Like Pop, I’m playing the long con. We only have two weeks left in the regular season, and this coming weekend is the Final Four. I originally had plans to go to Lawrence to celebrate the Jayhawks return to the Final Four (and I still might despite their loss on Saturday), but now I may need to rethink my schedule for the week. Anyway, I’ll need more time to develop a well thought out, end of the regular season post–complete with end of the year awards and a playoff preview.
Good Ass Games Posted Below
“Tap that Vein” Tuesday
Buster of the Week Award:
91-93 Michigan Wolverines
Head Coach: Steve Fisher
Final Fours: 2
Big Ten Titles: 0
National Championships: 0
Starters: F Ray Jackson, F Juwan Howard, C Chris Webber,
G Jimmy King, G Jalen Rose
Key Role Players: G Rob Pelinka C Eric Riley F Michael Talley
With the NCAA tournament only hours away from starting (oh who am I kidding? By the time you read this, it may be the 2nd round), I thought it’d be fitting to give a quick shout out to the Michigan Fab Five. They changed the game of college basketball, taking what the Runnin’ Rebels started and taking it to a whole other level as far as style, flair, and image.
Unlike UNLV, they never won a championship, losing in the title game back to back years. In fact, they never even won a Big Ten title (something Bill Walton used to always bring up back in the day).
Were they overhyped? Perhaps. Were they revolutionary? Absolutely. No team dared to wear baggy shorts, and low cut blacks socks. No team encapsulated the times like they did, coming onto the scene right around the beginning of the ‘golden age of hip hop’.
I was in 7th grade when the Fab Five formed, having no idea that only 30 miles away from my Dallas suburb was an 18 yr-old named Jimmy King, who could jump out of the gym. In fact, I’d never even watched a full college basketball game up until the 1991-92 NCAA tournament. My dad rooted for teams like UNLV, Arkansas and Georgetown, because they had “more brothas” playing for them. The games were always on in the background, but the only sports I liked back then were football and baseball.
That all changed after watching my first Michigan basketball game. These guys were brash, fun, and high flying. Nothing gave me a bigger thrill than watching Chris Webber throw down an alley-oop dunk, and Jimmy King in the open court was an automatic two points. After watching them play the Bob Huggins coached Cincinnati Bearcats (led by Nick Van Exel) in the semi-finals, I spent the rest of the eveing practicing Jalen Rose’s lefty leaner in my buddy’s driveway.
I made some academic mistakes that forced my mother to ground me from television, and I was stuck listening to the championship game against Duke on the radio. The first half of the game went well for Michigan, but Duke dismantled them in the second half of the game. I listened in dissatisfaction while trying to imagine what Webber’s 360 dunk must have looked like on television.
We didn’t have cable at my house. This made every televised Michigan game an event, and I sat in front of the living room tv humming the “Hail to the Victors” fight song during the timeouts. One particular conference game between the Wolverines and Hoosiers was especially memorable because it got interrupted by local coverage of the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco.
I knew nothing about David Koresh, and had never been to Waco, and couldn’t care less at the time about any of it. The game was over by the time they cut back to the action. Indiana fans were cheering and the Wolverines were sulking on the sidelines as time expired.
The Fab Five run through the tournament was not a thing of beauty. They had trouble scoring at times because they weren’t a very good three point shooting team. Rob Pelinka (also known as NBA superagent to players like Kobe Bryant and James Harden) was their biggest outside threat off the bench. You could see how things opened up inside when he was in the game, as teams couldn’t sag off.
Their bench was also pretty young and thin; one that only went 8 deep at best. It goes to show just how good their starting five were because everyone (not named Ray Jackson) played over 1,000 minutes for the season.
I wonder now in hindsight if playing all five freshman (and sophomores) as starters was the best idea. Chemistry aside, I wonder just how more effective the second unit would have been had King and Jackson led the helm.
Back then, small ball wasn’t really a thing outside of teams like FSU (with their 3 guard attack of Bobby Sura, Charlie Ward, and Sam Cassell) and sometimes Duke, but this era of Michigan ball sometimes looked unbalanced.
UCLA and Kentucky took the Wolverines to the limit before bowing out of the tournament, and a part of me wonders if they were spent by the end of that championship game against North Carolina. Mental fatigue can make people do funny things, and maybe that contributed to that ill fated timeout (causing me to lose my first ever sports bet).
There are plenty of games to watch online (courtesy of the NCAA vault), if you feel yourself geting nolstagic for the New Edition of 90’s basketball. They were not the most fundamentally sound of teams, and they rubbed a lot of old white people the wrong way, but they were still a lot of fun to watch.
