Recent Comments by avogadro

Garnett expected to miss entire playoffs

Beating the Cavs will not be nearly as satisfying.

Counting those egg-bounded chickens already, eh? Typical Lakers-sycophant.

posted by avogadro at 12:24 AM on April 17

Don Sanderson is dead.

Why don't we all agree that comments can only be made by folks who have played the sport being commented on. Sure, that would make those NASCAR and polo conversations a bit brief, but it's all for the good of Sportsfilter, eh?

posted by avogadro at 01:39 PM on January 03

The Knicks Shed Some Cap

Well, after that beating tonight, the Knicks sure didn't make themselves more attractive. Keep in mind too that Cleveland could also have enough cap space in 2010 to sign their own top free agent to run alongside LeBron.

posted by avogadro at 11:23 PM on November 25

Navy Beats Notre Dame In Triple Overtime

You can not, in all fairness, expect him to do the ultimate with Willingham's recruits. I think that this is a poor argument. Weiss had more of his recruits and fewer of Willingham's this year than in his two previous years; you can look that up (or use simple logic). Considering the ten year contract that Weis received, it would be extremely costly to fire him. For that reason alone, I don't think that Notre Dame should become rid of him. Then again, I thought that it was an enormous mistake to fire Willingham. Race aside, Notre Dame had a remarkable opportunity to learn the lesson that Nebraska, Miami, and Florida are learning from Connecticut, Boise State, and Hawaii: the era of the perennial football powerhouse is over. Instead, what ND should have been doing was focus on being respectable on the gridiron and exemplary in the classroom. *sigh*

posted by avogadro at 08:30 AM on November 04

Bombed: New York Yankees Make Another Early Exit from Playoffs

Perhaps some credit ought to be directed towards the Indians. It's understandable why the national media is all "Yankees Yankees Yankees", but the Tribe is a young team that is just getting better.

posted by avogadro at 06:06 AM on October 09

"Do you think clubs need to do more in terms of building a more diverse management mix, in terms of race and gender?"

Indeed I do, but I wasn't going to call out some of our esteemed posters intentionally. *grin*

posted by avogadro at 04:11 PM on September 26

"Do you think clubs need to do more in terms of building a more diverse management mix, in terms of race and gender?"

Both GMs in the article are aware of the situation. You hire those who are recommended by people you know and trust. It's called the "good old boy" network, and while it keeps people comfortable with their hiring practices, it also produces a lot of inbreeding (and not merely with sheep). That was what interested me about the article, especially since this is something that happens at most white-collar (gah, no pun intended) and many blue collar jobs. Nothing wrong with hiring who you know or somebody known by someone else you trust, except that it means you aren't necessarily hiring the best possible person, but rather, hiring the best connected person who meets the qualifications. And, it's why I think that intentionally expanding networks that are diverse would be a better strategy than quotas. (By the bye, I certainly didn't mean to start a teapot tempest with the post. In fact, I thought that the executives provided some really thoughtful insight into hiring practices.)

posted by avogadro at 03:07 PM on September 26

The top 10 worst sports team names

They aren't "Ham Fighters". They are the "Nippon-Ham" Fighters.

posted by avogadro at 09:09 PM on September 13

LeBron James is on another level now

This championship series is going to be very, very interesting. Cleveland has definitely modeled itself after S.A. given that both Ferry as the G.M. and Brown as the coach were both brought up in the Spurs system that stresses team defense as the primary goal. I didn't think that the Cavaliers could make it to the Finals this quickly because it usually takes such a long time to teach good defense (with weak-side help, quick double teams, and clogging the passing lanes). And, as much as "chemistry" is a term that lazy sportswriters overuse, there is something to be said about having defenders trust one another enough to not try for ill-conceived blocks or steals and instead just play smart, hard-nosed defense with the moving of the feet and the getting into position and the hey-hey glavin. And, it helps for a team to have unselfish leadership on the court that can play team ball. The Spurs have that in Duncan, and the Cavs do in LeBron. As much as I want my adopted city to get it's first championship since another LBJ was in the White House, I know my first sports love too well to think that the Cavs are really ready for what the Spurs will bring to them. IF Ilgauskas can dominate in the paint and IF Hughes is healthy enough to play tough D and IF Marshall can drop threes at opportune times and IF "Boobie" Gibson can maintain a hot hand then MAYBE Cleveland can win this series. Regardless, this is going to be an entertaining series. I think we're going to see a lot of great defense leading to transition baskets from Ginobili, Parker, or LeBron. We'll see four crisp passes before wide-open shots, hard fouls in the paint, some very creative flopping, and a Spurs win in six. And, we'll see a Cavs team and the nascent Best Player Ever learn how to play championship basketball so that they can win multiple championships over the next decade. As a San Antonian in Cleveland, I could not be happier.

