggins to work with. How would they have found enough shots for everybody?

Without Wiggins, this would be a pretty memorable team. With Wiggins, this team has a chance to be one of the all time greats. I’m not just talking about KU history either. I think that (injuries withstanding) people will reflect on this team like they talk about 1990 UNLV, the Fab Five Michigan squads, ’91 Duke, and ’06-07 Florida teams with Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer and Al Horford.

It is a long season which makes this talk sound a little crazy. The question becomes will this be one of the best NCAA teams of all time, or will they be one of the best NCAA teams to not win it all? I would hate to one day write a “lovable losers” essay about this team.

Bring on the Demon Deacons!

Basketball Never Stops………….. It only Rotates [originally posted 12/21/13 on sportsblog.com]

Not much going on here at home front.

Some miscommunication cost me a chance to see the Jayhawks live in person last Saturday. They were some good seats too. I was so depressed that I slept through tip off and sludged my way through the second half.

Jayhawks won. My boy Embiid cemented his status as my favorite current Jayhawk on the roster. I was so ecstatic about his up and under baseline move that I didn’t realize he was on his way to getting 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 blocks. If I’m the right team in next year’s lottery, and I got my shooting guard spot locked up, (say like Orlando) I’m taking Embiid if Parker is already taken.

The rest of the game was pretty ho hum. They did what they were supposed to do, and I honestly was so distracted about not being there (and needing to finish my grad school application) that it wasn’t very enjoyable. So enough about that. I’ll have more to say about the team after Georgetown ( I couldn’t tell name a single player on this year’s roster. I had to look up where Otto Porter got drafted). This week has been all about the NBA. After spending a great deal of time watching the games last week, this week has been kind of quiet.

A few quick hitters before I settle down tonight to watch Spurs-Warriors play:

I love watching the Lakers telecast. The pregame is awesome with former teammates “Big Game” James Worthy and Byron Scott. I think it’s really cool that the Lakers franchise still find ways to stay linked to past players. Plus it sometimes makes for cool moments like these.

Found out right before the start of the Lakers-Thunder game that Kobe would guarding Westbrook. I had a feeling that Russ would be licking his chops. [I just found out like 30 seconds ago that Kobe is out for 6 weeks with a fractured knee. It may be time for him to start taking PED’s] Russ played pretty good with 19 and 12 assists, but KD went HAM with 31 points, 8 boards, 5 dimes, and 4 steals. Lakers as a team were over matched from the start. And now things won’t get too much better with Kobe out for another 6 weeks.

So maybe they should shelve him for the year? Lottery pick this year and they get some top flight talent. I ain’t gonna lie. If two years from now, the Lakers have Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, I’ll be tuning in big time to watch them play. Which I gotta say, I’m not disliking Kobe as much as I used to. You can tell he was happy to be just playing again. He was smiling more in the game against Phoenix than I seen him grin all season last year. I also gotta admit that he’s a pretty amazing distributor when he wants to be. I saw him make some sick dishes the other night, he had 13 assists for the night, and he didn’t even play in the 4th quarter. This period of Kobe reminds me of when I started digging Barry Bonds for his candid quotes and “don’t give a s#$%” attitude.

The Thunder have a better team than I gave them credit for. Their bench is much better this time around. It looks like Reggie Jackson took the experience from last year and learned from his increase in playoff minutes. Jeremy Lamb is much better than I expected him to be. I still haven’t seen much from Perry Jones III to have an informed opinion, but Steven Adams is a legit big to bring off the bench. If they had another center besides Kendrick Perkins, I’d feel comfortable about penciling them in for the Finals. It’s still crazy to me that they “couldn’t afford” Harden but are paying Perkins. It’s true that Harden’s defense is suspect, but he’s a better team defender than people give him credit for. I think Houston’s defense is so bad that it makes him look worse than when he was on OKC (better team defense than Houston). Plus Harden has to be the guy on offense. It is asking a lot of him. Then again, they are paying him a lot of money.

There is a great Jonathan Abrams article on Oklahoma City native (and former Jayhawk) Xavier Henry. I’m a big fan of Abrams (in my opinion, he and Andrew Sharp are the best writers on the Grantland staff) I was hoping to see him bring the boom in front of his hometown folks but the game got busted open so early that the story line fizzled pretty quickly. He did have some decent plays though. The article answers a few questions that I had about why he had trouble early on. I didn’t realize he was only 22. It seems like it was forever ago when he signed on with KU.

