Saturday, May 27, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The 2006 NBA draft - Chicago version
Firstly here is the draft order;
2. Chicago (Via NY in a botched Paxon deal losing us Eddy Curry!! This had better work)
9. Golden State
12. New Orleans/OK
15. New Orleans/OK (via Bucks)
20. New York (via Denver)
21. Phoenix (via Lakers)
22. New Jersey (via Clippers)
23. New Jersey
26. L.A Lakers (via Miami)
29. New York (via San Antonio)
30. Portland (via Detroit)
OK so I am not going to go through the whole draft and prospects etc or the post will just be enormous. I am going to talk about the important thing (for me) - Who will the Bulls pick! We have the no. 2 and no. 16 picks due to the Eddie Curry debarkle so it is important we make something out of this. Ando being a Paxon fan from way back is going to take a truckload of my abuse if this doesn't work out.
First problem we have is this is a pretty poor draft class, there are no High School superstars as the Draft rules have changed. That in particular is killing me as a 7'1" giant called Greg Oden would be eligible and he is likely to be the next dominant NBA centre (wait for the 2007 draft class it could be awesome, another High school superstar the 6'10" SF Kevin Durant has serious game). There are also no real standout college players as the NCAA's most prolific scorers and hyped players J.J Reddick (Duke) and Adam Morrison (Gonzaga) didn't take their team deep into the NCAA tourney. In addition to this Rudy Gay and UConn's team of stars didn't get very far either. With that in mind here are the players scouts are looking to go high in the draft.
Tyrus Thomas - LSU 6'9" PF - Young athletic and had a great tourney. I saw him play an average game so am confused about the hype. Touted to go in the top 3, seems risky to me.
LaMarcus Aldridge - Texas 6'10" PF - Saw a few Texas games and like what he can do. Has a good around the basket game with a variety of skills. Good rebounder and great timing for shot blocking. Young like Thomas so also a risk.
Andrea Bargnani - 7' Italy C - International scouts reckon he is awesome and better than any college big man. Always a risk picking a euro high in the draft.
Adam Morrison - 6'8" Gonzaga SF - Big time college scorer who loves to shoot. Looks like a white gumby and talks trash, the NBA is keen to teach him a lesson. My feeling is crash and burn as he will be too slow to get the same shots as in college and wont have the same height advantage.
Brandon Roy - 6'5" Washington SG - Had a good tourney and has good basic skills. Doubt if he is an NBA big time scorer though.
Rudy Gay - 6'9" UConn SF - very solid player, tournament performance killed his draft stock. If your team needs a SF get him.
Randy Foye - 6'4" Villanova PG/SG - Another "solid" guard prospect so many to choose from.
Ronneie Brewer - 6'7" Arkansas PG/SG - Poor shooter but has other skills, really SF is more his NBA game.
Shelden Williams - 6'9" Duke PF - Dominant in College but most people feel he will have problems with the NBA bigs. He is nothing special more your workhorse player.
Marcus Williams - 6'3" UConn PG - Another average guard to choose from
JJ Reddick - 6'4" Duke SG - Was the man till LSU's D shut him down, now everyone questions his ability. He can shoot the lights out, any team needing to get some firepower from outside will pick him up. I reckon he would be a good fit for Indiana but doubt he will fall to 17.
Maruice Ager - 6' 5" Michigan State SG - Another middle of the road guard. I have seen a few games however and like his potential. Another dark horse pick from me.
Hilton Armstrong - 6'11" UConn PF/C - My dark horse pick - scouts have him going between 13 - 20, I like his game. Good fundamentals and very coachable. On a team with stars he didn't stand out but has a great base to work with.
So what does Chicago need, well in my opinion Hinrich is a reasonable NBA point guard, he has developed extremely well. Certainly he is a good passer, ball handler and is excellent at running an offence, downside is that he is slow and though he has a good shot unfortunately he has to take some low % options due to the lack of other scoring options. Ben Gordon has the SG spot locked-up despite Coach Skiles hating him, he is the best offensive talent on the team and will keep developing his game to make better decisions. Deng is a good fit for SF, a young and athletic guy who is developing his game but was set back by injury this year. These are all young guys who have the potential (an important word for a Bulls fan) to become a good NBA backcourt in the future, they took Miami to 6 games without a superstar on the team and nothing inside to score on or guard Shaq!! There isn't much on the bench to back these guys up and that is a problem.
