The Starting Five

Basketball

Gilbert’s ‘shortcut’ tweet makes sense

by on Jun.15, 2011, under Basketball, Pro Sports

The NBA gets talked about on this blog as much as Anthony Weiner’s politics do following ‘WeinerGate.’

There’s more coverage at a nudist beach.

But since the NBA Finals came to a close on Monday, I felt it was time to talk about what everyone else is talking about: LeBron James. He became, easily, the most excoriated professional athlete following his “decision” to take his talents to South Beach, which, among me and my friends, has become code for taking a dump. Gross? Yes. Hilarious? Even more so.

That hour-long special last summer did wonders for the decor in my college house. I was able to purchase a LeBron James Fathead for $17.41 because Cavaliers and Fathead owner Dan Gilbert handled that situation more like a scorned girlfriend and less like a moneyed businessman. Gilbert stayed true to his sneering ways Monday after the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks 105-95 in Game 6 (4-2 in the series) by posting this on his Twitter page: “… Old Lesson for all:There are NO SHORTCUTS. NONE.” Clearly a direct shot at LBJ. To add insult to injury, for the Heat, the Mavs got to celebrate on Miami’s home court — the same place where this pretentious spectacle took place after James signed with the Heat. (continue reading…)

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2011 NBA Draft Outlook

by on Mar.01, 2011, under Basketball, College Basketball, Pro Sports

I think it is safe to say that March is the MOST ELECTRIFYING MONTH IN ALL OF SPORTS! Excuse me for stealing a line from The Rock, but I really think March is most exciting month for sports solely because of March Madness. Nothing epitomizes gambling in an office setting more than the NCAA Tournament. The new 68-team bracket hasn’t garnered a lot of attention this year. Quite frankly, nothing from college basketball has been talked about that much this year because there is no real powerhouse team, in my opinion. The biggest college basketball star of 2011 is BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, so yeah, it’s been a slow year.

This all got me thinking about the top NBA prospects in college this year. I don’t think there are many. If this year’s NBA draft class were to be compared to a movie, it would be “Point Break” with Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey as the main characters. That’s how unappetizing this year’s draft class is. When a Duke player is slated to go No. 1 overall, it’s not a good year for talent. Sure, Duke always has a strong team in college, but there aren’t many Dukies tearing it up in the NBA. The Blue Devils always seem to find good, awkward-looking college players that rarely transition well in the pros.
(continue reading…)

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Week 4 boys rankings

by on Feb.03, 2011, under Basketball, Pro Sports

Not a whole lot of change except at the top. There simply haven’t been many games played in the last week, but the biggest was Williamsport’s 50-39 loss to North Hagerstown.
Here goes:
Rank, School, Record, Last week
1. Hedgesville, 15-0, 2nd, did not play
2. Williamsport, 13-1, 1st, went 0-1
3. South Hagerstown, 12-1, 3rd, went 1-0
4. Chambersburg, 12-5, 4th, went 1-0
5. Martinsburg, 9-5, 5th, went 1-0
6. Washington, 10-2, 6th, did not play
7. North Hagerstown, 9-5, 8th, went 1-1
8. Greencastle, 12-6, 7th, went 2-1
9. Mercersburg Academy, 10-8, 9th, went 1-1
10. Southern Fulton, 13-1, n/r, went 1-0
Also: James Buchanan, 11-8

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NBA Draft 2010: Terp outlook

by on Jun.22, 2010, under Basketball, Pro Sports

Maryland’s 2009-2010 basketball season was one that most Terp fans won’t forget. It didn’t end with a National Championship but the team did get a share of the regular season ACC crown. The March 3 game against Duke was epic.

But that season is in the past and now college basketball fans will focus their attention on Thursday’s NBA Draft. The Wizards have the first pick which they will likely use for Kentucky’s John Wall. While that is a foregone conclusion, the question still lurks about where any Terps will go.

Maryland posted a 24-9 record in the 09-10 season and a 13-3 ACC record. They had three seniors—Greivis Vasquez, Landon Milbourne, and Eric Hayes—on the squad. Vasquez was the top performer of the team averaging over 19 points and six assists per game (John Wall only averaged over 16 points and four assists).

