Sunday, April 30, 2006
A lot of these series don't suck. There was a lot of talk before the playoffs that only Suns-Lakers and Cavs-Wizards would be interesting series. Well, Bulls-Heat are 2-2, Nets-Pacers are 2-2, Cavs-Wiz are 2-2, Sacramento is a Brent Barry lucky bounce away from being up 2-1 with a game 4 halftime lead. There are some sweet games being played out there.
Lakers got some homer calls. Nash A) was fouled B) called timeout. Bullshit.
Mavs look real good. Dirk hit a back breaking 3 to send the game in overtime yesterday, which just about killed Memphis. Even if they come back and win game 4 (which would be their first playoff win ever), there is no way Dallas loses game 5, they know this is their year to make a run.
I refuse to watch Nets-Pacers. I hate both teams with a passion. The Nets really piss me off because people think they are good. They have 2 shooting guards, one who shys away from contact. The Pacers I hate mostly for beating the Shawn Kemp led Cavs in the 98 playoffs (a team which had rookies Z, Brevin Knight, Derek Anderson and Cedric Henderson).
Pistons-Bucks? Meh, 4 games, 5 games, whatever, it's when not if the Pistons finish this series.
Kirk Hinrich is Mark Price reincarnated. He plays ballsy, he plays bigger than he his AND he plays point guard the right way. He can shoot when you need him to (and can shoot long distance) but he can set his teammates up. The Bulls impressed me in their two losses at Miami, and then took it to the Heat in their two games in Chicago. Very nice. The Heat better be careful, if they lose game 5 they're ripe for upset.
Clippers actually have a team. Also, the Nuggets suck. The Clips look really good, Kaman and Brand give them a big inside presence, Mobely and Maggette give them some good slashers and Cassell gives them A) a ET presence and B) some Colbert-sized balls. If they decide that Shawn Livingston (who I love) is ready to control the team next year, I would beg the Cavs to make a run at Cassell. He would be a good guy to have for a year or two to take the pressure off of LeBron. Plus I would love to see the testicle dance done in Cleveland. Also, even though I'm hating these bullshit Laker calls, if you think I'm not tivo-ing every Laker-Clipper playoff game, you're crazy.
Finally, if you're wondering why you're not seeing any Browns draft analyisis, here's your answer: I have no clue what I'd be talking about. I'm kinda amused by their run on linebackers, but I can't break down their draft pick by pick. Don't get me wrong, I love the Browns and the NFL, but I'm a strange duck when it comes to Cleveland sports. During my formative years (92-97, roughly 3rd grade through freshman year) the Cavs were at their peak (Eastern Conference Finals, whoo!) while the Indians had a renaissance and went to two World Series. The Browns? They let go of Bernie Kosar and then moved to Balti-less. So I'm one of those rare Clevelanders who's allegience goes like this: 1. Cavs 2. Indians 3. Browns. I love my Browns, but I'm not as passionate about them as other Clevelanders. All I know is this, Savage hasn't pulled a Butch Davis trade (move up one slot by trading a second rounder), so I trust the guy. You'll find some analyisis here and here, and it's better than anything I would've given ya.
Well, not really but here are some random thoughts:
Um, I thought LeBron was supposed to get preferential calls? After reading roughly 24643 stories about how LeBron travelled, LeBron got called for 4 offensive fouls. 4. This is after 2 offensive fouls in game 2, which basically took LeBron out of the game. Bull-fucking-shit. Especially when Arenas' go-to move is drive the lane and jump into a guy, repeat.
Jared Jefferies 8 FTA. LeBron James 7 FTA. Really, Jefferies was fouled more than James? Again, bullshit.
The Wizards are bitches. Not only were we treated to the requisite LeBron-gets-all-the-calls stories yesterday and today, but everytime the call didn't go their way, every fucking time, the Wizards threw a God damn hissy fit. According to the Wizards, they didn't commit a foul or turnover all game. Jesus Christ, could ya T up a guy please? They bitch more than my ex-wife.*
What the fuck happened at halftime? Did someones mother die while the Cavs were in the locker room? Cause they came out not wanting to win that game. It's as if they thought, "Well, we won last game and we got a lead at halftime, our work is done, the Wizards are just going to roll over now." Pathetic. Again, I'll never understand why, when the Cavs are having trouble scoring, they won't run a pick-and-fade with LeBron and Z. Anyone? Bueller?
I thought you were supposed to play well during your playoff contract push. As far as I can tell, Drew Gooden showed up for one game. He does these "powerful rebound grab" things, where he'll grab the ball in one hand and bring his other one up to the ball and powerfully slam the ball. These look kinda cool, "wow, look how strong that guy is" but it bit him in the ass tonight. He was all alone under the hoop for a rebound, and he messed up the ball slam part, and knocked the ball out of bounds. Well done. He also missed a dunk which led to a run out which led to a Larry Hughes foul. Thanks buddy.
Drive the ball please. This isn't totally the Cavs fault. LeBron tries to drive, but the refs keep giving the Wizards the charge call, so it makes it kinda hard. But still, the only Wizards big man is Brenda Heywood. Come on! Take it to her/him. But that doesn't forgive the constant jumpshooting. Snow airballed one, Marshall took some bricks, Murray and Hughes each lofted their own clunkers and even LeBron fell in love with his shot.
Donyell Marshall: wha'appened? If anyone see's Donyell Marshall, let him know the playoffs have more than one game.
