This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Basketball Related Post

I am from Boston. When I talk sports, it is mostly going to be about the Celtics. Most basketball fans seem to need to get a grip. Pierce and KG were traded two years ago to the Nets. The 1st year rebuilding team was okay for a bad one because they were competing for their basketball lives. Danny tried his best to tank them to compete for a top three pick, but it only got us #6. That turned out to be Marcus Smart. He is very good. In his own way he is going to take over the Paul Pierce captain role. He is already an all-star at defense and he has improved on his offense. For most of last year he played on a bum ankle. That's why he wasn't able to get to the rim. Now he is pulling off Dwyane Wade maneuvers, using his strength to hang in the air and muscle in layups over taller players.

So keep an eye on him. Evan Turner is not that good and I don't see where he fits in too much. However, Evan Turner has ice in his veins and will make big plays. If he stays, expect a 20 minute type carved role. I do believe Smart is destined to be a point guard. That could change if someone turns out better than him and is tall enough where Smart can move to shooting guard.

Isaiah Thomas is exceptional. He and Smart are the cream of the crop of the roster. If Smart shows any signs of being an effective point guard, I don't see much room for Evan Turner. Jae Crowder is a million times better at small forward. The rookies are doing well, but who knows how much they will get to play during the season. R.J. Hunter is turning some eyes. He is well-advanced in contrast to the James Young deer in the headlights schtick.

Sullinger is on the clock. It is now or never for him to lose the weight. The Celtics have a million power forwards and guards. The roster is not exactly balanced. But it's early. People expect Danny to make more moves.

David Lee and Amir Johnson are good players. Zeller is underrated for a center. I think Olynyk will fine-tune his game finally. He has a very good attitude and skills that don't grow on trees.

Stevens is a basketball genius. The Celtics should be looking forward to their third straight 25-30 win season. Instead they won 40 last year and made the playoffs. This year they could win 50 and surprise some more.

Stevens took ragtag leftovers, U.S. high school basketball crumbs and molded them into contenders. Look it up. It was at Butler.

There's also less and less deadwood on the current roster, even if we still await the saviour at center.

Gerald Wallace is gone. Johnson and Lee are on one year deals.

The C's will probably not win it all, but anyone thinking they won't continue on from last year and win games is deluded.

Last year I predicted the C's would go 41-41. No lying. I was off by one game. This year I will not try to be as specific and say they will be around the 50 win mark, enough to turn even more eyes.

The Nets could easily go down the tubes. We have their draft pick the next three years. The Celtics don't have to tank. In addition, this recent trade to Dallas of Deron Williams means Dallas isn't tanking. We have their pick also. So maybe the reality is Brooklyn and Dallas lost that trade and Boston won. It is all about Boston.

Other teams are wary of trading with Ainge. He is getting the reputation of never losing trades. For Rondo, we got Crowder and potentially another above average rotation player.

It looks like Embiid is out for another season. Philadelphia is nuts. Of course the NBA is a crap shoot, especially with all the twists and turns of the collective bargaining agreement.

Embiid will probably never amount to anything in the NBA. It's unfortunate, but that's too fricking bad for Hinkie. Those fans are stupid too. I would not watch or pay for any of that crap. One of these stupid seasons where they have no chance and never improve amounted to Joel Embiid whose photo is in the dictionary for two phrases, damaged goods and wasted pick.

The Celtics will be like a professional college team. They are all in it together. The chemistry is excellent. And if a guy like Sully turns out to be sour grapes, Danny and Brad would have no qualms telling him to stay away from the team. They did it to Bogans.

I admit that if Sully finally  gets it together, I will root for him. I am pretty sure he will be traded.

There are too many bigs: Jerebko, Sully, Olynyk, Zeller, Mickey, Amir Johnson and Lee.

Jordan Mickey can go to the D league. I guess all could still be on the roster for the season. But two of them are not going to be happy as the fifth and sixth bigs off the bench. Stevens likes to use four of them. At some points he had to go with five of them for a rotation, all five were good with not much room for comparisons. But going with five bigs for a rotation is a strain. These guys need roles and continuity.

I see a trade happening. Seven PF/Centers is too much. I'm guessing preseason starts in three months, so maybe I should give it a rest.


donkeytale said...

Spieth is tied for the lead at the British. That young man continues to amaze.

His game is reminiscent of the legendary UT golf coach Harvey Penick a humble golfing genius who found fame and fortune very late in his long life by publishing his teaching manual "Little Red Book."

His students included Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite.

Spieth also played at UT and is a protege of Crenshaw. Penick golfers have great mental attributes and solid games from tee to green, especially on the putting surface.

