Yao or Bynum?

31 07 2008

Interesting discussion going on over at Khandor’s Sports Blog:- who do you choose, Yao Ming or Andrew Bynum?  Or rather… who do you think Phil Jackson would choose?  Head over to Khandor’s Sports Blog and join in the discussion

Here’s what I had to say:

It’s inane to say that it’s a short-term choice.  If you’re playing fantasy basketball, sure.  But that’s not what the discussion is.  This is “who would Phil Jackson choose to play at the Lakers”… and the answer to that question is the guy he already has: Andrew Bynum.

Yao’s got foot issues, and on big men, that’s hell.  Add to this that he’s going to play in the Olympics (of course, he has to), and it adds up to being very unlikely that Yao plays the entire upcoming season.  The last 3 years have been problematic for Yao… and honestly, I don’t see that changing.  Yes, Bynum’s coming off knee surgery, but all indications are (thus far) that he’ll be fine.  The Lakers have been very, very conservative on that, and rightly so.  Yao doesn’t have that luxury with the Chinese National Team.  I get the feeling that his leg could be nigh on ripped off, and they’d expect him to play.

Age and state of their game are important too.  Everything perfect, then Yao’s better than Bynum.  Clearly so.  But Yao’s game’s at it’s zenith… Bynum’s just starting to show who he’ll be.  And the potential (yes, at this point that’s what it is) could be pretty damn good.  Sure, Yao’s only 27, but there are a helluva lot of miles on that 27.  Having the weight of the world’s biggest nation on your shoulders is huge.  And whilst the expectation isn’t going to physically effect him, the games Yao has to play because of that expectation will.  He’s coming off a season plagued with injury and surgery, yet there was never a question as to whether he’d play in the Olympics.

The actual team situation is important too: which of the players would best benefit having Phi-Jax as coach, and having Kareem Abdul Jabbar as a personal centers coach (on that, would LA even use Jabbar in that role if Yao were there?) – clearly, again, that’s a situation that will benefit Bynum over Yao.  Bynum’s a clean slate, and we’re only now beginning to see the clay being molded.

Head over to Khandor’s Sports Blog and join in the discussion


Olympic Trivia Challenge!!

30 07 2008

The good folk at the social networking site Hey! Nielsen have an excellent Olympic Trivia challenge running.  The questions were devised by various sports blogs… of which With Malice was proud to be included.

– The grand prize winner will receive a Wii console and accessories (estimated value: $400.00), a game package of popular sports and entertainment titles (estimated value: $450.00) and one (1) gift card (estimated value: $150.00).

Phenomenal chance to prove that you have Olympic knowledge on an olympic scale… click the banner and head on over and try your luck!

Fantasy Football: Quarterback updates…

30 07 2008

1) Tom Brady (NE) Will Brady throw for 50 TD this year? No. Peyton Manning followed up his record 49 TD season with 28 TDs. You can count on Brady to top that. He is still the number one QB on the board so don’t hesitate to nab him if you don’t like the RB or WR staring you in the face with your pick. Resigning Moss was huge. The offense will be just as good and the division still stinks.

2) Peyton Manning (IND) Peyton Manning has averaged “only” 30 TD’s per season the last 3 years. Some owners that spent a first round pick on him may be disappointed by that. Ludicrous. Just temper your expectations. Harrison is nearing the end of his career and the run game is still prevalent for the Colts. But Manning will rarely lose you a week and will win you plenty. He is a reliable for sure.

3) Drew Brees (NO) Brees was hurt by McAllister’s injury early on and the Saints slow start in general. But he had some monster games and Colston remains a fantasy stud. Despite all the adversity, Brees still ended up with 28 TD passes and over 4400 yards. An even better 2008 is well within his sights. Brees is definitely a top 5 QB in any format.

4) Tony Romo (DAL) Romo took a lot of heat for whatever reason last year – some of it from Dallas fans. Strange considering he finished second only to Brady in QB Fantasy scoring. He did finish the year with 4 sub-par game in a row, but with another year as a starter under his belt and the Dallas offense expected to be explosive again – Romo is in line for another big year.

5) Carson Palmer (CIN) It’s not too often that 1 players success can be so closely tied to another but it is for Palmer in 2008. If Chad Johnson does not play for the Bengals this year, Palmer’s stock will drop considerably. The Bengals have already lost Chris Henry and there are only so many weapons a QB can lose before he drops back to the back. Expect a solid season but not a great one.

6) Derek Anderson (CLE) Throwing for 29 TDs (and 3 rushing) and almost 3800 yards when you don’t begin the season as the starter is nothing short of amazing. Cleveland has a top 5 WR in Braylon Edwards, a top pass catching TE, and an improved line. It will not be surprising (at least to GTD) if Anderson tops last year’s numbers. Don’t shy away from Anderson if he slots to you.

7) Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) Something seems not quite right when a Pittsburgh QB accounts for 34 TD’s (32 passing). But these are not your Steelers from years past. Yes, they still run the ball and run it often, but they are not afraid to throw deep and they throw it plenty in the red zone. Big Ben increased his TD passes by 14 and cut down his INTs by 12. Consider him a top tier QB for 2008.

