Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Clips Sign Ricky Davis -- Another Solid Move

The LA Clippers continue to rebound nicely from the Boozerish departure of Elton Brand. In their latest signing they pick up 10-year vet Ricky Davis. While Davis isn't as good as Corey Maggette, he can play a very similar role. Even better, Davis has a much better handle allowing him to back up the 1, 2 or 3 spots and really lead the second unit.

Additionally, Davis' arrival should help bring Cat Mobley's minutes down to about 30 per game which should improve his effectiveness and take pressure off Eric Gordon, the Clips first rounder, to contribute out of the gate.

Dunleavy has a pretty good 8-man rotation to work with now with projected starteers Baron, Cat, Thornton, Camby and Kaman and Ricky Davis, Tim Thomas and Eric Gordon off the bench. Will it be enough to snag the 8th spot in the playoffs? Maybe. The Clips should be better than the Warriors and Nuggests. There's definitely a shoot out with the Mavs and Blazers brewing.

Omar: We Need Bullpen Help

Within a span of 4 days the Mets bullpen has blown 2 leads after the 8th inning. Putting Joe Smith in the game is now akin to pouring gasoline on a fire. I hope he is sent down to New Orleans (AAA/PCL) as soon as possible.

With the high profile acquisitions for the Cubs (Harden) and Brewers (CC Sabathia), it's looking more and more like it's "NL East or Bust". The Mets have made tremendous progress in the post-Willie era and I'd hate to see it go down in flames because of a bad bullpen.

Omar, please do something. Anything.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Knicks Send Balkman to Nuggets

Well so much for Isiah's statement that the Suns would have drafted Balkman 2 picks later, after Isiah was laughed out of the Garden after taking Balkman with the 21st pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. If there was even a whiff of truth to that, do you think that D'Antoni's Knicks would cast him off before playing a game?

Look for the Knicks to waive both Taureen Green and Bobby Jones, both of whom have non-guaranteed contracts. Given that the Knicks threw in money to the deal, effectively they paid to pick up a 2nd round pick in 2010.

On the flip side, I think this is a good move for Denver. Balkman should be able to play the hustle/energy role that Eduardo Najera did before fleeing to New Jersey this summer. In that role, there should be no concerns about Balkman's lack of basketball IQ which apparently was one of the key drivers behind shipping him out of town.

And there's even an outside possibility that they re-sign Green after he's waived by NY.

Hawks looking pretty smart

The Hawks have apparently signed G/F Maurice Evans to a 3-year/$7.5M deal. That's basically what Josh Childress wanted in one year. Yes, Childress is a little younger and a little longer, but I think the Hawks get most of Childress brought at a steep discount. When comparing resumes, Childress' numbers look better, but it's also indicative of the larger minutes Childress got on bad teams (2007 excepted).

I also think that this signing bears out Hawks owner Michael Gearon, Jr.'s comments in Friday's Atlanta Journal Constitution:

"I disagree completely," Michael Gearon Jr. said when asked about negative perceptions. "You're saying it doesn't look good that we weren't willing to pay Josh Childress $10 million a year. But if we did that, I'd expect you to write, 'What the hell are those guys doing?' If you give out bad contracts, you can't compete. Are pieces needed to make the team better? Yes. But [general manager] Rick [Sund] is working right now to make us a better team.

"What's frustrating to me is the perception that we didn't offer more money than every NBA team to keep him. There's never been a European offer like this. Now there has been. Was Josh Childress worth $10 million to the Atlanta Hawks?"

And then this: "No matter what we do, I think some people will look at us as the glass being half-empty."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

'Genius Bar' is Terribly Misnamed

I love my Mac, but the support, not so much. Recently I had a problem with my battery. So what did I do, I went down to the Apple Store to go to the Genius Bar. Now I didn't know that you had to make an appointment before I went. One may say, "why didn't you check the website first". To those people, and to the morons (not geniuses) that named it a 'Genius BAR', the word BAR implies that you walk up and get served. Just like every bar I've ever gone to for a drink. Apparently Apple's definition of a bar means an area with a 4-foot high table with bar stools and the support people on the other side.

