Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Official Fantasy Death Pool Rules

Here are the rules for the latest Bullets Blog Fantasy Game:

  • Each person drafts three actors/actresses from the IMDB cast list for the movie (actor names, not character names).
  • The participating parties must go see the movie at midnight on the night that it opens. 
    • Prior to the opening, the following are permitted:
      • Trailers
    • And the following are NOT permitted:
      • Synopsis-related reviews
    • Basically just try to preserve the integrity of the game. 
  • For each actor that dies, the team is awarded one point.
  • Deaths will be determined by the majority of the participating teams (in our case, we both have to agree). If a tie occurs, a third person will be consulted to determine if the character died or not. 
  • The team with more points at the end of the movie wins. 
Our first Fantasy Death Pool movie will be The Bourne Legacy, which opens this Friday. 

PS - If you listened to the podcast and were wondering what DIA actually stands for, it's either Denver International Airport or Defense Intelligence Agency. You make the call. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

MLB Power Rankings

Ahhh, August. A month that is typically spent by me working my butt off at my summer job, basically to kill time before the beginning of school. But it's also a fairly stagnant month for sports all around.

Obviously, with the Olympics this year, it's been fairly busy, which masks the fact that nothing's happening. But if you're like me, and not an Olympics fanatic like everyone else (apparently, 70% of the earth's population who are tuning into the Games this Summer), you're pretty bored.

Sure, there are "storylines" to follow, between the fake QB controversy between Sanchez and Tebow, NBA storylines like Blake Griffin's injury, the PGA tournament coming up next week, and I just received confirmation that people STILL care about Chad Johnson. But, if those storylines don't interest you, you're stuck with one sport only at this time of the year: Baseball.

So, in case you're looking for someone to handicap the rest of the season, I've taken the liberty of doing so for you. I have ranked the 30 teams, in order of where I believe they will finish. Keep in mind: my pre-season pick for the world series was Yankees over Marlins. So you know I'm not biased.

1.) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim -- by my calculations, they're the best team in baseball. Not in terms of current record, but they can, and will, go toe to toe with anyone in baseball with that rotation. The only other team in the majors who can match their rotation is....the Phillies. Who have no chance of making the playoffs at this point.

2.) New York Yankees -- my team. However, this doesn't look like their year. Clearly I think they're the second best team in baseball, and with three quality starters, the best defense in baseball and a very productive offense, who can argue that? However, between teams 1-4 here, the gap is tiny. I just think LAA has the most firepower in terms of pitching, and a good enough lineup to beat them.

3.) Texas Rangers -- they've fallen apart at the seams lately, but do NOT count that offense out at any time. Their injuries in the rotation, and lack of an ace will be their downfall ultimately, but this team can beat anyone in a slugfest. If the game is 8-8 after the fourth inning, advantage Texas. For the record, Ryan Dempster was the worst pick-up of all time.

4.) Cincinnati Reds -- with Strasburg pitching, the Nationals are better. But, after he hits the magic number and his arm reaches the point where it can literally fall off, the Reds are better. They're very hot right now, and I think the way they can hit will carry them to the World Series this year. Votto is the second best hitter in baseball, behind....

5.) Detroit Tigers -- ...Miguel Cabrera. Hands down, the best hitter in baseball. With him, Prince and Boesch (underrated hitter) producing, and Verlander being himself, this team can run with anyone. If Doug Fister pitches well down the stretch, this team is the best in all of the Major Leagues. Write it down. I just don't see it happening.

6.) Washington Nationals -- I hate innings limits. Call me biased, but after watching the Yankees botch Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes AND Ian Kennedy for the last 6 years, I don't believe in them. And because of that, this team will miss its best chance to compete for a title it will have for a long time. Do you really think Gio Gonzalez is THIS good? And Jordan Zimmermann? The clock will strike midnight on this team eventually, and their inability to hit will be exposed. And when it does, they'll wish Stephen Strasburg was there to dominate 7 innings of a game.

7.) Los Angeles Dodgers -- they upgraded their team immensely with HanRam, although Joe Blanton was a bit of a reach. This team is a player or two away from being unstoppable. This offseason, Magic Johnson should get his cronies together and make a push to trade for Cliff Lee. With him and Kershaw anchoring the rotation, and HanRam, Kemp and Ethier in the middle of the order, this team could be unbeatable for years to come.

8.) Oakland Athletics -- this will be my last drawn out response. I think they're for real, which is scary. They swept the Yankees a few weeks ago, and they looked every bit like a team that can be dangerous in the playoffs. They can pitch, they can field, and Cespedes and Reddick can both really hit. Like the Dodgers, in three years, this nucleus can be unstoppable.

9.) Atlanta Braves
10.) Pittsburgh Pirates (will finish over .500, get the fifth playoff spot. Good for them.)
11.) Chicago White Sox 
12.) St. Louis Cardinals
13.) Baltimore Orioles
14.) San Francisco Giants
15.) Arizona Diamondbacks (oh yeah, they're quietly 2 games out of the NL West.)
16.) Tampa Bay Rays
17.) Boston Red Sox
18.) Toronto Blue Jays
19.) Cleveland Indians
20.) New York Mets (this one hurts, because I really honestly thought they had a chance. Too bad. At least Harvey gives them something to look forward to.)
21.) Seattle Mariners (King Felix is the best pitcher in the MLB.)
22.) Philadelphia Phillies
23.) Milwaukee Brewers
24.) Miami Marlins (way to alienate your "fan base.")
25.) Minnesota Twins
26.) San Diego Padres
27.) Kansas City Royals
28.) Chicago Cubs
29.) Colorado Rockies
30.) Houston Astros (I predict less than 50 wins for them in the AL next season. That bad.)

There you have it! Angels over Reds in the world series this year, in 6 games. Tough to win four games against some combination of Jared Weaver twice, C.J Wilson twice, Dan Haren twice and Zack Greinke once. As a Yankee fan, my only hope is that Greinke gets an anxiety attack so bad that he can't pitch, forcing Earvin Santana to pitch. He gives up 16 runs in the first inning (as per usual), the bullpen gets decimated and Weaver, Haren and Wilson all fail to pitch complete game shutouts in the final three games. We'll see what happens.

Until then, I hear Tim Tebow changed his shirt on a plane. Check it out!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Bullets Blog's Favorite Olympians

To honor the worldwide block party that is the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, we'd like to present you with each of our favorite Olympians that are competing at these games. Keep in mind, it's "our favorites" and not "the best" or "the most attractive" (although generally some combination of those two traits is a major factor). We invited Dave, but in typical Dave fashion he did not participate.

(Note: this is Jay writing. All editor's notes are from me.)

1. Jordyn Wieber - She's all business, but when she breaks out that smile, it's intoxicating. In her floor routine when they were about to win, her smile lit up the building. She got robbed in the All-Around, the two per country rule is moronic, but she's clearly talented as she was supposed to be the next Mary Lou and Nastia.