posted by avogadro at 12:03 AM on June 03

Yankees donate $1,000,000 to Virginia Tech

I think folks are making a bigger deal about a throwaway line than need be, and utterly missed the point of the article (though truth be told, the article was fairly light and was easily summarized by the six words you used in the link).

posted by avogadro at 10:41 PM on May 24

Yankees donate $1,000,000 to Virginia Tech

So, was I the only person who bothered reading the article? Lighten up, Francises.

posted by avogadro at 10:24 PM on May 24

Damn, Leroy.

Basil Fawlty unofficially was the Torquay manager for about five minutes, but that was only because the owner's contract was ruined by a clumsy Manuel (he's from Barcelona).

posted by avogadro at 07:43 AM on May 21

From 0 to 99 and everything in between.

Yeah, I'm biased, but to not even mention Travis Hafner at #48 is a crime against humanity.

posted by avogadro at 06:24 PM on May 11

Being a Mets fan is a pain in the back

Stop lawyering, yay-yo, and step away from the keyboard. You are making no friends in this thread (or other threads in which you've commented today) and I highly doubt that anybody will support you based on your not-very-nuanced interpretations. However, should you continue your unpleasantness, you ought not be surprised to find yourself booted.

posted by avogadro at 10:58 PM on May 09

'Dear Mr. Dork ...'

Two points: 1. shouldn't he have signed it "your favourite centre fielder", as he does play in Canada? 2. possibly the best centre fielder in the game. No offense to superstar and all-around class act V. Wells, but he wasn't even the best centerfielder in the stadium.

posted by avogadro at 07:47 PM on May 09

Cleveland vs Anaheim...in Milwaukee

Even though Wendy Selig-Preib no longer owns the Brewers, and even though Miller Park is the closest domed stadium to Cleveland, I still find it just a bit fishy that Milwaukee just happens to be the site of this "home game". Don't mind me; I'm just bitter about the Tribe losing three home games. While he's at it, perhaps Bud can just declare four ties in lieu of actually playing the Seattle series.

posted by avogadro at 10:19 PM on April 09

Hargrove Robs Pitcher of Five-Inning Snow Hitter

And now, today's double header has been postponed, and instead the teams will try for Sunday and Monday doubleheaders. Let's play two, twice!

posted by avogadro at 10:09 AM on April 07

Hargrove Robs Pitcher of Five-Inning Snow Hitter

Watching this as a Tribe fan was utterly frustrating (though less so than being there in person). Truth be told, the snow was rather terrific throughout the afternoon- that picture doesn't lie. However, Grover was more than aware that he was potentially negating the game, and the visit to the umpire with two strikes was his first the entire game. The snow had indeed picked up significantly during the last three at bats, and it is still falling significantly here just across the river from Jacobs Field. Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus, however, is spot on when it comes to Cleveland's rather draconian weather cancellation policy. I've sat through several rain delays at the Jake that each exceeded at least an hour. Rarely does the team push for the game to be called, despite what can oftentimes be a wet, miserable experience (though it is helpful to be able to watch three other games on the scoreboard at once).

posted by avogadro at 10:39 PM on April 06

ACC admits to 'timing error' in final seconds in Duke win over Clemson.

