breaking down the nba like craig sager's suits: colorfully

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

How Not to Play your final possession...

Tonight, we sat down and watched most of the Knicks game against Cleveland. They actually won, fought and scrapped and all that other crap. But then we moved to the Nets game and saw the Celtics botch their final possession. Perhaps that's why Doc Rivers recently made up a fictional website - www.threeinrow.com - 11 days ago when they beat the Knicks. He should create a new one, botchfinalpossession.org. This site should be created after the Celtics completely messed up the final possession. Down by three, Wally Szcerbiak had a chance to win it with a 3-pointer. But for some reason drove baseline. Paul Pierce was a bit ticked and he held up three fingers. While at least Szcerbiak apologized to Doc, he definitely botched it. Watch this low-quality video:





Saturday, November 25, 2006

And Now the Overpaid Man in the Middle - Jon Koncak

I guess because of our Atlanta connection my good friend Sager's Savant offered me this opportunity to be a contributor here.

It's a long odyessy from my days at SMU, where I was one of the best centers in the nation. Maybe if Patrick Ewing were older, I'd have been the man! But the Hawks liked me enough to make the fifth pick in the 1985 draft. I guess they thought I was better than Chris Mullin, Charles Oakley, Karl Malone. Boy I fooled them. At least my career was longer than Uwe Blab's.

But those Hawk teams were real good, not that I had much to do with that with my career average of 4.5 points per game. Well it could have been worse had I not averaged 8.3 as a rookie. But at least I cashed out, getting 13 million from the Hawks in 1989.

That kind of money paved the way for the likes of Jim Mcllvaine and Jerome James and other mediocre talents in the association. Boy I had my ski-mask on that night..

These days, I'm letting that money sit. Although some of it goes to my cable company for that league pass package..

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sir Blinksalot

Jamal Mashburn was a hell of a basketball player. Dropping at least 20 points was easily attainable for him when he was A) feeling it and B) not on the bench recovering from an injury. The injuries eventually derailed his career, and now at 33, Mash is exploring his post-NBA job options. We caught him breaking down teams and individual players on ESPN's NBA Fastbreak on Wednesday night, and we're pretty sure he's good. The problem is we had a hard time paying attention to what he was saying.

No, we weren't staring at the gap in his teeth, although that did transfix us a tiny bit. We actually couldn't focus because his eyelids were constantly moving. I mean holy shit, you'd think he was convinced that if he didn't blink every half a second, his head would explode.



Hey, at least Jamal can't be any worse than Timmy Hardaway, who just kind of sat there and mumbled something when asked a question.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tickets costing you too much?

Over here at DCSS, where our hourly wage is five dollars and fifteen cents less than minimum wage, we completely understand money problems. There's nothing like going to an NBA game live, but it's so damn expensive. So I've compiled the list of top five ways to make a profit at NBA games.

1) Sit next to someone who looks like they're going to throw something
No word yet on how much money that goofy guy with glasses who got abused by Ron Artest is going to get, but I'm willing to bet it's a lot. Anybody who has a mean look on their face, the same full drink for more than a quarter, and a loud mouth is a very liable candidate.

2)If a player looks mentally weak, rip away.
The way to tell if a player is mentally weak is if he looks like there's nothing else he'd rather be doing except playing basketball. Usually these guys are prone to snapping and running into the stands swinging just so they don't have to play for awhile. Try to stay away from racial slurs though, you don't want entire countries hating you. DCSS tip: Von Wafer, if he can get back into the league is a prime candidate.

3)Position yourself to where you think Kobe could dive into you
If this guy from Arkansas really ends up with seventy five thousand from Kobe because he claims to have gotten elbowed by Kobe when he ended up in the stands, Kobe should just keep some checks on the bench because everytime he goes into the stands it's gonna happen.

4)Forge a players signature on a ticket
This may work on only younger kids. I say that, because it happened to me. At a Spurs game I bought a ticket from a guy who swore David Robinson signed it during the autograph sesson before warmups. Too bad there is no autograph sesson before warmups, but props to the guy for creativity, this one deserves to be used by all.

5)Insult their rapping skill
Shaq, Kobe, Artest, and Webber are just some of the ones who this could work on, JJ Reddick too if his mixtapes ever get released. I haven't heard JJ, but I know for a fact that the rest are terrible. But not enough people tell them how much they suck, because they're scared. This may not get you any profit - but in the long run it could benefit everyone if it convinces them never to rap again. Although I'm sure Ron Artest's 343 CDs sold opening week is better than any diss.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Looking at Trends

This season is about two weeks old, and already we are seeing some statistical surprises from certain players. We've gone through some stats and picked out some that you'll be able to impress your friends with.



