Tag Archives: derrick rose

What’s Gotten Into Webber?

This isn’t really a post; it’s more of a question. During tonight’s Bulls-Pacers game, I can’t help but feel like C-Webb is going a little over the top tonight with his color commentary. It’s almost like someone put a bug in his ear before the game to step his enthusiasm game up. Either that or Gus Johnson gave him a pep talk before tipoff. Whatever the case, he definitely sounds a couple octaves higher and even sounds like a video game at times. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s Derrick Rose. He had me more excited tonight for a single player than anyone else in a while. How would he top his 39 points in Game One’s improbable victory? Though he hasn’t really done anything too spectacular tonight, he still managed to put up 34pts, 8reb, 6ast – ho hum. Surely Webber’s just giddy at the sight of this season’s MVP.


The Big Easy

I don’t know why, but the past few years I’ve been trying harder to see more states and big cities in the U.S., instead of heading out of the country every time I travel somewhere new. I ended up in New Orleans for the last six days, and have to say that it was a very fun trip. If you’ve never been, you have to go there at some point even if you aren’t much of a partier it would still be a fun trip to make. I’m not sure where this post will take me, but I thought I should write about the trip since I haven’t been paying attention to the sports world as much as normal. Since I have family that reads the blog it will let them know about the trip as well.

My trip started with heading to the New Orleans Arena to watch the Bulls vs. Hornets. Rose vs. CP3 was quite the match up to see first-hand. I’m still not really sure who is better. It’s no secret that Rose has a much better team surrounding him. After watching them go at it, there’s no question in my mind that Paul was the better PG that night even though his team lost. The main I came to that conclusion after watching them duel, is because Paul plays much better defense. Offensively I feel like they were equals, so defense was the tie breaker. The best guy on the floor that night was surprisingly, Marcus Thorton. He couldn’t miss, and was taking Bogans to school all game long! One of the coolest things they do there that I didn’t think I’d like was the “woooo” they scream after every free throw CP3 makes. I wonder if that will follow him to his next team when he leaves New Orleans? I was also wondering how the people there felt about Stern and Co. owning their team. Unsurprisingly, most the people I talked to seemed to just be happy they still have a team in their city.

Everything in Nawlins is old. I usually think of something as old when it’s from the 50’s or 60’s, but there, everything was built back in the 1800’s. The buildings are very close together, the roads are narrow, and if there weren’t cars everywhere you could fool me into thinking it was a time that my grandparents grew up in. Bourbon Street is a strange type of party scene, but VERY fun. It didn’t matter what night of the week it was, it was going off. I think I should’ve gone when I was in college. I really liked how nearly every bar had a courtyard in the back. The walk up bars were cool too, so if you just felt like walking the street with a drink you could. Live brass band music left and right is impossible to argue with as you stroll from one place to the next. Frenchman Street was amazing too. It’s where the locals hang out to see live Jazz every night in about 8 different bars scattered along the street. The food was nose sweat spicy, and lived up to all the hype. I’m also somewhat of an aquarium buff since I lived in Monterey for five years. The Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans was amazing, and had a wide array of displays, and some fish I’d never seen. It was easily one of the top two of the six I’ve been to.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are loved by everyone in New Orleans. We went on a couple of tours, and on both of them I think BraJolie were mentioned numerous times whenever they could be mentioned like where they lived, where their kids go to school, what their favorite bar was, and where they like to eat breakfast, etc. It was a semi-weird celebrity crush the city has going on with those two. Maybe it was all those houses that they built in the flooded areas that won them over. I was shocked to see how many vacant houses/lots there still are five years after Katrina. It’s truly sad, when we are wasting money overseas on wars and not helping our own citizens. I won’t beat that dead horse more than it already has been beaten though. Another thing I found interesting was I saw people wearing nearly as much LSU gear as Saints gear in the streets. I thought it was strange since Baton Rouge was an hour and a half away, and thought the Saints would at least rule New Orleans. I saw more LSU gear than Tulane and Layola gear which are the two colleges actually based in New Orleans. I tried to get into a few SEC sucks conversations, but nobody was having it. Probably a good thing.


