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The Few Things I Remember From This New Year’s Weekend

My body came back yesterday, but I think my head just finally returned from Tahoe this evening. It was a blurry three days up at the cabin, but I managed to sprinkle in some sports here and there. The majority of it came on Saturday morning/afternoon, as it was do or die for not only the Oakland Raiders, but also the West Sac Narwhals (you guessed it, my fantasy team). Here’s the recap of my weekend in sports…

Boring Morning Games – The scores may look close, but the 49ers-Rams and Jets-Dolphins definitely didn’t feel as close as your average 34-27 or 19-17 games. Neither had much meaning, other than the Jets being able to make a small claim toward a playoff berth. The Niners were also able to sew up a bye in the first round. The fantasy relevance was limited, with only Steven Jackson struggling to muster up 9 points. The Rams did a good job of wiping points away from my opponent though, putting up 17 against his 49ers Defense. I’d have much rather been watching the Lions-Packers. I opted to start Matthew Stafford for just the second time this season. The only other time was during Tom Brady’s bye week, and he turned in a dismal 12 point performance. Who would’ve thought, though, that it’d be the other Matt throwing for 6 TDs. But, when you’re in Northern California, you can’t expect to see any other NFC games while the 49ers are playing. Maybe I was just bored waiting for the game of the year….

Oakland Raiders Can End 9 Year Playoff Drought – The scenarios were many, but one was simple. Beat the Chargers, and get a Denver loss at the hands of Kyle Orton and the Kansas City Chiefs, and they’re in. Beating the Chargers isn’t usually a doable task, but Oakland beat them in pretty convincing fashion in front of a national Thursday night NFL Network stage IN San Diego. Throw in Orton’s return to Denver (he HAS to light it up against his old team, right?), and I was feeling like the chances were good. The Chiefs took care of business, even if Orton didn’t light it up. A 7-3 ballgame seemed like the perfect setup for the Raiders to get in. Ultimately, though, a porous defense and untimely turnovers – both Raiders staples this season – squandered away a golden opportunity. Oakland will miss the playoffs yet again, and Denver backs into the playoffs, riding a 6-22, 60 yard, 1 interception, and a fumble lost game by Tim Tebow. Sounds to me like a perfect script for a Denver upset against Pittsburgh next weekend. Too bad I wasn’t still 10 minutes from Nevada anymore!

Demarcus Cousins Demanded Trade From Sacramento Kings – This one caught me way off guard. I read the news on my phone, and quite frankly, I was many sheets to the wind at this point. The headlines, though, were crystal clear….

“Demarcus Cousins DEMANDS Trade”

“Demarcus Cousins SENT HOME For Good”

“Demarcus Cousins Has Played His LAST GAME In Sacramento”

By the time I got caught up on all the news, it was over. I just watched the Kings lose to the Grizzlies, but Cousins was back out there as if nothing ever happened. Albeit he came off the bench and played just 22 minutes, it’s amazing enough that he saw the floor at all. He struggled offensively, just 4 points on 1-5 shooting; but he grabbed 8 rebounds, including a game-high 6 offensive boards. I’m hoping it gets more back to normal in the next few games. Here’s a BIG reason why… Tonight, I was officially SOLD on Jimmer Fredette as an effective NBA player. He CAN get his shot off. He CAN create off the dribble. He CAN shoot 3’s from NBA range. OK, I suppose no one ever doubted the last one. Well to make up for that one, I’ll add that he CAN pass. Like Tyreke Evans, no one will ever be sold on him being an NBA point guard, but he can find the open man like one. So maybe two of those guys in the backcourt can equal one point guard. They’ve got another guy who can light it up with the best of them too in Marcus Thornton. If only they had a tall, quick, athletic, passing big man to round it out. Oh wait, they DO. It appears they’re on the brink of trading him though. If they end up shipping Cousins away, we’ll know it had to have been bad, because he’s a once in a decade talent, like a second coming of Chris Webber. Unfortunately, it took Webber a trade or two to really find his groove. Cousins has lasted longer in Sac than C-Webb did in Golden State, but it feels eerily similar. Who knows, maybe Demarcus gets reunited with John Wall in Washington for a few years, then he spends his prime in Oakland for the Warriors.