Learn where the charge circle is. The Cavs were in position to take a ton of charges, but were negated due to the fact that they don't understand lines.
More Z please. He only got had seven FGA, but it's probably around 10 since he got 6 FTA. Z can take Brenda. He's been passing out of the double teams. He shoots better than Larry Hughes, Flip Murray, Eric Snow, Drew Gooden, Donyell Marshall and Anderson Varejao. He was 5-7 tonight, took some big charges and got 4 blocks. At least he is giving a shit. Snow was 0-5, Hughes 3-7 and Marshall 1-6, completely unacceptable.
I hate Caron Butler. I'm not sure why, maybe its because everytime he scores he showboats LeBron, OR the fact that he looks like a raptor, I dunno. But he's really annoying.
34-21. The Cavs fouled 13 more times than the Wizards, mostly because LeBron gets all the calls. Makes sense to me. You could call a foul everytime LeBron drive the lane (they do for Arenas). 7 FTA for LeBron? Really? Riiiight. Arenas had 17 FTA. If I ever hear that Arenas gets no respect again, I'm gonna blow a gasket.
Dear Santa, please send coach Brown an offensive game plan. I like how they start the games/half with a set play for Z. Thats nice. I dislike when Flip Murray/Eric Snow/Larry Hughes dribbles for 12 seconds and shoots a jumper. I even dislike it when LeBron does it (but not as much, I mean, he is LeBron). But the Cavs will go large chunks of games where neither LeBron nor Z is shooting the ball. This has to change. I've heard Terry Pluto float the idea of an offensive coordinator, and I like it. But for the rest of the series... the Wizards suck at defense, they have no big men, if you shoot one-on-one jumpshots you're helping them out.
Which Cavs team shows up for game 5? The team that played balanced ball the first half? Or that shitty jumpshooting team that came out of the locker room? The Cavs are at their best when they play team ball, not when LeBron has to do everything.
* I don't have an ex-wife. I have a dead wife.
Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.”Update: crooksandliars had a video
He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.”
Colbert told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired generals by refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky” movies, always getting punched in the face—“and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world.”
Turning to the war, he declared, "I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."
He noted former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the crowd, just three tables away from Karl Rove, and that he had brought " Valerie Plame." Then, worried that he had named her, he corrected himself, as Bush aides might do, "Uh, I mean... he brought Joseph Wilson's wife." He might have "dodged the bullet," he said, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wasn't there.
Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, “photo ops” on aircraft carriers and at hurricane disasters, melting glaciers and Vice President Cheney shooting people in the face. He advised the crowd, "if anybody needs anything at their tables, speak slowly and clearly on into your table numbers and somebody from the N.S.A. will be right over with a cocktail. "
It would only be a fourth or fifth round pick, so it's not like the Browns are giving up much.
I'm not really sure how that would work, I thought he went to the Dolphins somehow, but what do I know.
What would really crack me up is if Harrington kicked ass in Cleveland. He is a classic change-of-scenery guy, no one in Detroit trusts him at all (fans, management, teammates) a new start could do him good. He could back up Frye and Dilfer in Cleveland, push Frye (and vica versa) and maybe get his confidence back.
Though, honestly, I hope he does well not for the Browns or the team, but just to spite my buddy Nick who is a huge Lions fan. If Harrington blows for four years there but 'figures it out' in Cleveland... man... that'd be sweet.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Look, the Wizards have no one to blame but themselves, they threw the awful pass that went straight to Flip Murray.
Plus, the refs could've easily called a charge on Gilbert Arenas, instead of an and-one block on LeBron. Oh year, Michael Ruffin hacked the shit out of LeBron. And Anderson Varejao got a really weak flagrant foul vs Jamison (especially conisdering when LeBron got decked there weren't any flagrants called). Z got some really weak calls against him as well (his second foul sticks out in particular).
This is kinda new territory for me here, Cleveland NEVER gets calls (and it wasn't exactly one sided last night) and Cleveland always has second tier stars. We have Mark Price and Brad Daugherty, Albert Belle and Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez and Kenny Lofton; these guys are all-stars (some were perenial) but they weren't the superstars they went up against. The Cavs were always in the Bulls shadow while the Tribe were always behind the Yankees and Red Sox (Pedro and Nomar always killed us).
Seeing a team bitch about CLEVELAND getting calls just boggles my mind. Fuck you Washington, we get to see Jordan's shot on that damn Gatorade commercial, it's about time for a call to go our way.
Finally, here's what the Daily Dime has to say about that last play:
Oh, and that final play in which he scored the winning basket? Six violations, by one observer's TiVO count (three fouls on the Wizards, three traveling violations on LeBron). If memory serves, MJ may have committed a violation or three on winning hoops back in the day.I just hope this doesn't turn into an Ohio State-Miami Situation. Everyone bitches about the pass interference (it wasn't a pass interference, it was a hold, but the penalty was the same), they always show the end of that play, never the foul. I hope this isn't going to be a play where everyone remember LeBron's travel but not the hacking.
BTW- I actually updated my Links section on the left side bar. Their basically a good cross section of my daily stops online.
2 Cavalier playoff games
3 Indians games
27 hours of NFL draft goodness
8? 9? Non-Cavalier playoff games.
Needless to say, I am useless this entire 3 day stretch.