More to the point, I don't know a single example of a fan who doesn't think that his/her team gets unfair treatment from the refs for whatever reason (or conversely, that "hated rival" gets the benefit of the ref looking the other way. Likewise, teams that get lots of attention (Duke Basketball, Manchester United, Yankees, ND Football, All Blacks) get to field these accusations of favortism on a vastly larger scale. I'd argue, whitedog, that your getting called out because your using pseudo-stats to support what may be your own bias (right or wrong). Just admit that you're biased and that this is fueling your disproportionate outrage. Sports talk is filled with this whingy crap; Sportsfilter need not.

posted by avogadro at 01:43 PM on January 28

ACC admits to 'timing error' in final seconds in Duke win over Clemson.

A guy called avogadro waits five years to comment and when he does, it's about a number. I think I just had a moment. It's actually been four weeks, but I'm pleased to give you that moment of cognitive dissonance resonance. :)

posted by avogadro at 01:35 PM on January 28

ACC admits to 'timing error' in final seconds in Duke win over Clemson.

Chicobangs, actually I said "about 80%", which means approximately or in the vicinity of, which indicates that it is not a hard fact from a study. ? Where does one get 80%?

posted by avogadro at 10:29 AM on January 28

Notre Dame makes history

dyams, I'm not at all "blinded" by my own affiliation. If you paid any attention to what I said in this thread and in the past, you would see that I am in favor of a playoff system and for the abolishment of the BCS system as we know it. Also, you would understand why any college in ND's position would be absolutely negligent if they passed up opportunities to bring additional funding to their athletics programs. I doubt that if Penn State were in ND's position that you would support passing up on the lucrative contracts. My frustration with you is that all of your arguments are either based in fictions (Notre Dame plays such an easy schedule compared to other teams) or are contradictory to your own assertions, namely that teams like Boise State should have a greater chance to play in prestigious bowl games than Notre Dame and... uh... Notre Dame. If the BCS partners followed your recommendations, namely that teams that have recently lost numerous bowl games, play inferior schedules, and have a record of losing to top-ranked teams , then we would end up with... the exact same system we had before mid-major conferences could compete in BCS bowls.

posted by avogadro at 07:02 AM on January 09

Notre Dame makes history

Argue with smart man, can't win. Argue with stupid man, can't stop. I leave it to the reader to decide which one dyams is.

posted by avogadro at 09:48 PM on January 07

Notre Dame makes history

Notre Dame, at the very least, should be mandated to join a conference. It shouldn't be their choice. *stares* Anyways, there is no fiscal reason for Notre Dame to drop its independent status. Notre Dame is one of the very few schools where football revenues are a net positive contributor to the general fund. Most Div 1-A schools lose money on football (with the false assumption that increased alumni giving will make football programs pay for themselves.) Because ND makes money through the football team, she's able to field a full complement of varsity sports, despite having fewer than 10,000 undergraduates. I was there when the NBC contract was signed, and one could immediately see "Olympic sport" facility improvements that came about because of the influx of cash. That contract is probably the biggest reason that the men's and women's soccer and basketball programs increased their competitiveness, the hockey program went from a club sport to the CCHA, interhall sports became more robust, etc. An independent ND football team is good for ND athletics overall. This doesn't negate the fact that the current BCS system is irredeemably broken, but it does explain why ND has no reason to lobby for the system to be changed. And, as long as the other BCS conferences remain satisfied with the status quo (as evidenced by the profound silence from the Big Ten, Southeast Conference, etc.), nothing is going to change.

posted by avogadro at 10:57 PM on January 05

Notre Dame makes history

If anyone in this thread seriously doesn't know why ND has lost 9 straight bowl games and finds themselves in bowl games they don't belong in, here's an answer: $. If that's too subtle: $$$. It has 0 to do with the media's love. This, in spades. (Notre Dame fans) + (Notre Dame haters) >> (People who will watch any other team) Which is why ND has been invited to all of these bowls where they are typically underdogs. However, if you were ND, would you honestly say "No thanks, Sugar Bowl committee- we'd rather go to the Poulan Weed-Eater Bowl and play danjel's Alma Mater: Southwest South Dakota State Beautician's Academy." (I'm terribly sorry, but I couldn't help myself. Sarcasm is balm to my domer wounds.)

