Monday, March 11, 2013

Rants from Last Night: ESPN's Latin Night is terrible, Michigan's FT Issues, and Derrick Rose's Unneccessarily Long Rehab

by John Huffstetler

Sunday March 11th

Kobe Bryant and Lebron James in their Latin Night Unis
ESPN's Latin Night or "Noche Latina" is Infuriating- Does anyone else hate this program? Essentially, ESPN and the NBA are trying to market games to the Hispanic community, but there are so many annoying elements. First, they change the names on each teams' jerseys and on ESPN's bottom line to some stupid version of their name in Spanish. For example, the Miami Heat become "El Heat" and the LA Lakers become "Los Lakers." Secondly, they call in Latin Night, yet it lasts an entire month. How about just calling it latin month so someone like me isn't watching all week saying, "wait, wasn't it Latin Night two nights ago?" Lastly, every game score on the ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU bottom line involving Latin Night is followed by a long disclaimer explaining how the game is part of Latin Night, thus slowing down their score updates and wasting everyone's time. The idea to celebrate Hispanic culture for a day, a week, or even a month is terrific, but ESPN does a horrible job marketing it. Like most everything else they do, it comes off as cheesy and forced. America, and more specifically the Hispanic community, deserves better than this shamelessly self-promoting, poorly-conceived "Noche Latina."

Michigan's Trey Burke
Michigan can't make clutch Free Throws or Rebound- My beloved Wolverines blew a late lead (which they were fortunate to have to begin with) when Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke missed the front-end of 1-and-1 free throws on back-to-back possessions to relinquish a 5-point lead with under 1 minute remaining. Both free throw misses occurred with every other Michigan player back on the other end of the court, which is a foolish strategy I've noticed frequently this season in College Basketball. To start, you are allowing the other team to grab an uncontested rebound on any miss. Burke's miss hit the rim strongly and bounded back and to the left for what would have been a highly contested rebound available for either team. In addition, Burke and Hardaway are accustomed to shooting with the foul lane full of bodies. In a pressure situation, why are you changing the situation and adding stress for your players? It makes absolutely no sense, and I guarantee players shoot a lower percentage on free throws (would love anyone who can find the #'s to send them to me) in crunch time when their teammates are back on defense as opposed to beside the lane.

Beyond the late FT issues, Michigan can't rebound! If you get out-rebounded by 21, you are lucky to be in the game, plain and simple. Indiana frequently missed first shot opportunities, but grabbed a whopping 19 offensive rebounds. To be fair, Michigan plays a guard-heavy, ball-handling lineup in order to avoid turnovers (+8 vs Indiana) at the expense of their rebounding, but adjustments must be made to this strategy if the rebounding margin gets so out of hand. Here is a write-up of the game by Jeff Fogle on his Stat Intelligence blog that perfectly explains how Michigan was fortunate to hit 3's just to remain in the game, and how this bodes for them in the future. I've personally written them off for the NCAA tourney, but I hope I'm wrong.

Derrick Rose in street clothes...shocker
Derrick Rose's Vagina Hamstring hurts, delaying his return- Derrick Rose is delaying his return from an ACL tear because his hamstrings are "on fire" after workouts. He's been medically cleared for full contact for a month now, yet he remains on the sidelines despite his team's 7-11 record since the beginning of February. I would understand if he was playing limited minutes citing some discomfort in his repaired ACL, but he's talking about his hamstrings bothering him AFTER workouts. Did he ever think his hamstrings might be "on fire" because he's been sitting on his ass for 10 months? Shut up and get back on the court. Maybe then you'll be able to workout without your Vagina, I mean Hamstring bothering you. Grow a pair, and play a few minutes every night for your team.

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