The Moonball Blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I will confess, I was never really a Zach fan. I hate to admit this, but I think I bought into the hate - he seemed like a numbers guy and kind of an idiot - the strip club stuff, the guns, whatever. When he was on the Knicks and the Clippers he just looked horrible defensively and not a particularly good teammate offensively. When Chris Wallace traded for him I just thought it was another idiot Chris Wallace move.

Flash-forward to now. For a bunch of reasons (no league pass, the fairly weird realization that English soccer is my favorite sport at the moment, the Wolves marching steadily backwards, the regular season not mattering to the C's) I barely watched any games this year (and finished in the top half in moonball for the first time since season 2, I think...) Absence makes the heart fonder, I guess, and I've been eating these playoffs up. For me the absolute revelation is how freaking awesome Z-bo is. Watching Timmy and the Spurs get beat is always enjoyable (unless it's the Lakers doing the beating) but watching the Griz do it has been awesome. There are all kinds of goodness on this Griz team - big Marc with the jump hooks, Cincinnati kid OJ Mayo with the threes and the throw downs, Darryl "Chester A" Arthur giving big minutes, Tony Allen with the D and the crazy - but Zach is clearly what makes them work. He's boarding, he's guarding and his passing has been a delight.

The Spurs aren't going to go down easy, but I just hope I get to keep watching the Griz for a few more weeks at least.

Sorry for my previous hate, Zach, but keep it going.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Whence comes this truthiness?

Chris Dudley has done wonderful work on behalf of diabetes related charities for years. Not a surprise that he would be included in the commercial running during the playoffs. What is a surprise is that when Dudley's face is on the screen, the text reads:

Chris Dudley
NBA Legend

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Moonball Victory - Nothing But Nets!

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers."
-Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction

I think you've had a taste of that, friends, as you have seen me in action, victorious in Moonball in 2011. Thanks for the great season!

There is no prize anymore for "being in the money" -- but I wonder if you would consider buying a mosquito net for $10 to help me fight malaria and celebrate moonball positivity.

Instead of climbing a ladder to cut down the nets for victory, please help me send a few more nets through this global effort to prevent the spread of malaria. The more nets, the more lives saved. Here is a link to my contribution page.

Thanks again. Let me know if you'd like to find out more about malaria, or hear more about how I won it all. And listen to a member of my previous Moonball championship team, Dikembe Mutombo:

Labels: , ,

Kings to Orange County Equals Less Travel for the Lakers

Sure, there are other reasons not to like the all-but-final decision for the Maloof Bros to move Sacramento's dearly beloved Kings south to the O.C.. But what I think is totally ridiculous is that the Lakers have in effect 4 less games for which they need not board a plane than every other team in the League--L.A. already gains the 2 extra home games via 'sharing' the Staples Center with the woeful Clippers, and now possibly a team bus ride to the O.C. to play a newly located team in historical hotbed of Laker fandom. Wonder what the atmosphere of those games will be like?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When no one was looking

Michael Redd returned to the NBA

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Kobe is Hate

Had a wonderful time watching Portland deliver L.A.’s fourth straight loss, this one much more a thumping than the final score would indicate. The Blazers were great. On the second night of a back to back, with no Marcus Camby to help LaMarcus battle L.A.’s League-best frontline, Portland pulled a surprise shift and strategy, running at every opportunity. The Blazers had 20 fast break points in the first half. Usually, that is a week’s total for Nate McMillan’s squad. Andre Miller was brilliant, racking up assists with an array of half court bounce passes and alley-oops.

Crazy thing is, had the Kobster not played like such a shit head throughout the game, L.A. probably could have won. Lakers came out of the gate all fire, hitting jumpers, grabbing the boards, and generally controlling the first 5 minutes of the game. They were giving each other Duke hugs and generally acting like Champions. The Lakers had established Gasol (who was being guarded by 6’9 Nicolas Batum) as automatic in the paint, and Bynum was pushing everyone around. Then Portland caught a spark and went on a 17-2 run, consisting almost entirely of fast break finishes and up-tempo play. Phil Jackson called two times out before the first quarter was done.

Having lost three straight, trailing by double digits, the pressure was on. And for the Kobster, that means time to chuck it up. The Kobster nailed 4 consecutive threes to close out the first half and pull L.A to 6. But instead of re-establishing Pau and Bynum inside in the second half, the Kobster kept chucking. In fact, midway through the 3rd quarter, he had the nerve to yell at a posting Gasol for not clearing out so that he could drive. At that time he was 8-22 from the floor and his team was trailing by 24.

There is no doubt that the Kobster is one of the most accomplished, talented players the Game has ever seen. But what a selfish jerk! Lakers will likely win a third consecutive Championship this year. The combination of the Kobster, Gasol, Bynum and Odom is really hard to best. But if L.A. does not repeat, none of us will be surprised that Kobe’s selfish play was at the core of problem.

p.s. fun note for all you current and former Portland residents. As Portland clinched the game, announcer Mike Rice (who hates L.A. with the passion appropriate to a homer announcer) gleefully said, “The game over. The L.A. band wagon fans are leaving the arena.” Mike Barrett (who also hates L.A. but is much more professional) says “Well, in fairness, there are some L.A. transplants living up here. Rice says “Yeah, well I can see their yellow leaving. And I am talking about their yellow jerseys not their yellow teeth.”

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Bulls host the Celtics tonight with a 3 game lead in the Eastern Conference race to the Playoffs.

At the Allstar Break I dared to dream we might come into this game in a tie with Boston and be able to step ahead. The first two rounds of the playoffs still need to be won but the prospect of a path to the Finals that includes only one series against Miami/Boston is delicious. Hopefully knowing that a loss leaves Chicago two games up with just four games to go (including two of the worst teams in the League), the Bulls will play loose, agressive and well.

It is hard to say that a team that has won 16 of its last 18 is not dominating but the last few games have been tough. I was at the UC when Philly stomped Chicago (third game in four nights, whatever...everybody has been playing since October) and have watched the Bulls really struggle to put away the Grizzlies, Bucks, Pistons, Raptors and Suns.

Boozer and Noah continue to have injuries (though one of the things I love about this team is that each time Boozer goes down, it feels like we get better. OMER!). Hopefully Thibs will have the team's act together tonight, Carlos will play defence & Joakim can get his rebounds.