You can’t look at the career paths of the Freshman Fab Five and say they were losers. Webber and Rose has gone on to have outstanding careers in the media, while Howard is an assistant coach for the Miami Heat. Ray Jackson runs an elite basketball program for Austin youth. Jimmy King is mentoring youth in Detroit.
King and Jackson didn’t do much professionally after Michigan, while Webber, Howard, and Rose played on various entertaining teams in the NBA (Howard of course got a couple of rings with the Heat).
You can bring up the off the court controversies that caused Michigan to vacate the wins, and you can always bring up the fact that Michigan never won any kind of championship. But as Jalen Rose himself says, “there is the scoreboard, and there is the score of the game of life.” I think you can say they all won in that regard–especially Rob Pelinka, that dude is filthy rich.
Things are pretty keyed up for a lot of people right now. NFL playoffs started on Saturday, and there are a couple of midwestern fanbases whose teams let them down in typical disappointing fashions.
As a (recovering) Cowboys fan it is hard to empathize with either Vikings or Bengals fans. Anyone who knew anything about the history of either franchise couldn’t have been surprised at the way both teams melted down in the clutch.
In other news, by the end of the week, someone is going to win enough money to buy their own sports team (sounds like a great premise for a movie–NBA superfan wins a billion dolllars in the lottery and buys his favorite basketball franchise).
Last week had its share of the dramatic, I nailed the Good Ass Game of the Week pick with the OU-KU triple overtime game. Big ups to Buddy Hield, who put in some work on a team that really only goes 7 deep (46 points).
Big ups also to the Jayhawks upper classmen for stepping up during winning time. I’m not sure if any of them will get much run in the NBA (Selden maybe if he can prove to be a good perimeter defender–but I’m still not sold on his shooting), but they look like they are ready to make a legitimate run in March.
The game was everything I was hoping it would be, evoking memories of those old Big Mondays from the early 2000’s when the Big 12 was easily the best basketball conference in the country. It was an instant classic, and I was proud of the Allen Fieldhouse faithful for showing up and being loud.
I’ve been disappointed with the crowd participationover the last few years–even once being asked to sit down by an usher during an intense non-conference game against Georgetown a couple of years ago.
Everything about this night screamed #Good Ass Game, to the point where even the Jayhwaks fans had to give a standing ovation to Buddy Hield well after the end of the game. I don”t know how the Kentucky game can even come close to atmosphere in this contest–especially after seeing how weak they looked against LSU on Tuesday.
Speaking of LSU, I only got to se about 30 game time seconds of Ben Simmons, but I’m convinced he is the real deal. He might be a light skinned Lamar Odom (minus the pension for candy and dramatic Persian families).
He is so good that any of the following lottery teams: the Knicks, Hornets, Magic, Blazers, Kings, Teen Wolves, Pelicans, Suns, and Lakers, could end up in the playoffs if they draft him. He even has Magic Johnson’s endorsement.
Simmons didn’t even get loose like he could have and they still beat Kentucky. That says a lot about both how god he is, and how weak Kentucky is playing right now. That being said, I’m still trying to get in the building come January 30th.
We are in for a treat this week. This week’s slate of basketball is going to be really good, and of course the Divisional Playoffs for that barbaric game with the oblong leather object begin on Saturday. So let’s get to it eh?
We finally get to see Draymond Green and Hassan Whiteside settle their debate over “smallball”. It should be good.
Just the first of many tests this week for what I believe is the league’s best team. Detroit is going to give them some good run.
We are a far cry from these days. But it will no doubt be a good ass game.
Cleveland doing the Texas trifecta this week. Teams rarely come out of this unscathed. We’ll find out what kind of team they have after this week.
Just for Funzies….. I can almost guarantee that Zach Lavine is going to try and do too much in this game. I hope Russ takes his fellow alums out for dinner, and on the ride out to Mickey Mantles or KD’s, he plays Zach a song from the Yeezy catalog. Zach thinks he is ready, but he aint’ ready. It’s okay man, we’ve all been there.
I’ll be in the building for this one. Normally I’d take a pass, but a buddy of mine happens to be passing through and really wanted to see the “Hustle Westbrook” live in the flesh. I can’t let him do that by himself can I? Those nosebleed seats can be tough to navigate at the “Peak.” Besides it’ll give us something else to talk about when he makes an appearance on the next episode of the “Full Sass Podcast.”
I of course won’t be able to watch this one, but it may be worth keeping an eye on in the 4th quarter.