2. Hope Solo - Not only is she incredibly skilled and beautiful, but her tweets ripping Brandi Chastain were fantastic. I like people who aren't afraid to say what they think, even if they're wrong. At least nobody can say the girl doesn't have a spine.

3. Kobe Bryant - My favorite NBA player ever. Naturally, he's one of my favorite Olympians as well. He may be on the tail end of his career, but the guy makes scoring the basketball artistic.

4. Aly Raisman - Her floor performance to seal the deal in the team competition was one of the greatest moments I've ever seen. To see her openly crying as she knew they achieved their goal was incredibly special. Beautiful moment.

5. Michael Phelps - I can't deny how incredible an athlete he is. He came in fourth in the most grueling event, the 400 IM, without even training for it. That's unbelievable. Everyone's falling head over heels for Lochte, but Phelps is the much more consistent swimmer, and the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.

Honorable Mention: McKayla Maroney - How she didn't get a perfect score on that vault, I'll never know.

(Editor's note: three gymnasts? Gay!)


1.) Michael Phelps -- tough to argue with this one. All-time medals winner in the history of the Olympics, he was the most dominant athlete at two consecutive games, won the most gold medal's at one games. The argument of who is the greatest Olympian of all-time is more difficult, as it's easier to get medals in swimming than some other events such as track and field. But he is undoubtedly still my favorite. Side note -- he was high the entire time it was going on too. Impressive, sir.

2.) LeBron James -- my love affair with LeBron is well documented at this point, so I don't need to go into the specifics of why he's the best player in the world, but I think even people who despise LeBron can admit that the way he's handled himself since winning the title has been outstanding. Rather than pulling the Kobe "one more ring than Shaq" card, he simply said that he was just happy to win a title. So far for the men's team, he's been a leader, and probably the best all around player. Another fun fact: I think this team could win 3 in a best of 7 against the original Dream Team.

3.) Hope Solo -- alright, I'll admit that she's a loudmouth and probably should keep to herself more, but you have to love this girl. She's strong, sexy, talented and above all, has a personality that she won't quell for anyone. She is the best women's goalie in the world, and might just go down in history as being better than her predecessor, Brianna Scurry. Also, I think occasionally it's refreshing to have an athlete who doesn't roll over in front of the media, as long as it doesn't affect their performance on the field (looking at you Chad OchoCinco Johnson).

4.) Roger Federer -- of the Big Three in tennis, Rafael Nadal is my personal favorite. However, he withdrew before the competition began, so I'll put my second favorite on here, Federer. Some of the shots he hits are simply unbelievable, shots that no other player in the world could make. Rafa, Djokovic and Federer have combined to win an astounding 28 of the last 29 grand slam events, and Federer has 11 of those wins, tied with Rafa most of the three. Federer is the most decorated of all three in terms of grand slam victories, here's to hoping he gets his first gold medal to go with them.

5.) Khatuna Lorig -- you may have never heard of her, but she has a chance to do something that no other Olympian in history has done: medal in 5 consecutive Olympics. Talk about longevity. Granted, if there's one sport where age doesn't affect your performance too much, it's definitely archery. I hope she can win another medal for the US this time around!

5. The Dutch Women's Field Hockey TeamThey actually just held a beauty pageant, eliminated the girls that were below a 9, and taught them all how to play field hockey. That's the only explanation. I hate when people use "literally" wrong but literally every girl on the team is attractive.

4. Destinee Hooker, USA, volleyballHer name is hilarious, let's just get that out of the way. But she is an astounding volleyball player - at any time and in any rotation, she can demand a set and pound a kill. She's kind of like LeBron James in that regard: when they want to, they can dominate any level of competition.

3. Aly Raisman, USA, gymnasticsArguably the best all-around gymnast on the team and arguably the most attractive. I was watching the Olympic trials with my mom, saw Aly, and immediately fell in love. And then watching her clinch gold for Team USA literally brought me to tears - but I was under the influence so I may have just been crying because she was.

2. Alex Morgan, USA, soccerThe cutest Olympian in the history of the Olympics. She's perfect. And she can actually ball out on the pitch. The only problem I have with her is that I now own 50 Panasonic TVs because she was on the boxes.

1. Michael Phelps, USA, swimmingI waffle on the "most medals ever" record. Obviously, it's impressive because it's the most ever. But he does compete in 8 events and his sport and year of birth allowed him to compete in 3 Olympics. Double but, no other swimmer has done what he's done. 19 medals and counting - and 15 golds? Jesus. Someone look up how many countries don't even have 15 medals total in their history. But my favorite part about Phelps is his ability to unite an entire nation. In '08, EVERYONE watched and cheered for him. In '12, everyone will watch and half of everyone will be rooting for Lochte. Bandwagoners.

(Editor's note: I think Phelps won a few more medals since I wrote this, one of which was head-to-head with Lochte. I rest my case.)

5. Kevin Durant
4. Weiber
3. Lochte
2. Franklin
1. Phelps

No explanations from the big man. But I know that Alex shares a first name and a birthday with a certain female soccer star and I was really, really surprised that he left her off his list. Which led to this conversation:

To summarize: 
  • We all love Phelps
  • We all love women's soccer players that are attractive
  • We all love girls' gymnastics
  • Ahhh-merica

Update: Here's the official standings, pending Dave's submission that may or may not ever happen:
  1. Michael Phelps
  2. Alex Morgan
  3. Hope Solo
  4. Jordyn Wieber
  5. Aly Raisman

Blogging From The Beach

I'll admit it, the last year or so have been quite lackluster for me as a writer, as a blogger. Yes, there have been remarkable stories, but nothing has been particularly captivating enough to grasp my interest so hard I can't break free. Seeing as this week I'm on vacation, and the Mets are taking their lack of talent to the west coast (thank the good Lord), I've been stuck watching an event I can never seem to get excited for, the Olympics.

Every time I go into it saying it's something I just don't care about. But every time, one competition grabs my interest, and for whatever reason that happens to be women's gymnastics. Maybe it's because I had a 12 year old crush on Carly Patterson in Athens. Or because Nastia Liukin was not only stunning, but simply incredible in Beijing. Regardless, I'm partly proud and partly terrified that I have a passion for Women's Olympic Gymnastics, and this year was no different. Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman both stole my heart. And both of their hearts got broken.

It amazes me when people are so secure in what they're doing, and passionate enough to dedicate everything for one idea. For these girls, it was the prospect of winning All Around gold. For these girls, it didn't pan out. Jordyn and Aly spent 17 and 18 years, respectively, to not reach their ultimate goal. Does that constitute as a failure? I'm not the one to judge. Only they can say whether or not the ride was worth it. I am a man of many emotions, a disgusting amount of them to be exact. I am undoubtedly a little jealous of the fact that they were unwavering in their passion for the game, in their passion for the ultimate goal, regardless of whether or not it was reached. I want to say that I'd much prefer pouring my heart and soul into one close failure that abruptly ends, over trying to grasp for anything and everything that could be beneficial down the road. Critics will say that's impatient and short sighted. And, quite frankly, it is. But at least these girls knew it was right. They'll tackle the future when they get there.

