Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Clearly the Cap Does Not Fit


Even the late, great Johnnie Cochran could see I did not receive the hat I was supposed to. Due to the mishap, I have sent The Online Store of the Orlando Magic the following email:
Hello. I have a problem regarding my recent order _____ which was for a #1412 Varsity Fit Hat. [link to page]

I received my package today only to find the hat I received did not match the one advertised on the site. The invoice _____ and tag both indicate that the cap is what I ordered: a Varsity Fit Hat that is navy/wht in color. And the hat I received indeed matches the physical description.

However, the hat I received is not the one I ordered. I have included a picture that shows the two side-by-side. Clearly there was a mix-up, as the hat I received is not even available on the site. [see here]

I would like to return this hat and receive the one I originally ordered. I understand the #1412 is currently out of stock, but I hope this will be resolved soon. After all, I'd like to wear Magic gear as soon as possible! Any help is appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

-Kenny
Stay tuned folks. All five of you.


UPDATE: The Orlando Team Shop sent an automated message this morning saying they received my email and will respond ASAP. Still waiting for a reply from an actual humanoid.

"Inside the NBA" AKA The Greatest Show on Earth Returns

Tonight is the start of the NBA season, which means TNT's award-winning and finger-licking "Inside the NBA" returns to the airwaves. Familiar faces will be back in Atlanta's Studio J to break down the games and each other:


Ernie Johnson: the straight man that holds the show together. Ernie does all the heavy-lifting: dishing out stats, recapping news from around the league and, most importantly, mediating (intervening may be a better word) between the folks in the studio. EJ, however, has a sly sense of humor and will administer a well-timed jab at either Kenny or Chuck every once in a while. EJ underwent chemotherapy this summer to treat Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. As a result he'll have a different look this season, as the cancer treatment made him bald. Far better to lose Ernie's hair than to lose him.


Kenny Smith: the punching bag for the studio and crew. The Chuckster loves to criticize Kenny, whether it's for talking about his brother Vince or for pitching one of his youth basketball camps on national TV. Smith is a regular victim of faked photos and videos (see above). Kenny is a great analyst and provides insight on how a team develops into a championship contender (and he would know, having played for UNC and Houston). Smith is very involved in the NBA (when not working for TNT Smith analyzes Knicks games) and has many amusing anecdotes about the league.


Charles Barkley: the jester of "Inside the NBA." The Round Mound isn't afraid to laugh or be laughed at. Topics that poke fun include his waistline, his golf swing and his gambling problem. What makes Barkley so lovable is that most of the time he brings the jokes onto himself, such as the time he referred to the Titantic as a "ball smoating accident." He has a tendency to ramble and is somewhat ignorant of what's going on in the league; Chuck always does miserably playing "Who He Play For?" Barkley, in many ways, is larger than life. His endearing personality and brutal honesty make him the stand-out star on the show.

And Charles is the jester of "Inside the NBA" only because TNT already hired The Joker:


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Not Worst of Sports on a Schtick

I figured now is a good time to include a Best Not Worst of Sports on a Schtick section. It's under the About Me section and includes my complete NBA Preview.

NBA Preview 2006-2007: Awards and Playoffs

Click for each preview:
Atlantic
Central
Southeast
Southwest
Northwest
Pacific
Awards and Playoffs

Each team is scored on a 1-10 scale based on its projected starting lineup, bench, head coach and general manager. The maximum score possible is 80.

Overall scores, brief summaries and franchise outlooks will predict how a team performs this upcoming season.

A final preview article will predict regular-season awards, playoff results and the eventual NBA champion.



Awards

Most Valuable Player: LeBron James
Voters will have Steve Nash fatigue after selecting him for back-to-back MVPs, but even if they didn't LBJ would get their votes. With the Cavs now being amongst the elite teams in the league, LeBron is in an perfect position to put up the individual numbers and have the team success to secure his first MVP trophy. The Lakers will not have enough wins for Kobe to contend, and voters feel Dwayne Wade's production is largely assisted by Shaq.

Rookie of the Year: Brandon Roy
Roy will likely supplant Martell Webster or Jarrett Jack early in the season. He was the best prospect in the draft and will prove it with his play. Randy Foye of Minnesota is also in contention for the ROY, as he should get significant tick.

Defensive Player of the Year:
Ron Artest
Artest is simply the best defender in the league. Ben Wallace, Bruce Bowen and Andrei Kirilenko take a backseat to Tru Warier's tenacious guarding. As long as he stays on the court, Ron will dazzle people with his defensive skills. A dark horse contender is Gerald Wallace, who averaged a ridiculous two steals and two blocks per contest last season.

Sixth Man of the Year: Shaun Livingston
Livingston will continue his apprenticeship under Sam Cassell, but that doesn't mean he will have a limited role. Because of his size, Shaun can and will play multiple positions. He's a marvelous passer and good rebounder. As his jump shot continues to improve, so will Shaun's status as one of the league's best coming off the bench. Look for his numbers to take off.

Coach of the Year: Jeff Van Gundy
The much-maligned Van Gundy can lead the Rockets to 15 more wins than last season. A healthy Houston team stands to be the most-improved squad in the league, and Van Gundy will earn his share of credit, whether he deserves it or not. Other candidates include Chicago's Scott Skiles, Utah's Jerry Sloan and even New York's Isiah Thomas.

Most Improved Player: Darko Milicic
If Darko plays substantial minutes, the productivity will be there. He's already one of the best blockers in the league. Darko bulked up ten pounds over the summer, which bolds well for an emerging interior game to complement his perimeter play. Box scores of 12/8/3/3 should be a regular occurrence for Milicic.

Executive of the Year: Carroll Dawson
The Executive of the Year Award tends to go to the GM whose team improved the most from the previous year. Dawson should be the recipient in 2007, considering the Rockets will be that team (again, assuming they stay healthy). The decisions to acquire Shane Battier and draft Steve Novak will also pay immediate dividends.


