Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 2/28/16

  • February 28, 2016

It’s not nice to make fun of old people. But since I’m an AARP veteran for many years now, and approaching my moldy…. uh, I mean golden years, I think I can fire away.

Oscar Robertson is one of the all-time NBA greats. That is not arguable in any way. But the Big O was in “get off my lawn, you rotten kids” mode earlier this week on ESPN’s Mike and Mike show. Here’s what Robertson had to say about the NBA in general and Stephen Curry in particular.

“He’s shot well because of what’s going on in basketball today. In basketball today, it’s almost like if you can dunk or make a three-point shot, you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. When I played, if you shot outside and hit it, the next time I’m going to be on top of you. I’m going to pressure you with three-quarters half-court defense. But now they don’t do that.”

Here’s something else today’s players don’t do, Oscar. They don’t smoke a cigarette or grab a hot dog at halftime. Maybe the Big O’s memory is fuzzy on that count. Mine isn’t. Comparing players of his era to 2016 is nuts. These guys are bigger. These guys are faster. These guys are better conditioned. Oscar Robertson knows basketball way better than I do. But he’s completely lost with this commentary, especially as it pertains to Curry.

I’m definitely old enough to have watched most of the all-time greats in this game. Stephen Curry is the best shooter who has ever lived. Good luck guarding him, Oscar. He’s not only in possession of jaw-dropping accuracy from anywhere on the court, Curry is also a very quick guy with his feet, plus his release is a blur.

Add up all those elements, and the conclusion is simple enough. Curry is the best shooter who has ever played in the NBA, and no one from this generation or past editions is going to stop him. That’s why he’s a lock for the MVP, and that’s why the Warriors are on pace to break the all-time wins record, which many thought was an unreachable plateau.

None of this takes away from what Oscar Robertson accomplished in his amazing career. But the Big O is as wrong as wrong can get on this one.
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Back and forth Saturday here, with a small red figure for the day. I actually managed to win a game at the finish line, though, as East Tennessee got fouled with one second remaining, made both tosses, and covered by the hook. About 25 more of those in succession and I’ll be even on the end games.

I’m on a couple of Sunday hoops already, and will hope to add one or two pieces in the morning after sifting through whatever late info arrives. For info on what’s coming up in hoops and baseball, contact me via email at cokin@cox.net.
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Nice second half by Santa Clara, and while the Broncos came close to yakking away their lead in the last 30 seconds, they hung on for the win as the Saturday free play. I’ll trust a somewhat more sound entry to get the job done today.

839 ARIZONA STATE @ 840 COLORADO

TAKE: 840 COLORADO -6.5

Tough times lately for Arizona State. The Sun Devils have been on the wrong side of three consecutive rather lopsided decisions, and the prospects for a fast recovery today aren’t the best.

This is the back end of the dreaded altitude journey for ASU, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest they’re looking like a fatigued team right now.

I don’t like factoring in “need” to a great extent when handicapping games, because needing a game doesn’t ever guarantee that the team in that situation necessarily wins. But this is an absolute must win game for Colorado if they want to maintain any hope of grabbing an at-large NCAA invite. So I think I’m okay in assuming the Buffaloes will be focused as they close out the home portion of their schedule.

As for Arizona State, I’ll admit to some concern the humiliation factor comes into play here. The Sun Devils were the butt of Twitter jokes galore in the disastrous loss at Utah. I have to think their pride will show here and that ASU will be all out to make amends for what happened the other night at Salt Lake City.

So I’m not sure there’s any kind of emotional edge here either way. But the scheduling dynamics do favor Colorado, and the fact remains that Arizona State is simply not very good right now. Thus, even off the court-storming victory over Arizona, I don’t see this as a flat spot for the home team with all that’s on the line. I doubt this is a blowout, but the number isn’t prohibitive, and I’ll therefore look to spot the points here with Colorado.