The versatile Venezuelan was colorful, vocal, and a great college player. He can score in the paint or beyond the arc, grab boards off the window, and dish out sweet dimes, but a lot of scouts have had trouble finding a place for him in the first round. Orlando and Memphis have considered snagging the 6’6″ point guard late in the first round, but it’s still uncertain whether or not that will happen. (continue reading…)

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Cheap shots?

by on Jan.05, 2010, under Basketball

Here is just a thought to throw out there for consideration.

Do you think there is a whole new perspective when someone mentions the Washington Wizards’ shooting percentage?

It just goes to show that Gilbert Arenas is the wrong “caliber” of player to be the Wizards’ face of a franchise.

A couple of things to make you go, Hmmmmmmmmmm.

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Off the top of my head ….

by on Apr.19, 2009, under Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Pro Sports

THE NBA PLAYOFFS – I might actually pay half attention this year with the King James and the Cavaliers a favorite to reach the NBA Finals. James gets 38 points in the playoff opener on Saturday, showing every reason why the Cavs should get there.

THE NHL PLAYOFFS – What was that thud in Washington this week? The Capitals losing twice at home to the N.Y. Rangers certainly was not in my horoscope, much less that of any Capitals fan. Talk about being in dire straits? Where has Alex the Great been?

JOHN MADDEN – The kind of guy I would never want mad at me … Madden announced his retirement after 30 years in the broadcast booth earlier this week. It turns out his final game was the Super Bowl and he goes out successfully – he did a great job with Al Michaels in what turned out to be a very good game. The way he called the game made it a great way for him to go out at the age of 73. Madden was unique in his own way. He taught the average fan with his analysis in terms of ‘Whaps and Booms’ instead of always boring us with the intracacies of inside terminology. He was a Hall of Fame coach and a HOF broadcaster.

NEW YORK YANKEES – Of course I couldn’t be happier that my Cleveland Indians spoiled the very first game in the new Yankee Stadium on Thursday with a 10-2 win over that team. And then, 24 runs on Saturday. It’s not often an Indians fan can gloat against the Yankees, so I’ll take ‘em when and where I can get them. Andy Schotz – what did you think about Saturday?

NASCAR — From Joey Logano to Mark Martin – I guess anyone young and old that can hold on to a steering wheel can win a race.

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The collapse and Kobe

by on Jun.13, 2008, under Basketball, Pro Sports

I watched the US Open last night away from home and happened to catch the crawl line on the screen with the score showing: LA 44, Boston 20 in the NBA Finals ….
Later when I got home, I turned the TV on figuring to just catch a score, but of course, as long as the NBA is taking to play these games, the Celtics and Lakers were still playing close to midnight.
And, BOSTON wins …..

Sounds to me like it was a Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles Lakers “greatest-ever NBA Finals COLLAPSE” more than anything.

The player who professes to be the best can’t make a shot when it’s needed.

And then, in the postgame interview, he assesses the outcome by saying — to paraphrase — the team will wine about it, have a few beers and about 20 shots and then worry about it later.

Way to go Kobe. All the young kids that look up to you as a role model and you suggest going out and getting blasted is the way to forget about a sorry collapse.

What a guy.

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Wizards should take out their trash

by on Apr.21, 2008, under Basketball

(Hey, what is this?!? A blog post?!?!? Yeah, I know, shocked the heck out of me, too.)

If I was Washington Wizards coach Eddie Jordan, I would bench DeShawn Stevenson for the rest of the Cavaliers series … which the way it’s going will be two more games.

He’s done enough damage already.

First, you really have to be an idiot to call LeBron James “overrated.” That’s just dumb. James just turned in a season in which he averaged 30.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists. The list of guys in the NBA who have averaged a 30-7-7 over a season is a really short one: Off the top of my head, Oscar Robertson once averaged a triple-double, and Larry Bird and Michael Jordan may have done it, but that’s about it. Apologies if I missed anyone, but I think I made my point. (Edit: Bird never did it, but Wilt Chamberlain did it. Jordan once averaged a 32-8-8. Goodness.)

But Stevenson took his idiocy to a whole other level Monday night.

