The Grand National Championships

April 20, 2009

You know what?

I should have fucking seen being disappointed coming. Barack Obama has just cemented the fact that we will torture again. We will find people that the ruling party disagrees with, and we will torture again. A lack of punishment in government for governmental political crimes cements something worse.

Watergate begat Bush. World War I begat World War II. And this is going to lead to something worse down the road. We cannot look forward until we exorcize the demons. It is not retribution. It is necessary and it is proper. If you are ordered to do something wrong you should face the consequences.

We have vultures from the Bush administration circling around. And the Republican party, despite it’s reactionary kant, will find its way out of the weeds. Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz saw what happened with Watergate. Imagine what someone will do with the opportunity the Obama administration is trying to make.

They say that torture is dead as an American policy. And even if you give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. That leaves a simple and obvious question.

What’s to stop the next administration from giving torture the rebirth?

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April 17, 2009

Day 1 Draft Breakdown…Wide Receivers

Last year? There was not much quality to the depth that was out there for the passcatcher. There was a lot of depth, but there was no first round ace. This year? It brings something different. Height and awesome. Trust me, there will be a lot of receivers drafted here.

Michael Crabtree
1. Michael Crabtree Texas Tech
6’2″ 215 4.54

There is so much to love about Michael Crabtree’s game? It’s sick. Outside of timed speed? Here’s what Crabtree brings to the table.

Size
Hands
Ball skills
Ups
Hand catching at the high point
Physicality
Route-running
Getting himself open
And he was a Heisman finalist on one foot last year. Yeah. he’s an ace.

What’s his weaknesses? The speed is not great, and the separation will become an issue at some point. It also means he’s never going to be a home run hitter. But I am merely nitpicking. Crabtree is ready.

I mean, worst case scenario? He’s Keyshawn Johnson. But like the last redshirt sophomore to declare himself for the draft, there’s a surprising polish to his game. If you must know. Crabtree could sky to Larry Fitzgerald’s heights. He has that high of an upside.

Jeremy Maclin
2. Jeremy Maclin Missouri
6’0″ 198 4.45

Jeremy Maclin has that certain something to his game. It’s a mixture of elusiveness that rivals Devin Hester and hands that compare favorably to Torry Holt. Give him the first step? And he’s gone. Have him leap for the ball? He’ll get it. And going east and west? He’s just as scary.

He does have one real weakness right now. Ask him to run the entire route tree? And it won’t go great. His concentration can run hot and cold. And he does need to develop more on-field strength.

But if he gets his hands on the ball? He’s straight nightmare for defenders. You will see him as a returner straight away, and he will be awesome. When his polish gets there? He will be kind of like Steve Smith without the crazy.

darrius heyward bey
3. Darrius Heyward-Bey Maryland
6’2″ 210 4.25

There’s a certain archetype that you find in Wide Receivers. The wide receiver with superb athleticism and no polish to him. That’s DHB in a nuthsell. The 40-time is sexy, and he does have olympic level straight line speed. He does have the build that if the light ever turned on, he could be better than Crabtree. He has solid ball skills and the same sort of physciality and fearlessness.

But his hands are inconsistent on his best days, and his instincts and awareness? Also not so good. Maclin’s route running skills are better as well. And that sprinter speed? Strictly straight line as well. He also won’t break many tackles for a dude his size.

In my head, I have a name. This is strictly first instinct, and I know I’ve been proven wrong in these scenarios before. But the name that fits the archetype of DHB, at least in its most recent incarnations? Troy Williamson. Turtle nation can commence feeling insulted…now.

PERCY HARVIN
4. Percy Harvin Florida
5’11” 192 4.39

Percy Harvin is a weapon, pure and simple. Get him the ball out in space? And he’s going to fuck some shit up. He has soft hands and good body control. But his elusiveness? His elusiveness is the skill that pays his bills. Sweeps, screens, slants and flies. Spectacular.

