Friday, February 8, 2008

RE: QuickGM

I made one of these endorsing the QuickGM simulation of being an NBA GM and season 7 will begin shortly after this weekend most likely. Check out my last description here:

QuickGM summary

or just check out the actual site at:


Thursday, February 7, 2008

TNT Thursday

The two late games tonight were both on TNT,. while there was a lone game on local networks in Philadelphia.

- The game in Philly wasn't much of one even though neither team is very good. Philly beat the lowly Heat 101-84, who were still awaiting the arrival of Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Miami got double-doubles from Mark Blount and Dorell Wright (15-10 and 16-10, respectively) and were inefficient from the field shooting 36.2% from the field. Philly was solid, shooting 48.1% and getting 25pts, 8rebs, 3stls and 3blks from AI2.

- Two hot teams played in the 1st TNT game, Houston and Cleveland. The Cavs went into Houston and ran into a healing Rockets squad. T-Mac was sick for this game and spent much of the day in a hospital due to the flu, but still started and played just under 32mins. He struggled from the field, shooting only 3-11 for 8pts and 7rebs, but it's good to see him back in the lineup. Yao led the Rockets in the win with 22pts, 12rebs. Lebron was the only effective player on the Cavs' side shooting 12-23 for 32pts, 7rebs, 6assts and 4 on B/S (blocks/steals) line.

- The next was an exciting game as they usually are in Golden State. The Chicago Bulls were visiting, still without Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon. They ended up beating GS anyways on huge games from Chris Duhon (34pts, 9assts) and Joe Smith (27pts, 8rebs). Tyrus Thomas was also a pleasant surprise down the stretch for the Bulls, who had him in for Ben Wallace (10pts, but 0-7 FT's) and he scored most of his 15pts in the 4th quarter when the Warriors tried to make a run. Chris Webber made his debut, but only had 4pts on 2-5 shooting in 12mins. Monta Ellis was the story in this game going 11-12 for 25pts, Biedrins had 18rebs and Harrington came off the bench to score 20.

NBA Top 10 Feb. 6

Lots of good games last night, which means there was no shortage of great plays. Here they are!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

BLIZZARD... the Midwest. We got about 15 inches here over the course of the day in Madison, WI, but the electricity was up so I can update today's games. The biggest game of the night was easily in college, between perhaps the 2 biggest rivals in all of sports, Duke and North Carolina. Needless to say, most of my attention was towards this game. Here are the NBA games 1st though:

- In Atlanta, the Lakers continued their roadtrip with new big-man Pau Gasol. The Lakers were in control in the 4th quarter until Atlanta had some late game dramatics to eventually win 98-95. Kobe played facilitator for most of this one and only had 11pts to go with his 10assts, while Lamar Odom led 6 Lakers scoring in double digits with 19pts while adding 11rebs. Atlanta got big games from Joe Johnson (28pts), Al Horford (15pts, 20rebs) and Josh Smith, who was close to a triple-double again with 17pts, 9rebs, 9assts, 5blks and 2stls.

- In Orlando, New Jersey lost again and look more desperate than ever to trade Jason Kidd and/or Vince Carter. I don't think anyone will take on VC's huge contract, but Jason Kidd could be a possibility for some contenders. The Magic beat the Nets pretty easily, 100-84. Jameer Nelson returned for the Magic again off the bench to outplay Carlos Arroyo (starting) 25mins to 5mins, while scoring 11pts and dishing 8assts to Arroyo's donuts in both categories. I still believe neither of these guys are that ownable in the platoon situation.

- In Washington, there was a defensive battle between the Wiz and the Spurs. SA pulled it out in the 4th quarter, winning 85-77, while the Wizards were once again without Caron Butler, out with a hip injury. Andray Blatche started again in his forward spot and played well again with the minutes, 16pts, 15rebs, 2blks. Watch Butler's condition closely again because Blatche is a good option while Caron is out, but doesn't get the consistent minutes while Butler plays.

