Category:NBA
Posted on: October 24, 2008 10:59 am
 

2008-09 NBA Standings Predictions.

Tis the season. Of basketball, that is. It's upon us once again, and I am finally able to feel like a legitimate font of knowledge for at least one sport (I fake my way through football).

Last year was a great year for the league in general...Celtics/Lakers revisited....a dozen players that could co-exist to win gold in Beijing...Stephen Jackson and Ron Artest more than 100 miles away from each other the vast majority of the time. Even as a Timberwolves fan, I was able to take solace in the team's "only slightly-below-average" performance in the second half of the season (as opposed to "abyssmal," I guess..).

One of the other sub-texts to last year was the stellar-ness (word?) of the West versus the relative mediocrity of the East beyond the top three teams. I see that balancing out a bit this year, with Phoenix and Dallas taking slight steps back, and teams like Atlanta, Philadelphia, and maybe even Miami looking playoff-bound in 2009. Here's what's gonna happen in the Association in 2008-09:

PREDICTED RECORD (playoff seeding in parentheses)

Atlantic Division                                       Central Division                                       Southeast Division

Boston (1) 58-24                                      Cleveland (2) 54-28                                Orlando (3) 49-33

Philadelphia (4) 51-31                            Detroit (5) 48-34                                       Atlanta (7) 44-38

Toronto (6) 44-38                                     Chicago 37-45                                          Miami (8) 40-42

New Jersey 20-62                                    Indiana 35-47                                           Washington 39-43

New York 20-62                                        Milwaukee 22-60                                      Charlotte 34-48

Southwest Division                                  Northwest Division                                   Pacific Division

New Orleans (1) 57-25                           Utah (3) 52-30                                           Los Angeles Lakers (2) 56-26

Houston (4) 55-27                                   Portland (6) 50-32                                    Phoenix (7) 48-34

San Antonio (5) 51-31                             Denver 46-36                                            Golden State 40-42

Dallas (8) 44-38                                       Minnesota 33-49                                      Sacramento 31-51

Memphis 19-63                                        Sea.. Oklahoma City 26-56                     Los Angeles Clips 29-53

 

There's your standings. Second part will be up soon with awards, season factors, and playoffs. Feel free to rip....nnnnow.

Category: NBA
Posted on: May 20, 2008 11:25 pm
 

Ray of Hopelessness.

Here's a thought:

Ray Allen is only a viable NBA star when he is unquestionably the number one option. Hear me out. I am a Timberwolves fan and watched Latrell Sprewell for a few years, and some nights he would be absolutely lights out: 11 for 18, 34 points, and would absolutely be a dominant offensive player. The next night, he would be 2 for 9 with 6 points, and would just be virtually invisible. I think Ray is the same way: he needs to get two or three buckets down in the first 10 minutes, otherwise you can count him as a loss for the game. And it's not like he's playing any defense, so you may as well have Wally Szczerbiak back on the squad.

He's been able to get away with it for so long for three reasons: (1) Ray, up until this year, has always been the unquestioned number one option on some very mediocre teams, (2) this year, the C's put 67 in the win column, and winning cures a lot of ills (like KG not having a whole lot of clutch to him -- trust me, I watched him for 12 years), and (3) he's been such a good -- or at least quiet -- teammate and citizen that most people would not want to badmouth him. Think of the image the NBA has been trying to rid itself of for the last 15 years...Ray Allen embodies all of that good image. Why trash his rep.

I mean, think about it -- even the worst NBA team is going to average 90 points. Somebody's gotta score, right? You stay moderately healthy long enough on some crummy to mid-level team, and you're bound to put 20,000 points on the board. Dominique Wilkins. Bernard King. George Gervin. All great scorers who never saw much beyond playoffs, round two.

Just my thought. Feel free to respond.

Category: NBA
Posted on: April 10, 2008 1:20 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2008 3:31 pm
 

Way too much work for the Clippers' sake.

Okay, my last entry was a bit off. Mayo's going pro. If they would've had any kind of influential tourney run (basically, anything aside from a first-round loss to an eleven-seed), O.J. would still be a Trojan, I think. But it's a moot point, as they don't teach jump shooting in So Cal.

Mayo's stock did rise in the last month (from a projected seven to about four or five), and the NBA lottery order is less than six weeks away. It's really a shame, because I've been keeping myself busy with the mock draft generator offered by a competing sports website that starts with an "E" and ends with an "SPN.com", and I can't wait to find out how the Timberwolves are going to be corn-holed THIS year.

