The Moonball Blog

Friday, June 30, 2006

Things you shouldn't do while driving

-Drink

-Watch porn

-Wrangle your rascal

-All three at once

The sad story of Eddie G gets sadder.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Fear and Loathing at NBA City

I went down to the new NBA City at Target Center for the draft party. Since the Wolves haven’t had a lot of picks, it was the first draft I ever watched.

NBA City has 2-for-1s at Happy Hour, so instead of just one of the JLev/Rathouse Gang showing up, I got both! Then the bartender gave me 6 for 1, because the place was crazy and he wasn’t able to keep track.

Crazy was the operative word for the evening. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley came on right before the Wolves pick, and I knew things were going to get interesting. I like that song, and I hoped it was a good sign. When I hear Crazy, I think of the Me-Wolves for telling us about it, and now the T-wolves for their front office decisions.

NBA City kept trying to make the game like an NBA experience. There were cheerleaders, or dance teamers…then every time a commercial came on, they put the Wolves logo on the screen and switched to one of the songs you hear during time-outs during the game. I bet we’ll hear Crazy a lot at the NBA arenas this year. It will be the new Hey Ya.

Crunch kept pouring me tequila, then beer. Mad Dog was there, but he wouldn’t talk to me, which made me just want to drink more. If Mad Dog won’t be nice to you, then you must be the worst kind of asshole. He’s probably the nicest guy in the world.

Then somebody must’ve slipped me something, because the first letter of the Timberwolves’ draft pick kept switching around. The letters on the screen flickered, the logos and the hat colors kept changing. I cursed the graphics person in the truck who was playing with the ticker at the bottom of the screen. Roy then Foye, Foye, Roye. Make up your mind, graphics person!

David Stern looked very angry. There were groans heard all around the bar. Money changed hands, and I felt scolded.

“Why don’t I just take your draft pick away from you again,” Stern seemed to say. “You though you were getting Brandon Roy, but it’s really Randy Foye. Whatever, you want, McHale.”

Even though I feel that we could’ve used a guy who can play like Toy, the Wolves really loved Boye, and they got their man. And we are helpless. (Although, I did promise to throw a glass at the TV if the Wolves picked Reddick.) If the Wolves can turn Joye into someone I can love, a PG of the future, so much the better. (I also wonder if we will see a troubled Blazers small forward come back to Minny later? Hmmmm.)

Despite a few bad decisions, the Twolves and Blazers are both teams I like. And ultimately both teams got an Oy in the draft. And I hope I see them win a championship before the end times…because it sure feels like it these days. Isn’t that in the Old Testament too, an Oy for an Oy?

So now that I’ve seen my first draft, all you draft lovers out there, what am I supposed to do for the next bunch of months until we get to see these guys play? Watch baseball? Eat my own fist? Rewrite the moonball constitution?

I say, pour me another one Crunch, and I’ll sing the new BlazeWolf’s praises.

Ziggy socky…Ziggy socky…

Oy! Oy! Oy!

Just Shoot Me Now

Who is Renaldo Balkman and does he actually play basketball? Thanks True Hoop.

Couldn't Isiah have had him at #29? There were some thoughts he would even go undrafted. Ugh. Zeke says Phoenix was hot on him at #21, but come on. They didn't even keep either of their picks.

Rod Thorn cleans up Isiah's mess and comes out on top again. The Nets had a good night.

Other thoughts:

Portland may have got the players they wanted and ultimately that is the most important thing, but Paxson fleeced them out of Khryapa. If I'm Portland I call Pax's bluff and see if he really would have drafted Aldridge. Only reason I can see Blazers doing it is that with all these picks they need roster space so unloading a guy could actually be beneficial.

Memphis had a great night. Rudy Gay for Shane Battier? Really? I like that trade even with questions about Gay's drive and desire. You've got to do that move if you're Memphis and feeling no chance of getting out of round 1 anytime soon with your current roster. Add a potential star and keep Pau... got to roll the dice as much you like Battier. And I like Kyle Lowry... a lot.

Saer Sene at #10? Isn't he the same as Johan Petro and Robert Swift. Now they have 3 big men projects. Jack Sikma is going to have a lot of work coaching that bunch.

New Orleans just A LOT bigger on the front line. I like that team.

