Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Where it's at

If you're reading this, you're at the wrong place... GiveMeTheRock.com is where it's at. There's all kinds of mad crazy new things going on over there. I mean, weren't you tired of seeing the same old theme all the time? You can check out the new design over at GiveMeTheRock.com. No joke. It's the place to be up in this Internet joint. I ain't playing. It be like flying.

Are you still here? Come on yo.

Trust me - the search is a lot better, there's categories so you can find what you need faster, and I deprecated some of the links to ensure that you're only clicking on the freshest and cleanest. Like diamonds.

Still reading? Well...

All the arkizives are there. Yup, imported them all... and Yahoo has already indexed like 80% of em. What up, tho, Yahoo!

Also, if you're reading this in your feed reader, it's time to switch your style. Try this: http://feeds.feedburner.com/GiveMeTheRock - that way even if the site gets moved again, you'll stay on point. I ain't fronting, neither. Nu uh. No way.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sunday's Playoff Games

First off, I have to comment on the Heat-Nets game, since it was the only one on "broadcast" TV... that's right - no cable for me. I might have been tempted to go to a sports/alcohol venue to view the remaining games of the evening, but it's Sunday, and Sunday is a lazy day... if I hadn't been going to see Moby last night, I might have gone out to watch the games... since Saturday is party night.

Anyway, the Heat, the Nets. Here's how it is: I used to like Vince Carter. In his interview with Amhad that they aired at half time he was trying to take back what he said about playing half-assed in Toronto. Now, I'm willing to buy that the media is extremely adept as misconfiguring, reconstruing and otherwise pillaging and razing any comments made by anyone... there is a point at which they must bear some truth. Everyone knows Vince played like Shit (with a capital S) in Toronto. Whether this was truly only because he didn't have Jason Kidd on his team there can be argued. Whether he was really dogging it, or just having trouble finding assitance on the team can also be argued. But he played like crap, complained until he was traded, and when he left the didn't seem to struggle any more without him than they did with him. Now all of a sudden he's playing like the Vince of Olde? I have no sympathy. In fact, watching the game, I was turned so far as to hope that they lose in as few games as possible.

Meanwhile, my former arch nemesis as a Laker, has grown a goatee which I'm sure he hopes is reminiscent of ancient Chinese warriors (who fought with honor and were endowed with great wisdom), and also grown into a spot in my heart where only a lovable giant could fit. It was hard to fit him in there, especially since I also have to squeeze Dwanye Wade and his unflinching work ethic in there too. And, Alonzo Mourning has been my favorite of the first three picks of the draft that yielded three current Heat players. He's been through a lot, and despite that he pulled a Jim Jackson by not reporting to Toronto, I think he deserves a title. In Mourning, the Heat have pretty much the best backup center you can get. He could probably spell Shaq for an entire game and you'd hardly notice. Not that it's going to happen, but just so you know that it could.

Next up... Da Bulls! Some crackpot over at nba.com thinks the Wizards are still going to win, despite being down 1-0 in the series. Okay, maybe I'm going a little overboard... I didn't even see the game, so I don't know how well they played, but they won. Of coures, if they do manage to win the series (which I picked them to do in my NBA.com playoff game), they'll play the Heat... and get obliterated. Even if Curry and Deng returned at full strength, I don't think they could handle the Heat. But I'd be happy to let the Heat with this year if it means Shaq will retire sooner. The Bulls are young and if Skiles can keep the small but growing egos in check, they're going to a dominant team in short order.

As I'm writing this, the Spurs are leading Denver... only by 5, with 10 minutes left... but it leads me to my last point which is: The Spurs are too much for the Nuggets. I mean, when someone's reasone for saying that you might beat the Spurs is because you're "hot" ... that just isn't going to cut it.

And I'm spent.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

World Community Grid

Every bit as important as joining my playoff prediction league, is joining the World Community Grid. I work on the project in my spare time (you know, when I'm not checking fantasy basketball statistics). I can tell you that it is a worthwhile project, and will help to advance medical research in meaningful ways.

And now that you've got a lot of extra time with no more box scores to check until Saturday... you can head on over to http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org and start helping humanity. It's a good thing.

NBA.com's Pick 'N Roll Playoff Game

NBA.com: Pick 'N Roll:
"Think you've got the prognostication skills to challenge any expert pundit? Predict your way through the postseason with Pick 'n Roll, NBA.com's official bracket game. Play is simple:
- Pick the winning team and total number of games for each playoff series.
- Accumulate points for each series winner you pick -- and get a bonus for picking the correct number of games on top of the series winner.
- Point totals for series winners escalate with each round -- the further your teams advance, the more points you win.
- The participant who garners the most points over the course of the Playoffs and Finals could win a trip to see their favorite team in action."