If you’ve heard of anything close to Percy Harvin, you know his major weakness is his feet. He does not stay healthy, and it’s mostly with his heel and ankle. Sure, route running is a bit of a problem, but you know what? Being a Devin Hester-Reggie Bush type with missing positional and seemingly no special teams skills is essentially ballast if he can’t stay healthy.

What he brings to the table when he sees the field? It’s Top 5 talent. He is such a good playmaker when healthy you you see him among the left tackles and Crabtree. But the problem? He’s not a strong healer, and he always seems dinged up, and that’s why he may fall out of the first round of the draft.

Hakeem Nicks
5. Hakeem Nicks North Carolina
6’1″ 212 4.51

Youtube Hakeem Nicks, and you know what you’ll find? He has hands that are spectacular. That catch wasn’t merely ancedotal, dude has got hands. He also has general ball skills and excellent body control. And he has the heart to work the middle of the field.

He will never be a vertical threat. He does not have great levels of athleticism. He does not get great separation. The injury at the combine cum fat butt? It is only an issue because it entails character and motor. If he gains 15 pounds because of a lack of working out for the biggest job interview ever? What happens when he gets rich?

Let the scout that made the rumors of Hakeem being an underized tight end fade from your mind. What he is, is a receiver with hands of glue. He may never be spectacular. But he has the grit and intangibles to have a nice decade long run as a Jake Reed type. He will possess your heart.

Kenny Britt
6. Kenny Britt Rutgers
6’3″ 218 4.50

He knows how to use his height and long arms to his advantage like a Republican on a Racist southerner. He can get up and snatch the ball out of the air. Add to that good timed speed, solid route running and a general swagger to his stride? There is a pretty tasty skill set here.

That being said? it’s a fine line between swagger and asshole. Britt walks that every day. He also loses his concentration from time to time. And his agility? It’s meager at best. So, there just might be those days where he’ll go out and get 2 catches for 3 yards.

A potential high reward player with good athleticism despite his mediocre timed speed and unrelaible hands and the diva mentality of many #1 receivers? I wonder if his build reminds you of anybody? Tell you what? I will give you two sets of line breaks and ellipsis to for you to think of a name.

I say Braylon Edwards clone. What say you?

Brian Robiskie
7. Brian Robiskie Ohio State
6’3″ 209 4.46

When it comes down to it? Robiskie has the little things down cold. He does not waste movement on his routes. He finds the openings on zones. And he has the hands to pluck and high point the ball out of the air. He will block and give every effort on every play.

But Ohio State has a notoriously fast track. That 4.46 is not his real football speed. He’s never going to be spectacular vertically. And in terms of the elusive question? He’s not great at that either. A fast defensive back can get him from behind.

However? He does have a strong skill set. His father is a wide receiver coach. And he’s learned all the little things from him. And he has the work ethic to polish his strengths into finely honed skills. There’s a lot of Hines Ward to his game, and he has a strong chance to touch that ceiling.

Juaquin Iglesias
8. Juaquin Iglesias Oklahoma
6’1″ 210 4.44

You want someone to get dirty going over the middle? You want Iglesias. He also has top-notch hands and he can make defenders miss in the short areas of the field. He makes fast cuts and his catch radius? It’s very nice. And if necessary? You can stick him on special teams and have him return a punt or a kick or two.

But like Robiskie? His 40-time does not match his actual time. His seperation skills are inconsistent. And he does not have the burst to go vertical. And for a dude this size? Getting himself knocked off the line is not something that you should have happen.

But that being said? He has the potential to be more than a mere posession receiver. A west coast offense will love him. An offense that relies on slants, digs and run after the catch? They will love him. If the Pack didn’t have 27 receivers? He’d be a perfect fit.

Now, receiver sleepers are multiple and plentiful. Trust that I will post more about these pass catchers. Jarrett Dillard is gonna be a steal. Trust me.

June 22, 2008

So, I know that Mock Drafts can be comedic at best.

But as a man who loves draftery? You kind of need to give it a go. Even if it’s an exercise in futility, or as I like to call it, exercise.

Thus, the Grand National Championships proudly present…an NBA Mock Draft Pit 350.