Rondo, Telfair, West... it's getting crowded at the point in Boston. Can Delonte defend NBA 2s?

The Moonball Blog

Making Moves Not Movies



With very few exceptions does a draft immediately change a teams relative standing in the League. But, I like my fellow posters believe this to be one of the most anticipated and entertaining days of the year.

And whatta fun draft! I love how Danny keeps convincing McHale to help the C’s for nothing in return!

In my twisted bi-costal partisanship, I could not have been happier with the both the C’s and the Blaze Crew each making several good moves on Draft day, including the Bassy-Ratliff for Randy Foye (who became Brandon Roy) and Raefer.

To review: The Celtics acquired Sebastian Telfair and Theo Ratliff plus a 2nd Round pick for #7 Randy Foye, Raef Lafrentz, Dan Dickau plus a 2nd Round pick. This seems like a good trade for both teams, though if Roy is as good as predicted, I think the Blazers got the best of this deal. The Blazers were done with Bassy. Starting for the worst team in basketball, Steve Blake was actually pretty good. And Jarret Jack is a 10-12 year NBA starter. So turning Bassy into Roy, a guy who Nate McMillan has known for awhile through U-Dub. McMillan knows talent and he knows competitive drive, and was a big Roy fan from early on.

Now, luckily for the C’s, Bassy can play, and he has been getting better all through his two years in Portland. Towards the end of the season, he was actually finding his game on the defensive end. He also is a better shooter than his early years have revealed. Considering that Telfair would have just completed his sophomore year, did not exactly solve his team’s youth issues, but he is bringing in a veteran. In addition to Telfair, for the 45-55 games each season that Ratliff is not injured, Theo is a dominant shot blocker, and the C’s could certainly use a shot blocker. Plus, Raef’s contract sucked. Danny did well unloading that commitment as well as clown around P-Town Dickau

But that trade is where the guys just got started. Here is a summary of the rest of the moves:

Celtics
• Acquire #21 Rajon Rondo and Brian Grant from Phoenix for first round pick belonging to the Cavs from the Jiri Welsch deal.
• Acquire #49 Leon Powe from Celtics for future second round pick

Rondo is an intriguing player. His shot sucks. He may never shoot well. But he is an unbelievable defender with some of the biggest, quickest hands the L may have ever seen. If talk about his floor game is accurate, he could run as Delonte and Bassy’s back up for a year or two and develop into a real player. Powe may prove to be to small, and certainly the C’s have a plethora of young power players under 6’10, but Danny has had a knack of picking the right undersized bigs (Brandon Hunter, Justin Reed and Ryan Gomes) and getting value from a second round pick. Check this: If Powe does not make the NBA, it says here that he dominates in Europe.
In the end, Ratliff may be the most significant pick up for the Celtics. If he can stay healthy, he supplies a length and defensive focus that will greatly help stabilize what was one of the most porous defenses in the League. Plus, Theo is a veteran and a good locker room guy. Same for Bri “Rastafari” Grant. Grant and Ratliff will be great for Perkins, Jefferson and Gomes.


Blazers
• Acquire #2 LeMarcus Aldridge from Chicago for #4 Tyrus Thomas and Victor Kryapa
• Acquire #6 Brandon Roy from TWolves for #7 Randy Foye
• Acquire #27 Sergio Rodriguez from Suns for cash
• Acquire # 45 overall pick Alexander Johnson, and two future second-round picks from Pacers for in exchange for #31 James White
• Acquire future second-round pick from Memphis for Alexander Johnson

Wow! All this Draft the Stash shit was making me nervous. For a while it was clear that Portland would get two top six-seven picks, and I was hoping that it would be Roy and LeMarcus Aldridge! I know heart is the question with LeMarcus, but he has skills and size that simply cannot be taught. Tyrus Thomas may turn out to be awesome. . . but he is 6’9” (sure the super long arms and jump to the moon shit, but). . . Aldridge reminds me of the Admiral. McMillan will get him going right. And Roy seems bad ass to me. Throw in Rodriguez, who could be the secret steal of the day, and three second round picks, and you have the best day in the Blazer front office since the day before Jermaine O’Neal went to Indy for Dale Davis.
Chicago did well for themselves with Kryhapa. With Nocioni and Deng he will play never. . . but lets say the Bulls make a major move in the trade market. . . Chicago is very talented, with much to give without depleting the core. Thomas is very promising, despite my preference of Aldridge.

