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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

4/29/09- TWD's Agenda For The Day: Can We Just Get To the 101st Day Already

Because "100" is a shinny nice number that the press glosses over on like they're putting some "Head On" on it for their own trivial means doesn't mean we still can't get sucked into it over at The Whole Delivery.

With that, here's the perfect synopsis of overcoming the inanity of this day (which originally started off as truly poignant and meaning something when FDR implemented his plan on fighting the Great Depression).

Media Matters (how the sane can't live without them) has their top 12 choices so far of how wonderful our traditional media has been at showing how inept they continue to be at this 100 Day landmark:

Olyyyyy! Why the hell do I even bother posting this irrelevant man's response to tonight's press conference?

Maybe I posted it for those who still think he is irrelevant? I shudder to think what is up in those people's heads.

Think Progress's new video man Victor Zapanta complies a video montage of how conservatives and conservative moment have behaved in these ballyhooed 100 days. (It maybe, just maybe, is a little bit of a stretch to say they won't be garnering any Noble Peace or Humanitarian Prices this year, or any time soon).

A five star effort from Zapanta, but Think Progress has a ways to go to catch up to Media Matters consistent efficiency. Here's another classic from the "Double M", this time delivering the innumerable constituents of why Fixed Propaganda is so bad that Obama sometimes ignores them purposefully (like tonight) or makes fun of them (like earlier today):

And a key reason why Media Matters is phenomenal is this columnist, with viewpoints like this:
But more often than not, it seems the press has spent its time wallowing in minutiae and pointless speculation. It has celebrated the mundane and chased after White House nonsense in a way I don't think we've ever seen before in modern American politics. And the tone of the coverage is without question unrecognizable when compared with the respectful media greeting Bush received during his first 100 days in office, when a blanket of calm seemed to descend on Beltway newsrooms and where a polite, distant tone for the White House was the accepted norm.

Keep kicking that a...... derriere Mr.Boehlert.

And finally, closing it out in fashion, is the one and only Mr. Stewart (who also gets his two cents in on the Arlen Specter mess).
The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
How to Judge a Guy in 100 Days
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisFirst 100 Days


Job Well Done Mike Brown wins NBA Coach of the Year By Riebeil Durley-Petty

Every gourmet chef has a method for preparing a good meal. In order to make the food as scrumptious as possible you need to have the proper ingredients. Not only to the ingredients have to be right, you also have to judiciously apply just the right amount of spices and herbs to accentuate the flavor. Combine all of those elements and you just completed a gastronomically pleasing meal.

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown may not be a gourmet chef, but he has definitely cooked a masterpiece Cavs fans have enjoyed all year, and the fourth year head coach was awarded for his appetizing spread with the NBA Coach of the Year last week. With his thick rimmed black specs Brown may look better suited as professor at Yale but this year he’s showcased his erudite nature using the hardwood as his personal classroom and the bench as his lectern.

The Cavs had a surprisingly great year. Many would have expected a 55 win season, but very few projected Cleveland putting together one of the best seasons in league history. Cleveland amassed a franchise record 66 wins, a 39-2 home record which ranks second all-time in the NBA and home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Now the prevalent consensus of haters is the addition of All-Star point guard Mo Williams and amelioration of LeBron James defensively and overall unrivaled brilliance are the main reasons for Cleveland’s success. For certain both are pivotal pieces in the Cavs emergence as a frontrunner to clutch this year’s Larry O’ Brien gold laced trophy but Brown has been just as integral.

Brown has received large haterism since the first day he took over the reigns as Cavs head coach. Skeptics demonize him for his seeming perplexed facial expressions at times when Brown’s team makes mistakes or not being a good in game strategist. They criticize Brown for not making good halftime adjustments and merely riding the coattails of King James ridiculous magnificence.
Brown may lack in some areas. He may not have the charisma of Pat Riley. The intensity of Jerry Sloan. Monk like perceptive serene motivational skills of Phil Jackson. Or the raw x and o knowledge of Larry Brown. However, Brown combines a little of each of these properties to create his own coaching style. And for each of the aforementioned current and future hall of fame coaches all of them have had great players as well. Though they didn’t win a title (cause Jordan wouldn’t let them) Sloan’s Utah Jazz had John Stockton and Karl Malone. Riley had Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy with the Lakers and Shaquille O’Neal and Dwayne Wade with the Miami Heat. And Phil had Jordan and Scottie Pippen with the Bulls and Shaq and Kobe in LA.