Overall Scores
Eastern Conference Western Conference
1) Miami 71.5 1) San Antonio 71
2) Detroit 66.5 2) Phoenix 70
3) Cleveland 65.5 3) Dallas 70
4) Chicago 65.5 4) Houston 66.5
5) Indiana 65 5) LA Lakers 66.5
6) Orlando 63.5 6) LA Clippers 66.5
7) New Jersey 63 7) Utah 66
8) Milwaukee 62 8) Sacramento 66
9) Washington 61.5 9) Denver 63.5
10) Toronto 61.5 10) Seattle 63
11) Philadelphia 59.5 11) New Orleans 62
12) Boston 59 12) Memphis 62
13) Charlotte 59 13) Portland 61
14) New York 53.5 14) Golden State 60.5
15) Atlanta 53.5 15) Minnesota 60

Factors such as schedule difficulty, team chemistry and injury histories played a relatively minor role in determining the scores for each team. In reality, of course, those aforementioned factors are significant determinants as to whether Team X or Y will succeed in any given year (see Portland and Houston circa 2005). Frankly, I was more concerned about the talent and potential of every franchise; my scores are more preoccupied with predicting how a how well a team should perform as opposed to how well a team will actually play.

For example, I have the Miami Heat rated the highest team with a culmulative score of 71.5, which would suggest that they would finish with the league's best record. But anyone that follows the NBA knows that Miami isn't concerned with wins and losses in the regular-season, but rather simultaneously securing a high playoff-seed while keeping starters healthy come the postseason. Frankly, it's more than likely that Miami, once it clinches at least the #4 seed by winning the Atlantic Division, will rest its starters even if that means losing a game here or there -- a decision that could cost it the top seed.

A few injuries have popped up since this preview was posted. Some won't affect the NBA landscape, while others are more severe. Marvin William's broken hand won't have an impact on the playoff picture (Atlanta's postseason hopes go from zero to... less than zero?). Likewise, Robert Swift's season-ending knee injury will only change Seattle's chances in the Draft Lottery. Mike Bibby's thumb injury, however, may alter the Kings' postseason chances. He will be sidelined for the first few weeks of the season. Considering Sacramento is a bubble team to begin with, the Kings could be left out of the playoffs if they get off to a poor start without Bibby.


Playoffs
Eastern Conference First Round
#1 Miami vs. #8 Miwaukee
#2 Detroit vs. #7 Orlando
#3 Cleveland vs. #6 Indiana
#4 New Jersey vs. #5 Chicago


Western Conference First Round
#1 San Antonio vs. #8 Sacramento
#2 Phoenix vs. #7 LA Clippers
#3 Dallas vs. #6 LA Lakers
#4 Utah vs. #5 Houston


Eastern Conference Second Round
#1 Miami vs. #5 Chicago
#2 Detroit vs. #3 Cleveland


Western Conference Second Round
#1 San Antonio vs. #5 Houston
#2 Phoenix vs. #3 Dallas


Eastern Conference Finals
#1 Miami vs. #3 Cleveland


Western Conference Finals
#1 San Antonio vs. #2 Phoenix


NBA Finals
#1 Miami vs. #1 San Antonio

Saturday, October 28, 2006

College Football's Top Teams and Heisman Hopefuls: Week #9

The Trojans' inevitable loss came earlier than expected at Oregon State this afternoon, knocking USC out of the Top Ten. Clemson was crushed at Blacksburg by Virginia Tech on Thursday; the Tigers are off the list as well. As a result the Fighting Irish and Golden Bears return to the nation's elite list. Tennessee had an adequate showing tonight; the Vols certainly didn't earn style points for their come-from-behind victory over South Carolina. Yet a win is a win. The Longhorns imposed their will in the second half against Texas Tech, limiting the vaunted Red Raiders offense to zero points.

Meanwhile, the Heisman Hopefuls remain the same. Smith and Quinn are separating themselves from the pack. Texas QB Colt McCoy and his stellar 24-4 TD/INT ratio almost made the list, but the Longhorns have mostly feasted on inferior teams, and they don't have another marquee opponent for the remainder of the regular season.


Top Ten Teams

College Last Week
1) Ohio State 1
2) Michigan 2
3) West Virginia
3
4) Texas
4
5) Auburn 5
6) Florida
7
7) Louisville
8
8) Tennessee
10
9) Notre Dame
-
10) California
-

Dropped out: #6 USC, #9 Clemson


Heisman Hopefuls

Name College Position Year Last Week
1) Troy Smith Ohio State QB Sr. 1
2) Brady Quinn Notre Dame QB Sr. 2
3) Mike Hart Michigan RB Jr. 3
4) Ray Rice
Rutgers
RB So. 4
5) Steve Slaton
West Virginia
RB So.
5

Dropped out: None

10-Second Film Reviews #11

Scarier than Halloween, sweeter than chocolate and nastier than black licorice: it's my 10-second film reviews!

Movies I've seen this past week, along with my Netflix ratings (out of five stars):

Monty Python and the Holy Grail: A zany comedy that has plot and action to boot. The funny stuff is hit-or-miss. Hits include the fight with the Black Knight and Lancelot slaying folks at a wedding reception; misses involve the witch trial and the various castle dialogues. The comedy undercuts the story too often. Terry Gilliam depicts a beautifulEnglish landscape and creates exceptional conflict with his cuts. (***)

Art School Confidential:
This dark comedy lampoons the world of, yep, art school. There's a few chuckles to be had at the expense of creative and tortured dorks. Unfortunately two-dimensional characters, weak acting, a muddled story (and equally muddled subplots) and some cringe-worthy dialogue make for an unsatisfactory experience. (**)

Five Easy Pieces: A road film starring Jack Nicholson. There's no story to speak of in this film; rather than a plot there's a series of loosely-connected incidents. The first half is a bore because the lack of a unifying force to tie all together besides Jack's character -- who's quite an unlikable fellow by the way. The second half is far more intriguing. The experimental narrative presented some great moments, such as when Nicholson plays the piano in the middle of a busy freeway. (***)

Friday, October 27, 2006

NBA Preview 2006-2007: Pacific Division

Click for each preview:
Atlantic
Central
Southeast
Southwest
Northwest
Pacific
Awards and Playoffs

Each team is scored on a 1-10 scale based on its projected starting lineup, bench, head coach and general manager. The maximum score possible is 80.

Overall scores, brief summaries and franchise outlooks will predict how a team performs this upcoming season.

A final preview article will predict regular-season awards, playoff results and the eventual NBA champion.



Golden State Warriors
C: Troy Murphy (7.5)
PF: Ike Diogu (7)
SF: Mike Dunleavy (7)
SG: Jason Richardson (8)
PG: Baron Davis (8.5)
Bench: Monta Ellis, Mickael Pietrus, Dajuan Wagner, Devin Brown, Adonal Foyle, Andris Biedrins (7.5)
Coach: Don Nelson (8)
GM: Chris Mullin (7)
Overall: 60.5
Summary: Nelson hopes to create a high-powered, fast-paced offense led by Davis and Richardson. This is a critical year for Dunleavy ; he must bring more to the table. Diogu is a good rebounder and Murphy has range. Ellis is an explosive scorer and Wagner may regain the game he had in high school. Pietrus may surprise people with his productivity.
Outlook: The Warriors will struggle in a brutal conference.