Okay, so let's talk about last night:
The Cavs stole one from Washington. Make no mistake about it, the Wizards played better, the Cavs didn't really deserve that one, but they got it anyway. A lot of people are going to mention how LeBron may have taken 3 steps on his final shot, the ESPN halftime crew mentioned it (but not Terry Pluto, Tom Reed, Bill Livingston or Brian Windhorst).
(LeBron walked, I re-watched the play roughly 54410514313 times, he walked)
But ya know what? He was also fouled pretty damn hard too. No call there. Arenas had a walk-non-call earlier in the game, so I think the refs were bad all around. It wasn't called all night, and there is no way the refs call a travel there after LeBron got nailed. It just wasn't going to happen.
Other thoughts from the game:
Drew Gooden pulled a Drew Gooden. I hate to say I told ya, but told ya. Gooden wasn't anywhere close to being involved last night. Stephen A Smith seemed shocked by this at halftime; he kept screaming about how the Cavs needed something from Gooden to win. Well, guess not. Gooden sat down in the third quarter and returned for about 3 seconds, when Michael Ruffin scored a tip-in rebound while Gooden was trying to sneak out for a break. I've said it once and I'll say it again, Gooden is not the long term answer at power forward. Do I know how is? No. But I would like a 25 year old Charles Oakley (hey, if Roger Brown says the Cavs need a Ben Wallace type center instead of Z, I'll throw out my dream roster moves out there too).
Flip Murray still sucked. Though he did get the easier/biggest steal of his career. They literally threw the ball right at him. It was great.
Z was involved. Okay, he still didn't shoot great, but he was better than he was in game 2. Also, just by force feeding him the ball, you make the Wizards pay attention to him, and that means just a bit less is paid to LeBron.
The Bench Sucked. That's all I got to say about that. Well, not really... I wouldn't mind seeing more Damon Jones and less Flip.
Bob Wickman is the Indians all time saves leader.
The Tribe won last night 6-5 and Wickman pulled a Wickman. I was watching the game with my parents (with Tivo we paused the Cavs game and watched the 9th for the Tribe- bitchin technology) . While my mom was freaking out at Wickman (and the Cavs game) my Dad and I just sat there perfectly calm. Wickman started off the ninth with a double. Then proceeded to give up another double. One run scores and the tying run is at second with nobody out.
And I wasn't remotely fazed. I've been seeing Wickman pull this shit for years now and I joked he has them right where he wants them. It was almost like a 2 run lead was too easy and went in and spotted the Rangers a run and a runner in scoring position. Almost as if he needed to get his blood going.
Well, he worked his way out of it. The next batter grounded to second; runner to third. He got the next guy out on a shallow pop up to right, where the Mighty Casey threw a strike to Victor at home, keeping the runner at third. So now Kevin Mench is up, he already hit a home run that night (and the previous 6). Wickman worked it to a full count (at this point I'm convinced he did this purely for dramatic effect) and got Mench to pop up. So he had a runner in scoring position with no outs and didn't let him score. God damn man. God damn.
As for the draft, I was waiting to hear these words:
With the nineth pick in the 2006 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions select Santonio Holmes, reciever, Ohio State University. Then Detroit would've burned (well, a pre-emptive burn, cause the city is going down if the Pistons make the finals). I would love to see Matt Millen's press conference, "Hey, we needed a slot guy who could return kicks and fumbles alot, Santonio fits our needs." Alas, it didn't happen.
However, at the time I'm writing this, the Browns have made two picks and two trades. They traded down one spot with Balti-less (from 12 to 13) for an additional 6th round pick. With the 12th pick the grabbed Kamerion Wimbley, a tweener linebacker/defensive end from Florida State. From what I can tell, people like this pick, so I like it as well. The Browns needed linebackers. They needed 'em so bad they picked D'Qwell Jackson with the 34th pick in the second round. The Browns did have the 43rd pick at the start of the day, but they traded 43 and Jeff Faine to New Orleans for the 34th. I'll take that. Faine wasn't going to start here anyways PLUS we got a guy name D'Qwell. I never even knew that name even existed, now there's one on the Browns.
This weekend rules.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Last night he had 8 RBI, 4 of them coming on a grand slam in the first (I swear to God I heard a woman in her 30-40s, decked out in Tribe gear say "wait, 4 runs, whats a grand slam").
Broussard is a Drew Gooden-esque baseball player. He keeps showing these signs that he can be really good and then he'll taper off. Broussard has hit some big grand slams over the years (in late season playoff run situations). He also disapears for weeks at a time (as Gooden does for quarters). So right when I get sick of Broussard, he nails a big home run, so I (and the Indians) give him another chance.
Same with Gooden, he'll play uninspired ball for a game or two, then come out and grab 20 boards. "Hooray!" I say, "Look how good Gooden is." Then a night later he has 5 points and 4 boards. Ugh.
But Broussard did kick ass last night, it's nice to get a series from the Red Sox, especially after sucking ass vesus Baltimore and Kansas City.
He doesn't rip LeBron for passing the ball and he correctly points out that Jordan became "Jordan" once he learned to trust his teammates.
Wilbon picks Kobe right now (and actually, I would too*) but it is close. But we forget that Kobe is in year 10 and LeBron in year 3. That's scary. I really have nothing to add about the column, except that I recomend reading it, it breaks down the players pretty well.
*Kobe plays great on the ball defense, LeBron is really good off the ball as a roving/stealing guy. Kobe's on the ball defense is one of the best in the NBA.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
However, there were two calls late in the game that could've swung it the Suns way. First was Kobe's dunk over Steve Nash. Now I hate when players take charges just to take charges (as Nash was doing here). But if you call those as charges, then call it a charge. I have no idea how this was called a block. Nash was set, outside the circle and beat Kobe to the spot. Kobe proceded to posterize Nash and drew the block.
