Thursday, April 26, 2007

Spurs strike back; Halladay love; receivers

Wonder how that Nuggets' confidence is now after getting stoned at the gate Wednesday down San Antonio way, losing to the Spurs in a grinder, 97-88, in Game 2 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Denver shot a robust 39 percent from the floor, earned just 17 free throw attempts and got minimal bench help in allowing the home team to even the series at one game each.

Tim Duncan (22 points) and Tony Parker (20 points, six assists) played as expected, Manu Ginobli rebounded (17 points) from a poor effort and Michael Finley (14 points) and Francisco Oberto (eight points, 10 rebounds) also proved mighty.

The Nuggets' starters played well but Linas Kleiza (five points), J.R. Smith (two points) and Eduardo Najera (scoreless, two rebounds, one assist) offered little off the bench.

The complexion of this series just changed significantly -- the stress is now back on Denver. Not only do they have to "D" up at home but they must call AAA to get the offense out of the mud.

Promise you one thing. Right now, San Antonio is smiling and thinking the series is in its' control.

Shanahan gets a call from well-wisher

Broncos' coach Mike Shanahan doesn't have to do this NFL draft thing all himself.

Adam Schein is certainly willing to help.

Hey, the WSN, well, doesn't like that move at all.


Denver can score LSU safety LaRon Landry or Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams mysteriously falls to the tenth spot in the round.

Since both of those scenarios are doubtful, stay put and enjoy the variety of more selections.

My turn to help

Like I haven't already done enough for Shanahan and the Broncos but let's dig deeper because I'm just the giving sort.

Today, we try to help Denver find depth at wide receiver. No talk about Calvin Johnson, though, o.k.?

Sidney Rice, S. Carolina
---Very tall and productive. Could pass Brandon Marshall and become the no. 2 receiver if drafted in round 1 or early in round 2. Not polished but potential 1,000-yard pass catcher.

Dwayne Bowe, LSU
---Solidly built, productive, no. 2 receiver to line up across from Javon Walker.

Aundrae Allison, E. Carolina
---Big, raw, skilled. Needs time but could be a third receiver soon. Good blocker gets Shanahan's attention.

Laurent Robinson, Illinois State
---Tall type of receiver the team likes, has big-play potential but needs work. Could bust out in a couple of years with some strong coaching, dedication on the behalf of Robinson and some Broncos' patience.

Jacoby Jones, Lane
---Tall, bust-out receiver who needs a couple of years of coaching and weight-room work but who could really help stretch the field.

Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio State
---Don't love him but he is strong blocker, which Denver loves and can get open. Solid no. 3-type pass catcher.

Steve Smith, USC
---He is being knocked for being small and slow. The man just makes plays. Not a blocker but if you need someone to catch Jay Cutler passes', this guy would be attractive.

Joel Filani, Texas Tech
---Would have to work hard to stay on the roster every season, and would. Good hands, productive, and could be quality third receiver in his second-to-third year in the league.

Coloradoan keeps rollin' along

Former Arvada West prep Roy Halladay beat the odds.

A player from the state, especially a pitcher, who went on to excel in Major League Baseball.

After his easy win over Boston on Tuesday, the Toronto Blue Jays' sheriff is now a sparkling 98-48 in his career, including an 80-31 mark over his last five-plus seasons.


Still, he doesn't get all the love from the national media he should. Trust me, in baseball circles, he is lusted after as an innings-eating, All-Star arm and competitor.

One day, maybe the Rockies can get a pitcher like him, if that isn't too much to ask.

Just stop it

So, Barry Bonds (see picture, upper right) really expects us to believe that he didn't use substances not quite natural to prepare his body to be more powerful while hitting.

O.K., whatever.

But now the liar, or is that The Joker's newest weak offering is this -- he really would be alright with Alex Rodriguez breaking his home run marks for a season and a career?


Does it hurt to lie that much?

Since Bonds can't or won't tell the truth, I will for him -- the man is a habitual liar, a bad person and Rodriguez, without dope, may not break the single-season record for home runs because he's human but he has a tremendous chance, without drugs, to become baseball's all-time homer champ.

While A-Rod is a big diva, he is, at least, all real as a player and is deserving of the accolades for his accomplishments, which are history in the making each season.

And for my money, what little there is, give me a chronically-inured Ken Griffey, Jr., as a better pure talent and person and one who would have bested Bonds had his body not blown up near annually.

