Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NBA 2009-10

I wanted to have this up yesterday, but again life is just too busy. Even today I really don't have the time, but I will do my best to belt this out in the short time that I have.

The NBA tipped its 2009-10 season last night with a quartet of games, including the LA Lakers being awarded their championship rings and also awarded the chance to start their season against the LA Clippers (minus top pick Blake Griffin).

So much happened in the offseason with the draft and a great many players switching teams. Did the Cavaliers get better with the addition of Shaq? Did the Celtics improve with Rasheed Wallace coming off their bench? Is Ron Artest an upgrade over Trevor Ariza for the Lakers?

With the great many moves that happened this offseason it was still sort of a surprise because, well, the rich got richer. There weren't too many great moves happening with the lower echelon of teams, but the top teams getting even better players. Now, of course this can all back fire with lack of chemistry, but it might also be a safe bet that the great teams from a year ago will again be great this year.

A few teams to watch out for and moves I have loved:

San Antonio Spurs: I have never been a fan of the Spurs and I mock them whenever I get the chance because their brand of basketball is just so boring. I cringe whenever I think of that horrible Spurs-Pistons finals from a few years ago. But, the Spurs not only got a bit younger, but they got better. They bring in a quality small forward in Richard Jefferson and a decent veteran in Antonio McDyess. Not only that, but they may have gotten a steal on draft night with DaJuan Blair falling to them in the second round - he has looked like a beast so far in the preseason.

Washington Wizards: I had the luxury of seeing this team play already last night as the knocked off the Dallas Mavericks, and one thing is for sure - Gilbert Arenas is back. The Wizards defeated a pretty darn good Mavs team with Caron Butler giving a subpar performance and Antawn Jamison missing the game due to injury. That bodes well for this team. If Gilbert stays healthy this is a team to watch.

Orlando Magic: Talk about a team not wanting to settle. Coming off an NBA Finals appearance the Magic blew up their team, but kept three of their main players (Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis). Gone is premier rookie Courtney Lee, backup point guard Rafer Alston and do-it-all Hedo Turkoglu. But, they bring in Vince Carter to replace Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson to replace Lee, and a move that isn't getting talked enough about is the return of Jason Williams to backup Nelson. And all three (including newcomer Brandon Bass) have looked great in preseason.


East Playoffs (in order)
Boston Celtics
Orlando Magic
Cleveland Cavaliers
Washington Wizards
Chicago Bulls
Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat
Toronto Raptors

West Playoffs (in order)
LA Lakers
San Antonio Spurs
Denver Nuggets
Portland Trailblazers
Utah Jazz
New Orleans Hornets
Dallas Mavericks
Oklahoma City Thunder

MVP: LeBron James
ROY: Blake Griffin (if healthy)
COY: Flip Saunders
DEF: Dwight Howard
6th: Rasheed Wallace

UPDATE: I realized after I sent this that I didn't finish it. So here are my final predictions.

First Team
Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant
Second Team
Dwyane Wade, Deron Williams, Chris Bosh, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce
Third Team
Brandon Roy, Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol

NBA Finals
Orlando Magic over San Antonio Spurs

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall TV - So Far

I know it has been yet another month or so since I have been able to post. I also know that I continue to make excuses - but the time has just not been there to be able to sit down and post. Plus, I can't really remember the last movie I sat down to watch.

Besides watching Monsters vs. Aliens with my son this weekend.

My time is pretty much pulled to the brink with my graduate classes and homework. Not to mention working on top of that - so the little time I do have I try to spend with my family, and I haven't really had time to sit down and write something on here.

But, we have been able to watch some television. So, I thought with the few minutes I have here on my lunch break I would mention a few shows that I have been watching - shows that are brand new this season.

Let's start with comedies. There haven't been a large amount of comedies that I have been able to get behind over the last few years. I enjoy How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory. Not to mention my favorite show of all-time, Scrubs. I was pretty late to the party for The Office and 30 Rock.