Kite and Crenshaw were both underwhelming physical specimens and accomplished great things nonetheless, especially Gentle Ben, who came from nowhere to win his 2nd Masters the week after Penick passed away.

Spieth, OTOH can knock it long off the tee as well as putt and hit fabulous approach shots with long irons and fairway woods in the Penick tradition.

FWIW, I remind everyone to follow the majours live blog on the Graun. Better to me than watching the tournament itslef.

donkeytale said...

I loves me sum British Open.

They say the weather is going to turn vicious tomorrow afternoon and part of teh quality of links golf is they never stop play because of rain.

A few years back last at St Andrews they were forced to stop but only because the wind was blowing so hard on one green that the players balls moved from the marked spot, which by the rules of golf is a penalty, so they stopped play rather than penalise the players.

I believe that green has been resurfaced (also a non-no in true links golf which relies upon the natural landscape and not human engineering) and hidden from the wind so there should be no stoppage this year even if a hurricane develops.

Spieth and Tiger will both be on the course tomorrow afternoon when the windy raininess develops. Should be great fun.

donkeytale said...

I should say a oenalty is called if the ball moves on the green while the player is addressing his putt to be completely and anally accurate, which is also required by the reules of Gawlf.

donkeytale said...

Tiger, by the way is dead last at the moment.

Back to the Hot Tub, stat!

socrates said...

Thanks for the heads up. I have it on in the background. But now that I know Tiger is in last place, I am not sure I am very interested.

I used to play Tiger Woods video golf and know the British Open very well. There were a couple holes you had a chance to land for a putt on a par four in one blast. I also remember the island 17th for Sawgrass. There was a Texas Shell Open or wyf. That was one of the easier ones as long as you avoided the cactus or cacti.

Oh yes, now I remember. The British Open was tough because sometimes it was difficult to tell what was fairway and what was the rough.

It was a great course for Tiger because it rewards players who can drive it 300 yards with the ability to get out of trouble. Lots of bunkers and rough. Tom Watson had the right game for that European golf stuff.

I'm glad Tiger is cooked. I'd take Barry Sanders over Tiger Woods pound for pound for sports.

Sanders just got up and quit. Bo Jackson was a better athlete than Tiger Woods.

Golf is one of the sports which is very similar to being a racket. Wilt Chamberlain was a racket. No one could stop that. Until Red and Bill.

I'm glad Tiger Woods got his comeuppance. No way could he be that better than all the greats through History. I do know the detail that the greens were not as smooth back in the day. Woods was remarkable. No doubt. That's what happens when you teach a baby how to play golf, throw him on the Bob Hope show, he lives through the steroid age.

Maybe he wasn't on steroids, but it seems so. If Tiger wasn't on steroids, then I guess tip your hat to his greatness. If he was, then screw his so-called legacy of greatness. Same with LeBron James.

Like f.u. to McGwire and Canseco. That was pure cheating. Roger Clemens. He was okay but not great his last four years in Boston. Then he started taking the juice and became Cy Young. Not. Gonna. Buy. In. I hate fakes. I despise them more than anything.

donkeytale said...

Definitely Tiger was handed some majours because of course set up. The year they held the US Open at Pebble and he won by like 15 shots is one.

And there is that course on Long guy land that was so ridiculously long some of the pros couldn't even rach the fairway on a couple holes. Bethpage I think it was?

Tiger dominated a certain era say what you will about him and his character, which I agree isn't worth much, but I also feel pretty much same about mine so am not tossing glass houses, or wtf.

The younger kids today are just as fit as Tiger (something he brought to the game is athleticism) and can hit it basically as far. And being younger they have stronger nerves on the putting surface.

I have always been ambivalent about Woods. On the one hand you cannot deny his achievements.

OTOH, I am an inveterate rooter for the sympathetic underdog.

And one thing Tiger will never be, no matter how badly his game deteriorates, is an underdog, especially one who deserves sympathy.

donkeytale said...

Supposedly this is Watson's last British....unless he finishes top ten. As a former Open champ a top ten finish automatically qualifies him for a 5 year exemption into the tournament.

Never was much of a Watson guy myself. Although I did root for him the year he almost won it a few years ago that would have been herstoric at his advanced age.

He's older than moi for god sake.

Now I'm really done.

socrates said...

Yes, the video game also had Pebble Beach. It was fun. It was mindless fun to pass time.

I do recall that one tourney Tiger won by 15 shots. That was his Wayne Gretzky era. That was his J.R. Ewing era. On a side note, to this day I still do not know who shot J.R., nor do I care. But I digress.

