Sunday, December 19, 2010

Geno Auriemma should just shut up

Geno Auriemma the coach of the UConn women's basketball team let loose on a rant after his win this Sunday over 10th ranked Ohio State, tying the all-time consecutive win's record for Div. 1 Basketball with John Wooden's UCLA teams of the late 70s.

He exclaimed: "I just know there wouldn’t be this many people in the room if we were chasing a woman’s record.The reason everybody is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men’s record, and everybody is all up in arms about it."

And: "Because we’re breaking a men’s record, we’ve got a lot of people paying attention. If we were breaking a women’s record, everybody would go, ‘Aren’t those girls nice, let’s give them two paragraphs in USA Today, you know, give them one line on the bottom of ESPN and then let’s send them back where they belong, in the kitchen.”

Bull crap, Auriemma. You're getting a lot of attention because you're breaking an iconic number in college sports. You're getting attention because you're team hasn't lost in years, and you're getting attention mostly because the largest sports enterprise in the world is 20 miles from your campus.
No one is suggesting women should be in the kitchen or anything else. But the truth is, people don't care about women's basketball. It's not as exciting as men's basketball. You are at one of two schools where women's basketball is a priority (Tennessee).
Be a gentlemen, not an idiot. Appreciate that you've had some great talent. Now I am rooting against you, because John Wooden never would have acted this way.
Also, there is no reason to compare the two streaks. The men's field is deeper than the women's field in basketball, therefore the streak is more impressive in my mind, but I don't think anyone wants to see failure. It's not like college basketball fans will now look back at John Wooden, Bill Walton and Abdul-Kareem Jabbar and the 10 consecutive UCLA titles with less admiration.
Geno you are an idiot and just shut up.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Erick Dampier could be the secret to the Miami Heat's success

The Miami Heat may their championship push on November 23. Not with LeBron bumping Coach Spoelstra, or the anonymous (Maverick Carter) leaked reports of players being unhappy with the coaching staff, but rather the signing of journeyman center Erick Dampier.
For those of you who've watched the heat or who have linked to his stat page above, are asking the obvious question:

Can a guy who shoots 26%, and averages 13 minutes, 1.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.3 assists a game really make a difference.

The answer is yes, otherwise, I wouldn't have written this.
Since his first game against Dallas on Nov. 27, Dampier became the fourth center in the 10-man rotation pushing Eddie House out of the playing rotation. By moving the rotation by replacing a scoring guard with a center it forced the Heat to use their smaller players in other positions.
Chris Bosh never plays center anymore. The heat can go with offensively challenged/defensive minded bangers Erick Dampier and Joel Anthony, or "spread the floor centers, because we're too old and our hips will break if we have too much contact" centers in Zildrudas Ilgauskas and Juwan Howard. Howard can also back up Bosh at Power Forward.
By having Bosh at PF full time moves sharp-shooting James Jones, and soon Mike Miller (once he returns next week from his thumb injury) to playing a lot of small forward and shooting guard. This in turn moves LeBron to his real position of "large as hell" point guard.
Wade stays at scoring guard and this has all the stars at their best positions.

Earlier in the season (the 9-8 start) the Heat kept trying to force conventional logic by having Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo be traditional point guards, but it works much better for LeBron to play point and have these players spread the floor looking for wide open 3-pointers.

The Dampier signing allowed for these roster shifts and we can see a difference in the team and the players stats.
 After the Dampier signing:
Dwyane Wade's scoring have jumped from 19.56  to 27.25  points per game
LeBron James's efficiency rating has jumped by 15%
Chris Bosh's scoring raised from 17.6 to 18.3 and rebounding 7.2 to 8.7
Overall the team's defense has improved holding opponents to 86.6 points after Dampier than 93.8 before.

While the media will concentrate on the game in Cleveland as a catalyst, the shifting of personnel to better positions, I believe has a much larger impact. The catalyst there was the moving of Erick Dampier into the rotation.