The Moonball Blog

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bulls Live On




The NBA is ubiquitous in China but I am pleased to report Jordon and Pippen are showing some real longevity.

Even Mike's number switch gambit survives in Ocean Park, a Hong Kong combination acquarium/rollercoaster park.

There's always next year...

Madeline and Crunch ponder the season that might have been.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Wrong

Twice now Josh...what's your next big guess?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Shanghai'ed

A tip for all of us looking to catch up with DAnthony next year. Reporting in from Ningbo where our playoffs come over breakfast. In this small Chinese town of 5 million, my customer Leo is a young basketball fan. He highly recommends Tang Zhengdong for your Moonball team, sure to be a sensation.

Composed on the 60th floor of Jin Mao Tower while watching the Bulls, up 23:19 in Q1.

Crazy crazy world.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Anthony Johnson = Kobe

I'm just getting access to this entertaining bulletin board and had to invite comment on how Anthony freakin perennial second man johnson can get a shooting foul called in NJ, in a tie game, on a questionable call, to win the game. I'm all for a foul being a foul, but in the NBA there is a known double standard. It seems someone forgot to tell the refs that journeyman scrubs don;t get those calls to decide playoff games on broken plays, what a freaking joke. The Pacers have the talent to beat the Nets, and Jermaine came up large in crunch time, but it was cruel and unusual punishment for that game to be decided in NJ on that garbage.

One last comment as an estension of the old moonball site.... Squish, don't take it so hard. I know you thought it would be at least 8 years before the Angry Rabbis could ascend past your perennial money squad, but it looks like my long-term rebuilding plan just came through a little early. One of these years you'll finish in the money again..... maybe.....

Why John Hollinger Should Win Clown of the Year

Stats are great for Moonball, but Clowny McJones Hollinger is a geek with a job he is lucky to own. Dude thinks he is Moneyball, Spaulding style.

Though I have been stewing about this dumb-ass boxscore Einstein all season, I am moved to share my vomit on his column on the Bulls inability to stop the Heat from scoring.

Example #1,000,000 of Hollinger's dellusional stat love is his assessment of why the Bulls had such a good shot to win game #2 was: "Shaquille O'Neal historically playing worse in games with only one day of rest as opposed to two, the Heat were ripe for the picking" Right.

Maybe in clown history Shaq played poorly with the money on the line. Day of rest? Depends on the game.

What I love about the NBA (and sports in general) is that while statistics can describe and predict overall performance, what happens at any particular moment is up for grabs. Who wants it more. Who executes with consistency. Who stays with more broken plays.

I had never looked at the whole Hollinger stats list.


Not till this very blogging moment, and what I have found is that indeed he is a Jester among sports writers.

According to Ronald McHollinger, SAR is the League's 46 most efficient player, one behind Chris Wilcox and three before Dan "Man Motherfreaken" Gadzuric.

Up until this year, I was pretty convinced in the Curse of Shareef. As good as he is, he almost always made the Blazers worse when he was on the floor. And even though the Kings are in the post-season, Kenny Thomas started and was the most effective power forward on the team.

Kenny Thomas was # 82. Ron Artest is #79. Chris Kaman is #85. TJ Ford is #118.

Why? Why love numbers so?

Why John Hollinger Should Win Clown of the Year

Stats are great for Moonball, but Clowny McJones Hollinger is a geek with a job he is lucky to own. Dude thinks he is Moneyball, Spaulding style.

Though I have been stewing about this dumb-ass boxscore Einstein all season, I am moved to share my vomit on his column on the Bulls inability to stop the Heat from scoring.
Maybe in clown history Shaq played poorly with the money on the line. Day of rest? Depends on the game.

What I love about the NBA (and sports in general) is that while statistics can describe and predict overall performance, what happens at any particular moment is up for grabs. Who wants it more. Who executes with consistency. Who stays with more broken plays.

I had never looked at the whole Hollinger stats list (
) till this very blogging moment, and what I have found is that indeed he is a Jester among sports writers.