The interface is really nice for this one... and I might even have a chance this year since it's so wide open! I'm ready for the playoffs!! (I believe it requires you to register at NBA.com, but really, you haven't already?)

I created a league called "Give Me The Rock" if anyone wants to join it... I'm not expecting anything, but I would be interested to see what other people's picks for the playoffs are.

Count it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Give Me The Rock Highlight Reel

As the fantasy basketball season (and NBA regular season, for that matter) draw to a close, I can't help but anticipate all the great highlight reels that will be shown during the playoff hype. Actually, if you hadn't noticed, the NBA is pretty heavy on the hype already with ad reels of Miami, Detroit, San Antone, Cleveland, and Phoenix (that I've seen). I love those pregame showdown drama builders almost more than the games themsevles... so, as a loving tribute to the Human Highlight Reel (and also as a tribute to those behind-the-scenes presentations that agents make to coaches, GMs, etc. to hype their players)...

Give Me The Rock Highlight Reel, featuring Shep "Rookie of the Year" OC aka "Break of Dawn"*

(I've included here the most popular posts according to StatTracker and Feedburner, as well as my personal favorites)

Update: What is 6 TO's worth?
Man-child's back-up
Shep Interview: CEO Style
Nash is (in) a freak (accident)
Sprained Ankle Virus going around the NBA
The 90-footer
If video games were true to life...
Sonics: Real Basketball is more important than Fantasy Basketball

and the crowning moment of Give Me The Rock, the most popular post to date:
T-Mac Video

If my calculations are correct, there's about 6 months until your next fantasy basketball draft... (unless you're in a keeper league or doing one of the playoff leagues) It was my intention when I started this blog to fill the off-season with articles that I wanted to read during the off-season. I was so addicted to fantasy basketball that I had to write my own articles so I had something to read. And now, as opposed to last summer, you'll have this blog, and the Fantasy Basketblog as well, to feed your addiction. While everyone else is worrying about ERA, WHIP, OBP, SOAP, AJAX, CRM, and making up other acronyms, I'll bring you an extensive selection of Draft Guides for 2005-06 as well as coverage of the "actual" draft, and of course, any free agent signings and trades that occur. I'm guessing there might be one or two...

* (Break of Dawn is my NBA Street nickname ... which looked a lot like "Break'd Down" the first time I saw it on the gamebreaker screen... I almost like that better)

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Playoff Predictions ... more

Since I live in Chicago and go to Bulls games, let me tell you something that will happen in the playoffs: Jannero Pargo will hit some shots.

This becomes increasingly true the more games the Bulls play, and the more fouls that Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon pick up. I would say that it will also be true when the Bulls are up by a good deal of points, but that is as unlikely to happen in the playoffs as it is likely that Pargo will surprise you.

I make no such claims for anyone else further down the bench (Ben Gordon and Tyson Chandler count as "up" the bench).

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Bucks' Ford finally gets OK to shoot hoops

Bucks’ Ford finally gets OK to shoot hoops - NBA - MSNBC.com:
"Milwaukee Bucks point guard T.J. Ford shot baskets with his doctor's permission Saturday for the first time since bruising his spinal cord almost 14 months ago.

"I was excited to finally be able to touch a basketball — with permission," Ford said.

Ford was cleared to resume basketball activities last week, almost a year after cervical spinal surgery... On Saturday, Ford shot baskets at the team's training facility in the morning then again at the Bradley Center several hours before the game between the Bucks and the Orlando Magic."

Fantasy Impact

It's hard to say at this point. Ford still has more tests to undergo in another six weeks. It's safe to say that if he's healthy, he'll be a good pick (he had 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 6 assists as a rookie). It's not safe to say that he'll be healthy...

Also of note is the fact that quality point guards seem to come and go more than other types of players in fantasy basketball. This season saw the emergence of Rick Brunson and Dan Dickau as viable fantasy options for significant periods.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Iverson, Wade Ballin Outta Control

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson again is leading Philadelphia upward in the Eastern Conference standings.

Iverson scored 38 points and had 16 assists, helping the Sixers spoil the return of Shaquille O'Neal and overcome a career-high 48 points from Dwyane Wade with a 126-119 overtime win over the Miami Heat on Thursday night.

