Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The First 10 Days

TigerBlog starts today with his prediction from this past January's Super Bowl: Kansas City 35, Tampa Bay 17. 

And, of course, here was the actual final score: Tampa Bay 31, Kansas City 9.

Why does TB bring that up now, two months later? Well, it's because he was so amazingly wrong on that prediction, so he can't really take credit for being pretty much spot on about another one without acknowledging that he missed on the one before it.

TB wrote this Monday before the Gonzaga-Baylor NCAA men's basketball championship game:

TB wants to see Gonzaga close out the perfect season, but turning it around so quickly after what happened Saturday won't be easy. He'll grudgingly predict a Baylor win, and he'll also predict it won't be as good a game as the one Saturday.  

And that was pretty much spot on.

The final was Baylor 86, Gonzaga 70, and it was never really in doubt after the Bears jumped out 9-0. The game went pretty much the way TB figured, with a Baylor team that flew under the radar a bit while all of the attention was focused on the quest for the perfect season from Gonzaga. 

As TB also said the other day, playing with that pressure is rough. Keep that in mind the next time an unbeaten team loses a late season game and says it's the best thing that could have happened. 

Baylor also was so much fresher after its waltz past Houston in the semifinal, as opposed to the epic overtime game Gonzaga had to play against UCLA. TB has heard coaches talk about the advantage a team has that plays the first semifinal, even if it's only a few extra hours of recovery, and that was never clearer than it was in this case. Gonzaga was a step slower than normal, and Baylor was just way too quick for the Bulldogs.

TigerBlog has made quite a few predictions here through the years. Some have worked out. Some haven't. It's the nature of predictions. They're just guesses. 

This one, though, was a bit more than a guess. This one was based on what he saw Saturday night in the semifinals.

In a similar vein, TB makes another prediction. The next 10 days will not be the only 10 days that Devin Cannady spends on an NBA roster.

Cannady, the fifth all-time leading scorer in Princeton men's basketball history with 1,515 career points, was signed to a 10-day contract by the Orlando Magic. Cannady has had back-to-back successful season in the G League, including earning MVP honors for the finals last month after leading the Lakeland Magic to the championship, with a 97-78 win over Delaware in which he scored 22 points on 9 for 17 shooting including 4 for 9 from three.

According to NBA rules, free agents can sign two 10-day contracts in the course of a season, either consecutively or not consecutively. Orlando plays six games in the next 10 days, including one tonight at home against Washington. With six games in 10 days, depth becomes important.

Here's one scouting report on Cannady:

In the world of today's NBA, Cannady can do the single most important thing that is needed - he can shoot the three (from well beyond the line, by the way). Cannady's long-range shooting ability is coupled with a tirelessness that gets him out in transition and makes him a perfect part of a modern-day NBA fast break. He is also very good at chasing down long rebounds and starting the other way. He's also one of the best free throw shooters in any league anywhere, which means that you love having the ball in his hands at the end of a close game in which your team is ahead.

Okay, that actually was from TB after the G League final, but it's true. Cannady's game is made for how offense is played in the NBA these days. He also has to be about as perfect a practice player as you can find.

TB feels like he speaks for all Princeton fans when he says he's rooting for Cannady in a big way. He also thinks that once he gets a chance, he's going to make an impact - and that these 10 days will not be his only in the NBA.

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