Around the Arena (Qualifying Game 1 Started, Topic 1 Posted)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by DarthIntegral, Jun 25, 2007.

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  1. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    Good stuff so far folks. This is what I like to see. I know I mentioned I wanted to try to do follow-ups and rebuttals, but with the open-ended first question, and the length it took to get one post from each, I'm just going to move into scoring now:

    horsey: +3 (good info on the schedule for both teams) +1 (I like the boldness to go on a limb and pick WISCONSIN) +2 (good Big XII info ... I do go to horsey for my Big XII info, after all) -1 (Kentucky? You can't pick a BCS school that produced a #1 overall draft pick in the past ten years as a surprise team) +1 (not a bad place to ride the fence)
    whitey: +3 (good place to mention Kentucky, good info on USC) +1 (how can you rank a team that early) +2 (good point on Wisconsin trying to match a one-loss season, and the UT-OK game) +2 (I love the boldness to pick TULSA) +1 (at least you can stick to your guns)
    ASG: +3 (I like the way you just simply pay respects to USC) +2 (and I love the shout out for a playoff)
    R...J: +1 (for catching my error) +2 (good points, but do you need to pour on that much SEC love?) +2 (I like a man with a solution) +1 (VTech is a good pick ... lots of questions for players and coaches that will have nothing to do with football) +1 (I like the answer that there is no other Boise St) +1 (and a little more SEC love, but at least it's warranted this time)

    Scoreboard

    This Round:

    whiteeagle: 9
    Rogue...Jedi: 7
    s65horsey: 6
    ApolloSmileGirl: 5
  2. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    Let's turn our attention now to basketball ... but not exactly the NBA variety:

    <img src="http://www.uconnhuskies.com/AllStories/WBasketball/2006/06/29/USA%20Logo%20(Color).jpg">
    Team USA won again, blowing out the US Virgin Islands 123-59 in the FIBA Americas tournament. That moves the USA two 2-0 in a power bracket that includes such powerhouse teams as Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands.

    Some analysts are calling this team "the best USA Basketball ball team since the orginal 1992 Dream Team", while others call it "not enough to overcome the better teams in international play".

    So I want to know from our panel of experts what the truth is about this team? One of those two extremes? Somewhere in the middle? Is this team good enough to win gold in Beijing? What will be the legacy of this team?

    Give me your thoughts on USA Basketball as we go ... Around the Arena
  3. whiteeagle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2004
    star 6
    So I want to know from our panel of experts what the truth is about this team? One of those two extremes? Somewhere in the middle?

    I do believe this team has enough to overcome some of the better teams in international play. I would agree that this team is probably the best one assembled since 1992, now if we are talking as good as them that is whole different story. With a big lean to 1992.


    Is this team good enough to win gold in Beijing?

    Absolutely. This team I think is better overall than it was in 06 and 04. If you look at this team top to bottom there are really no weaknesses. You got rebounding machines in Chandler and Howard. Good ball handlers in Kidd and Billups. Flat out 30 point a game scores in Kobe, Melo, and 'Bron. 3 point shooters in Miller and Reed and I havent even mentioned Prince, Amare or Deron Williams yet. I really dont see anyone being able to keep up with this team. If Kobe is having an off night give it to Melo or 'Bron and so on and so on. And watching this team they seem to all really gel together than the past teams since the dream team days. But remember though that when Magic, Barkley and Jordan went in there and won gold that the other teams were basically happy just to be playing on the same court as them. Now they arent like that, they want to beat America.


    What will be the legacy of this team?

    Gold medal winners. Mark it down. If this team continues to play like they are and be able to feed off one another they are gonna run over everyone in FIBA and in the Olympics. Its pretty much that simple. Now this team is good but it aint gonna be anywhere near as great as 92. On our current team who have one guaranteed hall of famer in Kobe and maybe another in Kidd. The others are still young and need to prove their game over the long haul wheras 92 had, let me list them for you guys, Barkley, Jordan, Ewing, Bird, Clyde the Glide, Magic, The Mailman, Scottie, David Robinson and Stockton. You cant get much more stacked than that. So yeah all in all great opportunity to win the gold but wont be as great as 1992.
  4. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    This is definitely the best team since the original Dream Team. It has shooters like Miller and Redd and a defensive specialist in Prince. Superstars like Kode, James, Stoudamire, Kidd, so it has all the right parts.

