Am I Loving This Game Yet?
Just to add to the Basketball mayhem a little: I’m watching the Friday Night Hawks Celtics game and we’re about halfway done with the 3rd Quarter and the Hawks keep answering the Celts. More than that, the Celts look like old men again. I just watched the following confluence of events:
The Celtics run a pick for Paul Pierce who barely makes it around and scores (while this is all happening KG is standing at the top of the key and not moving. He’s just standing there. He can’t move!!!! Like, he doesn’t have the cartilage to move around anymore. Then, after the Hawks run right back down the floor and Mike Bibby answers with his 2nd 3 in about 30 seconds of game time I look over after Doc Rivers calls a timeout and Paul Pierce is bent over with his hands on his knees sucking wind like he’s Maynard Ferguson in the middle of a show where he’s only played 3 notes in 2 hours. Yes, THAT Paul Pierce. Sucking wind like an 80 year old man.
I know that at this point the Celts are winning 58-56, but that doesn’t mean anything. They can play a tight game because they have Kendrick Perkins on the floor with Rondo and they’re playing one of the most inconsistent teams in the history of the NBA. You see, KG just took 2 free throws and when he pulled back after he made the 2nd shot he backpedaled in a straight line because he cannot move laterally. This fact is the reason why it is now 60-60 because he can’t OVER to someone fast enough to save the “touchdown pass” down the floor or to allow the defense to make it over to Joe Johnson to prevent him from making the 3 he just drilled. Nor can he come in to help on defense when Jamal Crawford is putting a runner up over Paul Pierce. Now the Hawks are on a 9-2 run. I could write this out for the rest of the game but I think you get the idea. One day I will expose the Celtics by writing free-form for an entire game where, whether they win or lose, they will look old. They can win regular season games, but they are like the villain in “The World is Not Enough”. He couldn’t feel anything and eventually one day the bullet that was in his head was going to kill him. Well, the Celtics can’t feel anything, they’re funneling their offense through Ray Allen throwing up jumpers and Kendrick Perkins, and eventually that’s going to kill them. I don’t think we’re going to have to wait for the playoffs. This team is in free-fall and they don’t even realize it. They need to get younger and NOW. The whole “Three Amigos” thing was cute, but it is dying right before our eyes and we’re not seeing it because they can stay in games.
Now it’s 69-64 Hawks and Doc has put Eddie House in but I’m not sure if it’s to shoot or to make a fuss. Daniels dribbles the ball off his foot and coming back on the other end the Celtics give a stupid foul to the Josh Smith on an easy lay-up. Apparently, Paul Pierce has a bruised knee and I’m not buying. He’s sucking wind and they need an excuse to give him a rest. Plus, I’ve got to listen to Hubie Brown (who I like) yap about how the Hawks are “murdering” the Celtics on the glass. Well, why the hell do you think that is? Because the Hawks are younger than the Celts. Old teams lose the rebound battle every time. Scoring can be done in a number of ways, but rebounding is only done through intense and youthful exuberance. Period. It’s then end of the 3rd Quarter and I think you get the idea.
I promise to write through an entire Celtics game before the end of the season so we can see how old this team actually is. It must be done (and not because I’m a Lakers fan, but because I’m not blind…)
Check my NFL picks after the jump…I’ve made a comeback!
I am currently 85-42 counting my win with San Francisco besting Chicago on Thursday night. So, here goes.
Detroit @ Minnesota: First, I just have to say that I think it’s hilarious that the Mall of America is so big that it can be the naming sponsor of an NFL team’s stadium. I mean, a mall!? I know it’s the 2nd biggest mall on the planet (I believe the West Edmonton Mall up in the Great White North is like twice as big), but dang…it’s a mall people!