(I have this thing about players taking charges simply to draw the foul- it isn't defense. It's drawing a foul, say what you will about the affectiveness of it, but it isn't defense. Ever see a guy draw a charge in a pickup game? No, why? Cause it isn't a good defensive move, it's just getting in someones way. The charge call is there to help the defenders from being bowled over. But it's now used as a cheap way to get a foul (see Jefferies, Jarred in Cavs-Wiz game 2 and Fisher, Derek in his entire career). Also, this has lead to flopping. While I loved Vlade Divac, this has to end. Stop the cheap charge calls, please).
The other call that stuck in my craw was actually a no-call. Late in the game, Kwame Brown lost the ball and basically ran over a guy (Raja Bell? Eddie House?) going after it. Brown took the Suns player out of the play, the Lakers recovered and scored. Doug Collins (I think) was surpised that Kwame wasn't called for a foul, but said the refs may have not called it because no one had possesion. Well, maybe I'm nuts, but what about "loose-ball foul"? I mean, that's what the call is there for, am I wrong?
Those were two HUGE plays that went the Lakers way. I'm not saying it was a David Stern special, but Joey Crawford was reffing (called Nash 'block') and if the Lakers lost they'd be down 2-0 in the one of the only exciting first round matchups (okay, maybe I am saying).
This isn't to excuse the Suns. They sucked, the Lakers beat them. But I'd be lying to say those two plays didn't bother me.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Also, South Park sucked ass tonight.
Drew Gooden is a free agent after the season. Gooden earned himself some money tonight. His 24 points and 16 rebounds are impressive enough, even more so when you note that, as Mike Brown says, "we don't run a lot of plays for Drew." Gooden is arguably the best offensive rebounder in the game today and showed that he has a nice touch around the basket. Owner Dan Gilbert is going to have to open the vault if he wants to keep him next season.
This is my problem with Gooden (and he played spectacular last night). If the Cavs want to keep him, they're going to have to throw a lot of money at him. Because some team will see last nights game and pay Gooden to do that everynight. The problem is he doesn't do that everynight. His head will be in the clouds for quarter at a time. See how often Gooden plays in crunch time. Usually there's a combination of Marshall (for 3s), Varejao (for defense, hustle and rebounding) and Z (lowpost/doubleteams/shot blocking/freethrows) out there. A lot of time Gooden is on the bench. I'm not saying Gooden isn't a good player, it's just that he isn't a guy to "open the vault" for.
Drew Gooden played out of his mind. This the crux of the Drew Gooden issue. He'll put up games like this where you think he's 'got it'. Then he'll disapear for a few games. But he played well last, I hope he can keep it up.
LeBron did not. The Wizards confused him and rattled him. LeBron just played bad, he looked like a playoff rookie. This was probably the worst game I've seen LeBron play in his entire career.
LeBron's pass to Varejao should've never happened. Sure, LeBron shouldn't have thrown to Anderson in that situation. But the Cavs just got the gift of all gifts with two missed free throws at the other end. Instead of being down 5, they were down 3 with a chance to tie. For the life of me I don't understand why Mike Brown didn't call a time out. They needed a score. NEEDED. Why not call a timeout and set up a play. They didn't need a 3, they needed a bucket, and running a set play would've been nice.
Supporting cast didn't support. Z was 3-13. Hughes was 5-16. Murray was 1-8. Snow was 2-6 and Marshall 1-3. Gooden was the only guy who shot well, with a out of this world 11-12. I think it's time for Damon Jones to get a little bit more playing time, and for Flip Murray to sit for a little bit. Murray hasn't shot well, passed well or rebounded well in either of these two games.
They missed too many gimmes. LeBron missed a breakaway dunk. And a layup. And a post move/layup. And he got fouled weakly and missed the 'and 1' layup. Murray also missed a layup. The Cavs had their chances. They make these and it is a different ball game.
Z is underused. I know a lot of people hate Z, and they'll point to his 3-13 performance as proof that the Cavs got him the ball and he didn't deliver. Sure, did Z play well? Only Drew Gooden played well yesterday.I wonder if these people have ever played center before. When you play center, your shots depend on other players, it sucks. You have to post up, and call for the ball, and if no one passes to you, you're not shooting. As a center, you need to know the ball is coming to you. When you're not getting the ball with a certain amount of consistency, you tend to rush your shots. Because if you have no idea when the ball is coming back, once you do get it, you're shooting (and you don't care if it's a bad shot, by this time you just want to shoot). This doesn't help anyone. Z's jumper was off last night, he missed some shots badly. But I still don't understand why, when the Cavs are having trouble scoring, why the Cavs don't run a LeBron and Z pick and fade. That 12-15 foot shot is practically a layup for Z. (Am I giving Z an easy way out, maybe, but I've played in games where the offense is shooting poorly and I'm only touching the ball once every 5 possesions or so. And then when I do, I'm forcing shit cause I want to contribute. Where if I get the ball regularly, I can pass it out and hit cutter and all types of shit. So I understand how a center can get frustrated out there and take/force bad shots).
