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Posts Tagged ‘Carmelo Anthony’

KENYON DOES NOT ACCEPT YOUR APOLOGY, MARK CUBAN!  These two won’t move on so let’s do it for them.  Western Conference Finals.  Don’t sit near La La:

(1) LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. (2) DENVER NUGGETS

"Stop playin', Kobe. This ain't a hotel room."

It's all smiles and giggles 'til somebody gets raped.

DUBBS:  While Denver advances to their first Conference Finals in 24 years, Chauncey reaches his seventh in a row.  (An impressive feat that only four other players since 1970 have accomplished. )  Chauncey is responsible for turning this team from a talented bunch of underachievers to a force to be reckoned with.  No one expected Denver to be here.  Everyone assumed LA would be.  Yet Denver has been the more impressive team so far in these Playoffs.

BROKESS: Denver has been impressive. Just not against LA. You have to bother Kobe Bryant in order to have a chance against the Lakers. Houston posed the greatest challenge by throwing the likes of Ron Artest and Shane Battier at him. JR Smith couldn’t cover Kobe with tattoos. Putting aside that the Lakers have their most talented team since the Last Days of Shaq, who is going to keep Bryant from winning this series single-handedly?

DUBBS:  DAHNTAY JONES!! aka The Ruben Patterson Stopper!  Um, yeah, Dahntay Jones ain’t stopping Kobe.  But Kobe deciding he’s going to win the series single-handedly would be great for Denver.  If Kobe refuses to play within the team’s offense, LA will lose.  He can win a game that way but not a series.  And ‘who’s gonna stop Kobe?’ has a flipside.  Who’s gonna cover Chauncey?  Or Carmelo?  What if they have to put Kobe on one of those guys?  If he expends too much energy on the defensive end, will he start settling for jumpers on O?

BROKEASS: LA’s offense is designed to find their opponent’s defensive weakness and exploit it. No matter how good you are, if you have a hole at the shooting guard position and you are playing the Los Angeles Lakers, you’re in trouble. LA feasts when Kobe has a big advantage. On the other hand, Denver’s best scorer, Carmelo Anthony, has the pleasure of matching up with LA’s best defensive stopper in Trevor Ariza. It’s just that kind of unfortunate pairing for the Nuggets. Nearly every choice favors LA. I’m taking Phil’s zen over George’s meltdown. Odom’s peace over K-Mart’s war. Pau’s Catallan over Nene’s Portuguese. Chauncey over Derdan Fishmar is Denver’s only decisive advantage.

DUBBS:  Everyone has talked all year long about how deep LA’s bench is.  I don’t see it.  And they have not been showing up in the playoffs.  Denver is actually the team with depth.  They have a great point guard who controls the game, doesn’t turn the ball over, can score when he needs to, and is money from the line.  They have a world-class scorer in Carmelo who can play inside and out.  An energy guy with a commitment to defense in Dahntay Jones. A defensive stopper/tough guy in K-Mart, who will intimidate the shit out of those Laker softies.  An agile big man in Nene.  A sixth man who can shoot lights-out in JR Smith.  An experienced backup PG in Anthony Carter.  And a blocking/rebounding specialist and fan favorite in Chris Andersen.  And we haven’t even gotten to Linas Kleisza, who does… something, I’m sure of it.  Somehow, Denver has become the most complete team in the league.

BROKEASS: Complete teams get to the Conference Finals and lose. Denver relies on all its parts to equal a whole. LA’s subs are like basketball understudies. They only perform due to injury and in Sunday matinees. Wait, the second part isn’t right. Ask Boston what happens when a crucial player gets hurt. Depth is nice, but a star player goes down and his team probably loses. I just don’t see the need for a deep bench when those dudes are literally just going to sit on the bench. Kobe and Pau can go 40+ each and will. At the big positions, that’s where you need fresh legs. And that’s where the Lakers are stacked. Andrew Bynum would start on Denver. He’s coming off the bench to hunt Birdman in this series. And let’s not forget DJ Mbenga, owner of a meaty body and the best name in the NBA. Dickie Simpkins that’s a good name!