It’s a misnomer coaches game management is solely responsible for making great teams and winning titles. Great coaches have great players, and great teams combined with the congruency the Cavs have is what makes champions. A disciple of San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Poppovich, arguably the game’s top coach, Brown had always possessed basketball acumen.
Each of his Cavs teams have overachieved in the playoffs. In 2006 Cleveland beat the Washington Wizards in the first round and surprisingly took the defending East champ Detroit Pistons 7 games in the East Semifinals before bowing out. The Cavs shockingly clocked Roc City the following year reaching the first NBA Finals in team history before getting broomed by the Spurs. Cleveland barely lost a 12 round heavyweight slugfest before finally succumbing to eventual NBA champ Boston with Bron and Pierce putting on one the of greatest personal duels in playoff history.

In each series the Cavs were the underdog yet made life difficult for their favored opponent and in some cases pulled off the upset. You can’t dispute with success and Brown’s have been some of the most successful in the league the last few years. Brown’s teams have always had stout defenses. This year Brown has shown maturity allowing his team to have more freedom on the floor disposing the rigid, lethargic half-court offense and letting the team get out and run. Delonte West is given more isolation plays and Zydruan Illgauskas is used in more pick and pop situations to blaze opposing centers with his smooth jumper.

The change in offensive philosophy combined with Cleveland’s smothering D gave them the league’s highest point differential of 9.7. Falling back letting the team clown with their extravagant pre-game intros has enabled Cleveland to crystallize and develop a off the court chemistry that has translated into on court success. Come June it might just get Brown a title like his mentor in San Antonio.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble The NBA Playoffs are set top blast off Riebeil Durley-Petty

After a long NBA season we’ve finally got to the part everyone’s been looking forward too. Customers have enjoyed the scrumptious appetizers, but now it’s time serve the main course. This year has been one of the most exciting, competitive seasons in recent memory. The playoffs have several intriguing storylines.

We’ve seen the emergence of the Cleveland Cavaliers but will the season end in a kingly coronation for LeBron James? Can the Boston Celtics mobilize to pull off an improbable successful title defense without Kevin Garnett? Can Dwight Howard take advantage of Boston’s misfortune and lead the Orlando Magic to the Eastern Finals? The Western Conference was tighter than a pair of size four daisy duke shorts on comedian Monique. Only six games separated the second and eighth seed. The West side was definitely the best side, as teams battled for survival on a nightly basis. But Los Angeles Lakers were unquestionably the best of the west. Can Kobe finally lead his team to a championship without Shaq? Now that the season’s over it’s time to separate the contenders from the pretenders. Let’s see just who’s legit and who going to get ripped.

#2 Boston Celtics vs. #7 Chicago Bulls
Chicago- It took awhile, but after getting off to a lackluster, underwhelming start the Chicago Bulls rounded into form and were able to secure a playoff spot. Chicago and first year head coach Vinny Del Negro took their lumps and but the team grew exponentially from the beginning to the end of the regular season campaign and overcame the loss of starting small forward Luol Deng. The turning point for the Bulls was the late season acquisitions of center Brad Miller (11.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists a game) and John Salmons (18.2 ppg, 4.2 boards, 41.7 percent three’s) from the Sacramento Kings. Chicago ended the season strong winning 7 of their last 10 games. Miller gives the Bulls with a physical true center who knocks down jumpers, grabs boards, is one of the league’s best passing big men and provides veteran leadership and playoff experience the youthful Bulls lacked. Salmons gives The Chi a consistent scoring small forward who can acquire buckets in a variety of ways.

