Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tuesday 12/19 A.M. Quickie:
Are the Colts Really Back?

Did you really think the Colts were finished for the season, putting the "AFterthought" in AFC? Last night's win over the Bengals should put them back near the top of most everyone's league rankings.

(And how many fantasy playoff games were won by the owner who came from behind with Peyton Manning's 4 TD passes? Or the owner who came from behind with Marvin Harrison's 3 TD catches?)

NBA: For Knicks and Nuggets, things are "fine." If suspending top players is wrong, who wants to be right? Short-handed, the Knicks beat the Jazz at the buzzer (to tie the Celtics, Raptors and Nets for the most wins, 10, in the Shitlantic Division). Meanwhile, the Nuggets -- without Carmelo Anthony or JR Smith – beat the previously sizzling Wizards in Denver.

College Hoops Parity Watch: Unbeaten Oklahoma State loses for first time this season to Tennessee. Meanwhile, my preseason Final Four pick of Wisconsin is suddenly hardly bold, given the Badgers' rise to No. 4 in the latest Top 25.

MLB Hot Stove: Credit the Tigers for locking up young starter Jeremy Bonderman (4Y, $38M). No need to troll the free agency depths looking for quality starters when they can re-sign the sick young bunch they already have.

Meanwhile, Pete Rose is going to get the star treatment from the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. At least it's A Hall of Fame, if not THE Hall of Fame. What does it say that it took the Reds HOF this long to honor him? (It says they obviously need an attendance spike.)

College Football Coaching Carousel: Stanford hires Jim Harbaugh, and B.C. has reportedly hired Packers O.C. Jeff Jagodzinski, who apparently finds coaching Brett Favre so monumentally unsatisfying that he'd rather coach college kids.

Sports Business: ESPN's new ownership stake in Arena Football League is the best thing to ever happen to the sport – and it's a smart play for ESPN.

The deal gives the network a way to expand its "Monday night" football (small "n") presence without "Monday Night Football" (big "N") by creating weekly Arena games on Monday between March 12 and June 25, satisfying the football fans' jones for the sport.

Arena was so excited by the distribution opportunity that it delayed the start of its season. Plus, the league can take advantage of all of the distribution channels of ESPN. Meanwhile, the deal helps ESPN find more programming it can own, as the major sports leagues take (back) more and more ownership of their products.

Fans and critics who don't understand Arena mock it a little bit for the funky look and pinball scoring, but it's one of the great sports-league success stories of the last 25 years. (Compare the AFL's growth to, say, the NHL.)

But for a league that is revolutionary as much for its fan-friendly marketing as its rulebook, it's the most significant step yet to come that much closer to its existing fans, and – most importantly – create new ones.

(And, yet, somehow I don't think that Tony Kornheiser will be in the booth calling the games...)

Oh, and DON'T FORGET TO SIGN UP for this blog's Bowl Pick 'Em contest. We're using the ESPN.com Bowl Pick 'Em interface. Groupname: Daily Quickie Readers. No password needed. You can enter whenever, but to get credit for tonight's bowl-season opener, be sure to get in now. Poinsettia Mania!

-- D.S.


Jon said...

You really thought that picking Wisconsin to make the Final Four was a bold pick? Maybe picking the other team in Wisconsin (Marquette) would have been a bold pick.

Bengals looked awful last night. Might not have the two teams from the AFC championship game in the playoffs this year.

Best thing about the Knicks suspensions is that we might get to see Renaldo Balkman a little more. ROY is sure to follow...

At least ESPN will get all of the best Monday night games with Arena, instead of one decent match up every 5 weeks with the real Monday Night Football.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

As a former intern of the Arena League, this is nice to see. The NBC deal (which began the year after I left) fell flat.

It's not the outdoor game, but it is still entertaining, and draws a very good crowd in some key markets.

I'd love to see the Arena League finally succeed. It will never be the NFL but it coild be a great catalyst for football internationally.

Joe (Dayton)

RevScottDeMangeMD said...


The Reds just got the approval from MLB to allow Rose into the Reds HOF. Before, Pete Rose was banned from ALL capacities of baseball.

Also...the Bengals piss me off. Just when I thought the offensive line was becoming a good unit, they lose ANOTHER starter. And what was up with them calling a timeout on their first drive to allow Indy to challenge the play?

