Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We Hired Some Coach (plus NBA Playoffs and late NFL Draft thoughts)

Brethren: The Fearless Leader is calling out us Bobcats blogs for not being "a-twitter" and posting quickly enough about the hiring of Larry Brown as the third coach in Bobcats franchise history. Well, first off, I'd like to direct Mr. Leitch again to our sub-slogan. Then, I'd like to look at the Larry Brown hire without rash emotion -- like Nacho would like to probably do -- and truly see, is the right move?

There's no denying Larry will be the best tactical and motivational coach to date for the Bobcats. He's the best coach to come through Charlotte (besides maybe Bob McKillop). And while he's known for dramatic turnarounds of franchises, he's also notoriously hard on young teams. He's also known for butting heads with any strong-willed front office executive.

How do we see this playing out? Follow us through...

Brethren (cont'd):, I understand all the arguments against hiring Larry Brown. I can see how his style can be grating on young players and his desire to jettison any player if a few little things go wrong can be undermining to the front office. His recent work with a team like the Knicks was horrific -- and are we certain the Bobcats are much more talented or more cohesive than that team? He's had past failure with Emeka Okafor (the US Olympic team). He's not going to like Adam Morrison's inability to play defense (or his hippie long hair). His tough love on point guards might fall on deaf ears with Ray Ray.

But there are definitely things that I can see going well. I think our stars, G-Force and JRich, will respond to someone with as much respect and past success as Brown. I can see Larry taking a liking to Jared Dudley (yes, I'm ignoring the "Larry Brown doesn't play young guys" corrolary because Dudley plays much older and wiser and tougher than a second year player). And you know what? We are in Tar Heel country: maybe casual fans will come around if we can get some early success.

It's a bold move to recognize that the coach you hired last summer was over his head. It was bold to bring in such a big personality of a head coach. But bold moves are what this team needs. We're coming into year 5 of this franchise and results need to start coming in -- and bringing results is what Larry Brown has a history of doing.

NBA Playoff Thoughts:
- I hate Hack-a-Shaq. Especially when the Spurs are ahead by so much. And when Shaq is 50 feet away from the basket.
- I hate that the Spurs whine at every call. Every fucking call.
- I hate the Spurs.

NFL Draft Thoughts:
Boy, Foxy and Hurney are certainly going all-in. Mortgaging next year's draft to acquire the last blue chip offensive tackle to go along with the big bruising back that Fox/Hurney crave -- that move screams, fuck it, let's win now, cuz if we don't, we won't be around anyway.

I like our draft class right now -- but so does everyone, right? Well, this offseason certainly seems on paper to be the exact kind of offseason Fox/Hurney always plan on doing: beefing up the interior offensive line, acquiring a battering ram running back, signing some options at WR to take some heat off of the tenacious Steve Smith, drafting for value in the second and third rounds, getting rid of high-priced veterans and players who don't want to be in Carolina. All in all, it seems good on paper.

And what seems good on paper will only get better as spring turns to the long summer without football. Guys will look great in shorts and no pads in mini-camps. I will of course be incredibly optimistic come August.

Fuck yea, Panthers.

Nacho: Grumble grumble grumble Larry Browns hates young people apples & oranges apples & oranges Our team is pretty much comprised of young people yada yada yada This team was going to get the 5 more wins they needed to make the playoffs next year, regardless of LB.

Panther draft
+10 me, for miraculously finding myself in a Chevy's restaurant at the exact moment the draft started. Margaritas and no audio make this Bloomberg TV layout motif awesome.

I'm still a little confused with the Jon Stewart pick, but, as usual, the Cats made their splash in the later rounds. Good on 'em.

NBA Playoffs
Go Hawks! Go Sixers! Begrudging respect for the Lakers!

Bake some frownies for the two teams that didn't stay the course when the Lakers signed Gasol: you deserved better, Suns and Mavs. Well, Suns, at least.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

[Insert Daily Show Joke Here]

Nacho: Far be it from me to call a pick wasted, but the selection of Jonathan Stewart with the thirteenth pick seems unwise. Of all the problems we're about to have this season (porous O-line, flaccid D-line) it made too much sense to pick a big guy with some real longevity potential and bring in someone to motivate DeAngelo Williams to run faster. Surely with that second 1st round pick they'd take someone with a long, tenured experience on the line.


Instead, we took the guy from Nigeria who started playing ball for all of four years. He's probably been through more "real life" shit than any other Panther, but will he know how to pick up a blitz?

Brethren, be like Tanier on Deadspin and sell me on these picks. Also, celebrate the departure of Sam Vincent.


Brethren's drunk at an antiquated sporting event in the middle of nowhere, Virginia. He'll post eventually.

