The Roar
The Roar

Jay Croucher

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Joined March 2014

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@croucherJD

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Give me Butler over all of them. Giannis is the only one who makes me hesitate.

The Butler who does it all: Chicago's superstar continues to keep them afloat

I think at this stage the question with Cousins is do you trade a future second round top-55 protected pick for him? I think most of the league just doesn’t want anything to do with him, at any cost.

Without knowing the backstory, and all the horrible unpublished anecdotes that those in the know always vaguely allude to re: Cousins, it’s impossible to know his real worth. But NBA history says that you bet on talent. Hardly a perfect comparison, but you know who else was a malcontent who called out his teammates? Kobe Bryant. That turned out OK for the Lakers.

I’m not as high on the Lakers’ youth as many seem to be. If I was them, I’d have given up any two prospects that Sacramento wanted (out of Ingram, Russell, Randle, Clarkson and Nance) and a first round pick for Cousins. To me, in pure basketball terms, that’s a fair trade. Evidently, life terms came into play, and Cousins’ value wasn’t nearly so high around the league. (Which is why Sacramento should have kept him).

The jokers in Sacramento gift New Orleans a King

Two additional observations since watching the game for a third time: 1. Ryan not bleeding the play clock in the second half was absurd. Kept on running plays with 22 seconds left. 2. Brady’s toughness was even more absurd. Kept getting annihilated and never lowered his eye level. Got stronger the more hits he took.

The Falcons find a way to lose a championship they’d already won

*to Bell. I write for an Australian website. Thank you for reading, appreciate it.

The Bellprint: Pittsburgh’s path to an upset victory

Joe, I never said that Andy Dalton was ready to rise to a new level of greatness. In fact, I said the opposite. ‘Dalton likely won’t be as good as he was last year – such quantum leaps are rarely sustainable’. http://www.theroar.com.au/2016/09/07/nfl-season-preview-part-4-elite/

The combination of Dallas’s supporting cast and the lack of a clear dominant force in the NFC (in 07, 09 and 14 when Dallas contended there were the juggernauts in Green Bay, New Orleans and Seattle) make this Romo’s best chance of getting to the Super Bowl.

The ceiling case: Why the Cowboys should still go back to Tony Romo

Swampy, I will admit I’ve warmed to Indiana a little since I put them seventh in the East a fortnight ago. I still hate the construction of their team though – there’s so much overlap between Teague, Ellis and Stuckey. They’re counting a tonne on Myles Turner, whose future is bright, but we can’t forget he’s a raw 20 year old who’s played 60 NBA games and only started half of them.

They’re really going to struggle with shooting – in the starting line-up only George seriously commands respect from deep. Teague’s shooting last season was an outlier and Turner’s three-point range is purely theoretical at this stage. But I agree, the presence of George is massive, and the talent is real, even if the fit isn’t clean. That talent might be enough to carry them to a top five seed in the regular season, and maybe the fit issues will only really be exploited in the playoffs.

I still think that Boston and Toronto are clearly above them in the pecking order of Cleveland’s challengers, but Indiana are firmly in that next tier with Charlotte, Detroit, Atlanta and Washington. Their over/under is pegged at 45.5 and I think they’ll be right around there.

NBA season preview part 5: The Eastern elite

Thank you for the kind words everyone, the response has been overwhelming. It was a pleasure to write, and an even greater one to watch this special team.

The Exorcists: How the Western Bulldogs beat history

Ha. Vegas has their over/under pegged for 25.5, so they’re similarly optimistic. I think going from Scott to Walton, losing the Kobe sideshow, adding the competence of Deng, Calderon and (hopefully) Mozgov, plus improvement from Russell, Clarkson and Randle makes you about eight wins better.

NBA 2016-17 season preview Part 2: The woe out West

Good read, Marty (any excuse for me to relive the 2011 prelim is always marvellous) . Probably could have done a better job of clarifying, but I think the 2012 prelim is the ‘best game’ of this Hawthorn era that resulted in a Hawthorn win (if it was ‘best game’ full stop it’s likely the 2012 GF, or from my biased point of view, the 2011 prelim).

