Saturday, February 7, 2015

What if only teams with winning records made the NBA playoffs?

The Celtics are 19-31, yet somehow they are still just two games out of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.  Meanwhile over in the West, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the OKC Thunder are three games back of the No. 8 spot despite being and even .500 (25-25).

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said this week that he's open to the idea of changing the postseason format so that the best 16 teams in the league get in, regardless of conference.  I have another idea:

Only teams with winning records make the playoffs--and there is no set number for how many can qualify.  I realize this will never happen, but imagine how fun it'd be.  The East might get just six playoff teams this year, while the West could end up with 10.  In that case the top two seeds in the East would have byes in Round 1, as would the top four in the West.  No club would be eliminated from the postseason until it lost its 41st game.

I guess a No. 1 seed tanking a game late in the year to the No. 9 seed in order to earn a bye might be an issue, as could one conference having to play an entire extra round.  But so what, the end of the regular season would be nuts!

There's probably several other major flaws as well with this idea for the NBA, but I definitely think a similar plan could work for MLB.

Friday, February 6, 2015's Mt. Rushmore tool is a good way to lose a few hours...

I cut myself off at about 20 minutes.  It would be a lot more fun if they expanded the database of available players, but here are a few I put together working with what's available:

I think this is my real one:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Miami Heat duplicate a play I remember from 5th grade

This is a true story that actually happened to me, not a Good Will Hunting "It's an effing joke, it works better if I tell it in the first person" type of thing.

I remember a play in my 5th grade basketball league where my team's point guard retrieved the ball after our opponents had just scored.  He handed it to me to inbound back to him.

But, what neither of us thought about was that in the process he was inbounding it to me, so when I stepped out of bounds to pass it to him the ref blew the whistle for a turnover.  The entire exchange looked very much like this:

Luckily for us, it was just a meaningless 5th grade rec league game, not the final minute of an NBA contest that the Miami Heat ended up losing by one point (pictured above).

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

PARADE! (version 9.0)

The hero, Malcolm Butler.

Edelman was snubbed for Super Bowl MVP, he won parade MVP for sure. 

I don't know who this little girl is, but she knows who's No. 1.

Notice the four fingers in the air.

Pay attention to the logos on the side of the float in the video:

Four teams. 13 years. Nine parades.

Previous LucidSportsFan blogs with the same title:
November 2, 2013
June 18, 2011

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The game-saving Super Bowl play we've already forgotten about

The Seahawks had scored the last 17 points.  New England had only managed two 1st downs in the second half.  The clocking was ticking away.  With under 12 minutes to go in the game the Patriots got the ball trailing by 10 in must-score mode.

Tom Brady was sacked for an eight-yard loss on the first play of the drive.  One play later the Pats faced a 3rd and 14 from their own 28 yard line with 10:58 remaining.  It was the bleakest moment of the night (if you believe "win expectancy numbers this was the low-point of the game, just 3.5%).

But then Brady stepped up in the pocket and threw this dart to Julian Edelman, who somehow hung on to the ball despite likely receiving mild concussion.

New England suddenly became unstoppable for the next 10 minutes and scored two consecutive touchdowns sandwiched around a three-and-out for the defense.  The 3rd and 14 play made it all happen (jump to the 11:24 mark of this video):

Monday, February 2, 2015

Did Bill Belichick's clock decision cause Seattle's botched play call?

After Tom Brady went all "greatest living American" Tom Brady to lead the Patriots to consecutive touchdown drives in the fourth quarter (13-for-15, 2 TDs, 8-for-8 on the final drive), I was screaming at the television in the game's final minute when Bill Belichick wasn't going to give Brady one last chance to perform his magic.

Malcolm Butler's interception.
The Seahawks had a 2nd and goal at the one yard line with a minute remaining.  They were going to run the ball into the end zone on the next play.  New England had two time outs left.  About to fall behind 31-28, the Patriots needed to stop the clock to give Brady an opportunity for one more miraculous comeback.

But they didn't.

I watched in horror as 35 precious seconds ticked away.  Seattle snapped the ball with only 26 seconds to go.  Now this is only speculation on my part, but I'm willing to bet Pete Carroll changed his game plan when it became clear Belichick wasn't going to use the timeouts.

And because of that, all of these amazing and wonderful things happened:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Awesome Old (and New) Dunks of the Week: Grant Hill 1991 vs. Montrezl Harrell 2015

Louisville's Montrezl Harrell threw down this absurd alley-oop dunk on Saturday:

As soon as I saw the above picture I immediately thought of Grant Hill's dunk from the 1991 NCAA title game vs Kansas:

I'm not sure exactly why Hill's jam stands out in my memory so much (I've even written about it before), especially considering my long-time dislike for Duke.  I think maybe it was featured in slow motion in a Sports Illustrated commercial that I must have seen over and over again in the early 90s.

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