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Tag:Klick of the Day
Posted on: January 14, 2009 10:04 am
 

Nets have something special in Brook Lopez

By the end of the first quarter of the Nets-Thunder game Monday night I knew I was watching a good player.

By the end of the game, I knew I had seen a special player.

Good: Brook Lopez ended the first quarter with 14 points.Brook Lopez

Special: Brook Lopez ended 41 minutes of on-court time with a career-high 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting, 13 rebounds (five offensive), two blocks and two fouls. He was an unstoppable force from anywhere on the court.

Hyperbole? Not this time.

He dunked the ball a few times. He made mid-range jumpers and even a few from around 18-feet. The free-throw line? How about 11-for-12.

If he received the ball down low, there was no stopping him. Yes, what the Thunder lack in size, they make up for in, uh, good intentions, but Lopez was a man on fire Monday night.

But before we can talk about the future of the Nets, we have to talk about the past of the Magic. And by past, I mean very, very recent past. The year is 2004, the phenom was Dwight Howard.

In his rookie season with the Magic Howard averaged 12 points per game, 10 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and shot 52 percent from the field.

Lopez is averaging 10.7 points per game, 8.2 rebounds, two blocks and is shooting nearly 48 percent from the floor. He's an 80.5 percent free-throw shooter.

Numbers don't always tell the whole story, but they help get it started.

Lopez is also taller, longer, and more polished than Howard. Of course, he'll be 21 in April and spent two years working his game at a good basketball program. Howard entered the league at 19 straight out of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy in Georgia. But in Lopez I see Howard. I see a center who isn't out of place no matter the tempo of the game. I see not just an athlete, but a basketball player. I may be wrong about his ceiling, but his floor sure as hell won't be a Todd MacCulloch-ian career of foot problems and DNPs.

That's because when Lopez gets the ball, like Howard, there's a sense he's either going to a. put it through the hoop or b. not hurt his team.

Don't ignore point b. So many big men kill a possession with their inability to pass or shoot.

But it's point a. that has my attention -- and soon yours. As a rookie center on a team with two legit scoring options in Vince Carter and Devin Harris, Lopez has cracked double-digit scoring in 23 0f 39 games. He's topped 20 or more five times. He can rebound like David Lee at times, yet get his hands up like Ben Wallace in his prime (six games with four or more blocked shots).

LopezThe beauty of what I saw from Lopez was: He keeps the ball up high, and doesn't find the annoying need to bring it back to the court before elevating. To contrast, fellow first-round pick Ryan Anderson (6-10 out of Cal) probably lost three or four possessions vs. the Thunder because he wasn't comfortable finishing a play without first putting the ball on the court.

It's just 38 games into the Brook Lopez era (did I just use the word "era"? Am I really drooling ...), but it's not far off to start mentioning him in the same breath as other good, young centers. Probably not Howard (yet) or even Al Jefferson (yet), but he's closing in on Andris Biedrins of Golden State and Emeka Okafor in Charlotte and on equal, if not better footing than Kendrick Perkins in Boston. One game vs. an inferior opponent is hardly the ultimate litmus test, but Lopez displayed the ability to run and finish a fast break, take advantage of good low-post positioning and because of his jump shot, draw defenders away from the basket.

As somebody who watched the Wizards for years nurture Brendan Haywood along, it was often said by people who follow the game that "big men take a while" to get their bleep together. I kindly disagree. It may take a while to become the focal point of an offense, but for the most part, you can sense whether a big guy is going to have IT or not have IT. Haywood will never have IT. He'll be serviceable for a handful of years and go out to pasture without much fanfare. Odds are Lopez makes a mark in this league.

Don't believe me? How about his teammates Carter and Harris, who are both confident passing up a shot to get Lopez the ball?

"I thought just off the pick 'n' rolls we're getting great looks," said Lopez after the win vs. OKC. "Whether it's Vince, Devin or Keyon (Dooling), they just keep looking at the roll guy or they swing it at the corner where I can seal and then get easy buckets. They give me confidence to do that all year. So I just keep looking (for the ball)."

A 21-year-old confident rookie center? That's the start of something special.


