Thursday, June 27, 2013

Not Quite Live Journal of the NBA Draft

So I didn't sit down to watch until the sixth pick and was a little surprised to see Nerlens Noel go to the Hornets, er Pelicans followed by Ben McLemore heading to the Kings.  This just shows how unsure everyone is about the top of this draft as these two could have gone 1 and 2 and no one would be shocked.

Instead Anthony Bennett goes #1 overall.  He’s 6’8”, 240lbs and considered a pretty good scorer.  He’s gotta be a 4 in the league though, but he can stretch it by shooting the three.  He’s also the guy most likely to Tractor Traylor their way out of the league, so he’s not a sure thing to say the least.  I don't really like the pick for the Cavs.  Noel, McLemore, Len, Porter or Oladipo all would have been better picks imo.

Oladipo goes #2 to the Magic and it’s not a surprise.  He’s a good fit there and should get a lot of time right away. 

Otto Porter goes #3 to the Wizards which had been long rumored.  

Cody Zeller follows at #4 to the Bobcats which is another shocker.   I love Zeller’s athleticism, but I don’t see how he goes ahead of Len or Noel.  These three players going back to back to back will likely be compared in the future.

Alex Len goes #5 to the Suns which is where Chad Ford had him going.  Gortat is on his last year of his deal.

Nerlens Noel goes to the Pelicans, but now we hear word he’s part of a trade to the Sixers.  Bynum is a FA and they’re heading into a new direction.

Ben McLemore slides all of the way to the Kings and is a great fit there.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope goes #8 to the Pistons and screws the Wolves.  With Oladipo, C-Pope and Zeller gone, you have to wonder where the Wolves will go here.  Maybe CJ McCollum?  I guess if I’m picking here I take McCollum or Adams .  I loved C-Pope’s defense and size to go with the shooting, god damnit.  

Andy Katz INSIDER ALERT: The Wolves top 3 choices are gone.  Eff you, Andy.

Simmons mentioned Burke and Carter-Williams still on the board – hopefully the Wolves listen to some calls here.  Insert softball Kahn jokes here. 

Holy Crap – Jrue Holliday is who the Pelicans land for Noel.  This is a quality quality PG for Noel.  Full details not there yet.  Simmons also saying that they gave up a 2014 1st round pick with Jrue.  Crazy.  Ok – this has been corrected – the Sixers will get the 2014 1st.

LOL – And the Wolves take Burke.  Please baby Jesus don’t screw this up you guys.  Burke is awesome and should garner a lot of attention, but is just not a great fit in MN.  He was easily thought of as a top 5-6 pick, and now he goes 9th.   At 6’1”, he can’t really play the 2.  And Trey’s mom Ronda breaks the news that he may be Utah bound – Utah is/was hot after a PG in this draft and it could be a good deal for both sides.  Utah has the #14 and #21 pick.

 #10 for Portland – they go with CJ McCollum.  McCollum and Lillard would be a crazy fun small school gunner backcourt.  The Blazers could be a lot of fun to watch – especially if they get a big man in FA like they’re trying to do.  Lehigh jersey sightings in the stands – awesome.  CJ kind of has a fun, nasally voice.

#11 is the Sixers pick…assuming it didn’t go away in the Nerlens deal with the Pelicans.  BTW, no strange suits or make-out sessions with the pick and their girlfriend so far – hoping for more later.
News breaks that Minnesota gets the #14 and #21 from Utah.  So, now we wait on 3 picks for MN with the #26 to go still. 

And the Sixers take Michael Carter-Williams.  So they add Noel and Carter-Williams and  1st and ship off Jrue Holliday today.  This is a big re-design for the Sixers.

So looking ahead to the Wolves you have to think they’re thinking a shooter and a big still, but now maybe you can also grab an upside type like Tony Mitchell.  Maybe Adams, Mitchell, Crabbe/Snell/Ledo? 

#12 OKC takes Steven Adams and effs up my entire plan.  I quit.

#13 is Dallas and they select Kelly Olynyk which is a huge save for Wolves fan. And he’s going to get shipped to Boston.  Olynyk is a legit 7’ player that is good with the ball in his hand and can score/shoot well.  He’s not super athletic or a great rebounder. 

#14 is the Jazz selecting for the Wolves select Shabazz Muhammed.  So, this is a guy I didn’t love in my preview for the #9 pick.  It’s more palatable at #14.  I’m worried about how hard this guy will work.  Bill Simmons says he could be Mo Peterson…that’s actually not a bad compare. 

#15 Milwaukee Bucks – The Bucks have been long rumored to be taking Larkin and they go off the grid with Giannis Antetokounmpo from Greece.  Super upside play nicknamed the “super freak”.   Fran Fraschilla throws “Kevin Durant Body” at him. 

#16 Boston picking for Dallas or maybe Atlanta?  – Still a little bitter about Muhammad here.  We’re 5 picks away from the next Wolves move and I officially have the feel of dread.   Celtics take Bebe from Brazil for whomever.  Mega-fro being rocked by Bebe.  Also a guy in some kind of full robot armor gets in the camera shot as Bebe heads down for a handshake.

So now I’m thinking Mitchell/Dieng/Crabbe-Snell-Ledo-Hardaway-Karasev are probably my short list.  I don’t think they have solved the outside shooting issues with Muhammad as I think of him as more of a volume scorer although he did shoot 37% from long range last season.  

#17 to Atlanta and they take Dennis Schroeder, the German.  Remember they may also have Bebe, so they could be all international at this point.  Gotta take Gobert next for the trifecta if so.  Fran loves it.  The Hawks’ entire team is basically FAs.

#18 is also Atlanta and they double up on PGs with Larkin.  Maybe a trade?  Trade confirmed with Larkin going to Dallas for something.  Barry Larkin gets a token interview – HE DRIBBLED IN THE DUGOUT!

#19 is Cleveland  - Sergey Karasev goes here and he’s potentially headed to Houston for Thomas Robinson here.  This would allow Houston to stash him overseas and free more space for a play at Dwight Howard.

#20 is Tony Snell – so one of the solid long rangers goes.  Snell has good size and can be pretty athletic on the court.

#21 is the Jazz for the Wolves again and I’m hoping Tony Mitchell.  Hoping for a big hitter here.  Rece Davis makes a “Commissioner Stern perhaps dropped the card” joke.  Stern hams it up at the mic for awhile.  Stern makes “boo is a sign of respect” joke.  And finally the pick is Gorgui Dieng, C.  As I’ve said, I like Dieng to be a banger/shot blocker/rebounder.  Hopefully he does the Mutombo finger wag.

#22 Brooklyn – and we’re in Jersey so the crowd is loud.  They take Mason Plumlee, who is a decent stiff that can help make up for Brook Lopez’s rebounding suckiness. 

#23 Pacers – The Pacers were probably sad they couldn’t get all of the Plumlees, but they settle for senior 
AZ forward Solomon Hill.  Hill is kind of a glue guy. Meh.

#24 NY Knicks – good buddy Sean in NY says, “Yep, they’ll blow it.”  Speaking of which – I need to watch a lot of videos on Muhammad and cherry pick the good plays to make myself feel better.  They take Hardaway Jr which is a great fit for NY with JR Smith being a free agent.  This leaves Crabbe and Ledo in the gunner department and Mitchell is still there.

