Posts Tagged ‘playoffs’

The Steph Curry Show Hits the City Streets

May 1, 2013

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix SunsThe unquestioned leader of the Golden State Warriors–who are one win away from moving to the second round of the NBA playoffs–has racked up 124 points in five games against the Denver Nuggets, including jaw-dropping shooting displays in two home games.

But ridiculously deep shots and twisting layups have become the norm for Curry, who breezed through NBA defenses on his way to a new three-point shooting record.

Let’s put Curry to the test and give him more of an urban challenge. We know he can hit from the corner, the wing, the top of the arc, and even half-court. But can he sink a shot from way downtown? Here are the top five places I want to see Curry take a shot from, a la Dude Perfect. I don’t want him to miss any shots, but forgive me for trying to prove that he’s human.

coit tower1. Coit Tower

Let’s start with a simpler shot: dropping the ball from the top of Coit Tower into a hoop waiting at the entrance below. Even though it doesn’t take power, Curry would have to be deadly accurate (as usual) and play the wind on this one. Given Curry’s expertise with the basketball, chances are he does this with his eyes closed and then taunts the crowd afterwards.

lombard st

2. Lombard Street

I want to put Curry on top of Lombard Street, place a hoop at the bottom, and see if he can navigate a bounce shot down the crookedest street in the world. If the “game” is on the line, a swish is a safe bet. If he makes this shot while taking a trolley down Lombard, he might never miss again.

Balboa Cafe3. Balboa Cafe

It’s going to be a lot more difficult than you think when the defender in this one-on-one scenario is Marina Girl Says, who isn’t physically imposing, but will mentally wear down even the most hardened of veterans. If Curry is wearing his mustard-colored pinstriped uniform, Marina Girl will give him hell, and the constant critiquing of his appearance may cause him to finally clank a shot off a hoop in the back of the bar.

Warriors arena rendering4. Bay Bridge

For this shot, I might finally be able to best the shooting magician. Not only will Curry have to stand on top of a double-decker sight-seeing tour bus, he will have to nail a shot from the South side of the Bay Bridge while the vehicle moves into the city and he fights the distraction of the pulsating Bay Lights. The basket? It’s on the unfinished lot on the Embarcadero where the Warriors new coliseum will be built over the next five years.

Mt. Davis o.co5. Mt. Davis

It’s only fair that Curry’s most difficult challenge be back in Oakland. Let’s put a hoop hanging off the first row of Mt. Davis at o.Co Coliseum (home of the Oakland A’s, right next door to the Warriors’ Oracle Arena) and see Curry launch a shot from second base. We’ve seen him make it from some crazy distances, but adding in the height factor is a whole new challenge.

What do you think? Tweet me @Jamblinman with suggestions of other crazy trick shots that may stump the sweet stroke of Steph Curry.

Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player…Wait…

October 11, 2012

So first Mike was like “Oh my god, we’re totally done.”

And then Stephen was like “Oh, HELL no, Mike.”

And then Mike and Davey teamed up and were like “Dude, you…are…DONE.”

And then Stephen was like “Fine. Ass…

And now some other guy is like “WTF MIKE! YOU’RE AN IDIOT. I HATE YOU FOREVER. BURN IN HELL!”

And I’m like “SHUT UPPPPPPP!”

Did you get all that? If not, it’s okay. I purposely made it as cryptic as possible. You have to closely monitor the shut down of Stephen Strasburg to understand all the drama surrounding the decision. It hasn’t stopped. Ever.

This is what broke today.

And I’m here to tell you why it’s absolutely ridiculous of Mr. Anonymous GM to root against the Nationals simply for an executive decision based on the health of the franchise’s long-term future.

You might want to sit down for this. First of all, there is a 100 percent chance that Mr. Anonymous GM has no right to hate because he is not nearly as good at his job as Rizzo.

I can guarantee that because nobody is better than Rizzo. In only three full seasons at the helm, Rizzo has turned a 69-93, last-place team in 2010 to a 98-64, best record in the Major Leagues, NL-East division-winning team this year.

He hired Davey Johnson to oversee the team, one of the best managers in the game and front-runner for Manager of the Year in 2012. It was a perfect hire for the type of team he had built.

Speaking of building teams, he helped draft Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Drew Storen, Danny Espinosa…the list of impact players on the current team goes on and on. He also used some of his best prospects to pull a few trades. No matter the cost, getting Gio Gonzalez (MLB leader in wins, by the way) this off-season was sheer artistry.

