Had to give the soldier windmilling in Timbs a quick shout out.
Deron Williams: Get off America’s roster. I think I could honestly watch Kyrie Irving split double teams for hours on ends. Did you see dude come off a pick and roll, shimmy the shit out of Derek Favors with the mini-Shammgod crossover, miss the lay up, re-locate to the corner, and then just casually bang a three (1:09)? How about when he used a right-to-left sweeping cross to beat Damian Lillard middle, cradled the ball with his left hand, double clutched to protect the rock from outstretched arms as Favors rotated up to help, and finished high off the glass with contact (00:15)? The degree of difficulty? Doing that in one’s sleep at this level is Chris Paul-esque and nearly impossible.
USA scrimmages may not be the most ideal scenario to gauge your excitement about a top five point guard going into 2013-14′s season (even though its a setting in which everyone is working their tail off). Nonetheless, if healthy and Andrew Bynum is as mentally and physically prepared as he’s cordially acknowledged (what a douche), we’re potentially looking at Chris Paul year three, 22 points/11 assists per type numbers. On top of individual statistics, you’ve got a team that, given Wayne Ellington never signed a two year deal with Dallas, has the personnel to legitimately contend on all fronts. With regards to surface level foreseen issues, spacing will most likely prove problematic. Taking into consideration Kyrie’s skewed percentages from 23 feet in 2013 (31%) and Jarrett Jack’s 40% on 200 attempts, CJ Miles’s 38% on over 300 plus attempts is what’s left standing as a downtown “threat.” Alonzo Gee can’t hit the backside of a barn, Dion Waiters is slashing Dion Waiters, and Miles is guy who’s percentages could very well plummet to the low 30′s as usage rates and attempts inevitably depreciate. Cleveland’s roster is intriguing, but there are enough potholes to think they falter against the elite of the EC in a seven game series. Then again, who knows what life is like when Bynum and Varejao healthily work together in tandem. Factor in Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller, Earl Clark, Anthony Bennett, and as good of a four forward rotation from the bench this league has to offer? Indiana Conference Finals-esque rebounding percentages complemented by an efficient 30 plus points from Irving on any given night? WHAT ABOUT DION WAITERS? The Cavs are most certainly bordering the line of “for real.”
As far as storyline’s go, I’d say the “Year of Kyrie” is one that has gone surprisingly unheralded with regards to national spot light.
Tempers are flaring between myself, Bill Simmons and Doc Rivers (regardless of rebuild mode, moving to a “contender” just because you feel like it is as disingenuous of a decision as it gets), Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are to be officially replaced by Gerald Wallace, Kelly Olynyk and Kris Humphries on July 10th (yikes), I’m now a Brooklyn Nets fan (???), our erratic, temperamental 25 year old lead guard has been alienated as expendable and we’ve “flushed house” without financially “flushing house.” No one is satisfied besides a select few, the true philosophical nature of this messy collapse of an era won’t be explained in full until Danny Ainge publishes a bullshit memoir, I’m on the verge of bawling my eyes out amidst picturing a standing ovation for a childhood hero come his return to the Garden, and we’re all at a loss for words
But as much as we may feel compelled to stone Danny Ainge–along with his overrated high school prospect of a son, Crew, for the hell of it–on Ned Devine’s Masshole-ish doorstep and wished loyalty in professional sports was never an enigma, we can’t. Because Danny Ainge, whether one chooses to believe or not, made the most viable and possibly only move there was to make.
Based on history all too familiar to Boston’s front office regarding Kevin McHale and the principle of not passing on waning Celtics legend with considerable market value remaining, Paul Pierce had to go. We’ve known this, we’ve expected this. Do a majority of us Celtics faithful remember Jo Jo White ending his career with the Warriors and Dave Cowens with the Bucks? No, but they’re beloved Celtics legends who understand that at one point or another business assumes priority over loyalty. So if assets can be found for Pierce or KG, the trigger must be pulled. And while I was initially hot as a fucking soldering iron pressed to Miley Cyrus’ forehead over a deal soured by the $30 million owed to Gerald Wallace through 2016, I swallowed my inner Dan Aykroyd (i.e. “I’m a stupid, brashly emotional Celtics fan”), and rationally tried to make sense over the purported fiasco. My conclusion: What else were we suppose to do? Suck it up, contend as an at ABSOLUTE best second round Eastern Conference playoff team with what we got, no cap room to diversify our roster due in large part to back loading Paul Pierce’s deal and lending an unconscionable $35 million combined to middling role players (Bass, Lee, Terry) for the next two years? Middle fingers up…man. That would have proved most egregious of all. Not with a franchise changing draft class in sight. Despite the bleak nature of options, including losing upwards 55 big ones in order to reel in future game changing assets, something had to be done without putting a serious dampening on the state of this organization’s financial future.
