Fourth Quarter Meltdown

Eternally Optimistic.

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

2012-2013 Trail Blazers Opening Night Activity: Trade Trees, The Sun Shining on a Dog’s Ass, and How CP3 turned into Damian Lillard

Happy Halloween chumps. Let’s make this quick.

I’ve got big plans for the evening that involves eating all the leftover Halloween candy we got for the trick or treaters (that is to say, “all” of the Halloween candy), drinking moderately*, and yelling at my TV as I watch my Blazers take on the Lakers and their devastating Princeton offense. Tonight’s game isn’t the purpose for this post, but just for funsies, I’ll do a one word preview of how I think the Blazers will do: “Notgood”. (Post-game notes included at the end of the post)

Se la vie. I’ll watch anyways.

But no, bozos, this is not a post about tonight’s game. It’s a spinoff of this tweet from Ben Golliver of Blazersedge.com, after the Blazers announced they were not picking up the options on young guns Luke Babbitt, Nolan Smith, and Elliot Williams:

Welp. Clearly that’s the sign of a solid young program making sound draft decisions and reloading rather than rebuilding.

But just because every player drafted between 2007 and now is close to being gone, it’s worth noting that as a whole, the NBA is a very irrational marketplace. So much so that even dumbass decisions can somehow go through convoluted bullshittery and somehow be the bestnewsever(!) for a future generation.

For example: when the Blazers acquired the #6 overall pick this past draft from the Nets, I went batshit crazy, and did the whitest of all whiteboy happy dances. With that pick the Blazers selected Damian Lillard, and I haven’t shut up about him since.

On the other end of the spectrum…in 2005, the Blazers made a brilliant maneuver when they were awarded the #3 overall pick (aka, the rights to either Chris Paul or Deron Williams). They traded it. Obvi. But check my trade tree and see what happens. (Note: red boxes signify a player that is currently on the roster.)

Yes, I could’ve written this out. But that would be boring for everyone and Microsoft Paint diagrams are basically the best thing ever. BTW, who’s that stud muffin with too much time on his hands??? THIS GUY.

I always liked to joke that the Blazers traded the rights to CP3 for Martell Webster, who was later traded for Luke Babbitt. So basically…CP3 = Luke Babbitt (#math). But I was ignoring the other two parts of the trade tree, until I actually thought it through. This year the Blazers have Luke Babbitt, Joel Freeland and – thanks to a long chain of events – Damian Lillard due to that trade. (Editors note: forgot to include this tidbit – the Blazers gave up a 2013 1st rounder, that is top 12 protected. Meaning, if the Blazers overachieve and make the Playoffs, they don’t get a 1st rounder. Just a big FYI for all of ya’s.)

Now look here: I’m not saying that the 2005 trade was good or smart. It was astoundingly stupid, and it remains classified as so. It’s just weird that my 2012 whitest of whiteboy happy dances and my 2005 screamfest of “what the hell are you doing???” are distantly related.

What does this mean? Who the fuck knows. Probably that this here author spends wayyyyy too much brain power thinking about all things Blazers, past and present. But mostly, the big takeaway should be this: the sun shines on every dog’s ass once in awhile. And considering this phrase can appropriately be used to describe the past managerial decisions of my favorite sports team, I find this news to be quite satisfactory.

(More Editor’s notes: Lillard proved why I did my whiteboy happy dance when we got him. My one word preview at the beginning of the post proved to be dead wrong. I’ve never been so thrilled to be wrong in my life. This feeling may not last, but I’m enjoyingthefuckinghell out of it for now.)

Harbaugh’s Mug: ESPN Casually Bringing Up Past Grudges

Do you recognize this man?

When I’m in Los Angeles, I have this totally badass Monday evening routine.  I won’t go into details, but it involves folding laundry, drinking some Pinot Gris (as I do), and watching Monday Night Football all at the same time.  That routine is as good as I’ll ever be at multi-tasking. 

Last night during the 49ers shellacking of the Cardinals, the good ol’ MNF crew showed some team statistics for the 49ers since Jim Harbaugh took over as coach.  The picture they used for Harbaugh is above.  Recognize where the photo is from?

“Now listen here, Schwartz: Gobble, gobble-turkey by jive turkey gobblers.”

Boom!  ESPN is bringing back the memory of one of the greatest coach fights ever!

It’s a little weird that the network would choose to use a picture from a mid-field slapfight between coaches, but I’m totes on board for doing more action shots rather than some boring team headshot.  And some Harbaugh action shots are just a wee-bit too intense

So are we cool with the selection of this picture, even though both coaches probably want to just move on and forget about it already? 