DUBBS:  I’ve got a better idea.  Let’s do forget DJ Mbenga.  Everyone else in the fucking league has, including his own teammates. No discernible basketball skills whatsoever.  And Andrew Bynum should start on LA, only he’s been inconsistent.  Like the Lakers.  The point to Denver’s depth isn’t to guard against injury.  It’s depth that works together at the same time.  So if you stop one guy, another guy can kill you.  This is not the case with the Lakers.  If you manage to stop Kobe, they are losing.

BROKEASS: That was true as recently as two years ago. Not now. But it doesn’t matter because Denver can’t stop Kobe. Is Kobe going to stop Kobe? HELL NO. Not with the Lebron Coronation ceremony already scheduled for June. Don’t forget, when the League’s crown is finally given to King James officially, it will be removed from Kobe Bryant’s head. You can’t just take a man’s crown without expecting a fight. Pity the Dahntay Jones who stands between him and a tete-a-tete with his heir apparent.

DUBBS:  Denver is peaking at the right time.  LA has looked unfocused, to say the least, during the Playoffs.  They have a habit of not respecting their opponents until its almost too late, as in the case of Houston.  That will not work against a Denver team that is firing on all pistons.  Ouch.  Let’s say hitting on all cylinders.  Nuggets in 6.

BROKEASS: LA was humbled in Houston. They won’t be sleeping on anyone from here on out. I saw “Kobe Doin’ Work.” He’s a goddamn superhero. Denver will hit on all cylinders, they just won’t touch much nylon. Playing better doesn’t mean you are better. LA has way too many advantages. Lakers in 5.

DUBBS:  Come home Chauncey!  All is forgiven!!

Eastern Conference Finals prediction coming tomorrow.

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It's all hugs in Cleveland these days. Though this one's still a little creepy.

It's all hugs in Cleveland these days. Though this one's a little creepy.

Having floated on a marshmallow cloud through the first two rounds of the playoffs, it is reasonable to question how Cleveland will fare when finally tested. The more important question, though, is will they be tested? Atlanta played terribly and Detroit is terrible.  But the upcoming competition isn’t playing up a storm either. Plus, they are now fatigued from battling each other. Cleveland, meanwhile, has yet to play a single superfluous game.

Orlando can’t stop Cleveland and the Celtics won’t. Boston would not have topped Cleveland last year without home-court advantage, and they certainly won’t this year against a Cavs team that has won 43 of 45 home contests this year. KG or no KG, I’m sticking to that statement. No KG, home court won’t even be an issue. Orlando, as well as being weak-willed, does not match well with the Cavs. And they won’t know what to make of all that hustle. The whole team will look like Mo Williams watching Delonte and Kinsey take pictures at Lebron’s MVP ceremony.

How many games can either of these teams take? Two has to be the max, and even that number feels high. One sounds more likely. Zero is totally achievable. Lebron shares the glory with his teammates, not his opponents. Will the Eastern Conference Finals be a test? Only of basketball fans’ abilities to stay awake.

Which leaves us with the NBA Finals as the first potential test for the Cavs. We devoted a whole post to the havoc Houston would wreak on Cleveland. But that was with Yao Ming. The current roster, despite their last performance against LA, is far less scary. Kobe will need every ounce of energy he can muster to fight with Lebron for seven, and given the struggles he still has ahead of him, it is fair to question if he will have enough. And then there is Denver, the hottest team in the West right now. Ask Carmelo how confident he is about squaring off with Lebron every other day for a couple weeks and you won’t have to wait for the long pause, nervous expression, or flop sweat to pass. You’ll already have your answer. That Finals won’t take a couple weeks.

Cleveland is by no means unbeatable. They probably aren’t even the best. But testing them is about more than just favorable match-ups. Cleveland has two things going for them in any series: The best player and the most energy. Thanks to a perfect opening two rounds, Cleveland is perfectly healthy and perfectly rested. The best these others can muster doesn’t appear worthy of Cleveland at their best.  Cleveland can certainly be tested, they can even be beat, but they won’t be.

When the dust finally settles, only Lebron will be left standing.

When the dust finally settles, only Lebron will be left standing.

Posted by BA Brokeass

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Kidd sits out with brain freeze. Dirk supports his guy.

"Start acting sick. When this series is over we'll tell everyone we had swine flu."