Think of it this way: Who else in the NBA was willing to give up three first round draft picks (one of which is in the best draft class since 2003), a massive expiring contract, and a blossoming prospect with two years remaining on a rookie pay scale desperately in need of playing time to show out for a package deal consisting of two “old” farts and the poisonous $11 million remaining on Jason Terry’s contract? Only all-in contenders, meaning two, Brooklyn and the Clippers. LA never entertained us dumping Terry, Eric Bledsoe was immediately taken off the board, we would have neither seen another pick in 2014 nor a further in the future unprotected pick (even Donald Sterling remembers what happened last time they did such a thing) and there’s a $4M difference in Caron Butler and Kris Humphries’ expiring contract (not to mention five years in age). The only question that comes to mind, with me at least, is the argument of who would you rather have: a 30 year-old confidence-less swingman having flat out admitted to the media that he’s garbage with a maxed out ceiling and a horrendous contract plus picks (he most likely won’t be on Boston’s roster next season) OR a comparable in price, as good as they get defensive center with a ceiling for improvement that remains through the roof and a SINGLE pick?
Surely, the Gerald Wallace acquisition grinds our gears. In theory, because we reeled in an expensive non-contract year commodity, many may question why we just didn’t follow through with moving Pierce for a trade exception elsewhere to a team in need of an expiring contract, then signing and trading for Josh Smith; follow that by moving KG (if allowing, which I’m sure he would have been) in a separate deal to LA for Deandre Jordan, thus creating a young, formidable, volatile yet intriguing Jordan-Rondo-Green-Smoove core. Entertaining and undeniably promising upon first glance—I’ll buy all four of those jerseys. That, however is far from what we call “rebuilding.” That, my friends, is called getting your ass kicked by a high reward-higher risk defensive center warranting another hefty $11 plus million a season investment two years down the road because his market value has more or less already been determined, an AAU superstar calling the “max” with a not so enticing attitude problem (how one contributes to firing the epitome of a “player’s coach” named Mike Woodson beats me) in tandem with the anti-christ of lead guard personality, perennial issues with finagling room to beat the salary cap, and no championships. Believe me, I’m in love with the honeymoon stages of Deandre’s post game potential and I think Josh Smith gets a worse write up than he at times deserves. But we aren’t winning CHIPS with that bunch. Not now. Not never. Not in Tommy Heinsohn’s lifetime
Then consider the likelihood with which we’ll use the stretch provision aka The Eddy Curry rule via waiving Wallace (or better yet amnestying him all together because we still have our amnesty clause) to extend his contract over seven years and pay him $4.3 million over those seven. Yes, paying up for a guy no longer on your roster to continue hovering around the $58.5 million salary cap next season sucks. But it beats $10M in each of the next three. And sunshine slowly begins to creep from behind the clouds after having calculated our committed salary going into next offseason’s most advertised class of free agents…ever; depending on a number of to be determined team options, cap holds, qualifying offers (we are not signing Jordan Crawford in 2015), and inked in stretch provisions for Wallace, payroll falls below $50 million. Not to mention we have Kris Humphries’ massive expiring contract—an asset in position to up its stock considerably after coming off a revitalized post season run against Chicago that could surely enough be moved for another protected pick before February’s deadline —and a highly coveted two guard beloved by a number of NBA teams (MarShon is capable of seeing his stock inflate via tanking as well) who could also be moved for a first round pick on our side.
Who knows, maybe we do the right thing, by pass the stretch provision entirely, turn our focus to amnestying Wallace and pay dread boy without his $30 million salary counting towards either our team’s cap or luxury tax computations. That happens and this trade looks pretty damn optimistic.
BUT—my final “but” at that—if we don’t find ourselves with at least at a 15% chance of either winning 2014′s lottery and falling within the top five, are we satisfied? And better yet, is it worth trading Rajon Rondo in order to tank? The answer to the first is “no” because two years is the determinant to when we begin really indulging in the relevance of our unprotected pick in 2016 and right to swap picks with Brooklyn in 2017 and to the second “I literally have no idea.” Moving one’s franchise lead guard has indeed panned out elsewhere. Utah copped New Jersey’s number six pick in the 2011 draft (Enes Kanter), Derrick Favors and Devin Harris, finding themselves a definitive front court for the future. Sure, Deron Williams may have been a dickhead (still is), but he was a fully healthy dickhead with both ACL’s unscathed warranting unprotected picks. Rondo, as he currently stands, might not.
