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.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

WHERE HAVE ALL THE CENTERS GONE?

After the draft I was talking to my friend Richard and he wondered if the Atlanta Hawks needed a point guard and center, why they took yet another forward? I think this is a very important question and a point often missed in today's NBA.

Going back 10 years ago there were several Hall of Fame Centers all in their prime. Remember the days of Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and a young Irishman named Shaquile O'Neil? Well that day has passed into history. What we are now left with today is a league dominated by its power forwards. Karl Malone was the prototype, but there are a great number of versatile bigmen that are simply shorter than the centers of a decade ago.

Today the western paint is dominated by guys like Elton Brand (6-8), Tim Duncan (6-11), and Amare Stoudamire (6-10). While in the east we see the rise of youngins like Dwight Howard (6-11), Chris Bosh (6-10), and Emaka Okafor (6-10). Ten years ago they all would have been punished by the Dream and the Admiral, but the biological demographics of the game have simply changed. And consequently, today's bigmen play further from the basket on offense and must be able to hold their own against these smaller towers of power on defense.

Taking this into consideration a team can get away with having smaller men like Sheldon Williams, Tyrus Thomas, or LaMarcus Aldridge playing the post. The truth is they are not going to have to worry about Chris Kaman or Jamaal Magloire going for 40 on them. On the other hand, this kind of punishment may come at the hands of Brand or Stoudamire. But if you also have a versatile power forward you can take steps to mitigate the loss. Simply look at the Pistons front line of Wallace and Wallace. Neither of them likes to play with their backs to the basket. Yet together they can dominate the paint against anybody except an old school center like Shaq.

I know it's rough kids, but sometimes we simply have to let our old stereotypes go and accept that bigmen in the NBA are 2-3 inches shorter than they were 10 years ago.
I LOVE THIS GAME

On March 30, Minnesota Timberwolves center Eddie Griffin was drunk and masturbating when he crashed his luxury SUV into a parked Suburban outside a store in Minneapolis, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the man whose Suburban was hit in the crash.


This is really why I love the NBA. The pace of the game is fast. The action is exciting. And if that's not enough there is always a little soap opera drama going onto make things crazy. Note the Minnesota speak in this money quote...

Abed Hassuneh, who is the brother of the victim, said Griffin told him, "That he was masturbating himself going down that street. That's how the accident happened because he was not paying attention. He's paying attention to that video and all of a sudden he's shoveled somebody's car on the top of the sidewalk."

Friday, June 30, 2006

PIC OF THE DAY

Rock Bottom


It's a great photo though the incense and Stoli don't really capture that Sinatra atmosphere. May I suggest the introduction of a lit cigarette resting in an ash tray accompanied by a bottle of whiskey. Also consider tinkering with the direction of the smoke to shift the composition by creating a barrier to separate "rock bottom" from the glorious reserves of vice on the otherside of the frame.

Just a thought.
KATHERINE WATCH

Katherine's in search of toast and vegemite...

G'day mate!

I hope this email finds you all well and enjoying summer! I am writing to tell you that I am leaving (yes, again!) in a matter of hours for the land of Australia. I am a People to People Delegation Leader for 36 high school students from the Grand Rapids area, and we are traveling to Aussieland for 3 weeks together.

I will send updates a couple of times to let you know how life is down under. I hope you have a great 3 weeks, and I look forward to coming back soon!

Miss you!!!!!

I will be flying in on the 19th of July!

Besitos!

Kat


And just in case you are jonesing for an update it took her less than 24 hrs to come through...

Hello!

Just writing to tell you I am in LA for a LOOOOONG layover. We took the kids to Venice beach today, so that was interesting. I lose the entire day tomorrow because it is the crossing of the international dateline, so that is weird!

The students are great, but we are all sooo tired! Only a few more hours until our flight leaves! Yeah!

Take care! I will email when I get there!

Miss you all already!

Love kat


You really gotta take your hat off to Katherine. She's like a Drake without the diarrhea, deportations, and druggings.
I WILL KILL YOU ALL

Goatlegs sent this to me at work today claiming that it was funny. Of course we couldn't watch it at work thanks to our crappy internet blocks. So I was not amused to come home and find a stupid comercial from 3 months ago. But I think we can conclude from this that first off Goatlegs has been living under a rock. Secondly, it has retarded her.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

WITH THE 60th PICK...

