JumpBall

February 25, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings

Filed under: Ramblings — siddhant2001us @ 12:16 AM
  • Dustin Pedroia recently came out to say that the Sox would not miss Manny at all, and when he listed the players who would be the reason why they would not he completely ignored David Ortiz. First of all, I think he’s wrong. When you lose on of the greatest hitters of all time, you’re going to miss him no matter what. There is a lot more that you as a pitcher can do when you’re not worrying about a Manny Ramirez/ David Ortiz combo and that’s just the way it is.
  • Speaking of which, why is it that when people talk about how baseball is a sport of haves and have-nots, they never bring up the Red Sox? They always bring up the Yankees and that’s of course deserved, but they never bring up the Red Sox who, by the way Dustin Pedroia, have amazing pitching depth as a result of them going out and spending whatever they want on pitchers. Anytime you take an 8 million dollar flier on John Smoltz to maybe be your fifth starter, you have officially joined the spending level of the Yankees.
  • That being said, who cares? If you are the fan of a team, don’t you want them spending all of the money you put into the team by buying tickets, hats, food, drinks, jerseys, etc on the team? Trust me there is nothing more painful then putting your hopes on a team that decides its better to sign the cheaper Ray Durham to protect Barry Bonds than spend the money they have made from selling out consistently on someone like Vlad Guerrero. Yeah, I’m still not completely over that.
  •  Albert Haynesworth is reportedly signing with the Washington Redskins which a huge coup for them. Think about all the other teams in their division and what that completely hampers. You think Brandon Jacobs (if he resigns) Marion Barber or Brian Westbrook will find themselves running in the middle much next season against Washington? I know it’s only one signing, but expect Washington to make the playoffs next season. That’s how good and valuable Haynesworth is.
  • Nmandi Asomugha is really good, but is he really a top five player in the NFL? Personally, it’s not my money and I don’t care. I’m just really happy to see him and Shane Lecher resigning with the Raiders. Having a cornerback like that means the opposing QB has just the other half of the field to throw to. I heard this quote from somewhere so I’m going to repeat it: “Two-thirds of the world is covered by water. The rest is covered by Nmandi Asomugha.”
  • Gutsy move by Donovan McNabb, but also the right one. There are a lot of teams that could use a good quarterback. If a team that has frequently discussed replacing him over the last few years doesn’t want to pay to improve, why should McNabb waste his time going there? You know who would welcome McNabb if the Eagles decide this demand is too high? The Niners, Lions, Seahawks, Chiefs, Jets, and those are just the names I could come up with in ten seconds.
  •  The big news in the NBA today is that Stephon Marbury has been cut by the Knicks. Again I think this is a dumb move by the Knicks, but it is what it is. As a Lakers fan, I am not to thrilled to see him probably go to the Celtics and give Rondo the ability to play fewer minutes and save himself a bit for the playoffs.
  • Speaking of the Celtics, I love their move to sign Mikki Moore. He’s not a great rebounder, but he just strikes me, after reading some farewell posts by Kings fans, as one of those great chemistry guys who helps you even more off the court. I’m not looking forward to facing a Celtics team that could be bolstered by both Moore and Marbury.
  • Apparently the Grizzlies turned down an offer from Phoenix that had Rudy Gay, Hakim Warrick, and Mike Conley going to the Suns for Amar’e Stoudamire. I’m shocked. A Mayo-Stoudamire would have been quite something. From what I understand, Memphis back out due to concerns that Stoudamire wouldn’t resign, which is just ridiculous. It is more likely that the Grizzlies didn’t want to pay the huge extension that Stoudamire would have wanted. I think you have to make the trade especially since Mayo’s play has seemed so defeated these last few months. He truly seems to just be going through the motions, which is killing my fantasy team…er, I mean Grizzlies fans.
  • That’s all for today. Tune in next week for another set of Tuesday Ramblings.

February 20, 2009

Taking a Break with some LINKS

Filed under: Links — siddhant2001us @ 7:06 PM

Man I am going to have to work a bit more on my power rankings due to all the trades and injuries as well as calibrate for mindset of team’s owners (as in who is trying to win or save money.) So, I leave you this weekend with some links to help people learn about the game and the NBA:

The first guy I will link to is Charley Rosen. He is a former CBA head coach who is good friends with Phil Jackson and almost was his assistant coach until he was jailed for punching a guy. Anyway, he is great at game and player analysis and one of my bigger influences. You can find an example of his work here!

