Tuesday, March 06, 2007

well, it’s 4:30 PM here in Kailua, which means I’ll be hitting the trail to the palouse very soon. Best be getting to making some kind of order out of all these random notes I’ve been typing throughout the day as I read various tidibits of bball wisdom on the good ol innernet. If this isn’t wrapped up in a pretty enough bow for your visual pleasure or organized in such a fashion as to make your cognization the optimal that it could possibly earth shatteringly be, well, then, the river is right over there, please commence to cry all over it. Er, you know, to make it a more powerful river, thereby someday it reaching the ocean. If it doesn’t already. Gratzi.

incredibly good response to David Aldridge’s article on the NBA All-Star game (in ref. the outrage over the violence, the idea that it’s a racial thing, and a lot of cogent analysis of the Jason Whitlock and Scoop Jackson NBA All-Star pieces, as well). Hat tip to true hoop. I'd also recommend reading the Whitlock, Simmons, and Scoop Jackson's all-star scribbles, and then Simmons response to Jackson, yadda yadda yadda, they're there, within easy reach, trust me. I am sadly to lazy to find them for you at this moment. (The Tenacious D movie is cued up on media player and calling, calling...) Also want to add that I think Slam Online's all-star coverage was great too. also, alpo is the evil empire (joking.)

Here's a fantastic writeup on the current state of the clipper season by clippersteve of clipsnation. Echo'd some of the things I said in the post immediately below this one about how the team seems to be galvanizing after the Shaun Livingston injury, which is not necessarily a new idea, it's being bandied about quite a bit, but love the way the clipsnation frames it and iterates it in a fashion which leaves it bouncing around your skull for later soaking. In a good way. Also, I was unaware of the presence of “my big fat greek center.” Shame on me.

Speaking of the Clippers (and who isn't? he said as the slap jettisoned toward his face) I heartily enjoyed (I'm out of overly done adjectives, shall I call it stupendous?) this post in which we get to see the experience of attending last night's clipper game through the eyes of a laker fan. Hat tip to Todd in Clipperblog’s comments (who is apparently part of 120proofball, as well, but rarely posts anything, leaving the laker lunatic to run the asylum, thereby making small bunnies cry, at least metaphorically).

As for said game, well, Clips got spanked by the Spurs last night, which just isn't much of a surprise. I think there have been hookers less owned by topnotch pimps then what is evident in the clipper spur relationship over the past few years. I didn’t watch it, but from what I’ve read, the defense was pretty good again, just mega problems on offense, which tends to happen when you have no point guards, and the one you did have (will conroy) you decided to jettison so you can continue to carry zebraca and korolev on your bench, which aside from being excellent paper weights, really aren’t doing jack shit right now. The spurs just keep grinding out wins, so you can't fault them; I mean, their two starting point guards were Jacque Vaughn and Beno Udrih, so the prettiness was not manifest. They do, however, have Tim Duncan.




Finally, I know it's SO passe to call out Bill Simmons on bullshit, the whole bottom of the barrel trying to bring down the top of the heap, but it's not like that, really. I'm actually a huge Simmons fan, and have been enjoying his foray into College Basketball this season (something he's paying attention to because of the incredible draft class coming up and the pile of stinking fetid excrement his Boston Celtics are this year.) But I was taken aback when I read this: (from his Friday, 3/2 post) (aside: this is actually the same entry where he responds to Scoop Jackson's all-star article response to his all star article, yadda yadda, mentioned above.)

Anyway, I called an audible and TiVo'ed the UCLA game Thursday night. The reason I haven't been monitoring them is simple: the Pac-10 sucks. Don't let anyone tell you differently. For instance, Washington State's team looked like an intramural team of stoners who would give themselves a name like "The 420 All-Stars" -- they even had one starting forward with a scraggly beard who looked like he should have been hanging out on a street corner trying to sign people up for Greenpeace. UCLA is considerably better than anyone else in that conference. Which isn't really that interesting in the big scheme of things. That's why I didn't write about them yet.

Ummm, OK. I won't go into, at least in detail, why it shouldn't make a difference that a guy has a scraggly beard vis a vis his basketball ability, I think he was just trying to make a joke, but Washington State has been a revelation this year, compared to years of futility. It's not just about WSU, though. What about this article from the Associated press? Allow me some scattered quotes:

Lute Olson, completing his 24th year at Arizona, called the Pac-10 the toughest its ever been during a conference call Tuesday.

Ernie Kent, finishing his 10th season at Oregon, added: "I think it's the No. 1 conference in the country. If it's not No. 1, it's No. 2."


OK, granted, they're biased, they're pac10 coaches. But this isn't biased: (from the same article)

Seven of the league's 10 teams have at least 18 wins, and those seven went a combined 71-12 against non-conference opponents.

71-12!! And they weren’t all against garbage. To wit, JUST against teams that are currently in top 25, and these were just after a quick search through the schedules:

Arizona beat #5 Memphis, who is 27-3 and perfect in conference USA. They also beat #12 Louisville and #25 UNLV.

UCLA beat #7 Texas A&M, a team that is 13-3 in the big12 (who simmons seems to love)

Oregon beat #9 Georgetown IN Washington DC

Washington State, who Simmons derides as looking like a bunch of hippies, beat Gonzaga (currently unranked, but first in the big west)

To say that the Pac10 "sucks" is just not true. It's widely regarded as one of the best 2, if not the best, conference in the country right now, by the AP, by Sports Illustrated, etc. Not to say these authorities are always right, but c'mon. SUCK is a strong word.

full disclusure, I'm an alma mater of UC Berkeley and a huge Cal Bear fan, so I'm a mite defensive about the quote unquote league of champions. Cal Basketball this year? ok, there's something that sucks. That, though, is a story for another day. (btw if you're into Pac10 bball or football and Cal in particular PLEASE check out Tightwad Hill. Excellent.) that is true. (Cal sucking) But the PAC10? no. no. they do not suck. Maybe a LITTLE overrated at the moment, but SUCK? nein.

ok I'm done. Sue me. for, uh, malpractice with verbal lack of dexterity, or misuse of an inalienable object. Mahalo.

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