In the NBA draft, the Detroit Pistons select Will Blalock from Iowa State University. If you look at the scouting report he seems to be a solid choice and a great replacement for Lindsay Hunter. Though I'm not sure why Blalock came out as a junior to get picked dead last in the draft. Hopefully, Joe Dumars has found another great player in the rough. Here's the low-down...

Strengths: An exciting floor general who makes those around him better ... A true PG with great handle and passing ability ... Excellent court vision, has a knack for finding the open teammate and makes the difficult pass seem easy ... Extraordinarily long arms make him very effective in a number of areas, (he's around 6 foot and has a 6-5 wingspan, if not more) He'll throw down on the break if given an opening and routinely dunks on ally oops. Rebounds well ... Great defender with quick hands ... Has very good quickness and gets great elevation ... Despite being a bit of a gunslinger passing the ball, he rarely makes many turnovers and has great ball protection ... Free throw shooting is excellent ... Has a great first step and loves to go baseline ... Great body strength ...

Weaknesses: Must gain better consistency and range on his jumpshot ... Not a great finisher around the basket, he is improved but must become better ... Must develop a more consistent 3 point shot, he can shoot it, but if he improved it would make him deadly ... Can be too unselfish at times, must develop the ability to take over offensively in crunch time ...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

QUADROPHENIA PROJECT

Cut My Hair



















Why should I care
If I got to cut my hair?
I got to move with the fashion
Or be outcast.
I know I should fight
But my old man he's really alright,
And I'm still living at home
(Even though it won't last.)





















Zoot suit, white jacket with side vents
Five inches long.
I'm out on the street again
And I'm leaping along.
I'm dressed right for a beachfight,
But I just can't explain
Why that uncertain feeling is still
Here in my brain.
















The kids at school
Have parents that seem so cool.
And though I don't want to hurt them
Mine want me their way.
I clean my room and my shoes
But my mother found a box of blues,
And there doesn't seem much hope
They'll let me stay.
















Zoot suit, white jacket with side vents
Five inches long.
I'm out on the street again
And I'm leaping along.
I'm dressed right for a beachfight,
But I just can't explain
Why that uncertain feeling is still
Here in my brain.
















Why do I have to be different to them?
Just to earn the respect of a dance hall friend,
We have the same old row, again and again.
Why do I have to move with a crowd
Of kids that hardly notice I'm around,
I have to work myself to death just to fit in.





















I'm coming down
Got home on the very first train from town.
My dad just left for work
He wasn't talking.
It's all a game,
'Cos inside I'm just the same,
My fried egg makes me sick
First thing in the morning.
STUPID CLOWN HAIRS

Tres, you need to supervise your people better...

"On Tuesday morning, a retired Catholic priest and two veterans put on clown suits, busted into a nuclear missile launch facility, and began beating the silo cover with hammers, in an attempt to take the Minuteman III missile off-line. Seriously.

...

This was all done while wearing face paint, dunce caps, misfitting overalls, and bright yellow wigs."


I liked it better when the clown-hairs were just chasing chubbies, making babies, or singing rock and roll.
MAYBE I AM IN THE WRONG STATE?

Foreclosures
More than 33,500 foreclosures were initiated in Michigan in 2005. Metro Detroit ranks sixth among U.S. metropolitan areas in the percentage of homes in foreclosure. The state's mortgage foreclosure rate reached 2.5 percent during 2005, compared to 1.6 percent for the nation.


We all know that the Michigan economy is crap. However, it seems that I now have knowledge that would actually make me employable in that pit of economic despair.
NBA DRAFT PREVIEW

It's a good thing that the Pistons will get Orlando's pick next year via the Darko trade. That is because this is one of the worst drafts in NBA history (at least going into it). On the other hand, I have enjoyed the run-up to this one more than those of recent years because I don't have to hear about the potential up-side of a bunch of highschoolers. Only college players and one Italian are really in the draft lottery mix. The lack of "quality" and increased prevelance of college players are a result of the new age restrictions in the NBA. Next year will actually be a pretty deep draft because those that should have come straight out of highschool this year will make next years draft even more exciting and familiar than this one.