The grand final wins have all been underwhelming as spectacles, and the 2013 and 2014 prelims were just weird – the 2013 one it was so clear Geelong had run out of gas and were just holding on in the last quarter, it began to feel inevitable, and the 2014 one was such a strange (almost) snatch and grab by Port. The 2015 prelim suffers from the fact that the drama was sapped out of the game with ten minutes to go when Sheridan spilled that mark.

The 2012 prelim had so much tension, and was so unexpected. The final quarter was epic, and the game was littered with great moments all throughout. Tippett being magnificent, and, if memory serves, Tex Walker booting a goal from 55 out after the halftime siren? Ripping game.

The spectre of greatness: Hawthorn still deserve premiership favouritism

I’m an Arsenal fan too, Tristan, for better or worse. Looking forward to another season of us finishing in the Champions League spots without properly contending for the title, it’s going to be great.

I think the Warriors will have some growing pains too, like the Heat did in LeBron’s first season on South Beach. But the fit of Golden State’s stars is so much more seamless than Miami’s was because Curry, Durant and Thompson are so devastating without the ball in their hands, whereas the genius of James and Wade was so much more dependent on them running the offence themselves (Wade’s cutting eventually remedied this, but still, that’s not the same as Kevin Durant shooting wide open threes).

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors finish 64-18 or thereabouts, romp through the Western playoffs, then get a serious challenge from Cleveland in the Finals.

Size matters: Are the Jazz the biggest threat to the Warriors in the West?

‘When you can tune in to watch two craftsmen of the ilk of Bontempelli and Pendlebury handle the ball 20-odd times each, it’s worth the anger and frustration of 600 less mystic possessions.’ – brilliantly put.

I think Collingwood win tonight or come very close. That prediction hinges on Pendlebury being closer to 90% than the 65% I fear he might be at. The Pies totally outplayed the Dogs when they met earlier in the year, and would have won if they hadn’t lost 17 players to injury. Bad match-up for the Dogs, as you articulated Ryan. Collingwood will have the ascendancy in the midfield, and I don’t trust Boyd or 2016 Stringer to properly exploit the glaring holes in the Magpie defence. I now look forward to a 57-point Bulldog victory.

Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood: Friday Night Forecast

Sorry Marty, should have put this in the article, didn’t realise it was available on YouTube:

Contender scrapheap: Should this have been the Bulldogs’ year?

Respectfully disagree, Cameron.

I think the notion that it’s the easiest position gives far too much credit to the intelligence of footballers. Over the years I’ve seen so many Collingwood players screw up the loose man role, Marley Williams being the most glaring of late. Choosing which contests to attack, straddling the line between moving up the ground to pressure the incoming ball and moving defensively to add another number to contest it in the air… these are delicate balancing acts well beyond most.

I think it’s instructive that it’s a role usually given to veteran players, and usually cerebral leaders – like your Luke Hodges and Nick Maxwells, who are savvy enough to take advantage of being loose. The difficulty in the role doesn’t come with the position per se, it comes with the expectation and responsibility of the position. The stakes are raised. If you take two spectacular intercept marks to quell forays forward, but fail to meaningfully affect the next four contests in your vicinity, you’ve probably done a bad job.

No-fly zone: The increasing value of the intercept marker

Thanks George. You’ve got it with the top six. I would go 1. Curry, 2-3-4 in some order James, Durant and Leonard, 5. Paul and 6. Westbrook.There’s a pretty clear drop for me after that. I would have Draymond solid at seven and then in the mix are George, Lillard, Harden, Aldridge, Lowry, Wall, Blake if healthy, etc. Can’t forget Anthony Davis either. Wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he vaulted himself into the top three next season, he was around that mark last year. Also, Karl Towns will be in the top seven within two years.

No D in OKC: The Thunder continue to underwhelm

Appreciate the comment, Gecko. It’s a fair call. Originally in the article there was a lot more on Fraser but I cut it because it didn’t feel pertinent (it felt more like a Collingwood fan’s misplaced aside). As a Pies fan I have nothing but respect for what Fraser accomplished. He played some fantastic games for Collingwood, and admirably gutted through many performances as the lone ruck.

But the reality is that Fraser never lived up to his draft position, which is the defining (and unfair) tragedy of his career.

Jack of one trade: Watts finds his place

You’re talking to a guy whose three favourite athletes of all time are Steve Nash, Ben Cousins and Damien Martyn. You won’t hear a bad word about the Great Dame in this space, a batsman angel in a world of grounded mortals.