Too many jumpshots. Too many possesions the Wizards dared the Cavs to shoot jumpers, and they did. And missed. A lot of these were early in the 24 second clock. Sometimes the team forgets to drive to the hole or forgets they have a 7-3 guy with a nice array (no one said they were pretty) of post moves. LeBron isn't excused from this either. Too many times he'll dribble around the top of the key, no passes, no cuts and then he'll settle for a jumper. I remember a possesion where Murray just dribbled the ball for the entire time and then shot it. These offensive sets are offensive.
2 charge calls on LeBron changed the game. This is related to the previous paragraph, but those two charges on LeBron altered how the rest of game was going to be played. The first call was a good call, LeBron did run over Jefferies. But the second call was bullshit. First of all, Jefferies wasn't close to being set. Second of all, I though in the NBA superstars got the calls, back to back charges on LeBron, giving him four fouls in the third? What the hell? (I'm only partially serious- late in the game, Arenas gave Hughes a forearm, pushed him over, dribbled over him and was tripped by the guy he pushed down. Foul called, on Hughes). But the second charge changed everything, it was LeBron's fourth foul, so he had to sit. If changed how James played the rest of way, he was shooting jump shots from there on out.
Cavs didn't adjust (and still can't counter a counter punch). They were up 15 early and the Wizards made a 13-0 run to end the first. This happened a lot this year, the Cavs would make a run early (punch) and take a lead (first quarter/half) and the opposing team looked out of it. Then the other team would adjust and make a run of their own (counter punch) and the Cavs would never recover(the Kings game comes to mind). Same thing happened last night. The Wizards adjusted their defense and the Cavs never countered. They never made the Wizards change anything again.
For how bad they played (and they played awful), the Cavs had a shot to tie late in the game. If you're looking for some silve lining: Your team star and leader had 10 turnovers and shot 7-25, your shooting guard combined to shoot 6-23 and your center shot 3-13. As a team you had no movement on offense and played poorly on defense and yet you only lost by 5 points. Sure, it sucks losing a home playoff game. And sure, this game would've put you up 2-0. But the Cavs proved tonight that they can play like shit and still have a shot to tie it at the end (which they blew anyways).
Playoffs start now. Charles Barkely always says that a playoff series doesn't start until someone loses a home game. Well guess what Cavs, it starts now.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Some people are kinda freaking out, but I am sorta resigned to the fact that Phillips wasn't going to produce here.
Pluto has a nice column on the trade (Tribe recieves a Player to be Named Later!) and how the Indians justified the deal.
By all accounts, Phillips wouldn't have been a good canidate to be a bench player. He needs to play everyday and that wasn't going to happen on the big league club. Plus he was out of options and wouldn't get through waivers, so he couldn't play everday in Buffalo.
So they trade him to Cinci and he goes nuts. I'm not really surprised or pissed.
Phillips was a classic change-of-scenery guy. He had huge expectations coming into Cleveland and failed. He could never get it going here. Now he goes to Cinci where he doesn't really have a whole expected of him. If he does well, its gravy, if not, well, they didn't give up much.
Phillips is thriving cause he's getting a chance and no one expects him (or ever expected him) to be the face of the franchise. He can just do his thing. Do I think he'll keep raking like he is? No. But would I be surpirsed if he around .300 and hit 20 HRs? Nope.
Monday, April 24, 2006
The Da Colbert Code
Celebrating His Oscar Picks
His Music Video
Interview with Congressman Sherman
Stephen's Laws of Love
San Fransisco Earthquake
Calls the Humane Society
Better Know a Founder
Oh, I also found an episode of Whose Line is it Anyway with Colbert.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
I have friends who really follow recruiting. I understand it, but I just can't get into it. These are high school kids we're talking about and its a crapshoot if these kids are going to make it. Am I excited when OSU lands a coveted recruit? Of course, but I can't follow the entire process.
Take yesterday's Scarlett and Gray spring game. It's a glorified practice and 60-70,000 people show up. That I cannot do. It was televised too, I caught the halftime report, they telecastors we're saying how good the defensive line looked, but they weren't sure if it was because the D-line got better, or because the O-line was missing some seniors.
That's my problem here, how do I know what I'm seeing matters? If our offense smokes our defense, does that mean our D sucks? Or is our O good? Who knows?
The Dispatch gets carried away too, they had a ton of stories on the OSU Spring game (only a game recap of LeBron's first playoff game). Dispatch columnist Bob Hunter is a great example, in the same column he compares incoming freshman running back Chris Wells not only to Jim Brown, but to Babe Ruth as well:
Besides, if you know the Ruth story, you know how easy it is for simple things to be misinterpreted. Cubs pitcher Charlie Root used to say that Ruth’s home-run gesture meant nothing of the sort, and there’s no way for us to know exactly what Wells was intending with his chest slap. He might simply have been quelling a cough or straightening his shoulder pads or …
But Wells takes this spring game perception stuff one step further. After all, he’s the player who, on national signing day, running backs coach Dick Tressel said reminded him of Jim Brown. Tressel wouldn’t back off that comparison after watching Wells through four weeks of spring practice.Whether fans think they saw the second coming of Brown yesterday is what this whole Scarlet-Gray thing is all about. This is one day of the year where reality seldom intrudes on perception.
Wells looked good. He led both squads in rushing with 48 yards on 11 carries. He broke a lot of tackles, a lot like Brown used to do in Cleveland.
Maybe Hunter is joking, maybe it's all about how passionate OSU fans are. I dunno, I love my Buckeyes man, but sometimes I think we gotta chill a bit.
