Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Milwaukee trades Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell to the Golden State Warriors for Corey Maggette and the 44th pick in the draft.

Dan Gadzuric - 1 more year (2010-2011 season) for $7.2 million
Charlie Bell - 2 more years for $3.8 million, then $4.0 million

Corey Maggette - 3 more years for $9.6, $10.2, $10.9 million

What Milwaukee is receiving

This is a good trade for Milwaukee. Why? Corey Maggette can score. His career with the Clippers was as a player who was a first or second option behind Elton Brand. These Clipper teams sucked and he was not re-signed and left to Golden State. Golden State simply is not a good team. They have had a lot of internal problems that start from the coach and management who feel that even if they lose 70% of their games, if the team scores a lot and it's fun, we'll still make money. This team saw Corey Maggette as just another SG/SF who if he's open, will shoot just like anyone else on the team (Monta, Curry, Stephen Jackson, Jamal Crawford, etc.) These past two years, he averaged 18 and 20 points but the team had no success.

As a Milwaukee Buck, he'll be a third option behind Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings. With John Salmons likely opting out of the last year of his contract to get a healthy contract elsewhere, Maggette will fill that role of a scoring swingman to run alongside Jennings. Another 8th seed or above is not so inconceivable depending on how the rest of free agency shapes out.

All it cost them was PF/C Gadzuric who barely played and an aging Charlie Bell who can still hit a 3 pointer.

What Golden State is receiving

Trash. Like I said, Gadzuric barely plays and Charlie Bell is a third stringer maybe 2nd stringer on the Warriors. What the Warriors are REALLY receiving is a flexible future.

With this trade, they'll still pay the $10 million that was owed to Maggette with the combined salaries of Gadzuric and Bell. But next summer, and the summer after that when Gadzuric and Bell's contracts come off the books respectively, they can use that money to sign some depth players or a bigger name FA.

What else does this trade say about the Warriors future? It says they're looking to build the team around Stephen Curry and/or Monta Ellis. Ellis is signed until the 2014 season and Curry until the 2013 season. Having two small starting guards is a predicament all itself and I'm still not sure if they can win with not just two small starting guards but THESE two small starting guards who are almost exactly the same player. But the known future is without Corey Maggette and if you're keeping count, that's the fourth SG/SF they've gotten rid of in recent memory (Stephen Jackson, Jamal Crawford, Jason Richardson, and now Corey Maggette).

The trade offers some flexibility in the near future: Gadzuric is a $7 million dollar expiring contract and if recent history has taught us anything (Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol), it's that expiring contracts, regardless of who the player is, are valuable. Some team out there will be looking for a new home for a disgruntled/not-working-out-so-well Mid Level Exception player with a couple years left on contract that might tickle the fancy of the Warriors front office. Flexibility. Options.

Flexibility for next summer: The Warriors have the same payroll as they did before the trade (matching contract dollar amounts) for this upcoming year. They still have enough money to spend on a not so max contract kind of player (not LeBron, Wade or Bosh, but maybe Boozer, David Lee or Brad Miller).

With the Maggette trade, they can sign one of those latter three names (or a player to their level of talent) and then sign ANOTHER such player, or even better than said players, next year as well as Gadzuric's $7 million will come off the books. As I said before, they can also use this money to sign some bench players for depth and maybe use it on a Mid Level Exception type player. Flexible future!

To make that easier to understand:
  • GS Payroll this summer before AND after the trade: $55 million.
  • GS Payroll next summer before trade: Around $34 million. After trade: Around $28 million.
With the Salary cap likely to be around the mid $70 million range, the Golden State Warriors have more money to play with/more options to look at.

If you're a Warriors fan: you are hoping to the basketball gods above that the Warriors aren't done making moves. You're hoping they sign a top FA this summer and continue to make cap space either for depth or another top name FA next summer. They've got the money, let's hope they don't eff it all up like they did with the Maggette signing two summers ago!

Some other things they have to deal with:
  1. Andris Biedrins' $9 million a year contract until the 2014 season. Ughh. This guy is not a good Center and is crippling the Warriors roster. A Center with no post moves, no free throw shooting, no killer instinct, no decent hair cut who barely plays and is only suited for the run-n-gun style the Warriors play, which is a terrible way to play as proven by the last 3-4 years of no basketball success besides the taking out the fraud Mavericks number 1 seed.
  2. Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph: both signed at least for the next couple of years yet they barely play. Wright is a PF and Randolph an SF. With Corey leaving, they'll be looking for a PF/C player so perhaps Randolph will finally get some decent playing time. The Warriors will have to make a decision on what to do with Wright. Either ship him for a draft pick or some kind of package deal or let him play!
Overall, I'm very proud of the Warriors making this move as they strive for a better future and take out the trash they seem to have subtly admitted overpaid for. Again, this better be the first of at least two or three they do this summer.