Security and stability are undervalued in our culture. But so are risk taking and living in the moment. Why go out of your way to put your best days ahead of you, when you could be living them now? I think I'd rather try to attack down the odds and fail, than play conservative. You don't hit on 19, but you have to on 16 every single time.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

ESPYs Recap

I doubt we'll ever do a fantasy ESPYs again. It was fucking stupid. When average people are allowed to make decisions, stupid shit happens. For example, they should have just had one award named Favorite Sport so football could have won and then it would have been over with and we wouldn't have to listen to Rib Riggle try his hand at regular comedy. Anyways, here's the results:

Best Male Athlete - LeBron James (Chris 1:1 Jason)

Best Female Athlete - Brittney Griner (Chris 1:1 Jason)
We both gave it to Sharapova because she's hot. 

Best Championship Performance - LeBron James (Chris 2:2 Jason)

Breakthrough Athlete - Jeremy Lin (Chris 3:3 Jason)

Best Record-Breaking Performance - Drew Brees (Chris 3:3 Jason)
I guess the best closer of all time breaking the saves record (a record that will NEVER be touched) just can't stand up to a guy in the extremely passer-friendly NFL breaking a passing record that was also broken by another player in the same season and will be broken in the next season. Fuck you, America. 

Best Game - 49ers at Saints (Chris 4:4 Jason)

Best Moment - Tim Tebow's Overtime Touchdown (Chris 5:4 Jason)
Gotta love that the best moment of the entire year in sports was a poor defensive showing. Right?

Best Coach - Tom Coughlin (Chris 6:4 Jason)

Best Comeback - Matthew Stafford (Chris 7:4 Jason)

Best Male College Athlete - Robert Griffin III (Chris 8:4 Jason)
I don't even think anyone watched RG3 when he was in college. He kind of just exploded in the weeks leading up to the draft, and then he magically became better than Andrew Luck just because of his personality. And then Washington threw away their future for him. Smells like a bust. Just wait. 

Best Female College Athlete - Brittney Griner (Chris 9:5 Jason)

Best NFL Player - Aaron Rodgers (Chris 10:6 Jason)

Best MLB Player - Josh Hamilton (Chris 11:7 Jason)

Best NHL Player - Jonathan Quick (Chris 11:8 Jason)

Best NBA Player - LeBron James (Chris 12:9 Jason)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chris' ESPY Ballot

To be honest, I think I've watched the ESPY's twice, and both times were simply to hear Seth Meyers' monologue.  The year that was right after "The Decision" was brilliant, and with any luck something like that can be repeated.  That being said, I have no idea who's hosting this year, so I have zero expectations.  But, here are my picks.

Best Male Athlete - LeBron James
I've said it before, LeBron James is the best physical specimen in the history of the National Basketball Association.  He's the best athlete in the sport, a sport which the best athletes usually come from.  Naturally, he is then the best athlete in all of sports.

Best Female Athlete - Maria Sharapova
Let's be real here.  Brittney Griner is by far the better athlete.  But who watches, and votes for the ESPY's?  Men.  And 99% of men are going to vote for Maria Sharapova over Brittney Griner every day of the week and twice on Sunday, simply because she's absolutely gorgeous, and Griner isn't the slightest bit attractive.  Well, I know I would.

Best Championship Performance - LeBron James
I never thought I'd give an award to someone who sat out the last 10 minutes of one of the most important games in his career, with cramps..

Best Breakthrough Athlete - Jeremy Lin
I wanted to give it to Gronk because he's essentially the Anti-Christ in the world of all Boston haters, but you can't ignore what Jeremy Lin did.  He captivated, and held the attention of New York for over a month.  New York, the town in which everything is moving and constantly changing, was focused on a little asian guy playing basketball for a month.  That's tough to do.

Best Record-Breaking Performance - Mariano Rivera
I love Drew Brees, and the fact that he broke that record was simply amazing.  However, what's often forgotten here, is that Tom Brady broke the record this past year too.  Brees' achievements have to be tainted by that, right?

Best Game - 49ers at Saints
I didn't watch any of these games, but I know that there's no way a regular season college basketball game should be included on this list of choices.

Best Moment - Tebow to Demarylius Thomas TD - Sudden Death
I have to represent my new Jet, Tim Tebow, who will lead the Jets to the promise land.

Best Coach/Manager - Tom Coughlin
I truly don't know who Kim Mulkey, Patrick Murphy, or Darryl Sutter are.  Coughlin wins because his team won the most popular sport in the country.

Best Comeback Athlete - Matthew Stafford
I want to give it to Santana, because I'm a Mets fan and his no-hitter was probably the greatest thing that's ever happened in my life.  But, football will trump baseball every single time in an event like this.

Best Male College Athlete - Robert Griffin III
Davis is an absolute freak, but I think RG3 could steal the show.  Davis is the most athletic, he's absolutely enormous and moves extremely well for someone his size, but Griffin is more flashy, and also plays football.  Football wins again.

Best Female College Athlete - Brittney Griner
If she doesn't win, I will question everything in this world significantly more than I already do.

Best NFL Player - Aaron Rodgers
The NFL is a really tough sport for me to grasp a "best player."  I'm banking on the fact that Rodgers is still gaining in popularity from when they won the Super Bowl, and hasn't peaked yet.

Best MLB Player - Josh Hamilton
This should also be a no brainer.  I mean, let's be real here, the minute R.A. Dickey wasn't included on this list, it was a no contest in favor of Josh Hamilton.

Best NHL Player - Henrik Lundqvist
I want to give it to the best goalie in the league.

Best NBA Player - LeBron James
For all of the reasons stated above.  Looks like he's going to go home happy tonight.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Last Dwight Howard Post of the Summer

I was thinking about it earlier today, and I have no idea why Orlando can't find a deal for Dwight Howard that beats "two average players, a young prospect, and three shitty draft picks." Who cares where Dwight wants to go?

And I get that the hold-up then would be teams don't want to trade for one year of Dwight. True. But in all of the hoopla that's happened, nobody has ascertained what will make DH12 sign long-term with a team. Money? Winning? Fame? Teammates?

Basically, he's an idiot. And I think Orlando should just cut ties with him, even if it's at 75 cents on the dollar. (Or 60. Or 50.) Here's some possibilities.

Atlanta Hawks

  • Orlando downgrades slightly at center (slightly), but gets a longer-term deal with a more manageable center and a viable starting point guard. 
  • If Howard were to sign an extension with Atlanta, the Hawks may be forced to throw in a first-round pick or two. 
  • Ideally, Howard and Teague would both sign extensions, and Atlanta would include their first and Houston's second pick in next year's draft. 

