Thursday, January 03, 2008

miscellany:

the iowa caucuses are tonight, and the big story on my yahoo news homepage is that obama experienced a surge in the polls there. he's now a few points up on edwards, with hillary a few further behind. this is awesome. i like hillary [and edwards for that matter], and i think she's as smart as they come, but i don't see why the dems should tempt fate on this must-win election by nominating a candidate that 45% of america hates. hillary has a very modest lead in new hampshire, but i'm sure whoever wins iowa will experience an upswing. president obama would be almost too good to be true. we shall see.


hawks update. despite two recent losses (to dallas and cleveland), the hometown atlanta hawks are looking strong. horford is legit, and is already the most valuable hawks player not named joe johnson (and in a couple years could give him a run for his money). props to the bowman on that call, even if it was made mostly on UF loyalty; i knew he would be solid, but he's better than i expected. friends and followers of 4KS my know my opinion of josh smith: that he is an athletic freak, but is a chucker with no instincts for the game. i still basically hold to that, but i concede that the last few games he has played within himself a tad better (though i might have this perception largely beacuse he has been missing big parts of late games with foul trouble). if smith can realize that he's a finisher (not a creator), and realize that defense is about more than blocks and steals, he could be a great player. but i still hope the hawks trade him rather than resign him. as to other hawks...marvin williams is now money on spot up jumpers, anthony johnson has been surprisingly solid, zaza is suited as a backup, and law could be the point the hawks need (size, composure, hitting open shots).


the dawgs looked awesome handling business on hawaii. the rainbow warriors don't stand a chance now that USC recruits all the good polynesians. here's to '08, really might be the dawgs' year. though they do have a brutal schedule.


thanks to all who made it to the ladyfriend and my christmas bash at the new digs (naming rights up in the air, maybe "casa de lyndon"?). big pink is now under contract for sale, which is awesome/sad.


props to reno and baby panda for djing a righteous new years eve bash. big ups also to heavy petty, the tom petty cover band. took me back to the first concert i ever attended, petty and the heartbreakers at the omni in '94 ['95?] soon after i got my license; i was dancing like the bowman on ecstasy. also props to panda and the poet for their shindig, which was awesome but kept me out way too late.

4 Comments:

Blogger Monty said...

Just out of curiosity, what is it you find so fascinating about Hillary or Obama for that matter?

I'm curious about what draws people to them as candidates.

1/04/2008 1:33 PM  
Blogger Huevos McGringo said...

who the hell are you?

i don't find hillary fascinating. she seems nice enough, and is as smart as they come, but she's just too polarizing to win the presidency. obama is charismatic, inspirational, and brilliant. i've read both his books, and i really like the way he thinks. plus, i think he'll win going away.

after his iowa victory, obama has jumped to a handy lead in new hampshire, 41 to 28 ( http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080107/ap_on_el_pr/campaign_rdp_9). awsome.

1/07/2008 9:29 AM  
Anonymous crezin777 said...

Just FYI on JSmoove from John Hollinger's article on the potential East All-Stars:

Extra Reserve No. 1: Josh Smith, Hawks
This one is a little hairy. For one, Smith isn't generally perceived as the best player on the Hawks; Joe Johnson is. That's not just from opponents, that's from coaches and teammates too. So part of me wonders if I'm violating my own rule here.

But Johnson is mired in a horrible shooting slump and is at just 40.8 percent from the field, while Smith has taken another step forward in his fourth pro season. So the other part of me wonders if this situation will look a lot different in hindsight, and if Smith is taking over as Atlanta's top weapon. What's undeniable is that Smith has been Atlanta's most effective player in the first half of the season, and his improvement is a major reason the Hawks are no longer a laughingstock.

As far as Smith's own merits, let's weigh him against the competition. Besides Smith, there are only four players in the top 50 in PER who average at least 30 minutes that I haven't already nominated: Antawn Jamison, Michael Redd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson.

All but Redd take a back seat to Smith in PER, and Smith has more defensive value than all of them. Admittedly, PER already takes much of that into account since his East-leading 3.2 blocks per game are part of the equation, but he's also making fewer mistakes. And the emergence of a better supporting cast has allowed us to see what a factor he can be as a weak-side specialist, similar to the way Denver uses Marcus Camby. The Hawks are in the top half of the league in defensive efficiency for the first time in eons, and Smith's blocks have been a huge part.

Additionally, while Smith has never played this well before, it doesn't seem out of line to say that this is his current ability level. He's 22 and has improved his numbers every year, and his output this season isn't much different from what he did the final two months of last season. And while I joked above about his settling for jumpers, the truth is he's doing it a lot less than he used to, and averaging seven free throw attempts a game as a result -- that's one of the big reasons he's playing better. So it's Smith by a nose here.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=EastAllStars-080108&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3dhollinger_john%26page%3dEastAllStars-080108

1/08/2008 7:39 PM  
Blogger Huevos McGringo said...

the problem with applying this sort of statistical analysis to basketball is that it misses out on a big part of the game; the "intangibles", team defense, making your teammates better, etc. (whereas in baseball stats can pretty much tell the whole story).

smith gets tons of blocks, and plenty of steals, but he's not really a good defender. he frequently loses his man off the ball, gets beat off the dribble, and commits dumb fouls. the fact that a few times a game he recovers to make a block doesn't make up for this. on offense, smith hampers the flow the hawks offense and the effectiveness of players around him. though i concede, his shot selection seems to have gotten better the last few weeks (fingers crossed).

if hollinger is saying that smith is more valuable than joe johnson, he doesn't know shit. or at least he hasn't watched many hawks games. johnson is without a doubt the most valuable hawk, horford is number two. smith might be number three, though if he reverts to his chucking ways they're better without him.

1/10/2008 12:12 PM  

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