On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around

Eli Manning was part of the driving force in last season's Super Bowl run. This season, Giants Future says the noodle-armed quarterback is a liability, so much so he's ruining homefield advantage.

Fox's BCS coverage, Jake Delhomme's horrendous performance and the Titans whining after their loss are just a few of last week's moments captured in the appropriately named 10 things I learned this week.

X Ball Hawk's X-Factor breaks down the Dallas coaching staff. For Wade, Jason, Brian and Bruce, the grades are as pretty as Terrell Owens dropped pass. 

The Rockets are minus T-Mac (no surprise) and Ron Artest. Houston Rockets '08-'09 examines the ramifications and also wonders, what if the team is better off?


Klick of the Day

The eight non-hottest women of the Aussie Open

Posted on: January 5, 2009 12:51 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2009 1:46 pm
 

If we must, a simple solution to NFL overtime

For most of the rooting public, NFL overtime is sort of an anomaly in sports for one reason: it's deemed unfair.

A coin toss often dictates the winner because of the whole score-and-it's-over attitude NFL overtime adopts.overtime coin toss

(Get better at predicting coin tosses, I say)

A Google search of "overtime + NFL + rules" brings up countless columns and stories questioning the sanctity of the league's overtime system. Most want to bitch about it, some want to fix it, a few claim it ain't perfect, but who said things have to be fair?

If pronged, I fall into the latter's camp, but I do have a simple suggestion for those who may be listening. The solution isn't to give each team a chance (the pee-wee soccer version of solutions) or to play a version of what college football does (the soccer/hockey version), but simply to score.

Touchdowns that is.

First team to score a touchdown wins. That's it. Get into the end zone before the other team and bam, you win. It wouldn't have changed the outcome of Saturday night's Colts-Chargers thriller, but it would lengthen the field. Lengthening the field means the loser of the coin toss has a better chance of getting the ball back. And isn't that what it's all about? Creating at least the opportunity for mutual offensive possession?

SprolesIt doesn't have to be built in, simply increase the cost of scoring. After all, who wants to see a kicker win games? It's exciting when Rob Bironas blasts a 47-yard kick for the win, but not as exciting as seeing LenDale White punch it in on 3rd and goal, right?

Stripping away one element, the field goal, to add depth, trickery and creativity to the game is worth it. Witnessing a team march down the field knowing all they need is a field goal is only slightly less anti-climatic than an ending of Scooby Doo. Oh, it was Old Man Winter, who knew?!

Good day, I say.

Give me an overtime where six points, not three, is needed to exit the playing field. That's it. No possession equality, no new version of football like college. Just backyard football to end a game, and heroes named Sproles, not Bironas or Vinatieri or Longwell.


On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around 

What do Deron Williams, Jason Richardson, Desmond Mason, Al Jefferson and Spencer Hawes have in common? They're all members of 999's Sports Blog's perfect starting five.

The Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers are movin' on up. The Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers are among the teams movin on down in Guaranteed To Raise Sports IQs' NBA Power Rankings.

If you think you have it bad rooting for whatever team it is you favor, give West Coast Bias' rant about the Warriors a look. Fans of the franchise have had it rough -- think Todd Fuller > Kobe Bryant in the 1996 draft.

Georgia Tech's win vs. Georgia, the International Bowl and the pesky Hawks are three of the top five stories in Ramblings from a Sports Fan review of 2008, and more importantly, first blog on CBSSports.com.


Klick of the Day 

Nothing beats the wunder boner 

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 26, 2008 11:48 am
Edited on: December 29, 2008 6:17 pm
 

Four entries?! Make the Slam Dunk Contest bigger

If you watched any NBA action Thursday you're probably aware that it's up to us, the fans, to vote in the fourth contestant to the Slam Dunk Contest. Brent Barry

Yawn. And it's not because the SDC doesn't have superstars anymore, the complaint most offer between now and the All-Star weekend.

It's that we're only having four players?

Four? That's it?

The problem with the SDC isn't a lack of big names, it's a lack of names, period. What's beating out three others for a "title?" Double, no triple the number of entries, I say.

There are too many good young players in this league who need to make a name for themselves. There are too many good athletes not to include more than just four names. There are too many good personalities to only include four. Let's be serious, the only reason people even tune into Saturday's festivities is because of the SDC. So let's do it right.

