Predicting the playoffs and poking fun
The wait is over! The second edition of Blog CJ Wallace 2012 is here. (Pause for effect) And the time for messing around is over. Do you hear me? It's over. Yeah, I'm gonna give you the scoop on "The Best-of-Five Winning Teams in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs Showdowns." But first, listen dudes, it's time to get controversial. That's what really piques interest around here. It's the sad truth, but we live in a world that thrives on controversy; the crazy, the obscene, the absurd. Great Euroleague basketball and the outlandish, two things people love to read about. So what does that mean in relation to this blog? It means that in addition to a little update on the current state of dramatic affairs in this Euroleague season, I will also be calling out supermodels, professing my love for a group of young boys, and poking fun at former governators. Who knows what else? How could you possibly stop reading this now?
Calling out supermodels? On a Euroleague blog? What?! How does this relate to basketball? Here's how. My friend and teammate Mr. Chuck Eidson informed me prior to our Top 16 game in Tel Aviv that Ms. Bar Rafaeli is a dedicated supporter of the Maccabi team and comes to all the big games. Now, I figured that our game there qualified for sure as a big one. After all, it was a matchup between the first- and second-place teams of the group. So, I admit that I expected to see Bar, a girl generally thought of by the public majority as a "hottie", donning her yellow and blue. I was wrong. Alas, no Bar*, but we were able to pull out a tough road victory and take a big step towards first place in the group. Now..... if Bar shows up, does Maccabi win? Does Barcelona play significantly worse? Or significantly better? Does CJ get digits? These are all important questions that (sadly) we will never know the answers to. But here I am, calling you out, Ms. Rafaeli; don't leave these questions unanswered for the Panathinaikos-Maccabi series. Get out there, apply some pressure, and support your squad (and Euroleague basketball.)
(*Note: I found out after the fact that Bar was in Barcelona the day before our game supporting our FCB amigos on the football (soccer) squad as they beat Real Madrid, so the joke is on me. Bar 1, CJ 0. )
I'm mixing in the outrageous to keep everyone on the edge of their seat, but back to basketball. Same as in the Top 16, winning at home is of the utmost importance in the playoffs that start next week. Every practice now is a precious chance to prepare for the execution of game plans. Every possession is paramount. One home loss usually means the end of the series....but not always. Our matchup with Unics Kazan is a replay of the regular season group games, when we were fortunate enough to beat them twice. That means nothing now, though; those guys are playing great basketball and have improved leaps and bounds to a very high level at present. We will, without doubt, have to bring our best level of basketball to advance. Oh, and we also have the super-sweet six-hour flight to Kazan.
FC Barcelona-Unics Kazan
Will be a tough series, but I gotta pick my own team. FC Barcelona.
CSKA Moscow-Gerscrap Bilbao
The Spanish squad has been playing great basketball recently, but CSKA has looked good all season long. CSKA Moscow.
A rematch of one of the most confusing series I have ever witnessed (last year, when Montepaschi won the series after losing the first game by something like 50 points). Who knows how this one could pan out, but I'll guess Siena in five games. Montepaschi Siena.
Panathanaikos-Maccabi Tel Aviv
I have to pick one of the Top 16's second-place teams, and since I talked about Maccabi earlier, I'm gonna go with the upset here. Winning in Athens is not an easy task, but maybe Maccabi gets one. Maccabi Tel Aviv
OK, so the predictions are in. Don't hold me to anything and don't put money on any of my suggestions. Seriously, don't. You probably will lose. Now for a grab bag of greatness...
Song recommendation: The aforementioned love for a group of young boys deals with One Direction, and in particular, their song "What Makes You Beautiful." The song is amazing. And the video is a must see. The wardrobes are outlandishly and awesomely UK, but we need to get these guys in the weight room for some muscle tone if they are going to wear Youth Medium shirts. Dance moves can improve and still consist primarily of finger pointing at the camera and emotionally throwing hands around, but listen, it's early for One Direction and I see nothing but greatness in the future. And the dude singing a solo at the 2:25 mark just flat out kills it.
Youtube recommendation: We have Brazilian superstar Marcelinho Huertas on our squad so I am incorporating some Carnevale into this blog. There is a 5 minute video on Youtube called "Arnold goes to Carnival in Rio." A young Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of my favorite people to giggle at. He doesn't disappoint in this video. Some amazing dancing, some very confident and somewhat aggressive flirting with the Brazilian locals, and a hilarious vocabulary lesson. A young Marcelinho may have actually learned his dance moves from Arnold during this video. Please enjoy.
Person to follow on Twitter: @Huertas09. This Brazilian legend has something like 15,000 followers, which just isn't enough. The dude speaks like six languages fluently and does bicep curls seven times a day. It just makes sense to follow him.
Alright, blog #2 has concluded. A decent mixture of basketball and shenanigans. And hey, whether you are a supermodel or a superfan, get out there and support your teams this week. Go FC Barcelona Regal!
Te Veo Pronto,
CJ WALLACE - BARCELONA, SPAIN
Wednesday, March 14, 2012