- The Knicks are once again reeling with another loss to Indy (7 losses in a row now). The Pacers got 24pts and 7rebs off the bench from Kareem Rush, while the Knicks played Renaldo Balkman 34mins off the bench as an energy source (12rebs). The Knicks might as well be done at this point and just go for Michael Beasley as the #1 pick and try to get someone to bite on Eddy Curry and/or Zach Randolph in the offseason (knowing the Knicks though, they will probably draft OJ Mayo #1 overall if they get the pick).

- The Heat (right after the Knicks almost on cue) lost again as well after trading Shaq for Marion and Marcus Banks from the Suns to the Pistons. The trade is pending so Miami and Phoenix were both playing shorthanded tonight. Nothing surprising really happened in this game for fantasy implications (read my last entry "HUGE NEWS" for my take of the PHX/MIA trade), but Rasheed did have a big game with 26pts, 10rebs.

- Boston won again tonight at home against the LA Clippers. Rajon Rondo might have had his best game of his career opposite Sam Cassell, the main guy in rumors that the C's might sign to "help" out Rondo at the 1 spot. Rondo finished with 24pts, 5rebs, 8assts and 4stls leading the 111-100 Celtic win. Corey Maggette had a huge game as well with 33pts, 8rebs returning to the starting lineup along with Chris Kaman.

- In Big D, Dirk had a huge game finishing with a triple-double (29pts, 10rebs, 12assts) against the team that drafted him, Milwaukee. Milwaukee got a big effort out of Mo Williams, who had 36pts. The Bucks were without Michael Redd again and stuck in this one for most of the night because of the play of Mo Williams and Andrew Bogut (24pts, 14rebs). I honestly believe this team is better off without Michael Redd and that when he's in there it screws up their offensive and defensive rhythm.

- Utah won again to extend their Northwest division lead and win streak. They beat divisional foe Denver tonight in Denver, who had a boost with return of starting center Marcus Camby. Camby had 11pts, 17rebs and 4blks. Melo is also back and had 29pts, 8rebs. Deron led the Jazz win with 29pts, 11assts and Kyle Korver stole the show off the bench to play 36mins and score 27pts. Brewer had a bad game as a result playing only 16mins and only scoring 7pts in the process. Utah won 118-115 in OT.

- New Orleans won the best game of the night in dramatic 2OT over the Phoenix Suns, who were shorthanded with the trade pending with Miami. Chris Paul returned to form going off for 42pts, 9assts and 8stls. The Suns had 4 20+pt scorers (Nash, Amare, Diaw and Leandro). Nash went for the wrong triple-double with 32pts, 12assts and 10 TO's. Amare went 20-20 with 26pts, 20rebs. Diaw is suddenly ownable again with center-eligibility and a spot in the starting rotation with Marion heading out and an injured Shaq coming in. New Orleans won 132-130.

- At Arco Arena, Seattle got a rare win. The Kings were without Brad Miller, who was out with his finger injury. Mikki Moore got the center start and John Salmons got a start at forward. The Kings missed Miller's passing skills and had little rhythm throughout the 105-92 loss. Seattle got a big triple-double performance out of Earl Watson (23pts, 10rebs, 10assts) while shooting 52.6% as a team while holding the Kings to 36.7% shooting.

- The Bulls almost snook out with a big road win out in Portland (lost 97-100). The Bulls were without guards Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon. Chris Duhon got the start, while Thabo Sefolosha tried his hardest to carry the team (22pts, 6assts, 3stls, 2blks). Portland got their usual all-around game with a slight change in the starting rotation. Martell Webster got bumped to the bench in favor of Jarrett Jack at guard. Webster played a bench high 21mins, but only had 8pts.