#25 LA Clippers - The Clip might want Mitchell here so they can start looking at putting Caron Butler out to pasture.  Jamaal Franklin would also be an interesting grab.   Instead they take sharpshooter Reggie Bullock who I completely forgot about. 

#26 Timberwolves – the coup de grace!  Crabbe/Ledo/Mitchell all there and any of them would make me happy.  And the pick is now going to Golden State they say.  Advanced metrics stud Andre Roberson of Colorado is selected.  Some thing I read ranked him 3rd overall according to some advanced stats.  And Roberson shows up in a waiter’s jacket – easily the most ridiculous suit yet.  Roberson eventually ends up in OKC.

A trade is announced:  Celtics trade Bebe and 2 future 2nd round picks to Dallas for Kelly Olynyk.

#27 is the Nugz and they select Rudy Gobert of France.  The wingspan monster is the longest ever at 7’9”.  He has a 9’7” standing reach which means he has to jump 5” to dunk.

The Wolves/Jazz trade of Burke for Muhammad and Dieng is announced to utter silence.
So now what?  The Wolves don’t pick until 52 unless they trade up.

#28 Spurs – They take a forward from French Guiana, Livio Jean-Charles.  No one knows who he is of course, but the Spurs will stash him for a number of years  and they’re the Spurs so  he’ll probably end up being an all-star.

#29 OKC again.  Their first pick was Kiwi Steven Adams as a part of the Harden deal.  This pick was trade to Golden State and then traded to Phoenix.  Wolves got cash and a future 2nd for #26 overall.  Meh.  Archie Goodwin is taken for Phoenix.  The star has faded a bit on Goodwin, but he was a big time recruit for the Wildcats and then under-performed.

#30 Phoenix picking for Golden State – David Stern’s last announced pick ever and I’m seeing it live!  Will he get booed as usual or will they cheer?  He gets cheers mostly!  Suns take Nemanja Nedovic, a guard from Serbia. 

The round end with a huge trade announcement:  KG, Pierce and Jason Terry go to the Nets for '14,'16 and '18 first round picks along with Crash Wallace, Reggie Evans and maybe other crap.  Wow - so the Celts are in total rebuild and the Nets now have Williams, Joe Johnson, Pierce, KG and Brook Lopez for a starting lineup and MASON PLUMLEE!

NHL Draft Preview by a Swede

WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW and I don't know much about hockey, but I have a swedish friend that does and he's put together a little NHL Draft preview.  The draft takes place this Sunday and the Wild have no first round pick so we have to wait until #46 for some action. 

Being that this is a swede, we had to convert this from borka-borka talk into English, so bear with us.  Oh, and the dumb/marginally funny photo comments are mine.  Much thanks to Charv for writing this!


The 2013 NHL Entry draft is coming up this weekend and unlike prior years, the top of the draft isn’t as certain, causing a lot of speculation online. The consensus top 3 picks, of Nathan McKinnon HALIFAX MOOSEHEADS (QMJHL), Seth Jones PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS (WHL), and Jonathan Drouin HALIFAX MOOSEHEADS (QMJHL) seems to be slightly ahead of the European skaters, but as always, team need should be the deciding factor.
This is not an article discussing which one of the players that should be ranked number 1, but rather where I feel each player should go. Each player has benefits, unique talents, drawbacks, and concerns, so as always, nothing is guaranteed.


Round 1 – Pick 1: Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax Moosehead – Colorado Avalanche
Most mock drafts and experts have listed Seth Jones as the consensus number 1 pick, and they may be right as far as his talent, but there are issues with listing him as the number 1. We have to look at the Avalanche needs, tendencies and talent pool to narrow it down further. (Note: Patrick Roy has indicated that the Avs are willing to trade out of this slot, and Joe Sakic has mentioned they are leaning Nathan MacKinnon.).
Even before the Sakic statement, which could be posturing, I was leaning MacKinnon as a good fit for the Avs. They have a good talent pool in the farm for defensemen, with the likes of Tyson Barrie (TOI leader for the last season), Stefan Elliot (who underachieved in the AHL and was decent when called up), and Duncan Siemens (still very young). Couple this with defender generally developing slower than forwards, and I think Sakic and Roy, who wants results quickly, will go with the more immediate need. Avs also have Matt Hunwick, Erik Johnson, Greg Zanon, Ryan Wilson and Jan Hejda playing.
So, should they go McKinnon or Drouin?
At the Center position (MacKinnon), they have Matt Duchene, who is their top center for years to come, Paul Stastny (who could be traded out, as his 6.6 million cap hit and UFA status in 14/15 doesn’t warrant the paycheck) and an underperforming Ryan O’Reilly, and letting McKinnon come up under them and threaten for 2nd line center duties is an interesting prospect. The pipeline also has Michael Sgarbossa, who’s not quite ready to shoulder bigger responsibilities.
At wing, they have PA Paranteau (RW), who while being the teams top point getter, isn’t a franchise player, Gabriel Landeskog (LW), Jamie McGinn (LW), Hejduk (RW, at 37 close to retiring I’m sure). RW is weak in the talent pipeline as well. I don’t think the Avs prefer the LW position here, and skips Drouin because of it, as I’m not sure he would shift well over to the right in their system.


Round 1 – Pick 2: Johnathan Drouin, LW, Halifax Moosehead – Florida Panthers
The Panthers really should go Seth Jones here, but I don’t think they will, because it’s Dave Tallon, and also because they severely lack scoring depth. The club needs to keep up with the high scoring divisional teams, and can’t afford to be left behind. I think it’s a mistake, but with a plethora of centers and right wings on the roster, and only 2 LWs in Fleischmann and Selleck, they need the depth. They are also in need of a defensive defenseman, and while Seth Jones is decent at his end, I would categorize him more as an offensive defenseman. Drouin is a nice fit for Tallon’s system, and should work well with Huberdeau, Skille, and others for years to come.

Popeye Jones' Kid!
Round 1 – Pick 3: Seth Jones, D, Portland Winterhawks – Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning is the beneficiaries of the needs in front of them, and gets perhaps the best talent of the draft. Jones may not be ready for action next year, but Yzerman has a great prospect to make up a top pairing with Viktor Hedman, and an excellent future PP QB from the blue line for years and years. I think Tampa gets the steal of the draft here, maybe not immediately, but for sure long term.
Tampa still has some weaknesses, goal being the biggest, but has solid talent in the pipeline, and shoring up the defense here is the right move in my opinion.  (TRE Adds: I can't believe NBA All-Ugly Teamer Popeye Jones has a kid that's considered a top NHL prospect.  Blows my mind.)

DWG-Approved Celebration
Round 1 – Pick 4: Alexander Barkov, C, Tappara – Nashville Predators 
So, that means Nashville wins the lottery as well! This is one of my favorite players in this draft. He’s a young kid, but he can play! He has already shown he can play with men in the SM-Liiga, which isn’t a top league, but good enough to prepare him for the NHL. I don’t think Nashville will try to rush him, but I think his camp will force them to play him immediately. His size and grit is a perfect fit for the Preds, and I’m excited to see what he can do with some experience and adjustment to the smaller rink.


A lot of unfortunate facial hair in this draft.