Interestingly enough, am I right in stating Rajon’s injury compromised stock is most certainly predicated on Derek Rose dispelling the Gilbert Arenas-Franchise Tag Syndrome? He does that and, boom, lottery picks R’Us (DO PEOPLE NOT REALIZE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR KNEES WHEN YOU PLAY A LOT OF OUTDOOR HOOPS AMIDST RECOVERY???). Ah, alas, therein lies the rub: Why even move one of the more invaluable championship pieces the NBA has to offer (the all-mighty, balsy dynamic point guard) if a guy relying on playing with comparable levels of reckless abandon proves not a step slower/less-shifty? You don’t. You tell Rondo (and I think this is undoubtedly plausible based on the new CBA), “look, dude, we can’t have you in and out of the lineup next year helping this team win ten more games than it actually should,” push his official return from injury into the summer of 2014, let insurance pay 80% of his contract for not playing a single game (the same dilemma LA faces with Kobe’s achilles), and hold Rondo as a franchise cornerstone. Remember it takes three of those to win an NBA championship these days—unless we’re speaking on The Pacers, of course. We could argue, however, that Donnie Walsh and Indiana have in fact adhered to the triad of all-star philosophy (West-George-Hibbert). By keeping Rondo, we’d have already nipped one of the pieces in the bud while maintaining hopes of winning out in 2014′s Lottery.
Then again, we’ve entered an unprecedented era of Celtics basketball where its now Rondo’s world…My stomach just dropped. Because what if this dude just goes off the leadership deep end, refuses to deal with nurturing prospects, and proves just utterly cancerous? Its a series of unanswerable questions at this point. What I can infer, however, is that with responsibility comes maturity…I’m sorry, Mr. Rogers egalitarian type bullshit doesn’t apply to Rajon. Can he just please be a good leader? All basketball talent considered, he’s as good of a piece to accompany a revamping through the draft as it gets. Rajon Rondo, eight first round picks, Jeff Green/a considerable amount of cap space in 2016? I beg you…
Indeed, June 27th marked a volatile, depressing period of Celtics fandom requiring of us to look ten steps ahead of where we currently now stand. Not to mention we are all still puking over the thought of Paul Pierce and KG in another uniform. Ultimately, there stood no better option to resume our path towards number 18 than throwing away everything most of us have ever known about Celtics basketball. Yet, when assessing the current conundrum with potential to unfold as a decade long shit storm (much like it did through the 90′s into the millennium…fuck you, Kedrick Brown) I’m somewhat fired up: this city once again has the opportunity to groom a beloved superstar from the minute he shakes Adam Silver’s hand as soon as next June. And anything capable of evoking memory of a 19 year old kid from Inglewood walking across the stage at Canada’s own General Motors Place (Rogers Arena) rocking a Celts snapback is cool by me.
I’d say Danny Green’s tea bagging of Greg Paulus justifiably characterizes the confidence of San Antonio’s role players. Is that not the most unbelievable photo you’ve ever seen? Spacevinyl needs to make us some T-Shirts! ANTEEEE UP! #HitEm
Quick Pitch: The Insanity That Is Lebron’s Finals Statistics
•LeBron James was 7-for-21 shooting with 15 points in Game 3, and 7-for-17 shooting with 17 points in Game 2. Michael Jordan never scored fewer than 22 points in an NBA Finals game. In the worst Finals game of Jordan’s life, his 22-point effort in Game 4 of the 1997 Finals against Utah, he at least shot 11-for-27 from the field. That’s still a higher shooting percentage than James had on Tuesday against San Antonio. Below are Jordan’s statistics compared to that of Lebron in NBA Finals games where a series is tied (According to Sheridan Hoops). I honestly wish the MJ comparisons weren’t slipping away, but they undeniably are.
3 FG %
• Game 3 marked the first time James failed to reach the free throw line for the first time since December 2009. According to Basketball-Reference.com, James had been held without a foul shot eight times before in his career — half of them during his rookie season.
• When the inaccurate shooting is combined with the missing free throws, James’ true shooting percentage during Game 3 (.357) was not only his worst of the season (previously .412 in a January loss at Portland) but also his worst since — yup, you guessed it — the 2011 Finals, when his eight-point Game 4 produced a .312 true shooting percentage
Quick(er) Hit: I Guess A Lot of People Hated The 10 Year Old Mariachi Singer Who Sang Game 3′s Anthem…
People? You mean, Sheeple? Buffoonery. Who in the world hastags #Wetback?