Thursday (Good Ass Game of the Week)
San Antonio vs. Cleveland
Drop everything for this one. I know what I said during the NBA preview, but this will probably be the NBA Finals preview. Kawhi vs. Lebron is worth the stop through alone. Unfortunately, there won’t be any garbage time. The Spurs are the only team I actually enjoy watching the bench guys during garbage time. I’m trying to tell you, this team is DEEP!!
Always a good time. You can double down on the Timberwolves-Thunder if you didn’t get enough on Tuesday. #tapthatvein
Knicks have been balling of late, and they were a couple of inches away from ending the Spurs home winning streak the other night. I fux with the 3-6 Latvia. Porzingis is the real deal. Dude does not get fazed. He ready!!!!
Man who am I kidding? The only reason to watch this game is to see what kind of crazy shit that “Curry the Conductor” orchestrates.
Sacramento-Los Angeles (Clippers)
Speaking of balling, Boogie “Down Productions” has been putting up some monster numbers. He is the best big man in the game. There really is no excuse for the Kings not making the playoffs. The 8th spot is up for grabs and it would be a shame if they didn’t take it. While my Full Sass partner, Craig Stein, loves the Orlando Magic, my surrogate team is the Kings.
I know. I know. Rondo is a renowned homophobe, and Boogie is a malcontent, but what can I say? I’ve always had a soft spot for the problem children. Besides, next to the
Pendejos Clippers, they look like choir boys. The Kings are at least amusing. The Clippers are just annoying.
This could very well be another playoff preview, but more importantly, I’ll probably be watching this one alongside other #fullsassers. This may call for a dual live tweet as the game progresses. I may be more excited for this one than I am about the #goodassgameoftheweek.
I took a break from writing this post to tune into the last 7 minutes of the Trailblazers-Thunder game, and I’m glad I did. On one hand you could say OKC blew it down the stretch, or you could Lillard went into #illard mode and destroyed them with 7 second half three pointers. Earlier this week I said I didn’t think he was an All Star this year. I gladly take that back. “Video Game”Dame is no joke. Respect.
“Buster of the Week Award” could go to a lot of people this week. There were definitely a lot of candidates. Maybe this is not the platform to say something so #fullsass, but I’m going to give it to Mr. President Barack Obama.
I’ll admit that nothing about politics surprises me, but I must say that this push for gun control mystifies me. If Obama pushed half as hard against the obvious imbalances in our justice system as he has about gun control, I’d have more respect for his time in the White House.
I feel like we are ignoring this gigantic elephant in the room by ignoring the violence perpetrated by the police and “stand your ground” vigilantes.
“When guns are outlawed, only the Government will have guns. The Government – and a few outlaws. If that happens, you can count me among the outlaws.” Edward Abbey
I’m not saying I’m cool with “Open Carry” laws either. I was in Texas last week, and that was just as weird, trying to guess who was packing and who was not. Believe me I know where every exit is no matter if I’m in a restaurant or movie theatre.
As a black man in this country, it would be dangerous not to be hypersensitive about this issue. I think gun control is important, but to invite this discussion without also talking about (a sometimes overzealous) law enforcement’s access to guns is irresponsible. I think the Tamir Rice tragedy deserves just as much attenton as the Newton shootings.
Honorable Mention: Paul LePage, Adam “PacMan” Jones, Vontaze Burfict, Adrian Peterson, Jeremy Hill, Blair Walsh
Enjoy all the games this week, and stay warm.
It was a good ass week for hoops last week. The Warriors somehow managed to wow me again, Kentucky hit the nation with the nastiest 1-2 combo I’ve seen since Lennox Lewis was boxing, and the NBA Rookie of the Year award has become a two person race.
I peeped the Champions Classic on Tuesday night and was rather impressed with what I saw. It was a basically a pair of Wackarnold’s All American games. After watching the Kentucky-Duke game, the KU-Sparty game was a serious letdown.
Bill Self still loves to keep his best shooters on the bench and clog the lanes with big men. I don’t understand why Brannen Greene (as of now suspended for 6 games) or Svi Mykhailiuk are not on the floor at all times to keep defenses honest.
If I’m playing Kansas I’ll take my chances with Frank Mason, Devonte Graham, and Wayne Selden shooting from behind the arc. Perry Ellis is a good shooter, but you are doing teams a favor by having him 18-25 feet away from the basket. Maybe he does become a Lamarcus Aldridge clone on the next level, but he is not there yet.
