That’s what my wife called it this morning. And she is right. The Day of Reckoning is upon us. Is anyone else already nervous? Because I’m really working myself up here. I think I could be a mess at about 5 p.m. tonight. Don’t forget, live running diary tonight. Be here to join in on the fun. I’ll make unbelievably interesting and insightful comments and you guys can respond and chit-chat. It should be quite a scene, man.
Sam Amico with some wise words about the lottery: “Is the lottery pre-arranged? Absolutely not. It just seems that way. Actually, I’d be in favor of rigging the thing, provided the team with the worst record got the No. 1 pick. That’s how it works in other sports and that’s how it should be. My theory is if a team wants to lose on purpose, let it. Honestly, could the Clippers have been any worse even if they had tried? I doubt it. You can’t get beat by Sacramento in three out of four games (as the Clippers did) and convince me that you’re giving maximum effort. So what difference does it make? … Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get ready to watch the Oklahoma City Thunder win the right to draft Oklahoma University star Blake Griffin. Oh, wait. Did I just say that out loud?” I like the way he thinks.
In case you missed it, Jodie Meeks and a few others worked out Saturday for the Thunder: “Jodie, along with Dar Tucker, Danny Green, Antonio Anderson, Marcus Landry, and Leo Lyons worked out with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday and that figures to be the first of many for Meeks. The Thunder have a lottery pick then the 25th pick in the Draft, so they clearly are looking at guys who fit the late first round bill. I haven’t heard anything about how the workout went, but Oklahoma City could be that one team.” I love Danny Green and Meeks is quite the scorer. I like both of those guys in every way with our late round pick.
Rip City Project on the lottery: “Then I wanted to put Oklahoma City in the #1 spot because my inner conspiracy theorist says if the Thunder are going to work long-term why not give them the best player and a hometown boy. But my inner conspiracy theorist then remembered that they stole the team from Seattle and David Stern might light their ping pong balls on fire to make sure they don’t come out with #1. So even though I secretly think they are going to get it, I can’t in good faith predict it.”
NESN says with Griffin, the Wizards could jump into title contention: “These four teams — Sacramento, L.A., OKC and Washington — are the only teams with a double-digit chance at picking No. 1 in next month’s draft. There’s better than a 72 percent chance that one of them will come out on top. For a few of these teams, the effect would be next to zero. But for one, the effect would be Griffin next to Agent Zero. And that’s a championship waiting to happen.”
SLAM on Jeff Green: “Green even insists on making 50 three-pointers before stepping off the practice court every day. All of those extra perimeter shots in the gym paid dividends when, with SLAM in the building, he hit a 17-footer off glass with 1.6 left on the clock to beat the Golden State Warriors in late January. But in Green’s mind, such shots are only the beginning. “I just want to keep learning, help my teammates as much as possible and keep getting better,” he says. In the immortal words of Vince Vaughn, Green’s so money and he doesn’t even know it.”
Chad Ford’s lotto analysis: “If the Thunder land Griffin, mark them down as the best young team in the league. A tandem of Durant, Russell Westbrook and Griffin, with Jeff Green coming off the bench, would be amazing. Things get a little trickier after that. The team loves Westbrook, but Rubio is more of a pure point guard. Oklahoma City could easily play Rubio at the point and move Westbrook off the ball. Harden is the perfect pick if Griffin and Rubio are gone. He would fit in immediately at the 2 and give the Thunder another scoring threat in the backcourt.”
Tom Ziller writes “if the lottery were fair“: “1. Sacramento Kings. You might think I’m being a homer, and you’re right. I’m being a homer. But hear me out! The Maloofs lost something like $20 million on the Kings this year. They didn’t lay anyone off until last week … and they only laid off 12 people. Before that, they shut down their private jet to start flying commercial. Maybe that doesn’t seem like much … and Joe Maloof did have double knee replacement surgery this fall. (I don’t know about you, but Southwest’s seats are uncomfortable enough already without heavy bandages and a limp. Especially when you could be on a flying yacht and write the mileage off as a business expense.)”
Hardwood Paroxysm with a lottery drinking game: “Every time Blake Griffin’s name is mentioned, take 1 drink … Every time the word “long” is used, take 1 drink … First Snoop Dogg sighting, take 2 drinks … First person to notice Elgin Baylor camoflouging himself as a podium so he can sneak in an abduct Mike Dunleavy and take back over his rightful spot as perpetual Clippers GM Lottery Loser, take 3 drinks and seek therapy … Every time Stuart Scott uses the phrase “Big Up,” take 1 drink and throw a nacho at the television.”
HoopsWorld: “It’s inevitable around draft time that all kinds of rumors, smoke, and mirrors will float around in abundance but any involving the first pick should be taken with a major grain of salt unless it is truly a great deal. Passing up Griffin would be a grave mistake for each and every lottery team. The addition of him alone would be a significant boost that would likely put most of the Eastern Conference teams in the 2010 playoffs. Although it’d be tough for Griffin to do the same for the Western Conference teams, he’d be a necessary piece needed to compete in a conference that contains Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan, David West, Yao Ming, and Dirk Nowitzki.”
Jenni Carlson: “All of Oklahoma will be holding its breath, too. And why not? We’re talking about an Oklahoma native playing for the Oklahoma City franchise. Wouldn’t that be cool? Wouldn’t that be something? This is one of the most suspenseful non-game moments in the state’s sporting history. This is a big deal for Oklahomans, none more so than Griffin. “It doesn’t really matter to me,” he said of where he goes. “Wherever it may be, I’m going to go in and try to do my part and try to get better and help that organization. I’m not going to be disappointed with anybody.” He’s not pulling an Eli Manning, not saying that he will refuse to sign with a particular team if it drafts him. “Not at all,” Griffin said, laughing at the notion. “I’ll stick with whoever wants me.”
Update: Good article from MSN saying Blake is easily above everyone else: “He’d give Sacramento the franchise big man it’s lacked since Chris Webber left town. It’s no coincidence that the Kings haven’t been good since then. He’d make the Washington Wizards significant players in the 2010 Eastern Conference playoff picture. He’d make the Clippers relevant, and he’d give Thunder fans a hometown hero to root for. He’d give Minnesota another stud on the block, and he’d team with Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol to give Memphis a deadly frontcourt going forward. He’d be the perfect big man for Nellie’s small-ball, and he’d give Knicks’ fans something they haven’t had since the ’90s: hope. There are lottery teams with more pressing needs than a PF, but there is no team in the lottery that doesn’t need Blake Griffin. He’s the only player in this draft that’s a surefire franchise-changing talent. That’s why tanking for the Blake Griffin Sweepstakes started so early this past season, and that’s why I’ll be kneeling in front of my television tomorrow night, saying a prayer or two in my Knicks jersey.”