You Got What You Deserved Because You Didn’t Stick With What Works, Brother.
It is only until looking beyond headlines and articles of analysis infested with unforeseen statistics and troublesome allusions characterizing Lebron James’ “Crisis of Confidence” that we acknowledge Game 3′s truest narrative: Miami caught a peculiar case of amnesia on both ends of the floor. Um, hello? Remember the whole thing where Lebron caused absolute mayhem and laid chinks to San Antonio’s defensive armor in acting as the screener in pick/rolls? Seemingly impossible to guard, forcing guys into undesirable switches and awkward split second decisions, WIDE open teammates, finding ways of getting your superstar the rock in positions where he isn’t staring down a roaming seven footer (Kawhi Leonard, when considering his length) buried 15 feet into the paint from a standstill, points per possession going through the roof? YOU GUYS SCORED EVERY TIME! I’m sure Popovich peeped his advanced stat sheet, immediately looked to .36 points per possession on fourteen isolations (14.4% of Miami’s Game 3 offense, the highest mark of the series) and smirked. Playing into San Antonio’s game plan of winning the battle of half ass percentages, bro’s. Combine the lack of such action with a PECULIAR lack of ingenious block to block screening involving James for better post up position and BOOM life as jump shooter becomes that much more unforgiving. Love it.
The BEAUTIFUL “gif” above precisely embodies what Miami looked like defensively. Half assed hyper aggressive traps, a defensive identity obsolete of freneticism, looks of disbelief after blown rotations, utter befuddlement. Other than finding Duncan early in the low post, there were no exceptional adjustments made by Pop. All San Antonio essentially did was play an ‘ol fashioned, uninterrupted backyard game of catch along the perimeter, forced guys into discombobulated closeouts/rotations and man handled the battle of second chance opportunities because no one was in good enough position to properly box (DOES ANYONE ON MIAMI BOX OUT?? CHRIST!).
To think we’ll be seeing yet another laughably inept, goose egg of a defensive performance from Miami is stupid. They’ll ANTE UP their trademark freneticism and better defend the perimeter (not to mention the likelihood of Gary Neal knocking down a ridiculous number of well contested, one dribble pull up facials from deep won’t be as promising, which helps). But if Lebron can’t take/make some of his jumpshots, San Antonio isn’t forced to extend and close out, and Spoelstra feels inclined to enlist his Ray Allen/Mike Miller lineups to make James’ life easier offensively, you’d have to suspect Miami remains in trouble.
The Scoop: IS MY MIND’S PLAYING TRICKS ON ME?!
Writing off arguably the greatest season in NBA statistics history, four MVP’s or past all encompassing efforts decomposing the label of a once upon a time wide-eyed superstar lacking the mental fortitude to enter an upper echelon of NBA legend would prove preposterous (even though in retrospect his list of transcendent defining moment is not as extensive as we naturally presume). Lebron James is bar none the best player on the planet and most certainly built for the do or die stakes of Game 4 rivaling that of 2012′s Game 6 in The Garden. Yet, given such circumstance, small sample sizes are regrettably realer than The Wire‘s depiction of Baltimore City’s West Side, numbers are numbers and reality is reality: San Antonio has won all but seven minutes and fifty seven seconds of this series (Miami Hurricane Cleo we’ll call it), game planned for The King roughly the same way they did six years ago and how every NBA team does for Rondo, deterred his accustomed percentage of restricted area attempts by a full 13% and, disregarding back end statistics such as rebounds and assists, have made James look as pedestrian as Rudy Gay. In other words, we’ve seemingly returned to those miserable, loathsome Lone Star State Junes of 2007 and 2011.
Dwyane Wade, in inarticulate yet profound fashion, best explained the phenomenon that is Lebron’s struggles: “Their defensive scheme, it’s to go under a lot of the pick-and-rolls, to play off a lot…And when they do that, you have the shot most of the time. So it takes away some of your aggressiveness at times, because you have the shot that you can make in your sleep and you’re like, ‘I’m going to shoot it,’ and then it don’t go in. But you have to keep shooting it.”
