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Trick or Treat?

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Foye or Roy?

  1. I had the Summer League's highest single-game scoring output of 35 points against the Suns. Am I Foye or Roy?
  2. I originally entered my name into the 2002 NBA draft following my senior season in high school. Am I Foye or Roy?
  3. I have situs inversive, which means all of my organs are mirrored, making my heart on my right side. Am I Foye or Roy?
  4. I ranked #2 in my collegiate conference in shooting percentage as a junior by connecting on 56.5% of my field goal attempts. Am I Foye or Roy?
  5. I was traded twice on draft day. Am I Foye or Roy?
  6. I was voted by NBA General Managers most likely to be NBA rookie of the year. Am I Foye or Roy?
  7. I am a former New Jersey player of the year. Am I Foye or Roy?
  8. I was named MVP of the Las Vegas Summer league. Am I Foye or Roy?
After impressive summer league showings following the lottery selections of T-Wolves guard Randy Foye and Blazers guard Brandon Roy, their respective clubs are buzzing about their potential impact. Can either of these pre-season R.O.Y. candidates make enough difference to help propel their teams from the Northwest division's basement? Foye or Roy?

Northwest Division Forecast
  1. Denver Nuggets
  2. Seattle Supersonics
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves
  4. Utah Jazz
  5. Portland Trailblazers

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Jaguars 13, Eagles 6




Eastern Conference Forecast Recap

Atlantic     Central     Southeast
1.Nets 1.Bulls 1.Heat
2.Knicks 2.Pistons 2.Wizards
3.Celtics 3.Cavs 3.Magic
4.76ers 4.Pacers 4.Bobcats
5.Raptors 5.Bucks 5.Hawks
First, I'm not sure the Bulls are a lock to win the Central, but did you know that they scored more points per game than anyone else in the division. That's important since they enter this season considered a defensive-minded ball club.

Second, can the Knicks really jump all the way from last to second in the Atlantic? Keys to making such an improvement in my opinion are: 1) Stephon Marbury performing at or near an all-star caliber level again; 2) Steve Francis finding his niche as a reserve and being among the league leaders in points and assists per minute; 3) Eddie Curry playing a more normalized center… no more 1st and 3rd quarters only with no defensive rebounding.

Third, the Orlando Magic just might be able to overtake Washington in the Southeast and challenge for a playoff spot this season. If rookie JJ Reddick is any sort of player, they have a very balanced looking offensive attack. Dwight Howard's foul situation and team 3-point shooting percentages might be the daily factors that make or break this team of potential.

Fourth, is there a less-interesting team in the NBA than the Sixers right now? There is absolutely nothing different about this team right now than their 38-44 club from last season. With Webber and A.I. just another year older, this team is going to go through some tough stretches.

Fifth, the Hawks are becoming the Arizona Cardinals of the NBA, or the LA Clippers of your father's NBA of the NBA. I don't like their mix of talent and think they dropped the ball big-time when they passed on true-point guard and playmaker Chris Paul in last year's draft. Maybe Marvin Williams will show us something this year, but he's just been shelved for 6-8 weeks. Joe Johnson is the ATL's only bright spot.

Weekend Reading



Gambling on DC

If you’ve been reading the countless features on Gilbert Arenas this preseason, you might have heard that the Wizards new marketing pitch is “Go All In.” I propose to you, Wash Wiz brass, that you “Go All Out” for a change.

Another offseason has passed without the Wizards making any fan-base energizing roster adjustments. I was critical of last season’s offseason, claiming the Kwame Brown/Caron Butler trade dealt away the Wizards only promise of establishing an inside presence and wouldn’t make them a better team. Maybe Butler was slightly better than a dime-a-dozen 15-5-3 guy, but the Wiz dropped from 45 wins to 42 wins, from a 5 seed to a 6 seed, and a 1st round playoff exit. Granted, the Larry Hughes departure had more to do with that than the loss of Brown, but the team’s makeup sorely lacked the tough defensive rebounder and back-to-the-basket scorer that Kwame could very well have become.

