Saturday, April 30, 2011

Heat vs. Celtics Preview: LeBron's Revenge?

This is what we've all been waiting for, and by "we" I mean everyone who pays attention to LeBron James, all of the haters and those of us who hate him a little bit less. When Bron made his decision last summer, you know he had the Celtics in mind. If they could get a big 3 together and torture him in the postseason, why the hell not form his own super team on South Beach? He was coming off an ugly playoff loss to Boston in which he would be accused of everything from choking under the pressure to actually intentionally tanking a game. Everyone from his former owner (who basically made the allegation that he threw games 5 and 6 despite a triple double in the latter) to Bill Simmons (who has hinted that a certain player named Delonte having relations with his mother may have been the reason for his end of series change in attitude, and who just so happens to play for the Celtics now) have analyzed the last 3 games of last year's Cavs-Celtics series like it was the zapruder film. LeBron has to come out and average close to a triple double, 30 points and some how manage some end of game shots to get the Boston monkey off his back. If he can do that, with the help of his new buddies, he can at least say the most unpopular decision in sports history would be somewhat worth it. Hate all you want on him, but he got past the Celtics finally.

That's easier said than done. The Celtics played like garbage for about 40% of the Knicks series but still managed the first sweep of the Big 3 era. The Heat are kind of a magnified version of the Knicks (by about 1000 percent, but still) as they throw 3 good to great players out there alongside a motley crew of nobodies, except their big trio is actually healthy. They'll also have trouble keeping up with Rondo and have no real intimidators on the interior, even if their defense is still near the top of the league. Boston seemed to progressively get better in the last series (minus about a 8 minute period in the second half of the close out game) and the ridiculous stretched out schedule for this series (David Stern needs the Heat on Sunday) should benefit the Celtic senior citizens. Ex Miami center Shaq might even make some appearances before he breaks his hip.Home court is usually a big deal, but this veteran Boston team can win on the road so that shouldn't be a huge issue. Whatever happens, it should be intense and all of us haters will be watching. I hate all things Boston and especially these Celtics so it'll be tough for me, but I think I hate this Heat team even more.

Celtics win a game 7 in Miami.

NBA Playoffs 2nd Round Preview; The Other Guys

I'd say that had to be one of the best first round of NBA Playoffs without a game 7 in history. Even if none of the series went 7, there was a limited number of blowouts (only one sweep), and a level of intensity throughout, as well as one huge upset (at least to everyone outside of Bottle). Will round 2 be as entertaining? Probably not, since two of the 4 matchups seem to be awfully uneven, but I've been wrong most of the time already, so who knows? Let's look at the two boring matchups first and get that out of the way before focusing on the two marquee series in both conferences. Lakers vs Mavs and Heat vs Celtics should have most of the juice and get the attention of the major networks, what about the other guys?:

Bulls vs Hawks:

Figures to be the snoozer of the bunch. The Bulls were pushed to the brink by the overachieving Pacers but, D. Rose's health's willing, this series could be over quick. Kirk Hinrich has basically been useless since his acquisition, but at least he was another body to throw out there, and a decent defender; his injury means more time for second year player Jeff Teague and maybe even Jamal Crawford out of position at the point. Boozer and Noah are always ticking time bombs of ankle, foot and other extremities getting hurt at any time so there's that situation to worry about too. I just think the Bulls are a much better team, and can't see them losing more than twice to the Hawks no matter how well they've been playing lately. Hawks may sneak one in the United Center but that's all they'll get on the road.

Bulls in 6

Thunder vs Grizzlies

2 years ago, before the 2009-2010 season began, if someone had brought up these two teams as Western Conference juggernauts, you probably would have spit in their food and cursed them out (or at least disagreed politely). The Thunder had their unbelievable break out season last year, giving the Lakers all they could handle in the first round, so it's easy to forget that they were a 23 win team just 24 months ago. And the Grizzlies are the Grizzlies. A team that even Canada didn't want, could not get a playoff win and was seemingly run by a retarded owner. Retarded like a fox, that is! The Pau Gasol trade has unexpectedly led to a pleasant surprise in his slimmed down brother, and the money freed up by moving their one time franchise player was used wisely on Zach Randolph, who's transformed himself from sloppy, unathletic malcontent who hogged the ball yet was a 20,10 machine and was seen as a loser and team cancer to sloppy, unathletic lovable teddy bear who is virtually unstoppable in the post and still a 20, 10 machine. Everything Z-bo throws up around the rim seems to go in, it's unbelievable. It's ironic that the coach who immediately after the Gasol trade was made suggested an investigation into how such a lopsided trade could happen, just saw his own team be dominated by that very team. Poppovich is well aware of the merits of that trade now, I'm sure. However, I'm afraid the young, athletic and hungry Grizzlies have run into a much better, just as young, athletic and hungry team. They've also got the best scorer in the game, Kevin Durant, who proved his clutchness in the Denver series. Memphis shocked me last round, but I think their magical run has come to an end.

Thunder in 5

Friday, April 29, 2011

Why I Hate The NBA Playoffs: These Two Guys

Ok, anyone who's read PTU over the past couple of weeks can tell I actually love the NBA playoffs, but there are a couple things I hate about the coverage: Franklin and Bash. Yes, if you've watched 10 minutes of a first round game televised on TNT, then you've been witness to these two pricks running around acting a fool every time-out and even during free throws (I have to chuckle every time I hear Kevin Harlan say "This much fun should be illegal"). This happens during every playoffs in every sport. I still have Vietnam flashbacks to the atrocity that was Frank TV burned into my brain from the relentless promotion on TBS during the Yankees 09 playoff run.