CMFost said...

cl9699 you must not know Dan if you you think he has a hard on for Favre it more like he has a mr softy for Favre. Basically he rips him every time he can.

CMFost said...

I know in my FFL league Mannings game lead to the the upset of the #2 in our playoffs. #1 team(my team) had a huge lead and Harrison would of need 6 TD's to help them win.

CMFost said...

That was a perfect Indy game, get the lead early so the other team has to pass and there speed rushers on the edge do what they are only good at and that is rushing the passer.

Big D said...

On the radio this morning, one of the co-hosts said something to the effect of "Being behind by 20 points late in the game isn't an excuse (to beat someone up) unless there are serious extenuating circumstances that hinder a team's ability to compete..."

Personally, I consider Isiah Thomas and his renowned GM / Head Coach abilities an extenuating circumstance that will hinder his team's chances to win games.

CMFost said...

Studs and Dus from Last night:

Manning 282Yds, 4 Tds

Harrison 8 Catches for 86 Yds and 3 Tds

Detroits Tiger for locking up Bonderman

Marcus Camby 25 Pts, 5 Ast, 17 Reb and 7 Blocks

Boston College - Hiring a former O'Brien Assistant with no Head Coaching experience who is only going to continue the just good enough to make a bowl era at BC

Bengals D - See Harrison and Manning

Carson Palmer - 176 Yards and 0 TDs

Chad Johnson - 3 Catches for 37 Yards

These are some of mine what are yours?

Unknown said...

Is it me..or do less people post here?

lots of posts, but less variety in posters.

I think I'll head over to deadspin and ksk

Mikepcfl said...

I guess Charlie Weis found it so unsatisfying to coach Tom Brady that he had to escape to coach a bunch of college kids too!

Mega said...

Regarding Shanoff rooting for his teams (NU, FL), I don't think I have ever seem him claim to be unbiased. If I had a sports blog as popular as his, I'd be biased too.

Regarding Bonderman- what a good move by the Tigers. They got a young, good arm to extend for a rather cheap deal considering the other guys (Lilly, Meche) receiving ridiculous contracts. Kudos to Detroit on that one. The AL Central may be the best division next year.

dawg gone round the world said...

STUD: Shayne Graham
DUD: Rudi Johnson

my buddy in fantasy needed to gain a full point on me to beat me in the Semis. Shayne provided 10 points, rudi 10.8 with our scoring.

Shayne is the friggin MVP in my book.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Marvin and Rudi for getting me into the championship game.

Chad Johnson, do not repeat that performance next week. I need you.

ps. Dan, no love for CJ's shoes? Those were great.

Anonymous said...

Low blow on the AFL/NHL comparison Dan. I think what the lockout demonstrated was that hockey is a niche sport and it has embraced that mantra by appealing to the hardcore fans through blogs and other digital friendly intiatives.

Any league that wasn't in existence 20 years ago is of course going to have a greater "expansion" then a sport that has been around for close to 100 years.

Everyone seems to like to pick on the NHL as the bastard stepchild of professional sports but the game is getting healthier and in all honesty I don't want it expanding (hmm 2 teams in Phoenix, let's do it!).

Anonymous said...

I like Deadspin, but not the comments section. This is better. Too many posters, and there's no chance for a conversation.

A lot of people are off work or on vacation, so it should die down in here.

Anyway, I think Brett is hurting the Pack's future at this point, but Dan is WAAAAY too bitter. The OC might be a really good coach. If he is, then that means that Favre is probably worse than advertised, eh?

We spotted our first case of JP fever here in Buffalo! It only took 2 years!

Anonymous said...

I mean, fewer posters, within reason, is usually better. You need enough for variety, but I generally found the Dailie Quickie moderated chat frustrating because there was no continuity. It was just a contest for best comment, edited by a pro-Florida, Anti-Yankee guy in Connecticut.

Brian in Oxford said...

It doesn't have to be the next poker....ESPN already is the "all football and poker" network.

CMFost said...

If you win your Division and you do not have a better then .500 record should you make the playoffs? Since that is what is going to happen in the NBA with the as dan called it the Shitlantic Division.

Unknown said...

Actually my comment was aimed at Dan's posts. Not the comments. lol

You seem bored already, Dan! and getting into ruts.

We know you hate Favre, we know you love Florida, etc. etc.

Just nothing fresh on here lately!

