Category Archives: NBA

Kobe Is Not Magic

Kobe Bryant is now the #1 Lakers player ... in scoring.

First and foremost, congratulations to Kobe Bryant.  Last night he poured in 44 points and became the Lakers all-time leading scorer along the way.  Ironically, the player he surpassed, “The Logo” himself, Jerry West, wore the #44 as a member of the Lakers.

Being the Kobe hater I am, I must admit that I got a tiny bit of satisfaction when I found out the Lakers lost to Memphis last night.  Of course when I say “tiny bit” I do mean “enormous“.  Despite my hatred towards Kobe, I do respect and appreciate his game.  Hell, I even admire it.  Perhaps no one else in the league rises to the occasion quite like Kobe.  The man hits clutch shots in the biggest of moments, so much so that you don’t get overly excited when he delivers.  You pretty much expect it to happen.

The talk now, or I should say, “the question” now:

Is Kobe Bryant the greatest Lakers player of all time?

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but my answer is no.  I’ll explain why, but I will say this, Kobe still has a lot of game left, and he may very well take over the throne in the future.  He’s only 31.  But because he’s not quite like the man I have above him off the court, his numbers may not matter, ever.

Magic is the man in LA, and Kobe might not catch him.

If greatness is measured by championships, then Magic gets the nod over Kobe.  Magic won five championships to Kobe’s four.  Even if the standard of greatness was based upon individual awards, Magic has won three MVP’s to Kobe’s one.  Magic has won three Finals MVP’s to Kobe’s one.  When Magic arrived on to the NBA scene, he was an immediate impact, basically, he was “the man” right off the bat.  Magic was the cornerstone to the Lakers franchise during their “Show Time” years, and if anything, was at least equal to Kareem in terms of significance to the franchise, if not more important.  When Kobe arrived in LA, he played side kick to Shaq.  Shaq deserves a “thank you” card for three of Kobe’s rings.

Magic had Bird.  That rivalry transcended basketball, and made both players larger than life.  The rivalry added to the lore of both of these legends.  Kobe has no one to push him like that on the court, and strengthen his legend.  That’s not Kobe’s fault per say, but it does affect his place on the totem pole of Laker greats.

Magic’s most memorable moment, the “junior sky-hook” to defeat the Lakers rival Boston Celtics in pivotal Game 4 of the 1987 Finals is one of the most replayed moments in NBA history.  It surpasses all of Kobe’s game winners combined.  Kobe’s buzzer-beaters albeit great, have never had the effect Magic’s shot had.  It never had the effect Michael’s hanging, double-pump jump shot over Craig Ehlo had, or his push-off, step-back J over Bryon Russell.  I don’t believe Kobe has had that one play, career defining moment yet.

If the question is, who is the greatest “Lakers” player of all time, you’d have to consider which player’s image is synonymous with the franchise.  That, sometimes has more to do with who you are outside of playing ball.

What makes Magic a better Laker is the fact that he’s a more likable person than Kobe.  Kobe’s guarded.  He’s a loner.  A bit of a weirdo.  His personality is a rip-off of Jordan’s.  It’s obvious, it’s irritating.  Magic was original.  Endearing, fun, loving and charming all rolled into one.  His smile could light up the stadium, and his persona was equivalent to his nickname, “Magic“.

Magic was loved and praised, in fact, he still is, even if you weren’t or are not a Lakers fan.  That is why he is Mr. Laker.

Wait … Maybe It Is The Cavs

I find myself writing about LeBron (and to a certain extent, the Cavs) a lot, but he is a "slam dunk" of a topic.

LeBron is the best player in the NBA, unless it comes down to making game winners, then Kobe is, but Bron Bron has taken his game to new heights yet again.  It’s almost, wait … IT IS ridiculous to think about what the ceiling is on this kid, if there even is one.  Last season, the consensus thought was that the two best ball players in the planet were heading towards a June showdown.  Orlando had other plans.  This season, especially with how it began, the majority were leaning towards another Lakers/Celtics Finals.  That might have changed as of late.  The Cavs are winning, and they’re winning important games.  No matter how much LeBron down played sweeping the season series against the Lakers this season, it has to give him and the Cavs a huge boost in confidence.  They man-handled the defending champs in LA.  Then they outlasted them in a nail biter in Cleveland.  It’s embedded in their heads now, that they can beat the best in any fashion.  They’ve beaten Orlando convincingly, and Atlanta can not win against the Cavs.  The next test for them is when they match up against Boston again.

