NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerds Around Town: Stephen A Smith, Walking Dead and Hell freezing over

ART BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

Hey Nerds!

Hey Tuesday, I didn't see you standing there, that's cool. Let's do this!

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

This week is the Fourth of July, which is a federal holiday, not because the fed rocks! But because this date is literally the date that matters in the formation of our country. This is the most important date on a calendar in American history. So let's not waste it being selfish and foolish, let's focus on things that matter and be good people and good citizens. #NerdsUnite

THE DEATH OF A LEGEND

One of the most impressive and important stories in modern comic books, The Walking Dead has let it slip that this Wednesday the series ends with a monster 70+ page book at issue #193. I'm not sure how it ends, I honestly haven't been reading it for a little while, but what Robert Kirkman did was nothing short of amazing. He took an indy black and white comic book at a time when Image Comics and comic books as a whole were struggling and struck a chord that no one was ready for. The timing was amazing as over the next couple of years the zombie craze grew and grew and eventually there was a television series made from this little book that never quit. I remember I found out about this book and bought the first trade and issue #7 and bought every monthly issue for about two years, those 24 books were worth over $300 when I sold them a few years later. It was crazy how big the hype got for this series. Hats off and congrats to Robert Kirkman and company for The Walking Dead.

STEPHEN A SMITH

So I enjoy watching most of the sports shows, but I can never really get into Stephen A Smith. He is just too over the top and then Max Kellerman always says the craziest stuff, I just can't get into those guys. That being said there was nothing more entertaining than watching him be so humiliated and frustrated with The Knicks on television yesterday. All reports were that they didn't even offer Kevin Durant a maximum contract, which is just foolish. Of course you offer Kevin Durant a max contract, you offer him everything until he proves he's not one of the best players in the world. For them and the Clippers to be left holding all this cap space and having no one who even wants their money, is pretty telling of the NBA and how the players view those two franchises. There was a time a few years back where the Clippers were supposed to be the dark horse pick to win the Western Conference and now their big news is the resigning of Patrick Beverly. That is not earth shattering. The Knicks went out and got a bunch of guys on limited contracts to fill out a roster that honestly no one will be excited about, and their fans are devastated. Finally some good television.

IS HELL FREEZING OVER

Apparently over the weekend three feet of hail fell on Guadalajara, Mexico? This is a crazy story especially considering two key ingredients. Number 1, it was June 30th in Mexico at the time and Number 2, it was Mexico in the summer at the time. I know you think those are the same fact just re explained, you're right it is, but that's how important that fact is. There is literally no reasonable way to examine that situation and not be concerned that maybe there are some weird things happening and we may want to check with our local climate scientist, and soon.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

Jason Aaron's War of the Realms is coming to a close soon at Marvel and all the tie in and stories are wrapping up, however there have been hints dropped of more events coming down the road. I honestly hope that's wrong. I don't know that we need to keep doing event after event after event, it's crazy to me. I'm worried how much more customers will want to buy before they start to wander to other companies and lines, which is great for indy creator for me but bad for the me who wants to one day write X Men.

Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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Christian Wood has been the difference between winning and losing. Composite image by Jack Brame.

Although the Houston Rockets' season looks completely over, this team still has a ton of upside. The Rockets six-game winning streak was fueled behind Christian Wood and John Wall's performances. Unfortunately, Wood has been out for nine games straight due to an ankle injury. Those nine games Wood missed resulted in losses. The Rockets have not won a game since February 4 th against the Memphis Grizzlies.

What is the next step for the Rockets? Tanking? Trading individual players? All this could be possible for the Rockets to move forward. The Rockets could possibly look into finding younger players. So, it won't come as a surprise if PJ Tucker is dealt by the deadline. This team needs a fresh start after the James Harden era. Possibly finding new teams for Danuel House and Ben McLemore should be considered. Plus, Eric Gordon deserves a chance to compete for the playoffs too. He is having a phenomenal season on a bad team.

Trade scenarios

Why not send Eric Gordon, Victor Oladipo, and Ben McLemore for Kelly Oubre and Eric Paschall? Everybody wins. The Golden State Warriors get two perimeter and versatile scorers, minus Oladipo's shooting struggles. That could also help Steph Curry with extra scoring, so he does not continue to burn himself out. Here's another trade scenario that I thought was interesting. As Zak Noble of "Ball Is Life" gave me scenarios on my podcast titled, Zo's Podcast, he suggested the New York Knicks, as well as the Warriors. It allowed me to plug in the pieces. So, with this last one, House and Tucker would fit perfectly with the Knicks. Tom Thibodeau could bring the best out of House, while allowing Tucker to play the power forward position alongside Julius Randle. The Rockets would receive Nerlens Noel who would play behind Wood.

A reason to be optimistic?

The optimism stands behind Kevin Porter Jr. Porter's G-League play has been impeccable. He completed the first triple-double in the G-league this season. Porter's play could be like his idol, James Harden. His game revolves around pick-n-roll, splitting picks, step-backs, and versatile dribbling. Harden used to be a ferocious dunker around the rim, which Porter does a lot more. Porter leads the G-league with 23.7 points per game, averages 7.4 assists a game, which is third in the league, and he's leading the league in points and assists. He is the main reason the Rio Grande Vipers stay in games. Porter playing point guard has allowed him to be an aggressive scorer and playmaker. He sees the floor well while playing point guard. That helps Porter find teammates, attack driving lanes, and find his shot. Porter's IQ when it comes to reading screens is unbelievably good. There were concerns about some troubles in his past. But Porter has shown leadership, which is pivotal. Encouraging his teammates to become better and giving each player confidence.

"[I've] been making notches every day with everything off the court. [I've] been trying to be a better person, better player, and better leader down here," said by Porter after scoring 27 points, 14 assists, and 11 rebounds in a Vipers win. "[I've] been [focused] on my guys down here, trying to get them right. Trying to get their bag."

Porter's offensive rating is 106.9 while having a net rating of -0.3, which is impressive. His true shooting and efficiency percentages are above 50%. Porter has a chance to become the NBA G-League MVP. Coach Silas loves the progress Porter is making in the G-League.

"He is moving in the right direction playing the point exclusively, making plays for his teammates. He is super skilled in his ball handling. And when he gets back, he is going to be a huge part in what we are doing. Him getting in shape and the success he is having down there is important to build on that. When he gets back, hopefully, he will be able to fit right in."

Looking ahead

The NBA Draft will be critical for the Rockets, so will they tank? Honestly, they could, but it depends on how much they play Wood when he gets back. It was reported by Kelly Iko of The Athletic that Wood was 80%. Wood could possibly help the Rockets win more game this season but how many? If the Rockets want a chance to get Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, or Jonathan Kuminga, tanking must become an option. They could lose their top four pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder if consistent winning occurs. Here is my analysis below on the top three players in the 2021 NBA Draft.



Hopefully, a great idea comes along with the Rockets' future in mind. The upside is there for the Rockets' front office, but they have to be the ones to figure it out.

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