Give me 12 players. Twelve attention-starved, hungry players. Give them each one dunk in the first round. Give them two dunks in the second round. Give them three dunks in the third round and give them one dunk in the final round. Better make it count, guys.

I don't care if I'm not familiar with a lot of the names heading into this. I don't care if Dwight Howard botches his first-round dunk and gets eliminated 2 minutes in. All I care about is turning this into a serious skills competition.

People have become disenchanted with the SDC and the NBA's reaction is to have just four people compete in it? Four? That's not worth my attention. The NBA is all but admitting the contest is a sham. Go the other way, NBA. Make it a simple tournament with 12 contestants. The players will still keep the mood light, don't worry about that.

But beef it up, don't strip it down.


On to the best CBSSports.com blogs  ... around 

 

If you're jonesing for some NBA Power Rankings, The Eye of the HurricaneDij is there for you. Guess who's No. 1? It's not the winner of last night's duel at the Staples Center.

Waiting for 2010 - The New York Knicks has a few Christamas wishes: get rid of Eddie Curry, figure out what to do with Nate Robinson and bring back Patrick Ewing Jr.

If you're a fan of either Arizona or Weber State (or maybe both?), give a look at NaterB's Junk Drawer preview of Monday's (Dec. 29) duel.

In the wake of their monster, $180MM contract with Mark Teixeira, bloggers like 2 Raw 4 TV are claiming the Yankees are "ruining baseball." Worth a read, but "ruining baseball?" It's the teams like the Royals and Nationals that are ruining baseball. The teams that refuse to sign players, yet enjoy the perks of revenue sharing. Also, signing big-time free agents has not been a recipe for success this decade. Champions are built through the farm and supplemented with free agents, not the way the Yankees are doing it. Despite CC, Tex and A.J., I'm still taking the field 10 out of 10 times.


Klick of the Day

 

Not a great Christmas story, but Chris Bosh's shirt is pretty sweet

Posted on: December 18, 2008 1:47 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2008 12:51 pm
 

Does London Fletcher actually have a point?

"I don't know if it was because I wasn't a first-round draft pick, I don't do some kind of dance when I make a 10-yard tackle, I don't go out and get arrested." -- Redskins MLB London Fletcher on why he wasn't select to the Pro Bowl.

London Fletcher said a lot of things Wednesday. At least more things than the modest linebacker is accustomed to. He also talked about London Fletcherhis "body of work," his goal to "play the game the way it's supposed to be played," and went so far as to compare himself to soap star Susan Lucci.

Where ya been all these years, London?

Whether we think Fletcher merits a Pro Bowl spot is debatable. I consider him borderline, but being someone who follows the Redskins closely, I appreciate his style of play and understand he played much of the year injured, without his fellow starting linebackers and on a team with little to no pass rush.

But there's one part of his statement that stuck out more than the rest. His claim about first-round picks being invited instead of him.

The man has a point. Removing special teams players and offensive lineman, 18 of the 30 NFC players selected this week were picked on the first day (1st and 2nd rounds). On the AFC side, 21 of the 30 players were picked on the first day. If you really want to skew the facts add the fullback position with the offensive lineman to reduce the total number to 29 on each side.

Regardless, Fletcher's point has some merit. Players selected on the first day of the draft appear to have a higher chance of reaching the Pro Bowl. Of course, there's the obvious conclusion that these players were good in college, drafted early and expected to be playing at a high level. But there may be something more.

The fans' vote counts for a third of the vote pool. And fans like to reaffirm that players their teams invested heavily in are in fact, paying off. That may be why a player like Reggie Wayne is going instead of say seventh-round pick T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who has 92 receptions and 904 yards despite catching balls from unheralded (that's putting it nicely) Ryan Fitzpatrick.

But what about linebackers, the position Fletcher plays? That's where things get difficult. Of the AFC's five linebackers, three were first-day picks. One (Joey Porter) was a third-round pick and one (James Harrison) went undrafted. Talk about a mountain to climb. On the NFC side, four of the five were first-day picks, including both middle linebackers. Lance Briggs was a third-round pick.