Read the rest of this entry »

Carnival of the NBA – Will Ferrell edition

29 07 2008

The latest carnival of the NBA is out – #58, the Will Ferrell edition – and is hosted over at Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie.

MLB Weekly Review 7-27-08

29 07 2008

Don’t look now but the defending National League Champions are well on their way to teaching the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers a very important lesson.
The Colorado Rockies are blazing a trail to the top on the NL West and the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are kicking themselves for letting them hang around.

The Rockies have won 9 of their last 10 games, including 5 in a row. Colorado is averaging 7.6 runs per game during that stretch and they scored 10 in their lone loss. In a 16-10 loss to the Dodgers, Kip Wells was tagged for 8 runs in one-third of an inning and the Rockies couldn’t overcome an 11 run deficit.
Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe and Troy Tulowitzki were all visitors to the DL this season and Tulowitzki just returned from his 2nd stint. He has provided the team with a spark since his return going 13 for 26.

The Rockies aren’t the only streaking team, as the New York Yankees have also been playing inspired ball since the All-Star Break.
New York was riding as 8-game winning streak before suffering a 9-2 setback on Sunday in the series finale at Boston.
During the winning streak, the Yankees held their opponents to just 15 runs and used their defense to lead them to 2-1 and 1-0 victories. They now sit just 3 games back in the division.

Players like Matt Holliday(.565 average), Jeff Baker(.579), Alex Rodriguez(.476) and Robinson Cano(.480) have contributed to their teams success recently, but they aren’t the hottest hitters of the past week.
Alex Rios takes top honors as the best hitter of the week with his .344 average, 7 Runs, 4 HR, 8 RBI and 4 SB. Ryan Braun is a close 2nd with a .414 average, 4 Runs, 4 HR and 12 RBI.

Andy Pettitte and Cliff Lee turned in the top pitching performances this week as they each collected 2 wins.
Pettitte went 14 innings while scattering 9 hits, allowing 2 ER and striking out 16. He won a 10-3 blowout and a 2-1 pitchers duel.
Lee pitched 17 innings while giving up 17 hits, 4 ER and struck out 14 batters.
Rich Harden was also lights out this week, but has an 0-1 record to show for it because the Cubs provided just 2 runs of support in 2 games.
Harden pitched 12 solid innings while giving up just 3 hits. Two of the 3 hits were solo homeruns and the only runs he allowed. He struck out 10 in each outing, giving him 30 in 3 games as a Cub.

We haven’t seen any major deals since Harden joined the Cubs, but there were a couple trades of interest this week.
The New York Yankees added Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady from the Pirates in exchange for prospects and Casey Blake was sent from Cleveland to the Dodgers.
With only a few days remaining before the deadline, things could get interesting.
Will the Rockies be buyers or sellers? Will the Yankees add Jared Washburn or Adam Dunn? Will Mark Teixeira remain in Atlanta? Will Manny keep being Manny in Boston?

Some many questions and so little time remaining to answer them…

The Baseball Consigliere

Deans 1 – Henry 0

28 07 2008

Graham Henry finds the pressure mounting post the Wallabies 34-19 destruction of rugby’s perennial number 1, the All Blacks in Sydney last weekend. Australia sit back and bask in vaulting to the top of the Tri-Nations series, and winning the first of the Bledisloe Cup games.

New Zealanders the world round were left feeling “what if…” post the dismantling of the pride of the nation.  Robbie Deans was widely regarded as being the right man for the job post the quarter-final loss in the World Cup last year, over Graham Henry – the man who coached them during the campaign that many Kiwis saw as ending in a debacle.

There was no denying Henry’s pedigree, despite the loss in France last year. Henry had created a squad that many saw as being incredibly deep, and on their path to the World Cup, Graham Henry’s All Blacks were the winning-est team ever to don the Silver Fern.
However, many a Kiwi regarded Henry as the past, and Deans as the future. Whilst Henry has the winning percentages with the All Blacks, the loss in France (in the quarters, salt on the wound) stands out to many as a stain that no gloss can shine over. Deans is the most successful coach in the history of Super 14s. And there’s no doubting that the Crusaders side he created is one for the ages.

And the Australian team that took the field had many similarities with past Crusaders teams. They played an expansive game, the defense had better structure, and they were well-prepared for the All Blacks.
All Black back Dan Carter declared to AAP that the biggest change was how Deans had given the Wallabies confidence.

“What he does is bring the best out of players and the Wallabies are playing with real confidence, the way they play is a lot more expansive.”

New Zealand head into the next game with some major injury concerns.  Both Andy Ellis and Jimmy Cowan were injured in the game, and for once the All Black pantry looks pretty bare. Piri Weepu – once discarded by the ABs – looks like an obvious choice, but beyond him the options are pretty raw.

For sure, the New Zealand crowd in Auckland on Saturday will be screaming for Australian scalps, but for the first time in many years, the Wallabies will be well-prepared, and eager to take on the All Blacks.  And should the locals falter, it won’t be Australian blood that the mob are baying for…

Wallabies defeat All Blacks – Highlights

27 07 2008

Busier today than expected… but sharing the highlights of the Australia vs New Zealand game…