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Posted on: April 28, 2010 2:56 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2010 3:10 pm
 

Hey Colorado, Hey Oregon, why not Mike Dunlap??

Mike Dunlap keeps getting overlooked for every significant coaching job. I don't understand it. He's an amazing coach, he led division 2 Metro State (Denver) to back2back national titles. And although it's a division 2 school he did do it with his recruiting, often landing international players that were diamonds in the rough. Then he becomes an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets, did well there, goes to Arizona, gets told the head job was his then has it taken away. So then what? He goes to Oregon, and is never seriously considered for the job. It's ridiculous in my mind, the guy is a great coach.

I only hope one day he'll get his recognition and be hired on to a good program as it's HEAD coach. I wanted Colorado to go after him, but that didn't happen either. He interviewed for that job back when Jeff Bzdelik took it but obviously lost to Bzdelik who does what? Bolts the program 3 years later for Wake Forest because his buddy is the AD. Then Colorado hires Tad Boyle rather then retaining Steve McClain who was highly courted by both current and former players. What is a head coach's job? To teach players life and basketball at the college level. To do that you have to be someone the players trust and want to learn from. So why didn't Mike Bohn listen to his current and former players? (One of those happens to be Chauncey Billups)

I'll never get the crazy merry-go-round in college coaching ranks, guess I'll have to live with it.
Posted on: April 1, 2010 9:58 am
 

Colorado should pursue Belotti

As you all have heard by now, Mike Belotti has stepped down from his position as Athletic Director for Oregon. The initial story said that he resigned to become a college football analyst for ESPN, however there are new reports saying the President of Oregon may have wanted him out which might more explain his $2.3 million paycheck he just received. He is going to ESPN, that part is true for sure.

That brings me to my suggestion, if Colorado has another bad year which looks pretty likely, then we all know CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn would have his termination papers for Dan Hawkins already filled out. Why not go after Belotti in that case? There's plenty of reasons he would be a good choice.
-He knows how to recruit on the West Coast, CU gets most of it's top recruits from California.
-He knows how to build a winner and maintain that level year in and year out, something Colorado has lacked since the McCartney days.
-The Buffs are one of the top targets for PAC 10 expansion if that ends up happening so he'd be back in the same conference he knows so well.
    I could go on forever. The point is Colorado needs a change. Players don't want to go there when the head coach is on the hot seat year in and year out, they want to play for a coach they know will be there. Why do you think Urban Meyer is so successful? Why was Pete Carroll so good for so many years?? Because players want to play for an established coach who knows the X'S and O'S.

Mike Bohn, if you're listening, go after Belotti and CU will return to it's glory days of the late 80's and early 90's. If you stick with Hawkins, the Buffs may improve but will never challenge the elite programs in this country. Belotti or Bust!!!!

Posted on: February 4, 2010 4:03 pm
 

Kobe Bryant does not trust his team(mates)

Kobe Bryant futher injured himself last night in a 99-97 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats. He has flared up an ankle sprain he suffered the previous week against the 76ers in a collision with Elton Brand. In the 2nd quarter of last nights game Lamar Odom landed on it making it worse prompting Kobe to go to the locker room before half time to get treatment. My question is, why not sit out the entire game to rest? Or two or three?  

The answer is simple, Kobe just doesn't trust his team to win without him. Even though he witnessed them win last night agains a hot Charlotte team while he was basically non-existant. (He shot 2 for 12 and had 5 points.) Easily his worst game of the year. Phil Jackson made a smart decision and took him out in the fourth quarter, but was it too late?

Kobe has a fractured finger, bad back and now a sprained ankle yet he continues to try and play.

Why?

