Thursday, February 23, 2012

Finding a Home For Pau Gasol

With the Pau Gasol trade rumors swirling, the drama in Los Angeles is palpable. The Lakers aren't exactly sure what they want to do, but a Gasol trade could completely retool their team both now and for the future. As John Hollinger notes in Wednesday's PER Diem, their roster so far this season has basically consisted of three stars (Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, and Gasol), one average player (Matt Barnes), and a bunch of scrubs (Derek Fisher, Metta World Peace, et al). That's what happens when you trade away Lamar Odom in what equates to a salary dump: you end up as a middle of the pack Western Conference contender with few trade assets.
Where could Pau end up?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Austin Rivers Still Haunts My Nightmares

Okay, I don't actually have nightmares, but I am still bitter about North Carolina's loss to Duke last week. I've probably seen Austin Rivers' shot somewhere between 50 and a gazillion times. On Wednesday, the Miami fans heckled Tyler Zeller with an "Aus-tin Riv-ers" chant when he shot free throws. And it worked, as he went just 1-4. Fans are so clever.

Today, I finally brought myself to read Shane Ryan's first hand recap, and it brought all the emotions back. First, the annoyance that the Blue Devils kept hitting those first half 3's, prompting the Duke fan I was watching with to cheer with exuberance. The 3 point line has been the Tar Heels' weakness all year, which is unfortunate since, you know, that's what Duke's offense revolves around. The beloved Black Falcon, Harrison Barnes, was struggling chasing around Rivers on the perimeter because of a hobbled ankle. (That ankle played a part in Barnes going 0-4 in the first half as he struggled to finish through contact and a couple jumpers rattled out.) Thus, Rivers was going off, and his face seemed even more punchable.
I hope it hurt under that pile.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Jerry West and the Art of "Tanking"

Jerry West, a recently added head consultant for the Golden State Warriors, wants the team to stop winning. At least that's what he told my source in direct contact with him. Admittedly, West said that over the phone the morning after the Warriors' thrilling 119-116 home loss to the Thunder last Tuesday, and Golden State has been playing much better of late. However, I spoke with the source today, and it was re-established that West loves Kentucky big man Anthony Davis, the odds on favorite for the #1 pick.

It's yet to be determined how The Logo will make his impact.
Now, this isn't exactly groundbreaking news because, as my source reiterated, Jerry isn't in power. As Tim Kawakami and Sam Amick have noted in recent columns, West hasn't had a huge role in decision making so far. He was an influential voice in selecting Klay Thompson in the draft (which I wasn't the biggest fan of at the time, but he's growing on me), but that's about it...or else Jeremy Lin might still be in his native Bay Area. My source wouldn't elaborate as to whether West would push for any trades at the deadline to start "tanking," but for fun, there are some things I'd like to throw out there.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Checking In With The NBA Draft Prospects

Last week, ESPN's Chad Ford debuted this year's Lottery Machine, and it is an excellent way to waste time that would otherwise be productive. As you can see there, Kentucky freshman sensation Anthony Davis pretty much has a stranglehold on the #1 spot, and here's how I would rank the rest of the lottery prospects after him:

(Here is what I said about them in the beginning of the year.)
It's a bird, it's a plain, it's...the Unibrow!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Big Week For Marvel

This space is normally reserved for sports posts, but this week was just so full of movie trailer goodness that I had to talk about them on here, Grantland style. In particular, the good people at Marvel released some awesome trailers for their upcoming superhero blockbusters. It started with a new trailer for The Avengers last week that was extended for a spot during the Super Bowl:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Patriots! Giants! Its Super Bowl XLVI on NBC!

If you can't tell, I'm pretty pumped about this Super Bowl. Even though I have the unenviable task of dealing with a midterm the day after the big game...and that Wednesday...and Thursday. How that's legal, I don't know. Anyway, that may delay the basketball posts I have cooking, but right now it's all about Super Bowl Sunday!

The pick: to save you some time, I'll say straightaway that I'm sticking with my guns from the preseason and taking New England -3.You may notice where I picked the Giants to finish; I thought their myriad of injuries would be too much to overcome. Obviously, I was wrong, and they were able to sneak into the playoffs in the last week and got hot at the right time. They're actually very reminiscent of last year's Packers.
So why exactly am I picking the Patriots? Let me explain.
Hold on, let me explain.