posted by avogadro at 10:09 PM on January 04

Goat's Head Soup

Ooh a goat's head. I'll put that under the Christmas tree for the missus. You know, goat's head makes great barbacoa. Dry rub that puppy, put it in a smoker for several hours until the meat just falls off the skull, and serve it on a tortilla with some pico de gallo... deeeelicious. Maybe it was just a present from a Mexican fan.

posted by avogadro at 11:12 AM on January 01

Yao will miss at least 6 weeks

Notwithstanding an admittedly lousy post (c'mon, a one-linker to yahoo?) this is a terrible setback for a player who is easily playing his best ball ever and who's added aggression and seven points per game. Houston was looking like a very, very dangerous low-seed, but could end up missing the playoffs.

posted by avogadro at 10:35 AM on December 24

Florida Will Face Ohio State in BCS Championship Game

I thought this thread was supposed to be about Florida getting in the championship game and not Michigan, yet a third of the comments are about blaming Notre Dame for the BCS. :/ The BCS (and the bowl system that supports it) is all about money, true. And, like it or not, people want to watch Notre Dame- I would wager that all of you that have spent time griping about ND would like nothing better than to watch them lose, no? (Nevermind the fact that if your college could swing it's own television deal, you would have no problems with it.) But, you also have to blame the six automatic-bowl conferences (and the seventy-odd schools that they represent) for being money-grubbers as well. Granted, it's a lot easier to make accusations of a papist conspiracy, but there are a lot of other universities that are culpable. If you are really serious about this, write to your alma maters and let them know that you can't support this charade. By the bye, I don't know a single ND alumnus (self included) that wouldn't rather see a playoff system. I'd like see a Michigan/Ohio State rematch, but I would much, much rather see a playoff with Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, and Boise State (remember them?).

posted by avogadro at 09:50 PM on December 03

UT tells woman she cheers too much

Must have been a stupid Sacramento Kings fan. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! </sarcasm>

posted by avogadro at 11:14 AM on October 14

Chico's Bail Bonds is still ineligible apparently

I would think that, given the ubiquity of advertising on soccer/football jerseys/kits, it would actually enhance MLS's credibility to have advertisements, as long as they can maintain some basic standards.

posted by avogadro at 06:51 PM on September 29

Barring an improbable scenario of mass crashes,

By the bye, lovely use of irony, NoMich.

posted by avogadro at 09:24 PM on July 20

Barring an improbable scenario of mass crashes,

In other news, Dewey Beats Truman.

posted by avogadro at 08:07 PM on July 20

A cathedral of baseball dies

Certainly not every stadium should be enclosed; I've seen games at Three Rivers, which were utterly surreal experiences. But it felt different at Tiger Stadium. Back when it was impossible to see the Tribe at home, a friend of mine was able to get Tigers Den tickets (the blue-backed, English "D" emblazoned seats right behind home plate). I had seen home runs behind the plate in other stadiums, but the two hit to deep left by Belle in that stadium seemed deeper because you could track the ball against the background of the double-decker stands, and try to guess if it would drop into the lower or upper decks, or hit the roof. I think a lot of it depends on how the decks are stacked (sorry).

posted by avogadro at 01:21 PM on July 10

A cathedral of baseball dies

She's a beaut of a stadium. Tiger Stadium simply has a character that even Fenway and Wrigley lack: namely the feeling that you were in one of the high sanctuaries of baseball completely cloistered from the rest of the world. Balls looked like they flew deeper and faster there than anyplace else just because of how the stands enclosed the field, and you were undistracted from the gimmicks of goofy activities or even skylines. It was you, the sky, this field, those players, and 50,000 other acolytes all focused on the same thing. She didn't deserve being replaced by Comerica (which I still cannot bring myself to visit) and this fate is a goddamn shame.

posted by avogadro at 12:59 PM on July 10

The Gambler goes all in.