Face facts: Dallas is done. I felt like this series was over from the moment K-Mart shoved Dirk in Game 1. The other Mavs just stood around while their leader was maliciously body slammed. Jason Terry is the only one who got in anyone’s face over the assault. J-Kidd does his part, keeping a collected head so that others can vent a little frustration. The only problem is, there’s no one to calm or restrain. Back during the NCAA Tournament, we ran a video of Sparty ready to throw down after a similar slight to one of his dudes. HE’S A FUCKING MASCOT! No one on Dallas has as much heart as a dork in a cartoon Spartan costume. That mascot probably won’t even go pro!

Between the injured Josh Howard and the perfectly healthy Erick Dampier, the Mavs look as thin as Mark Cuban’s logic for trading Devin Harris. Yep, Little Buckaroo, it appears this Lonestar is down to its last twinkle. Dirk and JT were forced to do everything last night, and it wasn’t nearly enough. One of the deepest teams in the League has been reduced to a two-man operation. They’re like the Boston Celtics minus the pride.

It will take all the pride Dallas can muster if they hope to take any games from a Denver squad that has yet to be outscored in the final quarter. Teams that win the fourth are usually well-coached, and since we know this is NOT the case in Denver, much respect due to C-Billups. He brought with him a mantra of discipline and accountability and his teammates have adopted it. And when guys aren’t being disciplined or accountable, they always have Melo’s “Stop Snitching” motto to fall back on. So everything’s cool, baby. Nothing to see here.

The Nuggets are really having fun, so it doesn’t seem like work. The Mavs really have some work ahead of them, which doesn’t seem like fun. You’re dead, Dallas. You just don’t know it yet. Actually, it kind of seems like you do.

"Not now, George. I'm trying to coach my team."

"Not now, George. I'm trying to coach my team."

Posted by BA Brokeass

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Muscle up, lil’ babies. Western Conference semi-finals: Don’t you ever in your life, when i got a gun, come at me with a knife. A’ight?

(1) LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. (5) HOUSTON ROCKETS

Seven games of this? Yes please!

Love will tear us apart.

BROKEASS: Houston’s got the Lakers?! What?! Oh no.

DUBBS: I know! Our bandwagon team is up against the top dog in the West. I love what Houston did in the first round. Ron found some redemption and with that Houston found its identity. But this ain’t the first round and the Lakers are not the Blazers. Houston will push them but the Lakers are too good. Sorry, Ron. Just stay in the tree of trust and keep your shrink on speed dial.

BROKEASS: Win, lose, or fight the crowd – this is Ron-Ron’s series. He’s back, baby! And he seems saner than ever. This has to be the calm before the storm. Where’s that Ron-Ron insanity we all know and love?!

DUBBS: I think Pau Gasol just dunked it over Yao. Seriously, Pau is gonna give Yao fits. He’s way too fast and light on his feet for that gnarly old tree. And he can draw him away from the basket.

BROKEASS: Yao may not be nimble or quick, but he is a rather large candlestick to jump over. And on offense, well, good luck with that Pau. The Lakers can be beaten. Hell, the Pistons even beat them once.

DUBBS: What’s a Piston? The only advantage Houston has over LA is at the point guard position. Aaron Brooks is gonna make Derrick Fisher and Jordan Farmar look like Shrimp Fest at Red Lobster.

BROKEASS: Cheesy biscuits! On paper, the Lakers seem stronger. And on the basketball court, the Lakers beat the Rockets every time they played this season. But Ron-Ron don’t care about first rounds and he DAMN SURE don’t care about regular seasons or positional matchups. He and Shane Battier will corral and harass Kobe all game long. Ron-Ron is moving in to Kobe’s head as we speak. And Ron-Ron is a noisy guest. A frustrated Kobe equals a tentative, nervous Lakers.

DUBBS: In matchups against guys like Kobe, Ron has a tendency to forget he has teammates and turn it into a game of one-on-one. And Kobe is the only guy in the NBA not afraid of Artest. Houston will try to grind but the Lakers are gonna run on them. LA is too fast, too agile and they have too much firepower. We haven’t even talked about Odom and Ariza. And Phil Jackson has spent his career peeing in Rick Adelman’s kitchen sink. Lakers in 6.