Ah. alas, DAAWYANNEE, you poet, therein lies the rub: the discomfort of performing what appears oh-so naturally routine (16-23 foot jumpshots) with an unaccustomed, inordinate amount of room—the art of a mind fuck. In essence, Gregg Popovich has laid option to Lebron similar to that of an indulgent parent who gives their irresponsible, club-goer, cocaine addict of a son a Black Card despite his recent release from rehab (its a revolving door, not a solution); the choice is your’s, but ultimately you, son, must live with the consequences of that choice. Do I make the right basketball play, defer to my teammates and run the risk of being chastised as too passive? Do I try bulling through a roaming seven footer named Kawhi Leonard (again, that’s considering length) backed by a sturdy, second line of defense playing the principles of verticality to a “T” and run the consequence of acting foolishly aggressive? Do I take what the defense gives me, look to make jump shots and leave myself vulnerable to being critiqued as the James who shot just as miserably from outside the paint when I was an under-equipped, far from remarkably bald 22 year old in 2007′s NBA Finals?
And as a result of such pragmatism involving a sinkage of all five Spurs in the paint along with Kawhi’s length, strength, intangibles (anticipation/LARGE hands) and lateral quickness to both contest and belly up with James when attempting to rediscover the natural order of his effectiveness, Lebron has been forced into the unforgiving, susceptible to slump lifestyle of a jump shooter (that’s basketball, folks). James’ NBA Finals field goal percentages (in comparison to the regular season) from midrange and beyond the arc have depreciated by a full 20% and 15% (on more attempts), percentages in isolations are below 30% as the floor’s geometry has disallowed any consistent capacity to blow by and get the initial defender on his hip, and, thus, his hesitancy and deference are at an infuriating high (just ask Magic Johnson).
Let’s get this straight: Lebron James will not be the Lebron James of Games 1, 2 and 3. Place both the staring at the players in front of him like he’s entirely unaware of his ability to physically dominate and the passiveness on the back burner (although not all together because James should continue to make the right basketball play and kick when three to four guys collapse on his angles). There will be no rendition of Game 3′s two first quarter and six total first half shot attempts (and if there is Lebron’s life is OVER!). Of course, Spoelstra will throw in some of the here and there action mentioned above for Lebron. Nonetheless, Game 4′s outcome will ultimately be credited to James’ ability to decisively win the battle of taking and making jump shots and extend San Antonio’s defense. His indecisiveness coming off of pick and rolls should prove nonexistent, his aggression will be insane and he’ll raise up and jack without the slightest bit of hesitation when Thiago Splitter does this
Does Pop prove adament about Lebron making a full game’s worth of 15 to 23 foot jumpers before he adjusts? Beats me. But what I do know is I LOVE the volatility of a Lebron James jump shot. And so do the Spurs.
As you all might know, Tim Duncan posted 20 points on 42% shooting, 14 boards, 4 assists and 3 blocks in 37 minutes this past Thursday. Such numbers not only seamlessly coincide with the pantheon of Tim Duncan’s past per-36 averages in Finals Game 1s from 1999 to 2007 (24.1 points on 58 percent shooting, 14.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 3.4 blocks) but also with his CAREER per-36 minute averages (20.7 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.3 blocks, 50.7% FG). Do I marvel at yet another non-chalant, “boring,” inhumanly consistent performance from the Don Dada of Father Time (suck it, Jabar and Parish)? Yes, yes I does.
San Antonio’s has its back against the wall with what 100% of us should consider a nearly indomitable task of returning back to the AT&T Center up 2-0. This, folks, is as quantifiable of a high stakes game defining the success or failure of Lebron James as they get. And my sure shot guess is he’ll muster an all encompassing, transcendent effort that fails to disappoint. Then again, The Spurs have looked as refined as a bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild circa 1945. Miami’s hyper-aggressive trap schemes will at points indeed disarm San Antonio, force them into fatal hesitations, and effectively sabotage their glorious offense. But Tim Duncan, man. The Cruuucian Legend. My faith is in both his corner and in knowing Pop has guys with super basketball intellect, the ability to perform precisely under pressure, and employ counters for when defenses learn to anticipate the first trick.
So, without further ado, let’s look at Duncan’s Finals Game 2 numbers from 1999-2007 #HitEm
·June 18th, 1999: Duncan drops 25 points on 53% shooting, 15 boards, 3 assists and 4 blocks in 45 minutes against the New York Knicks. Spurs won. Ewing-less Knicks pour in 67. Latrell Sprewell rode on spinners to 26, 7, and 6 on 10 for 10 from the strike. How bad was that series? Christ Almighty #GetEm
·June 6th, 2003: 19 points on 42% shooting, 12 boards, 3 assists, 3 blocks in 43 minutes. Spurs drop one against the oh-so “woeful” New Jersey Nets. The narrative of that game changes if Duncan goes 3 of 10 from the strike…Jason Collins, The Duncan Stopper!