I had already clinched my win this week in fantasy...so the lack of production from Rudi and Chad didn't hurt me too much.

Unknown said...

BTW, Hockey is definitely much improved. But it is definitely a sport that you can't appreciate unless you see a game up close.

I've never understood how football fans aren't automatically hockey fans. Fast action, violence, great strategy, sweet moves and athleticism. People blame low scores sometimes..but cmon..if you changed football scores, they'd be 5-2 a lot too.

Go Blue Jackets!

CMFost said...

On my Blog I just started a list of who where the Studs and Duds of 2006, jump on over and give me some help in creating a final list.



Sheldiz said...

ma4tt and nyc-steelers --i think you guys will get the win against the ravens this weekend. i hate to say it, but its always a "playoff atmosphere" when our teams play and in this game the advantage is definitely w/ the steelers. After the ugly loss to baltimore last time and the fact that its at home in chillier weather... i think your chances are good. i mean, i'm not rooting for it or anything, but i can definitely see it happening.

Kevin said...

What ever happened to SlamBall? Did anyone watch that on TNT or SpiekTV or whatever it was back then? I would love to see that get a contract with ESPN. Better yet, I would love to play that with my buddies. Nothing like mixing trampolines and basketball hoops to make for some great dunks and even better injuries.

Big D said...

Sadly (wait, what am I saying, "sadly"...) the Steelers are probably going to come up just short this year. It's looking like the AFC will break down to:

1. San Diego (Bye)
2. Baltimore (Bye)
3. Indy
4. N.E.
5. Cincinatti @ N.E
6. NY Jets @ Indy (Cannot believe I just wrote that).

The NFC... who the hell knows. Chicago gets the 1 seed and the bye. That's all we can say for now.

(BTW, on a personal note, thanks for including me on the list of commenters who "bring something to the table". Usually the only thing I bring to a table is a large appetite.)

Brian in Oxford said...

I always assumed part of the "turn-off" as hockey being not as popular as it is, is simply that you can't play it in your backyard unless it's been freezing cold for a good week. That eliminates a lot of the USA (and just makes northerners mad at the idea that places without natural ice having NHL teams).

Seriously, though, when you're a kid, everyone goes out and shoots hoops in the driveway or at the park....football after school, or wiffle ball. Hockey requires ice....and LOTS of equipment. Even roller hockey still requires multi-hundred dollar skates plus a helmet and pads and a stick. Compare that to a $20 football, or $3 wiffle bat and ball.

I would have picked the Dolphins to beat the Jets, IF the Jets hadn't lain down against the Bills. Everyone pointed out their easy schedule, but you had to KNOW there was at least one trap game in there.

Another alternative to slamball (which was pretty cool, actually) would be just to have a basketball league with 6-foot rims. Why reward height? Let EVERYONE be able to dunk all the time, and see what happens. Probably something violent :)

CMFost said...

I think the Playoffs will sort out like this.

1. San Diego 14-2
2. Indianapolis 13-3
3. New England 12-4
4. Baltimore 11-5
5. Denver 10-6
6. New York Jets 10-6

First Round -
NE Over NY
Den over Balt

Second Round
NE over Indy
SD over Denver

AFC Championship
SD over NE

1. Chicago 13-3
2. New Orleans 10-6
3. Philadelphia 10-6
4. Seattle 9-7
5. Dallas 10-6
6. Atlanta 9-7

First Round
Philly over Atl
Dallas over Sea

Second Round
Dallas over Chicago
New Orleans over Philly

NFC Championship
Dallas over new Orleans

Super Bowl
SD over Dallas

but of course since marty Shoetheimer is the San Diego coach this will never happen

CMFost said...

Brian did you every hear of Steet Hockey???? Which you play without any type of skates. You get a cheap $5-10 hockey stick and a $1 tennis ball and you can have a game.

CMFost said...

sorry typo I meant Street hockey not Steet Hockey. My Bad!!!

Anonymous said...

CMfost, except for NE over Indy, I think you've got it all down perfect. Great work, I can't really predict better than that.

Of course, I'm still working out the insane mathematics required for Buffalo to make the playoffs...

CMFost said...

I think all you need to happen is for Buffalo to win out and Cincinnati, New York and Jacksonville to lose there last 2 games and Buffalo would be in based on better conference record.

