March 02, 2010
Really enjoyed the Winter Olympics. Hard to see how Hockey could have gone any better than the US winning the early game and then Canada taking both Golds. Was also really happy to see the Canada men win in curling, and the Norwegian pants winning silver was a fine thing too. Lots of amazing performances (Ammann's amazing ski jumping, Sean White's two amazing snowboard runs, the Norwegian comeback for silver in the cross country relay, and many others).
The Sven Kramer thing was pretty amazing. Understandable for an athlete to make a mistake like this with all the pressure and everything but for a coach to demand his athlete, doing the right thing, switch to the wrong lane is just incredible - he just doesn't have that much to do out there and this is so basic and he is overriding what Kramer was doing so he needs to be damn certain he is right and Kramer is wrong to do this - wow!
February 17, 2009
Moneyball Michael Lewis on Basketball's Shane Battier
Really good article on the Houston Rockets' Shane Battier by Michael "Moneyball" Lewis.
June 18, 2008
Celtics in six! Congratulations
Well, the game wasn't at all close and the Celtics completely outplayed the Lakers the whole way, even in the first quarter where they were missing good shots, they were playing a ton better. Despite this, had a great time watching the game, greatly added to by being with a bunch of friends and watching on a nice HD set. I agree with Pierce as MVP of the series and even more of the playoffs as a whole (game 7 vs Cleveland - wow!) but for the game I would have chosen Ray Allen (7 for 9 for Threes - incredible), Posey, Rondo, Garnett, and Pierce in that order but really every single player on the Celtics had an excellent game for the first time. Just a dominating performance.
Was so nice to see Doc and the big Three have like 20 minutes after they were all taken out to just bask in the moment, almost certainly some of the best minutes of their entire lives. All four have worked for so long at it and are incredibly deserving. Really wonderful scene.
I watched every Celtics game of the playoffs and had a great time with it - thanks guys!
May 30, 2008
Celtics - Pistons: Game 5
Just a quick note to thank Ray Allen and Perkins for excellent games after their noshows or worse in some earlier games. Perkins in particularly played a GREAT first half when for much of the half the rest of the team was playing horrendously, with ridiculous turnovers and horrible foul calls (this was largely on the refs).
May 19, 2008
Game 7 Celtics - Cavaliers
Well, amazingly good game yesterday and what a performance by Pierce (and James too of course). Still, an odd game to me in that I felt only 5 players combined on the two teams played really well - West for the Cavs, and House and Brown for the Celtics in addition to James/Pierce - couple others, like Garnett, played solidly but still probably below average for their skills. I really felt both Allen and Perkins were negatives on the Celtics and they would have been better off with neither of them playing. If they want to move on beyond this, that has just got to change - Allen has got to get out of his slump. I went into these playoffs thinking the Celtics had the plurality best chance to win the title; certainly don't feel that way anymore. I think they will be lucky to beat Detroit and then against the Lakers (most likely Finals opponent imo) would be a significant underdog but we'll see how it goes. Thank heavens for home court.
May 07, 2008
Celtics - Cavs Game 1
Wow, strange game last night. Clevelands shoots just over 30% and almost wins!!! Ray Allen scores ZERO and Pierce is 2 for 14 but made up for by James not being able to hit anything either. Great game for Garnett, Rondo, Cassell and a couple big 3s from Posey but except for a couple shots from Perkins, the rest of the team was almost useless - team actually would have been better off if Ray Allen hadn't shown up at all which is pretty amazing. And 23 turnovers! That is crazily bad. Hopefully people get on track for the rest of the series.
In the end, I'm just glad they won. I think a loss in a game like that at home might have been devastating.
February 04, 2008
SuperBowl - Great Game!
Wow, great game. Every single score caused a lead change. Came down to the very last minute. Neither offense played great but the game overall was amazingly good. The only thing I thought was crazy was Eli Manning getting the MVP. There is no way, imho, he deserved it. I would without question have given it to the Giants defensive front line as a group who put pressure on Brady pretty much all game and thereby kept the Giants in it. Manning at the end seemed several times to just toss up balls and hope his guys got to them, with Tyree doing so in the most important and difficult catch of the game. Anyway, great game and thanks to C & C for their hospitality and all.
