Saturday, November 28, 2009

2009-10 NBA Western Conference musical preview

I hope you enjoyed the Eastern Conference musical NBA preview. Now let's take a look at the West.

Southwest Division

San Antonio Spurs (2) - "It's Not My Time" by 3 Doors Down
You may think their time as title contenders has passed. But they're still in the hunt.

Dallas Mavericks (5) - "Getting Better" by The Beatles
They re-tooled their lineup by adding Shawn Marion, Drew Gooden and Rodrigue Beaubois to their core of Nowitzki, Howard, Terry and Kidd.

New Orleans Hornets (8) - "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes
Without talented point guard Chris Paul, this team would have a hard time living.

Houston Rockets - MASH theme
With Yao Ming out for the season and Tracy McGrady missing a good chunk of games, Luis Scola may be the Rockets' best player. While that normally wouldn't be a good thing, the Rockets should fare better than one would expect when looking at them on paper (Remember the 7-game series with the Lakers last season when Yao and T-Mac were hurt?). Former Rockets player Charles Barkley said they would have the worst record in the West this season. I say Barkley is wrong.

Memphis Grizzlies - "Sweet Dreams" by Beyonce
As the song says, "you could be a sweet dream or a beautiful nightmare." You have plenty of scorers--O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Allen Iverson, Zach Randolph--but most of them would much rather shoot than pass (or play defense). I am guessing they will be more of a nightmare than a dream. UPDATE: Iverson has since parted ways with the Grizzlies.

Northwest Division

Portland Trail Blazers (3) - "Electric Youth" by Debbie Gibson
This young squad coming off a 54-win season should only get better in upcoming seasons.

Denver Nuggets (4) - "This Kiss" by Faith Hill
This song is for Kenyon Martin, who somehow decided it was a good idea to have a tattoo of lipstick marks on his neck.

Utah Jazz (6) - "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash
Carlos Boozer heads into the final season of his contract reportedly unhappy to play in Utah. Would it make sense for the Jazz to trade Boozer now, or to just let him play out his contract and hope to make a splash in the free agent market. FYI: The Jazz own New York's 2010 first-round draft pick.

Oklahoma City Thunder - "Fallin' For You" by Colbie Caillat
With four top-five picks -- Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook and James Harden -- since 2007, this team should be on the rise in the near future. However, many fans and analysts seem to like their present even more than I do. Here is one article about what's going down in OKC.

Minnesota Timberwolves - "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran
What the Wolves will be starving for is a few wins. It's too bad draft pick Ricky Rubio didn't make it across the pond this season.

Pacific Division

Los Angeles Lakers (1) - "We Are the Champions" by Queen
This is me paying respects to Hollywood's team not only for being the defending champs, but also because they have a good chance of repeating in '10.

Phoenix Suns (7) - End of the Road by Boyz II Men
This may be the first time in the past half-decade or so that the Suns didn't enter the season as a highly regarded championship contender. Have they come to the end of the road?

Los Angeles Clippers - "One Day" by Matisyahu
"Sometimes in my tears I drown/but I never let it get me down/so when negativity surrounds/I know one day it'll all turn around because/All my life I've been waiting for, I've been praying for..." These lyrics almost make Matisyahu sound like a Clipper fan. Which would be really rough because, despite all of the high draft picks, most of them have been busts (i.e. Michael Olowokandi), have suffered injury (as Blake Griffin did before playing a single regular-season NBA game) or have left as free agents after a few short years (a la Lamar Odom).

Golden State Warriors - "Falls Apart" by Sugar Ray
Things looked promising for the Dubs after the 2007 playoff upset of the Mavericks. Since then, they've lost some key players, including Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson (he departed early this season), and things have fallen apart to some degree. However, they may have enough young talent to provide fans with hope.

Sacramento Kings - "Bonito" by Jarabe de Palo
This franchise had a few good seasons in the early part of this decade. Before then -- and since then -- things have been less than rosy. Still, the Sactown faithful seem to maintain a positive outlook while supporting their team.

