Category Archives: Quick Hits

Quick Hits 5/21/09

Sometimes those things called “responsibilities” get in the way of blogging and watching games.  Stupid work and parenting…just kidding, so don’t call social services.    But I still have opinions about things that have happened in the sports world.

Draft Lottery

I believe in Karma – the idea that good will come to those who do good and bad to those who do bad.  But the Clippers getting the number one pick in the draft is not very Karma-like and it drives me nuts.  Even the Timberwolves couldn’t the first pick, Blake Griffin, then I was hoping Oklahoma City would.  Like LeBron to Cleavland, this would be another example of the hometown hero playing for the local NBA team – even if it is hasn’t been in Oklahoma as long as Griffin has been a Sooner.

Now that the lottery is over, Matthew and I are going to a break of the picks the teams will makes and the picks they should make.

The T’Wolves have a new GM and I hope he is able to make the right pick, which is the freshmen out of USC – JUST LIKE LAST YEAR.  DeMar DeRozan is everything the T’Wolves don’t have: an athletic, tall, slasher that is atheltic enough to make plays until his basketball skills catch-up.

It will be an interesting draft, becuase don’t the Clippers to keep the pick.  But I do expect them them to mess it up.

NBA Playoffs

EAST

I was impressed the Magic’s last three games.  But I do not expect them to beat the Cavs.  the LeBrons were just a little sleepy from the time off.  I did say before the end of the Celtics/Magic series that I though the Magic would give the Cavs a better series than the Celtics – I also did not want to see anymore shots of KG on the bench.

The Cavs get so scared in late game situations.  They get out of the way of the King and wait for him to create.  That is tough when you have a good defensive team like Magic.  When the ball sits in LeBrons hands too long, it doesn’t work.  The ball has to move and make the defense shift to get shooters open.  But the high pick and roll did not work last night and LeBron held the ball for 18 seconds and the defense knows what he is going straight to the rim and then kick out to the open shooters.

WEST

Chauncey Billups makes the Nuggets less hateable, so I guess I am routing for Denver in the West.  I thought Carmelo Anthony was amazing the first game.  He battled Kobe and it was a great match-up.  The question is if Carmelo can keep that level of intesity.

Each series could get flipped on it’s ear with one game.  But the NBA title will come down to Kobe vs. LeBron and battle of the benches.

Very Quick Hits

  • The MN Twins beat the Chicago White Soxs 20-1,scoring more points than the MN Vikings did in most games.  Joe Mauer has 8 homeruns this season after missing the first 30 games.
  • Kevin McHale is expected to step down as head coach of the T’wolves.  I think he is a better coach then GM, but it took seven losing seasons to get him out o f the front office.  So, who knows what will happen.
  • Greg Paulus is heading to Syracuse and will be competing for the starting QB spot.  Probably will get more playing time than he did at Duke this season.
  • What the hell happened to David Ortiz?  I think we all know, but we just don’t want to talk about the big-ripped, muscular, steroid using elephant in the room.
  • The No. 1 player on some lists, signed with Kentucky.  I think Kansas and Kentucky will be locks for the Final Four.

Quick Hits 4/27/09

NBA Playoffs Mini-Hits

1.  I will go on record as saying this has been the most entertaining and competitive opening rounds of NBA playoffs I can remember (minus Cavs vs. Pistons and Nuggets vs. Hornets).Loul Deng

2.  The current Chicago Bulls roster is a who’s who of Final Fours recent past.

  • Loul Deng - Duke 2004
  • Kirk Hinrich – Kansas 2003
  • Ben Gordon – UConn – 2004
  • Tyrus Thomas – LSU – 2006
  • Joakim Noah – Florida – 2006 and 2007
  • Derrick Rose – Memphis – 2008

3.  The Derrick Rose/Rajon Rondo triple-double “anything you can do, I can do better” showdown, is the single best match-up in the playoffs.

4.  The Cavs looked bored at times playing the Pistons, if it weren’t for the fact that the LeBrons were so much fun, I would have been bored.  It seemed like there were more Cavs fans at the games in Detroit than Pistons fans.

