This Is How To Write About Sports (Grantland)(D. Rose) (NBA Championship Editorial)

Grantland is awesome and Bill Simmons, who runs it,  is my favorite writer. I aspire to be 10% of what he is as a writer and sports fan. Ok, enough ass kissing. Here is his take on what the effect of Derrick Rose’s injury has on the eventual champ and also other NBA championships helped along by some luck. It’s great. Click here or picture. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am currently writing my feelings about the Rose injury.  I have allowed for it to set in. Cried a little, yelled a lot and now I am ready to put it into words. It is a sad sad tale. 😦  Coming soon.

The NBA’s Biggest Problem: Brandon Jennings

I thought it would be a great idea to address a growing problem that will eventually end in a horrible future NBA.  What am I talking about?  Brandon Jennings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, Brandon Jennings. But, not just Mr.  “Young Money”.  It is the entire league’s feelings and perception of free agency has changed and is a problem. Brandon Jennings is just a great example of this cancerous issue.  Look around the league and try and pick which teams are “good”.  Now think about how many can win the championship?  Now think about how many you would like to go see live (pay the $50-150 to sit and watch)?  You will be hard pressed to come up with many teams.  As Charles Barkley always likes to point out, the league is bad.

The problem with the league is the new player driven free agency.

The reason I mention this particular player is because Brandon Jennings has requested a bigger market. Brandon Jennings. Brandon Jennings! Come on!  He is not featured on the 2012 top 15 PGS in the NBA according the Bleacher Report. (The Bleacher Report is awesome by the way) Not in the top 15 at his own position.  He is currently the second option on a 9th place team in the Eastern Conference. I like Jennings but he is not a star player. Be thankful for your Under Armour endorsement dude.  I have to say that it’s not all his fault. He is just looking up to stars doing the same thing.

Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, and Chris Bosh have all set terrible examples.

During the Miami Heatles bullshit people were appalled by those 3 guys and LeBron’s Decision. They were mad at what he and they did. They were mad at Chris Bosh for following a star. They were mad at D. Wade for pulling one over on his hometown Bulls.  However, they did not realize what that plan did for other free agents and star players in general.  Players now think they are entitled to endorsements and big markets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

( I tried to find the worst Photo-shopped picture)

Look around at the teams that sellout their gyms. Look at the teams that are always involved in high profile trades or free agent signings. They are all the same. It is rare to see a team from a small market consistently do well.  The problem is player driven free agency.

There are guys that do it right (Kevin Durant) but I worry that this is a monster that will be hard to kill.  More stars need to shut their mouths, finish their contracts, or just tell their agent to take care of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope that something can change. The solution might just be contraction.  However, eventually it will not be a choice, it will have to be done.

Extensive March Madness Analysis – 4 Teams That Can Win It All 2012

I have been watching the “Big Dance” my whole life.  While watching I have noticed the type of teams that win have certain attributes and skills. Here is my opinion on who can win the whole thing. Please do not bet money on my opinions and then come back and get angry with me. Also, I’m giving you 4 teams to choose from. So obviously there is some wiggle room I have given myself. Mind you, I did not pick UConn to win it last year or Butler to make it to the Championship game two years in a row.  If I’m wrong, sorry. This is a little long. There are pictures and videos for those of you that can’t take this much content without it being broken up by media.

Here are the factors a team needs to win the championship. Enjoy.

1) Defense & Rebounding: The team that wins needs to have a lock down perimeter defender and a low post athletic defender, not necessarily a shot blocker, but that is a plus.  Down the stretch of a close tournament games, championship teams must be able to get stops. I prefer a solid man-to-man team but it looks like a long and athletic zone can do it as well. There are nights where the shots will not fall and you are bad offensively, but you can never be off defensively.  That is an effort thing. (See Florida’s 2 Championships in 06-07)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2)Paint Scoring: The teams that consistently go far in the tournament have some sort of low-post threat.  Some teams get by without this if they can make 3’s or get hot from the outside. Also, teams that cause a lot of turnovers can score enough to off-set their lack of a low-post scorer.  VCU did this last year during their run. Butler could not score down low against UConn last because their big guy was terrible and essentially lost the game for them. Again, sometimes this can be off-set by a kid like Kemba Walker just carrying his team.  A jump shooting team is bound to have an off game, or half, or 5 minutes, which is enough to lose a game and send them fishing. If you can get to the rim and to the FT line, you can still win without a typical low post-scorer. But, you must get into the paint. (See Every Championship Team Ever)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3)Take care of the Basketball: Teams that limit their turnovers are likely to get more shots. If you get more shots than your opponent, you have a better chance to score more.  To win a basketball game, you must score more than your opponent.  Any questions?  A solid PG or structured offense helps.  If you play an uptempo offense you must still get shots. You can’t give easy buckets to your opponent by turning the ball over.  (See Michigan State ’00 , UConn ’11, Kansas ’08, UNC ’05, ’09) Great point guards and structured offenses. Butler ’10, 11, I know they didn’t win it but were they more talented than most of the teams they beat? No. Structured offense and discipline helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MATEEEEEEEEEEN!