One Last Thought – Were there ANY College Football Bowl Games on New Year’s Day? I thought New Year’s Day was supposed to be about Bowl Games…? I swear, when I was a kid, roughly 6 of the best 7 of all 15 bowl games were on New Year’s Day. If I remember my weekend correctly (which I certainly don’t), NONE of the 35 Bowls were played on Sunday. What the HELL?! Oh well, Sunday was for BBQing. I broke out my new smoker and probably served up the best trio of Tri-Tip, Pork Loin, and Smoked Salmon this side of the Rocky Mountains. Yeah, I said smoked Tri-Tip… It’s California. I can’t find a brisket to save my life out here. One day, smoked Tri-Tip is gonna be a nationwide phenomenon though. It’s gonna be the Tim Tebow of barbeque… no one thinks it can be that good, but all it does it WIN.

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Doin Work NorCal NBA Draft Preview

The NBA Draft is becoming more and more like the MLB Draft with all the unknown players. These days, it’s pretty much one-and-done college players and international guys who most of us have never heard of. Fortunately Chappy still keeps up on his scouting and put together a mock draft for us, but I’m going to zero in on the Kings and Warriors. I’ll start with the Kings, mainly because they pick first out of the two teams. Also because at number seven, there will be fewer players off the board, so it’s easier to narrow down the search.

# 7 pick – Sacramento Kings: If ONLY one of the following names is available at number seven, it’ll be Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard, or Jimmer Fredette. I’d like to think those names are also in order of preference, but of that, I’m not so sure. The main area of need for the Kings to address in the draft is the point guard position. The verdict is in from last season and it looks like Tyreke Evans would be more effective off the ball. Marcus Thornton is locked in as a building block for the team as well, but after the opening tip, there’s no reason both of those guys couldn’t play with a third guard on the floor. Brandon Knight is the top PG in the draft, but also widely considered to be long gone before the Kings make their pick. That’s why it’ll likely come down to whoever is available between Walker and Leonard. Personally I hope it’s Walker. The Kings desperately need a small forward, but they need to get a veteran who can step in right away. They simply can’t afford to roll with Francisco Garcia and Omri Casspi at the three this season. Leonard’s defense and rebounding would be much-needed, but unless he can produce right away, it’s going to leave a gaping hole at the wing. The wild card pick would be Jimmer. Most people think he’s a stretch at number seven, and some even question whether he can be effective in the NBA, but the Maloofs may not be able to resist the fanfare that is Jimmer Fredette. One of the greatest draft picks in Kings history was also a reach of sorts, taking the iffy Jason Williams at the same slot back in 1998, which in a way, kickstarted the Kings into contention. Maybe a quick little white guy who can pull up from 28 feet on a fast break is what a team needs to get over the hump. In all seriousness though, I really think his shooting is exactly what the doctor should be ordering for them. They are awfully short at long range shooting, and adding Fredette would seemingly help extend the defense. With guys like Evans and Demarcus Cousins, who are already elusive in traffic, Jimmer could be the most impactful selection should the team go in that direction. It will probably take a perfect storm to happen, but I would welcome the consolation, should the other two more highly-touted guards, Knight and Walker, go off the board.

# 11 pick – Golden State Warriors: It’s a lot tougher to call who the Warriors are even considering, let alone who they may take at number eleven. Most of the chatter out of Oakland these days is in regards to how many trades they propose with Monta Ellis, or how many trades are proposed to them for Stephen Curry. The Warriors obviously need size, but they try that every year and it never really seems to work out. It’s been 10 years by my count since the W’s had a successful selection at power forward or center – that’s if you count Troy Murphy (which I do). The list of name since then includes Andris Biedrins, Ike Diogu, Patrick O’Bryant, Brandan Wright (acquired by draft day trade), Anthony Randolph, and Epke Udoh. Most don’t expect the W’s to break this lineage either, with Bismack Biyombo the most popular choice. If not Biyombo, it will likely be another international big man. However, guys like Klay Thompson and Alec Burks are getting a lot of hype of late, probably due to the likelihood of an opening down the road at the shooting guard position. Monta Ellis’s departure seems more like a matter of when, not if, so the front office seems poised to find a bigger replacement to plug into the lineup once that happens. I think the team would be best served trading the pick for a veteran big man. I don’t think this year’s #11 pick would make the Ellis-Biedrins-Udoh for Dwight Howard offer any more enticing, but maybe it would be enough for the 76ers to throw in Marreese Speights or Thaddeus Young in that Ellis for Iguodala deal. If they don’t trade the pick, I expect Jerry West to put his stamp on the first draft pick of his Warriors tenure, whoever it may be.