Derrick Rose is the human incarnation of Nascar whip with his supersonic acceleration (16.8 ppg, 6.3 assists, 47.5 percent from field). The frontrunner for Rookie of the Year and Windy City lead all freshman ballers in dimes, has good shot selection, slices opposing defenses like a machete and gets to the cup and finishes with the combination of his strength and bounce. Ben Gordon (20.7 ppg, 3.4 assists, 41.7 treys) is an incendiary bucket machine millennium version of former Detroit Pistons great Vinny “The Microwave” Johnson who can explode and unload at any time. He’s streaky but Gordon will need to cancel Ray Allen’s production.

Sporadic, but kangaroo hoppin ultra sick athlete Tyrus Thomas (10.8 ppg, 6.4 rebounds 1.91 blocks) and Joakim Noah (6.7 ppg, 7.6 boards, 1.38 blocks) are both energizers who will need to outplay the Celtics Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Leon Powe if Chicago wants to make it a series. Though he has a reduced role and burn Kirk Hinrich (9.9 ppg, 3.9 assists, 41 pecent three’s) triple shooting ability, harassment of Rondo and supplying solid relief for Rose will be crucial as well. The Bulls will also have to keep Rajon Rondo out of the and force him to beat them with his wildly erratic jumper.

Boston Celtics- The Celtics jumped out to the best start in NBA history, dashing to 27-2 record. Boston had a little rocky stretch losing 7 of 9 following their blazing historic start, but regained their form and remained in contention for the East’s top seed and home court advantage all season. Yet their quest for a second consecutive title was dealt a catastrophic blow when Kevin Garnett suffered a left knee injury and was officially ruled out of the playoffs last week. Though the Big Ticket’s numbers may have dipped this season (15.8 ppg, 8.5 boards, 1.19 blocks) his value far exceeds his numerical output. KG is the Celtics defensive floor colonel as well as inspirational leader who’s buoyancy and krunkness permeates the crew.

Boston will have to rely heavily on all-stars Paul Pierce (20.5 ppg, 5.6 boards, 3.6 assists) and Ray Allen (18.2 ppg, 3.5 rebounds 41 percent treys) to carry them in the opening round. The Bulls don’t have anyone who can adequately handle The Truth and Ray Ray, who’s been much more comfortable and lethal all year should be able to make it monsoon from the land of plenty off open looks created by Rondo’s penetration.

Rondo (11.9 ppg, 8.2 dimes, 5.2 rebounds) will be the main source for supplementing Garnett’s scoring. Rondo showed dramatic progression from last year. It’s vital the Celts floor liason gets penetration and distributes the pill for easy buckets for Big Baby (7.0 ppg, 4.0 boards) Kendrick Perkins (8.5 ppg, 8.1 boards, 1.97 blocks) and Leon Powe (7.7 ppg, 4.9 rebounds) and well as set up Eddie House (8.5 ppg, 41 percent three’s) for triples. Powe and Big Baby will need to combine to supply Garnett’s vitality and Perkins has to use his imposing frame to bang and swang as well as be a defensive deterrent and punch shots on the interior.

Prediction- The Bulls are a good upstart team stacked with more talent than a loaf of bread and their explosive offense (102 ppg) should help them remain competitive. However, despite the loss of KG the Celts are still too experienced and have to superstars that won’t allow them to bow out this soon. Boston in an entertaining 6 game series.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Clocked City Beasts of the East Detroit Sputter to 8th Seed By Riebeil Durley-Petty

Monday night was symptomatic of the Detroit Pistons season. In a must win game with the #7 seeded Chicago Bulls, Detroit was playing well. They came out strong in the third quarter, pouncing on the Bulls and gained an 11 point advantage early in the period. With 2:23 left in the fourth Detroit was up 88-85 when Chicago center Brad Miller was run following a second technical for disputing a travel call.

Then in typical Piston fashion the wheels came off the ride. Rip Hamilton, an 85 percent free throw shooter who has one of the purest strokes in the Association missed the tech throw, turned the rock over, and the Bulls proceeded to score the game’s final 6 points. After a Ben Gordon floater put Chicago ahead 90-88, Detroit had a chance to tie the game with 14.9 seconds left but the possession encapsulated their season. A disjointed play wound up with Rasheed Wallace hoisting a pull-up fallaway trey and Antonio McDyess desperately flailing a shot falling to the floor unaware there was 5 seconds left.

