Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Celtics have forgotten how to shoot, and at the worst possible time

In their last three outings (all losses in which they have failed to score more than 92 points), the Celtics have shot 35-84 (41.7%) vs Atlanta, 32-81 (39.5%) in Chicago, and a pathetic 31-89 (34.8%) against New Orleans last night.  Combined, that's a three game total of 98-254, just 38.6%.

The main culprits have been Jeff Green (14-40, 35%), Jordan Crawford (12-40, 30%), who I jinxed, and Jared Sullinger (9-35, 25.7%), who clearly is having serious trouble with that injured left hand and giant glove he's been wearing to protect it.

Now 13-20, Boston faces an absolutely brutal schedule over their next 12 games (pictured).  The way things are going I fully expect them to be 15-30 three week from now.

Friday, January 3, 2014

I think I jinxed Jordan Crawford

Back on December 11th I suggested on Celtics Life that fans should vote Jordan Crawford into the All-Star game.  The next day I wrote an article for Yahoo Sports making the case that Crawford was a legitimate All-Star candidate.  At the time Crawford was averaging 15.1 points, 6.1 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game as a starting point guard.  He was also committing just 2.2 turnovers per game, and leading the Eastern Conference with a 2.81 assist to turnover ratio.

Immediately after talking Crawford up, he proceeded to go 0-8 from the floor for just 2 points (along with 2 rebounds and 6 assists) in Boston's next game.  In the Celtics last 8 contests since writing my article his averages are down to 12.9 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.4 rebounds.  But the biggest difference is his turnovers, which have risen to 2.9 per game, lowering his assist/turnover ratio to a very pedestrian 1.87.

Crawford no longer looks much like an All-Star point guard, and I'm ready for Rondo to come back.  Of course Boston dropping 5 of their last 6 games doesn't help much either.  They have a brutal schedule ahead as well, and as I discussed on CelticsLife yesterday, it may soon be time to let the word "tanking" re-enter the discussion.

Also, take a look at this article I wrote for Yahoo about potential Celtics draft picks next summer.  Although the way things are going at the moment Boston may have a much better pick than I expected.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

So how big of a thing is 'reddit'?

First off, I know it's grammatically correct to put the question mark in the title inside of the quotes, but I hate how it looks that way and it feels illogical (I do the same thing on purpose again later as well).  I'd just put the word "reddit" in italics if I could, but that's not an available option in the title field.

(Click on the picture to expand)
Anyway, I signed up for reddit yesterday.  I spent a few hours on it last night and this morning, and it seems intriguing.  I also posted my blog from two days ago about the Pats averaging better than a 12-4 record for the last 13 years in the NFL/Patriots forum, which apparently is pretty popular (after I did this I realized you're not really supposed to submit you're own stuff; it's been fairly well received though, so hopefully they won't block me).

Nearly 2,000 people clicked on it today (1,985 to be exact), making this easily the biggest traffic day in the history of, and also making it the single most read post ever in a span of just 24 hours (a few hundred hits more than Amazon is weirdly misrepresenting their Kindle Fire "Mayday Button", which must have contained exactly the right combination of popular but not widely written about search keywords in the title).

So, is reddit a really big deal?  Any advice from people who've been on it a while would be appreciated.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Times Square New Year's Eve ball should be much, much bigger

While watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve '14 with Ryan Seacrest (How about that for a title?  It makes me think of "Ladies and gentleman, the Tonight Show, with Johnny Carson... with Jay Leno") last night, I was a little surprised when I heard Seacrest say in an excited voice "The ball measures 12 feet in diameter!"

Smaller than a '97 Rav4...
Twelve feet?  That's it?  That doesn't sound impressive at all.  Come on, this is New Year's Eve in Times Square, the biggest party in the world!  I wonder if half the people there can even see it?  Twelve feet is smaller than my car, and I have a tiny car.  This thing should be huge!  I'd say at least 50 feet, bare minimum.  The jumbo-tron in Cowboy Stadium is 71 feet high and 159 feet wide, something like that is probably a good goal.  And the crazy part is that throughout most of its history the ball was only 5 or 6 feet across, it doubled in size in 2009.

I also think it's funny that if you're watching the countdown on TV, because of the Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake Super Bowl halftime show fiasco ten years ago, midnight actually comes a little ahead of when you see it happen.  The clock on my cable box said it was 12:00 am about ten seconds before Ryan Seacrest did.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

12-4 is below average for the Brady/Belichick Patriots

Last year when the Patriots still had Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez, as well as a healthy Rob Gronkowski, Vince Wilfork, and Jerod Mayo, they finished 12-4 and earned the 2nd seed in the AFC playoffs behind a 13-3 Denver squad.  Sound familiar?

Maybe even more impressive than repeating the same level of success this season without all those guys is the fact that during the thirteen-year span of the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era in New England, 12-4 is actually a subpar record for the Patriots.  Take a look at the table on the right: Since 2001 the Pats have averaged 12.15 wins per season (not counting the playoffs), and that includes both the 0-2 start in 2001 before Brady got the job, and the 11-5 Matt Cassel campaign of 2008.

As I mentioned a couple years ago, I wish somebody with more resources and research capability than me would find out how many NFL teams have never had a twelve-win season over the 13 years that New England has averaged more than 12.

1/2 UPDATE: Over the last 13 seasons, 9 of the NFL's 32 teams (28%) have never won 12 games in a single year: Miami, NY Jets, Buffalo (all the other teams in the AFC East, which New England has led in wins every time), Cleveland, Cincinnati, Oakland, Washington, Arizona, and Detroit.

Thanks to TeddyO for researching.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "I Love Your Smile" by Shanice

This song came out in 1991, and made it as high as #2 on the Billboard pop charts.  "I Love Your Smile" was the only big hit of Shanice's career.  It featured Branford Marsalis on saxophone, who I always remember as the guy who was the head of Jay Leno's Tonight Show band around the time I was in high school.

My favorite thing about this video is how perfectly 1991 it is; that outfit she's dancing in during the chorus at the 1:00 minute mark is straight from the wardrobe of either AC Slater or the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  Shanice also has a bit of an En Vogue thing going on in that all black ensemble (I highly recommend clicking the link, it's a post that hits on a lot of the key components of

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The San Diego Chargers should be Super Bowl favorites. Really.

Back in August I wrote a blog entitled "The San Diego Chargers are going to win the Super Bowl?"  The premise was simple: In each of the last four seasons, the team that the Philadelphia Eagles have played in their home opener has gone on to win it all (the Saints in '09, Packers in '10, Giants in '11, and Ravens last year.  Speaking of the Ravens, how's their playoff bandwagon feeling today?).

The Eagles first home opponent this season was San Diego.  And now that the 9-7 Chargers have just barely managed to squeak into the postseason as the 6th seed in the AFC, their title chances are better than ever.  The NFL's last three champions all finished the regular season with a record of 10-6 or 9-7, had to play on Wild Card weekend, and each won multiple road playoff games in order to get to the Super Bowl.  San Diego (and maybe the Dallas/Philly winner tonight) is the only team in this year's postseason that might fit that profile.

And for the record, two weeks ago when the Chargers were 7-7 I sent this email after somebody asked me to pick a Super Bowl winner and final score:

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