As for Duke/UNC, I watched the entire game and I have nothing more to say.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Late in the night, right after there were just rumors circling Shaquille O'Neal, he returns to the Western conference to the Phoenix Suns this time. The trade pending is Shaq for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks and barring a failed physical, this deal will go through. This deal is huge for a couple of reasons. It shows that the Pau Gasol deal might lead to more big trades this season since Memphis pulled the trigger so early. Normally the big deals don't get done until the deadline, but the Grizz got what they wanted and accepted what I thought was an awful deal. Now the rest of the West feels they need to play catch up and it began with Phoenix by addressing their own big man needs (especially on defense) by acquiring Shaq. The 2nd part of this is that Phoenix (who's already sitting atop the Western standings) has 2 dominant big men. I don't care what people say about Shaq being washed up, but the fact is he's been one of most dominating players in NBA history and now he's playing alongside Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash, not to mention other talents like Grant Hill, Raja Bell and Leandro Barbosa. He's not gonna get get doubled and tripled in Phoenix. That's a huge load off his back, literally. He's going to be more effective in Phoenix with Steve Nash finding a way to use a force like Shaq (Nash is that good a point guard) and potentially push this team over the top. I think the rest of the West needs to think long and hard about how good they are because the teams to measure themselves up to are the Suns and Lakers right now without a doubt.

As for Miami, I think they're done. People can argue that Marion is an athletic player, who has All-Star potential, to go with Wade's playmaking and scoring ability, but the Heat don't play good defense and Shawn Marion has never been successful as a #1 or #2 option. He's a millionaire's garbage-man player, if that makes any sense. It's not going to happen for Miami. My advice is keep losing and hope to draft a PG like Derrick Rose or Jerryd Bayless or someone else with a lot of potential in the summer. If you want to talk about Marcus Banks, then all I have to say is...

In the fantasy perspective, I can't see too much changing. The one guy who could be hurt in all this would be Shawn Marion. He's always been a guy who's thrived in the Phoenix system by scoring on wide-open threes and running the break and getting those fantasy rarities by gambling in the lane and blocking shots, but now he goes to the worst team in the NBA. This team is old and looks old. No one plays with much energy and Marion's game thrives on energy plays. Without that, he might just be a guy who looks lost on offense and just stands around for most of the game. For Shaq, once he's healthy and able to play, his numbers should be about where they're at right now. At this stage in his career, you can't even expect him to get you 20ppg, but he will help the Suns win. Another guy who might not seem useful at 1st, but undoubtedly will be is Boris Diaw. He's been sitting on that Suns bench for most the season, getting erratic playing time, but now with Marion gone and an injured Shaq incoming, he's gonna be inserted into the starting rotation and will be there for as many games as Shaq's injured. Since the Suns currently occupy that 1st seed, I don't see them rushing Shaq back at all. Diaw, given the minutes, can give you a bit of everything and coming from the center spot, he's definitely worth a flier.

All this being said, I can't really trash either team for making this deal. The Suns needed to do something to push themselves over the top and get some confidence that they can win the whole thing. Shaq definitely does that. For the Heat, it's a win just to get rid of Shaq's huge contract and they got an All-Star caliber player back, although I don't think Marion is a perennial All-Star outside of fantasy and Phoenix by any means. Many players are changing places very quickly and I wouldn't be surprised if there were a lot more trades before February 21st (trade deadline). Keep your eyes open.

Super Tuesday!

It's actually the day that the main Presidential candidates are chosen. I don't pay too much attention to politics most of the time, but I am a minority and there are two for the Democrats, one of which will win the Democratic Presidential bid, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, for those of you who haven't been conscious for the past 12+ months. This IS a big deal no matter how indifferent you are to politics. A woman and a black man are on the brink of the White House. It's a very exciting time for the US, a country whose history has been built by rich white men. That's about all I have to say about today besides the games of course. Here they are:

- San Antonio went into Indiana tonight and dominated the 2nd half. They were tied at 59, but in the 2nd half, SA pulled ahead and won 116-89. The Spurs got a very balanced performance with 7 players in double-digits with Tim Duncan leading them with 19pts, 15rebs. Jamaal Tinsley came off the bench again for 18mins played and only scored 8pts. He doesn't seem to be back at 100% yet so play him at your own risk.

- Boston and Cleveland played in a great one tonight, with Lebron pulling the Cavs by the KG-less C's. Lebron was Lebron again tonight with 33pts, 9rebs, 12assts, 5stls and 2blks. Needless to say, probably the player off the night, especially in fantasy talks. Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo tried to keep the Celtics afloat with 24pts, 5rebs, 5assts and 20pts, 7rebs, respectively.