Round 1 – Pick 5: Elias Lindholm, C/RW, Brynas – Carolina Hurricanes
I like the options for the Canes at number 5 as well. They can afford to grab best player available, with youngsters already breaking the big club roster, and a solid depth below. For me, this is about potential, and 2 players stick out, Lindholm and Valeri Nishuchkin. Either one would be a fit here in my opinion, but Lindholm is the safer option, as Nishuchkin like all Russians could be a risk to stay in the KHL. I don’t think either player makes the club next season, but Canes can afford to wait.
Lindholm logged high minutes for Brynas in the SEL, and he did very well holding his own against much older opponents. I like his size and speed for the Canes as well, and feel he would be a good fit.

Not sure what's happening here.
Round 1 – Pick 6: Valeri Nishushkin, LW/RW, Chelyabinsk – Calgary Flames 
Nishushkin could be a wild card pick here, as he has the size and skill to be an impact player in the NHL. At 6’3”, 196lbs, he has the size for sure. He is also a very skilled player, both off the puck and with it, but I have some concerns with his production as a junior, compared to the other players ranked above him. The Flames need help everywhere, and won’t be competing next season anyway, so why not take a chance on some excellent potential.

Nats Fan
Round 1 – Pick 7: Rasmus Ristolainen, D, TPS – Edmonton Oilers
Oilers are desperate for D help, having spent the last 50 (feels like it) years #1 picks on offensive talents. RIstolainen might not be the top European defender left available, but he might be able to play now, having already logged heavy minutes for 2 years in the SM-Liiga.

Born without a soul.
Round 1 – Pick 8: Hunter Shinkaruk, C/RW, Medicine Hat – Buffalo Sabres
Sabres need a good solid RW with upside in this draft, and are probably hoping Lindholm or Nishuchkin falls to them. Like outlined above, I don’t think that will happen, and I think the Sabres will reach a little to grab Shinkaruk. He has the scoring ability and hockey sense that sometimes was missing on the team, and while I’m not thrilled with his size or speed, I think the team will grab him, in a first “upset” of the draft.
Round 1 – Pick 9: Max Domi, C, London – New Jersey Devils
Undersized, but good build and I think the Devils get a steal here. He is the son of Tie Domi, but very different in style. I think he fits well into the system, with very high work ethic, and he doesn’t shy away from physical play.
Round 1 – Pick 10: Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa – Dallas Stars
Dallas has a lot of needs, but with the D in decent shape, and the goaltending situation settled I think they build from Center out next. Monahan is a very talented player, and could be a solid 2nd line contributor from the pivot. Good size, speed and strength, and can play a physical game if asked. He gives Dallas a lot of options.

As for the rest of the draft, and where does the Wild fit in?
This draft is very deep with talent. It may lack the absolute super stars, ready to play, no worries, plug straight into the lineup type of guys, but I think we’ll see quite a few guys contributing for a while in the NHL. I view this as a draft where you can pick up very solid depth, and some potential role players for the 2nd and 3rd line, and it would benefit most teams to have plenty of picks.
Darnell Nurse could be a solid defender for years for whoever picks him up, and I like Zadorov and Wennberg too. Many more are worth mentions, but with limited time I’ll just stick with this.
So, where does Minnesota Wild fit in? Well, sadly, the first round pick went to Buffalo in the Pominville trade, and while that was needed to beef up scoring, it could hurt them depth wise. I don’t like the trade because they gave up Hackett and Larsson, which means talent needs to be stocked up again.
Mikko Koivu – 1st line
Mikael Granlund – 2nd line (future 1st line center)
Kyle Brodziak – 3rd line
Charlie Coyle – 4th line (future 2nd line center)
Zenon Konopka
Torrey Mitchell
Jake Dowell
Mike Rupp
Zack Phillips (top prospect in farm)
Chad Rau
Pierre-Marc Bouchard – UFA this summer, and won’t be back.
Matt Cullen – UFA this summer, and doubtful to be back, unless they can free up cap space quickly.
At the center position I expect PMB and Cullen to be gone, with their contracts expired, and more pressing needs to address with the $3.3 million remaining under the cap. Center depth is not an issue for the Wild, and I really see no need for them to address center in the draft, free agency, or trade market. It may not be flashy and consistent scoring remains an issue, but they should be fine.
Left Wing:
Zach Parise – 1st line
Dany Heatley – 2nd line (Heatley is a UFA after the upcoming season, and could be traded out, or even bought out if he is healthy, since his production for the $7.5 million cap hit isn’t close to giving Wild value)
Jason Zucker
Wild has a huge hole to fill on the left side of the offense, especially considering Heatley’s poor performance, and his upcoming UFA status. Wild can’t afford to resign him, and quite honestly, they shouldn’t. Wild are in a world of hurt on the wings, and MUST find scoring here. Zucker needs to be able to take another step forward this year, and provide some scoring. Wild must address the left wing in the draft, and hope someone pans out. Erik Haula could grow into a decent player, but I don’t think he’s ready to fill a larger role yet.
Right Wing:
Jason Pominville – 1st line (1yr left until UFA, but a good value at $4.5 million. The Wild gave up a lot of future to acquire him, and I would expect they want to resign him, but won’t be able to unless he goes for cheap.)
Devin Setoguchi – 2nd line (UFA after the upcoming season, and doubtful to be given a new contract. Could be dangled as trade bait, since he could have some value on the market.)
Cal Clutterbuck – (RFA and unless he gives a big discount, he is on his way out)
As bad as the left side is, the right isn’t in much better shape. Salary cap issues, lack of talent in the farm, and expiring contracts make this the weakest position on the team. Wild MUST address this in the draft, FA, or trades as well, or they might be forced having to push one of their pivots over to the side just to field a team.
Ryan Suter – 1st pair
Jared Spurgeon (RFA and need to be resigned for cheap, or replaced.)
Tom Gilbert – (1yr left with a $4 million/yr contract. He has not produced to his numbers, and is unlikely to be resigned. I can even see him being bought up to free up some cap room.)
Jonas Brodin
Clayton Stoner (1yr left, but cheap at $1 million.)
Justin Falk (RFA)
Brett Clark (UFA and likely gone)
Marco Scandella
Nate Prosser (UFA after the upcoming season, and an unlikely re-signing candidate)
Wild has some depth at defense, but that depth is still needing to develop, and develop quickly. Suter is obviously a great piece, Brodin is good, and Dumba should be ready to step up after some seasoning. Defense need to be shored up, and in an ideal world it should be addressed this draft to ensure the future is there. I don’t think they can afford to though.
Darcy Kuemper
Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding
Johan Gustafsson
The goalie situation was dire last season, due to injuries, but if Backs can stay healthy, and Harding continues to be ok, they should be fine. Johan Gustafsson that played last season in Sweden for Lulea is a good prospect that should be able to step in and help if needed. I think Wild should bring him over this year, and if not backing up Backs, at least let him get some time in AHL.
So, with all this said, what could possibly be available to the Wild when they make their first pick at #46? The trend for the Wild is to focus on QMJHL and Minnesota high school players, but I feel they have to step away from that to address the glaring needs.
(The other picks for the Wild, trades pending, are #70, #81, #107, #137, #167, #197, and #200.)
Possible player that could be available at #46:
Goaltender: Juuse Saros, HPK Jr. A smaller goalkeeper by today’s standards, but very fast and has a great glove. Very athletic, but will need a lot more core strength to cope with the rigors of the NHL. His biggest weakness, besides the size, is his rebound control. I think it’s very possible Juuse could be available at #107 and possibly #137.

