Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday 05/23 A.M. Quickie:
Oden, Durant to Portland, Seattle?

NBA Draft Lottery Mania! Be sure to check out my Lottery live-blog on Deadspin last night. And what a night it was, full of more than a little surprise. A roundup:

Winners (in order):
1. Sonics: Why Seattle over Portland? Because even though Portland has the luxury of choosing between Oden and Durant, it's the curse of "But what about the other guy?" Being No. 2 in this draft means never having to say "I shoulda."

(Will it help the Sonics with the team's bid to stay in Seattle? On the contrary: What wannabe NBA city -- Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Whatever City -- WOULDN'T go even crazier for a team with a young superstar?)

2. Blazers: That said, the Blazers choose between the franchise center that will all-but-ensure multiple titles 5-10 years from now and the franchise swingman, which is actually their biggest need, and will probably ensure multiple titles 5-10 years from now.

I don't think Oden as the top pick is a done-deal at all. The Blazers actually NEED a player at Durant's position, let alone a mega-watt star of Durant's potential. And while Oden is no Sam Bowie, can the Blazers really afford to miss out – again! -- on the potential next Michael Jordan?

(Although don't be fooled: The real comparison for Portland would not be Bowie-vs-Jordan but Olajuwon-vs-Jordan. And even Rod Thorn, the then-Bulls GM, admits that you'd have been insane to take MJ over Akeem that year. TrueHoop's Henry Abbott – a huge Blazers fan – used the comparison of Dwight Howard vs. Emeka Okafor. Not sure if that's right, because even though at the time it seemed like a toss-up, Howard is clearly the superior talent.)

My preposterously premature take? Durant is both a "sexier" pick (stop) and fills a bigger need for the team, but Oden is the rarer commodity. Presuming that the Blazers are still a few years away from competing (for a division title, let alone a West title, let alone an NBA title), they'll have plenty of draft picks, free-agency options and trade moves to find a perfectly good swingman. Not as good as Durant, mind you, but they simply won't be able to find a post player even remotely as dominant as Oden. Put more succinctly: Durant's VORP isn't as high as Oden's VORP. The Blazers should draft Oden. The Sonics would take Durant, move to Oklahoma City (familiar Big 12 country) and start their "new" franchise with an appropriately "franchise" talent.

Losers (in order):
1. (tie): Celtics, Grizzlies, Bucks. Each one (let alone ALL) had to really piss off the NBA karma police to drop out of the Top 3. (a) The Schedenfreude Meter on the Celtics was off the charts. (b) The Grizzlies will get a serviceable big man that might allow them to trade Pau Gasol for multiple players and picks. (c) The Bucks won the Lottery two years ago, and thus don't get much sympathy from anyone.

FreeDarko's live-blog had the hilarious line of the night, as it relates to the sorry fate of these three teams. The hot new T-shirt? "Stop Snitching Tanking."

Special Category of Purgatory:
1. Hawks: Only the Hawks could make it into the Top 3, avoiding the fate of giving their pick to the Suns, only to end up in the third slot in a two-star draft. It's not like the player they'll draft at No. 3 won't help, but you just know Atlanta will find a way to screw it up. (That's why, in my gut-reaction mock draft, I had the Hawks taking PG Mike Conley Jr, rather than one of the amazing big men available.)

(As a corollary, by NOT getting the Hawks' pick at No. 4-7, the Suns lose out on a windfall this year. Maybe they can trade Shawn Marion to jump into the Top 10, but without that existing Top 4-7 pick, it's less enticing.)

As for the rest? They basically slotted into form. It'll be interesting to see if the Hawks package the 3 and 11 picks to either move up (or move out). It'll be interesting to see if the Celtics trade the 5 pick for a player who can help them now. It'll be interesting to see how the various talented big men in the draft disperse through this Top 14.

Other must-read Lottery live-blogs:

Free Darko (by the FD team)

NBA FanHouse (by Ziller)

And CNBC's Darren Rovell does the math on what the No. 1 pick is worth.

On to the day's other big storylines:

Spurs thump Jazz for 2-0 series lead: With the Lottery results known, way more people are looking ahead to next year than giving a rat's ass about this year's remainder of the playoffs.

Giambi failed greenies test last year: Which was something he sorta failed to mention while he was doing his self-indulgent mea culpas to the media last week about steroids. Seriously, what a douchebag.

MLB Stud: Tim Lincecum, the Giants stud rookie SP who beat the Astros, allowing 5 hits and 2 runs in 8 IP for his second W of the season.

MLB Dud: Roy Oswalt, the Astros stud vet SP who lost to the Giants, which included protesting his manager's decision to IBB Barry Bonds. After the second time, he got drilled by Giants batters. Hmm: Coincidence?

Is Roy Hibbert pulling out of the NBA Draft and going back to Georgetown? If he does, he could vault himself into next season's Top 3. His game will certainly be the better for the experience.

The Commish rips Coach Janky Spanky: Clinton Portis deserved criticism for supporting Mike Vick's alleged dog-fighting habit, but he DID quickly apologize. Roger Goodell coming out against Portis now extends the Commish's "Get Tough" policy beyond condemning actions. Now he's condemning words. (Of course, will he condemn email? The Steelers are going to let Coach Email Porn go with a slap on the wrist. I'd like to see Goodell take a slightly less sympathetic stance.)

