Andrew Bynum got traded from the Los Angeles Lakers and well…………. yeah. Let’s just say that Andrew doesn’t really care about life anymore. Sad, isn’t it? That Andrew Bynum doesn’t really care about life no more. Bynum is supposed to be out 5 more weeks, but the way his knees are, he might be out longer. Like Greg Oden style. Mitch Kupchak, thank you for stealing #TheWhite Howard. The Lakers could have this problem child on their roster, and imagine the storylines if he was. Last year was bad enough when Andrew Bynum said “YOLO” and shot a three pointer. It was also bad how he was laughing after losing game 2 in the Western Conference Semis. It was bad when he said closeout games were easy, then proceeded to shoot a decent 5-8 from the field, and having 16 points, but having failure to play defense on Javele McGee in crunch time. Amazing. We’re very lucky here, Laker fans. As bad as most of you are, you have to admit that Andrew Bynum and his “potential” is basically gone. Be happy we got it in his last year in LA. As for Sixer fans……….
Carolina basketball is tonight, and I think I’m gonna do a time lapse blog on the game. I have to finish up some last minute homework, but it should be over by tonight (8 PM tip out west). Carolina has issues. Marcus Paige, who’s a freshman point guard isn’t ready to score yet. (He’s better than people think, and better than a team who’s in the top.. let me chill before folks get uneasy). Lack of shooting from the wings, and undersized. But, James Michael McAdoo is ballin out of his mind right now, which I expect. Carolina’s defense hasn’t been bad this year. In fact, it’s been good enough right now even though they haven’t played anyone.
Do I think Carolina will lose? I don’t think so, but it’ll be close. Paige’s first road game comes at a good time because it’s early in the season (and with trips to Indiana, and other ACC venues, this is good), and it’s a measuring stick game to see what type of team Carolina has this year. Long Beach State only scored 44 points on USC, and USC is decent at hoops, they don’t have the type of athletes that Carolina has. We’ll see though. Should be interesting.
Speaking of USC. Big game tomorrow. They PLAY for the bell tomorrow against UCLA in a game that means the direction USC football could head in the next 2-3 years. If USC wins this game, it’ll save their season which has been somewhat of a disappointment. I mean, Marqise Lee has established himself as the best player in college football but, there are some bad things too. The homie Matt Barkley has played average, which isn’t a knock to him, but he’s made throws this season that he hasn’t made since his freshman year. Lane Kiffin phased out Robert Woods, which pisses me off (#FreeRobertWoods) than his X’s and O’s this year. Kiffin is the dude. He did go 10-2 last year, but this team is better than its 7-3 record, and even he knows that. The defense, which ended the season last year ballin’, has been very average this year, a sign that Monte Kiffin needs to retire and USC needs a new scheme.
If USC loses to UCLA tomorrow afternoon, a lot of things will change in the USC Program. Yeah, the sanctions are gonna be there for another couple of years, but still. I’m not saying the younger Kiffin needs to be let go (two losses were on him), but at least think about changing the scheme on defense. If USC loses tomorrow, their run of dominance is over in the city is over. I mean, face it USC fans: With the scholarship reductions and sanctions, it’ll be a tough hill to climb for SC if they lose, and possibly get some recruits next year in the area.
Enjoy the weekend slate of football and basketball everyone.
Now, I have to admit here. I love College basketball, and I’m happy that college basketball is back. Last night, it was in full swing with the Champions Classic, this time in Atlanta. The Champions Classic is a great early season event with four teams, and the rotation of each team playing each other + the locations is EXCELLENT. Last night, the Duke Blue Devils played the Kentucky Wildcats in the “Showdown” of top programs, and coaches.
As a Carolina fan, I can honestly say that I don’t really give care about both of these teams or their programs, but I do respect them.
First and foremost, Duke will always be UNC’s little brother. I don’t care about how they dominated Carolina for a bit of the 1980s, and a bit of the late 90s- early 2000s. Ever since Roy Williams took over, Duke has won three ACC regular season titles. Sure, you can brag about winning a conference tournament. That’s all grand and all, but the reality of the product is that you can’t win the regular season title against the school 8 miles away from you. I understand. Brag all you want. But when’s the last time other than 2010, that you’ve been “better” than Carolina? I’ll wait. Plus, you lost to Lehigh in the tournament last year. Lehigh. I’m seriously Lehigh right now that I just typed Lehigh again.
Kentucky is different to me. See, here’s the thing about Kentucky that makes me laugh the most. Kentucky fans or the BBN, considers themselves better than everyone else because they won a title in 2012. If I’m not mistaken, it took you 14 years to win number 8. Dog. It took 12 years for Carolina to win a title in 2005, then 4 more years in 09 to collect another one. So for Carolina, that’s two in almost 8 years. I’m not saying Carolina is a better program (ESPN did this summer), but it took you 14 years. The funny thing is, what makes you better than everyone else because you won a title in 2012? Swear, one national title doesn’t make you better than me, Michigan State, Kansas, etc. You won. Congrats. Very proud that you can get rid of the drought that was kinda funny especially with the early round exits from 2003-2004. The great thing about Kentucky winning was that they had the right combination, and a little luck to go with it (Once the only competition in the tournament lost their starting point guard with a broken wrist, it was pretty much a wrap).