Detroit squandered a golden opportunity to beat a team 5-23 on the road when trailing entering the final frame. But for the Pistons it was a repeat of the same song that’s run back time and time again all year.

Detroit has had a plethora of late game leads and almost every time they’ve been unable to deliver the knockout blow. Inevitably, they crumble under the pressure like a chocolate chip cookie and discover new, more confounding ways to blow games. However, Detroit’s late game ineptitude is hardly the main reason they barely sneaked into the playoffs as the eighth seed.

Many will want to attribute the Motor City’s dreadful season to one move but the problems run far deeper than that.

After running off the rip to a 4-0 start Detroit dealt their pillar and stabilizer Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson on November 3, and since that day the state of Michigan has wished they could pull a Regina Belle and make it like it was. Despite the post trade lament you really can’t blame Detroit for making a deal to get a surefire future Hall of Famer Iverson.

Coming off a 59 win season and bowing out in the Eastern Conference Finals for the third consecutive year, Team President Joe Dumars knew he had to do something drastic to bolster the Pistons chances of getting with the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics and rising Cleveland Cavaliers. If Detroit remained as composed they would have had a great chance of reaching the East Finals but probably would have endured the same fate and ended the season with another disappointing defeat. While it was surprising and a little baffling for some to see Billups dealt for Iverson the move freed up cap cheddar for Detroit to pursue free agents during the next two summers. The deal was also designed to give the Pistons an energy boost from Iverson’s voracious appetite for a title because no matter what your opinion of him maybe AI unquestionably goes hard every time on the floor.

After a slow start Detroit appeared to be on track to becoming legit East contenders. The Pistons handed the Los Angeles Lakers their first loss of the season at Staples Center. Detroit also got w’s over the San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets, proving when on their game they could get it in with the league’s elite. However, they were equally capable of getting smacked by the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings.

In late December Detroit looked to have rectified things, going on a roll winning 8 of 9 games. But the blazing prosperity proved to be a mirage, as the Pistons proceeded to drop 5 straight games, exceeded a few weeks later with an 8 game skid, their worst in 7 years.
No one could have forecasted such a dismal campaign for the perennial beasts of the east. Over the last six years D-Town has become a hardwood institution, making six consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearances and sitting adjacent the league’s preeminent crews every year. Such a putrid season is absolutely unacceptable by their standards. How could this have happened to such to Roc City?

The easy explanation for Detroit’s drudgery is Iverson, but that would be an unjustifiable, sweet tart copout. Yes, dishing Billups to Denver disrupted the team’s unbreakable camaraderie. “Mr Big Shot” was the Pistons maestro and had impeccable timing with Rip Hamilton, who was affected more than anyone by the deal. Rip may have averaged more points this season (18.3 ppg) than last (17.3) but his field goal percentage declined from 48.4 to 44.7, as well as triple percentage from a career high 44.3 last year to 36.8.

Billups knew exactly what spots to deliver the orange to Rip off screens. Without his backcourt homie, Rip had to adjust to Iverson’s bobbing and weaving, jook and shoot style. Iverson, whose 27.1 ppg scoring average is one of the most prolific bucket fillers in league history, and while he made concessions in his game to blend in with his teammates and run the point he’s just not a natural facilitator. AI’s 5 assists a night led the Pistons, but because he’s not as adept a pill liaison the waning offense never established any synergy and Iverson’s scoring output plummeted as well to a career low 17.4 points a game.

But if you truly want to know the reason why Detroit has suffered such a precipitous fall from glory you have to go back to the summer of 2005.

On the basketball’s grandest stage at the Palace of Auburn Hills the Pistons clung to a two point lead over the San Antonio Spurs with 9.4 seconds left in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. As the ball was inbounded Robert Horry inbounded the ball to Manu Ginobili Rasheed Wallace foolishly went to trap him in the corner, leaving “Big Shot Rob” who had personally cooked Roc City like ravioli wide open to bust the game-winning treyball. Detroit won the following game in San Antonio but lost Game 7 and the chance to win back-to-back NBA titles.

