Currently browsing category

Sip Rogers

Instant Trade Analysis: Metta World Peace to the New York Knicks

New York Knicks get: SF Metta World Peace (two years, $3 million)
 
(The following was a MAMBINO e-mail chain started off by renegade blogger, friend of the blog and all-around degenerate Jimbo Shingles. What followed was an Instant Trade Analysis of Metta World Peace signing with the New York Knickerbockers)
 
Jimbo Shingles: What do we think about this?
 
Where are are the Knicks missing depth? What can they do to win the whole thing?
 
The CDP: Regarding Metta, he fell off the second half of the year a bit, but he was on fire and reinvigorated entering the year. He was in great shape, and an absolute bull dog on defense. His speed has been leaving him for years (he’s 33!), so he can’t guard the fastest guys in the league anymore, but he still has incredibly quick, strong hands and he has great instincts on the ball. Plus, he uses his size well to body up bigs and not give an inch.
 

Offensively he’s not the same beast–Metta has always needed a lot of volume to be even remotely efficient–but he’s definitely serviceable enough in the right positions (open threes, in the post) to keep defenses honest. … Read more...

MAMBINO’s NBA Mock Draft, Part 2

Yesterday, we hit you with the first part of our 2013 NBA Mock Draft, going through and selecting on behalf of the lottery teams. Today in part 2, we’ll mock the rest of the first round. Onward!
 
With the 15th pick, the Milwaukee Bucks would be thrilled to select Shabazz Muhammad, forward from UCLA. 
 
AO: The Bucks are in NBA no mans land, just good enough to make the playoffs and be swept. That’s not where you want to be.  There are lots of rumblings about the potential re-signings, or non signings, of the overrated back court of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.  Assuming one of those two will be back (max), and the hilarious offensive-ineptitude of their frontcourt, the Bucks have a strong need for scoring across the board.  Shabazz is a guy who was rated #1 in this draft for a long period.  His quick one year tenure at UCLA was forgettable, but no one doubts this is one of the most skilled guys in the draft.  He can score, handle and shoot.  Passing and defense are another issue, but at #15, the Bucks would be lucky to grab someone who could potentially lead their team in scoring.… Read more...

MAMBINO’s NBA Mock Draft, Part 1

With an epic NBA Finals in the books and new legacies defined, the most exciting part of the season continues on with the 2013 NBA Draft.

 

Most prognosticators have called this weakest draft since Kenyon Martin, Darius Miles and the other dregs of the NBA sewer system bogged up our beloved L in 2000. However, what I’m seeing is a talent pool that might not have a definite superstar in it’s upper echelons, but rather a sizeable amount of solid role players and borderline All-Stars. Not too shabby.

 

To sate our endless appetite for anything smelling like the NBA, us hoophead junkies assembled like Voltron this week to do our annual mock draft. We all were assigned teams and told to get into the minds of each team’s GM, and pick not only along talent, but also need. The MAMBINO crew will be there in person this Thursday to see what we got right, what we got terribly wrong and yes, if we can boo David Stern as lustily with the 1st pick as we do the 30th. It’s the Commissioner’s last draft before his retirement, so we’ll make sure to emerge from Barclays Center with our vocal chords raw. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for some in-arena perspective @TheGreatMambino. Today we’ll cover the lottery picks in part 1, and tomorrow we’ll do the rest of the first round in part 2.

 

Without further ado….let’s go!

 

With the number 1 pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers select Anthony Bennett, forward from UNLV

 

AO: Obviously, lots of rumors surrounding this pick.  Looking at it from a pure “need” standpoint, Bennett is the right mix of safe + potential.  Sure, Cleveland doesn’t have a foundation in the middle, although Anderson Varajeo and Tyler Zeller are both competent, the former being a borderline All-Star when healthy.  But I’m not sold on the bigs in this draft.

 

Noel and Len have both been rumored to be the target for CLE, but they are both projects, not ready to come in and contribute right away.  CLE is set at the 1 and 2 with Mr. Irving and Mr. Waiters.  The front court is mostly unproven and young.  Why would you want more of that?  Why assume that risk of drafting a bust, especially when everyone agrees the ceilings are pretty low w/ Noel and Len.  Instead, I’d take a guy in Bennett who can play the 3 and leverage his size at that position.  He’s a good enough shooter to be a legit 3, but will also be capable of playing the stretch 4 for at least some minutes.  Lastly, I think Dan Gilbert and co like to play things close to the vest (except when the best player in the NBA leaves his team on national TV, then, yea, he gets a bit “public”).  No one saw Waiters coming last year.  Who knows what Tricky Dan has behind his bowtie?

 

With the 2nd pick, the Orlando Magic select Nerlens Noel, center from the University of Kentucky.

 
KOBEsh: A debatable number 1 pick, Noel (if healthy) could be an absolute defensive destroyer for any NBA team. Orlando has found a hidden gem in Nikola Vucevic, whose rebounding is certainly underrated, but can’t be depended upon as shot blocking intimidation in the paint. Pairing him with Noel could make for a formidable Magic frontline, with Nerlens serving as the Tyson Chandler (the best case scenario, by far for Noel) to Vucevic’s offensive capabilities. By drafting the center, Orlando is essentially punting next season (as Noel is still recovering from a torn ACL), and setting themselves up for another lottery pick in the STACKED 2014 Draft. Not a bad … Read more...

Live Report from London…YOUR New York Knicks!