London Fletcher, as many know, was not drafted out of John Carroll in 1998. Since then, he has helped the Rams to a Super Bowl and led the 2000s in tackles. Call tackles a bogus stat if you will, but he also has 28 sacks from a position not known to record many, 14 interceptions, forced 11 fumbles and scored three times (not including the two safeties he's caused).

He'll never be Ray Lewis, despite having some similar stats. Lewis, since 1996, has 33 sacks, 28 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and three touchdowns scored, not including his one safety. Fletcher doesn't star in Madden ads or do Sunday night SportsCenter interviews.

But back to the first-day draft issue. Do you think Fletcher has a point? Do you think fans, and even players and coaches like to reaffirm highly drafted players as being more worthy than similar players drafted later? Or is there nothing to this, and Fletcher should just be happy he's made millions of dollars in a league that's often unkind to undrafted, undersized linebackers from non-BCS colleges?


On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around

In Love with the Game, Mom's View found the quickest way to grab my attention -- a lovely blog on the merits, and growth of Ben Roethlisberger. A Pro Bowl snub, I say.

The Downunder View looks at the Magic's season to date. Rave reviews are thrown Dwight Howard's view, but the mystery is still out on what Courtney Lee is doing on this roster.

The Mets have had a productive offseason so far, but McNotables wants more. Namely Pat Burrell, Brad Penny and Jon Garland. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Speaking of the Magic, they sit No. 4 on The Blog's (by CBSSports.com popular blogger Harst) Top Five NBA teams.


Klick of the Day 

Some find this hilarious, others consider it extremely stupid

Posted on: December 17, 2008 1:32 pm
Edited on: December 17, 2008 1:35 pm
 

Knicks a playoff team? 3s seem to indicate

Had a chance to watch my first D'Antoni-edition Knicks game the other night and boy did one thing jump out: This team has a heckuva green light to shoot the three.

Mike D'Antoni(That's a D'Antoni trademark, moron)

Yes, it is. But this squad launched 37 3-point attempts, a Knicks franchise record. It connected on five of them. That's a 13.5 percent clip. When does that green light turn yellow?

So I asked myself, does it mean anything? Under D'Antoni the Suns led the league in 3-point attempts twice, finished second once and fifth in his last season. The Knicks currently lead the league by more than 100 attempts. They're connecting at a pace a wee little better than Monday night's game -- nearly 36 percent, or 16th in the league.

Again, what can we deduce from this? First question I asked: is there a correlation between attempting 3s and making the playoffs? It appears so. Since the '03-'04 season here's how it breaks down:

'07-'08: 10 of the 16 playoff teams were above the league average in 3-point attemps
'06-'07: 11 were above the league average
'05-'06: 12 were above the league average
'04-'05: 10 were above the league average
'03-'04: Eight were above the league average

Can we claim, "if you launch it, playoffs will come?" It appears so. But maybe there's more to the equation. What about defending the three? It seems playoff teams aren't great at stopping teams from launching them (about half of all teams were above the league average in terms of letting opponents attempt 3s) , but what playoff teams are good at is limiting the damage.

'07-'08: 12 teams were below the league average in percentage made
'06-'07: 13 were below
'05-'06: 12 were below
'04-'05: Nine were below
'03-'04: 10 were below

The Knicks are currently the second-best team at limiting opponents' 3-point percentage. While that could be more of a byproduct of teams focusing on taking the ball inside vs. the smaller Knicks and opting not to kick out when the opportunity for a good look presents it, the number is still impressive for a D'Antoni team. In '06-'07, when the Suns won 61 games, the team was ninth worst when it came to opponents' 3-point percentage.

There's more to basketball than 3-point shooting, so this is just one sliver of the pie, but when it comes to a D'Antoni team it's usually do or die by the three. So this is encouraging for Knicks fans, and there's a good chance the team could be back in the playoffs. 

One other thing I noticed was Al Harrington. He plays some tremendous 1-on-1 defense. You would think Steve Nash isoed on Harrington would be a huge edge to Nash. Not so, Harrington stayed with the quicker, shorter guard every time the two matched up, and even led the guard to commit two shot-clock violations.


On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around

 

Hats off to the Bills coaching staff, who earns Tarkus Malarkus' Corner's Week 15 top idiot honors. That's what happens when you don't play to win the game.