According to Ronald McHollinger, SAR is the League's 46 most efficient player, one behind Chris Wilcox and three before Dan "Man Motherfreaken" Gadzuric.

Up until this year, I was pretty convinced in the Curse of Shareef. As good as he is, he almost always made the Blazers worse when he was on the floor. And even though the Kings are in the post-season, Kenny Thomas started and was the most effective power forward on the team.

Kenny Thomas was # 82. Ron Artest is #79. Chris Kaman is #85. TJ Ford is #118.

Why? Why love numbers so?

Ah, title line means title line

The Moonball Blog

So I never did this blog sh*t before, and I am learnin

The Moonball Blog

The Moonball Blog
Shining Light on the Three

How bout Phoenix leading the League is scoring, and yet finishing last in Free Throws Made? Never been done before. Defies basketball logic. Free throws are the salt that carries good teams the nights that the rim has a lid on it. Phoenix says fuck free throws.

Welcome to Threeville. Mighta taken the fewest free throws, but Phoenix made the most threes. Ever. The Suns have done what Rick Pitino and Rudy T could only imagine in their wildest bombfest dream scenarios. Sure Nashy and Diaw gets all the cats good looks, but four guys hitting at 40%. Whatt da frig!

I have a anti-three bias. Teams that chuck threes often play a chunky style
of ball. Sure a 3 gives you an extra point, but the uxilary damage sucks: long rebounds lead to fast breaks and imbalanced full court defense, cold shooting nights are made longer by outside shots, and most importantly you do not draw fouls on your opponent.

But now the NBA's best, most efficient offense relies on the three and forgoes the charity stripe (unless of course the arfe kicking Kobe's ass in game 1). And they are dope. Maybe I need to examine my bias.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Just in Time

No sooner does the moonball season end, and I get this when I try to log into TQStats from work:



Luckily, the season is done, so I don't have to look for a new job. But now that I think about it...Me-Wolves, are they hiring at your place?

Moonball Mission to Chicago

Thanks Pete, for the post. The music was alright, but the Chicago visit was really about the moonball.

The morning after the moonball season was done, I saw my duty as newly appointed moonball commish to take the show out on the road. Rather than ruling with an iron fist like my friend WeedBlazers, I like to be friendly, nod and smile, pretend I'm listening, and then make my decisions. So I went to the highest concentration of moonball GMs in the world outside Minneapolis -- Chicago.

Like some presidents of the US I was on the road to meet and greet, and generate support for my new moonball plan. And although none of these guys let me near their babies to kiss, they did shake my hand.

On short notice, all of the Chicago GMs rallied and made it out to the Mike Gunther show at the 'Shoe. A good time was had, and Knick33 bought me a beer and told me just how many points he had won by. That was good to know, since I had put a piece of tape over that part of my computer screen long ago so I wouldn't have to look at his totals anymore.

Pete was happy to have passed Ironwood, and was ready to leave for China the next day with Henry. DCassell was in relatively good spirits about retaining the Layden. He vowed revenge next year, and does not plan on keeping it after next season. So let that be a warning to you all.

We wrapped up the evening, and everyone went home. I didn't stay out too much later, but we did get up the next morning for another reason to go to Chicago: a hotdog breakfast at Hot Doug's where "There are no two finer words in the English language than 'encased meats,' my friend." Friday and Saturday they serve duckfat fries...a MUST before spending the rest of the day in the back of a van.

If any of you other folks want to gain my ear, come by my town, and I will buy you a beer. It is certainly my priviledge as 2nd place overall to ease your pain with what was once your money. (That includes you folks all the way over in St. Paul.) Otherwise, I will take a picture of one and post it here for you. Cheers!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Gunther Group



American roots music is alive and well - Dave and his crew were fantastic at the Horseshoe tonight.

Generosity and compassion are also in good health. Knick33 came out and shared his winnings.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Playoff predictions

Before I get to my picks, let's have some love for those of us that have teams on the outs:

-Portland (3 years)
-Knicks (2 years)
-Wolves (2 years)
-Sixers (1 year)
-Celtics (1 year - sorry Andersons!)

