Wednesday, August 27, 2014

American Flags on America Cars

I was driving in Maryland and spotted an SUV with two American flags flying from its windows. I instantly slowed down and started waving and pointing at the flags. I lowered my window.

"Are you from America?" I shouted, "Me too! Wow, what a coincidence!"
The man at first looked confused and then indignant. "That's not a big coincidence," he scoffed, "We're in America, you moron."
"Exactly."

I sped off.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Top 10 NBA Players

Top 10 NBA Players Now
While this list consists of the top 10 players now, the past is taken to account, but it is not a list of the best players who happen to be active. Previous ranks posted on June 25, 2013.

# David (PR) Mike (Previous Rank)
1 LeBron (1) Durant (2)
2 Durant (2) LeBron (1)
3 Paul (3) Paul (3)
4 Carmelo (6) Love (NR)
5 Parker (4) Curry (NR)
6 Westbrook (8) Harden (NR)
7 P. George (NR) Griffin (NR)
8 Griffin (NR) A. Davis (NR)
9 Howard (7) Westbrook (9)
10 Curry (NR) Dirk (NR)


Top 10 NBA Careers Among Active Players
You're making a list of the ten best players in NBA history, but there's one caveat; you can only include players who played during the 2013-14 season. These are our choices, taking the players' entire careers into account. Previous ranks posted on June 25, 2013.

# David (PR) Mike (Previous Rank)
1 Duncan (1) Duncan (1)
2 Kobe (2) Kobe (2)
3 LeBron (3) LeBron (3)
4 Garnett (5) Wade (6)
5 Dirk (6) Garnett (5)
6 Wade (8) Dirk (7)
7 Nash (7) Pierce (10)
8 Durant (NR) Bosh (NR)
9 Parker (9) Allen (9)
10 Paul (NR) Parker (NR)


Top 10 NBA Franchise Players
This list is about which players you would pick to start a franchise right now. They must have played in an NBA game. Previous ranks posted on June 25, 2013.

# David (PR) Mike (Previous Rank)
1 Durant (2) Durant (2)
2 LeBron (1) LeBron (1)
3 A. Davis (NR) A. Davis (NR) 
4 P. George (7) Paul (3)
5 Griffin (9) Love (NR)
6 Curry (NR) Curry (9)
7 Paul (3) Harden (NR)
8 Irving (4) Griffin (NR)
9 Westbrook (5) Westbrook (7)
10 K. Leonard (NR) Drummond (NR)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Another Obnoxious Pound-for-Pound List

Here is the updated version of my obnoxiously unnecessary and utterly superfluous list of the top 10 pound-for-pound boxers. The previous list was posted on March 31.

1) Floyd Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs), [Previous Rank: 1]
2) Wladimir Klitschko (62-3, 52 KOs), [PR: 2]
3) Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KOs), [PR: 3]
4) Guillermo Rigondeaux (13-0, 8 KOs), [PR: 4]
5) Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs), [PR: 8]
6) Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs), [PR: 7]
7) Danny Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs), [PR: 9]
8) Adonis Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs) [PR: 10]
9) Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) [PR: NR]
10) Timothy Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs), [PR: 6]

Exiting the list:
Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KOs), [PR: 5]

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Game 5 - Champions Once Again

On Sunday night, the San Antonio Spurs won the franchise's fifth NBA championship.The Heat began the game with a lot of pride, bucking the trend of the series whereby the Spurs get out to the early lead. But San Antonio raced back and passed Miami in the second quarter. San Antonio never looked back.

The Spurs were unique set up to destroy the Heat's vaunted defense. Miami employs an aggressive perimeter defense which is designed to create turnovers and key their fastbreak. The Spurs use persistent ball movement to expose openings left by Miami's pressure. Miami's lack of rim protection allowed the Spurs numerous wide open shots in the paint.

LeBron James gave it his all in defeat. He scored 31, grabbed 10 boards, amassed 5 assists, and even blocked two shots. Only Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade hit double figures, and both put up more field goals than points.

