The Moonball Blog

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Running with the Bulls

One of my favorite parts of school is taking a test - see where you are, how things are going, guage the future.

We will have a lot more data after the next few games - Detroit at home tonight, Cleveland on Saturday and at the Palace for Detroit again on Wednesday.

Bulls beat the Pistons at home earlier this season and then coughed up a loss after leading by 16 at the Palace in February. Bulls are 2-1 with Cleveland this year.

With either Chicago or Cleveland getting pushed to the 5 seed, this is a great opportunity to move up in the playoff ranking.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Best Moonball Season Ever!?!

Okay, the lack of the chat board really sucks. I miss the regular chatter. That interaction was my favorite part of the game. Aside from kicking ass, that is.

But to my point, whatta a friggin season! Many, many lead changes all through out the standings, but most especially at the top, where it seems like a crazy sprint to the finish versus the surging RR&B and the wounded Rabbis will determine the new Champion. Wow!

The season started with juggernaut Me-Wolves squad, seemingly pre-destined by Blog title. Baron Davis was kicking ass. Barbosa too. Times were good. Then Knicks 33 and RR&B started getting busy, tusslen’ at top. Deep rosters, both, rackin points 1-12 on their rosters. Seeming unbeatable. Yours truly had a long turn at the top, with the high scoring quartet of Randolph, Boozer, Paul and Howard doing much work. Knicks33 rallied to a lead, only to be past by the ultra-loaded Rabbis.

Despite some familiar names at the top much of the season, new names are making their presence felt. Rec Leaguers has made a steady climb from the basement to outside-contention for a money spot. Monkeyshoes seems to be finally escaping the middle of the pack, and is in the money with a chance to climb.

We had some pretty good trade activity, both in terms of drama and significance. . . though less than expected in some ways. Unlocking the mystery of the trade supermove was a huge turning point. RR&B acquisition of Mutumbo was in many ways the beginning of RR&B’s long trek to the top. In a prior and related transaction, RR&B sent me Nene for a done-for-the-season Tony Allen. My trade sending Nene and Lil Dun to Monkeyshoes for Mo Pete and right to pick up Paul Milsap turned out great for Monekyshoes. Question to you: What have been the best/most significant trade(s ) of the season so far?

I think the 10 man line-ups make the impact of an injury or three more significant than when you are spreading your hopes on a 12 man line-up, as in years past. This year, the 10 man roster has opened the door for a lot of movement in the standings. More than any year in my mind.

In all cases, the fallen leaders have suffered some major injuries and lost game scenarios. Even granting a sometimes-inattentive GM, I can’t believe how the Me-Wolves fell off so far. Serious. I can’t believe Rabbis has held on to his wicked scoring pace despite missing DWade not just now, but for regular intervals during the season prior. Both Knick33 and RR&B had their early season flow interrupted by injury.

I know Ironwood knows what I am talking about. Remember when Gil and Yao were tearing it up crazy style? And it went deeper than that: a bunch of his cats went down. The succession of injuries to Chris Paul, Carlos Boozer, Tony Allen and Jamal Crawford killed my chances.

Of course, injuries and lost games really are a shared reality for us all. Monkeyshoes has been a hamstrung all year. Though the Huskers choose some super injury prone players, he has gotten as hurt as anyone. JLev, Ratty, Rec’y, even the HP Bulls.

Sure, what new? Injuries make or break every season. But since we have not had a friendly chat board, I felt a special obligation to bemoan all of our collective rotten luck as a totem to moments lost.

I look foward to the exciting finish. GO WB!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Where is the sadness?

Zach Randolph lost a relative. A young man who died when he tried to intervene in fight. Another young black man dead.

We hear about the deaths associated with stars. The rest go with hardly any notice. We are three decades deep in culture where black on black murder happens with regularity. Assumed.

An issue bigger than this blog, perhaps. So I will bring in back to the NBA.

What kills me is that this story gets filed under 'Zach hangs around the wrong crowd.' Guarenteed. The JailBlazers aura still entices media, and they have long laid the back story on this one.

But even if it is true that he hangs out with the wrong crowd, it is also true that Zach's partner loses a cousin, some one she grew up with. Something very sad and very senseless happened. And that was reflected nowhere in the media. Or the NBA.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Worst team to see?

So I went to see the Knicks/Raptors game at MSG and a Renaldo Balkman fiesta broke out--the Knicks looked great for an afternoon. I had the thought that in years past, the Raptors would be at the very bottom of a list of teams I would most like to see, but that's not true anymore. Even though they must've been checking out the NYC club scene on Saturday night before laying an early Sunday egg, they are a fun group to watch. Chris Bosh, man, there were moments when I considered coming back from the game and putting him #1 on the young center list, ahead of Howard, Oden, and Amare. And TJ is very nice to watch as long as he doesn't shoot it. And the young Italian moves very well. He's not there yet, but he will be. So anyway, the Raptors are now somewhere in the middle of the pack of the teams I'd most like to shell out $60 for the privelege of seeing live.