    Winning will depend on if the team has gotten over the "We're in the NBA, we win just by showing up" mentality. If they can put their egos aside and play as a team and not as individuals who are used to being the best players on their teams, then they'll win. If not, then they'll lose.

    Kidd will help with solidifying the team aspect. He plays smart and unselfishly, so if he can take that leadership and spread things around then that'll help the team tremendously against the tougher teams.

    So yes, it has all the makings of a team that can win the Gold, provided that they can work together as a team.

    The Legacy of the team will be that they're the team to restore America's former glory. All the pieces are there for them to do it and with Kidd on the court he'll make it happen.
  5. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    I'd say that it's probably the best, if not one of the best USA teams, since the Dream Team of 92. With the exception of a few players, this USA Team is full of studs. How can you go wrong with the players that are on this team? Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Jason Kidd, Tayshaun Prince, Gilbert Arenas, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Bruce Bowen(or classless thug, as I like to call him), Elton Brand, Kirk Hinrich, Antawn Jamison, Shawn Marion, Paul Pierce, and Dwyane Wade, how insane is this roaster?

    I think the main reason that Team Usa squads in the recent past haven't performed as well as the Dream Team, is because they weren't getting as many of the league's stars. A lot of players were afraid to suffer injuries, a lot of them(especially in the last ten years or so) played for other international teams, and some just plain didn't care.

    This year has more stars of the league, than has been the norm in recent years, plus it has some potentially superstar rookies in the mix by the name of Kevin Durant, and Greg Oden. How exciting would that be? First making the transition to the NBA from the NCAA, and then going on to represent your country in the game that is your life, and livelihood. It most be one of the most exciting time in a young athlete's life.

    I'd give this team a sold 75 to 80% of winning the gold in Beijing, this year. Why? Because, it's the best built squad in years, who even though they're missing some very talented international NBA players, I think this team is superior to any of the other countries representatives.

    I think if this team is successful, they may even resurrect the moniker of "The Dream Team".
  6. whiteeagle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2004
    star 6
    The bolded guys are no longer on the Team USA roster. And you spelled roster wrong. :p
  7. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    Shows how good my research on the roster was. I haven't actually gotten to see either of the first two games. Calling me out on a typo was lame of you though. [face_not_talking][face_beatup]

    Either way, the team is still built to win, and I think it's pretty obvious that they're the team to beat.

    Brazil is the only team that really scares me, and Argentina has lost a few of it's important pieces and doesn't look to be much of a threat, being a returning champion.
  8. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    So I want to know from our panel of experts what the truth is about this team? One of those two extremes? Somewhere in the middle? Is this team good enough to win gold in Beijing? What will be the legacy of this team?

    I'd say this team has at least as much, and probably more, talent than any team since the '92 Dream Team. That said, it hasn't been talent that the last few USA teams have lacked, its been cohesiveness and teamwork. Like the LA Lakers of a few years ago, when they had Kobe, Shaq, Malone, and Payton, talent does not necessarily mean winning. However, teamwork and unity have been trademarks of Krzyzewski at Duke, and I think that may prove to be the difference between this US Team and the previous ones that failed to win the gold at the Olympics. Thats why this team (or a very slightly modified version of it for next year) will win the gold in Beijing.

    What will be its legacy? It will be remembered as one of the best teams the US has fielded in international play, second only to '92. The biggest thing that remains to be seen is whether the US can begin consistently fielding teams of this quality or whether they will again slump.

    Either way, the team is still built to win, and I think it's pretty obvious that they're the team to beat.

    Oh, definitely, but the US team has always been the team to beat, its just that in recent years, they have been beaten. But they were still considered the team to beat going into each of those years.