Meanwhile, Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard had another strong all around game. He scored 22 and grabbed 10 rebounds. But the Spurs are a balanced team. Manu Giobili added 19, Patty MIlls had 17, Tony Parker scored 16, and Tim Duncan finished with 14. Duncan had 8 rebounds and Boris Diaw added 9. Ten Spurs had an assist and no one had more than center Diaw with 6. The Spurs turned the ball over only 8 times.

The 104-87 victory gave the Spurs a 4-1 series win and avenges their heartbreaking defeat in the 2013 NBA Finals. Questions and criticism will surround the Heat, but with four straight Finals appearances and two NBA championships, Miami has become one of the two most successful franchises in recent years.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Charles Oakley List

This is a top 10 list of the best Charles Oakley-like players. It consists of hustle guys, defenders, and glue guys. Last year's ranking were posted on May 25, 2013. (NR = Not Ranked last year; HM = Honorable Mention last year.)

RankDavidPrevious Rank RankMikePrevious Rank
1 D. Jordan NR 1 D. Jordan NR
2 Ibaka 2 2 Drummond NR
3 T. Allen 1 3 Ibaka 1
4 Iguodala NR 4 R. Lopez NR
5 K. Leonard 7 5 K. Leonard 2
6 Beverley NR 6 Beverley NR
7 Stephenson HM 7 T. Allen 8
8 Battier 4 8 Gortat NR
9 Hinrich 6 9 Bogut NR
10 T. Gibson HM 10 D West NR

Honorable Mentions:
David: Bogut (NR), Splitter (NR), D. West (NR), R. Lopez (NR).
Mike: Stephenson (9), J. Butler (NR), T. Gibson (6), Boozer (NR).

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Game 4 - The Spurs Stomp the Heat in Miami

San Antonio didn't quite set another shooting record in Game 4, but it didn't matter, the Spurs thoroughly dominated the Heat. The Spurs got out to their customary fast start yet again. After a 13-4 start for the Spurs, both teams scored 15 points a piece in the first quarter.

Miami's lack of interior defense has hurt them all series long and Game 4 was no difference. The Spurs have the unique ability to hit threes, post up, and grab offensive rebounds. The combination hits at Miami's defensive weaknesses.The Spurs controlled the boards and shared the ball far more than Miami, nearly doubling up the Heat's assist total.

Dwyane Wade started the game 1 for 10 from the field. Only LeBron James (28 points, 8 rebounds) and James Jones. The problem for Miami is that Jones played less than three minutes, all in garbage time. He shot 4 for 4 for 11 points.

Kawhi Leonard had another outstanding game, including a jaw-dropping put back. He scored 20 points. His 14 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks were probably more important. Tim Duncan set the record for most playoff doubles and for most playoff minutes. Boris Diaw was two points, an assist, and a rebound away from a triple double. He has been a nightmare for Miami to matchup with. His ball handling and vision make it difficult for a big guy to take him. But his post up ability and rebounding make it difficult for a perimeter player to check him.

Tony Parker added 19 points and Patty Mills hit 4 of his 6 threes in scoring 14 points. Manu Ginobili and Danny Green were valuable. So was Tiago Splitter, who hit an impressive reverse layup in traffic.

The Spurs looked like the class of the NBA. They travel home for Game 5 on Sunday. It will be the first time a Game 5 has been played at a different venue than Game 4 of an NBA Finals in 30 years. San Antonio took a 3-1 lead with a 107-86 win.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Game 3 - Spurs Win With Record Shooting

The San Antonio Spurs bounced back from a Game 2 loss at home with one of the most impressive first offensive performances in NBA Finals history. No team has shot as well from the field during a half of championship basketball in the history of the league. It has been over 45 years since a team scored as many as 41 points in the first quarter.

Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green exploded from the floor in Game 3. Leonard scored 16 of his 29 points in the first quarter. He had 18 total points throughout the first two games of the series. He shot 10 for 13 from the field and 6 for 7 from the line in Game 3 in Miami. Leonard also played expert defense against LeBron James, forcing him into tough shots. Leonard added two blocks and two steals. Green added 15 points on 7 for 8 shooting and was credited with 5 steals.