Now that I’ve appropriately pimped Rizzo’s resumé, let’s examine two more reasons why Mr. Anonymous GM is trippin’. Fool.

I can understand disagreeing with fellow executives’ decisions. That probably happens on a daily basis. I could throw a rock at the Winter Meetings and hit two or three GM’s who sat at home and laughed their butts off when Ned Colletti of the Dodgers dropped over $200 million on trades at the deadline this year.

But it’s one thing to question a decision and another to actively root against a team simply because of a decision made. Not to mention that it’s a question of health. In this day and age, we see on a weekly basis what bad mechanics or throwing too hard or too often can do to a pitcher’s arm.

Considering the Nats are paying Strasburg a boatload of money and the hopes and dreams of their future rotation rests on his right arm, I believe the boss man has the final say on how he is used. Strasburg is one of the better pitchers in baseball, but the Nationals are built to contend for the next half decade, if not longer. And they need him to stay healthy if they expect to continue down that path.

I get it – I really do. When Strasburg is on the hill, the Nationals have a very good chance to win. When he’s not on it…wait. What’s that? They STILL have a very good chance to win. 

The man who replaced Strasburg in the playoff rotation is Ross Detwiler, who had a good season in his own right. Aside from him, you have your choice of Gonzalez or Jordan Zimmermann, who are Cy Young candidates. That is why the Nationals had the best team ERA in the Majors. They have DEPTH.

And then there’s the lock down bullpen and opportunistic offense. Yes, the Nats lost a key piece by shutting down Strasburg. They also guaranteed that they have their star pitcher for another run at the playoffs in 2013, regardless of how this season turns out. They are also still the team to beat in the playoffs.

Straight from the article itself:

“If we don’t win the World Series, I don’t care who does,” one general manager told USA TODAY Sports, “as long as it’s not those guys.

“They don’t deserve to win it. Not after what they did.”

Said a National League GM: “I hope they go down in flames. I hope it takes another 79 years before they get back to the playoffs. That’s how strongly I feel about it.”

Wait, wait, wait. I’d argue that the Nationals don’t really have a natural rival in the National League. So who is so pissed off that they made the Strasburg decision that the Nats “don’t deserve to win?” Is it because they already won so many games in the regular season? They’ve reached their limit?

Because I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the resurgence of the Nationals in 2012. It was one of the best stories in baseball and truly remarkable that they made such a large turnaround in just two seasons. They don’t have any players that most would consider to be “thugs” or something similar.

There are no Nyjer Morgan’s (anymore) or Alex Rodriguez’s on the Nationals. No Vicente Padilla’s or Jose Valverde’s. So, I just don’t get it. It’s a likable, impressive team that deserves to win games.

The Nationals deserve to be rooted for. But no matter who you are, don’t hate on a decision that was made to benefit the team long-term by the best GM in baseball. That is like telling the Parent of the Year that his decision to make his son wait until he’s 17 to take a driver’s test is so wrong that you hope he dies and shrivels in the pits of hell (yes, that’s the equivalent feeling to not winning for 79 years…just ask the Cubs).

Stephen Strasburg will not pitch in the playoffs. Mike Rizzo is totally fine with it. You should be too, because it’s the right move. Mr. Anonymous GM is probably watching this game from his couch, eating Ruffles and drinking a martini. So there’s that.

Unfortunately, the doubt will only end if the Nationals win the World Series. Guess they better do that, then.

Albert Whojols?

May 12, 2012

The Jam Shot du jour is all about Albert. I figured it was only appropriate, given that I left St. Louis three days ago and am now a mere 300 miles away from Los Angeles. Westward we go!

Sure, I’m making the same trek Pujols made in the offseason, only I’m not being paid as much to do it. And I’m probably more valuable sitting in my boxers in a sketchy Arizona hotel than Albert has been to his new team.

As of his first at-bat in today’s game, Pujols is hitting .191 on the season. Meanwhile, back in St. Louis, the 1st-place Cardinals are reaping the benefits of one Carlos Beltran, Pujols’ replacement.

Not only does Beltran have 12 home runs (including three games in which he’s hit two – double Albert’s total for the whole season), but he’s presenting a legitimate challenge to Matt Kemp for NL MVP.

So is Pujols toast? Sure, other sluggers are also struggling right now (Jose Bautista, where have you gone?!). But none have the talent, aura, nor quantity of offseason headlines like number five does.