5.  Example of balance – in Game 4 of  the Sixers vs. the Magic, every stater scored in double figures.  Hedu Turkaglu finally showed up and hit a game winner when the Magic needed.  Philly’s Andre Miller is underrated and has been his whole career.  Andre Iquodala is showing the nonbelievers that he is a legit All-Star type player not just an athlete.

6.  The Hawks are talented, just not basketball savvy enough to take this series from DWade and the south beach bunch.

7.  If Kobe plays like he did in Game 4, the run to the Championship series will be short.  Carlos boozer has one of the nice jump shots, I would have never thought so at Duke.

8.  Yao looks tough and Von Wafer is the talk of the town in Houston.  PS – Portland.  FRONT YAO IN THE POST!

9.  Say good-bye to one of the greatest Dynastys we have seen.  Duncan is at the end of maybe the greatest career since Jordan and the Spurs will have to find another way to win, just not this year.

Side Note – The Pistons, as we knew them, are done.  The lose to Cleavland is the final bell and this team is be exploded all over the league.  No one is safe.

Draft Declarers Round 6 or 7 – just like the NFL draftGerald Henderson

Everyone not names Vasquez, go to the NBA.  The only one that is questionable is Smith.  We know what he can do, but I want to see him develop a better shot.  Personally, I would like Henderson to come back and lead a stacked Duke squad, and he still has the option without an agent.  Only Curry has signed with an agent, but I would expect the first three on the list to join him quickly.

ESPN”s Andy Katz voices his opinons on the underclassmen.

NDSU’s Woodside Workouts

Ben Woodside will be wearing NBA gear of at least four different teams, if only for a couple hours.  Woodside has work outs scheduled with the Timberwolves, Trial Blazers, Grizzles and Rockets and should expect more in the near future.

Many experts feel Woodside will not be drafted, but is almost guaranteed a free agent contact with an NBA team.

DraftExpress.com had this to say about Woodside durning the Portsmouth Tourney.

Random Hits

  • I would like to know how many people, who are not getting paid, actually watch the entire NFL draft.
  • I am not sure who started the trend, but I like seeing the players at home waiting to be selected.  Surround by people who have supported them not matter what jersey they wore.  Instead of with a bunch of people who are only cheering you because you wear their team’s jersey.
  • Boston swept the Yankees – suddenly, A-Rod is needed.

Quick Hits 4/21/09

After a couple of days away with family and other busy times, I think we need to catch-up on the happenings.

Draft Declarers Round 5

This is maybe the most hot and cold group we have seen to date.  Only Mills should really consider the jump, but I think he could do himself more good to stay and wins some more games.  Mitchell had a great year, but needs refining, and Daye needs to stay and evolve into a player.  Sloan, Reynolds and Brown will be solid players in the league and might be heading into the draft because it is considered a weak draft.

Harangody should come back and make up for this poor year at Notre Dame.  Even though I don’t think he will be high than a late first round pick – and that might be generous.

PS – Ricky Rubio has declared.  But he is under contract with his current club.  There is a reported 7.8 Million buyout price tag for a NBA team to pay just to sign him.

Rubio is behind only Blake Griffin on Chad Ford’s Top 100 list.

NBA Awards

Congrats to Cavs Head Coach Mike Brown and Orlando Magic Center, Dwight Howard.  Brown officially winning the Coach of the Year Award after one of the more impressive seasons in the last couple years and Howard pulled in the Defensive Player of the Year – to be annouced today.  Brown had over 200 more points than the next coach and over forty more votes.

Pitno Going to Florida

Not that one.  His son.  26 year old Richard, is leaving the comfort of his Dad’s place to hanging out with Billy Donovan.  That’s it.  Nothing more.  But it does make me wonder, why.  Same job, different team.

Quick Hits 4/16/09

KG Not Ready To Play

Kevin Garnett maybe be done for the season.  The knee injury is not improving and he did not look strong according to Celtic’s Head Coach Doc Rivers. 