How would you hold up being under a microscope of media scrutiny all those years? I wouldn't, but I don't get paid to be a public figure. It isn't as if Kenny Rogers plays baseball for fun and no other recompense. He gets paid fabulously well thanks to things such as ticket sales, endorsements, and, most importantly, the television/radio/internet revenues that come from advertisements. As long as he draws a paycheck for playing ball in front of millions of people, he answers to those people (which he hasn't been doing anyways, due to his prior media silence. Least he could do is allow a camera trained on him while he is on the field [a public space] to catch his glowering personality as he warms up). So, simply put, without the media and without the public, Kenny Rogers makes bupkis. If he wants to get paid, he should let other folks do their jobs.

posted by avogadro at 06:15 PM on June 30

Hello, Larry

'Sheed has beautiful baseline moves, and I was terribly impressed with Ben's offensive game. I wish the Pistons would get the ball into these guys more often, especially when their small game slumps.

posted by avogadro at 11:24 PM on June 23

Hello, Larry

There were a crazy number of touch-fouls called, which prolly kept the game from becoming a total slug-fest. But it was a splendid defense-oriented game. Good to see Duncan get the monkey off of his back, otherwise he would have had to live with some level of ignominy for the rest of his career. I think we may have to get accustomed to seeing one or both of these teams in the Finals for several years to come.

posted by avogadro at 11:17 PM on June 23

Vegetables as foreign substances.

"Mr Park said he was glad he helped to clarify a rule, but that he was planning to stop using cabbage anyway." "It looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue."

posted by avogadro at 09:17 PM on June 22

Desperation 1, Expiration 0.

You know, with "captards" on both teams, it's really hard for me (non-partisan) to cheer for EITHER team to win. This is how I feel after reading a thread on any other sports forum. It's a wonder that I give a damn about sports at all. Anyways, this is more or less shaping up as I thought that it would. I'm still calling the Spurs in a squeaker (with Manu making the last shot), but my respect for the Pistons has grown enormously this series (despite some of the whinging).

posted by avogadro at 08:47 PM on June 22

Robert Horry... Fraud?

Horry is a fine player, and I am beyond pleased that the Spurs picked him up and he is performing the way that he is. If I could, I would have his many pretty babies. But, even he admits that his career has been characterized by being in the right place at the right time. When he plays, he contributes, but he isn't the kind of player that you would center a team on. Expanding the Hall of Fame to include Horry cheapens the honor of going to Springfield. Ask Salley or Kerr if they belong in the Hall of Fame, and I doubt that they could honestly answer in the affirmative.

posted by avogadro at 11:54 PM on June 19

Robert Horry... Fraud?

this is a stupid thread! Well then, it has been perfectly complemented by your comment.

posted by avogadro at 01:07 AM on June 19

Pistons Slam Spurs, 102-71

Boring, hell. This is the kind of game I could get passionate about. This, twice over. This is much akin to a 12-round prize fight, where both boxers are taking turns beating the stuffing out of one another. It's easy to enjoy watching each team at the top of their game (though, admittedly, it's not quite as pleasant when the Pistons are at theirs). It's going to get closer in this, a three-game series. I just wish that both teams would stop with the bitching to the refs (Detroit in 1 & 2, S.A. in 3 & 4). They are swallowing their whistles, as they do every year 'bout this time.

posted by avogadro at 08:51 AM on June 18

Detroit Rebounds

I'm still holding to my original prediction: Pistons in 5. You go, rcade. Pistons were just pleasantly aggressive from the start and held on to their energy throughout, whereas the Spurs jumpers stopped falling late in the game. Good to see Detroit make the hard effort.

posted by avogadro at 11:27 PM on June 15

Episode II: Return of the Zen Master

What if Jackson was returning to coach because he enoys coaching? I don't like him very much, but I think that this could very well be the case. However, the timing of this ("It's the Finals? Who cares, lookatme, lookatme, LOOOOK AAAAT MEEEEE!") seems to lead one to think otherwise. The NBA is better with him in it. At the very least, he is an improvement over Frank Hamblen.