I personally didn't feel strongly about which team won and was mostly just happy to have a good game. Upon thinking about it after, I think my personal choice for things would have been if the Giants had won the final regular season game and the Patriots had won the Super Bowl but this result was fine too.
On the commercials side, my favorite by far was the Underdog/Stewie/Charlie Brown Coke commercial. I thought it sweet Charlie Brown won.
October 22, 2007
World Series bound
Well, the Sox did it, although made it more difficult than I was hoping for. Still, even down 3-1 I actually thought they had a pretty good chance of winning. Beckett has been the best pitcher in baseball this year and even better in the playoffs and the two Cleveland aces hadn't pitched that well in games 1 and 2 even though they won G2. So as long as they won the Beckett game they would be back in Boston and have to be favored in Game 7 if they got to it (despite Dice-K's unreliability lately) so Game 6 was the only one I was really worried about.
Anyway, got to hope that the long layoff dulls the hot streak Colorado has been on. Sweeping both series and winning the last 21 of 22 is a pretty amazing streak.
May 02, 2006
NBA: What a Shock?
As per my earlier posting about this, what a shock that Dallas sweeps Memphis and the Clippers win 4-1 over Denver. Think you still should have tried AT ALL to win that game, Memphis?
April 19, 2006
What happens if an NBA basketball game ends tied 0-0?
It is a pretty common thing that a team at the end of a season has an interest in losing games, to get a better match-up or to move up in the college draft (as worse teams get better picks). The situation with the game last night between Memphis and the LA Clippers in the NBA, however, was the very most extreme case of this I have ever seen. Facts to consider:
1) Winner of the game would get the 5th seed and loser the 6th seed in the playoffs (very rare that the two teams involved in this kind of thing are competing head to head in the final game in this way).
2) 5th seed (game winner) plays the very good 4th seeded Dallas Mavericks (60 and 21 record which is 3rd best overall in the entire NBA but are only 4th seed in the West because Division Winners get higher seeds).
3) 6th seed (game loser) plays the very weak 3rd seeded Denver Nuggets (44 and 37 record) and amazingly even gets home court advantage in the 1st round because although Denver as a division winner gets boosted to 3rd seed, home court is based on the better record of the two teams playing and Denver's is worse than both Memphis and LA's.
4) If the 6th seed (game loser) team wins in the 1st round, they only have to play the 2seed-7seed game winner (prob Phoenix at 53 and 28) in the 2nd round and not the 1seed-8seed winner (probably San Antionio at 62 and 19).
It is my opinion that all of these things combine to MASSIVELY increase the team's chances of advancing by losing the game last night (probably at least like doubling their chances and an even bigger multiple as far as getting to the finals).
Apparently both teams actually played to win (and Memphis did) but I just find this incredible given the situation!!! What could the NBA do to them if they felt they weren't trying to win? In the most extreme case, if both teams refused to put a single shot through the basket, what would happen? Are you allowed to score for the other team? One would think this kind of thing would piss off the fans but the novelty factor of both teams doing absolutely EVERYTHING to lose would probably have been hillarious. Can you get all of your players ejected from the game and thus forfeit? Do you keep playing when left with only 4 players if doing this plan? Is there a rule to cover a 0-0 score after N overtimes?
October 28, 2004
The Curse is Dead
Well, the curse is finally over after 86 years. Pretty incredible. Incredible job by Pedro yesterday and Lowe today. Manny was named the series MVP which really surprises me given the pitching performances and that the only really scary moment of the entire series came because of his error in game 1. I would have given it to Foulke who did an amazing job not just in these games but in the final 4 against the Yankees as well. Incredible and a sight to see. What a time to be a Sox fan!!!
The Cardinals are too good a team to deserve this, not only getting swept, but never even leading for one moment in the entire series. Their pitching was poor throughout and their hitting never again came alive after game 1. Unfortunately, becasue this series was so easy, I don't think it will be remembered as nearly as special a historical sports moment as I expected last week. The series last week is the one that will be remembered but that is more of a Boston-NY thing and I don't think has the power to be transcendant beyond sport as something like the Miracle on Ice was.
