The Moonball Blog

Monday, December 31, 2007

Uninvited Company

Funny you should ask Ironwood. Guess I was waiting til the Blaze crew lost one (they fell to a tough Jazz team about five minutes ago).

13 straight wins. I coulda never predicted it. Josh, Dave and I have been throwing around guess about this year's win total since drafting Oden. High and lows. None of us had them winning more than 38 once Oden went down. . . and it was 38 on the outside; most of us landed at 34-35.

All the sudden these blossoming Blazers rip off 13 straight. They sit ahead of Utah in the standings, after beating both the Jazz and the Division leading Nugs twice each in December. At 18-13, they have played the 4th toughest schedule in the League. Now are discussions are about making the playoffs.


So what going on? Brandon Roy is phenomenal. He appears to have that intangible feel for the game possessed by some many of the greats. Roy always seems to be moving slowly, even as he out-quicks his opponents. That matrix, ninja type shit that defies explanation. He finds the open guy. Makes the big stop on D. Hits the clutch shot.

Around him, coach Nate McMilan has structured a defensive oriented team that runs a disciplined and efficient offense. LaMarcus Aldridge is an All-League talent on both sides of the ball. Travis Outlaw has (finally) emerged into unique NBA force with his length, athleticism and shooting range. Martell Webster has brought a physicality to his deadly long range game. James Jones has brought veteran savy and the deep ball. Joel Przybilla, Jarret Jack, Steve Blake, and Channing Frye are all nightly contributors.

Youngest in the League they may be, but they have a team cohesion that allows them to play with efficiency and confidence. Real nice basketball to watch.

Now I gotta a question for you, Mr. Motown Motor Mouth: What is with the halftime show that the Pistons run featuring two frat/sorority type beautiful people talking hot stock tips at a bar? Not that I am holding you responsible, but their 'sure am frickin happy to be rich' smiles made my stomach turn.

Stumptown run

Are the folks usually up on the Blaze crew too enamored with the Celtics dynamic start to post some knowledge about that 13 game winning streak? What's going on out there?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Bulls Christmas Cheer

Two thousand and one
Reinsdorf fired Floyd Eve of
Christmas, what a grinch

Getting what you want
Never as good as wanting
Sad to see Skiles go

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Great game!

My first impulse was to write a gloating post about last night's Pistons/Celtics game. In the light of the morning, though, I realize that the best story is how good and intense that game was. My friend Andy turned to me after Chauncey sank the two free throws and said, "I'd watch six more games of that." Agreed. The Celtics are very good and could be great and the Pistons aren't quite done yet. Almost felt like old times--I felt the bile rise up once more for the leprechauns. On to the next!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kendrick Perkins Under Assumption He's One Of Celtics' 'Big Three'

The Onion reports:

BOSTON—Celtics center Kendrick Perkins is operating under the assumption that he is one of the team's "Big Three" players, as evidenced by his post-game comments, a recent Sports Illustrated interview, and the fact that he shouts "Big Three, baby!" while holding up three fingers after every basket he makes. "Any time you put Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and myself, Kendrick Perkins, on a court together, you're going to win a bunch of games—but let's not forget there are two other guys on this team, and their names are Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett," Perkins told reporters after his seven-point, two-rebound performance Sunday night. "In fact, if Kevin continues to play the way he's been playing, you may just have to start calling us the 'Big Four.'" Perkins added that this "Big Three" incarnation is even better than 2004's version, which he says included himself, Paul Pierce, and Raef LaFrentz.

Mike's wish granted: a graph!

This graph now has enough data to be interesting. I only wish I were more pleased with its message for the Huskers. As a league, we average 143 fp/day. The y-axis on the graph below represents the number of "days" out of first place for each team. The line that disappears off the top of the graph (currently Shithouse), is the team currently in first place.

Right now, Shithouse, Monkeyshoes, Knick30 and 15AR are all in the mix. Everyone else seems to be moving steadily in the wrong direction, though JLX and I waited a bit longer before beginning our decline.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Great teammates

One would go on to a stellar career as a GM, the other, well, at least he still has a job. Love those retro uniforms, though.

While we're at it a few things. First of all, if you didn't catch this video of Sheed whipping basketballs again, it's pretty good. It's a kinder gentler Sheed these days, one wonders where Ruben Boomtje-Boomtje is and whether he envies the kid glove treatment of young Mad Max.

Another gem off of True Hoop, a letter Bill Clinton sent to C-Webb after the time-out. Brought it all back to me. Sweet Dick Willy shoulda said, stay at Michigan one more year, Chris, and bring it back home. All the home folks are betting on you. Peace, C-Webb.