A key formula was having guys who stayed an extra year, and a couple of stud freshman, plus senior leadership. That’s what a national title is all about, and that’s what Kentucky had last year hence why they won. It really had nothing to do with coaching.
So what does this have to do with last night’s game with anything that I said?
Watching that game last night was interesting because even though I respect both programs, I couldn’t help but laugh at both of these teams playing. I can’t lie here though. I did pick Duke to win. Not because I think they are better, but it’s because it’s early in the season, and Kentucky struggled mightily against Maryland, plus looking at the coaching matchup… Coach K is a better coach and John Calipari and will always be one. Now, I’m not really paying attention because I was looking over Micah’s blog (check that out if you haven’t yet), but I noticed that it’s halftime and Duke is leading. Which didn’t surprise me because Duke dominated the first half of play from what I saw.
But, I have a question. What made John Calipari make this statement, and why?
Like really, why?
Watching that half of basketball which, Kentucky should have been up by more if they could make free throws, it was kinda evenly matched. If I’m not mistaken, Mason Plumlee had two fouls quickly. Ryan Kelly had two fouls early too. It wasn’t like Duke was flopping. There is one thing of a accusing a team of flopping and ironically taking a shot at officiating, but there is another thing for saying this because you’re down two points at the half to a team who’s playing better than you right now. Sure, it was funny. I laughed at it. Then thought about it, and well, it’s why this blog is being written. But I don’t get it.
Now, I like Coach Calipari. I do. But to me, he’s a better version of Lane Kiffin. You’re probably wondering why I said that because I’m a USC fan. Both are great recruiters, but both are simply average coaches. The only thing Lane Kiffin doesn’t have is a championship ring which would make him from an average coach to that “great” coach because of the Teflon logic. Calipari can simply get the best guys in America because he can get them to the next level (NBA) in one season. That’s perfectly fine with me. But as an X’s and O’s guy, is he THAT good of a coach as most people make him out to be? Or does he rely on talent to trump this biggest flaw?
I’m not taking a shot at him. It’s just a question. What was Kentucky’s gameplan last night? With no point guard in Ryan Harrow (who’s just average, but he’s been sick so I’ll give him a pass), how were gonna create shots in the half court? The freshman stud in Nerlens Noel knows a couple of post moves, and that’s nice and all, but against a team with experience, are you going to trust him in the halfcourt to create offense? How about Kyle Wiltjer? Even though he ended up on a box carton after last night’s game after being taken out of the game by Ryan Kelly (That’s unreal, btw), you gotta go to him, right? How about Archie Goodwin? Can you trust his ability and talent against another freshman?
Calipari saying Duke flops when the fouls were practically even at the half is hilarious to me. It’s hilarious to me that he goes on National TV, makes a statement we’ve all known about Duke for years now, and then tries to justify it as why his team is losing at the half. No, coach Cal. Your team was losing because you can’t rebound, play defense well, and you have a problem that most of your teams has: free throw shooting.
Mason Plumlee had 4 fouls before the first TV timeout, Coach Cal. Then duke goes on a 11-5 run that seem to take the air of your coaching, and the Georgia Dome. But that’s because of flopping, right? Seth Curry said “YOLO” in the 2nd half and every time you thought you had a shot to win.
You know why Duke went up 12 at one point in the 2nd half, Coach Cal and Kentucky fans? Because Duke had a gameplan to play defense, rebound, run a bit, and hit their shooters on the break. Seeing Duke twice a year, I can tell you ahead of time that you don’t want them to get a big lead, then slow the game down in the halfcourt. That has nothing to do with flopping. When you have to cry and complain about officials, it means one thing: you knew you didn’t have a shot to win, and Coach K got in your head early on.
If you’re gonna complain and whine about the other team playing better than you, then UK fans, it’s gonna be a LONGGGGGGGG year for you, and himself. But, here’s some encouragement for you, Kentucky fans. I do think Kentucky will be a good team at the end of the season because even though Calipari is average when it comes to X’s and O’s, he does get guys to buy in. It just didn’t seem like he did that last night, and going on National TV saying this to Andy Katz didn’t help his cause with the national audience.
John Calipari, I have one piece of advice for you.
Shut the hell up, stop complaining, and just coach your team. You get calls all the time because you coach Kentucky. The same with Duke. The same with North Carolina. The same with Kansas. The same with UCLA. You’re at a top flight program in America. Stop bitching about flopping, and coach better. It’ll work out in the end if you do this, I promise you.
