Posts Tagged ‘basketball’

Quick Mavs Look

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Things are settling down a bit and at this point we may not see another move until Greg Buckner’s contract is eligible to be traded (September 9).  To my chagrin it does look like we will be losing Ryan Hollins (at least if Mark Cuban’s tweet is any indication: “congrats to ryan hollins. wish him the best w twolves #fb“).  Don’t get me wrong – I never thought he was the next Amare – but his athleticism and hustle just really seemed to fit here, and I envisioned him potentially emerging as a running partner to JKidd/Marion fast breaks.  But the roster is full as it is, so let’s check out who we do have, from biggest to smallest in terms of positional capability:


That’s 17 right there. Sure, Buckner + other(s) will probably be moved (which could shake this team up in a big way once again), but this unfortunately already leaves out FA Gerald Green as well as a couple of others. Nevertheless, only 15 can be on the roster and 12 are allowed to be active on gameday anyway.

At the moment, I would imagine the minutes would shake out to (on average):

C: Gooden (24); Damp (17); Dirk (7)
PF: Dirk (29); Marion (10); Gooden (5); TThomas (4)
SF: Marion (26); J-Ho (12); Ross (6); TThomas (4)
SG: J-Ho (22); JET (26)
PG: Kidd (34): Barea (11); JET (3)

IR: Carroll/Buckner
D-League: Jawai/Nivins

-Beaubois, Humphries, and Singleton: Two of the three would be active and one would be IR. Being active would not guarantee minutes though.
-Barea (offensively at least) and Ross (defensively at least) would technically be at the 2-guard some of the time despite not being allotted for any minutes there in the depth chart above. This is due to the defensive versatility that is achieved by having people like Kidd at the 1 and Marion/J-Ho at the 3.

Polish Hammered

Monday, July 13th, 2009

After getting over the initial shock and disappointment resulting from the “loss” of Marcin Gortat, I started wondering about why Magic GM Otis Smith would make such a move after previously stating that those were “rich numbers” for a backup to his best player. Did he spend the week trying to find a potential trade partner so he wouldn’t lose “The Polish Hammer” for nothing?

So who would be trying to get Gortat? I immediately thought of the Rockets, who had gone so far in the previous two weeks as to set up a gmail account for their fans to show their desire for the Polish big man to sign with Houston.

And then I realized that something I had always wondered about MAY have just been proven true at the expense of my hometown squadron: do certain GMs really operate in alliances with other GMs, and sometimes sabotage other GMs, in the NBA’s game of warfare?

This is just speculation, of course, but take a look at a couple of big trades (I feel like they’ve made some other swaps as well but this information proved tougher than expected to google) Houston and Orlando have orchestrated in recent years:

  • 2009: Rox trade Rafer Alston to the Magic in a three-way trade also involving the Grizzlies. This occurs after the contending Magic lose their all-star PG Jameer Nelson for the season.
  • 2004: Rox trade Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, and Kevin Cato for 2-time NBA leading scorer Tracy McGrady, Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue, and Reece Gaines.

I notice while researching their trade history that the Rockets also are quite fond of dealing with the Grizzlies, shipping Bonzi Wells there in 2008 in a three-way deal that netted them Bobby Jackson, sending them a washed-up Steve Francis for draft picks later that year, and pulling off the Rudy Gay-Shane Battier exchange in 2006.

Not that there is anything wrong with these conceivable GM relationships, but I just think it’s worth pointing out as I now believe the Rockets, who are desperate for a center after losing Yao for the season and were clearly bummed out that the big man chose to sign the Mavs’ offer sheet instead of Houston’s, may have convinced Smith that they will follow-through on a desirable trade come December 15 when Gortat is eligible to be traded.

Donnie Nelson knows talent, but maybe he should spend more time aligning his GM relationships.

Regardless, the updated depth chart does not look bad at all:

C: Hollins; Damp; Dirk; Humphries
PF: Dirk; Marion; Humphries; Nivins
SF: Marion; J-Ho; Singleton; Ross
SG: J-Ho; JET; Barea; Beaubois
PG: Kidd; Barea; Beaubois; JET

Lastly, one more big move may still be coming from the Triangle of Trust, but how about this potential not-so-big move that would add some create-his-own-shot ability at the 2-guard – Marquis Daniels, who by the way has improved his 3-point shot since we saw him last …

Mavs Talk

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

I can’t sleep. At least not until somebody tells me what is so wrong with this Mavs’ depth chart:

C: Gortat; Hollins
PF: Dirk; Bass; Nivins
SF: Howard; Singleton
SG: GGreen; Terry; AWright
PG: Kidd; Barea; Beaubois

I know Hollins is extremely foul prone, but trust me Gortat is somebody you’re gonna want on the floor for more than 24 minutes a night.

Even if we lose Bass, we’re kind of covered at the 4.

Gerald Green has the perfect size, athleticism, and skills to be the go-to scorer at the 2. So what about when he starts the game off with one too many bone-headed plays? Oh no, I guess that means Jason Terry has to play some more minutes that night.

And if Kidd bolts to New York (which it doesn’t look like he will)? Not only would Barea be at least interesting (he’s got some Jameer Nelson in him) to give a test drive to, but who says Damp and Stack and cap space couldn’t find a way to morph into Stevie Nash?

