Friday, May 27, 2011

2 Legit 2 Quip

Many of our posts can get quite wordy, and get dangerously close to being considered ramblings.  Don’t kid yourself, this is not an apology, but merely an acknowledgement that our transcendent words can sometimes be too much.   A few weeks back we decided to post an article that had a different vibe to it, a different feel.  It was around the NFL draft and rather than writing a dissertation about how many needs and holes the Redskins had, we decided to just grip it and quip it.  The feedback was positive and since our brains are faster than either one of us lasting with Jessica Biel (I’m calling shenanigans if you think you could last more than 5 pumps) we decided to dedicate Fridays to one liners.   So allow us to push you through your final work day of the week with some quick hitting comedy and enjoy the first official installment of “One-Liner Friday” a.k.a. “2 Legit 2 Quip”.

Today’s edition is dedicated to the habitually disappointing franchise who calls D.C. their home, The Washington Redskins. 

Carlos Rogers’s hands are so bad that deer laugh at him.

Carlos Rogers’s hands are so bad he couldn’t catch toilet paper thrown by Junior Floyd.

Carlos Rogers’s hands have a lower approval rating than Muammar Ghadafi.

Carlos Rogers's hands are so bad, Gigli got better reviews.

Carlos Rogers's hands are good like JWoww's bazingas are real. 

Carlos Rogers bites on double moves more than Mr. Mackey says mmm'kay.

Carlos Rogers bites on the double move more times than Lindsey Lohan has been in the courtroom.

Carlos Rogers bites on the double move more times than DeAngelo Hall counts his stacks...well maybe not more than that.

Speaking of MeAngelo....
MeAngelo Hall craves paychecks like Snooki craves pickles…and weiner.

MeAngelo Hall loves money like Ronnie loves sticking himself with D-Bol and hitting the gym.

MeAngelo Hall loves money like a guy driving a white van loves a little league field.

MeAngelo Hall loves money more than he loves himself…waaaaaaiiiiiitttttt a minute.

MeAngelo Hall loves himself the way Drew Storen loves locking down the 9th.

MeAngelo Hall loves himself like Rosie O’Donnell loves wearing flannels while listening to Melissa Ethridge as she writes her keynote speech for Bryn Mawr’s graduation. 

MeAngelo Hall loves himself like Johnny Sack’s wife loves cake.

A party with out Fred Smoot is like the 1996-1997 Baltimore Orioles' lineup with out Bobby Bonilla.

A party without Fred Smoot is like working a full day without going on Facebook.

A party without Fred Smoot is like an Ashburn area strip club without Albert Haynesworth.

A party without Fred Smoot is like an unofficial Redskins practice during a Lockout without a QB controversy between two mediocre quarterbacks. 

A party without Fred Smoot is like going a day in the middle of summer in D.C. without applying the necessary amount of Gold Bond.

A party without Fred Smoot is like watching The Pursuit of Happyness without crying.  

A party without Fred Smoot is like Speed 2 without Keanu Reeves.

A party without Fred Smoot is like Saved by the Bell: The College Years without Jessie Spanos or Lisa Turtle.  

A party without Fred Smoot is like Nyjer Morgan playing a game of baseball without an entire tin of skoal in his front lip.

A party without Fred Smoot is like M.C. Hammer as an investment banker.

A party without Fred Smoot is like Rain Man without "Iko Iko" 

A party without Fred Smoot is like the Redskins with a good quarterback.

A party without Fred Smoot is like Dan Snyder not suing someone over tickets.

A party without Fred Smoot is like the Redskins fanbase being happy with the past 12 years.

A party without Fred Smoot is like the ALCS without Jeffrey Maier.

A party without Fred Smoot is like Keving Garnett donating to a cancer foundation.

A party without Fred Smoot is like Kobe Bryant going to Colorado to ski, only.

A party without Fred Smoot is like Lebron James doing anything without ESPN giving him an hour long special. "TONIGHT ON...'THE DEFECATION', Lebron drops a deuce!"

A party without Fred Smoot is like Mike Bibby having a pulse.

A party without Fred Smoot is like Todd Coffey eating a salad. 

Daniel Snyder has less friends than Gargamel.

Daniel Snyder deserves owner of the year about as much as Arnold deserves family man of the year. Friggin spermanator.