He is scared of giving up ground for the number 1 seed in the West. Now he won't come out and admit this, but what other reason could you have? The gap isn't that small, Denver trails by 4.5 games, Dallas 6.5 and Utah 7. So a few losses certainly wouldn't put them out of position to maintain their number 1 seed but it could tighten it up just a bit. Both Bryant and Jackson know Denver can give them fits. We know they don't have the frontcourt to compete in another 7 game series with the Lakers but without Kobe, that's an entirely different story. Perfect example, Denver held Bryant scoreless in the second half of their only meeting this year, the result, Denver blew them out 106-78.

What I would like to ask Phil Jackson is why risk the health of the best player on this side of the Mississippi for playoff positioning. Last time I checked the number 1 seed doesn't always get you where you want to be, especially if your star player is playing at 50% because he (or his coach) was too stubborn to be smart about it.

Carmelo Anthony has missed 11 games this year for the Nuggets with a sprained ankle and a knee contusion. The result: Denver is 7-4, beating the Spurs on the road and the Cavaliers at home. Side note, they did not lose their spot in the standings. In fact, they passed Dallas for the number 2 seed.

The memo of the story is, quit being hot-headed, rest your injuries so you can recover or find yourself at home in June disappointed that you weren't smart about a simple ankle sprain or broken finger.
Posted on: October 15, 2009 3:15 pm
 

The Year of Redemption for Denver Sports

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year then you've heard EVERY single Denver sports franchise get thrown under the bus one way or another. All it has done is provide fuel for each team to prove the nay sayers wrong. So far so good.

It all started with the Denver Nuggets last year. Not ONE person picked them to win the Northwest division let alone make the playoffs. Even after they traded for Chauncey Billups they were picked to finish no higher then 7th in the powerful Western Conference. What happened? Oh yeah they finished 2nd in the Conference and won the division over a very young talented Portland team. Their record of 54-28 tied the single season franchise record for wins and got Denver fans excited like never before.
Even after that, no one picked them to go to the Western Conference Finals. What happened? They made it there easily beating New Orleans and Dallas in 5 games both series. Who were these guys?? Where did they come from? The answer is nowhere, they were there all along and have had the talent to do this for years. It just finally came together for them this last year. In my mind the Conference Finals was the REAL Finals. The Nuggets gave the Lakers much more of a fight then Orlando. In fact they could've won that series in 5 games if it wasn't for a couple of bad inbound passes. Doubters doubt no more and the Nuggets are now getting more recognition as they rightfully deserve.

Now on to the Colorado Rockies. 18-28 was not the way to start the season and everyone had written them off by that point (rightfully so). But even before the season started no one gave them a chance and called the NL West the National League doormat. What happened?? The Rockies then won 17 of 18 and stormed back to win the Wild Card with a record of 92-70. Also a franchise record for wins. Also noteworthy, the NL West produced 2 of the 4 teams in the postseason and the Giants were in pursuit of the Rockies for the wildcard the whole way until the last 2 weeks. Firing Clint Hurdle and hiring Jim Tracy was a huge factor, but even after that happened no one gave them a shot. But like the Nuggets they proved everyone wrong. Sort of an ongoing theme in Denver these days.

Next we move on to the Denver Broncos. Josh McDaniels had a fire storm thrown at him after trading away Jay Cutler and having issues with Brandon Marshall. The media said they'd win 4, maybe 5 games all year. What happened? They won their first 5 games. Now everyone is calling McDaniels the early coach of the year. Kyle Orton went from getting bashed everywhere to a surprise and even so far as an early MVP consideration. (see ESPN's latest MVP rankings, he's 7th) Brandon Marshall went from a cancer to a hard working scoring machine. The Defense went from the laughing stock of the NFL to the best defense in the LEAGUE. Thank Mike Nolan and McDaniels for reshaping the defense. All in all, they are also proving everyone wrong.

Last but not least, the Colorado Avalanche. They were supposed to be rebuilding this year, and in many ways they are. They have two 18year old kids starting at center on their 2nd and 3rd line. But they are producing and are 4-1-1 thru 6 games. How it may be too early to tell if they will keep it up all year, they are still surprising people enough for ESPN's Peter LeBrun to right an article on how surprising they have been. They got a steal at Goalie this summer signing Anderson. He has been great so far with a .940 save percentage and a 1.98 GAA. So far, the Avs are following the Denver trend and proving everyone wrong. Even with a rookie head coach named Joe Sacco.