The second link comes from Eric Musselman who also coached in the CBA but was also the head coach of both the Warriors and the Kings. He wasn’t particularly good with the Kings, but I did like how he basically transformed that Warriors roster into a competitive one. Had Gilbert Arenas stayed with that team rather than go to Washington, it would have been Musselman and not Don Nelson to finally lead the Warriors to the playoffs. He’s not a bad writer either. You can find a sample of his stuff here!

To get a look at NBA players at their most honest take a look at Elie Seckbach. I really, really hope he doesn’t take himself seriously, because the guy is crazy ridiculous, but still its nice to see him interact with NBA players from all over. I hadn’t heard of this guy untill last year, but it seems most everyone in the NBA has so uh…yeah….Here’s a link to him!

One of the great recent creations in the world of the NBA is the True Hoop Network. It gives you a closer look at the day to day stuff for each team. Here is a sample.

Then there is this very promising blog which some of you might recognize. Its time it was put up with all the others eh? Enjoy!

Thats it for the first ever edition for the links. Have a nice weekend and pray your owner doesn’t trade your star for five million dollars and a bag lunch.

PS. RIP Larry Miller, the Jazz had a very good run under his ownership. The NBA will miss him.

PPS. I should have had this with the other links but I forgot. I was going to put it in the upcoming power rankings but since there is enough to write about for the Suns, enjoy!

February 18, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings

Filed under: Ramblings — siddhant2001us @ 12:31 AM
  • Let’s start the ramblings off with some baseball. I still think it’s ridiculous that people like Tony Kornheiser believe that Bonds should be removed from the record books and that Hank Aaron should be given back the title of all-time home run leader. Listen, the steroid allegations against Bonds have never been proven, but what has been proven is that the home park where Bonds hit so many home runs was much harder to hit in than Aaron’s, which was built in a manner that was especially advantageous for him. As for Babe Ruth, well, I suppose his numbers should be gone too, because he not only played against only white players, but he played against only white players who lived about 50 miles away from the stadium. My point being that every player in the history of baseball has reasons for his stats being what they were. Why persecute just one?
  • Also, I think Luis Castillo should bat lead off for the Mets. I think it gives Jose Reyes more RBI opportunities. Normally, I would never chime in, but I started listening to the Max Kellerman podcast, and that’s the title of the next one for me to listen to, and I want to chime in before I get an answer.
  • The Nationals got a steal with Adam Dunn. Does he strike out a lot? Yes, he does, but he gets on base so much that it hardly matters. Plus, the guy hits homeruns like they’re going out of style, which – thanks to steroid witch hunts – they are.
  • Please tell me the Cowboys are going to cut TO. I want him on the Raiders so bad. It is a perfect fit.
  • The Niners should take a chance on Michael Vick. Shaun Hill will get exposed the more game film opposing teams they have on him, but with Vick, at the very least, they have a dynamic quarterback whose legs make him nearly impossible to game plan against. The Jets might as well take a chance on Vick too.  
  • Ray Lewis should re-sign with the Ravens. They want to pay him, and he is that franchise’s face. They need to come together and make it happen.
  • The economy has taken a turn for the worst, and it is affecting the sports we love. The Tyson Chandler deal was all about saving money for the hornets, as both the players they got have expiring deals. My guess is that the max length of a contract after this year will be shortened to four years during the next collective bargaining agreement.
  • Also, don’t the Thunder now look really good for next year? Chandler, Green, Collison, a top draft pick, Westbrook, and of course, Durant. Scary stuff for such a young team.
  • The other trade that happened was the Jermaine O’Neal for Shawn Marion deal. Honestly, I was going back and forth on this trade all week, but if I have to pick a winner it’s the Miami Heat. They’re rolling the dice with O’Neal, but Jamario Moon, whom they also picked up, is actually a poor man’s Marion. Thus, if O’Neal is healthy, then they could conceivably be a threat to Boston or Cleveland. That’s how good Wade has been this season. 
  • Tracy McGrady is out for the year…wow he really took that one missed dunk seriously…
  • Before we talk about the all star break. Let’s deal with the Terry Porter firing. The best thing that the Suns can hope for is that Gentry somehow gets Stoudamire to buy into a slower paced game. Otherwise, this firing just gives Terry Porter more free time and Suns’ fans more heart ache.
  • I loved the playing of Horse at the All Star weekend. Durant kind of killed the drama by just sinking all of those threes, but you could tell that the game had promise. Other than the fact that Durant was more about winning than just entertaining (which is kind of cool on its own), the game had its share of trick shots and fun times. I still think this would be the best way to incorporate legends or veteran players. Still, I can’t wait for next year’s.
  • A lot of people were apparently let down by the dunk contest, but to be honest, I loved it. What were people expecting? My advice is to just enjoy the show. I will say, however, that Rudy Fernandez got jobbed. Those were all nice dunks. If he had completed the second one on the first try, it would have been a 50.
  • Speaking of which, I cannot wait to see Lebron try to win it. I hope this makes a few more big name guys try their hand at the dunk contest. That being said, it’s time for Nate to hang it up.
  • Who would have guessed there would be defense at the All Star game? Blame the east. Lebron came off trying really hard. That’s commendable, but the East’s best chance to win would have been to lull the West into laziness and then to turn it on at the end.
  • Last thought about the All Star game: as a Lakers fan, I love Shaq. He was easily the main reason for those three championship rings, and I will be forever grateful. He made this an amazing All Star game. His dunk after passing it between Dwight Howard’s legs will be forever etched in my mind. It actually was really weird for me to hear him say this was probably his last All Star game. I honestly have no idea how I will handle this great player hanging it up once and for all. Secretly, I wouldn’t mind him somehow ending up back on the Lakers and having Bynum back him up for a year. Will it ever happen? I think Kobe remembers all too well how much Shaq made him a villain, so no. When Shaq retires, he may very go down in history as the last of the great centers. His personality will certainly be missed.
  • That’s all for this week’s ramblings. Check back on Friday for the updated power rankings.