The basic premise of this comedy abortion seems to be two hotshot young attorneys, played by noted juice-head Zack Morris and that Jewish guy from Road Trip, who bang chicks in hot tubs and do tv frat-guy stuff like order pizzas and drink light beer all the while kicking serious courtroom ass! Gosselar seems to have his shirt off a lot too. Now, I've had some experience in law firms and no one, I mean NO ONE, is having that much fun every day. Of course, this isn't the first time law offices have been spruced up for entertainment purposes (no one would watch a show about people researching Westlaw for an hour) but these two assholes living it up in between the Thunder Nuggets game every 10 minutes really makes me wish the NBA would consider soccer rules; no commercial breaks until the intermission to spare me from Mark Paul and the other douche high fiveing and generally having more fun than I am on my couch in my boxers. And what's up with that title? At least we can be confident that this show will last about as long as the Knicks-Celtics series, and then we can all go back to waiting for the Hillside Honda girl to come back on during time-outs.

The Royal Wedding - Who Gives A Sh*t

Part of beating the Brits in the Revolutionary War and bailing them out in World War II, means that I shouldn’t have the royal wedding shoved in my face. “What is the Queen going to wear? What is the prince going to say? Where is Kate staying before the wedding? Let’s get a play by play of them shaking hands and greeting people. Oh my, look at all of the hats!”

A balding, horse looking, figurehead is marrying his kind of cute high school sweetheart. I don’t give a sh*t. Part of being American means I shouldn’t have to give a shit or watch it or hear about it. Why can’t I just wake up and go about my morning routine of coffee and news? Why do I need a play by play of hand shaking, what Posh Spice is wearing, or what is the prince and princess’ carriage ride to the palace look like?

Prince Harry, please continue walking around with your ginger hair and your sneaky grin. Please continue to pull as much tang possible, getting twasted at every opportunity, and living up to your “Dirty Harry” reputation. The longer you keep this going, the longer you spare me and all other American men the torture of retarded women and media outlets glorifying bullsh*t we could care less about.

Grading the First 32 picks in the NFL draft (Simple version)

TeamPlayer NamePosGradeComment
1Carolina PanthersCam NewtonQBCBust
2Denver BroncosVon MillerLBAPro Bowler
3Buffalo BillsMarcell DareusDTBLong Career all depends on how hard he wants to work
4Cincinnati BengalsA.J. GreenWRAPro Bowler most likely will not finish career with Bengals
5Arizona CardinalsPatrick PetersonCBA+Hall of Fame talent, but this the NFL a lot can happen
6Atlanta FalconsJulio JonesWRB-They gave up a lot to get him and this player won’t get them over the top.
7San Francisco 49ersAldon SmithDECBust
8Tennessee TitansJake LockerQBC-They need a QB but its a reach at 8
9Dallas CowboysTyron SmithOTA+Pro Bowler He will be eating D linemen in this draft for years.
10Jacksonville JaguarsBlaine GabbertQBBGood guy to groom, will be in ready in a few years . Long Career
11Houston TexansJ.J. WattDECBust might last a while since he has Mario Williams to take on some double teams
12Minnesota VikingsChristian PonderQBF-Will not pan out in their system. Will find success with another team.
13Detroit LionsNick FairleyDTA+Pro Bowler, Brett Favre is even happier to be retired now.
14St. Louis RamsRobert QuinnDEDBust
15Miami DolphinsMike PounceyOLBLong Career
16Washington RedskinsRyan KerriganDECBust
17New England PatriotsNate SolderOLA+Doesn’t Matter what I say Coach Belichick will make this work
18San Diego ChargersCorey LiugetDTB+Borderline Pro Bowler Long career
19New York GiantsPrince AmukamaraCBB-If he can adjust to the NFL long career with some pro bowls
20Tampa Bay BuccaneersAdrian ClaybornDLFBust has limit motion in his right arm, most D linemen have a tough time with two arms in the NFL.
21Cleveland BrownsPhil TaylorDLB-Long Career
22Indianapolis ColtsAnthony CastonzoOLAMore time for Manning to throw.
23Philadelphia EaglesDanny WatkinsOLC+Eagles tend to get value out of the OL they draft every year.
24New Orleans SaintsCameron JordanDEBLong Career
25Seattle SeahawksJames CarpenterOLD-This is the borderline what were they thinking play of the year.
26Kansas City ChiefsJonathan BaldwinWRC-Not a Need for them will get lost in the Kansas City shuffle
27Baltimore RavensJimmy SmithCBB+Ravens will make this pick with their system and they need to start getting young on Defense.
28New Orleans SaintsMark IngramRBA+They need running help and they got it.
29Chicago BearsGabe CarimiOLAAnother OL men will be feasting on the D line men drafted this year.
30New York JetsMuhammad WilkersonDTB+They need this, its a weakness for them, they upgraded.
31Pittsburgh SteelersCam HeywardDTBLong Career
32Green Bay PackersDerek SherrodOLAProtect the Franchise, they will with this pick

My final note: 90% of the D linemen drafted will be a bust.