I'm all for Sam Vincent's departure, but keep Larry Brown away from this team. It's comprised of a bunch of developing, young talent: the one segment of the NBA population that Larry Brown notoriously despises. We need someone who will foster an environment that will continue to let Jared Dudley and the rest expand their potential while making sure J Rich and Gerald are kept happy.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CP3 and NBA Playoffs: The Conundrum of A Former Hornets/Current Bobcats Fan

Brethren: Watching the New Orleans Hornets and Chris Paul absolutely own the Dallas Mavericks toys with my emotions. On one hand, the brand of basketball Chris Paul plays is amazing -- he's so strong for a guard his size, he has the ability to lull you to sleep then switch gears, he's confident, he's always aware of the court. Quite simply, he's everything you'd want out of your point guard.

On the other hand, I'm a Bobcats fan -- been with them through their inception, they have my full support. However, I feel like how someone in a second marriage must feel: there's no denying I had a first love, a first marriage, and a nasty divorce. The Hornets were my starter marriage of professional sports teams.

I loved them. I loved going to games at the Hive, listening to Steve Martin in the car or on my clock radio in my room, watching them on WJNZ. So many memories, many memories I have sufficiently suppressed, especially when I hang out and root for the Bobcats. I try to forget that I ever had such a passionate, deep relationship with the Hornets.

But, as the Big Cat says, "I'm gonna go see Dr. Finklestein and I'm gonna tell him we have a whole new bag of issues. We can forget about mom for a while" -- the sight of Chris Paul's near-perfect basketball in that vaguely familiar Hornets jersey and hearing the New Orleans Arena blasting "Shout!" as the Hornets built a 30-point third quarter lead, well, it made the emotions of that starter marriage all come flooding back.

Theraputic sessions, desde

Brethren: Chris Paul broke Muggsy's assists-for-a-playoff-game record toinght en route to a 32 points, 17 assists, 5 boards, 3 steals line. That's just an absurd line. And don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing Chris Paul to any Hornet player -- I don't think anyone I watched could have posted a line like that when I was a fan. Le Baron might have posted it -- but it wouldn't have been expected at all. With CP3, a line like that can be expected.

So it's not so much that Paul reminds me of a certain Hornet or a certain time when I was a Hornets fan. Because when I was around, the Charlotte Hornets won lots of games, built solid teams, and won a few playoffs series. But they were never a 2 seed with such a deadly line-up and a player who was seriously considered for the MVP award.

But that's also what gets me: I put in 14 years of Hornets fandom. And aside from that jackass Shinn, it was awesome. I loved it. And we did have good teams with great players to watch. But we never had a Chris Paul.

CP3 is taking the Hornets places. And I guess it's just sad to think how easily the Hornets could still be in Charlotte, and how I could be engulfed in all this.

At least the Bobcats bring in a steady paycheck. Oh wait, they're deadbeat too? I thought second marriages were supposed to be better...

Nacho: While I'm not going through the existential crisis Brethren is, that's probably because I'm more Jason Alexander (Britney's first husband, not Constanza) in that I'm the fan folks forget. I had some magical times at the Hive. I witnessed Alonzo's buzzer beater against the Celts. I remember SuperHugo. I even went to a monster truck rally at the Charlotte Colesium.

But I'd lost all interest a few years before they left. There's about four years there where I just kind of fell off the sports map. Strange how one, steroid-infused Super Bowl season can bring you right back into the fold. So now, I view the Hornets as someone who once dated the Hornets and is genuinely happy for their success, while mutter about how much a loser they're dating now.

Still, the best joke I've heard about the playoffs so far was, I think, from Basketbawlful: the Hornets have banned billionaires from their locker room. Good on 'em.
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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Due Kudos - NBA Playoffs

Nacho: A quick note or two on the split-screen adverts for the NBA Playoffs:

1. Good on ya, NBA. Inventive, visually off-putting, and best of all, we get to see which NBA stars can't sit still to save their lives. The Kobe/Shaq split is the most telling. One can surmise that Shaq has acted in major motion pictures before and is as still as the doldrums of the Carribbean. Kobe's head bobs and bounces, as do most of the players'.

2. J. E. Skeets is doing some phenomenal mock-ups over at Yahoo. My favorite, of course, involves Walter Herrmann, although the Varajeo/Ginobli one is worth a gander.

I think my favorite part of these playoffs is going to be the announcing teams. Over the past season I've become enamored with the local broadcast duos for the Clippers and the Lakers. The Lakers is polished and professional, as one would expect, with the occassional exercising of poor judgement. The Clippers tandem of Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith is real gem. Lawler's been calling Clips game since the Carter administration and will randomly blurt out things that totally embarrass Mr. Smith. Lets just say basketball season has added a level of awesomeness since I moved to LA.