Stern’s Letter To Sacramento

As much as I wanted to talk about how much I love Derrick Rose and the Bulls right now, I’m sure you’re all aware already of how Chicago fared against Miami last night. What you may not have seen in your usual news outlets is a letter written to Sacramento from NBA Commissioner David Stern. I usually will take the first opportunity I can to jump all over Stern, but this letter impressed me…. the first time I read it, at least. He talks about how support from everyone from Mayor Kevin Johnson, to other state politicians, to local businesses, to of course the fans, was “a phenomenon unlike any other (he) has seen in almost three decades as NBA commissioner.” Just when Sacramento seemed all but certainly to be the next Seattle, too many people stepped up to say, NOT SO FAST. Even Seattle fans, who are forced to endure the Oklahoma City franchise’s run deep into the NBA playoffs, lent their support to the cause. Anyone with any knowledge whatsoever of the situation who didn’t think a month ago that the team was moving for sure is lying. I sure did.

Though as nice as the concept of the letter is, a second read opened my eyes to how – well, “Stern” this letter really is. No matter how much the commissioner tries to sugar-coat it, the message, I believe, is simple. “You better pony up for a new arena. You need it. It’s in your best interests.”

TO READ THE LETTER, CLICK HERE


Webber And Barkley On The Kings Leaving Sacramento

I know I probably talk about it more than anyone cares to hear, but once the dust settles, I’ll be very sad about all this. As much as the current ownership has alienated myself and fans alike, I can’t forget that past 26 years. Even while turning in 20-win seasons year after year, Sacramento fans packed the house every night and cheered like it was the NBA Finals. Don’t take it from me though. Take it from C-Webb and Sir Charles (from TNT’s Inside the NBA last night)…..

Webber: “I didn’t want to go there (Sacramento). I tried to run away from there. They still accepted me. I can’t imagine what Sacramento would be like without basketball … I hope we do not lose the team. I’ve been talking to people there. I know everyone thinks the team is gone, but I’m doing all I can to keep the team there. I may sound like a fool on national TV, but I’m working to do that. Other people are working to do that … It’s very selfish. I won’t have a basketball home if Sacramento doesn’t have a basketball team. I was talking to (former Sonics star) Gary Payton. He doesn’t have his jersey hanging in any arena. There is no team in Seattle. Selfishly for myself, and for the fans in Sacramento ….

Ernie Johnson: “What are you doing (to further efforts)?”

Webber: “What am I doing? I’m trying to keep the team here. We don’t want to talk about it, but … what else am I supposed to do? I love this team. I still want to have a home in Sacramento. Hopefully it’s not a lost cause. I love Sacramento.”

Barkley: “You know, it’s very frustrating to me because I love the city of Sacramento, and I’ve said before, they had the best fans in the NBA for a long time. I really like the Maloof brothers. I want to make that clear. But I’m very disappointed … because they should have found a way to keep that team in Sacramento … I agree with Chris. Even when the team sucked, they (fans) were great. I mean, they were raising hell every night. I’ve always had great respect for the Maloof brothers. They’ve always been great to me. I’m just disappointed they didn’t try harder to make it work … It’s like they (NBA, owners) screwed Seattle. That place was crazy. But Sacramento … I agree with both of you guys. You all were great when you weren’t very good. It was all the same.That place was loud. I hate the fact they’re leaving Sacramento.”


Goodbye Arco

Tonight should be an interesting night. I’ll likely be paying my last visit to a building I practically grew up in. From the first year the Kings played in Sacramento in 1985 through 1998, I paid about 20 visits a year to Arco Arena. For those keeping track, yes I did stop going the year before they acquired Chris Webber, Jason Williams, and Vlade Divac and started winning. That’s when I became a Warriors fan. So, I’ve only seen two playoff appearances between the two while I was a fan.

