Saturday, August 30, 2008

NFC and AFC North preview

Baltimore Ravens Pretty much a new era for the Ravens with a new Head Coach, Offensive Co-ordinator and QB finally ending the Kyle Boller saga with Joe Flaco taking the reins. But with a tough schedule it might be a learning curb for all concerned.

Another comeback with a #39 jersey?

Perdiction 4-12

Pitsburgh Steelers

O-line may not be great but they have invested a lot of money in making sure Ben does what he's suppossed to do complete a pass by adding Rashard Mendenhall and Limas Sweed. Willie Parker is still on fire from last year but their offense is still dependent on Big Ben's actions. Worth remembering that no team has retained the AFC North since 2002. Steeltown will end this cycle

Perdiction 11-5

Cleveland Browns Not since the Bernie Kosar days has there been that much expectancy surronding a Cleveland Quarterback. Not easy for Derek Anderson especially now that he has Brady Quinn looking for a starting job. The Browns first two games Steelers and Cowboys. Having said that I wouldn't be surprised if they grab a Wildcard.

Perdiction 9-7

Cincinnati Bengals

This is a big gamble but I see the Bengals missing out. Yes with Carson Palmer they will always have a shot at the division title but I just feel there's too much soap opera going on there to take them seriously. You had the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson change his name, They don't have a healthy backfield and that pass rush isn't there. Expect a power shift in Ohio.

Perdiction 7-9

Meet the new Ocho Cinco

NFC North

Chicago Bears Two years after the Superbowl loss the Bears are still in misfortune. Electing to keep Grossman even though he was clearly at fault was a mistake and Brandon Lloyd isn't any better as a target. Defense led by Urlacher will be tough but the Offense will be absolutely painful to watch.

Perdiction 6-10

Detroit Lions Matt Millen is still the GM. Martz is gone, pass happy offense is still there, Kitna will make another 10 win perdiction. Honestly did Lions fans really deserve this especially since they haven't experienced a winning season in 7 years?

Green Bay Packers Will be so strange watching the Packers without Favre. With Mr number 4 under Centre the Packers are close to a Superbowl team. Without him they are slighty above or average now that Rodgers a QB with little NFL experience is prepared to lead the ship. They still get 2nd though

Perdiction 10-6

Packer fans everywhere expect

Minnesota Vikings

Whats so intriguing about the Vikings this year is their Head Coach Brad Childress who has reached a make or break year. Adrian Peterson has come off a monstrous rookie season and Berian was added via trade showing the Vikings win now mentality. It really is all now up to Travis Jackson now though especially now that he has John David Booty competing for starting time

Perdiction 12-4

Friday, August 29, 2008

NFC East preview

Dallas Cowboys

I hate to admit it, but this team looks good. I also hate to admit it, but T.O. still has it. As much as I hate this team and all that it stands for, they have a shot at doing something great this year. Never mind Wade Phillips and the Garett Head Coach controversy or the Tony Romo Jessica Simpson distraction it's impossible not to see the Cowboys not repeating as divisional champions

Perdiction 11-5 NFC East Champion

At least you know Jessica Simpson is always there for you

Philadelphia Eagles Honestly Mcnabb has a huge chip on his shoulder but led them to an 8-8 none the less a record that would have been good enough for the playoffs in 06.! Asante Samuel shores up their secondary and they had a decent Draft but McNabb is the key . knows the truth, his teammates know the truth, and now its time for the NFL to know the truth. One man doesn't make a team, but he can make the heart and soul of the team.

Perdiction 7-9

Less of this and more TD's would be good news for Philly fans

New York Giants

Honestly I have no idea how their season will pan out especially since they play in one of the more difficult divisions in the NFL. They lost Osi Umenyiora and without Strahans veteran pressence the Pass Rush won't be as devestating as it was in the Superbowl. Thwy won't repeat but expect a Wild card

Just beautiful

Perdiction 9-7

Washington Redskins

Ditto with this team. Jim Zorn has a new playbook for QB Jason Campbell and that largely depends where the Redskins are going. Injury-prone Clinton Portis will get some much-needed help in the backfield from Ladell Betts but honestly the Skins din't make any decent upgrades to their O-line or Defensive line (both the factors in last years playoff loss)

Perdiction 6-10

Portis stays healthy the Skins might just have a chance

Who do you think is going to be the NFC East champion?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Are you ready for some Football

Trying to take my mind off the Monta Ellis crisis what better way to do so then anticapte the start of the No fun League in a few weeks no bandanas or TD celebrations- WHY?!) to NBC with Al Michaels and Madden 07 (a Bay Area legend.

There was so much drama in the No Fun League this offseason. Who would have thought like Unitas and Rice that Favre would unexpectedly end his career with the New York Jets rather then the Packers. With the Jets lack of any decent Receivers and an inexpereinced O-Line this could be ugly.

Last week also saw the passing of former Raiders Guard Gene Upshaw a few weeks back. Even though he earned critiscm from some former NFL players for the lack of mimimal benefits Upshaw had a shining influence on the Raiders line often being labelled the best Guard of his generation His presence will truly be missed. Rest in Peace Gene Upshaw.

But before we get to the Bay Area's finest, let's begin with the most boring division of all the AFC East.

New England Patriots

Coming off an 18-1 season the Pats have won this division 5 out of the last 6 years, have won the Super Bowl three times this decade but you have to wonder after their quest for perfection fell aognosingly short will they stall out out of the blocks just a little. I say no. As much as I hate to say this, it doesn't even matter how this team does in the regular season as long as they make the playoffs because as Tom Brady has proven time and time again, he has a special "on" switch that he turns on come January. Still the team to beat in the AFC

Perdiction 13-3 (AFC East Division Champion)

Still hard to watch for any Raiders fan

Miami Dolphins New coach and a new QB equals success, right?. That means Chad Pennington + Tony Sprano (not to be cofused with the Soprano star) is equal to Don Shula and Dan Marino. But after the 1-15 season they've just hadand the loss of Jason Taylor combined with the arrival of Bill Parcells means unlike the train wreck of last season this one will be interesting in South Florida. However, this team is not good enough to make the playoffs...yet.

Perdiction 4-12

New York Jets

Probably the most difficult team to perdict this season. The addition of Favre says it all really and gives them a few extra wins and with a more improved offensive line and a decent Defense it's possible to see them as a Wildcard. In other words they won't be a Superbowl contender but they will be a whole lot of fun to watch.

Perdiction 10-6

Still looks strange doesn't it

Buffalo Bills They are a young team with some talented players - Lee Evans and Bay Area's own Marshawn Lynch - but they still have a developing starting QB in J.P. Losman. Some can easily argue that he's farther along than Alex Smith which he is, but unlike the 9ers this team is still in the "rebuilding" phase. Lynch should tear things up, but he can't do this one himself. Things don't look good for a team that made it to the Super Bowl 4 times straight 15 years ago.