Unorthodox Slapshot

Wing: Anton Slepyshev, Ufa. Risky pick, being Russian, with experience in the KHL, but has a lot of upside should he decide to come over. Has a nasty streak, getting under the skin of opponents, but also possess a good finishing ability, decent hands and great speed. With the Wild’s holes at wing, he could step right in and contribute. He still needs more strength, but he could be a good top 6 player, and should be available at #70 and possibly #81.. Here's a preview of Slepy at  (TRE: This is the guy I want based on his name alone.  Big fan of Slepy)

Center: Peter Quenneville, Dubuque. While center isn’t a need, if Quenneville is available around #81, Wild would do good to draft him, and obviously even later. He needs size, but he is an excellent goal scorer.
Wing: Andre Burakovsky, Malmo. I doubt Burakovky will be there at #46, but if he is, he’s a no-brainer, and might even be worth trading up for (around the end of the first round). Great shot, great hands and a knack for scoring.
Other notables:
Jason Dickinson, LW
Emile Poirier, LW
Morgan Klimchuk, LW

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bill Simmons Talks College Prospects. Oy.

I'm a big fan of Bill Simmons, have been for years.  One of his biggest flaws, however, is he never ever watches college basketball outside of the NCAA Tournament, yet when draft time rolls around he likes to talk as if he is actually knowledgeable about the players outside of whatever he has recently read or been told.  I will never forget his column where he acted like he was breaking the news that Kevin Durant was awesome at Texas, despite it being mid-season.  He also likes to form an opinion and refuse to let anything break it, including facts.  With this in mind, I listened to the Simmons/Chad Ford podcast regarding the draft.  Here are some highlights.

1.  Victor Oladipo's upside is a cross between Alvin Robertson and Joe Dumars.  Because he was one of the best interviews Bill Simmons did of the future rookies and said that if he had to play the Heat in South Beach he wouldn't go out to the bars the night before a game.

2.  Oladipo could have played in the Spurs/Heat Finals because he tries hard.

3.  Otto Porter red flag:  doesn't think he'll be able to score in the NBA.  Porter, who shot 42% from 3, 41% on jump shots, and 66% in the paint.  Also said Porter reminded him of Tayshaun Prince and that's a bad thing despite Prince's career 58.6 win shares, which is the fourth highest total of anybody taken in the 2002 Draft.

4.  More Porter: Doesn't think he'll really be able to play defense in the NBA (Porter averaged nearly 2 steals per game, which is a good indicator of the athleticism needed to play defense in the NBA something Chad Ford actually talked about maybe 15 minutes earlier in this same podcast).  Also worried that Porter couldn't hit threes even though he hit 42% last year, something Simmons actually acknowledges but shrugs it off because "He only took like 3 a game", which, because this is college and not the NBA, actually ranked 30th most in the conference. 

5.  This one's actually from Ford, but he said Ben McLemore can't get to the rim.  Ben McLemore took 31% of his shots last year at the rim.  Outside of Oladipo's freakish 61% that's the highest percent among the guards in this draft.  Simmons' take was that McLemore can be a three-point machine.  McLemore hit the exact same 42% Otto Porter did.  Simmons also thought McLemore was a "sweet kid" and it was a great interview.  Sensing a pattern. 

6.  Alex Len "was pretty impressive when we talked to him" followed by a shit load of nice things about him including "he doesn't have any weaknesses except maybe rebounding."  First, rebounding is pretty important for a center, but he's wrong anyway.  Second, this is again Simmons not understanding college stats because Len was fourth in the ACC in rebounding (but "just" 7.8 per game).  Len's offensive and defensive rebounding percentages are both pretty good, but his overall numbers suffer because he played 26 minutes per game.  That would be a much bigger concern for me than the rebounding.

7.  Did not like his interview with Shabazz Muhammad and it made him like him less as a draft pick.  I actually thought this was unconscious bias, but it turns out he's actively admitting to it.  I wonder if he can pick up the fact that he's doing things like trashing Otto Porter's game because he didn't like his interview.  I doubt it.  Also just said he loved his interview with C.J. McCollum and in the next sentence he could be the next Jason Terry with a downside of a better Eddie House.  Now I like McCollum, but his downside is a whole hell of a lot worse than a better Eddie House.  Sorry if he's super likable.

Actually not as terrible as I was expecting or as he's been in the past.  The whole "interview" thing was a nice wrinkle that kept me entertained in the absence of more uninformed opinions.  I would say I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed listening to the podcast, but that would be a lie because I promise you I don't care.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NBA Draft Rumors Heating Up

With just two days remaining before the NBA draft the rumors are running wild like DWG on the softball basepaths.  Even the #1 overall pick is up for grabs.  Many NBA "insiders" and "unnamed sources" and even named sources including Flip Saunders have been throwing chum in the water.  Here are a few of the interesting storylines that are developing...

What do the Cavs do at #1?

The Cavs have been linked with Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel, Alex Len and even Trey Burke and Victor Oladipo.  They've also been involved in some talks about trading the pick with ESPN reporting the Thunder, Blazers and our Wolves have shown interest.

The Cavs have quality players at the PG (Irving), SG (Waiters), PF (Thompson) and C (Varejao, Zeller).  The mostly highly rumored players are McLemore, Len and Noel which is interesting because there are some redundancies of talent at those positions. If they like one of those three to be a star they obviously should take them.  McLemore makes the most sense as Waiters showed some scoring ability, but wasn't a great shooter (41% FG, 31% 3pt).  However, he's still only 21 and he did score 14.7ppg as a rookie.

In terms of fit, I would think an Otto Porter would be desireable as a very athletic and active 6'9" small forward with some solid upside.  Perhaps he's not as much of a sure thing as McLemore or Len/Noel and that also could be why Cleveland is looking to trade back a bit.  Porter gets lots of Tayshaun Prince comparisons, but I don't buy it as I think Porter is more athletic and active running the floor and handling the ball.  I'm also impressed with his work ethic as he's added muscle and improved his outside shooting in his two seasons at Georgetown (22% to 42% from 3).  Check out this video of him:

The Green Room

Barry Larkin's son, PG Shane Larkin has been invited to the green room for the draft.  This is usually a good indicator that someone likes him to go pretty high as usually no more than 15 players are invited.  This is where the player sits with their family and their agent, so maybe a Barry sighting is going to happen.  Names are chosen based on polling of GMs.  Other names that are going to be there are: Len, Noel, Oladipo, McLemore, Porter, Bennett, Burke, Carter-Williams, Zeller, McCollum, Adams, Caldwell-Pope and Karasev.  In 2012, 14 players were invited and the latest one of them went was 17th. 