·June 10th, 2007: 23 points on 56% shooting, 9 boards, 8 assists in a meager 35 minutes. The Spurs beat the Cavs in somewhat emphatic fashion. Lebron put up 25, 7 and 6. Time to go to work.
Believe me, I’m just as depressed as someone watching the Elephant Man for the first time over this. Fucking sucks.
I hate to say it, but we just don’t have the defiance, charisma or character of a Celtics team that goes into post season contention underrated and pulls off the upset because of how tough we are. Instead of maybe experiencing a sustained flash of that character for a full 48 minutes, Game 2, in the blink of an eye, turned from what appeared to be a potential steal in New York through the first half to an official display of our actual basketball profile: we are lead by a warrior inside who has just turned 45 in wear and tear years and an all time great from the wing who at this point in his career can’t consistently rise to the occasion against one of the best swing men to ever grace these floors. Oh, how could I forget, we also don’t host a lead guard capable of demonstrating NBA lead guard decision making skills and a rotation off the bench who’s current average height is 6’3 and can’t fill it up on a consistent basis to save their life. LOVE Jeff Green, however. Dude’s in the cool. He’s proved himself to be a surefire build around Rondo piece for the future (IF Rondo’s back; deal him and Danny Ainge christens his own undoing).
Jeeesh, I guess its time to face the facts after having broken us down in that light: We ain’t winning. Yes, I’ll be in the stands for games 3 and 5, the two games which I think we’ll steal. Nevertheless, when it goes back to New York, there is no fucking way we steal two in MSG. The addition of Kenyon Martin officially gave them full blown toughness, the 6th Man Award claimed control over JR’s conscience and now he’s playing like a legit all-star, Carmelo is well…consistent to say the least, Raymond Felton is crushing our backcourt (FYI, when he plays well the Knicks don’t lose) and Tyson Chandler has yet to unleash his true impact on a game. So, uh, yea. Point blank, we can’t fuck with them.
*We got this out about 4 hours ago but our WordPress has been fucked up.
So HOV has been taking quite some heat about his and Beyonce’s Trip to Cuba from the Republican Party because spending American dollars in a communist country ultimately funds machinery of oppression, which apparently is wrong (on Jay’s behalf). Honestly, if bathrooms/water fountains were segregated in the 50′s and Slavery was abolished just under 200 years ago then I think its okay for an African American couple to drop a couple stacks here and there in any country they please. Nonetheless, the Tea Party and I aren’t on the same page and extreme rightists have found their first excuse needed to get back at Obama for hounding Romney about his ostentatious collection of thoroughbreds/bayonets and Impeach the young brotha: Jay-Z
As we all know, That N***a Jigga most certainly is not about the conventional, tamed, sucker shit type rebuttal. Thus, he released a diss track just a couple hours prior aimed towards America’s collective body of honkey conservatives. Hotter than “Ether”? Well, nothing goes harder than “Ether.” But when you have the audacity to spit “I might buy a Kilo for Chief Keef/Out of spite I just might flood these streets” then you’ve produced an unadulterated verbal onslaught for the ages. I can just picture Rush Limbaugh inadvertently/angrily spitting coffee in his production assistant’s face and immediately rushing to a cell phone to call Bill O’Reily: “Who does this BLACK think he is?” Classic.
I digress, however, because the ultimate goal of this site is to combine sports and entertainment. And Jay-Z somehow manages to do just that by using the track to send HEAVY shots at the Brooklyn Nets:
“Woulda brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free/Except I made millions off of you f—— dweebs/I still own the building, I’m still keeping my seats/Y’all buy that bulls—-, y’all better keep your receipts.”
Realest shit HOV has ever written? Well, considering Jay-Z’s .067 percent (1/15th of a percent) stake in the Nets is worth approximately $350,000, then yes, I’d say that shot takes precedent over any Jay line I’ve ever fucked with. Without .067 percent, Mikhail Prokhorov is just another European billionaire with another “who gives a fuck” investment gone sour under his belt. Without .067 percent, Deron Williams scoffs at Billy King’s decision to pick up Joe Johnson’s $80 million contract and sails off to Dallas. Without .067 percent, Kris Humphries is probably still starting at power forward and embarrassing the League. And I’ll even go as far as to even say that without $350,000, a fond nostalgia for professional sports at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic doesn’t exist because the Nets stay in New Jersey with a demented dancing Italian named Disco Stu. Props to Jigga for keeping it real. Salute.