Perdiction 5-11

What are your opinions on the NFL offseason and the AFC East

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shaun Livingston just sign him already

Ok so this might be premature since it likely Marcus Williams will be the starting Guard but when Mullin is the GM nothing is assured. Not only that but CJ Watson is the only Point Guard backing up Marcus williams. So it's probably more then likely Golden State will pursue Livingtson. Reports are saying he's looked good in workouts and considering there really aren't any short term options really worth going after. Livingston wouldn't be ready to play immediately or back to back games because of his knees. But a two year deal and a possible shot at becoming a starting Point and suddenly you have the potential of a Monta and Shaun Livingston backcourt. Monta, a small combo guard could use a complimentary talent like Livingston. The ever reliable Clips nation have come out and said Livingston would come out and with his 6'7 frame would be an excellent backcourt partner for Monta

Defensively when I saw glimpses of him Livingston looked very solid with a Pippen like wing span very important when neither Watson or Williams are excellent at guarding the opposing Point. Livingston is 6'7 plays Point and is a dream for nellie whenever he wants to create matchup problems. The upside and potential are there, as well as his youth. This is really not much more of a risk or financial burden as was the Webber deal so hopefully by tommorow the deal will be sought more closely

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Monta out three months

Won't be doing this for the next three months

ESPN have reported the worst news possible. Monta Ellis out for three months

In the latest blow during a difficult summer for Golden State, has learned that Ellis -- just awarded one of the biggest pay raises in league history -- will be sidelined at least three months, possibly four, after suffering a severe high ankle sprain in his hometown of Jackson, Miss

It really has been a doldrum offseason with nothing happening in August in terms of action. Then out of the blue comes one of the worst scenarios possible your main scoring out threat out until the first month of December. In other words the Warriors will go into this season with Marcus Williams as their starter and CJ Watson and Marco Bellinelli also getting plenty of starting time. Not only can you not forget about the playoffs you can start thinking about tanking as the best case scenario. It also means Maggette and Jackson will get increased minutes.

Of course like when big Warrior news strike the first reaction is to think wht is Mullin thinking now after he made that pay deal. Not saying he should have it obviously Monta is likely to become the face of the franchise and you had to make that contract extension but for a player who we know will become a great offensive player or rather has the potential still is very liable defensively. Perhaps the extent of this ankle injury could trace back to his injury 3 years ago in the Summer League season when he went down on a hard fall and looked like he would be out for a while but there was nothing serious. If it was an injury in his upper body I wouldn't be worried. But Monta Ellis is a guy who relies entirely on his superior athleticism and quickness to be a star basketball player. The two worst possible injuries for a player like Monta Ellis are a knee injury and an ankle injury.

A worst scenario is Steve Francis another player who relieid on his athletiscm but never fully recovered from his constant knee injuries. Lets hope to god that Monta never ever turns out this way

Friday, August 22, 2008

Monta Ellis article

Interesting article over at the Contra Costa times over Monta taking over as Point Guard and being the most relied upon player this season.

"Anytime he's faced with any type of adversity or someone questioning his ability, he uses that as a motivating factor and turns it into a positive," Mullin said. "From where he was drafted to not playing much his rookie year, he's been faced with things already and has taken them head on. He's one of those motivated, mentally tough kind of guys. I have a lot of confidence in him

With his hefty size deal the pressure even more so lies upon Monta but at the young age of 22 he should even be more solid at Point Guard next season. Hopefully he's worked on his defense and developed a long range 3 point shot otherwhise I can't think of two many other improvements to Monta's game. In my eyes his quuickness and athletic ability means he could be on his way to becoming a clone of Tony Parker. His 6 year deal ends in 2014 meaning it will defintely be a good time to judge him career wise.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quick Olympic recap

Don't have much time so I'll be as quick as I can with this

Spain comfortably dispatched Croatia 72-59 that saw Gasol finish with 20-10. For all you stat keepers it was intriguing to note Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol finished with 6 rebounds each.

Yao and China's olympic dream is over as they were dispatched by Lithuania . Sauranas Jasikevicius hit (5 of 6 from 3-point land) to make it a rout

Australia gave the Americans a scare it was 25-24 after one before a 15-0 US run at the start of the 3rd saw the US dispatch the Aussie's 116-85

And finally Argentina and Greece clearly the best game of the quarter finals. I don't know where it was the emotion of the two coaches expressing their anger at some silly shot selection, Ginobilli's incredible play, Carlos Delfino scoring 23 points on efficient shooting (9 of 14 from the field, 5 of 8) from deep but this was the game of the quarter finals. Argentina held on 80-78 thanks to Ginobili!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quarterfinals of the Olympic Basketball competiton


Quarterfinal 1: Spain vs. Croatia
Quarterfinal 2: Lithuania vs. China
Quarterfinal 3: Argentina vs. Greece
Quarterfinal 4: USA vs. Australia

As expected the Redeem team have made it this far without many lingering worries. However they face an aussie side sho can justifiably say they could feel confident after losing narrowly in the last meeting especially without Bogut. However the Americans have to like their strong play at the moment with their defensive intensity recent 3-point shooting, and the fact that their focus appears to be sharper than it was the last meeting with Australia means this game will be physical and intense. If I'm the US I'd be trying to improve their underwhelming free throw percentage of 61.1 percent. They were the second worst shooting team in pool play, finishing better than only Iran.

Did China tank like the other blogs claim so they could avoid trickier ties againstArgentina or the US. It's possible/ After all their coach Jonas Kazlauskas also coached the lithuanian team and China play drum roll Lithuania.

Other then that Argentina and Greece is the best game of the Quarter finals, Russia were the biggest dissapointments as far as Basketball goes, Jason Kidd has been absolutely horrible and Croatia are my choice of underdogs as far as the Tournament goes

Sunday, August 17, 2008

On Vacation

Notice: currently on vacation from the 18-25, but there’ll be at least something going up daily!

USA and Spain I was wrong

Turned out I like a lot of people underestimated just how good this redeem team is. Not only did they brush aside spain one of the favourites for gold but they did so in a such easy manner that right now it's hard to see Argentina or Lithuania giving them a good game. Yes the 15 turnovers were carless but the Spanish had 25. Team USA's half court offense was just fine. Carmelo Anthony showed up and knocked down 3s. Chris Paul was excellent. Tayshaun Prince contributed. LeBron James was LeBron James. And Dwyane Wade served notice yet again.

In fact it was just one of those games where exucution was flawless . They shot 58 percent form the field, 48 percent from three and, for the first time, shot free throws well. They held the Spanish to horrendous percentages and kept them from having any offensive continuity. Despite the mediocre shooting over the opening few games they were 12 of 25 from beyond the arc and 19 of 24 from the line. Nothing wrong with that. Now all that’s left is getting past Germany without any injuries and preparing for the real competition in the medal round.