The Pirates will not suck for much longer, says Chocolate Thunder. That's because they have a lot of "great," "stud," hitters and some pitchers who well, just can't get any worse.

In way unique to her, In Love with the Game, Mom's View profiles Steelers DE Aaron Smith, whose son, Elijah, is dealing with Leukemia.

Fork in the Rhoads breaks down the Pro Bowl selections and gets things right where voters got things wrong, including the AFC offensive line and NFC quarterbacks.


Klick of the Day 

Buddy of mine produced this video (starring Mike Epps and Peter Gibbons)

Posted on: December 15, 2008 11:37 am
Edited on: December 15, 2008 11:39 am
 

Two words to fix the Redskins: Steve Spagnuolo

A team hovering around .500 can be a lot of things. It can be a team going in the right direction (Chicago). It can be a team that caught some bad breaks (Philadelphia). It can be a team stuck in mediocrity because of unfortunate circumstances (Houston). It can also be a team that's a lot worse than its record. A team like the Redskins.

Don't let the four-game win streak in the early part of the season that got everybody talking. This team was never built to seriously compete. From its lack of pass rush to its lack of pass protection to its incompetent management structure, the Redskins were, to quote Vice President Ted Matthews in My Fellow Americans, "all just a big facade" (mispronounced fah-kade).

I have a plan to fix the Redskins and it goes so contrary to typical Kay Logic that I'm actually excited about this. My plan starts with two words: Steve Spagnuolo.

Yes, I want to see Diva Dan fire Jim Zorn and replace him with Spagnuolo. Let me explain.

First off, it guts the Giants of a key coach. That's always good. In the same vein, Spagnuolo knows the NFC East. He knows how to stop Tony Romo. He knows how to stop the Eagles. And you sure as hell know he'll know how to stop the Giants.

He's a defensive guy. In a perfect world where I own a team, I don't even bother interviewing offensive coaches for the head job. It just doesn't make sense. An offensive coordinator's job is move the football down the field in the most efficient way possible. OK, a noble task. But a defensive coordinator's job is to stop an offense dead in its tracks. So to be an offensive coordinator you just have to think you have a good system. But to be a defensive coordinator you have to know the offensive system you're playing each week and tailor your defense to it. So a defensive coordinator, by trade, is forced to know the ins and outs of an offense for a defense is dependent on how the offense lines up. An offense exists in a vacuum world of its own. Hiring a defensive coach means you get somebody with expertise on both sides of the ball. Plus, they're usually more badass.

What I really like about Spagnuolo is this: he finds ways to make the talent he has work, which is the complete opposite of what the Redskins currently do on offense. Jim Zorn, the offensive genius he is, is unable to use the pieces in front of him in an effective manner. But Spagnuolo, down Usi Umenyiora found ways to still get to the quarterback. He understands his personnel, which is something the Redskins coaches fail at time and again.

But is it worth disrupting stability AGAIN in Ashburn. Yes, but only in this situation. Only if it's with Double-S. Only if you provide him the proper assistant coaches (say, a savvy vet o-coordinator on offense like Norv Turner. And only if somebody like Norv Turner is done trying to be an unsuccessful head coach) and only if you say to yourself, "Diva Dan this is the last hire I make for three years barring something completely crazy. I repeat, this is the last head job hire barring something completely crazy. And that includes Bill Cowher saying he wants to coach again. That includes Urban Meyer saying he wants a new challenge. And that includes Bill Parcells saying D.C. has nice homes."

The Redskins need a coach from the defensive side of the ball. They haven't had one since Marty Schottenheimer was unjustly fired and it's evident year in and out. Offensive coaches are egomaniacs who can't keep a team composed. It makes sense, too. Offensive coaches are driven by the need to be creative and different. But this sport is all about being on the same page from the top to the bottom. And that's how you make a good defense, by everybody being on the same page.

On top of this drastic move, it's important to continue a. building through the draft, and b. always reinforcing your trenches through the draft. The Redskins must get younger, quicker and stronger on both sides of the trench if they ever want to succeed. No more skill players. No new quarterback. I'm sorry Jason Campbell, but you'll have to suffer through a new coordinator once again (but I promise it will be one who understands how to use your mobility). That is, unless a Stafford or Bradford drops to the middle of the first round.