This season, there are actually a trio of comedies that I have started watching and actually enjoy.

Let's start backwards:

The Middle

I was up-in the air about this show. Patricia Heaton hasn't exactly been lighting the screen on fire since leaving Everybody Loves Raymond, and her character on that show actually became pretty intolerable. But, Neil Flynn from Scrubs was cast as her husband so I thought I would at least give it a try. This actually fits pretty well with Heaton, who stars as Frankie, a horrible car salesman married to Mike (Flynn) with three kids. Mike is a manager at the quarry, and between the two of them they make just enough to squeak past. Their children are a bit odd, Axl the oldest walks around the house in his boxers all day and has no real passion for anything. Their daughter Sue tries out for everything at school, but has no real talent for anything. Brick, their youngest son, is a highly intelligent loner who reads everything in sight and talks in a weird low voice to himself.
So far the show has been pretty good, but I hope they find a little more for Chris Kattan to do. He can be pretty funny when used correctly.

Cougar Town

Cougar Town is a show that I really hope can succeed, as it is helmed by Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence. Although, I was less-than pleased with Courtney Cox's appearance on Scrubs she fits in a little better on this show. Cox plays Jules Cobb, a divorced mother of a high schooler, who is getting back in the game, and begins picking up some men a lot younger than she is. She is brought along by her co-worker Laurie Keller (Busy Philipps), but also stays a bit grounded thanks to her friend Ellie Torres (Christa Miller).
The show has started off a little slow for my taste, but has had a few good moments. I do hope that it can find its footing as there is great potential.

I have to admit I was not going to watch this show. The premise seemed very odd and not very funny. But, I was able to view the pilot one afternoon on Facebook, and I thought the show had a pretty good base. Jeff (Joel McHale) is thrust back into school after his law degree is found to be less-than valid. He meets Britta (Gillian Jacobs), who is struggling with Spanish and lies to her that he is a tutor to get close to her. In their first session, Britta has invited a very eclectic bunch of classmates to join the tutoring session. Once it is found out that Jeff has been lying, they all give him another chance and continue their 'study group'.
McHale is pretty good as the lead in this show, but I have to admit the secondary characters are hilarious. Abed (Danny Prudi) and Troy (Donald Glover) have pretty great chemistry together - make sure to stick around for the credits, they always do something very funny. Senor Chang (Ken Jeong) is his usual hysterical self as the Spanish teacher. Finally, Chevy Chase turns in a very solid performance as Pierce Hawthorne. Chase has sort of become a joke in films as of late, but he is a bit more laid back and very funny as a background player in this show.
Possibilities are endless here and I am very excited for them.

Due to my classes and already large amount of television shows that I must watch, I only selected one new hour-long show this season.


With Lost about to check out for the last time at the conclusion of the year I thought it best that I find a new show that makes you think, although Fringe certainly continues to do that as well. FlashForward looked to me as though it may be a replacement on ABC for Lost and it even has a pair of former Losties in Sonya Walger and Dominic Monaghan in the cast. The show's premise is pretty simple - yet very complicated - the entire world blacks out at exactly the same time for two minutes and seventeen seconds. During that time a vision happens of a date in the future, April 29, 2010. As everyone begins to wake up and see what has happened during the time the blacked out, Agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) begins sorting things out using his vision of the future. The FBI is looking into what caused this event, and what can be done to stop it from happening again.
Meanwhile, some of the futures are not so appealing to those that had them, including Agent Demetri Noh (John Cho) who didn't have a vision. Possibly meaning that by April 29, 2010 he may be dead.
The layout to the show is amazing and it appears to have a handful of great actors. Much like Lost, however, I do hope that the show has given itself a proper end date or I feel things could be dragged out far too long. But, so far I am hooked.

NOTE: Monsters vs. Aliens was actually quite cute and B.O.B. (Seth Rogen) was downright hilarious. If I have time in the future I may touch on this as well.