(Note: the Williams-Harris trade already happened, but the Trade Machine doesn't have it - or any other signings - in yet because they aren't official. Sorry. Cap reasons.)

Los Angeles Lakers

  • This would include Howard, Bynum, and Martin all signing extensions. (and maybe Redick)
  • Look at this trade and tell me which team says no. 
  • I don't think anybody says no. 
  • Maybe send a draft pick or two to Orlando. 
Oklahoma City Thunder
  • This is prefaced by saying that Howard, Harden, Maynor, and Ibaka all sign extensions. 
  • Obviously, OKC says no. 
But what I'm getting at here (as evidenced by that third option) is that Orlando needs to be calling around to different teams and testing the market for Howard. I'm sure they are. If not, they should fire their whole regime. It seems like there's no sense of urgency on the Magic's part to get Howard out of Orlando. His stock right now is as high as it will ever be. Ever. Maybe the season starts and he just can't elevate like he used to (and can only dunk on 12 foot rims instead of 13). I wouldn't want to be stuck with him for a year even if he was healthy; he's made the league and the team into a complete joke. 

Bottom line is the Magic are in a really rough spot. Aside from Howard, they have the following ugly contracts:
  • 3 years of Glen Davis ($6.4 million), Jason Richardson ($5.8 million), Von Wafer ($1.1 million)
  • 2 years of Hedo Turkoglu ($11.8 million), Chris Duhon ($3.3 million), Quentin Richardson ($2.6 million)
  • 1 year of JJ Redick ($6.2 million) and some guy named Harper ($762k)
No doubt in my mind that GM Rob Hennigan would cut all those guys and start over if given the option. Maybe hold on to Duhon/Q-Rich/Wafer/Davis. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Jay's ESPYs Ballot

You guys know how much Chris and I love awards shows. Mostly because we always make fantasy contests out of them. For the ESPYs (probably my favorite of the awards shows), we’re not doing any fantasy shenanigans: we’re just filling out ballots and whoever gets the most right wins. If it comes to a tiebreaker, we’ll think of that later. To the picks!
Best Male Athlete – LeBron James
I don’t know who selects the winners. If it’s not fans, LeBron wins this by a million miles. If it is fans, LeBron wins this by a hundred miles. Djokovic, Rodgers, and Verlander are all good and shit, but come on. LeBron is the best athlete alive.

Best Female Athlete – Maria Sharapova
Not voting for Brittney Griner.

Best Championship Performance – LeBron James
Fuck David Freese. Tony Stewart drives a car. Johnny Quick didn’t play that well in the actual Stanley Cup Finals. Eli Manning has a stupid face. Ergo, LeBron wins.

Best Breakthrough Athlete – Jeremy Lin
I think Lin wins this (over Rob Gronkowski) because ESPN doesn’t trust Gronk to be on stage with a microphone in front of him. Lin, in that regard, is the much safer pick – and that may turn out to be the tiebreaker. And know that I really wanted to vote for Alex Morgan.

Best Record-Breaking Performance – Mariano Rivera
It’s awesome that Drew Brees broke the record for passing yards in the stupidest sport on earth, but he will be eclipsed because that’s the direction the league is headed. Rivera’s saves record won’t be touched. Ever.

Best Game – 49ers vs. Saints (NFL Playoffs)
This was the “kill his head!” game, right?

Best Moment – Bubba Watson (The Masters)
I’m kind of biased here because I was balls deep in fantasy golf when this happened and the approach shot to clinch it was beyond amazing. I think Tebow is going to win. I think Chris is going to pick Tebow. Bubba should win. His donning of the green jacket was the best moment.

Best Coach/Manager – John Calipari
I have a unique perspective on college basketball coaches. Being a Villanova Wildcat, I understand that a good coach will succeed in three major areas: recruiting, teaching, and coaching. Jay Wright is good at the first one, less good at the second, and absolutely poor at the third. Calipari is great across the board, and his coaching talent will keep him in this category until he hangs up his clipboard.

Best Comeback Athlete – Johan Santana
I want to make two points. First, fuck Sidney Crosby I hope he dies. Second, if coming back from being old and washed up to throwing the first perfect game in franchise history isn’t the best comeback of the year then I don’t know.

Best Male College Athlete – Anthony Davis
This shouldn’t be close. Complete player on offense. Complete player on defense. Trademarked facial hair. Number one draft pick.

Best Female College Athlete – Brittney Griner
Ugh. I guess I have to pick her because I don’t even know who the other chicks are.

Best NFL Player – Aaron Rodgers
Yeah! Football!

Best MLB Player – Josh Hamilton
I think his chances of winning are boosted by his generally positive public opinion. Plus Kemp got hurt, Verlander has been so-so (9-5 record), Braun is on steroids, and Clayton Kershaw’s name is Clayton.

Best NHL Player – Jonathan Quick
This comes back to the whole “who decides” thing. If it’s fans, Quick wins by a mile. If it’s writers/people who know anything about anything, it’s a lot closer. Malkin was the MVP. Lundqvist was the best goalie all season. Stamkos was relatively a bum. Giroux… well I like him. And I don’t want to vote for Malkin. So I’m giving my ballot to Skrillex’s younger brother.

Best NBA Player – LeBron James
Why is Ricky Rubio not an option?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Today's Fake Trade of the Day

I trust Bill Plaschke as much as I trust anyone when it comes to the NBA. When it comes to picking up chicks at work... Not so much. But Bill said today on The Herd that the consensus is that the Lakers need to flip Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard if they want to seriously contend for a championship.

And then I was talking to my boy John about the Sixers, and we think that it's time for Philly to move on from Andre Iguodala. He makes too much money and he doesn't seem worth it - especially with rebounder/defender/jumpshooter/layup-maker extraordinaire Mo Harkless behind him.

And so I rolled those two trades into one giant #tradeoftheday:

In terms of money/salary cap/trade rules, it works.

LA turns Bynum and Gasol (The "Second Round of the Playoffs Boys") into Howard and Iguodala (and bolster their defense significantly - and keep in mind that just having Steve Nash on the floor bolsters their offense). They'd also be cutting $2 million off their cap.

Orlando gets Bynum (assuming he signs a long-term deal or this trade makes no sense for the Magic) and a pick that LA didn't send to Phoenix (which I can't show on the draft machine).

Philly gets an offensive centerpiece and a supremely talented power forward. Pau makes $2 million more than Elton Brand was scheduled to make. Worth it? Yes. And the Vucevic to the Nets trade is only included for salary cap reasons - the Sixers don't have a lot of guys signed now (because they can't sign until July 11). I think they should hold on to the Big Switzerlander. But they'd have to trade away around $2 million in salary to make up the difference between Iguodala and Pau.