Honestly since that crushing night at their own crib D-Town has never completely recovered. Sure they won 64 games in 2006, four of their starters made the All-Star game that same year and they’ve reached the East Finals every year. But despite all their braswado and brazen talk they’ve never displayed the same hunger that helped them astonish the world and ingratiate themselves to America as the collection of hard-working, unglamorous ballers beating the heavily favored Kobe-Shaq Lakers in 2004. The Pistons became complacent. Detroit got gassed off their success, overfelt themselves and fooled themselves into thinking they could turn it on whenever they needed. Roc City had the East on smash and no one was in their vicinity.

What else could explain the Pistons inexplicably losing to a vastly substandard Cleveland Cavaliers squad in 2007, aside from LeBron James preposterous brilliance? After Ben Wallace bolted to the Windy City for fatter bank Detroit lost their heart and soul and their defensive identity. Once a ravenous, smothering entourage, the Pistons defense while still very good, was far more feeble in the paint as teams racked inside points at will. Last year Detroit had the league’s best defense holding opponents to 90.1 points per contest. This year that number jumped to 94.7 while the Pistons stagnant offense only mustered 94.2 points a game.

The lovable, yet volatile Rasheed is also a major reason for Detroit’s dissipation. Sheed is one of the most supremely talented ballers in the game. He can drill triples like a 2 guard and is virtually unguardable with his sinister turnaround jumper in the post. Yet Sheed’s lack of concentration and overly unselfishness nature causes continual vacillation in his numbers, preventing him from being on par with the league’s premier power forwards of Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. It’s like reaching in a jar full of jelly beans with your eyes closed- you never know what you’re going to get with Sheed.

Yes first year coach Mike Curry could have better managed Iverson and probably should have let Tayshaun Prince run point forward to allow Rip and AI to work the wings, but this thing has been festering for a couple years. It’s like a case of covert cancer gradually spreading, eating your system internally on the hush unbeknownst to you that eventually manifests in outward damage.

No AI couldn’t answer this equation or rejuvenate the Pistons intensity. This abominable debacle stems from years of arrogance and apathy. And isn’t it an ironic twist Detroit’s cavalier play will be exploited by the Cavaliers. Roc City has been vomituous litter all year and should more aptly be titled Clocked City because they’re going to get a major capping at the hands of Cleveland.
D-Town deserves enormous props for their remarkable run, yet it feels somewhat hollow. Yes they won a title but they their talent should have produced more rings. Ultimately the Pistons will probably be remembered as the hardwood version of the Atlanta Braves. Great teams whose excellence never amounted into legendary title regimes.

Whitney Houston’s 1987 classic perfectly summarizes the Roc City era, “Didn’t we almost have it all.” Yeah Detroit you almost did but unfortunately your self-induced blasé nature negated your own greatness.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Immaculate hardwood conception UConn rolls to national title By Riebeil Durley-Petty

Some things in life are certain. If you live long enough and have a career you’ll have to pay taxes. The sun will shine in the east. The moon will come out at night to radiate the darkness. Babies will be born and lovers will experience joy and scorn. And every few years UConn head women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma will lead the Lady Huskies to an undefeated season.

Last Tuesday night in St. Louis UConn completed their yearlong nationwide demolition derby of the women’s college hoop landscape with a 76-54 throttling of the hardy, gutty Louisville Lady Cardinals to finish 39-0. Junior center and 2nd Team All-American Tina Charles led UConn with a monstrous 25 point, 19 rebound game. Naismith Player of the Year Maya Moore had a typically stellar floor game finishing with 18 points and First-Team All-American Renee Montgomery contributed 18 points and 4 dimes.