Prior to this preseason, Washington’s free agent additions have been: DeShawn Stevenson, a starting guard; Darius Songaila, a key reserve forward; and Calvin Booth, a 3rd-string center. Without any rookie additions competing to crack the top 10, the Wizards are counting on these players to help them remain a +.500 team. That’s difficult to get excited about.

But I’ll try…

Shooting guard Stevenson is a 6-year NBA vet at age 25. In his 2 seasons as a starter, he averaged about 11 ppg, similar to the numbers reserve SG Antonio Daniels gave the Wizards last season. DeShawn Stevenson gives you more rebounds but fewer assists than Daniels. There are 2 key differences between them that may indicate an upgrade to the Wizards lineup: 1) Stevenson shot 46% from the floor last season (not bad these days) and took only 15 3-point shots, which tells me he can effectively drive the lane and get to the rim despite his 6-5 frame; 2) Stevenson is a physical defender rather that can make up for the loss of the only thing current Knick Jared Jeffries brought to the team last season.

4th year pro Darius Songaila is a 6-8 power forward and may challenge for that starting position in Washington despite only having started 7 games in his career. A career 50% shooter, he had a deadly spot-up shot that can pull his defender away from the basket. There are mixed reviews on his defensive and rebounding prowess, which may explain why teams haven’t been willing to allow him to crack their starting 5.

These acquisitions, combined with the return from injury of Jarvis Hayes and the possible insertion of Etan Thomas into the starting center slot, have convinced Gilbert Arenas that the Wiz will be better. Are you willing to “Go All In”?


Southeast Division Forecast (or Recast in this case)

  1. Miami Heat
  2. Washington Wizards
  3. Orlando Magic
  4. Charlotte Bobcats
  5. Atlanta Hawks

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Bucks Really Like Mike

The Milwuakee Bucks know subtle uniform redesigns are usually a great way to kick off a new NBA season. So they decided to pay homage to both their glory days and their sharpest-shooting lefty by changing accent colors from purple to Red(d). It's a nice look, and I don't think at all a coincidence.

After getting his feet wet his first 2 seasons, Michael Redd has improved his scoring from 15.1 to 21.7 to 23.0 to last season's 25.4. The Bucks (and Papertown Shakes) are hoping this upward trend continues since their scoring prowess is limited, with the possible exception of newly acquired Charlie Villanueva. The Bucks may take a slight step forward defensively thanks to the addition of Ruben Patterson, but I just don't see a roster dynamic enough to improve in the hotly contested Central division. After being the only team in the NBA last year to make the playoffs despite a losing record, look for the Bucks to stop short of this postseason.

Central Division Forecast
  1. Chicago Bulls
  2. Detroit Pistons
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers
  4. Indiana Pacers
  5. Milwuakee Bucks
Note about the Bucks web site: Don't fall for the free tee-shirt gimmick like I did. You'll only receive a voucher to exchange for a shirt at a Bucks game.

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Starbury's House, Starbury's Rules

What's "revolutionary" about the new Starbury One — a reference to Marbury's on-court moniker —is that it doesn't cost as much as a plane ticket to Maui. The Starbury Ones are listed at $14.98.That's $14.98. Not $149.80.
-Dave Zirin, Sneakers for Social Justice

20+ years after Air Jordan's flipped the entire business of basketball footwear, Stephon Marbury's new shoe might just flip it again... finally! For only 15 bucks you can wear on your local park's pavement the same sneakers that the Knicks all-star point guard wears on the hardwood of Madison Square Garden. Sounds silly, but it's actually a pretty big deal. I'm always up for some "maximum shine for minimum expense"... where can I get some Stephs?

Looks like we've hit a snag. The Starbury line is available exclusively at some retail chain called Steve and Barry's. Without an online store (Intershop, S&B?), their East Point Mall location in Baltimore appears to be the quickest route to "sportable and affordable". I guess you could always find "it" on eBay, but I don't think seller's markup and shipping charges are part of the movement.

