Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Return of the Links

Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand and Samuel Dalembert all had very good games for the Sixers last night, and they still lost by 16 points to the Magic. You know, the same Magic that the Sixers played in the first round of the playoffs last year. Oh, Andre Miller, where art thou?

Honestly, it's impossible to muster up any kind of enthusiasm for this team. It really is. I watch. Boy do I watch. But I can't figure out why. I certainly can't muster up enough passion to even care anymore, which is saying something if you know me. I won't be going on any diatribes about how Ed Snider loves the Flyers so much more than the Sixers. (By the way, I agree with that premise, however, I completely disagree with the notion the Sixers' season could have been saved by firing Eddie Jordan. The Sixers suck, and at best they are capable of being a team that loses badly in the first round to a far superior opponent. What good is that?) I just don't have any energy left with this team. There are 11 games, and as far as I'm concerned, they can't get over soon enough. And at this point, the more losses, the better. This team needs a John Wall, an Evan Turner, a DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors, Wesley Johnson, Greg Monroe, someone to excite the franchise badly. A quality coach you can stand behind for a few years wouldn't hurt either.

My suggestion … don't hire a grown-ass man with braces.

Just saying.

Thank the lord there actually was some entertaining basketball on for me to avert my eyes to. Yes, I'm talking about the NIT. It may not be the equivalent of Northern Iowa upsetting Kansas, but the Virginia Tech-UConn game last night was wild, and it had a fantastic ending. I mean, just check out the final minute:

Kemba Walker was a man for UConn, but it wasn't enough. Kevin Dyson got called for a backcourt as UConn tried to milk a little clock with a one-point lead. Then Dorenzo Hudson, who had an outstanding game, scoring a game-high 27 points, hit a sick jumper off a curl as he was falling down with a hand in his face to put Va Tech up 64-63. Kemba Walker got blocked on the other end, somehow kept with it, found a wide open Gavin Edwards 2 feet from the basket for a layup, only Edwards missed it and the Hokies got the board. Terrell Bell, who hauled in the rebound, got fouled with 0.7 seconds remaining.

He missed the first free throw, which prompted announcer Tim Welsh to say Bell should miss the second on purpose to let the time run out. Good strategy. Jokingly — at least I think it was jokingly — Mike Patrick chimed in with this, "Sometimes, guys are such poor free throw shooters that when they try to miss, they actually make them." As if he knew it was coming, Bell stepped in and heaved a line drive toward the rim, clearly trying to miss it on purpose … but the ball went in. Mike Patrick must have been having visions. Luckily for Va Tech, Kemba Walker's last-ditch heave came up empty, and the Hokies survived. Like I learned last year, the NIT can be all sorts of fun.

It certainly offers a nice distraction during the week until the big dance games began again.

Anyway, let's link …

-Anthony Tolliver has actually been killing it for Golden State of late, but last night, Amare literally almost killed him:

-As nasty as Amare's dunk was, it ain't got shit on this:

That would be 5'11" Trey Starks of Hillcrest (Missouri) dunking over 6'6" defender Garrett Reeg of Oakville in the state title game.

-Staying with the ridiculous dunks theme, Cal State Fullerton's Gerard Anderson would like to throw his dunk into the ring:

-James White and Gerald Green star in the the best dunk contest that nobody (in America) saw:

-Who says you can never go home again? Philly boy Hakim Warrick threw down on Sammy Dalembert at the Wachovia Center a few games ago:

-Yes, we have all been Lappas'd, especially if you have CBS's college sports station.

Could Villanova have gone from more polar opposites than Lappas to Jay Wright? I say no. No way in hell.

-I never got to see the infamous Erin Andrews peephole video, so a clip of her on that dancing show will have to do:

-Josh Smith made my man Theo Ratliff duck for cover over the weekend, via The Baseline:

That Josh Smith fellow sure would look good in a Sixers uniform. Or the cap space they'd have instead of signing absurd deals to Iggy and especially Elton Brand. Hell, at this point, Theo Ratliff would look better in his old 42 Philadelphia jersey than Brand.

Seriously, if anyone out there has or finds a Theo Ratliff No. 42 Sixers jersey, I will pay good money for it.

-I wonder if it's Cadillac Time here:

Ride in that Cadillac.

-A great piece about former Philadelphia Phillie Nelson Figueroa and the lack of respect the Mets have given him:

The Brooklyn-born Figueroa, a career minor leaguer, has become an afterthought to the Mets — a guy to use when the team’s array of inconsistent headcases have their regularly-scheduled breakdowns. He comes in, throws quality pitches, gets outs, and then usually gets outrighted to Buffalo shortly after.

And yeah, I’ve had my fun with his situation on these pages. But after hearing that the Mets are once again putting Nelson at the base of their questionable totem pole, I’m not seeing much humor in it anymore.

Originally drafted by these very same Mets in 1995, Nelson bounced around MLB, MILB, the Mexican and Taiwanese leagues for the better part of 13 years.  When the Mets brought him back to the organization in 2008, all he did was everything they asked…until they returned him to Buffalo for no good reason other than his options.

Enough is enough. Let Nelson go find a major league job with a team that will respect his talents and use him accordingly.

I was always a Figueroa fan. Sure, he wasn't the best pitcher around, but in his brief stint in Philadelphia, the guy was a gamer. Good to see him get some respect.

-Excellent commercial featuring perhaps the best 1-2 combo in all of baseball, Felix Hernandez and Clifton Phifer Lee:

It's a funny way to work in the man with two first names to his new club. This makes me miss Cliff that much more. That commercial should be starring Roy Halladay pestering the greatest man who ever lived donned in Phillies red as one of the greatest 1-2 combos in MLB history. I am depressed. Best wishes, Clifford. Enjoy him while you can, Seattle. I'm sure you will.

And because Kenny posted this about MJ the exec and mentions his return to play for the Wizards, I had to put in the block:

Flyers at Ottawa tonight, 7:30 and UNC takes on UAB at 9 in the NIT. Watch.

BallHype: hype it up!

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