UConn winning the national title is one of the biggest formalities in the history of sports. The Lady Huskies epitomized dominance throughout the entire season. They went relatively uncontested all year, dogwalking their opponents by a mind-blowing 33 points a game. That’s a preposterously astronomical number! UConn’s closest call was a 10 point win over Notre Dame. They didn’t have one single-digit victory all season. That’s the definition of sheer, unabated annihilation.

Coach Auriemma has manufactured UConn’s Storrs, Connecticut campus into a celestial basketball kingdom. Auriemma has captured 6 national championships, reached 10 Final Fours, made 16 consecutive Sweet 16 appearances and registered four straight 30 win seasons. The Lady Huskies roundball sensei has amassed 697 victories and won 85 percent of the games he’s coached. Only Tennessee’s Pat Summit, who began her coaching career 10 years earlier, has eclipsed Auriemma in wins (1005) and national title hardware (8). Though he may be a bit brazen, pompous and not the most loveable at times, Auriemma is indisputably one of the top two women’s college hoop coaches ever.

UConn’s unparalleled brilliance this season has sparked debate among college pundits as to whether this is the greatest women’s college basketball assemblage of all-time. Yes, the Huskies went unsullied, but don’t get it tangled and automatically assume they’re the dopest team in the history of women’s college basketball. They’re not the only team to go through a season unscathed. Auriemma’s 1994-95 Lady Huskies were the first team to achieve perfection with the current scholarship format. They were the first real super-team stacked with remarkable talent from top to bottom. Led by National Player of the Year Rebecca Lobo, UConn went 35-0 defeating Tennessee in the title game. The Huskies also featured Kodak All-American point guard and shooting guards Jennifer Rizzotti and NyKesha Sales, and future All-American center Kara Walters. This group is largely credited with being the most instrumental in helping

popularize women’s college hoops.

In 1997-98 Summit lady Volunteers achieved immortality with their 39-0 season of hardwood invincibility. Tennessee had one the most dynamically diverse trios ever to lace a pair of women’s Nike Air’s. Spearheaded by four time Kodak All-American and Naismith Player of the Chamique Holdsclaw, All-American Tamika Catchings and future All-American Semeka Randall, together the “Three Meeks” helped the Lady Vols wreck their opponents by an average of 30 points a game. Their aggressive trapping defense and frenzied, and push and swoosh style left foes twisted like a pretzel and helped them snatch their third consecutive national title.

The last unbeaten crew was Auriemma’s 2001-02 Lady Huskies. Naismith Player of the Year Sue Bird, First Team-All-Americans Swin Cash and Diana Taurasi, Second Team All-American Ashja Jones and Honorable Mention All-American Tamika Williams were the chief characters and together were dubbed the TASS Force. The quintet is widely regarded as the greatest starting lineup in women’s college hoop history, with the only team to boast four All-Americans. The Lady Huskies won the first of three straight national championships with a 38-0 record. UConn went relatively unchallenged as well, bulldozing opponents by nearly 30 points and only had one single-digit win. Their versatility and aggressiveness enabled them to win in a variety of ways from a running and gunning, to a bump and grind half-court affair.

The one advantage the current UConn edition would have over each of these teams is the sensational Maya Moore. Many people believe Moore is the most gifted female baller ever and has the chance to redefine the game with her offensive skill set, rebounding and overall eclectic rawness. However, each of the three aforementioned squads has remarkable hoopers as well that collectively could cancel Moore’s individual greatness.

Personally, if I had to choose the best crew I’d rock with the 2001-02 Lady Huskies because their starting five was so complete and practically impeccable. Which team is the best subjective and there’s really no definitive argument, but that’s what makes it so much fun. Each of these teams is phenomenal and deserves all the recognition they get.

But for now we give big ups to and celebrate the flawless excellence of the 2009 Lady Huskies. And UConn returns all they’re starters other than Renee Montgomery. Women’s college basketball be terrified because the destruction may have only just begun.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mission Accomplished North Carolina Cruises to 5 National Championship By Riebeil Durley-Petty

With 1:05 left on the clock Tyler Hansbrough was subbed out the game and walked off the court for the last time in a North Carolina uniform. His final collegiate game totals read 18 points and 7 boards. As he stepped over the sidelines the reigning Wooden Award Player of the Year embraced head coach Roy Williams with an enormous bear hug, pumped his fist in the air and slapped fives with his teammates with a smile etched on his face reflective of his irrepressible jubilation.