As you might already know, two of the bigger names in college basketball declared for the NBA draft yesterday. And rightfully so. To go along with top five consideration, Oladipo is straight with credits and on pace to graduate in May. Benny M? Well, we all know that man doesn’t need a college degree to become a self-made millionaire. Being able to competently micromanage your own money is “cool.” But I guess there are hundreds of financial advisors out there he can entrust his career earnings with if the young Ray-Allen comparisons don’t pan out, right? But enough with the god damn cynicism, here’ a quick evaluation of what each prospect brings to the A and how they more or less compare/contrast by…Chris Kattan? #HitEm
Ben McLemore—NBA Comparison: Hay-day Ray Allen, Projected Pick: #2 to the Orlando Magic, Favorite Movie: Lean On Me Because the Principal “Crazy Joe” aka Morgan Freeman Was THAT Dude
The lasting impression of McLemore is a kid with elite, fluid athleticism, great size for an NBA two guard and a stroke with nearly flawless mechanics/range for days. Not to mention he’s explosive as all hell in transition and can finish at the rim with power. But as we all know, this class is as loaded with star-studded talent as 2002′s draft (so not really at all). With that in mind, I try to not get too excited by the young Ray Allen comparisons and thus have felt the need to meticulously breakdown his game to a T. And as a result, I’ve came across some legitimate holes in dude’s game that force me to assess him as a longstanding pro with borderline all-star potential as opposed to straight up bonafide All-Star. Then again, he was at one point considered a power forward during his high school career. So its not like he’s played the wing his entire life. Couple that with the fact that Mac is technically only a sophomore in college just now emerging as a definitive lottery prospect and we might all be eventually wowed out of our skulls. Nevertheless, I’m sticking with my assessment.
Throughout the regular season, particularly in the NCAA tournament, the trend with McLemore was as his jump shot goes, he goes. To begin with, his ball-handling skills are no where near superb. He’s weak with the left and if you crowd him he’s prone to being moved East/West (side-to-side as opposed to down “field” for the noobs). Thus, when unable to find his stroke from deep, he struggled in using the bounce to get to his midrange and take over in the half-court. Combine that with his noticeable lack of motor when things aren’t flowing like they should and you’ve got the ‘Ol infuriating Jeff Green early season on floor disappearing act (not that he’s anywhere close to being in the vicinity of a Jeffrey comparison but hopefully you get my drift. If not, then fuck you). Sure, such an observation may in fact be a product of his playing within a system and feeling the need to defer to veteran Elijah Johnson instead of attacking closeouts and taking over himself. Nonetheless, that’s what I saw and that’s what’s on scouts minds.
Believe me, I’m as high on McLemore as anyone. And while I wished he showed both a better feel for the post and for the glass, the bottom line is the current skill set combined with his ceiling for improvement makes him every bit worthy of #2 overall pick considerations over Marcus Smart. If you need offense, go with Benny.
Victor Oladipo—NBA Comparison: Avery Bradley, But a Better Ballhandler, Projected Pick: #5 to the Detroit Pistons, Favorite Dish: Korean BBQ Because That Shit is Both Delicious and SPICY!
So friggin high on this kid. He’s that somewhat undersized, CRAZY athletic swingman who dabbles in a little bit of everything; makes unbelievable reads without the ball, plays the baseline to perfection, is as good as anyone in transition, fights for garbage buckets. Dude’s motor never falls below 100 mph (not in the out of control, “what in the fuck are you doing” type of way) and he sacrifices his body like he’s under-recruited and still gunning for a scholarship offer out of Dematha Catholic. Ultimately, its his motor that makes him an elite rebounder from the guard spot, a hound in the passing lane that preys on deflections, and an impact guy when his offense can’t get going. LOVE him.
While Benny M might reign supreme with the stroke, Victor undoubtedly has a leg up in the ball-handling department; Many a time have I seen him get beat to the spot, immediately change directions with a fluid cross and find extra space needed for that next bounce to get to the rim. Scouts have indeed been hounding him about his being prone to straight line drives, which in turn get him caught up with turnovers via charges. But I’d rather have a kid who’s overly aggressive and wants to plow through you as opposed to the Austin Rivers type who looks to shimmy and go weave around (that really worked out for New Orleans). Oh, and how could I forget: he’s without a doubt the BEST on ball defender this class has to offer.