1. Bulls: Derrick Rose (PG) Memphis

As this draft goes, there are two special talents in this draft, and while I still think there’s going to be an issue in the Bulls being with a conservative general manager such as John Paxson and the mess of talent still in the backcourt, Mr. Rose has two advantages over Beasley. One, a local boy #1 pick brings great joy to Jerry Reinsdorf’s quest to become Scrooge McDuck. And two, his downside is being merely great instead of special.  

2. Heat: O.J. Mayo (SG) USC

I know this seems shocking, but if you think about it logically, it makes perfect sense. Michael Beasley seems to have shrunk himself into a young Shawn Marion, and his refreshing honesty makes the professionalized life of O.J. Mayo into a better fit for Riley’s demeanor. Also, if there was any way shape or form that O.J. Mayo could fall to fifth? Beasley would be a Grizzly by Friday.

3. Timberwolves: Michael Beasley (PF) Kansas State

And if I’m right, Minneapolis becomes the hipster haven of the NBA. Not saying this to ape Free Darko, Mayo to Miami just makes more sense to me.

4. Supersonics: Jerryd Bayless (Combo Guard) Arizona

Obvious pick is obvious. The Sonics are in dire need of somebody with point guard skills. And with Mayo off the board? Jerryd is an offensive playmaker who make Kevin Durant a lot better. If they don’t kill each other first.

5. Grizzlies: Brook Lopez (C) Stanford

The way the Grizzlies are built, they would be looking for an inside presence, scoring ability optional. Many of the draft boards say that Kevin Love (to love you baby) is the Naughty Girl for the Grizzlies. But the fact of the matter is that Love’s fat, undersized, and offensive minded. And if Brook Lopez is available at this pick the Grizzlies would be damned fools to pass on Lopez here.

6. Knicks: Eric Gordon (SG) Indiana

Now Gallinari may have a guarantee to be drafted here, but the fact of the matter is if no superstar slips out of the Top 5, the doughy-faced assassin is the perfect fit for a run and gun offense. All Eric Gordon does is put the biscuit in the basket. D’Antoni will love his style. 

7. Clippers: Russell Westbrook (PG/SG) UCLA

Love lands here if Brand decides he’s going to become a Free Agent, but if not, the board falls to Westbrook. He has excellent athleticism and great defense. He’s not a pure 1, and his offense is questionable. But as a high energy guy to back up/provide insurance to Shaun Livingston? It would be a great pick for Elgin Baylor.

8. Bucks: Joe Alexander (SF) West Virginia

Scott Skiles is living in his own private hell. He’s a defensive oriented coach living with a team that has no defensive skill and there is no defensive skill in a position that they need. Love is a poor defender. Gallinari’s too much the poor athlete. And Anthony Randolph is Stromile Swift 3.0. Joe Alexander may not be a great defender, but Skiles will feel better with his unorthodoxy and efforts.  

9. Bobcats: Kevin Love (PF/C) UCLA

Nazr Mohammad had a great year last year, but he is not a long term answer. If Love is available here? He’s a great fit. A very good offensive center, and he has the outlet passability to send Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson on rim-rocking fast breaks. He’ll find his place in the research triangle.

10. Nets: Danilo Gallinari (SF) Jeans from the Italian Suit People.

Now they could just as easily take a flier on an Anthony Randolph or a DeAndre Jordan, but the fact of the matter is that Gallinari is the best player for what Lawerence Frank wants to do. The fans may not be happy with an undersized four, but he provides energy, toughness, and a spectacular mid-range game.

11. Pacers: D.J. Augustin (PG) Texas

The perfectly logical fit. He will make Danny Granger an all-star, and not in the Scott Cooper, Mark Redman there’s nobody else sense. Also, he’s everything Jamaal Tinsley’s not. So maybe he’s going to get a hit out on him. See, because Tinsley loves guns, right and…

Moving on.

