A Little Tenderness

To begin, I would like to talk about, in my and many others opinion, the best player on the planet: Kobe Bryant.

And what I want to talk about is his shot over the backboard. I have heard a lot of people spout their amazement of his shot, going to the point that it is a shot that will be in highlight reels for years to come. No. Undoubtedly, it was an impressive shot and a difficult one. But, it wasn’t that impressive. It isn’t even his best shot of the year, in my humble opinion. His Jordan-esque shot against the Pistons had a higher degree of difficulty than that H-O-R-S-E shot.

If you think that this is one of the greatest things ever, you don’t know how talented NBA players truly are. Go onto youtube and look at Gilbert Arenas make 73 out of 100 three point shots, with one hand. Players routinely make shots that would leave even the most talented of amateurs with their jaws on the floor.

I am not saying that this shot wasn’t spectacular, because it was. I am saying that Kobe can do few things that would shock me. That is how talented and special he is as a basketball player.

Moving on to another subject, Greg Oden posted a 24-12 game for the Trailblazers as they faced the Chicago Bulls last night. What does this mean? I have no clue, and I’m guessing he was aided by the fact that the Bulls have Joakim Noah as their starting center. That felt like more of a shot at Noah than I had intended, but what I mean is that Noah is probably best suited as a power forward, not a center, so it is a disadvantage when he goes against the better centers in the league.

Still, doesn’t it provide the same hope and potential that the Blazers thought they were drafting two years ago? If Greg Oden turns out to be anywhere near productive on a nightly basis, the Blazers go from potential threat to the contenders to serious contender along with the Lakers and the struggling Spurs.

Speaking of the Spurs, they are struggling and struggling bad. I mean, if they can’t turn it around soon, they are going to struggle to make it into the playoffs. Now, I have the utmost faith in Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan to turn the Spurs around before the year is done. However, their lackadaisical regular season play from the past couple of years has shifted into 4th gear this year, struggling to hover around .500 for the year.

I thought, and I have been vocal about this, that the Spurs had retooled and were ready to once again claim the throne as Western Conference champions and possible NBA champions. Right now, I am looking like a complete fool. If the season were to end today, the Spurs would finish one spot out of the playoffs and the Oklahoma City Thunder would be in 8th place. The fact that the Thunder has improved is not really surprising; the fact that the Spurs have won as much as they have lost is very surprising.

Still, even though the Spurs have struggled mightily this season, I cannot go against all reason and predict that they will miss the playoffs with that talented of a roster and that great of a head coach.

Enough basketball, lets talk Brady Quinn.

He played well against the Lions. It was reminiscent of his college days at Notre Dame when he torched opponents weekly while wearing the golden dome. Then again, the Lions are practically a college defense, or at least looked that way when trying to defend the pass.

Still, it seemed that he had enough arm strength to move the ball down the field when he had time to set up and throw. He also showed some good touch on short passes and intelligent play overall.

The question then becomes, is this performance a sign of things to come or a mirage in the desert? The fan in me wants desperately to say that this is a precursor to a great career where Quinn proves the doubters wrong and the believers true. However, as a reasonable fan, I realize that this is has not been the norm for Quinn since he came into the NFL and he was playing against a very bad pass defense.

Still, I enjoyed his play despite the fact that the Browns lost. I haven’t been able to say that in nearly two years about a Browns quarterback with the one exception being Quinn when he played Denver last season.

Still, the Browns were not good, as has been the case for every game this season. I feel bad for criticizing Mangini, but I can’t eschew him from any blame when he was definitely the driving force behind the roster changes from last year and they are definitely worse than last year. It seems like a coaching change is inevitable at this point, which is unfortunate, but likely necessary.


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