Archive for the ‘pistons’ Category

Sheed got a tech

May 22, 2008

This series has officially started. Live blog while it lasts in the comments.

UPDATE: a lo-fi pre-game photo from Chair’s chair at the game: not a cheap chair:

The NHL is run by Matt Millen

May 21, 2008

There’s really no other explanation. They do this kind of stuff ALL THE TIME. It’s like they want the team to be bad. Like in Major League. This is ridiculous.

What is the NHL thinking?

The league gets a mulligan for scheduling its thrilling outdoor game in Buffalo against the New Year’s Day bowl games. (What, Super Bowl Sunday wasn’t available?) But now, a far worse offense: The first three games of the Stanley Cup finals will be played at the same time as Games 3, 4 and 5 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals.

Later on in the piece, some guy from the NHL gets all righteous and says, why doesn’t the NBA change its games to accommodate us?

Well, the NBA is much more popular than you, its numbers are growing, its games are on a network people have heard of. The NHL has a dream match-up for the finals, they should be doing anything humanly possible to have as many people watching these games. One of the key markets for the games between Detroit and Pittsburgh should be Detroit. It doesn’t take an MBA to figure this out.

More broadly, the NHL needs the following: fewer teams, more fighting, more scoring, cheaper tickets.

My suggestions: go down to 16 teams, allow steroids, make the net bigger, lower prices. The game will be rejuvenated in no time at all!

Heintz is dead to me

May 20, 2008

He’s skipping the Pistons-Celtics for trivia night? Trivia night???

That being said, trivia night is always fun.

But this is like Zach not watching game one of the Stanley Cup. Wait, he’s not watching game one of the Stanley Cup! The world is a strange place.

Kenny and I just spent a long time discussing the Bulls getting the number one pick in the draft. Wow. If the Knicks got number two, I think the government would have to step in and institutionalize mad genius David Stern. He’s drunk on power.

Also, Miami with D.Rose, D.Wade and the Matrix will immediately be a factor in the fun. The lesson, as always: tank early and often.

Pistons are getting shut out. I should shut up.

Herrmann should not be running the offense

May 13, 2008

More insight in the comments.

Cleveland-Boston breakdown in serious depth

May 13, 2008

My homey Chair—a fan of the Cs—spent way too much time looking at last night’s game. From the comments: I’ll add my thoughts in bold:

I’m not too too worried about last night’s game for 5 reasons:

1) They played great defense for 3 quarters. They never let Cleveland put them away and they came up with a lot of stops. Cleveland only shot at 45.5%, so it wasn’t like the Celtics gave them twenty open shots or anything. Boston should always shoot better than 38.6%. (Agreed, the Celtics probably won’t shoot that badly at home. Not sure why they couldn’t get key stops in the fourth.)

2) Boston got to the line 26 times, Cleveland only shot 18 free throws. Additionally, Boston’s free throw percentage was .769 while Cleveland’s was .667. If they continue to take it to the rack and play aggressively, they will improve these numbers. (I disagree here—I don’t think there’s a lot of room for improvement on the free throw differential.)

3) If you classify shot selection as 0-9 Feet being a quality shot, 10-18 feet being midrange (ok) and 19+ feet being long range (not so great), here is how the Celtics shot selection broke down in each Quarter:

Q1: 0-9 = 9 10-18 = 6 19+ = 5

Q2: 0-9 = 8 10-18 = 5 19+ = 4

Q3: 0-9 = 4 10-18 = 2 19+ = 9

Q4: 0-9 = 2 10-18 = 10 19+ = 4

They got worse and worse as the game went on. How you justify 10 midrange shots and 2 close ones in the fourth quarter is beyond me. If you break it down by how many shots they hit from each range per quarter it becomes even more clear what they were doing wrong offensively:

Q1: 0-9 = 3 10-18 = 3 19+ = 2

Q2: 0-9 = 5 10-18 = 2 19+ = 0

Q3: 0-9 = 2 10-18 = 1 19+ = 4

Q4: 0-9 = 0 10-18 = 5 19+ = 0

The theory that they are encouraged by their bad habits (when the jumpers actually start falling, they become chuckers ala GState) seems to be true as they relied almost exclusively on the jump shot to win the game for them in the fourth quarter. From long range, they were 6 for 22 in the game. That is a pathetic 27% (and out of the 22, 14 of them were 3’s which they shot at 21%.).

The promising thing about these numbers is that a) they are going to shoot far better than 43% from close range most nights, a lot of layups weren’t falling and that percentage should go up to around 60-70% for Game 5. To put that in perspective, if they made 6 more easy shots than they did (and usually do), they would have been shooting 69% from close range with 12 more points and a W. However, even shooting at a crappy 43% from close range, had they taken 5 more shots from close range in the fourth, they likely would have scored 3 of them (even at a paltry percentage).

(The Celtics definitely struggle when they aren’t getting easy baskets, but there are easy 16 footers and easy three pointers just like there are difficult layups. But in general I agree that the Celtics shouldn’t settle for outside shots as much as they did. And I think fans say that about 90% of basketball teams in the world.)