I went down again tonight to Kenmore/Fenway but the atmosphere was not nearly as powerful as it was last week. The crowd (me included) was happy but not euphoric and that made a huge difference. Last week was an experience to remember forever. Tonight was just a fun partying crowd. The influence tonight of alcohol and all was also much clearer and, unlike last week, there did seem to be a fair number of hooligans around. Many people seemed out there more as a pro forma thing than a spontaneous one. For a music analogy (from my biased perspective), this was a Stones concert while last week was the crescendo of a great Dead concert (pun at least noticed).
October 25, 2004
Keep on Rolling
Wow, 8 errors in two games and we're still up 2-0 thanks to the offense, particularly in
game 1, Schilling's second unbelievable performance, and the amazing job by Foulke. Given how much better St Louis has played at home and that Schilling can't pitch again, I still only favor us - this isn't nearly in the bag yet. We need to win at least one in St Louis and hopefully of course just end it there.
October 20, 2004
All Hail Curt!
Wow, what a gutsy and amazing performance. I have been a fan of Schilling for many years, due to his incredible preparation and work-ethic and his involvement with Multiman Publishing (publishers of the wargame Advanced Squad Leader) but this was simply incredible. Also, thanks to the great job by the umpires of getting together to get the calls right! Kudos also to Francona who has done an amazing job managing the last three games and to Bellhorn, who has been all season perhaps my favorite player on the Red Sox and I have kept rooting for him and he really delivered last night. Foulke made me really nervous, particularly the absolutely horrible move of walking Matsui with a 2 run lead in the bottom of the ninth but managed to survive it so kudos in the end.
Obviously, tonight, we again need the usual pair of offense and pitching. Hopefully Damon will emerge from his slump and the rest of the bats will also get to full power.
The main reason Bellhorn is my favorite player is all the walks he draws. I absolutely hate giving up walks and love drawing them. Yes, he also strikes out a lot but I don't care about that since in most cases a strikeout is no worse than any other out, even a long ball to the warning track if there is nobody to tag up and advance. Taking all of these pitches also wears out the pitcher which is huge. Players so often struggle mightily to get somewhat lucky and get a hit when they might otherwise be able to do just as much good by sitting back, maybe fouling off a few balls, and then getting the walk
October 19, 2004
Series returns to NY
Wow, what a game! Incredible job by Wakefield, Ortiz, and all the bullpen. I was also again incredibly impressed with the effect Dave Roberts had on the game, in as a pinch runner in the one vital inning. Without even stealing a base, he completely discombobulated Tom Gordon and did at least half the work in getting Nixon a single, allowing him to reach 3rd and score the tying run on Varitek's sac-fly. Just looking at him and the leads he takes one sees why he scares the pitchers so much. The only thing I think the Sox really did horribly wrong was Pedro hitting number 9 hitter Cairo to load the bases and let Jeter bat in the inning - absolute disaster and Jeter unsurprisingly made him pay for it. Pitch the lead 4 guys inside and chance hitting them but against the bottom couple of guys, just go after them and if they beat you, so be it, but most of the time it won't happen.
I have also been incredibly impressed by Francona's use of the bullpen in the last two games. Only a couple of moves have I questioned at all (like bringing in Myers in both games) but even these have worked reasonably well. Torre has been using his bullpen by the book while Francona has been doing what it takes to win and throwing out the book.
Now, its up to Schilling and his ankle. If he pitches well tonight, we should definitely be favored to make it to game 7. If he doesn't, we are in deep trouble given the shallowness of the bullpen after the last two games and only stand a chance if the offense really wakes up. Hopefully we'll get both!
Also, credit where its due to Loaiza who I thought we would destroy, but did an incredible job, making it into a 4th inning with no backup at all. He took the loss but did an incredible job.