On top of all this, Diva Dan must empower a proper VP of player personnel. Vinny Cerrato has proven that his one strength, late round draft picks, is not enough to make up for his free agent and trade oversights. Look at what happens when you have a VP of player personnel with a vision, as is the case in Miami or Atlanta.

Washington is still a destination for coaches and players, but it won't be for long. There will come a point where the tradition of mediocrity will begin to outweigh the tradition of excellence forged by Jack Kent Cooke. Go for gold one more time, Diva Dan, but do it knowing that this move is it, and it must be backed with time-honored ways of running a football team. Not say, by conducting a coaching search only to end up with the guy you brought in to run the offense as head coach.

P.S. Ditch the West Coast offense and fine anybody at Redskins Park that uses the words "west," "coast" and "offense" in a sentence.


On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around 

From the Windy City (aka 'Go), What K Thinks presents a wish list for '09, including a college football playoff and a Bears team featuring a certain Cardinals wide receiver.

A new blog enters the fray, "HART" OF THE PACK, and the blogger puts the Packers' disappointing '09 campaign in perspective and offers a few remedies for Green Bay.

The Bengals outplayed the Redskins Sunday, which is something Keepin' Score -- Bengals, Reds, Wings hasn't seen much of, including a pleasant goalline stand. However, the win has a downer -- a potentially happy Mike Brown.

The suits (well, not really since nobody here wears suits) at CBSSports.com think the "run a proper website," but What the [expletive] has a few pointers, including fixing the rating and warning systems and ushering in posting functionality that's say circa 2007 instead of 1997.


Klick of the Day

Greatest urinal cake protest EVER

Posted on: December 5, 2008 12:39 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2008 12:40 pm
 

Vincent Jackson teaches me another fantasy lesson

For the second time in three weeks I made a cardinal Fantasy sin. Hopefully, somebody out there learns from my mistakes, for surely, I am not.

Two weeks ago I sat Michael Turner for Derrick Ward. All Turner went on to do was rumble for four touchdowns. And there was much rejoicing from my opponent.

This week, in the first round of my Fantasy playoffs, I done did it again. I benched Vincent Jackson vs. the Raiders. All V-Jax went on to do Vincent Jacksonwas catch five balls (half of the total Philip Rivers completed) for 148 yards and a touchdown. This is otherwise known as 23.3 Fantasy points.

I had my reasons for not starting V-Jax. The Raiders play tremendous pass defense, not allowing a 300-yard passer since October 12. The Raiders also play horrendous run defense, which led me to believe San Diego's gameplan would go along the lines of "run LT left, run LT right, run LT right again..."

And on top of it, V-Jax let me down last week, dropping a goose egg. But that's exactly why I should have started Jackson. There aren't many rules to Fantasy football, but one I firmly believe in (yet didn't practice because I'm a moron!) was when a good-to-great player has a horrendous week, always start him the next week. Nothing motivates a player more than having to prove himself. Plus, all week long you can imagine the conversations between Jackson, Rivers and his coaches. "So we lost last week and guess what, I didn't get any catches. Think there's a correlation there guys? Hmmm? Hmmm?"

Coaches are reactionary, which means when a good player gets snuffed out they do one of two things -- see it as a sign the player doesn't get 'it' and is hence worthy of being subbed out or see it as a sign they didn't scheme the game properly. The Chargers clearly thought the latter and hence, made it a point to get Jackson the ball.

I didn't get to enjoy any of the fruits of the coaching staff's and Vincent Jackson's labor. On top of it, I'm sure my current crop (Hines Ward, Domenick Hixon and Bernard Berrian) of starting wide receivers will underachieve.

So learn from me, please. If a good-to-great player is coming off a horrid week, always start him. I'll give you one other time this burned me as evidence of this theory. Two weeks ago Hines Ward was limited to one catch vs. the Bengals. It was a good catch, for 37 yards. But most of the game Ward was used as a blocker as the Steelers ran up 121 yards on the ground. The next week vs. the Patriots Hines Ward caught five balls, one of which was a touchdown.

