Saturday, March 31, 2012

Is this as good as it gets?

Today is clearly the high water mark of the Celtics season so far.  For the first time all year they sit alone atop the Atlantic Division, and last night in Minnesota they played maybe their most complete yet.  Boston jumped out to an early lead, held it throughout, and then put the Timberwolves away by outscoring them 21-12 in the 4th quarter, while allowing just one point in the final five plus minutes.

Old man Kevin Garnett out dueled his much younger counterpart Kevin Love (who's been so good lately that he's forced his name into the MVP conversation), and Rajon Rondo continued to play as if he's suddenly determined to lead the league in assists.  Rondo's 17 dimes last night brought his season average up to 11 per game (just behind Steve Nash's 11.2), and marked the 12th straight in which he's had 10 or more.

The Celtics went undefeated at home in the month of March (6-0), and are now 14-5 since the All-Star break.  It's the 2nd best record in the league over that span, which is particularly impressive considering it included an 8 game road trip.  They're about to begin an even tougher stretch of games, starting tomorrow when Miami comes to town.  The Heat have actually played worse of late (10-6 after the break) than the C's, and if Boston can somehow pull this one out, all the talk Monday morning will be about the Celtics once again being considered a legitimate contender.

Friday, March 30, 2012

20 Consecutive Winning Seasons in Boston?!?

With the Bruins on the verge of wrapping up a division title, and assuming the Celtics don't completely implode and close out the year 5-11 or worse, this will mark the twentieth straight season that Boston's four major sports teams have had winning records.  I made a note of this back in October, the last local squad to finish under .500 was the '06-'07 Celtics.  The odds against such a streak lasting this long are astronomical.  If you assume every team has a 50-50 chance each year to win more games than it loses, the likelihood of this happening is exactly 1,048,576 to 1.

But, we're pretty cocky about our sports in this town.  Maybe for reasons such as higher payrolls, smarter management, superior fans, Tom Brady, etc, Boston is simply better than average.  Hypothetically, even if all of our teams are somehow so good that they start each season with a 75% chance of having a winning record, the odds of 20 in a row are still roughly 315/1.  According to Vegas the Minnesota Timberwolves (currently under .500 and in 11th place in the Western Conference) have a better chance than that to win the NBA title this year.

My gut feeling is that this is probably the greatest five year run any city has ever had.  Again, this is why needs a stats team, but I can't imagine another four sport city has ever gone this long without a single losing season.  If you have an idea how to figure this out, please let me know!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Legend of Ron Burgundy Continues...

I hate regurgitating stuff I find on the web.  I like to think I'm better than that.  But once in a while something comes along that is just too big to ignore.  And this is one of those things.  It's been blowing up my facebook and the twitter ever since it happened last night:

Anchorman II.  It's coming.  There are a TON of good quotes from the original I'd like to tease this with, but I can't use them all.  So I'm going to run with the percentages:

"They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time."

"Oh Ron, there are literally thousands of other men that I should be with instead, but I am 72% sure that I love you."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Final Four Coaches Forever Entwined

Imagine you're watching a movie trailer while reading this.  After each sentence there's a quick picture then the screen goes dark.  And it gradually speeds up as it goes along.

Rick Pitino.  John Calipari.  Kentucky.  UMass. Celtics.  Nets.  "Larry Bird's not walking through that door."  Louisville.  Kentucky.  An epic college hoops match-up unlike any other.  Read the full story at


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Celtics are in first place, but can they stay there?

Boston's win in Charlotte last night moved them into a first place tie with Philly in the Atlantic Division, which could well mean the difference between opening up the playoffs at home vs Indiana or Atlanta, or on the road in Miami or Chicago.  That's a huge difference.  But it's going to be very difficult for the Celtics to hang on to the 4th seed in the East.  Last night Paul Pierce had a monster game, his 36 points were a team high for the season, and the most he's scored in two years.  He also poured in 10 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks.  But he had to play 38 minutes to do it.

Other starters Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley, and Rajon Rondo played 40 minutes apiece, and Garnett logged 33.  Not that long ago I thought the C's had one of the best benches in the league, with a nine man rotation that included Bass, Bradley, Mickael Pietrus, and Chris Wilcox.  But now it's gone.  Completely.  Bass is a full time starter, and with Ray Allen and Pietrus out Bradley is too. And Wilcox is done for the season.  Last night the Celtics reserves were only able to contribute 9 points (three each from Dooling, Hollins, and Stiemsma).  It's going to be very difficult for Boston to keep winning games if they have to rely so heavily on the starters.

Not to mention the C's upcoming schedule is brutal.  Of their 15 games in April, eleven of them are against playoff teams, including Chicago, San Antonio, Orlando, and Miami; three times.  How is it possible they have to play the Heat 3 times in the last three and a half weeks?!  The Sixers have a much easier schedule the rest of the way, only 7 of their last 17 games are against teams likely to be in the playoffs.  So it's clearly a tough road ahead for Boston.  Hopefully there's a bit of a "reverse jinx" thing going on here.


Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm ready for some new punctuation marks.

The year after I graduated from college I was dating a girl who was still in school.  We didn't have cell phones yet, and it was a time when the term "long distance charges" still applied.  The vast majority of our interaction was via AOL Instant Messenger.  And this was the early days of IM, before they'd created all those different little yellow faces to use.  I'm someone who likes to tease a lot, and we were always getting into arguments because she never knew when I was joking.  You lose a lot communication when you take away tone of voice, inflection, and facial expressions.

Now that texting is the norm I run into the same issues all the time with my phone.  So I want to create two new punctuation marks: The first one would convey mild enthusiasm.  Often I agree with or feel good about something, but not so much that it's worthy of an exclamation point.  The second would imply sarcasm.  Just one little symbol so I'd never have to type "j/k," "lol," or one of these :) again.  The first two I absolutely refuse to use, which means I end up throwing tons of smiley faces out there, even though I'm pretty sure all girls think they're lame.  Now I know nobody's changing the standard keyboard anytime soon, so we'll have to go with things that already exist.  I think ^ works for the less excited exclamation point, and the ~ is perfect for humor.  Alright, lets get this going^  With my average daily page hits these both should be internationally recognized by the end of the week~

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Sometimes I Rhyme Slow" by Nice & Smooth

This song came out in 1991, but it didn't get really big until MTV ran it a ton in the summer of '92.  And from then up to about an hour ago I thought it was called Sometimes I Rhyme Slow, Sometimes I Rhyme Quick.  But apparently Nice & Smooth decided that was too much.  To me a big part of its appeal was that the title was so long and fun to say.  No wonder it took a whole year to get popular, "Sometimes I Rhyme Slow" is just not a catchy name for a song.

They stole the background music from Fast Car by Tracy Chapman.  The weird thing about that is "Fast Car" was released in 1988, just 3 years earlier.  Usually pop music waits about a decade or so before recycling itself.

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