The Indy-Miami game was another (pardon the pun) “heated” contest. It certainly had that level of playoff intensity.I usually try to avoid any game involving Eastern Conference teams (more on this in a second), but this has been worth the stop down both times I’ve watched them play this year. I was just remarking to my housemate how much it bothers me to dislike someone who used to rep the crimson and blue when Lebron almost got in Mario Chalmers grill during a (here it comes again) “heated’ time-out.

Udonis Haslaam held Lebron back, but it initially looked like Mario was about to get socked. Earlier in the game I decided that I was no longer on the fence about Chalmers after his “extra” during a hard foul on my boy “Born Ready” Lance Stephenson. I think Mario is a punk and there is evidence to prove it. The main reason I dislike Heat players are Dwayne Wade and Mario. They both play dirty and try to behave as if they are not. It would be one thing if they owned it–but they don’t. It’s the same reason why I disliked Stockton and Malone years ago. That’s not Jayhawk basketball Mario. Why don’t you and Elijah Johnson take that mess overseas somewhere, will ya?

I may have to get League Pass before it’s all said and done. I purposely avoided the Cleveland-Portland game because hey–it’s the Cavaliers– and missed one of the best games of the year (according to Lebron). I felt way more remorse about missing the dueling point guards , than missing Lillard’s game winner against Detroit (I watched it up until OT because the Warriors were playing the Suns–seemed anti-climatic once it was certain that they were playing an extra 5 minutes) on Sunday. I been streaming the games on certain illegal websites for free, but the problem with that is that you can’t go back and watch replays of the games you missed. League Pass is at least good for that. I don’t have enough free time to watch Eastern Conference basketball in the hopes that I’ll catch lightening in a bottle. Perhaps when I’m finally getting paid to cover bad hoops–but even then it’ll be begrudgingly.

UCLA vs. Duke tonight as well. I’m hearing some hype coming out of the PAC-12. I’m gonna have to ch-ch-ch- check it out. Check back in with me next week. Hopefully this holiday break I can restart the running “Lovable Losers” series.

Peace.

Embeast Mode [Originally posted on sportsblog.com 1/15/14]

That loud crash you heard was the back axles straining from the weight of all those people jumping back on the bandwagon. After early non conference losses, people were ready to bury the Jayhawks for dead. If Kansas beats up on Oklahoma State on Saturday, then the same people who over hyped KU– only to abandon them after the San Diego State game–will be ready to crown them champs before we are even a third of the way through the schedule.

Let’s check out who the Jayhwaks lost to:

1)Villanova. They were unranked before the Battle of Atlantis tournament started. Now they are sitting #6 in the country.

2) Florida. They were top ten at the time they beat KU, and now they are # 7 in the nation.

3) Colorado. Also a top 25 team that was unranked during the time they beat Kansas. Now they are #21 in the nation.

4) San Diego State. Another top ten team that KU barely lost in a pretty physical game.

None of those losses were enough to justify the panic that some Jayhawks fans had. Critics outside of Lawrence were quick to write them off as too hyped even if they were the main culprits creating such media hype. It is a long season and there are still some highs and lows for the team to navigate. It seems silly to over react either way to how a team plays in January.

Notes from Monday’s game:

Big ups to Nadir Thaarpe for playing the way everyone was hoping he would. 23 points 6 rebounds and 4 assists may not get him out Self’s doghouse permanently, but it is a great start. As much as the Jayhawks need his outside shooting, I hope that Nadir doesn’t forget that his team needs his passing more than anything else. He has to get the ball into the playmakers’ hands. Every shot that went in for Thaarpe elicited a “Tharpeedo” yell from one of my buddies the other night. I know it’s kind of corny but I’m digging it.

After DeAndre Kane hit the 3 pointer to tie it up at the half, I was certain that the Jayhawks were in for a dogfight. I was severely disappointed that the Cyclones second half strategy was to flop and try to foul out KU’s big men. Besides Kane (who I believe could be a late round gem for a team like the Spurs–I think playing for Pops would be good for his development), I was not that impressed with any of the Iowa State players. This was the eighth ranked team in the country? It just goes to show how arbitrary the top 25 rankings really are. Iowa State played like some busters. As happy as I was to see KU perform like they did, I was just as disappointed that the Cyclones didn’t play better in the 2nd half.