February 13, 2009

All Star Preview

Filed under: Uncategorized — siddhant2001us @ 10:27 AM

            The NBA’s All Star game is coming up this weekend, and what type of basketball website would this be if I didn’t give my own two cents on the break at hand (an amazing one regardless of course…right?)

Top 10 things to ponder coming into All Star Weekend:

  1. It’s tough to be underrated in this league, because generally if you’re really good in this league then you’re probably properly rated or overrated at this point. Still, I think there are two people that are being randomly underrated: Žydrūnas Ilgauskas and Hedo Turkoglu—partially because looking up the spelling of their names is a pain in the ass. Both are more deserving and more vital to their teams than Mo Williams and Rashard Lewis.
  2. Speaking of big men, the East has all of…two on their roster in Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett. Expect Lebron James and Rashard Lewis to play a lot of power forward. Also expect there to be even less defense as usual as I don’t see either player trying to guard a Duncan or Stoudamire anytime soon.
  3. Speaking of poorly created rosters, at least there are two big men on the East roster. There are zero small forwards on the West roster. The starter is Amar’e Stoudamire, which means that Phil Jackson will probably have to make a substitution about two minutes in the game after Lebron gets passed Stoudamire for the third time for yet another dunk. My guess is that Kobe Bryant, David West, and even Dirk Nowitzki will get to try their hand at it.
  4. Ok, last comment on the game’s rosters. The West has a huge advantage with the point guards because Chris Paul is going to get everyone involved. Every other point guard on both rosters is closer to shoot first.
  5. My prediction? The West wins 122-114 with the MVP being Kobe. Was that off the top of my head or can I tell the future? Let’s find out!
  6. The three point shootout is kind of boring. It’s impossible to predict, and you’re guaranteed to get at least two separate times of players just firing blanks for a full 30 seconds. Now that Horse is in the game, I think its time to move the shootout even further away from the public consciousness.
  7. The dunk contest should be a good one. Dwight Howard is under pressure to try and top last year’s bonanza, Nate Robinson is under pressure to not miss the same dunk for 30 minutes, Rudy Fernandez is under pressure to not speak because his English is ridiculous, and JR Smith is under pressure because no one watching the contest has any idea who he is and the few that do want him to dunk over George Karl. Speaking of which, if he does try to dunk over George Karl, what are the odds that Karl knocks him down and yells “THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T LISTEN TO ME!” I’m going to say 60.
  8. The All Star game needs to reintroduce prop betting like they have at the super bowl. Are you telling me people won’t lay down good money because they believe so and so will win the tip or get the first dunk? Personally, I want to bet 100 dollars on Amar’e Stoudamire having the most dunks and that the total dunks in the game will be over 25, but no one will give me odds on either. It’s a shame.
  9. One thing that needs to get hyped up is today’s Rookie-Sophomore challenge. I think the rookies have won exactly once since the beginning of that format and the Sophomores have won six years in a row. However, I think this is the year the Sophomores get their second loss. Sure they have Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, but the Rookies have better size with Greg Oden, Brook Lopez, and Marc Gasol compared to the Sophomores Al Horford, Luis Scola, and…kind of Wilson Chandler? Speaking of prop bets, I would love to bet that this game has more dunks than the All Star game, but can I? Noooo. FIX THIS Centsports.com!
  10. I think that either the talent level of the league is at an all time high or at an all time low, because I think I can assemble a team of non-all stars to challenge either group. I’m not saying they will for sure win, but I bet it would be close:

·         Points Guards: Deron Williams and Steve Nash: Deron Williams has averaged something like 35 and 9 since coming back from his latest injury. Steve Nash is mired in the longest season of his career, but I bet he can match up well enough against any of the opposing point guards he’ll face. Besides, someone who passes like Nash is a must for All Star games. You want a bunch of alley-oop dunks? Nash is your man.

·         Shooting Guards: Caron Butler and Kevin Martin: Both of these guys are great players on lousy teams. Martin is someone who should get more recognition, but everyone in Sacramento is too busy trying (and failing) to fix California budget. Butler should get more press as well, but everyone in DC is too busy trying (and failing) to pretend the Wizards don’t exist, because the Wizards really, really suck. Oh, uh, and I guess they are trying to fix the nation’s economy as well.

·         Small Forwards: Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant: Wow, these guys are playing amazing. I am shocked by how they managed to miss the all star game. Both amazing scorers, but it’s also important to note that both have improved the other facets of their game as well.

·         Power Forwards: Hedo Turkoglu and Antwan Jamison: Turkoglu initiates the offense and takes all the big shots for a top five team in the league. His reward for making his teammates better was to have those teammates (Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis) be voted in over him. I understand that he was better last year and is struggling with his shot, but if his shot is good enough to allow Van Gundy to put the ball in his hands in crunch time, its good enough for me. Jamison plays for the terrible Wizards, but does average nearly 20 and 10. That’s good enough for me, especially considering how few big men are on the roster as it is.

·         Center: Žydrunas Ilgauskas and David Lee: Are these guys the exact opposite of each other? Ilgauskas can post up, shoot the jumper, and make the majority off his defensive rotations. David Lee has very raw offensive skills, rebounds like a mad man, and apparently considers defense an act of treason because he doesn’t play it. The interesting thing to consider is that if it wasn’t for injuries Al Jefferson (above both of these guys) and Andrew Bynum (on this team over Lee) would find a spot on this team.

·         The, uh, other two spots: Jose Calderon and Andre Iguodala: Calderon has battled injuries, but he distributes the ball without getting turnovers better than anyone else in the league and would be another Nash like choice in that he would get everyone involved. Iguodala is going to be the reason why the Sixers get and hold on to the fifth seed in the east. Remember, you heard it here first…unless I’m wrong in which case you can blame Jumpball’s co-writer Ankur. I don’t think he’ll mind, because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read this site. Zing!

·         This team has enough big men to bother the East, and enough swing men to give the West fits. Do they win either game? I think they would have a better chance if Al Jefferson was healthy, but I don’t think its out of the question. 

And with that, I am out. Enjoy the All Star game and expect another power rankings some time on Thursday of next week.  