Daniel Snyder needs to over pay another aging and over hyped star like Danielle staub needs to make another sex tape.

The Spermantor, Jesse James, and Mel Gibson went out for dinner and all they could talk about was how big of a douchebag Dan Snyder is.

No one attends Dan Snyder’s birthday party, not even his wife and children.

In conclusion: The Redskins are about as stable as a dinner party on the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Letter to the Editor

Well this is exciting, I mean really exciting. We've been at this blogging thing for more than a month and we just assumed the only people who read us were our parents.  We are still having trouble gaining a following on the old twitski but we aren't hitting the panic button anytime soon.  Last week we wrote an article about the upcoming NBA Draft and what our beloved Wizards could potentially do.  This article painted a mural with the English language, but it garnered us our very first letter to the editor!  We strongly encourage many more of these and please contact us at  


This letter is in reference to the May 17 piece titled “Ernie Grunfeld’s Lucky Powerballs?”

As a devout reader of the BOTB, Washington Wizards lifer, and owner of an unhealthy obsession with all things NBA (the draft specifically), words cannot describe the jubilation that came over me when I saw all three come together in this post. The excitement could best be described as a mix between “I just put $50 on Animal Kingdom and he is tearing down the back stretch” and “I just finished a 6-year prison sentence and am about to get some strange”. As I polished off the article, I must admit that the incredible high I had going into it had been reduced to a state of confusion, and perhaps a little bit of anger. The anger, of course, was not directed towards the beloved BOTB writers, but rather towards two men who have made me scratch my head more than a psoriasis patient, Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee. The confusion I spoke of came from the ideas that…

a) McGee is a valuable building block for the Wizards, and
b) that Blatche has any sort of discernable value as a trade piece in any league besides the WNBA

Unfortunately I do not have a venue to express such genuine distaste for said players, which is why I turn to you. Opinions are just that, so this is not intended to be a personal attack on you two as writers, but rather a very personal attack on McGee and Blatche.

I don’t think there is any denying the physical skills that both of these guys possess.  Just watching McGee in warm-ups, he’s everything you could want in a post player. He’s a legitimate 7 feet tall, has an even longer wing-span, and can jump higher than a lot of guards in the league. He’s even put on enough weight to hold his own in the paint with a lot of the leagues post players. Blatche has prototypical size for a power forward but can move like a small forward. He’s got soft touch out to about 18 feet and is crafty at finishing around the basket. Sounds like a hell of a front-court to me. Physically, these guys pass every test in the book. Mentally? They don’t make grades low enough to describe what they’d get on that test.

The mental game of basketball can typically go one of two ways. The first is just good, clean unintelligence. These types of players don’t remember plays, are out of position defensively, take terrible shots and basically are a coach’s nightmare when it comes to X’s and O’s. I’ve never met Andray or JaVale, so I won’t go as far as to question their intelligence as human beings, but all bets are off when they step on a basketball court.  They insist on shooting 15-foot fade-aways with a hand in their face instead of attacking the rim. They get so excited about trying to block a shot that they forget they just left Jordan Crawford under the basket trying to box-out Dwight Howard. These things don’t dawn on unintelligent players because they don’t understand the concept of defensive alignment or good shot selection.

Now, these unintelligent players are tough to overcome because it’s tough to hide their mental deficiencies on the court, but by no means are they unsalvageable. Some of these guys can carve out a productive NBA career by bringing great energy, outworking the other guys on the floor, and playing within themselves (see Chris Anderson).  Unfortunately, Andray and JaVale posses neither of those qualities, which brings us back to my second, and most important point about the mental side of basketball.

You have to give a shit about winning.

I’ve watched both players evolve from their rookie seasons into the players they are today, and not once have they instilled any confidence in me that they care about winning games, let alone championships.  Maybe McGee doesn’t know any better because he’s been a part of dysfunctional teams since coming into the league, but Blatche has no excuse.  His first three years in the league were as part of a playoff team with proven veterans, an environment very conducive to a young player trying to find his way in the league.  He played sparingly early in his career but showed enough flashes that in his third year he was finally asked to be a consistent part of the rotation.  Rather than embracing the opportunity (as any aspiring NBA player would do), Blatche coasted through his 20 minutes per game, played hard when he felt like it, and complained about not getting his.  But it was too late at this point.  Big Ern had already extended Blatche before the season so Wiz fans were left hoping that somewhere along the way he would obtain some sort of passion for the game.