So I hope Abe, Tom, and the Cassells are appreciative of having teams in the playoffs, because being on the outside looking in sucks...(and Davey, your dalliance with the Wiz doesn't count).

Here's how the playoffs look from Me-Wolves Central:

East

Det (4) over Mil (1) - I'm tossing the Bucks a bone here, mainly because I'm not convinced a Flip-led team will show up for every game in a series. This could easily be a sweep, though.

Wash (4) over Cle (3) - Arenas is going to go nuts, and I guess I just like his supporting cast better than LeBron's. Though as I type this, I'm not so sure...

NY (4) over Ind (1) - Indy seems like a mess.

Mia (4) over Chi (3) - Chicago could win this, despite having the guys that have killed two straight Me-Wolves seasons (yes, I'm talking to you Sweet & Tyson. Bastards). They still need another guy to score, but they have a decent defender to throw at Wade and they guard well enough overall to stay in it.

2nd round:

Det (4) over Wash (1) - Arenas gets one game by himself, and that's it.

NJ (4) over Mia (3) - Fuck Riles.

East Finals:

Det (4) over NJ (2). This could be a sweep. In fact, you can make an argument that Detroit shouldn't lose a game before the NBA finals.


West

1st round:
SA (4) over Sac (1). I'm kind of hoping that Ron-Ron goes crazy on To-KNEE ParKHER.

Dallas (4) over Mem (2). This should be the best first round series. Memphis is sort of a poor man's Dallas (this year's version of Dallas, that is). I could see them giving the Mavs a scare, but this is Mark Cuban's year.

PHX (4) over LAL (1). I'm hoping the Mamba averages 50 a game and Lamar punches him in the face in game 5.

LAC (4) over Den (2). Yeah, Melo's hit some game winning shots, but I still hate that guy. And I'm way too excited about the possibility of Sam doing the testicle dance at some point. One problem for the Clips - Sam is not going to be able to guard either Miller or Boykins, but this series should be all about Elton Brand.

2nd Round:

Mavs (4) over Spurs (2). This is their year.

LAC (4) over Phx (3). I just refuse to believe that Nash is going to still be healthy by game 7 of the second round. Of course, you could just as easily make that argument about Sammy...

Conf Finals:

Mavs (4) over LAC (2). The Clippers' dream run ends. The players decide to do the right thing and vote Kevin McHale a full play-off share.

Finals:

Home court is key - Det (4) Mavs (3). I can't believe Flip is going to get a ring and KG isn't.

Who's stealing money?


Cool idea from the poindexters at 82games.com. Essentially, they've come up with a "fair salary" for each player's production, which allows you to see why, for example, KG (real salary $18 mil, fair salary $22 mil) isn't overpaid and Chauncey (real salary $6 mil, value $21 mil) is a huge bargain. Big surprise for Wolves fans - KG and Ricky Davis (if you count his full year's stats) are the only guys on the team worth more than what they're actually getting paid.

Busts & bargains

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Who ya got?

The whole MVP debate has gotten almost tiring but one must admit that this year is more compelling than most, in that there are so many deserving candidates. The ESPN folks had it down to between Kobe and Nash, but if I had a vote it would go to LeBron. I wish I could make an argument for Chauncey, but I just can't. The fact that he is getting mentioned in the discussion means he is getting the credit he deserves as one of the finest players in the league, but he doesn't control the game the way the other guys do. Granted, he doesn't have to, due to the overall excellent of the Pistons' roster, but if you swapped him with LeBron, the Pistons would have just as many wins (if not more) and Cleveland many fewer.

LB vs. Kobe is easy to me. Even though I hate Kobe with the best of them, you have to acknowledge he had a crazy year. But the whole lack of teamwork bothers me. LeBron's sustained excellence in many categories trumps Kobe's 50 points and one assist shit. Plus people argue that Kobe has done so much with so little. Once Larry Hughes went down, LeBron sure didn't have anyone better than Lamar Odom to run with. And he ended up with the better record. Plus, Kobe's playing for the best coach this side of Chuck Daly and LeBron's burning with a rookie on the bench.

