No Cigars for Dallas today

29 11 2008

Dallas Mavericks (7-7) at Los Angeles Lakers (11-1)

The last time the Mavs played the Lakers, LA managed to only just eke out a win.  Dallas come to town with high hopes and a fully-loaded Dirk Nowitzki.  Dirk’s been firing of late, averaging a handy 28.8 points and 11.6 boards over the last five games.  Even tho’ the Lakers boast one of the best teams in the NBA at both ends of the court, Dallas would have to rate themselves for this game.

Phil being phunny...LA.  Quite simply they are the cream of the crop at the moment.  Used to be that if you shut down Kobe, then you shut down LA.  Not any more.  Even when Kobe’s not hot now, LA are winning… and by a league-best average of 14+ points per.  You can’t just stop #24, you have to stop the entire team. No-one’s playing big minutes yet, largely because they haven’t needed to. It’s a well-balanced team that comes at you from all angles. Phil’s got them playing very, very well.

Dallas have found recent form that might come close to doing that. Having won 5 on the trot, not only is Nowitzki playing well, but you can also look to wily ol’ veterans Jason Terry and J-Kidd as well. Funny that. You have to wonder if it’s the lesser impact of a somewhat distracting owner.

The Lakers will be looking to extend their own 5 game winning streak, and move to an impressive 12-1 thus far this season.
I see that happening. LA by 17.





Happy Thanksgiving

28 11 2008

To those of you in the USA…





Go

27 11 2008

There comes a point in most undertakings in life where it’s time to walk away.  When two (or more) parties are involved, it becomes a little tougher, but the theory remains the same.  Sometimes it’s best to just get the hell outta Dodge.No hearts here...
Kenny Rogers was right smack on the money with his song The Gambler.

“You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”

There aren’t many better images than this for where the New York Knicks and Stephon Marbury now find themselves. It’s the classic stare-down. New York doesn’t want to just tell Marbury to get out, and there’s too much money on the table for him to walk away.

At the beginning of the season, the New York Knicks embodied by Donnie Walsh and miscreant...Mike D’Antoni made it abundantly clear to Stephon Marbury that he was in no way, shape or form part of their plans for the future. Fast-forward to now: two massive trades involving guards Jamaal Crawford and Mardy Collins (and forward Zach Randolph) occurred. Then an injury to Nate Robinson… and health concerns for new-Knick Cuttino Mobley – this left the Knicks with only two healthy guards: Chris Duhon and Anthony Roberson. Marbury was told prior to at least two games (against the Bucks, and the Pistons) that if he wanted court-time, it was his for the taking.

Marbury’s response?
No thanks.

Whilst his refusal to have anything to do with the Knicks (other than cash paychecks from them) must be infuriating for the Knicks hierarchy, the implications for Marbury himself are even greater.

It’s easy to understand Marbury’s continued refusal to play. The Knicks made their opinion of him clear, but now that they need him, they turn up on his doorstep cap-in-hand and expect it of him. Most people would have the same reaction: thumb their nose at the arrogance displayed by these people.
But they’d be wrong too.
The powers that be...Aside from the fact that it’s a reasonable request made by the people who give him a very sizable amount of money, it could have repercussions on his career post-Knicks.
There was every possibility that a team would pick up Marbury for a deal once he finished with the Knicks (which could be any day now). But his “no thanks” and refusal to be a part of the team are indicative of an attitude that might end up making him as big a pariah in basketball as Barry Bonds is in baseball.

What should the Knicks do?
Cut their losses and run – they’ll be paying him the money any way. Marbury’s very presence is a cancer. He’s clashed with pretty much every authority figure within the New York office – Larry Brown, Isiah Thomas, and now Mike D’Antoni/Donnie Walsh. This is a man that was once called “the most reviled athlete in New York” (New York Daily News).
It’s well past time for New York to bid Stephon Marbury adieu.
Know when to walk away and know when to run.