Every year after that was the same shit, different day.  We’d read all summer long about how Blatche is committed this year; that he spent hours in the gym and is ready to make the leap.  We even heard about a post-season conversation he had with his mom that completely changed his attitude on basketball.  Wiz fans began talking about him as the centerpiece for the future, like he was the next Kevin Garnett.  Ol’ Blatche was even threw us a bone and gave us a great quarter of a season every now and again, but asking him to sustain that was just a little more than he could handle.  It wasn’t long until Flip was handing Blatche his annual one-game suspension for complaining about his touches or refusing to re-enter the game.  Even when he wasn’t stirring up trouble off the court, his overall body language was that of genuine disinterest and his actual body was painfully out of shape.

Blatche is definitely an extreme case, but McGee still possesses all of the same underlying qualities of someone lacking the mental makeup to succeed in the NBA.  We’re talking about two guys who probably gave the best efforts of their careers in the waning moments of a regular season game trying to get a triple-double.  It was early in this most recent season in which Flip Saunders openly criticized McGee for playing with too much style and not enough substance.  McGee would later go on to admit that he began trying harder because he “just didn’t want to get yelled at anymore.”

I’m as guilty as anyone for buying into the off-season hype and the physical talent, mainly because I wanted so badly for the Wizards to be relevant again.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short existence, though, it’s that zebras don’t change their stripes.  If you don’t love basketball and genuinely care about playing hard and winning, a quick conversation with your mom about playing harder is not going to flip the switch.  In a sense, we can’t blame these two because they just don’t have the competitive gene that drives a lot of the great athletes of today.  They care about their stats and their money.  Basketball is their job, and as long as that check keeps hitting their bank account, they could care less.

The NBA is filled with Andray Blatche’s and JaVale McGee’s, but players of this nature are seldom found on teams that are serious about competing.  You need guys that have an overwhelming commitment to winning.  If they’re unhappy with their minutes or their touches, they keep their mouths shut because they’re fucking pros.  They need to be the kind of guys that would play for free, and actually mean it.  I heard a quote from Kevin Durant the other day while he was discussing the possibility of leaving Oklahoma City for a bigger market.  “I don’t want to be an icon,” he said, “I just love playing basketball.”  Durant is an icon whether he likes it or not, but I believe him, and boy is it refreshing.  I also think John Wall is built the same way, and believe he has what it takes to be an NBA champion.  I just hope every day that he doesn’t have his career wasted playing alongside the enigmas that are Blatche and McGee.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beltway Series 2011: Natstown Newsletter