Lebron vs. Steve is maybe a bit tougher, except for the fact that the Suns have a lot of talent, even if nobody acknowledged that before the season. Not a knock on Nash, but he's playing with an arguably first team all-NBA forward, plus many role players who fit into a well-designed system. Now the system doesn't run right without the point guard and Nash has been a revelation. But again, trade him and LeBron and the anti-war Canadian doesn't win 50 with the Cleveland roster and I like James running with the D'Antoni guys.

Honorable mention to DWade, who got a little banged up towards the end. He absolutely terrifies me.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

So Long, Mayor McCheese



Let's take a minute for the Mayor. Freddie was a huge part of the Wolves' one good playoff run, and it's too bad he didn't get a longer run as a role player on a championship caliber team. Great defender, great shooter, surprisingly good on the boards. Plus, he's a Democrat...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

How do you like me now?

Hey Josh - Bulls make the playoffs two years in a row! Who needs Iverson? I understand Minny doesn't have much use for the post-season and is worried about building an outdoor stadium. We here in Chicago at the Popcorn Club are looking forward to spending a little more time inside with the NBA before catching up with the World Champion White Sox.

Kevin, want to join a Playoff Team?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Parenting Tips from David Stern

Instigation loses a toy.

Retaliation gets a time-out.

The NBA's Worst Quarter

If Wizard's three-wheeled bus (Thursday April 13) pulls out of the United Center after a loss to the Bulls, the Eastern Conference playoff roster will feature below .500 teams seeded five through eight. Miserable.

I wonder if they brought their t-shirts.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Lunch time posting...

A couple non sports links:

-New mix of Crazy

-Not the horsies, too! More hard times for the Dukies

(in all seriousness, what a bunch of fucks)

Feeling 1972


Awesome re-vamp of the Heat's web site. This might have me rooting for Miami this spring. Link (thanks to Deadspin)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Nice Game Vince


Carter scores his 41st, 42nd and 43rd of the night by making a big three pointer from his own 45 yard line, still to lose the game by 3. The NBA is always entertaining.

Go Bulls!

respect




knick 33 commented that only m.j. and the bird man pissed him off more than d.j. well, bernard king is the only knick i ever rooted for and that includes hometown boy pat ewing

Monday, April 10, 2006

Thanks for all the great baseball posts

...but some of us are still watching the NBA season. I'll keep watching all the way 'til football season starts, then take a month off. (Meanwhile, the Twins are 1-5. You call that hope?)

It's tough, but it's the little things that get you through. Here is a top 10 list of things I learned at the Twolves game yesterday.

10. The Wolves scrubs have got some game. They beat the Hawks without KG or Ricky D.
9. Rashad McCants can actually score, in bunches, from inside and outside.

8. Al Harrington has a bunch of cool tattoos, including one that says "I do it 4 the love", and another that looked like stone tablets (the 10 commandments maybe. Whoa.)
7. Marko Jaric, as part of his pre-game ritual, when the lights go out and the Metallica starts, shouts, "Fucking Motherfucker!" as loud as he can. Apparently, he does this every game. But it was the first I heard of it. He's a scary dude. I think it's the Serbian accent.
6. Mark Blount isn't that quiet and weird, and he even seems to have some friends. Who knew?
5. Mad Dog wears tights. Fight the power Mad Dog!
4. With KG gone, Marcus Banks was the leader in the pre-game huddle.
3. Even in the darkest of times, fans will find something at an NBA game to enjoy. In this game, Mad Dog was fouled underneath the hoop...flailed...staggered, and ran careening headlong into one of ATL's big men, knocking him on his ass. The crowd went nuts. Plus he hit both his free throws cleanly. Impressive.
2. An entire hour of garbage time isn't hard to watch when you're being paid
And the number one thing I learned? KG is the bomb. Even when he isn't there...he is there.