With James – who was on his way to 30 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds – and the Cavaliers thoroughly outplaying the defense-less Wizards, Stevenson made a 3-pointer, then did the “You Can’t See Me” face-wash taunt John Cena has made famous in the WWE.

Two problems: The Wizards were down 16, and Stevenson is a combined 5-for-16 in the two games, averaging a whopping 7.5 points per game.

Hey, DeShawn … I’ve got one word for you: Scoreboard.

Here’s the thing: I actually like a little trash-talking, as long as it’s done well. It can’t be personal, and it shouldn’t be negative. But a “Better get somebody else to guard me” or an “I’m taking you to school tonight” is within the bounds of sportsmanship and keeps the game what it is: A game.

However, there’s a time and a place for trash-talking. And it surely isn’t down 16 and getting embarassed by the guy you called “overrated.”

This was a series a lot of people liked the Wizards to win – and for the record, I have a $5 bet with Herald-Mail publisher John League, who took the Wizards. I took the Cavs, knowing full well they struggled in the final few weeks of the season. My reasoning was simple: I didn’t want to bet against LeBron. I remember how he almost single-handedly carried the Cavs past the Pistons in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. And the Pistons are a whole lot better than the Wizards.

Hopefully, no one will ever be dumb enough to call LeBron “overrated” again.

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The ‘Court’ arrives for King James

by on Feb.21, 2008, under Basketball, Pro Sports

He really would have liked to see the Cavaliers make a deal for guard Jason Kidd, but LeBron James has to be satisfied with the deal GM Danny Ferry pulled off right before the NBA trading deadline this afternoon.
I’m not an NBA guru, don’t care to be one. However, I do remember how humiliating the sweep by San Antonio in the finals last year was and how much help James really does need in order to get to the NBA’s promised land.
It’s a sweet deal for Cleveland, even though I hate to see Drew Gooden leave. The Cavs picked up Ben Wallace and Joe Smith from Chicago and Wally Szczerbiak and Elonte West from Chicago in an 11-player deal.
Even though he’s 33, Wallace still has the inside game and I’m guessing he’s ready to return to the form that he showed when he was in Detroit. Szczerbiak, a Miami (Oh.) grad, is a sharpshooter that will hopefully be a significant player from the outside, helping take much of the constant double-teaming off James. I think Smith and West are players above the caliber of Donyell Marshall and Ira Newble, two of the players the Cavs let go. I’m not at all worried about Cleveland trading Larry Hughes. He’s certainly not been worth his contract since coming over from Washington.
I consider this trade the beginning of the second season for the Cavaliers, one in which they have closed the talent gap from themselves and Boston and Detroit in the Eastern Conference.

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This ‘n That

by on Oct.08, 2007, under Baseball, Basketball, College Football, College Sports, Football, Pro Sports

Listened to some of the Washington Redskins on radio Sunday. I pity Larry Michaels, the play-by-play man for the Redskins because he has to work with Sam Huff and Sonny Jurgenson. The two were great NFL players, but the two of them supposedly doing color? Well, it’s a bad comedy show.

My oh my. I really didn’t expect my ND Irish to win a game until the final four-game stretch of the season. Yet, the Irish prevailed over UCLA 20-6 on Saturday. They kayoed UCLA’s No. 1 QB and took advantage of turnovers. I should only hope they are growing stronger, but USC and Boston College are in the way of any current progress. HOWEVER, I predict ND will give Boston College all it can handle.

And while on the topic of college football … don’t you just love how even the playing field is in college? USC gets bumped off by 40-point underdog Stanford. There have been a huge amount of upsets the last two weeks and there will probably be some more. Some have already said Stanford’s upset of USC was the greatest ever … I think not — I still go with Appalachian State beating Michigan. … You just gotta love college football.

I fully expected my Indians to lose to New ork on Sunday, especially after Steinbrenner issued his public ouster of Joe Torre if the Yankees don’t win …. That fueled the Yanks some on Sunday, but George can still get ready to find a new manager. The Indians will come out on top.

LeBron James at a Cleveland-New York playoff game in Cleveland wearing a NY Yankees hat …. So what? If he’s wearing another basketball uniform that’s a big problem, but a hat? Deal with it!

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