Unrelated: To Goodell's credit, he supports a new policy to allow anonymous whistle-blowers to expose when teams are pressuring players to play after concussions. That's totally worth tracking...

Did Nick Saban violate NCAA recruiting rules last week? Admittedly, the allegation comes from a message board for The U., but still: It looks like he might have committed a minor infraction. Bring on the NCAA! (Unless the NCAA thinks it has a vested interest in having Saban wildly succeed at a prestigious program like Bama's.)

Trent Green really wants out of KC and into Miami, leading to the question of whether the Dolphins are better off with Green-to-Ginn or Quinn-to-Whoever?

Super Bowl in 2011 will go to... Dallas: Because, as always, it's all about the money. (It's not really Dallas, of course. It's more like "North Texas." Woo!)

Stanley Cup: It'll be Anaheim vs. Ottawa for the Stanley Cup. OK, OK: Try to contain your enthusiasm. (You NHL-savvy commenters: Please educate the rest of us why this Cup matchup is worth following.)

Soccer: Milan-Liverpool in Champions League final today. Who ya got?

Frivolous: The Cubs are going to have a statue of "Mr. Cub," Ernie Banks, in front of Wrigley Field. That made me wonder how many teams -- across any sport -- have a single player who defines the franchise's history? Off the top of my head, it seems like most do.

Idol finale: Haven't really said ANYTHING about Idol this season, even though I do watch. (You do, too. Admit it.) Blake was totally screwed during last night's finale. That mandated "I'm Such a Star!" anthem simply isn't something he does well, and I'll bet producers wouldn't let him re-mix it with an up-tempo beat and beat-box opportunities. Meanwhile, it was perfect for Jordin. So I presume Jordin will win -- and it's sort of a win for sports fans, given her father, Philippi Sparks, was an NFL cornerback for a longer career than his daughter will have.

-- D.S.


NA said...

I must say, this next column by Bill Simmons wil be the most anticipated in a long time. People who hate him will just read to see him miserable. And people who like him will just want to see if he's funny about the shame of the Celtics.

Good times.

jhawkjjm said...

So help me god if the Celtics take the girl Noah I'm severing that very last tie I have to the NBA.

Can I give a prememptive stud to Schilling if he drills A-Dud tonight?

Mega said...

Now this would be fun to do- who is the defining player of EVERY MLB franchise? And do we only go with current MLB franchises or do we count teams like the Senators and Expos?

Mega said...

Does anyone else think the Blazers take Oden then potentially trade Zach Randolph to Chicago?

Randolph for Nocioni and Gordon? I like it.

Matt T said...

I have hopes for the Hawks, but unfortunately their track record isn't good.

I'd like to see them take Hibbert/Horford and Conley/Law

Not sure if that's possible or which pick at which number, but they also have good picks to make a move.

The 3,11 and Marvin Williams to Minnesota for KG?

Stud: Kyle Davies, 8 innings of 1 run ball against the Mets and a 3 run HR to dead center.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

dan mega...i like the blazers trading randolph...but no WAY the bulls get rid of gordon.

and i fucking hate bill simmons more than anyone, but you are right eric...i will read today to see his misery. in the words of eric cartman..."i want to lick his tears."

Brian in Oxford said...

Carl Crawford?!



And that's just AL teams, current cities. Tough to say the "face of the franchise" when the franchise switches cities.

A-Rod apparently has upgraded from slapping like a girl, to elbows to the groin, huh?

Big D said...

Like I said a couple hours ago in the previous post:

"Fifth? FIFTH?!?!

That's it, I quit."

Also, no way the Blazers pass up on Oden. They're in the Western Conference - they need the dominant 5 to compete with Duncan and Amare. If they were an Eastern team, Oden (and probably even Durant) would almost guarantee then a trip to the Conference Finals for the next six years (or however long they sign for before bolting for new york or LA). But in the West, it would be a monumental mistake to hand the keys to your team over to Durant and a bunch of other scorers.

As an example - look at Dirk. Since everyone is so fond of comparing Durant to Dirk, exactly how far have the Mavs gotten with Nowitzki as their marquee man? One Finals appearance (that required some officiating help)? A first round bow-out in the Greatest.Upset.Ever?

In the West, you need that solid 5. That's why even though the Sonics lucked out with the #2 pick, if they don't get Oden, there's no reason to take Durant unless they're moving to Vegas or OKC and need someone to market.

Personally, I'd like to see a team move up to the #2 slot and take Durant. Seattle doesn't "need" him - they've already got two great scorers in Allen and Lewis.

jeff said...

Well, I'd pick the Hawks as the big winners of the night. They had a fairly high chance of loosing both their picks (if > top 3 to the Suns) and (if < 10 from the Pacers). So they go from having a higher probability chance of having no picks to having two picks in the top 11 of a purported 'loaded' draft.

They will of course find a way to rekindle their mismanagement ways and draft two more 3s; but still - how much fun is it to prolong the hope of Hawks' fans?

TJ said...

That made me wonder how many teams -- across any sport -- have a single player who defines the franchise's history? Off the top of my head, it seems like most do.

Didn't MLB try to document this last year with their HomeTown Heroes thing?

mkud said...

@ Brian:

That list looks good, but I might put Carter for Toronto and Eckersley for Oakland...they only played there for a portion of their careers, but had defining moments both for themselves and the franchises while there.