If the Wolves execs (and other struggling NBA franchises) want to make it through the lean times, they're going to have to make it fun to go to games. And I'm not just talking about new dance routines and a better soundtrack. Maybe they should all take a page out of the St. Paul Saints playbook, get the fans involved!




d.j. was as tough as them come.



An out and out injustice

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Peace out from the Mad Dog

Just got back from three completely un-plugged days in Texas, but figured not enough of you have experienced the joy of the Mad Dog Blog

hope springs eternal


Coming Home?

Will the Bulls miss the playoffs?
Will McHale trade Minnesota's franchise player for two first round picks, Loul Deng and Kirk Hinrich?
These are the questions Bulls fans ponder over at the Popcorn Club at 70th & Halsted.

UPDATE

While watching penguins at the Shedd this morning, DAnthony wisely points me to realgm.com's Trade Checker to map out this trade scenario...but alas, no ability to understand the impact of the two draft picks in the salary cap scenario. Maybe, as David suggests Chicago will have to part with Chandler?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Horseball




Ever wonder where the J Lev Experience's Pau Gasol gets his power move to the basket?

Check out this FAN-tastic game played on the Iberian penninsula.

Photo & Video.

Best site ever

From Deadspin. Yeah, I know you guys could just browse this stuff yourselves, but this is more fun. Also, we got a shout out from True Hoop for the CityPages/KG link, which is pretty awesome...

Merry X-Mas from the Szerbiaks


(BTW, outstanding second round of Moonball pics, Dave M)

I have to get one of these


once again, via TrueHoop

Seriously

Poor Shawn Bradley

He should have stayed on mission

via TrueHoop:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=pdPstztPkLA

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Britt Robson to Wolves Fans - We Are Fucked


My man Britt pretty much sums it up. I can't begin to describe how much I hate Kevin McHale for how he's screwed up this team:

http://citypages.com/databank/27/1322/article14255.asp

It feels like a funeral

The Moonball Blog

Stevie F. is right there. This season can't end soon enough. Even back in the days of Ken "The Animal" Bannister things didn't feel this bad. If by some miracle Isiah makes a few roster changes and the Knicks win 30-40 games next year, everyone will be talking about LB as a genius... I'll never buy it again. He is a good coach with a major ego. I think he wanted this team to be so miserable so he can build them back up and grow the legend.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Twin Towers


Who will be next?


(yeah, my photoshop skills aren't quite up to Dave M's - he's the one that did the awesome rotating Moonball photos. And, no, I don't really have this much time on my hands, but you gotta have some priorities...)

The need for Sheed...

Great article on 'Sheed - via TrueHoop:

100 Reasons (and more) to love Rasheed Wallace

Monday, April 03, 2006

What's got into the Nets?



Abe, I'm happy for you, even if I am still bitter that the Wolves couldn't figure out a way to trade for Vince when he was slow-playing his way out of Toronto

Nets win 12 in a row

Indulging Tom

Friday March 31, 2006 Grand Rapids, MI - As the nation roils with hundreds of thousands in the streets of Los Angeles and Chicago, the NBA too flies the flag of internationalism with the goal of bringing people of the world together to enjoy the greatest spectator sport on television.

In this western Michigan town, Mexican immigrants work under a poster of the Wallace Brothers (Not those guys, these guys --ed) celebrating their championship. It called to mind a late Meixcan night in June of 2004 in the DF watching the Pistons on the big screen while gulping tequila with a Venezualen.

Also, check out this great Pistons art over at the AmigoClub. (A nod to the guys over at Wizznutzz)

Who's tanking worse

The Blazers or the Knicks? Wow, both teams, incredibly bad. This isn't the right year to win the lottery anyway, although maybe there will be another Michael Olowokandi for Zeke to draft.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Prescient Jason

Well done Sneep!

Jason's suggestion to go Crazy with Gnarles Barkley contributes to a changing of the guard...today Crazy is the first song ever to go Number #1 in the UK based on download sales.



Saturday, April 01, 2006

Joe D into the Hall




http://tinyurl.com/rbcs6

I may even head up to Springfield for the ceremony.