Contract info from HoopsHype

Sunday, June 20, 2010

NBA Finals game by game MVPS

What a difference a game makes. Last I posted was after game 2 of the Finals where I chastised the refereeing. I thought there were way too many missed calls, make up calls, bad calls and flops that both teams were guilty of. Here are my quick notes:

Game 1 - Kobe turned into F YOU mode and went off and controlled the game. The Celtics didn't look ready and everyone wrote them off after they lost. Everyone threw the fact that after a game 1 win, Phil Jackson has never lost (such a logical flaw btw, just because something happens over and over again does not GUARANTEE that it will happen the next time). The whole Laker team played well but Game 1 MVP goes to Kobe.

Game 2 - "If we play how we're supposed to play, we'll win." - Doc Rivers. And what do you know, they played their game and won. Thanks in part to a Finals record eight 3 pointers by Ray Allen. He goes off screen after screen and has Fish chasing and chasing him and Andre Bynum and Pau Gasol NEVER step out to help on those screens. And then they look at each other like, ugghh why didn't you step out on him!? Ray Allen was the offense that night and the game 2 MVP goes to him, Ray Allen.

Game 3 - I know why Derek Fisher cried after the game in his post game interview: Derek Fisher is known for hitting big shots. He hit the .4 shot against San Antonio, he hit those 3 pointers against Orlando last year in the Finals. He has a knack for hitting clutch shots in clutch situations. However, he's never, NEVER, been asked to carry a team, let alone in the Finals. The Lakers hadn't done anything and were about to go down 1-2 in the series. Fisher then drives the lane and scores a layup with Rasheed contesting, he hits running jumpers, and then I saw something I though I'd never see: Kobe Bryant setting a screen for Derek Fisher. And he did that screen where if he rolled to the basket, he would have had an easy bucket, but he didn't roll. It's like when you're in a pick up basketball game and everyone's tired but you still want to win so you set on ball screens for the hot shooter/best player at the moment and stand and watch to see if he scores. And Fisher scored. Topped off with a dagger and 1 with KG, Big Baby and Ray Ray fouling him as he made the layup and Pau screaming in his face as he helped him up. Game 3 MVP goes to Fisher, something he'd never deserved more than that day. Emotions got the best of him and he let it out with a couple tears.

Game 4 - Fast forward to the end of the third quarter with the Lakers up by 2 - 62 to 60. Glen Davis and Nate Robinson come in to rest the starters and with pure hustle, hard work and determination, they took over the game. To the point where Rondo told Doc Rivers to keep them in. Capped off with an and 1 put back by Glen Davis to where he screamed his heart out and Nate Robinson jumped on his back in joy. It's like when you're playing a pick up game and you're obviously over matched in talent, except your team wins by simply putting forth more effort and you just get emotional and just have to scream after a foul. Only it's not a pick up game, and it's a must win with thousands of fans screaming with you. Game 4 MVP goes to Glen Davis, emotions got the best of him and he let it out with a yell that I could hear from Los Angeles.

Game 5
- Both teams view this as a must win. Celtics don't want to go down 3-2 and have to win two games in Los Angeles. Lakers don't want to go down 3-2 which would allow the Celtics to win just one of two in Los Angeles, something they've proven they can do (game 2). Fast forward to the third quarter where Kobe goes into Beast Mode. He has to take over this game to give the Lakers a chance because quite simply, no one else showed up. Paul Pierce is torching Ron Artest, the defensive stopper and forcing LA to play 4 on 5 on offense. A liability on BOTH sides of the ball. Bryant scores 23 straight points in the 3rd quarter, constantly yells and pleads his team: "LET'S GET A STOP!!" Unfortunately for him, those stops never came and Paul Pierce hit shot after shot to match Kobe's onslaught.

Fast forward to the fourth quarter when Derek Fisher and KG have a jump ball. Fisher wins the tip inexplicably and Kobe gets the ball, passes it up to Ron Artest who Paul Pierce smartly fouls and doesn't give him a chance to make the shot. Ron Artest misses both free throws, Kobe tries to grab the rebound and Pierce rips it away. You could read Kobe's lips in the replay, he yells, "MAN FUCK!!!" I'm not trying to be Kobe Homer (and when I rip him a new one in game 7 review, you'll believe that) but Kobe gave his all and his teammates didn't show up and he still tried to make the right play by passing the ball up to a streaking Ron Artest. He gave so much of himself in the third that there quite simply wasn't enough in him for the fourth quarter. Pierce was too much for Ron and the Lakers to handle. Game 5 MVP goes to Paul Pierce, emotions didn't get the best of him and he just let his game speak for himself.