Ever since Ewing in 1985, there just seems to be a certain mystique to the NBA lottery..and by mystique, I mean David Stern conspiracy. And, yes, most of my opinion has to do with the Wolves not getting the first pick in 1992, when they had the worst record and Shaq was the grand prize. Instead, the Big Barishnikov goes to a sunny, marketable basketball locale and we end up with a guy who had more headbands than double-doubles.

But before I go too "woe is me" on the Timberwolves' draft luck, or lack thereof, let me play out a "could be worse" scenario: The Los Angeles Clippers. And, yes, I know it's easy to beat up the slow kid, but I'm going to do it anyway, because it makes me feel like a big man.

Maybe it's Sternconspiracy, maybe it's poor management, maybe it's just shitty luck, but the Clippers' lottery selections are amongst the terrible-est of all time...even terrible-er than me English. I choose to blame Stern. I find it absolutely and utterly inconcievable (name THAT movie) that, in a world with a law of averages, the Clippers' front office and karma could be THAT incompetent THAT long. Wouldn't the fan base be outraged?

You know...um...all eight of them?

Here are the Clippers lottery picks, since all the way back in 1985:

Benoit Benjamin, Creighton -- "Derrick Coleman" before Derrick Coleman was "Derrick Coleman." Pretty much ate himself out of the league. Didn't really seem to care, either. Benoit sort of walked...nay, waddled...around the court with an apathetic, post-concussion look on his face.

Reggie Williams, Georgetown -- Most famous for going to high school with Muggsy Bogues and Reggie Lewis at Baltimore Dunbar. The trivia answer to, "what other guy played in the NBA and went to high school with Reggie Lewis and Muggsy Bogues?"

Danny Manning, Kansas -- Came off of a great collegiate career as the first overall pick, and promptly blew out his ACL 26 games into his rookie year. Would have been a solid number sixth man for most squads...and was really the only semi-threat the Clips had for the four-plus years he was there. Won more post-season games this year as an assistant for the Jayhawks than he did in total for L.A.

Hersey Hawkins, Bradley -- He actually had a nice NBA career, scoring over 14,000 points and missing a mere seven games in his first 11 years. He, of course, never played for the Clippers, as he was traded post-draft for Charles Smith, who was most recognized for his Will Smith-esque flat top, and being the softest big man this side of Brad Daugherty (6'10" and never more than seven boards a game average).

Danny Ferry, Duke -- Would the phrase "Danny Ferry thought the Clippers were so bad, that he went and played in ITALY for a year before being traded an embarking on a seven-point-per-game NBA career" be considered the exact opposite of "successful franchise"?

Bo Kimble, Loyola Marymount -- Scored more points in his sophomore season of college than he did his entire NBA career. The most notable thing he did as a pro was brick a left-handed free throw in honor of Hank Gathers.

Lamond Murray, California -- is there anything more frustrating than a guy with a little bit of size (6'7") who absolutely REFUSES to play closer than, say, 17 feet from the rim? The answer is, "yes, a player who only shoots 43% from the field, and 36% on three-pointers". 

Antonio McDyess, Alabama -- Another nice NBA career, though injury-hampered, and yet another All-Star that never actually dressed for the Clippers. McDyess was traded to the Nuggets for Rodney Rogers' corpse and a draft pick that turned into Brent Barry. But, hey, at least LAC is the only NBA team with a white Slam Dunk Contest winner!

Lorenzen Wright, Memphis -- Big men with injury problems and poor work ethics probably should be avoided. Nothing like a 6'11" guy that can't average a block per game. In his defense, Wright's middle name is "Vern-Gagne". I'm not kidding; look it up.

Michael Olowokandi, Pacific -- The first REAL argument for "don't draft a tall guy with a lottery pick just because he's tall. Make sure he's played good basketball at a legitimate Division I program and won't get tasered by police at Twin Cities clubs after he's been widely acknowledged as the worst first pick in NBA history."

Lamar Odom, Rhode Island -- Probably the best player the Clippers have ever drafted, but he is a Danny Manning clone in that (as we're seeing now on the Lakers) Odom is MUCH better when he's not a primary option. He is also a Danny Manning clone in that he couldn't seem to ever stay healthy -- with the Clippers. He's much healthier now.