Upfront the Bulls have;
Malik Allen - not starting material
Othella Harrington - old and not starting material
Michael Sweetney - undersize overweight and not starting material
Luke Schenscher - An Australian who Shenanigans played against for a season yay!!!(he played A1's with North's due to being to young/crap for Div 1). Not starting material a rookie and stick figure
Tyson Chandler - High School pheonom superstar, a good defensive player and rebounder who cannot score a point to save his life and fouls out nearly every game. I live in eternal hope of his untapped potential developing.
Andres Nocioni - An amazing player, very euro. Great work ethic, defender and incredible inside player considering his size. His jumper is even quite good. Is best suited sharing the SF spot with Deng and playing some PF against smaller teams. Every team in the NBA wants this guy coming off the bench, had a great playoff series.
To me that picture says Chicago needs an inside player, someone who can score points and play D. I was extremely concerned however to read a Chicago tribune article suggesting we need guards or a SF like Morrison!!! and to look to get a big man under free agency. To me this is insanity as the free agent market is pretty poor this year despite the bucketloads of money we have. Really the only viable player is Ben Wallace and I doubt he will leave Detroit. He has pretty much come out and said already that he won't go to Chicago. My faith was slightly restored today however with Bulls GM Paxon (Ando's buddy) saying "We need size and we need athleticism". To me that says we are getting Tyrus Thomas or Aldridge and I really want Aldridge. For some reason however Toronto despite having crap Guards and an all-star PF appear to be looking for a big!!!
Worst case scenario the Bulls take Morrison at 2 and one of many average guards at 16. It takes months to work out that Ben Wallace will not sign with us for all the Gold in fort Knox so we miss out on any free agency deal. We spend another year playing with great intensity only to lose games due to having nothing inside to stop teams pressuring our guards and overpowering us in the paint. I make a special trip to Canberra with a loud speaker and spend the entire day abusing Ando over mismanagement of the Bulls by GM Paxon.
What the Bulls will probably do;
Take the Euro Bargnani at 2 and a middle of the road SF/PF like Shawnee Williams at 16. We then blow all our free agency dollars on a "superstar" guard like Bonzi Wells
OK so here is my preferred option for the draft;
GET SOME BIGS
LaMarcus Aldridge at 2 - He may not be an impact player immediately but should develop quickly and provide some scoring down low. If Toronto take Aldridge then you have no choice but to gamble on Thomas or Bargnani, I pick Thomas as a total guess having seen him in one game and Bargnani in none.
If he slips to 16 take Hilton Armstrong - My dark horse pick, most people have him going at 13. I am hoping he takes a slide. There are other bigs to choose from a few euro's and James Augustine, please don't pick Boone!!
We have lots of money in free agency dollars so lets get Jim Jackson - He has one thing the bulls lack... experience plus can play SG or SF and wont cost us too much if we play our cards right (shakes fist at Paxon). Lets save our money (again!!) till there is something worth buying.
So there you have it lets tune in for the Draft on June 28 :D That is all from me.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Probably best known for her role as Linda in Becker, she also appears in all three Saw movies (the third one being made right now), "The Stand" TV miniseries, an episode of The X-Files (which reminded me about her), Armageddon and Who's Harry Crumb?
Monday, May 22, 2006
I have seen all I can stand and I can't stands no more. For too long have I watch in frustration as Parker poo's up the Spurs offence in an effort to make himself look good, now the time to speak out has arrived. The simple truth is that Tony Parker sucks and his biggest problem is he doesn't realise it.
