Strawberries & Cream… Wimbledon updates… again

30 06 2007

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Huge upset today in the 3rd round…

Laura Granville has defeated Martina Hingis on the ‘Graveyard of Champions’ – court 2. Granville beat Hingis, 6-4, 6-2. Not even close.

In other matches of note:

  • Serena Williams wins (is ‘win’ an appropriate description? How about DEMOLISHED?) 6-1, 6-0 against Milagros Sequera.
  • Justin Henin straight sets victor, 6-4, 6-1 over Elena Vesnina.
  • Daniela Hantuchova had a difficult win over Katarina Srebotnik – 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
  • In what should’ve been his first challenge of the tournament, Federer defeated Marat Safin with little real difficulty, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).
  • Fernando Gonzalez (5th seed) was upset by Janko Tipsarevic. 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-8.
  • James Blake (9th seed) beaten by the 20th seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 3-6, 3-6, 6-7 (4/7).
  • Andy Roddick cruised past Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).

Daniela Hantuchova swingin’





Days of Our Lakers… a review of the draft.

30 06 2007

Yue-are-who?

It’s worth noting that of the 3 draft picks the Lakers got, only one of them really has any positive light from Kobe’s point of view… Anyway, that aside – let’s have a look at ’em!

Drafted with the 19th pick – Javaris Crittendon. The Lakers have a need at point guard, that’s for sure. And without-a-doubt Crittendon was the best player at that position still on the board (after Acie Law IV & Mike Conley). I doubt that he’ll have much impact in the next season, but with Aaron McKie & Smush Parker gone, maybe he will (depending on trades et al). Still, the Lakers do have to look beyond Kobe, and most draft picks at that stage of the game are ‘projects’. I must admit that I was hoping for him to drop this far (and as we got to the mid-teens, was pretty sure he would: Washington, New Jersey & Golden State all have established PGs) – he’s young, has good vision & will (eventually) make a good point guard… one day (not sure that’s what Mr Bryant wants to hear). He’s also eminently tradeable (which would please Kobe).

The second pick with the 10th pick of the 2nd round (40 overall) was Sun Yue. This
pick initially took me by surprise. A very, very long player with point guard skills… ok. Why haven’t we heard of him? Supposedly quick, can jump, and has good passing skills. Still as is typical for Chinese players, he is very, very skinny, and would need to bulk up considerably before having an impact on the NBA. Another project? Chalk up some displeasure for Kobe…

With the 18th pick of the 2nd round (48th overall) the Lakers took Marc Gasol (Pau’s baby brother). Now this pick interests me. Gasol’s a big body, and has all-round good skills. Ready to roll now… in my preview, this was a guy I targeted with this pick, and I’m happy we got him. I’d suggest that Gasol’s presence means that the Lakers are seriously looking to trade Andrew Bynum. Is that a hint of a smile I see Kobe?

Gasol squared… we got the handsome one

 

For more reviews of the draft for other teams, go to Sports Projections!

 

For a response on the draft from Kobe (I think…), try Pyle of List’s Live-Blogging from Kobe’s House!


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Jubilo soccer star sacked for sex suspicions!

30 06 2007

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Jubilo Iwata (Japanese soccer team based in Shizuoka prefecture) cut ties with Naoya Kikuchi due to Kikuchi being arrested on suspicion of having had sex with a 15 year old girl. He was fined, his contract was terminated, and rumors abound as to whether some officials were aware of the incident prior to the arrest – as fines have been placed on both the team president, and the head of team development.

What amazes me is the attitude of people in general here in Japan. It’s met with a pretty blase attitude – enjou kosaii (compensated dating with schoolgirls) is as bad as it’s always been, so this situation involving a football (soccer) player raises nary an eyebrow.

Imagine what Roger Goodell’d be doing…


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Top Sports Stories in Japan… (June 30)

30 06 2007

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Humid today… surprise, huh?

Today’s top sports stories…

Have a great day… tired post NBA draft!