Oh, also, a related issue about bullpen, particularly closer, use. I really think that teams should be more willing to use their best bullpen pitcher (usually the closer) earlier in the game than they do. Lets take a hypothetical pitcher who could 100% get 3 strikeouts but only 3 outs per game. Wouldn't you want to bring that pitcher in with the bases loaded (even in like the 6th inning) and nobody out rather than simply coming on at the start of the 9th? This way he not only shuts the other team down for an inning but almost certainly also saves several runs. Since obviously no pitcher is that good, when to bring a guy in is a more complex decision than that but, if I had a Rivera, I would quite willingly bring him in as early as the 6th if the situation called for it.
October 18, 2004
Well, congrats to the Sox on dodging the sweep and pulling out the game last night. Particular congratulations to Mueller, Ortiz and the pitchers Lowe, Foulke, Embree and Leskanic (nicknamed by some with some reason "Let's Panic") all of whom did more than I thought could reasonably be asked of them. Although still down 3-0, I have never completeley written them off. All things being equal, their chance now would be 1 in 8 or 12.5%. With the Schilling injury and the depleted bullpen after last night, things aren't equal but I still give them some appreciable shot. They really need tonight a solid 7+ inning performance from Pedro and, even more importantly, they need their offense to really wake up and start and keep hitting the Yankee pitchers. Given these two things, I would give them a real shot to manage the miracle and come back. I'm certainly not expecting this but hope remains alive!
August 30, 2004
First off, a huge contratulations to Greece for the wonderful job they did putting on these Olympics - an astounding achievement for a country of this size. The beauty and history of the country had a palpable effect throughout.
NBC also did a very nice job with the broadcasting, not letting themselves get in the way of the athletes and events as has happened sometimes in the past. I am sorry I didn't see nearly all of the prime-time material as Bob Costas can be very emotionally powerful at presenting things; I was definitely moved by his closing remarks following the closing ceremonies.
Moments that most effected me are below with a note that the USA I find wins too many medals and often does it in a 'we expected Gold' way that I find very unappealing. This is certainly not true of all of the US athletes but is most represented by the poor team play and attitude of the US basketball team. They in many ways looked like spoiled children denied a treat at the medal ceremony as they got their bronze medals while the joy of Italy with the silver and, of course, particularly Argentina with the gold was powerful. Both knew what an honor this was to be there - Manu Ginobli's comments in his interview with Sager were just wonderful and intense. Incredible congratulations to Argentina on a day so beyond what they had ever before experienced in sport as they won the Gold in both Soccer and Basketball on a single day.
Congratulations to German canoeist Birgit Fisher who won her 8th Gold medal (and also a Silver) in her SIXTH olympics at age 42 - what an accomplishement at that age!
Congratulations to New Zealand rowing twins Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell on their Gold - don't know why I cared so much about this but was really glad to see them win for some reason.
Also, great job Michael Phelps, the 8 gold hype for whom by the media really annoyed me, but he gave an amazing performance and acted wonderfully in spite of it.
On the downside for these Olympics were the Marathon interference, the shotput in Olympia (and others including the Greek runners) drug scandal and the American reaction over the Paul Hamm issue. A clerical error was made and can be corrected and should. Hamm did an amazing job in coming back from his fall but as it turns out it wasn't quite enough and the medal situation should be fixed. The US olympic authorities defending him keeping it I find hypocritical as well and feel that there is no question that if the situation were reversed, the US would manage to get a change made given our power.
May 17, 2004
Finally took out my kayak on Saturday for the first time this season, despite missing a kayaking event in the morning. As usual, I really enjoyed being out on the water but the hassles of getting the boat to and from the river are very discouraging. I did end up paddling much farther than I ever had before, up to the park and volleyball area on Soldier's Field Road from my put-in at magazine beach (probably about 1.5 miles each way).
April 07, 2004
Uconn wins both NCAA titles
Wow, three-peat for the UConn women (men won too but I don't care much about that). I unfortunately only ended up seeing the first few minutes of the game as I was out at a really enjoyable instance of my Tuesday gaming group and had accidentally taped the pre-game show rather than the game on my TiVo which sucks.
Watching the UConn women, as always, somewhat painfully reminds me of Doug and I am again so sorry he didn't get to see this run.