After a look at the standings, a couple of crazy things. Houston is currently out of the playoffs, feeling the weight of high expectations and the wrath of Captain Jack. Even more interesting, even after that horrible start, the Bulls are a whole one and a half games out of the 8 spot. Donchoo worry 'bout a thing, HP, the kids'll be all right when all is said and done. Plus, the Pistons can't beat 'em.

Who was that who said that Zebo would be like the second coming of Bernard King for the Knicks? Oh yeah, the same guy who talked me out of taking Dwight Howard in the Moonball draft.

Finally, I am hereby sick of the Celtic love. It's bad enough that I have found myself with common cause with several legit Celtics partisans, it's almost too much to take to hear the love from former Minny "fans" who have jumped on the bandwagon. Yeah, they look great, fantastic even, but they are still the Celtics for cripes sake.

Friday, December 07, 2007

That's the trouble

with losing 11 of your first 17. A good win against the Pistons tonight - one of the league's best. In fact, the second time this year. Nocioni with a big game attacking the ball and the basket, Deng and Duhon driving instead of taking jumpers. Wallace with double digit rebounds. Active defense leads to active offense. All seems positive until I remember that with this win they need to just win 5 more in a row to be a .500 team. Absurd.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sh*thouse Rising

Not to take our blog too far away from the subject at hand, but I'll take this opportunity to boast on behalf of our esteemed author (and MoonBaller). As if a stellar Los Angeles Times review and a television appearance with a local news icon wasn't enough, the book (though, alas, not the author) is appearing on the Today Show on Monday.

You may also note that the book's Amazon ranking is a stellar #276 --- we saw it as low as #170 after Thanksgiving.

To give some context for that Amazon ranking, the best-selling book at the company I work for is ranked #1,146.

P.S. Here's one more item for your x-mas list, Ironwood.


A few thoughts about the season, as we get near the quarter pole:

  • Man, the C's are fun to watch. I have watched so much losing basketball over the past few years that I feel like I've been let out of jail. It even makes my peeking in on the Wolves easy to take (well, kinda. I still cannot believe McHale is running that show). Pierce, Garnett & Allen are great, obviously, but I love the secondary guys (House, Posey, Perkins, Rondo - Scalabrine, not so much). It just shows how much team and context matters in hoop - you put any of those guys on a bad team and they are much less effective.
  • Dwight Howard is just insane. I think if PGA are getting a ring it's gotta be this year, because LeBron & Dwight are going to be duking it out for the East as we move out of the oughts...
  • I'm glad to see Britt Robson getting some national love. That guy can really write - he's been a glimmer of goodness for Wolves fans over the past few years.
  • For those of you that missed this on True Hoop, one-time Moonball Blog commenter Kelly Dwyer is no posting it up on Yahoo. Definitely worth adding to the feed reader, in case any of you are getting too much work done these days.
  • How about published author Jenny sitting in first place w/out making a move...I guess someone was paying attention on draft day.
  • I don't know why, but I really hate the Denver Nuggets. Marcus Camby is cool, you have to respect AI, but something about that whole franchise pisses me off. Part of it is their announcers make Tommy Heinsohn sound objective, and part of it is George Karl, but I can't really explain it fully. It's so bad I even rooted for the Lakers last night.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Five for Friday

Watching the Knicks Bucks game I was once again flabbergasted at how horrible the Knicks are defensively. They don’t close out on shooters, can’t stop penetration, and are still somehow mediocre on the boards. WTF! Misery on parade. I understand the point of view that the players have an individual responsibility for their crappy performance on D. But looking at the Knicks personel as whole – a roster chock full of offensive minded players – what reasonable person could be surprised by the result? There are so many reasons to fire Isiah.

Yi looks very good. I have seen him place twice now, and am very impressed by his foot work, agility, length and coordination. Plus he is thick.

Not many would have predicted that it would be Daequan Cook out of the gate early as the best of the Spiece Indy Heat products at the pro level. With both of his more famous former AAU and college teammates Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr sidelined with injuries, Cook has worked his way into Riles line-up down in Miami. Cook can shoot the ball, and he has a swagger that serves him well. That said, he better enjoy his time at the top, cause when Oden and Conley get healthy and 08 lottery pick and fellow Indy Heat alum Eric Gordon get going, Cook’s name could become the answer to a trivia question.

Who knew? Apparently Shaq gave Paul Pierce the nickname “The Truth.”

2007 Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy is very good, almost like a Dwyane Wade-lite. Though he will surely improve, he may not be able to carry the perimeter scoring load expected by the Blazer franchise and fan base. I am not knocking Roy. I love his game. I am just saying that even with Oden's return, Roy needs some real help in the back court for the Blazers to start making playoff noise.