12. Kings: Anthony Randolph (SF/PF) LSU

Here’s where the upside gambles come out to play. His measurables are, according to Draft Express, quite bad. So what’s good? His left-handed athleticism, his handles and his mid-range game. But he’s 18. And if the lights turn on? He could turn into Rudy Gay. If every light turns on?

13. Blazers: Alexis Anjica (C) France

They’re going to make every effort to move up to get Augustin or Westbrook. Let’s make that perfectly clear. But should they fail? It’s best power player available. Mareese Speights and Javale McGee don’t grade out at the late lottery. DeAndre Jordan has negative fundamentals. Kosta Koufos grades out as the next Mehmet Okur, but the Frenchman is the play here. His upside is magical, and he already has developed a nascent offensive game. Also, he has a 7’10” wingspan. They can wait for the light to turn on here.

14. Warriors: JaVale McGee (C) Nevada

This is a bit of a reach. He does not have a great power game, but in Nellieball? He’s a perfect fit. Great wingspan, great hands, a good shot, and he can put the ball on the floor. He could very well be the next Patrick O’Bryant. But his offense has something there there. With fundamentals, he could have NBA Three threatability.

15. Suns: Brandon Rush (SF) Kansas

Are you asking for the first steal on the board? Then go for this Modern Day Warrior. He has the three point range that’s required for a Suns wing, as well as the solid defense that the Suns so desperately need. He’s finally coming back to full health off of his ACL surgery. Donte Greene is too Tim Thomas for the Suns liking.

16. Sixers: Marreese Speights (PF/C) Florida

His face up offensive game is ready for the world now. And overall? His offense is pure. His defense? It’s another story. But for the Sixers? He’s perfect.

17. Toronto: Donte Greene (SF) Syracuse

Toronto got by on moxie and can-do at the three last year. If they don’t trade Ford and the pick for Boris Diaw? Donte Greene is a offensive force upgrade. If they do? Robin Lopez goes here.

18. Wizards: Kosta Koufos (C) Ohio State

A ready-made offensive center. He has the shooting touch of an international, even if he is Columbus born and bred. He is decent defensively, and even if he isn’t explosive. He is solid, if not sexy. 

19. Cavaliers: Chris Douglas-Roberts (SG) Memphis

LeBron James needs scoring help. The Szczerb? Always gets hurt. Boobie? A Mo Williams clone. CDR is a pure scorer. His mid-range game is off the chain, and his defense will fit into a Mike Brown system quite nicely. 

20. Nuggets: Robin Lopez (C) Stanford

DeAndre Jordan is still on the board, but they are looking for a polished defender on the pivot in Denver. And Jordan is still merely upside. Robin is all toughness and energy and shotblocking. Also, he’s high character.

21. Nets: DeAndre Jordan (C) Texas A&M

Admittedly Jordan is a lot of a project, but on a team where resode DeSagana Diop, a nascent game is acceptable. He has the tremendous upside potential. But he’s got 10 percent of his potential used up.

22. Magic: Courtney Lee (SG/SF) Western Kentucky

He’s more than this, but all the Magic really want is a perimeter pip to Dwight Howard’s Gladys Knight.

23: Jazz: Roy Hibbert (C) Georgetown

A power player built for a slowed down pace. He’s a Zydrunas Illgauskas lite.

24. Sonics: Darrell Arthur (PF) Kansas

When he’s right with the world? He’s among the best prospects. The problem? Pedigree and a lack of focus. He may yet be another Wayne Simien.

25. Rockets: Nicholas Batum (SF) France

The phyisicality and feel of the game bring him to the first round. He could be French Josh Smith if the Rockets are patient.

26. Spurs: Serge Ibaka (PF)

The Spurs picked a foreign guy? That doesn’t make sense!

27. Hornets: Richard Hendrix (PF) Alabama

He’ll start in the land of NBA hope as a back-up, but the man’s a Paul Millsap clone. And if you don’t know? That’s an awesome thing.

28. Grizzlies: Omer Asik (C) Turkey

Omer is not a scorer, but his defense is indeed bad ass. And he does have upside. My only regret? His shot-blocks will be proven Omerized.

