Let me tell you guys something: that shit ain't gonna fly this season. It just ain't. It's gonna fly worse than some of the more rudimentary early plane designs, if I may say so. It's gonna fly worse than an emu who thinks he became an eagle. It's gonna fly worse than a fellow on psychotropic drugs with some wrong ideas and an accessible roof.
But why am I flapping my lips? Point is, Nick's written the season preview, and it makes me want to punch a wall, laugh hysterically, and cry. It's poetry, if poetry wasn't so damn scared of everything. It's a walk in the park with your best friend, the girl you love, an adorable dog, and seven army tanks that will shoot anything you point at. Get. Some.
(If you find yourself desirous of more writing by Nick, may I suggest the following:
-The Duke Offseason Report
-Duke is the best team in the NBA
-The Roy Williams take-down
-The 'Zombie Singler' Theorem
-Duke-WVU Final Four Preview
-Why Duke will not repeat
-Why Duke will repeat, by Tupac Shakur
-The Duke Summer Report)
"Kyrie Irving—when it’s all said and done—he will be arguably as good as any guard who’s played in New Jersey. Any guard. Ever.”
-St. Patrick High Coach Kevin Boyle
Friends, loved ones, enemies,
I stand before you today mere weeks before the finest performance the world has ever and will ever see. Anyone with an appreciation of basketball- nay, of masterful execution in general- will marvel at what will simply be known as “The Team.” Scientists will gasp at their ruthless efficiency. Ballerinas will be humbled by their grace. Words will fail poets, context will fail historians, and I daresay a century of advancement in recording technology will fail to accurately portray just how amazing they really are. The experience of the 2010-2011 basketball season will be so perfect, so deeply moving that it is outside the limits of human comprehension.
Perhaps you’re familiar with The Team. Perhaps you know that they’re coming off a championship. If you really follow the sport, you probably know that last year they were simply the most fundamentally sound and efficient team in a pretty average year, a year without truly transcendent teams or players. Admirable, surely, you may say, but you claim this same core will change the world? Balderdash!
Well let me tell you something, fancypants: You’re wrong.
The past is prologue to this. Where the 2010 Blue Devils were the best amongst men, the 2011 Blue Devils will dance amongst gods. Allow me to introduce those whose names will be etched upon cathedrals- names so powerful that future generations will dare not speak them aloud.
Kyle Singler – I wouldn’t say calling him a man is misleading, I’d say it’s so inadequate as to be offensive. His bones are made of iron ore, his skin a combination of canvas and treated leather. It is not blood that courses through his veins, but diesel fuel and grain alcohol. At the 3 the only thing more penetrating than his drives are his eyes, and the only thing softer than his shooting touch are his flaxen locks of hair. At the 4 he can back down defenders, establish any position, and score from any angle. The deadliness of his poison stems from his potential as a match-up nightmare. Regardless of his position, he can stretch the floor to the 3 point line, shoot over guards or power through the frontcourt. Also, he conquered death.
Nolan Smith – As a senior leader of this team, he exudes the confidence that will be a hallmark of The Team. As perhaps the deadliest member of the backcourt, he can break anyone down off the dribble, hit the open man or simply pull up for his signature teardrop J. His stroke is so smooth, his aura so potent, that ovulating women should not sit courtside lest they are prepared to bear his seed. On the other end, the same power and grace that drives his offensive capabilities will shatter the poor souls of whom he chooses to defend. There is no preparation, no mercy. Like a hurricane, Nolan Smith is simply a force of nature that will do whatever he wants, whenever he chooses to do so.
Kyrie Irving – The team’s most powerful new addition. Many historians will credit him as the spark that lit the 2011 powderkeg. As the team’s point guard, he is the instrument, the driving factor essential to the team’s astounding pace. Those prone to epileptic seizures should be warned- some say his shoes do not cover feet but pure lightning. Ironically, his pinpoint passes and orchestration of the offense draw comparisons to a surgeon, despite the fact that he is more likely to break ankles than fix them. His handle is so deft bystanders will be forced to wonder where Kyrie ends and the ball begins.