ExhibitUnadorned said...

N.L. suggestions

Mets: Seaver
Phillies: Schmidt
Marlins: Lowell? Willis??
Braves: (Franchise) Aaron/Spahn, (Atlanta) Maddux
Nationals: Umm, Zimmerman?!

Cubs: Banks
Cards: Musial
Brewers: Molitor
Pirates: Stargell/Wagner
Astros: Ryan
Reds: Morgan

D-Backs: Johnson/Schilling
Dodgers: Robinson
Giants: Bonds/Mays
Padres: Gwynn
Rockies: Helton

Any other thoughts?

Gerard L. Callan said...

can anyone explain to me how the Celts and Grizz were surprised when their teams were picked 5th and 4th respectively...

once the Bucks went 6th that meant the Celts and Grizz HAD to have dropped out of the top 3 forcing the BUCKS all the way down.

these are supposed to be NBA savvy team reps ... but they dont even know the logistics of the draft format?

they should be embarassed.

Matt said...

I guess I'll be the first to try...

I'm a diehard hockey fan, but I find myself hard pressed to watch a Finals game this year.

I don't know if it's my disdain for Ottawa (being a Sabres fan) or my apathy towards Anaheim, but I don't think even myself as a "hardcore" fan will be watching. Doesn't that speak volumes?

But I'll humor you with storylines in case you want to watch...

-Ottawa's history of playoff chokery, does it bite them again?
-Anaheim's Chris Pronger back in the Finals with a different team after he lost last year too with Edmonton...

Ummm, that's all I got. Sorry. There's not even that "aging player finally gets a shot at the Cup" angle this year that's been common the last few years (see Bourque, Brind'Amour, etc.)

That being said Dan, you most likely missed a great game last night between Anaheim and Detroit. If you would have seen the 3rd period, that's what playoff hockey is all about.

Matt said...

Here's something you may be able to understand though, Dan...

Ottawa in the last 10 years = the Mavericks.

Luke Bell said...

I would say Yount instead of Molitor for the Brewers. But you can't go wrong with either.

Depends on how one defines "franchise player" I guess.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

@troy...yes, this was done last year by mastercard i think. or home depot. one of the two and it was def. called "hometown heroes."

now i don't want this to turn into a "you're an idiot" back and forth between people...but're an idiot. joe morgan for the reds? johnny bench, pete rose, ted kluszewski...all before joe morgan.

Ryan Bowman said...

I've got AC Milan this afternoon in the CL final, avenging an upset loss to Liverpool in the final two years ago. However, I am totally rooting for the Reds, if only just to support the EPL.

Matt T said...

Braves: Aaron, Chipper or Smoltz(he was on all 14 division title teams)

TeeIsenhour said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard K. said...

First, big ups to Georgia Tech Women's tennis for the first NCAA National Championship in ANY team sport in school history (cause football isnt sanctioned by the NCAA). Ironic that it happened on UGA's home court, but I doubt they care.

Just a thought:

If the Blazers draft Oden and use Zach Randolph and their 2nd rounder to move into the mid first round for another pick, their starters could be:
Jarrett Jack
Brandon Roy
LaMarcus Aldridge
Greg Oden
Thaddeus Young (for instance)

That could put them in title contention starting in 2009 for the next decade.

Chris said...

In looking over the lists posted above, the player for every team is clearly a subjective thing. I would say for the Pirates you would have to go with Roberto Clemente over Stargell/Wagner. Not only because of the 3000 hits and outstanding career, but also for the manner in which he died (i.e. in a plane crash while going to assist earthquake victims on New Years Eve). At the time he still probably had a few good years left .

BTW, MLB did do something similar to this with the Hometown Heroes a few years ago. Who do the Nationals go with? Cristian Guzman?

ExhibitUnadorned said...

It's ok 'Rev...', I don't take it personally. I dropped the ball on Pete Rose, but I think Morgan is just as closely identified with the Reds as either Bench or Kluszewski - that one's probably just down to the individual.

The Mark Show said...

Anyone know what Gerard is talking about? All I saw was Heinsohn and West looking bummed out. I didn't see any real surprise in their faces as their cards were read...anyway, there's no way the Blazers pass up Oden to take Durant because he's supposedly a better fit for their current roster. Also, I'm jhawk that if the C's pick Noah I'm going to be outraged. Although it would be funny to see Bandwagon Dan Shanoff root for a Celtic.

Andy said...

Chris, I might go with Clemente for the Pirates and Rose for the Reds. Also, it's been said but Yount would work for the Brewers. But those people you listed would certainly work.

The Mark Show said...

I'm *with* jhawk...

thistlewarrior said...

I'd have to say Roberto Clemente for the Pirates and Bob Gibson or Ozzie Smith for the Cards.

Andy said...

Just curious here, but would anyone consider Sosa for the Cubs over Banks? I'm a Cubs fan and I wouldn't but it is an interesting question. Sandberg could be a name thrown in there for the Cubs too.

Bama Hawkeye said...

As someone who doesn't have a dog in this fight, aren't the T-Wolves the biggest loser of the night? They just saw the two biggest talents of the next decade land in their division. They don't have the Carmello/AI combination of Denver, nor the overall talent and bes head coach in the league like Utah. Add a bad situation with KG and what will soon be the best division in the league, and it got VERY ugly for Kevin McHale.