This would be a huge blow to the defending Champions repeat campaign.  Many experts did not expect them to beat the Cavs with KG, let alone without him. The Celtics might not get past the second round and could struggle with the Bulls in the first round. 

The Celtics will miss KG more on the defensive end than on offense.  The still have fire power in Paul Peirce, Ray Allen and the rest.  But no collection of players can replace the defensive awareness and intensity that KG has every game. 

Here is your chance Leon Powe.

Draft Declarers

  • Shawn Taggart, forward from Memphis – this is hopefully more about the coaching change.
  • Damion James, forward from Texas – this team is going to be loaded next season, maybe worried about PT.
  • Patrick Patterson, forward from Kentucky – see Taggart.

No one has hired an agent, which is the right move, but I would expect to see the James and Taggart back for the 2009-10 season.  Texas could make a deep run with the team they have next season.  Memphis, not so much.  Kentucky is in for a bumpy season and EPSN.com projects Patterson has a mid-to-late first round pick. 

Side-Note- Yahoo.com’s Jason King wrote a peice on the underclassmen and their choices.

Brilliant Strike

I do watch a good amount of soccer, and this is one of the best goals I have seen in a long time by Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United.

PS – Arensal destroyed Villareal 3-0.  Welcome back Mr. Walcott.

Timberwolves Starting Line-Up

In the last game of a tough season for the Timberwolves, Kevin McHale started Mike Miller, Kevin Ollie, Mark Madsen, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins.  In an interview, McHale said this was his way of saying thank-you for being good leaders on the team.  I think it was a way to lose to a crappy team. 

BETTER DRAFT PICK! 

I am not sure I care right now.  I have stop paying any attention since Randy Foye went down awhile back. 82996013EG003_MINNESOTA_TIM

Here is what I think they need to look at in the 2009-10 season.

  • A shooting guard over 6’4″.
  • A shot blocker – Al Jefferson average 1.7 a game, the next is Kevin Love with .65.
  • A pass first point guard – Three guys on the team average more than four assists a game, but no one averages over five.
  • A New GM – This is a reoccurring theme from years past!
  • Another All-Star type player.

This team has peices of a winning team, but needs another player that can take games over when Jefferson is double-teamed and consisteny at the coaching position.  McHale is a decent coach, I think players repond to him. 

But McHale can not go back to the front office.  Because when we get the No. 1 pick, he will find a way to mess it up.  PICK BLAKE GRIFFIN.  I don’t care about Kevin Love, Ryan Gomes, and the bunch.  You will put butts in the seats and get an atheltic player this team hasn’t since the thug days Isaiah “JR” Rider and the original Eastbay-Funk-Dunk (that might be the only time Rider is mention in a post, on purpose). 

Quick Hits 4/15/09

Paulus to Put on a HelmetGreg Paulus

Former Duke starting point guard, Greg Paulus, has been visting with the Green Bay Packers and the University of Michigan about playing football.  Yes football. 

Paulus was a highly recruited player out of Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, New York.  The former Gaterade football player of the year had scholarship offers from Notre Dame and Miami but choose to play got Coach K at Duke. 

Paulus lost his starting job this season to sophomore Nolen Smith, but continued to be ready when called upon.  Paulus acted like an assistant coach as his minutes continued to get cut, he averaged on six minutes in the teams final seven games.

Here is the write-up at ESPN.com.

Draft Declarers

Only one.   Junior center out of UConn, Hasheem Thabeet.  Hire an agent my friend.  Get out of Storrs, CT before it gets ugly and make a ton of money. 

It is being reported that Thabeet has not yet hired an agent, giving himself until June 15th to withdraw his name from the draft.

Rock, Chalk, Stay a Jayhawk1355517_image

Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich are coming back to Kansas for another season.  The best inside-outside tandem in the Big 12, will lead an experienced and talented team that is predicted by experts to be the No. 1 team next season.     

With the possibility of signing McDonald’s All-American’s Xavier Henry and Lance Stephenson, Bill Self will have four top-100 recruits and an exciting team that will have little competition in grabbing the Big 12 crown and make a deep run in March.