February 11, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings

Filed under: Uncategorized — siddhant2001us @ 8:42 AM
  • I’m glad Michael Phelps took a hit off of that bong; I was getting tired of reading or hearing about real issues.
  • Also, what the hell is with all the numerous arrests at the Michael Phelps? The police do know the item in question at the party is spelled B O N G and not B O M B, right?
  • So Alex Rodriguez took steroids… Who cares? If you’re so worried about the game being tainted, please by all means look at some of the people that you have already elected into the Hall of Fame. Ty Cobb actually admitted to fixing games at one point. If that isn’t enough for you, Gaylord Perry would throw his illegal spitballs. However, most people instead seem to fixate on only the last twenty or so years being tainted. I have news for you. Steroids have been around in the major leagues since the 1960s. So, for all of those people who want to toss out any and all records that may have even the slightest hint of suspicion, they should know that’s when they should start.
  • By the way, it now seems that a majority of players juiced, but also keep in mind that more pitchers juiced than batters. With that said, why wouldn’t Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez get inducted into the hall? If the majority or a large amount of players juiced, doesn’t it remain amazing that just two players will end up with as many home runs as they did and will?
  • Please, Congress, do not get involved. Go fix the economy or vote yes on the stimulus package (or don’t; what do I know?) Still, there are way more pressing matters than steroids being used 5 years ago in baseball.
  • Also for what its worth, who would have guessed five years ago that the NBA would have the best image out of all three sports right now? Baseball is battling steroid allegations and football is battling knuckleheads like Pacman Jones.
  • Speaking of football, am I the only fan of the Probowl left? Just kidding, nobody likes or watches that thing. If you want to fix it, or make it watchable, then you have to raise the incentives to win like crazy. Something around a million each to the winning team, and 10k for the losing team. I guarantee that there will be much more fierce competition if that happens.
  • Remember when Peyton Manning almost accidentally murdered Jay Cutler?
  • How depressed must Raymond Felton be? He is currently being linked to trade rumors with Jamaal Tinsley who hasn’t even played in a few years. When your own team considers you worse than the guy another team sent home because he was poisonous, it might be time to realize you’re a bust.
  • I’m among the people glad that Horse is now an All Star Event, but I think they got the participants wrong. Mayo and Durant are both good players, but Bill Simmons brings up a good point that they are too young to be comfortable trash talking on live TV. Joe Johnson is probably a decent choice normally, except I don’t think he will trash talk too much either because with he’s going to come off as a huge asshole since, like I said, Durant and Mayo won’t talk much. So the solution? Bring back the veterans. Wouldn’t it be great if the contestants were Magic, Dr. J, Bird, and Jordan? Who wouldn’t trash talk among those guys? By the way, if any of those guys competed (especially Jordan) you can bet that Kobe Bryant and a few starts would love to play against them. In any case, this competition has a lot of potential for future years plus who knows, maybe Mayo and Durant get feisty enough to make this years almost as fun.
  • Lebron James being angry that he didn’t get star treatment from the refs when he clearly fouled Granger on that last play and was given just as ticky tacky a call on the other side is dumb. Same goes for Mike Brown. There are going to be a few bad calls that decide games in the regular season—hell even the playoffs. I suggest you save your anger for those and not Lebron James not getting the respect he deserves for once. Stuff happens, move on.
  • How bizarre is the Dwayne Wade story? It involves sex parties and weed, and yet that’s no the bizarre part. The bizarre part is that no one seems to care. Michael Phelps loses his endorsements, but Wade gets to keep on touting Gatorade? I smell a double standard.
  • I’m not going to bother with a full trade review of the Adam Morrison trade. It wasn’t really a basketball move is the main reason. Vladimir Radmanovic made more money than Morrison, and his trade frees up some cash for the Lakers. The Bobcats needed to distance themselves from Adam Morrison, because Adam Morrison sucks as a player. It really is as simple as that.
  • Speaking of trades, the Suns fans have to be freaking out. Apparently, Robert Sarver, better known as the owner who doesn’t like to spend money, is handling the trades personally. Um, now expect 40 cents on the dollar for Amar’e Stoudamire.
  • Alright, I’m out for today. Peace dudes.