Los Angeles Clippers
C: Chris Kaman (8)
PF: Elton Brand (9.5)
SF: Tim Thomas (7.5)
SG: Cuttino Mobley (8)
PG: Sam Cassell (8.5)
Bench: Corey Maggette, Shaun Livingston, Quinton Ross, Daniel Ewing, Yaroslav Korolev, James Singleton, Zeljko Rebraca (9.5)
Coach: Mike Dunleavy (8)
GM: Elgin Baylor (7.5)
Overall: 66.5
Summary: Last year's surprise team won't sneak up on the league again, but they have the talent to accept the challenge. Brand elevated his game, becoming an elite franchise superstar. Kaman is a good center that'll only keep improving. Cassell is the saavy veteran that unifies the team. There may arise a controversy with Maggette being the odd-man out. Look for Livingston to get major minutes.
Outlook: The Western Conference Finals are a real possibility.


Los Angeles Lakers
C: Chris Mihm (7)
PF: Lamar Odom (8.5)
SF: Vladimir Radmanovic (7.5)
SG: Kobe Bryant (10)
PG: Smush Parker (7.5)
Bench: Jordan Farmar, Luke Walton, Andrew Bynum, Brian Cook, Maurice Evans, Kwame Brown (8)
Coach: Phil Jackson (10)
GM: Mitch Kupchak (8)
Overall: 66.5
Summary: No other player on this planet can emulate Kobe's seemingly indomitable offensive skillset. His teammates hope he'll pass the ball more often. Parker or Farmar will run the triangle. There's no telling how the death of Odom's infant son will affect him this season. The bench is long on potential, short on production. Evans was a great pick-up.
Outlook: The second year should have less bumps in the road.


Phoenix Suns
C: Amare Stoudemire (9)
PF: Shawn Marion (9)
SF: Boris Diaw (8.5)
SG: Raja Bell (8.5)
PG: Steve Nash (10)
Bench: Leandrinho Barbosa, Kurt Thomas, Marcus Banks, James Jones (8)
Coach: Mike D’Antoni (9)
GM: Mike D’Antoni (8)
Overall: 70
Summary: With or without Amare, this team is dynamite. Nash is the preeminent point in the NBA, and Phoenix's fastbreak offense is the envy of the league. The Suns lack size, but they are the quickest and most versatile collection of players. Marion and Diaw can do it all, Bell is a defensive stopper and Barbosa is lightning quick. Banks must play well so Nash can rest himself and not wear down before the postseason.
Outlook: Phoenix will look to prove that offense wins championships.


Sacramento Kings
C: Brad Miller (9)
PF: Shareef-Abdur Rahim (8.5)
SF: Ron Artest (9.5)
SG: John Salmons (7)
PG: Mike Bibby (9)
Bench: Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia, Kenny Thomas, Quincy Dooby, Jason Hart (8)
Coach: Eric Musselman (7)
GM: Geoff Petrie (8)
Overall: 66
Summary: Although losing Bonzi Wells was a big blow, Martin's offensive production will soothe the transition. There’s lots of firepower on this team and very little defense outside of Miller and Artest. The bench lacks bigs. Two big questions will be how Musselman manages this group and if Artest will be part of that group.
Outlook: Whether Musselman can motivate this team will determine if it makes the playoffs or not.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

NBA Preview 2006-2007: Northwest Division

Click for each preview:
Atlantic
Central
Southeast
Southwest
Northwest
Pacific
Awards and Playoffs

Each team is scored on a 1-10 scale based on its projected starting lineup, bench, head coach and general manager. The maximum score possible is 80.

Overall scores, brief summaries and franchise outlooks will predict how a team performs this upcoming season.

A final preview article will predict regular-season awards, playoff results and the eventual NBA champion.



Denver Nuggets

C: Marcus Camby (9)
PF: Kenyon Martin (8)
SF: Carmelo Anthony (10)
SG: JR Smith (7)
PG: Andre Miller (8.5)
Bench: NenĂª, Earl Boykins, Julius Hodge, Joe Smith (6.5)
Coach: George Karl (8.5)
GM: Mark Warkentien (6)
Overall: 63.5
Summary: Carmelo should finally make an All-Star team, and deservedly so. Miller is still a solid PG. It will be catastrophic for Denver if the perpetually fragile Camby and/or Martin are out for an extended time. NenĂª is the best option off the bench and he missed last season with a leg injury. A new environment may do wonders for JR Smith.
Outlook: Injury-proneness plus a weak bench spells doom for the Nuggets.


Minnesota Timberwolves
C: Mark Blount (6.5)
PF: Kevin Garnett (10)
SF: Ricky Davis (7.5)
SG: Rashad McCants (7.5)
PG: Mike James (8)
Bench: Randy Foye, Trenton Hassell, Troy Hudson, Marko Jaric, Bracey Wright, Craig Smith (7)
Coach: Terry Stotts (7)
GM: Kevin McHale (6.5)
Overall: 60
Summary:
Poor KG once again will put up stellar stats despite the subpar supporting cast. James is a huge upgrade at the point over Jaric, but can he get the rock to Garnett enough? If not, Foye will have to step up. McCants will likely spend time in the NBDL to start the season. Blount and Davis may be more trouble than they’re worth.
Outlook: KG may want out real soon; McHale may be out even sooner.


Portland Trailblazers
C: Joel Przybilla (7.5)
PF: Zach Randolph (8)
SF: Darius Miles (7)
SG: Martell Webster (6.5)
PG: Jarrett Jack (7)
Bench: Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Sergio Rodriguez, Jamaal Magloire, Juan Dixon, Raef LaFrentz, Travis Outlaw (9)
Coach: Nate McMillan (8)
GM: Steve Patterson (8)
Overall: 61
Summary:
Randolph and Miles are the franchise players despite both having less-than-superstar talent. Przybilla provides a workman-like attitude at center. The promising Aldrigdge will miss the first part of the season due to injury. Roy is the frontrunner for ROY honors and Rodriquez may surprise people. Reports say Magloire looks sluggish.
Outlook: Building for the future means suffering for the present.


