Monday, February 26, 2007

Patrick Ewing-itis

Most of you reading this blog (all 3 of you) are probably wondering what "Patrick Ewing-itis" is and how I came about this term.

As we all know Mr. Ewing was a heck of a center for the New York Knickbockers. Ewing was everything. He was handsome, incredible, he wrestled bears....okay sorry off track but anyway.

As good as he was, I can remember times (1999 NBA Playoffs) where Good Ole' Pat was too banged up to play. It was always terrible news to hear, but it seemed to me the Knicks at times would play better without him.

Yes, that's right. Sometimes the Knicks played better without Patrick Ewing the future Hall-of-Famer. Where the Knicks honestly a better team without Pat? (They evidentually thought so as they would trade away Ewing in the coming years. Big mistake.)

The point of this Ewing story has to do with the LSU Tigers upset against the #3 ranked Florida Gators 66-56 Saturday afternoon.

I know I have heard it a million times since LSU won that game, "Is LSU a better team without Glen Davis?"

Well folks I am here to give you the answer to why this "illusion" has come up.

Big Baby is the focal point of the offense. That's a solid given. The number one weapon for this LSU squad is Big Baby.

Of course having Big Baby on LSU is a terrific thing to have (18 ppg, 10 rpg), but in some cases it can hinder a team. I do not feel players like Garrett Temple are not trying as hard with Davis in the game, I simply feel Temple steps back and says, "Okay the main thing is to get the ball to Glen. If I have some open shots I will take them."

Without Big Baby Saturday, players such as Temple and Terry Martin were able to really do whatever. I almost like to think LSU was pushed into a corner by a bully and they just snapped and attacked back.

The combinaton Big Baby not being the focal point of the offense and being in desperation mode is why the LSU Tigers were so successful Saturday against the Florida Gators. The fact of it is, the team was relying too much on Davis when they should not have. Hopefully when Big Baby returns we will see an LSU team attacking from all areas of the court...not a team that relies on Big Baby's play alone.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Passing of Greatness

This past year in the NBA has been one filled with many tragic losses. In roughly four months some of the most recognizable figures in the league's history have passed away.

On October 28, 2006, the well-known basketball god Red Auerbach passed away from a heart attack five weeks after his 89th birthday. During his tenure as the Celtic's head coach, Auerbach impressively won 9 NBA titles, including 8 straight from 1959-1966. His impact on the game will be remembered for his ability to consistently build winning teams in Boston. Auerbach branched great basketball generations across the board from Bill Russell to John Havlichek to Dave Cowens to Larry Bird. In 2001, Auerbach came back to the Celtics after having been retired since 1997. Again, he brought the magic backb by guiding Boston to the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals.

On December 12, 2006, one of the original founders of the present day NBA passed away at the age of 78 in his sleep. Paul Arizin played his entire career with the Philadelphia Warriors (1950-1962) and was elected as one of the 50 Greatest NBA Players in 1996. An inspiration for all who live with asthma, Arizin played in a time when the dunk first was introduced. He is known for saying that in the early ages if someone tried to dunk on you, you tried to take their legs out. In 1959, Arizin helped the Warriors when their first NBA title. For his career, "Pitchin' Paul" averaged 23 points and 9 rebounds, respectively.

The most recent passing of a NBA legend, was easily the most shocking. On February 22, 2007, Dennis "DJ" Johnson passed away after NBA Development League practice for the Austin Toros. Johnson died at the age of 52. Commonly throughout his career, the quick-witted defender was overlooked by more known stars around him. After winning an NBA title and Finals MVP award in 1979 with the Seattle SuperSonics, Johnson played one more year before heading to Phoenix for three years. His last stint of his career is Johnson's most well known. As a Boston Celtic, Johnson was featured alongside Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, Johnson did nothing less than fit in perfectly with Red Auerbach's team. In 1984 and 1986, DJ provided the key ingredients for championship teams. One of his most shining moments was against the Detroit Pistons in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals. Few seconds remained when Detroit looked to pass the ball in with a one point lead. On the inbounds the pass was stolen by Bird who quickly dished it out to DJ for the game winning basket. In his NBA tenure, Johnson averaged 14 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds per game, respectively.

The NBA will greatly miss these 3 extraordinary men...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Season Rests on His Shoulders

The LSU Tigers men's basketball team is in a situation no one would have imagined. One season removed from the improbable Final Four run, the Tigers are fighting for their lives to get into the NCAA Tournament.
24 games into the season, the team has a record of 14-10 (3-7). Up until this past Saturday, LSU was on a six game losing streak that included four losses by single digits.
As a fan I can not help but look at the team's schedule and wonder how different things would of been had Georgia not hit that game winning three pointer, or if Alabama did not make that improbable late second half run. Brady's Bunch could easily have an SEC record of 5-5, but here they are 3-7. I guess the more I think about it things could be worse. A prime example would be how the Tigers were able to pull a victory out against Arkansas. If the team lost their focus in that game we could easily be looking at a 2-8. But they are 3-7 and nothing can be changed.
Most experts have the Tigers written off as far as getting an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. I on the other hand just got a shot of confidence watching the team this past weekend.

