Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

WEST SHIFT

From Seth...

"It just struck me how much better the East is than the West this year. Who'd have thought in 2002 that it would take just three years for such a monster shift."


Right on, I think the reason for that is two-fold...

First, I think we are simply seeing the draft place more talent with the terrible teams in the east. This is exactly how the Bulls, Cavs, and Bucks came of age. In the meantime, we also saw teams like Miami draft Wade, Pistons draft Tayshaun, and Phillie get Iguodala and Korver. It makes a big difference if you can get your draft pick to pay off. Just ask Kwame.

Secondly, the West's rise had much to do with a more spendthrift Paul Allen (Jail Blazers Owner) willy nilly style of management. Teams like Dallas, Portland, and Minnesota built teams by throwing money at talented journeyman. However, every year these teams caved in upon themselves. These days were seeing more teams adopt the Joe Dumars model. If you look at Denver, Phoenix, and Houston they are taking a lesson from Indiana, Detroit, and San Antonio and actually taking the time to build solid teams instead of trying to glue together an NBA Live collection of talent. As we see the East rise, they adopted this style especially in Boston, Chicago, and Washington. Sure, they are still a piece or two away from challenging the Pacer, Piston, and Heat big dawgs. But with a key injury we could see any one of them rise like the 2002 Pistons or 2005 Nuggets.
CAN'T DO ANY WORSE

Seth on the only NBA female official, Violet Palmer...

"Golf has got it all wrong. You don't integrate women by making them play to the standards of the men. You do it by making the men so bad there's no way she can screw it up.

Who would you rather have officiating an NBA Finals game, Jerry Crawford, or a woman?

Answer: Is the woman a Crawford too?

Who would you rather have officiating an NBA Finals game, Dan Crawford, or Sherron Watkins?

Answer: Sherron! She, at least, has enough guts to blow the whistle on a Texan.

Who would you rather have officiating an NBA Finals game, Dick Bevetta or Hillary Clinton?

Answer: Hillary. No, wait, I forgot, she's a New York fan now, too.

Who would you rather have officiating an NBA Finals game, Ron Garretson, or Ann Coulter?

Answer: Hmmm..tough one. One's a scheming partisan and the other makes up wild accusations. Or is it one imagines phantom fouls and the other does whatever they can to make one team win. I'm confused.
THE DETROIT PISTONS

Going into this season I was a bit worried about our Pistons for two reasons. First of all, in an offensive oriented NBA, I thought the Pistons had a lack of players that could create their own shot or offense. Only Chauncey Billups could take advantage of a mismatch to get his game going. Rip, 'Sheed, and Tayshaun all showed potential over the years but they were all complimentary players in the frontcourt. They all relied upon the work of others to get their open looks.

But when the season ended and Next Town Brown headed off to that abortion known as Isiah's Knicks, Joe Dumars brought in Flip Saunders who placed the team's focus on offense. In the first 4 games of this season, the Detroit Pistons are outscoring their opponents by an amazing average of 17 ppg. This means they are currently averaging 102.5 ppg. While their defense hasn't suffered a bit as they are only giving up 85.3 ppg. Sure its early and they haven't been tested yet by a legitimate contender, but these stats reveal we are dealing with a totally different kind of team. They actually can compete offensively with juggernauts like San Antonio or the Suns and Supersonics of last year. Come playoff time, this is going to make a huge difference when they have the confidence to turn it on against the Pacers. Instead of getting stuck in a 5 minute draught, they will now be able to create a little offense from a variety of sources to break these slumps and compliment their defense.

My second concern was the age of this current team. I am certainly not advocating a youth movement at this time. But the truth is that history has shown us that there is a fine line between the NBA elites performing at the top of their game and the wheels flying off as injury and mediocrity creep up like Father Time on Dick Clark. If we look back at some of our more recent champs, one can see a quick decline once the pinnacle was reached. The 94-95 Rockets remained competitive but fell off as Olajuwon became injury prone, and they filled the team with superstars like Barkley and Pippen on the backside of their careers. Another example is the Bad Boy Pistons. In 1991 a bitter Isaiah Thomas Isaiah Thomas and Bill Lambier were swept in the Eastern Conference Finals. By 1993 Isiah, Laimbeer, Vinny Johnson, Chuck Daly had all retired and we were rebuilding with Ronny Rothstein and a couple of youngins named Allen Houston and Lindsey Hunter.

