Saturday, October 25, 2014

NBA takes my advice (or just follows other sports' lead), creates "replay center" in Secaucus, NJ

About 18 months ago I came up with a brilliant idea to improve instant replays in pro sports: A central office equipped with the best available technology to rule on every replay league-wide, rather than a guy on the field/court/ice running over to the sidelines to view a tiny monitor.

Shortly after my epiphany I became aware that the NHL had thought of it also, and was already using a replay center in Toronto.  MLB then implemented the plan this past season, and the NFL has done it this year as well (both in New York).  Now the NBA is on board too:

Two things about the NBA's effort are somewhat disappointing though: One, the officials on the court will still actually make the decisions, they'll just have better footage to view now.  Why not let somebody at the replay center make the call?  And two, Secaucus, New Jersey?

Friday, October 24, 2014

So long Steve Nash, arguably one of the 12 greatest players in NBA history

Last night the Lakers announced that Steve Nash is our for the season with nerve damage in his back.  The general assumption is that the 40-year old Nash will retire.  Here are the two things that stand out most to me about Nash:

One, I vividly remember watching his first game on a national stage when he was a freshman at Santa Clara in 1993.  Nash's Broncos upset No. 2 seed Arizona (featuring the Khalid Reeves and Damon Stoudamire backcourt) in the first round of the NCAA tourney, becoming just the second No. 15 seed to ever win a game (my Richmond Spiders were the first, defeating Syracuse in 1991).

For some reason the commentator's line "Nash has got ice water in his veins" has always stuck in my head.  But what only now came to my attention is who the play-by-play guy was for that game:

And two, Nash, a 6'3" Canadian, is a two-time NBA MVP.  Kobe, Shaq, Olajuwon, Barkley, Dr. J, Oscar Robertson and a whole lot of other guys never won two MVP awards.  In fact, only 12 players ever have: LeBron, Nash, Duncan, Karl Malone, Jordan, Magic, Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem, Wilt, Russell and Bob Pettit.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celtics abundant 3-point shooting, Kings interest in Rondo, Bill Simmons doesn't know "Good Will Hunting"

A few things I've been working on lately:

Hoops Habit: There have been rumors recently of the Sacramento Kings as a possible trade destination for Rajon Rondo.  I don't think they'll actually make an offer good enough for Danny Ainge to be interested in.

And since my assignments vary and I end up covering lots of different teams, here are some thoughts on the Knicks--I expect New York will be marginally better than last year (but still bad), and I'd like to see them start Tim Hardaway Jr. at shooting guard.

Bleacher Report: The Celtics shot an absurd number of three-pointers this preseason.  Will it continue?  And the crazy part is that the starting power forward and center, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk (which is which doesn't matter), have been two of Boston's best long-range bombers.

Celtics Life: Even though he hasn't made too many of them, rookie Marcus Smart is actually leading the NBA in three-point attempts.  I also got really annoyed that Bill Simmons screwed up the "Good Will Hunting" analogy in his Grantland Celtics preview (pictured).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How can Jake Peavy really be the Giants' second best pitcher?

Jake Peavy went 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 20 starts with the Red Sox this year.  Even though he often struggled with run support, those numbers are bad no matter how you look at them.

Tonight Peavy will start Game 2 of the World Series for San Francisco.  And it's not as if that's just where the rotation happened to fall; the Giants had five days off to set their staff exactly how they wanted to.  Peavy is the No. 2 guy for a World Series team, and given what we saw from him in Boston this year that is almost impossible to believe.

However, his performance in San Fran does justify his position: In 12 starts Peavy went 6-4 with a 3.03 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.  Obviously switching to the no-DH National League is always good for pitchers, but a run-and-a-half drop in ERA and a 27% decrease in WHIP is just ridiculous.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 is giving away Celtics tickets for Wednesday night (tomorrow)

The Celtics take the floor for their final preseason contest tomorrow (Wednesday) night against the Brooklyn Nets, and I'm giving away a pair of tickets.

It's real simple to enter: Just retweet the tweet below for a chance to win, and make sure that you're also following me as well.  I'll pick a winner at random by noon tomorrow, then send him/her a direct message.  From their I'll email the tickets right over.

I realize nobody cares about preseason games, but hey, it's free!  Also they've made a lot of cool changes to the TD Garden that are worth seeing.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The numbers behind Tom Brady's resurgence

Here are Tom Brady's average passing stats over the Patriots' first four games this season (they went 2-2):

20-34, 198 yards, 1 touchdown, 0.5 interceptions

And during New England's last three (3-0):

23-36, 305 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

The number of attempts is fairly similar, but the production is way up.  And just a random side note, somehow the Pats were able to beat the Jets this week despite being more than doubled in time of possession:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Awesome Old Song of the Week: From Cypress Hill's "Black Sunday" album

Far and away the biggest hit on Cypress Hill's 1993 release Black Sunday was "Insane in the Brain."  That was the reason I bought the CD, but I quickly became a big fan of the whole thing.  And even though I had no interest in its subject matter, one track from the album did stick out as my favorite, due completely to its cool background beat (there's no video for this song, as MTV and VH1 obviously would never have played it):

The music in "Hits from the Bong" is taken directly from Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man," but I didn't know that until Pulp Fiction came out a year later.

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