Feasts a coming……….

90’s Blazers??
These words aren’t in reference to the formidable Blazer teams of the 90’s with Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey, Kevin Duckworth or Cliff Robinson. Rather they’re in reference to how today’s Portland Trail Blazers are as beat down and dilapidated as any used Chevy Blazer from the years 94-99. Perhaps no other NBA team has had more season ending injuries over the past two years. For starters this season, touted PG Elliot Williams went down for the season with a dislocated patella. Hmm an Oden type injury. Williams’s demise for the season was followed by Fabricio Oberto’s sudden retirement as a result of a previously undiagnosed heart condition. Big Joel has been out as well and Brandon Roy has also missed several games over the past two weeks. Roy met with several doctors and it was ultimately discovered that his knee no longer has a meniscus. This is causing Roy to have bone on bone grinding and it’s something that Roy has also stated he would be “dealing with for the rest of his career.” With all that said, what’s a Trail Blazer injury conversation without Greg Oden? As the Pick Man and close friends predicted Greg Oden will once again miss significant time. How significant? The season yet again of course, anything less for Oden would be uncivilized. Where Oden got micro fracture rookie season ending knee surgery on one knee, he’s going to now have it on the other. The best used car salesmen of Blazers will have to be Nate Mc yet again. As for those other Blazers, well if GM can come back the way it has the Portland Trail Blazers may be able to as well.
Battle on.

The only thing receiving more press than the dollar under the FED and wall street’s suits are the Miami Heat.  Touted as the “Super Team” it’s becoming ever more apparent that Riles did an incredibly poor job of getting the proper set of role players with which to surround the Heat’s “Big Three.” Of course it’s on Riley for thinking that 2 Hall of Famers and one incredibly over rated soft baby head spot PF in Bosh would be enough to surround with 2 scrubs who wouldn’t start for the Clippers, a member of the Fab Five, a Center who played for Pitino at Kentucky, a guy who did drugs during the league’s anti-drug policy seminars, a guy who was traded along with others for Nate Robinson, a guy who’s scored more on the Puerto Rico basketball team than in his NBA career, A North Carolina NBA Bust that couldn’t even win or get along with Jordan and a Center that’s undergone as many foot surgeries as Yao and who started for the Cavs, since a blue dress was stained in the White House. Haslem is the only other player on this team that has the same intestinal fortitude as LeBron and Wade, but he just went down with a torn ligament in his foot. Not to mention Mike Miller, who played harder D in practice (which lead to his injury) than the Heat have played against almost evert Playoff team they’ve faced thus far.

But aside from being on Riley, the blame is on LeBron, Wade, and Bosh, for not joining Riley in recruiting and/or procuring veteran talent such as Al Harrington, Brad Miller, Allen Iverson, Larry Hughes, or just holding on to Beasley, which is clearly, at this juncture what the Heat should have done.Larry Hughes, Rasheed Wallace, Wally World, and Starbury flavored vasaline are all waiting by their phones and until the wait ends, this Heat team is taking an early exit come Spring. But wait they can get Erik Dampier!! Yay! Can he play in time for Wednesday at Orlando? The full capacity of the Heat has yet to be seen and it may never be seen, unless Wade, James, Haslem, Miller, and Soft Spot On Baby Head (SSOB) all play significant minutes together. D.Wade also looks to be more injured than initially lead on. He sat out against Memphis and became the only NBA Player ever to have gone 1-13 from the field and 1-5 from the line against Indiana last night. Thinking that Wade’s wrist isn’t jacked is thinking that the Clippers will make the finals this year. There’s plenty of sunshine in Miami and at this rate the Heat are going to be suntanning early. The Pacers were ten point underdogs and +400 moneyline. What result? Miami getting schlacked at home of all places by 17! And no Larry Bird didn’t play.