Game 6 - Big news of the night, Kendrick Perkins goes down and hurts his knee early and will not return. Add that to the fact that the Lakers have their backs against the wall and are playing for their basketball lives and the Los Angeles takes game 6 with ease. Bench players play well at home and suck on the road holds true here as Sasha scores 9, Farmar and Shannon score 4 each. For Boston, Rasheed scores 0, Tony Allen scores 2, Glen Davis scores 0, Nate Robinson scores 6 on 2 for 8 shooting. Marquis Daniels adds 5 but that was when the game was already decided late in the fourth. Lamar and Pau took advantage of no Kendrick Perkins and get 10 and 13 rebounds respectively. Pau gets a near triple double as they make him the focal point of the offense as they should always do when a team has no post defense (even with Perkins) and ends with a stat line of 17/13/9 with a steal and 3 blocks. Game 6 MVP goes to Pau Gasol, emotions didn't get the best of him because you can't get too cocky when you just tied the series and 3-3 and going to a game 7.

Game 7 - Dog fight. Perkins out and Sheed starts. No ticky tack fouls called. Oh, and Kobe will never me Michael Jordan. He had a chance to get his name closer to that level, but instead he brought himself down. Forced way too many shots, didn't pass out of double teams, tried to make game 7 his, and almost shot the team out of a championship. If it wasn't for Ron Artest's defense, which lead to offense, offensive rebounds and put backs, and his run in the second quarter to bring keep the Lakers competitive, Kobe would be hounded this entire summer for being the biggest choke artist in the history of sports.

I honestly can't say enough about Ron Artest. He hit his shots, he hustled and he worked hard which is pretty much all you can ask for from a Basketball player. Capped off with his huge 3 pointer in the 4th to put the Lakers ahead by 6 after Rasheed's 3 pointer, which cut the lead to 3. That was so huge, even if Ray Allen hit a 3 pointer to answer because it bought the Lakers about a minute of game time near the end. Add that to the and 1 he got in the fourth and this game was Ron's. Game 7 MVP goes to Ron Artest, emotions got the best of him and he let it out with the most unfiltered post game interviews in the recent history of the NBA. My fav part was when he called out his brother, Daniel Artest saying "This is my brother, Daniel Artest, he got in a fight with Trevor Ariza on twitter!" Whatever you want to say, Ron, you just earned your ring. [Sidenote: LA brought Lakers for his defense, seems like they brought him for his charisma and personality, he provided both along with game 7 offense.]

I do have one beef with Ron's answers in his post game interviews. He goes off about how Kobe passed him the ball and how Kobe never passes him the ball! Kobe doesn't pass as much as he should but when he does, he almost always passes to Ron! He's the only one during the playoffs that teams left open and Kobe always did that jump pass to Ron for either a swished 3 pointer or a 3 pointer that was no where close to the rim. He followed suit in game 7 crunch time and Ron delivered.

By the way, Game 1 MVP went to Kobe and Game 2 MVP went to Ray Allen.

SOOO, if you're keeping count, that's one game MVP to the following: Kobe, Ray, Fisher, Glen Davis, Paul Pierce, Pau, Ron Artest.

So why did Kobe get the Finals MVP? First because the Lakers won. Second, He consistently got the stats and while Fisher in game 2 was the MVP, he didn't do anything too much of note in the other Laker wins, and in game 6, he also put up good numbers but Pau outdid him for that game, and the same case for game 7. Although it could be argued that Pau should have won the Finals MVP and he would have had the Lakers consistently made him the focal point of the offense, which they probably should have. But life goes on...

And one more thing. Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson discussed how if in game 6, the Celtics won, Kobe would have won the Finals MVP. This is so ludicrous. If the Celtics won, the Finals MVP would have gone to Rajon Rondo hands down. Rondo was the glue that held everything together for the Celtics. Without him, they don't win, simple as that. Always in control of the game, always hustling, always putting up great numbers. The only reason Jerry West is the only player to win the Finals MVP and be on a losing team is because that was the first year they started awarding a Finals MVP (1969) and they didn't realize how stupid it was until the next season.

I'll be posting a season in review post in the near future but this was my Finals Post.