BROKEASS: If LA runs, Houston won’t catch them. But Houston’s aim will be to slow the tempo and test their trapping D against that vaunted Triangle Offense. On offense, pick your poison in the post: Yao, Artest, Scola, Landry. The Lakers softies will be overmatched. A quick PG like your boy A-Brooks will average ten dimes on drop-offs alone. No one can phase Kobe over the course of a single game, but in a series, we have seen him unravel. If that happens against the Rockets, Houston will pounce. I’m saying it, Dubbs! UPSET!!! Houston in 6.

DUBBS: Don’t tell Ron and the rest of the Queensbridge soldiers I fell off the bandwagon so quickly. Big Noyd, we meet you at the top kid! Shout to Cormega!

(2) DENVER NUGGETS VS. (6) DALLAS MAVERICKS

"Put your tongue away, Dirk. You ain't Herr Jordan."

Kenyon laughs at Dirk's Herr Jordan impression.

DUBBS: Did you see that Chauncey Billups received the Joe Dumars Sportsmanship Award last week? That shit’s like rain on a motherfucker’s wedding day, son. Denver is rolling right now but New Orleans rolled over and died on them. They have yet to be tested. This series with Dallas will show us if Denver is for real or not.

BROKEASS: Denver is real. I’ve been there. It’s in Colorado. Oh, you mean as a basketball team. Right, this will test that. But I think they can pass that test. Defense has long been their achilles heel, but Billups has changed that. Scoring was never a problem. This team can now beat you in a variety of ways.

DUBBS: Dallas is coming off of the high of beating their archrival. Chauncey Billups is a much better match-up for Jason Kidd than Tony Parker was. And the Nuggets are starting Dahntay Jones? What the fuck is a Dahntay Jones? Is that the traditional Irish spelling of Dante? Why aren’t they starting JR Smith?

BROKEASS: JR Smith comes off the bench until he learns his lesson from a disciplinary issue four years ago. These are two of the deeper benches in the NBA and the team that best utilizes its reserves will probably win. This will be a battle of JTs and JRs; Carrolls and Kleizas; Birdmen & Balkmen and Basses & Bereas. Gerald Greens. Anthony Carters. You get the picture. A battle of benches.

DUBBS: It’s certainly not gonna be a battle of Centers. Dampier vs. Nene is a wash. I’m not sure who that’s more embarrassing for. Basketball, I guess. Chauncey and J-Kidd may cancel each other out. So it comes down to who’s gonna come up bigger: Dirk or Carmelo. Carmelo is inconsistent. He only had one great game against New Orleans, and he spent the entire series being guarded by the defensive sieve of Peja Stojakovic and the sadness of James Posey. Josh Howard is a much tougher defender. And Dirk, unlike Melo, is consistent. Kenyon can’t take him for seven games.

BROKEASS: Carmelo’s inconsistent scoring hasn’t equalled anything but victories. In years past, Melo’s lack of offensive input spelled automatic doom. But this year he has blended into a balanced offense keyed on enabling the hot hand. His 34 in the N’Orleans closer reminds us that he lives for the big game, even if his pro career hasn’t been prolific with opportunities. If Dirk doesn’t shine, Dallas is probably hopeless. The same is not true of Carmelo and Denver.

DUBBS: Whatever. Carmelo’s head is emptier than the Palace at playoff time. Jason Terry will exploit JR Smith’s awful jigsaw puzzle tattoos. Josh Howard will tempt Birdman with a fattie, getting Birdman kicked out for violating the terms of his reinstatement. Dallas in 7.

BROKEASS: Josh Howard is a Star-Spangled-Banner-hating traitor. If Dallas wins, so do the terrorists. You need to quit siding with anti-American sentiment, Dubbs! Denver in 7 thanks to home court advantage and American pride.

DUBBS: Wait a sec. Dallas has Matt Carroll? Ugh. Can I change my pick?

We’ll be back with our Eastern Conference picks on Monday, assuming Boston and Chicago don’t secede from the NBA and start their own league.

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Don't mess with Kwame - He comes from the mean dirtmounds of Georgia.

Dont mess with Kwame - he's from the mean dirtmounds of Georgia.