That being said, slumps happen. Even very, very terrible ones at incredibly inopportune times. And Albert Pujols is a future Hall of Famer for a reason.

While I won’t maintain my pre-season prediction that the Angels would win the West, I do think the Angels are a playoff team.

And I really do believe Pujols will hit 30 homers and drive in 100 runs. He will probably hit .320 also, because that’s what he does.

This is a testament to how good a hitter Pujols really is. He has been mashing the ball for a big chunk of the year, just right at people. Once he gets comfortable, watch out world.

Our dear old friend Albert will be back in full force and he’s not going to be gentle. Don’t get too cozy, Rangers fans.

When that bat comes alive and your division lead is suddenly in question, I’ll be somewhere in a shitty hotel in my boxers saying I told ya so.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Quarterbacks Galore

March 6, 2012

I know, I know. It’s baseball season. TRUST ME. I understand that. I spent half my day listening to the Dodgers’ Spring Training broadcast on my phone. But first of all, there are three big QB topics to discuss today. And secondly, I’m still a little butt-hurt that the aforementioned Doyers lost to the Giants…

…it’s gonna be a long season.

Let’s start with my boy Alex Smith. I’ve been hearing way too much on talk radio over the last few days that Colin Kapernick should “get a shot.” The only shot Kap should be taking right now is shots of Patron as he chills on the bench, watching Smith lead the 49ers back to the playoffs.

Wow, that was an awfully bad play on words. Give me a break, I’m off my game – that Dodgers loss is really getting to me!

Smith will be back with the Niners next season, he will be the starter, and Kap will get another full season to hone his skills and learn a little leadership under Jim Harbaugh. I’m fine with giving the kid a shot in the preseason and in blowouts, as long as he doesn’t throw the ball to Josh Morgan. Since he jinxed him and Morgan busted his ankle on that catch-and-run from Kap last year.

But for now, you can talk about Smith’s inability to throw the deep ball, his mediocre stats or his boring demeanor all you want. I’ll show you tape of the NFC Divisional playoff all day and challenge you to tell me that Alex Mother Beepin’ Smith wasn’t the biggest reason we advanced to the NFC Championship just a couple short months ago.

Now, he’s no Drew Brees or even post-neck-surgery Peyton Manning. Not many QBs are. But that brings me to my next point. The New Orleans Saints are just being plain STUPID lately. Don’t even get me started on the bounty nonsense, because this blog will turn into a very angry novel. I’m talking about how they pissed off their franchise quarterback by tagging him with that exact distinction: their “franchise” player.

Except this time, it means that he gets paid a shit ton less than he should. That’s not even what Brees is “livid” about. He’s upset that he specifically told the Saints not to franchise him and wanted to knock out a long-term deal. Telling Brees no in this situation is like the animals on Noah’s Ark kicking him overboard. Brees saved the Saints’ franchise and brought them a Super Bowl title, yet they are going right at his knees with this contract crap. Ironic, considering…nevermind I won’t go there.

And in the biggest news of the day, the elder (and now less-prominent, as far as Super Bowl victories go…WTF?) Manning is out in Indy! The Colts declined to pay him $28 million to do nothing. Okay, so that’s fine. I can understand that business decision. And it’s too bad, because even though Andrew Luck may be a once-in-a-lifetime prospect, he’s still unproven.

If anything, you can expect a Sam Bradford-esque rookie season out of Luck. I’m sure the Colts will enjoy letting their new QB get beat up and rack up “L’s” while Manning does his thing in Washington, or Seattle, or Arizona or wherever the hell there is a GM smart enough to pick him up!

Don’t get me wrong – I like Luck and I think he’ll do great. But those are some gigantic, Hall-of-Fame sized cleats to fill in Indianapolis. As for Peyton? Don’t fret. He missed out on a cool chunk of change, but the dude’s gonna get paid a King’s ransom no matter where he goes. And chances are, he’ll probably be playing postseason football wherever he goes.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow, it’s back to baseball. I promise. Heck, I’ll even make a plug right here, right now.

Cretins! Read the Three Up, Three Down blog! Listen to the Three Up, Three Down podcast! Like the Three Up, Three Down Facebook page! And follow us on Twitter at @3U3D. You won’t be disappointed.

Until tomorrow, this is Colin Kaepernick…taking Jam Shots. (No? Not even a giggle?)


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