Tiger was absolutely amazing once I think on one of those US Open courses held in Georgia or somewhere in Carolina. It had very tricky greens. I may trigger a memory in you with the one shot he took. It was some very whacked out putting green where if you didn't do it perfectly, the thingie would run off over to the opposite. It was like the most difficult putt-putt course ever invented. (see Gilmore, Happy)

He hit the shot. The thing I find most fascinating about Tiger Woods is how he has completely lost it. There have always been the mediocre guys on tour who never win but rake in the money due to being the greatest at mediocrity.

It's like that guy Knoblach or Steve Sax? .... Or Rondo with free throws. It's called a glitch or giddy-up or the chokes.

Tiger Woods completely lost his golfing mind. It is remarkable because he's been a golf star since age four.

I imagine if you didn't have golf in your background or if I didn't play video golf so much, neither of us would care.

donkeytale said...

I think what happened is Bobby woke up in the shower and the whole previous season was a dream.

But I could be wong.


Tony the Astronaut. funny

Jeannie. Ooh-la-la

donkeytale said...

No, It was Bong Crisby's daughter who shot JR.

Bobbys wife. Hot

Elvis wife. Hot

Jocks wife. Hot

JRs wife. Not hot

Michael Jacksons wife. Not hot

donkeytale said...

Actually, I have never really been that much into playing golf except as previously indicated a work life time waster, excuse to get drunk and/or commit sdultery, act a fool and be so bad it is good. Today I live on a golf course and maybe play four times a year three not on my own course. The internet ruined golf

I did watch the game occasionally as a youngster long before I ever played at the advanced age of 20 something.

Something about getting baked and listening to the dulcet tones of Pat Sumerall in his alpaca sweater was comforting.

Weed probably has as much to with our golfing interest than anything.

Here is another thing: I have never played a video game in my life not even PAC MAN back in the day.

Give me pinball or give me death.

No video game pinball either. The real thing, preferably at a cruddy bowling alley while on acid.

socrates said...

Bong Crisby could be the funniest thing you've ever penned.

socrates said...

Even Phil Mickelson is in the hunt.

socrates said...

I excelled at pinball. The problem is it dwindled in popularity. It was pure economics. Less people knew how to fix them and it got expensive. Then the owners start turning down the tilt then off. If there's no tilt, you might as well put training wheels back on your bicycle.

And if golf is a sport, then so is pinball or fricken cards.

I used to watch the ABC wide world of miscellaneous wtf is this sports before ESPN killed the medium. I used to like arm wrestling until witnessing an arm getting broken. We don't need to witness violence to know it exists.

The kids entrapped by the spy factory don't need the FBI filling mentally ill people with weird ideas, then selling them their own weapons, then arresting them with agitprop of defending the free world from 4th of July terrorism. It makes my blood boil this is going on.

socrates said...

That last paragraph was not well-written. Though it contained some good ideas. A card shown is a card played.

donkeytale said...

Agree on the tilt although I like that there was an art to moving the machine subtly without causing tilt. Sort of a corollary with "no harm no foul."

My last thot before I really have to go is on the Truman Show image thing. It assumes too much inside knowledge otherwise it is just a WTF? distraction. A better pic for that article might have been the Android icon or the tin woodsman from Wizard of Oz.

But I hasten to add I prefer both of our more intellectually stimulating masterpieces sans pictorials.

BTW, I find your Frey masterpiece among your very best.

donkeytale said...

"Bong Crisby" is actually a direct steal from Foster Brooks, who excelled as the drunk on the Dean Martin roasts and other assorted low grade TV garbage. Very funny

Dean Martin. Funny.

Jerry lewis. Not funny

socrates said...

You are correct on tilts. A tilt should be earned and not occur for something as small as sneezing. My words were choppy and I meant the owners turn the tilt on full blast.

There does have to be tilt fouls, along with its partial legality. You don't want people damaging the machine. People like us knew how to gently manipulate without violence to the machine. It's all about the mercury. It's a great game. Whoever invented pinball was a genius.

socrates said...

I won't add any pictures to your entries unless you request it.

Yeah, the Kimberlin/Frey etc. thing was weird.

donkeytale said...

No, no please go ahead. Its fun to me. Usually I'm OK and often quite pleased with your selections.

Just allow me veto authority.

donkeytale said...

I may have a pinball effort within me at some point. Also poolhall and poker games. I posted a poker game classic on PFF which did quite well, but alas I saved nothing from PFF, altho I did some subsequent rewrites. My moms death scene was originally a PFF that I since rewrote posted at least three times elsewhere, and believed definitely improved upon the original.

