...I've been invited to join the spaceship as Slexx's "Bill Simmons". For those not in the know, Simmon is really funny and I don't know that I can do that title justice whatsoever. He also writes about sports, so sportophobes, or more aptly, basketball-o-phobes, beware. I'm unemployed and have some time to devote to writing idiotic spurts of crap. Here goes...
Some predictions for basketball fans:
Paul Pierce is playing out of his mind right now and the Celtics will overtake either Milwaukee or Philly and make the playoffs. Iverson is out for a few games and without him the Sixers are so pathetic that they'll probably lose every game unless Webber plays like he did against the Grizz the other day (31pts, 9rebs, 9asts) and I'm not sure he's got it in him. Milwaukee has lost their edge and since Redd has been slumping a little, they're not nearly as dangerous.
Pierce is doing his best Bird impersonation, hitting game winners and scoring 30 something every day, and playing like a top ten player.
Speaking of which, it's time for an impromptu top ten list:
Top ten players in the league at this very moment in no particular order:
-Kobe Bryant - don't love the guy, but it's very hard to deny that he's one of the best alive right now
-Steve Nash - see below (MVP discussion)
-Lebron James - looks tired at this point of the season, but even when he's playing tired he can really play. I wish he would do more of that Magic Johnson type stuff he did his first two years, but he knows that the free agents his team got have been inconsistent and is just trying to win games at this point.
-Dwyane Wade (how is it that his name is spelled that way, yet pronouced "Dwayne"? Anybody have any idea?)
Dirk Nowitzki - Looks like a leader and he's playing within the system really well even though anyone with a brain knows he could be putting up 30 plus a night.
-Allen Iverson - Probably my favorite player at the moment. Having his best season ever. If only he has some teamates who weren't totally one-dimensional.
-Paul Pierce - Has taken the most confused-looking squad in basketball and is making a playoff push with them.
-Shawn Marion - Just look at the numbers he gets without ever having a play run for him. He literally does everything. Leads the team in scoring, plays good D, leads the league in rebounding at 6'7". He's like the best energy guy of all-time. Like Eduardo Najera with 10,000 times more skills, about 24 extra inches on his vertical and one of the funniest looking jumpers ever. One of my favorites.
-Elton Brand - Having an amazing season. His numbers have calmed down a little as the Clippers get healthy, but he plays power forward perfectly even though he's really not all that tall. He blocks shots and he's become surprisingly quick off the dribble.
-Chauncey Billups - Makes all the big shots, orchestrates a reborn offense and never ever turns the ball over. Ever.
I'm not saying all of these guys are better than Garnett or Duncan, McGrady or whoever else always... just that they are right now.
In the West I think that the Hornets may finally be sunk. Chris Paul has been phenomenal and will be one of the best players in the entire league within the next two years, but they just don't have enough to hang with the Los Angeles Kobes and the new Kings, who are really going to mess with some teams in the playoffs with Ron Artest aboard and Bibby's shooting touch better than it's ever been.
If I had to give out the awards right now (and if I, in any way, had the power to do so):
Most improved: David West will win this, but I would choose Gerald Wallace. He hasn't played enough games to be seriously considered, and his numbers last year weren't bad, but he's become the team captain, he's the only guy in the league putting up more than 2 steals and 2 blocks a game and he's all over the place all the time. He still doesn't have a jump shot and has room for a lot more improvement, but he has become a defensive difference maker and the high scorer for a team that has exactly zero go-to guys. Too bad the team stinks and he won't win. This pick is clearly biased, but I don't care.
Rookie of the year: Chris Paul... this is so obvious it really doesn't warrant debate
Defensive player of the year: Bruce Bowen... he won't win it because perimeter players rarely do. Ben Wallace will probably win it again. But I can't give him my vote (not that I have one) since I'm not even sure he's the best defender on his own team sometimes. Watch Rasheed Wallace guard Duncan or Garnett some time and you'll see what I mean. Shawn Marion will get some consideration, but won't win because people still don't see the Suns as a defensively competent team (even though they actually are this season). If Andrei Kirilenko could ever play a full season he could win it. Camby could too for that matter, but they're both discounted from this season because they've missed so many games. Anyway Bowen should win it because he guards just about anybody and guards them well. He's the only guy on earth who consistently drives Kobe, Vince Carter, Ray Allen and Dirk Nowitzki crazy. He's a pain in the ass and gets in peoples' heads but, at the end of the day he gets the job done.
MVP: This should be Steve Nash again. Everybody on his team is playing better than they ever have (including Steve himself) and while that might be a coincedence, it's not. He gets his guys open shots all the time and there is so much trust in that teams offense that everyone believes they can be a difference maker all the time. He may not win it though just because back-to-back MVP awards are hard to come by unless your name is Jordan, Magic or Duncan. They're the only ones that have gone back to back in the last 17 years. I don't see the voters holding him in that kind of regard. Also, he's not on one of the big three teams, Detroit, Dallas and San Antonio. Nobody from SA will win, but Nowitzki could make a run, and both Kobe and LeBron will get votes. Regardless, Nash should win it. His team has the 3rd best record in the east without Amare Stoudamire and, as I mentioned before nobody makes his teammates better than Nash does.
I think that this entry is getting a little out of control... so I'll stop for now.
One more thing, Sonic Youth might be one of the best bands ever. If their new album, which I believe comes out this year, is as amazing as Sonic Nurse, my head will explode. I promise.