Wolves Trade Talks with the Nets 

Several reports came out on Monday about the Wolves talking to the Nets about MarShon Brooks.  Brooks is a shooting guard that has a lot of offensive talent, but is now behind Joe Johnson.  His rookie year he averaged 12.6ppg, but that fell to just 5ppg last season.  Brooks is a bit of a volume shooter and has a disappointing career 30.2% 3pt.  He's already 24 too, so he's not super young.  The rumor is that the Wolves would give either Ridnour or Barea, but the Nets are at their cap limit, so something else would have to come the Wolves' way in order for the deal to happen.  The only name I see that has a big enough salary to make it work is Mirza Teletovic or a combo of Reggie Evans and either Tyshawn Taylor or Kris Joseph.  I'm not sure that the Nets would be willing to give that many role players to get Barea or Ridnour.  Another rumor I read says the #26 pick might go in the deal, which is not good.

Blazers Making a Play for Pek

The Blazers are really looking for a center to partner with LaMarcus Aldridge down low since he gets so beat up during the season playing the 4 and 5.  JJ Hickson who played well is a free agent and Meyers Leonard, last year's #11 pick is still probably not ready for prime time.  Tiago Splitter and Pekovic are targets to come in and some beef right away.  Both of these players are restricted free agents, so that means the Blazers can sign Splitter or Pek to an offer sheet and their original team has a right of first refusal.  They are also rumored to be willing to move the #10 pick in a deal.

From Russia With Love?

Andrei Kirilenko has until the 29th to decide whether or not he'll play next year wtih the Wolves or become a free agent.  Hopefully, he's giving Flip Saunders some inclinitation of which way he's leaning.  Either way, Kirilenko is a shorter term solution, so draft decisions shouldn't be affected too much.  That being said, Kirilenko may have been the Wolves best player last season with consideration given to Rubio and Pekovic.  With a healthy Love and Budinger and some lucky/good draft picks, we may once again be talking playoff push with AK47 in tow. 

From Flip's Presser Yesterday

Their final workout on Monday was Tony Mitchell and Flip liked his athleticism.  As you know I'm a fan Mitchell and wouldn't mind at all if he's the #26 selection. has Mitchell going #24 to the Knicks.

Flip says he's been in trade talks, but doesn't expect anything to go down until the day before or the day of the draft when they "have a better idea of where everything's going to be going."  He also mentions that if Derrick Williams were in this draf the would be a top 3 player, which indicates there have at least been some talks around D-Will, but Flip has the value placed very high.  He also says there are no players in this draft that within two years you can be sure they'll be an all-star.

Saunders acknowledges the need for better 3 point shooting and says he's watched a lot of film in addition to workouts, but doesn't give much lean beyond that.  He said they won't be taking a point guard in the first round, but what does he consider CJ McCollum?  Well, when asked to compare McCollum and Caldwell-Pope it's clear he likes them both and says McCollum has more range and been a more consistent scorer. 

For the second round Flip indicates they'll be looking for upside types; maybe euro players.  Full presser is here.

Other Notes:
  • Flip expects Rick Adelman to be back saying they "talk every day".  Great news for Wolves fans.
  • Saunders says that former Gopher Colton Iverson is much improved from his time at the Barn.  Iverson agrees saying, "I'm not the slow slug you saw for three years." 
  • Nate Sandell has a nice piece about Trevor Mbakwe and how he needs to overcome his lack of size, injury concerns and old off court issues to make it to the pros.
  • Knicks F Chris Copeland is drawing interest and the rumor is the Knicks won't be able to match any offers because they are cap strapped.
  • Former 10th overall pick Jimmer Fredette is being shopped and the rumor is it will only take a 2nd round pick to get the former BYU sharpshooter.  In two seasons off the bench Fredette has shot 38.4% from 3 point range.  The Wolves have two second rounders, but they're probably much too late in the round to get Fredette.  He would add to their whiteness and outside shooting.
  • The Celtics are trying to move Paul Pierce, with an end game of landing Josh Smith in a separate sign and trade deal with the Hawks.  The only two teams that have the cap space to take on Pierce's $15MM contract are Cleveland and Milwaukee. 
  • Metta World Peace will decide to accept his $7.7MM player option, making him the anti-Latrell Sprewell.
  • Shooter JR Smith is declining his option to return to the Knicks and is electing free agency.  He has to be considered one of the top shooting guards along with OJ Mayo.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Welcome to the Bigs, Kyle Gibson

Well it's finally happened.  The day we've all been waiting for - Kyle Gibson is coming to Minneapolis with his debut scheduled for Saturday against the Royals and James Shields.  By all accounts Gibson's fastball is back to the lower mid-90s where it was before he had Tommy John surgery, and with his plus slider and change I think it's been clear it's time to get Gibson to Target Field.  He's put up an ERA of 3.11 this year (FIP 2.96) and has struck out 7.67 batters per nine while walking 2.72 - all numbers in line with where he was prior to his injury.  Since the Super 2 deadline has passed and at this point the Twins' will control Gibson until 2019 no matter when they call him up now, the time is right.

It will be interesting - and exciting - to watch a pitcher who can actually strike out somewhere in the neighborhood of a batter per inning, but there is a big part of me that worries the Twins will try to turn him into their preferred (for some reason) mold of a strike thrower pitch to contact type, although it does look like they're actually putting their money where their mouth is when they talk about being ok with walks in exchange for more power pitching.  Since 2008, only two Twins pitchers threw at least 150 innings in a season and finished with 2.5 or more walks per nine (Francisco Liriano in 2010 and Brian Duensing in 2011).  This season, the Twins look like they'll have at least one if not more with Mike Pelfrey at 2.7, Vance Worley at 2.8, Sam Deduno at 3.2, and Scott Diamond not too far off the pace at 2.0.  Gibson's walk numbers should fit right in, although he should strike out significantly more batters.

Since Gibson is coming up, it's worth checking in on a couple other "power pitcher" prospects the Twins acquired - Trevor May (in the Ben Revere trade) and Alex Meyer (in the Denard Span trade).  May was always the kind of guy you think about when somebody uses the phrase "he's a thrower not a pitcher" and as such could actually use a little tweak towards striking out fewer in order to walk fewer if you want him to end up a starter, as long as it didn't go too far.  He seems to have made some strides from earlier in his minor league career and although his Ks are down a bit from last year his walks are down as well, although at 4.2 BB/9 that's still awfully high but manageable if he can keep his strikeouts high (see:  Gio Gonzalez, Matt Moore, and Ryan Dempster).  With an ERA of 3.68 and  WHIP of 1.43 I don't see May advancing past AA this year, and that's fine.  There's nothing here that is concerning to me and I'd say he's doing what you'd expect.

Meyer, with May at New Britain, is working his way back from a shoulder injury, which frankly terrifies me because of the Twins' history with arm injuries.  Prior to that, however, he was having a similar year to May with high strikeout totals (10.8 per 9) balanced by high walk totals (4.0 per 9) resulting in a decent ERA (3.68) and WHIP (1.31), all of which looking pretty solid for a 23-year old in AA for the first time.  Like May, I don't see him advancing a level at any point this year, particularly with the injury, but he seems to be progressing fine through the system and will hopefully close strongly enough to start the year at AAA next year.  Neither Meyer or May has been spectacular this year, but they haven't done anything to discourage Twins' fans either.