Dorell’s MIP Case

Nope, Dorell Wright didn’t get a minor in possession. He’s 25 years old, so there’s no way he could even get one at this point. Dorell isn’t a household name, and unless you were a Heat or Warriors fan you still might not know that he even exists. The Warriors acquired him over the offseason for the next three years at a fairly cheap $11M. I had no idea what we got when we signed him, and have been in many a texting frenzies with the blog mates on how awesome he is for many of the Dubs games this year. I thought he was more of a defensive guy since all the reports that I read said that’s all he really was at the time the Warriors acquired him. Somehow, some way, he’s morphed into a knock down shooter (in best Mark Jackson voice). He currently leads the NBA in three pointers made (85), and is making up for the scoring punch to ab offense that lost Morrow, Azubuike, and Maggette this past season. So far this season, Dorell has gone up in every major category making him my hometown bias pick for, the most improved player. As his minutes went from 20 to nearly 39 per game he has doubled up in his averages in every major category. His points have more than doubled (7.1 to 15.7). His rebounds have nearly doubled from (3.3 to 6.2). His assists have more than doubled going from (1.3 to 3.1). His steals have gone up from (0.7 to 1.4). People might knock his field goal % dropping 5 points, but my reasoning for that is he’s taking a ton of threes (averaging 6 per game), which would lower anyone’s percentages a little. With all those threes he’s taking, he is 27th in the league in 3PT percentage, which makes me not care that his FG% overall has taken a little dip. There’s no signs of him slowing down since the W’s have no bench. Another reason to hand the award to Dorell is that he came out of nowhere to relevance this season. All the other guys I’m about to mention were all at least relatively known at the beginning of the year.

I guess there are some other candidates out there, but in my eyes none of them have improved from last season to this season as much as Dorell, but here are some that I think are in the running. Kevin Love is a beast that should be considered for the award, but at the same time we saw some of what he’s doing this year towards the end of last year, so does that really count as improved now that he’s getting the minutes and already showed us that he could do this? I say no, but it’s arguable. Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose are on the same plane in my book. Rose has had an amazing season, and shown that he is indeed fantasy relevant instead of just a good player he has been boosting his stats in nearly every area. Westbrook developed a jumper this summer and is scoring more, but both of these guys were stars already, and I commend them for their improvement, but it just isn’t significant enough of an improvement to earn the MIP award. I’d put Raymond Felton slightly above them, because he is improving tremendously in every category much like Dorell, but being in D’antoni’s system jumpstarted that more than anything. We all knew that Felton was solid, just not this good. An honorable mention for a guy on the radar is Paul Millsap. He started off the first month of the season like he was going to win the award, but has fallen back to earth a little now that Al Jefferson has figured out the Utah offense, and mans the post keeping Paul away from this award. Michael Beasley also made the honorable mention list. He was a bust in Miami, and now is a main cog in Minnesota and hasn’t had any legal troubles thus far. If he keeps it up he should be on the list with his teammate.


Thanksgiving Games of the Day

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions, 9:30am PST

Sentiment for dropping the Lions from the annual Thursday docket has reached an all-time high this year, but personally, I think the Lions are a Thanksgiving Day tradition. They are the tryptophan to my NFL turkey. It’s just too bad they always play the FIRST game. At any rate, today’s game should be somewhat interesting, as Matthew Stafford will take to a national stage against a division rival. Today we’ll see if the Lions are headed in the right direction, or simply mired in another aimless so-called rebuilding phase. If only they had Mel Gray!

Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys, 1:15pm PST

Many are predicting this game to be an equally bad trouncing as the first game. However, the Raiders placed a little bit of hope in NFL fans’ minds with last weekend’s upset over the Bengals. Oakland is out to prove they are a new team with Bruce Gradkowski at the helm. Meanwhile, Dallas is out to prove, yet again, that they are a legitimate contender this season. Either way, today we’ll find out exactly who these two teams are.

New York Giants @ Denver Broncos, 5:20pm PST

About a month ago, it looked like we’d have a rare big game on Thanksgiving Day. Thanks to the Broncos, losers of four straight, this is no longer true. Instead, the Giants and Broncos will play with a large part of their season on the line. The winner will remain in the playoff hunt, while the loser, presumably Denver, will suffer a devastating loss that would likely kill any hopes for momentum down the stretch run of the season.

