Dave’s Free Play, Saturday 12/27/14

  • December 27, 2014

Continuing with my 2014 Sports Media Awards, today’s entry is for Best Studio Show. Feel free to contribute your thoughts via my Twitter feed (@davecokin).

Best Studio Show, any sport: “Intentional Talk” (MLB Network)

If you’re looking for hard core analysis, this is probably not your show. If you want laughs with a baseball theme, Intentional Talk is about perfect. There is nothing serious about this program. Chris Rose is basically the straight man for Kevin Millar, who is just a naturally hilarious individual.

I was never in any of the clubhouses Millar populated as a player throughout his big league career. But I’m quite sure what we get to see on a daily basis on this program is what took place with the various teams Millar played on. He was clearly one of the leaders of the 2004 Red Sox title team and it’s apparent not a whole lot has changed since Millar traded in his uniform for television work. It’s all about having fun and the cool thing is that the viewer is in on everything that’s taking place.

What makes Intentional Talk click is that neither Millar nor Rose takes things very seriously. They’ll each give opinions on teams, players and potential deals but it’s pretty much what you might hear if you tune into a conversation at your local sports bar. But these guys aren’t pretending to be experts, even though one of them played in the majors for many years. Intentional Talk is just about having fun, and it accomplishes its goal nearly every day.

—————

A nice 3-0 Friday with two NBA winners and NC State on the gridiron. Three bowl plays on tap today, plus some NHL action. College hoops will be thin and I don’t see anything I’ll likely play in the NBA.

The balance of the Bowl Package is $145, payable via PayPal to cokin@cox.net. I’ve decided to leave the monthly special as is, which means that +10 minimum net unit gain continues as well. Use the “buy now” feature to subscribe or email me at cokin@cox.net for more info.

—————

The Rockets coughed up a late double digit regulation lead at Memphis, but Houston got it done in OT as the Friday free play. Here’s a look at a conference opener going tonight in the WCC.

12/27 06:00 PM   CBB   (537) PORTLAND  at  (538) SAN DIEGO

Take: (537) PORTLAND +6.5

Opening night in the West Coast Conference, which looks to be perhaps the strongest it’s ever been based on the pre-season. Gonzaga possibly has its strongest entry ever and several other WCC schools enjoyed very strong non-conference runs. Now league play gets started and I’m looking forward to watching the teams in this league do battle over the next couple months.

Portland has really had just one bad game all season, with two of the three Pilots losses coming in overtime. They’ve been without Kevin Bailey for the last several games, and I’m assuming he’s still out of action tonight. If Bailey returns, it’ll be a nice bonus but no word yet that’s going to happen.

The Pilots have a pretty versatile roster, even without Bailey. They can go very big if they want, as was the case against UNLV, when the Pilots started a gigantic front line. i have a feeling we might see that tonight as San Diego is a bit on the small side and Portland might have a chance to exploit the Toreros on the inside with their size.

The point guard matchup tonight is a dandy. Alec Wintering is having a terrific season for Portland, and Christopher Anderson has an assist rate this season that is nothing short of phenomenal.

Portland must find a way to at least contain Johnny Dee. The San Diego senior is knocking down threes like they’re layups and he;s not going to get shut down. The idea here is to not allow him to go wild beyond the arc. If Dee does that, there’s not much chance Portland can stay close, let alone pull the upset.

But there’s a flip side and that’s on the hosts not getting killed in the paint. The van der Mars/Gerun combo looms large here, and not just in inches. San Diego has an okay bench and they’ve spread out the minutes for the frontcourt guys admirably. But if Jito Kok gets into foul trouble, which is absolutely a possibility, the Toreros could be in some serious trouble keeping the Pilots from getting some easy looks in the paint.

These two teams played a pair of wire jobs last season, with San Diego earning a pair of two-point victories. I can see tonight’s duel unfolding in similar fashion. The Toreros figure to get the win on their home court, but it shouldn’t be easy. I’ll look to take the points tonight with visiting Portland.