Natsfan74 said...

I would argue that not many teams have a true "face of the franchise" like the Cubs do. Ernie Banks was Chicago -- from "Let's Play 2" to winning 2 MVPs. Quick - pick the most famous Cub ever. Now, pick the most famous Red ever. OK, what about Yankee? Well, what about Red Sox? Bench, Seaver, Morgan, Mantle, Ruth, DiMaggio, Williams, Yazstremski, Buckner?

Just the number of x / y submissions so far tells me that most teams do not have a true face. Because if he is the face of the franchise, there must be just one!

Patriots64 said...

The NHL Finals should be one of the best in years with the 2 most talented teams playing. Teemu Selanne after 15 years in the league may finally get a Stanley Cup or else Ottawa after years of playoff chokes may finally win!!

Unknown said...

Have you read what Jerry West said about the lottery system being unfair? Please, what is unfair is fans having to watch teams tank the season. I was glad Boston and Memphis did not get in the top 3 of draft because they were the most blatant offenders.

I also think it was a blessing that the Suns this year did not get Atlanta's pick because of the cap situation for next year. They are predicted to be $12 million over the cap, and signing another first round pick would just make the situation worse.

Mikepcfl said...

Welcome back Big d, for your comment that Seatlle doesnt "need" Durant because it already has scorers, isnt that part of the reason that Portland felt they could pass on Jordan? They were happy with Drexler and thought Jordan was a luxury, so they felt safe going with Bowie. Not that Durant is Jordan, but if you can get a possible transcendent talent, you trade one of the other guys.

Big D said...

Something completely random to notice, and maybe it's just because I'm a degenerate gambler...

The Red Sox have beaten the Yankees 6 times so far this season...

In those 6 games, Boston's scored 7, 7, 7, 11, 7, and 7 runs.

It's like a ridiculous run at a craps table.

Sorry, it's early and I'm only on 2 cups of coffee in. Resume the NBA debate.

CMFost said...

jhawk - I can 99% guarantee that A-Rod is getting drilled tonight. And on that subject why do MLB Umpires not call the rules they way they should. Last Night was a clear case of a runner interfering with the fielder trying to make the throw and I know in the softball league I umpire I would of called Inference and called the runner at first out because of it.

verbal97 said...

today will be the repeat of 5/25/05 (result, not how it happened).

everyone else enjoy the "debate" over the crappy NBA.

Unknown said...

Wow a soccer mention in Dan's post ... I'm shocked.

I've got Milan. Think they're the better overall team (especially on offense) and have the best player on the pitch (Kaka).

However, I think that their defense is vulnerable to the counter attack and Liverpool can take advantage of that.

So, I'm not confident enough to put any $$$ on it.

@ Brian in Oxford
Face of the franchise for the White Sox - I think Thomas might be in the discussion.
However, I'd go with Shoeless Joe Jackson.
That said, there are 4 player statues at Comisky:
Minnie Minuso
Carlton Fisk
Nellie Fox
Luis Aparicio

Jackson has a statue downtown Chicago, but not at Comisky.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

thistlewarrior are you serious Ozzie Smith or Bob Gibson over Stan Musial. Gibson I could maybe, maybe see but no way would I identify everything about the Cardinals with Ozzie over Musial.

Red Sox-Ted Williams
Yankees-Babe Ruth
Blue Jays-Joe Carter
Orioles-Ripken although Brooks Robinson could be put in there
Devil Rays-Wade Boggs (jk)

Indians-Bob Feller
Tigers-Ty Cobb. I personally like Hank Greenberg better but that is my opinion.
Royals-George Brett
Twins-Kirby Puckett
White Sox-Joe Jackson

A's-Jimmie Foxx or Lefty Grove (Check out those Philadelphia A's teams from 1929-1931 possibly the greatest teams ever).
Mariners-Junior Griffey
Angels-Donnie Moore
Rangers-Nolan Ryan

Post is to long so I will do the NL later and I am sure all of you will be holding your breath.

CMFost said...

Ok, Here is a question, Why is a draft lottery a good thing? Isn't the draft supposed to be about making the bad teams better so they can compete for a title not make the borderline playoffs teams better by them getting the #1 PICK. The NFL and MLB are the only league that have it right. You have the worst record, you get the #1 pick. Not you have the worst record you get the 4th pick. Jerry West (yes it is a little crybabyish) is right the lottery system is not fair. Do you see teams in the NFl tanking to get the number 1 pick, no, see Detroit winning there last game last year and getting the #2 pick

CMFost said...

I would like to see the CEltics trad the #5 pick plus maybe Gerald Green and another PLayer to either Minnesota for KG or Indiana for O'Neill

Chris said...

Please indulge me as I go off topic here, but does Schilling drill A-rod tonight? And if it happens, does A-Rod have the onions to charge the mound? I'm mildly interested in this, even though it is just 1 of 162.

I coach high school basketball and IMHO you absolutely cannot pass on a great center. They are so hard to find in today's basketball. The Trailblazers have to take Oden. They have to. Guys like him come along every 10 years or so. Although, I believe Durant will be a transcendent star and annual selection to the All-Star game.

I'm curious as to what team is going to waste a pick on Shanoff's girl Noah. He will be a stiff. No strength, can't shoot at all, and not a great post up player. He has 7 points and 5 rebounds a night written all over him.

