If you 1) have ever watched, or are now watching, the NFL draft combine OR 2) think that someone's 40 time is sports news that should be reported by people paid to report sports news (I mean, reported as a standalone story--I can tolerate the fact that combine results are eventually aggregated in full profiles of potential draftees), please immediately throw yourself down a flight of stairs. Thank you.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Bill Simmons revisits one of the stupidest things he's ever written, somehow makes it even stupider, part 2
A lot has happened since I posted part one a couple days ago. On Tuesday night the Celtics lost in Denver. That's nothing to be ashamed of, Denver is the one of the best home teams in the NBA, but what's notable about the loss is that the Celtics played very well. Almost well enough to win. They led at halftime, held the Nuggets under 100 points (which is extremely difficult to do in Denver), and had the ball, down four, with about a minute to go. The real reason they ended up losing, though, was that they had a lot of empty possessions in the second half. They settled for a lot of long jumpers. They went long stretches without attacking the rim and shot 20 fewer free throws than the Nuggets. Hmmm, I wonder who might have been able to help out with those two issues? Bill has already established that they play better without Rondo so the answer is definitely not "Rajon Rondo, the All Star point guard who can get into the paint to shoot or pass on pretty much every possession regardless of what the defense is doing."
Then on Wednesday night the Celtics went into LA and got beaten by the LOL6for24s. Unlike the Denver game, I didn't watch this one, but the Lakers shot eleven more free throws than Boston. Draw your own conclusions. I'm sure most Celtics fans would conclude that THE REFS FACKED US but if this game was anything like the Denver game, it's not the case. Boston probably didn't get to the rack to draw contact. KG looks really soft in the post these days. Other than the fact that he's 45, I wonder why that is? Anyways, Bill was telling us about how the Ewing theory is very real and should be taken very seriously, because the Celtics are definitely better off without their best player.
To their credit, the old farts took a backseat. Pierce even deferred to Rondo at the ends of tight games, something I never expected to see. But things turned goofy early — Rondo became obsessed with keeping a double-figures assist streak alive.
Evidence/support provided for this: zero. This might be an even worse unsubstantiated hit on Rondo's character than "He only makes teammates better ON HIS OWN TERMS" and "he pretends to lead without leading."
And not in a good way. He wasn't making the right decision every time, just the decision most likely to produce an assist.
And not in a good way. He wasn't making the right decision every time, just the decision most likely to produce an assist.
Other than taking layups when they're available, the decision most likely to produce an assist IS the right decision for a point guard like Rondo who doesn't have a very good jumper, you fucking clod.
Defenses played Rondo for the pass on every drive and fast break, turning the streak into something of an ongoing detriment.
I get that passing up a wide open layup in the interest of another guy's contested layup or jumper is a bad thing, and I admit that I don't watch the Celtics enough to really know whether this is something he's ever done with regularity. But given that Bill has GODDAMN NEGATIVE ZERO credibility with me, I'm going to guess this claim that Rondo was sabotaging fast breaks to pad his assist totals is just another car-sized pile of elephant shit.
I loathed the streak. It was a bad look for Rondo — you don't want your leader chasing numbers, even something as seemingly benevolent as assists.
Yeah, what good have assists ever done for any team ever?
The streak mercifully ended when Rondo got tossed for fighting Kris Humphries in a loss to the Nets,
Side note, make sure you watch this. If whoever wrote this wrote all the commercials on TV, I'd never use my DVR's fast forward capability.
but questions about Rondo's ultimate destiny as a franchise player lingered.
Debates about a player's "franchise player" status are only slightly less retarded than debates about their "elite" status (see: Flacco, Joe).
You are who you are after seven years in the league. Every night you could put Rondo down for 13 points, 11 assists and five rebounds. And every two weeks or so, he'd slap together four quarters that took your breath away. But Rondo wasn't just going to start averaging 22 points a game; it would have happened by now. For a Celtics team specifically built for him, that's the biggest reason they played a half-season of .500 ball. You're only as good as your best guy.
How dare he only score 13.7 PPG while leading the league in assists!
They couldn't ever beat Miami in a playoff series without Rondo
Don't backpedal too quickly, you'll trip over your own feet.
— the only Celtic who could swing two games in a series by himself.