Seattle Supersonics
C: Robert Swift (7)
PF: Chris Wilcox (8)
SF: Rashard Lewis (8.5)
SG: Ray Allen (9.5)
PG: Luke Ridnour (8)
Bench: Earl Watson, Johan Petro, Danny Fortson, Nick Collison, Damien Wilkins, Kareem Rush, Mouhamed Sene (7.5)
Coach: Bob Weiss (6.5)
GM: Rick Sund (8)
Overall: 63
Summary:
Allen may be the world's purest jump shooter. Lewis is a great complimentary to Ray's perimeter game. Swift should flourish in his third season. Ridnour and Watson can both man the point position. Wilcox still shows lots of promise, as does Sene. Petro, Fortson and Collision provide size off the bench as well. There's absolutely no defense to speak of whatsover on this squad.
Outlook: No defense, no playoffs.


Utah Jazz
C: Mehmet Okur (8)
PF: Carlos Boozer (8.5)
SF: Andrei Kirilenko (9.5)
SG: Gordon Giricek (7)
PG: Deron Williams (7.5)
Bench: Ronnie Brewer, Derek Fisher, Dee Brown, Matt Harpring, Paul Millsap, Jarrod Collins (8)
Coach: Jerry Sloan (8.5)
GM: Kevin O’Connor (9)
Overall: 66
Summary:
If the injury bug stays away, the Jazz will flourish. Kirilenko fills up the stat sheet every night. Boozer provides a great post-game while Okur's got touch on his shots. Williams will continue to grow into a solid court general. Brewer has great athleticism coming off the bench. Millsap was a rebounding beast in college and should control the boards in a limited role.
Outlook:
The year's biggest surprise or yet another letdown: there's no in between for Utah.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

NBA Preview 2006-2007: Southwest Division

Click for each preview:
Atlantic
Central
Southeast
Southwest
Northwest
Pacific
Awards and Playoffs

Each team is scored on a 1-10 scale based on its projected starting lineup, bench, head coach and general manager. The maximum score possible is 80.

Overall scores, brief summaries and franchise outlooks will predict how a team performs this upcoming season.

A final preview article will predict regular-season awards, playoff results and the eventual NBA champion.


Dallas Mavericks

C: DeSagana Diop (7.5)
PF: Dirk Nowitzki (10)
SF: Josh Howard (8)
SG: Jerry Stackhouse (8)
PG: Jason Terry (9)
Bench: Devin Harris, Greg Buckner, Devean George, Erick Dampier, Maurice Ager, Austin Croshere, Anthony Johnson, Darius Washington (9)
Coach: Avery Johnson (9)
GM: Donnie Nelson (9.5)
Overall: 70
Summary: An outstanding franchise from top to bottom. Dirk's emerging inside game makes him the most difficult match-up in the league. Terry and Harris are a terrific duo handling the ball. Diop is a solid defender and Howard is coming into his own. Ager and Washington are talented enough to contribute this year.
Outlook: Cuban should and will expect nothing less than a ring.


Houston Rockets
C: Yao Ming (10)
PF: Juwan Howard (7)
SF: Tracy McGrady (10)
SG: Bonzi Wells (8)
PG: Rafer Alston (7.5)
Bench: Shane Battier, Luther Head, Dikembe Mutombo, Steve Novak, Casey Jacobsen (8)
Coach: Jeff Van Gundy (7.5)
GM: Carroll Dawson (8.5)
Overall: 66.5
Summary: Ming and McGrady are the West's most dangerous duo -- when healthy. Wells was an excellent pickup who can do a bit of everything. Battier is the type of relentless player that is essential for a winning club. Head proved last season that he can flat-out shoot. Novak has received stellar reviews since the draft and may supplant Alston.
Outlook: Can all the pieces finally come together and live up to expectations?


Memphis Grizzlies
C: Stromile Swift (7.5)
PF: Pau Gasol (9)
SF: Mike Miller (8)
SG: Eddie Jones (7)
PG: Damon Stoudamire (7)
Bench: Rudy Gay, Hakim Warrick, Dahntay Jones, Chucky Atkins, Kyle Lowry (6.5)
Coach: Mike Fratello (7.5)
GM: Jerry West (9.5)
Overall: 62
Summary: Gasol missing the early portion of the season may have doomed Memphis' playoff hopes already. On the bright side there's more minutes for Gay, who may be the league's Next Big Thing. Swift has to prove he deserves to stay on the floor for extended periods of time. The backcourt is not particularly quick and it's getting old fast.
Outlook: Fratello, barring a minor miracle, will be out of work after the season.


New Orleans Hornets
C: Tyson Chandler (8)
PF: David West (8)
SF: Peja Stojakovic (8.5)
SG: Desmond Mason (7.5)
PG: Chris Paul (9)
Bench: Bobby Jackson, Rasual Butler, Cedric Simmons, Hilton Armstrong (6)
Coach: Byron Scott (8)
GM: Jeff Bower (7)
Overall: 62
Summary: Can Paul prove last year wasn't a fluke? He has a greater shooter to pass to in Peja, and West has emerged as a legit big man. There will be less distractions on the team this season, but the talent level may have regressed. Chandler is good, but not great. Mason hasn't played well in a NOOCH uniform. The bench is either always injured (Jackson) or young (Simmons, Armstrong).
Outlook: Following the feel-good story last season, the Hornets fall back to reality.

San Antonio Spurs
C: Francisco Elson (6)
PF: Tim Duncan (10)
SF: Bruce Bowen (8)
SG: Manu Ginobli (9.5)
PG: Tony Parker (9.5)
Bench: Michael Finley, Robert Horry, Brent Barry, Jackie Butler, Jacque Vaughn, Matt Bonner, Francisco Oberto (8.5)
Coach: Gregg Popovich (10)
GM: RC Buford (9.5)
Overall: 71
Summary: Whoever starts at center won’t be very good. That might be a mute point, considering the rest of the team is so awesome. Either Duncan, Ginobli or Parker can dominate on any given night. Bowen is an elite defender who also drains jumpers in the corners. The bench has playmakers and great chemistry. Popovich is as masterful at motivating and playcalling as any coach in recent memory.
Outlook: The Spurs will look to make it two banners in three years.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

NBA Preview 2006-2007: Southeast Division

Click for each preview:
Atlantic
Central
Southeast
Southwest
Northwest
Pacific
Awards and Playoffs

Each team is scored on a 1-10 scale based on its projected starting lineup, bench, head coach and general manager. The maximum score possible is 80.

