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June 16, 2008

[Business Day One] Game Six Wish List

Filed under: Basketball,Business Day One — Tags: , , , , , — Serpico @ 10:02 am

Since Dick Bavetta led Los Angeles to victory with a dozen assists (and a couple of gritty rebounds), there will be a Game Six in Boston on Tuesday.  This Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals will wear on for at least one more game.  And I need to make my hopes for it known.  This isn’t an entry so much as a plea to the Gods of Sport.  And to them, I pray today:

 

Gods of Sport, please allow Kevin Garnett to hang 25 points (including eight in the final four minutes) and 15 rebounds on the Lakers, thus removing his “wilts under pressure” stigma.

 

Gods of Sport, please empower the Celtics fans to come up with more hurtful and offensive chants to direct at Kobe Bryant.

 

Gods of Sport, please sooth and refresh the various ailing joints of Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce, that they may do your will.

 

Gods of Sport, please give Pau Gasol the grains and wild greens he needs to survive.

 

Gods of Sport, please inspire the New Kids on the Block to hold a free concert on the Boston Common if the Celtics win.

 

Gods of Sport, please let Boston finish this.

June 2, 2008

[Business Day One] The Championship Analysis

Filed under: Basketball,Business Day One — Tags: , , , — Serpico @ 9:31 am

The pundits weigh in, as they always do.  But I don’t trust pundits.  They said the Celtics would lose to the Pistons in six, and we proven wrong as Boston battled to a series win in six.  Pundits say all kinds of things, and we believe them despite the fact that their credentials involve a degree in journalism and watching slightly more basketball than the average diehard.

Well, screw them.  Screw them, and to heck with us for trusting their opinion.  Forty-something white men don’t know jack about what’s going to happen on the hardwood this week.  The game has too many moving parts and relies too much on questionable foul calls and suddenly hot shooting hands to be predicted with any sort of certainty.  I’ve never heard of a sports bookie quitting the business because his customers got it right too many times.

So, as an alternative to these men masquerading as fortune-tellers, I have devised a different way to predict what will happen in the NBA Finals.  The difference, however, between me and the gurus is that I am not going to try and convince you that my logic makes any sense.  I used five Celtics/Lakers prediction methodologies to determine how this thing would end.  Let’s jump in, shall we? 

A Coin Flip – Celtics are heads, as they are from Boston, the education capital of the world.  Lakers are tails, since California looks like a well-sculpted butt. 

Result: Tails, Lakers 

A Game Of Smash Brothers: Brawl – I played as the Celtics (Marth, a heady defensive minded player), and set the computer to Lakers (Fox on Very Hard, a shoot-first guy with a lot of range). 

Result: Marth, Celtics 

Last Thing On The Plate – I ate a cobb salad for dinner yesterday, and decided that if the last thing on my plate was a Celtic-green piece of lettuce, then Boston gets a point.  If it was anything else, Lakers. 

Result: Chunk of bacon, Lakers 

Ashmont/Braintree – I either take an Ashmont Train or a Braintree Train to work in the morning.  Ashmont was Lakers, Braintree was Celtics. 

Result: “This is a Braintree Train.  Braintree.  Please stand clear of the doors.  They will be closing,” Celtics 

A Tradition of Baseball Success – I was unsure of who had a better record, the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Boston Red Sox.  What?  It’s the NL West.  Who cares?  So I looked it up. 

Result: Red Sox (apparently the Dodges are under .500, who knew?), Celtics 

After tabulating the scores, it looks like 3 out of the 5 measures I used came up for the Celtics.  How about that?  Looks like another championship is coming to Boston.  To see how many games it’ll take for the East squad to beat the West squad, I used the “Random” Function in Microsoft Excel. 

=RANDBETWEEN(4,7) 

Result: 7, Celtics in 7
 

Looks to be an exciting series!  Place your bets, everyone.

