YOU SHOULD CLICK HERE NOW.
Goodbye, Blogspot, and thanks for all the fish.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I'm just warning you now. Your HP world? About to be rocked. To the core.
But as a warmup, in place of the linkdumps, which are too long because there is too much NBA awesomeness on the blogosphere, I give you our link-driven Tumblr.
Friday, January 16, 2009
I have some fond memories of the Mavs' 2006 run to the Finals, and there is no doubt that DeSagana Diop was an essential cog in that team. But when the two-headed center that the Mavs employed suddenly transformed into a one headed center tied to a head-shaped doorstop, things got ugly. So from Dallas' perspective, it makes perfect sense to ship Diop to Charlotte in exchange for Matt Carroll and contract filler Ryan Hollins.
Dirk and Brandon Bass both present considerable defensive problems when they're forced to defend the post. That's where Diop was supposed to add to this Mavericks team. Needless to say, that hasn't exactly been the case. Diop is one helluva soldier in regard to his unwillingness to act up or cause problems when faced with limited playing time, but unfortunately, that is where my compliments of Diop's season end. He's always been an offensive liability and it seemed like his D had finally caught up. He struggled to defend stronger foes and really has problems with the pick and roll. He doesn't have the foot speed to keep up with centers when they step out, and watching him try to guard a point guard on the switch is a bit like watching a cat chase his own tail. It's harsh, I know, but the time for niceties is long past for the Mavs. Now, it's about finding the right guys for Coach Carlisle's attack, and that directive is executed beautifully with the acquisition of Matt Carroll.
Dirk, Jason Terry, and Jason Kidd are excellent at opening up the corners for their teammates. Devean George (28.9%), James Singleton (14.3%), Gerald Green (29.4%), and Antoine Wright (25.6%)have gotten plenty of open looks from the corners. And plenty of those opportunities have ended up with a shot that makes me vomit in my mouth, ever so slightly. Green could get there, and damn do I want him to, but for the time being he's a sparkplug at best and a 'factory which has the sole purpose of manufacturing turnovers' at worst. The rest of the crew ain't bad (Well, except for Singleton. Sweet rebounder, but I wouldn't mind if I never saw him take another three.), but they're not good enough for a team that wants to shoot as often as the Mavs do. The idea is that with Carroll in the corners, the offense could really open up. He's having a down year that would make Larry Hughes blush, but he's also a career 40.3% shooter from deep -- nothing to scoff at.
The perk of this trade is that there is virtually no downside. Diop was playing marginal minutes anyway, and a combination of Bass and Singleton will likely fill in the gaps. But beyond that, I see two pretty big advantages for the Mavs:
- Yes, Caroll is owed $21.5 million over the next five years. But that contract is also front-weighted, meaning that his $5 million salary for 2008-2009 is as high as it gets. In the heavily asterisked summer of 2010, Carroll will be on the books for just $4.3 mil. Not bad at all, especially when compared to Gana's $32 million deal over the same five years ($6.5 in 2010).
- Suppose that Carroll throws up a brick fest during his time with the Mavs, continues his tear of 2008-2009 sucktitude, and becomes a complete waste of space. Carlisle has shown that he isn't shy about jerking around minutes, and he simply won't play Carroll if he doesn't deserve it. Be it in practice or in games, Matt Carroll is going to have to earn every minute he plays in a Maverick uniform.
To some extent, I do feel bad for the Bobcats. They can use the frontcourt depth, but since the summer I've felt like the trade game could turn into a hot potato game of Diop's contract, and my money says the music just cut out. Game over man, game over. Enjoy paying a back-up big enough money to cripple your free agent plans, guys.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (HP) -- After Thursday's controversial decision to extend 'prospect' status to seventh graders passed by virtue of an NCAA vote, the NCAA's follow-up vote on Friday also classified unborn fetuses with a minimum of two months of maturation as 'prospects.'
The decision was made to buck a trend in which some college coaches were intentionally spreading their seed and/or offering to foot the bill for the baby mama's expenses. "The fact that we've got to this point is really just a sign of the times." said Joe D'Antonio, chairman of the 31-member Division I Legislative Council. D'Antonio is certainly not alone in his views, but after numerous photo leaks that showed coaches holding and even kissing young infants, the council considered this a problem that needed to be nipped in the bud.
"It may seem harmless, but by speaking to the fetus through the mother's stomach or playing a school fight song while the unborn child rests, a coach can have considerable influence over an unsuspecting, captive audience," said a NCAA source that wished to remain anonymous.
Schools had also expressed concern that the elite pre-birth basketball skills camps and workshops were giving participating coaches a recruiting advantage, pressuring other coaches to conduct similar camps.
Yeah, and If Wishes Were Horses We'd All Be Eatin' Steak (New York at Washington):
A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends (Toronto at Indiana):
When a Team Gets Too Good, You've Gotta Handicap 'Em (New Orleans at Cleveland):
Expect the Expected (Utah at Memphis):
The Thunder gave the Jazz the business, but don't go 'spectin them there Jazzers to git punked twice. Ya hear? See, I'm allowed to do that, 'cause I'm from Texas. Y'all.
But I have a sneaking suspicion that bad Grizz show up tonight, the Jazz are angry, and things get ugly early. Jerry Sloan doesn't take kindly to getting embarassed, and unfortunately the cubs will be on the receiving end of that rage.
Something Like This (Detroit at OKC):
Two Teams, One Goal: To Prove Me Wrong (Milwaukee at Sacramento):
More Unanswered Questions Than an Episode of Lost (Atlanta at Golden State):
One can only hope that as opposed to Lost, whatever basketball deity is residing over these two teams' fates has SOME semblance of a plan for how their narratives are going to unfold. Go die, J.J. Abrams.
Atlanta is a team that truly perplexes me. They were ridiculous for awhile, then kind of pedestrian, then pretty terrible, now pretty good...where exactly is this team going to be come April? They're certainly good enough to get into the playoffs, but is this team still a bonafide match-up nightmare for the Celtics? I know Horford's out, but is this still a team to fear on the defensive end? Are they making anybody shake in their boots when Joe Johnson isn't managing batshit insane production?
And on the other end of the spectrum: what exactly need to be done to right the ship for the Warriors? Nelson out? Maggette out? Everyone else out? I don't know of a more muddled, confusing roster with so many potential possibilities for both brilliance and utter failure. These are the Warriors as we know them.
Hey There, Mister Blue, We're So Pleased to Be With You (Orlando at LAL):
If the last Magic-Lakers game sets the precedent for this one, we should be in for one hell of a game. The name of the game for the magic is deep post presence and decisive penetration. This won't be the open shooting drill the Magic faced in Sactown, and they're going to need to get inside early and often to open up that outside game. The Lakers aren't exactly the Kings, and they won't have to immediately double Dwight inside unless he unleashes hell. Jameer Nelson will meet a worthy adversary in Fish, and Courney Lee/Bogans/Redick will have their work cut out for them with Kobe. Can't wait for this one.