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Archive for April, 2008

Stones in 6

In the first half of the game yesterday, I was about to ready to write the Pistons off again. I was disgusted at how they played. They were not playing like they could, down by 10 at half. They turned it on finally, found out how to play. Or should I say, played basketball. All they have to do is play fundamental basketball. That it!
The Sixers are a good young team, but not good enough. Their bench is not good enough, their big men are not good enough. Pistons, just play.

Orlando won. There were some good games in the series. But the Magic just knew how to win.

So I am reading this, and it is funny what they say about the Hawks and Celts.
“Only a few people I know picked the Hawks to make it even a five-game series”
The series is now 2-2. The Hawks are better than everyone thought. It is not just the Celtics playing bad. Look at the Hawks’ roster. I was actually surprised how easily they were handled in the first two games. They have a good team that can put up a fight with anyone. Now they are starting to play the way they can at home. Not sure if they’ll be able to keep it up though.
They may be too young, or may need another player, but Atlanta sure can play.

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Stones in 5

The Pistons played how they should have the first game, nothing more can be said.
The Sixers shouldn’t be able to compete with them, and they won’t for the rest of the series.

Unless! Of course the Pistons can still go back to the ways of Game 1, and not play to their potential.
I don’t think they will stoop that low though.

After dominating in all aspects of the game, everyone knows what they can do.

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Stones and Out

Truthfully, no reason why the Pistons lost last night.
Sitting there at the game, I found myself repeating “The Sixers can’t hang with us.” It just seemed that way, until the end.
After building different leads of 13 and 15, the Pistons slowly lost it.
For no reason though.
Look at these stats. No excuses.

The Sixers have NO post game, NO big men. Reggie Evans was throwing up fade aways from the free throw line and they were falling. He is also a career 51% FT shooter. 3/4 last night. That will not happen again. Dalembert, Young, Evans, Smith. These four guys should not be able to compete, at all against the Pistons big men. None of them have any post game. The only one that can score decently is Evans.

Look at these clips from the papers. Great.

Everyone is bashing the Pistons for this. “You could see it coming”

They’re going to come back, I have no doubt. It’s just that this shouldn’t happen in the first place. The basket on the south end of the Palace had a jinx on it. In and out, in and out. For both teams this happened multiple times, couldn’t have been level.

Pistons did it to themselves though, like always.
Rip and Chauncey, make your shots…and free throws.
Sheed and Billups easy shots at the end.
The play was not for TP at the end, nothing you can do about that.
But Andre Miller, in the paint. Stop him. He gets by one guy and he had easy floaters just about every time.
I’m not sure what happened.
Can’t let those leads slip away though.

Please

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The schedule was released yesterday in the NFL. There were some lucky teams, and some unlucky teams.
Here are some statistics that standout to me.
Combined opponents record from last year:
Steelers: 153-103
Colts: 152-104
Patriots: 99-157

No one will be surprised to see the Patriots go 16-0 again with that schedule. They can’t do anything about it thought, sadly. They play in the worst division in the league, and they play the worst NFC division as well. The two added games are @Indianapolis and home against Pittsburgh. Not bad, but the Colts are coming off a Monday night game at Tennessee. It doesn’t get better than that for the Patriots, now all they have to do is win the Superbowl.
As for the Colts and Steelers.
The Steelers two extra games besides the inter-divisional contests include the Chargers and the Patriots.
And you guessed it, the Colts are up against the Chargers and Patriots as well.
I’m not sure how fair that is, but I guess the Patriots can’t play themselves.

The problem all lies in the divisions. The AFC South (Colts) had a total of 42 wins last year. The AFC East (Patriots) had a total of 28 wins. That explains a lot in the strength of schedule area.

Now I’ve been reading stories about the most intriguing games, and I’m not sure what league some of these people are watching.
The NYTimes highlights the Patriots vs. Jets game as a high point of the season. I know about the video scandals and how the coaches hate each other. The Jets had four wins last year, that is a whole 12 less than the Patriots. Not on anyone’s priority to watch except New Yorkers and New Englanders.
I think they also forgot to add Sept. 21 to that list, as we see match ups between the Colts and Jaguars, and the Cowboys and Giants. Divisional rivalries WITH playoff teams.
I know this guy created a spreadsheet and all, but those games don’t stand that far from the rest. Especially with the Seahawks in the three of them. Please, they were a decent team at best in a weak division. The only team they beat last year with a winning record was the Bucs, and that was the first game of the season.
So obviously, all their games stand out (not).

That list is forgetting key games of teams like the Colts and Cowboys who did not win a playoff game last year.
Cowboys vs Packers, Patriots vs Colts, Browns vs Steelers, Patriots vs Chargers, Giants vs Cowboys

These five games are huge. They include divisional battles and conference battles of teams that will find each other again come January.

This sums up everything by far.

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As it turns out there was only one article worth remembering before the tournament started.
It was in the NY Times, Margin of Victory, is the key to victory.
So far the MOV bracket deserves a 99.4% ranking in ESPN’s brackets, and if Kansas goes on to win a 99.9%.
For all of the other articles that were, well … EVERYWHERE, they did not fair as well!
“Do not pick all four No. 1 seeds, it will get you no where!” – Oh thanks for the help.
Others saying UCLA and UNC are easily the most dominant teams in the tournament. However, they just got dominated themselves. No one said anything about Memphis. And everything that was said about Kansas was if Bill Self could get the monkey off his back.

