Monday, February 16, 2009

VSR: Random Hits on a Prez Day

I guess President's Day means something to people who wanna make the comment that we finally have a President worth celebrating. Perhaps, although I can still celebrate Bill Clinton during my lifetime (and I can celebrate this stimulus bill passing, Hallelujah!!). I remember when we got Lincoln's and Washington's B-Day off in elementary school so today is really just a holiday that I never enjoyed in HS/college (the drawback of private schools). I'm trying to stay warm and dry as we're into another week of cold weather, wind and rain in L.A. Here goes the Virgosis Sports Report...

So kids, what did we learn this week in college baseketball? 1) UCLA and Duke are talented but won't go far without a true big man, 2) Blake Griffin can find new ways to rip your heart out, 3) UConn will be alright (for now) with Dyson, 4) Arizona State will be a Sweet 16 contender, 5) North Carolina is my favorite to win it all

UCLA just laid a goose egg - or is it turtles in the desert - against Arizona State and Arizona. It's two steps forward, three steps back with these guys. The AZ State game was close because of UCLA's defense but all I saw on offense was 3-point shots and transition baskets...which was far better than what I saw against AZ (a 25 pt. deficit at one point). If not for Darren Collison catching heat and their defense, they would've been blown out by the team formerly known as Arizona (quietly their new coach has put together a solid season though).

As for Duke, they hung tough with UNC but what's up with their interior defense? There's no way a 5-11 guard (even one as good as Ty Lawson) should go 7-10 from the field and hit at least 5 lay-ups in the half-court offense. Tyler Hansborough and Danny Green go 4-0 at Cameron (ugh, I remember when they won that first game in 06 -pissed me off). And don't get me started on losing to Boston College for the first time in my lifetime...this right here says it all

Your reward for underachieving, fellas. A trip to the Sweet 16 if you're lucky. Consider it the Steve Lavin Award.

The Wooden Award Race looks like this: 1) Blake Griffin, 2) Everybody else. 40 and 23 isn't just dominant, you have to watch how he does it. Dude can throw down windmills, dunk with authority thanks to good footwork and just KNOWS how to rebound with his body. BTW, hope that ankle doesn't hurt Curry too much...I love how he's become a better PG and still putting up high numbers.

There's nothing better than the NBA All-Star Weekend (although the Skills Comp and 3-pt Shootout were considerably terrible - I could hear that wackness thru the radio). And while the media tripped out about Shaq and Kobe playing together for the 1st time in 5 years, I was impressed with Chris Paul going 14 and 14 for the 2nd straight AS game. One more sign this guy is the best PG to come into the game since Jason Kidd.

Having Shaq and Kobe win MVP was pretty sweet and I consider it the final chapter of one of the greatest duos in NBA History. They started the decade as champions, crashed and burned in the middle, and came back as partners in crime at the end. Yea, you wonder about what could've been - that 04 title was lost because of Malone's injury and Kobe's selfishness - but instead I'm glad about where they are and I look forward to Shaq's last (?) game in L.A.*

And I'm sorry but Nate Rob shouldn't have won the Dunk Contest for jumping over a leaning Dwight Howard. For the record, Vince Carter leaped over 7-2 Fred Weis while he was standing straight up. Nate practically leap-frogged Dwight using his hand which for someone who has hops it's not that hard. Josh Smith over Kenyon Martin in 05 >>>Gerald Green over Nate Rob in 07>>>>Nate Rob over Dwight Howard.

So spring training starts this week but is anybody talking about baseball on the field? Between A-Rod, Joe Torre's book, steroids and the World Baseball Classic (better than you think), who is even talking about this upcoming season? Not me - at least not yet because I'm focused on the SoCal HS bball playoffs this week.

I'm out for presidents to represent me (c) Nas. So far, so good Mr. Obama.

*It really felt like Shaq's last ASG this week. If this is how it all ends, take the time to appreciate one of the game's greatest characters and one of its last true dominant low-post big men*

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