February 03, 2004
Congratulations to our New England Patriots. I'm really not much of a football fan and have no particular liking for this team but it is still nice for the local team to win. The outcry over the Janet Jackson thing is pretty crazy and stupid, given all the other stuff that goes on. I thought the whole halftime show which I only watched in the background was pretty horrible, not that I care about the nudity other than I agree that it would have been better if people were warned who do care.
October 17, 2003
Red Sox lose in Game 7
Well, first of all congratulations and thanks to the Red Sox for an overall great season but this sucks!.
Going into this game, the Red Sox wanted 7 good innings out of Pedro and a lead going into the 8th with Timlin and Williamson to pitch the 8th and 9th as they've been doing and Embree available for a particular batter or as necessary. They get this but send Pedro back on the mound in the 8th. This is an unclear call but I think quite reasonable. However, Grady Little should plan to pull Pedro the moment he gives up a hit in my opinion. Instead, Pedro gets an out and then Jeter gets a double. Grady goes out and talks to Pedro who convinces him to let him stay in. I think he should switch now but if he is convinced Pedro is up for it and wants to give him one more chance, that is ok with me. However, after Williams gets a hit, it is a 100% clear call in my opinion that Grady must take Pedro out, particularly as he can go to Embree for the 2nd out on Matsui and then Timlin for the final out. I think not doing so is an absolutely wrong decision. Instead he sticks with Pedro for two more doubles before going to Embree and Timlin who do a great job although Timlin does give up a dangerous walk. However, the damage is done and it is now Rivera time and the Red Sox end up losing. In addition, I think that Grady made a major error in not bringing in Williamson in the 10th. He clearly planned to wait to get a lead but this is not good strategy. The problem is that what may happen is the Yankess score a run in a given inning and the Red Sox would have scored a run in the next inning (after Rivera was out). However, they never get a chance to do so so the Yankees win rather than the game being again tied which it would have been in this hypotetical if you could have pushed the Yankee run off an inning. The Sox must use Williamson for as long as he can go to counter Rivera and hopefully get to the shaky Yankees remaining pitchers (Contreras, Weaver, White). Once Williamson has done what he can, then is the time to go to Wakefield, who is an excellent pitcher but is really too random for situations like this unless you have no choice. I think Grady Little unfortunately must go.
October 16, 2003
Sox force Game 7
Well, the Red Sox won which is great but I feel surprisingly badly that the Cubs lost, particularly for the poor interfering fan who seriously may have to move away from Chicago. No Armageddon Series. Go Sox tonight.
October 14, 2003
Sox and Yankees even after 4
I didn't watch too much of the game Saturday with the bench-clearing brawls and all but watched all of yesterday's game after the rainout Sunday. Wakefield again pitched really well and the Sox managed to even the series. They still pretty much have a must-win for tonight's game with Lowe against Wells at Fenway. I also expect the Cubs will close out their series today. Sox/Cubs World Series!!!
October 09, 2003
Wakefield wins over Mussina
Red Sox win game one vs the Yankess where the Yankess had a favorable pitching matchup but Wakefield and the bullpen pitched great and Boston's big bats finally came to life together. This game is not just a win but a great sign for the rest of the series but we'll see. Tonight's pitching matchup is pretty even and I expect a close game.
Oh, also, I have to admit I laughed like hell at the commentators comments at "Objective" Ed's expense after he explained how he had seen the whole Walker home-run/foul ball thing and was certain it was a foul and then they showed that his view had been blocked by the pole and, anyway, he had been looking in the completely wrong direction. The whole thing was hillarious.
Btw, all this baseball talk is a really new thing for me. This year is the most I have ever gotten into baseball, which is, after all a game about which a friend once said "Baseball is the only major sport where even the players on the field are bored." This comment refers to the outfielders who do almost nothing, not all the reserves or 8 of 18 active players sitting around waiting to bat. I have found, though, that with TiVo slightly-delayed sports and having games on in the background while I'm on my computer makes Red Sox games quite enjoyable.
October 07, 2003
Red Sox Win!