Overall scores, brief summaries and franchise outlooks will predict how a team performs this upcoming season.

A final preview article will predict regular-season awards, playoff results and the eventual NBA champion.


Atlanta Hawks

C: Zaza Pachulia (6.5)
PF: Marvin Williams (7.5)
SF: Josh Childress (7)
SG: Joe Johnson (9)
PG: Speedy Claxton (7)
Bench: Shelden Williams, Josh Smith, Salim Stoudamire, Tyronn Lue (7)
Coach: Mike Woodson (6.5)
GM: Billy Kinght (3)
Overall: 53.5
Summary: Marvin Williams: blossoming All-Star or bust? Shelden Williams might start very soon, but he'll be undersized at center. Johnson returns to his natural position at SG. Claxton and Lue are barely passable at the point. Smith has yet to parlay his athleticism into starting minutes. Stoudamire may be the definition of instant offense.
Outlook: Who are we kidding? These are the freakin’ Hawks.


Charlotte Bobcats
C: Primoz Brezec (7)
PF: Emeka Okafur (8.5)
SF: Gerald Wallace (8)
SG: Adam Morrison (8)
PG: Raymond Felton (7.5)
Bench: Brevin Knight, Sean May, Jake Voshukl, Matt Carroll (6)
Coach: Bernie Bickerstaff (6.5)
GM: Bernie Bickerstaff (7.5)
Overall: 59
Summary: A young team that continues to take baby steps in the right direction. Okafur’s health is the top concern. Wallace is a defensive beast. The same thing can’t be said for Morrison, but his offensive arsenal should translate from the college game. Knight is good enough to start at PG for half the teams in the league.
Outlook: In a prime position to contend in 2007, if they pony up the dough.


Miami Heat
C: Shaquille O’Neal (10)
PF: Udonis Haslem (7.5)
SF: James Posey (8)
SG: Dwyane Wade (10)
PG: Jason Williams (8)
Bench: Antoine Walker, Alonzo Mourning, Gary Payton, Dorrell Wright (8.5)
Coach: Pat Riley (10)
GM: Randy Pfund (9.5)
Overall: 71.5
Summary: Not too many teams can say they have two game-changers like the defending champions have in O’Neil and Wade. Miami didn’t tinker with much and for good reason; this a powerful collection of talent and chemistry. They also happen to be coached by one of the game's all-time greats, who knows precisely how to get the most from his players.
Outlook: Repeat or bust.


Orlando Magic
C: Dwight Howard (9.5)
PF: Darko Milicic (7.5)
SF: Hedo Turkoglu (7.5)
SG: J.J. Redick (7.5)
PG: Jameer Nelson (8)
Bench: Carlos Arroyo, Trevor Ariza, Tony Battie, Keith Bogans, Travis Diener (7)
Coach: Brian Hill (8)
GM: Otis Smith (8.5)
Overall: 63.5
Summary: For all intent and purposes, Darko will be playing starting minutes, whether or not he or Battie begin the game at center. Injuries may unravel this year’s squad. The depth at PG is very strong. Ariza is an emerging defensive force. Howard must develop a mid-range game to become a truly elite player.
Outlook: The future looks bright, but can they win now?


Washington Wizards
C: Brendan Haywood (7.5)
PF: Antawn Jamison (8)
SF: Caron Butler (8)
SG: DeShawn Stevenson (6.5)
PG: Gilbert Arenas (9.5)
Bench: Antonio Daniels, Etan Thomas, Jarvis Hayes, Andray Blatche (6)
Coach: Eddie Jordan (8)
GM: Ernie Grunfeld (8)
Overall: 61.5
Summary: Agent Zero aka Arenas is among the game's most-feared guards, and that's not just because he's a little kooky. Stevenson was a bargain, and will provide good perimeter defense. Daniels had a miserable first year as a Wizard. The bench is terrible. Washington's best prospect, Blatche, suffered a gunshot would last year.
Outlook: The starting five will have to elevate its game for the Wizards to reach the postseason.

Monday, October 23, 2006

NBA Preview 2006-2007: Central Division

Click for each preview:
Atlantic
Central
Southeast
Southwest
Northwest
Pacific
Awards and Playoffs

Each team is scored on a 1-10 scale based on its projected starting lineup, bench, head coach and general manager. The maximum score possible is 80.

Overall scores, brief summaries and franchise outlooks will predict how a team performs this upcoming season.

A final preview article will predict regular-season awards, playoff results and the eventual NBA champion.



Chicago Bulls
C: Ben Wallace (8)
PF: PJ Brown (7.5)
SF: Andres Nocioni (8)
SG: Ben Gordon (8.5)
PG: Kirk Hinrich (8)
Bench: Luol Deng, Chris Duhon, Tyrus Thomas, Mike Sweetney (8.5)
Coach: Scott Skiles (8)
GM: John Paxson (9)
Overall: 65.5
Summary: Wallace, due to his historically terrible free-throw shooting, is a liability in the fourth quarter. What the bench lacks in depth it compensates with talent and potential. PJ Brown will do a solid job until Thomas is ready to contribute. Gordon is the closest thing that Chicago has for a superstar with his explosive offensive game and clutch play.
Outlook: The Bulls hope to reach their first Finals since the Jordan Era.


Cleveland Cavaliers
C: Zydrunas Ilgaukas (8.5)
PF: Drew Gooden (8)
SF: LeBron James (10)
SG: Larry Hughes (8.5)
PG: Eric Snow (7)
Bench: Donyell Marshall, Shannon Brown, Damon Jones, David Wesley, Anderson Varejao (8)
Coach: Mike Brown (7.5)
GM: Danny Ferry(8)
Overall: 65.5
Summary: If Hughes gets injured, Shannon Brown should step in and perform well at the 2. This team would greatly benefit from having a top-tier PG so LeBron could work inside the paint instead of handling the ball in a half-court set. Snow is saavy, but he's also breaking down. Gooden is an underrated PF. Jones should be good for a few game-winning shots and a lot of terrible suits.
Outlook: LeBron wants to carry the Cavs to the Promised Land... and he just might do it.