    Sorry for the delay in getting this up *shakes fist at Comcast*

    EDIT: and by my reading of your scoring of the previous argument, I should have 8 points, not 7
  9. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    Moving along then ...

    whitey: +2 (I don't think anyone is arguing better than the 1992 team) +3 (great team breakdown, great boldness ... love it) +2 (again with the boldness)
    horsey: +3 (again, great breakdown) +3 (love the predicted legacy)
    ASG: +2 (good breakdown) +3 (good bold results) -2 (roster errors ... how embarrassing) +1 (at least you mentioned the competition level) +1 (and you evoked the name "Dream Team" ... which gives me goose bumps)
    R...J: +3 (great point on cohesiveness being a key) +2 (decent prediction, not as bold as the others) +1 (for calling USA always the team to beat ... the patriot in me salutes that)

    Scoreboard

    This Round:

    whiteeagle: 7
    s65horsey: 6
    Rogue...Jedi: 6
    ApolloSmileGirl: 5

    Overall:

    whiteeagle: 16
    Rogue...Jedi: 14
    s65horsey: 12
    ApolloSmileGirl: 10

    And now it's time for Buy or Sell
  10. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    And we start Buy or Sell with me wondering if any team actually wants to win the NL Central.
    <img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/v/mlb/teams/1/80x60/chn.gif"> <img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/v/mlb/teams/1/80x60/mil.gif"> <img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/v/mlb/teams/1/80x60/stl.gif"> <img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/v/mlb/teams/1/80x60/cin.gif"> <img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/v/mlb/teams/1/80x60/hou.gif"> <img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/v/mlb/teams/1/80x60/pit.gif">
    The Cincinnati Reds won their sixth straight game to pull within 6.5 games of the Central Division lead. The Reds are in a division with only one team above .500, and since firing manager Jerry Narron, the team has gone 29-19, and in the process erasing ten games from their division deficit.

    Is anyone buying the Reds as an actual contender to win the NL Central?

    Let's go Around the Arena and find out ...
  11. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    I'm selling this one. They've got 6 games against the Cubs, who is number 1 in the NL Central, towards the end of the season. They play the Mets who are above .5 and at the top of the NL East. Milwaukee is 40-25 at home, so they're going to be tough to beat in Miller Park. St. Louis is at .49, but its hard to count them out especially with how they've been the past few years. They play San Fransisco who has similar stats to them and is at the bottom of the NL West.

    Really I'm just gonna sell the whole NL Central division. Its up for grabs and no one seems to want it. But really, who cares? Baseball isn't what it used to. The Miller guy still is the greatest mascot ever though. That's what I used to go to Brewer's games to see.
  12. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    I'm going to buy the Reds as a contender, solely because virtually nobody in that division seems to want to win. Milwaukee had a good start to the season, but have seriously trailed off lately. The Cubs... well, they're still the Chicago Cubs, which really says enough right there. At least the Cardinals are looking a bit more like the Cards that won the WS last year... but they're noticeably not as good of a team as last year, and its easy to see them faltering down the stretch this time around. Thus, the Reds can easily put themselves right into the mix with a few more wins. That said, they won't win - they'll get back into the mix, make a run, but fall short. Hence I'm buying them contending for the division title, but selling them actually winning it, two entirely different things.
  13. whiteeagle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2004
    star 6
    Selling this for the simple fact of not enough quality pitching. The only good pitching they are getting is from Harang. And everyone knows its pitching that wins. Just look at the Cards last year not a great team but their pitching staff started to dominate at the right time. I just cant see that with this team. Arroyo hasnt been good at all, same for Belisle, and the other two starters in Shearn and Elizardo Ramirez have only pitched a combined 4 games this year.

    All in all just not enough quality pitching for this team to succeed.
  14. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    I guess we'll move on now ...

    Good points all around by all the panelists who participated ...

    Scoreboard

    This Round:

    Rouge...Jedi: 3
    s65horsey: 3
    whiteeagle: 3
    ApolloSmileGirl: -1

    Overall:


    whiteeagle: 19
    Rogue...Jedi: 17
    s65horsey: 15
    ApolloSmileGirl: 9
  15. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    <img src="http://www.hoopsvibe.com/IMG/yi_jianlian-arton33070-259x290.jpg">
    Yi Jianlian finally signed with the Bucks. The man has been known to dominate chairs, but not fair very well in Summer League play, international play, or negotiating. Are you buying Yi ever having an All-Star caliber season in the NBA?
  16. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Are you kidding? No way am I buying that right now. And as for why, you said it exactly - all we've seen him do is show up some chairs in a carefully comtrolled environment. Heck, I can do that. Anyone can. But not just anyone can be NBA All-Star caliber. You might as well pick some young middle or high school kid and ask if he'll be an NBA All-Star. Sure, there's a chance - but its not very likely. And until we see Yi perform well against actual competition, theres no reason to even consider buying this. Because I'm pretty sure Ben Wallace (just to name one person from the same division as Yi will be in) plays a bit better on defense than a chair. And he's not the only one, either. It took Yao a while before he adjusted to playing over here, and it'll be noticeably longer (if ever) before Yi adjusts, and even when he does, he still won't be All-Star caliber.