Lastly, I'm a Sixers fan and didn't hold out a lot of hope they'd get to the top of the lottery. However, they played hard all season and at least didn't tank. The same can't be said for the Grizzlies, Celtics, and Bucks who probably got the karma payback that was due to them. How ridiculously strong is the Western Conference going to be for the next 10 years or so? Wither Kevin Garnett. I actually feel sorry for this guy and he's pulling down $20 million a year (okay, not that sorry).

Sorry for the length of the post.

Unknown said...

I'll bring it up: What about another bush-league play by A-Rod, basically coming up from a slide and throwing an elbow into Pedroia last night in an attempt to break up the double play. Michael Kay (the Clemens Apologist himself) claims A-Rod was losing his balance. Not even close. Big Dud to A-Rod.

As far as my Celtics, I can only hope this forces Ainge out the door faster. He spent three months tanking for Yi Jianlian. Bet he wished he'd waited a week to extend the coach that has taken them from 45 to 33 to 23 wins a season. Karma sucks don't it?

Chris said...

Okay, Verbal, I'll bite. What happened on 5/25/05? The effects of aging and beer on my brain doesn't allow me to remember anything that happened before last Monday.

Unknown said...

@ cmfost re:lottery

What league can be influenced most by one player (i.e. the first pick of the draft)?
Baseball? one of 9 starters (25 players on a team) - probably doesn't even make the majors in the first few years.
Football? one of 22 starters (not counting special teams). Can make an impact in the first year.
Basketball? one of 5 starters (12 on the team). Can make a major impact on the teams record (see Bird/Duncan among others).

Which do you think would lead to more tanking?

By the way, I think that tanking does happen in the NFL - Detroit is just too stupid to do it right (they still got the BPA).

I recognize that you are from the NE, so you are probably bitter about the celts getting shafted by the lottery (twice). But with all the tanking that happens with the lottery, imagine what it would be like without the lottery.

Unknown said...

Teams do tank in the NFL, biggest evidence, the 2006 draft, the "Reggie Bush sweepstakes". Houston purposely threw the last game of the season to get the number #1 pick, and threw it away on Mario Williams!!!

Matt said...


Totally forgot about Teemu never having a Cup. Guess that throws one of my non-storylines out the window...


Brian in Oxford said...

Another bad move by the NHL....waiting until the 28th to start game 1. What is this, baseball? The teams have been decided, drop the puck already!

Ryan's a good choice for Texas, that was tough (I was ready to pony up Bobby Witt as a name!)

Rose for Cincy, I totally second/third that. Clemente for Pittsburgh. Not only famous, but tied to the community-famous. Musial seemed a no-brainer (what, no big mac? ha...)

Donnie Moore? That's cold.

May 25, 2005:

I don't see anything sticking out, especially since it seems you're expecting something sox/yanks related, verbal. Whaddaya got?

Jibblescribbits said...

Here's a defense of Anaheim-Ottawa Finals (one I am eagerly anticipating)

J.S. Giguere- kind of like hockey's Derek Fischer. His child had eye problems and caused him to miss the first three playoff games. Since then he's lined himself up for the Conn Smythe.

The two best teams are in the finals-Anaheim has been the best team all season, and Ottawa have been the best Eastern team since the first month of the season. Both have tremendous depth and scoring.

Daniel Alfredsson-Agging vetran Captain looking for the Cup.

Nationalism- USA vs Canada.

Ottawa Senators- The pre-2007 Indianapolis Colts

Anaheim Ducks- Most fights in the league.

there's a few reasons I will be watching the finals.

As far as the NBA is concerned. I'm glad two teams that didn't appear to be tanking at all got the top-2 picks. Sports integrity won the draft.

verbal97 said...

It's amazing how a sporting event that is more watched and followed than the SuperBowl is completely disregarded in the US. But such is life...I don't know how to post a link, so I'll write it out...


Liverpool 3:AC Milan 3 (3-2 on penalties), Liverpool came back from 3-0 down in the second half with 3 goals in 6 minutes (the closest equivalent I can think of is Houston blowing a 32-point lead @ Buffalo, only if it had happened in a SuperBowl. The rematch is today.

Nick Bell said...

One issue worth watching the Stanley Cup is to see if the Cup will finally return to Canada. No Canadian team has won it in over ten years (since Montreal did in '93).

There is also a chance for Anaheim to win its first Stanley Cup. It would be interesting to see how the fans react to something new like that.

Finally, the last three Stanley Cup finals went to seven games. At least to this sports fan, there is nothing more exciting that a game seven hockey game.

Mikepcfl said...

Is USA vs Canada really a nationalism issue? Isnt Canada a US province or protectorate? lol

Brian in Oxford said...

Hey, I live in Connecticut. I'm closer to Ottawa than I am to Anaheim. I prefer to cheer for the Sens, because I can actually drive there in less than a day. yeah, there's a boundary to cross and all that, but I might argue that SoCal is a whole different world.

(Sorry, I'm not buying the "nationalism" argument....even less when you figure most of the players aren't actually from the US on either team.)

CMFost said...

Verbal I forgot about that. The football game was probably one of the most exciting sporting events I have watched on TV. It was one of the most amazing single game comebacks you will ever see. Hopefully this game will be a repeat.

Ducks in 6 - Basic reason is it comes down to goaltending and defense and the Ducks are far superior to the Sens in both areas.