After starting the season on an incredible streak of wins, the New Orleans Hornets just lost to the previously 1-13 Clippers last night. Although the Hornets were most likely due for a loss, losing to the injury decimated Clippers is perhaps comparable only to the type of loss that AIG has been experiencing over the past couple of years. The Pick Man himself lost 4 dimes and 4 pennies on this game ruing an otherwise perfect basketball day, but what made matters worse is looking at 5 team parlay of Boston Moneyline, Jazz Moneyline, Spurs-3.5, Pacers+10 knowing that every team had performed except the best team in the league losing to the worst team. Down 2 with 5 seconds left and the ball in Chris Paul’s hands looks like overtime for sure right? Paul tore the parlay up with a terrible pass and the Hornets got stung by the Clippers by 4. How good a move was the Peja-Bayless for Jarret Jack trade again? I haven’t seen the type of chemistry problems that the Hornets and Heat are currently having since getting a D- in high school chemistry. Right now I wish they had been on that grading curve. Time will tell if the Hornets can shake their stunning loss to the Clippers but come playoff’s rankings their overall class ranking will definitely be as affected as mine due to poor chemistry.

Hotter than Eva???
As the Pick Man hypothesized while making his mid game NBA bets, the San Antonio Spurs won their 11th straight game and covered the holiday present -3.5 dud Vegas bookies set as a line. Going into the game Orlando had lost at least a handful of its previous games in San Antonio. Tony Parker was incredibly impressive with 24 points (9-15, 2-2 from three’s and 10 assists.

Parker of course is going through a widely publicized divorce and from the looks of things the woman with whom he supposedly cheated on his wife with, is by all accounts not hotter than Eva Longoria. The Spurs however might be as hot as Eva if not hotter. They shot 63% from three point range and now hold the NBA’s best record. Brent Barry is a former teammate of Tony Parker’s and is currently an analyst on NBA TV, I don’t think he’ll be sending Monsieur Parker a Christmas card nor do I think they’ll be chummy at the Spurs’ title reunion parties. The most compelling interview of the season may just be the one Brent Barry will eventually end up doing of Tony Parker in his capacity of NBA studio analyst. NBA TV better make sure that’s via satellite or else Jerry Springer will show up. As for Brent Barry, look on the bright side, you got a ring in the NBA, it may have cost you your wife, but it will most certainly not cost you alimony. When all’s said and done, I’m sure you’d much rather have that ring than your wedding ring anyways. As for Tony Parker, I don’t know what he was thinking. In no way is cheating on your wife or loved one condoned but when Tiger Woods played 18 holes, those courses looked as good as his home course and for you to downgrade, is a very bad move. Especially when the woman you turned into a desperate housewife will continue to be a very rich divorcee in the years of your team’s demise upon Duncan’s retirement. Better enjoy the Spurs’ Eva like hotness because that’s as hot as things are going to get for a while, and there’s no residuals from previous titles.

A Reliable Big Man???????
In the years 2000-2010 many Centers were drafted in the lottery and the majority of these highly touted high draft pick Centers have not lived up to their lotto status nor have they been healthy. The current status of a couple of these “lotto picks” is making Michael Olawakandi look like a gem of pick for the Clippers in 1998. If the Blazers, Knicks, Bobcats, Timberwolves, Pistons, and Warriors could all trade out the current lotto pick Centers they have for The Kandiman or maybe even Shawn Bradley, you better believe they would.

Greg Oden and Kwame Brown make the Olawakandi pick look like Patrick Ewing as a number one overall pick. Eddie Curry is another bust at a number 2 overall pick and so is Darko Milicic. Additionally, Yao Ming may have the numbers expected of a number 1 overall center draft pick but he’s seen hospitals more than the hardwood over the past five years. Who would’ve thought that after 18 years of being in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal would make more appearances than Curry, Oden, and Yao combined? Currently, Brandon Haywood, Tyson Chandler, Al Jefferson, Roy Hibbert, Kendrick Perkins, Brooke Lopez, Zaza Pachulia and the Collins twins compose the new centers of the decade team. Of course Dwight Howard is the captain of this team with the oft injured 2 ring winner Andrew Bynum and the currently injured 1 ring winner Kendrick Perkins as his co-captains. The Magic did the thorough research and got it absolutely right by drafting Howard #1 over Okafor. The moral of the story is unless a big man dominates the way Dwight or Shaq did don’t miss out on the Jordan’s, Durant’s, Wade’s, and Anthony’s of the world for a fool’s gold Center.