Big ups to Denzel Valentine (triple double), who was the only redeeming aspect of that game. Shit was weaker than a Drake diss record.
Kentucky continues to be a professional basketball camp. If I was an 17 year old stud about to choose a college, the only thing that would keep me from signing with the UK would be their historic legacy of racism. But a night on the town with Ashley Judd’s old ass may be enough to sway a brutha. Speaking inf Kentucky players, peep this article by former national (and NBA )champion Nazr Mohammed.
The Kentucky backcourt of Tyler Ulis ,and Jamal Murray is the best in the country (no disrespect to Ron Baker and Fred Van Fleet).
Speaking of that Duke-Kentucky game, I’ve figured out the formula for the Dukies winning a title. Last year’s title game was easily the blackest roster I’ve seen since I’ve been a hoops fan. Anytime they have had more than four white guys getting major minutes, you can pretty much pencil them in as first weekend flame out.
Grayson Allen had a good weekend up in New York, but you saw what happened on Tuesday when he played against future professionals (2-11 with 6 pts). I saw Bobby Hurley play at Duke, and Allen is no Bobby Hurley. I’d say he’s a “Wojo” with hops and a better shot (no disrespect to “Wojo” or to short white guys—some of my best friends are short and white).
And before you say something about the 2010-2011 team, when they beat Butler; that was a down year for college hoops.
Watching college hoops reminded me of why I prefer NBA ball though. College hoops is so sloppy, coach dominated, and frankly, just an inferior product. The gap between college hoop and pro ball is huge. I basically watch for scouting purposes alone. If you wanted to put money on how many college games I’ll watch this year, I’d bet -25. Call your bookie now.
Now, onto the pros:
Some good ass games to start the week with
The hype on Kristaps Porzingis is getting loud. Playing in a buzz heavy city like New York lends favor for a guy like Porzingis. I hope Justice Winslow is using this as fuel to show out against the Knickerbockers. The media is dying to give Porzingis a nickname and they are reaching. Frankly his last name alone is better than “KP” (there is already a KD why add confusion?), “The Zinger”, or “Rook.” Its much easier for me to yell “Porzingis” when homie is going Fed in a big game. Reminds me of basketball bromance with Sabonis. The syllables just roll off the tongue.
San Antonio- Phoenix
Any other year, the Spurs would be number one option, but with League Pass, the urgency isn’t as strong. I can’t say enough about how much I want to see how they match up with the Dubs. More on them later though.
Sacramento vs. Charlotte will be worth checking out. Rondo is putting up triple doubles faster than you can say Russell Westbrook. I still fux with Rondo, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
This Detroit-Milwaukee game is the perfect example of why I love the condensed game feature on NBA league pass. It’ll be interesting, but not exactly beautiful. Kind of like “ugly” women in New York–still exotic enough to make it worth checking out.
Chicago-Portland will be the best game of the night, but the Golden State-Lakers game will be the best blow out game you’ve ever seen.
Speaking of the Warriors, Last Week’s Good Ass Game of the Week, lived up to the hype. Even though Golden State was down, they never panicked. Draymond Green’s three at the end of the 3rd period may as well have been the game winner. His reaction after he hit it, just showed how much swag they have right now.
I love how confident they are. Last year they thought they were good, but this year they know they are good. It is making all the difference in the way they prepare for games.
In Phil Jackson’s “Eleven Rings” (a great read), he talks about the 5 stages of tribal culture.
Level 1 is “All Life Sucks.” The best example of this are franchises like the Kings, and the 76ers.
Level 2 is “My life Sucks” This would be the Clippers right up to the point of them drafting “Beige” Griffin.
Level 3 is “I’m great and your’re not.” Kobe era Lakers without Phil.
Level 4 “We’re Great” Spurs.
Level 5 “Life is Great.” Innocent Wonderment. Talk is about infinite potential and making history. The tribe is in competition with what is possible, not another tribe. Think the 72 win Bulls.
Level 5 is where the Warriors are right now. They know they are special, and young enough to enjoy the newness of it all. They are having fun, which makes it fun to watch them. I haven’t seen this kind of buzz surrounding a team’s offense since the showtime Lakers. It is fitting that they can tie the record for best start to a season by beating them on Tuesday.
I hope this is a second round matchup in the playoffs.
Trust me. By the way. I love me some Karl Anthony Towns. He plays D, he has a good post game, and he can pass. I’m just sayin’
The highlights alone will be worth watching.
Hassan Whiteside will be the starting big man for the Eastern Conference All Stars.