Natsfan74 said...

Let's call this NHL finals the Gretzky Finals. While he has absolutely nothing to do with either team, he was the star player (with an up and coming Lemieux) that lead to rapid expansion in the NHL. These two teams are both expansion teams that have never won a Cup.

An Ottawa win sits well with the hockey gods, as a Canadian Team in a cold weather city gets the cup back for the first time since '93.

An Anaheim win pairs it with North Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Dallas as hot weather cities that will have Cups courtesy of the Gretzky era. So -- win one for tradition, or for expansion? Either way, it's going to be a great series!

CMFost said...

Ok, so it is good or bad for the NBA if all there good teams are in the West when most of the media tends to ignore those games? Personally I think it was really bad for the NBA that one of the East Conference Teams did not get a top 2 pick.

Andy said...

Canada is not a country. It's basically a suburb of the United States. Eh?

Ryan Bowman said...


Is Kaka the best player on the pitch today? I would have to give the nod, ever so slightly, to Steven Gerrard of the Reds. Could just be personal preference.

Either way, should be a terrific game.

eileen said...

As a C's fan, I'm hoping for a big trade, because I dread suffering through another season like the last one. I HATED that they tanked (there's just no honor in it), so part of me can't help but feel a tinge of "serves them right." Paul Pierce is probably the most depressed player in the NBA right now. Oh, except for one....I think KG would be a great fit- the West is so stacked these days, but he could really make an impact in the East, especially along side PP.

Here's my two-step plan to save the Celtics (or at least make them tolerable to watch):
1. Trade Green, Jefferson, and the #5 pick to get KG.
2. Fire Ainge and Doc.

The Legend of Vincent Tremblay said...

"Why should I watch (insert sporting event here) between (team that's not the Yankees) and (team that's not the Red Sox)?"

Quit thinking like ESPN, Dan!

It's a great sport, with two high-caliber teams playing at their peak. (OK, maybe not Anaheim in the third period last night, but that was more about Detroit emptying the tank in one last desperate push.)

Plus, it's the Stanley Cup Finals. You make it through these 4-7 games, and "hoc-key?" won't darken your doorstep again until October.

Don't obsess over the conventional wisdom. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

CMFost said...

Eileen that is way to much to give up to Get KG, I can Agree with Green and the #5 and then maybe one other player that is not named Al Jefferson but giving up Green and Jefferson is just plain dumb

Big D said...

Two things:

1) Didn't we annex Canada in The Great Maple Syrup Expansion of aught-3?

2) One positive of the C's dropping to the 5 spot is that they'll probably be bad enough (assuming they use the pick) next season to get right back in the hunt for next year's lottery. And if Hibbert goes back to G-Town, maybe this turns out to be a good thing - a Top-5 talent this year (Wright? Law? Horford?) and a crack at what would have been a Top-2 Center next season.

Might be one more year in the seven-year long "Three-Year Rebuilding Process", but at least it's a silver lining.

Brian in Oxford said...

What if Ainge and McHale said, screw it, we suck, our players are depressed....let's play 21 home games in Boston and 20 in Minny, and combine our rosters.

Brian in Oxford said...

Ainge shoulda said something like "guess we'll have to tank NEXT season too...." just to stick it to the NBA.

Known Unknown said...

I really like the new Celtics logo.

Unknown said...

Not much to say on the NBA.

Goodell shouldn't do anything to Portis. I think his idiocy speaks for itself. However, I agree that the concussion deal is a very important thing to track.

Why care about the NHL Final? This series will feature very very good hockey. Good offenses, great goaltenders. It'll actually be exciting...unlike, say, the Spurs/Pistons NBA Final.

Unknown said...

btw, the Face of the Cincinnati Reds is not Joe Morgan.

It would go, not necessarily in this order, as:
Pete Rose
Johnny Bench
Marty Brenneman

Joe Morgan? top 10 but he's not the guy.

Patriots64 said...

We are a suburb of the US with free healthcare! Anyone hear about Micheal Moore's new film Sicko??

'Sicko' Michel Moore demonstrates the atrocities this kind of thinking leads to. A man without health insurance (companies simply refuse people), whose middle- and ring finger are sown of, had to choose between paying 60.000 dollars for having his middle finger restored and 12.000 dollars for having his ring finger fixed. Being the "romantic" that he is, he chose his ring finger. A woman, formerly with a good job, bankrupted by her medical bills and forced to live in the study of her daughter, has to pay 240 dollars a month for her cancer medication but gets the same pills on Cuba for... 10 cents. 45 Million uninsured Americans live in fear that they might, some day, need medical care. The rest of the world doesn't know these fears, because for them, medical help is free: paid for by tax money. The United States have become ruthless to it's own people. It contradicts the image Americans have of themselves and their country, but it's the awful truth."

Mega said...

For those thinking that Shoeless Joe would be the face of the franchise for the White Sox, this isn't really true. Many Sox fans, including myself, look down upon him. He cheated and its a fact. He freaking tanked for money. I don't want that kind of scum being the face of the franchise for the White Sox. With that being said Frank Thomas could be it since he was arguable the best hitter throughout the 1990's and early 2000's (also considering the steroid era he was playing in). Personally I would make Nellie Fox the face of the franchise with Thomas, Fisk, and Aparicio right behind him.

