Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ultimate Favorites

This is going to be a short post, but I feel like it would be a good idea if all of the contributors (Grey, Miller, T-Wah and I) all state for the record our favorite teams from the four major American Sports Leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB) and the CFL (for the needed Canadian content) with a short description of why we like them/have them as our favorite team. No need to get in depth, but there should be some kind of explanation here. If anyone else who reads the Padsb wants to join in, feel free, but this is a challenge to all of my other writers to get back on the website. Here we go:

NBA - Dallas Mavericks

I first liked them because they had my favorite player on the team (Michael Finley) and the tallest player in the league (Shawn Bradley) which I thought was great, even though I later learned that he was terrible! They then got Dirk, Mark Cuban bought the team and they've been great ever since. I've had some rough times with them (the first years of liking them were awful, the 2006 Finals, the 2007 upset) but I love them!

NFL - Minnesota Vikings

I have a few reasons for why they're my favorite team. First if that purple is my favorite color, and even if their shade of purple wasn't my favorite, I had to like them. Then they had Dante Culpepper, Chris Carter and Randy Moss, three great players, and that made me like them even more. My liking of them has progressed so far that I could keep them as my favorite even when Brett Favre, one of my least favorite players, was on the team.

NHL - Edmonton Oilers

I've finally decided after a few years that the Oilers really are my favorite NHL team. I tend to cheer for any Canadian team (except the Leaft, who I hate for some reason) but the Oilers have finally risen to the top. They are from my birth city, and I was drawn to them because of the success they had in the 80s, giving them some good history. They're pretty crappy right now, but that doesn't really matter to me, even if that will cause trouble in my house, with my wife being a Flames fan!

MLB - Philadelphia Phillies

This is also a very recent decision. Although I do enjoy the Blue Jays, because of their Canadian connection, I again felt that I needed to cheer for a team with a long and dignified history. A quick wikipedia search showed that they were the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of pro sports (they've been around since 1883!). I also chose them because they have good pitching (especially Doc) and some good hitters (like Ryan Howard). I know that I don't have a close connection to this team yet, but I'm going to work on it during the next few summers.

CFL - Edmonton Eskimos

My reasons for them are pretty similar to the Oilers. That was where I was born and I just feel that I have to cheer for them.

So there you have it. I know that this is a basketball website, but I felt that we really needed to get back in to writing, and this seems like a pretty easy way to do it. Now Grey, Miller and T-wah, get writing! If the guy's who's in grad school, works and has a baby can do this, so can you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

All Star Teams According to Fats

Since it is now 2011 and there hasn't been a new post all year (and well into last year) I figured I'd step up and finally get one posted. I'm not a huge Carmelo fan, so I'll leave it up to someone else to deal with that whole situation. What I do want to talk about is the All Star Game. I'm still not sure of how I feel with the format of the game and the choosing of players (take the example of Yao Ming leading for the West Center position even though he isn't playing), but it's hard to alter it. Sometimes I think it works ok, but then there are times when players make it in only because of their name, and now how they are doing that year. I'm interested in how the NHL All Star Game will turn out with the use of captains choosing their teams. But since nothing has been changed and I don't really know how to change it, I thought I would go about picking my own All Star Teams.

This was actually a harder process than I thought it would be, and for different reasons. I thought it would be hard because I would have to exclude a lot of deserving players, but other than one case (see below), I found it to be the opposite. I had to look pretty hard to fill out my East roster, and I'm still not 100% happy with it. But since I have to have 12 players, I manned up and picked them. I realize that my decisions are not compeltely based on the best methods, as I am unable to spend too much time living and breathing the NBA, but I tried to be as fair as I could. I made my picks on a combination of how the player was performing this year, and how their teams were doing. Some picks were having great years for terrible teams, while other players were doing alright but were making significant contributions to a winning team. Some of the picks were automatic, while others will, I'm sure, be strongly denounced by the Pads' readers. But I guess that is what I'm trying to do: make a forum for a debate on who should and should not be included on the All Star Teams. So here we go.


G - Kobe Bryant
G - Russell Westbrook
F - Dirk Nowitzki
F - Kevin Durant
C - Pau Gasol (this is in replace of Yao Ming, as all the other Centers in the West suck)

Bench (in no order)
1) Tim Duncan
2) Carmelo Anthony
3) Kevin Love
4) Zach Randolph
5) Blake Griffin
6) Steve Nash
7) Deron Williams

The main trouble I had with this team was the exclusion of Chris Paul. I was going to put him in instead of Nash, but Nash is having another great statistical year, and without him the Suns would probably be the worst team in the West. Yes the Hornets are doing better than the Suns in the standings, but I think I would still rather have Nash than Paul as my point guard.

I kind of copied my thinking from another article that Duncan could be there in the place of any other Center. That way there would be room for the 3 guys on the crappy teams who are having really good years (Love, Randolph and Griffin). I guess you could argue that Paul could take Griffin's place, but wouldn't the game be so much more fun if Griffin was throwing down 3 monsterous dunks per minute of playing time he got? I would say so.

Finally, I realize that my starting 5 will never happen, as no matter how good a year Dirk is having, he'll never be voted as a starter, and Westbrook will probably be lucky to even make the team, but I feel these are the 5 most deserving guys out there. Again, Gasol is kind of a F/C like Duncan, but I feel that works.


G - Derrick Rose
G - Rajon Rondo
F - LeBron James
F - Amar'e Stoudemire
C - Dwight Howard

Bench (in no order)
1) Dwayne Wade
2) Paul Pierce
3) Andrew Bogut
4) Carlos Boozer
5) Kevin Garnett
6) Chris Bosh
7) Ray Allen

For the East team, I actually found choosing the starters a lot simpler than the West, but filling out the bench players really gave me a hard time. There were a few guys who I just really weren't sure of how they were doing this year (like Joe Johnson, Danny Granger and Devin Harris) and so I kind of went with who was doing pretty good on a really good team (other than the Bogut pick, which was the complete opposite!). I again think that the starters won't look like this because of popularity, but I felt that my starters were the ones who really deserved it. All 5 of those guys could compete for the MVP this year, and so how can you keep them off the list?

I know that Garnett and Allen are kind of old bones, but when I watch them playing with the Celtics, I can tell how much they really mean to that team. This is kind of a most valuable player approach to the All Star reserves, but why shouldn't two future hall of famers make the team? Bosh was also a difficult pick, as I knew that he was really struggling to fit in on the Heat team early on in the season. I looked up his numbers, however, and although his stats are a little down from his career stats, he is still having a good year.

So there you have it. These are my All Star Teams. I think they would put on a pretty good show and make for a really good game. If I had to pick the winner, I would probably say the East would win because of their experience and their stronger starting 5, but the West would at least have a few highlight dunks from Griffin!