One last pitcher worth mentioning is Jose "J.O." Berrios, the dude the Twins drafted at the end of teh first round in 2012 out of a Puerto Rican High School.  He put up outstanding numbers last year at both Rookie Clubs (combined ERA of 1.17 and K/BB of 49/4) earning himself a promotion to low-A Cedar Rapids this year where he made the league's all-star team.  In nine starts this year he has notched an ERA of 3.17 with 56 Ks vs. 15 walks, outstanding numbers for a 19 year old.  Although he's young, it wouldn't surprise me to see him at high A or even AA to start next season.

Now, potential is one thing and results another, just ask the Kansas City Royals, but the Twins' seem well positioned with these four prospects going forward.  Berrios is the only one who hasn't been on a Top 100 Prospect List, but with only one year under his belt if he finishes this year strong he'll have a shot.  Add in Kohl Stewart and suddenly a major weakness - starting pitching prospects - has become a strength.  The future is bright, but let's hope we're looking at a Tampa kid of future rather than a Kansas City one.

Stupid Royals.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

4th Q, Game 7 Live Blog

I wasn't going to live blog this one because that shit is stressful, but then Boris Diaw hit a huge three and I had another drink and it's 72-71 Miami because Supernintendo hit a bank 3 at the buzzer there.  This is crazy basketball and, with only a minimal amount of hyperbole, this is why you watch sports.  Plus somebody said something nice about my Game 6 blog which I thought was sweet and made me feel important.

12:00 - I have a small bet on anybody but Lebron winning the MVP (which means I'm a Spurs fan), a smaller bet on Spurs +5.5, and a seething hatred of both Lebron and Lebron haters because let's face it the dude is completely awesome.  Money always breaks the tie, so I'm a Spurs fan first, and a Miami fan by less than 6 second.  Also, that banked three is going to be the difference in the title.  You watch.

11:32 - Battier hits his fifth three of the game.  The Heat might win another title while Battier plays hero?  Just fucking kill me.

11:08 - Manu on Lebron.  Uh oh.  James, like an idiot, takes a three and continues to work on building that homeless shelter with all those bricks so your mom and sister will have a place to sleep. 

10:28 - I really don't like where we're going with this.  Heat role players are starting to do a lot of good things, and all they're going to need is Lebron to take over in the end here.  With luck Wade and Bosh will screw it up like they have most of this series.  Come on Spo, put in Bosh!

10:07 - This is crazy but Lebron just got called for a foul and he totally doesn't think he should have been called for anything.  Stunning.

9:42 - If that god damn freak Birdman guy gets one more offensive rebound I'm going to sit here and bitch about it some more.  I DO NOT like the vibe right now.  77-73 Los Heat.

9:18 - Tony Parker's body is too fast for his mind right now.  Turning into a fumble machine.  I know it's cliched to make a french army joke when Tony Parker struggles in the I won't do it.

8:40 - Ha ha Shane Battier missed and he's old and stupid and crappy and I heard his degree from Duke is in something gay like communications.

8:40 - Text from Snacks "I've decided I can't watch."  He does this all the time with the Gophers or if the Twins actually make the playoffs, but he seriously has no stake in this game.  Not a fan of either team, not a hater of either team (other than the Heat like everyone else but not, you know, like it was Wisconsin or anything), and no significant wagers.  What a weirdo.

8:34 - UPDATE:  Apparently he really, really hates the Heat after watching the ref bitching from Wade and Lebron all series.  Tough to argue with him here, other than the not watching thing.

7:45 - Danny Green and Mario Chalmers trade absolutely horrible three pointers that both miss.  I'd make an NBA Faaaaaaaaaaantastic joke but really it's actually been a pretty great series.  Also Danny Green really needs to stop doing anything that isn't shooting a spot up three pointer.

6:53 - Two biggest X-factors were Wade and Ginobili.  Wade has been outstanding.  Ginobilli just literally let the ball slip through his fingers and go out of bounds.  Luckily, Chris Bosh (0 points so far) just got called for an offensive foul prior to Ginobilli proving me wrong.  81-77 Heat.  Shane Battier is still a huge douche.

6:03 - Ginobili passes it straight out of bounds.  Dude is just completely out of control and it's not working.

5:37 - This Lone Ranger movie looks pretty awesome.

5:37 - Just kidding.

4:53 - I'm going to say right now that Duncan looks completely dialed in.  I think shits about to get real for Miami.  If they can keep scoring they'll win.  If they keep letting Bosh shoot the ball, they won't.  83-79 Heat.

4:04 - Danny Green has started believing in his own legend.  What a stupid shot.

3:27 - Why would you ever give the ball to an unstoppable Duncan against Bosh?  Effing Battier with another three.  Ballgame.

3:10 - Three point play by Duncan (told you).  88-85 Heat.  Time for a stop.  Probably want to make sure Splitter isn't in there, eh.

2:37 - Uh oh.

2:00 - Leonard with a huge three and it's a two point game. If the Heat are going to win can it at least be on another Ray Allen buzzer beater?  I might actually enjoy that.  A little.

1:35 - Supernintendo misses two free throws, Bosh somehow gets the offensive rebound, and then is stripped by Leonard.  Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

1:30 - Lebron back on Parker.  Somebody else is going to have to do something.  Like absolutely brick an open three, Leonard.

1:06 - Wade stupidly keeps the ball the entire possession then bricks a jumper, Lebron gets a huge offensive board and finds your boyfriend Shane Battier for a wide open three pointer which he luckily misses, there's a battle for the board and the Spurs come up with it and there was so much happening so quickly I paused it and now that I look up I see Danny Green dribbling and I know this will not end well.

0:48 - Duncan misses an open chance to tie the game.  Wow.  That was it, right there.  That was it.  And he knows it.

0:28 - Lebron jumper puts Miami up 4.  Oof.  Duncan looks beaten already.  I feel a little tiny bit sick.  It's weird because I thought I always hated Tim Duncan but, well, here we are.

0:23 - Ginobili turnover basically ends it.  Fitting.  Congrats to all Yankee, Patriot, and Duke fans out there. You guys deserve this.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Can we Answer any Twins' Questions yet?

Before the baseball season started this year I said the Twins' weren't going to be very good.  Bold prediction, I know, but I also said that would be ok because it would give us a chance to answer some questions about some of the Twins' "fringey" guys and figure out who would be a future building block for the team and who wouldn't - or at least shouldn't.  I think we are far enough into the season at this point to at least start looking at the answer to that question on some of these dudes.

Chris Parmelee - Parmelee has always hit well in the minors, including crushing AAA pitching last year to the tune of .338/.457/.645 with 17 homers in 64 games and as he's just 25 years old there's still hope, but it is fading and fading quickly.  He's hitting just .223/.302/.346 so far this year, and believe it or not that's only a slight regression from where he was in last season's late audition when he was terrible.

To put it in perspective, that OPS he's sporting is about what you'd expect from a typical Alexi Casilla season, and considering Parmelee is a poor fielder and not a good baserunner he's clearly been one of the least valuable players on the team this year (and his -0.4 WAR backs me up).  Since his only possible positions are ones of premium offensive importance (1B/RF) and he offers little besides his bat, things don't look good.  He's not showing the power he displayed at AAA and complimenting that by walking less and striking out more.  Other than all that things are going great.

Brian Dozier - Might as well follow up one big disappointment with another, because Dozier flat stinks, hitting just .230/.284/.340 and basically performing like a slightly non-broke man's Drew Butera without the premium defense and a tough position.  Actually although he's a pretty horrendous shortstop he's been decent second basemen, but decent fielding can't offset that piss poor hitting or whatever it is he's doing up there.

