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Archive for April, 2007

In Case You Missed It – A Review of a Sick Sports Weekend

One note I just have to make: The Detroit Pistons were the only team to score 100 points this weekend in the NBA playoffs. The sports world is truly upside down.

Saturday
Toronto Raptors vs. New Jersey Nets

Tough loss to swallow. The Raptors really didn’t play well all game with poor shot selection and some bad decision making. Jose Calderon lead a late charge in the 4th quarter and for once was allowed to stay in the game to finish it, but a strange turnover (Jose threw the ball onto the bench thinking a player was there…why would he pass to Darrick Martin anyways, though?) shut it down. The “sea of red” also really backfired as the Nets wore red. That had to make Vince chuckle, and brighten his otherwise terrible day (5/19 from the field). J-Kidd and Jefferson stole the show, but there were some bright spots. For example, that’s probably the best the Nets will play all series, we played like trash, and the game stayed close. Obviously there’s nowhere for us to go but up, and Bosh seems to have a better idea now of exactly what he has to do for this team to win. My confidence is not shaken.
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The Oden vs. Durant Debate

The Kevin Durant vs. Greg Oden debate has been one of the hottest topics of the college basketball season. People have looked left and right for sure signs that one will make a better NBA player than the other, and experts have written at length about each individual. What hasn’t been beaten to death, though, is an actual debate on this issue. So today, Alex Pennycook and Blake Murphy throw down in an intense debate: Who should be drafted first overall in the 2007 NBA Entry Draft, Greg Oden or Kevin Durant? Alex will be taking the Oden side, while Blake takes the Durant side.
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Stay Up Late: An NBA Playoff Preview

Man, the playoffs this season look like they could be legendary. Look at me…legend…wait for it…ary! Last year’s playoffs were unbelievable as well, but they may have, more than anything, set up a lot of interesting storylines for the playoffs this year. I’ll start off by admitting I have no idea what’s going to happen this year. On my Facebook bracket I picked the Mavericks over the Pistons in the finals, and while I think the Pistons are a safe bet, the West is wide open. The Spurs have the experience, the Mavericks have the talent, the Suns have the hot-streaks, the Rockets have a healthy team finally, and the Lakers have Kobe. It’s really wide open, lots of good subplots, and I’ll break them down series by series.
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Bomp Bomp - My NBA Awards

Very tough year to call a lot of awards. Some claim the NBA season was awful and ugly do to the tanking and the number of inuries, but I think it was a decent year. Some ugly spots, but overall a season is remembered for its playoffs, and I think this year’s playoffs have the chance to be as good as any; most first round matchups and potential later-round matchups look phenomenal. Before we talk playoffs though, it’s time to hand out some hardware.
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Wamp Wamp - Dave Power's NBA Awards

Note: This article was contributed by the boy David Andrew Power aka Yung DAP.

MVP (Most Valuable Player)
Steve Nash

Straight to the point, I do not think this award can go to anyone else. It has been proven that when Nash does not play, the Suns rarely win. This year the Suns went 2-4 without Steve Nash in the line up, (0.33 winning percentage) but with him in the line up they have a record of 59 wins and 17 losses (winning percentage of 0.744). Nash is averaging 11.6 assists per game which is the highest output of his career, better then both his MVP years, and he’s also averaging 18.6 point per game, his second highest output in his career. The main argument is he just makes everyone around him better, the team gets easy buckets because of his ability to see the floor, as well as the fact that if you try to limit his passing abilities by trying to take away to passing lanes he can burn you with his .532 field goal percentage, (15th in the NBA/first among guards), as well as his .455 3-point shooting percentage (2nd in the NBA). As well as putting up these incredible numbers in team wins and individual categories, Steve Nash is also easily one of the most clutch players in the NBA. When the going gets rough, Nash gets scoring. Although the Suns are not involved in very many close games, when they are there is no doubt who will have the ball, having experienced this live when the Phoenix Suns strolled into Toronto and seeing Steve come down and hit a pull up 3 pointer on the break and then a ridiculous fade away to seal the deal. An odd occurrence is to hear Canadians “boo” Steve Nash since he is obviously a fan favorite, but on this night as he was getting Vince Carter type boo’s in Toronto, not out of hatred but out of total frustration that he was killing the Raptors. When it comes down to it, Steve Nash makes the Phoenix Suns tick and is undeniably the MVP of the league for the 3rd consecutive year.
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Big Sexy's Soapbox - Venting About A Few Issues Quickly