In closing and loking at the other games congrats to Yao for fufilling China's expectations and adavancing to the to the next round. I expected more from Germany and Russia was a major dissapointment

Thursday, August 14, 2008

USA Crushes Greece sweeping away meories of 06

Two years ago when Team USA and Greece faced off Team USA was virtually stunned by the shooting from the Greece team especially Papadolous and suffered a tough loss. When they tipped off today it almost seemed like Coach K and company were hellbent on making sure Greece wouldn't repeat the upset. And even after the 1st quarter with the Americans up by four this time you got the feeling they were in control. Kidd and Kobe applied fullcourt pressure consistently whilst dribblers were harassed coming down the lane, attacking the drivers and forcing worse passes rather than attacking the passing lanes themselves. But what was noticable a Greek Guard went up for a Layup LeBron or Chris Bosh came up viciously and spiked the ball away with extra aggression.

Transition Defense pretty much was the decisive factor although it didn't feature in the play of the game when D-Wade somehow saved a ball from going out of bounds and lofted a beautiful pass to the rim for a Kobe jam. But it wasn't just this. Wade overall was nothing short of spectacular, finding rebounds against the Greek zone and more importantly driving and dumping off for dunks when the defense reacted. It's too early to judge just how much of an impact he will have on the Heats chances of going deep into May but one things for sure. Already he looks like a replica of himself in 06

Once a flurry of transition scores blew the game open and gave the US a 19-point lead at the half, the contest was all but over. Every time the Greeks managed to string together a few scores in the latter half, Team USA emphatically responded, closing the door. Next up is Spain who boast the second most NBA array of players in this roster. Though the game doesn't matter (Team USA will now get a medal) there is no doubt that Coack K will want to entirely wipe away the memories of the Virgin Islands debacle in 2004 by going through the whole group undefeated

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

USA: 97 Angola:76 and other scores

Some games carry a ring of irony. Yesterdays game between USA and Angola was the first time these two met in the Olympics since the 1992 Dream Teams first ever encounter against the same side. The Dream Team back then won by 68. The 2008 USA team won by 21 although that could be down to the fact that when ahead by 30 they simply eased off a little on the intensity.

There really wasn't a whole lot to rdiscuss from todays game. Even the 12th man on the team Teyshaun Prince got some playing time thats how uncompetitive this fixture was. The Melo detractors got their nights worth of entertainment when Carmelo was posted up and scored on by a much smaller Angolan player. Melo's attempts to get him back were futile when turned the ball over against the very same player. I'm also one of those people who after the 2006 Finals really forgot how good D-Wade was. Then again it's all too easy recaping an easy Amercian victory without looking at the once again miserable shooting from downtown 5-21 and from the Free Throw line 16-26. Not cool. Then again the video below shows how different it was 16 years ago

Baldhead Kid

In other games having watched Iran and Lithuania it's easy to see why Nugget fans appreciate Kleiza. His mean streak combined with deadly shooting meant Lithuania ran away from the Iranians. The Iranians kept it close through one quarter and then got blown out from that point on, particularly in the second quarter when the Lithuanians ripped off a 31-14 run. Lithuania was significantly better in turnovers (16 to 23), steals (18 to 6), and field goal percentage (57% to 31%). Not surprisingly the Lithuanians ended up with a 32-point victory

China somehow lost a 15 point lead against the World Champions Spain all the more difficult to believe when Spains starting Guards Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon, and Jorge Garbajosa combined for 3 points On the flip side Pau Gasol dropped 29 points to remind everyone he can play and Rudy Fernandez threw in 21. They also grabbed 8 boards apiece. That was the deciding factor for the Spanish compared with Yao's 4-12 from the field or Yi putting up 5 points in close to 38 minutes of time. Spain took this one 88-75 in OT.

Croatia beat Russia a big surprise actually. Zoran Planinic Popovic combined for an impressive 42 points. Factor in Stanko Barac's 12 points and that's the bulk of Croatia's final score. Turnovers, steals, and rebounds were roughly a wash. And while the Russians had an advantage in assists (18-11) and a slight edge in 3-pointers made, there was a substantial discrepancy from the free throw line. Croatia was 25 of 29 from the charity stripe, while Russia was 14 of 19.

Greece had no problems with Germany all the more impressive when you think of their bad opening result with Spain. Dirk Nowitzki one of the best players on the planet and Chris Kaman only combined for 6 less points then the Greek scoring duo of Vasileios and Spanoulis. But 19 of 53 from the field (36%) is bad no two ways around it.

Lastly as expected the Argentians who like the Greeks had a dissapointing opening day loss were too much for the Australians.While it may not be all that surprising that Manu Ginobili led his team in scoring with 21 points Brad Mills led the way with 22 points in 24 minutes of time. Other than that Argentina's 3-point shooting advantage (11 of 22 to Australia's 2 of 13) and rebounding edge (37-29) were noticeable as well. The Aussies now have to beat Iran and upset either Russia or Lithuania to even have a prayer of advancing. More likely they would need to win their next three games, a long shot at best.

Monday, August 11, 2008

USA Crushes China although Slow Start caused worries

For the audience of 1 billion watching and China trying to pull off the greatest upset in Olympic Basketball history it was heartning for the Chinese dominated supporters to find them at one stage tied at 29-29. At that stage the Redeem team had yet to find their groove but playing the suffocating Full Court pressure Defense Mike krzyzewski is known for Team USA pulled away with a 20-8 run that closed the half for the US, giving them decisive control of the game. In the third the lead balloneed as the Chinese proved horrible finishing around the rim. Chinese turnovers and missed shots became open court plays for the US which yielded dunks and open layups. Missed shots by Yi and Yao then became the norm. Moving away from the recap Dwayne Wade was a perfect 7-7 from the Field and blew by his opposing Guard regulary but LeBron was the star he simply did things on a court that boggle the mind. His block below was play of the game.

Despite not getting as much hype as some of the other games, the most important first day game was Croatia’s 97-82 win over Australia. In each group three teams are almost sure to advance and one will be lucky to win a game. China and Germany will be fighting for one quarterfinal sport while Croatia and Australia will be dueling for the other.

The Aussies now need to upset Russia, Lithuania or Argentina and hope for an upset or help from a tie-breaker.

In the other two marquee games of the night, Spain overwhelmed Greece 81-66 with their array of NBA talent and a 15-2 run. Linas Kleiza’s 3-pointer with 2.1 left in the game broke a 75 all tie between Lithuania and Argentina, registering the first upset of this tournament.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic Basketball preview

With the mens Basketball tipping off tommorow it's now time to look at a quick preview of each and every contestant. As per usual, the US team is the prohibitive favorite but there are more than a few teams who could take from them their birthright as the world’s best basketball team.