Detroit Pistons
C: Nazr Mohammad (7)
PF: Rasheed Wallace (8.5)
SF: Tayshaun Prince (8.5)
SG: Richard Hamilton (9)
PG: Chauncey Billups (9)
Bench: Antonio McDyess, Lindsey Hunter, Ronald Murray, Jason Maxiell, Carlos Delfino, Amir Johnson (8)
Coach: Flip Saunders (7.5)
GM: Joe Dumars (9)
Overall: 66.5
Summary: Arguably the best starting five in the league, even without Ben Wallace. Hamilton and Billups are an elite duo, with speed and skill to burn. With the new no complaining rules in place, Rasheed might break his own record for most technicals in a season. The bench is long in the tooth, but they’re playoff-tested. Maxiell might be a Big Ben Lite in the making. Johnson will be seasoned in the NBDL for another year.
Outlook: A humbled Piston squad will try to capture a second title in four years.


Indiana Pacers
C: Jeff Foster (7)
PF: Jermaine O’Neal (9.5)
SF: Al Harrington (8.5)
SG: Stephen Jackson (8)
PG: Jamaal Tinsley (7.5)
Bench: Sarunas Jaskevicius, Marquis Daniels, Danny Granger, David Harrison, Darrell Armstrong, Shawne Williams (8)
Coach: Rick Carlisle (8)
GM: Larry Bird (8.5)
Overall: 65
Summary: There’s no telling how much the strip club shooting involving Jackson will affect the team. Distractions seem to be a yearly motif for this squad. O'Neal, when healthy, is a top-five player at his position. Daniels, Granger and Williams are all athletic wings. Do the Pacers really need all three of them, especially after signing Harrington to a long-term deal?
Outlook: Controversy may potentially derail yet another promising team.


Milwaukee Bucks
C: Andrew Bogut (8.5)
PF: Charlie Villanueva (8)
SF: Bobby Simmons (7.5)
SG: Michael Redd (9)
PG: Maurice Williams (7.5)
Bench: Ruben Patterson, Steve Blake, Dan Gadzuric, Brian Skinner, Charile Bell (7)
Coach: Terry Stotts (7)
GM: Larry Harris (7.5)
Overall: 62
Summary: Williams really stepped up at the point last season, making TJ Ford expendable. Bogut and Villanueva are a formidable tandem. Redd can drop 40 on any given night, and he'll need to more than a few times. The bench is a decent, defense-oriented bunch. Simmons needs to improve his play to justify the contract he signed over a year ago.
Outlook: Anything less than a playoff berth will be a disappointment.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

NBA Preview 2006-2007: Atlantic Division

Click for each preview:
Atlantic
Central
Southeast
Southwest
Northwest
Pacific
Awards and Playoffs

Each team is scored on a 1-10 scale based on its projected starting lineup, bench, head coach and general manager. The maximum score possible is 80.

Overall scores, brief summaries and franchise outlooks will predict how a team performs this upcoming season.

A final preview article will predict regular-season awards, playoff results and the eventual NBA champion.



Boston Celtics
C: Kendrick Perkins (7)
PF: Al Jefferson (6.5)
SF: Paul Pierce (9.5)
SG: Wally Szczerbiak (7.5)
PG: Sebastian Telfair (7.5)
Bench: Delonte West, Rajon Rondo, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Michael Olowokandi (6.5)
Coach: Doc Rivers (7.5)
GM: Danny Ainge (7)
Overall: 59
Summary: Ainge is clearly emphasizing a youth movement in Boston, which bodes well for the Celtics’ future. Rondo, Green, Perkins, Jefferson and Telfair will make a solid core in two or three years. Unfortunately for Pierce that means this year is all about growing pains. Wally is the prototypical white guy in the league: decent shot, no D. He’s worth a hell of a lot in Scrabble though.
Outlook: Two small steps toward contention, one giant step back into the lottery.


New Jersey Nets
C: Nenad Krstic (7)
PF: Jason Collins (6.5)
SF: Richard Jefferson (8.5)
SG: Vince Carter (9)
PG: Jason Kidd (9)
Bench: Marcus Williams, Jay Williams, Eddie House, Clifford Robinson (6.5)
Coach: Lawrence Frank (8)
GM: Rod Thorn (8.5)
Overall: 63
Summary: There’s very little front-court depth on this team. Krstic is more of a perimeter guy and Collins is more of a stiff. The bench is very thin. Both Marcus and Jay Williams have question marks as to whether they can excel in the NBA. Carter and Kidd aren’t getting any younger, and with Vince being a free agent after the season, this may the last hurrah for this group.
Outlook: The outside-inside game will carry them to the division title, but not much further.


New York Knicks
C: Eddy Curry (7.5)
PF: Channing Frye (8)
SF: Jared Jeffries (7.5)
SG: Jamal Crawford (7.5)
PG: Stephon Marbury (8)
Bench: Steve Francis, Jalen Rose, Quentin Richardson, Nate Robinson, David Lee, Renaldo Balkman (7.5)
Coach: Isiah Thomas (7)
GM: Isiah Thomas (0.5)
Overall: 53.5
Summary: On paper this team isn’t that bad. Unfortunately for fans in Gotham, the games unfold in real-life. Losing Jeffries early on is a big blow for a team that needs role players. A healthy Richardson will put up good numbers. Jerome James is probably a lost cause. It’s easy to assume Zeke will make another horrendous trade mid-season.
Outlook: They’ll be bad, but not 59-losses bad.


Philadelphia 76ers
C: Samuel Dalembert (7)
PF: Chris Webber (8)
SF: Andre Iguodala (8)
SG: Kyle Korver (7)
PG: Allen Iverson (9.5)
Bench: Willie Green, Steven Hunter, Rodney Carney, Alan Henderson (6)
Coach: Maurice Cheeks (7)
GM: Billy King (7)
Overall: 59.5
Summary: Dalembert and Iguodala might bust out this year, and Carney might have been the best athlete in the draft. There’s not a single defensive stopper on the team. Webber puts up deceptively productive numbers on the stat sheet and gives up his share on defense. AI might jack up shots like never before -- and that’s saying something.
Outlook: Philly will do a lot more entertaining than winning.


Toronto Raptors
C: Radoslav Nesterovic (7)
PF: Chris Bosh (9)
SF: Morris Peterson (7.5)
SG: Anthony Parker (7)
PG: TJ Ford (8)
Bench: Andrea Bargnani, Fred Jones, Joey Graham, Jose Calderon (7.5)
Coach: Sam Mitchell (6.5)
GM: Bryan Colangelo (9)
Overall: 61.5
Summary: Colangelo, the architect of Phoenix’s resurgence, hopes to mimic that success in Canada. Trading for Ford and drafting Bargnani was a great start. Bosh is the rock of the franchise. Too bad the rest of the team isn’t so hot. There is the possibility having so many international players on the roster will backfire, considering all the unknown commodities involved.
Outlook: Year One of the Colangelo Project will show glimpses of promise.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

NBA Stuff

* This Gilbert Arenas blog is the newest must-read in the world of sports. Safe to say Agent Zero's initial post has already earned the blog a place in the Links section.

