Preview Sort Of Thing: Portland Trail Blazers
October 20th, 2008

I write this post while speaking from inside a pair of Portland Trail Blazers shorts. It’s not the smartest choice of garb right now, given that it’s essentially snowing outside. But I’m wearing them anyway, because I’m a maverick, who doesn’t play by the rules, a Mad Max gone maniacal, a man whose killing expertise and suicidal recklessness make him a Lethal Weapon to anyone he works against. Or with. I own these shorts for two reasons: 1. As a cutting edge fashionista, I firmly believe in the simplified yet magnetic beauty of novelty oversized black shorts. 2. When I bought them back 2002, I counted myself as a Portland fan. Over time, this feeling has dissipated. As my NBA fandom has gone from “hardcore” to “oh Jesus just shut up already”, my allegiance to the Bulls became firmer than a Kevin Lyde backscreen, before slowing dying away into more of a general NBA kinship. Through that timeline, any Blazers allegiance was left by the wayside. However, I never retracted the right to be able to crank that support right back up when I wanted to. The time for that is now. (Note: I’m not claiming to be a Portland fan, even if I do invoke The Shorts Clause as a defence of any such claim. Instead, I am an NBA fan. And right now, all NBA fans are Portland fans. Or at least, they should be.) Everything is coming up Milhouse in Portland. The team has the best collection of young talent in the league, and easily the best that I’ve ever seen. Not even the 2002/03 Denver Nuggets can rival these bad boys. Every position is three deep, with the only hole in their rotation being at starting small forward, and even there it’s all relative, as the […]

Posted by at 8:02 PM

Joey Dorsey loses a game that he wasn’t in
July 23rd, 2008

Down one in the closing stages of a summer league game, new Washington Wizards guard Dee Brown fouls Uruguay’s finest, the insatiable Gustavo Barrera, sending him to the line. Barrera hits both foul shots, putting Houston up by three. Rockets forward Joey Dorsey – watching the game from the sidelines due to an ankle injury – briefly breaks away from his spontaneous “Who Can Wear The Worst Stripey Polo Shirt” competition with Rafer Alston, and decides to say something. The ref decides to T him up, demonstrating the elaborate technical foul calling technique that NBA scouts want to see from potential refs. Dorsey sulks. Nick Young hits the technical free throw, and the Wizards have the ball, down two. Andray Blatche, who has battled bravely against the desire to pass for a number of years now, throws up a bad three-pointer. It misses, but Brown tips it back in, and the game goes to overtime. The Wizards go on to win, and the Rockets don’t. Joey Dorsey therefore loses not only a game he wasn’t in, but also the polo shirt competition, as he has no answer for Rafer’s daring usage of deep red and sky blue on an otherwise predominantly white top. (Also notice – Vladimir Veremeenko. Hooray!) Here’s what I know about Joey Dorsey – he likes to talk. Admittedly I don’t know much about Joey Dorsey – when he made headlines for “announcing” that his college team mate Derrick Rose was not going to be drafted #1 by Chicago in a hilarious wind-up that everyone found hilarious, it took me two weeks to find out that Joey Dorsey was a player, and not an opportunist reporter. But still. I know he’s a bit of a mouth. Wikipedia agrees. During the 2007 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, […]

Posted by at 1:45 AM

30 teams in 36 or so days: Atlanta Hawks
September 12th, 2007

Atlanta Hawks   Players acquired via free agency or trade: None   Players acquired via draft: First round: Al Horford (3rd overall), Acie Law IV (11th overall)   Players retained: None   Players departed: Royal Ivey (unsigned), Slava Medvedenko (unsigned), Esteban Batista (unsigned)   Bobbins: The Hawks got lucky, I think they would admit that. The Joe Johnson trade of 2005 left the Hawks owing two first-round picks to Phoenix. One of these had already been conveyed, and was used to select Rajon Rondo last year, whom Phoenix then stupidly sold to Boston. The other pick was still outstanding headed into this summer, and was only top three protected, meaning that Atlanta had to win a top three spot in the lottery. They did this, despite only having the fourth-worst record and thus only the fourth-most chances of moving up (I say “only”, but that’s enough to make it a statistical improbability). For that, they should be thankful – had they not done so, they would have had a mediocre roster, with only an MLE and the #11 pick to work with to improve it. And that would not have been fun. Ironically, the three teams with worse records than Atlanta – Milwaukee, Boston, Memphis – all failed to move up, thus proving the worthlessness of statistical probability in the face of blind luck. (Incidentally, the #11 pick itself was also subject to changes in the lottery – the pick was Indiana’s as a part of the Al Harrington deal last summer, and had top ten protection on it. Had Indiana moved up in the lottery, Atlanta would not have gotten it, and had Indiana moved up into Atlanta’s place moving Atlanta out of the top three, Atlanta would have had no first-rounder at all this year. Which would have […]

Posted by at 11:54 PM

The Celtics compared to the Bucks
August 3rd, 2007

Consider what recent fortunes have been like for the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. Last year, both of these teams pulled the incredibly-unsubtle-tank-job routine, rivalled only in blatantness by that of the Minnesota Timberwolves. So obvious was it that then-Celtic Ryan Gomes essentially admitted to the tank job in an interview, saying, and I quote: “I probably (would have played), but since we were in the hunt for a high draft pick, of course things are different,” Gomes said. “I understand that. Hopefully things get better. Now that we clinched at least having the second-most balls in the lottery, the last three games we’ll see what happens. We’ll see if we can go out and finish some games.” Say what you really feel, Ry. Both teams put most of their eggs in one basket, trying their best to lose out, hoping for one of the top two spots in this year’s draft, and thus a chance at Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.┬áBut both were the victims of bad karma, and failed to move up, ending up with the fifth and sixth picks respectively. From there, Boston has gone on to trade for two All-Stars, one of whom is arguably the most talented player of his generation still in the back end of his prime. They are left with plenty of work to do, yet they have become instantly vaulted towards the top of the Eastern Conference and into title contention. Whereas Milwaukee is mired in the middle of a soap opera. Enough has been said about Boston and what they’ve done, but Milwaukee and GM Larry Harris seem to have been overlooked somewhat. After a poor 2004-05 season in which they finished with a disappointing 30-52 record, the Bucks beat long odds to win the lottery, and also had maximum […]

Posted by at 1:30 PM