February 7, 2009

Deron Williams vs Chris Paul-part one

Filed under: Player vs Player — siddhant2001us @ 3:55 AM

First of all, this article will take the place of the all star preview, which is taking longer than I thought to edit (I’m looking at you editor!) It is also not being written to end the debate of who is better. I’m writing this to keep it going, because currently everyone seems to have conceded that Paul has won.

With Chris Paul hurt, the Hornets are in a tail spin. They’ve lost the past four games and seem to be on pace to lose to the Raptors tonight. To be fair, Chris Paul was with the team for the first two losses, but without him the team has been completely different. They lack direction on offense without their floor general, but that was to be expected. They are now also a complete train wreck on defense as well. Again, it is a really small sample size (it’s been just one and a half games sans Paul, whereas Tyson Chandler, who is a much larger defensive presence, has been out for a long while as well), but the difference has been incredible.

Meanwhile, Deron Williams missed a few games earlier in the year, and the Jazz were just fine. In fact, they even went so far as to have a five game winning streak to open the season. In other games, a hobbled Williams who seemed too unsure of his body’s capabilities to drive in was enough, as the Jazz beat some opponent or the other.

So is this conclusive evidence that Paul is better than Williams? Is this the evidence that people like Bill Simmons have said they don’t need, but secretly want? The answer is somewhat mixed. Clearly, stat-wise, Paul leads Deron Williams in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. So it is done, right? Paul > Williams?

Nope, that’s not true. There is much more that goes into it than that. To understand why the debate should still rage on, one should first start with the stats. Now initially, it does look like Paul has the edge in all of those categories; however, some things should be taken into consideration. First of all, Paul plays more minutes than Williams, and Williams was hobbled getting those stats. So, taking those two parts into consideration, the stats come out to look about even.

Then you need to factor in how their respective teams are built. Chris Paul is the New Orleans Hornets. He is the face of the team and it is built completely around his whims. He has complete control. On the other hand, you have the Utah Jazz, where Deron Williams is not the figure head; Jerry Sloan is. So whatever Williams says does not go. In fact, if he ever tried a power trip like that, he would get benched and never be seen again. Ask Carlos Arroyo, who tried to cross Sloan, and now plays in Europe. It is Jerry Sloan’s way or the bench.

Thus, the two point guards play in completely different systems. Byron Scott has his team running plays that maximize the talents of his stars—especially Chris Paul— because he has to. Jerry Sloan’s system maximizes the talents of his role players and hides his players’ weaknesses, because it’s the best thing to do, and because he can. Thus, Chris Paul is able to play at a faster pace should he choose to, which for one thing can explain why he has better stats (more possessions equals more stats). By the way, Chris Paul doesn’t play at a faster pace to accumulate more stats. He plays at whatever pace he feels will grant him the win. Anyway, The Jazz are not in the same boat. They are atrocious on defense (they are better this year, but it’s a smaller sample size than the full defenseless season last year was). Thus, Jerry Sloan slows the game’s pace to be akin to the movement of a snail. That way his team’s offense (led by Williams) is asked to score efficiently in fewer possessions and, in turn, limit the times another team can score, so as to beat them in a way that masks their physical, but still poor, defense. Considering the Jazz are over five hundred with all their injuries, I would say it’s working well. In any case, this also limits his statistics, which—it should be noted—are still very close to Paul’s, regardless of possessions.

So, it’s actually a lot closer than you would think. Let’s keep this debate raging on. Also, look for the All Star Preview on Wednesday.

Update courtsey of Fanhouse: Also, Deron Williams can do this to Jason Terry!