PS - Not really sure why, but $2 million seems to be the trend in this post. Weird

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why the Knicks Made a Pretty Good Decision

So the past few days in the NBA have been crazy. Out of all the free agent acquisitions, the biggest thus far has to be the Lakers sign and trade with Phoenix for Steve Nash. The addition of Nash, in my opinion, propels the Lakers back into the top 2 seeds in the West which makes them a championship caliber team once again. Although he was being highly touted by the Knicks and the Raptors, the Lakers surprisingly came in and snatched Nash- keeping him close to his family in Phoenix. Personally, I'm not too upset that the Knicks didn't end up with Nash. Even though he is still one of the best point guards in the league and one of my favorite players to watch, New York can't continue to give up young players for the "big name". 

If the Knicks ended up acquiring Nash, they would've had to give up a few players. Among those, Iman Shumpert would have been traded. Shumpert became a fan favorite in his rookie year and I truly believe he has a ton of potential. Despite his terrible injury in the playoffs, he's young enough to come back strong from it. He's the type of player a team needs to hold onto and develop. Too many times in recent memory, the Knicks have given up young players with a lot of promise in order to overpay an aging star. Holding onto Shumpert and retaining possible trade pieces for another deal is HUGE for the Knicks in my opinion and although Nash would have helped the Knicks win now, I believe not making a deal will better benefit the team for the long run.

The move the Knicks did make was signing another veteran hall of fame point guard. In a shocking move, Jason Kidd decided to leave the Dallas Mavericks and join the Knicks. There has been some hesitance on the part of fans with this move. Personally, I really really like it. Although he's not Nash and he's really old, Kidd has proven to still be effective. His stats have declined like they would of any aging player- but Kidd can straight out ball. In addition, he's a hall of famer with championship experience who star players, such as Amar'e and Melo, will listen to (especially if Kidd's former teammate Tyson Chandler has anything to say about it). 

Many may ask "What about Jeremy Lin?!?!?!?" Well don't worry. Although the Rockets and Lin agreed to an offer sheet today, the Knicks WILL 100% match Houston's offer in order to retain Lin. Even if Lin as a player doesn't turn out to be worth the amount of money they give him (and hopefully he does), his marketability is incredible. His popularity throughout not only the country, but the world, soared last year during his incredible run. As he improves, that popularity will continue to increase. Once the Knicks do resign Jeremy Lin, he will have the opportunity to learn under one of the best point guards to ever play the game of basketball. I believe this will be great for Lin and the future of the Knicks. Jason Kidd will be able to show him a thing or two about winning and playing the position. Let the tutelage of Jeremy begin because I, along with the rest of New York, wants more and more LINSANITY.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jumping on the Warriors Bandwagon

If you haven't heard, I am firmly on the Golden State Warriors bandwagon. Sort of like how I was on the Minnesota Timberwolves bandwagon after they signed Ricky Rubio. I like Harrison Barnes - he's probably the smoothest player in the game besides Ray Allen. Maybe throw Kevin Durant up there too. Any way you look at it, it's really good company atop the smoothness leaderboard.

And much like I was big into making fake trades for Minnesota last year, I'm currently entertaining myself by making fake trades for Golden State. The two biggest problems I see on the GSW roster are 3 years/$9 million per year for Andris Biedrins and 32-year-old Richard Jefferson. And it's not like either of those contracts is particularly egregious - they can both contribute to a team. But your third- and fourth-highest earners combine for 10.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists (that's both of them combined, not averaged) it's not a great way to spend your money. And then you factor in that the Warriors just drafted two small forwards to challenge Jefferson and one center to challenge Biedrins (and take over for Andrew Bogut when he gets hurt), and it appears that Wittman would definitely be open to listening to trades.

I especially think that Jefferson has value as a veteran swingman/serviceable defender. He brings a more well-rounded game to the table than guys like Ray Allen and Jason Terry (who are both going to sign 2 year, $12 million contracts) so $9 million isn't actually that bad. Or maybe I'm just talking myself into it.

Here is a trade to serve four purposes:

  1. Cut Golden State's payroll this season
  2. Cut Golden State's payroll after the 2014-15 season
  3. Not affect the team's chances of winning games this season
  4. Open the door for Harrison Barnes
Golden State Receives: SG Daniel Gibson
Cleveland Receives: SF Richard Jefferson

Why the Warriors say yes: they have Barnes and Dorrell Wright and Draymond Green at small forward. They're both younger, cheaper, and (most would say) better than RJeff. And Gibson costs less than half what Jefferson costs. If you're going to overpay a backup, it might as well be a cheaper guy for a position where injuries are potentially going to be a problem. 

Why the Cavaliers would say yes: Gibson had a terrible year last year, and the Cavs could use a veteran guy who's been to championships in high school and college and the Eastern Conference Finals. Yes, they have Tristan Thompson and Omri Casspi and Luke Walton but let's be honest; Jefferson is a better overall player than any of them. Plus, Thompson and Casspi are young and still developing (even though the consensus seems to be that Thompson has reached his peak already). 

Probability of this trade happening: 1%. Not likely. GSW seems content with Jefferson. 

All I'm trying to do is clear money from the books while maintaining the organization's ability to sell tickets and memorabilia and win basketball games. 

Oh, and also these guys:

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Olympic Basketball Playoff - Part 2

So I liked that last idea so much that I actually decided to just randomize teams myself and project how it would play out. Oh and I also decided to split it into three arenas: Los Angeles and Miami for the first two rounds (to establish who's getting on the Olympic roster) and then New York City for the final four to determine the winner of the tournament. The games will be staggered so the national TV audience will watch one game while the other game's players are warming up.

As in any bracket, the 1 and 8 seeds will play and then the winner will play the winner of the 4/5 seed game. Pretty much standard:

The Los Angeles Bracket

  1. Lou Williams, Andrew Bynum, Paul Pierce
  2. Jeff Teague, JaVale McGee, Rudy Gay 
  3. Jrue Holiday, LaMarcus Aldridge, JR Smith
  4. Rajon Rondo, Greg Monroe, Kevin Durant
  5. Mike Conley, Blake Griffin, Tyreke Evans
  6. Brandon Jennings, Dwight Howard, OJ Mayo
  7. Chris Paul, Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala
  8. Jameer Nelson, Carlos Boozer, Danny Granger
The Miami Bracket
  1. Kyrie Irving, Kevin Garnett, Carmelo Anthony
  2. John Wall, Roy Hibbert, Trevor Ariza
  3. Ty Lawson, Kevin Love, Joe Johnson
  4. Derrick Rose, Paul Millsap, Kobe Bryant
  5. Deron Williams, Tyson Chandler, Ray Allen
  6. Russell Westbrook, Chris Bosh, LeBron James
  7. Kyle Lowry, DeMarcus Cousins, Dwyane Wade
  8. Monta Ellis, Al Jefferson, Gerald Wallace
Being that this was entirely random, obviously some teams are a little unfair. Miami6? In Miami? Oops. That was an accident. But I love it. Chris Bosh may never touch the ball. 