* Eric Musselman was driving under the influence allegedly because he had been coping with coaching Ron Artest, whose rap album will drop on Halloween.

* My NBA preview for the 2006-2007 should be up tomorrow, starting with the Atlantic Division.

College Football's Top Teams and Heisman Hopefuls: Week #8

Not too much change in either poll. The near-upsets (Nebraska-Texas, Tennessee-Alabama, California-Washington) hurt the Golden Bears this week, who were replaced in the poll by Clemson, who manhandled #13 Georgia Tech tonight. The Vols also dropped a spot but remain in the Top Ten after a scare from the Crimson Tide.

Ray Rice and Steve Slaton switched spots at the bottom of the Heisman poll. Rice's 225 rushing yards and one touchdown were enough to give him the nod over the other stud sophomore RB -- at least for this week.


Top Ten Teams

College Last Week
1) Ohio State 1
2) Michigan 2
3) West Virginia
3
4) Texas
4
5) Auburn 5
6) USC
6
7) Florida
7
8) Louisville
8
9) Clemson -
10) Tennessee 9

Dropped out: #10 California


Heisman Hopefuls

Name College Position Year Last Week
1) Troy Smith Ohio State QB Sr. 1
2) Brady Quinn Notre Dame QB Sr. 2
3) Mike Hart Michigan RB Jr. 3
4) Ray Rice
Rutgers
RB So. 5
5) Steve Slaton
West Virginia
RB So.
4


Dropped out: None

NBA Preview 2006-2007: Southwest Division

Dallas Mavericks
C: DeSagana Diop (7.5)
PF: Dirk Nowitzki (10)
SF: Josh Howard (8)
SG: Jerry Stackhouse (8)
PG: Jason Terry (9)
Bench: Devin Harris, Greg Buckner, Devean George, Erick Dampier, Maurice Ager, Austin Croshere, Anthony Johnson, Darius Washington (9)
Coach: Avery Johnson (9)
GM: Donnie Nelson (9.5)
Overall: 70
Summary: Dirk provides the biggest match-up problem in the NBA. No lone defender can guard against the 7-footer's inside and outside game. Terry and Harris are the league's best PG tandem. Diop holds his ground when under the rim. Ager and Washington have the
Outlook: Mark Cuban should and will demand nothing less than a championship.


Houston Rockets
C: Yao Ming (10)
PF: Juwan Howard (7)
SF: Tracy McGrady (10)
SG: Bonzi Wells (8)
PG: Rafer Alston (7.5)
Bench: Shane Battier, Luther Head, Dikembe Mutombo, Steve Novak, Casey Jacobsen (8)
Coach: Jeff Van Gundy (7.5)
GM: Carroll Dawson (8.5)
Overall: 66.5
Summary:
Outlook:.


Memphis Grizzlies
C: Stromile Swift (7.5)
PF: Pau Gasol (9)
SF: Mike Miller (8)
SG: Eddie Jones (7)
PG: Damon Stoudamire (7)
Bench: Rudy Gay, Hakim Warrick, Dahntay Jones, Chucky Atkins, Kyle Lowry (6.5)
Coach: Mike Fratello (7.5)
GM: Jerry West (9.5)
Overall: 62
Summary:
Outlook:.


New Orleans Hornets
C: Tyson Chandler (8)
PF: David West (8)
SF: Peja Stojakovic (8.5)
SG: Desmond Mason (7.5)
PG: Chris Paul (9)
Bench: Bobby Jackson, Rasual Butler, Cedric Simmons, Hilton Armstrong (6)
Coach: Byron Scott (8)
GM: Jeff Bower (7)
Overall: 62
Summary: The bench is either old and injured (Jackson) or young and unproven (Simmons, Armstrong).
Outlook:.


San Antonio Spurs
C: Francisco Elson (6)
PF: Tim Duncan (10)
SF: Bruce Bowen (8)
SG: Manu Ginobli (9.5)
PG: Tony Parker (9.5)
Bench: Michael Finley, Robert Horry, Brent Barry, Jackie Butler, Jacque Vaughn, Matt Bonner, Francisco Oberto (8.5)
Coach: Gregg Popovich (10)
GM: RC Buford (9.5)
Overall: 71
Summary: Whoever starts at center for the Spurs won’t be very good.
Outlook:

10-Second Film Reviews #10

More exciting than a Detroit-St. Louis World Series and almost as scary as a Miami-FIU showdown: it's my 10-second film reviews!

Movies I've seen this past week, along with my Netflix ratings:

A Decade Under the Influence: A three-hour, IFC-produced documentary about 70's filmmaking. Some of the montages go on far too long, and some of the interviewees don't have much to say. Still, it's a film about the Golden Age of cinema and that subject is always fascinating. The movies does a good job of explaining the motivations for the people back then, as well as illustrating the culture of the time with some really great films from the era. (***)

Logan's Run: For 30 years ago, the special effects and visual design were cutting-edge. They don't really hold up to today's CGI-standard, but that does little to diminish the futuristic vision; there are a handful of truly amazing and memorable images. The acting is stilted and the plot hazy. The beginning of the movie sizzled, then the story plodded along the rest of the way. Jennifer Agutter is one of the most beautiful women I've even seen in a moving picture. (***)

Friday, October 20, 2006

True Story

Not that anyone cares (because no one reads this blog), but I just woke up (6 AM) and threw up in the toilet. I guess last night's Jack-in-the-Box won. But before I hurled dinner into the void, I put on my University of Miami t-shirt.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Well it's one louder, isn't it?"

Most blokes play at ten, but not one of England's loudest band.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Grass Is Still Green, Mike Tyson Is Still Doing Crazy Things

Mike Tyson wants to beat up women -- for a good cause.