Mikepcfl said...

If the Celtics win the lottery next season they can draft...OJ Mayo #1!

A less publicized part of the NFL's concussion plan is a plan to take care of old vets from the 1960s and earlier. Tags really ignored this subject, but Goodell seems to be interested in taking care of the guys who made the league what it is.

Mega said...

Patriots64- Just because its free doesn't mean it works well.

I have friends in Canada that say their "free healthcare" system is 10x more aggravating than an HMO in the US. Thats scary.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Dan Mega I can understand why ChiSox fans feel that way but when I think of the White Sox I think of the Black Sox whether White Sox fans like it or not.

For everyone else that was waiting here is my National League picks:

Braves-Hank Aaron
Mets-Tom Seaver
Marlins-Dontrelle Willis
Phillies-Mike Schmidt
Nationals-Chad Cordero

Cardinals-Stan Musial
Cubs-Ernie Banks
Reds-Johnny Bench or Pete Rose
Astros-Nolan Ryan
Brewers-Robin Yount (Him over Molitor because he spent his whole career in Milwaukee)
Pirates-Willie Stargell some put Roberto Clemente and he was an awesome player but when I think of the Pirates I think of "Pops" Stargell and the 1979 World Champions

Giants-Willie Mays
Dodgers-Jackie Robinson
Padres-Tony Gwynn
Diamondbacks-Curt Schilling/Randy Johnson but I think a lot of D'Back fans love Luis Gonzalez.
Rockies-Andres Gallaragha (sp?)

Patriots64 said...

I personally have had no problems with the System in Canada though waiting lists for surgery can be long. But it is the rich poor thing, in the US if you are relatively wealthy you can get Health insurance and hopefully good healthcare but 45 million people don't have it.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

If you want to go with karma in the draft lottery, the Celtics did not do any favors to the lottery gods by keeping Doc Rivers. I think they knew that if the Celts got Durant or Oden Doc would find a way to screw up the rotation and not get their new superstar enough PT. I do not follow the Celtics but from what I have read Doc would find a way to screw up a threesome with Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba.

Natsfan74 said...

How did Dan's double standard for the draft go uncommented this long?

Prep to pros, or players who are one and done, are better off going into the draft where they can play with the best players in the world and get better at their craft.

Hibbert will be better with another year of college experience? But he's got the raw tools to play in the NBA today?

Come on, Dan, either Hibbert should have taken his 7' frame to the NBA years ago, or Monta Ellis should have played 1 year of college ball.....

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Troubling story about Elijah Dukes.

Unknown said...

@ ryan
I'll give you that Gerrard is a (very) good player. But if I was building a team, I'd take Kaka over him in a heartbeat.

I know that goal scoring isn't the only thing that makes a good player ... but check these stats out:
Champion's league stats

If that doesn't convince you ... watch the Milan v ManU games and the Chelsea v Liverpool games (again) and let me know what you think after that.

Geoff said...

In order to have a double standard you actually first have to have a standard. Dan just kinda makes it up as he goes along.

Unknown said...

@ Dan
I'm a Sox fan myself ... and I put Jackson at the top of the list. Like it or not he is the first person a lot of people think of when they think of the White Sox (blame Field of Dreams).
Someday Thomas will definately be in the discussion (after he retires).

If you want to "ban" Jackson from the discussion though, I'd go with Minoso over Fox.

By the way, I recognize that Jackson accepted money to throw the series (although he claimed to try to give it back). But look at his stats for the series (.375 BA - no errors in the OF). Does that seem like trying to throw the series?

Oh, and if you want the real villian behind the scandal - that was Comisky. But don't get me started on that.

Mikepcfl said...

I thought it may come up that someone would point out Shoeless Joe's average from the 1919 WS. Rob Neyer once broke it down in an article, but Jackson hit something like over 500 in Chicago's wins, but like 200 in their losses. So if he was throwing the series he could hit as good as he wanted to in their wins, as long as he sucked enough in the losses to lose the entire series.

Marcus T said...

IDOL SUCKS!!!...but I do watch Dancing with the Stars, but only cause my girlfriend makes me, I swear! Please believe me!

CMFost said...

Marcus both shows suck and if your girlfriend makes you watch either you should show her the door.

B. Viddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Travis said...

Kaka is the best player in the world at this moment, and his team can count on a great performance by him in big games, therefore, my pick is A.C. Milan.

Dan, why the insistance that the Sonics leave Seattle? I hope that somehow, getting Durant will miraculously keep the team in Seattle, where they belong. That team has been in Seattle for 40 years, and have been very well supported. Their arena is fine, it is the lease that sucks... and who is to blame for that? The prior management.

Also, someone mentioned Seattle not needing Durant because of Rashard Lewis. Here's the thing, I highly doubt that Lewis will be in Seattle next year. Some team will bite and pay him way too much. They guy doesn't play defense, won't rebound, isn't great in the post... he is now a 6'10" three-point shooter. I like the pairing of Ray Allen and Durant, with Ridnour distributing.

eileen said...

Yeah, I'd hate to lose Big Al, but desparate times call for desprate measures. But hey, maybe McHale will throw his old teammate a bone.

Mikepcfl said...

More on Dukes: at age 22 he already has 5 kids with 4 different women. Shawn Kemp better watch out!

chitown italian said...