Angola is pretty much the team everyone expects to beat by a Cricket score and it's no surprise here. With 6'8" players posing as centers and 6'7" players manning power forward, Angola will be in for a struggle against the likes of Spain and China. Outside shooting and overall team depth are two other categories the African champions will need to work on before making more headway international progress. The only real positive is that Angola has finished in the top 11 in the last two world basketball championships.

Expected finish Tenth and last place but watch out for Gomes-Cipriano scoring duo, complemented by the shooting of Morais,. Might be the slim chance of them making any noise


Three Countries have won a gold medal in the Olympics USSR, America and Argentina who won it in 2004 the defnding gold medalists. In complete contrast to Angola the firepower Argentina has is largely NBA dominated material Luis Scola of the Houston Rockets, Manu Ginobilli of the San Antonio Spurs (staus is questionable because of an ankle injury) ,Fabricio Oberto, Andrés Nocioni make up the rest. With little youth talent coming through the pressure is on Ginobilli and if time has not yet caught up to this older team. Scola and Oberto are both good bigs in the international game with their ability to hit jumpers, make unselfish passes and do all the cutting, screen-setting and rolling that their offense will generally require.

Expected Finish Defintely a medal but will need to ride their starters into the ground to get gold again.

Croatia Croatia strikes me as the classic "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts" type team. The Croatians love to run and gun and can be carried by a different player on any given night. Like the Australians, I would not predict them to medal. At the same time I would not count them out against any team. Forget the days of Toni Kukoc or Drazen Petrovic (RIP) the days of Croatia throwing out waves of NBA ready talent is gone. Some of their top players include 3-point bomber Marko Popovic, deft ball-handler Roko Ukic, scoring swingman Marko Tomas and Zoran Planinic, a solid point guard with NBA experience.

Expected Finish Probably get to the Quarter finals and get some kind of decent draw otherwhise the lack of firepower will be their undoing


Remember in 2000 when the Lithuanians were one missed 3 point shot away from beating the US. At that time my favourite Lithuanian center of all time - Arvydas freaking Sabonis was on that team. Just a quick Youtube plug

Now back to the team. Scoring guard Arvydas Macijauskas and forward Darius Songaila have been important parts of this team for several years but won’t play in Beijing. They still have players like Euroleague MVP Ramūnas Šiškauskas, a trio of good big men (Robertas Javtokas, and brothers Darjus and Kšyštof Lavrinovič) and star point guard Šarūnas Jasikevičius. Basically three concerns for Lithuania ball handling and the play of Jasikevičius. Against the US, Lithuania struggled in even bringing the ball up the court and were constantly under duress.

Expected Finish A Bronze medal not much hope for any other achievement really.


The lack of any Euorleague/NBA player on this roster is unfortunate and looking at their friendly results shows they should be the uncompetitive for this Tournament. . They've lost to Australia thrice by 29, 44, and 23, they've lost to Croatia twice by 22 and 21, and they've lost 75-46 to China. Sure, they had a pretty close showing against Gold Medalists Argentina (10 point loss), but overall they're not a terrific international team. Samad Bahrami is a 6’7” swing man who is the best Iranian player and Hamed Sohrabnejad is their undersized shooting power forward. Center Hamed Hadadi, who is 7’2”, gives Iran some inside punch and will likely be playing in the NBA soon.

Aside from those three Iran mostly boasts a fleet of guards under 6’4”, some of the shoot-first variety and some pass-first. They did beat a Serbian team with some name players in a pre-Olympic tournament but also got destroyed by China.

Expected Finish Ninth this squad could eventually become decent though with Bahrami and Hadadi could lay the foundations for a potential international powerhouse in the years to come but now they are too young and a short on talent.


This is a wildcard team no more no less. They played great against the US, are coacched by American David Blatt who went to Princeton and his team upset the Spannish and Greeks in the EuroBasket Tournament. Players to watch would be JR Golden (a made for TV Movie waiting to happen and an American who picked up Russian citizenship after finding a home on top club team CSKA Moscow, Andrei Kirilenko and Viktor Khryapa, a talented player with range who just finished a four year stint in the NBA. The rest of the roster is filled out by role players, many also from CSKA, including Sasha Kaun who was a member of the NCAA Champion Kansas Jayhawks last season. The Russian offense is relatively complex with a lot of off-ball cutting and screening that can exploit defenses which don’t maintain focus. There defense is a matchup zone which is a sort of zone-man hybrid.

The biggest question for the Russians is the health of Khryapa. He has a ligament injury in his ankle and his presence on the floor gives them more offensive options and flexibility. Without him, Kirilenko and Holden shoulder more of the offense, a burden which will reduce their effectiveness.

Expected Finish Silver medalists they have good coaching and a good system but their overall talent level means that they probably won’t be able to pull enough upsets to earn gold


Tommorow we see what the Chinese is all about. In the past they have struggled because of the one man show burden but this year will be all different. Yi Jinlan and Sun Yue have developed into somewhat decent second and third options but yao Ming is the go to guy in this one. does have a number of good shooters on its roster (Wang Zhizhi, Zhu Fangyu) and a fair amount of height (three 7-footers). They however do struggle mightily on defense and have an underwhelming collection of guards, whose biggest flaw is that ability to handle the ball.

Their offense will probably around getting the ball to Yao and allowing him to work for shots or find one of the many shooters on the team if the defense concentrates on him. In fact all hopes lie on Yao and his potential 30 points and 15 boards per game otherwhise they would struggle on teams who run the full-court press because of a mediocre backcourt.

Expected finish: Quarter Finalists


Absolutely loaded with Forwards who can shoot the three the short 3 point line is definetely an advantage for Dirk. Newly acquited Chris Kaman is also on the team who is a very good low post scorer who will block shots while Nowitzki is a multi-talented scoring/rebounding/shooting/offensive machine. Howvever don't expect much for the germans the serious weakness is at the Point Guard spot. one defensive minded, and one tiny point guard simply won't cut it against the Jose Calderons of the world. The only shooting guard on the roster is 6'1" and known more for his defense than his offense. This German team can pack a punch on the defensive side of the ball, but it has one of the most one-dimensional offenses of any participating team.

Expected finish Quarterfinals, they need to be better than China to get out of pool play. Two stars are better than one so they probably make it. Beating Lithuania, Russia or Argentina in the quarterfinals is not as likely.


There was the concern with this team that the coaches would rely on Andrew Bogut like the Chinese do on Yao and ultimate face an early exit. After their performance against team USA it’s clear that the Aussie coaches do know what they’re doing.

The Australian team, often called the Boomers, is constructed relatively simply. Bogut is the centerpiece and he is surrounded by talented complementary players. In the front court boasts Euroleaguers Matthew Nielsen and David Anderson (one pf the best big men on the old continent) as well as former NBA player Chris Anstey. Anderson, Bogut and Anstey are all capable of steeping out and hitting jumpers from the international three-point line as well as fighting for rebounds and scoring in the post.