Strawberries & Cream… Wimbledon updates…

29 06 2007

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  • Tim Henman gone. Beaten by Feliciano Lopez, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 2-6, 6-1
  • Rafael Nadal breezes through in 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 against Werner Eschauer
  • Federer through 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 versus Juan Martin Del Potro
  • Hewitt defeats Simone Bolelli in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1
  • James Blake wins 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 against Pavel
  • Journeyman Aussie Wayne Arthurs defeats 11th seed Tommy Robredo 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
  • Sharapova wins 6-0, 6-3 over Severine Bremond
  • Venus proves too much for Hana Sromova winning 6-2, 6-2
  • Amelie Mauresmo wins 6-1, 6-2 over Yvonne Meusburger
  • Dinara Safina is upset by Akiko Morigami losing 4-6, 5-7

akiko-chan.jpg





Top Sports Stories in Japan… (June 29)

29 06 2007

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Today’s top sport headlines in Japan…





NBA Draft 2007

29 06 2007

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Really good running commentary on this at Henry Abbott’s TrueHoop at ESPN.com too (Blogger Live Draft)… we got a mention there on the Laker’s pick, and that of Houston too…

Minute-by-minute updates on With Malice… stay tuned!  Commentary for some picks…

* trade notes at the bottom of this page…

  1. Portland Trailblazers – Greg Oden. With the first pick of the 2007 draft, Portland select Greg Oden!  No brainer…
  2. Seattle Supersonics Kevin Durant – again, a no brainer.
  3. Atlanta Hawks – Al Horford – Next best player after Oden/Durant…
  4. Memphis Grizzlies – Mike Conley Jr. – I don’t even think he’s the best PG in the draft.  That’d be Acie Law…
  5. Boston Celtics – Jeff Green (Traded to Seattle) *1 OH!  Wingman attained to play with Durant!
  6. Milwaukee Bucks – Yi Jianlian – Trade-bait.  Yi’s not a good fit at the Bucks…
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Corey Brewer – Great defensive player, good for a ‘rebuilding team’…
  8. Charlotte Bobcats –Brandan Wright – (Traded to Golden State) **4  workouts saw this player’s stock plummet…
  9. Chicago Bulls – Joakim Noah – an “energetic” inside presence… great rebounding.  Hold a sec… wasn’t that Tyrus Thomas a year ago?
  10. Sacramento Kings – Spencer Hawes – I know a lot of Kings fans that are going to be disappointed they took Hawes…
  11. Atlanta Hawks – Acie Law IV – a steal at #11.  In my mind the best PG in the draft…
  12. Philadelphia 76ers – Thaddeus Young
  13. New Orleans Hornets – Julian Wright – perhaps one of the unsung, but I think 13’s a lil’ high.
  14. Los Angeles Clippers – Al Thornton lotsa upside on this guy…
  15. Detroit Pistons – Rodney Stuckey – damnit… was hoping this guy would drop to the Lakers – GREAT player, a steal at 15!
  16. Washington Wizards – Nick Young – (only two more picks Lakers… Crittendon is STILL on the board!  And why would New Jersey or Golden State take a Point Guard?)
  17. New Jersey Nets – Sean Williams – Bad boy with huge upside.  Better attitude could’ve seen him go higher… (JC STILL there!)
  18. Golden State Warriors – Marco Benelli – first of the Euro-guys to fall!  (what will the Lakers do!???)
  19. Los Angeles Lakers – Javaris Crittendon – an absolute STEAL at #19… further commentary below! **
  20. Miami Heat – Jason Smith – (traded to the 76ers) *2
  21. Philadelphia 76ers – Daequan Cook – third of the Ohio State boys… (traded to the Heat) *2
  22. Charlotte Bobcats – Jared Dudley
  23. New York Knicks – Wilson Chandler – just what the Knicks need.  Another shooter.
  24. Phoenix Suns – Rudy Fernandez – (traded to the Trailblazers) *3 bizarre that they bailed on him – a big future…
  25. Utah Jazz – Morris Almond
  26. Houston Rockets – Aaron Brooks ***
  27. Detroit Pistons – Arron Afflalo
  28. San Antonio Spurs – Tiago Splitter – the man with the name we’ve all been waiting for to be in the NBA… should be a (quite literally) HUGE addition… still, may not make it over to the NBA for another year (buy-out clause)
  29. Phoenix Suns – Alando Tucker
  30. Philadelphia 76ers – Petteri Kopenen – a great pick up – young and with very, very good vision, Koponen could end up being a big acquisition… (traded to Portland)