As the first half of last night’s Cavs-Pistons debacle came to a close, Kwame Brown and Darnell Jackson got into a mild skirmish with each other at half-court. I tried to find video of the incident to post here but it doesn’t seem to exist. It’s not in any of the highlight reels. It’s as if God erased it from the annals of time. And probably for good reason.

Dick Bavetta stepped in and broke it up, but had these two fought, it’d be one of those fights where they wouldn’t start swinging until about fifteen people were between them. Both players would do that punching-while-backing-up thing (the Carmelo special) until they were just at opposite ends of the court, throwing punches into the air.

I think the argument was about who could get back to the bench the fastest. They’re gonna race each other out of the NBA.

First one to Maccabi Tel Aviv wins!

Posted by LA Dubbs

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Go West, young man, and grow up with the country. It’s time for our Western Conference picks!

(1) LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. (8) UTAH JAZZ

"Hey, Kobe! Tickle, tickle."

"Ronnie, I said tweak it and blow on it, not palm it!"

BROKEASS: Utah didn’t pick the best time to start playing their worst basketball of the season, but they should be better and I think they will be better. The Lakers clearly are better. In virtually every way. That being said, I think the Jazz are being prematurely written-off. Deron Williams is going to annihilate Derek Fisher and Utah is historically brutal for visiting teams. But those factors will only serve to delay the inevitable. Lakers in 6.

DUBBS: Utah has a lot of talent. And a good coach. And the most awful fans in the League. But they’ve been sucking it lately. And the Lakers are too good – easily the best in the West. Lakers in 4.

BROKEASS: Utah has some chemistry issues, but the playoffs can often resolve that. Ask Rasheed Wallace. Besides, Boozer, Memo, and Millsap need to have strong showings if they hope to earn big free agent paychecks. The Lakers are cocky right now, as the result of too many people declaring them de facto Champions of the West. I think they’re going to be tested.

DUBBS: The Lakers are too deep, too versatile, too good and too Kobe. The Lakers may be tested, but it won’t be by this mötley crüe. A team is not going to have an epiphany and suddenly find themselves while playing a juggernaut like the Lakers. They are going to suddenly find themselves getting crushed. And, as Cleveland found out, if you have to rely on Carlos Boozer, you’re in trouble.

BROKEASS: How dare you? Carlos Boozer is the type of guy you trust with your kids.

(2) DENVER NUGGETS VS. (7) NEW ORLEANS HORNETS

"James, I can feel the baby kicking!"

"James, I can feel the baby kicking!"

DUBBS: Denver can be an up-and-down team. But Chauncey will give them the stability they need in the playoffs. Chris Paul will certainly pose a lot of problems for him but he won’t abuse Le Chaunce the way he did J-Kidd in their matchup last playoffs. And Billups is too big for Paul on the offensive end. He should be able to get what he needs. Mostly, the Hornets are just way too thin. Denver in 5.

BROKEASS: Sure, Mr. Big Shot is nice, but what about Big Game James Posey? I think this series goes to 7 because, while neither team floors me, I like the clutchness of both. CP3 will be singularly good enough to stretch it, but not win it. Carmelo at the buzzer, Denver in 7.

DUBBS: Wow, you’re calling it down to the buzzer!? Neck tattoo to Neck tattoo. I like it. I don’t see it, but I like it. Also, Big Game James has to be the least-maintained nickname since Mr. Big Shot. Carmelo Anthony will roll right over him.

BROKEASS: Fine, forget about the dagger-thrower James Posey. Get ready for the epic resurgence of Tyson Chandler!

DUBBS: They sent Chandler to the OKC Thunder and the Thunder sent him back! They have like three guys on that team. Nothing but roster spots. And they returned his ass! One last reason Denver will win: The Birdman is gonna fly!

(3) SAN ANTONIO SPURS VS. (6) DALLAS MAVERICKS

Who will survive the standing-8 count.

Who will survive the standing-8 count?