But anyways, with Wallace, Wallace, and McDyess all in their early 30s we could possibly see the beginning of the slide. Unless you're in tip-top Karl Malone or Rip Hamilton shape, this is where nagging injuries can begin to hamper a great player. On top of that, McDyess already has shaky knees. Now Flip like Brown is splitting all 80 minutes of the 4-5 positions between Wallace, Wallace, and McDyess so there is an increased risk of injury and train-wreck potential there. However, like Joe Dumars I would be willing to roll the McDyess and try to squeeze as many championships as possible out of this lineup. Another option for relief in the injury department is the great benefit of Flip Saunders and is his willingness to go to the bench. All of a sudden, players like Carlos Arroyo, Maurice Evans, and Darko Milicic are getting more significant playing time. This will certainly help plant the seeds of future success and cover ourselves against that potential collision with the injury train. In my opinion, this team has been performing better than expected. I'm not sure if they can keep it up for a full season. However, Flip has always been the type of coach to take every game of the regular season seriously so we should see the Pistons grab the top seed in the East. So this season, watch to see Detroit stick it to Indiana on their way to another NBA Finals.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

THE 5TH COLUMN

Check out Pat Buchanan's latest piece as he connects the death of Western Civilization with the current French Intifada. Tonight was the 12th day of riots and yet the govt. hasn't done anything. I wonder, if the socialists continue to show themselves to be so inept, how long before we see a statist regime take hold and resort to Europe's favorite murderous past-time of genocide.

Well Seth, you certainly picked a GREAT time to go visit Paris.
RANT FROM THE FROG'S LIPS

Here's an insiders look at the French Intifada from Seth's old exchange student. Pardon the grammer, but we're dealing with the English of an actual Frenchman...

"Hi Seth!
Thank you to care about us! Situation in France seems quite difficult nowadays. And I know that the world is watching us as if it was a civilian war! But it isn't! I saw a piece of a CNN (i think) report, showing the mess in here. They are showing you hundreds of policemen and dozen of car burining, people angry, etc. But those car burning are taking place in a certain number of towns, but not in each one. In Lille, where I now live, a part of the town was disturbed last night...

I don't know what you here about this in USA. But, as I understood, here is my sight of the story:

In France, we have a part of the population who is from Algeria, Maroc... They often live in buildings, in a part of the town, well identified by everybody. As they are here, it causes racism; and as there is racism, they feel oppressed. As everywhere. They have a reputation of bad guys (when we see groups of those youngs speaking very loud, respecting nothing...).

The facts:
October 27th, three boys of this ethny hided themselves in an electricity center (i don't really know how to translate), after having seen policemen, and trying to escape from them. Actually, there is a really bad relationship between young peoples from those "ghettos" and police. They can't bear police. So they hided there, and two of them died because of electricity. This increased the hate of some of those young against police, society, and every shape of authority, and the way they found to show this was to burn cars.

BUT
This fact took place near Paris. The first cars burned in the city where the boys died. But as (I think) a part of those youngs are stupid (!!! Respecting nothing, not even teachers, anyway, they don't go to school!!), they just feel this is a GAME, and don't even know why they do that. They just make more mess than usually, reinforced by the fact that it is shown on TV, and I'm pretty sure they are proud of it!!! I send you 07nov.pdf, this is an edition of a local newspaper of Lille. You can see page 6 "on kiffe trop de voir tout flamber à la tele", which means with their words, "We enjoy to see everythin' burnin' on TV". It becomes a kind of competition between towns, to see which "ghetto" burns the more cars! I let you read it (french test!).

Whatever, know that this is mostly material attacks, they don't agresse people (excepted policemen, firemen), so we are fine. But thank you to care about us. I am curious to know how things are showed to americans, could you explain a bit to me what you understood of this story, before I explained it? For example, what did you think of France situation before writing this mail to me? Thanks.

Yesterday evening, our president Chirac did a talk. But he just said something like "we must restore security, in the rules of the republic..."
NBA PREVIEW AND THE RISE OF MAMBA

I've started on the NBA preview. Below are a few quick hits to get the ball rolling. If this doesn't quench your thirst for smart hoops coverage, here is Part II of the Sports Guy's break down.

Money Quote...

"Sacramento

Your eight-man rotation for the Kings this season: Mike Bibby, Peja Stojakovic, Bonzi Wells, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Brad Miller, Kenny Thomas, Morrissey, Trent Reznor.

