Saturday, January 18, 2014

Is "Captain" Rajon Rondo now less likely to be traded? Probably not.

Before anyone starts freaking out, let me be clear: I do not think the Celtics are going to trade Rajon Rondo, nor do I want them to.  But I'll get back to that later.

While making his return to action on Friday night, the TD Garden crowd, his fellow teammates, and even Rondo himself were surprised to hear him called "the captain" during the starting lineup announcements.  I love this move by the C's; both giving him the title, and the manner in which they revealed it.  And I definitely believe it's an encouraging sign that they're convinced he can be the leader of this club going forward.

But not for one second do I think it eliminates the possibility of Danny Ainge trading him.  If another team makes an offer for Rondo that Ainge believes is in the long term best interests of the franchise, he's still going to take it.  It's not as if Ainge will think to himself "hmm, I really like this deal for Rondo that's on the table... but we just made him captain, so I guess I'll pass."

If anything, this new title probably increases Rondo's trade value.  The knock on him is that he's been difficult to deal with in the past, but being named captain shows that Boston has faith in him and confidence in his character.  It inflates his perceived worth to the Celtics, and in turn to other teams as well.  My guess is that nobody is going to offer Boston enough for Rondo as they feel they should get in return, so he's probably staying put.  But being the captain won't be what keeps him here, and it's certainly not going to put an end to the never ending trade rumors.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Rajon Rondo return day! A look at some of his best work:

In honor of #9's return to action vs the Lakers at the Garden this evening, here's a video countdown of his greatest plays:

And a Rondo-centric compilation of blog post highlight links:

5/8/11 - Rajon Rondo is not a normal human being (Dwyane Wade bent his elbow the wrong way, but he came back in the game and helped the Celtics win)

10/15/11 - Rondo! (In an exhibition game during the lockout he threw a completely insane no-look backwards over-the-head one-handed alley-oop)

2/13/12 - Rajon Rondo did a lot of things in 21 seconds

3/5/12 - Man, Celtics-Knicks games are NUTS! (Rondo had the NBA's greatest triple-double in 44 years)

Some pretty good company... (he's since passed Russell with 3)
4/12/12 - I have unlimited faith in the Celtics right now (Rondo set a historic mark for triple-doubles)

5/7/12 - I don't understand how Rajon Rondo does the things he does (he threw a pass that looks impossible on instant replay)

5/27/12 - Rajon Rondo can do anything he wants* (when he needs to)

5/31/12 - Ugh. At least baseball season is looking up (the Celtics lost despite one of the greatest playoff performances in NBA history by Rondo)

6/2/12 - It's funny that the Heat think acting like princesses is the way to go (Part A) and 6/4/12 - Part B

12/8/12 - Why can't there be assists on made free throws?

11/12/12 - Ok, I'm a little insane about this double digit assist streak (he would eventually tie Stockton for 2nd all-time, ending due to the Brooklyn brawl game with Kris Humphries)

12/8/12 - Rajon Rondo is back to his old triple double antics

1/26/13 - Rondo's triple double dominance, and Boston's reaction to Ray's return (it was the night he tore his ACL, but we wouldn't know it until midway through the Heat game two days later)

3/4/13 - My all-time #1 Celtics highlight that I've ever witnessed in person

If you're not thoroughly pumped by now, watch this:

Finally, I can't not mention that Rondo has posted triple-doubles in each of the last two games he's played.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What's the point of a video Coke machine?

I was in a shopping mall recently when I saw one of these for the first time.  Now the touchscreen for choosing your soda is something I totally understand;  touchscreens are cool and fun and just an inevitable part of where the future is headed.

But what I don't get is the video portion of it.  Is anybody going to be convinced to buy a Coke by the TV screen?  If you're there and standing in front of it, you've probably already made your decision.

This reminds me of the little TV's at gas pumps, but how long does it take to buy a soft drink?  It doesn't really strike me as an activity where it's nice to have some entertainment in order to pass the time.  If anything I think the video player is counter productive.  The machine shouldn't want people dawdling there watching it, it should be designed to get them to move away as fast as possible so it can move on to the next customer.

Anyway, this clearly isn't as awesome as the Coca-Cola "Freestyle" Machine.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Celtics Tankometer update & a 37 second Jordan Crawford trade analysis

Late last night (or early this morning) I wrote a post for CelticsLife about a rumor that Jordan Crawford was close to being traded.  Today it happened.  Crawford and MarShon Brooks are headed to Golden State, with the Celtics getting Joel Anthony from Miami along with the Heat's 2nd round draft choice, as well as Philly's 1st round pick this year or next, unless the Sixers are in the lottery both years in which case it becomes two more 2nd rounders.