As for my beloved friends in the land of Minny, I hope Foye turns out well. Roy seems better. For better or worse, Foye may be KG’s last hope to stay in Wolves’ clothes. Why you did not just take Foye at #6, I have no idea. I have eternal love for Kevin McHale, but his record in Minnesota has earned him the moniker McDumbass. In good news, the Wolves traded the rights to No. 37 (Bobby Jones) to the Sixers for a future second-round pick and cash. Jones was not making the Wolves, and at least Kev got something. And you got Loukas Mavrokefalidis and Craig Smith to boot.

And at least you don’t have Isiah as the GM.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cows Rejoice!

''Maybe I can cut down on my turnovers next year,'' Pierce said.

Draft Day!

So, this is awesome - to quote H. Simpson, I feel like a kid in some kind of store. I can't ever remember a more exciting draft day - no one knows what's going to happen. Well, except for us Wolves fans - we know McHale is going to fuck up. Still, we don't know how - what is the 2006 equivalent of picking Rashad "micro-fracture" McCants instead of Danny Granger or Doodie "Doodie" Ebi over Josh Howard? (early Me-Wolves prediction - passing on Brandon Roy to pick Randy Foye, who is also known as Marcus Banks Jr.)

Also on the table - can the Hawks really be dumb enough to have made a promise to Shelden Williams at 5? Will Brandon Roy (best player in this draft) really drop to the C's at 7? Will Colangelo find someone to trade with? Do the Blazers draft the 'stache? Will someone offer J.J. Redick a beer and an advil when his back siezes up while he's sitting in the green room until the mid-20's?

In case you've actually been spending the day working, here's some draft day reading to catch you up:

TrueHoop is going draft crazy (including a link to a previous true hoop post describing how Phil Jackson totally fucked Johnny Bach by lying about Bach being Sam "dickhead" Smith's source for the Jordan Rules (the source was actually Big Chief T himself)). If you're not reading TrueHoop you're denying yourself one of the Internets' great pleasures - that guy Henry just does a great job.

The Sports Misogynist has a top-10 mock, which I actually mostly agree with since he's w/me on Rudy Gay being the biggest fraud in this draft. I saw that guy play quite a bit, and not once did I think anything other than someone is going to waste a bunch of time and money on that guy.

DraftExpress & NBADraft.net are trying to destroy the web by updating their mock drafts every five minutes.

I won't link to Chad Ford since he's in pay-sider, but I'm sure his toothy head is about to explode with all of the stuff going on.

The only thing that would make this better is if somehow Zeke would make an appearance at the Garden. The thing is, drafting is the only thing he's ever done well, so we can't hope for a Jets-fan-like meltdown when the Knicks pick.

Here's how I think it's going to go down (lottery only):

Tor - Bargnani. I'm sure they want to trade down, but my guess is that no one is really willing to give up much.
Chi - Aldridge. At the end of the day, I just don't think you can pass up an athletic 7 footer, even if he is a little soft.
Charlotte - Gay. At least I hope so...
Portland - Ty Thomas. No one has had them picking him - this is just a me-wolves hunch.
Atlanta - Shelden Williams (though part of me wanted to go with someone like Rodney Carney or Ronnie Brewer so Atlanta could continue their tradition of picking the best small forward availabl, regardless of need).
T-Wolves - If the draft really goes down like this, the Wolves would have their choice of Morrison, Roy and Foye. Logic would tell you they would either pick Morrison for themselves and trade him to someone that needs him, or that they would take Roy and head for the hills. Because it's McHale, I'm going with Foye. No, I can't do it - Brandon Roy.
Celtics - Morrison
Rockets - Foye. Which they are pissed about.
GSW - Cedric Simmons.
Orlando - Ronnie Brewer
NOOCH - O'Bryant.
Philly - Hilton Armstrong
Utah - Carney.

Also, just so you know, my favorite second round sleeper is Mike Gansey. I think that dude can play.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I Love The Draft...

Now that the games are over and Larry Brown is actually fired, we can concentrate on the intrigue of the draft.