February 4, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings

Filed under: Ramblings — siddhant2001us @ 2:45 AM

• Does anyone care about the Australian Open in tennis? I’m not even sure the players care about the Australian Open. It got really hot at one point so Novak Djokovic simply retired in a match that he was winning against Andy Roddick, because he didn’t want to play in the heat. How the hell does that actually happen in a real major tournament?
• I think its time to either demote the Australian Open or promote the Italian Open. I’m pretty sure more people take that just as seriously as they do the Australian.
• Anyway, here are some thoughts about the final. First, Nadal and Federer are saving tennis right now. If it wasn’t for their rivalry we would either be talking about why Andy Roddick isn’t that good or we would be forced to wonder if Federer is on the level of Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. I’m not in the mood to do either. Second, why isn’t it a bigger deal that Nadal used to play tennis in Capri pants? If Kobe Bryant or Peyton Manning tried that, they would immediately be put into Bill Simmons’s Mike Tyson zone (where a person can do anything and no longer surprise you because they are so out there.) Instead, Nadal dresses like a 15 year old high school chick and no one bats an eye lash. Do people just chalk it up as being a European thing? I just don’t understand tennis sometimes…Third and finally, I’m typing this near the end of the third set in the final between Nadal and Federer and its tied dead even right now. Personally, I’ve never really taken a side in this rivalry, but I do hope Federer goes on to win this. That’s nothing personal against Nadal; I just think it’s a better story if Federer wins and the rivalry continues. Otherwise, it just feels like Nadal will go on to win out and have a great chance at the grand slam this year mostly unchallenged.
• As a fairly hardcore Giants fan, I want my team to sign Manny Ramirez so bad. I know the economy is bad, that you would have to trade an outfielder as a result, and you have potentially signed a huge cancer, but we just dealt with Barry Bonds for over a decade! I’m pretty sure we can handle Manny Ramirez. I don’t even care if you sign him to a long term deal.
• How did Ralph Wilson make it into the Hall of Fame?
• Alright, how the hell does next year’s Super Bowl live up to the intensity of the last two years? This game was full of sloppy play and inconsistent refereeing, but you know what? It was one hell of a game.
• Kurt Warner, there is a puppy that you will never see. That puppy promise clearly cost him the super bowl. It was probably something else, but this has been a weird season…
• So what happens to the NFL now? Does it go back to being a bit more predictable? Does it get even crazier? Will teams see Arizona’s somewhat random success as reason to spend less or will they just point to that as a reason for them cutting costs when the real reason will be the economy. Either way, in three years, parity in the NFL will be gone as the teams with owners not hurt by the economy as much buy up all the players that the teams without as much money cannot afford. So what it all boils down to is: Obama must save the economy in order to save the NFL…or uh, the country;
• A lot of people have been saying this, but I think Ben Rothlesberger is going to become the next Brett Favre.
• I was under the impression that Manny Ramirez would be the first player to sign in free agency and that his price would set the market. Instead, there he is just sort of twisting in the wind…As a San Francisco Giants fan, I cannot stress how much I want him to sign with us, or at least how much I do not want him to sign with the Dodgers.
• I haven’t cursed as much as I did when I found out Andrew Bynum was hurt and out for the regular season…again. Considering he never came back last year…I don’t actually believe he will return this year. Maybe he’s a slow healer or just a lazy rehabber but at this point I believe that he will be next seen playing basketball next season.
• This injury opens the door for the Spurs and Hornets. It should open the door for Houston as well, but I doubt that team ever gets its act together. How often has the intended starting five played together?
• The Lakers of course, are not the only team with serious injuries. The Magic have lost Jameer Nelson for the season. I think the losses are similar in that I do not believe that either player is particularly essential for the team. Instead, both are guys that put their respective teams over the top. So, both of those guys are somewhat replaceable, but it will take a lot of work, and now both teams could use another guy at their position. For now, expect the Lakers to go small a lot more with players like Vladimir Radmanovic playing the spot of power forward. Meanwhile, the Magic must sign or trade for a point guard because Anthony Johnson is terrible for more than 15 minutes in a game. Even so they can have Courtney Lee and Mikeal Pietrus start, and have Hedo Turkoglu handle the ball even more and probably will be fine. Where they will miss Nelson the most is in the locker room, because he is the team captain and takes that role very seriously.
• The fans that have to be happy are in New Orleans. Chris Paul should only be out for a handful of games. They cannot get him back fast enough. I was watching their game against Portland, and honestly that team couldn’t crumble quickly enough without their big leader.
• That’s all I have for this week’s ramblings. Look for my take and a break down of both the Eastern and Western conference All Stars that should be out later this week.

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