Nevertheless, the good karma Marbury's creating can't help but pay dividends for the Knicks. In fact, I'm going to call 05/06's laughing-stock an 06/07 playoff team. I like the idea of the mastermind moving himself to the bench to coach this team nearly as much as I like him ripping talking heads. There's just too much talent on this team and if they can figure out a way to play any sort of defense, they could really make a push. I'm not sure the D will come, but I think they still can eke out a 7 or 8 seed in the East, finishing as high as 2nd in the Atlantic.

Atlantic Division Forecast
  1. New Jersey Nets
  2. New York Knicks
  3. Boston Celtics
  4. Philadelphia 76ers
  5. Toronto Raptors

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SBB3 Draft: Tape Delayed Blog

7:07 - The Shakes enter the draft room to find the Flood Gates picking first for the second straight season. I got the 4th pick and I'm targeting Kobe, but wouldn't mind taking Agent Zero.

7:10 - Safari browser doesn't seem to like certain features of this draft room. Should the Shakes struggle this season, I'll have a scapegoat!

7:30 - Leeeeeebron goes #1 overall. He'll mess around and get some triple-doubles.

7:31 - Agent Zero is on my team... Keep Shootin' Gilbert! Locker room slot machine installation is underway.

7:32 - Aslan ignores his druthers and drafts Dirk with pick 6. Settling for 25 and 9 ain't too bad.

7:33 - Switched to Explorer on the old computer. I hate to think of all the great chat I missed.

7:36 - Breed and Nutz continue to dominate the chat board with their usually incoherent banter. They might be on a PC, but they aren't PC.

7:40 - Stop Snitchin' loads up on unconventional shot-blocking by drafting AK-47 and Josh Smith back-to-back.

7:42 - Flood Gates drafts Pau Gasol. Either he is an extremely patient man, or his lack of preseason research rears its ugly grill.

7:46 - When in doubt, select a Wiz. Nice call TK.

7:47 - Nuthin' But Air takes Odom. Might have been a better play for the Shakes to take him rather than Jamison.

7:50 - Shakes pick Camby in round 6 in hopes of starting to form a shot-blocking corps. Will it pan out?

7:51 - Yuck takes Starbury in round 6. Could be the S.O.D.

7:54 - Flood Gates gets all presidential by selecting Richards Hamilton and Jefferson back to back.

7:58 - Zaza Pachulia! Zaza Pachulia!

8:04 - New Breed takes Mike James. He will be offering him to the Gates straight up for Lebron James in about 37 minutes.

8:07 - Shot-blocker #2, Samuel Dalembert is selected by the Shakes. Breed says his leg is broken, it's only a strained hammy. Got me?

8:13 - The draft is slowing down a bit as few picks have much "wow" factor. Plenty of tremendous upside potential though.

8:20 - Flood makes a Patrick Roy reference. Aslan is forced to respond. His unforced follow-up response is quite frankly surprising.

8:23 - Duck! The Breed takes Stephen Jackson in the last round. There's a 7-way tie in the "who will be the guy to take SJ" pool.

8:24 - My last pick is Kendrick Perkins. I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do: Build some scoring strength; draft guard-heavy to give myself a chance in 3's, assists and steals; draft multi-positional players to gain an advantage in games per week; and develop a shot-blocking corps. Unfortunately many of my picks are very injury prone. We'll see how things Shake out.

8:26 - The draft ends in a whirlwind. The Courts claim of D-Miles should pay dividends. Flood says his team is average. And I've just been offered my first Mummert-deal!