Look it up.

29. Pistons: Bill Walker (SF) Kansas State

His knees are bad, but his game is the truth when he’s healthy. If he stays healthy, Dumars made robbery.

30. Celtics: Devon Hardin (C) California

Jason Thompson is available here. Sure. But the Celtics don’t need a scorer and mid-range threat. They need a low-post defender. They need a burly bad ass for when Bynum returns. They need to get Hardin.

Yeah. I did it.

What?

June 20, 2008

Hey kids, have you ever jumped to defend a lady on an internet forum?

I have. We all have once in our life. And being brave on the internet never got the girl, did it? But you know what? It’s okay.

You aren’t the first. You aren’t the last. You aren’t even the best person.

Meet Michael Binger. He is a literal rocket scientist. Or he was. Like every male from the ages 18 to 30 in the middle part of this decade, he decided to take a shot at getting into the World Series of Poker.

But unlike the rest of us? He has actually had some tournament successes. If you call outlasting a crapload of people in the 2006 World Series of Poker success. Also, several cashes in 2007. But the theoretical physics of his game are not why we’re here.

We’re here because of Clonie Gowen. She’s a pretty girl playing poker!

Well, she cleans up nice. Even if her game is only good at the televised sit and go format. She is one of the Pros at the Full Tilt Poker (Plagarism concerns notwithstanding). At least, she was going into this years World Series. And then comes the Two Plus Two Forum. Buzz Bissinger blood-boiling snark rolled up in there.

And here comes The Binger.

  • I felt compelled to create an account here to respond to some of the unfounded and stupid claims people are making about Clonie Gowen.

    First of all, Clonie is a good friend of mine and I can say definitively that she does not use drugs. She has never touched coke or meth or any of that. In the poker world
    many players do use drugs, and I am not judging them in any way, but Clonie is one of the most pure and innocent poker players in this regard. It is crazy that this rumor
    would start simply because of a bad picture. People are always taking pictures of her and obviously out of these thousands there will be some that are not flattering even though in the vast majority she looks like her beautiful and healthy self.

    Clonie is not anorexic either. She is naturally thin even though she eats healthily (I am the same way) and has also been working out regularly.

    It really pains me to see people blasting somebody I know to be a wonderful person. Clonie is genuinely nice to everybody.. she never lets her success go to her head and
    treats perfect strangers as her equal. She devotes time and money to a variety of charities. She a is truly humble and sweet human being.

    Regarding her poker playing abilities… I have great respect for her game. She has been crushing some of the big live cash games this year and I have seen her make some sick sick plays. She has won 3 Poker After Darks out of I think only 5 or 6 played. In multi-table tournaments, she has not had the success that her skills warrant… but I am confident that she will have a big score in the near future. There is a lot of variance in multi-table tournaments, and this year she has gotten close to a couple of big final tables, including event #5 at WSOP this year where I played all day with her on day 2 and saw how good she played (she finished in 15th). When she brings her focus and her A game she is unstoppable.

    So anyways, I’d just like to ask you guys to give it a rest with all of the unfounded rumors and gossip. Clonie is a great person and a great player.

I present this without comment. Just goes to say that in the fast-paced go-go world of the internet, white knightery is hack. 

Women can handle their shit. Mostly.

:)  

Look at the facts (Wisconsin sports ramblings)…

  1. Daunte Culpepper is an idiot. The fact of the matter? He had a real offer of 1-year at 1-million from the Packers. He had Aaron Rodgers, who is out for two weeks if he gets his feelings hurt ahead of him. And he passes on the deal. He could get ten starts out of it. Who else is gonna sign him? (And don’t say Chicago. They would have if they wanted to.)
  2. Jason Taylor for a conditional Day 1 (with Round 3) pick? I’d do it. It makes a lot of sense.
  3. I may be wrong on Seth McClung. He did have one shitty start. He does have a propensity for allowing the taters. But he’s 3-2 with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. If he keeps this up, any Brewers fan would take it.
  4. Russell Branyan. I know it’s small sample size. I know it’s bound to not last. But point of fact? Yay!