Why you ask?

Glen Davis

Throughout the season Big Baby has had his difficult games. (Against Tennesse he put only 5 points.) But in the last week John Brady asked for someone on this struggling LSU squad to step up. Somebody needs to grab the reins of this out of control team and take it under his wing. No man is more perfect than Davis. Going into Wednesday's game against the 16-8 (5-5) Ole Miss Rebels, Davis will be averaging an impressive 18 points and 11 rebounds per game.
All year long this Tiger team has been inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball. Aside from Davis and Tasmin Mitchell, the scoring has not really been that heavily present. Even so Davis knows the situation his team is in. He knows every game is a playoff match, and that alone gives me the feeling Davis is going to continue to put up exceptional numbers.

When I say exceptional I do not mean 18 points and 11 rebounds. Big Baby realizes all eyes are on him so you can expect the big fellow to be pulling down stats around 20 points and 15 rebounds a game.

As lousy as the season has been for this team. There is still a chance for things to change for the better.

For your information, LSU's remaining games are @ Ole Miss, Mississippi State, @ Kentucky, Florida, @ Auburn, and South Carolina. LSU can beat Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, and South Carolina. If the team can stay focused each week and manage to pull off an upset against Kentucky or Florida than maybe, just maybe March Madness will be in Baton Rouge once again...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Hostile Feelings

World War II ended 15,000 days ago (about 41 years) prior to my birth. It was a time the world was in pain. A time that still haunts millions of us across the globe.
Even though I was never around for the actual war, or for that matter really sat down and talked to someone in that war, I still have strong feelings towards a specific subject.


As it is commonly known the nation of Germany was lead by dictator Adolf Hilter and his Nazi political party. And what is also known is behind his leadership the Germans sought to exterminate the planet of all Jewish people.

This is were my deep feelings lie.

During the Holocaust it is estimated between 6-9 million Jews were killed. Reread that several times if you would like.

That is the equivalent of wiping out the city of New York. Just think of that.

I understand I was never around during WWII, but honestly I still have a grudge against the Germans in some regards. Now I am not angry at my generation Germans. I am upset at the WWII generation. You think the WWII German veterans disagree with what they did? No. You think they regret the actions they took? No.

That thought alone baffles me.

Yes, I understand Hitler was so influential, but does there not come a certain point when morality kicks in? Would you not think to yourself, "I am supporting the killing of children and women. This is wrong!"

I try and think of the one group of people I hate the most on this planet. The Al-Qaeda terrorists. In my angriest state I would want to have them all executed, but the mothers and children? No! Germany did just that. They executed men, women, and children.

In September of 1941 in Babi Yar, a city in Ukraine, the Germans performed one of the most horrifying acts in human history. In the midst of two days, Nazi troops lined up Jews living in Ukraine and shot them all. Thousands were told to congregate at a public place for a town meeting. Before the citizens were able to realize what was going on, machine guns were being fired.

During this 2 day massacre, 37,000 Ukrainians were killed.

37,000 in 2 days.

That is why I can never understand a joke made about the Holocaust. The Holocaust is by far one of the most Satanic acts ever performed by man.

In time I can only hope I will be able to forgive the Germans of that era. As of now, I still am angered by the acts they performed. And worst of all, the people who supported them.

Critics Silenced; Manning Triumphs

I sometimes am dumbfounded by just how much I enjoy the Super Bowl. I will never again play on an organized fully padded football team, much less the an NFL team, much less for an NFL team in the Super Bowl. With that said, I feel the true reason I am so passionate about the Super Bowl is the mere fact it is one game.
There is not a 7 game series going on, it is one game. One simple game that can define a player's career. For 60 minutes two teams will battle it out for the ultimate prize: glory.
The weather for the game was definitely something we all could of done without. While others were busy expressing their sorrow about having such a pretigious game played in such lousy weather, I was busy admiring warriors battle it out on a cold, wet field.
It was not pretty, but the Colts did win the game 29-17. Manning threw an early INT, but after that the Tennessee Vol grad stayed on the top of his game. In a way I feel this win is pure sweetness. For years, everyone has been waiting for Manning to finally win the Super Bowl. He's a nice guy and a great player so the public got behind him. Numerous times the Colts slipped up. Too be honest, after losing to the Steelers last year I begin to think Manning would never win the big one.

After each heartbreaking postseason loss the finger always managed to be pointed at #18. No matter the outcome, he was at fault. We have all heard the criticism...

"Manning sets the records, Brady wins the Super Bowls."

"He's a great QB, but come postseason he can't get it done."

"Manning is this generation's Dan Marino."

If case you have not noticed, Manning can. The monkey sitting on his back was finally knocked off. First with an AFC Championship victory over the New England Patriots. The most remarkable thing about that game was the simple fact Indy was dead. They were down 21-3, but somehow some way they came back and won.

With a ticket to the Super Bowl, Manning and Co.'s ultimate dream was in reach. Aside from an opening kickoff return, Indy was in control most of the game.

It was not pretty, it was not flashy, it was a win. A win in the biggest game of their lives. In particular Peyton Manning's life...

Congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts on winning the 2007 Super Bowl.