posted by avogadro at 08:52 PM on June 14

Ginobili Metio 27 Puntos y Los Spurs Aplastaron a Los Pistons

Dammit, Pistons, you're making me look bad. Clearly the Spurs learned something from Game 1, inasmuch as their passes and shot selections were significantly quicker than before. Having not watched that much Deeeeeeetroit Baaaaasketballllll, I'm not sure if they can increase their pace as well. So please, Detroit, play competitively for at least two games so that we Spurs fans don't have to hear another "yeah, they won the championship, but..." from the sour-grapes brigade. I'll even let you torch my Toyota. ;-)

posted by avogadro at 10:52 PM on June 13

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Would you consider this an argument for or against 'special' schools? I think this is an experience that could only have come from a public school in a smaller community. Oh, and not to step on d's answer, but I would. Mainstreaming is certainly the direction that I'd like to see more services and schools head towards, including providing supports so that folks are able to not only receive education in regular schools (though with professionals with the proper training) but also, if they have the abilities, work out in the community with some assistance. Of course, this oftentimes requires more funds.

posted by avogadro at 12:44 AM on June 13

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Sorry to ramble here, I could talk about this for days It's all good, d. I've spent much of my life similarly, and can say unequivocally that folks like Ryan have a lot to give to our communities, not just in terms of stories such as these, but in the small ways that they bring life to our workplaces and neighborhoods. So y'all make sure you pass those levies supporting the developmentally disabled. </shameless plug> Thanks, rcade, for the story.

posted by avogadro at 12:39 AM on June 13

Pistons Step in Pile of Manu

Personally, I'm not so big on listening to the talking heads because for the most part, I don't think they know crap. I think that the problem is more that these are the last two teams that you can judge using position-by-position matchups. Individually, these two teams may look pretty mediocre compared to, say, Dallas or Phoenix or Miami. Put them together though...

posted by avogadro at 05:50 PM on June 11

Pistons Step in Pile of Manu

Detroit just got luck last year beating the Lakers. Oh, and I hope that this is the last time that I ever read this. What shite. [in preview] Sheed needs to man handle Duncan I think that he did, but it's not a strategy that generally works. Take a look at the inbounds play late in the third quarter, the one where they had to re-set the shot clock. Sheed had Duncan in a half-nelson, trying to keep Dunc from getting the pass. Duncan pulled away, caught the pass, and floated a fall-away from the baseline with Sheed face-guarding him. He does not get intimidated by physical play (only by himself).

posted by avogadro at 11:58 AM on June 11

Pistons Step in Pile of Manu

It just means he doesn't wash his hair. Think Steve Nash with an accent and four or five more inches of height. Look, just cause they don't hit the Head and Shoulders at the half doesn't mean they are greasy. It's just that The Black Man's Hair is better suited for dealing with the perspiration. That long straight hair, though, just gets wetter and floppier. Big Ben did a man's job out there- it's 'sheed who needs to take more shots, contrary to his own opinion.

posted by avogadro at 11:36 AM on June 11

Pistons Step in Pile of Manu

This seems destined to be a series of Class vs. Clash. Are you suggesting the Pistons are classless? Personally, I think this could flip either way; you could argue that both teams are class & clash. In any case, I thought that the two teams were going to make out before tip-off, so much was the love. There were certainly some missed charges out there, notably when Ben was guarding Manu at the arc (the one where Ben got hit with a technical for, rightly, being pissed off). Though (*looks knowingly at Hal, ;-)* ) you cannot tell me that Ben didn't flop there. Dusted's link is especially good, though. Read it for the rule on the "secondary defender" in the arc. This is what Manu and Parker are taking advantage of (and what I see the Pistons adapting to on both ends in Game 2); they are blowing by the first defender on the way to the basket, and the second and third defenders are too late to swing around to take the charge. Rip and Billups also have mad quickness, so you know that they are going to be driving next game. Game 1 they seemed to spend cutting arcs ouside of the paint, which plays into the shot-blocking of the Spurs. This is still going to seven. Somebody's going to get a broken schnozz (isn't there a Vegas line for this somewhere?), but the teams respect each other too much to let things get ugly.

posted by avogadro at 09:21 AM on June 11

Pistons Step in Pile of Manu

Ahh, that explains it. :) Those of us blessed with hops, dunk; those of us not...

posted by avogadro at 03:49 PM on June 10

Pistons Step in Pile of Manu

I yammered about this already, but I enjoyed watching this. Detroit's defense was insanely good early on, but then began to spread out too much once the Spurs jumpers started going in. I'm actually watching this a second time (home, sick) just to see Ginobili and Hamilton run through their respective offenses, and how they were defended. (I could geek-out on defense all day.)

posted by avogadro at 12:34 PM on June 10

Whos it gunna be?