Additional playoff ramblings, after...

Nacho cont'd: Everyone's, correctly, discounting the Eastern Conference and expecting whomever wins the West to plow on into Championship lane. However, if you think logically about it, doesn't the disparity of the East bode well for the Finals chances? Isn't it more likely Boston or Detroit (or my pick, Cleveland) will roll through their series' with little resistance, and get some downtime to rest up while the West turns into a bloodbath?

The NBA playoffs are also where I truly hope Hubie and Jeff Van Gundy bring their A games. All season Hubie spouts nonsense and turns phrases that make me furrow my brow. Meanwhile, Van Gundy comes off as a pompous ass for three-and-a-half quarters of every game, but will point out the ONE THING that decides a game before the players even know it's gonna happen. I have a begrudging respect for Mr. Van Gundy and hope he never goes back to coaching.

Also: this commercial is the TITS!

Brethren, what say you?

Brethren: I say...these playoffs are gonna kick ass. Just like this sport's commercials kick ass. Some thoughts:

Spurs vs. Suns: already given us a ridicului double OT game. This series will most likely go to seven games, and even then, we'll feel cheated. I heard this is the first time two 55-win+ teams played each other in the first round -- which should tell you enough about the Western Conference this year.

Hornets vs. Mavericks: Chris Paul is absurd. And by Leitch's logic, Nacho and I should be Hornets fans still to this day -- so I'm happy to jump on that bandwagon. And I wore a Charlotte Hornets shirt to the gym today, and got asked if I was from Charlotte, which was cool.

Lakers vs. Nuggets: Nugs will give the Lakers fits. Listen to me. Or don't.

Celtics vs. anyone: despite the fact that I wanted to vomit at Simmons's article about the MVP race and how it was painstakingly obvious he was going to pick KG as the obvious winner, I think that team is really good. I don't like it when I don't like Simmons' writing because I don't want to be categorized as Simmons sports blogging hater -- but while KG is a nice story, the Celtics played in the Leastern Conference, and he has 2 other All-Stars playing with him! That said, I can easily see them winning the championship.

The Hawks: they're in the playoffs! hahahaha!

As you can see, I'm writing a lot, ignoring the fact that I could be linking to a lot more articles that are evidence that the NBA Playoffs are going to rock, and I'm just plain giddy. I do love this game. And its commercials.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sailing Through the Doldrums

Nacho: Well we seem to have gotten through the doldrums. The SportsBrethren don't much follow, or care, about baseball, so expect a slimmer output for a bit. The NFL schedule came out today. MJD thinks the Panthers only Monday Night game has a high potential to be shitty. I think our Cats could be clinching the Division title around that time.

The Panthers will open their season in San Diego, and I will most certainly be attending. There's also a game in Oakland, which may or may not be attended by yours truly.

Other than that, not much doin'. The Bobcats finished their season in much the same manner they've done lately. That's, like, the third game we've blown huge leads in, with differing, albeit frustrating results. I'm glad we won more games than Simmons thought we'd win (25). I look forward to who we might pick up in the offseason, where Mek ends up, and of course, the draft.

Brethren will add some thoughts, and we'll check back in when something strikes us.

Brethren: It feels good to be back here at the Dexter Lake Club.

So while I disagree with Nacho and will remind our good readers, I do care about baseball, it's only April, and I'm hindered by my lack of gumption for one team (an issue I'm sure I'll get into one of these days).

That said, there wasn't much of a Masters and like Nacho pointed out, the Bobcats are following their formulaic late March/early April baloncesto of blowing large leads, letting the other team outrebound them, and generally not seeming too care much at all what Sam Vincent has to say. Whether Jordan fires his good friend after one year is sure to be a topic of interest this offseason.

A quick look at the Panthers schedule just makes me sad football's so far away. I love the idear of caring about the order of their schedule on a Tuesday in April, but not so much that I'm gonna get real riled up about it. As for the NFL Draft, I'm liking most of the names I'm hearing: Jeff Otah or Rynn Clady at tackle, Gator Derrick Harvey at DE, and Rashard Mendenhall at RB (although the last time the Panthers took a Rashard in the first round, George Siefert was at the helm, and I'm sure no one wants any memory of those times).

But at the end of the day, the NFL Draft falls on the same day as the Foxfield Races every year. And for those of you who don't know what Foxfield is, well, I feel bad. Because you haven't lived in super happy eternal awesomeness land until you've experienced Foxfield.

That's about all I have to say about that. Be on the look out for a special guest column from an old pal sometime soon!
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