Of course I went down there and was told that no one could help me and I had to go back 10 days later. A major, major inconvenience. When I did go, I still had to wait 20 minutes past my appointment time (remember the Jerry Seinfeld quote about "HOLDING the reservation"), which didn't please my impatient 4-year old daughter.

Any way, the geniuses over at Apple should rethink their naming convention.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tyronn Lue Disappointed -- Poor Baby

I'm so tired of this. Loser talent who think they should get paid. The latest entry in the category is Tyronn Lue who signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for 2 years/$5M last week.

Lue was "disappointed" when the 2008 World Champion Celtics only offered him the veterans minimum of $1.2M annually. Lue complained that he was willing to take less to be a Celtic. Quoted in the Boston Globe Lue said "I'm disappointed. "We were trying to get it done there for so long. I don't know why an extra [$600,000] was a big deal. I would have taken less than I took with Milwaukee. But they didn't want to do it."

Tyronn, they didn't want to do it because you're not worth it. And it's nice that you thought that it was "only" $600K, but you went for money over a chance to win a championship. I don't blame you for going for the money, but $600K is a lot of money...in fact it's 50% higher than they thought you were worth. You may disagree, but it's not your money. I can't for the life of me think of what you've done in your career that makes you think you're worth it. Of course it only takes one team to give a stupid contract and this time it was the Bucks (so much for Tommy Hammonds being a genius rookie GM).

But enjoy yourself in Milwaukee where you will probably be 3rd on the depth chart behind Mo Williams and Ramon Sessions.

FIBA is not a threat to the NBA

The latest over-reaction by NBA writers has been the impending collapse as a result of a devalued dollar and tax-free contracts in Europe sap the NBA of talent. What crap. First of all look who's leaving to Europe -- Juan Carlos Navarro and Bostjan Nachbar. Chicken Little, the sky is really falling! Both are eminently replaceable talents who don't merit the pay they're getting from the European clubs. JCN couldn't be a star on perhaps the worst team in the NBA and Nachbar was a 6th man on a bad Nets team. Put him on a team in the West or on the Celtics or Pistons and the guy doesn't get off the bench unless it's 'garbage time'. In fact they should take the money because they have no chance of being a star in the NBA. Two years from now and people will forget they were even in the league. And don't discount the fact that neither are American-born players.

Now Adrian Wojnarowski, a normally respectable writer for Yahoo Sports writes that Josh Childress may flee to Europe too and this could spell the end for the NBA. Yes, this would be a move by an American, but come on Wojo, you're better than this. Childress is a nice player, but he'll never be a great player. With tax and euro implications 3 years/$20M is like 3/$40M. Put in NBA terms, this is like Max Contract money. And no one in their right mind -- even if Billy King was still calling the shots in Atlanta -- would ever fork over that kind of money for a player of Childress' stature...or lack thereof.

So maybe Europe becomes a place where mediocre talent cashes big checks, but it's not where the best America players go, and it won't be. If LeBron signs with Belgrade instead of Brooklyn, call me. Otherwise, this is a complete non-story.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nolan Out as Isles Coach

It just seems to be getting worse as an Islanders fan. Of all the things that they seemed to have done right in the past few years...and that's a very small list...the hiring of Ted Nolan seemed to have been the best. But today, Nolan is out and the Islanders seem to be falling further into the abyss.

Garth Snow, who in his 2 whole years of experience as GM has become the NHL's version of Billy King-Elgin Baylor's love child, clearly orchestrated the move. Clearly, the environment Wang created where lackey-ship trumps leadership and competency is mostly to blame. Snow hasn't brought one free agent of consequence to the Island and the trades and draft choices he's made have been almost universally awful. Frankly the "philosophical difference" about building around young talent is not so much a strategy that Snow adopted, but simply the result of his ineptitude as GM.

But the hockey cognoscenti has applauded the work that Nolan did over his 2 seasons as the Islanders coach, believing that he got much more out of a roster that most analysts believed to be at the bottom of the league, than anyone could have expected.

However, as in most power plays (pun intended) between a GM and a Coach, the Coach loses.