By Tyler
     So here’s the deal, screw hyperlinks and pictures.  Us savvy real D.C. fans don’t read picture books and thus don’t need them to justify any argument as to why our beloved NATTIES will take this series.  Following our Baltimore fan that lives 50 miles away from the “epicenter of Baltimore baseball,”  we’re going to attack this point counterpoint style.  Let’s get one thing clear, both of these teams are mediocre at best and if one/both finish with a record within 5 games of .500 the season HAS to be considered a success.
     Corb just asked me, “remember when a few years ago when…..oh wait you’re too young.”  To which my retort obviously was, “when the Orioles were good?”
We’re back:
Let me first start by saying this is not nearly as big a rivalry right now as some may think.  Mainly because us upper crust D.C. folk are too busy supporting the other major sports teams in our market, or holding down jobs that require us to work more than 20 hours a week, just trying to run a country.  See in D.C. there’s a pro hockey and basketball team, our sports frenzy is a year round ordeal not just a fall and summer combination of disappointment.  It is a valid point however that the Nationals have been winning the proverbial “arms race,”  drafting earlier and more often than the Birds, but that’s yielded some decent talent you could say, that Harper guy I think has a few bombs and is hitting .350+, oh yea and he’s 18, whatever no big deal.  That Strasburg guy, yea he’s hurt but he threw 100+ with an arm ligament, now they’re taking a ligament out of his enormous legs and putting it in his shoulder, what’s he gonna throw now, 110-115?  Decent future there. 
 So let’s jump into the matchups shall we.  Marquis vs. Arrieta.  Ben was kind enough to provide the steak of why he thinks Arrieta is going to win.  I’ll provide the sizzle as to why Marquis is going to pwn him. Guy hasn’t lost a game since April 5, bit of a tear there.  Currently sports a 3.54 ERA with a 5-1 record, your read that right, 5-1.  (Reynolds just struck out after being ahead 2-0, oh and he did it on 3 curves out of the zone, nice trade McFAIL)  Back again, so 5-1, just to make everyone aware that the current wins leader in the MLB is sitting at 6, Jered (awful spelling) Weaver, and Trevor Cahill.  Marquis could join that group on Friday, 6 wins for a NATIONALS starting pitcher before June, has that ever happened? Even when they were the Expos?  Probably not, Marquis is putting an All-Star campaign together, but yea I guess he is kind of unattractive.  Also, here’s a stat we’ll revisit, the Orioles as a team are hitting .247……… .247.  4 of Arrieta’s wins are against the Twins, Mariners, White Sox and his one quality opponent the Yankees.  Even still not exactly a murderers row.  Also, I’m going to say that while Arrieta is a on a roll, he’s still young and probably cannot sustain it, law of averages says he’s due for a clunker, set to arrive Friday night at Camden Yards. 
Lannan vs. Tillman, don’t care about this one, Lannan’s a tool and Tillman can’t get his head right 5.35 ERA with 1.55 WHIP (meaning on average he allows about two guys on base PER INNING) that’s not a good number, hes sporting a mighty fine 2-3 record, (Markakis just grounded out to end the 12th with THE BASES LOADED, just further murdering my fantasy team by the way, my fault for drafting him really)  I will say from a pure “stuff,” point of view, Tillman has it in spades, I’ll give duh Birds this one, because I really don’t care much for Lannan, see Ben’s story below.   
The Sunday matchup is the best one of the series.  Jordan Zimmerman against Zach Britton.  Britton is plain disgusting and the other Zimmerman is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, all things considered he’s pitching quite well, especially that last outing where he twirled to the tune of 11 k’s.  This is the game I would want to go see, mainly because I haven’t seen Britton in person and I think he alone is worth the price of admission.  I think Zims power arm and great stuff is enough to overcome what is sure to be another quality start from Britton.  I guess I just don’t see a decent line-up that is heating up in Baltimore as they are still hitting .247 with their 3b and the massive assclown known as Luke Scott barely hitting his weight.  You’re probably wondering, why is that conservative, anarchist, ass-clown within 20 feet of this glorious blog.  Because I never miss an opportunity to bash someone that thinks his opinion is worth a shit when it comes to talking about where our president was born and continues not to drop the subject, sweet .233 average by the way.   Nats take this one, and the series because they get to play with the DH, something they’re not accustomed to, works more to their advantage to pick up another hitter than it is for the Orioles to proceed with business as usual.  
Buck Showalter and Jim Riggleman.  Ok really quick, does anybody else find it as funny as I do that, Orioles management, knowing they don’t have any really marketable talent this year, (keep in mind this year, I think a lot of these guys will take the leap next year) figured they’d market their new manager, that hasn’t been able to stay with a team for more than 4 years, has only finished on the top of his division twice in a 13 year career, with no world series rings?  Funny right, he’s a 54 year old gray haired manager that you see on the field for about 30 seconds a game.  It’s actually pretty savvy, wonder why no other teams do it, yep, laying the sarcasm on pretty thick.  Listen I’m not here saying that Jim Riggleman is a genius or is going to take the Nationals to the next level, but I do think he manages in the NL which any baseball fan will tell you is tougher to manage in.  Hitting for the pitcher, double substitutions is just more difficult to deal with then trotting out 9 professional hitters and seeing what happens. (Luke Scott just popped out, finishing 1-6, surprisingly that won’t help his .233 average)
Overall I think by Sunday evening we’ll be able to put two curly W’s in the scorebook.  Can’t wait for the rematch in D.C.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beltway Series 2011: Birdland Bias

By Ben

Duke and UNC.  Michigan and Ohio State.  Yankees and Red Sox.  These three match ups have two things in common;  1) they are the most vicious and traditional rivalries in all of sports. 2) they do not hold a candle to the rivalry between the Washington Natinals and the Baltimore Orioles.  This may seem outlandish to people on the outside of this blood thirsty rivalry, but not to the proud patrons of the D.C./Baltimore area.  This series is known as The Battle of the Beltway, The Beltway Series, or The Beltway Battle. The Series consists of two separate three game sets; one at Camden Yards and the other at Nationals Park.  Have these two teams been embarrassingly bad over the past few years? Yes. But does that really make it any less of a rivalry, I say no.  Friction and eventual hatred is inevitable when two passionate fan bases reside so dang close to each other. Fans of other teams probably think we are nuts and do not take this rivalry seriously, but can we blame them? I mean come on, the only thing The Nats and O’s have been competing at is who is going to pick higher in the MLB Draft (Nats have been running away with this one lately).  But our poor records do not diminish the fuel to this rivalry.