Celebration in Boston as the Red Sox pull it off and come back from an 0-2 deficit on the road in a 5 game series for the second time ever (and the only team ever to do it before was the Red Sox in 1999). The game started out as an amazing pitcher's duel where it looked like they could both go all the way and the 1 run Pedro gave up looked like it could be the ball game. However, they both ended up faltering, Zito in particular giving up 2 home runs in the 6th including a 3 run shot to Manny who finally had a huge hit at a vital time. Many of the Red Sox did not play well at the plate this series but the big hitters managed to do just enough at just the right times to pull it out. The Red Sox seemed content with the 4-1 lead and did almost nothing offensively the rest of the game. I felt Grady Little pulled Pedro at just the right moment and Embree and Timlin did a nice job. However, Williamson who has pitched well lately but I don't find reliable came in with no control and almost blew it in the 9th before Lowe came in and pitched great and saved it. Go Sox. I am starting to believe, Pete.
October 05, 2003
Red Sox and Women's World Cup
Great weekend of sports. The Red Sox somehow managed to even up the series against Oakland and it will be Pedro against Zito in Game 5 in Oakland. Neither team has yet found any serious amount of offense but the breaks that went for Oakland went for Boston in Game 3 particularly the 3 Oakland errors in 1 inning and running screwup by Byrnes, each making a run difference, just enough to keep the score tied and let Boston make it to extra inning's and Trot's walk off homer. The second game (Game 4 of the series) was more straightforward. I thought Little kept Burkett in for one batter too many but Wakefield ended up also giving up a hit to the first batter he faced and they got behind but Ortiz's first hit of the series came at a vital moment to give the Sox the lead and the winning run. We'll see how game 5 goes tomorrow night.
On the Women's World Cup, I just finished watching the US-Germany semifinal game which was an excellent game, by far the best played game on both sides I have seen this year which Germany ended up winning, including Meinert (who plays for the local Boston Breakers) scoring a nice goal and making some nice passes at the end as the US was desperately pushing forward. It is too bad for the US but I was also really glad for Germany and have high hopes that they will win the final.
October 02, 2003
Red Sox Playoff Game
Well, the Red Sox game was painful last night as the Sox lost in game 1 of their series with Oakland in 12 innings after giving up the lead in the bottom of the Ninth with 2 outs. The bullpen actually didn't do a terrible job but they also don't inspire almost any confidence. Walker had a wonderful game wasted. The thing that really disgusted me was the incredible number of walks given up (something like 1 per inning on average).
Was glad to see the US women win in the quarters of the Soccer World Cup over Norway in a well played game. Norway really never managed almost any serious attacks. Sweden also played a very good game as they beat Brazil.
August 18, 2003
WUSA: Breakers Game
Went with Mark to the Boston Breakers vs Washington Freedom WUSA semifinal game (professional women's soccer). It was an excellent game with each side dominating the play at times but ended with no score. They then played two short (7:30) overtime periods where most soccer plays 15:00 overtime periods, again with no score so it went to Penalty Kicks. The Breakers did horrendously at the PKs, only hitting one of four they took and Washington won without even needing to take their last two kicks. Too bad but a very good season.
In the other semifinal yesterday, San Diego was leading Atlanta but went into a shell for the last twenty minutes of the game with Atlanta pouring on the offense and San Diego desperately clearing ball after ball. Finally, Atlanta got one through (after the ref missed a penalty call in the box on San Diego), forcing overtime. In overtime, Hooper scored a Golden Goal to win so it will be Atlanta vs Washington in the finals next week.
June 16, 2003
Spurs win NBA Championship
Well, 4-2 as I predicted. Congratulations to all the Spurs. Watching them celebrate I couldn't think of a more deserving team - Robinson, Duncan and Kerr in particular are such deserving players who play the right way, with skill and passion but not dirty and whining play. Congratulations also to Kevin Willis and Steve Smith after so many years. In terms of the game, Popavich finally did the right thing and left Speedy Claxton in - Parker had played great to get them there but had lost his confidence and Speedy was playing wonderfully. He also left Stephen Jackson in which I thought was wrong but hugely worked out as he hit the most important shots in the game with a 3 to take the lead and another to hugely solidify it. He is a high risk, high reward player and at the end the reward part came out.