The saddest part of all of this is that thanks to his solid fielding and good base-running (fangraphs has him as the #2 base-runner on the team which includes things like going from 1st to 3rd on a single and what-not) Dozier actually ranks as the 4th best Twin position player this year by WAR (behind Mauer, Florimon - more on him later, and Morneau).  That's not a positive regarding Dozier, more of an indictment of how awful the Twins have been seeing as how he ranks 62nd out of the 86 players in the majors who qualify for the batting title in WAR.  I've pretty much given up on this guy.

Trevor Plouffe - Plouffe hasn't been able to follow up on his torrid streak last year where he hit 13 homers in 22 games, making Danny Valencia expendable (well, more expendable) and finishing with 24 homers on the year (the most for a Twin 3B since Corey Koskie's 25 in 2004) but he does seem to be settling in to the kind of player we could expect year after year.  It's pretty good, and would be very good if he was a better fielder.

Plouffe's value almost solely comes from his bat, and his year he's hitting .264/.344/.457 and should end up in the vicinity of 20 homers again assuming no more injuries.  Plouffe's OPS of .801 ranks 6th in the AL among third basemen, which is great but is offset by his fielding.  Plouffe's cut down on his errors, which is encouraging, but his range is the fourth worst in the AL among 3Bs (as imprecise as this is).  I don't know if you can teach range, so at this point he probably is what he is:  a guy with stone feet who will hit around .260 each year with about 20 dingers and walk a little.  Good enough for you?  Good enough for me, provided he continues to clean up his fielding. 

Pedro Florimon - He isn't a guy who I even dreamed about thinking about the possibility of him being in the Twins' future when contention time rolls around again (please roll around again) but it's not out of the realm of possibility.  Granted he's a pretty terrible hitter (slightly better than Dozier this year, though) but his fielding and base running (7 steals in 7 attempts helps here quite a bit) have turned him into the second most valuable Twin so far this year with a 1.4 WAR.  Yes, once again this mostly just means the Twins are really horrible, but comparing him league wide yields some eye opening results.

Among all shortstops in the major leagues, Florimon ranks 1st in range, and ranks 3rd in overall fielding value since he makes too many errors right now.  Add in some excellent base running (tops on the team, fourth among all big league shortstops, and despite floundering around at the plate Florimon is the 8th most valuable shortstop in the majors, all things considered.  It seems a bit bizarre I'll grant you, and fielding and base running metrics aren't an exact science, but he does pass the eye test there as well so it's close enough for me.  He has increased his power and his walk rate this year compared to last, and although at 27 we're probably past time for a big breakout if it was coming (and his minor league numbers suggest that it certainly wasn't) Florimon should end up sticking around for a while as either your slick fielding number 9 hitter or defensive whiz substitution guy, both of which are far from where I had originally though he'd be which is the California Penal League where they don't wear caps or sleeves.

Glen Perkins - I was of the opinion that Perkins was a half-way decent set-up guy of the dime a dozen type who would probably manage to get a few saves and hopefully the Twins would trade him because saves are so overvalued.  I still think they should probably trade him, but now, with him proving to be nearly unhittable (WHIP 0.82/OAV .165 - both 4th best in the AL) and striking out 12.62 per 9 innings (7th best), and being under team control until 2016 if they decide to roll with him as their future closer, I can deal.  

That being said, they would be foolish not to at least listen to offers come trade deadline time.  Perkins has been great, but closers are notoriously volatile and the Twins likely won't really even need a closer until 2015 at the earliest, so a contender with closer issues like Detroit (yes, even though GASP they're in the same division) or Arizona or Boston or somebody might be willing to drastically overpay from a prospect perspective.  If somebody is willing to give you a legit prospect or even a young established player at a greater position of need (would Detroit give up Rick Porcello, for example?) wouldn't you have to do it?  I guess this all depends on how you value closers.  If you're like me and think most closers are interchangeable with their set-up men then yes.  If you're wrong, then no.

That's about it outside of the starting staff (who I will look at in an upcoming post because geez what a mess that is).  I could go through a couple of other guys with questions like "Can Eduardo Escobar help justify the Francisco Liriano trade by becoming the next Denny Hocking/Jeff Reboulet type?" (No, not white gritty enough) or "Can Wilkin Ramirez stick around?" (Honestly I don't even know if he's still on the team) but that doesn't really seem like something I'm going to do. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Game 6 Live Blog

Hey guys.  Since I can barely ever figure out anything to write about since the Gophers are in the offseason and the Twins suck (actually I have a Twins post in the hopper, should be up tomorrow) I'm going to just live blog Game 6 because hopefully their won't be a Game 7 because I've come to loathe Lebron James.  Go figure.  Also somebody once emailed me to tell me that these aren't really live blogs because the reader can't follow along in real time and they should be called running diaries.  He had a good point, so I tracked him to his house and beat him to death with a chainsaw.  Anyway, we're picking up the game here with 5:50 left in the first quarter, San Antonio up 18-16.

5:20 - Whoa you guys, so weird, but Lebron is bitching at the ref after fat Boris Diaw just went and scored right in his stupid face.  I can't believe I used to consider Tim Duncan a whiner.  He's like Barry Sanders compared to James, and Wade isn't much better. 

3:55 - I think I've figured out a big problem for the Heat.  Mike Miller and Ray Allen are their only good outside shooters, and neither one of them could guard your average player at the YMCA.  Or Boris Diaw, and that's now two more mentions of Diaw than I was expecting to make on this blog this decade.

2:28 - Problem #2 - the crowd just went nuts because Birdman checked in.  Of course they love the guy, he's white.  But he can't guard anybody on the Spurs - except maybe Splitter.  And Shane Battier just took a charge on one end and then banked in a three pointer on the other.  Some hate never dies.

0:53 - Danny Green missed.  That was weird.

2Q, 11:42 - Birdman dives for a loose ball on the ground.  So gritty.

11:00 - Defensive breakdown by Miami leaves Green wide open and he buries it.  It's so ridiculous.  I can't decide if this is on the players or Spoelstra, but it's pretty god damn embarrassing that he ever gets an open look.

9:20 - There isn't a lot of meat in these gym mats.  Also, Tiago Splitter is pretty terrible.

7:58 - Oh man this shit is crazy, but Dwyane Wade is now yelling at the ref about a "missed" call.  What are the odds?

6:56 - If I'm Spoelstra, I immediately bench anybody who passes to Chris Bosh.  And if I'm Popovich I give the ball to Duncan every single time Bosh is guarding him because he has no shot at stopping him.  I guess what I'm saying is, Chris Bosh is the Ron Weasley of this Big Three.

4:32 - Wade now passing up wide open 14 foot jumpers.  It's been surreal watching him in this series.  He's become Joe Coleman.  You know, in theory and all that, not for reals.

4:18 - Birdman saves the ball by diving into the crowd.  He's Puntonian.

2:47 - My wife was a redhead when I met her.  By the time I realized the truth, I was hooked and it was too late.  She's never dyed her hair that shade again.  That's bullshit, right?