For years the O’s were D.C.’s baseball team.  People from Northern Virginia and Montgomery County would go toe-to-toe with evening rush hour gridlock just to go to Camden Yards to watch Cal and Brady lead the Birds to victory.  You can still hear O’s fans during the National Anthem (skip ahead to 1:27) at D.C. sporting events.   This has become a source of bitterness in the rivalry as Nats fans are starting to complain about a tradition that has been in D.C. since Jimmy Carter was cracking peanut shells in the Oval Office. Basically, long before the Natinals joined our cities’ losing tradition.  Peter Angelos, the Owner of the Orioles, a man who is hated by his own fan base at Snyderian levels, attempted to prevent the Natinals from moving to D.C. because he knew this would impact his fan base and ticket sales.  The close proximity of the cities and the unbreakable passion for the two teams are most responsible for the bad blood.  Whether you drive on 495 or 695, this series is important to you. If you’re team loses the season series you are more than likely going to react like this. (WARNING: Absurdly explicit language. Watch the whole thing…trust me.)

A little history on the Series: 




 The 2011 edition of the hottest rivalry in the DMV kicks off Friday Night at Camden Yards and there will be another 3 game set at Nationals Park June 17-19. Since I am the resident Orioles nut job here at the blog, I will now take up a little bit of your time to elaborate why the Birds will kick off this season’s tilt with a couple of wins.

It looks like the pitching match ups for the first tilt in the 2011 Beltway Series will be Jason Marquis (WSH) vs. Jake Arrieta (BAL).  Marquis actually hasn’t been terrible this year sporting a 5-1 record with an ERA of 3.54.  Marquis, however is your basic run of the mill pitcher in the big leagues.  Not to mention he is 9-8 with a 5.93 ERA vs. the American League in his career.  He is 0-1 in 3 games with an ERA of 7.00 vs. the Orioles including a 4 inning, 7 earned run effort vs. the 2008 Orioles (who boasted a 68-93 record).   He will be matched up with Jake Arrieta.  Arrieta is one of the more exciting young pitchers in the league.  He is a power pitcher with an electric arm.  He has pitched really well so far this season boasting a 5-1 record with a 4.03 ERA .  He is still learning how to pitch in the big leagues, and you can see him getting better with every start he makes.  He has a fastball that tops at 96-97 MPH, but sits at 94-95 throughout the game.  He keeps hitters off balance with his hard breaking curveball. He struggles when he falls behind hitters, but when he gets ahead he can dictate the pace of the game. This should be a good pitching match up, but Marquis is fairly ugly so most of the ladies of the DMV and I give the edge to the young buck Arrieta. 

Not Fugly.

Game 2 features John Lannan (WSH) vs. Chris Tillman (BAL).  Lannan is 2-4 and Tillman is 2-3 and they both are ashamed owners of high ERA’s.  Tillman has been frustrating at times because of his inconsistency.  Some nights he can’t make it out of the 3rd inning and other nights he takes no-no’s into the 7th.  He is still only 23 and much like Arrieta, he is still learning how to pitch in the big leagues.  John Lannan on the other hand is just a douchebag.  This previous statement is based on facts and evidence, and I shall present my case to you now and let you be the judge.

In the summer of 2009 my buddies and I were on the rooftop of Clarendon Ballroom, when we spotted John Lannan and Tyler Clippard hanging out up by the bar.  Allegedly (100% fact) their boy Craig Stammen was in the corner puking up SoCo and Lime shots, but that is neither here not there. So my friend Simple and I decide to go and chat these guys up.  Clippard could not have been cooler; he openly talked to us, and was just a good dude having a good time talking to a couple of baseball fans.  In reality he was probably just stoked to be recognized in public, but that’s not for me to judge.  Lannan on the other hand could not be bothered.  I mean could you blame him? He was the ace of a 40-122 team (those numbers could be wrong, math was never my strong point.). He really did not have time to deal with us normal folk because he was preoccupied with striking out with girls like Adam Laroche at the plate. He eventually took a  break from swinging and whiffing and had a word with us.  This is how our interaction went:

Ben: “Hey man nice outing the other day.  When’s your next start?”