But unless I end up at one of the five remaining homes games after tonight, this is looking like it’ll be my last time watching the Kings up here. It’d be really nice if they could break out the 80s light blue jerseys for me, but I think they’re trying to avoid any jerseys that says Kings or Sacramento on them. I’m curious to see how tonight will go. Though I’d prefer the Kings to stay, I’m hardly a fan of what’s become of them since the Maloofs took over, so in that aspect, I won’t be sad to see them go. It’s just too bad that someone else is going to enjoy Demarcus Cousins in his prime instead of us. Then I’ll know how Seattle fans feel about Kevin Durant.


Things I’m Tired Of Hearing About This NBA Season

Anything Heat Related – There might have been one or two Miami Heat squads I actually liked during their entire existence. I can’t name any off the top of my head, but I’d guess that Glen Rice was on the team. To this day, when I think of the Heat, I think of guys like Kevin Edwards, Jon Sundvold, and Rony Seikaly. No matter how much the NBA is trying to shove this Heat team down my throat, I’m not gonna budge. But it’s like Stan Van Gundy said, when you hold the championship celebration in August, the scrutiny will come. I can barely even watch Heat games anymore. If they didn’t have Erick Dampier, they wouldn’t be worth watching at all.

David Stern Still Being David Stern – Seriously, how has this guy not been fired, sued, or bitch-slapped yet?! He’s by far the most arrogant commissioner in the sport with the biggest egos. How is he still in control? (I know, the answer is obvious… money) He has pretty much single-handedly destroyed my favorite sport. I love basketball, but I can barely tolerate the NBA anymore. The officiating has blatantly become just a means of manipulating  the outcome of games. It’s like recess was in elementary school: just as you started breaking a sweat and having fun, some asshole blows a whistle and everyone has to go back in the classroom. Or in this case, stand around and watch one guy shoot a ten foot set shot. Add to that the special treatment various players get no matter how obvious, and it just makes me wanna text Rasheed Wallace and say “look at this sh!t NOW, record hater.” I think I’m even more peeved than usual after reading Stern’s cocky-ass comments about SVG today.

The Spurs – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sacramento Kings: Will They or Won’t They? I know… no one outside of Sacramento really has to put up with this news, but there is literally a new story about whether or not the Kings plan to leave town after this season, and more often than not, it’s not even news. For example, today’s biggest story is that fans are trying to sell out the second to last home game of the season, fittingly against the team formerly known as the Seattle SuperSonics. Look, few people spent as much time at Arco Arena as I did growing up (not Power Balance Pavilion, not the Livestrong Center, not the Tiffany Dome, and not the Friendship Bracelet Fieldhouse. Sorry, I’ll stop), but at this point, I feel so alienated by this franchise, I don’t even feel like they’re my home team anymore. This is a city that sold out every game for the first 13 years here, and then after a few down months, the next 7 or 8 again. It’s not the city that’s the problem. I love the movie Major League, but I hate seeing the same strategy being employed in real life. At least the movie had two things the Kings don’t: Charlie Sheen, and duh – winning!


Doin Discounts: Sacramento Kings

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o   First Kings home game after All-Star break.

o   Tyreke and DeMarcus returning from 2011 Rookie Challenge.

o   Retro Night – team’s first game in retro 1951 Rochester Royals championship uniforms

o   See the high flying, Rookie of the Year Candidate – Blake Griffin.

 

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FREE CARL LANDRY!!

….And I don’t mean trade him, I mean play him. Coach Paul Westphal has played Landry just 9 and 19 minutes in each of the last two games. They’ve both been losses. I know that doesn’t say much since 37 of the 49 games the Kings have played have been losses, but here’s a more significant trend for you….

Since January started, the Kings are 5-1 when Carl Landry plays more than 30 minutes. When he doesn’t, they’re 1-13.

