Thursday, November 08, 2007

I love this game. (I really do.)

While none of us were paying attention (in large part due to the Patriots-Colts game) the NBA decided to start their incredibly long season. I realize more money is made with the more games that are played, but doesn't it make some sense to shorten the season so the individual games mean more and players don't have to sit out games for rest like Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa. Let's make it around 50-60 games and eliminate all the All-Star weekend stuff outside of the actual game. While we're getting rid of thinks, let's get rid of the mark stein power rankings. It really pisses me off because everytime the NBA, and even NFL power rankings, are released for the week I click on the link from It never fails that as soon as I get there I say to myself, "Why am I looking at this" and then I go back to spankwire.

There is a common trend amongst sports writers who seem to think the NBA off-season provides more dramatic story lines than the actual season. However, this off-season has produced little in the way of substance. Besides the Kobe trade talks and the new-look Celtics not a lot has gone on. Despite that, I think this could be one of the better NBA seasons in several years. The playoffs (minus the entire East and the championship game) were fantastic. The Golden State-Dallas series was one of the best moments in playoff history. The Suns-Spurs series ignited an already heated rivalry for Western dominance. And, the Utah-Houston series was suprisingly exciting to watch. In short, I'm really looking forward to this season. (Note: It also seems that the scoring will be up from the 30 or so games already played.) How good does this look for KG and NBA fans?

The Boston Celtics:
Wow, have you seen this team play yet. It's like an NBA Live season with only ten teams, where the player took Brian Scalabrine and Scott Pollard with his last two picks as a joke to piss everyone else in the league off. If I were Scalabrine I would grow the hair out a bit, die it a dirty blonde, wear 33 and whip my towel on the bench a la Larry Bird in the 86 Finals. There is no doubt that KG already has to be the front runner for MVP. It also has to be the first season in which Paul Pierce won't legitimately ponder suicide a few weeks before the All-Star break. I had no idea they would click this fast. Which makes me think NBA teams really don't need a whole lot of chemistry when there are talented players. The Nuggets have continually told us to wait until AI and Carmelo have played together for a while, but c'mon. I'll give them a few weeks with those two plus Camby and KMart and if it doesn't happen then it's not going to happen. Rajon Rondo wearing the number nine really pisses me off. I really don't feel any player should be able to wear a number outside of the traditional 1-5, but especially not a Celtic. I still feel the Celtics are going to have trouble in a seven game series against the Spurs or Mavs, but they should have a great season nonetheless. (Side Note: Try and catch the Allen, Garnett, Pierce commercial with Jeff van Gundy. It's pretty great and van Gundy's face is priceless when he's watching Hoosiers.)

The Chicago Bulls:
These guys are off to a disappointing start at 0-4. Seriously, how can you not pull the trigger for Kobe when the main piece the Lakers want is Luol Deng? Luol Deng is a really good young player, but c'mon. You could potentially pull a deal for one of the greatest players to ever play and you won't do it. I get it Kobe has some baggage, but let's be honest, all he wants to do is win. If he's winning there isn't any baggage. Luol Deng comes with baggage to - like all of the Sudanese refugee and other charitable organizational work he's strongly involved with. Look, Kobe doesn't even know where Sudanese is, let alone how the Refugee All-Stars are involved. The Bulls should package a deal that sends Deng/Ben Wallace/Andres Nocioni to LA for Kobe. Straight up. The Lakers, with Bynum and Wallace, would be formidable. They would be the scariest twin towers duo of all time. Throw in Ronny Turiaf and they on par with Hanson brothers from Slap Shot. Wallace has a big contract, but he was a part of the Pistons team that destroyed the Lakers in the 04 finals, and I think they would take him. Chicago could start Hinrich, Gordon, Kobe, Thomas, and Joe Smith and compete with the Celtics and Pistons in the East. Another point, you're in the East. If you make a move to bring a dominant player in, despite who you give up, you will compete for the Eastern spot in the Finals. With Kobe on your team, I give you a shot against anybody in the West. He single-handedly almost beat the Suns two years ago, pushing them to a game 7. Make the move Chicago.

Atlanta Hawks:
I am so impressed with the past few drafts for the Atlanta Hawks, and it has shown with their current roster. They seem small as a team, but I'm pretty sure Josh Smith can guard absolutely any person in the NBA, or at least he can on NBA LIVE. They start Acie Law, better known as Tupac Shakur, Joe Johnson, the most underrated scorer in the NBA, Mr. Smith, Starvin Marvin Williams, and Al Horford, who is a beast and likes to stare at his muscles after he gets an and1. Josh Childress is their sixth man, and his afro is their seventh guy off the bench. Do yourself a favor and try and catch a Hawks game on ESPN 360. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith will both make the all-star game this year from the East. Childress' afro is averaging two blocks a game this year.