Douche: “Tuesday. I'll be carving up Los Mets.” (as he back-hand taps my stomach.) 

I take a step back and give him one of these…

Douche: “I’m bilingual dude.” (he then winks at me.) 

I shake my head and say “Cool.” And proceed to walk away continuing to shake my head. Or #smh...right twitter people?
 In the series finale two young studs will toe the bump, Jordan Zimmerman (WSH) vs. Zach Britton (BAL).  Zimmerman is still working his way back from Tommy John Surgery so his pitch counts and innings are limited, and he has had trouble at times getting back to form.  Zach Britton on the other hand is just filthy.  He is a lefty with natural movement on the ball, and his best pitch is his sinker.  His sinker goes down faster than a high school girl (18 years old of course) on prom night with a six pack of Mike’s Hard lemonade in her system.  Too far? 

Advantage Mike's .

The Natinals lineup is brutal.  Jayson Werthless is the most expensive .232 hitter since Glenn Davis.  Everyone saw this one coming, expect Mike Rizzo.  Just another shrewd move by the guy who had the moxie to select Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. Do you sense sarcasm there? Good because you should. The Bros here at Battle of the Beltway have an epic tale for you on the Riz, but we you'll have to wait for that one. Adam LaRoche is Mark Reynolds-light, I mean these two clowns strike out more than that kid on yourlittle league team who was so afraid of the ball he never swung the bat.  I could not imagine being an Arizona Diamondbacks fan last season watching these two strike out 400 times combined.  Danny Espinosa is a blossoming young star and Pudge is just killing it even though he’s older than this guy and only plays on Sundays.  The O’s boast a solid lineup that is heating up, well everyone except the black hole known as Mark Reynolds.  Markakis finally appears to be emerging from his slump, and I’ve got a full on hardy-on for J.J. Hardy. As of 5/17/2011 the O's are 9-3 with Hardy in the lineup and 10-18 without him.  I can’t say enough about Vlad, this guy is 35 and has the legs of a 55 year old man. Yet he continues to bang balls off the wall; when he’s not hitting them over the wall of course.  B-Rob is off to a slow start, but he has been one of the steadiest leadoff men in all of baseball over the past decade, and will turn it around. The young bucks Adam Jones and Matt Wieters are hitting real well right now with Jones hitting .283 with 5 HR's and 23 RBI's and Wieters hitting .264 with 4 HR's and 23 RBI's.  Those numbers are solid but do not jump out at you, but maybe these will: Wieters is hitting .538 with 21 RBI's with runners in scoring position this season.  His clutch hitting has led to his nickname of "Matty Ice". No one has that nickname right? Crap
Anywho…Advantage O’s.

Buck Showalter vs. Jim Riggleman.  Is that even serious? Of course the O’s have the advantage here.  Buck is a no nonsense manager who demands that his guys play hard, but he also looks out for his guys at every opportunity.   He has changed the culture in Baltimore and he has the Birds playing Buckball, which is based solely on winning every inning.  Buck is charismatic and quotable, have you seen his MASN commercials?  I haven’t found any of them online to show you all, so you’ll just have to turn on MASN because they are shown 476 times per game.  Jim Riggleman is about as fun and exciting as riding the Metro in July when the A.C. on your train has broken for the 845th time.  Riggleman’s career record is 644-808 and Buck’s is 935-877.

If you come to Camden Yards, you're gonna get Bucked!

Again advantage O’s.

So there you have it. We have better pitching matchups, our hitters are better, and we’ve got Buck.  The O’s will win game 1, Lannan's douchebaggery will lead to a Natinals' loss in game 2, and Britton will get it done in game 3.  Any questions? You can ask this guy:
As always follow us on twitter @Beltway_Battle

And keep your eye on the Blog tomorrow for the Natstown Rebuttal.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ernie Grunfeld's Lucky Powerballs?

by Tyler

It’s that time of year again.  The weather is finally, and mercifully giving us 70-80 degree days on the reg, the sun is consistently shining, and skirts and shorts are getting shorter and more prevalent.  With this warm weather you might even run into a guy wearing a pair of these. (You better believe we are going to provide a Public Service Announcement on Jorts very...soon!) But now I’ll get to the point of today's entry, it’s DRAFT SEASON, kid! 