Orlando Magic @ Atlanta Hawks, 5pm PST

Atlanta owns the best record in the East, thanks to the spectacular play of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Jamal Crawford. Orlando has had an equally impressive start while adjusting to the reinsertion of Rashard Lewis into the lineup. Three of the five best teams in the East reside in this Southeast Division, so tonight’s game will be a key step forward for the winner of this game in controlling the division – for the time being.

Chicago Bulls @ Utah Jazz, 7:30pm PST

Chicago and Utah are two teams sort of teetering on the balance between good teams and contenders. They both feature superstar point guards in Derrick Rose and Deron Williams, along with rising stars down low in Joakim Noah and Paul Millsap. With the Bulls sitting at 6-7 and the Jazz an even .500 at 7-7, both teams will be fighting hard to pull this win out and stay above the .500 mark.

Portland University @ UCLA, 7:30pm PST

There’s plenty of college hoops action today, but given our West Coast bias, this is the game of the day. Portland has become an unlikely threat to challenge Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference. On the other side, UCLA is unranked, due in part to a season opening loss to Cal State Fullerton. They rebounded with wins over Cal State Bakersfield and Pepperdine. Tonight will be UCLA’s final tuneup before a showdown with #1 Kansas two Sundays from now.


Doin Work’s 2009 NBA Fantasy Mock Draft

nbadraftIt’s hard to not get fired up about the basketball season by doing a mock draft! The NBA kind of sucks in some ways because if you are unfortunate and a few of your top two picks get injured your team is already pretty much done for the season. It’s weird how there are the top 35 guys in the league that help your fantasy team win, and the rest of your team is filled with streaky guys that can impress or disappoint you nightly. We did the first three rounds in a 12 team league, bookmark it if you need to for your draft!

#1 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Lebron James, Cleveland

Its Lebron enough said…..Last year however I took Chris Paul at #1 over Lebron and was able to run away with a league title. So, there is a possible consideration with not going with the King here. That thought is fleeting though, Lebron is easily the most multi-cat producer in the game, and will only get better and more dominating, and he is simply too good to pass up under any circumstance.

#2 – Hard on for Rajon – Kobe “Doin Work” Bryant, Los Angeles

He is the best guard in the league, he’s still in his prime, and they’ve added one of the best defenders in the league to help take a bit of pressure of him in Artest.  Let’s not forget Ariza wasn’t more than a role player still at mid-season before he started to get more minutes with Walton injured.  Kobe will get his shots and be fresher in the 4th qtr this year.

# 3 – Oden Retirement Home – Chris Paul, New Orleans

Chris Paul CP3 Dwight Howard Superman

CP3 over Superman

In 2007, I took Chris Paul with the 8th pick overall.  It was a great pick and he led me to an 8th place finish.  This time, getting him up at #3 means better picks to surround him with championship talent. Or does it?  Even though I missed the playoffs last year, this yahoo snaking order isn’t helping me get competitive!

#4 Walker Texas Granger – Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers

He may not be a superstar in the NBA like the guys picked around him, but he is a fantasy stud. He fills up the stat sheets, and I named my team after him, so I had no choice but to pick him! He killed me last year every time I was against the team that had him, and my strategy is to pick those guys this year.

#5 Cross Over Kings – Dwayne Wade, Miami

Extremely happy Dwyane Wade was available here at 5. I think a case can be made that is a top three player, and with his huge scoring ability I would consider drafting him ahead of Chris Paul. Health concerns the last several years have been an issue you can’t ignore with Wade, however last years strong season should temper some of those larger concerns. No reason not to consider Wade a corner stone player with your squad come draft day.

# 6 – Nelly’s Belly – Kevin Durant, Seattle

At least we briefly saw KD in a Sonic jersey

At least we briefly saw KD in a Sonic jersey

That’s not a typo.  Much like I refuse to call South Florida USF, I choose not to acknowledge that there is an NBA team in Oklahoma City and not Seattle.  Anyway, Durant has proved he can do more than just score, and he’s the Yahoo cover boy! He has to have a big year right?

