Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

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To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'

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Breakfast with Berndon: Paid Professionals Edition

March 25, 2010



Berndon is back with BBE. This time around he updates you with his power rankings, his NBA madness tourney, and the man of the match leaders.

I figure that I should  post this now, since the basketball world will go back to not caring about the NBA in a matter of about 8 hours. Here's two weeks worth of material. Enjoy.

NBA Madness:
Since this is March, I've decided to have a little hypothetical tournament and all eyes will be concentrated on the collegiate ranks. I've taken the 18 colleges that have at least 5 players in the NBA, and will hold my own tournament where NBA'ers battle it out to see which school has truly produced the best talent. I will go through this round by round for 4 weeks. This week, we have the Elite 8 and Final 4 all for the price of one.

(1) UCLA v. (9) Texas: Texas would automatically lose points if they actually had to be coached by Rick Barnes here, but since this a bball utopia where no coaches are needed, the Longhorns aren’t subject to the worst coach in college basketball ruining things. The Horns would have to play Durant at the 4, and LaMarcus Aldridge at the 5, which would work out because UCLA doesn’t have any monsters down low with their potential Center candidates being Ryan Hollins and Dan Gadzuric. This would not matter however, with the Bruins being able to throw an unbelievable array of depth at the guard spot to simply murder DJ Augustin and TJ Ford. I’d even play Russell Westbrook at the 2 or 3, because with Baron Davis, Jordan Farmar etc. he wouldn’t need to play the point at all. Throw in improving Aaron Affalo and Trevor Ariza and the Bruins advance with ease.

(12) Wake Forest v. (4) Duke: This is where Wake’s Cinderella story ends. They again have a 1-2 that is clearly better than anybody Duke has, but while Arizona had mostly guards, Duke is a little more balanced. I’ve watched James Johnson play this season, and there’s no way he could guard Luol Deng, Grant Hill, or Corey Maggette. CP3 goes off on Chris Duhon, so the Dookies would harass him with bigger defenders like Battier and Dahntay Jones. Duke wins.

(6) Florida v(3) UCONN: Neither team has really produced a great point guard, although they’re pretty well set everywhere else. UCONN’s starting 5 would probably be Okafor, Rudy Gay, Caron Butler, and some combination of Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton or Ben Gordon. Florida could counter with David Lee, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and either Corey Brewer or Mike Miller having to man the one spot. I like UCONN’s potential from the outside, but Florida could devastate the Huskies on the boards. This plus the fact that either Miller or Brewer could handle the point duties better than anyone on UCONN enables the Gators to move on in a shocker.

(7) Kansas v. (2) UNC: “Gosh golly darn, aw heck, I have no clue who would win,” states a bewildered Roy Williams in a pregame interview. I do, it’s UNC. Raymond Felton is better than Mario Chalmers, and while Pierce would probably torch Vinsanity, Antawn Jamison, Marvin Williams and Brendan Haywood trumphs Drew Gooden and Darrel Arthur. The only way the Heels lose is if Sheed has to play extended minutes.

(1) UCLA v. (4) Duke: UCLA gets this one barely. I again just think they will be extremely difficult for anyone to beat in this tourney with the way they would be able to play the most ridiculously quick small-ball lineup in the history of mankind with Davis, Collison, Farmar, and Earl Watson. That’s four point guards better than anyone Duke has. The Devils make it close with Carlos Boozer and Elton Brand taking Kevin Love to school on the blocks, plus the abundance of wing options they have. However, Westbrook, Affalo, and Ariza, plus the underated Luc Mbah A’Moute could hold them down.

(6) Florida v. (2) UNC: This would be another close battle, with UNC barely edging out the Gators. I really like everything Florida has except at the point position, where Felton and Ty Lawson would simply speed things up and throw obscene alley-oops to Vince Carter. Florida has the advantage down low, but UNC has more of an advantage at the guard spot, allowing them to move on to face the Bruins in the final next week.