Friday, November 13, 2009

2009-10 NBA Eastern Conference musical preview

A couple of weeks into the season, here comes my NBA preview, starting with the East. You may have noticed my NBA previews in the past.

This one will be much different, with as much music as basketball.

By the way, if winning the championship is the only thing that matters, then coming into the season, it looked as if only five teams would matter: Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Magic and Cavaliers. I guess we'll see.

Teams will be listed in order of their predicted standing in their division. Playoff teams' seeding will be in parentheses.

Atlantic Division

Boston Celtics (1) - "Bad" by Michael Jackson
They'll talk trash, strut and try to intimidate you. And they won't back down from an opponent. Newcomer Rasheed Wallace has the record for most technical fouls in a season and in a career. Kevin Garnett picks on smaller guys and bangs his head against both the basket support and the basketball.

Philadelphia 76ers (7) - "Run" by Collective Soul
They have a group of youngters who seem to fit a run-'n-gun game plan. Their highest-paid player, Elton Brand probably needs a half-court style of play to be most successful. Does Brand fit into the team's game plan? Would anyone trade for his contract?

Toronto Raptors (8) - "Around the World" by Daft Punk
One of the most "international" teams in the Association -- and the only one from outside the United States-- features a Canadian coach and players from Italy, Slovenia, Turkey and Spain.

New York Knicks - "Build Me Up Buttercup" by The Foundations
Knicks management will inspire hope in the New York faithful for a big 2010 free agent signee, i.e. LeBron James or Chris Bosh, but their hopes may come crashing down next summer.

New Jersey Nets - "I Like to Move It" from "Madagascar"
They have a new owner from Russia, and they could be moving to Brooklyn soon.

Central Division

Cleveland Cavaliers (3) - King Without a Crown by Matisyahu
Although basketball is a team sport, "King James" will not officially be crowned in many people's eyes until he is an NBA champion -- whether that's fair or not is up to you to decide.

Chicago Bulls (6) - "Eye In The Sky" by Alan Parsons Project
This young team is looking to the future, but their intro song takes you back to the Jordan-Pippen era.

Detroit Pistons - "Yesterday" by the Beatles
They played in six straight Eastern Conference Finals from 2003 to 2008. Last year they lost more games than they won. Pistons fans long for yesteryear.

Indiana Pacers - "White and Nerdy" by Weird Al Yankovic
I feel bad just for making a connection between the Pacers, whiteness and nerdiness, but I noticed the team from the Hoosier state has six white guys--quite a few by NBA standards--and I figured I would link to this funny song and video.

Milwaukee Bucks - "Down Under" by Men at Work
In order to make big strides, the Bucks need Australian big man Andrew Bogut to play like he's a former No. 1 overall draft pick (which is exactly what he is). Besides, I'll take any excuse to put up this song/video.

Southeast Division

Orlando Magic (2) - "So Close, Yet So Far Away" by Hall and Oates "Welcome Back, Kotter" theme "All I Want" by Toad the Wet Sprocket
Explanation of the three songs and how they relate to the Magic: 1) Orlando had a couple of Finals games they easily could have won, which would have put them in the running to win the series, and yet you never really felt they would win. 2) Daytona Beach native Vince Carter is making a homecoming of sorts. 3) If you read some of Dwight Howard's quotes after the Finals, you got an idea of how badly he wants to win a championship.

Atlanta Hawks (4) - "Fly" by Sugar Ray
This song title is a lame pun based on the facts that Hawks are birds and, as such, can fly. But besides that, they also have some great athletes, namely Josh Smith. Plus, they have flown up the list of Eastern Conference teams.

Miami Heat (5) - "The Heat is On" by Glenn Frey; "Please Don't Leave Me" by Pink
Check out the cool mullet in the first video. The second song represents the Heat brass asking Dwyane Wade not to sign elsewhere in free agency (This song could just as easily be applied to the LeBron-Cavaliers situation).

Washington Wizards - "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.
The Wiz have scorers and talent, but they also have injury-prone players and poor defense.

