meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2017-06-25

What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Trades and Free Agency Frenzy

The Warriors are like that ubiquitous rabbit the greyhounds are chasing. Sorry, hounds you're not going to catch up the way you're going in this years free agency. Not that you other teams haven't improved yourselves. Let's take a look.

OKC Thunder: Can't go wrong with Paul George, but how is he different or better than KD? The Point Guard is still, by default, Russell Westbrook. He simply is not and never will be a competent distributor, and he should have to be. However, the Thunder can't help be improved offensively with George.

LA Clippers: Kept Griffin, kept their muscle, lost a skilled point guard and added lots of reliable bench strength and moxy defense in Beverly, Harrell, and Dekker. Don't be surprised if Sam Dekker doesn't wind up playing a significant role at stretch three. Going to lose JJ, which will be a mistake. Now it's crucial to find a good point guard to replace Paul.

Timberwolves; Sorry they gave up on Rubio. They might have shot themselves in the foot as he was showing signs of hitting his potential. I've never been a big fan of  jeff Teague. He seems like a player who "hangs his head." However, and it's a big HOWEVER, Jimmy Butler is a stud and his scoring, defense, and leadership will put the Wolves into the playoffs.

The Rockets: I've already voiced my opinion about the Chris Paul acquisition. It will not work. If the missiles get JJ Redick, they'll be one of the most awesome 3 point shooting teams in the league, but they won't get out of the second round. OKC will beat them again, or the Warriors, or .... whomever. Can't win with pretend defense. 

Utah Jazz: If they keep Hayward, with Rubio at point guard (barring injury), the Utes will be a stronger team. Will be missing a little fire power, with Hill gone. So, lose Hayward  too and soynara playoffs. You got to put the ball in the hole.

Indiana Pacers: Got what they could and it wasn't too bad. Oladipo doesn't shoot consistently well, but he can score. Sabonis will develop into a starting NBA power forward. Both young players. Pacers need to be patient, don't give up first round draft choices and stick to a youth building model.

Saw a couple of over 50's joggers and they looked in pain. Here's a poem for senior citizen joggers.

A Jogging Injury    By Fleda Brown Jackson

All day I have lain, foot propped,
beating its shadow-heart
in time with the gods who stopped
my run mid-stride. Their art

stings less in my middle age.
At sixteen I would have cried
at my foot's carnage,
its quick turn from the right.

Now I am riddled with breaks.
Those I loved and others I turned from
have softened my bones to vague aches;
my original dreams come

into my thoughts like dried flowers
too tender for touch. today blood
crowds and blooms its flower
under the skin, making a glad

try for total repair. The lame
foot struck a rock, innocent
on the path: its pain
is the rock's gift, a godsend. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Subtle Hand of Jerry West

It won't work, Rockets. In the meantime you've lost some solid young players. What kind of D are you going to wind up with with a starting five of Cappela (decent) and the rest: Gordon, Anderson, Hardin, and Paul weak. Okay, for those of you who believe Paul is a good defender, allow me to inform you that he's not. He attacks initially, but because of his height can't really stop anyone with size and speed. Plus, he's aging and not nearly as quick as he used to be. Even if you allow for Paul as, at least, a decent defender. All you have on the court at the same time are two decent defenders and three weak ones. So, you're "all in" as you say to compete with the Warriors. You've haven't been paying attention to the team you want to emulate if you're not focused on DEFENSE. Ask any of the Warrior players when they're at their best? Go ahead, ask them!

I'm reasonably certain Jerry West has had some impute into this trade. Beverley is a junkyard dog on D and a much better shooter than people give him credit for. Sam Dekker is a versatile scorer and can defend four positions. Lot's upside for this young man. Think along the Draymond Green model. Lou Williams off the bench. Younger and better than Crawford, who's a bit long in the tooth. Montrezl Harrell will give the team strong minutes to relieve both Blake Griffen and D'Andre Jordan.  The Clips gave up one (unquestionably All Star point guard) in return for a full on competitive roster. They ought to be able to get something for Redick and Crawford, so look for the magic hand of Jerry "The Logo) West to bring in a few more essential players to fill in gaps.

I'm a huge fan of Phil Jackson as a coach, but not as a GM. I simply can't see how he could have given Carmelo Anthony a no trade clause. It simply doesn't make sense. Perhaps he saw a Kobe Bryant in Carmelo. But I find that strange as well. Kobe, for all his iso moves had an instinct when to make the move and when to release the ball. Carmelo doesn't have and never had such an instinct. Sure, eventually, he'd give the pill up, but not before the opportunity for other players to score was lost. Kobe always had a basketball mind, Carmelo doesn't. So, Phil, you're hoisted on your on petard, I'm afraid. But, I bow forever to your coaching skill. You probably should have coached the Knicks.

I've used this poem before, but it was a while back. But it is so perfect, so true, it's worth repeating

When I got It Right   by Carl Linder

The ball would lift
light as a wish,
Gliding like a blessing
over the rim, pure,
or kissing off glass
into the skirt of net.
Once it began
I couldn't miss.
Even in the falling dark,
the ball, before it left
my hand, was sure.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

All Star Awards amd etc comments.

Never in doubt, Draymond Green rules Defense in the NBA. Shout out is good. To Honor is best.

Russell Westbrook was a logical winner of MVP Award, especially after Hardin's lack of MVP performance in the playoffs. In my mind both Hardin and Westbrook are two of a kind players. In order for them to be successful, they must have the ball in their hands 60% or 70% of the time.  It is a conundrum for their teams. As long as this me/ball situation remains, their teams can not win an NBA Championship. Take the ball out of their hands, and you take their magic away. In D'Antoni's system, it's fire at will and in Oklahoma the coaches are wringing their hands for the lack of a true point guard. In both cases a perspective change has to take place for their teams to win a Championship - conference or the whole enchilada.

I am not a fan of Mike D'Antoni's brand of basketball. Speed is terrific, 3 pt shooting is a must in today's game, but there's so, so much more. Where is his strategy??? How does a coach who lacks a strategic game plan for defense or offense get elected Coach of the Year? Okay, so I've been out of the game and perhaps can't see some "modern day strategy" he has. If you see one for both ends of the court, please comment and explain them to me.

Just a quick note about D Wade. This guy is one hell of a basketball player and should not be in his closing years on a rebuild team. D Wade, unless you're strapped for cash, take a buy out a find a playoff bound team that needs your skill to get to the next playoff level.  Be willing to come off the bench and mentor the youngsters. Go out with a ring and with grace. You have a huge fan writing this blog.

It's summer if no one has noticed. The beaches are full, so are the waves filled with riders. Here's a haiku for surfers.

Surfer    by Tom Meschery

Crouched inside the wave
   Riding his board through the tunnel
Welcoming summer