Round 1
  • Los Angeles
    • LA1 beats LA8. Danny Granger goes 3-45 from the field. 
    • LA7 beats LA2. I would love to see Paul, Smith, and Iguodala play together. I think they'd complement each other nicely as a threesome. 
    • LA3 beats LA6. Dwight Howard requests a trade halfway through the game, is told he can't be traded because that would make absolutely no sense, and quits on his team. Brandon Jennings stabs him. 
    • LA4 beats LA5. This is the blowout game of the tournament. A team full of young stars against a team full of athletic guys that can't really do anything on a basketball court. 
  • Miami
    • Miami1 beats Miami8. This team can make a deep run if Kyrie and 'Melo can figure out how to play offense together. Because you know KG has the defense on lock. 
    • Miami2 beats Miami7. This is a disappointing game. It happens. Maybe John Wall can build some steam. Because his team is about to get steamrolled by...
    • Miami6 beats Miami3. I don't even care who is on team 3. Team Six is going to do big things. (And no, I didn't plan that.)
    • Miami5 beats Miami4. This is a phenomenal game. Potentially the best game of the first round. I don't see anyone guarding Kobe from outside the paint. I think that would be the trump card if not for the fact that 3's are worth more than 2's and the Williams-Allen combination with Tyson "The Rebounder" Chandler is deadly. 
Round 2 - Making the Olympic Team
  • Los Angeles
    • LA4 beats LA1. Rondo-Monroe-Durant over LouWill-Bynum-Pierce. Significantly better at two positions and only slightly worse at the third. Solid team inside and out. Durant is kind of a weak link on defense, but come on. It's Durant. 
    • LA7 beats LA3. Paul-Smith-Iguodala over Holiday-Aldridge-Smith. Significant point guard advantage and significant "Smith" advantage. 
  • Miami
    • Miami1 beats Miami5. Another phenomenal game. This comes down to two points: Williams is slightly better than Irving, and Allen can't guard 'Melo. 
    • Miami6 beats Miami 2. Who is on team two? I don't care. Team Six for the win. 
Round 3 - The Final Four in NYC
  • I can't even pick the LA4-LA7 game. All-Stars at all three positions on both teams. 
  • But you know that I can pick Miami6 to win... 
Round 4 - The Championship
  • ..and again. Honestly, a team with Westbrook, Bosh, and LeBron probably won't even lose a game to anybody. 
And as far as selecting an MVP/captain for the Olympic squad, it's gotta be LeBron. 

I understand that the logistics of this will never happen in real life. And it makes me sad.  

The Hypothetical Olympic Basketball Trials - Part 1

Take this how you will: I enjoy watching the Olympic trials. Whatever. Gymnastics is fun to watch. Whatever. Also: at the end of the day, everyone knows that the USA is going to win gold in basketball. It won't be close. So, in order to create a little excitement in the field of non-NBA basketball, let's get a little creative with the American trials. 

Here in the States, we are blessed with more great basketball players than every other county in the world - combined. Rather than just throw the 12 best guys out on the floor every four years and dominate (because that's no fun), why don't we have a fun little tournament for the American public to enjoy?

We're going totally hypothetical 3-person-per team bracket and because it's hypothetical we'll just assume that everyone's healthy. And because I can, let's say that the selection committee that makes up the trial roster is comprised of both USA basketball guys and NBC executives. So we know they want to get the most exciting guys out on the floor. Oh yeah, and the final four teams left in the tournament will make up the 12-man US Olympic roster. Sound fun? I mean, I can tell you that I'd watch it for an hour. Or 3. Or 7. Or however long the tournament took to play out.

The first problem that comes up is the possibility of  having a team of three small guards matched up against a team of large forwards/centers. And while I understand that each team will have strengths and weaknesses, but nobody wants to watch a game like that. We want to get fairly well-balanced teams that are simultaneously random. So we'll create pools (keep in mind that I'm just rattling most of these names off the top of my head):

Pool A: The Small Guys (Point Guards)
Chris Paul
Derrick Rose
Rajon Rondo
Deron Williams
Russell Westbrook
John Wall
Brandon Jennings
Mike Conley
Kyrie Irving 
Monta Ellis
Jrue Holiday
Lou Williams
Jeff Teague
Ty Lawson
Jameer Nelson
Kyle Lowry

Pool B: The Big Guys (Power Forwards and Centers)
Dwight Howard
Andrew Bynum
Kevin Love
Al Jefferson
Kevin Garnett
Paul Millsap
LaMarcus Aldridge
Tyson Chandler
Roy Hibbert
Greg Monroe
Josh Smith
Chris Bosh
DeMarcus Cousins
Carlos Boozer
Blake Griffin
JaVale McGee

Pool C: The In-Between Guys (That Would Fall Somewhere Between an A and a B)
LeBron James
Kevin Durant
Carmelo Anthony
Paul Pierce
Danny Granger
Rudy Gay
Andre Iguodala
Gerald Wallace
Joe Johnson
Kobe Bryant
Dwyane Wade
Ray Allen
OJ Mayo
Tyreke Evans
Trevor Ariza
JR Smith

Play out the possible team combinations in your head. If we were more technologically advanced I'd put up a thing that would generate random teams for you on command.

My notes on the tournament itself:

  • 16 teams of three
  • teams are randomly selected (it's good if someone big like Blake Griffin gets eliminated - we're going to win gold anyway)
  • final four teams remaining make the Olympic team, but keep playing through until there is a winner
  • tournament MVP is selected from the winning team - that's your Olympic captain
  • full-court, games to 21 by twos and threes
  • that makes 15 games, which shouldn't take longer than the trials for swimming or gymnastics
  • guaranteed $1 trillion in advertising revenue during the trials
  • also, the ability to buy a JaVale McGee USA jersey becomes a possibility

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NBA Draft Pickup Game

Situation: a random inner-city basketball court. Jason and Toph are each coaching a team. The players available for them to pick are everybody that's available for Thursday's draft. That's basically it.

Jason: Well I guess I'll just give myself the first pick. And it's a pretty easy one. I'm taking Anthony Davis out of Kentucky. I wish there was somebody else I could take here to make it more interesting. But if we're being any sort of serious, I have to pick The Brow. Just know that I'm not happy about it from a blogging perspective. From a basketball perspective though, I'm ecstatic.

Chris: Well, I can't say I'm surprised. However, I can already tell you my team will be better looking. That counts for something, correct?  I guess I'm going to take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Small Forward out of Kentucky. I think he's one of the most athletic guys in the field, and I don't trust Andre Drummond.