I have cut down the significant rant and rage section of my post down to the few lines above, very impressive considering how pissed off I am at Parker right now. To those who know me my hatred of Tony Parker is well documented, I have never found him to be a player of any exceptional ability despite journalistic efforts reporting the contrary. My particular dislike of Tony is his inability to get the ball to Tim Duncan as often as he should. Duncan is a player I have a high amount of admiration for, he is one of the greatest low post players ever to play the game and it really pisses me off when he doesn't get the ball after establishing good position. Having said that and being fair to Parker (though it pains me to say this) I will concede that he generally has good skills for an NBA point guard and in my opinion ranks in the top 10 in the league for that position. It takes some time for a player to adjust his game to the NBA style and Parker has made a successful contribution to the Spurs by being the player that runs the offence. Parker basically brings the following skill set every night;
- Good ball handling and not turnover prone
- Understanding of the offence and court balance to run it
- A reasonable passer but still not a big assist giving point guard
- D that is reasonable against most players of his position
The great problem in Parkers game for many years and the facet that the Spurs organisation have asked him to work on is his jump shot. In my opinion this is a sensible and reasonable request the rationale is that with all the double-teams Duncan draws Parker will be wide open off a post entry pass. It is an awesome idea to make guarding Duncan that much harder, the other pieces to this puzzle are already in place Bowen can hit a baseline 3 ptr if his man doubles, Ginobilli can slash or shoot from the weak side and Nesterovic and Mohammed can make a lay-up… normally. Parker's jump shot makes double-teaming and the following defensive rotation a very hard ask for the D. Despite this Parker still struggles to hit the backboard from about 15ft. I should point out they are not asking him to hit 3's either just a mid-range or even free-throw to start with anything further out is a bonus. Anyhow it couldn't have been that bad of a problem for the Spurs to win a few rings - read Duncan is awesome. In the off-season however Parker didn't seem to hear the Spurs organisation say "make a damn jumpshot" even though they gave him a personal shooting coach, no instead he heard "improve your FG %". With this in mind Parker has made quite a name for himself this season "torching defences" (Mr Walton words not mine") by getting to the rim using his speed when pushing the ball up the court and even in the half court. Parker was among the league leaders in FG% this season and even lead the Spurs in scoring, he became the teams "superstar" (Mr Walton again) All season long the journalists were raving about the incredible Parker who was now a first time all-star. It was useful to have Parker score more points as Duncan made no secret of "resting" on the court this season due to foot injuries in a hope he would have enough left in the tank for the playoffs (yeah he rested at almost 20 ppg!!) I didn't believe the Parker hype for a minute, unfortunately Parker and the Spurs organisation did. I have watched quite a few Spurs games this season and one thing is clearly apparent, though Parker has managed to score more points this season and the team did secure the best record in the West it has created two significant problems;
- By pushing the ball so much Parker increases the tempo of the game. The Spurs have typically been a half court slow down team as this plays into the effectiveness of Duncan's game. Picking the temp up helps teams like Dallas and Phoenix who like to run.
- By not distributing the ball as he should Parker allows the Spurs offence to stagnate at times, this has effected not only the play of Duncan but Ginobilli also.
For some reason it didn't occur to the Spurs that the playoffs (surprising considering their experience) are different to the regular season and that perhaps teams wouldn't be letting a PG who can't shoot
get to the rim!!! Funny thing about the NBA is that you need to adjust your game before the league adjusts to you. That may be a little harsh clearly since the playoffs began Duncan has been the focus of the offence again and has destroyed anyone trying to guard him. The Spurs offence however doesn’t look anywhere near as sharp as it should. The damage is done as Parker is inconsistent and has struggled in the playoffs, typically his good performances are offset by a poor team effort such as his 33pts in the Game 4 loss. Game 6 was the showcase for Parker 8 pts in 35 minutes on 3-17 shooting a John Starks effort, not to mention a spectacular 3 assists!!! The Dallas game plan "go ahead shoot it I dare you" worked to perfection in a game where parker should have been more effective without Jason Terry to bother him. Parker's D has also been exposed this series, though not a bad defender he is more being overpowered than out-quicked, there isn't much you can do about that. Dallas play the "nelly-ball" offence and works hard to create mis-matches.
So there you have it why I hate Parker so much in a nutshell. He has hurt the team by not doing what was asked of him (learning to shoot) and damaged the offence in the process by picking up the game tempo and disrupting what is normally good ball movement. The most disappointing thing about this is that Parker could still use this to his advantage if he simply learned to pass the ball when he got to the rim, something I saw only once this playoff series and was probably the best play of the series - a behind the back assist to a wide open Duncan after drawing a double team by driving to the rim. Do that a few more times and I might think about taking you off my list…… yeah there is about as much chance of that happening as there is of me taking Shak off that list :D
For now I am all raged out,
Stay tuned for my soon to come NBA draft rant or "Can the Bulls get it right… for Ando's sake"
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
Boredom strikes, the spud has an hour to waste and no work to do. It’s an exciting time at his desk, he almost considers leaving…need the flex, need the flex. The spud looks around, little chocolate ball is still here, but the less-than-impressed girl has left, as is her partner-in-crime, Ms “I wasn’t cool in high school and refuse to be friendly because I’m scared you’ll tease me”. No one else is near.
It’s time for an update. The sun’s in my eyes, the boss left at 11, Supervisor at 4. Conservative guy is leaving with his wife now. Funny fat girl doesn’t work Friday’s….Grad boy is still there, I spose I could chat to him. He’s alright.