Dallas-San Antonio (GOOD ASS GAME OF THE WEEK)
Can you say live tweet session? #FULLSASS
This some good ass Turkey.
Sacramento vs. Minnesota
Some young talent in this one.
Golden State vs. Phoenix
Suns will hang with them for about 2 -3 quarters before Dubs run away from them. Records will be broken.
Detroit vs. Oklahoma City
The return of Reggie.
Atlanta vs. San Antonio will be something like this.
If you really need to tap that vein.
Have a happy Thanksgiving.
There were a slew of Good Ass Games last week, including a B-Ball watching extravaganza on Friday. Six straight hours of watching basketball on a Friday night, and I couldn’t have been happier. Of course, once those games are over, reality sets in, and I realized that I made no plans for the late night tip. #poorplanning
Since I’ll be going to the Florida-Kansas game on Friday, let’s start with some college hoop. Kansas clearly has a lot of talent, but some of the pieces are not fitting. Bill Self recruits the guys to fit his system, and he always has talented big men, but there is only one basketball. If the ball is distributed evenly each player gets to touch the ball 20 percent of the time. The other 80 percent of basketball involves things other than scoring.
Obviously the Jayhawks are talented, but there is always someone bigger and badder on the block. Kansas ran into the big and bad Wildcats and got stomped. Part of that was talent (Kentucky is clearly the most talented team in the country), but Kansas also didn’t play that smart—which also contributed to such a lopsided score. Kentucky will be impossible to beat if a team is depending on isolation sets and one primary ballhandler. Kansas is not a very good passing team, and Kentucky just waited on the Jayhawks to drive to the rack so they could block their shot.
Michigan State didn’t fare as well defensively against the Jayhawks strategy. They fouled Kansas and put them on the free throw line. Every time the Jayhawks got fouled taking it to the rim, you could see an extra pass leading to an easier bucket. Kansas has to learn how to make that extra pass. Svia Mikhailhiuk gets it, and Frank Mason is looking more comfortable with each game (I really like that backcourt combo–I think they have good on court chemistry).
The problem with recruiting the “one and done” player is the constant turnover messes with cohesion. This is still a young Jayhawks team and the learning curve is almost as steep as last year’s squad. Roles have yet to be established and defined, and all the highly recruited cats come in thinking they are “the man.” Kelly Oubre has yet to look comfortable on the floor, and Cliff Alexander shows flashes of highlight reel potential, but they definitely play like Freshmen.
Cliff Alexander is definitely going to be ill, but I get nervous anytime the Kansas big men (outside of Perry Ellis)put the ball on the floor (do I have an affinity towards big men who can pass? Yeah you could say that). There are no “stretch fours” on the team and you see a lot of clogged lanes on the offensive end—not a good thing if your team doesn’t shoot well from the perimeter.
A basketball team is a community, and in a community different people take on different roles to make that community work. Some people do multiple things well. Some people are really great at one particular thing and mediocre at other things, but communities thrive when everyone is put in a position to succeed at what they are best at. By conference play, the Jayhawk players are going to have to figure out what roles to assume in order to help their team win.
Maybe Cliff Alexander decides that no one is going to outrebound him or get past him on defense, and whatever points he scores along the way is gravy (Kentucky’s Anthony Davis was the fifth leading scorer on that championship team but managed to control the game in every other aspect).
Maybe Wayne Selden decides that no matter how many points he gets on the offensive end (Can he be a “3 and D” guy in the NBA?) that his guy will get locked down on the perimeter. Maybe Frank Mason looks to drive and kick rather than drive and finish, with Svia Mikhailiuk there on the perimeter to keep defenses honest. And maybe Bill Self can get his guys to feed Perry Ellis 15-20 touches a game (he looked really good this weekend in Orlando).
Let’s switch gears and talk about that other team in Kansas–no not the Wildcats silly. I’m talking bout them Shockers. Despite losing Cleanthony Early to graduation last year, Wichita State is just as fun to watch this year. Ron Baker and Fred Van Fleet is the best backcourt combo that no one is talking about.
The way those two guys get their teammates involved is beautiful to watch. Van Fleet had 21 points on 6-11 shooting, 9 assists and ZERO turnovers. As a matter of fact, Ron Baker didn’t have any turnovers either, and he shot 6-14 with 19 points. Of Wichita State’s 25 made field goals, 18 of them were assisted.
People hate on the Shockers for playing in a less renowned conference against “inferior” competition, but if you like smart, beautiful basketball, then catch a Shockers game. They are a real treat to watch and play against Utah on Wednesday. I’ll be watching them play as much as possible this season (and possibly next if both Baker and Van Fleet come back to play with transferring guard Conner Frankamp).