   We had the 'Redeem Team' in the Olympics, now we have the redemption city. It's Denver. For some reason Denver never gets respect. See my previous blog on how the Stars of Denver get looked over for every award possible. (i.e. see Troy Tulowitzki for rookie of the year in 2007, Matt Holliday for MVP in 2007, Carmelo Anthony for rookie of the year in 2003, Todd Helton practically every year with gold gloves, he has won 3 but deserves many more. And probably soon to be added to the list will be Josh McDaniels and Jim Tracy for coach of the year) For some reason Denver is an afterthought in the sports world. Denver may be the fittest city in the nation and the 2009 #1 place to live, but apparently it's not for the sports teams. However Denver likes it that way, they like proving people wrong and will continue to do so.


Posted on: October 14, 2009 1:10 pm
 

October and April easily the best sports months

As I was sitting around the TV with some friends last Sunday watching the Broncos- Patriots game, we got into an interesting debate on what we think the best all around month for sports is. After going through all of them we came up with two that were the key months to argue over. April and October. I said April was the best month while some of my freinds respectfully disagreed and said it was October. Then the debate began, below I'll list why each month is special for the sports world.

April:   I chose April because there are a lot of events in April with significant meaning and entertainment in the sports world. So many events happen in that month that are must see or to say the least, intruiging.

   In April you get spoiled with a variety of different sports events that are very important to their respective sports. First off, you have March Madness coming to an end with the start of the Final Four, some fans would argue this event alone makes April better then any other month. But on top of that, you get the end of the regular season and start of the playoffs for both the NBA and the NHL. It's when many teams seasons are saved or lost for the year. You also get the start of the regular season for Baseball as well as the NFL Draft. There's so much on TV you don't know what to watch.
Even after you get past all of that excitement you still get to watch Tiger Woods try to win another Masters. What a great month right?!

Now for October: 
 
October is also a grand month for the sports entertainment world. Opposite of April, you get the end of the regular season for Baseball and the start of the post season. Baseball's postseason is filled with emotion and excitement. Even if you're not a true baseball fan, most can enjoy it with the roars of the crowds and wild celebrations by teams after winning a series.
In addition to that, the NFL season is in weeks 4-8 or so and it starts to really shape up who will be the teams to beat for the remainder of the year. Football is responsible for stealing fans of other sports attention as it seems to be 'Americas Sport' these days with more and more people playing Fantasy football. Fantasy is a great way to become a fan of the game as a whole. Most fans only watch their respective teams, yet with Fantasy it gives you a reason to watch other teams to check on your players, thus making the game in it's entirety much more entertaining.
We follow that up with the start of the NBA and NHL seasons. Granted there's not too much that's exciting for some about the first 20 games in either sport, nonetheless people still will watch their teams and check the standings in the sports page every day, even if all of their focus is on football.


   If you compare the two months they're pretty much opposite, April brings the close of some seasons and starts others while October does the same thing. What better way to spend your weekends then rooting for your hometown team or the team you follow. As I said April is my favorite but below is a list of some key events in both months so I'll let you be the judge of which one you like better.

April:                                                   October:
-NCAA Final Four                       -End of Baseball regular season/ Playoffs begin
-the Masters                            -NFL gets into full swing
-start of Baseball                      - NBA season begins
-NBA Playoffs begin                   -NHL season begins.
-NHL Playoffs begin                   -College Football BCS picture starts to shape up  
-NFL Draft                                - End of PGA season

I may have left a few events out from each month, but you see there are many to choose from. You decide which one you enjoy the most, for me it's the month of April!