Basketball happened today. Clipper beat Suns by 12 in Game 6. I love Elton Brand. I want him to hold me and tell me basketball is always going to be like this. Never let me go Elton. (Said that before).
I’m seriously considering taking Tuesday off purely to watch this game. This is an amazing series. Screw that. They’ve all been amazing. Even the relatively tame Heat vs. Nets series had 3 close games, Antoine Walker cutting sick (who would’ve known? Not Danny Ainge) and an Angry Shaq (yes, it’s a noun.)
Dallas and Spurs is 3-2 Dallas. Dallas won 3 & 4 by not much; Spurs returned the favour in 5. Duncan is ridiculous, Dirk is ridiculous, Devin ‘I move faster than the camera’ Harris is as impossible to not like as Bruce Bowen is to like. Jason Terry is out for Game 6. If Dallas don’t close this out now it’s all over. You can’t give a champion a second chance.
Cavs are beating Detroit 3-2. Yes you read that correct. Before the series I would’ve bet my girlfriend that the Pistons would win, after 2 I would’ve bet my l’il fella and now after winning three in a row, Lebron is going home to try and close it out. You’d be crazy to think Detroit will go quietly, but Lebron could do it. Although, who the hell is comfortable with the following sentence? The Cavs may make the conference finals.
Well that wasted 7 minutes.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
From movies like Bad Boys, Deep Impact, and Jurassic Park 3, a hilarious TV show "The Naked Truth", and most recently in Fun With Dick and Jane. Married to David Duchovny, thereby making her part of my favourite Hollywood couple (if I actually had such a thing).
The Cavs beat Detroit (amazingly) in both games in Cleveland. Detroit don’t seem that interested and allowed Lebron to get a triple double and a near triple double in each game. In both of these games, the Pistons looked like they were going to pull away and then just didn’t, tending to settle for long jumpers rather than the usual ball movement. It’s a little weird, but one assumes they’ll win in Detroit and close it out in 6.
Mavs beat Spurs in two very tight games in Dallas (they won Game 3 by one and Game 4 in OT). They now lead 3-1 despite Tim Duncan being, well….Duncanesque. He’s seriously playing old-school timmy. As Kev said the other day, Ginobili has been missing, but he did much better today, coming off the bench for about 30 but the Spurs still lost so they’ll be playing Game 5 in San-Antonio to stay alive. I like the concept that the Mavs are doing with the two speedy little guards (the media thinks it’s two point guards but one is Jason Terry so doesn’t count). They’re really moving the ball and attacking the Spur's defence, and suprisngly, the Spurs are really struggling with this. Terry hit some absolutely huge shots in OT, including two 20-foot rainbows over Duncan to close out the game.
Bruce Bowen is ropeable because he’s being called for fouls. It was bound to happen one day.
Suns and Clippers is 2-2. Suns won game 3 because they put the Matrix on Cassell and shut him down (he finished with less than 10 points), so Mike Dunleavey brought Magette into the starting lineup for Game 4, forcing Marion onto him and which left No D Steve (Nash) to “guard” Sam I Am, who promptly milked him for 28-11-9.
While I’m here, the Knicks fan in me needs to make a confession about the rumours that Larry Brown will soon be fired and Isiah Thomas appointed to coach the team he constructed.
I’m amazingly excited.
For this one reason. It will mean the end of the Isiah Thomas and his involvement with the Knicks. We can get a GM that is not stupid…well less stupid than Thomas. I don’t need to go into what Isiah has done. He did bad. That is all you need to know.
I’ll explain why Thomas is screwed. This team can’t win. If he has to coach it, it means one year at the very most of Thomas sucking it up big time, then bang, not only do we get a new GM, we get a new coach and with the help of Vishnu and his many arms, we may just become relevant again.
But then again we might just trade for more shooting point guards and fat power forwards.
There is no debate.
It's romantic, it's funny, it's poignant, it's dramatic, it's cheesy--but most of all, it's simply fantastic cinema. Bogart at his best, Bergman looking simply radiant, and a script so sharp, so on the nose, it makes you doubt it was written in 1942.
Don't think that because it's B&W it can't be good, don't think that because it was made in the 40s that it's dated and don't think you can't fall in love with it. Because you can. You will. It's the greatest love story of all time.
It's brilliant. Nothing more needs to be said. See it. You won't be sorry.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Sure you remember her from Buffy and Angel (aka the Charisma Carpenter Show) but did you know she had a recurring role in Charmed, and can currently be seen in the second season of Veronica Mars? And she's hotter than ever :)
Thursday, May 11, 2006
I love the playoffs. It’s a time when a game 1 loss then turns into a turn-around thrashing. Its happened in 3 of the 4 conference semis so far. In a 7 game series, good coaches get to observe and make changes which often results in the tit-for-tat nature of playoff basketball.