The championship game is here, and it seems pretty obvious, these are the two best teams in the NCAA. There is no doubt around the nation with last Saturday’s beatings.

Please, show us some respect!

Now we are here, and yet I am reading poor articles, “Memphis against everyone
Okay, yes they were the least favorite No. 1 seed. But now, they are favorites (-2) over Kansas to win the NCAA Championship. How is Memphis against everyone? Everyone has seen how good they can play now. The only people they are up against is Kansas.
Thank you for writing that article, maybe it could’ve been written a couple weeks ago.

I’m sorry but, “Gazing into a mirror“?
This article goes on to explain about the match up of 6’3 and 6’7 guards on Memphis versus Kansas’ guards of 6’1, 5’11, etc. There is no mirror. I see the comparison between CDR and Rush, but the rest of the team?
Kansas has more depth and taller players. They are both up tempo teams, I agree.
However, Memphis has two guys that can score steadily, while Kansas has five different people who can lead scoring on any given night.

Enough of those, it’s game time.
I am still picking Kansas, as they are my team. It will be a great game though.
Rose will be a very tough match up for KU, but I believe Robinson can get to him, and if not him someone will, because KU has very good help defense.
On the other side, KU’s big men have the ability to control the post game, as seen in the UNC game. Also, with only three big guys for Memphis, foul trouble might become a problem.
I don’t think it will be though, but it will come down to defense for both teams. Each team has been shooting around 50% in their wins, and keeping the other team a good 10% under them. If Kansas cannot make their shots, they cannot let Memphis make theirs. I know that’s an obvious statement, but both of the teams can score, and when a scoring team doesn’t, it won’t bode well (as seen in UNC’s loss to Kansas).
Whichever team shoots below 40% will lose. Kansas has too many options to go down like that. If CDR/Rose are off, say good night. I am not counting on that to happen though, it will happen with Kansas Defense!

Remember, Cole Aldrich and Sasha Kaun? They are off-the-bench-blocking-fiends.
Kansas controls the paint, controls the half-court, gets back on defense and wins.
BUT, Kansas cannot make stupid mistakes (Sherron Collins 7 turnovers vs. UNC) and expect to win. They need to play smarter than last game.
Enough.
Kansas 84 – Memphis 79

Regarding Michael Vick – “The quarterback has written that he is making 12 cents an hour washing pots and pans and playing a lot of football.”

That’s great Mikey.

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NATO and Bush

Does anyone else find this picture funny?

Hey buddy!

I don’t know, it feels like a movie to me.
Bush is standing in the center of all these people with a funny look on his face.
Like in a movie, the main character is just standing there, and all the characters are moving all around him. That’s exactly what it looks like. Bush is the only one looking at the camera.
I was surprised NY Times actually used this.
Why is he even looking at the camera in the first place?

It’s just…weird.

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Final Four

Four No.1’s, and the experts said it couldn’t be done.
“Which No.1 team will be the first to loss?”
That was the question of many Web sites. Memphis seemed to be the favorite, followed by Kansas.
People just assumed that a No.1 team had to lose early on because that’s how it has been forever.
Everyone may be disappointed that there has been no “madness” because of no upsets going into the Final Four. There is no need to be disappointed my friends.
These games may turn out to be the best final 3 games of the tourney yet. Four equally matches squads, and they all deserve to go all the way. There is not one team that can be labeled the outright “Favorite” status. No matter which team goes all the way, no one will be surprised, no one can say, “Wow, did not see that coming”.
Great match-ups across the board, offensively and defensively.
For my predictions, I am not going to stray away from my pre-tournament selections.
Kansas and UCLA are still my teams, with KU taking it.
These two teams both seem to be the underdogs right now after Memphis and UNC have taken opponents by storm. Memphis – 2 point favorites, UNC – 3 1/2 point favorites.

Kansas has the ability to defend, which will be key. They had four different guys guarding Curry last game, and that won them the game. UNC has many scorers across the board, but KU has the guys that can de-up these scorers. Hansborough is a beast down low, however, Jackson, Arthur, Kaun and Aldrich are all big men. Even though it will be tough, they have enough guys in case fouls become a factor. Arthur may be a factor, as he is their scorer down low, and if he gets into foul trouble Kaun will have to step it up like he did against Davidson.
Free-throws are also important, and UNC has the advantage there.
Overall an even match-up, but KU can take this game with their defense. UNC has good depth, but not good enough for the likes of Collins and Kaun.

Memphis has been bruising lately, and everyone gives them the edge with their overall play. However, it’s not like UCLA has same ability. UCLA is a top defensive team as well, and the front court will be an important part of the game. Dozier and Dorsey against Love and Mbah. Love can rebound and score, and Memphis will have to stop him if they plan on winning.
Neither team is leading in the depth category, but again FTs may be a factor. They did not matter for Memphis in previous games because they were ahead by so much. But if this becomes a close game, it might come down to FTs in which Memphis is not top-class in.

Great games, both are must-watch.

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