All four major sports leagues have either held their draft already (NFL) or has one coming up (NBA, MLB, NHL).  D.C. is one of the few cities in the country with four horses in the draft race so this is no doubt an extremely exciting time of year in our Nation's Capitol. It is time to cash in on yet another losing season by our beloved professional sports franchises.

We’re going to go down the road less travelled here and first discuss the NBA draft because let’s be honest, after seeing these there is definitely more buzz now than ever around the Bulle…Wizards, sorry.
Despite the fact that this is clearly the weakest draft since this disaster...or perhaps you'd prefer this one?  There is still talent right in the neighborhood of where the Wizards will be drafting.  If you’re keeping score at home, statistically the Wizards should end up with the 4th pick overall.  Let’s not just look at that scenario though, let’s look at whothey should draft if they get the 4th, 3rd, 2nd, or even number 1 overall pick.

Number 4: Kawhi Leonard—Sophomore from SDSU. 6-7" (tweener, likely a 3/undersized 4)    Kawhi Leonard, was the 56th best high schooler 2 years ago and is now being projected as the 4th overall pick, which at first glance seems like too meteoric a rise.  But consider SDSU put together a 32-2 season , with a 14-2 record in the Mountain West. The only two games they lost was to everybody’s second favorite Mormon, (first is Bryce Harper, of course) Jimmer Fredette.  His closest pro comparison is Gerald Wallace, and if  he has that type of career everybody in D.C. should be thrilled.  Leonard has been described as a high motor rebounding machine that needs a more polished perimeter game.  By all accounts he has advanced his perimeter game by leaps and bounds to the point where he could be a respectable small forward, swingman type and will only get better. He has also been described as a guy that will be a very solid role player in the Association and one that has virtually no shot at being a bust.  Not to mention his excellent work ethic, this is the type of character guy T.O.B and big Ern should be looking to surround John Wall with.

Number 3:  Enes Kanter—Frosh. Turkey 6-11" Power forward.
This guy is an enigma wrapped in a riddle, but not because he has ANY character red flags.  It’s because he really is unknown to the American public, nor has anyone who bleeds red, white, and blue seen him play in close to a year. He was ruled ineligible at Kentucky by the NCAA because of benefits he took while he was 16 years old and a member of a professional Turkish team.  What makes this guy so intriguing is the big numbers he’s put up against seemingly better American talent. Nugget of the Day: This tantalizing Turk put up 34 pts and 13 boards on Jared Sullinger, who was the odds on No. 1 pick before deciding to remain at Ohio State.  Oh and Enes "Kan't Touch This" Kanter did all of this in only 22 minutes, that is positively staggering.  The guy is 6-11", has no problem banging down low, has a more polished if underutilized perimeter game and is super refined down low.  By the way of those 13 boards, 8 were offensive.  If you have the ability to pair him and Javale McGee underneath you’d have a pretty nasty combo in your froncourt with an excellent shot blocking and defensive rebounding center in McGee, and a very polished/efficient offensive power foward in Kanter.  Not to mention with both of these skyscrapers underneath, other teams would have to game plan for basically two 7 footers.  Kanter’s presence immediately makes McGee a better player and opens up passing lanes for Wall and driving lanes for Crawford.  Honestly, the best they can do in this draft is get Kanter, unless they get No. 1……

Number 2:  Derrick Williams—6-8 SF-PF AZ.
If you watched any of March Madness then you really don’t need to read what we think about Derrick Williams.  Explosive athlete with a high motor.  Projects very well as a potential all-star small forward if he can improve his perimeter scoring.  Williams carried Arizona for much of the year and will not have that burden if he comes to D.C. The type of offense the Wizards could run with Wall, McGee, and Derrick Williams in the rotation would be the D’Antoni Suns on steroids.  Williams does not come along with the talent and compaprison questions that nag Kanter.  But Williams is not as solid as a power forward prospect as the readymade Kanter. Williams can play both spots, but would probably be more lethal as a 6-8 small forward.  Ask the folks in South Beach how having a super athletic 6-8 small forward is.  They’ll tell you it’s pretty sweet.  He has no problem getting to the rack or finishing and is a good rebounder.  Williams has a much higher ceiling than Kanter or Leonard, problem there is you never know if it will be reached.