All right, I made the last two up. But from a chemistry standpoint, has there ever been a more depressing team than the Kings? All of these guys carry themselves like Charlie Sheen in "Ferris Bueller" -- you might not see a single smile from a Kings starter this season. (Poor Rick Adelman should just start dressing in all black like Richard Lewis.) Seriously, I like Geoff Petrie, but how could he slap together a nucleus like that without passing out complimentary Prozac during games? I'm depressed just writing about these guys -- instead of warmup jackets in the layup lines, they should wear trench coats. I see these guys playing the part of brooding underachievers for a few months, then Adelman getting fired and being replaced by either Katie Couric or Richard Simmons."


I'd have to agree with that. It's obvious that the days of C-Webb, Vlade Divac, and Stojakovic are over. However, they have done a pretty good job of sewing the seeds of rebuilding and with a bit of look in a weakened west (yes, the west is weak), this team should be able to slip into the playoffs.
MIAMI HEAT

I'm very intrigued by this team. On the face many people want to compare them to the 2004 Lakers. However, if you look closer this team is better built for a game of NBA Live. It is a highly talented team where each position compliments the rest of the team. And if the title were awarded for talent or GM ability alone this would be the top team. With that being said the real test is going to be for Stan Van Gundy/Pat Reiley to get them all to buy into a team atmosphere, fall in line behind Dwayne Wade, and work together like a Dumars Pistons team. On top of that, this team is being tested early with the injury to Shaq. Now call it a hunch, but I think this is about the point where we start to see the wheels fall off Shaq. He's just getting too old and fat to be carrying around that kind of weight. Time will catch up with him this year manifesting itself as the injury train. Bla-BLAM!! The Heat are certainly going to struggle early as Antoine Walker will certainly have himself a typical 8-25 night or "White Chocolate" (Jason Williams) pretends he's the flash to the detriment of the team. But I think it is safe to say they should easily win the Southeast Conference. Now when the playoffs roll around this will give them the 3rd seed. I predict they will have sorted out all the team personality issues. However, I just have a feeling nagging injuries are going to keep this team down and they will get bounced in the first or second round. Shaq will no longer be Super. Don't expect crusty old Alonzo Mourning to be throwing down a 20-10. And after carrying the team for 82 games, look for Wade to be like young Jordan and simply too plum tuckered out to contribute 40 min a night come May.
NEW JERSEY NETS

Many of the jabroni analysts seem to be all about the Nets this year. My guess is that these would be the former player illiterate types because they all seem to neglect the fact that THE NETS DON'T HAVE A FRONT COURT. Now don't get me wrong, with Kidd, Jefferson, and Carter this team is certainly going to be dangerous. On any given night one of those guys could potentially blow up and single handedly beat you with a top notch performance. However, the roster is going to catch up with this team on average. You can't win too many games if you're getting bitchslapped on the boards or other teams are pounding it down low on a nightly basis. Look for them to be the team that sneaks into the playoffs that nobody wants to face.
MILWAUKEE BUCKS

It seems we've got ourselves quite a logjam of talent in the Central. The punditry is all about Indiana, Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago. Of course the one team that should not be ignored is this Bucks team. Sure they have quietly stunk the last few years. But the big difference this year is they should have all their elements assembled and healthy. Look for Andrew Bogut to go on a tear on his way to Rookie of the Year. Though I don't think he is on par with Dwight Howard or Emeka Okafor, it's rare to find a solid bigman in the NBA. What more is also rare, is to have 2 of them. With the recent addition of former all-star Jamal Magliore, this Bucks team all of a sudden can match up quite nicely with the Pistons. Plus with a healthy TJ Ford returning and Michael Redd (best pure shooter in the NBA) lining up along the perimeter this team has a nice balance that should pay off with a spot in the playoffs.
THE RETURN OF RICHARDS RAGE

This time it's the Celts...

"We'd all had quite a bit to drink," he said.

Mr Jones said Mr Roughan laughed as he "bowled the head up the hill, like it was a bowling ball". The hearing was told there were more than 100 knife wounds on Shepherd's body when it was found. Detective Sergeant Craig Williams said most of the wounds were believed to have been inflicted after death."


He took his head off with a tomahawk and bowled with it. WTF.

Monday, November 07, 2005


"But just like a child, you make me smile when you care for me" Posted by Picasa