The Award Tour

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Nominees: 

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Biege Blake Griffin.

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

 

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

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

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

G  Ty Lawson for obvious reasons.

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

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

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

 

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

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

josh-smith

Honorable mention:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

splash

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Juwan Howard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

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

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

This week’s games are posted below in bold.

Peace,

BM

#fullsass #thisagoodassgame

thisagoodassgame@gmail.com

Monday

 

North Carolina vs. Villanova

 

“Tap that Vein Tuesday”

 

Detroit vs. Miami

 

Wednesday

 

Oklahoma City-Portland

Dallas-Houston

 

Thursday

 

San Antonio-Golden State 

 

Friday

 

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah

 

Saturday

 

Golden State-Memphis

Boston-Atlanta

 

Sunday

 

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

 

 

 

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Going DUMB!!!!

History was made on Friday night, and the basketball world is no longer the same. Ronnie Lott, Reggie Jackson (Mr. October–not the young pg for the Thunder–we’ll get to him much later),Chris Mullin, Jerry West, E-40, and Too Short were all in the house to see Klay Thompson turn the Oracle up.

The Kings pleaded with the refs to blow the whistle , but to no avail. No one could stop Thompson in the 3rd quarter, not only did he shoot lights out, (12 for 12–did not miss a single shot), but he was blocking shots, taking dude’s cookies, and dishing out dimes.

The coolest thing about watching Klay Thompson score 37 points in the 3rd quarter, was that everyone was juiced to see it go down. Having lived in the Bay, and been to the Oracle, I know just how electric the atmosphere can be when the Warriors are rolling.

I didn’t go to sleep until 5 in the morning because of the buzz, so I can only imagine what it was like for those closer to the action. I had to watch the 3rd quarter over after the game ended, because I was only half paying attention to it, when it became obvious that Klay was “Going DUMB” up in the spot.

You can tell what type of ball club they have in Oakland right now, because not once during that NBA JAM–like performance did anyone want to shoot the ball other than Klay. They just kept feeding him the rock. I’m not sure Klay even gets close to having that kind of hot streak, if he shares the floor with Russell Westbrook, Gerald Green, J.R. Smith, or Dion Waiters. They like to get buckets too much.

It was a remarkable thing to watch, and I still get chills watching the highlights of it. Get ya money Klay Thompson! I hope Steve Kerr (who is an awesome coach) gets to start an all Golden State backcourt during ALL-Star Weekend. Klay is no doubt the best 2 way shooting guard in the league( Magic Johnson thinks Klay and Lebron are the two best all around players)–and he is only going to get better.

At the beginning of the year I thought the Warriors success would depend on the health of the frontcourt. I had no idea they would be this balanced. They have a deep bench, and everyone on the team has gotten better this year. Andrew Bogut’s attributes as a passer have been accentuated in the high post. Kerr starting Barnes over Iguodala has helped not only the starters, but also the bench depth.

They are not just beating teams, they are blowing them out. Their have been beating teams by an avg of 13 points a game. They have that look. They are young, explosive, hungry, and have a winner coaching them through pitfalls. Kerr is level headed, funny, and enjoys seeing the them succeed. It is a long season, and it won’t matter what the seedings are once the playoffs begin (no cupcakes from #1 through #8). All I’m saying is that this (36-6) is no fluke. The Dubs are for real.

Good Ass Games of the Week

Monday

Instead of watching OKC-Minny, I decided to watch some of my students play their freshman against their rival high school. As it turned out, Durant is resting his toe tonight, and the Thunder handled Minnesota–despite ROY candidate Wiggins getting 23 points. This also explains why I’m posting this now instead of yesterday. I’m happy with my decision.

Tuesday

Memphis-Dallas

Dallas has lost a couple of games they could have easily won the last few games. They still need frontcourt help. I’m not sure if signing Jermaine O’Neal (at his age now)is the guy you can count on to alleviate the depth issues.

Chicago-Golden State

No way in hell I’m missing this one. I know Chicago hasn’t been playing well of late, but this could easily be the NBA Finals. Sleep on the Bulls and you might get the horn.

Wednesday

Portland-Cleveland

“Dark Nowitzki” stepped it up Saturday night and put in work (26 points, 9 boards) despite a torn ligament in his thumb. Cleveland has been playing well of late after Lebron getting himself some rest. The acquisition of Iman Shumpbert, Timofey Mosgov, and J.R. Smith saved Cleveland’s season. This game will be played at a very high level. I’m hoping there will be an ILLARD sighting come 4th quarter.

