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