Monday, June 7, 2010

These Finals are less epic than the Lost Finale

These. Refs. Suck.
(Photo from Zimbio)
We haven't even seen the Lakers vs. Celtics yet. What is up with that?

In Game 1, Lamar Odom and Ray Allen got called for some BS fouls. The Celtics were more hurt than this, losing their best shooter who can spread the floor. The Lakers didn't really lose Lamar but they definitely lost some free throws. Ray Allen played 27 minutes but that's really about 20 minutes of REAL time. That extra 7 minutes was played when the game was pretty much decided with the Lakers up by about 13-15 points. Allen could not get into a rhythm (12 points on 3-8 shooting, no 3 pointers), like he was able to do so in game 2 (32 points on 11-20 shooting, 8-11 3 pointers).

But just because Ray Allen wasn't saddled with foul problems in game 2 didn't make it any better. Sure the Celtics shot a lot of 3 pointers (not driving to the lane to get fouls and free throw attempts), but anytime they did, they weren't getting the bump fouls the Lakers were getting. Forget the free throw disparity, just watch the 4th quarter.

But hey, the Celtics still won, thanks to those Ray Allen 3 pointers... but also thanks to two phantom fouls (ala Ray Allen in game 1) on Kobe Bryant. The first was when Kobe drives the lane, being guarded by Ray Allen. Kobe does a spin move to avoid contact, but Ray Allen does an outstanding flop job to get the ref to call an offensive foul on Kobe. The second was when Rajon Rondo cleanly steals the ball from Kobe near the right sideline around the free throw line extended. Kobe jumps back to avoid contact, but Rondo still falls out of bounds, and Kobe gets called for the foul.

Kobe is forced to sit during stretches where he'd usually play. Final stat line: 34 minutes, 5 fouls, 21 points.

Hey, I'll flat out say it, I'm a Laker fan and want the Lakers to win. But I also want to see some effing good basketball, not Sasha Vujacic guarding Ray Allen instead of foul plagued Kobe (game 2) or Tony Allen go 1-4 in place of a foul plagued Ray Allen (game 1). This series is annoying. This series is bad. This series is quite literally, less epic than the Lost Finale. Greatest rivalry of all time? They haven't even played a game against each other, yet.

Other things of note:
  • Lakers wasted a 39 minute game by Andrew Bynum (21 points and 7 blocks), I doubt we'll see that again.
  • Ray Allen goes through screen after screen and no one steps out on him and little Derek Fisher has to be hit by KG and Perkins before getting a hand up when the ball is already well on it's way to the bottom of the basket. That's all defensive communication (or a lack thereof). Pau points out to Bynum at least twice a game so far to step out on him as he runs the baseline to go through that last screen by Perkins. Young player syndrome. And by the way, this happened in the first round. Kevin Durant going through screen after screen and having Ron Artest get to him too late, while Lamar and Bynum stand by watching instead of stepping out on him. So annoying.
  • Nate Robinson is doing a great job filling in for Rondo off the bench. Knows his role. Hindsight: good trade for the Celtics.
  • I don't know who takes worse shots: Ron Artest or Shannon Brown. Just keep an eye out for that tomorrow. Watch Shannon dribble dribble dribble and pull up for a fade away long two pointers. Regardless of it going in or not, it's still a bad shot.
  • Boston Sucks chants need to stop. It's not that creative. Not that Beat LA is any better.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tweets of the Playoffs

Phil came home from STAPLES Center kissed me on the forehead and watched the 4th quarter again. I am an NBA widow. - Jeanie Buss
Jeanie is funny.

I got a question!! Why do people wanna see Kobe and lebron do so bad? Why just those 2 players more than anyone else? - Kevin Durant
Because they are the top two players in the league right now and it would add a major factor to the debate of not necessarily who is better, but who can pull their team to win in the most important games of the year. In 3 or 4 years, if they meet, Kobe will be further away from his prime and if LeBron's team wins, there would be that asterisk of Kobe wasn't in his prime.

#wheniwasafreshman I almost pee'd my pants when I ran out the tunnell for our first game..i was uber nervous - Kevin Durant
BTW, his stat line for that first game: 20 points on 8-13 shooting, 3-6 from 3pt, 1-2 FT, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers in 22 minutes, they beat Alcorn State (who?) 103-44.

Best Picture ever.. - Stephon Marbury
Congrats to Stephon Marbury's son (I'm assuming) for graduating kindergarten! (?)

whats going on out there everybody... its Wednesday whats going on? - Baron Davis
ladies and gentlemen, Baron Davis is bored.