The former heavyweight champion plans to launch "Mike Tyson's World Tour," where Iron Mike might beat up chicks.
At a news conference at an Italian restaurant, Tyson said he would likely go just four rounds and that future stops on the tour might include bouts with women, possibly professional boxer Ann Wolfe.
Wolfe's promoter says there's no chance his boxer would ever fight Tyson. And despite the negative social ramifications from fighting women, Mike says the tour's goal is to raise money for charity and not meant to be a serious boxing display.
"It's all fun. I'm not Mike Tyson," he said, referring to the fierce boxer whose career was upended by a prison term. "I'm not 20 years old. I'm not going to smash anybody. I'm not going to talk about smashing anybody's brains. You're not going to see that guy no more."
No word as to whether Andy Kaufman's ghost was available for comment.

Words on the Eric Gordon Saga

An excellent summary and analysis about high school basketball star Eric Gordon switching his commitment from Illnois to Indiana. Theo Rabinowitz really nails how shady the entire ordeal has been:
This is an unwritten rule that all - well, almost all - coaches still abide by. In August, when asked about verbal commitments, Bruce Weber said "Ask 98 percent of the coaches, and they'll tell you that they stop calling kids once they [orally commit]. We do. Most do it." Either Kelvin Sampson never got that memo, or just decided to stash it in his attic along side that handy NCAA rulebook.
Rabinowitz's conclusion is even more terse:
What have we learned since this mess started in the summer? We still know that Eric Gordon has a lot to learn about honesty and integrity and Kelvin Sampson is a cheater. The only thing that we learned on Friday is that Eric Gordon will indeed be a Hoosier.
Meanwhile, an Illini fan offers his take on the situation:
An oral commitment is not binding, so Sampson was in his rights to bombard Gordon with text messages and other sweet nothings such as hiring Gordon’s father’s college coach as an assistant.

Sampson has single-handedly made the oral commitment worthless in college basketball, which is going to have an derelict effect on the recruiting process from this point forward.
Good times in the world of high school hoops recruiting.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Trojans Again Pushed to the Limit

#3 USC vs. Arizona State

The revamped Trojans needed to clamp down in the 4th quarter for a third-straight game to secure a win. This time they held off the Sun Devils by a score of 28-20 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

At first it appeared that USC was the high-powered USC of yesteryear, racking up yards on offense and creating turnovers on defense and special teams. Midway through the 2nd quarter the Trojans were up 21-0. One of the scores was a beautiful 14-yard pass from John David Booty to Dwayne Jarrett, which was reminiscent of the Leinart-to-Jarrett connections that frequented the Coliseum the past three years. The touchdown was Dwayne's 33rd for his career and made him the Pac-10's all-time leader in that category, breaking a tie with Stanford's Ken Margerum.

Arizona State buckled up on defense and the offense converted a critical 3rd and 22 deep into Trojan territory. A Ryan Torain rushing TD closed the gap to 14 by halftime.

Booty had a mediocre game with 12 completions in 25 attempts for 148 yards. Although he threw a couple TD's, John also had two huge turnovers. One of them was a fumble on USC's first snap in the second half. With great field position, Rudy Carpenter and the Arizona State offense capitalized to make it 14-21. Later in the quarter Booty and Jarrett had a miscommunication, which led to Keno Walter-White picking off a pass and returning it 38 yards for a score, tying the game at 21 apiece.

Defense was the theme for the fourth quarter: the Sun Devils were limited to 27 total yards; the Trojans, excluding Chauncey Washington, garnered only five yards. Luckily for SC, Chauncey did have a major role in the last quarter. C-Dub, in his first career start, rushed for 64 yards in the game-winning drive, scoring the decisive touchdown and extending USC's domination of the Pac-10 -- at least for another two weeks.


Other Notes on the Game

* USC has won thirty straight in the Coliseum and 27 straight in Pac-10 play. The first streak won't be tested again until November 11th, when USC starts a critical three-game homestand against #18 Oregon, #10 California and #9 Notre Dame. The second streak will be on the line October 28th when the Trojans play at Oregon State. This upcoming week is a bye for USC.

College Football's Top Teams and Heisman Hopefuls: Week #7

Major changes in both polls this week. Auburn's upset over Florida, another close-call for USC and a bye week for a major program alters the Top Ten landscape.

Equally big changes in the race for the Heisman. Adrian Peterson's injury and Garrett Wolfe's poor performance knocked them from the top five, where they are replaced by a couple of commendable underclassmen.


Top Ten Teams

College Last Week
1) Ohio State 1
2) Michigan 2
3) West Virginia
4
4) Texas
6
5) Auburn 8
6) USC
5
7) Florida
3
8) Louisville
7
9) Tennessee 9
10) California -

Dropped out: #10 Notre Dame


Heisman Hopefuls

Name College Position Year Last Week
1) Troy Smith Ohio State QB Sr. 1
2) Brady Quinn Notre Dame QB Sr. 2
3) Mike Hart Michigan RB Jr. 3
4) Steve Slaton
West Virginia
RB So. -
5) Ray Rice
Rutgers
RB So.
-


Dropped out: Garrett Wolfe, Adrian Peterson

10-Second Film Reviews #9

Almost as exciting as the combined entertainment value of a MLB rain delay, NBA exhibition game and college football on Tuesdays: it's my 10-second film reviews!

Movies I've seen this past week, along with my Netflix ratings:

East of Eden: Based on John Steinbeck's novel, this melodrama stars James Dean in a Cain and Abel parable. Dean, as in Rebel Without a Cause, gives a harrowing performance as vulnerable Caleb. The story takes its time simmering into an intense conflict. Director Elia Kazan saves the best for last in a riveting third act, where emotions boil over and lives hang in the balance. (****)

Drumline: A wretched movie geared toward black audiences, but should be avoided by most. The marching bands are one of the few bright spots: the songs and performances are entertaining, even exhilarating. The inevitable (and predictable) band showdown in particular is photographed nicely. Also, Orlando Jones gives a good effort. Most of the other actors, particularly Nick Cannon, struggle with the tedious scenes, pondering plot developments and flimsy characters. (*)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Orlando Magic Blog

Geez, a lot of little updates this week. That's what a thing called "responsibility" will do for you...

Anyway, I've been looking for a Orlando Magic blog for a while, and I've finally found a good one. Coincidentally and conveniently it's called Orlando Magic Blog. While its name may not be the most innovative, the site boasts frequent updates, commentaries and tidbits about Florida's other professional basketball team.

Definitely worth a look for Magic fans. It's also in the LINKS section under "NBA" for future reference.

$70 Million? That's Not Enough for My Services!


If only the rest of the proletarian population were as fortunate as Alfonso Soriano, who turned down a 5-year, $70-million offer from the Washington Nationals.


UPDATE: Now the Nationals are denying the story.