Cleveland's staunch refusal to take advantage of Ilgauskas in the post is baffling. Ilgauskas had only seven field-goal attempts while having his number called on the low block only a handful of times. "They ought to dump it down to him every time," says one playoff participant not involved with this series. "It's crazy, the guy can score from anywhere and they just won't give it to him."
I don't know whats up with this either. One play they should run 1,000,000 times a game is a LeBron-Z pick and roll/fade. Z is money from the pick and fade; I never understand why when the Cavs get in a scoring drought, why they don't run this, from 12 feet out it is basically a layup for Z. Instead they'll shoot ill-advised jumpers or try to take a team by themselves (LeBron included on this). A lot of Cavs fans don't think Z is that good or a good fit for this team, and I keep saying this: If you want to advance deep into the playoffs (this year, next year, whenever) you NEED a post player. NEED. And Z is the best one on the Cavaliers. Every championship team had at least a above average/borderline all-star center (except Jordan and the Bulls, but I like to point out he is the exception that proves the rule, and also, Jordan was a monster in the post). The Piston's have Rasheed and they had Lambieer. The Spurs have Duncan. Lakers had Shaq and Kareem. Rockets had Hakeem. Celtics had Parish, Russell. The old Blazers had Bill Walton. Old sixer teams has Moses Malone.
Z still needs to become a better passer out of the post, I understand that. But part of the problem is that he doesn't get the ball on a consitent basis. If he knew that the team would get him the ball more, I believe he'd be much more willing to pass it back out once he recieves it. It's a chicken/egg scenario.
Anyway, if the Cavs are gonna move on the in playoffs, Z is going to need to be a big part of it.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
I had really wanted to watch the Sopranos (from what I hear that's the best) but I found the complete first seasons of Carnivale and Deadwood and the first two of Six Feet Under.
I started off with Six Feet Under, and I enjoyed them. I thought the show was extremely well done and well written, I didn't love it like I love Rescue Me or The Shield, but I liked it enough to want to keep going.
As for Deadwood and Carnivale... I tried but couldn't get into Deadwood and I never even put in a Carnivale DVD.
Anyways, I ended either borrowing from the library or renting from Mamoth the 3-5 seasons of Six Feet Under, and I'm glad I did. There are some really rough and real scenes in this show. Six Feet Under felt more 'real' to me than more shows I've seen. Characters make bad mistakes, they make them again, bad things happen, good things happen, people settle, people grow, there's swearing and drug use and violence and nudity, life is unfair, life is good and happy and sad. It felt like the show was a hidden camera into these peoples lives, for better and worse.
Seeing these characters grow and live was a treat for me. The story arc of the entire series was fantastic. The final episode, especially the final 15 minutes, packs a emotional punch I haven't felt from a fictional story since... ever?
I had to watch the last 15 minutes a few times.... the sense of completion I felt, the happiness... I dunno, I'll steal a line from the Sports Guy here, but it gets really dusty in my house during those last 15 minutes. That is by far the best ending for a series I've ever seen. Usually the final episode for a series is underwhelming or sappy and they just parade all the characters back out there one last time. Six Feet Under showed us how the characters grew, lived and died. It was extremely gratifiying. I highly recomend this series, take the time to rent/borrow it and invest yourself. I'm glad I did.
On a completely unrelated note, I'll be in Columbus this weekend, lets hang out.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
If there is a point (especially in Pluto's) it's that 'Hey, Gilbert doesn't suck at this'. He's learned on the job and the team has done well. I never really bought into the 'Meddling Gilbert' stories of last year (though he did go after Larry Brown, that worked out well). Paul Silas had lost control of the team and needed to go and don't even get me started on GM Jim Paxson.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
The facial forest of Zydrunas Ilgauskas is magnificent not only in its splendor, but also its strategic design.
``I'll keep growing it for the playoffs,'' Ilgauskas said. ``The beard is part of the body and any contact should be a foul.''
and just gets better:
The article also has Bill Walton referencing Bob Dylan and someone calling George Steinbrenner a woman, what can I say, Happy Easter.
``It's an open invitation from the Cavs and LeBron James,'' the team's superstar said. ``If anyone wants to grow one, you can join the club.''
James might be the face of the Cavs, but Ilgauskas is the inspiration behind Team Stubble. The Lithuanian can go from peach fuzz to Abe Lincoln in hours.
Others have followed Ilgauskas' lead, including Cavs' medical and equipment personnel. James raises doubts whether Donyell Marshall and the baby-faced Eric Snow have the whiskers to play along.
Then, there is the curious case of Anderson Varejao.
``Andy can't grow hair anywhere except his head,'' Ilgauskas said.
Perhaps too much information, but of course, there are no secrets at playoff time.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
Second, the team showed gut by coming from behind yet again. Yea, it's without Bron Bron, ya it's a meaningless game late season vs the Knicks. But to still not give up, that shows a lot of heart. I said the same thing the last time the Cavs played the Knicks (and lost). They were down 19 points, it was the fourth game in five nights and the second night of a back to backer, they could've just folded. But they didn't. Sure they shouldn't have been in that position in the first place, but they could thrown in the towel and rested up for New Jersey. But they didn't, they stormed back, tied the game and had a chance to win it at the end. They got heart.