Top Recruiting Classes

 With all the coaching changes and releasing of players from the letters of intent, ESPN.com has updated their rankings for the top recruiting classes of 2009.

NBA Playoffs

Once the seedings are set for the East and West conference, Matthew and I will do a little break down of the match-ups.

Plus, we will announce our choices for the NBA Award winners: MVP, Sixth Man, etc.

Isiah Thomas Gets Another Job

Isiah Thomas’ resume must not be that bad, or the AD at Florida International was a huge “Bad Boys” fan.

I would like to revisit this story in about 26 months.  I don’t have a lot of faith, but you never know.

Quick Hits 4/10/09

Draft Declarers – Round 3

  1. Jeff Teague, guard from Wake Forrest
  2. DeMar DeRozan, guard from USC
  3. Taj Gibson, forward from USC
  4. Daniel Hackett, guard rom USC
  5. Jrue Holiday, guard from UCLA
  6. Jordan Hill, forward from Arizona
  7. Nic Wise, guard from Arizona
  8. James Harden, guard from ASU
  9. Jonny Flynn, guard from Syracuse
  10. Paul Harris, guard from Syracuse
  11. Eric Devendorf, guard from Syracuse

Rumor has it that DeRozan, Hachett, Holiday, Harris and Devendorf have all hired agents.  The Syracuse boys are making a mistake is that pans out.  Neither Harris or Devendorf guaranteed to be drafted and the Orange have a great chance at making a run to the Final Four next season if they return with Flynn.

There is a ton of talent in this group, but other than the the players from the PAC-1o (minus Wise), everyone should come back for another year.  I understand the desire to leave the craziness of Arizona, and USC is the OJ Mayo/Reggie Bush “Amatuer” Sports Prep School, so it is natural that the three best players want to jump – they may have a couple years ago.

I have also read that PITT forward and Big East Co-Player of the DeJuan Blair has hired an agent.  That is a mistake.  There is little chance of him being a first round pick, but I am sure he is being sold on the idea that the media is calling this a “weak draft” and he better strike while he is hot.

Good Luck.

Duke Fans Meet John Wall

This could be your point guard future.

If Wall signs, Duke would have 3 out of the top 17 draft picks in 2009 classes.

ESPN 2009 Top Recuiring Classes

ESPN was had a list of the top-25 classes coming in next year. It looks to not have adjusted for the coaching moves and recruits de-committing.

A couple highlights.

1. UNC

2.  Texas

3.  Florida

6.  Duke

7.  Indiana

10. Minnesota

Quick Hits 4/08/09

85329035TL028_Pittsburgh_PaSean Miller to Arizona

Miller finally expected the 11M – five year offer that Arizona first made Monday.  Early reports had Miller staying at Xavier, but Arizona is in a different class of basketball, and Xavier is losing a lot of talent this season,

Miller is a good fit got this program and he will have them back to winning quickly.  The first challenge will be to convince Jordan Hill and Nic Wise to stick around, but both have been rumored to be out the door. 

Here is an article from ESPN.com about Miller’s move to Arizona by Andy Katz.

Draft Declarers – Round 2:

This group, compared to the first group, is filled with at least three lottery-first round picks and a lot NBA potential.  Downey, Blair and Meeks should go back to school and as of now, have not hired agents.  While the rest should ahead and hire an agents.

With Budinger and Meeks, one must wonder if their decision was based on the new man who would be in charge of their team.  Budinger would have the unique grand slam of a new coach every year his has played if he had stayed for his senior season and Meeks would have had three with John Calipari. 

Top-25 in 2010

Since this season is over, why not immediately jump to next season and get an early look at the potential top teams in the country.

Yahoo.com gave this prediction for the top-25 teams for the 2010 season.  A good portion of the teams rankings are hinged on the decision of many key players.  No.1 Kansas would drop if Cole Aldrich and/or Sherron Collins declare for the draft (neither should).

Best Championship Team of the Decade

Foxsports.com had a post that ranked the best of the best in college basketball since 2000.  It uses Whatifsports.com which simulates games between any two teams, regardless of time, season, etc.

By the way, this years UNC team is third.