``It's like a do or die situation,'' Iverson said. ``A loss here or there and we could be out of the playoffs. We understand that. It just says a lot about us.''

Marc Jackson scored 26 and Kyle Korver 20 for the Sixers.

Holy crap! Not that anyone but Iverson and Wade owners care, but 38 and 16 from Iverson and 48, 10, and 6 from Wade! Not to mention 26 from Marc Freakin Jackson and 20 from Kyle Korver (5 three-pointers). Nice game! Not sure about Jackson, but you definitely want to keep those other guys HIGH on your draft list for next year.

Count it.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Playoff Predictions

I've been seeing what all the "professional writers" are saying... and since fantasy basketball is pretty much over, I thought I'd continue my coverage of basketball in a more general sense...

Here's my thoughts on the playoffs:

First of all, I'm very excited. This playoffs looks to be one of the more fun playoffs we've seen in a long time (although what could be more fun than watching the Lakers fall apart last year?)

While I think that Shaq (with Mourning backing him up) and Wade are pretty much unstoppable, nothing says that Shaq isn't going to get injured... if he plays the whole way, though, the Heat are the team to beat.

The West is the widest open I think it's been in a long time. If Duncan is over his ankle injury, then obviously the Spurs are the team to beat. But the Suns, Sonics, Mavericks, Kings, Nuggets, and Rockets all seem like they've got a pretty good chance. It's going to be awesome to see them duke it out.

Also, I'm excited to be in Chicago for the Bulls first playoff appearance since the Glory Days. If I hadn't mentioned it before, I was there when the Bulls clinched their first spot in 7 years. With that and the Illini this year, Chicago is doing pretty well in the basketball world. But, will they be able to win a series without Eddy Curry? We already know they can beat lesser teams without Luol Deng... but they lost to their likely opponents, the Wizards, last night...

I'd like to leave this as an open thread to any passersby... Feel free to leave your comments, predictions, hopes, and wildest fantasies here... just click where it says comments and let your conscience be your guide.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Maggette out rest of season

Yahoo! Sports - NBA - Maggette out rest of season:
"Guard Corey Maggette will miss the season's final five games because of a torn ligament in his left wrist, leaving the Clippers without their leading scorer.

Maggette's wrist was put in a cast Monday for two weeks. He averaged a career-high 22.2 points in 66 games this season. He had planned to sit out last Saturday's game against San Antonio, but decided to play and scored 24 points in a 125-124 double-overtime loss."

Fantasy Impact

Well, that pretty much speaks for itself. It does hurt those people who are trying to hold on to a spot though... that's 100 points that you're going to have to make up if you've got Maggette. Tough situation to be at such a crucial (for some) point in the season.

Count it.

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Monday, April 11, 2005

Share the Knowledge

On a side note, I'm now 3-0 this season at Bulls games. I thought of this post at the game Saturday, even though I'd read about it somewhere before... I want to say on the Celtic Blog, but I'm not entirely sure about that. Speaking of the game Saturday, the Bulls clinched a playoff spot by winning that game. And I was there. Between that and the opening of Millennium Park, I feel I am truly becoming integrated with Chicago.

Anyway, the real reason I'm writing this is to share the knowledge I gained a while ago (once again, I can't remember where)... which is this: Shaking those signs behind the backboard while players are shooting free throws doesn't really do anything. First of all, the guys are trained by muscle memory and are pretty good at tuning that stuff out. Second, and more importantly, many signs moving in many, random directions actually tend to cancel each other out in the mind of the player. They essentially turn into white noise or static that can be filtered out.

Why am I mentioning this (besides just being a curmudgeon who sits up in the upper deck instead of behind the backboard?) ... because of this: If all of the people were to move back and forth in unison, "sway" if you will, (like if they were holding up lighters - but don't do that unless you want to get kicked out - and rocking back and forth to a power ballad at a rock concert)... if those fans were to coordinate their activities thus, it would give the player shooting the free throw the perception that it was actually the basket that was moving back and forth and not the background (I think it's our minds that are trained to think that way). Doesn't that sound much more effective in making players miss? I'm sure everyone would agree that it'd be harder to make baskets if the hoop was moving...

So, to summarize: If you're at a crucial point in a playoff game and the opposing team is shooting free throws, try to get the people behind the back board to Sway.

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Pacific Division Report for the Stretch Run

My Pacific Division Report for the last "week" of the season is up at FantasyBasketball.com

Basically, out of the Pac-5 this week, only the Suns are guaranteed to bring you fantasy wins. Baron Davis is probably a could start as well. If you hadn't already figured that one out.