Thus ends the first round of picks… 

Round 2…

  1. Seattle Supersonics – Carl Landry – wow… Josh McRoberts’ stock has really, really taken a nose-dive!
  2. Boston Celtics – Gabe Pruitt – PG who could nearly have gone late first round.
  3. San Antonio Spurs – Marcus Williams
  4. Dallas Mavericks – Nick Fazekas – another player who could’ve gone first round…
  5. Seattle Supersonics – Glen Davis – Big Baby obtained via trade for this pick… (traded to Boston)
  6. Golden State Warriors – Jermareo Davidson (traded to Charlotte)
  7. Portland Trailblazers – Josh McRoberts – kinda surprised he lasted this long… anti-Duke thing?
  8. Philadelphia 76ers – Kyrylo Fesenko
  9. Miami Heat – Stanko Barac (traded to Indiana)
  10. Los Angeles Lakers – Sun Yue – ok… I’m a lil’ shocked.
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves – Chris Richard
  12. Portland Trailblazers – Derrick Byars (traded to Philadelphia)
  13. New Orleans Hornets – Adam Haluska
  14. Orlando Magic – Reyshawn Terry
  15. Los Angeles Clippers – Jared Jordan
  16. Golden State Warriors – Stephane Lasme
  17. Washington Wizards – Dominic McGuire … show me the money?  Sorry… couldn’t resist!
  18. Los Angeles Lakers – Marc Gasol – The other Gasol… big guy, should have some impact.  Does this mean Andrew Bynum’s gone???
  19. Chicago Bulls – Aaron Gray
  20. Dallas Mavericks – Renaldis Seibutis
  21. Chicago Bulls – JamesOn Curry … you’re kidding…
  22. Portland Trailblazers – Taurean Green – nice get…
  23. Portland Trailblazers – Demetris Nichols
  24. Houston Rockets – Brad Newley – woot!  An Aussie!!  This guy’s actually pretty good…
  25. Utah Jazz – Herbert Hill
  26. Milwaukee Bucks – Ramone Sessions
  27. Detroit Pistons – Sammy Meija
  28. San Antonio Spurs – Giorgis Printezis
  29. Phoenix Suns – D J Strawberry
  30. Dallas Mavericks – Milovan Rakovic

Trades:

*1 – The Celtics traded the No. 5 pick, Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak to the Sonics for Ray Allen. Green may be the perfect wingman for Kevin Durant.  And a nice get for Boston… not sure it’s exactly what Paul Pierce was wanting… but time’ll tell!

*2 – At this stage it looks like 76ers gave their pick + cash to get the guy they wanted from Miami…

*3 – Traded to the Trailblazers for cash…

++ Big news – New York Knicks land Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau & Fred Jones for guard Steve Francis and Channing Frye.  Thus ends the Zach Randolph stakes, and Channing Frye ends up in Portland alongside Greg Oden… it would appear Frye became expendable when Eddie Curry improved outta site last year.  Portland plan to buy-out Steve Francis, and make him a free agent this summer…

*4 – Brandan Wright was only a very short time a Bobcat, traded to Golden State for Jason Richardson.

Commentary… (made on TrueHoop)

**I was quite excited leading up to this pick – some real quality still available (due to some baffling picks earlier)!  And as we got towards the Lakers pick, New Jersey & Golden State were obviously not going to take Javaris Crittendon – could he end up a Laker???  Really happy to see the Lakers take him…  He’s got tremendous upside and with McKie & Parker gone, he should be able to have an impact immediately.  Happy as a pig in the proverbial… Surprised to see Crittendon still on the boards at this later stage!  A steal to get him at #19…

***Aaron Brooks will do pretty well at Houston, where his lack of height should be offset to some extent by the mere presence of Yao.  He has quite good vision, and wants the ball.  I’m a little surprised that he got drafted at this point, I had him pegged for a mid-to-late second round choice – and especially given that Josh McRoberts is still on the board (who would do pretty well in a Rockets uniform).  Still, Brooks should do ok in Houston, playing behind Alston & James.


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