GREG GAMBLE’S 2008-09 HARDWOOD Picks: 60-46 ats…57%
NBA 42-32 - NCAA 12-12 - Teasers 6-2 - Church League 69-0
Porter Out in Phoenix Means Amare Staying?
From the start, Stevie Kerr’s belief he could completely change the Suns moxy by hiring a defensive-minded and more conventional offensive oriented coach in Terry Porter is like asking Kobe Tai & Asia Carrera to spend more time upright on a movie set…it’s just not possible. If your team is built around the freewheeling Stevie Nash, the veteran tadum of Shaq and Grant, and a PF raised under No-D-Antoni, you can’t be shocked the team didn’t adjust in only four months.
Considering Alvin Gentry is the lone holdover from the D’Antoni days, not only does it mean the Suns will be rejuvenated and probably play better, but it also means Amare is more likely to stay. I also believe as teams began to drool at the prospect of getting the best young PF in the game, Suns owner Robert Sarver got cold feet and was told by plenty of his peers he might live to regret the decision. Sorry Chi-Town...it's just not meant to be! (For my thoughts last week on how Amare would look in Chicago...TOUCH ME HERE)
The Weed & Groupie Weekend was Great…Until Sunday!
After a Friday & Saturday of fun filled events, nothing was worse than watching a pick-up basketball game where defense was beyond nonexistent and traveling was no longer consideration a violation. After a Rookie/Soph Game where every baller is trying to prove he should've been drafted higher and a Saturday Night of carnival games with the sickest of athletes, what a frickin bummer on Sunday Funday...only Shaq’s dance performance was even remotely close to worth the price of admission. It’s not like I want see set-plays and dudes slapping the floor as the opponent dribbles up. I just don't want to see Bron-Bron & Kobe taking four steps before throwing down an uncontested dunk!
SIENA SAINTS (-4) @ IONA GAELS
Tell your strippers & groupies you heard it here first Homeboys, the Saints (20-6, 14-1) will be chilling in the Sweet Sixteen this March. Returning every starter from last year’s squad that walloped #16 Vanderbilt by 21 in the Big Dance, Siena packed the non-conference schedule with plenty of the big-dogs to ensure they wouldn’t be overlooked come Selection Sunday this year (Kansas, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, & St. Joe’s). Led by an unselfish playmaker in Jr. Ronald Moore (last three games: 23 assists – 3 turnovers) and a NBA-skilled guard in Sr. Kenny Hasbrouck (last game: 23 pts, 6 ass, 4 reb), the Saints backcourt can match-up with anybody in the country.
Underneath the power-tandem of 6-6 Jr. Edwin Ubiles & 6-5 Jr. Alex Franklin continues to cause match-up problems with their inside-out abilities (combined: 28 ppg, 13 rpg, 52-fg%) and have been helped by the emergence of 6-9 shot-blocker Ryan Rossiter (10 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 bpg) who has blocked a ridiculous 27 shots in his last 7 games. Throw-in a Microwave style 6th man in 6-3 So. Clarence Jackson (last game: 21 pts, 4-9 from downtown) and last year’s starting center, 6-7 250 lbs Josh Duell, and headmaster Fran McCaffery has the all the tools needed to scare the crap out of any team in the land.
While the biggest concern on the ATS-docket with Siena can be overconfidence against a team like Iona...TOUCH ME HERE 4 MORE!
While the biggest concern on the ATS-docket with Siena can be overconfidence against a team like (12-14, 7-8) Iona, the Saints almost lost to the Gaels at home just three weeks ago and had their first conference defeat just last week. If anything, Siena heads should be locked in to close out the year strong to ensure nothing prevents them from making the Tourney. Speaking of the Gaels, their leading scorer 6-9 Gary Springer (11 ppg,7 rpg) has struggled to stay on the floor (last three games: 19 mpg, 11 fouls), and their floor-general is a rookie that has struggled mightily with turnovers (Fr. Scott Machado 9 ppg, 5 apg). I could go on, but this one is just too easy to waste much more time…SAINTS BY 10-16 POINTS