Keyon Dooling, Missouri -- I don't actually know anything about Keyon Dooling. I think he's on the Magic now. Does he play?...(looking up stats)...yeah, a tenth overall pick should probably be better than the eigth-best player on the fourth-best team in the second-best conference. And he's averaging twice as many points now than he did with L.A. -- and it's still not in double-figures.

Darius Miles, high school -- Just for the record, I might need to take Welbutrin just to make it through this analysis. Lessons the Clips SHOULD'VE learned: (1) you can't win in the NBA with 18-year-olds. The only teams that win with 18-year-olds are the good teams that sign the 18-year-olds when they turn 22. (2) Only Kevin Garnett is going to be Kevin Garnett. (3) When a player is excited to be drafted by Los Angeles because it will (and I'm paraphrasing) 'give him great exposure', and not on the basketball court, that's not a good sign.  Wasn't he in a movie? Hopefully, it was only a quarter as atrocious as his career.

Tyson Chandler, high school -- Again, Chandler is unspectacularly solid now that he's been in the Association for eight years, isn't playing outside of his abilities, and is on his third team (a la Odom). The obvious comparison is to Ben Wallace. Ben Wallace wasn't drafted; Chandler was the second pick...and Michael Jordan thought that Kwame Brown had more upside than he did. I think the summation is you never want to draft a guy at number two who doesn't try to "play outside his abilities".

Chris Wilcox, Maryland -- Never averaged more than eight points and five boards for LAC. Hasn't averaged LESS than 13.5 / 7.7 since showing up in Seattle. You ever get the feeling wearing Clipper red and blue sucks out your willingness to try?

Shaun Livingston, high school -- I guess an argument can't be made for his mediocrity, primarily because he's never stayed healthy enough to formulate an opinion. He's MISSED 37 more NBA games than he's made, and hasn't suited up since February of 2007. Being the next Magic Johnson doesn't do you any good when you're knees make you the next Bill Walton.

Yaroslav Korolev, somewhere in the USSR -- I was sort of kidding before when I said I didn't know who Keyon Dooling was...sort of...but I honestly didn't think Korolev had ever played and NBA game. As it turns out, he played in 34 of them, then went home. What do the Clippers have to show for this former 12th overall pick? A pretty damn good triple-double (39-16-10)...as cumulative CAREER statistics.

I won't go into ragging on Al Thornton, because he's having an alright rookie season. And, 75 games into his NBA career, he's done something a select few have done: had a double-digit turnover game. I suppose we can just blame it on the jersey.

So there's your (over)analysis of a (currently) 23-win team. If they've made a good decision in the past years, it was to trade WITH the Timberwolves a few years ago. Presuming the Wolves don't fall out of top-10 protection this year, Los Angeles has Minnesota's 2009 first-rounder to complete the ebola-for-anthrax trade known as Cassell-for-Jaric. Maybe the Clippers will pass (more) ineptitude to the Wolfies, just like that one Denzel movie, where evil could get passed from person-to-person just by touch).

Or maybe the Clippers will just continue to be the Clippers and draft someone as crappy and forgettable as that movie.

By the way, the current mock draft has the Clippers getting Anthony Randolph at six, a wiry-yet-unproven LSU product who reminds some people of Kevin Garnett...

And the circle of life continues...

Category: NBA
Posted on: April 3, 2008 5:23 pm
Edited on: April 3, 2008 6:50 pm
 

Crazy Chicago Bulls facts. And just plain crazy.

The Chicago Bulls have experienced the highs. The Chicago Bull have seen the lowest of lows. Check it out.

One side of the spectrum: The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls won more games with an 82-game schedule (72) than the Tampa Bay Rays have ever won in a single 162-game season (70).

 

The Other Side: The first three years of post-Jordan Bulls didn’t quite average as many wins (15 avg.) as the Patriots did from this year (16).

 

Scottie Pippen is one of a handful of players with multiple double-digit turnover games in his career, and the Bulls won both of the games.

 

Not only has Michael Jordan won six rings of his own, but he is directly responsible for Luc Longley, Bill Wennington, Will Perdue, and Stacey King having a combined 12 championship rings more than Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, Charles Barkley, and Karl Malone.

<o:p></o:p>

<o:p>MORE AMAZING THAN ANY OF THIS, ON A TOTALLY UNRELATED NOTE...</o:p>

<o:p></o:p>

More crazy than any of this is the fact that Chris Henry and PacMan Jones were on the same college football team, and West Virginia as a whole wasn’t arrested. Or the state didn't implode.

Posted on: February 28, 2008 12:59 pm
 

The Worst Player You Could Ever Acquire.