CMFost said...

in another note away from the sports world

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:


Sheldiz said...

buffalo is playing the ravens at ravens stadium for their last game.

i don't see baltimore losing this game. but stranger things have happened.

Big D said...

This story is great:

But the craziest part about it is this: Urban Meyer gets a $50K bigger bonus for just making it to the title game than he does for actually winning it.

$150k for making it there, an additional $100k for winning it.

Brian in Oxford said...

I played street hockey a few times in high school. It was weird, that when my little brother a couple of years later used to go to the same place, his friends were all on wheels, instead of just running around like we did.

If everyone in the country lost out on something due to underage drinking, who'd be left with anything anyways? It's good civil disobedience by Trump NOT to punish someone like that. Although honestly, where's the gut if she's such a lush already? (Maybe she pukes them back up?)

Are there any computer progams out there that allow you to enter variables (specific game result predictions) to determine who ends up where in the playoffs? You need one to handle "strength of victory" crap. That's pretty BCS-ish, actually.

Christian Thoma said...

See, I told everybody figuring out playoff scenarios was fun.

Here's my pick (in bold) for tonight...and yes, I'm copying-pasting from my original comment back on 12/3:
Dec. 20 Poinsettia Bowl: TCU vs Northern Illinois
Horned Frogs versus Garrett Wolfe. I'm going with the Frogs.

Anonymous said...

I do not know of anything software similar to that in existence for the general public, but I am willing to bet it wouldn't be that hard to write. And, if that is true, then someone has probably already done it and posted it on a free software site by now. Otherwise, I am going to add that to my list of fun software projects to complete.

CMFost said...

A reason why you should not count the Patriots out from winning the Super Bowl.

Points Per Game Allowed (Which to me is the most important defensive stat)
2001 - 17 PPGA - 6th in NFL - Won Super Bowl
2002 - 21.1 - 17th in NFL - Did not make Playoffs
2003 - 14.9 - 1st in the NFL - Won Super Bowl
2004 - 16.3 - 2nd in the NFL - Won Super Bowl
2005 - 21.1 - 17th in the NFL - Lost in 2nd round of PLayoffs
2006 - 13.8 - 2nd in the NFL - TBD

Natsfan74 said...

New England would be better off playing against Indy on the road. they have lost 3 home games this year (including one to Indy). Plus, Tom Brady has never lost in a dome and his record on astroturf is pretty amazing as well. Maybe that's why the Pats went to a turf field at home even? I'd take Brady's dome streak against Payton's playoff streak any day...

CMFost said...

This is a decent site to figure out some of the playoffs possibilities


Anonymous said...

"I think all you need to happen is for Buffalo to win out and Cincinnati, New York and Jacksonville to lose there last 2 games and Buffalo would be in based on better conference record. "

Oh, is that all...? lol.

I think we CAN beat Baltimore, if only because the last week of the season never plays out right.


Christian Thoma said...

This is a decent site to figure out some of the playoffs possibilities


There's a flaw in the methodology somewhere. They're claiming that Falcons beat Panthers eliminate the Packers, but the Falcons at 8-8 lose the 2-team tiebreaker to the Packers at 8-8 due to conference record. So I'm confused.

Brian in Oxford said...

That playoffstatus.com website was pretty cool. Yeah, not exactly what I was looking for, but intriguing nonetheless. The Eagles can still be the 2 seed?! The Pats could still end up with the top record in the league?!

What I didn't get from it, though, was whether or not those probabilities assume 50-50 for each game.

Brien said...

OK, I know, I'm the only one who cares, but I am looking forward to tonight's Poinsettia Bowl ... as our own Garrett Wolfe needs just 100 yards to reach 2,000 for the season.

TCU is the #5 run defense in the nation, but ... they play in a pass-wacky conference ... so is the #5 ranking a reflection of their dominating run defense, or a reflection of the fact that no one in their conference runs the football?

We shall see.

I understand that the alums and fans of the BCS schools find these minor bowls annoying, and so on and so on. But, for schools like NIU, who had a so-so season at 7-5, but who have had some success the last five years ... as well as the nation's leading rusher ... we get a chance for people to see us play who might not otherwise see us or care.

I hope we will represent the MAC well this evening, and I hope that folks here will tune in for a bit to see some of the best the MAC has to offer.

Brien "Forward, together forward ... there's victory in view ..."

Anonymous said...