You may be saying to yourself, Eric, what you're really getting at is -- week in and out just start your good players and it all evens out. True, but in Fantasy football, where owners are always looking for that edge, it sometimes is fashionable to bench decent players coming off bad weeks. What I'm saying is, the trick may be to bench players coming off good weeks and always start good-to-great players coming off real, real, real bad weeks.

I didn't start Jackson after his real, real, real bad week and it may lead to me having a real, real, real bad playoff experience.


On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around 

Imagine Urban Meyer pacing the sidelines as coach of Notre Dame. Keepin' Score -- Bengals, Reds, Wings wonders out loud if the Gators coach just may one day jump ship for one of his self proclaimed dream jobs.

Our own scribe, Larry Dobrow, saved the Reds this past week. Now it's The Ibisch Dish's turn to examine Cincinnati. With players like Jay Bruce, Edinson Volquez and Joey Votto, things aren't looking so bad in the Queen City.

The Leafs raised the jersey of Wendell Clark to the rafters. Yes, Wendell Clark. RV's day-to-day rumblings dug the ol' mustache, but doesn't get this move by Toronto.

Who is Randy Smith? A former two-time NBA All-Star and the subject of The Eye of the HurricaneDij's solid series: NBA Flashback.


Klick of the Day 

Derrick Rose breaks Andre Miller's ankle

Posted on: December 3, 2008 11:32 am
Edited on: December 3, 2008 11:45 am
 

What if the Wiz had never traded Devin Harris?

Sometimes it's fun to rewrite history.

Just ask Oliver Stone.

So what if the Wizards had never traded Devin Harris to the Mavericks for Antawn Jamison?Devin Harris

How would the Wizards have fared since 2004 and how would they be right now? It's anybody guess what would have been, but what could be?

That's an attractive proposition.

A true point guard in a town that hasn't had one since Rod Strickland left during the 2000-'01 season?

A lineup of Harris, Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, insert PF here, and JaVale McGee?

Taking away Antawn Jamison is almost heretical. He's been the one rock in a lineup full of shredded ligaments and cartilage since the team acquired him. He's a solid citizen, a tremendous teammate and a heckuva offensive player.

But he's a small forward in a power forward's body, and hardly a rare commodity in today's basketball marketplace.

An electrifying point guard, meanwhile, is tough to come by.

A Devin Harris-powered Wizards could have a completely different consistency to them. It would free up Arenas to play more off the ball, if he ever gets healthy, and give the team the one thing it most sorely needs -- a ball distributer.

It also would have given the Wizards the opportunity to part ways with Arenas, which until the team gets the star on the court, seems more and more attractive considering the crop of free agents in two seasons.While it's hard to, and unfair to condemn the injured, it just feels like locking up Arenas for what the Wizards did was a crippling move. It seemed more like the Knicks locking Allan Houston in the late '90s than it did the T-Wolves locking up Kevin Garnett. Arenas is a tremendous player when healthy, but so much of what he does relies on his knees. And those knees are in serious jeopardy of never being fully healthy. Had the Wizards been in control of Devin Harris, the pressure may not have been there to sign Arenas and the team could have enjoyed cap flexibility over the next half dozen years. Particularly as someone like Carmelo Anthony, a Baltimore native, enters the free-agent market.

It's always easy to go back and muddle with history. But with each passing game it seems like the Wizards did the cardinal sin in basketball -- traded away a young point guard for an aging star forward. 


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Under interim coach Ed Tapscott the Wizards are 2-2 including last night's win over the Nets. Sports breaks down how the team is different with Easy Ed at the helm.

There once was a time in New York when Plaxico Burress was just a tall, gifted wide receiver not meeting his potential. The Blue Streak remembers the way the city was when the Michigan State product came via Pittsburgh as the potential pass-catching savior for the franchise.

The Wizards, again on the mind of our bloggers, are the subject of The Truth is bout to be told. With a little help from "that Space Jam water" the team rallies in the second half last night to beat Devin Harris and the Nets.

The Rockets went 1-2 last week, which was unacceptable for Houston Rockets '08-'09. Like every season, it's a matter of staying healthy for Rick Adelman's club.


Klick of the Day 

A Plaxico Burress Story

 
 
 
 
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