March 9, 2008

Minus Their Super Brother, Rockets Still Smashing

McGrady is resting

It had all been going so well for the Houston Rockets. They were making a solid playoff push in the hellacious Western Conference, undefeated for the past month. Under first-year skipper Rick Adelman and a still-stingy defense left over from Jeff Van Gundy, the Toyota Center was rocking from the opening tip to Rafer Alston’s dribbling out the clock. Houston’s win streak didn’t exactly catapult them up the ladder but it did solidify them as a team to contend with, especially in a season where the playoffs might end up looking like hockey’s: an utterly chaotic grind, no one safe, duck and cover. Even Tracy McGrady was getting his proper love. The cousin in Vince Carter’s grand and unnecessary shadow, McGrady is going on four years with his third team, and as option #1A on the Rockets, the 28 year old was hitting his prime in stride, piloting Houston to a 12th straight victory with a 110-97 dub over the Bulls. The very next day, according to the entirety of the voices covering the NBA, their beatdown of Chicago became the high point of the season.

See, that day franchise center and all-around tall man Yao Ming went down for the season. (more…)

January 28, 2008

[Business Day One] Stacks and Stacks of Letters! (pt. 2)

Filed under: Business Day One — Tags: , , , , , , — Serpico @ 1:04 pm

The opening line on the Big Game was 14 points. That means that in initial Vegas action, anyone that bet on the Patriots believed that they were two touchdowns and two extra points better than a Giants team that has won on the road in three straight weeks and mounted an effective pass rush against the Patriots the week before. I don’t think I’d take that bet.

The line has come down since then, but the Pats are still favored by a touchdown, a field goal and some change. I still don’t think I’d take that bet. I, and most of the western world, do believe New England is going to win. But by twelve? Thirteen? That’s a fairly tough thing to do. In the past five years, only one team has won by a touchdown, a field goal and some change. And that team wasn’t the Patriots, though they’ve played in three of those games. Granted, this Pats team is far different than the XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX versions, but in a game this big, I’m not going to give the points.

In fact, I challenge someone to tell me why I should. That’s right. I challenge someone!

There, a gauntlet has been thrown down. In the meantime, I believe I still have more mailbag to get to:

Dave L (Somerville, MA) – Do you think baseball will ever have a salary cap? (in say… the next 30 years) why/why not?

I think we’re going to see a “salary floor” of some sort before we see any salary cap. (more…)

December 23, 2007

Fly Straight And True

Filed under: Basketball — Tags: , — Sean @ 7:46 pm

It’s Christmastime in my neck of the woods, and that means it’s the season for giftgiving and merrymaking. Since I am in a giving mood, I’ve decided to curl up by the hot-stove fire and share with you my one Christmas wish for the 2007 season. Without further ado:

Hotlanta Hawks

It’s for the Atlanta Hawks, and it’s a good basketball team. Poor Atlanta. Their baseball team is no longer the juggernaut it once was in the days of My So Called Life and Democratic Party competence. Their football team apparently folded at the completion of last season. Their hockey team isn’t important enough for me to even look up to make a joke (I know they are the Thrashers and that one should not joke about cars in regards to them). And the Atlanta Hawks, oh dearie me, the Hawks are 14-12, bolstered by their decent 9-6 home record. Oh, but it is often a cruel and disappointingly temperate winter in Peachland, and the Hawks have never so much as reached a conference final in their history. In 1969, they lost to the Lakers in the Western Division Final, but “Western Division Final” should give you a good idea as to how friggin’ long ago that was. It may be said that the Hawks have never had a season for fans to discuss with great pride; the ’94 campaign boasted 57 wins and an embarrassing second round flameout against the young Indiana Pacers.

To me Atlanta has boasted an inordinate amount of likable players over the years; I think of Doc Rivers, Dominique Wilkins, Mookie Blaylock, Stacy Augmon, 58 year old Kevin Willis, and the vexing stopovers of Shareef Abdul-Rahim, JR Rider, and Antoine Walker. Even their coach, the reserved and decent Lenny Wilkens, was a Providence College alum, instantly making him my beloved family. (He’s the winningest and losingest coach in NBA history, if you remember. You probably don’t.) To see this franchise year-in and year-out take up 25 seconds of highlight time 43 minutes into Sportscenter saddens me, if only because they deserve something for not moving by now. Flash forward to this year, with Joe Johnson, the Joshes (Smith and Childress), and Marvin Williams running the show, with rookie duo Al Horford and Acie Law IV providing a glimpse of the future. Under the totally anonymous leadership of Mike Woodson, the Hawks could very feasibly make the playoffs this season, ending a NBA-leading eight year drought. Who wouldn’t root for the Hawks?