(A live report from MAMBINO correspondent Sip Rogers, an expatriate New York Knicks fan who lives and works in London. He attended the Knicks-Pistons game on Thursday night at the O2 arena on the Eastside of town. Here’s his firsthand recap)
Just got back from the NBA’s first regular season game in London and to sum it up, it was amazing. 
First a little actual basketball talk. The Knicks played well in a 102-87 win, outclassing the Pistons most of the game, including a 15 point lead at halftime. As they game wore on, they were able to stifle any runs the Pistons had in them, mostly from Will Bynum (and man, can that guy can drive). 

Iman Shumpert finally is back for the Knicks, giant flat top in tow. He started the game, which was surprising for his return. He ended up scoring 8 points in 15 minutes.  Amar’e had 17 in 20 minutes, but the quietest 17 I’ve seen in awhile. There wasn’t too much to the actual game itself; it was a blowout against the Pistons, whose best player is Greg Monroe and the most explosive guard is Will Bynum.  
As for the event in London, the NBA, Knicks and Pistons did a great great job.  As hard as it is to believe, it actually felt like a real NBA game.  They fixed the courtside seats problem from the Olympics, as in, now there were floor seats (whereas during the summer, spectators were so far away from the court that the camera angle made it appear as if no one was watching live). The O2 arena was sold out and rocking. The crowd remained into the game the whole time and was, to my delight,  very pro-Knicks.  There were a decent chunk of expats (but less than I expected) and plenty of Euros in attendance. However, what surprised me most was a really good amount of Brits were wearing Knicks gear, cheering the Knicks and talking basketball.  Stunning, really. This is a city as big as New York, so I’m not surprised that there are NBA fans hiding but…I don’t know where they have been as long as I’ve lived here. After all, there are a ton of English Premiere League fans in the Mecca, but I’m not sure where they hide out. People aren’t talking about Robin Van Persie on the corner of 51st and Lexington, right? 
Certainly a great sign for the NBA that so many Brits were actual fans.  The NFL classically has the issue with their game in London, no matter who is playing. They have a hard time hocking 80,000 seats even with 80,000 expats living in Europe. The NBA seems to have dodged that already.
A couple of nice touches: the Knicks brought along their organ player from MSG, which made the O2 sound even more like a game at the Garden.  The Pistons brought along their announcer, because after all, it was a Detroit home game. Was nice to hear the sounds of “Deeeeetttrrooooooiiiitttt Baaaaassssskeeeetttbaaaallll” echoing through the arena.  Spike Lee made the trip across the pond, sitting courtside next to Baron Davis.  Plenty of Premier League soccer players in the crowd; Ashley Cole, Thierry Henry, Joe Cole and our favorite American Clint Dempsey…who of course sat next to the Knicks bench with a dime piece.

The whole event was really well done and a way more authentic experience than I originally thought it would be.  Kudos to the NBA. 

BTW, no sign of Dolan, I scoured the crowd for him. I guess JD and the Straight Shot doesn’t travel across international waters.Read more...

Basketball World Cup vs. Olympic Games vs. Champions League? A MAMBINO Debate

For the past 20 years, the Olympic tournament has been the preeminent form of international basketball competition here in America. However, over the rest of the world, the FIBA World Championships, held two years in between Summer Olympic Games, is held in the highest esteem as the most important international tourney. 

As player salaries increase and the competitive balance for basketball around the globe evens, several once-dormant debates have arisen around the advent of the recent games on London. Several NBA owners, as well as the Commissioner David Stern, have publicly called for a NBA-sponsored tournament, which would be a re-branded FIBA World Championship event, so that basketball could be given it’s “proper focus”, rather than lost amongst the myriad of Olympic events in a two week span. Most importantly, such a tournament would give the NBA control over the finances and profits of the “Basketball World Cup”, which would surely put owners at ease when watching their million-dollar assets take the floor in a non-profit making enterprise known as the Olympics. 

The debate rages on the airwaves and on the internet, and of course, MAMBINO is no different. A few of our writers are on an immense NBA e-mail chain whose length is literally thousands of e-mails long over several years. We’ve all wasted countless hours raving and ranting about our beloved L on this supreme procrastination tool, but from it arises pointed debates like the following string of call and responses. Read on as our argument spans the pros and cons of  World Cup of Hoops, a basketball “Champions League” and the proposed Under-23 rule. 

El Miz: I may be in the minority, but I think the NBA should definitely go ahead and push for a World Cup of Hoops. I don’t hear any soccer fans saying they wish there was no World Cup and that there should only be Olympic soccer. I don’t really see the downside — players, owners (re: the NBA) get to actually benefit financially from competing, and the sport itself would benefit (if done right, of course) from the spotlight shining SOLELY on the best professional basketball players once every four years instead of sharing it with the other Olympics (it’s been hard enough to even find basketball highlights).

If it were a FIBA mandate in conjunction with the NBA, I don’t think the Olympics would be an event where ONLY the US had an under-23 team. The Olympics are an amateur event and if EVERY team–China, USA, Russia, Spain, Argentina, etc.–sent their best 23 and under team along with a vet or two, that would be a fun and worthy tournament in its own right.

Everything I’ve read about the Olympics is its just like the NCAA — a small group of power brokers benefit financially in an outrageous disproportion to the athletes who compete.  These power brokers contribute little if any value and only are there in the first place because “its how things have always been.” More power to Commissioner David Stern, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the NBA, etc. to see the opportunity to have a World Cup of Hoops — have the first one all around Europe, have the second in China, have the third in South America, and have the fourth in the US of A.  Make sure that you acquire the correct distribution so that people can follow on their iPad, on their laptop, on their computer — make box scores available everywhere, highlights super easy to get. I don’t see why that would be any less compelling th
Read more...