Charlotte Bobcats - "First Time" by Lifehouse
This squad, now entering its sixth season, has never made the playoffs. Could Larry Brown's team sneak in for the first time in 2010?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Twilight Halloween -- Edward and Bella

On Halloween night, my wife and I dressed up as the lead characters from Twilight (You can probably guess whose idea this was). We bought some clothes/stuff to help us look the part. How do you think it turned out?


And here are our model photos.



We did okay, huh?
We even made a little Twilight video...


video

...with the requisite outtakes for the DVD...

video

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ginobili Swats Bat; Spurs Defeat Kings

Are the two things mentioned in the title above related to each other? I say "Why not?"

A bat flew around the AT&T Center on Halloween during a game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Sacramento Kings. You may even see that if flew above the Kings' Kevin Martin as he attempted a shot in the video below.

Later on, Manu Ginobili decided enough was enough. He wacked the bat and potentially rescued thousands of people in the stadium from a bat attack.



Here is another video, this time with a hometown-announcer slant.


Here are some quotes from the Spurs after the game regarding Manu's bat "heroics."

From teammate Tony Parker said: "That was amazing. The legend continues with Manu. Unbelievable. ... He's always doing crazy stuff."
Coach Gregg Popovich said, "The drummer that he marches to sometimes is a little bit different. He never ceases to amaze me and he just did it again. The legend grows. It's incredible on Halloween night. You would call someone a liar if they told you that story."
Manu was less impressed with himself. "When you can't dunk anymore, you have to find a way to make it into the news," he said. "So that's what I did. I grabbed a bat. I didn't think it was a big deal."

The fallout from the incident, however, was not all good. Gino had to get a battery of rabies shots, just in case the bat was rabid. Some organization that squawks loudly to get attention vehemently defends animals' rights said that Manu was a small man-u, even though he is 6'6".

And this is Manu's comment from his Facebook page:

Just wanted to give you guys an update on the bat situation. As many of you already know, it wasn't a great idea. Not only for the fact that bats are great part of the ecosystem, but also, because some carry rabies, which is an incurable disease. That's why I had to get vaccinated today (and it wasn't just one shot!).
Only 0.5% to 3% of the bat populations carry the disease, but if you can't find the animal, it's not recommended to take any risks, it can kill you! Since after the incident, the usher took it outside and the bat flew away (not lying!), there was no way of knowing if he was infected or not, so I had to do the safe thing.
Finally, please, don't do it at home or anywhere, avoid contact with bats, skunks, raccoons, rats and animals like that.

The High Ate Us

So a good number of months have passed since I've posted on this here blog. As the cool people say, it's been a minute. I have a number of things I've been planning to post -- and I've been holding on to some of them for several minutes, if you know what I mean -- but for various reasons I haven't gotten around to writing.

Here is a summary of some of the reasons, in no particular order:

1) Motivation - How many blogs have regular posts when they start out, then they fall off the face of the earth?
2) Money - I don't get paid for this blog. Some folks put ads on their blogs and make money for it, but in most cases it's a pretty meager sum. Like it or not, sometimes you have to focus on doing things that make money. That includes working for pay and/or looking for work that pays.
3) Time - It's said that time is of the essence. The essence of what? Probably just about everything, really. So time may make it difficult to put up a post. Some of my posts have only taken me a few minutes. However, some have taken a few hours, believe it or not.
4) What was reason #4 again?
5) Priority - This relates to #s 2 and 3. If you need to make money, and you are doing several different things with your time, then you must prioritize. Assigning different levels of importance to things you do sometimes means leaving some things out. You can do good things, better things, and maybe even "best" things. Hopefully, when we omit some good things, we are doing better or best things. Or even bestest things.

I will continue to post on the blog. Sometimes it will be basketball related, sometimes it will be personal stuff, etc. I can't guarantee how often I will write, but I will write.

Just for making it this far down the page, I will give you a visual/audio cookie. It's a reminder not to take everything too literally. On second thought, maybe you do want to take things literally. Oh, and if you figured out what this post's title means, give yourself a pat on the back. As always, comments are appreciated.