Shaun let me (@mercs_808 on twitter) take over the WordPress…this might be a mistake.
Anyway, as we all found out in the middle of Saturday night/Sunday morning, the Los Angeles Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni to replace the very abruptly fired Mike Brown. As a fan, I didn’t even wanna see Mike Brown hired to begin with, but I digress. This came as a shock to the basketball world because everyone, and I mean fucking EVERYONE wanted to see Phil Jackson come back for one last stand alongside Kobe Bean Bryant in hopes of winning one more championship together. The fans of Laker Nation cried, yelled, chanted, and screamed in all caps on twitter for the return of Phil Jackson to the Lakers bench. They obviously didn’t get their wish.
After Mike D’Antoni got hired, Laker Nation was pissed. This I found hilarious. Why? Because hiring Phil Jackson would not have worked at all, yet hardly anyone understood this. They still don’t. “But Micah, Phil won 11 championships!!!!”
I don’t care. Phil Jackson won all those damn rings, sure. I’m not taking that away from him. But did we forget how he essentially mailed in his last season in Los Angeles?
(Say it witcha chest, lil ass nigga)
Ahh yes, the 2011 playoffs. The Lakers flat out sucked. It took 6 games to knock out the lowly New Orleans Hornets in the first round. Then in round 2, they were so full of struggle that in Game 3 Phil said to himself “Goddamnit I actually have to coach,” and went and punched Pau in his chest. Let’s be real here Phil ain’t stood up from the bench in 4 seasons. He’s used to letting his guys figure it out, and when they did, it was genius. However in this case, it just didn’t work out that way. I loved Phil Jackson, and consider him to be one of the greats but man…dude got lazy towards the end. It took the Lakers falling to 0-3 for him to finally do something about it. I’m sorry Phil, but I’m not looking for a coach to mail it in, not with this roster, and not with the way the top teams in the league are playing.
Also Laker fans, did you forget that Phil runs the triangle offense, which doesn’t fully maximize the skills of Steve Nash or Dwight Howard?
Let me break it down as simply as I can:
The triangle, or triple post offense requires players to space the floor and move the ball using passes and cuts. The “triangle” where the offense gets it’s name from is formed by the guard in the corner, a forward on the wing and the third on the low block. On the weak side, the other guard and forward from the two man game with the guard at the top of the key and the forward at the high post. This doesn’t require an advanced point guard like Steve Nash and essentially makes him a spot up shooter (think John Paxson, Steve Kerr, or most recently Derek Fisher). Also, the offense requires a center adept at playing with his back to the basket. Dwight Howard is getting better at this but by nature he’s a pick and roll big, so right now, it wouldn’t maximize the players we have.
This is where I took issue with those who kept on saying that Phil should have been hired. It’s like people don’t get that just because he won the Lakers some rings that does NOT mean he’s the right coach for this team as currently constructed. Steve Nash would have been reduced to a glorified Steve Kerr, yet as we all know, he is far too skilled to be reduced to a spot-up shooter. I’m sure the Lakers organization saw this and looked at what Mike D’Antoni was able to accomplish with Steve Nash and a bunch of roster fillers. So that’s why I believe he was hired over Phil Jackson (besides the Lakers not wanting to fulfill Jackson’s ridiculous ass requirements). D’Antoni’s system will have these Lakers scoring and scoring and scoring.
(For even more about how D’Antoni’s offense fits these Lakers)
Enough about offense though, let’s talk about this D (pause)..
This is the side that I’m sure you’re all so worried about with these Lakers. And guess what?! We’ll be just fine. When people think of Mike D’Antoni defensively they immediately go back to his Phoenix years and talk about the lack of defense those Suns teams had. The problem with that argument is that the best defensive player he could’ve possibly had on those teams was Shawn Marion…and that’s not saying a whole lot about the team’s defensive prowess. In contrast, during D’Antoni’s shortened second season in New York, his Knicks team was a top 5 defense, this improvement was largely due to the acquisition of Center Tyson Chandler. Now the Lakers haven’t acquired Tyson Chandler, but they have someone better, Dwight Howard. As a 3 time DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year). Dwight can EASILY do what Chandler did under D’Antoni as the anchor of this defense. Also keep in mind that Dwight isn’t even 100% yet and he’s established himself as a tough defensive force already. I’m not saying these Lakers will be a top 5 defense, but the potential is in place to at least be a decent defensive team. Whether or not they perform to that potential is all on the players.
Mike D’Antoni really isn’t gonna be that bad, but because he’s not Phil Jackson so I’m sure that when the Lakers hit a rough patch y’all will drag his name through the mud just like y’all did Mike Brown.
Just remember, not every system fits, and rings really don’t mean shit when we’re talking about present day sports. Just look at how hard it is to repeat a championship season.
Calm the fuck down and watch some basketball. This season is about to get real fun.