What truly separates both prospects is Victor is just a tad bit under 6’5 and is no where near the NBA three point shooter that McLemore will prove to be. He was MUCH improved this year from beyond the arc (33%). But his needing time to adjust to the A’s arc and extend his range is what, in my opinion, truly separates the value between the two at this point. All in all, I see an undersized two guard with good enough mechanics to extend his game to beyond the arc that can wreak havoc on the defensive end for 97 feet, score off the dribble/off the ball and BOUNCE with the best of them. Not to mention he’ll be in Slam Dunk Contest within the next three years. Consider that a guarantee. I’m sure Lawrence Frank is salivating because that description and his highlight tapes (above) just SCREAM an Avery Bradley with better ball handling skills in the making. He’ll be a great compliment to Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe.
Channel 6–Miami Heat player Chris Bosh and his wife returned home from his lavish 29th birthday party to find they had been robbed of $340,000 worth of watches, rings and purses, Miami Beach Police said Thursday. Police said they got the call about the burglary at 12:30 a.m. Bosh and his wife had left their two children at home with two housekeepers as they celebrated his birthday at Briza on the Bay on Bayshore Drive in Miami. The Moroccan themed party included belly dancers and fire breathers. And a camel named Henri greeted guests. The festivities started at 9 p.m. When the Boshes got home they realized their closet had been ransacked, police said. No one who was home heard anything, and apparently the thieves handpicked the items they were stealing, police said. Bosh’s 2012 NBA Championship ring was left untouched, but they took what they wanted from jewelry box, police said.
Hey, at least this highway robbery is far from the Shaun Rogers Fountain Blue hotel room incident. But let me ask you something right quick: Can a brotha just enjoy his 29th birthday with his once soiled by Lil Wayne wife all while being entertained by Moroccan belly dancers, fire breathers and a camel named Henri? No. Can he keep camel Henri? For a hefty price, of course. Simply amazes me that a.) a dude of his basketball pedigree cannot for just one day escape some shape or form of humiliation and b.) he legitimately hired a camel named Henri to welcome guests with open hooves. Where in the fuck did you rent Henri? If he and Bubba Watson’s Hovercraft aren’t mine mine by my 23rd birthday I’ll throw a diva shit fit.
66.8%: That was the probability of Miami and the greatest player of my generation (maybe ever) extending their streak to 28 games according to Accuscore when run across 10,000 different simulations. And to many, without Joakim Noah, Richard Hamilton, Marco Bellineli and, of course, Derrick in the lineup, the remaining 33.2% awarded to the Bulls appeared generous. But instead of succumbing to The King’s reign of 25.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.2 assists and god-like 31.5 player efficiency rating over the last 10 games, Chicago responded with a toughness, resiliency and defiance characteristic of the undermanned Americans at The Battle of New Orleans. The result: The best win the franchise has seen in maybe the last ten years and an indelible mark on the legacy of “underdog.”
Forever will I remember Jimmy Butler hammering a one handed lob over the Ostrich and giving him the Gas Face. Forever will I remember Kirk Heinrich making aspiring white boy Midwest point guards proud by yanking the ball clean out of Bosh’s hands. Forever will Luol Deng’s looking like 20 times the max contract guy that Josh Smith thinks he is, and Nate Robinson’s last minute right handed scoop finish followed by a vivacious chant of The Village People’s “YMCA” from Chicagoans remain with me. And last but not least: Forever will I remember Lebron purposely laying his shoulder into Carlos Boozer as a response to Taj Gibson’s hack that surprisingly made me question if James could mentally hang with late 80′s Bad Boy Pistons NBA basketball (I’m kidding…).
Am I over exaggerating this victory and sucking Miami’s teet? Well, if you consider that (1.) this might be the most important regular season game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 39 points ended the 1972 Lakers 33 game win streak, (2.) it came at the expense of another Lebron James awestruck performance and (3.) had the “they aren’t really going to lose this one, are they?” feel reminisient of New York’s spoiling of New England’s quest for 19-0, I’d say I’m doing the victory justice and Bill Simmons proud. Say high to Buster Douglas, Rulon Gardner, and Rollie Massimino for me, Chicago. Thank you for the Memories.
P.S. I thought of the New England/New York 19-0 reference far before Bill Simmons said it on post game. So don’t you go ahead and assume no funny stuff…
Literally the wisest Youtube subscription/follow/”like” you could ever possibly make. The Roy Hibbert voice over will have you ROLLING: “Damn, these hoes is loud. I’m fucking something tonight!” Nothing, however, beats Vol. 5 where they voice over Paul Pierce at a charity event in LA post winning banner #17 all while mobbing to “Riot” by 2Chainz. Hysterical.
“I feel like shit…I’ve been drinking some rum…” (34 second mark)