Finally, its nice not to have the season series vs the Knicks swept. The Cavs came in 0-2 vs New York, who is quite possibly the worst team in the league. Sometimes certain teams just give you trouble, Detroit is 0-2 vs Utah, I just can't explain it. The only team in the league that the Cavs haven't beaten is the Golden State Warriors. That is it. That's pretty nice. At least they weren't a 48 win team with 3 losses to New York.
Plus, the Cavs game was a nice highlight for Cleveland fans last night, especially after the Tribe bullpen imploded vs Seattle.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Well, I haven't had a chance to see any Sopranos episodes, though I midway through season 4 of Six Feet Under. This past week I've finally gotten around to watching 24.
Over the past few days I saw the entire DVD set of 24 Season 2. And ya know what?
That show sucks.
I like the idea of the show, a day in the life of a counter terrorism unit/agent. That's neat, lets go with that. The problem is that the show is unbelievably frustrating. First of all, Jack Bauer's daughter, Kim, keeps getting herself in these amazing situations"
First she is running from an abusive dad who kid she nannies, then she beats him up and steals his car, then they find her in the car, then they find the wifes body in the car. So they arrest her and her friend, and they try to escape by lighting a fire in the back of the police car. This causes an accident, only she makes it out okay, and she leaves to go to her aunts. Then she gets chased by a cougar and caught in a bear trap. Then she is saved by a nut who lives out in the woods with a bunker. Then he tricks her down to the bunker and traps her there. Somehow she escapes and gets back on the road to hitchike. A creepy guy comes by but she scares him off and shoots his car. Then she gets this guy to let her use the bathroom of his closed convience store. Then there is a robbery, she saves a guy, but then gives the perp her gun for no good reason. Then they hang out in the while the cops come. Then the gun goes off and the owner dies. Then somehow she escapes. The cops learn her story and she is okay. They take her back to the house that she worked at (as a nanny) with only one officer. The crazy dad comes back, kills the officer chases her around the house. Somehow she gets into the attic without making any noise or leaving tracks. The mad dad follows her anyways, she knocks him out, then they both fall through the roof. She lands on him knocking the gun away. Instead of picking up the gun and running far far away, she grabs the gun and phone and runs into the corner to call her dad (even though she knows her dad is working on literally stopping WWIII). The guy starts to wake up, she puts up the gun but doesn't want to shoot, finally Jack orders her to shoot.
So that was the day in the life of a counter-terrorism officer's daughter. It sucked.
Part of the problem is that every show is a cliff-hanger. Nothing ever gets solved, it is really frustrating. Or if one problem gets solved, another three are opened up. Also, for three or four episodes they'll make a big deal about a computer chip or a guy or something. Then after all this time is spent (by the viewer) going after this chip or guy, something happens at the last minute. The chip is broken, the guy freaks and dies. So I just got to watch people work and strain over getting this dude, who dies 30 minutes after you get him. And he doesn't even give you anything.
I wanted to watch all 24 episodes so I could say I watched the whole thing and didn't miss anything. There was a ton of shit I didn't like (everyone seemed gung ho about going to war with three middle eastern countries even when we didn't have proof that of their involvment).
Sorry, maybe I didn't get 24, but I think I did. It's manipultive, it strings the viewer along, and it has improbable plot twists every-God-damned-episode! I'll take The Shield or Rescue Me any day of the week over 24.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."
A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.
Djani Harrison music video. Jesus he looks (and sounds)like his dad. And my roommate Jesse (the looks anyway).
Zak Starkey might become the full time drummer for Oasis.
Monday, April 10, 2006
D'oh! Propaganda isn't always good...
Huh? A Republican Senator asks the White House to explain itself?
Now I'm sure there's someone smarter than myself out there who could explain the political ramifications that these stories will cause for the midterms and all that. All I know is that these two caught my eye.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Saturday, April 08, 2006
The shoulder seems a bit worse today. I have good days and bad days with it, but today I felt like I couldn't lift it much at all; it has been a struggle all day. I slept on my right side last night, and my shoulder kind of hung over my body (or draped over) and I it is sore from that.
Physical therapy is going well; I'm doing the exercises everyday.
Hudson is really really really really boring. I basically know 3 people here; I see one of them once or twice a week or so, I've had dinner with another one, and the third hasn't returned my calls since the third day I was home; that's pretty sweet.
Some random thoughts:
The Cavs snapped the Nets 14 game winning streak, at New Jersey today. It was a great win by LeBron and the Cavs; they were down 5 with less than 2 minutes to go. To make a comeback like that, on the road no less, really shows something about this team. And say what you will about the Knicks game (and I have) but as bad as they played in that game, they only lost by 2. So they have won 10 of the last 11 with the only loss being by 2 points, on the road, which was the fourth game in 5 nights. Needless to say, the Cavs are doing well. I've heard a lot of buzz about the Nets recently, people even seem to think they have a chance to overtake Miami for the 2nd seed in the East. That's all well and good, but the Cavs are only one game behind the Nets (Cavs record: 46-30. Nets record: 46-29) and everyone is still doubting LeBron's crunch time performances (today, 18 points in the fourth).
The Cavs impessed me today a number of ways. They ended the first half by bring NJ's lead back down to 5 (it was 11), so they finished a half well. Also, they got a lot of help from other players besides LeBron and Z (who was hurt, which makes this win more impressive). Gooden had 18 and Hughes and Murray both had 15. Anderson Varejao had 11 points with the 2 go ahead free throws.
Just a great game over all.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Which brings me to LeBron James. BJ Armstrong wrote a column today about James passing up last second shots. I have a couple complaints about this.