SIDE NOTE (related to the blog entry title): Did the Wild and Timberwolves switch GMs on Tuesday for a day? The Puppies pull out a gritty home win against a playoff-caliber team, and the Wild, when in need of a playmaking center at the trade deadline, acquire Chris Simon, a low-scoring wing who MAY try stabbing someone with his skate. We should just get Syracuse jerseys that say "OGLETHORPE" on the back.

On the heels of Bob Horry accepting my honorary "good-luck charm MVP" award, methinks it's only fitting to single out the LEAST valuable player, as well...a player who, time and time again, has demonstrated an ability to corrupt playoff-contending teams just with his mere presence. This player, of course, is Ricky Davis. Being a Timberwolves fan, I know this as well as anyone -- I had to watch him for a year and a half. My case:

  • Ricky AVIS (as he's known in my fantasy league, because there's no "D" in that guy) has a career record of 244-390, at least through some point last week. The Wolves' 46-78 record during Davis' tenure is, shockingly and sadly, only SLIGHTLY lower than his career winning percentage. To compare to Horry, unfair as that may seem, Davis (in eight seasons and change) has 31 MORE losses and...ahem...492 FEWER wins. Now, I know this is comparing the class valedictorian to the backup offensive lineman, but come on.
  • How else do you explain Miami being the WORST team in the NBA?? Wade, Shaq/Marion, AND getting rid of Antoine Walker (addition by subtraction), and they still can't muster 11 wins??
  • He's only played on two playoff teams* -- both Celtic squads that were marginal at best, and one of those, he was acquired halfway through the season. *And yes, he was on a Heat team that went 50-32, and made the playoffs, but he only played 70 minutes over the course of seven games. Which is probably why they made the playoffs.
  • He has been traded at LEAST three times because coaches thought he would corrupt the younger players on the team: the Cavaliers traded him 22 games into LeBron's rookie season, the Celtics traded him to keep the Jefferson-led youngsters from developing bad habits, and then the T-Wolves dealt him to protect that same group.
  • There is empirical evidence to suggest teams hit the jackpot three to four years after trading him: the Heat won a title in 2006, the Cavs made it to the Finals last year, and the Celtics are the front-runner for the crown THIS year. As a Timberwolves fan, this brings me joy and hope for the 2011 season.

There's the case against Ricky. Kind of too bad, too, because I honestly thought he was a fun player to watch most of the time, and from the sounds of it, the guy could DOMINATE...a, uh, bottle of Patron. Maybe South Beach wasn't the best alternative for him. Shows what you get out of Davenport, Iowa.

Category: NBA
Posted on: February 27, 2008 2:22 pm
 

The REAL Most Valuable Player.

There is about 25 games to go in the NBA season, which means the MVP debate is only two months old. Who's gonna get it? LeBron? Kobe? Marko Jaric? I say Robert Horry, even though he's scored 83 points total on the season. And it doesn't have anything to do with him being part of a dominating frontcourt for my fantasy basketball team in 1993. Here's the real deal:

  • As of the middle of last week, when Horry plays in an NBA game his teams are 736-359. Average that over an 82-game season, and you've got a 55-27 season. Not too shabby. And, yes, I went through all 1095 games. Thanks, Basketball-Reference.com!
  • Having him on your team gives you a 47% shot at winning the title. Fifteen years, seven rings -- and that doesn't count his Spurs team this year that has as good a shot of anyone of winning (on a seperate note, I hate the Spurs -- but that's for another post).
  • He has more PLAYOFF wins in his career (147) than the Knicks have REGULAR SEASON wins in the last five seasons (145).
  • None of Horry's past teams (Rockets, Suns, Lakers) have won an Association Finals after getting rid of him. He's like a Bambino Curse dressed up as Will Smith's doppelganger.

Now, you may have arguments such as, "But Max, the guy has averaged seven points for his career! He has more career fouls than assists! How can you do this?" Think of it as a lifetime achievement award for a journeyman. You don't have to like him. Hell, I don't anymore.

Just remember that having Big Shot Bob holding down the end of your bench is like having a goddamn horseshoe-shaped rabbit's foot jammed up your ass. And, yes, I know I already posted these fascinating numbers on the fantasy basketball message board. Gotta get mileage out of the material, homes.

Tomorrow: The anti-Horry, and what seperates the two...aside from a manure-pile of victories.

Category: NBA
Tags: Horry, Kobe, LeBron, MVP, NBA, Spurs
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com