#7 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Dwight Howard, Orlando

Superman, nuff said.  Would like to see that FT % finally go up, lot’s of hype last year and only a small increase.  Losing Hedu can’t hurt him too much, especially with Nelson coming back healthy.

#8 –  Who’s the Bosh? – Dirk Nowitzski

I can’t lie, the clock was running down on my turn, and I figured I may as well start my team off with a the top white guy on the board who plays nearly every game every season, and is consistent. I almost picked my boy Bosh, but I’ve always believed that picking your favorite player will jinx your team ,so I’m staying away from my Canadian brethren.

#9 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Pau Gasol, Los Angeles

Yikes where did all of the players I have targeted go? Crap, literally every player I wanted (some I had no chance to grab at 9) went flying off the board in round one. I had to quickly scramble for a player I want that would deserve a top 9 pick…..With only a few seconds left to spare I took a leap of faith on Pau Gasol. 20 & 10 a night at PF is not a bad building block for your team I guess, however Gasol lacks that buzz you might want from your first pick. Pau is a totally different type of player I’m use to building around so early out of the gates.

# 10 – Sovinet Union – Chris Bosh, Toronto

If we were drafting haircuts, I wouldn’t take Bosh in the first round.  But, when it comes to ball, I’m a fan of lanky guys, and he fits the mold.  Plus, he’s in a contract year, and although he seems to have a good relationship with Toronto, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind being courted by a few large market American teams.

#11 – Be All You Camby – Al Jefferson, Minnesota

Al Jefferson dunk MinnesotaTalk about a team built around one player.  It’s like Big Al and a bunch of speedy guards and forwards (except Kevin Love of course).  And they are all mediocre at this point in their careers.  The Twolves will struggle, but Big Al will get his.  Let’s put it this way, the active backups at C currently listed on the roster are Ryan Hollins and Jared Reiner.  Exactly.

#12 – Baby Curry – Deron Williams, Utah

With an injury plagued start to his season last year, I look for Deron to have a big bounce back fantasy season. It’s not like he didn’t show that he wasn’t healthy last year as he averaged 11.5 assists after the All-Star break, and looked like a top fantasy player for a month or so. I didn’t hesitate to pick him with the last pick in the final round.

ROUND 2

#13 – Baby Curry – Amare Stoudamire, Phoenix

The Suns can only hope!

The Suns can only hope!

Goggle boy should fit nicely with Deron, as I now have a solid base for nearly every category. I see Stoudamire having a great year under Gentry, and without Shaq he is the unquestioned low post option everytime down the floor. He once again has something to prove so I’m betting he steps it up a notch! Rumor has it he’s even been working on his defense.

#14 – Be All You Camby – Tim “TIMMAY” Duncan

I won’t lie, I just went with a huge line up drafting Tiny Tim and Big Al back-to-back.  Timmy might have lost half a step, but we know him as the Big Fundamental for a reason: he’s always textbook in every move he makes.  And he’s one of the strongest two-way players in the game at his size.

# 15 – Sovinet Union – Brandon Roy, Portland

I don’t have any fancy numbers or theory on this pick.  I was just simply taking the best player on the board.  He may not put up all-around numbers, but I’d sure rather check his box scores than JR Rider, who was my other choice at this spot.

#16 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Chauncey Billups, Dever

With my rebounds and pts locked up early, my attention quickly turns to grabbing a top flight PG before they all disappear. I’ve always marveled at the consistency of Billups and the fantastic stat line he puts up each night….This was an easy pick for me.

#17 – Who’s the Bosh? – Gilbert Arenas, Washington

Does Gilbert have any game winners this year?

Does Gilbert have any game winners this year?

I can’t say that this isn’t a reach, but there is a ton of upside here. I hope he’s back to dominant form. I somehow feel like I could get him later, but why wait for something that feels so right. He could be the NBA and fantasy comeback player of the year, so I’ll roll the dice. I usually lose leagues anyways, so I may as well try out a new strategy.