KaKa is going to destroy Liverpool. Bring on the Italians!!!

Patriots64 said...

New ESPN NFL blog up.

Unknown said...

Watch the Stanley Cup finals because its better than watching Spurs-Jazz and Cavs-Pistons.

Unknown said...

Three points Dan...

1) Liverpool not so much because I like them, but because the karma of the Italian League scandals from last year catches up with AC Milan.

2) Ottawa/Anaheim isn't as great as Ottawa/Buffalo, but I would agree with previous posters on the excitement of last night's third period. I think you have to be a serious fan of hockey, soccer or any other sport with continuous action to appreciate this year's Stanley Cup match-up. The anticipation of a big play in an anaerobic sport such as baseball, basketball, or football is what makes it exciting to serious and casual fans.

3) You have been a proponent of Memphis and Boston tanking at the end of season to secure a better draft position, when inevitably it blows up in your face and they both lose out. What does the NBA do to make their draft as fair as the NFL, NHL or MLB? Stern says the lottery was initiated to stop teams from tanking...

codydoggy_1 said...

Seriously, Dan. I wish you would stop trying to ingratiate yourself so much with Deadspin. I read most of the comments on your live lottery blog on their site and most of the commenters were simply just making fun of you.

If you want to continue to contribute to DS, you're going to have to do what they ask when applying to be a commenter. "Sharpen up your words. Post something either funny or make a comment that is socially relavent." I just don't want to see you become the butt of a running joke.

CMFost said...

I Love Dan Patricks idea for how you determine the #1 pick in the NBA. You have the team with the 2 worst records play a game winner gets the #1 pick. I would even take it farther then that, take the teams with the 4 worst records and have them play. 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3, winners play for the #1 pick, loser play for the #3 pick. Do not think anyone would tank those games

chitown italian said...

I never liked Sosa. I would say Banks is a great choice but there are others too. Tinkers, Evers, Chance since they are the biggest names on the World Series Champions team.

Non-champs: Banks, Santo, Sandberg, Grace, Kingman (but only because my aunt dated him).

Unknown said...

I just read about Giambi over at Highbrid Nation and the writer over there really put things in perspective for me. The media has really blew the whole "performance enhancing drug" thing out of proportion. Seriously, I'm not saying its ok to use these drugs but can we please stop acting like these drugs give athletes some kind of super human advantage over thier peers.

Jingoist said...

(You NHL-savvy commenters: Please educate the rest of us why this Cup matchup is worth following.)

Arguably the best scoring line (Ottawa's Spezza, Alfredsson, Heatley) versus the 2 best defensemen in the game (Anaheim's Pronger and Niedermayer).

The Ducks signed Pronger just for a series like this. The Senators traded for Heatley last season to put them where they are- in the Cup Finals. Both teams master plans have come to fruition quickly. Now it will be interesting to see who's philosophy trumps the other... Ottawa's "Fast and Loose" or Anaheim's "Muck and Grind".

stooncer said...

Here are some compelling points for being interested in the Stanley Cup finals:

- Since 2003, Anaheim and Ottawa 1 and 2 respectively in post season wins.

- Ottawa favors an offensive game, while the Ducks rely on their D. Should be interesting to see which game plan prevails.

- Teemu Selanne going for a cup could get the nod for "aging superstar finally gets the cup."

- The Anaheim fans. Normally a fickle group, but they had amazing energy during a crazy third period last night. They even gave Edmonton fans a run for their money in last year's Western Conf. Championship.

- And this matchup is slightly more compelling/competitive than SA/Utah and Det/Clev. Ugh!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I could care less what happens to Bill Simmons today.He's not the face of the Boston Celtics.anyway,Celtics are learning towards Al Horford(florida) or Brandon Wright from UNC.People are forgetting this DRAFT is deep with talent.

Patriots64 said...

Simmons column is up on ESPN!!

chitown italian said...

Way to go Milan. The Italians win again.

Natsfan74 said...

We have to take Giambi's posting privileges away now -- especially if he wants to link us to Highbrid Nation.

The Legend of Vincent Tremblay said...

By the way, the Finals aren't starting until Monday because:

1) They're going for the post-cookout Memorial Day crowd.
2) Honda Center is booked Saturday night.
3) The schedule was already set to accommodate a potential game 7 in the Anaheim-Detroit series.

Although, as I check the schedule at Scotiabank Place, they have Game 4 of the Finals and a Roger Waters concert booked at the same time on June 4. (Hmm, crazed Sens fans vs. stoned Floyd fans. Wonder who wins that fight?)

jhawkjjm said...

I would like to change my preemptive stud to Schilling to a very big DUD. Thank you, that is all.

eskadoni said...

fuck you dan. fuck you for hoping the sonics will leave. a team-hopper like yourself doesn't know what its like to care about a team.

Unknown said...

Why should you watch this Stanley Cup, Dan? Why do we "hockey guys" watch it? Maybe because it will be, you know, actually exciting and good hockey? A good competition? We like the sport, not egocentric atheletes. It does not take mega-stars to make a good sports event, a fact much of the country seems to have forgotten. Our idiotic celebrity culture is starting to encroach on just about the only good thing left on broadcast TV, sports, and I hate it. If you need a big star, or a team from NYC to get excited about a sporting event, you are not a fan, but a star watcher. Go back to your Dancing With the Stars, the real sports fans know what's up.