Monday, January 13, 2014

Lord of the Championship Rings: Return of the Tweener

That's right!  After a long absence, I'm bringing back my "Tweener" column!  You can read the original "Tweener" here, and other examples here and here and here and...ok enough already.

>>>> Mostly I decided to bring this back because the Australian Open started today/yesterday/I don't really understand how the international dateline works, but it was on TV when I woke up in the middle of the night.  If you haven't seen or heard about the draw, well, one half is a little stacked.  Here's what is important in this tournament:
  • If Rafael Nadal wins, he ties Sampras with 14 career majors.  Due to the draw and his streak of 24 consecutive matches won, the odds seem to be in Djokovic's favor.  But you better believe if these two make the final I will be up at 3:30am that Sunday to watch it.
  • That's really the only important thing.
  • Serena will probably still be really good.
  • Oh wait - I'm reeeeally hoping we see something like this:

>>>> STOP THE PRESSES.  Whatever you're doing, it isn't worth it.  Instead, you should be spending the next 5 hours staring at the NBA standings, since four whole Eastern Conference teams are currently above .500!  Actually Toronto plays Milwaukee tonight, and Boston on Wednesday, so this may hold up for a while.

Wait.  Who am I kidding?  This is the Eastern Conference we're talking about!  Relish it while you can.

>>>> In all seriousness, call me crazy, but Chicago (because no Luol Deng) and Detroit (because Josh Smith lol) are going to fall out of those standings.  (When I told him this, co-Volume Shooter Paul Britton told me I was crazy.)  Instead, the New York Suddenly-A-Real-Basketball-Team-After-Benching-JR-Smith Knicks will pull it together (much to Denver's chagrin, since they own the Knicks' first round pick), and the Charlotte (!!!!!!) Bobcats will also find a way in.  I know...I really did just type those words, which virtually guarantees Charlotte will lose 10 of their next 11 games (though they'd probably still be within striking distance of the playoffs because the East is that bad).

>>>> This (s/o to Drake Varn):

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Oral Roberts to Forfeit Two Games Against Imaginary Schools

Today, it was announced that Oral Roberts will have to forfeit two upcoming games against "Abilene Christian" and "Incarnate Word" because they've played too many non-Division 1 schools this year already.

According to NCAA bylaws, Division 1 teams can play a maximum of 4 non-Division 1 schools each year, including exhibition games. The Golden Eagles already defeated the non-Division 1 likes of Northwood, Rogers State, Cameron and Dallas Baptist, but apparently, they didn't think those victories would be convincing enough for the NCAA Selection Committee to put them in the NCAA Tournament later this season.

To amp up their résumé, they scheduled two "games" against Division 2 "schools" that they made up--Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word.

Deng, That's An Interesting Trade

On Monday, January 6, the Chicago Bulls traded Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum, his hair, and three draft picks.  This trade was probably not that big of a deal, but deng it we're going to make it one! Welcome to our first roundtable discussion of 2014!

Who won this trade?

Paul: Um, neither team? In a sense, the Bulls "won" by avoiding the luxury tax this season and trading away an expiring contract for something, even though it is likely to be a late first or second-round pick sometime a few years off. At the same time, you have to think Deng might have chosen to remain in Chicago after his contract expired, which now seems like something with no shot of happening. Meanwhile, the Cavs clearly got better this season by adding Deng, a very solid player who has played at an all-star level as recently as 2 seasons ago. Unfortunately, they are 11 games under .500, have the 4th worst point differential in the league, and even in the Big 10 Conference Eastern Conference, they have to be seen as a long shot to make the playoffs. Are you really making this trade to try and convince LeBron you are "serious about contending?"

Monday, January 6, 2014

Grading the NBA Draft

At the start of 2014, it's important to look back on some big moments from 2013, like the NBA draft.  Plus, we're far enough into the season that we can now take a bunch of small sample sizes and make really hyperbolic statements about how well some teams did during this draft.  I'm bold enough to take that leap of faith.  Without further ado, here's a look at the quality of some of the 2013 draft picks:

#1: Cleveland Cavaliers - Anthony Bennett

Grade: LOL

#2: Orlando Magic - Victor Oladipo

Thursday, December 26, 2013

On the First Day of Christmas, I Really Tried to Watch: 12 Hours of Basketball

In case you had to spend your Christmas with family members, or doing something other than watching over TWELVE HOURS of basketball – don’t worry, I tried to do it for you. This was me at 12:30 last night:

12:00PM EST – Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls

Q1 – 12:00Scrimmage Game #1 today features a rematch from the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last May. You can understand why the schedule included these two teams – Derrick Rose was supposed to elevate the Bulls to ‘contender’ status, and the Nets have spent more money on players than...actually than nothing. They've spent more money on players than anyone has on anything. Ever.  However, the teams are a combined 19-34 this year, somehow failing to be a part of the playoff picture in a dismal Eastern Conference. But Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich are both back in the Bulls lineup (they’re still missing Luol Deng), so maybe they’ll continue their upward trend from their last 10 games (6-4). The Nets, meanwhile, get Kevin Garnett back in action, which is a major boost after losing their leading scorer/rebounder/pickup line artist/basketball player Brook Lopez for the season. Plus...DJ Augustin!

Can you tell I’m trying to convince myself it is worth sitting in front of the TV for this game?

Monday, December 23, 2013

ICYMI: There's A New Jetson

We now bring you the first part of a new and what we hope will be a season-long series: Did You See What Happened on "Inside the NBA on TNT?"

The Scene: December 19, 2013.  Halftime of the Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs.

What: Charles "Chuck" Barkley fails to correctly remember Elroy Jetson's name, instead calling him Leroy Jetson.

Our favorite things about this segment:

7 Things You Can Do In 0.3 Seconds

On Tuesday, December 17, Florida Golf Coast had a game-tying shot in double overtime negated. They were playing South Florida and were trailing 66-68 with 0.3 seconds left when Chase Fieler caught a full-court pass and made a shot as time expired. He got the shot off before the buzzer sounded, but the officials ruled that it didn’t count. See it go down here:

Apparently, there’s a little rule in college basketball that states: 

“In any period, when the game clock displays 10ths of seconds and play is to be resumed by a throw-in or a free throw when 3/10 (.3) of a second or less remains on the game clock, a player may not gain possession of the ball and try for a field goal. Such player can only score a field goal by means of a tap of a pass or of a missed free throw.”

It’s hard to blame Fieler for his failed attempt at “Just the Tip.” There’s not a whole lot you can do in 0.3 seconds, but there are at least 7 things you can do in that amount of time...