The End of the Bench

Basketball blog with takes on basketball and anything related to basketball . . . as well as a haven for jingoists everywhere - in America.

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Friday, March 21, 2003

Some good stuff in today's edition of The Links. The top three things in there were:
3) "I saw Charles Manson do an interview once and he sounded normal too...Ron Artest has cost that team homecourt advantage." -- Charles Barkley.

2) "We try to treat the road like it's a home game. We ain't got no fans at home, neither." -- Dion Glover.

1) "Anyway the reason I write is because of Cal basketball. As a loyal alumni I spent the morning in my office watching, screaming, and loving the game. I think my favorite moment was when Harry Potter..sorry Midgley hit the three and Black Americans, White Americans, Brits and Israeli's dove all over each other at mid-court. Good thoughts for the rest of the day." -- Links reader Lauro, in an email to Lang Whitaker.

That Harry Potter crack had me laughing out loud. This wil be probably be my last post for a week or so as I'm going on vacation for spring break. So have a good time while I'm gone and hopefully your brackets won't get too ugly.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Poor Judgement Anonymous

Hi. My name is Ron "the Straightjacket" Artest and I have poor judgement. It's nice to see some familiar faces here. I see the Cavs make you come to these meetings too Ricky. Anyway, I've drawn many fines and suspensions from the league already this year. Despite the fact that I, and everyone else who even remotely follows the NBA, know that I have a big target on my back when it comes to the officials, I thought it would be a good idea to smack Paul Pierce upside his dome while he went for a layup off the opening tip 5 seconds into the game. The refs called me for a flagrant foul. This is bad in general, but I'm already past the 5 point flagrant foul limit, which means I'm gonna get suspended unless the league (the same league I've repeatedly pissed off this year) recind the flagrant call. I should also probably mention that I've already been suspended twice for flagrant fouls past the 5 point limit - in the past week. So what if the team is 4-7 without me? I'm not gonna change. "As long as I don't hurt nobody, I'm happy."

Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Tomjanovich Diagnosed With Cancerous Bladder Tumor

It will be treated without surgery. I like Rudy Tomjanovich. Hopefully there will be a speedy recovery for Rudy T.

Monday, March 17, 2003
Sloan upset at Davis' attempt to 'embarrass' Jazz

Ricky Davis was one rebound short of a triple double, so he tried to take a shot and miss in the closing seconds in order to get it. Problem was, he was shooting at the wrong basket - on purpose. DeShawn Stevenson - in what is probably the first thing all year he has done that Jerry Sloan actually thought was good - wrapped up Davis before he could get the shot off. Now I understand if you are a rebound short and you kind of shank a shot at your own basket to try an get the rebound, as long as you make it at least look like you might have been trying to make it. But at the wrong basket? The only way it could have been worse is if the game was in Utah and not Cleveland. I have to agree with Sloan and Co. on this one. That was just disrespectful.

My other favorite part of the article was this quote by Keith Smart:
"I have a lot of respect for coach Sloan and tried to mimic my system after his."
Which parts are you mimicking Keith? Certainly not the parts that work.

Brackets, Brackets Everywhere . . .

And no repsect for Cal. And 8 seed? That's all third in the Pac 10 and a top 25 ranking is good for? Ugggghhh. Hell, Auburn got a 10 and they shouldn't even be in the tournament. While people may see these as mistakes, that is a subjective call. However, the selection committee did make a serious error.

By seeding BYU where they did, a mess was created. If BYU wins twice they would have to play on Sunday, which the rules of the school strictly prohibit and which the committee knew about ahead of time. Instead of switching them with another 12 seed, they will switch if the problem arises. How's that for a vote of confidence from the committee?

Oh but it gets better. The committee messed up a second time. They put the #1 and #2 teams in the country on the same side of the bracket. So if both Kentucky and Arizona get to the Final Four, the marquee matchup will be a semifinal and not the final. Seems a bit anticlimactic. Way to go selection committe

76ers hold Nets without basket for final 8:56

The Sixers were down 13 and still won. They held the Nets without a field goal for almost 9 minutes. As Lang Whitaker would say, that's gangsta! Jason Kidd and his 12 turnovers - not so gangsta. They outscored the Nets 51-35 in the second half. The win puts the hottest team in the NBA within a half game of the 2nd place (in the conference, 1st in the Atlantic Division) Nets and only 2 games back of the conference leading Pistons. And coincidentally enough who is on the schedule Thursday? The Pistons in Detroit. A win in that game would go a long way towards taking over the top spot in the conference.