Round-by-round Best Picks:
  1. 7 - Dwayne Wade, Nothing But Air: I had him ranked #5 overall.
  2. 2 - Allen Iverson, Nothing But Air: Without FG% stats, he's a monster in our league.
  3. 2 - Carmelo Anthony, New Breed: 8th in PPG last year, can only get better in supporting categories.
  4. 3 - Yao Ming, Aslan Courts: Nice spot to get a C who can score, rebound and block shots.
  5. 3 - Jason Kidd, The Yuck: He'll score some and should finish #2 in the league in assists an outrebound any point guard in the league.
  6. 6: Stephon Marbury, The Yuck: I'm of the thinking that the Kincks have a great chance to turn things around a little bit this year. If so, Marbury will be the catalyst. (Francis went undrafted!?!)
  7. 4: Andre Miller, Papertown Shakes: #6 in assists last season and not much guard depth in Denver pushing him to the pine.
  8. 1: Zaza Pachulia, Stop Snitchin': Great name, face of the franchise. Tough round... not very excited about any of the picks.
  9. 5: Jason Terry, Deez Nutz: A consistent player who will give you what you expect, 15 points, 5 assists and a steal or 2.
  10. 3: Troy Murphy, Aslan Courts: Nellie wants to run in Golden State and Murphy is slated to play C. Could approach 20 a game.
  11. 7: Larry Hughes, Nothing But Air: Was a fantasy monster before last season. If healthy, he can fill up most categories.
  12. 8: David West, Flood Gates: Breakout player last season, should continue to rack up 15 and 10s.
  13. 6: Darius Miles, Aslan Courts: Not sure what's different between him and my 8th round pick Gerald Wallace. Blocked shots from a G is rare.

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Buccaneers 23, Eagles 21

Donovan needs to start "summering" in FL rather than AZ.



One Last TWIB Note

Since I was mostly asleep for the last two innings, I’ll remember the Endy Chavez catch as the 2006 baseball season’s final moment. What a catch it was… conjuring up memories of Otis Nixon scaling to rob Andy Van Slyke. Also, after being billed as the worst pitcher to ever grip a baseball, it was nice to see Oliver Perez pitch well. But alas, I’ve grown tired of watching teams I couldn’t care less about, so I’m turning my attention to...

Next week: Blah, Blah, Blog’s NBA Countdown Week will tip off with a tape-delayed blog of the String Bean Basketball League III Draft.



TWIB Notes: Playoff Bullets

  • What’s Wrong With Playoff Baseball Pt. 1: The first thing I noticed about these ’06 MLB playoffs was the sun in San Diego. Some of the Padres/Cards NL Divisional Round games started in either the 11:00 or 12:00 hours, earlier than regular season day games in SD. This created shadows entirely new to the hitters causing them to struggle, according to the game announcers. The Padres offense struggles enough as it is, why change the game conditions during their most important games of the season?

  • Zzzzzz: Is it me, or has this been the least compelling group of playoff teams in recent memory? The Dodgers, Mets, Cardinals… all the AL teams except the Yankees. Everyone’s rooting for the Tigers, but I’m not sure “because they usually are terrible” is a good enough reason to get excited.

  • What’s Wrong With Playoff Baseball Pt. 2: Again to the Padres/Cards NLDS… Prior to the game, a talking head actually said something to the effect of: “Jake Peavy’s pitching tonight, he’s their ace. If he can get them 6 solid innings, the Padres will have a shot.” This is a common theme during these playoffs, starting pitchers only being expected to pitch 5 or 6 innings. In fact, the Mets are hoping for 4 solid from Oliver Perez in tonight’s game 7. And to think Orel Hershiser had to analyze some of these performances.

  • Psycho: Steve Lyons getting canned may have been the most interesting postseason storyline to date. In my opinion, he was just partaking in that silly “we’re buddies so we rib each other” thing that sportscasters do. The cool thing about reading the Steve “Psycho” Lyons articles was that it reminded me of my favorite skateboard: “Psychotic."

  • What’s Wrong With Playoff Baseball Pt. 3: With Detroit already advancing to the World Series, and the New York Mets favorites to do so tonight, we’re looking at the season’s most important baseball being played in the Northeast in October, maybe even November. This is absurd. How can teams play approx. 90% of their season’s schedule under certain weather conditions, then play the championship in entirely different weather conditions.