After a year of waiting to get back to the Final Four with the soul, uncompromising objective of winning the National Championship the Tar Heels were able to bring that goal to fruition led by the scintillatingly dope proficiency of Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington extinguishing Michigan State’s inspirational run before 72,922 fans at Ford Field in a 89-72 cremation. The mission was officially accomplished.

Michigan State was bum rushed from the opening tip, engulfed by a merciless Tar Heel offensive avalanche leaving head coach Tom Izzo’s stout defensive crew frazzled and bamboozled. The Spartans Achilles heel reared its ugly head as they committed 13 first half turnovers, resulting in 17 UNC points and an insurmountable 36-13 lead with a little under 8 minutes left. The Tar Heels comprehensive domination thrashed MSU in every phase of the game making sure there’d be no nostalgic title duplication on the 30th anniversary of the Spartans 1979 championship in Magic Johnson’s and Larry Bird’s epic confrontation.

Final Four Most Outstanding Player Ellington descended torrential rain bringing the pain with three triples dropping 17 of his 19 points in the first half. Ty Lawson should have been arrested for larceny the way he burglarized Michigan State all night. Lawson tied an NCAA title game record jacking the Spartans for 8 steals, 7 of which came in the opening stanza to go along with his 21 points, 8 dimes and 7 rebounds. UNC proved their earlier 98-63 lambasting of MSU at Ford Field on December 3 was no fluke.

The Heels just had too much size, speed, athleticism and explosive weaponry for the Spartans to combat. UNC put on the most prolific, spellbinding offensive display in title game history, scoring 55 points in the first half and stampeded MSU with a 55-34 lead at the break, the largest disparity ever as well. If ever there was a need for a mercy rule this was it because the game was essentially a burrito wrap in the first half.

All year analysts said UNC’s biggest frailty was their defense. While it was definitely leaky at times, the Tar Heels actually were a very solid defensive team all year. UNC 18 point scoring margin was tops in the country and overall defense ranked among the 20 best in the land. The Heels turned up the voltage even more during the big dance, holding their six opponents to a dismal 26.6 percent on trey’s, while the Heels connected on 45 percent of their attempts from the candy stripe. UNC’s defensive improvement combined with their 90 point scoring average (2nd in the land) was too powerful of a combination for foes to handle.

The championship was emblematic of the Heels dominance the entire tourney. UNC won each game by double figures and an average of 20.2 points, second biggest differential since 1979. With the exception of LSU the Heels went relatively unchallenged, thus concluding their smashout title march in fitting fashion. The bulk of the big ups should be attributed to Lawson.
With uncertainty swirling whether or not Lawson would even be available with his injured toe, let alone his effectiveness, the ACC Player of the Year and 1st Team All-American maestro pioneered the Heels to their 2 title in 5 years. The “one man fast-break” imposed his will on teams relentlessly pushing the pill with full-court attacks, slicing teams like a Christmas ham. Lawson also harassed opposing point guards and seduced them into UNC’S organized run and gun havoc.

While this moment was great for all the Heels, it was particularly sweet to Hansbrough. “Psycho T” was instrumental in coercing Lawson, Ellington and Green to spur lucrative NBA cheddar to return to Chapel Hill and do something special. After losing to last year’s national champion Kansas Jayhawks in the Final Four and getting molly whopped by 28 points in the first half, Hansbrough made a personal pledge to come back to school and redeem that disgraceful performance.

Love him or hate him, Hansbrough is a polarizing, much maligned and celebrated figure. Some people lament the attention he gets and feel Hansbrough is exempt from all offensive rules bulldozing his way to the tin, while others love his maniacal hustle and tenacity. One thing is certain, the boy definitely got busy. Hansbrough is the leading scorer in the storied history of the ACC, a former National and ACC Player of the Year and the only four time consensus First-Team All-American ever in men’s college hoop history. While he probably never will materialize into a huge NBA star, this title serves as the validation and crescendo to indisputably one of the greatest college basketball careers ever. Like Nas, Hansbrough can officially say, “You can hate me now.”