Talking Points for this week:
- Best moment in the office episode last week was when Michael and Dwight are talking to Jim over the walkie talkie and the copier falls on them. Michael says, as Karen approaches the window next to Jim, "Jim ... if we don't make it out of here promise me something ... host the dundies."
- Biggest Racist of the Week goes to Dog the Bounty Hunter. It's not that he used the "n-word" repeatedly in a telephone conversation with his son referring to his son's black girlfriend, because he definetly did. It's not even that he claimed to not be using the word in a negative way, because he most definetly was. It is that his explanation on CNN was that he thought he was cool enough in the black community to use the word in such a way. I don't even think most black people are cool enough in the black community to use the word in the way he was using it.
- Does Giselle withold sex from Tom when he throws an interception? That is the only explanation I can think of for his performance thus far.
- The Colts/Pats game had it all. It's good v. evil, class v. classless, average looking qb v. extremely good looking qb, water v. wine. I can't wait until the AFC championship game. Although the Steelers may have something to say about that.
- Addai and Peterson will be the best two running backs over the next few years. That's not really that bold of a statement, but I completely underestimated both of these guys by passing on them in my fantasy draft. Peterson is tearing it up for Run's team and its killing me because I made fun of the pick in my head during the draft. Sorry Runs.
- I had a dream last night, after UK's loss, that I was a college basketball player and I hit a big three in Cameron Indoor. I put my finger over my mouth and shushed the crowd on my way down the court. Coach K then choked me like Woody Hayes and attacked me on the court and he was subsequently banned from college coaching. I was really happy. I woke up and realized I'm a sick person. Someone help me.
- I'll mention UK's loss because I've had some time to ponder things. I thought the only times this team would get in trouble were against more intelligent teams who would attack Patterson and cause him to get in foul trouble. Now, I've realized when Crawford and Bradley are on the floor, every team we play is the more intelligent.
- Mentioned earlier, everyone should download ESPN 360. It only takes a few seconds and you can get a lot of games you can't get on basic cable.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

UK Basketball: An Era Anew

It's been a long layoff, I know that. But with the beginning of basketball season and a new era in UK Basketball, that will undoubtedly lead to more championships, it is time AwesomeUSA got back in business. We all had busy summers with a good friend getting married and, of course, the preceding bachelor party. TIMMY! In lieu of giving you a detailed story of what has happened since our last post, I will simply update you on what our writing staff is currently up to. Runs with Two Horses would still rather eat cat litter than look at Greg Paulus, and I'm sure is building the same feelings for Kyle Singler. Natty and Leonard graduated from law school and have moved on to prestigious legal jobs, though I imagine they still spend a lot of time compiling lists of their favorite jerseys and college players. As for me, well, despite my complaints last year, I am in my second year of law school and mine grammar have not gotten better. Yes, we do all still pee sitting down.

I hope we didn't lose any of you over this six month hiatus. I hope you all still checked the blog every day hoping for a new post. I hope you all got excited when Runs posted our picture of Tim Legler (whom we met during the bachelor party weekend) only to be let down when we didn't continue posts. I just hope we haven't lost you, because we want you back. We broke your heart. Cat Stevens was right - the first cut is the deepest. But let's just try to forget about all that now. We got your letters. We got your drunken phone calls. We heard the rumors you spread about us all over campus. We'll be honest, it kind of threw salt in our game when we were at parties. But all is forgiven on our side. We hope you can do the same. We can just start out as friends with benefits to gain your trust again. We won't make it official or anything. Just a movie, a little toungue kissing and that's it. Then we can see what happens. To start off here is a quick preview of some college players to keep your eye on.

Names You've Heard:
Psycho T
Darren Collison
Chris Lofton
Chris Douglas-Roberts (the man with three first names)
Brandon Rush

Names You've Heard (Freshman Edition):
OJ Mayo
Patrick Patterson
Derrick Rose (favorite TV show is "Still Standing")
Kevin Love
Eric Gordon
Bill Walker (hybrid, redshirt)
Nick Calethas

Names You Haven't Heard, But Will:
Tyler Smith
Stephen Curry
Darrel Arhur
Earl Clark
Jodie Meeks

Still Hated:
Greg Paulus
Gerald Henderson
Jon Scheyer
Martynas Pocius
Brian Zoubek
DeMarcus Nelson

All Americans:
Tywon Lawson
Chris Lofton
Brandon Rush
Psycho T
Roy Hibbert

Names You'll Here, But Shouldn't Have:
Mark Coury Flurry
Edgar Sosa
Josh Heytvelt
Dan Werner

Kentucky opens their season against Central Arkansas in less than an hour and I've got some preparing to do before I realize Kentucky isn't going to be as good as I think they will be.