I guess Shaq helps Bron with some things ...

There’s way too much season left to be sold on a team completely.  Injuries, trades and other stipulations occur, that may catapult a team to greatness, or deter them from it.  But, we’re definitely far enough into the season to make a down payment.  And I have the Cavs on lay-away.  Right now, LeBron is playing like he’s not from this world.  He’s just too, too good.  The thing is, Shaq hasn’t had much to do with it.  Mo Williams got injured, Delonte West is out, I mean, who’s even on the Cavs worth mentioning at this point.  And yet here they stand, in my opinion, the best from the East.  It’s literally all because of LeBron.  Imagine if you took LeBron away from the Cavs.  What’s left might be the New Jersey Nets.

LeBron is making his case for back to back MVP titles, and at this point, he’s definitely ahead of the pack.  I know it’s a basketball is a “team” sport, so I’ll try to refer to the Cavs as a team, as oppose to just LeBron.  The Cavs have moved up my own personal power rankings, and are one good trade away from solidifying their spot as top dogs in the East.  I have been skeptical of their chances at a Finals appearance this season, since being exposed last season by Orlando in the ECF.  But.  I’m over it now.  The Cavs are ready.  The East is no walk in the park (the West is worse though) so home court advantage throughout will be key for the Cavs.  But I fully expect them to continue to play at a high level, and potentially wrap up the #1 seed sometime late in the season.

It's LeBron with some random guys wearing Cavs jerseys posing for a picture. This is why the Cavs are the best in the East!

With that said, I truly feel that the Cavs have become the team to beat in the East, and should be the representative for the conference in this season’s championship series.

2010 NBA All-Star Selections

The All-Star reserves were announced yesterday, and I just want to throw in my two cents.

My immediate reaction.  Iverson cost a worthy candidate a spot.  There were three definite snubs, and we’ll get to that in a short bit, but if Iverson gave up his spot, or some how was not allowed to be voted for, than there would be only two snubs.  Two is better than three.

Remember when Boston wanted to get rid of this guy? Good thing they didn't.

Let’s start with the East.  Real quick, Rajon Rondo and Gerald Wallace definitely deserve their first All-Star nods, both players have quietly molded themselves into great players, the best players on their teams in fact.  Yes, that includes Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Stephen Jackson.  If you take both Rondo and Wallace out of the equation, imagine how the Celtics and Bobcats would run.  Yes the Celtics would still have a winning record, but without him, I dare say they wouldn’t be “elite“.  Rajon Rondo has turned himself into “BabyJason Kidd minus the 3’s.  Kidd is a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Hard to believe it's Wallace's 9th NBA season. He's finally carved a name for himself out in Charlotte.

Although I can't argue against his selection, I must say, there were others ...

I’m not quite sold on Derrick Rose being an All-Star (I think this is what got him in).  Yes, he’s had one fine month in January, but he was playing mediocre basketball for the first two months of the season.  He was the right choice considering the All-Star roster format, which brings me to another topic.  Change that format.  I honestly would have chosen Joakim Noah over Rose if the East were allowed to load up on 4’s and 5’s.  Noah should have made it over Al HorfordDavid Lee should have made it over both of them.  Yes winning has a lot to do with it, but it’s not like David Lee is out there just playing for stats.  If you watch this guy play, you can see, he’s playing hard and trying everything he can in order to help his team win.  That’s enough for me.

He sacrificed taking 3's for the betterment of his team. His team is currently the 3rd best team in the conference. He's putting up amazing numbers. Why is he not an All-Star?

Josh Smith should have made it over Horford.  Actually, take out the All-Star roster format, put Josh Smith over Iverson, and Joakim Noah over Al Horford.  I have both Smith and Noah on my fantasy team, and I can tell you first hand that they deserve spots.  Actually, keep Horford in, and take Garnett out.  Start Josh Smith at the 4.  Yes I said it, and I will repeat it.  Garnett doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star this year.  What’s supposed to happen, is that fans vote in a player to start based on the season they’re having.  Garnett was not having a stellar season, and on top of that, he missed some games due to injury.  I love Garnett, and I have no doubt that he’ll finish the second half of the season strong, but he doesn’t deserve his spot.  Not over Josh Smith.  Not this season.