Right, because he's their best fucking player, which is why they're not better off without him.
But short-term? Maybe our boys would rally without him.
If they got a long homestand against Charlotte, Orlando, etc., then yeah, I bet they would. They just might have been able to pull off that same rally with him in the lineup, too! Meanwhile, now that that homestand is over, they just got beaten by double digits by a mediocre Lakers team (against whom Rondo would have represented an absolute matchup nightmare). But go on.
We knew the schedule worked in their favor: Six of eight home games post-Miami (and Toronto and Charlotte on the road).
Even if it's way too late, at least he's addressing it. Now watch him blow past it like it never happened.
We knew Rondo's departure would inadvertently create a more stable playing rotation — now, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry would get enough minutes,
Finally! Minutes for an all defense no offense no real position 7th man, a guy on his fourth team in five years, and 35 year old Jason Terry!
and so would the perpetually frustrating Jeff Green. We knew there was a chance — repeat: a chance — that Garnett and Pierce would rally as a subtle Eff You to Rondo,
their annoying little brother who drove them bonkers even if he would always be family, someone who acted like a bit of a diva behind the scenes, someone who wouldn't exactly win a popularity contest with the people around the organization. An intelligent, demanding, thoughtful guy … yes. But frustrating. That's the word you always hear.
That's the narrative you invent in order to try to prop up your idiotic theory.
The bigger point: With Rondo, Boston had the league's 26th most efficient offense. This seems relevant since the NBA has only 30 teams. How much would they REALLY miss him on a daily basis?
We'll know in a few months, after they've started Bradley at PG for 30ish games (6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists in 35 minutes against LA; 17 points (cool!), 3 rebounds, 0 assists and 3 turnovers (oh.) against Denver). I'm sure it'll work out just fine.
How hard was it to replace 13 points and 11 assists every night? Couldn't you replace 80 percent of those stats?
With one player? While he also plays solid defense and sets up the offense?
It was conceivable, right?
Either way, they had reached a fork in the road — if the season went south, they'd certainly have to trade Pierce (Warriors?) and Garnett (Clippers?) over sentencing them to Lotteryville. That was the right thing to do.
Simmons is such a goddamn drama queen. Seriously, it's pathetic.
At the same time, we needed a few more games. They showed some fight against the Heat. We hadn't seen this team fight more than four times all year.
WE AHH THE MOST TAHHCHAHHHED FAN BASE OF ALL!
You know what happened next. They reeled off seven straight Rondo-less victories to the delight (and semi-confusion) of their just-when-I-thought-I-was-out-they-pull-me-back-innnnnnnnnn fans.
Most of whom take their cues from people like Dan Shaugnessy and Bill Simmons, so really, I imagine they get semi-confused by all kinds of things. I bet they struggle with child-proof lids.
Somewhere during that time, we realized two things.
1. We're not ready to say good-bye to no. 5 and no. 34 yet. Can't trade them. Can't trade them. Can't trade them. Celtics for life.
/Larry B hangs head
Seriously, Bill, just listen to yourself. It's embarrassing.
2. Even if it makes no sense whatsoever, our boys are playing better without Rondo.
They are not, at least not more than marginally so. A couple weeks ago, they were playing more shitty opponents than normal and winning close games at home. Now they have stopped doing that. They are much worse off without Rajon Rondo because he is awesome, no matter how much you want to believe that he does things like "only make teammates better on his own terms" and "pretend to lead, but not actually lead." You are a fucking bozo.
Our eyes weren't deceiving us. The Celtics moved the ball dramatically better without Rondo, to the point that Steve Kerr texted me that they suddenly reminded him of Popovich's Spurs.
This is because they had no true point guard on the floor. KG and Pierce can play like point forwards occasionally, but it's not an every possession solution. And as I said, I watched the Denver game on Tuesday--Kerr was going about twenty steps too far with the Spurs comparison. Denver is not exactly known for its stifling defense, and the Celtics offense was... decent. Until the second half, when it switched to awful.