Given the lack of talent this year, there has been a great debate on the selection order. In addition, there has been trade rumours surrounding every team and their chance to move up or down. Basically all the rumours and fuss come down to "wait and see Wednesday night." In the meantime, I will rundown the top contenders handing out Ballas and Bustas. And if you're looking for a more in depth analysis on booms and busts check out this piece by Luke Winn on CNNSI.

BALLAS

Here is a list of the players I like and why...

LaMarcus Aldridge 6-11 234lbs: He is described as having the most "upside." What I like is that he has a big frame and the weight to match. Given what we know he kind of reminds me of Tim Duncan without the religious devotion to the fundamentals. So would that make him simply "The Big?"

Adam Morrison 6-8 198lbs: I got a basketball crush on him this year during the NCAA tournament. He's got wheels and can shoot from just about anywhere. And if he gets hot, y'all better watch out! Y'ALL BETTER WATCH OUT! But anyways, he is the type of player that would fit perfectly on a smallball team like Dallas or Phoenix. And even if you didn't I could see him parked along the perimeter waiting for the kickout from Emaka Okafor or Yao Ming If you need a small forward type this is your most obvious choice.

Marcus Williams 6-3 215lbs: Marcus is really the only true point guard in the draft. He averaged 8.6 assists a game as a Junior for UConn this year (that's comprable to Jason Kidd back in his Cal days). On top of that, he knows how to win after coming out of that UConn program. Also from a strategical point of view, with the NBA becoming more offensive oriented, a true point is hard to come by. Somebody needs to snatch this guy up to be this year's Chris Paul or TJ Ford.

Sheldon Williams 6-9 258lbs: This is my personal favorite guy in the draft. He comes from a great Duke program and if you look at his numbers they are great coming out of Duke with 18 pts and 10 rebounds a game. The experts are comparing him to Antonio Davis. Tondar was thinking more along the lines of the next Karl Malone or Elton Brand.

BUSTAS


Sometimes I don't have anything more than a feeling but here are the players that I'm hating on...

Andrea Bargnani
7-1 248lbs: This is the guy to draft if you want a project. But before Toronto jumps on this grenade consider some historical facts. There have never been any great Italian players in the NBA. European players are soft and take years to develop. European bigmen sure like shooting 3s. The same 3s that lead to fast breaks the other way when they are missed. The same fast breaks a 7 foot white guy would most certainly get burned on. But on the other hand he has alotta "upside potential" so take Andrea if you want the next Darko.

Tyrus Thomas 6-8 217lbs: He'll probably go #2 to the Bulls. But he seems a little scrawny for my tastes. 217lbs is too small for a power forward.

Rudy Gay 6-8 222lbs: He's got the weight, unfortunately he doesn't have the effort. Look for him to be a short athletic Keith Van Horn.

Brandon Roy 6-6 207lbs: Just a bad feeling about this one.

Rajon Rondo
6-2 171lbs: Isn't a "point guard" supposed to average more than 4.9 assists a game?

As for the individual teams, Detroit has only the last pick of the second round. They traded their first round pick to Portland. However, there are some pretty good names being battered around in the second round. I doubt it would happen but look for them to possibly move up and draft Illinois' Dee Brown as a replacement for Lindsay Hunter. Or West Virginia winner (remember the last 2 tournaments?), Mike Gansey could also be another possibility.

Unlike the playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks are the more interesting team this time of year. Historically, their drafts have been one mistake after another. Some of the lowlights have been Jon Koncak, Rumeal Robinson (yes Go Blue), DerMarr Johnson, and Boris Diaw (yes the one that played so well after being traded to Phoenix). This year the talk centers around them either getting a point guard or a big man to go with their collection of shooting guards and small forwards. Rumour has them trading down to get either Marcus Williams or Sheldon Williams. One of the rumours going around has Allen Iverson coming to Black Hollywood. There is also talk of them simply staying put and drafting the best big man on the board or simply taking one of the Williams' anyways.