There's "NOAH" way Joakim should not be an All-Star!

D-Will high-dribbled his way to his first selection.

To the West.  Not as much drama.  I can’t believe this is Deron Williams first bid.  Although Chris Paul (in my opinion) is the better of the two, Deron Williams is only a step or two behind.  How he hasn’t been an All-Star at his level of play is quite shocking.  Well that is no longer the case.  Zach Randolph deserved a spot.  He’s been playing great basketball all year, and he might be the biggest reason why Memphis is in the hunt for a playoff birth.

Monta's not in!?!? I'm not watching.

The only player I might question in deserving a spot in the West, is Brandon Roy.  He kind of falls into the Derrick Rose mix, he’s played well as of late (prior to his hamstring injury) but started the season out average.  I guess both he and LaMarcus Aldridge have done all that they can in keeping the Blazers afloat while they go through injury after injury, but Monta Ellis has done the same for the Warriors.  I can’t count how many D-League call ups the Warriors have had this season due to injury on one hand!  And unlike Brandon Roy, Monta Ellis was doing it up since the season began.  Yes, I am being biased, I will admit to it, but outside of the records of the teams these two play for, you tell me who’s more deserving?  Ellis averages are better in points, assists and steals.  I’m just saying.

Other than that, I have no major gripes with the remainder of the selections.  Congrats to Durantula too!  He is what I like to call, “Dope Sauce“.  I must say I don’t appreciate the All-Star game falling on Valentine’s Day though.  That’s probably not the NBA‘s fault, but because of the occasion, I give myself a 7.5% chance of being able to watch this game.  Oh well, it’s usually a boring game until the last 5 minutes, when all the players start to sniff the bigger bonus dealt to the winners.

Season Half Way Done

These two will put on a show, no strings attached.

Tonight.  LeBronKobe.  ‘Nuff said.

The last time these two teams met, Kobe scored more than LeBron, but the Cavs handed the Lakers a backyard beat down to the tenth degree.  And I … enjoyed every minute of it.  The game happen to fall on Christmas Day, and I treated the Cavs victory like a present from the NBA.  Thank you.

But … the NBA giveth … the NBA taketh … Let’s break down the first half of the season shall we, as we go over the highlights and low-lights of what has taken place during the 2009-2010 season, thus far.

Highlights

The time is now.

The Oklahoma City Thunder were supposed to be a few years away from making a splash in the highly competitive West.  If the playoffs were to begin today, the Thunder would be the seventh seed.  I guess the kids in Oklahoma City are thinking, to hell with waiting for our turn.  Of course Kevin Durant is in the center of all their success.  He is the cornerstone, he is the franchise.  It’s funny how the NBA never gives the Most Improved Player award to super-stars in the making, but Durant is worthy of this award.  How he’s raised the level of his play within the first three years of his career is truly remarkable.  Most of thought he’d be good, but man … he’s good.  Of course it’s not just him, Russell Westbrook has been solid at the point, averaging 7.5 assists per game and Jeff Green, despite his recent struggles, has been a reliable contributor on both ends.  The Thunder, along with the Grizzlies and now maybe the Bobcats, are teams you might not want to run into in the first round of the playoffs.

Zebo be playing some ball in Memphis!

Speaking of the Grizzlies and Bobcats, hats off to them too.  When you think about Memphis, they are one point guard away from perhaps having the best starting five in basketball.  No knock on Conley, but he isn’t exactly mesmerizing with his play.  But, I guess he doesn’t have to be when you have Mayo, Gay, Randolph and Gasol in the lineup along side of you.  The Grizzlies have been one of the hottest teams in the league since the turn of the decade, and are just one and a half games back from the eighth seed in the West.

The other "Larry Legend" is coaching it up in Charlotte.

Larry Brown is at it again.  This is why I’ll take Larry Brown over Phil Jackson in a heart beat.  Larry Brown has never had a Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen tandem.  Or a Shaq and Kobe duo.  His super star in Charlotte is Gerald Wallace.  Now Gerald Wallace is damn good, and he should have a spot on this year’s All-Star team, but he’s no Kobe.  The Bobcats, in typical Larry Brown fashion play great defense, but have the ability to score with the best of them.  The Bobcats have the luxury of playing in the East, so their 21-19 record is good enough for fifth best in the conference.  As long as Stephen Jackson (more on him later), Raymond Felton and the newly awaken Boris Diaw can continue to play inspired ball, the Bobcats should see their first post-season action in franchise history.