#18 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Carmelo Anthony, Denver

I can’t tell if this is a gamble or an insult to Melo, being drafted 18th after the likes of Roy, his teammate Billups, and Arenas who has been bed ridden for the past 3 years.  Melo is such a moody player, it’s ridiculous.  I can only pray his in whatever mood it takes to put up his potential more often than not.  He’s 30-10 followed by 15-5, but he is becoming a slightly more consistent at least.

# 19 – Nelly’s Belly – Derrick Rose, Chicago

Maybe I’m reaching here, but I’m probably still thinking about Game 1 of the Bulls – Celtics series last postseason.  I know he didn’t live up to that game for the remainder of the season, but he ended up averaging 20, 6, and 6 for the series.  If that’s where he’s leaving off, I can’t wait to see how he progresses in his second NBA season.

#20 – Cross Over Kings – Steve Nash, Phoenix

Point guards, point guards, point guards…..Did I say point guards? Teams that win fantasy basketball titles are rich with talent at the PG position, and if the opportunity presents itself in the early rounds I’ll be drafting the best player at this position every time. This is a keeper league we’re drafting for, so I didn’t think twice about snatching up Steve Nash here, and team him up with D-Wade. I love the nightly production I can expect from these two, but now will be turning my attention to boards, and three pts with future draft picks.

#21 – Walker Texas Granger – Devin Harris, New Jersey

With Vince gone, I think Harris will have to assert himself all season long, and that’s going to be good news for fantasy owners. Although he usually gets injured at one point in the season, he was probably my steal of the draft last year, so I’m thanking him by taking him here.

# 22 – Oden Retirement Home –  Joe Johnson, Atlanta

Joe Johnson Hawks jump shotJoe Johnson is like that girl who looks pretty good most of the time, but isn’t quite gorgeous.  But, every once in a while she’ll look smokin and she’ll, I mean he’ll put up a triple double and you fall in love.  We’ve had an on and off relationship in fantasy hoops over the last few years, but with Atlanta emerging as a playoff threat and rounding into their prime, I’m ready to commit to Joe.  Flanked by Josh Smith, Bibby, and Jamal Crawford, I think he’ll be at the center of that offense dishing out plenty of dimes to go with his strong scoring numbers.

#23 – Hard on for Rajon – David West, New Orleans

David West can thank two guys for making his job pretty damn easy: the unbelievable CP3, and Peja when he’s healthy.  We already know about CP3, he’s the best PG in the league.  But Peja takes a lot of bodies out to the perimeter to get a hand in his face, opening up the post for the talented West to operate.  Lots of chances for Off Rebs and he’s solid on D as well.  Nice balance to first pick Kobe.

#24 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Jose Calderon, Toronto

Waiting an entire two rounds to draft again is a steep price to pay for having the number pick, however I find in basketball rounds three and four are still rich in talent. Top tier point guards disappear quickly in the first three rounds and had to make my move here to pick one up. I was excited to see Calderon available and didn’t give anybody else serious thought. He seems like an ideal PG to team up with Lebron…Assists, steals, FG%, Pts, 3pts are already in good hands two picks in.

#25 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Gerald Wallace, Charlotte

Gerald Wallace BobcatsNot sure about this pick after I made it….In retrospect I think Vince Carter was the better value. It’s not like Wallace is a bad player or won’t even put up very similar numbers…but if I can the player that is on a much better team (ie Orlando) with less health concerns that’s usually the better move. In terms of over all production, I’m extremely happy with my first three picks.

#26 – Hard on for Rajon – Andre Igoudala, Philadelphia

The other AI is in for an even bigger season with the loss of veteran PG Andre Miller.  Besides, with so many Andre’s on the court it was getting confusing.  It looks as though Iguodala will be starting with Lou Williams at the point and Thaddeus Young at the 3, so there will be plenty of opportunity to score in this offense.  We all know his athletic ability alone is pretty special.

# 27 – Oden Retirement Home – Shawn Marion, Dallas

I’m not a Shawn Marion fan by any stretch of the imagination.  Once he left Phoenix, his fantasy value has deteriorated.  However, I feel like this is the year the Mavericks either make one last push, or blow it up completely.  If it’s the former, it’ll be because Marion is enjoying a comeback season pertaining to his fantasy relevance.