GOOD ASS GAMES OF THE WEEK
OKC vs. New Orleans Would you believe it if I told you that I haven’t watched an OKC game since Russ Westbrook broke his hand. It feels good to put the Thunder on the Good Ass Games list again (for however long it lasts).
Toronto vs. Sacramento Damn. Demar Derozan……I hope he gets well soon. A groin tear sounds really painful, and I was just coming around to enjoy watching the Raptors play too. If you happen to catch this particular game, try to imagine playing an updated version of NBA JAM with these two teams. Which 3 players would you go with? I was thinking about this when I was watching the Hornets the other night (another good NBA jam team). You gotta admit, it’d be fun to play.
Memphis at Houston
Before the season began, both of these teams were my “bubble” teams. I’m still not sold on Houston’s role players just yet and I think they’ll come down to earth by March. As for Memphis, I’m not surprised by how well they are playing at all–Gasol has kicked it into another gear this year. What does surprise me is that they are healthy. It is a loooooooonnnnnggg season, so who knows what will happen.
But Memphis has been looking really tough. I also like that former Michigan State sharpshooter Shawn Respert is an assistant coach there, while Brevin Knight is a color commentator for the organization. It is little things like these that make me realize how fucking old I’m getting.
Chicago at Charlotte
I’m not crazy about the Hornets this year, but there is something very comfortable and relaxing about their announcing team of Steve Martin and Dell Curry. Listening to their play-by-play makes me want to eat Bojangles Chicken and drink sweet tea (or maybe I just had the munchies).
Also, how did no one tell me how hot the dance team was for the Hornets? I’ve been to Charlotte so maybe this shouldn’t have been a surprise but damn! i mean peep this photo from Carolinablitz.com,
I just may peek in on Lakers vs. Wizards, if only to see that Washington backcourt knock Kobe and co. back to earth. But again, that may be a case of “doing too much.”
Cleveland vs. New York It is always fun to see what Lebron will do when he steps onto the floor at MSG. Will his performance spawn inspiration for another rap tune?
Portland-Indiana This is the best I’ve seen Chris Kaman and Steve Blake play which leads me to conclude that Portland is a haven for white and light skinned players. Seriously, this demographic just thrives up in the Pacific Northwest. Imagine what Brent Barry’s career would have been like had the Trailblazers drafted him? then again it is too cold to surf up there, so maybe he wouldn’t have dug it.
New Orleans vs. Golden State This is going to be a good one, and I will probably only get to catch the highlights because I’ll be en route to Lawrence, Kansas. This one has “Good ASS Game of the Week” written all over it. in a couple of years, if Portland and Golden State play their cards right, these two teams could be jockeying for the Western Conference top spots for the latter part of the decade.
The Spurs will hit a small snag where they will be middle of the pack but still making the playoffs, and once Dirk retires, the Mavs will suffer a slightly worse identity crisis. There is nothing that anyone can say that can convince me that Westbrook and Durant are going back to OKC. Who will fill that power vacuum in the west?
Cleveland-Toronto Eastern Conference Finals Preview? Any takers? By the way, what’s up with this #mynorth commerical? #TorontoAINTHOOD
Western Conference Finals Preview? Any takers?
Phoenix-Dallas You can tell Phoenix is really missing the spacing that Channing Frye (another light-skinned guy who flourished in Portland–he still has a home there) provided for the team. Everyone has to work just a little harder to get buckets. It’s so crowded that Gerald Green is throwing alley-oops to himself. Cue up the old ’05, ’06 playoff games NBATV. Those were the days!
Clippers-Pelicans Two of the best power forwards. Going at it. ‘Nuff Said.
Golden State-Chicago No way in hell I’m missing this one. There are gonna be some sick dimes dished out in this one. The overused phrase of the night will be “Oooh Filthy!”
Basketball Movie of the Week:
Gunnin for That #1 Spot. Directed by Adam Yauch.
This is from the first Elite 24 game back in 2006. I first watched this movie back in ’08 when all these young cats were still in high school and college. Cole Aldrich, Lance Stephenson, J.J. Hickson, Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Kyle Singler, Jerryd Bayless, Kevin Love, and Michael Beasley were all apart of this event as high school kids. I watched it again this past week, and was struck by how so much had happened in 8 years.