The Brothers Plumlee – This dynamic tandem is called by many names (Blue Devil Air Force, Shock and Awe, Biological Weapons, No They’re Not Twins), but are simply known for protecting the airspace around the rim better than NORAD. The newest pledge class of Duke’s storied Fraternity of Big White Men (a tradition from Gminski and Laettner to Horvath and McRoberts) will amaze and astound like no one ever imagined with their trademark breakaway dunks and ferocious rejections. Opponents are looking into Backboard Insurance as we speak.
Seth Curry – You can find his preview on my own blog, Seth Curry Saves Erotic Literature. Editor's Note: This blog is the hottest thing you'll read all day.
Andre Dawkins – As a member of the Devils’ Reserve Corps, he goes above and beyond his responsibility as a peacekeeper. Whether the team needs an offensive spark or just a rest for the starters, this dead-eye shooter does his best work in quiet situations. He’ll knock you off your feet or hit you on the ground – the damage from this 3 point ballistic missile machine spares no one.
Ryan Kelly – As in the jungle, the biggest and tallest trees take the longest to grow. Spectators this year will not recognize this fearsome goliath in the post, who now stands at 6’ 11” and 240lbs (7’ 4” when he glides on clouds). He will set a record as the first man to average 20 and 10 while logging only 10 minutes per game.
Josh Hairston – While my knowledge of this player is limited, the high priest at Scouts.com says he has good length and solid shooting touch.
Tyler Thornton – Like any fine graduate of Gonzaga College High School, Tyler is a scholar and a gentleman. His basketball prowess, unfortunately, is too devastating to unleash on college players. When all is said and done, he will have never played in a game in which his team won by fewer than 20 points.
Good shit as always, Nick. He also wrote me an e-mail a while back that I forgot to post due to my Yankee fever. It's not exactly timely anymore, but I'm going to post it anyway. Two reasons:
1) It's a UNC bash.
2) It introduced me to the nickname "Prince Harry" for self-aggrandizing UNC freshman Harrison Barnes. I don't know if Nick coined it, or what, but it's fucking brilliant. I mean, just look at him:
I'm excited to start hating Harrison Barnes. Take it away, Nick.
UNC has dismissed Will Graves from the team.
While Graves never really lit the world on fire, he was a decent role player averaging 9.8 ppg and 4.6 rpg. This loss means 2 big things for UNC: First, their already paper thin frontcourt has one fewer option at PF. After the transfer of the Wear twins, Ed Davis going pro and Deon Thompson graduating, their frontcourt consists of John Henson (5.7ppg, 4.4 rpg) Tyler Zeller (9.3, 4.6), and Alabama transfer Justin Knox. The next biggest guy is Prince Harry at 6' 7" and 215, followed by Reggie Bullock at 6' 6" and 195.
Second, Graves was only one of 2 people that could come close to being a decent three-point shooter. He (essentially) led the team with a clip of .365 from three last year, followed by Larry Drew II at .352. No one else from last year broke .300. UNC was terrible at shooting the ball, and now they have no backups for the post, which is where they scored most of their points. Honestly, can anyone on this team score? Even if Harrison Barnes comes in and has 22 ppg non-conf and 19 ppg in ACC play (a generous estimate), they're going to need a lot of help to get points on the board.
Hell yeah they are. Meanwhile, the Dukies will be threatening the century mark every time out. Speaking of which, they won their first exhibition this past Saturday, trouncing St. Augustine's (who?) 141-68. Granted, not the toughest competition, but that's still 141 points. 46 baskets, 38 assists. This team is gonna run and gun, y'all.
Coach K: "This is a very good shooting team. We want to have more possessions because we feel we can get shots because we can spread the court. Space the court, that doesn’t mean hold the ball. And once we get accustomed to hitting our bigs, when it’s spaced, then that would be how you balance it. The thing we have to do is make sure we play defense and rebound. If we do that, then we become very good. We have a chance to be very, very good."
And I have a chance to be very, very pumped.
(Checks pulse.) Done. Go Devils.