The verdict: yes…with conditions.

Remember, we must capture the Harbaugh intensity, but we mustn’t upset an ESPN audience with vulgarity!  The chosen picture walks that fine line perfectly.  It’s not so much of a “Hey!  Fuck you!” picture, but more of an “Easy does it little guy.  You keep shouting like that you’ll catch a head cold.  Tell your mother I said you’re welcome.”

That said, we must consider that there is a chance that Mr. Harbaugh would prefer another photo, just to end talk of the Harbaugh/Schwartz confrontation once and for all.  So to be fair, if we’re gonna be using action shots from slapfights, we need to be fair in how they are used. 

There.  Now everything is even.

Podcast: BALLIN’ WITH BOZOS #1 (with Gaveen and Endo)

Podcasting on Saturday night: such a slam dunk idea that the very thought of it puts even this monster jam to shame.

Wassup ya big nerds!

Say…speaking of things that are totes not nerdy, what’s a fun Saturday night thing to do?  Get drunk and record a basketball podcast.  Obvi.  So that’s what I did on Saturday night with my good friend Endo. 

In the first episode of “Ballin’ with Bozos“: Endo gets angry with Gaveen over his introductory song choice, Gaveen bitches about Sasha Pavlovic, Endo tempers expectations about the Warriors season, Gaveen claims that the best small market front office is not Oklahoma City, Endo abides by the rule of taking shots of Fireball whiskey when he’s being too negative, Gaveen brags about hearing second-hand that he’s about as tall as a Blazer, the Michael Beasley era in Phoenix, and Endo gets angry with Gaveen over his song choice at the end of the pod.

*Worth noting: precisely 30 minutes after completing this abomination of a podcast (high production value notwithstanding) James Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets.  We would have added some commentary on after the fact, but at that point we were far too inebriated on Fireball whiskey, gin, and homemade lemon-lime carbonation drink. 

http://soundcloud.com/ballin-with-bozos/sounds-from-saturday-evening

Lance Armstrong Ruins “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” For Future Generations

The hits just keep coming for Lance Armstrong.

Just days removed from losing all of his endorsement deals, including Nike, Trek, and Oakley, a spokesperson for 20th Century Fox announced that all copies of the 2004 smash hit Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story would be incinerated.

“In light of the overwhelming evidence that Lance Armstrong doped before and after the filming of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, all proof that this film ever existed will be burnt and sent straight to hell,” said the spokesperson.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story was celebrated for its booming success, and showered with award nominations, including two for Ben Stiller (who was nominated for both a “Best Comedic Performance Award” at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards while simultaneously being nominated for “Worst Actor” at the 2005 Golden Raspberry Awards).

In his 2005 nomination for “Worst Actor” at the Golden Raspberries, Mr. Stiller was also recognized for his work in – Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Along Came Polly, Envy, and Starsky & Hutch

Critics of 20th Century Fox’s decision have questioned why they are going out of their way to disassociate with Armstrong when they don’t have to. Unlike Nike and Oakley, 20th Century Fox has no contractual agreement with Armstrong.

“Mr. Armstrong’s involvement in the film was brief, but critical, as it was his inspirational speech to Peter LeFleur that convinced him to rejoin the Average Joe’s and take on the ever dominant Globo-Gym dodgeball team. We now know that Mr. Armstrong’s heathenous ways made a mockery of the climactic scene of a film that was otherwise flawless cinematic genius.”

But why destroy all evidence of the film’s existence?

“The International Cycling Union couldn’t have made their wishes any clearer.”

On October 22nd, 2012, Pat McQuaid, President of the International Cycling Union, made it clear that he would like Mr. Armstrong’s achievements to be forever forgotten, stating: “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling.”

But why would 20th Century Fox adhere to such a vague request?

Said the spokesperson, “Come on. It’s the International Cycling Union. They are the single most influential and moral governing body in the history of the world. Besides, he’s Pat Fucking McQuaid. When Pat Fucking McQuaid tells you to jump, you jump.”

An anonymous Hollywood insider outlines the problem as follows: “The studio is adhering to Pat McQuaid’s wishes, as they should – because you know…he’s Pat Fucking McQuaid. And the movie doesn’t work without the Lance scene. Reshooting it eight years later would be difficult because of the effects of Vince Vaughn’s aging process. Maybe they could use visual effects, CGI, stuff like that, but even then, who would play Lance’s role? Who could possibly inspire Peter LeFleur – a character who has been so thoroughly defeated – who could inspire him to come back stronger than before? The studio has given up hope in finding such an inspiration.”

One fanatic of the film believes he has found a solution.

