Friday, March 21, 2008

TMRB: An interview with new Heat guard Blake Ahearn

TMRB: An interview with new Heat guard Blake Ahearn

Today the very teammate I wrote about Wednesday, Blake Ahearn, was called up to the Miami Heat. He and I decided that the call-up was obviously a direct result of my blog which posted his stats. We also decided that Miami, having only scored 54 points the night before, might have just really needed a scorer.�

I decided to interview Blake quickly before he left for the sunshine state. Our topics included much of what I wrote about on Wednesday:

I wish him the best of luck.�

I also wanted to thank people for the Pistol Pete responses. Some of my favorites included "Pistol Pete could run a 3-man weave by himself," and "Pistol Pete ate white chocolate and pooped out Jason Williams." Those were pretty fantastic. I'm gonna have to get all these down and have a site that rivals Chuck Norris' fan site. �

That being said, I am a big time Pistol Pete fan. I think that some people thought that I thought that Pete was not legendary or deserving of a top 5 all-time college hoops rating. He definitely deserves all the credit he has been given. The true question I was asking, and I hope to get some more good responses, is do you think if he were playing today that he would average 44 points per game, and regardless, do you think he would be ranked in the top five of all-time after playing today’s game?�

Before you answer, consider these facts (yes, I know there was no three-point line when he played):�

Pete averaged 38 field goal attempts and 14 free throw attempts per game in college. It's safe to say that he shot over 40 shots per game if you say that two free throws is equal to another field goal attempt. In today’s game, where would a player, no matter how good, get up 40 shots per game? Am I saying it would make him any less great? No. But, it would be hard to imagine Coach K, heck, even Coach Steve Fischer, letting one guy take 80% of his teams shots today.��

If you look at the college scoring-average record holders, 7 of the top 10 played between 1964 and 1973 and none of the 10 played after 1973. Did players just decline in ability after 1973? I doubt it. I think it's a testament to the pace of play back then in general, thus leading to more points. If the pace is slower today, there will be less possessions, and thus less opportunity to score.�

Let's say he did play today, and because of the above factors, he averaged 31 points per game (which would be the highest total since 1973). He would undoubtedly be the best NCAA player, a top draft pick and have a legendary career, but I doubt that if they put out a "top college players of all-time" list next season, that he would be #5. Not because he doesn't deserve that ranking, but because I feel that those lists give bias to older players. Maybe it's because guys leave early for the NBA, who knows?��

I have to say some of you had some interesting points. I also must say that Blake pretty much laid all that out for me before I wrote my post. I'm not by any means saying that he wouldn't be every bit as great in today’s game, but greatness is different nowadays. After 1973, nobody has scored 31 points per game. Larry Bird certainly didn't and he is a legend too. White, black, it doesn't matter.��

I just think that eras are eras and guys can’t be put into a big list together. Pistol really is a top 5 player and maybe the #1 showman of all-time, not to mention a unbelievable shooter and ball-handling pioneer. Point is, I don't think you'd see 44 points out of him and his place on the list would be different if he played his freshman year at LSU in 2007-08.� Let me know what you think.

Rod Benson is a Cal grad who plays for the D-League's Dakota Wizards. He also blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on Ball Don't Lie. Read his archive, pay a visit to and always support the Boom Tho movement.

The 10-man rotation, starring the 'NYC for LeBron' campaign

A look around the league and the web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.

C: NYC for LeBron, via Dime. The official website of New York’s campaign to bring LeBron James to the Knicks.
PF: Jones on the NBA. Nate Jones recommends that Gilbert Arenas hire an agent.
SF: CelticsBlog. It's true. What is there left to say about this year's Celtics' regular season?
SG: Hardwood Paroxysm. Lance Allred to Blake Ahearn on Facebook: "My team is better than yours." (Ha!)
PG: Empty The Bench. Six interesting ideas to make the NBA even better.
6th: Blazers Blog. Talks about watching Greg Oden run the hills of Tigard with Nate McMillan.
7th: Half Court Heave. A look at the NBA's all-time best facial hair. (Brian Winters. Wow.)
8th: 3 Shades of Blue. What does the NBA consider "verbal abuse"?
9th: Sports Media Watch. TNT's Tuesday Rockets-Celtics game scored some pretty good ratings.
10th: Frye Blog. Channing Frye on the movie Be Kind Rewind: "They bamboozled me. I went in there thinking I was getting ready to laugh my socks off, and what did I get? A mushy chick flick."

(Note: I've got a train to catch, so that's going to be it for me today. Rod Benson should have his Friday Boom up shortly. Happy Easter, enjoy the Madness (both college and NBA), and I'll see you Monday.)

Behind the boxscore, where 'you still gotta guard us' happens
Los Angeles Lakers 106, Utah 95

There are a lot of things to worry about when it comes to the Dallas Mavericks, but this loss is not an example of such. Simple as that. There's so much that is simple about this game, while we're at it.

For weeks I was secretly harboring a wonder regarding exactly how the Lakers were going to guard the Utah Jazz. A suitable worry, actually, I just had the teams messed up: the Jazz didn't have a chance against Los Angeles' offense.

Not only was this score way the heck closer than the game actually was, it doesn't give credit enough to a Laker team that had no problem putting points on the board.

The ball moved, the team leaked out into transition if it meant a quick bucket, Kobe Bryant (27 points, eight rebounds, seven assists) was nearly unstoppable when it seemed like the Lakers were dying for a bucket, and it was a pretty devastating attack - even without considering the context of a missing Mssrs. Gasol and Bynum.

San Antonio 102, Chicago 80

The Bulls, as currently constructed (with no additions), can win a championship in 2010 or 2011. I belive that. If I'm wrong, slap me around in 2011.

On Thursday, they were horrible. Starting point man Kirk Hinrich was out, Ben Gordon decided to fill a whole batch of stereotypes (keep feelin' those small samples sizes, mugs), and the team was more or less outclassed.

Not sure if you've heard, but Tony Parker is quite good at hitting those damned glass-shots.

Boston 94, Dallas 90

There's so much to love about this game.

Boston and Dallas could have played for 42 quarters, branched out over two fortnights, and the resulting tally would have likely been a one or two-possession deficit.

It's the beauty of this game. Specifically, there's nothing to take from "this game," but "this game" was so much fun - each team worked like mad to stop the other from scoring in transition, it tried to cover shooters when possible, and no team involved in "this [sort of] game" should be frustrated by the final score.

Pundits can plead and pray for the Mavs to run with abandon and score in the open court; but Avery Johnson's Mavericks (and Avery, you know what's up: keep standing up to your boss, please) have never run, and they've never been more successful as a result.

Meanwhile, the Celtics (first in defensive efficiency) know a thing or two about stopping transition buckets. Boston was incredibly defensively. There's not a lot to point out beyond feet that moved, sound anticipation, and hard work; but that's enough.

Kobe Bryant is still poppin' his jersey

If you missed the first stop of the Kobe Bryant Poppin' tour, don't worry. "Kobe and the Lakers" had another gig in Salt Lake City last night, and our good friends at Odenized snuck a camera in to film the show.

Oof, there was a lot of hate in those pops. Kobe definitely remembered the Jazz fans booing Derek Fisher back in November.

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