All I’m saying is that now that some of the FA dust has settled, we know who we’re not getting (e.g. Artest). If (!) TMac’s healthy, I’ll still do Damp+Stack and scoot him into GGreen’s spot. But as is with Gortat, I like that roster up and down right now.

And yes it scares me that Gerald Green plays such a large role in it. But c’mon, don’t you want to see it? Okay, okay, fine. One final nugget for ya: Orlando wants Bass. Sign-and-trade “The Animal” for Pietrus?

Working in TieLand

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

That’s right, I don a tie and dress shoes every day now. A couple of you have asked where I’ve run off to – well, I’ve not only been busy as hell the last couple of weeks but I also got sick for about a week. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you if I picked up some germs on the metro or if my lungs simply got infected from the pollution here.

So two days ago I finished teaching the first course I accepted here (a GRE test prep course). 12 sessions in all, pretty smart kids, and they spoke good English (now I just hope their scores actually go up on the test!). The other classes I am teaching now are 3 sections of Business English at Padaeng Industry (a zinc mining company, operating the only zinc smelter in southeast Asia! How do you like them apples?), 3 sections of Sales English at Pfizer Corporation, and then I am also teaching this one homeschooled, half-Thai, half-American girl some of her school subjects (math and current event critical thinking right now). So up until now, with the GRE deal winding up and my having needed to finish up my “training,” I have been working entirely too much, but things look a bit better moving forward.

So, was that Pfizer I mentioned earlier? As in Viagra? You got it. My company that assigns me to these courses reuses their business materials for just about everything (rather than making new ones each time, obviously a logical plan), so they handed me the standard packet and I took it along for day one. So there I am, reading from the page: “Okay Gift (yes that was her name by the way. The others in this particular class: Cherry, Bee, Ooi, Yok, Kig, Tho, and Meaw. Tho was the only dude.), can you please introduce yourself to me according to the instructions as if you were going to sell me your product?”

Gift (standing up facing me from about two feet away): “Hi. I’m Gift. I work for Pfizer Thailand. I am here today to sell Viagra. I would like to tell you more information about how it can fix your pee-pee problems. [Giggling.] I can give you stage 1, [something in broken English about stage 2], [giggling], I can personally administer you stage 3, [half giggles, half broken English about stage 4]. [Explosive giggling followed by breaking face and looking around at her classmates causing them to join in the giggling.]”

Me: “Uh, thank you Gift. That will do.”

In other words, a very professional start. Now some of the other girls did sell like Celebrex and other Pfizer products, but yeah I just wasn’t prepared for that to be the initial demonstration for the class.

My second “section” with Pfizer peeps is right after that one (these are on Saturday morning). This time, 11 girls and 1 dude. Only this group has weaker English skills and are clearly less confident in their speaking skills. So the first girl goes and not much is accomplished (I’m totally ready for Viagra saleswomen this time around). Then the guy goes. After I have critiqued his speaking, I notice he is wearing a Rolling Stones shirt. Now, I don’t care too much about the Stones, but I feel like the opportunity is there to be really positive and seem like a nice guy to try and get everybody to say a little more during their respective turns. So I tack on to my comments, “And I like your shirt.”

The up-until-that-point silent room erupts into “OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” (including the guy himself).

Oh no. What just happened?

Upon closer inspection, first of all this section is made up of people who signed up to be with their friends. That is, 11 girls and 1 guy.
His Stones shirt is pink.

Got it – my class of otherwise 100% girls is under the impression I just hit on the gay guy. Nice.

Things have gotten back on track a bit since that inauspicious start, and some of the girls are good-looking which is a nice bonus. But I do find it really tough to slow down enough for some of the weaker students to understand me. I’m a natural blabbermouth.

As for Bangkok, I’m adjusting in some ways and not so much in others. I still find it difficult to navigate the sidewalks when people cruise up onto them on their motorbikes to avoid the traffic in the actual ROAD (this happens constantly). And sitting in traffic in a taxi in one lane and looking out the window to see someone on top of an elephant halted in the adjacent lane is not something that really ever becomes normal I don’t think. I’ve found a lot of food that I do like (soups, pad thai, seafood, street cooked chicken, smoothies, sushi), but unfortunately I’m still struggling to get my fiber and veggies. Okay, no more details from that department.

I just bought some pretty decent computer speakers for $8 at Tesco Lotus (think Wal-Mart X 6 or 7 then add even more to the food court as well as a skyway connecting directly to the metro station and you have some idea) so I’m jamming out on those. Oh yeah, I also went to the And1 Streetball Asian Invasion Tour last week. Among the big And1 names taking the court (I feel like I’m forgetting one good one): Hot Sauce, 50, Alimoe, High Rizer, Circus, Air Bama, and 13th Floor. The alley-oop dunks and Hot Sauce’s ability to embarrass defenders were especially cool. The level of basketball play was not too impressive in person though and there were several near-fights between the players (they bring the whole streetball experience, including the lack of professionalism and focus).

And as for weather-related stuff, the tremors of the China earthquake were felt here, and Myanmar (Burma) is still a huge deal cuz its a direct neighbor, but Bangkok is just hot and sweaty. However, we have entered the monsoon season so it just rains out of nowhere for hours. Not always convenient.

Okay so like I said I’ve been working a lot so nothing too exciting, just wanted to get back to those of you that asked that yes I’m good. Let me know what’s up y’all!