Thanks for reading.

Yay! 

June 19, 2008

I believe in America. I believe in love. I believe in Harvey Dent.

Salomon Torres  Julian Tavarez has been designated for assignment.

They went with Mark Difelice instead as David Riske gets off the disabled list.

UPDATE: Maybe David Riske should have been in rehab a little longer…

Blowing an 8-0 lead with a Joe Inglett grand slam AND a Rod Barajas infield single…sheesh.

UPDATE II: Salomon Torres gets the save. 8-7.

BUT HOW IN THE BLUE FUCK DO YOU SIT A DUDE WITH A NO-NO GOING?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I MEAN, COME THE FUCK ON!!!

Jim Riggleman is the Devil…

He has found his way out of his binding spell. He and his career .448 winning percentage notwithstanding. It took the blood of six All-Stars from his former teams to get this retread back into the managerial circles. Don’t believe me?

Jim Edmonds, Michael Barrett, Jake Peavy, Mark Prior, Chris Young, and Alfonso Soriano. Twice.

Carlos Zambrano was just icing on the cake. If the M’s get out on a run? It shall be a run of evil. Evil.

Or not? I will trade the M’s 10 dollars for Erik Bedard.

June 16, 2008

Blockbuster trades that will never happen…

I got to thinking during the long car ride home from the great state of Mehigan.

Why wouldn’t the Brewers play for the playoffs this year? I know? They have Ned Yost. He does not make any sense. But that’s neither here nor there.

I can make a proposal for C.C. Sabathia. I can make it so the Brewers don’t lose any of the Huntsville Eight. All it would take? A little bit of visionary thinking.

Oh, and Prince Fielder.

(Yes. I know. This is crazy. But dig the premise.)

One, the Indians would get a superstar that they could control for three years. Donny Garko is a mediocrity as a full-time first baseman. Move him to the weaker half of a DH platoon with Pronky Kong? And you’ve got an offensive stew going.

Also? This is the dude you’re going to get four to six prospects for. Cleveland? You know you want it.

But why would the Crew put the Prince up for bids? They have dudes ready. You could look at Double A and have Mat Gamel and Matt LaPorta ready to roll up on you with a Miguel Cabrera impression. There’s Brad Nelson who finally…FINALLY is generating enough offense to be worthy of big league entry. And then there’s Chris Errecart. He’s Ryan Garko level right now, but he’s also one of the Huntsville 8. Or they could say fuck it and go with Joe Dillon.

But Sabathia guarantees the Wild Card. Flat out. I know what you’re saying. “Dude! He sucks right now!”

But here’s the deal…he is dominant from August on. True story? He’s 42-18 with a 3.25 ERA. With Sheets and Suppan? They pass the Cardinals and Marlins. They get the Wild Card.

And they don’t mortgage the future to do it.

Or I’m drunk, either way I’m feeling good. 

The Combo Guards are waiting for another year…

Sure, Tiger has disappointed the masses for his 14th major. But you know what? I’m moving on. Freaking Cyborg’s got to beat some unlikable dude for me to care about him…

But why are we here? Because people are making a return to the innocent halcyon fields of the college ballcourt. And you know how we are going to do this? We’re going to play a game of Combo Guard*, White Guy, or Moment of Clarity!

The rules of breakdown are simple. These players are either combo guards/tweeners, white dudes, or people who have found their moment of clarity.

A.J. Abrams, Texas: Combo Guard. At 5’11” and being the tag team partner of D.J. Augustin, he does have solid catch and shoot skills, but let’s be honest. He’s a 5’11” 2-Guard. He needed to come back.
Antonio Anderson, Memphis: Moment of Clarity. While Anderson does have some solid distributive magic with his 6’6″ height. But his shooting is bad, his defense is inconsistent, and he’s going back to Memphis as a starter. This is a decision that could make him millions.
Chase Budinger, Arizona: Combo Tweener. He has good athleticism, he has good catch and shoot abilities. He can finish. But there are days, weeks, and months where he offensively disappears. That and he can’t defend 2’s, let alone 3’s.