2010… a basketball Odyssey

27 11 2008

Enough said...

Thanks Frank (of eTrueSports)…





No love for NJ in LA

26 11 2008

November 25th – New Jersey Nets (6-6) at LA Lakers (11-1)

The Nets of New Jersey.
The NBA’s blandest franchise? Have to come close. Cleveland were bland, until they got to play luggage to LeBron (and you can probably count on two fingers how much longer that will go on). Milwaukee? No, they have good beer. Nope, it’s NJ.

Cap'n Jack and some bum...Who does this team belong to? Devon Harris? Or Vince Carter?
Hard to say, but they bring their team into a pretty tough version today against the 11-1 Lakers.
Not that the venue itself is particularly daunting… well, ok – the lighting’s awesome (at least, it is for Lakers’ games), but the crowd itself are pussy cats. ‘Cept for Cap’n Jack – but he’s so over the top he’s almost like a caricature at any rate.
No, it’s not the venue, but who resides there that make this a tough trip.
The Lakers have opened this season on a mission. There’s a surprise. And they are playing the best defense I’ve seen a Laker team play in many, many years.
That’s not to say they can’t lose. Sooner or later, they’re going to – I have Christmas Day penciled in as a big game… ok, probably before that – but just LOOK at their schedule! Post this game, 2 days rest, then Dallas, 2 days rest, then Toronto. Then look at December: first 3 weeks they barely see a team with a better-than-.500 record!
One’d almost think David Stern loves LA or something.
Oh, wait a sec…

Anyway… Yes, LA will lose – and probably soon, but it won’t be today.  LA by 14 here.





One laptop per child? Tom Brady thinks so!

25 11 2008

Another piece sent to me… a worthy cause, so I’ll throw my weight behind it (not that my blog’s weight is that considerable… but anyway).

New York, NY – November 19, 2008 – Dailymotion, one of the world’s largest independent video entertainment websites, and One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving education in the developing world, today announced a holiday contest to support OLPC’s Give One, Get One campaign.
The contest, which runs from November 17, 2008 to December 15, 2008, calls for Dailymotion users to upload original commercials for the Give One, Get One campaign. One winning commercial will be selected from among the submissions. Along with bringing greater attention to this important campaign, the winning commercial will be aired on a major network/cable TV channel during the period of December 15th to December 31st.
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Nothing To Remember In November

25 11 2008

Every now and then, someone else writes a piece here at With Malice… – and it’s not always basketball here (just most of the time).  Today it’s a baseball piece.  Bryan from over at All American Home Run Derby

November truly is the slowest month in baseball.
Sure, some people want a “break”. Others are bored because there is no free agency, games, or trades to talk about.
By November, the World Series is completely old news. Due to the abrupt way the season ended in a three-inning continuation game that upset a good portion of the country in this years small-market World Series, even fewer people are interested currently. In fact, only nine million people watched game three on TV, one of the all-time lows.
In November, there are no winter GM meetings that conclude with an exciting blockbuster trade that we could see in December. Thus, November is almost a “pubescent-ly” awkward month for the sport of baseball. This is why I spend most of my November’s watching football, eating lots turkey, celebrating no-shave November by not shaving, awaiting the joys, breaks and holidays December has to offer, and every four years watching a lot of CNN (speaking of which, did anyone see those holograms?? PS We have a new president).

One exception to the “not much going on November” rule is the announcement of MVP (this year Albert Pujols and Dustin Pedroia) and Cy Young (Tim Linecum and Cliff Lee) Awards. However, there were no real surprises to get people talking; no extraordinarily close races. To add to that, this was a new generation of winners that we haven’t seen a major award from before (with the exception of Pujols), and the average older baseball fan is much too lazy to pay attention to the younger names. Even more, three of the four winners were from small market teams that don’t have a huge fan base. And oh the awfulness, for the AL MVP did not go to a long ball hitter. So the one thing that can happen in November kind of came and went without much of a bam.

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