 

 

Category: General
Tags: NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, PGA
 
Posted on: July 13, 2009 7:03 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2009 4:49 pm
 

All elite teams getting better. Nuggets sit still

There have been many big offseason moves by all the top teams from a year ago except the Denver Nuggets. Do they think they can get back to where they were without making any additions? I'd like to ask Mark Warkentein and Stan Kroenke that question.

First lets review the NBA's offseason moves and if I think they will help their new respective teams:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Cleveland trades for Shaquille O'Neal - This may work or may not. I don't see them winning a championship by simply adding Shaq. Now if they would've gotten Trevor Ariza like they were trying that might have been more convincing. I just don't think Shaq has what he once did. Granted he had a great year last year leading the league in FG percentage. But besides that, where were the Suns in April and May? If he couldn't take a team to the playoffs that has Amar'e Stoudemire and Steve Nash in the lineup then how is he going to help a team get to the finals that has 1 marquee player. Don't get me wrong, Mo Williams is a great PG but he falls in love with the 3 and can be very inconsistent at times. I see them possibly returning to the Conference Finals again but falling short there. You'll see why below in other moves.

Orlando trades for Vince Carter - This I think is the biggest move of the offseason. Vinsanity hasn't had a quality team around him since the Nets went to the finals. This will wake him up and he'll have his best year in a long time. I do disagree with what they gave up, Rafer Alston played very well over the course of the second half last year and in the playoffs. It was a mistake for Stan Van Gundy to play Jameer Nelson at all in the finals, it disrupted the teams rhythym. I thought Rafer played better with the Magic then Jameer did. But he also was inconsistent. If Nelson can return to his pre-injury form then this will be the best move of the offseason. Carter will make the Magic all but forget Tukoglu.

Boston signs Rasheed Wallace - Not much to say about this signing except that it will work great. He'll be a great 3rd option behind Pierce and Allen. Not to mention a healthy Garnett. If Rajon Rondo performs like he did in the playoffs this team will be the top in the east with the Magic right on their heels.

Raptors sign Hedo Turkoglu - The Raptors weren't even close to an elite team this last season. But with the addition of Turk they will at least be a playoff team fighting for home court in the first round. Not much past that, but maybe it'll be enough to pursuade Chris Bosh to sign that coveted extension if he thinks the Raptors are finally trying to build a championship Contender.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Lakers sign Ron Artest -
In my opinion they could've not signed anyone, retained Ariza and Lamar Odom and been just fine. That wasn't good enough for the mighty Lakers. They add one of the league's premier defenders. He also isn't too bad on offense either, and playing along side Kobe Bryant will make his shot selection a lot smarter. You saw how him and Kobe went at it, now on the same team Kobe can enjoy seeing other teams take the beating. They will not miss Ariza.

Spurs trade for Richard Jefferson - This is a huge move. Too often the Spurs had to rely on Tony Parker last season with Ginobli and Duncan ailing. AND they still won 54 games before being shot out of the first round by the Mavericks. Imagine those two healthy all year with Jefferson to knock down some outside shots. He gives them four reliable options on Offense. You do lose the defense of Bruce Bowen but who are we kidding, he's past his prime and was slowly becoming ineffective.

      Now the rest of the West is still up in the air with the Jazz talking about trading Carlos Boozer to the Bulls. The Blazers are stil trying to make their mark after being snubbed by Turkoglu. Houston signed Trevor Ariza, but with the loss of Yao for a long time possibly and the uncertainty of how Tracy McGrady will come back from micro-fracture surgery made me not include them in the big deals above. Plus Ariza wasn't that effective in the regular season, he made his mark in the post season so we'll see how he does in a starters role.