AI to Denver for Joe Smith, Andre Miller, and two 1st Rd. picks. The best the Sixers could have hoped for, IMHO.

Christian Thoma said...

I understand that the alums and fans of the BCS schools find these minor bowls annoying, and so on and so on.

Not me. I love the fact that half the teams finish as winners. I'll be in front of the ol' TV for the Poinsettia bowl tonight.

That, and the fact that I am totally going through withdrawal for college football.

Christian Thoma said...

AI to Denver for Joe Smith, Andre Miller, and two 1st Rd. picks. The best the Sixers could have hoped for, IMHO.

Interesting that the Bobcats didn't get involved as a 3rd team. Perhaps they got pissed about all the false "AI doesn't want to go to the Bobcats" reporting.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Steelers:

I've analyzed the tiebreakers, and this is a realistic scenario to get in:

Week 16
Steelers beat Ravens
Broncos beat Bengals
Dolphins beat Jets
Patriots beat Jaguars

Week 17
Steelers beat Bengals
Chiefs beat Jaguars

and the Bills lose (at least) once.

Assuming the Chiefs and Jets beat the Raiders, the Broncos beat the 49ers, and the above scenario plays out:

Broncos 10-6
Steelers 9-7
Jets 9-7
Chiefs 9-7
Bills 8-8 or 7-9
Titans 9-7 or 8-8 or 7-9
Bengals 8-8
Jaguars 8-8

Steelers and Jets beat Chiefs in conference record
Steelers beat Jets in common games
Steelers beat Titans in common games (if they finish 9-7)

To sum up, we need to win both games and hope for only 5 other outcomes to fall our way, all very realistic (we're not resting our hopes on the Raiders or Niners).

Brian in Oxford said...

If I read the playoff rules right, when you have a 4-way tie, all you're doing is eliminating teams, one at a time.

So you might accidentally eliminate a team you'd rather keep in (say, you beat them), because they got eliminated at an earlier stage in the proceedings. Then your head-to-head over that team is meaningless, because you then have to avoid elimination in a tie-breaking step no longer considering them.

Christian Thoma said...

What you also have to look at is the divisional pre-fight.

For example, if the Packers, San Francisco, and St. Louis Rams all finish at 8-8, it's not all 3 teams that are considered for the spot. First, you eliminate either San Francisco or St. Louis since they're in the same division.

So even though the Packers lost to the Rams, St. Louis loses to San Francisco in the tiebreaker because San Fran will finish with a better divisional record than the Rams.

Which is why the Packers need either the Rams to lose once or the 49ers to win twice.

CMFost said...

Pro Bowl rosters are out
No VY, No Bush, No Colston, No Addai only rookie to make it is Hester as the special teams player.

Anonymous said...

Pro Bowl decision makes sense, since of the rookie class, only Hester is the best in the NFL at his position. Although, MJD and Colston deserve consideration as third stringers or alternates.

Doesn't mean he deserves or will get the ROY honors, though.

Jen said...

I'm going through CFB withdrawal too, not to mention, I am in a Pick 'Em pool. $$$ always keep it more interesting! ;)

Brian in Oxford said...

I just signed up for Dan's group on the CFB....don't see his entry yet. But what's kind of creepy is that we can sorta surmise that Sheldiz and Geoff from Detroit are perhaps brother-sister.

CMFost said...

Help me pick the studs and duds of 2006.

go to my blog and let me know who they should be.


Sheldiz said...

sorry, brian.... sheldiz is an only child :)

Anonymous said...

According to that website, the Bills have a 3% chance of making the playoffs. So that's nice.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you jo fer. What is most perplexing is that they are being evaluated at their most vulnerable point right now, when they are missing players due to injury, or not playing others for fear of it. This defense that you will see the last two weeks (and I don't think it's going to look any better) is not the one that we'll see in the playoffs. As for the offense, you'd swear that some writers are implying that Grossman winning the last two games on his own is a bad thing.

I'm hoping that Harris' absence doesn't hurt them too much, though.

Anonymous said...


I guess this is a move for Greg Oden. I guess. This is the Barkley trade all over again. I don't get it. I'm not even a Sixers fan, but I love Melo and AI. And I'm not sure this is such a good idea for either team. Is it possible to trade a superstar and make both teams worse?

Jared said...