These guys are all NBA veterans now. It is always interesting to go back and watch that kind of stuff with the knowledge of what their futures hold. It’s kind of weird. Anyway, it is worth checking out. There was a bonus disc with my copy of footage of a 2-on-2 pick up game with Beasley and his coach vs. Yauch and someone else. MCA had a little bit of game. I bet he was fun to play ball with. By the way, what is up with Beasley? He must have some serious stuff going on if he hasn’t been picked up by a team. Damn.
Big week of hoops. The first week of December is off to a good start. Enjoy these good ass games.
That’s all I say when I was watching Kansas get that ass torn up against Kentucky. The Wildcats made the Jayhawks look like Tweety Birds. Bill himself “tawt he taw a putty tat” and realized he needed something stronger, after that game was over.
My goodness. You can learn a lot from a blowout, and in what equated to be a glorified McDonald’s All American game, there was so much to watch. Make no mistake about it folks, that was an NBA tryout camp. And if you didn’t go to Duke, Michigan State, Kansas, or Kentucky, then that meant you are not a projected lottery pick.
In a match up of what some call “stacked vs. stacked”, Kentucky’s stacked is significantly bustier. Tuesday night’s game was like watching four Beverly Hills Housewives comparing boob jobs. The rich just get richer.
When the #5 team in the country cannot get within 32 points of the #1 team in the country, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the field. Coaches, scale back the expectations, dial down the criticism, and just trust the process of learning. Think of yourselves as teachers (but paid really well) and help these young men become better ballplayers and sportsmen.
Use the film sessions as good teaching opportunities, and focus on specific and immediate goals for the season. Develop the chemistry through team building, win your conference, and gain an At Large- Bid for your school. But most of all, just have fun and enjoy the ride……………… because there is no way in hell that John Calipari can mess this up for Kentucky.
It is absolutely crazy how good they are. Calipari is the dude you sometimes play in XBOX who likes to jack with the slider ratings, and create his own players for his favorite team. But Calipari is gangsta with it,
Cuz this ain’t no game. This is real life. Tuesday looked like a Seniors vs. Freshman high school scrimmage. Once again, Kansas is the #5 team in the country. Sometimes the season lines up when you know that it can be anyone’s “chip”, and sometimes you are pretty sure who the top 5 teams are, and out of that pool–it’s anybody’s title. Well last night may as well have been the national title game. Because you can almost put to rest the notion of Kentucky more than three times this year (if at all).
If your goal as college basketball fan is to see your favorite team win it all this year (and that team is not Kentucky), then don’t even bother watching hoops this year. “Ya Playin Ya Self” like Jeru The Damaja says.
If you lived through the 90-91 UNLV, ’91-92 Duke, 92-93 Michigan, 96-98 Kentucky Wildcats, or even arguably the 94 Arkansas era, then you recognize a juggernaut when you see one. Think about every team that I just mentioned, besides the star players can you name more than one of the role or bench players? The scary part of this team is that even their 12th guy could start at any other school in the country.
KU fans can take solace in the fact that this year’s uniforms are sicccckkkkkkkkk. They are so nice.
I like the new modern cut of the sleeves with classic striped trim. The classic lettering and Jayhawk on the belt of the shorts is a nice touch too. Big ups to whoever designed this year’s uniforms.
Also I’m feeling the Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk era. This boy is going to be good. He is going to be the basketball czar of Lawrence when its all said and done. I will be shocked if he doesn’t win a ton of Big-12 award nominations by the end of his hoops career at KU. He may even be “Fred Hoiberg” good. The kid can shoot and was not scared—not even a little bit.
This week saw a lot of blowout games. I realized after my last post that I’d forgotten to include last night’s Portland-Chicago on my list of “Good ASS Games” of the Week. How could I forget about Bulls vs. Blazers game? The match-up that has historically brought us “The Jordan Shrug” and the Bulls-vs-Blazers video game was on I didn’t put it on the list of Good ASS Games? Amateur move right?
Maybe not. Bulls got smacked on which in turn made the Easter Conference 1-11 for the week against Western Conference games. Portland whupped that ass, and I knew that Dallas was going to go HAM on that Lakers defense. Byron Scott’s crew gave up more booty than Kim Khardasian–letting Dallas score 140 Friday night. One Hundred and FORTY POINTS, WHAT THE FUCK???
Even in the 1980’s when teams had trouble playing defense—the slightest move could create a wardrobe malfunction of epic proportions (Why do you think Dyan Cannon has seats so close to the action?)— you rarely saw one team score that many points on the road. 8 Mavericks players scored double figures last night. Crazy.