June 05, 2003
NBA Finals: Game 1
Not too much to say. Duncan played an amazing second half and the Spurs generally dominated the middle, scoring well and blocking a ton of Nets shots inside. Still, the win while pretty easy was not a dominating one and if NJ can get their fast break game working they could definitely win some games. I think the Spurs will take the series but probably not sweep it. I'll predict 4-2 Spurs.
May 30, 2003
Basketball: Spurs win
I actually missed the game last night and a bunch of the other games as well due to being out playing games but it is really too bad that two of the most important series this year were significantly effected by injury, with both the Kings and Mavericks losing their best player early in the series. Anyway, congratulations to the Spurs and to Steve Kerr, who I've always liked even from back when he was in college at Arizona, for having a great game. I hope and expect the Spurs will run over the Nets and Duncan and Robinson will get their well-deserved championship.
May 20, 2003
Sports: Mavs-Spurs Game 1
Well, it certainly was a very good game as expected. An amazing comeback by the Mavs and even better display of freethrow shooting. 49 for 50 (98%) and the one they missed was the first one taken so 49 in a row. This may be quite a good series. I worry that the Spurs just don't have the necessary killer-instinct to finish teams off however.
May 19, 2003
Sports: NBA Playoffs
Well, I am pretty happy with the NBA playoffs so far. The Celtics lost but truthfully made it farther than I expected they would. Getting swept is pretty depressing but they just don't have the overall talent level to compete at this point. The Nets and Pistons are both pretty uninteresting teams but do have a fair amount of talent. I won't be watching much of their series however.
In the West, I was rooting for the both the Spurs and Mavs. I have been for the Lakers the last couple of years but they have had enough time at the top and Duncan deserves a shot for the title. The Mavs have a style that is just really fun to watch with great shooting and Nash's incredible drives into the middle which seem to get him in trouble surprisingly little - somehow he always manages to dribble back out or make a pass to an open shooter. I expect they won't be able to handle Duncan or the open shots he will get his teammates but we'll see. Should be fun one way or the other. I of course do feel bad for Chris Webber who has become a vastly better player (and passer) than he was when he entered the league and played in Washington. It does seem very likely the Kings would have won the series with Webber playing.
April 09, 2003
Congratulations to the UConn women on their back-to-back championship. Taurasi played an amazing game and in general their shooting was just incredible. To be destroyed on the boards and still win comfortably is just amazing. Apparently Tennessee was noticeably favored but I am really not clear why. UConn had only lost one game all season while Tennessee lost four. Also, UConn has Diana and Tennessee, while certainly an excellent team with an excellent coach, just doesn't have anybody that is nearly as good and in big games superstars usually stand out.
I have to admit I thought that UConn was going to lose in the semis and that they were in many ways outplayed in that game but this team just has always had an incredible ability to find a way to win whatever the circumstances. Credit for this certainly has to go to Geno Auriemma.
I am sorry Doug missed these Repeat titles :(
April 08, 2003
Basketballs are Orange Today
Congratulations fo Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orangemen on winning the NCAA tournament last night. They played a nearly perfect game for most of the first half, putting on an incredible display of 3 point shooting, and then managed to hang on in the second half as Kansas went 12 for 30 at the free throw line - an astoundingly horrible percentage and including missing several front ends of 1 and 1s. Still, despite this and some poor Syracuse shooting in the second half, this was a game where both teams put everything they had on the floor. Carmello Anthony won the MVP and was certainly the best player on the floor but was obviously seriously hampered by his back injury or Kansas would surely have never been able to come as close as they did to getting all the way back. Even though all he hit was the 6 3's in the first half, I would have given McNamarra the MVP as this was really where the game was won.
Boeheim and Roy Williams, the Kansas coach, were apparently the two NCAA Men's Division I coaches with the most tournament wins but without a championship. It was thus clearly going to be a great night for one of them and a painful one for the other. I was glad to see Boeheim get it as he is older and seems less sure to have other chances in the future.
My hopes are with the UConn Women tonight.