I was even less impressed with the officiating. They fell for every flop that Iowa State attempted, and they blew the whistle way too much. It really interrupted the flow of the game and I hope that teams don’t copycat this strategy to try and get the KU big men out of the game. I also think people are over reacting about Embiid and teams are picking on him specifically to try and draw flagrants on him. That flagrant 1 call on him early in Monday’s game was a horrible call. The NCAA needs to nip this in the bud as soon as possible.

Embiid was in “Embeast” mode (courtesy of Sam) during one particular stretch of the game (he finished 7-8 with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 5 blocks).To see a player take over the game on both ends of the court like Embiid did the other night, makes me wonder how good he will be come tournament time. There were some Kareem jokes made the other night concerning his goggles, but it doesn’t seem such a stretch to suggest that Embiid could be a franchise changing center in the NBA. It is unreal just how fast his game has developed since the start of the season. I came away from Monday night’s game convinced that Joel is the best player on the team.

I wonder if having an enforcer on the floor with Embiid like Tarik Black, would help alleviate the bush league tactics of other teams, trying to get Embiid off his game. Sometimes its necessary to have these kinds of guys. Charles Oakley is the first player to come to mind who fit this role. Rick Mahorn for the Bad Boy Pistons is another. Tarik Black is the only true grimy player I can think of on the roster (though Wayne Shelden looks like he isn’t afraid to alpha dog when need be) who can protect guys like Wiggins and Embiid from taking cheap shots from the other teams. I guess that would mean a front line of Jamari Traylor and Ellis, but maybe that would open the lanes up a bit. It would be interesting to see these wrinkles for a couple of minutes a game just to see how it looked. I’m going to keep an eye out for it.

Lastly, as much as I liked Saturday’s uniforms, I disliked Monday’s uniforms just as much. I couldn’t get past the intrusive pinstripes on the gray background. I liked the font and lettering on the jerseys themselves. I didn’t even mind the gray. But those red pinstripes though……..

There is a lot to look forward to this week and weekend:

UCLA vs. Colorado

Oklahoma vs. Baylor

Denver at Golden State

Portland and San Antonio

Golden State and Oklahoma City (Not quite the luster without Russ Westbrook)

Niners-Seahawks (I’m taking the Niners–my boy Kaepernick is going to get it done up there)

Patriots-Broncos (Just a hunch, but I think the Pats like being the underdogs.)

Kansas vs. Oklahoma State

I’ve had this game circled since the beginning of the season. This is the litmus test to see how difficult it will be to win the Big 12. I’ve heard some people say that they Cowpokes are going to be hurting without Michael Cobbins, but the rest of the team can pitch in to get 5 points and 5 rebounds. I get the feeling that Marcus Smart is going to want to show the nation what he has to offer as a player as well (this may or may not work against him–we’ll see). It’s going to be an exciting atmosphere especially in regards to how well Smart plays. I’m doing whatever I can to get in the building on Saturday. Wish me luck.

No Pressure. No Diamonds

If you ever want to go to a Jayhawks game, I would recommend going to Allen Fieldhouse and finding a scalper. Stub Hub tickets are way over priced, and that is before service fees are enacted.

I attended the game with two buddies and we were expecting to pay at least a bill-fifty to get in the building. For a cool hondo a piece, we got in for a match-up that had been so heavily hyped since last year’s recruiting season.

I left the building feeling underwhelmed with OSU’s team, and their efforts, but I was happy to see them win. The energy in the building was unreal. It was definitely the loudest game I had attended since going to the Warriors-Spurs game back in April of last year. The first half of the game was influenced heavily by the crowd. Some kids from Stillwater sat behind us and they were in awe at how loud it got inside the building. Having gone to only non-conference games, I had yet to attend a competitive game at the “Phog.” OSU was in trouble early; in danger of getting blown out, yet they kept fighting until the end. My only complaint was the close score prevented a “Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk” chant at the end of the game. But hey, a win is a win.

Side notes from the game:

I saw some improvement on defense from Kansas this game–especially in the first half. There weren’t many uncontested layups and OSU made some tough outside shots. With no big men and no inside scoring, it was easy to predict that Phil Forte’s hot shooting was not going to be enough. Besides Forte’s big day, no one else stepped up. I was shocked to find that Marcus Smart was one assist shy of a triple double. He didn’t hit many shots early on (3-14 with 16 points), and besides his late game defense on Frank Mason sometimes would forgot he was on the floor.