- In Philly, the young Sixers beat the Wizards, 101-96. Andre Miller had 14assts for the Sixers, who streaked in the 4th to make up a 10pt deficit. Those of you who have picked up Thaddeus Young are reaping the benefits (17pts, 9rebs in this one). Brendan Haywood had 18pts, 8rebs, but it wasn't near enough.

- The Lakers won against Jersey in Pau Gasol's debut with the team (105-91). He started at center and played great (24pts, 12rebs, 4assts). This game was one of the most telling games I've seen the Lakers play for a while. They beat a team by 10+pts and Kobe was held to single digits scoring (for the 1st time in like probably 2-3 seasons). Fisher got 28pts himself in the Lakers win. New Jersey got a surprising 19pts, 10rebs from Bostjan Nachbar and Vince Carter added 27pts, but Jersey lost after sticking close behind the Lakers for most the game.

- Milwaukee beat the new-look Grizzlies on the road tonight (102-97), but it was the Bucks who had a new look on the starting lineup with Yi Jianlian and Michael Redd missing this game. The Bucks had 3 non-regular starters, Royal Ivey (4pts in 36mins), Charlie Villanueva (16pt, 16rebs) and Charlie Bell (17pts). As far as I can see it, the Bucks need to restart. Michael Redd is NOT a #1 man on any team in this league, unless you call Lebron James a #2 to Redd's #1 status (hint: I'm being sarcastic). The Bucks need to restart building around the talented bigs they have in Andrew Bogut and Yi Jianlian. They have a solid core, but Michael Redd's big contract hinders them to be able to make a big move. The new look Grizz started Hakim Warrick (4pts in 22mins), but JC Navarro still had more PT and points (7). It's tough to say how Marc Iavoroni is going to play out his roster, but that 5th starting spot looks to be up for grabs right now.

I also have one other piece of big news. These are just rumors, but it does involve the biggest figure in the NBA for the past decade, Shaquille O'Neal (arguably Tim Duncan, but Shaq's actually bigger in size so I'll give it to him and his more flamboyant personality). If these do happen, I would think the Heat respect Shaq enough to trade him to a legit contender, but at this point if I were Heat management, I would try to trade Shaq anyway I could. They aren't going anywhere this season and Shaq's cap number is huge for another 2 seasons after this one.

NBA TV Top 10: February 4

Last night's best including some dramatic buzzer-beaters and the return of TJ Ford. It's good to see he was able to make a recovery.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Monday?

Huge night for sports tonight the day after the biggest game of games in the US (the Super Bowl if anyone was wondering). 9 games around the Association and some big news elsewhere as well.

In NCAAB, Bobby Knight of Texas Tech, more famous for his years at Navy Academy and Indiana University, resigned from the Red Raiders to leave his son, Pat Knight, as Head Coach. Knight's coaching career was highlighted by 3 national titles (all at IU) and 4 final fours even though he only had one eventual HOF player on all of his squads, Isiah Thomas (clearly not the coach/talent-evaluator his mentor was). Knight was known just as well for his antics off the court, repeatedly losing temper with his players and sometimes physically "harming" them due to his fiery nature. I've always loved Knight's attitude towards the game. He was always passionate and need to win. He got the best out of his players because they understood how much he loved the game. He now goes out of the game on top, with 902 career wins and tied for 3rd all-time in national titles (3) only behind John Wooden's legendary 10 (probably won't ever be surpassed, the college game is just too deep) and Adolph Rupp's 4. Knight has to go down in history as one of the top 3-5 greatest coaches ever at his sport.

That had to be the news of the day (and perhaps week) with such a legendary character in the sport, but there were some professional games as well:

- The 1st game of the night took place in Orlando between 2 good teams. Dallas went into Florida on the road and took this game. Dirk struggled in the 1st half, but still finished with 20pts, 9rebs and 5 dimes, while Josh Howard was solid for the whole game (28pts, 7rebs). Jose Juan Barea got the start (not Jason Terry), but played under 20mins. Terry did play close to 30mins and scored 20pts. Dallas won the game after leading for most of it, 107-98. For Orlando, Carlos Arroyo got the start at guard and scored 12pts in 28mins.