Jason: Toph, normally picking the most superficial team is my strategy, not yours. But I'm going to keep it in the front court and take Andre Drummond because I trust him more than you do. I think his athleticism will be both entertaining and useful. Team Jay is going to own the paint, the glass, and the rim.

Chris: Well, feel free to enjoy that headache. That was horrible strategy as I basically told you I wasn't taking Drummond. Unless you thought I was bluffing, you could've gotten him way later, at a much better value. That being said, I'm taking Bradley Beal from Florida. I think he's the best shooter in the draft, and I think those will come at a premium in this crop of players. A lot of size, not a lot of shooters.

Jason: See there really isn't a strategy here because the draft goes at least 3 deep at every position. I'm going Kendall Marshall with my next pick because I like how he orchestrates the offense and finds open guys. And when Davis and Drummond and (you know who else) flying around, it's going to be an assault on the rim. And see, there was a little strategy in that pick because I know you still need a point guard. So there.

Chris: I commend that. Well done, as I was going to take him next. I'm going to take Thomas Robinson, simply to rebound. If we're going up against Drummond and Davis, we're going to need some boards. Since there's nobody left as tall as them, I should probably take the guy who seems the widest/strongest, and thats Robinson.

Jason: Harrison Barnes. Easy and smooth all the way. Future rookie of the year with the Cleveland Cavaliers and future member of the Jason-Owns-My-Jersey club. Boom.

Chris: There's another shocker. I'll take Barnes' teammate, John Henson, to play almost a Serge Ibaka role in my squad. Robinson can provide the interior strength and physicality, while Henson can roam on the weak side and block shots.

Jason: I'll take that size advantage. Drummond is going to make Henson look like, well, me. To round out my squad I'm taking Terrence Ross out of Washington. He and Barnes will give the squad a rounded offense (the ability to shoot) and Ross brings some length on defense. Marshall-Ross-Barnes-Davis-Drummond is the team.

Chris: To be totally honest, I have no idea who that is. That being said, I'll take Damian Lillard from Weber State, and prior to five minutes ago, I had no idea who he was either. Given that he's from Weber State, I think going up against guys like Davis and Barnes could be troubling, however he'll be matched against Marshall, who is a subpar athlete. According to ESPN's scouting report he's a good scorer. I'm going to need it, as I think I drafted three athletes and Beal. However, I'm loving my squad.

Jason: We should make these teams up on NBA 2k13 and duke it out a few times. For the record, I think I'm going to thrash you. But part of that is I think I'm better at 2k than you.

PS: Let's add up the spots all of our guys get picked tomorrow night and see who does better? I don't feel confident.

Chris: Oh, you'll absolutely thrash me, but that the reason why. And we can keep track, lowest total wins. I, on the contrary, feel fantastic about this.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NBA Offseason Checklist - Part 2

Last time I was here, we talked about what the Heat and Thunder can do this offseason to ensure their returns to the Finals next year. Now, let's get into the other playoff teams.

And because I tend to get bored I'm going to give you fourteen teams and fourteen needs. You try to match them up:

The Teams (in order of how they finished this year)

  • Chicago Bulls
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Boston Celtics
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Orlando Magic
  • New York Knicks
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Utah Jazz
  • Philadelphia 76ers
The Needs (in no particular order)
  • Blow it up.
  • Continue to be mediocre because that seems like the best you'll be able to do. 
  • Maybe make one blockbuster trade, but generally sit on your hands and let the team grow together more. 
  • Invest in a good knee doctor. 
  • Your current best player is not good enough to be the best player. Your current second-best player is going to probably leave this summer. Your President left you. Panic. 
  • Give your big three another shot (yes, another one) to prove themselves. I mean, they are good enough in terms of talent. 
  • Get rid of Dwight Howard!!!!
  • Continue to grow as a team. I can't even think of a single move to make. 
  • Figure out who your best player is, and then let NBA teams and fans know who it is.  
  • Fire your point guard talent evaluator. Look into trading the guy that everyone expects you to trade. 
  • Shooters and big men!
  • Don't even listen to my advice, because everyone knows you guys are a bunch of wizards that never seem to make the wrong move. 
  • Try and turn one of your (five or six) decent players into a bona fide superstar. 
  • Go for Deron and Dwight. 

(Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Indiana, Atlanta, Orlando, 
Denver, Utah, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, San Antonio, Memphis, Dallas)

There's only a few notes that I really want to make:
  • Yes, the Magic should get rid of Howard. If Houston offers you THREE FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICKS you take them. Especially when they could absolutely all turn into starters. Shooting guard, power forward, and point guard could all be filled. Who gives a shit how Dwight feels. Think of your organization and your fans. Not your dickhead ex-superhero.
  • I do think the Celtics glorious run is over. They weren't far off this year, but I don't think you can justify paying Kevin Garnett $20 million. Ray Allen is probably going to Miami. Go forward with Rondo/Bradley/Pierce/Bass/Jujuan Johnson/Greg Stiemsma. If a team offers your a decent draft pick for Pierce, think about it. You guys know how I feel about keeping guys that mean a lot to the organization and to fans. But just... think about it. 
  • The following teams (from the list above) don't really need to do anything: Knicks, Sixers, Bulls, Pacers, Hawks, Nuggets, Grizzlies. They either are young and just need to "find themselves" or are essentially at their peak. Indy may have some work to do if Hibbert leaves. 
  • The Clippers are kind of in the same spot as the Heat. They need outside shooting (and LAC needs it more than Miami) and some big bodies that they can stuff in the paint. 
Next time we'll get into the shit teams. Oh fun. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mock NBA Draft: Jay Edition

Just wanted to let you guys know the future winning entry for the Bullets Blog NBA Draft 2012 Tee Shirt Giveaway (check it out here), and give you some thoughts about a few players in the draft. 