Though Bynum has proven his mettle by being crucial in Lakers’ wins over Orlando and Boston in the Finals, Bynum has yet to remain consistently healthy. If there’s anything to be learned by looking at all the Sam Bowie/Pervis Ellison type picks and lotto/draft Center injuries of the past 10 years, the lesson to be learned is how great Shaquille O’Neal’s legacy truly is. Only when Shaq was “past his prime” did he miss a significant amount of time but as free agent pick up for Boston Shaq’s legacy is all the more golden when Erik Dampier is the most coveted free agent center left on the market.

Chris Mihm? Melvin Ely? How soon before they get calls? And what happened to the Joe Smith’s and Marcus Camby’s type of  big man draft picks? Oh wait 13-15 years later they’re still in the league while Oden, Eddie Curry and Yao Ming are in wheel chairs and Darko plays like he’s handicapped. If there’s one thing Greg Ostertag can say about his NBA career besides that he got slapped by Shaq, it’s that he was more durable than most Centers of the past decade. Someone better double check on Kareem in the Skechers commercial and see if he’s willing to make a comeback because at 60+ his body’s in better shape than many of those recently selected not to mention his game too.

Tonight’s games 11/23/10
Bulls at Lakers -7.0
The Bulls continue their circus road trip in Los Angeles tonight. They’ll look to beat the Lakers after posting impressive wins over Dallas and Houston. The Bulls did however blow a 10 point lead to the Spurs in between those wins. The Lakers are currently on a 4 game win streak and are coming off of demolishing the Pistons, Wolves, and Warriors in their last 3 games. Pau Gasol is currently in the lead for the MVP race based on his PER rating. The Bulls will have plenty of problems trying to contain Pau and this will lead to many fouls on Noah, Gibson, and Kurt Thomas. There could be so many fouls inside that the Turkish rookie the Bulls also have on the roster as a C will see some action.
To complement Pau’s impressive performance as the league’s most productive big man Kobe has proven himself statistically to be the league’s most efficient shooting guard. No surprise there but right now there is no better 1-2 punch than Pau-KB. The two will look to be lights out early against D.Rose and the Bulls.
The only match up that favors Chicago is the 1st string PG match up of D.Rose vs. D.Fish, Shannon Brown and Stevie Blake. Look for Rose to force a lot of the offense upon himself and look to score all the points he possibly can. Artest/Barnes vs. Deng is awash with the Lakers having two Dengs and the Bulls only having Luol. Ronnie Brewer never has nor will he out duel Kobe at the SG spot. Taj Gibson will have his hands full guarding both Lamar and Pau. Joakim Noah will also be incredibly busy trying to fend off Gasol. It’s been reported that Gibson may not play in this game due to injury but should he start/play that injury’s going to be a problem. The key for a Laker victory is getting Rose into foul trouble and rattling him with solid defense. If the Lakers get signature performances from KB and Pau along with Artest/Barnes outscoring Luol Deng as well as solid bench play from anyone else expect to see another Laker demolition job.

Lakers by 7 is a solid play tonight, 8.5’s not as solid and very risky I got Lakers tonight.

Hawks at NetsThis game should be a very easy game for the Hawks. A night after getting bashed senseless by the Celtics the Hawks will most surely rebound against a weaker Nets squad. Brooke Lopez will do interior work for the Nets and Devin Harris does have a height advantage over Bibby but the Hawks’s core of J. Smooth, Al Horford, Joe Johnson, and Marvin Williams should prove too much to handle for the Nets. The Favors-Smith or Favors-Horford match ups on the court should be interesting but the Hawks have too much to lose here and it’s very unlikely that they won’t play inspired basketball tonight but they have been losing more than winning since starting 6-0.

Pistons +10 at MavericksThe Pistons recently defeated the Wizards in overtime and were thoroughly crushed by the Lakers. The Mavs were out played by the Bulls but then outplayed the Hawks. Detroit like ATL should be no match for the Dallas Mavericks. Ben Gordon will look to get it going from outside but Jason Terry will do the same. The Mavs will clog the lane with Chandler and Haywood, making life miserable for Bbbbben Wallace, Charlie don’t call me cancer Villanueva and Jason Maxiell. Prince and Hamilton will come to play but so will their adversaries Caron Butler, Shawn Marion, and of course Dirk Nowitzki. Jason Kidd is much better at point than Rodney Stuckey and John Kuester (Coach of the Pistons) is one of the few NBA coaches (o/u 6) that is glaringly worse than Rick Carlisle. Should the Mavs falter it would only be due to poor shot selection. 10 points is a lot to give up to another team so the safest way around this is to either buy points and take Dallas to win by less for a smaller payout or to put small amount on Dallas for ML either solo or on a parlay.
Mavs should prove to be too much.