Will Steph turn out to be the best point guard in a draft rich in the position?

Now this isn’t the 1996 draft class, which in my opinion is still the best ever.  This isn’t the 2003 draft class either, which is a close second to ’96.  But when all is said and done, the 2009 draft class may prove to be the best ever at the point guard position.  Let’s recap the draft picks and review their rookie seasons.

  • #3 – James Harden (OKC):  Solid reserve.  Played his way into more minutes.
  • #4 – Tyreke Evans (Sac):  The reason Kev Mart is on the trading block.  Front runner for ROY honors.
  • #5 – Ricky Rubio (Min):  Could have been the top of the class … we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out.
  • #6 – Jonny Flynn (Min):  Good scorer, good potential, too inconsistent right now.
  • #7 – Stephen Curry (GS):  Maybe the biggest surprise, he’s the only one of this bunch who resembles a true point.
  • #10 – Brandon Jennings (Mil):  Lightning quick, can score in bunches.  Has cooled off from hot start.
  • # 18 – Ty Lawson (Den):  Excellent backup to Chauncey Billups.  Showed flashes of brilliance in Billups absence.

Low-lights.

He used to be "Agent Zero" now he's just a "zero."

Gilbert Arenas.

I don’t really have to say much except this … you signed a 111-million dollar contract a few years back.  You’ve been essentially getting paid a ridiculous amount of money for quite frankly, nothing, after you’ve sat out the last two seasons with a knee injury (which wasn’t his fault to say).  You still have $80-million remaining on your contract (for now) and you’ve made big strides in returning to your once electrifying self on the court.  Then you decide to throw it all away by being an idiot.  Done.

I'm going to hate to have to tell you "I told you so ..." a year from now.

Bobcats fans … I warn you now.  You’re probably thinking man … we got Stephen Jackson for Raja Bell (who was basically playing with a broken wrist and was eventually going to need surgery) and Vladimir Radmanovic (who was riding the pine hard) … what a steal, right?  Yeah it is!  For now.  This story has played out before, and he and Larry Brown are all buddy-buddy as of this moment.  But Stephen Jackson has turned into the Terrell Owens of the NBA, and eventually he’ll tear that locker room apart, and ruin your franchise.  I’m just saying, if you’re a Bobcat fan, do not invest in Stephen Jackson.

Was this photo-op even necessary?

Allen Iverson was my favorite player at one point.  That span stretched from his Sophomore year at Georgetown, until about 2003-2004.  No one was more exciting, more ground-breaking than Allen Iverson.  Just think about it, he was a little guy … who dominated.  He changed the game on and off the court.  And he did play his butt off for you too.  As much as he discredited “practice” he had a point … you knew he’d play every game as if it were his last … unless of course … he wasn’t starting.  At some point in his life, he’s going to have to realize that “life” happens.  You’re not 21 AI.  You’re not “the” man on most teams now.  How he played out his short stint in Memphis was ugly, I couldn’t watch.  After Jerry West and company extended their hand to you?  Luckily for Grizzlies fans, it probably worked out for the best that AI left.  Memphis has been playing great as of late.  They might even make the playoffs.  Apparently that doesn’t matter to AI.  He must be completely satisfied at the fact that he’s starting again.

So this is how you make the All-Star team ...

AI & McGrady are All-Star starters?  Really? Really people?  Really? This isn’t so much of the NBA’s low-lights, but more of the fans of the NBA low-lights.  Actually … it is the NBA’s low-lights.  Why is AI & McGrady on the All-Star ballad anyway?  Seriously though, to any NBA fans who voted for these two players, you should be ashamed at yourselves.  You’re basically removing two spots for worthy candidates.  Two candidates who may not ever get this opportunity to again … who knows who might get left off the squad.  Well, I guess we find out later tonight.

If AI, or McGrady for some odd reason happen to read my blog … please.  Give up your spots.  If you get voted into the All-Star game, look yourself in the mirror and be truthful.  You know you don’t deserve it.  Give up your spots.  Don’t pull a Penny Hardaway.