Man of the Match:
Bi-Weekly Leaderboard:
1. Lebron James 6 (30.3 pts, 8.7 rbs, 9 asst)
2. Kobe Bryant 5 (25.2 pts, 6 rbs, 7.6 asst)
3. Carmelo Anthony 4 (26.8 pts, 12 rbs)
4. Danny Granger 3 (30.7 pts, 4.3 rbs, 2.3 stls)
4. Amare Stoudemire 3 (30.3 pts, 11.3 rbs)
4. Josh Smith 3 (15 pts, 6.7 rbs, 7 assts, 4.3 stls)
4. Andrew Bogut 3 (14 pts, 11.7 rbs, 3.3 blks)
4. Manu Ginobli 3 (22 pts, 4 rbs, 5.7 assts)
4. Dwyane Wade 3 (26.3 pts, 7.7 assts, 2.7 stls)

Arguably the top 3 MVP candidates are stepping their games up, statistically speaking. Kobe and Carmelo make their first appearances on the leader board, with Carmelo picking up his rebounding with Kenyon Martin out, and Kobe deciding to pass the ball. One other newcomer is Danny Granger, an underated player on a crappy team who puts up numbers, but makes an appearance because the Pacers have actually been winning some games as of late. Ginobli has been a much better player in the second half of the season, while Smith and Bogut has their numbers dip slightly, yet still make the cut. DWade and Amare have been consistently dominant leading their perspective teams playoff pushes.

Season Leaders:
1. Lebron James 16
2. Dwight Howard 13
3. Josh Smith 12
3. Andrew Bogut 12
5. Kevin Durant 10
5. Dwyane Wade 10
 
Power Rankings:
1. Cleveland (57-15): I almost forgot they still have Shaq they've been playing so well.
2. Lakers (53-18): Kobe the distributor? That will probably last.
3. Orlando (50-22): Jameer Nelson is getting back to who he was before the injury.
4. Dallas (47-24): Starting to like them more than the Nuggets as the Lakers' lead foil.
5. Denver (47-25): KMart and Birdman are both banged up, which will kill them.
6. Phoenix (45-26): Better defensively, but still not good enough.
7. Utah (47-25): Okur and CJ Miles emerging as 3rd and 4th options.
8. Boston (46-25): I still wouldn't want any part of them in a 7 game series.
9. Atlanta (46-25): Josh Smith continues to amaze.
10. San Antonio (42-28): See Celtics, Boston.
11. Oklahoma City (43-27): Please keep this team together. They could dominate in a couple of years.
12. Milwaukee (39-31): We were just kidding Milwaukee, can we please have a redo on the Salmons trade?
13. Portland (42-29): Lakers in 5.
14. Miami (37-34): Dwyane Wade is pretty good.
15. Charlotte (37-34): We weren't kidding Charlotte, you can keep Ty Thomas.
16. Memphis (38-34): Next year they'll be in the playoffs.
17. Toronto (35-35): Next year they'll be in the lottery.
18. Houston (36-34): I'm still confused as to who's still on their roster.
19. New Orleans (34-39): Chris Paul, why did you comeback again?
20. Chicago (33-37): No comment.
21. Indiana (26-46): Josh McRoberts is getting playing time for the BYU of the NBA(lots of white guys).
22. New York (26-45): After watching that 30 for 30 on Reggie V. the Knicks, I'd like the Knicks to be relevant again.
23. Philly (25-47): Jrue Holliday might not be as bad as I first thought.
 

Obituaries:
Golden St. (20-51): For some reason, this team has remained entertaining despite having an NBDL all-star team. If they get a couple of quality bigs, to team with Steph Curry and Monta Ellis, they could be entertaining and actually good.
 
Sacramento (24-48): I'm just glad that they're giving Sean May a paycheck.
 
LA Clippers (26-45): Why do the Clippers think any free agent is going to want to play there? I'm still intrigued to see what Blake Griffin can do next season.
 
Detroit (23-48): Should have been a playoff contender, but many a Piston has underachieved this year. Kind of glad that Ben Gordon is included in this equation. Should have stayed in Chitown buddy.
 
Washington (21-49): Remeber when the Wizards had a nucleus that was playoff-tested, which was bolstered by the aquisitions of Mike Miller and Randy Foye? Well now Miller and Foye are the veterans, and Andray Blatche and Jevale McGee are starting. Suffice to say the Wizards won't be in the playoffs for a little while. Go Caps!

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3

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