Their playing rotation fell into place — they finally had enough minutes for everyone. Defensively, the Avery Bradley–Courtney Lee combo could be destructive;
I sure as shit hope so, because neither of those guys has anywhere near the offensive ability to justify playing 30+ minutes per game.
throwing in Green and Garnett, suddenly, this Celtics team could get stops. And these guys like playing with each other,
A classic Simmons "I made this up but you can't prove it wrong" staple. Good to see he's still playing his classics.
which wasn't always the case. Everything crested with last Thursday's thrashing of the Lakers, then Sunday's epic triple-overtime toenail-biter-of-a-heart-attack home win over Denver (a.k.a. "The Blizzard Game").
MegaLOLZ @ coming up with a nickname for a regular season game against a non-rival in February.
Heading into the All-Star break, Celtics fans find themselves checking the standings and thinking, "If we can get to the no. 6 seed,
we could beat Indy in Round 1,
and the Knicks in Round 2,
you might beat them if you face them in the first round, although I'd be surprised,
and then LeBron only needs to tweak a hammy and … "
he won't, and you're not getting out of the first round anyways. GO FUCK YOURSELF, YOU'RE A TERRIBLE WRITER AND A WORSE ANALYST.
More later, maybe.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Bill Simmons revisits one of the stupidest things he's ever written, somehow makes it even stupider, part 1
I spent quite a bit of time this weekend on this long, meandering, whining post about Justin Upton, home/road splits and park factors. I probably got 75% of the way through it, re-read it, decided it sucked, and didn't publish it. Maybe I will try to rework it and publish it later this week. Long story short, Upton has spent his whole career in a very good hitter's park and has very extreme home/road splits (.250/.325/.406 lifetime on the road). Of course many hitters have significant home/road splits, but those road numbers are flat out shitty. And the reason I wanted to rant about it on this far-reaching platform is that pretty much no one brought this up while he was on the block or after he was traded to Atlanta.
This doesn't bother me in and of itself--it just bothers me because I'm a Rockies fan (yes, I know you don't give a shit), and any time a Rockies hitter is up for a postseason award, or is on the trading block (as Carlos Gonzalez was rumored to be last season), the immediate response from every baseball writer and casual fan in the fucking country is LOL COORZ FIELD THIS GUY ACTUALLY SUX HE WOULD HIT .100 WITH 2 HRS AT SEE LEVEL. And God that just makes me want to commit arson. Especially when a guy like Upton, who hits like an AAAA player anywhere not called Chase Field, is crowned biggest acquisition of the offseason coming off a year in which he accumulated 2 rWAR and OPSed .670 on the road. You can see how turning that into a 2000 word post might get very tedious, and for considering posting a much longer version of this tripe, I am a true shitdick. I apologize for making you read even this much about it. In summary, my life is very difficult and I deserve a medal for getting out of bed every morning.
Anyways, on to something you might actually want to read about.
The Ewing Theory is completely and totally fucking idiotic. It's at or near the top of the list of most idiotic things ever to come from the brain of one of sports media's biggest idiots. For every example of a time when a team lost a star player and then played great the rest of the season/the next season, there are like four hundred examples of teams losing star players and then not being nearly as good the rest of the season/the next season. It's so basic in its stupidity that I feel like I am patronizing you just by explaining what's wrong with it. Nevertheless, it continues to be referenced by Bill and the mouthbreathers who adore him like it's deserving of serious attention and reflection, because Bill and his mouthbreathers have the critical thinking skills of goldfish. And now that the Celtics have played pretty well for nine games after losing Rajon Rondo, he's revisiting his theory in what I can only guess is an attempt to make my brain explode. Game on. (My posting volume is way down lately, not that you noticed or cared. In an effort to jumpstart my blogging, I'll try going after this article in a bunch of smaller pieces. In theory this is part 1 of many.)
When we learned about Rajon Rondo's season-ending injury during ABC's Heat-Celtics game on January 27, every Celtics fan had the same reaction:
We zipped through the seven stages of grief in about 45 minutes, barely noticing that the Celtics were playing better without Rondo.
Could it be?
Basic Cable Rondo gets bored easily. He pads his assist totals just to see if he can.
But National TV Rondo? Sweet Jesus do I love that guy.