Many have criticized their backcourt but there really is some talent there. C.J.Bruton can run the show, feed the post and the like, while Patrick Mills had a great game against the US despite not hitting jumpers. Brad Newley is a nice slasher from the 3 spot and he is backed up by a plethora of players who seem to fit well in the offense, hitting a few open shots, making the right cut and other things that make the action run smoother.

Expected Finish I think this team could be ready for a medal. They have the talent and coaching for a sustained run but will need to jump Russia, Lithuania or Argentina to avoid a quarterfinals game against the US, Spain or Greece which they would almost surely lose.


Fresh off defeating the US in the 2006 World Championships The team comes to being with a more experience and a few minor alterations as one of the top contenders.

Gone from the 2006 squad is dreadnaught center Lazaros Papadopoulos. In his stead is a three headed monster at the center spot. Ioannis Bouroussis provides shot blocking and defense while Kostas Tsartsaris can shoot and provide finesse scoring. Sofoklis Schortsanitis brings power post scoring, is excellent in the pick-and-roll and uses his 375 pounds to set some very solid screens.

Antonis Fotsis is a supremely talented power forward who can shoot, score and rebound and Panagiotis Vasilopoulos plays the role of defensive menace. The best scoring guard on the team is slashing guard Vasileios Spanoulis who spent time in the NBA and has improved his long range shooting tremendously in the last two years.

The best part of this team is its point guard unit which ranks with the US and Spain as the best in this world. Dimitris Diamantidis is a tall point guard known for his tenacious defense (he blocked a Tim Duncan shot in an exhibition) and can effectively play both guard spots.

The best Greek player is veteran Theodoros Papaloukas who at 6’7” can play the one, two and three spots and is considered one of the best players not in the NBA. His 12 assists helped slay the US in 2006 and he will likely cause matchup issues against smaller American players.

In terms of style the Greeks can throw a lot at opponents. They play great defense and, with the departure of Papadopoulos, can now employ more aggressive presses. They also are running more (in the past they reserved running for key games like facing the US) and are no slouches in the half-court either.

The Greeks crushed everyone they faced in the qualifying tournament, winning every game by at least 20 points. One of the biggest edges Greece has is the ability to slow the game down and force top teams like the US and Spain out of their comfort zones.

Also, Fran Fraschilla call them the best team in the world, emphasizing team every time he says it. What this means for them is beyond me, but it is worth noting.

Expected Finish: Gold, this is the best defensive team in Beijing and has proven that they can hang with the Americans.


Talent is the key for this team as they have the second most in the Olympics behind Team USA. They simply boast a bevy of current former and future NBA players, many whose games are built for international play.

They like to play fast, relying on aggressive zones and presses to force turnovers. They key for the team, however, is just how loaded they are at every position.

Swingman Rudy Fernández is a pure scorer and with guard Juan Carlos Navarro give Spain penetrating ability and shooting.

Felipe Reyes, Jorge Garbajosa and the Gasol brothers are a versatile front court which will be important against the smaller US power forwards. Pau Gasol is a force in the post but Garbajosa may be the key as his ability to run pick-and-pops and post skills will cause fits for opposing power forwards.

Many are keeping and eye on Ricky Rubio, a young point guard who may go first in the 2009 draft, since he can make eye-popping plays. José Calderón’s performance, however, will be much more important as he will be trusted to run the offense against a slew of aggressive defenses.

If, against the US, he can show the same care with the ball (i.e. few turnovers) that he did in the NBA, it could be game changing because the Americans rely heavily on running after turnovers. Take away those takeaways and the US scoring machine will sputter badly.

This team got to Beijing with wins over Greece and Argentina in the World Basketball championship. Their last Olympic trip was a nightmare as they went 5-0 in pool play with wins over gold and silver medal winners Argentina and Italy but were upset by a 3-2 US team in the quarter finals.

Best case finish: Gold, they have the talent, but do they have the will and the coaching to get it done?


Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

For the US team that crown is the expectation of this team’s destiny. They are expected to beat every team like they are Angola. Any moment of weakness is jumped on as a sign that they are not as good as their predecessors and why America is falling behind in its own game.

Gold is seen as this team’s birthright and few teams before have dealt more with a situation where second place is indeed first loser.

Is this fair? Probably not. But the team seemed to take it as a challenge, calling themselves the “Redeem Team” and promising to reclaim gold and the superiority that comes with it. Our game can be ours for another four years before the world comes after it again.

The newest question for them is about the construction of the team. Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer were added because they were skilled power forwards, but then LeBron and Carmelo Anthony where played at the four spot.

Only one shot blocker (Dwight Howard) was taken to Beijing but after a few games it seems that more shot blocking is needed since this team tries so frequently to jump passing lanes.

This team as it is currently built plays smaller than its predecessors but is also more versatile. It still doesn’t run much of an offense but there is usually more patience in forcing the zones to move and looking for holes instead of driving blindly into three or for opponents. A large number of their points come from runouts and open court plays made after turnovers, block and even made baskets.

The addition of Michael Redd provides the dead eye shooting the US lacked in 2004 and has already shown a feel for finding open spots in the perimeter of zones.

Defensively this team is as it always is, not adapting to opposing offenses but looking for quick takeaways to feed the running machine. At times in the exhibition season they used their size and strength to throw off cutters, harass dribblers and disrupt rather than gamble. If coach K can harness that and apply it consistently, the US will be much further on its path to gold.

With players like Kobe Bryant, James, Anthony, Wade, Chris Paul and Howard the US should be the favorite and rightly is. It’s still a Tiger Woods situation, the US against the field. The difference is that there are three knockout round games the US needs to win.

They control their own destiny in that they will likely be better in terms of talent than any team they face. One slip up, however, and the humiliation and questions abound for another four years

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grading the Offseason

The Warriors didn't plan on the upcoming season without Baron Davis but unlike other Front Offices they were prepeared to make a risk by signing Monta, Biedrins and stay well under the Luxury Tax. Baron was set to make 17 milliion in 2008 one of the reasons the Trade exception was let go even though a Power Forward or backup Point Guard would increase Barons producivity such would be the less minutes he would play.

The misfortune of this move lies in the fact the Warriors were never seemingly ointerested in becoming contenders. With the expiration of the Trade Exception and the decision not to trade their current draft picks for immediate help (could turn out to be a very good thing), the Warriors basically said to Baron that they will try to win with the same group of guys and not pay the Luxury Tax. For Baron the lack of any signifant addition at that time combined with just resgning a few players wasn't going to it for him. His deal signed with the Clippers virtually confirmed his belief not only he was he more interested in playing back in his hometown but they were more contending material (they had Brand at the time).