1) Adonal Foyle is earning $8,125,000 this year, which breaks down to approximately $99,085 for each game. Foyle has played only ten minutes in seven games this year -- that's $693,595 for ten minutes of work. $69,359 for each minute he has played. Can you imagine working 40 hours a week at a rate like that?

2) The three worst players in the NBA according to John Hollinger's PER formula? Robert Hite of Miami has a -40.84 PER, Alan Henderson of Phildelphia has a -56.47 PER, and Mile Ilic of New Jersey takes it all with a -58.55 PER. Here is Hollinger's reference guide for PER:
A Year For the Ages: 35.0
Pretty good player: 15.0
On next plane to Yakima: 5.0

In order to judge the performance the worst players in basketball, we'll finish up the reference guide for you:

-10: Recently got schooled by a backup on the local AAU team.
-20: Is actually a professional curling player.
-30: Has never actually touched a basketball before. Shot ball in the wrong hoop to start his NBA career.
-40: Paraplegic.
-50: Paraplegic, and lobotomy was performed instead of a scheduled shoulder surgery.
-60: Todd Fuller.

3) Allen Iverson is on pace to turn the ball over 423 times. That would break an all-time record set by Artie Gilmore, who turned the ball over 366 times in 1978. That's kind of funny. Like the idea of Philly earning a playoff spot.

4) Adam Morrison kind of sucks. He shoots at a 36% clip and averages 2.6 rebounds despite playing 31.9 minutes a game. No need to cry over spilled draft picks though, Bernie Bickerstaff. You only picked Emeka Okafor over Dwight Howard, Sean May over about 30 other productive role players, and Morrison over Brandon Roy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

What did the five fingers say to the face?

If only Dave Chapelle aired in Turkey, a punch could have been avoided.

Marcus Haislip is simply trying to revive his NBA career, but dignity takes precedence over resuscitating one's NBA career. What transpired against Fenerbahçe Ülker might hurt his chances of playing in the NBA, but after all, you just can't slap a man.

Haislip, who played with Milwaukee and Indiana over a three-year NBA career, went overseas to play with Efes Pilsen of the Turkish Basketball League this season. Things were going just fine up until yesterday, when a certain slap went too far.

The whole thing started when former Rockets draft pick Mirsad Türkcan pushed Haislip to get him out of rebounding position, and Haislip pushed back as they both began to jog back down the court after the made shot. We assume Turkish basketball players are taught to fight like girls, because Türkcan responded with a lady-like slap to the face. Haislip, whose lone pet peeve (along with Charlie Murphy) is getting his face slapped, threw a devastating right hook that sent Türkcan back a few steps. We don't condone punching here at DCSS, but come on, you slapped a man, Türkcan.



"First of all, you don't slap a man. I mean, even when slapping was fashionable -- you know, they did it in Paris -- some guy would come up 'I challenge you to a duel.' They would have a gunfight after that, somebody had to go!"

Sunday, November 12, 2006

DW8 > CP3?

We're not ready to say one is better than the other, but we're ready to apologize to the Utah Jazz. Maybe you should too. On Draft Day 2005, the Utah Jazz traded up to the #3 spot in order to pick Deron Williams, sending the #6 overall pick, the #27 overall pick, and a future first rounder to Portland. The Jazz opted for Williams because of his "NBA body" at 6'3" and 210, and decided against picking Paul because he was only 6'0" and 175 pounds. The pick of Williams over Paul wasn't scorned like a certain Knicks draft pick, but only a few games into the season, the common thought was that the Jazz would live to regret their selection. Hell, the guy became hot shit so quickly, he even picked up a lame ass nickname of "CP3."

Paul won the Rookie of the Year award in a landslide last year, picking up 124 of the 125 first place votes. Though Williams finished sixth in the ROY voting, he had the only other first place vote. Paul led all rookies in points (16.1), assists (7.8), and steals (2.2), while Williams averaged 10.8 points, 4.5 assists, and 0.8 steals. Our best guess for what merited a first place vote for Williams? He was tied for the fewest ejections by all rookies with zero.

This year, however, we're seeing a whole new Deron. Through seven games, Williams is averaging 17 points, 8.7 assists, 1.6 steals, and has a 3.2 to 1 A/TO ratio. Paul has also played seven games, and is averaging 19.4 points, 9.1 assists, 1.5 steals, and has a 2.5 to 1 A/TO ratio.

While Deron also has the numbers, he's also pretty clutch. Last night against Milwaukee, the Jazz pulled off an impressive road victory thanks in large part to Williams. Michael Redd hit a three pointer with 7 seconds left to tie the game at 111, but Deron ran it right on back down the court. Matt Harpring, standing in the corner, saw a hole and cut down the baseline, and Deron Williams found him for the game-winning basket.

