Monday, June 14, 2010

An instant classic

To Tim's last post, I want this series over and done with in Game 6. I think the Celtics can do it too. For posterity's sake, here's is the NBA's mini-movie about Game 5. I love the pre-game practice and hope they share more footage of that.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Alert: Tong War in Progress!

Of course I want the Celts to win.

But I'll be honest, I want it to come in the third overtime of Game 7, as both teams crank up the effort to play both harder and smarter across the last three games of this Finals.

What about you? Would you prefer a quicker kill in Game 6? Or risk a heartbreaking Game 7 loss in order to see something transcendent?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Reason #2,348 Rajon Rondo is Awesome

Rondo is showing his aggressiveness and growth since 2008. Ray had an incredible game, but I think last night's game 2 vs the Lakers was arguably Rondo's best all around game as a Celtic. This video slo-mo is amazing.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Perfect SHAME

Welcoming myself back to this blog. I'd say that I've been 'busy', but who hasn't? Granted that a company merger is leading to LONG hours, and my weekends are spent from soccer fields, to rushed (often unhealthy) lunches, to T-ball games, etc. I have no good excuse - most of us have the same type lives.

However, last night's Detroit Tigers game has to go down as an utter shame. Armando Galarraga's perfect game.... Well, it was still perfect. Kind of. Without rehashing the game (who hasn't read about it or seen the highlights?) - Jim Joyce blew it. He made a call that was maybe, almost close with two outs in the ninth to break up a perfect game. A PERFECT GAME. The irony of it being that Galarraga himself covered first base and caught the ball, beating the runner by about a foot and a half - but the play was called safe. Who didn't say out loud 'Wait, wait?' upon seeing in? Unreal. And the call was so confident and assertive - which I understand is part of the job. But come on - it almost felt like he made up his mind before the play that anything close was safe.

I give Jim Joyce full credit for fessing up right away. But I still question the mentality of an umpire to make a call so assertively.

Putting myself in his shoes (which I did many times last night before falling asleep), I kept coming to the conclusion that anything close has to be called an out. It just seems like human nature. Admittedly that 'conclusion' of mine is flawed. As an official of any sport, your job is to remain neutral and have no emotional attachment to the game. I wonder how possible that is though. I could never umpire a Yankees/Sox game, referee a Lakers/Celtics game, or Pats/Jets game. As much as I would like to think that if it was my job I could remain neutral in that role, any close plays aren't going to be hard calls to make. Am I right?

Regardless... there was a perfect game pitched last night. Everyone involved was graceful in handling an obviously imperfect ending. But the history books will only be marked with a perfect SHAME. And we can only wonder why.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Bring it on: Celtics vs. Lakers (round 12)

Yes, this is the NBA equivalent of Red Sox / Yankees. Except in this case, it's the Celtics who are the evil empire with nine wins out of the eleven previous meetings in the finals against the Lakers. Where things become a little more balanced is when we look at the last couple of decades where the Lakers have actually won a slew of their fifteen championships. The Celtics on the other hand won all but one of theirs prior to 1987. In fairness, however, the last time the Celtics won a title in 2008, it was at the expense of the Lakers. And for any Kobe/Lakers fans out there, you likely still have the bad taste of the 39 point ass whooping in game 6 in Boston.

That bad taste was partially removed when the Lakers dominated the Magic in last years NBA finals. But just like the Red Sox needed to go through the Yankees in their epic 7 game series in 2004 before finally removing the Curse of the Bambino, so too do the Lakers need to exorcise their demons of 2008 be vanquishing the Celtics in this years battle royale. The problem is, the Lakers are facing an even hotter Celtic team this year with a healthy Big Three Four (including Rondo in this mix now). A team that just wiped out the number one and two regular seeds in the East -- and the top ranked teams in the NBA according to in the last two rounds of the playoffs.

But, that's the beauty of the playoffs and the reason you don't play them on paper. On any given day, any team can win. And of course that fact has led to a little trash talk going on on Twitter between the fans of LA and the good people of Boston (former citizens included). To that end, we have all decided to put our money where our mouths are (I think) and have decided to put a little wager in place.

Here's what I'm proposing...

If the Lakers win, Team LA (members below) will pick a restaurant in LA (or somewhere convenient for the five of them) with Team Boston footing the bill (not to exceed $50/person including tax/tip). The members of Team Boston will ALSO have to don a Laker-themed avatar for exactly one week following the final game of the series.
If the Celtics win, Team Boston (members below) will pick a restaurant in Boston (or somewhere convenient for the five of them) with Team LA footing the bill (not to exceed $50/person including tax/tip). The members of Team LA will ALSO have to don a LakerCeltic-themed avatar for exactly one week following the final game of the series.
An acknowledgement in the comments section below will serve as validation that you have accepted this friendly little wager. You all ready to rock?!?

Finals predictions?

I'm not asking what you WANT to see happen. I'm asking what you think WILL happen.

Tell us now: winning team, number of games, Finals MVP. No fence-sitting, please.

(Photo source.)