#28 – Walker Texas Granger– Kevin Garnett, Boston

This pick is a risky one, since Garnett’s production has been falling off faster than Raiders ticket sales, but hopefully he’ll be rejuvenated after getting the last couple months of last season off. I have little doubt that when he’s in there he’ll produce, the question is will he be in there?

#29 – Cross Over Kings – Antawn Jamison, Washington

Antawn Jamison WizardsHere in the third round I was looking for an all-around producer from either the SF or PF position. If I can find a scorer who boards, and can knock down some threes as well, I feel like this would be an ideal addition. Paul Piece was a serious candidate, but I was hoping to get a few more rebounds, which made Jamison the most viable player to go with. His average of 8+ boards a night to go along with 20 pts, and a few threes seem like a good fit. I would argue Jamison is one of the most under valued players in the league when it comes to fantasy players….

#30 – Nelly’s Belly – Josh Smith, Atlanta

The Josh Smith saga continues.  I jumped on the bandwagon early, and by the time he hit his fantasy peak, he was in someone else’s hands.  In his third run on my team in 5 years last season, he had a disappointing campaign.  This year, I’m hoping to pair him with Anthony Randolph in a later round and have the scariest fantasy team ever on paper!

#31 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Rashard Lewis, Orlando

I guess I’m all in on the Magic offense after the loss of Hedu in the off-season.  Long-range Lewis and Superman will get a few more touches, and a healthy Jameer Nelson will give them great opportunities to excel.

#32 – Who’s the Bosh? – Rajon Rondo, Boston

Woohoo, hi-five!

Woohoo, hi-five!

I guess I might need a backup plan at PG in case Gilbert goes down, and Rondo is a dishing machine that should only get better with age! I’m not sure if he’s an alien or not, but it’s good to have another Sam Cassell looking guy in the league.

#33 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Vince Carter, Orlando

Wow….Vince Carter sitting here so late is a nice gift if you ask me. And it’s these types of players you draft in rounds 3, 4, and 5 that can net you a fantasy title. With Carter playing for a winning Orlando team full of talent, I think it’s reasonable to think he has a decent chance to put up top 15 type numbers this season. I feel great about having top players at PG, PF, and SF….Carter does carry some health risks, but those fears seem to only come up when he is playing for bad teams!

# 34 – Sovinet Union – Paul Pierce, Boston

The Celtics took a year off to celebrate, and this season should be the last chance for Pierce, Garnett, and Allen to get one more ring.  Since KG and Ray both have the durability of a pine cone, Paul Pierce is going to have to hold down the fort through much of the regular season.

#35 – Be All You Camby – Jason Kidd

After taking two big men, I’m delighted to see two great PGs left to choose from: Kidd and Tony Parker.  I’m going with Kidd only because he outs up better assist numbers and more 3 pointers.  The Dallas offense looks filthy with a healthy Josh Howard, Dirk and Terry, plus new addition Shawn Marion keeping plays alive and providing a bit of energy.

#36 – Baby Curry – Monta Ellis, Golden State

The Warriors camp has been the most active, and not in a good way. I hate to pick the guy that told my mancrush that he couldn’t play with him, but he should be primed for a big season whether or not they end up being competitive. Anyone guaranteed starters minutes on the dubs should be a good pick!


Magic Still the Greatest PG to Ever Play the Game

Earvin “Magic” Johnson turned 50 today.  Nearly 30 years after he made his professional debut, he remains quite possibly the greatest point guard to ever play the game.  For years, NBA franchises have been longing to find players who fit his mold.  The oversized playmaker who get see the whole floor while creating his own shot to lead his team to victory.  Magic was a 12-time all-star and 3-time MVP.  He was also a 10-time All-NBA 1st team selection.  Not only did he average 19.5 points and 11.2 assists per game, but he put up 19.5 points and 12.3 assists per game in his postseason career.  He also snared 7.7 rebounds per game in the playoffs.  Magic Johnson continues to be the benchmark for which all point guards are compared to.  For every Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Tony Parker, there is only on Magic.  We have, and quite possibly will, never see another Magic Johnson.