With Baron out the Warriors realistically were never going to reach the same heights of last year and this year. So lets chronicle each of their moves Mullin has made to attempt to rebuild his way through this patch.

Drafting Anthony Randolph Randolph was an easy pick because he was the best player available at the time the Warriors picked even though most had him in the 8-13 range. I was surprised as many the Kings opted to take Jason Thompson instead but time will tell whether they made the right decision. He was touted as a #5 pick but he had a horrible combine reportedly poor workouts and psychological testing, coupled with his slight frame and lackluster statistics. Then again as judged by the number of teams that went for the allgedly safer pick the fact that for once the Warriors ignored a definite bust DeAndre Jordan means top marks to Mullin here.

Randolph is in my eyes a younger version of Lamar Odom. He played Point for a few plays in Summer League and he was unblieivably quick at bringing the ball up the court he's wiry strong and very aggressive going to the rack. He's able to take contact and finish, as well as make his free throws. He could be a mismatch nightmare for teams. Pack that talent into an agile 6'-10" frame (still growing?) and you have the ultimate Nellie-ball weapon

Grade A-

Drafting Richard Hendrix

With the second round pick this was actually an easy choice because another big man that seemingly filled their needs was right there Richard Hendrix. One of the attributes Hendrix carried in College was toughness and consistency in one of College Basketball's best Conferences. We didn't see too much of him in Summer League because of injury but in the few games he did play ion depsite playing at less then 100% he managed to pull down 21.2 reb/48 min, 2.23 blk/48 min, and 1.67 stl/48 min. His bulk, instincts, and tenacity to collect rebounds at a high rate as well as block some shots and bang with the bigs is a valuable asset to this team.


Grade B+

Trade exception not being used Unfortunately this is the most underated mistake of the offseason. When Richardson was traded the Warriors gained a 10 million trade exception that could have been used in so many ways at the backup Point Guard Spot or a Power Forward but unfortunately the conservative nature of the Front Office struck when they decided not to risk spending further so they would have enough money to resign Monta and Biedrins without getting luxury tax. the Warriors had an owner more concerned about building a winner rather than maximizing short term profits, the Trade Exception would have been used

Grade D-

Baron Davis opts out The Front office can be held for 50/50 blame here but at the same time they didn't want to committ to a long term deal with Baron and rightly so considering his injury history. Baron wasn't feeling the love and because the organization wasn't making an all-out effort field the best team possible for a title run, Baron Davis decided to forgo his final season of his contract, leave $17 million on the table, and agree to join the Clippers and Elton Brand (or so he thought).

The Warriors tried to offer the max for Gilbert Arenas and did the same for Elton Brand but both were soundly rejected. Baron went and the Warriors got nothing except Maggette from the Clippers. No ones fault but you just had to feel Golden State could have got something more productive in return.

Grade C+

Signing Corey Maggette Maggette is a one dimensional injury prone who won't make the Warriors better. It's that simple and shows the panic nature of the Front office whenever the top two sought after Free Agents leave. Fortunately he won't be the go to guy this year because of his limited game, lack of defense, and the fact that he doesn't make his teammates better. Rather then Mullin go after Josh Smith, Andre Iogudala or a younger player with more upside he chose to overpay for an efficent but injury prone player who's approaching the waning years of his career. Even JR Smith would have been an improvement. Hey if Nelson can turn around the careers of Davis and Jackson he coud do the same thing here. No vision here for the future here means the Warriors will be stuck with a pricey player and in the worst place possible mid to late Lottery pick rather the potentially rebuild with a core of youngsters and see what happens.

Grade D-

Signing Ronny Turiaf Whether you like it or not once Turiaf was offered the offer sheet by Mullin because of the size of it it was inevitable the fun loving Martiniquian would be heading to the Bay Area. Though I dsilike the Lakers Turiaf's energy, hustling for loose balls, Rebounding and cheering on his teammates even when they were going through a dry spell was ineffectious to me . Going away from his playing quality throughout this long and upcoming year Turiaf will look to contribute through his well known sense of humour that can keep everybody's spirits high and encourage teammates when the going gets tough. He's slated to be Biedrins' primary backup, but can also play the PF as well. He gives the Dubs the well known big body that has been misisng for several years plus his mid-range game is solid allowing him to play with either Wright or Biedrins as a complimentary frontcourt mate.

Trading for Marcus Williams I liked this move probably because it's the most underated aspect. Williams was labelled the best Point guard from the 2006 draft (not saying an awful lot) but despite being labelled as the backup to Monta expect him to start at the 1 for a few games while Monta moves to the 2. Here's hoping he has success for Nellieball. He could be an important part of the youngsters base . The Warriors have two seasons to see how he will fit into the system and I'm sure his ability to run the fast break, find the open guys, and knock down threes will help him become a part of the Warriors' future. Although Javaris Crittenton or Kyle Lowry would have been a better addition this was a low risk move.

Grade: B+

Matching Kelenna Azubuike Could you imagine two former Dubs on a division rival. But in all seriousness Mullin had to match. Compared with Maurice Evans even though both stat eise are virtually the same it was the right move to match. In a few years he has all the potential to fill the shoes Richardson left because of his productivity. Ccoring, rebounding, perimeter shooting, and clutch play combined with timely Rebounding Azubuike is a rare smart player in Nellieball. Combined with plenty of upside, a lack of injuries his contract is very reasonable

Grade B+

Monta Ellis resigned Obviously this had to happen otherwhise the number of empty seats in the Oracle for next season would be evident and even with the hefty size of the deal Monta's playmaking ability as well as singlehandedly winning 4 or 5 games last year meant it was a case that Mullin had to show the money. I would be lying if I said it wasn't worried. He has to make the transition to Point Guard and earn Iverson handles as well as playing tight rather then lazy Defense, For a 23 year old he's now forced to be the number 1 option after Baron Davis's departure, The Former Most Improved player now has the task of becoming the leader assuming a Stephen Jackson role . He has to fight through screens, move his feet, and use his world-class quickness to stay in front of him but most importantly he has to try and become an All Star even as a reserve. This team hasn't had one since Sprewell and if he increases his PPG average to 24 and 25 he would earn consideration. Ellis is the fastest player in the NBA, is unstoppable 1-on-1 in transition, and is among the best finishers in the league

With his contract paying him 11 million per year somewhat hefty for a guy who hasn't proven he's clutch develop into a franchise player that makes his teammates better, he will be well worth his contract of 6 years / $66 million.

Grade A-

Signing Anthony Morrow The revelation of the Summer League and good enough to earn a mimimum deal with the team Morrow because of his size plays SG and Forward in Nelsons system but what put the pen to paper was his 3 point shooting percentage from downtown but was also apt at rebounding, blocking shots, and doing a decent job on the defensive end. The positive really is Bellinelli gets increased competition to avoid being passed up in the depth chart by this specialist that hits outside shots at a higher rate, is bigger, and has better rebounding and defensive abilities. We shall see.