Number 1: TRADE
It’s a rare thing when a team is in a position to trade the number 1 overall pick.  By no means are the Wizards in a position where they shouldn’t draft any one of the three above, although Leonard at no. 1 over the other two has David Kahn written all over it.  HOWEVA  the best prospect and player in this draft is Kyrie Irving, off the top of my head I can think of a few teams in the West that need the services of what figures to be an above average likely all-star NBA point guard.  That would be the Portland Trailblazers,  Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota T-Wolves, and Utah Jazz.  There are more out there but let’s stay focused for now

    This is by far the most attractive option for the Wizards.  You package this year’s number 1 and the pick you got from the Hawks, (18th overall) and you throw in Andray Blatche, sure you’re eating his contract but whatever.  What you humbly request in return is Lamarcus Aldridge and their no. 1 next year.  Likely in the 20’s anyway.  You’d be surprised that for as young a team as this Blazers team is, they’ve been young for awhile now and have been the sexy Western conference pick for about three years, recently usurped by the Thunder, you could make the case they’re in the win now mode.  Aldrige positively made, “the leap,” to premier PF this year averaging 21 pts 8 boards and a block this year.  He’s 25 and is entering his prime.  The Blazers scoop this pick up, make a massive upgrade with Irving at PG replacing Andre Miller, insert Blatche at the four or make him a 17-5 off the bench which he’s done in DC.  Then with the 18 pick they snag Kenneth Faried and get the best rebounder available in the draft, a Dennis Rodman type.  They’ve reloaded they’re front court with scoring and boards and have enough looks to keep the focus off of Greg Oden on both the offensive and defensive ends. 

     Not much here but there is some intriguing potential.  Again this time you’re packaging the number 1 & 18 for sure, you kick the tires and see if maybe you can get Gasol, Bynum or Odom (if it’s Odom you take away the 18th pick)  Again I think you have to throw in Blatche if you want Gasol.  I know he’s a little soft, getting a bit older, but he has no problem not being, “the guy,” brings strong veteran leadership, and knows what it takes to win.  Could serve as an invaluable mentor to McGee but would also be a pretty excellent option for Wall.  The Lake show, start the rebuilding process a little earlier and with more subtlety than folks realize.  Irving would still be able to distribute to Bynum, Odom, Artest, and oh yea Kobe Bryant.  The Lakers can say goodbye to Steve Blake, and have Fisher mentor Irving for a year as the Lakers gently show Fisher the door. 

  Two words Kevin Love.  Again you’re trading out of this draft all together and sending Minnesota a piece it desperately needs, a viable PG.  Has David Kahn drafted poitn guards in the past 4-5 drafts? Yes. Will he stop here? No.  He is the NBA version of Matt Millen and his annual wide receiver run. This team is awful and the sooner they realize their fate is as bad or worse than anyone thinks it is, the sooner the healing can begin.  Rubio is an unknown at this point (somehow) they will have another lottery pick this year, so likely they take Kanter to replace Love anyway.  So they’re only out a starting PF for about 20 minutes anyway.  They will ABSOLUTLEY be a lottery team next year and will be in a position to draft a SG or SF.  For arguments sake the 2012 Wolves could have Irving, Kanter, and Harry Barnes.  Not a terrible start considering the Lakers and Spurs are done, the Thunder will be held back unless Westbrook gets a lobotomy, Nash and the Suns are two years from being a lottery team, and Griffin’s and Oden’s knees unfortunately will eventually hold them back from reaching their ultimate potential 

     This actually could be a 1 for 1 or 1 for 2.  The pick goes to the Jazz for Derrick Favors or Paul Millsap.  The Jazz get their PG of the future, the Wizards get an offensive PF in either Millsap or Favors, definitely the possibility for the cleanest trade and Devin Harris once again has to find a new home.  Sorry man. Remember Harris was taken with the Wizards' 5th overall pick, but was sent to Dallas in the Antawn Jamison deal. Don't be mad Devin, it's just the Circle of Life.

These are just a few ideas to mull over and chew on for the next few hours until the NBA Draft Lottery announces our fate.