Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fast-Breaking it Down

By Paul Benedict

I just want everyone to know that I had a full article to put up today, but Blogger decided to f*ck me over once again by giving me an error message--thus I lost everything I wrote. It's partially my fault for not copying my work over to Word in case this happened, because it has several times before, but regardless, I'm currently ripping down posters in my room, punching holes through the wall, and performing VooDoo on the punks that run this website (Naturally I'm kidding about all of this...sort of). Anyways, under normal circumstances, I would just rewrite what I lost, but since I'm headed out of town for the night due to personal reasons (I've always wanted to say that), I simply don't have the time. But I'm going to give you guys a little something anyways, just because I'm nice...

-I originally had a full "Fall-Star" team, but because Blogger ruined my life, I'm able to give you only the starters:

G Ron Artest, Indiana Pacers
Most of you guys know by now that I'm one of Ronnie's biggest supporters and would love nothing more than to see him in a Pacers uniform before the end of the season, but that is not going to happen and neither is a championship run for Indiana this season. It upsets me to put him on this team, but Ronnie has nobody to blame but himself for both his and the team's unfortunate season.

G Latrell Sprewell, Minnesota Timberwolves
As much as I dislike Spree as a person, I've always respected him as a basketball player because he appeared to me to be a guy that brought it every night out. And for a guy that's made a successful career for himself by playing with consistent energy and excitement no matter what issue he was dealing with off the court, it's pathetic to see Spree essentially mail it in this season after whining about his contract this summer. It's time for the 'Wolves to cut this guy loose.

F Glenn Robinson, Philadelphia 76ers
Big Dog is a Big Joke as far as I'm concerned and if he doesn't have the time to suit up this season, then he certainly is not worthy of my time.

F Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
I almost feel bad giving this spot to 'Melo because I am a true believer in the guy and I do think that some of the problems he's having are due to the lingering ankle injury he seems to be playing with. But regardless, 'Melo's numbers are down across the board from a year ago (2003-04: 21.0 PPG, 42.6 FG%, 32.2 3PT%, 6.1 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 0.5 BPG; 2004-05: 19.8 PPG, 39.5 FG%, 28.2 3PT%, 5.6 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG) and so is the Nuggets' record. Don't sleep on this cat though--I really think 'Melo is going to to bounce back after the All-Star break.

C Mark Blount, Boston Celtics
If someone can be arrested for stealing a $3 pack of Stadium Club basketball cards from Kay-Bee Toy store, then how can there not be a warrant out for Mark Blount's arrest after he stole $42 million from Danny Ainge and the Celtics this summer? I mean seriously--just look at some of these dominating performances against him since the beginning of the new year:
  • Michael Olowokandi: 21 points, 9 rebounds, 1 block
  • Tony Battier: 14 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks
  • Primoz Brezec: 18 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Nenad Kristic: 13 points, 12 rebounds
  • Eddy Curry: 26 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 blocks
  • Peja Drobnjak: 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals
  • Clifford Robinson: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 4 blocks

-I actually remember who I had as my reserves: Troy Hudson, Michael Olowokandi, Tim Thomas, Carlos Arroyo, Brian Grant, Jiri Welsch, and Karl Malone.

-I'm generally okay with the All-Star reserves, but I would have taken Steve Francis over Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the East and Chris Webber over Rashard Lewis in the West.

-Anyone stay up for the Knicks last night? With 5:30 to go in regulation and the Knicks up 13, I bet two friends that the Knicks would lose. Neither took me up on the deal and the Knicks proceeded to choke once again as the Jazz forced the game into overtime. And then of course, I propose the bet again, this time with 5 to 1 odds that the Knicks would blow the game. They both took me up on the bet before I came to my senses and realized that I'm not allowed to be betting on any NBA games. Good for me--Knicks won! Stephon finally stepped up as the team leader in OT and they held off the Jazz.

-Who in the world in going to be in this year's dunk contest? Jason Richardson wants out, I think I heard D-Mace isn't going to do it, Josh Smith is hurt, Tony Allen isn't sure, so who on earth are we going to say. I have to tell you--I'm a little concerned that the reason we haven't heard just yet is because nobody is accepting their invitations. It could be an ugly dunk-contest folks.

-So who caught Yao and LeBron on the Simpsons this Sunday? Too bad if you did.

-Speaking of All-Star weekend, I was watching this old tape of a HORSE competition between Pistol Pete and Iceman from an All-Star weekend during the 70's and it was cool as all hell! Why can't they bring this back? Ditch the skills-competition, or whatever crappy event they have planned this season and have the 4 best players duke it out in a game of HORSE? Or what about a massive game of knock out--every All-Star bombing 40 footers until just one is left. Couldn't you see Shaq pulling the old 'chuck the ball against the backboard routine' and then dunking it? Ben Wallace heaving up air balls? Manu pulling out every trick in the book, including the patented move where you knock the other person's ball out of bounds as you're about to shoot your own? Or what about a classic duel between former teammates Stevie Nash and Dirk as the final showdown? I could see this working for maybe a year or two--as long as the WNBA isn't involved.


At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The all-star snubs make perfect sense, and frankly I think there's a strong argument to be made that the NBA coaches -- as individual voters -- each got their ballot just right.

Steve Francis is a selfish little bitch. That said, he is an immensely talented selfish little bitch and probably the best player on a winning team. If you look closely at the voting process, it's pretty clear why Wallace and Ilguaskas were picked ahead of him. Every coach has to pick 2 guards, 2 forwards, 2 wild cards, and one center. Half of the coaches probably chose Wallace as the reserve center. The other half probably chose Ilgauskas. That means that Francis would have had to be chosen on half of the ballots. When you look at how many other guards were in the running, it becomes obvious why Francis failed to do that. Francis surely made a lot of ballots, but a lot of coaches quite reasonably could have left him off the ballot in order to vote for guys like Hamilton, Marbury, Kidd, Hughes, and even perhaps a coach or two selected Tinsley, Billups, or Hinrich. Antoine Walker might have eaten up one or two wild card votes. Surely a large percentage of wild card votes went to Pierce, Jamison, and Jermaine O'Neal. Because NEITHER Wallace nor Ilgauskas was especially deserving this year, votes were split between them, benefiting them both at the expense of players who most coaches would probably readily agree have had superior seasons.

Who else is acting like whiny little bitches? The Kings, of course (did I really even need to answer that for you?). As far as the West goes, ultimately it comes down to Webber v. Rashard Lewis. Gasol figures into the debate, too, but his injury probably cost him some votes. Numbers-wise, Webber certainly seems better than Rashard. But Webber has missed 8 games already this year, while Rashard Lewis has played through injuries of his own, missing just 2 games. Rashard is better on defense. And while Webber would be more exciting to have at an All-Star game, let's face it, the dude is a choke-artist. Last night's game said it all. He and Brad Miller should be ashamed of themselves, both for playing with absolutely no heart at home in the final minutes of a big game and for whining like bitches afterward, as though the loss wasn't entirely their own fault. They both came up ridiculously small, and blaming the loss on the refs when there wasn't even a CLOSE call to complain about, well, it just showed why so few folks in the league have any love or respect for the Kings. I might also add that some of the coaches who did indeed vote for a King might have voted for Bibby instead of Webber. Bibby presumably didn't receive enough votes to make the team because, well, he's godawful on d, and overall not as good a player as, say, JRich, Brand, and countless other players who failed to make the team but whom nobody's bitching about.

even if webber did deserve to be named an all-star this year, anybody outside of the sacramento area who pleads his case needs to take a step back, listen to themselves, and have a laugh. this is chris webber we're talking about, for chrissakes.



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