Go home, Bonds.


No first-round picks for you

Denver has rid itself of draft picks in the first round like they were spoiled mysteries from the refrigerator and that has hurt them. Yesterday a college freshman announced he is going to test the draft waters and while young and mistake prone, he was potential star talent and would have been a great "get" late in round 1 (sorry, Nuggets) or early in round 2 (a possibility).

He's a developing point guard with size who can also shoot. He's an above-average passer now who will get better. In a few years he could be a real player.

His name -- Crittenton, Javaris -- from the Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech.


Larry Brown will coach until the day they put him in the ground -- the man is insatiable.

And he gets around.

One city to the next to the next and so on and so on and so on.

He's good so he keeps getting interest and he's strange so he keeps puzzling people with his exits.

Interesting guy, that Larry Brown.

Next up -- Memphis?

Allen Iverson is shaking his head right about now, thinking of Brown coaching again.

Ain't gonna happen in Boulder's Gregg Doyel just comes in the door and gets plain nasty with the Colorado basketball program -- again, saying change is not going to be enough.

Oden no Bowie replica

Here is one strong voice for Greg Oden as the top pick in the June NBA draft, going ahead of Texas wunderkind Kevin Durant. Not sure I agree with that choice but obviously aren't concerned that Oden could be the next Sam Bowie.

Not saying Durant is Michael Jordan only that KD is more dominant than Oden.

Scoreboard grumblings

The Rockies' went door to door for to raise money to buy bats and look what happened -- they pounded the Mets at Shea, 11-3, on Wednesday. Some old dude named John Mabry homered and drove in four runs, red-hot Todd Helton had four hits and three RBI, Matt Holliday drove in three and some lost soul, Willy Taveras, had five hits.

Guess Colorado was throwing a party because everyone decided to show up to support starter Josh Fogg in an easy victory.

The Rockies have always been capable and its' about time, don't you think, that they start showing it?

Post Office

A letter today from Paul on the Nuggets roster of pain and their backcourt.

"Truth - I do not like this about Nene's knee, and I really hope he gets better. Looking forward to next season though, I agree keep (Steve) Blake, but the Nuggets might be interested in (Sebastian) Telfair. He should be a free agent after being released from the Celtics. I think he has much potential, and is capable of reaching it. All the controversy surrounding him is a bunch of BS, as it's carrying around a handgun...he just needs to learn how to stop that. He hasn't fired anything or fought anyone, nor have drugs been found on him. He supports his entire family and he seems like a decent kid."

WSN: Nene is playing so hard and he's making things happen but Kenyon Martin came back too early and look at him know -- his body has been a wreck. Great competitor but a lemon of lower body.

I'm sure the Nuggets are checking Nene out frequently but they better be careful or the rest of his contract could be a monster if his body breaks down like the previous Denver forwards I wrote about in the last few days.

As for Telfair, he is wondrously skilled but the hype has always been bigger than the deliverance on the product. He is a very poor man's T.J. Ford. I wouldn't give up on him yet but he is damaged goods in a public relation's sense right now. He would best be served as a backup point who can push it, push it hard, hand out bread to the boys and accept his place in the league as a reserve. He has more talent than Blake but I'd still prefer to hold on to the mature Terp who we know what he can do.

Hot links

Check out the new Hot Link in the left hand margin of this web page, Football Outsiders.

Still hungry? Try this one -- The Fifth Down, from the New York Times.

Random Ramblings

Let's make this simple for the boys out fighting in the school yard. Democrats or Republicans in the White House, it won't matter, no one is going to look perfect fighting terrorism. Either party is going to have soft spots to attack by the insatiable media or the disillusioned public. So quit showing off spouting tough words, both of you. Shaaaaaaaaaaaad-upppppppp.

Who was more scary -- the Russians, Fidel Castro or today, some extremists fighting in the name of Allah?

Who, amongst us, is cool enough to handle this ride? Stephen Hawking? I'll admit it, I'd soil myself. If my heart didn't blow up first.

One man's valiant but ill-conceived idea to cut rising health-care costs. Get an oil change thrown in for free.

Have always had an appreciation for this girl's outgoing personality. Maybe she isn't the most beautiful as listed in the article but her philosophy these days explains the reason she catches my eye.

Another girl on the list -- maybe not a knockout, physically, but still wins many men over easily.

No fan of Ben Affleck but he got this right.

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