Have a Merry Christmas, or don’t. Either way, take Tuesday off.

November 18, 2007

The Neverending Story

Filed under: Basketball — Tags: , , , — Sean @ 12:00 pm

Young Jerry SloanOlder Jerry Sloan

15,374 days.

That’s how long it’s been. Some days it snows and some days the sun burns your skin as you wait for your bus and some days Presidents are impeached and some days, some glorious, magical days, fate smiles upon you and yours and leaves you the ultimate champion. Jerry Sloan is waiting for that day. (more…)

October 19, 2007

Why The Jordan Rules Still Apply

Filed under: Basketball — Tags: , , , — Sean @ 12:00 pm

If the World Series goes the distance, Game 7 will feature the American and National League champions battling nine innings to claim baseball’s ultimate prize. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will build up the game to giant proportions, and FOX’s production will pull out all the stops. The final game in a topsy turvy season will captivate the imagination of sports fans across America. It will be talked about the next day in offices, bars, doctors’ waiting rooms, synagogues. Game Seven will be an event.

Go Spurs Go

That same day the San Antonio Spurs, the most successful sports franchise of the past decade, receive their championship rings and raise their fourth banner in nine years. You are not likely to watch this game, nor will the vast majority of your friends. The presence of those darn Spurs will almost certainly produce a basketball game in a vacuum. It’s not just them, either.

The National Basketball Association is suffering through its worst slump since the drug-scandalized malaise of the late 1970s. NBA Finals games then aired on tape delay opposite infomericals. The league was known for a series of surly, unlikable “stars” such as Rick Barry, Moses Malone, and even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. (It took a few motion pictures and the untimely destruction of Bill Walton’s career to make the Big Fella heroic.) Even the ABA’s sunny vibes evaporated and the NBA’s rival folded, with only four franchises surviving. Kermit Washington’s ghastly punch and David Thompson’sDavid Thompson cocaine laced high-flying were some of the league’s lasting images. The base problem is an issue the league still wrestles with, marketing a black man’s league to white America. David Stern has worn a mighty crown during his quarter century as Commissioner, but no doubt in the last five years he has had more than one sweat-soaked nightmare at that vision.

And how terrifyingly real this vision is. (more…)

June 29, 2007

The NBA has drafted

Filed under: Basketball — Tags: , , , , — Willis @ 6:42 am

Joakim Noah Crazy SuitSo last night was the NBA draft; and draft they did. There were no surprises early as Oden went first and Durant went second. Since I’m a Boston fan, I was wondering who the C’s would get. Now my knowledge of basketball is quite minimal, I was a fan in junior high school and some of high school (so about 15 years ago) and I have a terrible memory, but I do know the Celtics are in need of someone at every position because they currently suck. So I didn’t actually watch the draft (though I should have, just look at the hilarious picture [left] of Joakim Noah), I just followed the tickers and website reports. I get the info that the Celtics use the #5 pick to get Jeff Green from Georgetown.

So I do my due Google diligence to learn of this “Green” (look it works… Green plays for the green) character. I find this lovely chart:

Intangibles Chart

Wow, his intangibles are pretty high… Wait they’ve figured out how to measure intangibles!? Lets get Jeter tested and find out where exactly he falls on this scale. I guess with intangibles like this it’s good that we got him instead of my choice of “the Chinese guy.” Danny Ainge must know what he’s doing.

Well, since I live under a basketball rock, it was at least an hour before I checked in on things again and realized that Green was part of a “super secret” trade. Would you look at that, another good player on the Celtics. Welcome to town Ray Allen, maybe I’ll write a song about/for you.

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