The third PFFer in my memory is the sequel to "Ricky Ricardo Joaquin" masterpiece called "The Prettiest Angel" about his daughter. I should give that one a whack off.

I recall an FSZ classic or two also that would by fun to rework, one particularly about my relationship in high school with a girl who dumped me for a black guy, that there is anything wrong with that. In the end, we all remained friends and I even bearded for her because her dad was an incredible racist. SO I would pick her up for a date and then drop her off to the other guy. We would then re-arrange to meet at the end of the night so I could take her home, being jealous and depressed and unrequited 17 year old horny all at the same time.

But I did it because I thought it was enlightened and I liked both of them alot.

donkeytale said...

Also, must make correction number 2 on my reules of golf schtick. It now appears that it is no longer a penalty if the ball moves under its own force on the green while it is being addressed by the golfer.

This changed a few years back. No longer a penalty, but you cannot re-mark the moved ball in its original spot. You must putt from where it ends up. This happened this morning in the 40 mile per hour winds at the British. One guys ball moved 4 feet further from the hole!

And he missed the putt, so in effect it did cost him a stroke.

The round has since been suspended to late afternoon, Brit time.

socrates said...

You can try*/, although I find that when I try to use the wayback machine, you often only get the tease of an article. You click on it, and they say oops, not available. Archive dot org is kinda sorta overrated. Yet, it does feel good to find something that otherwise would be lost.

Golf looks very fun. Too bad it takes a lot of money and practice to then be able to say it's worth it.

There is another form of wayback machine, but I forget its name. There's also caches, though those don't seem to have the greatest shelf life.

You do have a lot of stuff now available from FDL, yet I predict eventually those will fall down the memory hole also as soon as Jane gets tired paying money. Or maybe it is now on a free platform and it will remain.

donkeytale said...

Thanks, yeah the wayback is worthless. It's on wordpress so probably free.

The frustrating thing at FDL is the comments sections cannot be opened.

Golf is fun as long as you never gain expectations. No matter what level you attain it will be difficult. You can be going along great and then loose it completely. By far the toughest and most mechanically precise of "sports" that is made even more difficult because the emotions and intellect of the player can so subtly impact the mechanics.

The only way to be good is to hit a minimum of 300 balls per week on the range and even then being very careful to stay focused (but loose) and not letting any bad habits develop as you are hitting balls.

I would advise staying away. Or if you must, simply take a few balls and a putter and sand wedge to start, find a practice green at the local muni and spend a few hours learning to put and chip. There are plenty of online teaching tools. Establishing correct grip and stance are crucial for beginners. Then the swing mechanics and all important weight shift as you move your body through the ball on the downswing.

From there after you develop a feel for making solid contact on chips move back and pitch the ball into the air with a fuller swing. From there you will need to find a wide open area or driving range to take full swings using less lofted clubs.

donkeytale said...

Mean t say FDL is on wordpress so probably free

socrates said...

This is why Golf will never become close to popular. It's just out of reach. A lot of people don't ice skate or never ice skated.

It's like playing piano, you want to start early.

I am trying to get my act together, so by the time I have a new life, I will pull a Mozart and be producing 10th grade level journalism by age 5.

socrates said...

Then I will mail in the rest of that life too. It's all a racket. (in my Irwin Corey voice)

donkeytale said...

Here is a how-to lesson that might help get you started

socrates said...

I love that dude. He is timeless. And I hope that is a true quote I use over at Twitter:

Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.

socrates said...

I'm watching the a&e bio on him. They should have titled it W.C. Fields is greatness. They are drooling over him. The man. He used words and put it together and was the funniest man that ever lived. I guess kinda sorta in a pound for pound comedian way. But life does not work that way. Others were just as funny . But I admit he reached the pinnacle.

The other day, maybe even yesterday we ran a funny/not funny segment here at dfq2. In simplistic terms, yes, he was funny. The dude I wished had lived longer was Lon Chaney. He was scary. He had range. He did one talkie and nailed it. He even dressed in drag for some of it. It was him, some German man who was a proportional baby man and the strongman. Fantastic stuff! Much better than Devil Dolls with Lionel Barrymore.

Harold Lloyd also did some brilliant work. Olivier mocked those who did the method. He said just do it. That could be an intellectual exercise. Is Stanislavski and method acting overrated. I definitely believe everything has gone downhill over time in the infotainment era. Talk about comparing eras.