Also? He looks right retarded. Admit it.
Lee Cummard, Brigham Young: White Guy. A mad scientist could intersperse DNA of him and Budinger and clone themselves the white George Gervin.
DeMarre Carroll, Missouri: Moment of Clarity. While he is still taking his Flinstones Chewable vitamins, and he is with the upside, he was hurt last year. He needed more time.
Josh Carter, Texas A&M: White Guy. Even if he’s really not a white guy? His game is two steps and no handles. He’s a deadly standstill shooter and a high-effort defender. Another year may not help, but it couldn’t hurt.
Robert Dozier, Memphis: Moment of Clarity. There is something to be said for the skinny 4 who’s athletic enough to play the three. And when Dozier is hot, he is the Matrix Reloaded. But like the sequel, his focus can be fuzzy and his mid-range game is as annoying as that goddamn rave scene. Also? Don’t hit women Robert Dozier.
Wayne Ellington, North Carolina: White Guy. His shot is sexy. He has a decent ability to create an opening for his shot. The problem? No handles, no athleticism, and no toughness. He is your prototypical white guy stereotype.
Alonzo Gee, Alabama: Moment of Clarity. His athletic ability is off the hook. But his game is tartar levels of raw. He had all eyes on him from the wing this season, and his shot fell off. Nobody was even gonna look at him in Round 2 this season.
Danny Green, North Carolina: Moment of Clarity. I don’t say this as a reason to hate, but the fact of the matter is, he has a chance to really improve his draft stock. He developed decent handles and a good shot to go with his athleticism and his shut-down defense. If he can consolidate his offensive game? He’s a 2009 first rounder.
Lester Hudson, Tennessee-Martin: Combo Guard. Lester’s got a story and an ability to put the biscuit in the basket to rival Steffen Curry. His athleticism is not great. He’s 6’1″ and his handles and creativity aren’t great. Even so? He has freakishly long arms (ZOMG 6’9.5″ WINGSPAN LOL) and upside. If he learns how to play on more than instinct? Look out.
Stefon Jackson, Texas-El Paso: Moment of Clarity. Now I honestly don’t know why this cat isn’t better hyped. He is one of the best pure scorers from inside the arc. His slashing game is awesome and his handles are tight. Put it this way? He doesn’t need a 3-point shot to win the dance, but he’s Michael Redd 2.0 if he develops it. (He can defend you know?)  
Ty Lawson, North Carolina: Moment of Clarity. All he needs is a healthy, non-criminally active season and he’s a lottery pick. It’s worth about 3 million dollars to him if he does.
Leo Lyons, Missouri: Moment of Clarity. On offense, when he’s got the ball facing the basket? He’s a force of nature. The problem? He is pretty useless everywhere else. He needs to get the stew of his game going.
Jerel McNeal, Marquette: Combo Guard. He is a lock-down defender. He is an exquisite slasher. He has plus-plus athleticism. He needs to develop his shot from form on upward. But as it goes? He’s a retarded Leandro Barbosa.


Should I really make a joke here?
Jeremy Pargo, Gonzaga: Combo Guard. He has great athleticism. His shot is marginal to mediocre. And at 6’2″ he needs to learn how to develop more than a 1.71 to 1 Assist to turnover ratio. Supernintendo Chalmers says stay in school.


MMMM…Stay in school. 
Josh Shipp, UCLA: Moment of Clarity. Admittedly, he is a 6’5″ small forward. But it goes deeper. His defensive game is not great in the man-to-man aspects. He can get shots, but he can’t make them. He does provide excellent point forward skills and finish on the break, but when you’re sinking less than 33% of his jumpers? You best take more time. 
Ron Steele, Alabama: Moment of Clarity. Missed the 2007-2008 season and then declared. Self-explanatory.
John Riek, Winchendon School (MA): Moment of Clarity. Because the Winchendon School seems like a place to cultivate secret handshake motherfuckers. All honesty? He needs to cultivate his inner Hasheem Thabeet. And he’ll need at least three years of college to do it.
Robert Vaden, Alabama-Birmingham: Tweener. Sure he’s got 21 points per game. Sure, he’s got touch beyond the arc and at the line. But he’s a 6’5″ forward without defensive powers. That never works.  