1. Hornets – Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
That's pretty much a gimme for every single entry. I think people's heads would literally explode if The Unibrow didn't go first overall. 
       Bobcats – Andre Drummond, C, UConn
The Bobcats need to sell tickets. The ultimate gamble in this draft is Drummond - he could fill seats like Dwight Howard and be the cornerstone of their franchise. He could just be a big, athletic bust. 
       Wizards – Bradley Beal, SG Florida
In trading Rashard Lewis to New Orleans for Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor, Washington basically solidified that they will be selecting Beal to round out their starting lineup of Wall/Beal/Ariza/Blatche/Nene.
       Cavaliers – Harrison Barnes, SF, UNC
I cannot wait for this to happen. Forget Tristan Thompson.
5.       Kings – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
Good players go to Sacramento to die. I can only hope that MKG can help turn the franchise around.
       Trail Blazers – Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
       Warriors – Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky
       Raptors – Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
       Pistons – John Henson, PF, UNC
Hornets – Tyler Zeller, C, UNC
I love this pick, especially with the departure of Okafor. It would give NOLA a starting rotation of Jack/Gordon/Lewis/Davis/Zeller with a lot of young legs on the bench.
   Trail Blazers – Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
   Bucks – Perry Jones, PF, Baylor
   Suns – Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn
   Rockets – Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
Sixers – Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
It seems inevitable.
   Rockets – Royce White, SG, Iowa State
   Mavericks - Austin Rivers , SG, Duke
Timberwolves – Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
I pray to the basketball gods that Ross falls to Minny and that Kahn snatches him up. He seems like he could be the solution to the gaping hole in the T’wolves’ starting lineup.
   Magic – Kendall Marshall, PG, UNC
All I’m saying is look out for when Dwight Howard gets to play with an NBA-starting-caliber point guard. Not sure if Marshall is the guy. Deron Williams, on the other hand, would definitely be the guy.
   Nuggets – Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
Celtics – Draymond Green, PF, Michigan State
This would be a really smart pick.
   Celtics – Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
This pick would not be that smart.
   Hawks – Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s
Cavaliers – Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt
Irving/Free Agent 2-Guard/Barnes/Thompson/Varejao/? Don’t sleep on that squad. Ezeli doesn’t really play into that. But every team needs role players.
   Grizzlies – Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State
Pacers – Kyle O’Quinn, C, Norfolk State
White, talented, hardworking. Right up Indiana’s alley.
   Heat – Jae Crowder, F, Marquette
The classic energy/rebounding/shooting/hustle guy. And maybe he could donate some hair to LeBron.
   Thunder – Evan Fournier, SG, France
Not that this is a slap in James Harden’s stupid beard or anything, but Harden needs something to push him to rebound from the brutal/gruesome/feminine showing he put up in the Finals.
   Bulls – Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky
Could be a contributor instantly because, you know, Chicago has a huge need for backcourt bodies.
   Warriors – Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

Mock First Round: Team Trova

Did you hear the news? The geniuses at the Bullets Blog have created a contest that lets you win a free t-shirt, and bragging rights, for knowing more about the NBA draft than your peers.

Anyway, I just submitted my first round picks, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to write a blog explaining some of them in more detail.

Here are my picks, 1-30:

1. New Orleans - Anthony Davis, Kentucky
*2. Charlotte - Thomas Robinson, Kansas
3. Washington - Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
*4. Cleveland - Bradley Beal, Florida 
5. Sacramento - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky 
*6. Portland - Andre Drummond, Connecticut
7. Golden State - John Henson, UNC
8. Toronto - Perry Jones 3, Baylor
9. Detroit - Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
10. New Orleans - Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
11. Portland - Austin Rivers, Duke
12. Milwaukee - Meyers Leonard, Illinois
*13. Phoenix - Jared Sullinger, Ohio State 
14. Houston - Damian Lillard, Weber State
*15. Philadelphia - Dion Waiters, 'Cuse 
*16. Houston - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
*17. Dallas - Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut 
18. Minnesota - John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
19. Orlando - Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State
20. Denver - Terrence Ross, Washington
21. Boston - Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt
22. Boston - Moe Harkless, St. John's
*23. Atlanta - Royce White, Iowa State 
24. Cleveland - Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure
*25. Memphis - Jae Crowder, Marquette 
26. Indiana - Marquis Teague, Kentucky
27. Miami - Evan Fournier, France
*28. Oklahoma City - Draymond Green, Michigan State
29. Chicago - Will Barton, Memphis
30. Golden State - J'Covan Brown, Texas

I placed a star next to the players I wanted to talk about:

2.) Thomas Robinson, Power Forward from Kansas, to the Bobcats --- this is the smartest pick with number 2 in my opinion. Robinson has an NBA ready game, and dominated in the Big 12 last year (over 17 points and about 12 boards per game). He can produce immediately, and is the safest pick for a historically bad team to make.
4.) Bradley Beal, Shooting Guard from Florida, to the Cavs --- he is the best shooter in this year's draft class, hands down. He has superior athleticism to boot. If he can be teamed with the Cavaliers and Kyrie Irving, watch out for this team in 2 years. They will have the best back court in the NBA.
6.) Andre Drummond, Center from UConn, to Portland --- this is a tough pick. Portland needs athleticism and strength up front after officially dumping Greg Oden. LaMarcus Aldridge is a stud, and putting a gifted center next to him could spell disaster for all opposing NBA front courts. It can backfire though. Remember the last big man, who was a project, to come out of UConn in the first round? It was Hasheem Thabeet. Oof.
13.) Jared Sullinger, Center, from OSU, to Phoenix --- Phoenix will be in rebuilding mode next season, with the likelihood of Steve Nash departing. Drafting an NBA ready center is the perfect way to rebuild a franchise. I believe Sully will be one of the best 7 players from this draft class.
15.) Dion Waiters, Shooting Guard, from 'Cuse, to Philly --- Jason is crapping his pants as he reads this. Waiters is the classic high risk/high reward player. Incredible athleticism, beautiful jumper, solid defensively. BUT, after watching him play about 30 times last year at Syracuse, I can honestly say I think he's a bust waiting to happen. For whatever reason, he takes plays, minutes, and games off. Cheers, Philly.
16.) Terrence Jones, Power Forward from Kentucky, to Houston --- quick, if I asked you who's body type Terrence Jones best matches with in the NBA, who would you say? The answer is LeBron James. Jones is 6'9'' and 252, LeBron is 6'8'' and 250. The biggest difference? Jones is an exceptional three-point shooter. Watch out for Mr. Jones, ladies and gentlemen. 
17.) Jeremy Lamb, Shooting Guard from UConn, to Dallas --- I am very high on Jeremy Lamb. He will fall to the middle of the first round, where he will be taken as a STEAL of a pick. He has an awesome jump shot, is supremely athletic and can take over games. I think he is a top 5 prospect in this draft class, but apparently I'm the only one.
23.) Royce White, Power Forward from Iowa State, to Atlanta --- Royce White is a 6'8", 270 pound machine. He was consistently double teamed all of last season and still managed 14 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists per game. Atlanta would love to put him alongside Al Horford in the post, and free Josh Smith to be his athletic and monstrous self on the perimeter.
25.) Jae Crowder, Power Forward from Marquette, to Memphis --- Crowder reminds me a lot of Kenneth Faried, a.k.a the Manimal, due to his high energy and freakish athleticism. He has a better jump shot than Faried though, and because of this, will become one of most productive bench players in the league next season, spelling Rudy Gay when he needs to, or going into the post to give quality rest to Z-Bo or Marc Gasol.
28.) Draymond Green, Power Forward from Michigan State, to OKC --- Draymond Green is a winner, plain and simple. Tom Izzo is probably my favorite coach in any sport, at any level, and when you have a player as versatile as Green coached by someone as detail-oriented as Izzo, the result can be incredible. His game is similar to LeBron, albeit less productive in every area.

Absorb, digest and use this information at your own risk. I play for keeps in T-shirt contests!