And Olivia De Havilland is within one year of reaching 100. I hope I'm not jinxing her. It's awesome when people live that long. It keeps us grounded. She was pretty good. I think Joan Fontaine was okay, but not as good as Olivia. Bette Davis was lucky. She was kind of a ham, but she was in so many great movies, people forget about that. Plus she was fun as all stuff in her later career and got much better as an actress. She had to get over herself.

Joan Crawford was another one who improved like fine wine. I love the good camp movies. Tyrone Power. He was greatness, but no one realises it except for those infatuated with him. I think he was better than Montgomery Clift who was too self-aware of his good looks. He turned it on himself after the accident. He no longer had the looks and had to get down to brass acting tacks.

I doubt Tyrone Power did any method acting. Although he had incredible acting genes in his blood, so it came very naturally to him.

He too needed to age a bit to get better parts than the pretty boy crap he tended to do early on.

socrates said...

Ed McMahon is the main expert, yikes, but it's still good. W.C.'s dad was apparently a dickhead and his mom was the spitting image of Babe Ruth.

socrates said...

It gets better. Rod Steiger is in this. He played WC in a 70's movie.

socrates said...

"The Golf Specialist"

donkeytale said...

Yes, I too loves me sum WC.

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. Funny

My Little Chickadee the one he did with Mae West also very great.

donkeytale said...

The magnificent Jordan Spieth carded a (-6) 66 today. He is tied for the clubhouse lead after his third round, merely one shot behind the on course leaders who include an amateur.

Wow. I cannot recall an amateur holding the lead this late in any Major, much less the granddaddy of them all played on the auldest course of them all.

Which because of all the recent rain is playing much softer and rather easier than usual.

Still, a third majour of the year for the steady young man from Dallas is very much in play. Stay tuned. Could it be? And if so, think of the pressure and immense spotlight to come at the PGA next month if the natural grand slam is still in play.

donkeytale said...

Here is the final 3rd round leaderboard. Many big names including the guy who suffered from vertigo at the US Open, Jason Day. Day is almost always near the top of the major thingies but has yet to win. Today he is tied at the top. Perenniel choker Mr. Gretzky's hot daughter's boy toy Dustin Johnson of course blew up to 75 (+3) today and goes from leader to 5 shots off the pace and L'il Rickie Fowler, also 5 strokes back. Both are still in it.

At the top of the board incredibly as it seems, resides the Irish amateur Paul Dunne, tied with immediate past St Andrews winner Louis Ouisthuizen. Past Open winner Padraig Harrington is also in the hunt, as is the man who has been on the schneid for not winning a majour, the star crossed Sergio Garcia.

But look out gang. Spieth (who is actually one year younger than the amateur Dunne) is only one shot back of the leaders.

Tomorrow promises to be epic.

-12: Dunne -a-, Oosthuizen, Day
-11: Spieth
-10: Harrington
-9: Leishman, Niebrugge -a-, Garcia, Rose, Goosen, Streb, Scott, Z Johnson, Willett
-8: Pepperell, Schwartzel, Bowditch
-7: Fowler, Palmer, Reed, Cink, Wall, Matsuyama, Warren, D Johnson

This concludes todaze sports reporting. We now return you to our regularly scheduled bloviating.

socrates said...

I should turn that on. Didn't Tiger Woods win four straight majors?

There is definitely a space in which a genius golfer could have enough margin of talent to chalk up a lot of majors.

Tiger Woods has maybe five years left to win the big ones. He's down to 20 to 30 majors in which he could win if he turns it around. I give him this one year, from today to the same date in 2016. If he isn't a top five player by then, it's officially over for his chase for immortality. Close but no cigar.

Tiger is the standard for regular guy tournament wins, no debate. Yet, Jack Nicklaus is still Mr. Golf God with a four win lead in majors.

It would be great for the game and the idea of redemption if Tiger could get it together and compete against the whippersnappers.

He is old, though, in terms of sports. He is older than Paul Pierce, I think, and God love Paul Pierce, but he is older than dirt. The days of Gordie Howe are long gone. Although George Foreman won the boxing title as a dinosaur. It happens.

donkeytale said...

Spieth finishes bogey-par and the dream is over, what can you say. 17 is the famous Road hole but 18 is birdeable but his short second lob wedge unfortunately rolled off the green as so many balls do on 18 if you don't place your approach properly.

He misses the playoff by a single shot.

Still, what an amazing year for a 21 year old.

donkeytale said...

Yes, Tiger did win 4 straight over two years, the "Tiger Slam."

No one else has done even that and no one since Bobby Jones has won the first two in a year and come as close as Spieth the third.

donkeytale said...

Since Hogan who actually did win 3 in 1953 but was unable to compete in the British because of the timing of the events back then.