Anyhow, Detroit has Gunther Cunningham and Minnesota counters with Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson. Yeah, that wasn’t hard. MIN – 41 DET – 6
Tampa Bay @ Miami: I know that Tampa got lucky and won last week…yeah, not this time. Explain to me how they will combat the “wildcat” (even if the wildcat has lost it’s luster.) They can’t. They still suck and they lucked into a win. I ain’t picking them for nothing! MIA – 21 TB – 0
Buffalo @ Tennessee: Vince is looking better and the Bills have T.O. and a damaged Trent Edwards. You see, you know you’re pretty much unappreciated when you get a little hurt and the Michael Vick rumors start swirling around your team when you are clearly a better quarterback than he is. Yes, I said it. Trent Edwards is a better Quarterback than Mike Vick. If the Bills want Vick that’s fine, but it won’t solve their problems. Plus, Tony Dungy spilling the beans on national TV isn’t really helping anything. I liked Coach Dungy until he pulled that “I’m gonna scoop everyone because I’m Mike Vick’s personal advisor and I work for NBC crap”. Next time, shut your mouth Tony. For real. As for the Titans, it seems they can go on a run. Now this doesn’t excuse the revelation that Jeff Fisher has only had 6 winning seasons out of 16, but this is still a team with heart and they can pull through against a team that can’t get out of its own way. TEN – 20 BUF – 7
New Orleans @ St. Louis: Why bother? NO – 41 STL – 6
Jacksonville @ Jets: For those of you who thought the Jags could go on the same kind of run the Titans are trying to go on your need to think again. An entire division cannot be good. The Texans are playing pretty well, the Colts are the class of the league along with the Saints, and the Titans are poised to at least salvage a horrid season. The 4th team in the division is doomed to failure. It’s never going to happen. If I admit that the Jags can go on a run I’m also admitting that somehow I think 3 teams might be able to make the playoffs out of this division and that isn’t going to happen. I’ve considered such things in the past I’ve concluded that this scenario will only play out in the NFC East or the AFC East. However, for that to happen every team in that division will have to have a pretty good (but not stellar) record and every other division in the league will have to be down at the same time (this allows for the even number of division wins and losses and enough mediocre teams throughout the league to provide these teams with enough wins to get 3 teams in the playoffs.) You see how implausible that is? Given that…NYJ – 21 JAC – 9
Denver @ Washington: In the 80’s or 90’s this would have a marquee matchup every time. Unfortunately, Jack Kent Cook doesn’t own the Redskins anymore. That is really the shame of this whole thing. I asked my Dad once what was right with the Redskins and he said “Jack Kent Cook and Joe Gibbs”. Right now, they have neither of those things going for them. It’s sad really. They suck. They’re coaching staff sucks. All the players sucks. Plus, I’ve already refused to pick them. DEN – 24 WAS – 0
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh: These two teams almost entered into a 3-way debate about how a division could put 3 teams in the playoffs. Then, I realized that if the Bengals were gonna be good either the Ravens or Steelers were going to have to take a dive. right now the Ravens are diving and the Steelers are soaring.
What is it about the Bengals besides Marvin Lewis? Nothing really. He’s pretty much it. The Steelers are the same way. Mike Tomlin makes SO much of a difference that it’s scary. So, this is a coaching matchup. I know for a fact that they won’t tie so I’m going with the hot team and going with my gut at the same time. CIN – 24 PIT – 21
Atlanta @ Carolina: I know I said something pretty strong about the Falcons in my Power Rankings where I basically said they were 39 because no one else could be, but that doesn’t mean they suck…it just means they should’ve been a little lower. Give that they’re playing the Panthers…who actually suck. Remember that whole North Carolina sports conversation from earlier in this column? It still applies. ATL – 30 CAR – 13
Kansas City @ Oakland: Let’s keep it real. This is “The Case of the Bad #1 vs. the Bad Trade”. Matt Cassel and JaMarcus Russell are so disappointing that at this point I wouldn’t even so much as consider this game if I wasn’t picking all the games. I mean, really, who cares what either one of these teams does? Do we see why Tony Gonzalez wanted out of KC and pronto? Do we see why I keep making fun of Al Davis for talking to people who aren’t there? I mean, you can’t make this stuff up! KC – 2 OAK – 0
Dallas @ Green Bay: Ok, so Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers walk down a dark alley and….
Nevermind. We all know in this pairing that Aaron Rodgers takes a bullet between the eyes. I was liking him, but he just isn’t holding this team together and that is his job. He’s the man in Green Bay.
Look at Matt Ryan in Atlanta. He gets on one knee and looks up at this team when he calls plays and NOBODY MOVES. He’s in total control. They could put him out on the field on defense and he could do the exact same thing and I bet the opposing offense would wait for him to make the play call. He’s got that much respect coming his way. Aaron Rodgers…not so much. DAL – 27 GB- 14
Seattle @ Arizona: Kurt Warner could play this game on his knees and he’s still throw for 400 yards. ARI – 35 SEA – 10
Philly @ San Diego: A team I was buying against a team I never bought. Listen, we still have to reconcile the whole “nobody in Philly ever wanted Donovan to begin with” thing and consider how that affects the play of this team. With Westbrook perpetually hurt and Brian Dawkins in Denver I have to ask some hard questions. When I put Donovan and Tony in that alley last week and Donovan ended up getting shot I was surprised, but now I’m seeing the problem. Mike Vick said his ideal situation in Philly was running an 80 yard drive in garbage time. The expectations have changed in Philly and Andy Reid might to be to blame. I’m not calling for his job, but if they start to slip he’ll be shown the door faster than you might think.
As for San Diego I still don’t buy it. I certainly buy it less than I buy Philly.
PHI – 17 SD – 10
New England @ Indianapolis: This became a hot rivalry when New England was winning back-to-back Super Bowls and the Colts were gearing up to win a Championship of their own. Now, it’s still got a lot of juice because of the whole “Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning” thing. Listen, tom isn’t the same and Peyton probably the Assistant Head coach of this team. Tom Brady is bitching at Belichick on the sideline. This team doesn’t show emotion and now they are. The Colts never changed character. That’s why they’ll win. (And I’m still mad at myself for liking the Pats in 2001.) IND – 31 NE – 24
Baltimore @ Cleveland: Whoever got Cleveland on Monday Night deserves a raise because I’m not sure how you sell “The Browns getting their ass kicked at home” to a network whose job is to make money on viewership and advertising. I’m just saying.
BAL – 31 CLE – 3
Enjoy your NFL weekend and on Monday we’ll delve into why sports fans can forgive a guy who shoves a gun in their face…