Honorable mentions in this seasons low-lightsYao Ming, Kelenna Azuibuke, Greg Oden, Michael Redd and Blake Griffin.  I hate when players get hit with devastating injuries, ones that end their season.  Good luck to all those players in their recoveries.  The only reason I consider this a low-light, is that we don’t get to see them play.

Fantasy Byron Ball

I just want to take a moment to let everyone know that I currently stand in first place in both of my fantasy basketball leagues.  I don’t expect that to be the case for the entire season, but I do intend on winning them both.

In one league, my team “Paranormal Activity” has been in the top two since the season began, and it looks as if only one other team even remotely poses a threat to me.  That would be “Foyled Again.”  I beat him two weeks ago.  That league is called the Realest Basketball League.

But the more important league to me, “ThE KiNgS Of ThE YaY III” in which I have appropriately named my team “Defending Champ” (b/c I won ThE KiNgS Of ThE YaY II) I have finally wrestled back first place.  This league is competitive throughout, and it wouldn’t surprise me if 7th place moved to 3rd place within the span of two weeks.

Big match up this week though.  I face the #2 team, and a good one at that.  I do have one advantage, as the “Thrillas from Manila” will be missing good production from Anthony Randolph this week.  Perfect timing for me.

With that said, I feel confident in the way I built my team (even w/o Arenas) and I am hoping A.J. Price eventually takes over the point in Indiana.  I picked him up off the waiver with the advice of my buddy Leets.  Kid’s got potential.

If anyone wants to give me fantasy advice, feel free to chime in!  Thanks.

Smells Like Curry

Don’t know who’s been reading my blog, but thank you!  I know my usuals, but I’ve gotten a substantial increase in views (for my standards) and it makes me really happy 🙂 Please keep reading, and leave comments! 

 Anyway, on to what we’re all here for … my unreliable take on sports.  

The sweetest J period.

Can I go out on a limb here and say that Stephen Curry has slowly but surely made himself the front-runner for the ROY award?  And he’s done this all so quietly.Let’s look at your other options.  Brandon Jennings.  He definitely started off the hottest, but he’s cooled off considerably since his initial splash.  Dropping double nickles on Golden State and the aforementioned Stephen Curry also created a huge buzz for Jennings, and rightfully so.  He’s lightning quick and can score in bunches.  As I’ve posted in the past, he’s the new Allen Iverson, but one who actually passes.  He’s averaged 6 assists per game this season, not too shabby for the rook.  But, Jennings has slightly fallen off the radar, and his shooting percentages continuously declines with each passing game.  

Tyreke Evans.  Now in most people’s books, this is the guy.  I don’t blame you for thinking that way either.  He reminds me of Derrick Rose, but perhaps even better.  He is the definition of a combo guard, and if you think about it, he puts up numbers similar to D-Wade.  That’s a huge compliment, being compared to Wade.  Hell, Evans could even be a mini-LeBron if you think about it.  He’s hovering around 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.  And because he attacks the rim so hard, and so often, he creates a lot opportunity for something positive on almost every offensive possession. 

 But, he’s doing this all without Sac’s main guy, Kevin Martin.  Tyreke Evans will still produce solid numbers, but the “star” numbers he’s producing now will most definitely drop.  Martin scored 30 + points per game in his 4 outings before fracturing his wrist, and there’s no reason for anyone to believe that he won’t pick up where he left off upon his return.  So unless Evans transforms from a combo guard to a pure point guard, he’ll definitely be effected by this.

Which brings us to Stephen Curry.  He’s played solid throughout the season thus far, in the midst of all the turmoil that is the Golden State Warriors.  He’s already dealt with controversy among his team mates, and has shrugged it off, and stayed positive and professional.  He is finally getting a bit of recognition, in which he deserves.  Unlike Evans, Stephen Curry can play the role of “true” point guard, and he plays it so well.  His transition from being the only scoring option at Davidson, to the lead distributor in Golden State has been effortless.  Some people just see the game in a different light, and can adapt to what ever role is given to them.  Curry, is one of those guys.  I know what people are thinking, Evans averages more assists than Curry right now … yes, for now.  Curry will surpass Evans in assists after the All-Star break.  Curry has in my opinion, the prettiest, most textbook looking shot in the NBA.  I drool over his jump shot.  For a little guy, with seemingly no athletic ability, he’s able to get his shot off with so much ease and rhythm.  It is truly a thing of beauty to watch.  And he finally feels comfortable with his shot, and the Warriors do too.  Curry has let it fly more often than not as of late, even going 6/6 from down town against the Nuggets a few nights back. 

