Florida State and Kentucky are #1 in NCAAM Football and Basketball

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One team has an increasing list of players evading the law, and a coach who says such criminal activity–like rape, stealing, and hit and runs–just make the team’s character more resilient. The other team has so many McDonalds All Americans on its roster that their second team would likely be ranked #2 in the country. Such an astonishing and historically unprecedented job of recruiting is great in itself, except that the recruiter, John Caliper, left his last two jobs in the midst of wide spread recruitment violations and ultimately NCAA sanctions. Both teams are ranked #1 in their respective sports because despite all the suffocating smoke, there is technically, no fire. Yet.

So lets celebrate student athletes and their universities for their purity, educational spirit, and pursuit of fairness.

Trade Rondo for Kyrie Irving?

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Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Rondo is a much better fit with LeBron and Love, and Kyrie is the perfect kind of Stephen Marbury point guard to help the Celtics continue in their goal of replacing the Hawks as yearly first round exits in the eastern conference playoffs.

In the last 28 seconds of the game tonight, both showed why their teams should make this trade. Irving went one on one and drove to the hoop, missing a wild layup, and not passing to LeBron who had been unstoppable the final 3 minutes during the Cavs comeback. With 7 seconds left, that left the Celtics to turn to Rondo for a final shot–which he failed to get off in time after trying a pump fake with less than 1 second left.

The Cavaliers need a seasoned point guard who thinks to pass to LeBron first and Love second. The Celtics need a scorer and go-to guy. The trade helps the Cavs a lot more than it helps the Celtics. They get a guy who could re-emerge as an elite point guard that could get them to the NBA finals. The Celtics don’t become elite anything with Irving. He joins a rag tag bunch of role players (The Celtics should rename themselves “the Sixth Men”), but he’s athletic, a scorer, and he’s probably the best they can get for Rondo before Rondo leaves them with nothing.

This Represents Parquet Pride?

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I’m not the one with the design skills at this site, but I still can identify an uninspiring alt-uniform. Green is such a cool color with so many possibilities. Look at what the Seahawks did. And so, the Celtics give us grey. How about something that would have better matched Avery Bradley’s shoes? Or something with Larry Bird’s face on it?

I’m not sure Lebron likes Blatt

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Watching the end of the fourth quarter to that (great) Bulls/Cavs game on Halloween really showcased Lebron’s tenuous relationship with Blatt. I wish I had I camera. Oh wait, I did but I also had a beer and a cheeseburger. Moving on. Blatt called a play. Lebron looked away and rolled his eyes. The five guys going back in were then corralled by one of my favorite dudes: (former Celtic assistant) Tyronn Lue. My bet: he’s coaching this squad sooner rather than later. Trust me I went to art school and do very little analysis. Why do I like Lue?
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1. When he played for the (evil) Lakers during the 2001 Finals versus that Sixers, at practice Lue “acted” like Iverson. Mimicking his moves and play to get his teammates ready. Was this because he’s a cerebral basketball savant or because Phil Jackson looked at his corn rolls and said “you be Iverson”? We’ll never know for sure but I believe the former.

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2. He was on Doc Rivers staff. We was a part of the greatest basketball team ever assembled: the 2008 Ubuntu Celtics (#homer) where he mastered sitting behind the bench. Literally never sat on the bench. Never said anything. Just watched.

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3. With the Clippers he graduated to the bench and an active role. Body language saying, players listened.

I like guys like this. Scrappy, smart dudes who work hard and worked at one point for the Celtics. I root for those guys. Is he savvy enough to get Lebron’s ear? Tough to say but he got Blake and KG to take him seriously. In the long run, that may be more important the European championships.

>>>Mark

Dark Days in OKC and a quick thought about my fantasy team.

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Russell Westbrook anchors my Fantasy team. So watching this hurt. It’s my first year in FB. I don’t usually watch a lot of OKC particularly without KD. Side note this HBO doc series was pretty mis-timed. The tag line should be “His game never STARTS”. Sorry OKC fans. Much respect to the Bootsy Twins. OKC had six guys by the end of that game. Pretty sure I won’t (and neither will you) be watching many OKC games unless you League Pass it.

>>>Mark

Photo by Bethany Petrik 

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That was stressful. Not just yesterday, but all month. Remembering back to the 9th inning of game 1 against the Nationals seems like 5 years ago. Wasn’t that the game that Hunter Strickland struck out Ian Desmond and looked like a huge new addition to the Giants bullpen arsenal? I don’t even have much to say–just tired. Glad the Giants have won; glad I can return to normal life. One championship was amazing. 2012, especially with the whole season riding on Barry Zito, was an embarrassment of riches. Now this, it’s almost too much. [Of course it's not--I want more!]

It goes without saying how amazing Bumgarner was. But is it the best performance ever? Factor in that he did it on the road against a team and crowd that was so poised to defeat anyone and anything and doing it on two days rest. And two days rest doesn’t even say it all. Two days after throwing a complete game shutout, at the end of a long season approaching 300 innings pitched, with another 68 pitches, every single one with huge pressure. Even just the last batter–after a crazy play puts the Royals 90 feet from coming back–to go 6 pitches against a tough hitter, to never back down, never get fazed.

As amazing as Bumgarner was, and it was amazing, I liked the 2010 and 2012 versions of the Giants pitching staff better when it was a dominant staff that shut down the opponent just about every night. Of course this was a team effort–Panik, Morse, Sandoval, Pence, Affeldt, and so many other guys all playoffs long. Everyone did something. Even the coach that told Juan Perez to play exactly in the spot to catch Aoki’s otherwise game tying line drive. It’s just that one guy did just about everything else.

Looking ahead: Next year’s starting rotation–Bumgarner, Cain, Petit, Hudson, Lincecum? Lineup has pretty much all its parts coming back as well, depending on Sandoval. I hope Morse comes back even if he can’t really field. Romo, too. I’ll write more when I wake up. I feel almost as tired as Buster Posey.

Line of the night: of course, Madison Bumgarner, 5 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, .026 ERA in 5 WS appearances and 3 championships.

Runner up: Pablo Sandoval: 3-3 and multiple panda heads.

2nd Runner up: Rajon Rondo, 13 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds.

3rd runner up: Kobe Bryant, 31 points, -26 point differential while in the game.

+++Paul

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Lions in Winter

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Kobe Bryant is about to have a bad year but I doubt he’ll regret it. Kevin Garnett? He might. These are two men who were unafraid to make enemies. The aging NBA player can have a lot of fun. Robert Parish played on a hundred teams post-Celtics making a ton of dough and smoking a ton of doobies. But this guy:

No effing way. Look, I hate the Lakers. I hate Kobe but I have a soft (get it) spot for aging superstars that give zero fucks. Kobe will be fun. KG is going to get dunked on. A lot. It’s going to Wizards era Jordan only worse. Think Joakim Noah is going to go easy on KG? Think he forgot about 2008? Neee-ope. I hope KG “hurts his back picking up luggage” like our buddy Steve Nash.

Meanwhile I hope this Kobe gif leads to more love for NXT Enzo Amore. Dude is great.

>>>>>>Mark

Photo credit: Safari Partners

Gifs: fuck if I know.