- The next game was also in the southeast, where Josh Smith came close to having the fantasy game of the year. He had 8blks in the 1st half and finished with 19pts, 9assts, 6rebs, 4stls and 9blks. He was one steal away from the rare 5x5 game (5pts, rebs, assts, stls and blks) and an assist and block shy from the 2nd pts-rebs-blks triple-double of this season (Marcus Camby). The potential a guy like Josh Smith has is just crazy fantasy-wise, he helps you in so many ways and if he ever figures out a way to shoot a higher percentage, he would have virtually no weakness in his game. For Philly, Thaddeus Young got the F start again and he scored 11pts and grabbed 6 boards. He's worth picking up in deeper leagues because I think he'll continue to start. Andre Miller also had a huge game with 29pts, 6rebs, 6assts. Atlanta pulled out this one in the end, 96-91.

- In the NYC, that other LA team was in town for a visit and showed the Knicks to be the Knicks once again, winning 103-94 after NY was up 9 at the half. David Lee returned back to the bench with the return of Eddy Curry at center (19pts in 30mins). For the Clips, they got back both Corey Maggette and Chris Kaman in this one, their 2 best players. Both of them came off the bench, but played well in the win. Kaman had 15pts, 9rebs and Maggette led the Clips in scoring with 19pts and also grabbed 6 boards. I fully expect both guys to return to the starting rotation soon, Kaman for Josh Powell and Maggette for any of Cuttino Mobley (G), Tim Thomas (F) or Quinton Ross (F). Elton Brand will be back soon as well for the Clips so plan accordingly, which means maybe move Kaman while he's still at the height of his value.

- There was another Florida game tonight. This one wasn't so close with the Raptors beating the Heat down on South Beach 114-82. The Raps got solid games from multiple players including Andrea Bargnani, who had 22pts, while the Heat as a squad just struggled. They got a solid game from Dorell Wright (17pts, 8rebs) off the bench, but not much else anywhere.

- There was a dogfight in Minnesota, where the Rockets were visiting. The Rockets are a team who are finally getting healthy with both T-Mac and Yao starting and playing solidly in this defensive game. T-Mac hit big shots down the stretch, a 2 to lead (87-86) and another three about a minute later to ice the game (90-86) as he finished with 26pts, 6rebs and 7assts while Houston ended up winning 92-86. Rick Adelman had Yao, Tracy, Rafer, Luis and Shane starting in a lineup that many people thought would be the opening day roster. I think this is a sign that he's finally figuring his team out and this lineup should be relatively consistent for the rest of the season barring injuries. Minnesota got another huge game out of their future, Al Jefferson, who had 33pts, 16rebs, 3stls and 3blks.

- In Utah, we once again have the Chris Paul/Deron Williams matchup that every writer in America loves for whatever reason. I don't really see a comparison, but that's just me. I honestly don't believe Deron even belongs in the same breath as Paul, but I will hand it to him. He outplayed CP3 like crazy tonight. The Jazz killed the Hornets and Deron's play versus Paul's non-effectiveness was a main component of the 110-88 score. Deron finished with 29pts, 11assts on 11-13 shooting from the field while Paul had 6pts and 6assts on 3-11 shooting on a rare poor performance. Jannero Pargo was the lone guy who did decent for NO (24pts on 9-14 shooting)

- Phoenix won again to extend their 1st place lead in the West with a home win over the always feisty Bobcats. Leandro Barbosa was explosive off the bench with a game-high 30pts, while Nazr Mohammed has regained his starting spot at center, moving Emeka Okafor back to power forward. Nazr has good value when he's starting so go get him if he's available. Gerald Wallace is gonna be out for over a week with a foot sprain.