  • Willie and Tony Brought Me Back: Despite all these gripes, I’m unfortunately still plugged in thanks to managerial decisions over the last two NLCS games. First, LaRussa pinch hit LHPH Chris Duncan (a sandwich pick!) vs. the Mets LHRP Feliciano late in game 5 and the rookie smacked a homerun to pad the Cardinals lead. Then, last night Willie Randolph inserted RHRP Guillermo Mota into the game to face LHPH Chris Duncan and the rook bounced into an inning ending double-play, giving Mota the elusive Hold. These decisions are unconventional and should possibly be considered “What’s Wrong With Playoff Baseball Pt. 4, ” however I found the moves refreshing. I guess it’s as close to “expect the unexpected” that predictable baseball has to offer.

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Hip Hop Honors ‘06

Last night’s Hip Hop Honors show on VH1 was a bit of a disappointment. The show lacked the spirit and energy the ’05 version brought, but I guess it’s difficult to imagine the likes of the Wu-Tang Clan, Ice Cube (the rapper), or Rakim having fun in any way, anywhere. I missed the first half-hour (MJ and her Dancing with the Stars), so maybe I’ll connect better with the Beastie Boys and MC Lyte DVR’d performances.

Plus, the guests seemed only willing to commit to reading a few lines off of a teleprompter rather than perfoming. Except Black Thought from The Roots… the show was basically a Black Thought cover concert. If the Roots are never officially Hip Hop Honored by VH1, they’ll at least get a Contributor ribbon.

Another strange thing was the way VH1 edited out words like “drugs,” “crack,” “guns,” and “gat” from the performances. This was during the 10:00 hour on a cable channel! Not to mention there’s no way those words should ever be censored. And considering the content presented on network TV every day of the week at any hour, I’m pretty sure I’d have to Bring Da Ruckus were I the leader of some sort of coalition. Shame On a VH1. On the plus-side, this might eliminate 50 Cent from Honoree consideration since the majority of his songs are actually titled "Drugs, Crack, Guns, Gat."

I may have learned something though from presenter KRS-One (naturally). I never really thought about it, but he pronounced Rap to be an acronym for Rhythm And Poetry. Of course he also once said “…the Blastmaster KRS-One, short for poet,” which is makes no sense. So I wonder, has this common term truly originated from an acronym? Or is this an acronym like “DMC stands for devastating mic control” or “MC means move the crowd”? Curious.

Anyway, here’s your Hip Hop Honors ’06/Blah, Blah, Blog Official Mix (and I do mean) Tape:

Side A
  1. Eric B. Is President – Eric B. and Rakim
  2. Cha, Cha, Cha – MC Lyte
  3. Paul Revere – Beastie Boys
  4. Planet Rock – Afrika Bambaataa

Side B

  1. Boyz in the Hood – Eazy-E
  2. It Was a Good Day – Ice Cube
  3. C.R.E.A.M. – Wu-Tang Clan
  4. Rock Box – Run D.M.C.

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A 10 Year Struggle

Finally, after all these years of “consumer injury”, I finally got my money back. Not that I ever asked for my money back, but an unexpected $30 check from the good ol’ FTC is all kinds of fun.

Back in ’96-ish I fell for the classified ad described in the bullet points on this page, and paid $30 (apparently) for the natural “postal test study guide” and “how to get rich off of auctions” combo. I did feel kind of duped at the time and did nothing with the books, thus ending my dream of sorting mail.

And now, about 10 years later, the FTC sends me a check. But don’t think they’re all give and no take. This little parting shot in the letter included with the check threw a little salt on this consumer’s injury:
As a reminder, you never have to pay for information about job vacancies or employment opportunities with the U.S. government or U.S. Postal Service. It is available for free at



Saints 27, Eagles 24

Birds fall to 1-2 against teams that aren't awful.



Eagles 38, Cowboys 24

Birds average 3 plays per scoring drive.



Eagles 31, Packers 9

Can 31 points be boring and uninspiring?


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