The Cavs were on the back end of back to back games, playing their 4th game in 5 nights and traveled the night before. They're going to get a lot of shit for losing to the Knicks (as they should) but for as bad as they played, they had a chance to win it at the end. I'll take that.
But on to Armstrong, he says this about James:
In losing to the Knicks, LeBron James dished to Larry Hughes for an open 3, which would have won it, instead of taking a final tying shot himself. Was that the right move?
LeBron has to shoot it. They were down 18 in the fourth quarter, and they had tied it because LeBron stepped up and scored 21 of his 36 points in the fourth. If he's good enough to get you to the dance, he should be good enough to win it.
When he made that pass to Larry, he's got to know this is only Hughes' second game back. You don't expect Larry to have the legs and stamina to make a shot at that point in the game.
LeBron has that type of talent where if he's going to reach a level of greatness, then he's going to have to face the fears of losing that game. Because in the long term, he needs to accept the responsiblity of losing the game, just as he accepts the responsibility for getting them back.
There's only about five players who can play at that level at that stage of the game. With greatness comes responsibility.
First of all, his last sentence there sounds a lot like Spider Man... but anyway. The Cavs were on a 9 game winning streak, I don't want to say the Cavs were due, but they were playing at a high level for awhile, and it is natural to over look a 19 win team like the Knicks. Which proves LeBron and the Cavs still have room to grow. What I really didn't want to see happen was the ESPN borg to keep showing the Cavs losing to the Knicks and make a big deal out of LeBron passing.
Maybe Armstrong doesn't watch a lot of Cavs games, I dunno. Maybe the NBA media has been enamored with the Nets win streak and ignoring the Cavs, I dunno. But LeBron has to shoot it?
During the Cavaliers 9 game win streak, the Cavs beat the Bulls because on the last play of the game, James drove the ball, drew the defense and passed to Flip Murray who hit the game winning three. Then they beat the Raptors on a last second shot, how? James drove again, drew the defense and passed to Damon Jones who hit the go ahead three. During the win streak James hit his first game winning shot versus the Bobcats, in overtime and everyone went nuts (it was the lead story on Sports Center). You know how they got to OT? LeBron found a wide open Flip Murray for a game tying three. During the win versus the Heat, LeBron found a streaking Donyell Marshall for dunk that gave the Cavs a four point lead and put the game away.
During the Heat game LeBron went toe to toe with Dwayne Wade for the entire fourth quarter and won. He hits the game winning shot vs the Bobcats, single handedly destroyed the Mavericks, scores 19 in the fourth vesus Boston and somehow willed the Cavs back into the game verus the Knicks and BJ Armstrong says James needs to be better in the fourth quarter?
Come on, man. I get questioning passing to Hughes who had just come back from injury, hell I question it. But I trust LeBron to make the right decision in these situations. If Hughes makes the shot, the story is the LeBron brought the Cavs back from the brink and made the pass of the game.
To me, the real story is that LeBron shouldn't have had to make that decision at all, because they should've killed the Knicks. That, or the free throws. He was 8-14. That's terrible. The team shot 63% from the line. I'm not saying he's above criticism, but late game situations? Still?
Does the team need to learn not to play down to their opponents? Yes. Does LeBron need to be more efficient with his shots? Yes. Better at defense? Yes. Free throws? Hell yes.
But the fourth quarter and clutch time?
(also, Stevie Franchise was bitching about the officiating at the end of the game, saying the Cavs got all the calls. Right, like the charging foul called on Hughes (he scored the basket too) and the subsequent technical he recieved for arguing. Right.)
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Of course, that's the simplified answer, but I haven't really done anything exciting.
Paul and I watched some movies, Capote and King Kong. Capote was pretty good, I enjoyed it a lot Philip Seymour Hoffman deserved the Oscar he got for it. King Kong on the other hand.... Let me say this: long movies don't really bother me. I can watch the extended Lord of the Rings no problem. I don't mind length if the movie is good. But Kong? That was a long ass movie and it was good, not great. I get the character development and all that. But King Kong is a popcorn flick. We don't see Kong for an hour. And two hours into it, you realize: holy shit, they haven't captured him and they're nowhere near NYC. So that was Kong.
I also started to read this past week (I didn't really read during my first week home, due to the painkillers; couldn't really concerntrate). I read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons.
My roomate told me it was just like The Da Vinci Code, but I didn't realize how close that was to the truth. Check the Wikipedia article on Angels and Demons to see what I mean.
Currently, I'm on the second book in Dragonlance's Defenders of Magic trilogy, The Medusa Plague. The first book, Night of the Eye, was pretty good.
Shoulder News: I had a followup with my surgeon this past Friday. My dad and I drove down to Columbus for a meeting that lasted less than 10 minutes. I was told I'm doing well and that the biggest worry is that I don't over due it. Also, they showed me snapshots of the shoulder during surgery. That was neat.
Yesterday I got to watch 3 basketball games. The Cavs-Heat game and the two Final Four games. By far the best game of basketball played yesterday was in Cleveland. LeBron and Dwayne Wade went off. Both scored over 40 and were huge in the clutch. The George Mason-Florida game was pretty good in the first half but slowed in the second, while the LSU-UCLA game sucked throughout. I hope Monday night's final will be better than Saturday's games.
As for the rest of my Sunday? The Cavs play again today at 6, the Tribe opens the MLB season vs the ChiSox at 8 and there's a new West Wing tonight. Boo ya.