I’m all for giving rookie Demarcus Cousins the minutes, and Samuel Dalembert’s been playing some solid basketball this year, but Landry should be on the floor more. It’s not like he can’t play with those guys. Jason Thompson should be the odd man out – which he is often. Whatever the case, it’s clear the organization doesn’t see Landry as a part of their future, which is unfortunate, so they may as well trade him to someone who will utilize him. This is a guy who was putting up 16 pts a night for a .500 ballclub in Houston, making him a favorite for the 6th Man of the Year award for the first half of last season. Now he’s not good enough to play for the worst team outside of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

 


Sick Day Special

Much like when you watch a baseball game, there’s the possibility that you may witness something extremely rare. Well, the same can be said for Doin Work. Today was a very rare occasion, as yours truly actually stayed home from work. I’m like Brett Favre in the office. Though as bored as I was throughout the day, it gave me some time to catch up on some news. Here’s what I was thinking about……

Might we see Ellison in front of more purple backgrounds soon?

Larry Ellison Can’t Manage To Buy an NBA Team – Well documented was Ellison’s late bid to buy the Golden State Warriors last year. What I didn’t know was that he also tried to buy the Sonics when they were getting ready to leave Seattle. Now I’ve come to find out he supposedly offered $350 million to buy the Hornets, but was rejected, only to see George Shinn sell the team to the league for $300 million. Obviously the dollar amounts can be argued, but the fact remains that Ellison has tried to purchase at least three franchises now, to no avail. So now he is reportedly turning his attention to the Kings, with the intention of moving them to Anaheim. What I don’t understand is why he is widely rumored to want to move the Kings to LA, but his preference for the Hornets would be to move them to San Jose. Not sure why the different destinations for the different teams. Maybe next he can take a shot at buying the Raptors and moving them to Winnipeg.

Athletics Need To Get Michael Young – I know there aren’t many rumors linking the A’s to Young, especially since Young’s no-trade clause only includes 8 teams, of which Oakland, not surprisingly, is not included. If I know Billy Beane, though, the A’s front office is making a serious play for the third baseman turned DH. It’s been no secret that the A’s have been trying to replace Kevin Kouzmanoff at third. For a while they were rumored to be trying to work out a Kouz for Chone Figgins deal, but that seems dead. The Mariners aren’t that stupid. Therefore it’s looking like Young is our best option. They’ll just have to come up with a deal enticing enough to convince the Rangers it’s the best for the team, while at the same time, enticing Young to waive his no-trade clause to come to Oakland. Most experts are seeing the A’s as the most improved team in the AL West, and the most likely to challenge Texas for the division title. I’m sure he’d rather be in Anaheim, but wouldn’t he love to stick it to his old team in the green and gold? Maybe not.

Big East Is Stacked – They’re now the laughing stock of college football’s BCS automatic bid conferences, but they’ve emerged as the premier college basketball conference. The title had traditionally been held by the ACC and/or the Big Ten, but the Big East is dominating now. By my count, they’ve got 8 ranked teams, and are looking poised to send 11 teams to the NCAA tournament. Though they are arguably the best conference from top to bottom, the Duke-North Carolina game is still the biggest one on the day’s docket.

Alex and Cameron don't look so hot after a bag of popcorn and a few drinks.

A-Corn Is Ridiculous – I was as amused as anyone when Fox cut away to Camerom Diaz feeding Alex Rodriguez popcorn in a suite, but I didn’t expect people to still be talking about on Wednesday. True, it was an embarrassing shot, but word is A-Rod went on a tirade, demanding that they don’t show him again. It’s like Mike Greenberg said today, A-Rod is the ONLY guy this could happen to. Anyone else would brush it off and have fun with it, but A-Rod is continuing to amaze by making himself even less likable than he already was. To top it off, I caught some TMZ today, where they showed Rodriguez shopping for clothes while Cameron walked around bored, texting. To make matters worse, A-Corn was caught numerous times checking out his own ass in the mirror. To top it all off, the cameras caught him picking a pretty decent sized booger out of his nose. Apparently, A-Rod is just as tragic off the field.


Doin The NBA’s Worst of the Worst Power Rankings

While I was growing up the A’s, Raiders, and to a lesser extent the Warriors were good. I know they were, because people hated them, and the only reason you hate a team is because they are good. Lately I’ve noticed when I tell a new found friend my sports affiliations I hear pity more than anything. Tuesday, I was watching the Cavs-Lakers game and it hit me, I needed to make an anti-power rankings, and tried to decide which is the worst team in the NBA. I used some criteria for this glorious list. One, obviously team record, and second, how much hope they have for the future with their core players.

