Monday, July 30, 2007

Team USA's Colorado Connection

I turned 30 last week. And due to the momentous occasion, I have been either extraordinarily intoxicated, or fighting for my life while recovering from the previously mentioned level of intoxication. I was pretty much like Def Leppard in the 80's... only without the mullets, topless girls backstage, and one-armed drummer. Either way, I wasn't in any shape to be posting any new material on the blog.

On top of that I got a new dog. So now I'm fighting off hangovers while chasing a puppy to keep it from shitting and pissing on my carpets. Oh yeah, and I've had to take it to the vet twice already to get an IV stuck in it's arm....

Needless to say I've been pre-occupied.

But that doesn't mean I haven't been keeping up with the happenings of CO sports. It just so happens that not a lot of exciting news has actually come up during my drunken new puppy getting week. Let's have a look:

- The Rockies are still .500. Granted, Matt Holliday has been pretty fun to watch, but I still am hanging out off to the side of the bandwagon, watching the other Rockies fans jumping on and off that sumbitch. Know what the Rox Bandwagon reminds me of right now? It's like an ex-girlfriend that later becomes a booty call. Sometimes you want to end it for good.... sometimes you want to get back into a relationship... but either way, every time you get drunk you wake up in her bed, then try to sneak off before she wakes up. Not that you would do that kind of thing with the Rockies though....

- The first NFL pre-season game is on August 5th (that's a mere six days to me and you) and the first Broncos game is Monday, August 13th televised nationwide on the great big ESPN network. Home of such popular sports dramas as "The Bronx is Burning" and hip new Sportscenter segments like "Who's More Now". It will be nice to have some actual sports back on the network. It's just a matter of time until ESPN has followed MTV's lead, and the entire day of TV will be filled with reality TV shows where you can occasionally see some sports on a TV in the background of a dating show featuring four former athletes who are gay and trying not to get "nexted".

- In the midst of a hungover afternoon last week I did happen to catch the inter squad scrimmage between Team USA basketball. It was probably the best basketball game I have seen in a very long time, and I am being completely serious when I say that. It was like an All-Star game, only if the guys actually played hard.

The Colorado connection played well with Carmelo finishing with a game high 28 points and Chauncey Billups playing a great game at the point. Both of them should make the final roster. Carmelo has proven that he excels in international competition and Chauncey is an ideal PG for international play. He's a great shooter, makes great decisions, plays D, and knows how to run a team.

If I were in charge of picking the final 12 man roster for the Tournament of Americas at the end of August it would be this squad:

PG -
Chauncey Billups
Jason Kidd
Kurt Heinrich

SG -
Kobe Bryant
Michael Redd
Mike Miller

SF -
Carmelo Anthony
Kevin Durant

PF/C -
Amare Stoudamire
Chris Bosh
Dwight Howard
Tyson Chandler

That's right. No Lebron.

Look, I'm not a Lebron hater, but his game could not be more unfit for international play. International play emphasizes skill, shooting and ball movement. Lebron is obviously skilled, but he has been built and molded to excel in the NBA. NBA style of play is about athleticism, strength, size and quickness. Lebron has all of those in bunches. But international teams can use different defensive schemes to take away from Lebrons biggest strengths (size and speed) and completely expose his biggest weakness (shooting). Lebron can become a liability in the international game because of the fact that he is not a good shooter at all, but thinks that he is. Which means he will end up shooting and missing wide open jumper after wide open jumper against a team like Argentina, and we'll end up losing and getting the bronze again.

I'm absolutely positive that Lebron will be on the team come end of August, and the team will be worse off because of it.

The fellas from Colorado should excel though. Carmelo proved last summer that he can dominate the international scene. Chauncey's aforementioned talents make him a great fit in the international game. In fact, I think my twelve man roster would cake walk to the title, and here's why.

To win in the international game you have to be able to shoot well. With Michael Redd, Mike Miller, Kobe, Kevin Durant, Chauncey, and Kurt Heinrich on the squad, you are virtually guaranteed to have at least a couple guys shooting the ball well in each game. This means that other teams won't be able to just pack in a zone against us and watch us shoot ourselves out of games like in the past.

Second, you need great PG play. You need someone who can keep the team together during negative runs, distribute the ball well, run the offense, and hit big shots when needed. Enter Mr. Bigshot Chauncey and J-Kidd. Hell, if Sarunas Jasikevicius and Carlos Arroyo can dominate international ball, then Chauncey and J-Kidd sure as shit ought to be able to do it too. I mean, all Jasikevicius does anymore is awkwardly scream and pump his fists after another Stephen Jackson or Baron Davis 3 pointer.... and in international play he is a superstar. I think Chauncey, Kidd, and Heinrich can do a little better. Kobe can also run the point if you want to go with a big lineup of say.... Kobe, Melo, Durant, Bosh, and Stoudemire.

Third, we've got Kobe. As much as you either love or hate Kobe, I can guarantee you that you want him on your team if you are in a close game and need a big shot. No one currently playing in the world is a more clutch performer than Kobe Bryant. And if he's in foul trouble, or hurt, or in an unforeseen trial... we've still got Melo and Chauncey to hit the big shots.

But like I said, we are going to put Lebron on the team and play him a lot... and we will struggle again. I still think we can win, but it sure would be a lot easier without Lebron. Bet you didn't think you'd hear that did you?


Commish CH said...

Didn't Coach K have Kobe in at PG in last years Bronze game? That and I don't see Nike/David Stern/big money not having LeBron on the squad.

Best way to fight off hangovers is to keep drinking. Holler.

JT said...

Kobe wasn't on last years team. He hurt his knee or vag or something.

I tried that hangover cure and I was drunk for like 8 straight days... not that there's anything wrong with that... I just didn't get anything done.