4) They were statistically similar to Cleveland in a lot of important categories:

a) They rebounded well (Boston had 38, Cleveland had 42/Boston had 6 offensive rebounds, Cleveland had 8) consistently throughout the game. Even though they were slightly outrebounded, it wasn’t what lost them the game.

b) They committed 8 turnovers, Cleveland had 7 (Boston definitely stepped up here, as they killed themselves with rebounds in game 3).

c) Each team had 17 fouls, Boston didn’t get into foul trouble at all (and none of their players did) but they also HAD Lebron in foul trouble in the Second quarter and because they drove to the basket only 6 times in the second half, he escaped easily. This is something they will correct in game 5.

(Pierce just seems too tired to drive on LB on offense. That could change in the friendly nouveau Garden confines.)

5) Leon Powe only played 6 minutes and they were uninspired. As stupid as this might sound, Leon Powe is the biggest X factor for Boston and has been for the whole playoffs. Similar to the way Anderson Varejao is an X Factor for Cleveland. If you accept that Pierce/Allen/KG are going to be more or less equally matched offensively and defensively by Lebron/Szczerbiak/Ilgauskis and you consider the Rondo/Cassell vs. Delonte/Boobie matchup and Perkins/Wallace matchup to be a wash, it all comes down to the stars on the bench. And the only bench player for the Celtics who played worth a damn last night was PJ Brown. No Leon, no Posey, nothing good. And Varejao had some huge baskets in the fourth. Considering Sideshow Bob is the only player on their bench who consistently contributes and Boston has been known for their superb bench contributions and depth, this probably won’t happen again either (at least it shouldn’t).

(Doc Rivers should probably get some of the blame for that. It’s hard to get comfortable in six minutes, though the old basketball cliche is that starters win you road games and your bench wins at home.)

Anyway, those are my reasons and I’m sticking to them. It was easily the most winnable road game the Celtics have had all playoffs (if you remove game 4 in Atlanta where they twice lost a 10 point lead….I don’t even want to look at those numbers…still.) If they just took better shots in the fourth this game easily could have gone their way.

(I agree in some respects—I think Boston is still the favorite to win the series. But Lebron is the best player in the series (despite my eternal respect for KG) and he has to go off at some point, right? If he starts hitting outside jumpers like he did against the Stones last year and beats the Celtics at home, this thing might be over in six.

If I had to bet my lifesavings, I’d probably say Celtics in 7. But I don’t like the idea of better that eight bucks against Lebron.)

The world without Chauncey

May 9, 2008

I’ve been down on Chauncey for a few years now, but in the grand you-don’t-what-you’ve-got-til-his-hamstring-is-jacked wisdom of Joni Mitchell, now I’m worried.

I think we could finish Orlando off without him healthy, but probably not Boston. I like Lindsay Hunter a lot, especially defensively, but we’ll need a dominant Sheed to make up for the scoring we’d lose.

Bonzi Wells has been killing Nawlins all night

May 9, 2008

The Spurs look like they don’t want to lose tonight. Fair enough.

Right now, with about five minutes left, CP3 has 31 points on 13-22 shooting and eight dimes with one turnover. In the playoffs, he’s averaging 12 dimes and 1.29 turnovers.

Pat:

Chris Paul is very very good, but he’s not yet great.

What else can the guy do?

ALSO: I could say a lot of negative things about tonight’s BoSox-Tigers game or the series in general, but we just can’t get four strikeouts at the top of the order from Grandy. That’s horrible.

ALSO: The Wings are a killing force the likes of which the world has never seen.

Programming note

May 8, 2008

It’s my birthday, so I’m not going to discuss last night’s Pistons game. Ouch.

Nascar blogging will follow soon

May 6, 2008

Maybe the biggest question in sports right now is: just how good are the Hornets?

I severely underestimated their bench, and their ability to get contributions from guys not named Paul and West. Peja isn’t exactly Mr. Clutch, Tyson Chandler was never a playoff force. But it turns out this is a very good TEAM.

It’s often said that in the NBA, regardless of how good your team is, having the best player in the series goes very far. Well, I honestly don’t think Chris Paul gives up a whole lot to Kobe and Lebron. Plus, guys like Pargo and Julian Wright and Mo P. (who’s been underrated ever since leavng MSU) are playing great basketball. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I honestly think they could win the whole thing. Not to mention, this might be their best shot for a while, because Kobe’s Lakers are going to get much better next season when Bynum is healthy and becoming more Jabbar-like.

If the Stones can’t win this year, I’d love to see Nawlins do it.

Changing gears, and I probably shouldn’t say this before our semifinals matchup even begins, but I really want to see a Wings-Pens Stanley Cup Finals. Zach is too scared of Crosby and company, but I think that’d be about the sexiest possible scenario for the NHL. And the NHL needs it. Let’s make this happen!

We know drama

May 3, 2008

It’s a good sign when Max, Theo, Hermann (!), and Stuckey are outplaying the opposing team’s starters. So far, so good. Six minutes left in game one.

Also, despite my reservations (why take the minutes from my boy Amir?), Theo is playing great—and youthful!—basketball.

I skipped most of the Raps-Magic series, really the only first round series I ignored. But Dwight looked much better than this late in the regular season. And they’ll shoot much better than this (from three and from the line) later in the series. But, still, so far, so good.