It may be early in the season, but Williams certainly seems to have turned the corner. So in order to commemorate what appears to be a breakout year for Williams, we'd first like to apologize to the Jazz for talking shit about their decision not to draft Chris Paul. In order to make up for saying things like "Kevin O'Connor is senile," we'd like to help the Jazz by giving Deron a nickname. Since the trend of nicknames for point guards from the 2005 NBA Draft is "first name initial + last name initial + jersey number," we are officially nominating "DW8" for Deron Williams.

This makes us lame too? Fine, let's see what everyone else has.

Other suggestions:
  • The Sheriff

  • In an interview with the Daily Illini -- an interview littered with questions that were every bit as boring as the answers -- Deron shed light on a possible nickname:
    Q: If you played and-1, what would your nickname be?
    A: They call me The Sheriff because I lock people up.


    Also asked in the interview: "If you could trade bodies with a teammate who would it be?" and "What are the biggest negatives when a young player jumps to the NBA early?" We have reason to believe a four year old conducted this interview, so on principle alone, we think "The Sheriff" should probably be thrown out the window.

  • D-Will

  • OwnTheDraft.com's 2005 Mock Draft explains:
    Nickname: D-Will (like J-Kidd, we couldn't think of anything better)


    I'm pretty sure Marcus Williams has first dibs on the (Firstinitial)-Will nickname as he's Kidd's teammate, so that wouldn't stick either.

    Whatever. Someone else come up with a better nickname or else let's just say Deron sucks.

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Hoopshype Insight 11/9

    To summarize the first ten links: Larry Brown asked for over fifty million, got eighteen and a half.

    Talk about a coincidence. First Larry can't get anywhere near half of what he wanted out of his players, then the same thing happens while negotiating his buyout with the team. Not real sure who got the best of this deal. I'd have to say Larry, despite Dolan having to dish out substantially less cash than most anticipated. The Knicks are going to continue to be a mess until 2020, and by that time Larry will probably have gotten the Bobcats into the playoffs twice.

    The Mavs Continue the Losing Streak

    I knew at some point that the Mavs would begin to zone out Avery Johnson, because that voice is just too annoying to tolerate. Dirk Nowitzki is bound to be tired after playing in the NBA finals and the World Basketball Classic, but unfortunately they don't have the scoring to make things easy on him. It's kinda tough when you're always playing 4 on 5 offensively, since Diop and Dampier are always in.

    Thomas said Wednesday he and Karl are "fine," but he'd prefer Karl focus on the Nuggets.

    Back when he was playing basketball in Illinois, Isiah's brothers used to critique him after every game, and because of it he became one of the greatest of all-time. It appears now that Isiah is refusing to listen to any critiques, becoming one of the worst coaches/GMs all time. Someone should point this out to him, but he'd probably recommend you leave the destruction of the Knicks to him.

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    Dear Craig

    Dear Craig,
    I was taking the test to get my driver's permit last week, and I came upon a question about the legal blood alcohol percentage while driving. The possible answers were .01, .05, .08, and .10. I recalled from a post on this blog that Eric Musselman was over the legal limit of .08, so I went with that. It was wrong - the answer was .01 because the question was about the legal limit before turning 21. What do you have to say about this?
    -- Barely got his permit in California



    Dear Barely got his permit in California,
    Thanks, Kevin. Kobe told me before the game that he is contributing all of the money he makes in the fifth minute of the second quarter to a battered women's shelter in Los Angeles. Jennifer Green, who manages the shelter, says she met Kobe during an event sponsored by Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Green said that even though Buss forced Kobe to donate the money despite numerous childish protests in front of hundreds of community leaders, it was still a very generous offer. Back to you, Kevin and Doug.

    -----

    Dear Craig,
    My wife and I are having a small issue with something. She thinks that it's ridiculous that I would spend all of Thursday on the couch amped up for your courtside reporting. It's supposed to be "my night to cook" or something, but that's insane, yeah? I might not work, and she might work two shifts, but she obviously doesn't understand. How can I make her see the way of Sager?
    -- Trying to balance the wife and the Sager



    Dear Trying to balance the wife and the Sager,
    Kevin, I talked with Gilbert Arenas before the game, but he seemed especially jittery. Gilbert didn't seem to be paying attention to a few questions I had about tonight's game, so I asked him if everything was alright. As it turns out, he forgot to do his routine of doing a somersault, eating half of a turkey sandwich and kicking the other half off a balcony, pimpslapping a peacock, and crashing a car into a fire hydrant, all starting at 5:03 AM. It's quite possible that missing part of his daily routine has contributed to Gilbert missing all of his 25 attempts tonight. Back to you.