 (By the way, the refs gift-wrapped that game for Denver)

What’s impressive about what Curry did that night, was he didn’t take a single shot in the 3rd quarter, after barely touching rim in the first half.  He didn’t feel the need to try to continue to light it up.  He knew his shot was good, and he just stayed patient and let the game come to him.  More than ever he reminds me of Steve Nash in how he approaches the game.  As a Warrior fan, I’ll take a young Steve Nash in the making any day. 

Finally, he’s doing this right beside Monta Ellis.  If Curry was thrusted into a situation in which he had to be the player he was in Davidson, everyone would be talking about Curry right now.  He would be the odds on favorite to win the ROY award.  But because his job is to orchestrate the Warriors offense, and not explode for big scoring nights, he’s not mentioned with the Evans or Jennings.

I knew Curry could score.  I knew he was going to be an under-rated passer coming into the league.  Curry can dish ’em out with the best of them, and people are starting to take notice.  What I didn’t know was, he could play solid defense utilizing his quick hands (1.9 steals per game) and I didn’t know he had such ball handling skills.  He’s pretty damn sick with the rock in his hands.  He’s calm, composed, and driven.  I can’t wait to see where Curry takes us in years to come.

I was at this game!

Randomness & Sick :(

I’m not feeling too well, so hopefully writing a bunch of blurbs about all I can think of in the world of sports, will help get my mind off this runny nose, achy chest, and nauseous feeling.  Here we go. 

Is it just me ... or do you get a "Michael Scott" from The Office feel too, when you look at this pic?

Big news in the NFL.  Mike Shanahan is back, as he agrees to a 5 year deal with the Washington Redskins.  The Redskins were an absolute joke this past season, and if anyone can turn this franchise around, it should be Mike Shanahan.  I still believe Denver shafted Shanahan by firing him last season.  I thought he deserved the Bill Cowher treatment, meaning he would decide when his time was up in the Mile High.  It will be interesting to see how Shanahan will shake up the roster, because I have a feeling that he doesn’t believe in Jason Campbell much. 

Like Samson, Randy Johnson's power lies in his hair ...

Randy Johnson has called it a career.  22 illustrious seasons are now in the books, and what a career it was.  If I can only choose one word to sum up Randy Johnson’s pitching style, it would obviously be – power.  Or maybe slider.  Or perhaps “lefty” … yeah … definitely “lefty” … no-no-no, got it … MULLET

Pound for pound. 'Nuff said.

It looks as if the super-ultra-mega fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will no longer be.  Talks are as dead as a door knob, and there’s no sign of revival in sight.  *Sigh* this was going to be the fight that would return boxing to its glory days … Oh well.  I will still enjoy watching Pacquiao pummel who ever else there is left for him to pummel. 

Tim Tebow may not have ended his college career in story book fashion, but a BCS record in total yards in a game during the Sugar Bowl is definitely a nice consolation prize for him.  Good job Tebow, and I look forward to your translation into the pro game.  You have many doubters, but I am definitely not one of them. 

The Future

The Lakers, Nuggets, Celtics, Cavs and Magic are the cream of the crop in terms of championship contenders in the NBA.  You can throw in Atlanta, maybe.  But two upstart teams I would prefer not to run into come playoff time, are the Thunder, and the Grizzlies.  I really like the way the Thunder play, and how they’re built.  When Durant was a rookie, I drafted him with my 1st round pick in fantasy that year.  I know, I know, stupid move right?  But I believed he was going to be what he is today, but back then.  I was just a season and a half too early.  And how about the twin towers out in Memphis, with Zebo playing some highly inspired ball.  Pau Gasol is better than both Zebo and his Geico cave-man brother Marc, but I’d rather take the tandem of Zebo and Marc over Pau and Bynum any day.  Throw in Mayo, Gay and a Mike Conley who’s been playing better as of late, and I think Memphis is a team to be reckoned with if they can put it all together. 

Quick pick for the BCS title game.  Alabama … Saban … Ingram … champions.