Ok, so it’s been a while since I got something down on paper because of end-of-year assignments and exams. I just finished writing Developmental Economics, and it went well and I’m feeling good so instead of studying for the three exams I have in the next three days, I’m throwing down a blog to share my opinion on some recent events in the sports world. I’d also like to say that I have a week off between exams Friday-Wednesday, so you can expect a few articles from me including: Me vs. Pennycook debating Oden/Durant, a review of the Raptors season, a Raptors playoff outlook, NBA awards, and possibly my long awaited NHL article. Before I get into anything, I have to say that what happened this morning at Virginia Tech is a terrible tragedy, and my regards to the family and friends of any students or faculty involved. There’s no place for that in this world, and it’s an awful thing to hear about.
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Making The Team - A Quick Tourney Wrap

Since Alex did a pretty damn good job with his tournament wrap-up, I’m out of a job writing one. What I will do, then, is try to summarize the tournament as best I can by naming players to a whole bunch of useless teams, teams which I’ll no doubt leave deserving players off of because I’m only putting 6 Players on each team. There were no set requirements for any of these teams, other than good standing in my personal opinion. For more information on all of these players, I recommend you check out DraftNet and Draft Express, the two best sites on the internet for NBA Draft coverage (Hoops Hype is good too, but gets their info from Draft Express).
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D-Wash Jr. Would Feel At Home - A Tournament Review

Note: This column was written by Alex Pennycook. Word.

Top Game of Each Round

First Round: Virginia Commonwealth over Duke 79-77
The first round was fairly uneventful until VCU upset the team that everyone loves to hate. I loved VCU’s style of play and won’t forget Eric Maynor’s final shot anytime soon, but I think we’ll be remembering this game as the start of the downfall of Duke basketball. Their best player Josh McRoberts, who isn’t that great in the first place, is bolting for the NBA, leaving the team to DeMarcus Nelson and Greg Paulus. Their recruiting class of Taylor King, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith doesn’t exactly have a Durant or Oden either. Look at these guys, King and Singler look like they’ll immediately be able to fill the role of dorky white guys on the end of the bench and I think I have more street cred than Smith. Paulus’ supposed QB vision will go to waste if he doesn’t have anyone to pass the ball too. A couple more subpar seasons and Coach K will start paying more attention to the NBA offers and Duke basketball as our generation knows it will be over.
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My Prediction Was Right - A Running Diary of the Jays' Opener

I’m taking my first shot at a running diary article today. I have to credit Bill Simmons (who, by the way, signed an extension with ESPN through 2010 this morning, which also sees him helping to develop shows along with his ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine writing duties, congratulations to him, well deserved extension) as the leader in this field, and I don’t mean to keep coming back to his style but I want to get used to this format and see if I’m successful with it, because the NBA Draft will definitely be accompanied by a running diary from me (as well as 40-50 lead-up and follow-up articles). I figured the Jays’ season opener was as good a time as any to try my hand at the running diary, so here we go. I’m sporting the Roy Halladay jersey, I just ate a fantastic burger, and I’ve got the living room set up so that I shouldn’t have to leave the couch for the rest of the game. I’m becoming a master of living room set-ups to maximize the viewing experience and minimize the amount of moving. I think if I ever get a job as a sports writer the weight gain could be disastrous, unless of course I create a pimped out viewing experience IN my gym so I could do all of this while I get even more buff.
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How To End The Cold War - The 10 Greatest Sports Movies

Note: This article was contributed by Alex Pennycook. I’d like to point out He Got Game should be a consensus #1, as my favorite movie of all time. But, I digress.

Number 10 – Happy Gilmore
I had an extremely tough time trying to figure out what movie should go here in the ten spot, so I thought back to the first time I saw each movie. I remember seeing Happy Gilmore in the theatre during March Break and I don’t think I had laughed that hard before. Most people would probably choose Caddyshack as the best and funniest golf movie, but I thought it was over hyped. Happy Gilmore has so many quotable lines, and everyone that has ever gone to a Driving Range has tried the running start swing so that is why it made the list.
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