Draft Express has an interesting historical analysis of first round draft picks.

and Chad Ford runs through multiple draft-related trade rumors. I love the intrigue even if none of it actually happens.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

AMEN DISH SOUL

Udonis Haslem - Long ago the young Anderson reminded us to never underestimate the power of Udonis Haslem. (2004-5 Reference lost to the ether? Is there a librarian in the group?)

I imagine a deep voiced father - u-DOEN-is.

A smiling 8 year old - HI Udoooonis

Serious Finals props to Udonis Haslem.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hail to Nets!


Since you suggested it Dave.....

Ari 24" 17 lbs PG/SG

Scouting Report:
Still raw, but demonstrates solid PG skills. Good handle, sees the floor, and can stroke it if left open. Good hops and decent instincts on D, though he sometimes loses attention if away from the ball. Needs work on his decision-making and can let his emotions get the best of him, but overall an exciting new prospect we'll be watching over the next several years.

Who does Rashad McCants think he is?


You can't get microfracture surgery until you're an established superstar. Everyone knows that! I was secretly hoping that Mr. McCants would have a good season this year, but I guess that's out the window. Maybe Cous Cous will draft him anyway.

Meanwhile, I'm glad the Finals has come around and become so exciting like the rest of the playoffs have been. Here we are in an exciting series, after most people had mostly written off the Heat. After the battle that went to overtime last game, I was so disappointed with the way that it ended with Josh Howard calling that crummy timeout. I really wanted to see Dallas get one last shot, especially after that shot Dirk put over Shaq to put them ahead by one. But at least it's not over. The Mavs have another chance(or two) on their home court now. I'd like to see some redemption.

I can't believe Hyry hasn't tried to sneak in a single post about the Stanley Cup. A lot of sports going on right now...I know this blog is only supposed to be about NBA, but nobody's posted in a while. Don't some of you have kid pictures to show us or something...anything?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Finding out about Finals

I was abroad too, like HP. For some reason, Michelle and I always travel during the NBA playoffs. We were mostly in Czech Republic and Hungary.

I wasn't looking at the web much, just because I was on vacation from that too. But I stopped in a coffee shop in Slovakia, and found out from a Slovak EuroSport newspaper just enough to figure out what was going on.



Wonder if Shawn Marion knows the rest of the world calls him "Shawna"?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Marketing

Just back from the second biggest city in the world - 23 million people and not one sign of the NBA. Some soccer tourney or something...

I had the pleasure of reading paper news on the plane home and found this article. Along with the point about selling jerseys with smaller arm holes, this is the chiste:

The campaign, which posits that "the game is only part of the fun," plays off the league's belief that women prefer stories about the players to their scoring averages.

As my Moonball performance demonstrates, I am the kind of woman the NBA wants.

no-longer-angry rabbis


I meant to post this photo a while ago to honor the rise of the Angry Rabbis into the MoonBall money. The photo and the sentiment are timeless, I suppose.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Crazy 'bout the Finals


Unlike HPete, I'm pretty excited about the Finals. Part of it is just the return of hoop - after the two month playoff extravaganza, it's sucked to have no basketball since Saturday.

It's also more fun when you've chosen sides, and this year I'm crazy for them Mavs. Despite the nearly unforgivable sin of being from Texas (and from the worst part of Texas, no less) they are really fun to watch. Everyone is talking about how great Dirk and Howard (way to pick Ebi, McHale you fuck) have been, but it's the other guys that have made me happy - the legend of Sagana Diop, Devin Harris (official Spurs killer of the 2006 playoffs), Stack transformed from selfish chucker to steely clutch vet. Plus, Avery is awesome, and how can you not love Cubes? (well, other than that whole swindle deal).

And, while I too have learned to love the daddy, and everyone loves Wade, but there is too much to hate about the Heat.

Fuck Riles - Mavs in seven.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Finals

I have pretty much lost interest at this point - Mark Cuban is a swindler and Florida gave us the Bush Presidency.

However, I have begun to see the Heat as an opportunity for both Riley and O'Neil to enjoy some success away from the disgusting characters in Los Angeles. That's ok with me.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Words I Hope To Never Hear From My Children...

"He's a great dad as it is," Coby Karl added. "But as a basketball coach, he's even better."

Don't draft him, George. He'll end up hating you more than even Kendall Gill...