#7 Minnesota – Kevin Love is an All-Star. Nobody does what he does. He hits threes while scoring 21.1 ppg, and pulls in 15.8 rebounds a game. If Griffin owns the air above the rim, then Love owns everything below the rim. If the second best player on that team wasn’t Luke Ridnour now that Beasley is hurt, they might have some more wins than they do. I bet if they were in the East, they’d be the 8th seed. They have a solid young front court. If Kahn can finally use these guys to build off, they might be relevant again one of these years.

#6 Toronto – They’ve been hit hard by the injury bug this year, and on second thought, maybe losing Bosh was a bigger deal up there than I originally thought. Somehow they are only a couple games outside of the Eastern Conference’s 8th seed, which shows you why there are so many Eastern Conference teams on my list. Hockey still rules Toronto, the Raptors will be extinct there one of these days up there.

#5 Detroit Continue reading


In Case You Missed It….

….And there’s a good chance you did. It’s a few days old now, but Kings-Grizzlies highlights probably don’t make the news in your local area. Even if you did see it, it’s worth another watch. There hasn’t been much to cheer about at Arco Arena this year, unless you’re a Warriors fan, but just when it looked like the Kings were about to suffer another devastating loss, Tyreke Evans seemed to resurrect his season with one long shot (figuratively and literally) to give his team an improbable win. Guess that’s what I get for turning down an invite to the game…..


Demarcus Cousins: Rookie (mistake) Of The Year

Demarcus Cousins thought the game was in the bag. So did I. So did every other fan in attendance last night.

Last night was a big one for me. Most of you probably didn’t know they even played, since neither are even close to relevant, but MY Golden State Warriors paid a visit to MY Sacramento Kings last night. I’m grew up a Kings fan, back when they were almost as bad as they are now, and these days, I root for them 78 games a year. The four that I don’t are – surprise – when they play the Warriors. Regardless of which arena the game is played, I remain pretty neutral. Ultimately I want the W’s to win, but I usually just hope for a close game. Sometimes that backfires and they end up in triple overtime in Oakland on a weeknight! They’re almost always good games though, and whichever team wins, at least one of my teams is getting a victory.

Last night though, I was a full-on Warriors fan for the first time. I’m running out of ways to remain a Kings fan. It’s not because they’re losing. I endured more losing from 1984-1997 than anyone can imagine. This year, they’re not even fun to watch. I knew they’d struggle, considering the inexperienced roster, but I thought they’d at least be fun to watch. They show flashes here and there, but for the most part just look like an overmatched JV team that knows it’s about to get its ass kicked. They don’t even try. Last night was another huge blow to the franchise as a whole. It’s like when you know an addict who refuses to get help. You finally realize that they just need to hit rock bottom or else they’ll never admit they have a problem. That’s where the Kings are at. So, last night was another step in that direction. It was so bad that we contemplated leaving early, since the game seemed out of reach for the W’s. Instead, I witnessed one of the biggest meltdowns I’ve ever seen on a basketball court.


Kings-Pacers Observations

I made my Arco Arena debut last night – a week and a half after my Oracle Arena debut – and caught the Kings and Pacers. Yes, it was as bad as advertised. Indiana fans will argue that their team is 9-7, and I even picked them to make the playoffs this year. But trust me, they’re not very fun to watch. Danny Granger is one of the league’s great players, but along with Mike Dunleavy and James Posey, they stand around and jack up a lot of threes. Roy Hibbert is surprisingly polished for someone I never thought would be a solid NBA player. I really thought he was going to be the beta version of Hasheem Thabeet. On the Kings side, Tyreke Evans had a few highlight moves, but seems to have taken a step backward from last year’s Rookie of the Year campaign. There were only two players on the court that impressed me…..