“Replace him with Metta World Peace,” says Gaveen, a wildly successful blogger whose business card states:

Gaveen – Editor at Http://ChunksRevenge.Wordpress.Com – Businessman – Graduate of Mrs. Anderson’s Musical Kindergarten (Class of 1987) – A Very Nice Guy

When confronted with the fact that Metta World Peace might not be an ideal candidate due to his past transgressions, Gaveen huffily stated, “Fine. Use Ben Roethlisberger. Or Michael Vick. I don’t care. But just watch this clip. And tell me that it wouldn’t be the most hilarious thing ever to watch a Metta World Peace version of this speech.”

And with that, Gaveen turned his back, threw a red feathered boa over his shoulder, and gallantly glanced back over his shoulder, to make deep, dramatic eye contact – the way only a fabulously dressed, husky, balding man could. Then he stated, “Nuff said,” and pranced his fat ass out the door.

Sources for this story: the author’s brain after several alcoholic beverages, while watching cable television and reading ESPN.com for far too long.

The Portland Trail Blazers Season Preview by Chunk’s Revenge: The Worst Season Previewer on the Internets

“Hi. I’m Terry Stotts. I’m the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers and one of the best casual smilers West of the Mississippi.”

Greetings my wankstas!

Great news: The NBA season is just a fortnight away. Even better news for yours truly: my Blazers are rolling out a starting lineup that includes a rookie point guard, a nut punching Frenchman that wanted out of Portland so badly that he resorted to pleading more shamelessly than Pepe-Le-Pew sleazin’ for a blowjob, and a 6’9” starting center that couldn’t get run on Sacramento as a backup power forward this time last year.

Do I like these players? Obvi. They’re on the Blazers, so basically they’re my BFF’s.

Do I have opinions on their strengths and weaknesses? Yep. Do I care to break these thoughts down after thousands of other websites have already done so? Nope.

So let’s do this: we know goddamned well that this Trail Blazer season will feel like an absolute train wreck if we don’t manage some expectations. Want a season preview? All you need to do is read this text I sent my boy Endo while I was watching a Blazers preseason game regarding two of the better-known prospective bench players:

“Sasha Pavlovic just checked in for Adam Morrison. Soak in that comment for a moment.”

No need for wins & losses projections, amigos. That statement says it all. So…let’s break down some of the hard hitting stories to follow this year, shall we?

Hard Hitting Story #1 – The Portland Trail Blazers Benchwarmers: AKA “Team Hairdo”

Joel Freeland and Meyers Leonard. Five years age difference. One British. One American. Both found the same freakin’ barber in Portland in 2012. Either that or this is the universally accepted tall, athletic, white man haircut. I wouldn’t know because I’m not athletic and don’t really have hair anymore. But just shut up about that, okay?

A hip new hairdo is taking the Pacific Northwest by storm: “The Freeland Leonard”

Moving along…

Check Adam Morrison. My fave part about this ‘do: he cut it because he wanted to “get a job”. He wants to look and act the part of a professional, obviously. So naturally he walked into the nearest barber shop stylist and asked for the Kurt Cobain. This haircut selection is so choice. Methinks that Mr. Morrison would struggle pulling off “The Freeland Leonard”.

Hard Hitting Story #2 – Will Jason Quick ever forgive Nicolas Batum?

If you told me this time last year that Batum would’ve come into this season on many Portlanders shit-list I would’ve said “bitch, you cray.” It should be noted: I’m very, very bad at predicting the future. To get a pulse on a player’s likability in Portland, one must look no further than the Blazers beat reporters, led by one Jason Quick.

Here are snippets of his Twitter activity in July, when Batum was going through the Free Agency process.

Then Dwight Jaynes reported that Batum wanted out of Portland. So Quick used all that trust-building from his meeting with Batum to confidently say this:

Then, it turned out that Jaynes was correct. Batum was just a big pussy and not telling anyone what he wanted (he’s French, so give him a break. The French breed pussies like Portland breeds hipsters). After all the hoopla, Batum ended up in Portland again. Check Quick being passive-aggressive on Twitter:

Dang dude. Sounds like JQuick got played by a hustlin’ foreigner and HE’S NOT HAPPY! Will this end? Will the Quick/Batum bromance ever be the same? There’s no way to tell. But Niccy Nic: Quick can make the city turn on you with one column. Go buy him a pumpkin latte and bury the hatchet, mmkay?

Hard Hitting Story #3: Who’s bringing their A-Game to Twitter?

Check Will Barton.

Hi. I’m Portland Trail Blazer rookie Will Barton.