Jack of one trade: Watts finds his place

Think you may have confused the word ‘prosaic’ there DC, it means ‘dull, unimaginative and ordinary’, which, who knows, my article may be, but that’s quite antithetical to an elegy. Sorry, the former lit student in me.

The minor premiership obviously isn’t entirely attributable to luck. But luck certainly played a role (when’s the last time a team, if ever, won the minor premiership with a percentage under 120?), and Fremantle had little business finishing on top. I would say that good fortune carried them from third (where they should have been) to where they ended up in first.

A dynasty that never was: Fremantle fades away

It would be an honour simply to polish Mr. Lowe’s shoes. High praise, George, much appreciated, and thanks for reading.

A dynasty that never was: Fremantle fades away

I’m actually a Collingwood supporter too, Tricky. I think it’s a bit harsh saying that the Pies are ‘not far off’ being the worst performing team since the AFL’s inception. The Pies might ‘only’ have two flags since 1990, but only West Coast, Hawthorn, Geelong and Brisbane have more in that time. Also, Collingwood fans tend to forget that we’re not that far removed from making the finals every year from 2006 to 2013, an eight-year run that is the envy of many fanbases.

In short, we’ve had it pretty good.

As far as Collingwood’s present day situation, we’re on the same page. I wrote about the Pies last week – http://www.theroar.com.au/2016/03/31/black-white-comedy-will-collingwood-bounce-back/ – and there’s only so much woeful disposal a fan can handle. The end of my tether fast approaches.

The Great Dusty hope in the Richmond wilderness

It’s about time discussion of my lingerie received a national audience.

Very interested to see how the Pies go without Swan. Fairly or not, he’s been a symbol of their one-way running midfield stereotype for the past half-decade. Not saying they’re better without him, because his versatility to go forward as well as kick goals from the midfield is hugely valuable (and he’s uh, a Brownlow medallist and one of the decade’s handful of best players). But he might not be missed as much as the public expects.

I’ll be at this game with our compatriot Cam Rose, so in the spirit of gamesmanship, my prediction is that Richmond will win by 1 point. Possibly by half a point.

Collingwood v Richmond: AFL Friday Night Forecast

Not entirely sure why I’m supposed to be impressed by that stat line, Frank. Sinclair’s disposal efficiency was 68.7% on Saturday night, which is dreadful, and lower than the average of the worst team in the league in that stat last season. One tackle a game from Sinclair isn’t nearly good enough either, he needs to have three or four per game to justify his spot in the team, given that he doesn’t offer much in the ‘composure’ or ‘polish’ departments.

Sinclair is OK. He’s an honest player, someone with a bit of speed, dash and toughness who won’t kill you. But players like Sinclair embody Collingwood’s current predicament – he’s not bad enough to hold the Pies back, but he’s not good enough to meaningfully add to their drive forward either.

Also, he had 0 hitouts on Saturday night. Not 8.

A black (and white) comedy: Will Collingwood bounce back?

Ha. No non-Lakers fan thinks less of Byron Scott than me, but the guy DID make the Finals and that ’08 New Orleans team was awesome when he won Coach of the Year. (Byron Scott, Avery Johnson, Scott Brooks and Sam Mitchell all have won Coach of the Year awards in the past decade by the way. What the hell is going on.)

That doesn’t count for much in 2016 – 2016 being a land where Scott has no place – but he does have some money in the bank. Rambis on the other hand is bankrupt. He has nothing to hold onto, nothing but dreadfulness.

A shapeless franchise: How the triangle is murdering the New York Knicks

The point is Chris, I never called Bogut’s career in its entirety a bust, to the contrary, the article is very much in his favour. I merely said that at one small, brief, specific point in time (early 2012), Bogut was looking like a bust. And since then he has rejuvenated his career, put that perception and label to bed, and emerged as a champion.

A champion and a bust: The Andrew Bogut rollercoaster

A champion and a bust: The Andrew Bogut rollercoaster

The answer, Swampy, is yes. So many hilarious things about the pick. But the best thing is that David Kahn decided to take two point guards back to back, for reasons unknown, and Steph Curry was not one of them. Just brilliant.

A champion and a bust: The Andrew Bogut rollercoaster