The Moonball Blog

Friday, February 29, 2008

Vitamin S (for Smooooth!)

Here's one for Team Schaeffer. Besides floor hockey...didn't ya'll have a basketball team once too? (There's the hoops connection. I'm trying to stay on topic).

I had to wait until Friday afternoon to post this, cuz...well, it may make you thirsty. Cheers!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

An historic night

Watchin the Celtics beat the Cavs tonight was historic for reasons big and small.

LeBron scored his 10,000 point. Youngest player in NBA history to reach that mark. His milestone basket was a gem: Beat two Celts in a race to the rim in an open court scramble for a I-thought-he-was-gonna-lay-that-in Sneak Attack Thunder Throwdown. Thing of beauty.

KG grabbed his 11,000 rebound. Only 27 other players in League history have yanked that many down. The board was his 11th, cleaning the defensive glass after a great 4th quarter defensive stand. I have been worried about KG's strained abdomen. But he looked like his old self, spidering all over the Cav's offensive attack.

I watched my sixth straight Celtics game. Don't know when the last time was that happened. 1988 or 89. I saw all three loses to start the Western road trip. I was at the Rose Garden for the tilt versus the Blazers courtesy of gift tickets from Lynne-bob. Big fun there. I then enjoyed a waxing of the Clippers and an important clobber job on the new look Cavs.

Despite (or maybe especially because) the consecutive losses to Denver, G-State and Phoenix, watching this team over this stretch convinces me more than ever that Championship 17 is a true possibility. They are coming together as a team in ideal fashion. The team defense is outstanding. They can score with anyone. They believe in one another.

My favorite player during this stretch has been Rondo. He is not only an adequate point guard, he is emerging as force for Boston. A natural ball hawk, he is giving guys fits. His offense looks better and tighter each game. Watching Rondo and Ray match up with Delonte and Wally World could not have made me happier. All due respect to Al Jefferson, C's might have held on to their best young player in their roster make-over.

I love the C's bench too. Posey has been outstanding. I did not realize what a great shooter he is. Eddie House is a perfect cog in the up-tempo attack. Tony Allen is growing as a defensive stopper. And the young big fellas Leon Powe and Glen Davis have become increasingly effective as the season has progressed.

Especially after the rough three game losing streak, these guys look confident, focused, and totally bought in to Doc's concept. My hope is when the history is written about this season, the Championship Celts will talk about those three loses helped the team turn the corner to greatness.

p.s. Best single play of last 6 games? No question: BDiddy's game winner in Oaktown.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Poor Yao

Wow, the time has come to seriously wonder whether the big guy can stay healthy, or whether he will join the ranks of many a promising big man, whose odd physiques are the sources of their abilities and their downfalls. Let's hope that Yao can come back like Big Z and not have the sort of abbreviated career of talents like Ralph Sampson and Bill Walton.

Looking more short term, does this solve the Western stockpile? I've been working on a post in my mind to say that the Suns could find themselves on the outside of the scrum, but now it looks like the Rockets might slip. Or will T-Mac and the rest of the Rockets step up?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

No Legs

Watching the Pistons dismantle the Suns, it's a rare moment for me to take in a game and it turns into a beat down. I know it's still very early, but I think the Shaq trade might end up just like most people (including me, even though I want him to be better for fantasy reasons) thought it would with the knee jerk. He looks Comcastic out there--he's slow, can't make a shot, and clearly has had no impact on defense as the Pistons have gotten anything they want.

I was reading a piece about dunking in the most recent Sports Illustrated, and there was a part of it where the author made the point (and all the players agreed), that the "legs retire first." So players who don't have a close to the ground game fade more quickly. Seems like Shaq can't even dunk anymore--what's left to fear?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Most Significant Trade Yet, Part II

Kurt Thomas to San Antonio is huge. Not as sexy as Pau to LA or Shaq to Phoenix, but he is still tough as nails, smart, and can step out and hit the mid-range jumper consistently. The three-headed combo him, Duncan and Oberto will provide awesome interior defense and now they can always have 2 bigs on the court together if needed to match up with Shaq/Amare or Bynum/Pau. Keeping him away from other contenders is also key as he had proven himself as one of the defender who had given Duncan the most trouble. I love this move for the Spurs.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Most Significant Trade Yet?

Sure the Gasol to LA trade may well shape the NBA Championship. And even in his decreped state, and trade involving Shaq is a big deal. But this Bibby trade actually has me a bit excited.

True Bibby's game is on the decline, but at age 29 he is ostensibly in his prime. Atlanta gave away nothing to get him. The Hawks have some wicked talent at forward and the ridiculous Al Horford in the pivot. Joe Johnson is bad ass. All these guys needed was a real point guard to make the game a little easier for them. I think Bibby will be that guy, and that the Hawks will finish this season at or over .500. They will be a tough out in the post-season. The East just got one team more legit.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Shaq merch

My friend Andy sent me this:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Great Job Johnny

Paxson's line Wednesday night read:
Aldridge, 18 points and 6 rebounds
Thomas, 8 points
Khryapa, waived

Portland, when you speak of Chicago, speak of us well.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


This trade rumor makes no damn sense. How does Shaq make the Suns any better at this point? This would be a brilliant trade for Miami to get Shaq, the fork in his back, and his contract out of town and to get a top tier player back in Marion. Why the Suns would do it boggles the mind.

Monday, February 04, 2008

And on another note

Just in case people haven't seen this video, it's something else.

I actually became a Democrat today, for at least a day, so I can throw in with Obama tomorrow. I waited in line with about 25 people in front of me and at least 75 behind by the time I left, to change my voter affiliation by the noon deadline. People were in such good moods, ranging from progressive folks there for the same reasons as I was to middle-aged voters registering for the first time in their lives. For the first time since I voted for Wellstone as a 19 year old college sophomore, I feel like I'm about to vote for something good, rather than just against something bad. Who woulda ever figured that?

Who Ya Got?

My friends, the West is as good as ever, check out this logjam in the standings:

1 PHO 33-14
2 NOR 32-14
3 DAL 31-15
4 UTH 30-18
5 LAL 30-16
6 SAS 29-16
7 DEN 28-18
8 GSW 29-19
9 POR 27-19
10 HOU 27-20
The top ten separated only by 6 games in the standings. I think there are a few locks to get into the playoffs, but lots of variability left. Nearing the all-star break, which teams are falling out? The unexpectedly good Blazers? The surging Rockets? The surprisingly mortal Spurs? The flashy Warriors? The enigmatic Nuggets? The newly Pau-erful Lakers?

What do you think, my Moonie friends?

Friday, February 01, 2008


If the Lakers have managed the sixth-best record in the West without Pau Gasol, how far will they go with him?

And on another subject, why isn't Chris Paul getting more ink in the all the MVP talk this midseason? Point guard for the top team in the West, and on pace to become the first player in 15 years to average 20 points and 10 assists?

(P.S. has some fugly pictures of Pau. Check out the gallery on his player page.)