Grade B-

Re-signing Biedrins 6yrs/63 million

Another young player locked up for market value. After years of suffering with Dampier and Foyle dropping passes... watching Andris play has been a joy to watch. He has soft hands, great feet, and a knack for scoring underneath. On the defensive side he is a very good rebounder and changes shots... if only the refs gave him some respect instead of tagging him with BS fouls. He's still very young at 22 and we haven't even see him come close to realizing his potential until Nelson leaves or commits to playing him for 30 minutes and running a few plays for him. Before we got Harrington and Jackson.. Biedrins was developing a solid low post game. He's one of best young bigs and he already has 4 years of NBA experience and is a proven double double guy in limited minutes.

For some this off-season could be seen as a disaster, but outside of overpaying Maggette (which is the main knock on the deal $$$$, not Maggette himself) Mullin did a great job this off-season, IMO. Sure we lost BD... but we were losing WITH him. You play to win Championships and Mullin has set the team up this season to be balanced, flexible, and and competitive even with so many young players. He has certainly learned from his mistakes in the past and us Warrior fans will be looking back at this off-season as the beginning of a new era.

Overall Grade C+

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Golden State Warriors 2008-2009 Schedule released

The schedule of the 2008-2009 NBA season was released today and from a Warriors perspective there were mixed news. From the opener against the New Orleans Hornets to the closer against the Phoenix Suns you could say compared with last years the differences are pretty notable.

Opener We open up against the Hornets which is a rough opener to the season especially against Chris Paul. On the other hand our next few games would be a little easier Nets away, Grizzlies home and away, Denver at home followed by the Kings away and finally Minnesota at home. Point being no excuses for an 0-6 start this year. Alas the road trip part is a bummer 24 of the first 38 games will be at an opposing teams arena. If Monta has a tough stick it to em mentality the Warriors could be a decent road team.

China I guess the NBA's attempts to popularize the sport are going Asian. The Warriors play two preseason games in China though after hosting the Olympic Basketball attempts that contains the best from the NBA I don't see why the NBA is furthing events there when Irish viewers have no means of access to watching the games. But hey thats the NBA for you!. However I guess the only benefit of these trips would be giving many players a culture surprise even though none would probably display the ignorance of one West Brom Footballer who said upon visiting the Great Wall "Seen one wall seen them all"

National TV I'm sure Charles barkely had a say in the Warriors broadcast this year as the Warriors were almost shafted by the TNT crew. They still have had 8 national TV games 7 ESPN 1 TNT but it seems pretty low compared to last years.

Circle your Calendars Should Greg Oden remain healthy what a treeat it will be to watch him play. His first trip to the East bay with Portland is November 18th, I don't feel too strong about Dunleavy and Murphy making their retuen but it's the 11th January, Pietrus comes here December 15th not that anyone cares, A nice little dual matchup awaits us January 23rd with Le Bron James and the Cavs followed by Baron Davis's return to the Bay Area two days later. Right after Christmas day come the Boston Celtics.

Last game Normally the last game is a hundrum affair. But unless rennovations to Phoenix's US Airways Centre are happenning at the 15th April why is it that the Warriors are playing at the Staples Center?

Warriors 2008-2009 Season Schedule

Olympic Basketball Preview

My original idea of compiling reports on all the 2008 Beijing Olympic Basketball participants sadly came to and end simply because these reports take a lot of time to compile and as of right now I do not have such energy. So I decided to cut it down and just focus on the main country that everyone will be paying attention to a country that is looking for payback after the 6th place World championship finish in 2002, A Bronze medal in 2004 at the Athens Olympics and a truly dissapointing loss to Greece in the 2006 World Championships. Everyone knows who they are Team USA.

Ever since they suffered the travesty of the loss in 1972 to the then Soviet Union USA Basketball was on a roll including the Dream Teams. Actually one of the few things International Basketball and the NBA have in common would be good shooters and Centers. The 1992 Dream team featured centers David Robinson and Patrick Ewing to go along with shooters Chris Mullin and Larry Bird. In 1994, centers Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning were joined by shooters Reggie Miller and Mark Price, In 1996, Dream Team The Sequel featured three centers in Robinson, O'Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon and shooters Miller and Mitch Richmond whilst in 2000 arguably our worst Gold medal team had the shooters in Ray Allen, Allan Houston and Steve Smith, but only one center in Mourning.

And yet with all the attention Coach K and the staff have given to the preparation of this team the real embarassment lies in the fact we only have one Center Dwight howard. Because of the five foul rule having an extra Center is neccessary for extra security and the allowance for tipping in shots still touching the rim. Most international teams have a zone yet Michael Redd is the only pure shooter out there. (Melo, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Tayshaun Prince) and point guards (Jason Kidd, Deron Williams and Chris Paul are all talented in their unique way but if you want Toughness and hard nosed play a prequisite for international ball you take Chauncey Billups. Rather then take Prince why not take Stoudemire a bruising Power Forward. Inclusions like that virtually gurantee gold.

Just to virtually sum up my feeling as to how I don't think the US is guranteed gold one bit ESPN's Chris Sheridan

Porous defense, inside and outside. Abysmal 3-point shooting. Bad free-throw shooting. Sloppiness with the ball."


"They need to play smarter, they need to play better, and they need to get a grip on the fact that there are going to be nights when mistakes, hubris and failed defensive execution are going to put them in grave danger."

Against teams like Angola or even the Chinese they probably will get away with the One on one Basketball they employ. But against teams like spain or Argentina the question is will they do the same tactic?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Contrary to what Talking Points thinks Josh Smith is worth going after

I usually don't read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog all that much nor do I really care for it. On the other hand the other day his latest post on josh Smith was just off base. There are so many ways in which I believe Smith sill help the Warriors in the unlikely event he does sign. Quoting from his text I will debunk the points.

1. The Warriors are (at least) one excellent player short of sure-fire playoff contention… but I’m not at all sure that Smith is That Player.

In fact, I think the Warriors do not believe he is that player. Smith is only 22 and he does many good things (big-time shot-blocker, decent rebounder, OK passer, can run the floor and finish) but he’s a career 44.5% shooter and that is not exactly your definition of a low-post scorer

Well lets not forget the guy came straight from high school so therefore measuring his shooting stats as a negativity was never going to work. Though there have been exceptions playing against the best players in the world would leave anyone overwhelmed. Once he works on his low post game his shooting percentages will go up along with an improved shot selection. If you take into account his overall low post Shooting percentage is 59% the defintion of a low post scorer in my eyes.

