Belated Weekend/Monday Wrap-Up

Hello Folks,

Apologies for not writing since Thursday. Despite not working today, I still found a way to get nothing out until now. So, instead of banging out a singularly focused masterpiece like I usually do (I might stay up tonight and write something for tomorrow though), I figured I’d quickly address everything worth addressing that has come up over the weekend and today. Here goes:

  • So how ’bout my “Lakers in seven” pick, eh? –  I’ll admit, I fell into the same trap that the entire world repeatedly fell into all season: I looked at that roster, bought into all of the theoretical hype, and thought, why not? I guess you could blame the Lakers’ pathetic playoff performance on all of the injuries (#Kobetwitter, Metta’s knee, Steve Nash’s career, Steve Blake’s whatever it was, Dwight’s dignity), but that would just be too much of a copout.This team is the most recent proof in sports that talent is not enough to win anymore. The Lakers put together big names with absolutely no plan or concept to make them work in harmony on the court. Instead of investing in a program and finding personnel to fit a vision of the way they wanted to play the game, the front office impatiently acquired massive assets and thought, “they’ll figure it out.” Unfortunately for the Lakers, Mike Brown couldn’t put it together (or more accurately, wasn’t given the chance to), Mike D’Antoni couldn’t either, and Kobe couldn’t play 48 minutes a game and coach at the same time for the whole season. Much like the Philadelphia Eagles from a few years ago, the Lakers learned their lesson the hard way, and now the organization is at a dangerous crossroads.
  • This is the Kevin Durant that was meant to be – The only person in the NBA who could stop Kevin Durant was Russell Westbrook, and with him out indefinitely, Durant is primed to take over the offensive load that he deserves. He was the hero of game three, and I’m expecting the same for the rest of the playoffs. As great as the Spurs looked against the Fakers (so clever), I still think OKC has the best chance to come out of the west. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if KD averages 40 a game for the rest of the year.
  • Nate Robinson is the man – I don’t like to brag (wait, yes I do!), but allow me to quote myself from my NBA Playoff preview from last week:”Chicago in 6 because I don’t want to be caught with my pants down if Rose comes back, and also because with Nate Robinson in the Barclay’s Center, someone is bound to have a 40-point game.”Close enough, right? Nate didn’t do it in the Barclay’s center (and the Nets are pounding Chicago as I write this), and he only got to 34, but I’d say I still captured the essence of his impact. It baffles me that Robinson has been on four teams in two years; he’s never afraid of the moment, he’s capable of carrying a bench unit offensively for long stretches, and he plays as hard as anyone. If I’m a contender, I’m doing whatever it takes to lock him up for the next few years, and concerning the immediate future, I don’t think he’s done putting his stamp on this year’s playoffs.
  • Oh, did I say Nate Robinson is the man? I meant Stephen Curry – To me, there is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING more entertaining than watching a deadeye shooter take over a game with outrageous, “wait, what?!” jump shots. Not only is Curry is the master of this, but he’s turned into a complete point guard. The ball is on a string when he dribbles, and his court vision is as good as anyone not named “Chris Paul.” His performance in last night’s third quarter was one of the coolest playoff moments I’ve seen. Within six minutes, he completely changed the dynamic of that game and brought one of the best crowds in the NBA to life, while playing on a brutally sprained ankle. Just awesome to watch. I can’t wait for him to lead the league in all-star voting next year.
  • I don’t claim to know enough about football to evaluate the NFL Draft, but I’m excited for the Matt Barkley Era in Philly – The Barkley pickup just continues to illustrate that Chip Kelly isn’t going to turn the Eagles into a pro-Oregon. He has enough confidence in his coaching abilities to build his concepts around the players he has, which is a breath of fresh air compared to the rigid, non-negotiable Andy Reid playing style (you know, throwing 50 times a game and sticking with the Wide-Nine after the entire league solved it within a week).
  • I haven’t seen Sunday’s Mad Men yet…  But I’ve heard some bad things. So far, this season has been disappointing to me. I loved last week’s Heinz moment with Peggy and Don’s “master surpassing the apprentice” dynamic, but that’s really been the highlight so far. It concerns me that Don Draper is moving from “anti-hero” to “egomaniacal douche.” This is a show where no character is truly likable, but usually we could at least rely on Draper’s coolness to carry us past his flaws. I’m worried we’re nearing the limit with this. By the way, the plan is to be caught up by next Sunday so I can start writing Mad Men episode recaps for the blog. These should be written in the coming weeks.
  • I haven’t seen a single episode of Game of Thrones this season… But don’t worry, I’ve read the books so there’s not any real rush for me to catch up. In fact, there’s a smug satisfaction to hearing everyone freak out about the fate of Jaime Lannister, or DaenerysTtargaryen’s aggressive acquisition of the Unsullied, and just going, “Oh yeah, that was great in the book.” However, as soon as I can find an HBO Go account to mooch off of, I promise I’ll get caught up quickly. Expect some episode recaps for Thrones as well once I do.
  • Jason Collins’ announcement today should be remembered as one of the greatest moments in sports history – An excellent day for the LGBT community, and there couldn’t be a better man to lead the charge for homosexual empowerment in sports. Collins is a great role model on and off the basketball court, and his release (or outing, whatever you want to call it) was one of the best-written sports pieces I’ve ever read. My only hope is that he gets his own book, or 30 for 30, or ESPY award someday.

One housekeeping note – We have not even gotten close to reaching the MulchPile wager. If you haven’t seen this yet, let me explain briefly: I recently rediscovered the highlight DVD I sent to coaches during my high school basketball days. It’s comedic gold. So here’s the deal readers: if we ever break 150 unique visitors in a day, I will post said video with my hilarious commentary on Mulch. The site record is 148, so it’ll take some doing. But if you’re willing to show out for this, I’m willing to publicly embarrass myself.

That’s all for now, peeps. Look for some more work on Tuesday/Wednesday, maybe another playlist (since the first one went over surprisingly well), and maybe the blog’s first ever sneaker post (which is long overdue). We shall see.

Sincerely,

Doug Schultz

Man of the Mulch. WaWa Touch Screen Professional. FoHawk Enthusiast.

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