First off. . .the college game:
--One of the eye-opening things about this year's March Madness has been the upsets. There is alot more parity in the college game now, and many of the "upsets" probably shouldn't have been labeled that way. The talent was equal or close on both sides.
One of the reasons for that is early departure for the NBA. . think about some of the super teams Kansas or North Carolina would have if guys played until their senior year. . . wow. But, since the ringers leave early, the big teams don't have the depth they once did, and so they're vulnerable.
--Because of that, one of the big things people don't realize is that when talent is close, or almost equal. . . scheme beats talent every time. Kansas, Syracuse, Villanova, etc. . were all beaten by teams that actually run plays. The players on these big schools think that they should already be in the NBA, and thus don't need to run an offense, and just jack up bad shots, drive into traffic, and throw the ball away and everything will be ok, because they can win a dunk contest. Wrong. Ask Ali Frokmanesh from UNI what he thinks about that! By the way, I"m not sure Ali can dunk at all, but he took down Kansas.
--If you watch UNI, Cornell, Butler, St. Mary's, etc. . .they run a specific scheme with specific plays for specific players.
Syracuse was so bad on offense last night , (my pick for the title, by the way), it was unwatchable. . . everyone thinking they were Allen Iverson. sheesh.
--However, sometimes the talent gap is large enough that it doesn't matter. This is what Cornell ran into last night against Kentucky, and it's team of "one year and then the NBA" players. Rick Reilly has a hilarious column about this. . here's my favorite quote:
One of Cornell's players, Eitan Chemerinski, did a Rubik's cube in less than three minutes earlier this year. He's the one who speaks five languages. "He's learning Mandarin now, for fun," said a Cornell spokesman. But as 6-foot-11, 275-pound UK freshman center DeMarcus Cousins said before the game, "This ain't a spelling bee."
No, indeed it isn't :). (quote of the year. . .bad grammer and all).
But, unless you're trotting out DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall. . . run some plays, or you won't last with the tall, dead eye shooting, midwestern boys.
And now the sad state of the Nuggets.
--Well, the Nugs picked a bad time to self-destruct. The reasons are many. . they don't have their coach, their best defender, or their backup point guard. Still, the other night in Boston was UGLY. I Hope they can pull it together on this trip.
--All that to say, we know what this team is. . .we've seen it all year. And, so if it holds that Coach Karl and Kmart are back by the playoffs. . we have a chance against anyone. Even if we drop all the way to the 8 seed and play the Lakers in the first round, no biggie. We have a great team that is great when all the parts are there.
--Oh yeah, let's dispense with the discussion on how valuable George Karl is to this team. Umm. . they need him. Enough said.
--I'm not jumping off the Nuggets bandwagon, but I don't think we keep the 2 seed. . and we might fall all the way to the 4 seed. Again, show me who's on our roster on April 16th, and I"ll tell you my prediction. Not before.