Now to the Denver Nuggets.
Is Kroenke that cash strapped that he has just said win with less. The same motto as last year that worked then but is surely a risk this year with all of the additons the other elite teams are making. The Nuggets have made some solid moves, re-signing Chris Andersen to a 5 year $26 million deal.
But then they let Dohntay Jones walk out the door in free agency. His defense was key to the Nuggets playoff run last year. He was becoming a young and more athletic Bruce Bowen. This will hurt more then they realize now, although I do think the Pacers overpaid for him at 4 years worth $11 million. 
So now it's a certain that J.R. Smith will take over as starting shooting guard. This should've happened anyways given Smith maturing immensely over the last year. Also his defense was much improved towards the end of last year and his offense is explosive. Who will back him up though? They just acquired Arron Afflalo today in a trade for a future second round pick. That will help if Afflalo can grow fast. He wasn't a key player for a Detroit team that went 39-43 and got swept by the Cavs in the first round. To his credit he had the pleasure of playing behind Richard Hamilton and a disgruntled Allen Iverson. Also in the deal was Walter Sharpe, a 6'9" forward with almost no experience appearing in only 8 games last year.
They seem to be set at point guard with Chauncey Billups and a newfound rookie Ty Lawson who they got in the draft. They wanted to take him last year until he ultimately decided to go back to UNC for one more year which I might add worked out well for both parties.
The real help they need now is some front court depth. They don't really have a true center and although Nene and Kenyon Martin stayed healthy for the most part last year, they've both still been very injury prone in their past.

Overall I see them still being a top 4 team in the West but slide all the way out to the just inside the top 8 overall now after many believed they were the second best team behind the Lakers after last years playoffs. They were much more competitive against the Lakers then the Magic in my mind with the exception of game 6. Will they do anything else or hope they can win with less again. Only time will tell. . . . Resigning Linas Kleiza wouldn't hurt as he got back to his old form in the playoffs.

Whatever they do (if anything) they need to do it quick because their peers are making improvements in leaps and bounds while the Nuggets seem to be taking baby steps.



Posted on: May 29, 2009 5:12 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2009 5:26 pm
 

Why does Ken Berger hate Denver?

Nuggets coach George Karl complained about the officiating after game 5. So what? So you have to write two articles on how bad it is that they are complaining and that it will cost them the series. Really, get over it. Where was your article on Phil Jackson complaining after game 4? I didn't see it, is it because he has 9 championship rings and the glare off of them was blinding you enough so you couldn't see your computer screen?

The Nuggets are not costing themselves this series by complaining. Lets remember they have Chauncey Billups who has been here many times before, in fact 6 times. He is not going to let this team lose it's composure going into an elimination game. Second, Carmelo Anthony has never been this far and isn't about to let some emotions get in the way of accomplishing his goal. So what if the Nuggets are complaining and saying Phil Jackson bought this game. The Nuggets still lost it on their own and Karl even admitted it. Did you watch the game? I know you did. Do you really think that was a charge on Chauncey Billups? Do you really think Nene should've been called for his 6th foul on a block that was so unclear on if it was either offensive or defensive? I mean seriously, I started giving your writing respect again, guess I shouldn't have.

All you do is bash the Nuggets. After they won by 58 against the Hornets you blamed George Karl of running up the score saying that he should've put Sonny Weems and Stephen Hunter in the game who both were actually in street clothes and not even active. What is it about them that you don't like, the tattoos?? In this society if people still can't accept that tattoos are a huge part of our culture then you live in a box. Do you think because they're all battling back from some sort of problem whether it was a drug problem or maturity issues that they're not decent human beings?

I'm just curious and I hope you read this. You spent ALL year writing about Stephon Marbury, who gives a damn about him. Now you've spent the entire playoffs bashing the Nuggets at every chance you get. Sure you've paid some compliments but I'm sure that was just so you wouldn't have to hear from people like me. Whatever it is get over it. If the Nuggets win tonight I want you to publicly eat your words, if they lose, it wasn't because of your article or the fact they complained about the officiating. It was because the Lakers have Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol and plenty of playoff experience to back it up. The Nuggets are the better TEAM in this series and have won 14 of 20 quarters in this series. Three of the six they didn't win ended up in a tie. Who's the better team? The Nuggets, what it comes down to is 4th quarter execution which the Lakers are much more experienced at accomplishing which is why they're winning this series. It's not because the Nuggets are thugs and complain about officiating.