Sure, some of these are suckers who will either fall off or never be heard from again. But there’s some definite intrigue here. Lester Hudson could roll up on Steffen Curry all like “Boo Motherfucker!”

I dunno. What the hell is wrong with me?

June 12, 2008

Twenty-Five Dollars and a six pack to my name.

The Milwaukee Bucks are in one of the worst positions heading into the Summer. It sucks and I know it sucks. But that’s the crux of it.

But you know what? The #8 pick has no chance of suck. Well…mostly no chance of suck. And I shall break them down for my Homerists presently.

Joe Alexander (SF-WEST FUCKIN’ VIRGINIA)

Draft Express calls him Matt Harpring with super athleticism. Free Darko calls him a Suburban Chris Andersen (BIRDMAN FLYING HIGH, GET IT???) Both are right. Harpring has a very nice mid-range game, and Chris Andersen has a hyperactivity on court. He is taller and can out-jump one Michael Beasley, and while his offensive game is still raw, he will put the time in. His tremendous upside potential means he could be locked in to the Bucks, who are in desperate need of a 3.

D.J. Augustin (PG-TEXAS)

The lazy writer would compare him to T.J. Ford. And in build, sure it works. But here’s the thing about D.J., he’s a lot better offensively. He sacrifices an ounce of speed, for a well-developed offensive game. His shot, when it’s on, is pure. He efforts his defense (he is 5’10”, so he’ll never be a shutdown defender). Now, I know the Bucks have Mo. I know the Bucks have The Ramon Sessions on Beale Street. But I would love a scenario where it goes Gallinari to the Knicks and Gordon goes to the Clippers.

Because then the Bucks would be in the rumored 10-team trade. And that? That would be sweet.

Eric Gordon (SG-INDIANA)

He’s a bad defender. He has poor shot selection. But you know what? His scoring instincts are pure. His shot is solid when he’s focused on it. And he’s not afraid to finish. He’s an undersized 2. But he’ll get his 20 PPG. His doughy face may be destined to be a great player on bad teams. I wouldn’t mind him on the Bucks? But he’s a tiny Michael Redd, even if right now he has the perimeter to go with the slasher.

Anthony Randolph (SF/PF-LSU)

Tremendous athleticism. Long wingspan. Good shotblocker. So why do I not want him anywhere near my team? A seemingly irrational reason, but bear with me.

Anthony Randolph went to LSU. He is a skinny power forward who left school as a super-underclassedman. You know what that reminds me of? Stromile Swift. Also, Tyrus Thomas. So if I can put on my Vampire Cape and Stephen A. Smith hat on.

1! 2! 3! 3 Busts! AH AH AH! 

Danilo Gallinari (SF-Brought to you by Pat Riley’s Suits)

He’s the rough equivalent of the well-hyped Cuban baseballer. You’ve heard what they can do, but the fact is, you just don’t know. He vibes as a Hedo Turkoglu/Toni Kukoc hybrid, with versatility, on-court skills and a good shot. But point of fact? He’s not a great athlete. Other point of fact? If the Knicks want D’Antoni to be happy, he’ll be long gone before the Bucks pick. 

Russell Westbrook (PG/SG-UCLA)

Now I don’t love the combination guards as much as others. But Russell Westbrook I’ll make an exception for, mainly because the Bucks presently have no shot at Jeryd Bayless. Westbrook brings defensive dominance and a Barbosan level of enthusiasm and athleticism to his game. His offense may never be of a quality level, but if the Bucks want to show love for Scott Skiles? They go here.

They won’t. But hey…

Yeah, this is homerist. But it’s the advantage of having a lack of elegance.

I may come back later tonight. I may not. Things may fall apart if you will.  

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