Demarcus Cousins – After an impressive summer league that had many predicting back to back ROYs for Sacramento, Cousins has struggled out of the regular season gate. He’s been mired in foul trouble and proved the knocks on him to be true with his whiny demeanor on the court. Hell, he even got kicked out of practice on Monday. Last night, though, he looked like a future all-star. Cousins is ridiculously quick off the dribble, blowing by post defenders for some strong finishes inside. He fought hard on the glass and even showed a smooth stroke from the perimeter, knocking down some shots from 18 feet. He finished with 20 pts and 8 rebounds, and was +6 during his 23 minutes on the floor – pretty good for a guy who’s team lost by nine.

Josh McRoberts – Here’s a guy who wasn’t that dominant at Duke, and played in just 8 games in his rookie season with Portland. He started only three contests through his first two seasons in Indiana since. This year, he’s started all 16 games for the Pacers, and last night, he looked particularly impressive. His line of 7 pts, 3 reb, an 4 ast isn’t overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination, but he made some great plays on the court. He was somewhat limited due to foul trouble, but along with some sweet dimes, he had two amazing highlight plays. One was a thundering alley-oop dunk from Darren Collison that could be seen on NBA.com’s Top 10 Plays of the Night. The other was a blocked dunk attempt on Jason Thompson that should’ve been on there, but the video is nowhere to be found. I’m pretty excited to have this guy on my fantasy team, since I just added him to replace the injured Reggie Evans. (Yes, my team is that bad, despite my 3rd place standing). If McRoberts gets the minutes, he’ll be a breakout player this year.


Must See Teams of ’10-11

Bill (but he looks more like a Jeff) Simmons wrote about the teams he was looking forward to seeing in person this season a few days ago. Since big games don’t really come into play as a Clippers fan, it’s all about the other team. What players are you excited to see in new uniforms. What rookies are you looking forward to seeing in their first visit to your city. Which ticking time bomb situations are you hoping to see come to a head, for example last season I was unfortunate enough to see two of three games Allen Iverson would play in his career as a Memphis Grizzly. You can never know when you’ll witness greatness at an NBA game (though the refs always come to play), but you can pick out the games that have the most potential for greatness. That’s what I’m attempting to do here, except I’ve got an extra factor to consider. Alright guys, I’m not gonna lie to you. This is gonna get kinda weird… TWO home teams. Due to extended stints in both Sacramento and San Francisco, the 10-15 games I’ll probably catch this year will be split between Oracle and Arco. Here’s who I’d be most interested to see, though I’m sure I’ll just be happy take what comes my way. Maybe all the more reason to try and build interest….

Ed. note – please keep in mind I was the kid who wasn’t trying to go see Jordan and the Bulls or Magic and the Lakers (though I’d make a point to at least once). So don’t expect to see Miami atop my list
1. Seattle Sonics – Man, I can’t remember there ever being two players who juiced up their floor cred, let alone on the same team, more than Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook this season. They’re already coming off an impressive season, and I can’t think of a more exciting team to see this upcoming season. What’s that you say? They left Seattle? They moved where? They’re called the what? Nevermind, I don’t wanna go to that game.

2. New York Knicks – I’ve never been this excited to see the Knicks. I guess they’ve been for long enough that I’m kinda ready for them to be good again. I really like that Amare had the balls to go try and be the man in NYC. I hope he succeeds, but I just don’t think he has enough help yet. I think I’ll try to catch them in Oakland, because there’s the added bonus of seeing Anthony Randolph come back to the Bay and try to show up his old team that traded him. Maybe he’ll succeed, and maybe he’ll embarrass himself, but he’ll damn sure try. That’s what made watching him fun: he might dunk on someone or swat a shot into the 5th row, or he might throw a pass into the 5th row. Either way, he definitely tries. (Except the other 90% of the time when he’s not trying at all). It’ll also be good to see Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike, two of the most liked Warriors, return. Not that Randolph wasn’t liked, but I see him eventually work his way into a villain’s role.

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Tyreke Doin Golf

I’m always a little shocked when a professional athlete looks this bad at a sport no matter what the sport happens to be. It’s not that I expect all pros to be good at every sport, but I do expect them to be able to mimick the basics of it, like hitting a golf ball past the womens tees. At least Barkley could make contact, not that it made it look any prettier than Reke, but at least the ball went somewhere. One thing we found through this charity event is that Tyreke won’t be leaving Sac anytime soon to join the PGA, because we all know he’s much more suited for weaving his way through NASCAR traffic!