1:23 - Jesus Chris Bosh is terrible.  Can't stop Duncan on the block, then misses a short jumper, followed by not hustling down the court and allowing a Tim Duncan uncontested dunk, then misses another jumper, then allows Diaw to come right at him and score.  So ugly.  All the other velociraptors out there must be so embarrassed.  Also, how horrible is it that the Toronto franchise named themselves after a trendy animal (extinct - allegedly) from a trendy movie?  I know the movie is still an all time great and probably one of my top 5 all-time (well, top 10) but it's still stupid.

0:00 - Spurs 50, Heat 44 thanks to a late run by San Antonio and Tim Duncan completely dominating Bosh.  Supernintendo Chalmers was the one who kept the Heat close in the first half, so well, that doesn't bode well for the Heat.

3Q, 11:38 - Ginobilli gives Ray Allen a quick jab step, Allen backs up about 8 feet, Ginobilli with the step back 3.  Allen can still shoot the lights out, but he seriously can't guard anybody.  I don't know what the answer is though, because nobody is very good on the Heat lately.  Maybe Chalmers-Wade-James-Birdman-Haslem?  I dunno.

10:17 - Spurs have completely given the offense over to Ginobilli, simply because Allen is on him.  Their entire offense the last three trips has been Manu driving on Allen, and they've scored on the first two prior to Danny Green trying to drive on Lebron which he really shouldn't do ever.

8:12 - Bosh's offense seems to be to get the ball on the block and pray to the lord baby santa jesus that a double team comes so he can pass it to someone else.  If it seems like I'm being unnecessarily hard on Bosh I assure you it's completely necessary. 

7:29 - Sometimes when I watch him I wonder if Ginobilli is drunk.

5:54 - I've now watch Mike Miller (an all-time fave dating back to his Florida days, by the way) drive to the hoop in traffic for a lay-up and get called for a foul battling for a rebound.  Honest to god I was pretty sure all that guy did was make 3s, get high, and get weed for other people.  Oh, and gets paid like $5 million per year to do it.  While played, Stoner.  Well played.

5:54 - Good hair, too.

4:54 - What's your favorite movie to prominently feature vampires?  I'd say Lost Boys followed by Interview with a Vampire and Lost Boys II. 

3:50 - Not to be outdone, now the entire Heat team is bitching at the refs.  This is looking like we could have some serious unravel potential here.  Spurs 71, Heat 58.

3:22 - Lebron on Parker.  Great defense, Spurs turnover, Battier 3.  Interesting.

1:36 - Awesome.  After the Heat pick up a little momentum scoring five straight with Lebron checking Parker, Lebron drives to the rim and gets bumped a little and decides to sit on the floor and whine to the ref instead of hustling back which leads to Ray Allen trying to guard Parker and you know how that probably turned out. 

4Q, 11:40 - I think Mario Chalmers has like, 30 points.  He's pretty much kept them in the game.  Now Miami has Lebron, Miller, Allen, Birdman, and Chalmers in the game.  Weird lineup, but they've scored the first five of the quarter to cut it to 75-70.

10:24 - Now a four point game after a Miller 3.  I'm thinking maybe we get Splitter out of there now, yeah?

7:55 - Lebron making this interesting by kind of totally taking over the Heat offense.  Like he probably could have been doing many, many times prior to now.

7:08 - Seems like we got ourselves a ballgame.  82-80 Spurs.

6:34 - Tie game.  Lebron just thriving without Wade and Bosh in the game.  Kind of fascinating. 

4:43 - Lebron keeps getting into the lane for lay-ups (87-84 Heat).  It's impressive how he's taken over the game, but Spurs need to force him into shooting jump shots . Like that, the one he just missed.  I know all.

1:47 - San Antonio ball down by 3.  I keep forgetting to type stuff. 

1:27 - Holy Tony Parker step back three. Wow.

0:58 - And a steal by Parker, followed by a bucket by Parker to put the Spurs up two.  This is fantastic.  I just wish I was drunker.

0:37 - Holy crap.  James somehow ends up with Parker on him, takes him into the lane, and then just straight up loses the ball which leads to a run out 2-on-1 for the Spurs which leads to Ginobilli making both and a 93-89 Spurs lead.  What a turnaround.

0:28 - Lebron airball.  This is not going to help his "chocker" legacy.  And, you're never going to believe this, but he's bitching at the ref that he got fouled.  Also, I'd have to double check, but when did Wade come back in the game?  Was that when shit fell apart?

0:20 - Lebron absolutely bricks a three, then Mike Miller (???!!?!?!?) gets the offensive rebound and finds James again who makes this one, and we're at 94-92 Spurs.  The real problem I'm having is I hate Lebron, yet I hate the irrational Lebron haters even more.  I don't know what to root for.  Hopefully I suffer a stroke of some kind and don't know what ends up happening.  Can you still get a boner if you have a stroke?  This is important.

0:19 - Leonard misses the first.  Shit just got real.

0:05 - Lebron misses the three (of course) but after an o-board Ray Allen nails the tying shot (of course).  Also, I think we may have a Chris Webber situation here.  Please hold.  Wait nevermind they're reviewing that shot which was a clear 3-pointer.  Also, way not to have Duncan out there so Bosh, who is a tremendous pussy don't forget, could get that huge offensive rebound. 

0:00 - And we're heading to overtime.  Well shit.

0:00 - Seriously I think if the Heat just leave Wade on the bench for OT they win.  Otherwise they lose.  Somebody bet me.

4:39 - Allen opens OT by shooting a 2-pointer.  What a dummy.  Also, they seriously give each team 3 timeouts per overtime?  That's outrageous.  Also, that turnaround jumper by James from 18 feet when he doesn't have that shot in his arsenal and was only also lightly guarded was outrageous.  Also, because shit is happening really quickly here, I think Manu Ginobilli is shockingly dumb for how much basketball he's played in his career.

3:24 - I can't think of a single good reason fro Boris Diaw to be in the game.  Other than that huge offensive board he just grabbed.  I'm an idiot.

2:42 - You're never going to believe this, but Ray Allen is pretty sure he didn't foul Tony Parker there.  Didn't Allen used to be a pretty straight up class act?  Effing Wade and Lebron.  It's like when those guys in Dazed and Confused turn Tim Lincecum into a pothead.  HOW'D THAT ALL TURN OUT, STONERS?  Now he's terrible.

1:18 - Allen looks seriously rejuvenated here, like he's in takeover mode.  He's even driving to the hope and other Jesus Shuttlesworth things like that and I think he just blocked a shot.  If he keeps going he's going to end up in a threesome with pornstars. 

0:40 - Ginobilli now appears to be point shaving.  Also, that ball was off Lebron.  Straight up great defense by Green, and, this will come as a shock, Lebron is bitching at the ref.

0:31 - Bosh with the biggest defensive play of the game blocking Parker's jumper like he was Hakim Warrick.  I will admit I really didn't see that one coming.

0:02 - So bizarre.  Spurs take Parker out when the Heat have the ball for some reason I either haven't been paying attention to or don't understand.  Then the Heat miss and Spurs have the ball with 10 seconds to go, and rather than call timeout to get Parker back in the game they let the point shaver go barrelling into the lane like a 2nd grader who just learned to dribble?  Which, of course, leads to a turnover and two Ray Allen free throws to put the Spurs up 3?  Fuck me.  Heat win another championship.