    That said, he may actually be on the All-Star team in the near future, courtesy of the fan voting - the same reason Yao was starting over Shaq when Shaq was clearly better. Enough people over in China vote for him, he might make the team. But will he have an All-Star caliber season? No.
  17. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    I'm buying that it is possible. He's 19 right now, four years ago he played on China's Olympic team with the likes of Houston Rockets star Yao Ming, former NBA center Mengke Bateer, and NBA center Wang Zhizhi. That was when he was 15. Granted the caliber of basketball Olympic teams in 2004 wasn't what it used to be, still he played on the team at 15. So his internatioal play stats come from when he was 15-18 years old. I think if the Bucks treat him right, ie don't throw him into the pond to see if he sinks or swims, but instead coach and teach him then he could develop into the player that they're hoping he is.

    Rogue - There's a difference with picking a random young kid than with picking someone who's played on the international level with guys who play in the NBA.
  18. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    horsey: sure, he's played against a few NBA players... but he wasn't exactly overly impressive. Athletes that compete over their head tend to end up struggling for a long time, if not disappearing altogether. See: any of a host of kids who entered the NBA after HS (with some exceptions, admittedly), and even in other sports, people like Michelle Wie. She keeps competing against the men, and while she hasn't been a total flop, she hasn't done all that much against the women, either, which would have shocked people a few years back when she broke onto the scene.
  19. whiteeagle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2004
    star 6
    I gotta buy him at least having one all star season.

    Look NBA teams just dont pick people at random in the draft. Though sometimes it does look like that. This guy has to have some kind of talent to be picked that high. And from all that i have read he is an excellent free throw shooter and would fit the mold of Dirk rather than a Yao. This guy wont power over anybody but this guy is still 19 years old. Give him 2-4 years then see if he is a bust. Plus he's playing for the Bucks so he'll get plenty of shots this upcoming year.
  20. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    From what I understand though, athletes have a better chance of going from Highschool to the NBA than they do with other sports though. The NBA is trying to get rid of that and would like them to go through college first to grow and learn more, but its still not happening as much as in other sports like football.
  21. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    But even then, with a few (admittedly high-profile) exceptions, most of those who go straight from HS to the NBA flop and disappear. Likewise, many of those drafted from overseas do the same - some first round picks have been drafted, then stayed overseas, and never ended up coming over anyways because they turned out to be flops.
  22. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    I just think that he has a chance, and your first post made it sound like there was no way he has a chance unless the Chinese fans did massive voting just because he was from China. I think he has more of a chance because he's been playing with NBA players already for four years (on and off) so he knows more of what to expect, and hopefully learned from those players.
  23. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    It takes a lot more than simply knowing what to expect.

    And I'm not saying he has no chance at all - some high school kids do go on to be NBA All-Stars, to go back to my example (and explain a bit more how that analogy works) - guys like Kobe Bryant and Jermaine O'Neal, for example. I'm just saying that I can't buy him having an All-Star caliber season until he shows us that he can perform against something more talented than a chair. Right now, the chances of him getting to that point look slim. Maybe that'll change, maybe it won't, but he's got a lot of stuff to prove first.
  24. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    you kidding me Rouge? With me scoring the arguments you need to invoke the name of some HS-to-NBA successes and you chose those two examples?
  25. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    I actually had LeBron's name typed *watches the points drop*, but since since I'd been talking about players taking a while to adjust, I decided to use O'Neal there instead, since he took a while to get adjusted to the league. LeBron was and still is an anomaly, and I think we can all rest assured that Yi Jianlian is certainly no LeBron James. Probably shouldn't have used Kobe as an example, either, but it fit the point better than LeBron. O'Neal, though, is closer to what Yi could potentially be like if those who drafted him get what they want out of him... which, as I've said before, I don't see happening. Certainly not anytime soon.

    But yes, if all I wanted were any generic HS-to-NBA successes, I would have gone with LeBron above all.
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