BROKEASS: This is one of those series where home-court doesn’t matter. And not just because the teams play down the road from each other. No two teams understand each other better than the Spurs and Mavs and I expect every game to be tightly contested. This battle won’t be as epic as previous ones, but it stands to be one of the better match-ups in a pretty weak crop of first-round pairings. In the end, I am picking San Antonio, because they just don’t know how to lose this early. Plus, my knees creak when I think about what Tony Parker is going to do to J-Kidd. Spurs in 7.

DUBBS: The Mavs are playing well. Dirk is Dirk. Jason Terry is instant offense off the bench. Yes, TP will undoubtedly torch Jason Kidd. But Carlisle has done a good job with Kidd this season. He’s hidden him well enough on D and worked him less on O, so he’s actually shooting the best he has in forever. And Jason Kidd is a lot of things but choke artist isn’t one of them. Ginobli is out. The Spurs ain’t winning without their Big Three. The Mavs have too much firepower. Mavs in 7.

BROKEASS: Dirk is Dirk, yes, for better and worse. Meanwhile, Timmy D is always Timmy D and that equals money in the bank. Rick Carlisle may be able to hide Kidd’s weaknesses, but not his own. Pop will straight-up father him. If these games stay close, and you know they will, are you betting the farm (ranch?) on the provens or the dis-provens? If Dallas was a youthful, athletic team I might pick them against the step-slower Spurs. But Dallas equals San Antonio in decrepitude. They expended too much fuel fighting for that 6 spot, and a half-tank of gas won’t get them out of San Antonio.

DUBBS: First of all, Dallas has beaten San Antonio before. Second, Timmy D ain’t always Timmy D. He’s aging. And without Manu there to extend and break down the defense, Dallas can key in on Duncan a lot more. Are Parker and Duncan gonna run pick-and-rolls every single play? The Spurs have two guys. That’s it. Are you really going to take Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich’s pre-season beard against Dirk, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, Josh Howard and a serviceable bench? And while I would never argue that Rick Carlisle is as good a coach as Popovich, he’s certainly a better coach than Avery Johnson. Everyone keeps saying you’ve gotta pick the Spurs until they lose. Well the Spurs have lost. Their supporting cast, like Manu’s hair, gets thinner every year. (The NBA: Where Zing! Happens.) Until they inject some young blood into that squad to support their Big Three, it’s over.

BROKEASS: You have no idea what Matt Bonner is capable of.

(4) PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS VS. (5) HOUSTON ROCKETS

Fighting in party stores, fighting in the paint.

Big Tree Fall Hard.

DUBBS: I really like Portland. They’re a gutsy young squad, with one of my favorite players in the NBA (Brandon Roy), a guy I really want to see succeed (Greg Oden), and a good, tough coach. But… Houston is a really good defensive team. Ron Artest and Shane Battier are gonna eat these young boys’ lunches. The two-headed power forward beast of Luis Scola and Carl Landry will swallow LaMarcus Aldridge up. And while Yao has trouble against smaller, more agile big men like Amare, he’s gonna play really well against Oden and Joel Pryzbilla. Plus, Tracy McGrady’s out – another point in Houston’s favor. I want Portland to win. But I’m picking Houston. In 7.

BROKEASS: Yao will be the best big man on the court, but Portland has plenty of bodies to throw at him. Przybilla and Channing Frye are lacking individually, but combine to provide a nice complement of skills and fouls. I predict Greg Oden makes serious noise in these playoffs. Let’s not forget, everyone questioned him in college until the Tournament. Then no one questioned him. Some guys are just built for this shit. I think Yao might be the McGrady to Oden’s Tayshaun Prince. Brandon Roy will have difficult match-ups, but is another guy who seems built for the playoffs. He was born with a veteran’s swagger. This should be a solid series; each team holds a few advantages. Portland secured home-court advantage by winning one more home game than Houston, and that will be the same difference in this series. I want Portland to win too…And they will. Blazers in 7.

DUBBS: If Greg Oden were “just built for this shit,” he wouldn’t keep breaking down. Oden is like the reverse Benjamin Button. The matchup between him and Yao is the immobile object vs. the unmoving force. Who will shatter into a thousand pieces first? Seriously, those dudes might break each other. They’re gonna finish the series playing wheelchair ball. Also, nice 2003 Tayshaun vs. McGrady reference. Way to broaden our readership.