Part 2 soon.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
Capital T True Capital Y Yankee must save season from evil villain who is allowed to wear Yankee uniform for some reason
This blog is old as shit at this point, and maybe even as old as fuck, so we have a lot of labels. I usually use four or five of them on any given post. For this one, I'm only going to use one--one of my all time favorites. I believe onetime contributor Eriz came up with it (it would take like thirty seconds to verify that, but meh, I'm not made out of minutes and seconds here) back in the fall of 2007. Five and a half years later, it's very well suited for this article by Bob Raissman of the New York Post.
Saying the New York sports media is childish is an insult to the emotional intelligence of children. Guys like Raissman make colossal idiots from other media markets read like wonderful poetry. I'd rather peruse bullshit written by Dan Shaugnessy or TJ Simers for 24 hours straight than read 20 minutes of Yankee analysis from someone who writes for a New York publication. It's torture. The inability of guys like Raissman to provide any analysis other than unreadable reiteration of the laziest and most played out available narrative is truly spectacular. HERPA DERP, JETER = CHRIST COME BACK TO EARTH, A-ROD = FRAUDY is nearly ten years old at this point, but this piece is one of the purest examples of it I've ever seen. Make sure you haven't eaten recently before you read past this point.
A-Fraud! Pay-Rod! Fish fillet-Rod!
In all media precincts,
Not really. I didn't hear too many people going after the franchise in the aftermath of Biogenesis report. Rodriguez was taking a beating for a few days last week. That's old news, though. It's mostly whoever runs the Superdome taking the ol' 24 hour news cycle sports media beating right now.
Unlike Tyson, the Yankees have a savior to pick them up off the canvas:
The captain’s presence and persona are uplifting. They can cleanse any muck surrounding the organization. In order for fans to keep the faith, they need a reason to believe, a face they can trust. Jeter, the transcendent one, is that man.
“Invariably consumers turn to sports for relief and distraction from life’s problems and setbacks,” said a network executive with ties to baseball.
Substitute "some horse's ass who loves Jeter and took intro to marketing as a college sophomore" for "network executive" where necessary.
There are fresh allegations that Rodriguez obtained performance-enhancing drugs between 2009 and 2012 through an alleged link to Miami-based Anthony (The Biochemist) Bosch. This situation, along with an MLB investigation
He's probably roiding, as is pretty much every single other star professional athlete. As you read this, there are probably dozens and dozens of them injecting or ingesting something. It's time we all accepted it and moved on. Also, I would like to renew my promise to donate $1,000 to charity if Jeter is caught under MLB's steroid testing program anytime this season.
You cannot read a story or listen to radio Gasbags without hearing about how old the team is, full of question marks going into 2013.
Of course, there is that $189 million figure, the magic payroll number Hal Steinbrenner has targeted. There is also this notion, rejected by Mr. Steinbrenner, that Hal doesn’t have the same hunger and drive to win that his famous father had.
So, a few weeks before spring training, when hope springs eternal, the Yankees’ image has sprung a leak. No sweat. No time for panic, either. The Yankees have been here before. Their image was tattered during the inept CBS regime, and along came George Steinbrenner to save the franchise and build a winner.
Then it was Steinbrenner himself who took things into the toilet during the whole sordid Dave Winfield-Howie Spira affair that got The Boss suspended. Along came Gene Michael to build the team Joe Torre eventually took to four World Series titles. This is all the evidence we need to anoint the Yankees the most resilient brand in sports.
The tradition will continue. And we’ll take it a step further. Yankees brass should figure out a way — quickly — to keep Jeter long-term, past whenever he decides to call it a day.
Jeter provides an immediate story line. He is coming back from a fractured left ankle, suffered during Game 1 of the ALCS. His same media detractors, who have been on and off his case since 2008, will no doubt be analyzing his every move in spring training. This is good. If the focus is on Jeter, the A-Rod saga (barring any more shocking developments) may be relegated to back-burner status.
The focus must be on Jeter. The story of his comeback, the story of the old guy trying to extend his career at a high level, is more than compelling, especially with all the doubters chiming in. Yankee fans will once again want to see Jeter stick it to everyone. They will pay to see it. Then again, Jeter was always an attraction.
Jeter has an $8 million player option for 2014. His last negotiation was a bitter one. It included a media backlash, with Jeter being accused of wanting to be paid “because he’s Derek Jeter.”
The Yankees need Derek Jeter.
For moments like these.