I'll be at the game tonight, win or lose I'll know it wasn't due to complaining, will you? Obviously not, you'll write another story pronouncing you're a genius for saying the Nuggets lost this series because they brought up some conspiracy theory. I can't even think of a word to describe your writing, but it wouldn't be good, at least most of the time. I'll say you write some ok articles from time to time but you end up ruining it within a week for me. I'm done.

Posted on: May 28, 2009 5:35 pm
 

Nuggets/ Refs down but not out

So first off, this series is far from over. You remember the Nuggets basically beat themselves in games 1 and 3. Last night I'll admit the Lakers looked like the better team, in one quarter. It just happened to be the 4th quarter. Lets look at an interesting stat, going into game 5 the Nuggets had won 14 of 16 quarters in the series and it was still 2-2. Even after last night they've won 14 of 17 if you don't count the 1st, 2nd or 3rd in which they were tied. This series has been a great series between 2 incredibly balanced teams.

The Nuggets have the edge on the perimiter easy, the Lakers have the edge on the inside easy. It should make for a great game 6 which I'll be at!!!

Either way, the officiating has been horrendous for both teams. Not just the Nuggets as Ken Berger's article proclaims. I'm a Nuggets fan and yes we got the raw deal on MANY foul calls last night but I can also admit the Lakers had some questionable calls against them in game 4. It goes both ways, seems to always favor the home team. That's playoff basketball. My only complaint is that they need to be consistent with what is a foul and what is not. Like Phil Jackson said after game 4, they were getting knocked around with no calls in the first half but in the second half they were calling tic tac fouls all over. It's been like that in every game. They let them play early and then call the tic tac fouls in the 4th.

Even if they could reverse that I'd be more satisfied. The 4th quarter of a Western Conference final should be played rough and tough and the Refs should allow it. None of these oh Kobe got touched on his elbow 30 feet from the basket lets call a foul. They need to let them play in the 4th so the teams can settle it amongst themselves.
THE OFFICIATING DID NOT COST THE NUGGETS THE GAME LAST NIGHT (coming from an obvious Nuggets fan) But it certainly didn't help as was the case for the Lakers in game 4. In both instances where the coach complained about the fouls their teams respectively were outplayed. The officiating was horrible but in the last 2 games the team that deserved to win won. Any Arguments??

Back to game 6, which the Nuggets have to win to force game 7. Carmelo Anthony needs to have a good night both shooting and defensively. He knows they'll double and triple him so as long as his outlet passes are on point that should be a huge boost. Also has anybody noticed the GREAT offensive play from Linas Kleiza?? Why isn't he seeing more minutes George Karl?? You'd rather have Anthony Carter out there?? Carter is a good productive backup point guard but he's too prone to turnovers and is a liability on defense. I know that sounds weird to say because that's one of his biggest strengths but in this series he's been on Kobe Bryant mostly when he's in which is a HUGE mistake. Carter cannot keep up with Kobe, in fact he doesn't match up well in this series at all. Kleiza does because he has size and runs the floor very well for a forward. Give him more minutes. J.R. Smith has got to have a big game as well.

With my first point in this article about the Nuggets winning all but 3 quarters and tying in 3 others they have proven they can beat the Lakers. They are the better TEAM in this series. Lakers fans will hate me for saying that but it's the truth. If you take away Kobe and Carmelo the Nuggets win this series in 5 games. They've already shown they can beat the Lakers when 'Melo has an off night. They're more balanced and can run the floor better. They as a team just need to closeout better, if that happens as it did in games 2 and 4 the Nuggets have a good chance of taking this series in 7. It's going to be very tough, but it's still possible. All it takes is some key possessions in the fourth and confidence which these Nuggets have plenty of.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com