Thursday
A good night to work on whatever you need to catch up on in the week, whether you are studying for a test, or making one for class. Just take the night off. Trust me I’m a doctor.

Friday

Chicago-Phoenix

This will be a fun one to watch. Fast paced, but a defensive struggle at times. It should get up into the 100’s for both squads but barely.

Clippers-Pelicans

New Orleans and Oklahoma City are on the outside looking in right now. While I think that Oklahoma City needs to move Reggie Jackson for the sake of that locker room, the Pelicans got better by getting rid of one buster in exchange for a decent wingman in Quincy Poindexter. Both teams will be in the hunt until the end, but if they don’t make it in, they can lament on some close losses they had early in the season.

Portland-Atlanta

Atlanta is no joke. At the end of last week, they were 11-3 versus the West. They are balanced and are in the midst of a 14 game winning streak. To say I didn’t see this coming is an understatement. Here is a team that is up for sale (I’ve heard Grant Hill, Hank Aaron, and C-Webb all as potential buyers), and should be in the midst of turmoil. “Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop. Uh uh. Bad Boys.”

Saturday

Oklahoma City-Memphis

Insert any sports cliche to indicate that this will be a physical and hard fought game, and it will be completely accurate. This game will be whatever you want it to be. Of all the candidates for the Good Ass Game of the Week award, this matchup may have the strongest case. If KD plays, this game will live up to the hype.

Clippers-San Antonio

My Saturday night will be filled with good hoop. How am I supposed to choose between this, the above game and Golden State-Phoenix? I just got goosebumps. MMMMMMMPPPPHHHH

Super Bowl Sunday

Seahawks-Patriots

Seattle over New England 24-17. There will be some big hits, and it will be exciting. Damn. I just realized I gotta find a place to watch this thing.

BUSTER OF THE WEEK AWARD

I’ll gladly accept this award this week. During the NFC Championship game, my buddy and I turned the game off after Russell Wilson threw his last interception with 5:01 remaining. I thought there was no way that Seattle could come back at this point.

We started playing NBA2k15 with the Timberwolves and Kings. I was in the middle of passing into the “Boogie Down Productions” in the post when I get this text saying the game was going into overtime.

We stopped the game and turned it to FOX and sat in confusion as we tried to piece the last 4:59 seconds of regulation together. By the time we figured it out, Russell Wilson was throwing a TD to Jermaine Kearse, then weeping on national television. It was a very weird birthday for me. So I guess my gift to myself is this award. The game was over, or so I thought.

Normally I wouldn’t invest that much time and turn off into an event and turn it off during end game, but it just seemed over. I should have known better though. Had I been playing Madden, I wouldn’t have given up and kept playing through. Why would I think differently for the NFC Championship game? Straight Busterish.

Enjoy the week of Good ASS Games.

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@clickpicka79
bobbymickey@gmail.com
#thisagoodassgame

Basketball Orgasm [Originally posted on 11/17/13 on sportsblog.com]

Something told me that I needed to clear my schedule and find a bar to watch the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma Thunder play on Thursday night.

My instincts were correct. It felt like the Western Conference Finals that I wanted to see last year (before Russell Westbrook got hurt and derailed the Thunder’s chances).

The pace of the game was unbelievable. The Thunder started the game off 9 for their first 12 field goals. Both teams had put up 31 in the first quarter.

It’s early in the season but you will find it hard to find a more entertaining game to watch in the regular season.

The referees did a great job of not interfering too much with the flow and the pace was just up and down the court. For every ooh and ahh, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook provided, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry came back with their own sizzling moves.

There were so many sick passes to gush over, great back cuts, and alley oops. Transition buckets were punctuated with good form, whether it was a dazzling dunk, or a step back long distant 3 pointer that seemed to float off the tops of the “Splash Brothers’ ” fingertips.

It was an incredible game that would have still been memorable without the “dagger” 3 by Westbrook, and the game winning jumper by Andre Iguodala.

My only complaint for the night was that we were at a bar that would only played punk music with the TV on mute. I had no idea how hype it was in the Oracle until I watched a replay of the game. I bet it was so loud in there (which may have hyped me up even more than I was–I was practically screaming at the top of my lungs every other play).

I’m almost certain that I may have to skip the Oklahoma State- Kansas game on my birthday in order to catch the Warriors-Thunder rematch on January 17th in Oklahoma City. Then again it may not come to that at all, maybe I can choose both.