For a team that seems directionless and doesn't know where it's going josh Smith would be the best fit of the offseason especially since every team in the West and East had at least one feared big man. Amith will continue to bulk up and add muscle as his body matures, allowing him to do a better job against the bigger PF's of the NBA. He finished 6th in Defensive player of the year and with his shotblocking it's only a gurantee he wins it one day.

Smith is probably not worth giving up Wright–whom the Warriors love, remember–and giving away Harrington–whom Mullin loves.

The Warriors believe Wright, who is two years younger, will end up doing many of the same things Smith does now, but more efficiently and definitely more inexpensively (for now).

And as I’ve typed often, Mullin isn’t giving Harrington away, even if Don Nelson would like him to. If Mullin is going to give up Wright and Harrington, he’s going to want someone he’s sure can get him into the playoffs and maybe win him a round

Wright is a railthin guy who going by his summer League performancces hasn't made any improvements to his game and will never gain enough weight to be able to take and dish out the punishment that Smith can. He reminds me of a younger version of Joe Smith. Unlike Hendrix he's not a good rebounder and is a finnese big man which the Warriors don't need. and goes to the line at a rate of 5.1 FTA per 48 min. as compared to Josh Smith's 7.8 FTA per 48.

Trading Harrington for Smith means you have a Playoff team that won't go very far but solidifies a core of youngsters that can defintely go places. Smith can play Defense and Rebound two things Harrington dissapointed at. It seems like whatever Don wants, Don gets (see O'Bryant, Dunleavy, Murphy, Diogu, etc.). If he doesn't like Harrington, Mullin shouldn't have any problems moving him based on his recent history. By the way, does Mullin know Smith's another lefty?

3. Smith’s contract would be huge–possibly larger than the 6-year, $66M deal the Warriors just gave Monta Ellis, and I believe it’s very important to Monta that he’s the highest-paid Warriors player.

VERY IMPORTANT to Monta. I cannot emphasize that one any more than I already have.

The Warriors carefully kept Corey Maggette’s F/A deal and Andris Biedrins’ RFA deal under Ellis’ deal. That was market rate (or in Maggette’s case, slightly above), but it also gave Mullin room to come on top of them both with Ellis’ deal

Did Monta ever indicate he wanted to be the Warriors highest paid player. Didn't seem so in my eyes. Because of his humble background you get the feeling Monta is just proud to be part of it all and because of that isn't egotisitcal. I very much doubt Ellis would start sobing if Smith got a higher contract. He would probably welcome the fact that unlike Maggette the Warriors finally have a low post player that puts them back in the Playoff mix. Asd for Maggette and Biedrins their deals were below Monta because it's quite simple. None of them deserve to be paid more then Monta Maggette is overpaid, but Biedrins is receiving a good deal from the Warriors perspective. Josh Smith on the other hand. younger, has better size for his position as a SF/PF, is bigger box-office draw, has a big impact on defense, rebounds, is an under-rated passer, and has shown improvement on his offensive game.

Monta should welcome the addition of Josh Smith, no matter what it takes to get him into a Warriors uniform. Together, they would make the Warriors the most exciting team in the NBA.

4. Smith’s deal, probably at more than $11M a year, would screw up the Warriors’ finances into the future–and again, they have carefully planned to give themselves room in the future.

We go back to that issue–is Smith That Player? Is he Brand, KG or a Young Baron? No, he’s not that good.

The Warriors are trying to set themselves up to have lots of young talent and have room next season to add one more big salary, if that’s the guy who coalesces everything, the way KG did for Boston and Steve Nash did for Phoenix a few years ago.

I’ll say it again: Josh Smith isn’t that guy, not when they’ve already spent $50M on Maggette, $54M on Biedrins, $17M on Ronny Turiaf and $66M on Ellis.

Just pure stupid. Smith is only 22 so to say he's not on the level of Brand or KG is ridiculous. In a few years he has every chance of becoming the next big man star. If Maggette wasn't overpaid the Warriors would possibly land one of the superstars when 2010 arises. As of now they will have to make do with going after Josh Smith the young talent that is perfect for the system. They won't be able to land LeBron, Kobe, or Wade in 2010 so why not go after an undervalued Josh Smith.

Oh and unlike Monta who has yet to really produce in crunch time Smith has produced as the best defensive team in the League the Boston Celtics found out

5. Smith doesn’t quite fit the Warriors’ system, either.

He could fit it, I guess. That’s not out of the question. But ideally, a Nellie big man either can shoot threes or can score at a high % on the low post or can stuff the other team’s monster big man.

I’m not sure Smith does any of those things. He’s not an on-ball smother guy–he likes to guard weaker offensive players and then come swooping in to swat the shots from the better players. He’s not a great jumpshooter, but he likes to shoot. Too much.

He put up 99 three-pointers last year and made 25. He also is a high-turnover guy–3 per game last year. That’s no good. (Harrington and Biedrins were both at 1.1 TOs/game last year. Ellis was 2.1) In a fast system, that, to me, equals a potential tall 39% shooter with 4.5 TOs a game.

Well to me Smiths versatility is what would make him fit in Nellieball. His length and shot blocking ability will make him a key piece in the chaotic defensive style meant to harass the opponents into mistakes that trigger transition buckets plus he could play 3 positions. His shooting percentage has increased the 4 years he's played in the NBA unlike harrington our best big shooting man During his first 7 years in the league, he shot a dismal 24.4% from 3 point land. In Smith's first 4 years, he is shooting 26.3% from three. Yes it needs plenty of work but he shot 59% in the low post and will ecel what the Warriors are good score in transition.

6. I don’t think Atlanta would accept the Wright/Harrington package, even if it’s sweetened.

The Hawks are dumb, but they’ve already lost RFA Josh Childress to a Greek team. They built a high level (for them) of excitement last season around Smith, Horford, Joe Johnson, Childress and a little bit of Mike Bibby.

It’d be awful if they lost both Childress and Smith, playing a RFA system in which almost nobody loses high-quality RFAs. You’re not supposed to lose RFAs that are stars. They lost one. They’re not going to lose Smith and it’ll take more than Brandan Wright–I think–to pry Smith loose.

Trading Wright, Harrington, Belinelli and Perovic means unlike the current Hawks you have a team that at least has a core of youngstersand has a vague idea of what they will do. Atlanta get rid of Speedy Claxton and Josh Smith. With Belinelli and perhaps Perovic for depth at Center would send them scrabbling for a pen. If they want, they can also have Watson to help at PG. With Smith wanting to leave Atlanta this would be an ideal time to trade him.

Tim Kawakami makes the mistake of thinking that Josh Smith is a finished product. This is far from the truth and to assert that a 22 year old, athletically gifted player with no college experience has essentially reached his full potential is short-sighted, irresponsible, and flat-out wrong. This is more of an acquisition for the future than it is for the present, but the Warriors are an even better team immediately with the addition of Smith. Hopefully, Mullin comes around to the same thinking.