Well, tonight's it. Bill Walton is busy proclaiming the Pistons to be the worst NBA team since the inception of the league. The knives have come out for Rasheed Wallace. People are seriously talking about Robert Horry in the Hall of Fame.
And I wasn't going to post on the thing again until I thought up the title. Anyway.
Rasheed is not the devil again. He screwed up. Real bad. And his offensive numbers this series have not been spectacular, but I think people are going a little overboard. Yes, very, very dumb. But Rasheed is very important to the team and his defense has been great... save for that. Game 5 was a bad game. If Game 6 is another and the Pistons bow out, I really hope the town doesn't turn on him--Rasheed, being Rasheed, is very easy to turn on--because we've seen that song before in Portland, and that ended ugly. Rasheed is Rasheed.
Brown? Carcajou suggested that maybe the three-time DPOY should have been on Horry instead of Rasheed and that he was getting a free pass here. Maybe. But it should have been a simple matter of saying "Sheed, do not leave Horry or I will castrate you." Rasheed is an adult. He is not retarded. When you tell a not retarded adult to do something simple and they don't do it, that's on the tellee, not the teller.
What of Hamilton? Lost in the Sheedaclysm is the fact that Hamilton is getting P3WNED by Bruce Bowen. That's partially because Bowen should be fouling out in about six minutes a game, but there's no excuse for letting him blow by you for easy layups. Hamilton can't do anything about the fact that he's getting fouled every ten seconds but if he plays a little better defense on one of the worst offensive players in the league, Horry's three is a noble but futile effort.
Drinky. mgoblog will be at Leopold's tonight for beer and game. Feel free to drop by and introduce yourself if you feel inspired. I will be the guy with the long flowing locks and glasses who is swearing like Courtney Love at the officials. Just don't get creepy about it.
Update 6/21: Added FL OT Daron Rose. Linked Pat Devlin Scout article and Antwine Perez Scout article. Sounds like USC is the current leader for Perez but he has nice things to say about Michigan. Extrapolated from article title and Dorin Dickerson profile that he's down to Michigan and Pitt (probably). His coach is the father of Pitt QB Tyler Palko and he lives in Pittsburgh--it will be close. Also linked to Travis Goethel Scout article.
Editorial opinion: Good on Dickerson. I don't know if he's leaning either way, but I bet his mom is pulling for Pitt. Bad mom!
I just noticed this excellent article on Football Outsiders that discusses the differences between the 4-3 and 3-4, a topic of great interest to both NFL and Michigan fans. Lions fans (and other NFC North acolytes) would also do well to examine FO's camp battles for the division this year.
And, hell, while were in "link to everything on the Internet" mode, the Wall Street Journal has an article about the fines professional athletes pay. Or, rather, don't pay. Check this out:
"NBA guard Latrell Sprewell ... actually made money on a $25,000 penalty, because a corporate sponsor stepped in to pay it and the fine was later dropped by his team."
Well, of course he did. He's got 35,000 kids to feed!
And Dr. Z's single-wing Vick fantasy refers to a "Michigan-style spinning fullback" (ironically slotted for this position is former Spartan TJ Duckett). Can someone inform me of the significance of this term? I am not nearly as old as Z. Heck, even noted geezer Dan Reeves didn't even know what a spinning fullback was when Z asked him about it. Enlighten me, readers!
Update: Ask, and ye shall receive. Examine the comments for my answer.
So I got an email today from a prospective BlogPoll site, Bruins Nation. I noticed that BN is part of the "SB Nation" network of sites. Exploration of same indicated that this mysterious network is run by Kos. Yeah, that Kos. Holy divisiveness, Batman! mgoblog's political leanings are well hidden for a reason: they're fundamentally irrelevant to a sports site and anyone who disagrees with me will be put off. mgoblog official blog-world policy on politics is "I agree with you, no matter what you think. Yes, even the thing about the Freemasons." To the credit of the current SB Nation sites (all baseball save for BN), they seem to focus exclusively on their topic material. But the whole thing is totally weird. Who knew a guy like Kos had time for anything except being extraordinarily political?
He's trying to built an huge network of sports sites that, like, pay their authors. Will it work? Dunno. But I sure as hell haven't been in Wired. Kos 1 mgoblog 0.
This is totally outside of the purview of this blog but I find FIFA's World Youth Championships to be interesting. The US has managed to plow through the tournament's "Group of Death" by defeating Egypt and Argentina 1-0 and playing a scoreless draw with Germany. Next they take on an offensively-challenged Italy squad that managed to qualify for the second round despite placing third in its group.
Yes, Freddy Adu is on the team, but the breakout stars are a pair of defenders, ManU's Jonathan Spector and UCLA freshman Marvell Wynne. They've helped the US to their three clean sheets in the group play stage--only the third time that's been done in the history of the WYC-- despite some questionable goaltending. Now the US is picking up neutral support and, by winning the group of death, finds itself across the bracket from the real power teams like Brazil and Spain. A run to the final is not out of the question. You can catch the action on Fox Soccer Channel, except it's a subscription channel and you're an American, so you don't get it. Alas.