    You too can ask Craig a question! E-mail your questions, anecdotes, or complaints to sager.savant@gmail.com

    HoopsHype Insight - 11/3

  • Another gem from the NBA's little pamphlet on the Collective Bargaining Agreement: players who test positive for marijuana enter the "Marijuana Program." The second time you get fined, and have to re-enter the "Marijuana Program." The third time, you get suspended for five games, and, you guessed it, go back into the "Marijuana Program." The fact that players have indeed been suspended five games for marijuana makes me think that whatever happens in the "Marijuana Program" might make a good sitcom.
  • (Gothamist via TrueHoop)

    Cliff Robinson: So, uh... why are we here again?
    Christian Laettner: Man... this is like...
    Isiah Rider: Yeah, I'm not even in the NBA anymore.
    Just-a-little-too-cheery-chick: We're all here today because you're NBA players with substance abuse problems!
    Laettner: Crazy. It's crazy.
    Cliff Robinson: I got no problems, man.
    Rider: Hello? I'm not in the NBA anymore.
    Laettner: Did you hear me? I said THIS IS CRAZY.
    Robinson: YOU got problems, man. I'm good.
    Rider: I'm... going to leave now.
    Just-a-little-too-cheery-chick: Just calm down! This isn't crazy, and we're going to solve your problems today.
    Robinson: I've been here like three times. You think I'm gonna suddenly change my mind?
    Laettner: THIS IS FUCKING CRAZY.
    Rider: Alright. Leaving.

  • Mark Madsen on whether he has worked on his three-point shot since last season: "I've been working on my outside shot the last three years. I'm telling the coaching staff that I'm ready. They tell me to be patient. (Coach) Dwane Casey keeps telling me to be patient. I tell Dwane, 'I'll be patient.'"


  • We're talking about the same Mark Madsen, right? The one who on the last game of last season missed seven threes because the Timberwolves wanted to lose the game for a better draft spot? The one who was 1/15 in that game? Look, if the Timberwolves are trying to get Greg Oden, then the "let Madsen shoot" strategy is fine.

    Thursday, November 02, 2006

    HoopsHype Insight - 11/2

  • Finally expected to receive major minutes for the first time in four years, Milicic is hoping to prove to the Magic that he is worth a contract in the neighborhood of $60 million. Milicic will be a restricted free agent next summer, meaning the Magic can match any offer that he receives from another team. "We had a couple of conversations with (agent Marc Cornstein) the last couple of weeks, but it was never something I could go to bed and sleep with," Smith said. "We weren't that far apart. We just determined that it wasn't in the best interest of our organization to enter into an extension based on 30 games (from last season)."


  • Darko wants HOW MUCH? Otis Smith is essentially saying "look, we like the guy, but the day that 7.6 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game in 30 games for us means $60 million is the same day that we start playing five guards." Can't say that Cornstein doesn't deserve some credit for trying, but hell. The Warriors may have given Adonal Foyle a shitload of money, but even they're not stupid enough to give Darko $60 million over any number of years.

    The same article also points out that JJ Redick and Grant Hill share lockers right next to each other "not just because the two hail from Duke University. The Magic are hoping that Hill can serve as a mentor for Redick..." That's gotta be great news to Magic fans. The King of Injuries is a "mentor" to a guy whose NBA career has started on the inactive list because of injuries to his back and left foot. All Orlando needs to do is bring Penny Hardaway back on a one-year deal and give him the locker on the other side of Redick.

  • But the longest serving Raptor, swingman Morris Peterson, hopes to create a buzz of his own, by making the all-star team. "I think it's possible," Peterson said last night. "I just have to keep working to help the team get better. If we start winning, who knows what will happen."


  • Darko wants $60 million and MoPete thinks he can make the All-Star game with a scoring average of 16.8 points? This edition of HoopsHype Insight is brought to you by Crazy Juice. Peterson is a good scorer, but if we had to choose between him and Gilbert Arenas... This doesn't even deserve an analogy, it's such an easy choice.

  • Amaré Stoudemire is searching for answers. And french fries. Ninety minutes before tip-off, the man who received a $10 million check this week courtesy of the maximum contract he signed last year, is digging into a McDonald's bag. "No comment," he said Wednesday before the Suns beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-104. "I hope you can respect that." Stoudemire was reacting to a question about his limited playing time in the team's season-opening loss to the Lakers Tuesday.


  • If a man's hungry, a man's hungry. And if a man's rehab involves a fucking double quarter pounder, then that's what a man's gotta do, alright?