Pretty good deal by the 76ers, all things considered. 3 picks in a draft that will be much deeper/better than last year, not to mention they should have a good chance in the Oden lottery.

The Bears are NOT going to the Super Bowl. The defense has been hit with injuries and it's not good enough to cover for the offense's ineptitude. Grossman will kill them in the playoffs, and someone will knock them off.

Brian in Oxford said...

just kidding, sheldiz....I skimmed down the list of names in the groups to see which posters I recognized. Saw the last names match up...both of you could be related to my mom's side of the family, for all I know.

If Isiah gets the Knicks into the 8th slot, he's pretty much screwing them out of Oden. You know that'd be fixed....only Zeke could fail by succeeding like THAT. (At least I hope, I don't want to see the Celtics in first place defaulting into the playoffs.)

TJ said...

So AI is going to get 13 or so games to establish himself as the alpha dog, and then you're throwing 'Melo back on the team? What if they go on a tear with AI and the rest of the team is more receptive to giving the ball to AI than to 'Melo? This is going to be interesting...

BLUE said...

I could be wrong but I think it's the Magic's #1 this year, from the Jameer Nelson trade, that the sixers would get from Denver. So more then likely both picks will be in the 20's but Philly could package the picks and move up obviously.

Brian in Oxford said...

Hey Dan....we're halfway through Hanukkah....

what kind of loot have you gotten so far? Maybe Florida-Ohio St. tickets?

Anonymous said...

I see Anthony-Iverson in a similar light to Shaq-Kobe, with these differences:
1. Won't be as dominant (duh)
2. Will like each other, because:
3. Won't care who the alpha dog is (because there's not always such thing! ex.: Who's the alpha dog on the Bulls? The Pistons? Jazz? etc.)

Seriously, if you're Carmelo and you're now rolling with the one guy with the most street cred in the NBA, how can you not be happy?

Another thing: a transcendent forward and guard are easier in my mind to match than center and forward. Or, in other words, the more mobile your two best players are, the better the offensive potential between them becomes.

Anonymous said...

I just realized I compared AI-Melo to Kobe-Shaq, then put out nothing but the differences. Here's the one similarity: the Nuggets/Lakers are/were better after the trade than before. I mean, let's face it: the Nuggets weren't a championship team, now they could be.

Jared said...

While I'll agree that the Bears may not be going to the super bowl, it will not be because they played their absolute best and fell short. That is my only point. When hitting on all cylinders there is no doubt they are the best team in the league. They have done that several times this year, (i.e. SF, Buf, Sea)

Umm, yes, there is doubt. At this point San Diego is clearly better, and there are a host of other teams in the discussion. What the Bears did in September doesn't matter so much now.

AI and Melo is going to be a tough fit. Both are pure scorers looking to shoot first. AI can rack up assists and may be willing to take a backseat at this stage in his career, but then why trade for him in the first place? Why would you want to limit AI, he's the best scorer in the league. That's like running the ball 40 times with Peyton Manning, or putting Johan Santana as the closer.

It'll also be interesting to see how the AI/Melo/Karl triangle works out. Karl and Melo are not friends, and now that Karl can replace Melo's scoring, he may see less need to put up with his BS.

Anonymous said...


Get used to it, now that they've won the Bloggies.

The heroin sheik said...

kissing suzy kolber. the addy is kissmesuzy.blogspot.com.

I like to think when I do post I bring something to the table. Granted I make preposterous claims like the gators being able to hang with the bucs in a game but I like to think that I do make valid points from time to time.

I would have to say that this is among my top three or four blogs to read because of the way Dan is a total homer for the gators. It is his blog and his opinion. We all know how opinions are like assholes but if you don't like it don't read it.

As for the Arena league I can't wait to see how it does with the involvement on ESPN. I love going to the games because there is always a ton of points. It also helps that the tampa bay storm have been extremely successful from the start. I only wish I didn't have to live in orlando where they bash the storm because of the damn predators. Can't wait for this years I-4 war.

I'm not a big NBA fan but I am interested to see how Melo and Iverson play together. There probably isn't a more exciting player than AI and with Melo coming into his own as a dominant player should make them fun enough to where even non fans might be entertained. What I want to know is how will you defend the nuggets since if you double up on one of them someone is going to be wide open for a look. I figure if they try to double up on both of them Camby will rip them a new one. I wonder if they are now favorites to at least reach the finals.