My favourite thing about these turnarounds is the chicken-little response from basketball observers. After Game 1 of the Spurs/Mavs series, Dirk had no answer for Bowen, but with a couple of adjustments by Avery Johnson (moving Adrian Griffin out of the starting line-up which gave them better weak side options in Jerry Stackhouse and Josh Howard on offence, and the move of Devin Harris to the starting line-up which sped the pace of the game up a bit) this changed, and the Mavs won the second game and as far as our friends at Espn.com, SI.com et al. are concerned, the Mavs will now win in 5.
Similar things can be seen in the Heat/Nets series and of course the Suns/Clippers series. Nets ride Shaq’s foul trouble to a big win in Game 1, and then get thumped because Shaq doesn’t get into foul trouble (and because Wade cuts loose). Meanwhile, the experts (damn fat cats on Capital Hill!!!) shift from Nets in 6 to Heat in 6.
What I’m getting at here is that these people need to chill the fuck out. It might sound odd, but the playoffs pit the best teams, with the best coaches against each other. One can expect that these teams and their coaches might be able to adjust from game to game.
One game does not a series make. There is seven for a reason.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
New Jersey started their series with the Heat by pasting them in Game 1 of their series. The reason? Shaq and foul trouble. I tend to fall on the side of the debate that thinks Shaq is god on a stick, so they should lay-off the big fella. Others say he’s slowed down and thus not moving laterally enough to avoid foul trouble. Whatever.
I suppose the weird thing here is that the NBA refs seem to love to call charges. We’ve all seen it. It’s getting really odd. It’s like they really want things to return to the ‘turgid game’ (as opposed to the ‘beautiful game’ and similar to Shenanigans basketball) and stop the offense from scoring (oh yeah, that’s Shenanigans basketball). Anyway it will go like this for the rest of the series. If Shaq is in trouble, then the Nets win, if not, the Heat win…I feel that this can’t continue for ever, so how about the Heat in 7? I’m about as confident I am about that as I am of the thought of Skank dolling out love advice, but hey, if Skank can do it so can the Heat.
Spurs are 1-0 up against Dallas. This could go 7 too…if Nowitzki learns to deal with the thuggery of Bruce Bowen. Mavs are going to have to get 30 from him most nights, and get points from Jerry Stackhouse, Josh Howard and Jason Terry. It makes no sense on paper but has worked this season due to Nowitzki being awesome (on the offensive end—he plays D like me…not so much). Now that he’s not so awesome cos of Bowen, everyone else is struggling. Hopefull Dirk can work this out, so we can watch 7 games. Spurs will win cos Tim Duncan is awesome and they’re trying to guard him with something called DJ Mbenga…look for him at a club near you!
Pistons are killing the Lebrons. It’s so painful to watch the Cavs. They don’t move, no one else can score. I feel horrible watching them. On the plus side, we can claim they’ve copied our playbook! Also, the Lebrons tried to grow team beards for the playoffs, but Eric Snow didn’t (or more likely, couldn’t do it). Bad sign if you ask me.
Clippers and Suns is an interesting match-up. Suns took Game 1 in a high-scoring affair. Suns are winners and Clippers are losers (usually). Nash runs the ball better than anyone in the league not named Kidd, and someone I was reading said that Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy knows transition D inside out. Allegedly. Anyway, I have a severe soft spot for this Clippers team—Brand, Livingston, Cassell and Maggette all do the things their role requires. Brand bangs, Livingston runs and passes, Cassell makes the big shots and leads the team and Maggette slashes.
I love the Suns too though, how can you not? Diaw and Marion are two of the most athletically amazing players around. Diaw is playing as a weird SF/C mix and Marion is playing as a weird SF/PF mix. Essentially the way I see it, you have Nash at point and the rest is debateable. Anyway, they don’t really play D, so it’s conceivable that Brand might average 55-15 in this series given they have no one to guard him with. Further, Maggette and Livingston come off the bench for the Clippers and the Suns have a worse bench than Gene Hackman’s Hoosiers (remember the little kid sat on the bench? No?), so it comes down to that, look for actual NBA players to triumph. After the Lakers series I have no idea what the Suns will do… they could well run the pants off the Clippers…. This could go either way, but I want the Clippers to win—who doesn’t love a retarded underdog?
I know I do.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
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