Going with Boston's trade philosophy that I've discussed previously, this deal is not about the player (Anthony) they're getting, but rather the potential future assets (the picks).  In doing so the Celtics dumped two guys who don't factor into their long term plans, so they're not giving up anything they care about.  I'm still not wild about it though, because they have to pay Anthony $3.8 million next season.  Unlike the Courtney Lee trade, this one hurts Boston's future salary cap situation.  Second round draft picks also very rarely amount to much in the NBA.

I wish they'd dealt Crawford a month ago when his value peaked, and they might have been able to get a little more in return.  If the Sixers make the playoffs (highly unlikely this year, but maybe next year) and the Celtics get a 1st round selection out of it, this move will look good.  For now I'll give it a push while waiting to see what else Danny Ainge does.

Since I first introduced the Tankometer (read this link to see how it works) a week ago Boston has gone 0-4, extended their losing streak to 9 games, moved into a tie for the 3rd worst record in the league, and made a rebuilding trade that makes them worse in the short term; yet somehow the meter has risen from 47% to 49%.  How did this happen?  Well, a likely reason for Crawford being shipped out of town today is the fact that his job is about to be reclaimed by a certain All-Star point guard.  The Celtics adding Rajon Rondo back into their lineup gives the Tankometer a huge boost.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Twitter roundup: #LeBroning, Tommy Heinsohn goes crazy, Julian Edelman > Wes Welker, & Rondo's return

Here's what's been going on lately:

In maybe my favorite use ever of technology/social media, high school kids are filming themselves "flopping" while walking down the hallway, posting it on Vine, and calling it "#LeBroning."   I highly recommend clicking on the buzzfeed link in this tweet:

During last night's Celtics television broadcast, Boston announcer Tommy Heinsohn went a little bit nuts, even for him:

Here's my post on Tommy's antics for Celtics Life (which includes a great clip of Larry Bird and Michael Jordan playing horse in a McDonald's commercial):

With the Patriots and Broncos getting ready to play for the AFC title, it seemed like a good time to write a Yahoo Sports article about whether or not New England misses Wes Welker:

And finally, last night Rajon Rondo tweeted out the number of seconds between when he had surgery to repair his ACL, and when he intends to return to action for the Celtics:

If you don't mind, please take the time to vote in the poll below:

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Good For Me" by Amy Grant: Awesome Old Song of the Week

From her 1991 album Heart in Motion (which I'm not ashamed to admit was often in my walkman during the bus ride to school back then), Amy Grant's "Good for Me" reached #8 on the Billboard pop charts in 1992.

As a freshman I remember once playing it during my show while DJing for my high school radio station.  A friend of mine told me that I needed to air more rock music if I wanted to attract listeners (which probably could have meant the difference between 2 and 3 on a good day), and I responded by suggesting "Good for Me" was kind of rock-like because of the electric guitar solo at the 2:45 mark.  And while I vividly recall saying that, I'm honestly not sure if I was being sarcastic or serious.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Is anybody else confused as to how these Patriots are so freaking good?

I've said this before, but it's worth repeating.  Last year the Patriots top offensive weapons were Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Wes Welker.  Their defense was anchored by Vince Wilfork and Jerrod Mayo.  New England finished the regular season with a 12-4 record (below average for the Brady/Belichick era), earned a #2 seed in the playoffs, and advanced to the AFC championship game.  This year they've done all that again (now 8 conference title games since 2001), but without any of those guys (I realize Gronk, Wilfork, and Mayo played some, but the Pats haven't missed a beat since they've been gone).

How is this happening?  Normally an NFL team would crumble under such circumstances (take a look at the 2-14 Houston Texans: 12-4 a year ago, expected to be a contender again this season, started 2-0, suffered a few big injuries, and then lost 14 straight games).  The easy answer would be Tom Brady, except that Brady's numbers haven't been very impressive lately.  Over the past three contests (all New England victories) he's just 41-75 (54.7%) for 992 yards (164 average), with only two touchdown passes.

However, in that same three-game span LeGarrette Blount (a guy they got off the scrap heap from Tampa Bay and basically a non-factor all season) has morphed into Barry Sanders 2.0, racking up 431 rushing yards (143.7 per game) and 8 touchdowns (plus his two kick returns vs Buffalo for a combined 145 yards).

On Saturday against the Colts Jamie Collins had the best tackle of the game (while lying on his back), the best sack of the game (in which he shot right through the line and demolished Andrew Luck), and an interception that iced the game.  I'd never even heard of Jamie Collins until that night.  Somehow these Patriots continue to be great even when all reasonable logic says they shouldn't be.

Just after the victory over Indianapolis I sent out this tweet:

Later I discovered that was in fact true, but on one other occasion Brady's Pats had managed to score at least 42 points without a passing touchdown: September 30th, 2001, the very first start of his NFL career.  Oddly enough, also against the Colts.

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