Michigan State has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. They had a remarkable year. No one expected them to pull off two jaw-dropping stunners bouncing #1 seeds Louisville and UConn. Tom Izzo led his fifth team in 11 seasons as MSU head coach to the Final Four, and all but solidified a bust in the Naismith Hall of Fame with his ingeniously raw managerial skills and acumen. The Spartans were an emboldening force to a state, and in particular the city of Detroit ravaged by layoffs on account of the economic collapse. People felt inspired by their run and gained a sense of hope that things will eventually be alright.

Despite Hansbrough’s and Green’s graduation and Lawson and Ellington inevitably dipping to the league Williams still has some lethal weapons to defend the Heels title next year. Freshman phenom Ed Davis has already said he’s coming back, as well as talented point guard Larry Drew II and McDonald’s All-American center Tyler Zeller who was sidelined with a broken right wrist for most of the season. Merge them with junior power forward Deon Thompson in a more featured role and a good recruiting class and UNC will be in the mix like caramel in a twix once again.

Carolina blue is triumphantly shining through once again and a special class of players has added another championship banner to a legendary program.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Music Thread for 4/6/09- The Quick Runthrough

One of the few good things to come out of music in the last week, let alone in this year so far, is when Eminem introduced Run DMC into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The dumbassness of Coolio continues.

Asher Roth's best song so far in his career, thanks to Cee-Lo.

Chuck Schumer making music news? Indeed so. Scalpers beware.

Slow news day for VH1 it seems when they report on the music career status of one John Cena. Then again, it really always is for them over there.

And the current status of Wrigley's top marketing star (her commercials have her marketing for Juicy Fruit) and former top marketing star (he used to recently just have a "Double your pleasure, double your fun" Doublemint commercial) vary from either of course.

The triumphant return of the music thread. Peace.

TPM's 100 Seconds of the Day For 4/6/09

Enjoy another good TPM 100 Seconds, a regular fixture on the Whole Delivery.

4/6/09- TWD's Agenda For The Day: NCAA Final Two Title Game Preview

Photo from ESPN (Arguably the two fastest point guards in America will duel again tonight)

After their meeting in December (which has been talked about in ad nauseum more than tying in the "emotional" lift Michigan State has given the city of Detroit with their play), only few would have thought that the Spartans would be standing with the Tar Heels on the final night of the season.

The stage was set for the Big East to reign supreme, with the Tar Heels being the only ones that could stop the powerhouse conference (and even if there is no representative form the Big East in the final game, you would be foolish to dismiss it as still not being the best conference, or the one with the most supreme depth).

Nevertheless, the mastery of Tom Izzo, along with Travis Walton Velcro-like defending and the Achilles heels of almost all the number one seed Big East teams (free throw shooting) has led to those celebrating the fact that the much ballyhooed "toughest conference ever" won't even have a single representative in the final game. 10 for 18 for Louisville against the Spartans, 21 for 29 for Pittsburgh against 'Nova, and 21 for 33 for UConn this past Saturday.

The charity strip certainly wasn't charitable at all to the preseason numbers two, three and four respectively. And their unintentional generosity has been a hidden reason for the magic run the Spartans (and the Wildcats) have had.

But that's the end of all the Big East talk for now. Later on, we shall have a preview of the men's final and predictions here on TWD.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

TPM's 100 Seconds For 4/1/09

4/1/09- TWD's Agenda For The Day: Wake Up, Wake Up, Wake Up, Its The.....

First of the month, April fools day style. And between Ed Henry, Norm Coleman, Josh McDaniels ("Jay Culter" is our guy), and those who aren't tired of American Idol (which you probably should have been about four seasons ago, but my opinion), the top award for biggest fool is certainly hard to give out today.

So before that is decided, let's just give you entertain with the timeless classic that truly represents the first day of each month............Bone Thugs, come in.....

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