- There was a good one in the northwest between two talented playoff hopefuls and divisional foes. Denver went into Portland pushed an OT victory in dramatic fashion. Melo and AI were both huge in this one (28-15-5 and 25-6-8 respectively). I think Melo might also be turning a corner in terms of his game. He's been rebounding the ball better recently than he ever has in his career and that will only boost his fantasy value. He's always had the size to rebound well (6'8, 240lbs), but has always played away from the basket, but now it seems like he's making it a point to rebound the ball better (career high 7.1rpg and double digits in 6 of his last 9 games played). For Portland, they got gutsy games from Brandon Roy, as usual (26pts, 7rebs, 8assts), and Jarrett Jack, who came close to a triple-double (17pts, 9rebs, 9assts, 3stls).

- Chicago @ Seattle was the last start of the night. Chicago is starting to get healthy again (Ben Gordon and Joe Smith are both back with Luol Deng returning soon). Joe Smith got the start at forward, while Joakim Noah returned to the bench. Smith was back to his pre-injury form with 25pts, 10rebs and the Bulls had a solid all-around game from multiple contributors (9 players scoring 6+pts) and won 118-108. Seattle started Damien Wilkins for the injured Jeff Green again and got no production from that forward spot as usual. Whoever is playing at that spot right now isn't producing so there's no point to own the Sonics' starter at that spot at this point.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

No update for games from last night because there were a lot and today's games were early and already occurred. Sorry about that. Today, as many of you might have been aware already, there was an NFL game to determine the best team of this NFL season. For this reason, both NBA games (ABC aired) were in the morning and early afternoon.

The Pats were heavily favored coming into this game (12 point favorites I believe). The Giants shocked the undefeated (18-0) Pats in the 4th quarter by taking a 10-7 lead before eventually winning 17-14. The Pats were up 7-3 for most of the game after scoring their 1st TD early in the 2nd quarter (they were on the 1 yard line at the end of the 1st). The Giants played hard on defense, especially on the D-line, getting past the Pats and hitting Tom Brady over and over throughout the game. Brady simply couldn't get a rhythm and the Pats' D couldn't keep stopping Eli Manning (the SB XLII MVP, one season after Peyton Manning won it) as he led the Giants to the win with the winning TD pass to Plaxico Burress. Honestly, for me, I'm fine with the Pats losing after being 18-0. I was rooting for the 19-0 season that's never been seen before, but I also thought to myself, as this quest for perfection was falling apart, I don't feel bad. This was so for two main reasons. First was the fact that the Giants were huge underdogs and it was great to see a "David" slay a "Goliath". I also don't believe that garbage-talk that says the loss in the Super Bowl taint the Pats incredible run at perfection. The Pats had a great season and fell one game short of the title that would have capped it off, but they were truly great. I believe that memory won't be as great, but they will be remembered for various reasons. The next reason isn't as merry. I rooted against this team for much of the season because of their swagger. I hated the way Bill Belichick strutted around the sidelines and disrespected reporters in the press-rooms. I just believe that his demeanor makes him believe he's always been disrespected and hasn't gotten his. Well, he's got 3 SB wins and is put into the same breath as Bill Walsh and Chuck Noll, I honestly don't think anyone can say he's not one of the greatest of all time. He needs to embrace his position and show some emotion every once in a while so people (fans) can believe he's at least half-human. I understand the Pats use their coach's mental toughness to an advantage, I just think Belichick might take it a bit too far. Other than that, I give all the credit to the Giants and their suffocating pass-rush defense; they were completely ridiculous. The Giants played harder it seemed and they won the game behind their much-maligned quarterback, who is now a Super Bowl MVP.

Here are the NBA games:

- The Lakers visited the Nation's capitol in the 1st game and beat the Wiz even without newly acquired big man Pau Gasol, 103-91. Kobe was good again with 30pts on 10-15 shooting to lead the Lakers and Caron Butler returned from injury to start and play 39mins to score 15pts (5-15 shooting). Butler might not be 100% quite yet with this bad shooting game, but it also might have just been a bad game after injury. As long as he's playing, you gotta keep him in your lineups.

- The other game was a blowout in Detroit. Surprisingly, the other team was a good team as well in Dallas, who just didn't have "it" losing on the road, 67-90. Devin Harris was still out, as Jason Terry got the start at guard. Rasheed Wallace led the Pistons, who were great on D and solid on O, with 21pts, 9rebs and 4blks.