Cavs at Pacers-4.5
Fresh off their destruction of the Miami Heat the Indiana Pacers will look to continue their winning and move a game over .500. The Cavs have a great coach but a team of kibbles or imitation crab with no meat whatsoever. Jamison is well past his prime, Jamario Moon was just benched for Joey Graham, Varejao doesn’t have anyone who knows when to pass him the ball nor enough sense to know what to do with it, Anthony Parker can shoot some times and the Sessions/Williams combo at PG is half decent. JJ Hickson will be pushed to the limit with Hibbert, but the downside to this game is that both teams have shown SUCKABILITY this season and have lost games they should have won entirely. The Pacers’ biggest blunder on offense is that they (LIKE ORLANDO) forget that they have a premiere center out there in Roy Hibbert. Although Hibbert is 4-5 inches taller than Cleaveland’s biggest guy, the Pacers will most likely end up shooting more threes than they make passes inside to Hibbert. They (Like Orlando) settle for outside jumpshots with Dunleavy, Posey, Granger, and TJ FORD???? at times hoisting up 3’s as though they were Wally World during his Miami Ohio days. Should the Pacers manage to blow this game, poor shot selection and not passing inside to Hibbert will be the cause.
This is a game I will most likely not bet on and if I do, it’ll be a very very small amount. Because if there’s one thing that the Pacers have consistently done it’s putting up a dud after beating a team to whom they should have lost.

The Wizards-76ers
Not touching this game at all because of how many injuries and uncertain variable there are plaguing both of these team’s rosters. Doug Collins’ era as the 76ers coach has been absolutely awful and most Phili fans are glad that Michael Vick is in town and have probably already written off the 76ers. For those still aboard the 76er ticket train, I’m most certain that barf bags will soon be handed out to the first 10,000 fans in attendance because their team is just playing down right awful basketball. Injuries to Lou Williams and A.I.2 have been a contributing factor but the main culprits have been poor shot selection, the fact that Collins has had more starting lineups than producers of Lindsay Lohan’s next movie, that Thad Young is getting nowhere near the minutes he deserves, and lastly that Collins coaches the team. On the upside of all things showered upon in Phili, Elton Brand is playing like an all-star and Rod Thorn is the current team president.

The Wizards meanwhile have been rollercoasting up and down throughout John Wall’s injury. So much so that it’s impossible to get a sense of what type of consistency they’ll get if any. Blatche and McGee should give problems inside but the key word is should. It’s not certain they could but they definitely should. Blatche is a banger but his emotions decide how he’s going to play and if he’s not involved in the game at moments then his involvement later will be downsized due to perpetual pouting about not being involved. McGee was on the FIBA USA World’s team but only for his height and like so many other young centers he has ‘potential” Arenas and Heinrich have been good at times but mostly not good enough. If Andre Igs. plays for Phili and Wall doesn’t play expect a Wizards loss but should Wall play anything’s possible and that’s not the kind of risk worth taking. Both teams appear lotto bound at this point and both Flip and Collins are on the way to hanging pink slips in yet another team’s rafters. Hope that money’s guaranteed because at the current rate both will be in the unemployment line.

BobCats at Knicks-2
This is another game that could go either way. Not because the teams suck but because these two teams are fairly evenly matched. Each team has 3 X factors that could erupt on the others’ teams. The Knicks’ X factors consist of Amare’ going crazy inside ala West Coast trip, Felton wanting to get revenge on his former employers, and Danilo putting on yet another foul drawing clinic. The Bobcats pounded the Suns after playing tough at Miami. The Knicks toasted the Kings, Clippers, and Warriors with Amare’ being named Eastern Conference player of the week. The Bobcats’ X factors are in Gerald Wallace going off, Stephen Jackson going off and Tyrus Thomas going off. This is a game both teams should and could win therefore not one I would bet on but rather one that I would just read about or enjoy watching in order to find out what either of these teams could do in their next games. The battle for the 8th Playoff spot begins here.

Enjoy the games!!!!!!!!.