The question is, who are the teams people would least like to see? This isn't necessarily the worst teams, although there would probably be some correlation. But, for instance, I'd kind of like to see the Bobcats live, just to take in all of their young guys, to see if there's anything good that's going to happen there over time. The greater correlation might be with Mike's list of Clown Car teams. My list includes these teams:

  • Sactown: Other than the potential for an Artest meltdown, this team has sunk from the most watchable to one of the least watchable in just a few short years.
  • Memphis: Yeah, it might be interesting to check in on Rudy Gay and Pau is a pleasure but there's nothing much going on there that you would want to throw good money at.
  • Indiana: Maybe I've seen too much of this gang over the years and suffered through the ugly-winning style of Rick Carlisle when he was in Motown, but there's no draw here outside of JO.
  • Seattle: Again, a real star in Ray Allen and a very nice player in Rashard Lewis, but come on.
  • Chicago: All right, if I were in Detroit and could see the Bulls come to town so I could cheer when Big Ben clanked a free throw, that would be pretty fun, but other than that and Luol Deng, their team is pretty damned boring.
  • The Fakers: Fuck Kobe and his rehabiliated image. But if I got to see Kwamboni throw a cake at Jack Nicholson, now we're talking.
Beantown boys take notice--I left you off this ignominious list. While I still wonder about the reasons that Danny Ainge doesn't get raked over the coals for being a largely unsuccessful front office guy to this point, he has assembled some young talent that would be fun to behold.

Finally, teams I would most like to see live:
  • Pistons--for obvious reasons. Perhaps less obvious so that I could hear what Rasheed is talking about all the time. You get the gist, but I bet the actual words are pretty funny.
  • Houston: Yao remains intriguing and T-Mac somehow underrated (I hope he manages to win a first round series this year, just so people stop dogging him). Plus I like how they have coalesced under JVG. A Deke finger-wave is a plus.
  • Phoenix: For obvious reasons, no one plays a more pleasing style these days.
  • Miami: I can't believe I am writing this, but I guess I would like to see the Diesel play in person before it's too late and to see DWade as well. And if a Rockets/Heat game could be arranged, maybe JVG could swing on Zo's leg for old time's sake.
  • and maybe the Wiz, just because I've had so much fun with Gil on the Flash this year, I'd like to see him live.
Any thoughts?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Future Bigness

Knicks 33 was on the money when he said the death of the big man is highly exagerated.

So this chart may be so small that this post is useless, but here is a look at all the promising or ought to be promising NBA centers under age 27. Why 27? 27 is when most cats hit their prime. I also put these guys roughly in order of how I currently rank em for this season.

Imagine what a strange end-of-the-center atmosphere was it when Dampier said he was the games number 2 pivot after Shaq. Of course he was dead wrong even then, as demonstrated by Amare throwing down 40 on his sorry bean. But now with an impressive crop of seasoned young centers under age 27, the perfectly decent Dampier is barely in the game’s top 20.

The stats worshipping John Hollinger does a nice little piece on a similar theme.

Speaking of Hollinger, my argument about his clowniness needs no further evidence than his #7 rating of Bill Russell on an All-Time center list. The point of the game is to win not to fill the stat sheet, Mr. Stat man.

Friday, March 09, 2007


How's this coincidence:

Bushie is touring South America, and the NBA is doing some p/r:

Game notes
The Heat wore special black uniforms for "Noche Latina" -- Latin Night -- with flags of 20 Spanish-speaking nations, plus Portugese-speaking Brazil, adorning the trim. Phoenix, San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers, teams with large Hispanic fan bases, are also participating in the initiative, and the Heat will wear theirs again Sunday against Washington

Monday, March 05, 2007

Wolves fans will love this

File under WTF!

Reader Response: Bosh, Amare, Howard or Oden?

Somewhere recently on the web, the discussion turned to a very interesting question: If you were going to build a franchise around a young center, who would you pick among

Chris Bosh, 22 years old

Amare, 24 years old

Dwight Howard, 21 years old

Greg Oden, 19 years old

So, what do yall think?

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Onion Strikes Again

Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Feeling the Heat?

Having the Defending Champion Heat listed first among the Clown Car crew may be a bit premature on my part. Though old and creaky, the Daddy is still the Daddy, even if his Diesel days are done. Said Shaq after his big game versus the Wizards: "I'm known as 'The Big Sewer, because I've got a lot of you-know-what in my game."
The Wiz opted to mostly single cover Shaq and the plan back-fired.
"I think when guys guard him one-on-one, he likes it but he's kind of insulted," Haslem said. "Because he thinks that people feel like he's lost it a little bit. He don't appreciate that."
But from my perspective, as good as Shaq’s game was against thew Wizards, he was OUT REBOUNDED by Eddy Curry the night before, and that is a major indicator that the era of Most Dominant Ever has ended.

On another Heat note, hilarious story on the Champions visit to the White House: Bushy was trying to hob-nob it up with the Champs, but his ploys fell as flat as his foreign policy: “[The President] later attempted to bounce his autographed ball to the 7-foot-1, 325-pound Heat center, but the under-inflated sphere merely hit the floor with a thud, as O'Neal smiled.”

Do you Zissou?

I'll make you a get to see the below video and then take another 5 minutes to give me a good observation or thought about Nazy Mohammed.

I met this swimmmer at a party on Saturday night and we are planning seminars at the Club.