He looks like such a nice young man. I know very little about him, except that I was excited when he slipped the Blazers in the 2nd round. But based on what I’ve seen of him on Twitter, he seems like all kinds of awesome. Here’s why:

1. His life can be kinda crazy:

On the left, that’s a picture of a mansion in LA, where a party is goin’ down. So @WillTheThrillB5 tweets out the address (exact address redacted by yours truly) and invites everyone. His generosity and hospitality get two thumbs up from Chunk’s Revenge. On the right, that’s his truck burning to smithereens on the side of a freeway, with the caption “Got out just in time. The truck is done.” Following this guy on Twitter can feel like a rollercoaster ride. During the season maybe he’ll tone it down. But just in case, follow @WillTheThrillB5.

2. He’s stylish:

He tweets his outfits. Observe:

None of that single shot bullshit either. He goes balls out and gets multiple angles, because when you dress fresh, that’s just what you do.

That’s it for now amigos. Have a great week, get a haircut, and go Blazers.

Endo Strikes Back! A Warriors Fan Responds to My Comments About David Lee/Lamarcus Aldridge Beef

No less than two hours ago, I posted this commentary in regards to David Lee’s comments that got the Portland Trail Blazer world in a tizzy. Of course, my boy Endo already sent me a long-winded email as a response. For the most part, it’s what I expected: way more thought out than my blog posts, filled with statistics and data, but inexplicably…he might have just taken my side.

Perhaps this is an internet challenge to David Lee? Perhaps he’s mocking me behind my back? Perhaps my late night inebriation is making me paranoid (as I made the brilliant decision to get drunk for my Blazers season preview, then didn’t write anything because I was too busy being inebriated)? No matter. Upon reading Endo’s email, I asked if I may post it on Chunk’s Revenge, as I get tired of hearing my own voice. He said yes. I asked if there was any visuals he cared for. He included one GIF and demanded it be saved for the end. It all makes sense.

And now….Endo’s response to Gaveen:

*Author’s note: writing this as an email rather than a blog post on the platform of my choosing out of laziness. Rest assured, in the near future some actual, real-life content will arise from the blogs that share my name.

There were SO many things I found hilarious about David Lee’s interview. Anytime one’s topics of conversation range from Mark Jackson, to Eddy Curry, to Zeke Thomas, hilarity will ensue. His quotes about LaMarcus Aldridge were particularly enjoyable though, because they came completely out of the blue and I knew they’d get a rise out of my favorite PDX hoopster.

Since Mr. Lee brought it up, lets have some fun with the numbers shall we? To make things even more “fun”, lets do the last 2 seasons for each dude:

Lee: 130 games, 36 mins per, 18.1 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 50.5 FG%, 78.4 FT%
Aldridge: 136 games, 38 mins per, 21.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 50.5 FG%, 79.9 FT%

On the surface, this 2 players have been scarily similar since the start of the 2010 season (having the exact same FG percentage is ridiculous). Lee has a slight edge in rebounds per game while Aldridge has scored almost 4 points per game more. Let us dig a little deeper and see if the big boy numbers tell us anything different than the per game averages do:

Lee: 18.7 PER, 15 rebounding %, 0.9 block %, 13 turnover %, 23.3 usage rate, 11 win shares
LMA: 21.9 PER, 13.3 rebounding %, 2.2 block %, 9 turnover %, 26.2 usage rate, 18.1 win shares

(I excluded their true shooting % and eFG% because they were nearly identical, as to be expected from their per game numbers.)

Even when looking at the big boy stats for rebounding, Lee still grades out as a better rebounder than Aldridge, despite playing in a much faster system and having more opportunities to rack up boards each game. However, that’s the only area of efficiency where Lee out grades LMA. Despite having a lower usage rate (amount of plays that run through a player) Lee turns the ball over at a much higher rate than Aldridge. Then there’s that whole pesky defense thing. I won’t knock Lee too much for the block % since Aldridge is a few inches taller, but at the same time, I would think you’d want your starting 4 to have some kind of shot blocking presence.

Which brings us finally to win shares. Not my favorite stat in the world, but essentially it tries to estimate how many wins a player is to their team (think WAR in baseball), accounting for both offense and defense. For some context, last seasons top ranked players by win shares were Durant (12.2), Paul (12.7), and some guy called LeBron (14.5). Since the start of the 2010 season, Aldridge has been worth approximately 7 wins more to the Blazers than Lee has been to the Warriors. Now when Lee wants to go around and talk about why guys like Aldridge are making the all-star team because of team records, he better look in the mirror before doing so. The reason why the Blazers have had a better win/loss record than the Warriors is BECAUSE of the play of Aldridge, not in spite of it.