Mavs avoid being swept in season series by Kings

The Mavs needed this game in a bad way. The Kings and the Spurs have been gaining on them and the psychological ramifications in the postseason that a series sweep would have had are substantial. 1-3 is a lot different than 0-4. I still don't think the Mavs can beat the Kings in a series, but I would say the odds are a little better now.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Why major college ball isn't for everyone

Ric Bucher and Mike Dunleavy Jr. on why not every player needs to go to college. I agree with what Dunleavy says. If you are physically ready, what areyou gonna learn in college that you couldn't learn in 15 minutes a night + practice time? In other news, Billy Hunter and David Stern are denying that the age limit is a foregone conclusion. That only means one thing - expect an announcement by the end of the playoffs.

Nets decide to give Marshall plan 2nd try

Donny Marshall = Mateen Cleaves wannabe?

"There may be some guys in the league that are on the bench and they are not really comfortable with their role," Kenyon Martin said. "Donny is. He is the first one off the bench at every timeout. He is the first one to meet somebody who is not playing well. He's there to pick you up when you need it."

Someone has been watching his Mateen Cleaves and Mark Madsen film . . .

Sunday, March 09, 2003
Older, but Not Wiser

I saw this article yesterday and didn't have time to post on it and then couldn't find it this morning when I posted the other stuff.

Ian Thomsen is reporting that as early as next month, Billy Hunter and the NBAPA could give in and agree to a minimum age requirement of 20. He also says that the decision to make Darko Milic eligible this year was made because under the new rule he wouldn't have been eligible til 2005. Personally I don't think the age limit is really necesary. The people who want it say that it will help the image of the league because the players will get hyped for two years in college and the level of play will improve.

Personally I don't see what the problem is now. As Mark Cuban puts it, "It's not as if the record of teens turned pros is worse than that of college grads or foreign imports; some of them have developed into the NBA's most valuable assets." If the league wants to institute the rule, fine. However, I think the suggestion of Spurs GM RC Buford needs to come to fruition with it. There needs to be an option for the players under twenty who don't go to college. Right now the NBDL has a minimum age of twenty. The easy solution would be to simply make it so the NBDL has no minimum age. Now will the NBA do this? Who knows. They may see doing that as contradicting themselves and not do it.

If the announcement does get made, I wonder what kind of impact it will make on who declares for the draft this year. Will there be some high school kids who don't want to wait the two years who come out before they really should and get Jamal Sampsoned? Who knows? We'll just have to wait and see whether this rumor is true.

Tourney Time!

Dan Lewis has started a pick em group for the tournament over at Yahoo! and he has invited me and all of you, the readers of EotB to join in the fun. Follow that first link to get the details. Also, if you want to get in on the board action over there to talk tourney, here is the link.

76ers fall for second time in past 13 games

I knew I should have kept that last post to myself . . .

Saturday, March 08, 2003
Iverson scores 40 for third time this season

The Sixers have won 11 of their last 12. They are only 2 games out of the top spot in the East this morning. I've been afraid to post on the recent tear for fear of jinxing it. Hell, I'm typing this with a horseshoe, a rabbit's foot and my lucky socks on. Fred Carter says that this team is actually better than the team that went to the Finals in 2000-2001 because Eric Snow is better, the roster is better overall (George Lynch started on that finals team for god's sake!) and the team is better offensively. I would agree with all those points. Eric Snow's PER was a pedestrian 13.95 back then, but is now a more respectable 15.56, mainly due to increased scoring and shooting percentage. As brutal as Derrick Coleman is on defense, he is still twice the offensive player that Dikembe Mutumbo or Theo Ratliff were. Kenny Thomas is definitely better than a guy like Lynch and even though he is injured, the newly acquired Tyrone Hill (also a member of the finals team) should be able to fill in just fine. I don't think this is an Finals winner or anything, but I like the way this team is looking. Getting out of the first round seems a lot more likely this year than it did last year.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003
Dennis, Simon, Theodore? Alvin gets the Axe

Alvin Gentry got fired because he couldn't make the Clippers win. While I do think that there is more talent than the 19-39 record indicates, I don't blame Gentry for the losses. I think that upper management - and Donald Sterling in particular - are the ones to blame. Sterling refuses to make a commitment to the players and to winning and in return, the players have not committed to winning either. If the Don doesn't start to fork out some dough to keep some of the guys around this summer (Elton Brand, Corey Maggette and Lamar Odom are all up for extensions), it is only gonna get worse. To think that Dennis Johnson actually wanted this job back when Gentry first got hired. Be careful what you wish for D, you might just get it.

Sunday, March 02, 2003
New Link

I've added another new link to the left - Sports Frog. Kinda like Dan Lewis and Eric McErlain, Eric Charlesworth and company cover a broad range of sports. The site is funny and informative and the forum is fairly lively, so go check it out.