Either way, I'm predicting success for the Hawks, nothing for the Pistons, and disaster for Charlotte (they have Michael Jordan now running their team). Of course none of this matters much at this point given the ownership dispute for the Hawks and the possibility of the GM and most of the front office getting fired if Steve Belkin wins in court.
THOUGHTS ON SUCCESS

My boss used to coach basketball. In addition, to us spending hours dissecting various offenses and deffenses, he sometimes sends a motivational e-mail to the team. I thought this one was worth passing on to the kids because it underlies the most important element necessary for success...

It is estimated that only about 3% of Americans have clearly written and defined goals. The other 97% neglect to set goals, perhaps because they are afraid they will not attain them. The possibility of failure prevents them from venturing outside of their comfort zone. To reach your goals, you must be willing to try new things or look at something in a new light. Remember that successful people often fail while pursuing their dreams; however, they are successful because they push themselves to move beyond their normally comfortable and routine activities.


Don't be afraid to fail. But more importantly, encourage the failures of others if it will increase your opportunity for success.
QUADROPHENIA PROJECT

Quadrophenia
I DON'T NEED ANOTHER MOMMY

Tres recently told me about troubles he was having at the office. The problem was that his female boss was on a power trip arbitrarily criticisizing his work. What made it worse is that after bitching him out she then pretended to play nice as if they had been best buds all day. Sometimes I wonder what gets into women to trigger the need to take the motherly instruction into the workforce. Recently Vox Day had some enlightening thoughts on this female phenomenon...

This is one of the most significant concepts a woman needs to understand about men. Most men absolutely loathe being told what to do and will barely tolerate it from an authority they recognize as legitimate, they will not accept it from a would-be substitute mommy. If you see a man respond to a direct female order by blinking, remaining silent and looking very blank, he is almost surely swallowing the vulgar suggestion that he would give to another man by way of response in the same situation. And the chances are very high that he will somehow manage to forget to obey.


BTW - Don't you tell me my business devil woman! I'll drink my beer as I please!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

PIGPEN ON FUTBOL FUNDAMENTALS

Pigpen on Soccer scoring...

You're totally correct, scoring early in soccer is crucial since goals are usually few and far between. The scoring as we all know is very similar to hockey, but having played both in HS (one well, one not so well) I can tell you that mentally it is alot easier to come back in hockey. I think that might have more to so with the mechanics of the game play as well as the drastic difference in area of play. Granted Kenowa was not very good or consistant in the game of soccer (senior year was the best at the time, they've since gotten light years better), but when playing a team that is equal or better the comeback trail is a steep road to climb. Not having to worry about things like two line passes or icing defending corners and dir/indir kicks becomes alot easier simply because of the oppourtunity to clear the zone. On the other side, a defense that can execute a good offside trap will be effective all day.

- I saw that played beautifully in the dramatic Germany vs. Poland game that went 1-0 but not until Germany scored in injury time.

The point is, that scoring first couldn't be more important, the chaotic nature of the game in and of itself doesn't really allow for set plays. 10 guys on the feild doing essentially the same job just in different areas and considering the size of the playing surface make scoring first critical and thus making it simpler for that team to hold the lead.
QUADROPHENIA PROJECT

The Real Me















Can you see the real me, can you, can you?




















I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink.
I sit and tell him about my weekend,
But he never betrays what he thinks.
Can you see the real me, doctor?
















I went back to my mother
I said, "I'm crazy ma, help me."
She said, "I know how it feels son,
'Cause it runs in the family."
Can you see the real me, mother?





















The cracks between the paving stones
Look like rivers of flowing veins.
Strange people who know me
Peeping from behind every window pane.
The girl I used to love
Lives in this yellow house.
Yesterday she passed me by,
She doesn't want to know me now.
Can you see the real me, can you?

















I ended up with the preacher,
Full of lies and hate,
I seemed to scare him a little
So he showed me to the golden gate.
Can you see the real me preacher?















Can you see the real me doctor?
Can you see the real me mother?
Can you see the real me-me-me-me-me-memememe-me?