BROKEASS: I thought 2003 was relevant in this series, since it was the last time Houston had a point guard. Seriously, who is their PG? Aaron Brooks? Kyle Lowry? Steve Blake is going to own those punks…And that line has never been written ever! This Houston group has never made it out of the first round for good reason: They are always a piece or two short. This year is no different. Of course, if Ron-Ron shows up in rare form (either as a player or an asshole), all bets are off. But I can’t wager on a team with so many question marks.

DUBBS: If Aaron Brooks is given a place at the table, he will eat! It only makes sense that Houston would finally get out of the first round without McGrady. It’ll allow his spiral of depression to continue to run its course. And too much is being made of Portland as the only team in the West that can challenge the Lakers. They haven’t even been in the playoffs since they were the Jailblazers. Jumps like that don’t happen in the NBA. It’s more of a steady progression. And Houston is ready to take that next step.

That’s it for the First Round. Check back throughout the playoffs for more tomfoolery.

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Little Robbie decided to forego preschool and enter the NBA draft.

Little Robbie decided to leave preschool early and enter the NBA draft.

When Blake Griffin and Hasheem Thabeet declared their eligibility for the upcoming NBA Draft, it was sort of like Winter declaring it’s cold in February. No shit. Those two are the reasons a draft is even being held. When DeJuan Blair joined them I wasn’t surprised either. Clearly, he is a fully-developed man. He is a fully-developed two men. Shawn Taggart of Memphis is also eligible, though, what is he, like a tenth-year sophomore? He’s that dude yelling “You can’t fire me ’cause I quit!” as security tosses him from the building. You know who else is eligible for the Draft? Everyone else who doesn’t go to college anymore.

The obvious candidates have thrown their hats in the ring. Here is where things get interesting. Every year a handful of talented but unseasoned freshmen “stick with the plan” and forego remaining eligibility to enter the draft once their minimum requirement is fulfilled. These youngsters have a success ratio comparable to drunk people trying to jump over things. For every Carmelo Anthony there are a dozen Javaris Crittentons. Reading that name resulted in one of two responses: Either, “Who is Javaris Crittenton?” or, “Oh yeaaaaaah, Javaris Crittenton!” No one, and I mean no one, finished that sentence and said, “Not Javaris!”

That dude is so well-traveled I am struggling to choose between nicknaming him “The Stewardess” or “Chauncey Billups”. You make the call. Oh, right, you don’t know who he is.

Several examples have already identified themselves this year. PG Jrue Holiday is leaving UCLA after one year despite a season playing marginal basketball in a marginal conference. Tyreke Evans is bolting Memphis even though his lack of a jumper and poor shot selection will probably annoy Larry Brown or some such coach into an unnecessary aneurysm. Do you see what I’m saying? It’s not healthy to send these kids to the Majors!

Those are the small-fries, let’s not forget the Biggie size. 7-foot BJ Mullins of Ohio State can look forward to several years of consistent embarrassment when he enters the League this Spring. Though I’m sure he is used to that after failing to win the starting center position on a team that didn’t have a center. That’s exactly what the NBA is looking for: Guys who aren’t good enough to fill gaping holes!

I want to spend my own money to send DeJuan Wagner and Stromile Swift to all these kids’ houses for wake-up calls.

Georgetown’s Greg Monroe is the first sensible star to announce he is returning for his sophomore season. Good for him, he wasn’t that great this year. In a year or two he will probably be phenomenal. And I’m sure Tyler Hansborough is petitioning to use some of these departing players’ eligibilities like they are rollover minutes. Nice try, Ty-Ty. Now get the fuck out of college basketball!

We learned several years ago that drafting on potential doesn’t work. Carmelo Anthony had tremendous upside, but he was also just tremendous. The NBA is for players ready to take the next step, but for too many of them that next step is backwards. No one has time to teach these kids the basics, certainly not while also paying them millions of guaranteed dollars.

Good today is better than perfect tomorrow. There is no future in professional sports; only now. When you make your opening statement unprepared you just make a bad and lasting first impression. Stay in college, kids. Get an education. Even if it is only in basketball.

BJ Mullins doing what he does best: Look confused

BJ Mullins doing the thing he does best: Look confused

Posted by BA Brokeass.

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