Wednesday, October 24, 2007
NOW YOU SEE EM...
Do you see the three player profiles to the right? What do they all have in common?
They are all, as of tonight, former Timberwolves.
That's right. Minnesota just traded Ricky Davis and Mark Blount.
Wait, Josh, who did we get?
Antoine Walker, some expiring contracts, and another first round pick.
How does this deal stack up? I will tell you later. Right now I have to cry. I didnt even like either of these guys, I am just crying because we picked up a fat piece of shit, and I will be forced to watch him.
Monday, October 22, 2007
BECAUSE I CAN'T BE QUIET
The Minnesota Vikings offense lost us the game yesterday. That's it, and that's how simple it all is.
It wasn't in turnovers (although the blocked field goal sure did hurt), but lack of production. Which, probably, is worse. With a turnover, at least you know you are getting the ball back. This team can't do anything with the ball no matter how many times they get it back.
And it starts at the top. The play calling was awful. In a game when you are up a score going into the half, why not pound the ball. Further, why not use your best weapon, a running back who led the league in rushing, to pound the ball. Further still, use the guy who is the only big play threat on your team. And, since that guy is the same guy, this is coaching at it's easiest.
But instead, "Coach" Childress but the ball in the hands of a quarterback with a horrible rating, and no ability to hit receivers in catchable places (he did manage to throw at the feet, though, which is an improvement over throwing to the other team).
Think I am being too hard on the kid? How about 6 completions, the whole game. That's right. Six. No wonder Wade was chewing him out. He can't catch passes if they aren't being thrown, if I may be allowed a Maddenism.
But it all comes down to choice, here. Childress is making some bad ones. Now I am making a good one.
IN OTHER NEWS:
I have some grumbling observations to make. Today, on woot! is a zune for 80 bucks. Great deal. On sellout.woot! the zune is 100 bucks. The difference? The cheaper one is brown. When the hell did MP3 players become fashion accessories? Who the hell cares what color it is? Honestly, it plays music and small videos. It could be baby shit green, complete with little nuggets, and that function would not change. Get over it.
What's up with the frebreze candle having more than one scent? The core is made of frebreze, and it is surrounded by some scented wax. I thought the magical property of frebreze was it eliminated odor. How can it tell what is good odor and what is bad odor? Shouldn't it swallow up the candle scent, too?
Are you sick of these Iphone commercials? We get it, it surfs the web. It doesn't save lives, and it doesn't control the weather. Al gore does both those things, not the Iphone.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
USA BASKETBALL and MINNESOTA SPORTS
First, I have to spend some time talking about Team USA Basketball. I watched every minute of every game, sometimes depriving myself of much needed sleep in the process.
I start by saying I am ALWAYS excited about the new USA team. The collection of talent they manage to get seems to enthrall me, making me forget everything I know and love about team sports, and instead focusing me directly on the spectacular athletes and their individual achievment. In this way, I am typically American.
But this team feels different. A huge nod goes to Coach K, and the appointing of him by Colangelo. Here is a guy who has nothing at all to prove (he Coaches a very successful Duke program), no ties to the NBA (he recently turned down a job coaching the Lakers to stay with Duke), and a proven record of making teams out of selfish stars.
And with him at the helm, team USA also held, for the first time, try-outs. First the player had to be invited, then he had to actually make the squad. Several stars, including Marbury and new comer Kevin Durant, were left off the team because they did not fit the concept. This was not going to be a colelction of stars, but a committed team of players who knew how to lead AND follow, how to win AND succeed.
We crushed opponents at the FIBA Americas. It was spectacular watching these guys play TOGETHER, to really buy into te team concept and help each other win. This is a squad with three superstars who are used to carrying the team all by themselves. LeBron, Kobe, and Carmelo all have that duty on any given night. Yet they found ways to better each other and themselves, and really shared the role of leader.
I was impressed with the growth of Howard as well. He looked so much more mature than the last olympics, and really seemed to embrace the international rules (becoming the first to ever successfully goaltend in Team USA history--a history that included David Robinson and Shaq)
Teh on floor leadership of Jason Kidd, who actually did not attepmt a single shot in the first game, really shined. He set up every single player, played ferocious defense, and set the pace for the whole tourney.
Kobe took the challenge of guarding the best player on the floor every night, and made tourney-leading scorer Barbosa settle for single digits on a horrid (18%) shooting night.
All that being said, this was the JV league. We were playing untalented, hodgepodge teams or depleted squads. It was good tune up, but it means nothing at all.
Here are the keys to winning the whole thing, and bringing the Gold back to where it belongs:
*We have to continue the three point shooting. This is a shooter's tounament, with a truncated three line, and more linient offensive rules. Every other team will look to score in threes, and we cannot trade those for easy twos, no matter how tempting it is.
*Carmelo Anthony has to stay healthy. Something about this kid is made for international ball. He scores in bunches, and never hurts the team. He makes very few errors, and is a vocal, passionate leader.
*Kobe cannot have a bad day. This is not about his shooting, or technique, or will. This is about his attitude. When Kobe feels slighted, or in a rutt, or something in his life sets him off, he can forget his teammates. He did it once in this tourney, and it didn't matter. When the competition gets tough, it could prove the end. This is single elimination. The team can ill afford a 50 point night in a loss.
*D-Wade has to find his role. This team just played a whole tournament together. Now one of the few bright spots of the last olympics is coming back. What will his role be? Will he take important minutes from the Big three? Will he come off the bench, or move out of position? Will his game fit with the new couaching system? A lot of big questions for one of the best talents in the NBA.
I think this is the closest we will ever come to the Dream Team. The competition is better, but honestly still not good enough. What will bet this team is lack of focus, or lack of team play. With Coach K, neither SHOULD happen
A CHAT WITH A FAN
Minnesota sports are in the shitter. The Wolves, Ughh. While I am back and forth on what the KG trade does to us, I know this: we are going to be a young team with a lot of growing pains for at least the next three years. We do not have a coach, a GM, or an owner worth a piss. It will get much worse before it gets better.
And still, I am excited for all the young talent we have. If one of the three guys leaves (actually, it will take two of the above going to make a difference) we can turn the whole thing around with the talent we have. What will hold us back (and it will, trust me) is the lack of direction, leadership, and coaching the team has now. McHale and Whittman have to go. Now.
The Vikings stink. That's it. All the talent in the world won't fix them. We need a QB and people to catch what he throws. We won't get both for years. We have too many running backs, and no one to trade them too, and we dont want to trade them, anyway. A line that good should not be wasted on a QB that bad. How much time does he need to find an open man? Honestly, and without boast, I could do a better job. I know probably half a dozen guys who could do a better job. An aging nobody and a young hack are our only hopes.
It is to the point that the only team in Minnesota worth watching play the most horrible sport in the world: Hockey.
At least the Wild have talent, a great coach, and a dedication to the franchise and fans. Going to a game would not feel like a waste of time, even though they are grown men fighting poorly and for no good reason while pretending the goal is to score. They pretend better than the other "professionals" in MN do, and in doing so they have entertainment value.
A sportswriter here said you can go to the Wild games to get value and entertainment. You can go to the Timberwolves just to be entertained. You can't find either with the Vikings.
How true is that.