Talking Turkey

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:

 

Monday

Some good ass games to start the week with

New York-Miami

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.

 

Tuesday

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.

Wednesday

Cleveland-Toronto

I hope this is a second round matchup in the playoffs.

Atlanta-Minnesota 

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’

Sacramento-Milwaukee

The highlights alone will be worth watching.

Miami-Detroit

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

Thursday

This some good ass Turkey.

Friday

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.

 

Saturday

Atlanta vs. San Antonio  will be something like this.

Sunday

Minnesota-Los Angeles 

If you really need to tap that vein.

 

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Peace.

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If You Can’t Take The Heat…….

It’s 3:30 AM and I can’t sleep. I’m still buzzing from that game tonight. I hadn’t seen a game like that since watching those old Celtics-Lakers videos from the 80’s. There were 7 Hall of Famers playing in tonight’s game, and one future Hall of Fame coach. The stakes are high, and the level of play in that first half was unreal.

I watched the first half at this bar down the street from my buddy’s house and they showed it with the sound off. I didn’t realize the arena was a sauna until late in the third half, after I went to a bar that actually let us listen to it (which almost explains why the 3rd quarter was so sloppy–23 turnovers for the Spurs–wtf?).

The superstars produced. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili played huge, scoring 56 points between them (Ginoboli at one point was outscoring the entire Heat bench by himself). Tiago Splitter had a great game on the glass and finishing at the rim when he had good looks.

Jesus Shuttlesworth killed it–especially with that dunk on Danny Green (did anyone else see that elbow Allen threw at Marco Belinelli?). Lebron played very efficiently until his menstrual leg cramps put him out of commission during clutch time. Dwayne Wade looked damn good out there, doing some ballet type shit out there on the court.

Some people will blame the cramps on the Heat losing game 1 (the same people who forget that Tony Parker played the whole Finals last year injured with a hamstring injury that kept him from being at his best), but this will come down to role players.

Boris Diaw had 10 rebounds and 6 assists, Manu Ginobili had 16 points and 11 assists, and Danny Green went ham for a crucial stretch (two 3 pointers and a breakaway dunk for the lead) after missing his first five shots.

Mario Chalmers sat on the bench most of the game because he couldn’t stay out of foul trouble, and besides Ray Allen, no one on the Heat bench scored more than 2 points. The Spurs finished the game with a 31-9 run.

Now its only game 1, and there is no reason to get TOO excited. Chalmers will play better sometime during this series when the Heat need him the most, and the Spurs can’t count on Lebron’s “moon cycle” to continue through Sunday and beyond. There are a lot of encouraging things for Spurs fans to take from this.

Kawhi Leonard had a mostly quiet night and will certainly play better by the next game. I’m sure that the Spurs will cut down their number of (unforced) turnovers as well. D-Wade isn’t going to consistently shoot as well from the outside as he did tonight either. Many of the shots he took outside of the paint were shots you can live with if you are the Spurs.

There were parts of Game 1 that were scintillating and there were parts that were head scratching, but overall that was a good ass game. I expect an even better, less sloppy game come Sunday. There was a lot of good ball movement and great passes. That a sect is just going to get better. I know it is only game 1, but had the Heat stolen tonight’s game, the series would have taken on a completely different tone. Dust out the old VCR, and hit record button. This series is going to be one people will talk about for decades.