For basketball scholars (or anybody who doesn't just look at the player with the ball), this should be a dream. 69 points. Need I say more? This is not a "game for the purists," it's just fucking ugly. No, it would be ugly if both teams were making bad, wide-upon shots. Were you watching the same game that I was? What I saw were two teams just scrapping on the defensive end. Early on, Detroit was closing off every single passing lane and making crazy-fast rotations to the ball, which required San Antonio to begin those kamikaze drives into the paint. San Antonio likewise guarded the perimeter and kept the clams on Billups and Hamilton, who were running mad circles through the low-post. Both frontcourts made crazy numbers of blocks. Now, maybe you would prefer the Suns-style "Ole" defense, or teams that live on the transition (speaking of which, transition defense for both sides were so good that they had to run faster and faster to contest). I counted five times where the Spurs dumped the ball into Duncan in the low post to run a two-man game, because the Detroit defense was challenging Duncan with weak-side double teams. This is what good defense on both sides does; it forces the opposing offense to get more creative. The Spurs were able to do this in the fourth quarter, and the Pistons were not. This is a series were a long-layoff between games is also a good thing, because you know that Brown is going to come back with a new offensive scheme, and you can't wait to see what it is and how the Spurs will try to counter, and vice versa. I take it that you don't watch soccer or hockey for the same reasons, though, dusted. That's okay, but don't just look at the score and yawn.

posted by avogadro at 10:37 AM on June 10

Whos it gunna be?

Hal, you don't happen to favor the Sonics, do you? :) I would think that after all the attention paid to Manu (really only during the Seattle series and Allen's whinging helpful commentary) that the refs would be more critical of his act (which, he admits, exists to make sure that a call is made), no? Also, if Duncan and Nesterovic were not injured late in the season/early in the playoffs, the Spurs might have cut through the West like a hot knife through butter. You compete with the players you have, and save the suppositions for fiction.

posted by avogadro at 11:02 PM on June 07

Whos it gunna be?

A finals between two teams that won through actual team play? A series where all ten players on the court might actually make a difference at any point in the game? Six-plus games where passing and strategy are the keys to victory instead of who throws down the sickest dunk? All of this, I agree with. For basketball scholars (or anybody who doesn't just look at the player with the ball), this should be a dream. Look for crisp rotations that will force the ballhandlers to make good decisions, smart defenders who will steal in the passing lanes, and anticipate the shooter with the hot touch that will get a wide-open three due to unselfish players that know it's better to get an assist (or an assist once-removed) than to commit an offensive foul. Prolly what you will also see will be two teams constantly changing offensive speeds in order to try to catch the other off guard. These teams are too smart to depend on grinding it out all game long. Spurs in seven, with Manu faking the drive for the tie and draining the three.

posted by avogadro at 08:04 PM on June 07

Behind the scenes with one of baseball's official scorers.

This was such a pleasant read, especially since I love to keep score (without the accompanying pressure). Thank you.

posted by avogadro at 06:22 PM on June 01

The Picture is getting Clearer

Who said that? *gestures at representative-sample defrag3x*

posted by avogadro at 11:56 AM on May 28

The Picture is getting Clearer

It's the brutes with no skill, speed, grace or timing that are ruining the game, along with the coaches that strangle the last drop of beauty with their predictable, plodding, walk-it-up playcalling. Defense isn't all about slowing down the game, but more about good positioning in the key and in the passing lanes, having a team approach to guarding the ballhandler, and never relenting, either in the halfcourt or in transition. And it can make for an exciting game; just look at the annual All-Star snooze for an example of how an offense-only game can be boring. As for everyone saying that the Spurs play a boring, all-defense, no-offense, dump-it-down-to-Duncan game, can we give that up already?

posted by avogadro at 07:11 AM on May 23

Mal Glazer 1 Man Utd 0

Ah, but it's a good day for Man City, few and far in between those days are.

posted by avogadro at 10:34 PM on May 12