The best “Good ASS Game of The Week” was the Cavs-Spurs of course. I wasn’t sure what to expect once I read that the Spurs had a four hour flight delay on their way into Cleveland. I feel like that evened the odds a little bit for Wednesday night’s game. To be honest I wasn’t all that impressed with the Cavaliers. Lebron left behind a better supporting cast to baby-sit a bunch of kids in Ohio.
There are some awesome locker room vets on that team with Shawn Marion and Mike Miller, and James Jones. But they are too old to play the kind of minutes the Cavs need. Lebron is already talking about needing less playing time in order to be fresh for the playoffs. Even when they play bad teams they aren’t blowing them out. If Lebron has to laboriously lead them to the playoffs, it will be an early to playoff exit for Lebron and company. Their defense is no where good enough to get them to the promised land.
It was a Good Ass Game though, it felt like a playoff game in its intensity, but the Spurs superior bench was the difference I think. Notice how Ray Allen still hasn’t made his decision on coming back this year? I bet he’s watching the Cavs right now and is like “NAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH”. By the way–how about that Foot Locker commercial with Derrick Rose and Tim Duncan? Brilliant! I stood up and clapped when I saw that thing.
On to the “Good ASS Games” of next Week.
You’re fucking up if you don’t watch that Memphis-Clippers tomorrow night at 6pm ET. This may be the point where Blake Griffin finally tees off on somebody. I’m imagining the horror in his eyes when he gets hyphy with Zach Randolph and then realizes it was the worst mistake he could have ever made. I just don’t know if he is about that life.
Portland-Boston is worth peepin’ with Lillard and Rondo facing off at the point. I’ll probably watch most of this one then flip to the Grizzlies game(which is on at the same time). I could take or leave the rest of the games that night–depends on how bad I’m jonesin’ for some hoop.
This is a trap! Take the night off and do something productive. Read a book, go to an open mic, or baste a turkey, but don’t sit around all night and watch hoop.
Clippers play Charlotte after what will be an emotional night in Memphis. Chris Paul comes home to Carolina, and plays in front of family and MJ. Maybe it will be a good game, maybe CP-3 goes HAM for Thanksgiving Week, but maybe it would be best to do something else. It’s a long season, don’t waste a night on a back-to-back game of middle of the pack teams. But if you don’t have anything better to do, then all means peep game.
Golden-State vs. Miami
I would be way more excited if Lebron were still in Miami. The Heat would be about as good as the Denver Nuggets if they played in the Western Conference. This could be a fun game though and certainly worth checking out at least until Sacramento-New Orleans comes on.
I’ll probably toggle between Washington-Cleveland, and Portland-Charlotte that night. I’m all in on the Mavs-Knicks game. That should be entertaining too. You know Phil Jackson can’t wait to unload J.R. Smith onto some poor sap. My guess is that Phil’s brother-in-law loses a bet to him and has to take on his salary in an uneven trade that gives the Knicks the Lakers’ lottery pick for next year. Speaking of the Lakers, I will definitely tune in to watch the Grizzlies maul them at home. Can’t Wait!!
All food and no games makes Bobby a fat boy. All food and no games makes Bobby fat boy. All food and no games makes Bobby a fat boy.All food and no games makes Bobby a fat boy.All food and no games makes Bobby a fat boy.All food and no games makes Bobby a fat boy.
All food and no games makes Bobby a fat boy.All food and no games makes Bobby a fat boy.
MMMPHHHH! So Many GOOD ASS GAMES THO!!!
Chicago-Boston What do you know? Bulls players are getting hurt. Fuck.
Golden State-Charlotte I’m sure there is at least one Davidson alum who will especially interested in this game right?
Dwight Howard-DeAndre Jordan?? It’s gonna be a krunk night in Houston–one thing is certain, this one is sure to be a long ass game.
Definitely gonna be a good ass game.
How about closing out the night withMemphis-Portland?
We are going to find out just how good these teams really are. I’m excited for the PG and PF match ups– this could be a grimy one. Just warning you.
What better way to finish the weekend but with Spurs-Celtics in an early Sunday afternoon affair. It’s worth it alone for the Rondo vs. Tony Parker match up–two of the illest around.
Houston and Dallas face off tonight. Definitely worth checking out if you got the time.
Hope your Turkey Day is filled with warmth and mirth. I feel for Lakers’ Wayne Ellington who just recently lost his father. It is never easy losing a family member, but having it happen this close to the holidays makes it even tougher. Best wishes for that man and his family.
Happy Thanksgiving to every one out there. We have a lot to be thankful for as Americans. I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to play this.