Bigs Jamari Traylor, Joel Embiid, and Tarik Black had a combined 37 points. Embiid himself was two blocks away from a triple double. The guard play was quiet however;with Selden only getting nine points and Wiggins a mere three (Wiggins only logged 23 minutes going 1 for 5 shooting).
Naadir Tharpe is playing like the point guard this team needs. He has been flat out balling. 39 minutes played on Saturday equated to 7-8 shooting (3-4 from 3 pt range), 21 points, 3 steals and 6 assists. He had 6 turnovers but its easy to rack up 6 of those in a pickup game at the local community building.

There was some really awful officiating this game. Too many whistles and too much flopping from the Cowboys. I’m not feeling all these technical fouls against Joel Embiid either. It seems like teams have figured out that they can’t beat Kansas athletically and are trying to use different mental tactics to agitate certain players. Oklahoma State played kind of dirty and every time I heard a whistle, I assumed a foul was going against OSU because a Jayhawk went down to to the floor. Nope. Without the help of a TV or radio announcer to sort out the calls, a lot of things remained unexplained until I was able to get on the internet. This wasn’t as bad as the Arkansas-Kentucky game last Monday, but it was upsetting. The egregious flagrant foul (and Smart’s subsequent flop) against Wayne Selden almost turned the tide of the game. OSU got two free throws and the ball–and promptly hit a three pointer to cut the game down to 1.

I lost a lot of respect for the OSU basketball program. They played like some busters. There were some cheap shots, and extra-curricular activity going on within the game. This game should have been a blowout. OSU did not look like a 9th ranked team. Playing the way they have lately, it feels silly to expect them to get further than the sweet sixteen this year. I can’t believe they had me so worried earlier in the year.

Jayhawks games are quite in vogue these days with our superstar laden team here in Lawrence. It was so cool to see Greg Anthony getting the crowd riled up for his camera phone. Cal graduate Aaron Rodgers was there. Former Jayhawks Jeff Graves, Elijah (d*&k-punch) Johnson, and Wayne Simien showed up for the big game. I ran into Kansas superfan Josh Swade, and even Grantland’s Andrew Sharp was in the building.

My buddy Sam and I made a poster for the game, “Embiidst Mode” and we were prepared for television to pick up the phrase and run with it. With our seats high up in the rafters, we decided to donate our sign to a student ticket holder. The first person we came across looked pretty unimpressed with our pun and stuck in down in the mobility impaired section behind the basket. I saw him do it, and when I asked if he had our sign, he said that “it fell.” So at halftime I fished it out and gave it to this guy with a blue Feaux-hawk, who proudly displayed it every time KU took a free throw. Big ups Feaux-hawk guy.

How about Durant’s Friday night explosion against Golden State? 54 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists for KD. I was at the game when he put up 51 against the Timberwolves back in 2012, and he makes it look so easy. I don’t think anyone will get close to 81 points again, but if it were to happen again, my money would be on either Durant or Steph Curry to be the ones who would erupt.

Big Monday and Baylor is about to get exposed. They have the big men but their guard play has yet to impress me. Tonight might be a blowout.

Low Seed For Embiid [Originally posted on 2/15/14]

[This post is predicated on the possibility that Joel Embiid leaves for the NBA after his freshman year. I personally don’t believe he will go. Embiid has said himself that he doesn’t believe he is ready to leave school yet for many reasons;one of them being that he doesn’t even know how to drive yet. Taking into account how taxing an 82 game season (plus travel) can be on a player, it is hard to see an already “beat up” Embiid making the jump.But for the sake of this column to work, let’s pretend he is leaving.There are three categories: “Absolutely opting out of my rookie deal”, “this ain’t so bad but I’m gonna have to explore my options”, and “let’s talk about an extension already”]

“Absolutely opting out of my rookie deal”

Cleveland

Let’s just say there is a reason the act of giving someone a “steamer” is forever linked with the city of Cleveland. Were the Native Americans wrong when they dubbed Cleveland the “mistake by the lake?” Is it an accident that all the franchises are snakebitten? There are just some places should never be inhabited by people. I believe Cleveland is one of them. Lebron didn’t waste any time high tailing it out of there, and you will see the same thing when its time for Kyrie Irving to hit free agency. Its a hard place to run a professional franchise because no one would choose to move there unless they were paid gobs of money–and sometimes that isn’t enough. It is kind of a catch-22 for the city because I don’t believe the chances are high for a successful professional franchise, however; it would be even more of a depressing place to live if there weren’t any sports teams there. Just dissolve the city already and find better places to live why don’t you? Then again…..the city just gave us Bone Thugs N Harmony and this moment.