4)Coaching: I know, I know. Having 3 lottery picks helps but, coaching is important.  They personally need to stay poised, keep their players focused, and understand how to beat each team they play. If you can’t get stops in your man-to-man defense, change it up.  If they are doubling your stud big guy and you are not making the 3’s on the kick-out, you need to get your big guy in some moving sets (ball screens/cross screens/etc.). Little things get your team an advantage.  The best coaches know how to manage the talent and make the correct decisions. (See how many of the names repeat for Final 4 coaches) I know that recruiting and talent plays a huge part of this repetition, but these guys are good. (See Illinois during the Bruce Weber era for proof that talent does not mean success)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) Momentum:  Now I am going to contradict everything I just typed.  Sometimes your team is just playing well. Players are playing with confidence.  Hitting shots. Playing together. All of these things put together for 5 games can propel a team that lacks some of the 4 factors I just mentioned to a championship.  If you look back at the last 10 champs, UConn from last year is the only team that just got hot like that after not having a great year. They had 9 loses. That has only happened twice in the last 20 years (UConn last year was 32-9 and Arizona in 1997 was 25-9). Arizona is the only team to beat 3 #1 seeds in the tournament. Interesting fact. Sure teams will make runs like Butler or VCU or George Mason but, I’m talking about championships here.  Doesn’t happen often, but there is a chance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Bibby, but I know what everyone is thinking, what happened to Miles Simon?

Here is the moment you have read this entire piece for…who will win?!  Well, I’ll tell you. Get to it already you long winded ass! Here. Take them.  Do what you will with these picks.

But first watch this… The best clip from the best sports commentator ever.

Also this:

OK HERE THEY ARE:

Kentucky: (#1 pick)

Defensively great. So much talent on one team. Anthony Davis is going to be the #1 pick/player of the year/freshman of the year.  He is just an super athlete. Kidd-Gilchrist is the motor of this team.  He does so much for them. The key is Teague who needs to take care of the ball and create. Limit his turnovers. If that happens and John Calipari can keep them prepared and not over coach, they will win it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syracuse: (#2 pick)

Long, athletic, talented. I would argue that their scoring might be something to prevent them from winning it all. Does they have a go to guy when it is needed. Fab Melo is a difference maker on the defensive end.  He just stops teams from getting anything easy.  They will be tough to beat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michigan State: (#3 pick)

Just watched them absolutely take Ohio State out of their offense. They are good enough offensively to score enough. I love their bigs defensively and love Draymond Green. He is exactly what a leader should be for his team. No star takes more charges than Green. If they can continue to shoot well, they are dangerous to win it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missouri: (#4 pick)

Can they defend enough?  They are the fastest team I think I have ever seen.  For the amount that they push the ball, they do take care of the ball.  I am unsure whether they can sustain their style to win 5 games in a row. However, they can score from everywhere and cause so many problems for the opponent. I like how they are playing right now. They just beat Baylor handily.  I think they fall into the momentum category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are my picks.  Like I said, please don’t bet money on one of these teams, unless I can get a cut. This is free information.  Maybe the teams I have picked will not win the tournament this year, but I think my keys to winning are sound. If you disagree with my picks, let me know. I would love to here suggestions and opinions.

Here is a link of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament Champion History.

Lionel Messi – G.O.A.T.?

Lionel Messi just scored 5 goals in a Champions League game against Leverkusen.  The first to ever do it.  Which gives him 12 goals in 7 games. It was also his 17th career hat-trick. Stunning.  I know it isn’t against the best competition. But, it got me thinking. Is Messi the greatest soccer player of all time?  I have been watching soccer my entire life and have seen some greats.  You can only really compare him to other offensive juggernauts.  Inzaghi, Henry, Bastistuta, Romario, Drogba, Del Piero, Ronaldo and Ronaldo to name a few of the best (scorers) I have ever watched. I know people will argue that Pele and Maradona were better, but that wasn’t my generation.  I know Christiano Ronaldo is always compared to Messi, however if you watch a few games of each player, you will know instantly that they are different. Ronaldo is dangerous because he is long, athletic and gets “tackled” a lot.  His danger is creating chances and set pieces because of fouls committed on him.  However, he is not dangerous from every spot on the field. Messi would run into a brick wall just to get a toe on the ball.  That is what makes him so good.  His touch, speed, and creativity is unmatched, but his energy separates him from other players.  Messi is truly an unbelievable talent, this is undeniable  but is he the Greatest of All Time?

5 Goals in one game… Here they are.