Whether its his fault or not, Lee is paid like a super star, so expecting anything less than super star performance is 100% fair. If he really wants to whine about missing the all-star game, he should play better. The forwards/centers who made the team over him were Andrew Bynum (14.6 win shares the last 2 seasons), Marc Gasol (16.1), Dirk (18.7), Blake Griffin (19), Kevin Love (21.4) and Kevin Durant (24.2). I only included their win share totals for context, because it takes about 5 minutes of watching basketball to know that any one of those dudes is on a completely different level than David Lee. So my advice for Mr. Lee is to stop talking about your so-called stats and lack of all-star game appearances and actually contribute to some Warriors victories, then maybe we’ll care about what you have to say.

(Editor’s Note: if this GIF i s not working then quit being a damned baby and just click the link already)

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ma9fm4G1BQ1rwu9euo5_500.gif

Hit up Endo at http://endosgarage.blogspot.com or on the Twitters at @EndoEnderson

Lottery Grudge Match: David Lee vs. Lamarcus Aldridge

Wassup amigos!

I was in the midst of doing a real life blog post on my Portland Trail Blazers when I got this gem of a text from my boy Endo.  He’s a lifelong Warriors fan, because he’s a loyal sucker to his mismanaged hometown NBA franchise…AKA: the “Mr. Kettle” to my “Mr. Pot”. 

The text read:

“MY BOY David Lee basically just said he was as good or better than YA BOY LMA #shotsfired”  

Two things.  One: yes.  We both hashtag in texts now.  Twitter is ruining the world.  Two: When he wrote “LMA” he was referring to Lamarcus Aldridge…FYI for all of you bozos that don’t get the Blazer lingo.

Damn, son!  Season hasn’t even started yet and we’ve already got a beef on our hands between two lottery bound teams!

Note: that sound you just heard was Joe Lacob doing this into a camera upon hearing that I declared his fair Warriors a lottery bound team, whilst he believes them to be a top 4 seed (I presume).

So before we all get into a giant tizzy over David Lee’s comments, let’s all just take a giant relax, swig around some sweet savory Fireball whiskey and cool the fuck out.  Now.  What was it exactly that David Lee said? (via Matt Moore of CBSSports.com):

“I think all the individual stuff will come. If you look at my numbers around All-Star [time] last year and all the stuff we were doing. LaMarcus Aldridge makes the All-Star team, and I don’t. I think if Portland and Golden State’s records are reversed, it’s probably the opposite way [and I make the All-Star team]. And he’s a great player; I’m not talking bad about him at all. But I think all the All-Star appearances, all the respect you want to get, that comes with being on a winning team.”

Eh.  That’s not bad.  But rather than get all pissy about this, let’s just point out three fun facts in all of this:

1). Define “individual” accolades. 

Hey David: see if Lamarcus would trade you last season’s All Star nod in exchange for flipping contracts.  Sooo…you’d take $15,000,000 less in guaranteed money and give it to Lamarcus.  Maybe he’ll write a letter for you or something…maybe get ya to the partay in Houston this year!  Going to Houston to do your job during your supposed vacation is totes worth the $15,000,000, no?

2). Managing expectations: a very fun thing to do

Dave.  You’re a very, very good basketball player.  But about the time your owner (this guy) and your coach (this guy) were declaring you playoff bound (before the season even started), Portland’s captain and franchise cornerstone, “retired” at 26.  That fucking sucked.  Then, another cornerstone that never got put in place, missed another season, and eventually released.  During all of this, Aldridge outplayed you (PER 22.7 to 19.8) and got the team to outperform (carried a broken franchise to 18-16 at the All-Star break). 

Bottom line…I get what you’re saying.  You’re good, you deserve recognition, and you’re behind the curve because of a stacked Western Conference with winning teams who have great power forwards.  So as to why you’re getting shit now…given the circumstances last year, Aldridge was the wrong guy to bring up in the interview.  For the record, you would’ve made the All-Star team last year not if the records were reversed, but if you were on Portland and Aldridge was on GState, and you did what Aldridge did. 

3). Wading through all the bullshit, Lee is saying that he wants to help his team win and when the team has success that will be the best way he can achieve individual success. 

How dare you David! 

Done and done. 

Now.  Before any Warriors fans get fussy with me about this post let me just say one thing: I’ll be posting my season preview of the Blazers tomorrow.  Note: I will be getting drunk to write the thing, because sobriety will not be good for my sanity when covering in depth musings of my Portland Trail Blazers in 2012-2013 (see: Morrison, Adam).

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