Utah

One day they may have a good team again. Gordon Heyward may leave or get traded this year. Trey Burke is an interesting player, and Joel and Burke could be an interesting tandem. But its Utah and he’s African. I know they love their basketball in Utah, but I’ll pay you 20 dollars for every black player outside of Karl Malone who enjoyed living in Salt Lake City. It’s not Cleveland but its not much better either.

Minnesota

Even white dudes don’t like playing in Minnesota. Kevin Love wants sunshine, and an organization that has some sort of plan. That ain’t Minnesota.

Milwaukee

Ask Kareem how much he enjoyed living there.

Washington (Chocolate City)

Socially this could be interesting for Embiid. Unfortunately the Wizards have been a mess since Gilbert Arenas decided to reenact the “Guns of Navarone” with Jarvis Crittendon.

Detroit No way this happens, because Joe Dumars would probably get fired faster than you can say “Matt Millen.” They have too many big men on the roster already (I’m doing my best to not shoehorn a Big Lebowski/Karl Hungus “log jamming” joke in here–let’s just move on).

“We’ll have to explore our options at the end of my contract”

Charlotte

I could see Michael Jordan wanting to create a twin towers with Al Jefferson and Joel Embiid. Throw in Kemba Walker and you have interesting nucleus. The problem is that you never know what the Bob–err Hornets will look like from year to year. They have been the epitome of an unstable franchise since they got a team again. It could work but I doubt it.

Denver

Another franchise without a long term vision. They are in constant transition–a a revolving door of GM’s and head coaches. Denver could be fun for Joel. I hear there are a lot of Jayhawk fans there. Someone could introduce him to that medical if he is vulnerable to migraines (to push the Kareem-Embiid corollary even further).

New Orleans

Pelicans……… this could be interesting if Anthony Davis and Embiid had a point guard. The jury is still out on this franchise. Who knows– they could be in Seattle in 3-4 years.

Orlando

They already have the building blocks with Oladipo, Jameer Nelson (however long he stays) and Arron Afflalo. Embiid would be a nasty addition. In the weak East, a team like this would be a couple of moves away from making the playoffs. Plus no state tax in Florida; which would mean more money in Joel’s pocket. He could be the third high impact big man to start his career in Orlando only to leave for Los Angeles as soon as his rookie deal was expired.

Sacramento

New Life or stale breath? The jury is still out on Sac-town. Boogie Cousins should have been an All-Star. Ben McLemore has yet to assert himself as an integral player. Derrick Williams and Rudy Gay have contributed at times. The Kings would be a really fun team on NBA 2K14. The problem is that most video game rosters are terrible to watch in real life. A competitor like Cousins could bring out the Embiidst mode in Embiid. I read a great article a few weeks ago by Jonathan Abrams about Cousins that confirmed a lot about what I already suspected. Cousins seems a lot like Rasheed in terms of talented but misunderstood “head cases”. This could be an interesting mix–especially with Shaquille helping out in the front office. He could pull Embiid’s coat tails and hip him to a thing or two about being an NBA big man.

“Let’s just sign an extension already”

Phoenix

What bad back? Phoenix has the best medical staff in the NBA, just ask Steve Nash and Grant Hill. Embiid, the Morris Twins, Jeff Hornacek, Eric Bledsoe and Dragic makes this an intriguing destination/outcome. Instant league Pass favorite. Am I right?

Los Angeles Lakers

It’s Los Angeles and he’d have to either learn how to drive or hire someone to get him around town. L.A. loves their big men and he’d usher a brand new era in Lakers’ folklore. Throw in the rumors of Westbrook and Kevin Love reuniting as Lakers, and suddenly the buzz is back in Tinsel town.

Boston

Quality general manager in Danny Ainge, and a promising young head coach. If Boston keeps Rondo, and gets another couple pieces via the draft, then suddenly the ceiling in Beantown gets raised faster. A green and white number #21 Boston Celts jersey would be pretty ill. Plus I hear Boston is nowhere near as racist as it used to be.

So there you have it. Boston and Los Angeles could very well end up with Embiid. I can hear the conspiracy theories already. But would that necessarily be bad for the league? For selfish reasons of course, I’d like to see him stay one more year to develop. We’ll see what happens. As of today, he is sitting out against TCU for rest, and the Bucks say they would take him at #1 if they got the lucky ping pong ball. Maybe we should pump the brakes on our “Low Seed for Embiid” chants.