The Spurs led by 16 points after the first and by 25 points midway during the second quarter. The Spurs managed to get uncontested shots int he paint throughout the first half. They made some tough shots too, but the majority of San Antonio's record-setting shooting came from inside the paint. The Spurs led 71-50 at the half.

Miami came back int he third quarter. LeBron James scored 22 points, and added 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals. Wade scored 22 points. James shot 9 for 14 and Wade shot 8 for 12. But the two stars combined for 12 costly turnovers. Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen put in double figures, but the Heat received little else. Starting point guard Mario Chalmers has struggled during the three games so far.

The Heat cut the lead to single digits towards the end of the third, but ran out of gas. Miami's fans gave up on the team in the fourth and the place had emptied out with three minutes to go. Coach Erik Spoelstra waved the white flag with a minute and a half to go and put in former number one pick Greg Oden.

For the Spurs, Duncan, Parker, Ginobili all scored double figures. Boris Diaw started and contributed 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. He once again led the team in +/-. The Spurs outscored the Heat by 20 when Diaw was on the floor.

The Spurs finished the game up 111-92 and lead the series 2-1/

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Game 2 - LeBron Redeems Himself

Game 2 was fought at close quarters through much of the game. No teams held a lead above six during the second half. The Spurs jumped out to a fast start in their air conditioned building. Good ball movement on the perimeter and Tim Duncan cleaning up any missed shots allowed the Spurs to taker  a 26-19 lead after the first quarter and raise that lead to 11 a minute into the second period. Duncan had 11 of 18 points in the first and ended with 15 rebounds.

The Heat quickly came back on the strength of LeBron James. In the first half, LeBron scored int he paint. In the second, he hit outside jumpers. In all, James poured in 35 points on only 22 field goal attempts. He added 10 rebounds and didn't miss any of his three three point attempts.

The Spurs kept hitting timely threes and avoided the turnover issues that plagued them in Game 1. While Kawhi Leonard, Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli, Danny Green, and Boris Diaw all hit from beyond the arc, none scored double figures. Diaw contributed the most with 10 rebounds and 5 assists in 32 minutes.

By the midway point of the third quarter, the Spurs held a modest lead. That's when James helped the Heat come roaring back. Late in the third quarter, James scored 12 points as Miami went on a 13-2 run. In that span, the Spurs became three-point happy, missing four.

Chris Bosh, who hasn't been able to stop Duncan so far, opened the fourth with an and-one dunk, giving the Heat the lead. Bosh had an impressive two-handed slam, gliding through the air and getting fouled in the second, and finished with 18 points, but only 3 rebounds.

With 6:52 left in the game, Mario Chalmers swung his left elbow into Tony Parker's midsection as the Miami guard drove to the basket. Chalmers was called for a flagrant foul, but Parker came out of the incident bruised. he missed the two free throws and exited the game. It would be the last time the Spurs led in Game 2.

James led Miami and got help from a Chris Andersen lay up.and a Bosh three. Parker came back and nailed a three to finish with 21 points, but the Spurs couldn't score when it counted the most. Parker's three with 2:26 left would be the last time San Antonio scored until the final buzzer.

With just under 30 seconds left, Ginobili missed and Miami came away with the ball. Down three, the Spurs should have fouled. Instead, they played out the possession, trying to trap at the top of the key. Wade slid under and gave Miami an insurmountable five point lead with nine seconds left. Ginobili hit a three at the buzzer to make the final score 98-96.

The Heat received 14 points from Wade and Rashard Lewis and nine from ray Aleen in tying the series at one.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Game 1 - LeBron Can't Take the Heat

In the midst of a broken air conditioner, the conditions played a key role in the outcome of Game 1 on the 2014 NBA Finals, a rematch between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. Miami grabbed their largest lead, 86-79, with 9:38 left in the fourth. Chris Bosh had just nailed a free throw capping a four-point play.

Miami had raced to an early lead in the first quarter, but the Spurs raced back. Once Manu Ginobili entered the contest, the Heat became the team forced to catch up. Ginobili, who was a scorer in the first quarter and a distributor in the second half, finished with 16 points and 11 assists.

The Spurs held a 26-20 lead after one and a five point lead at halftime despite committing a ton of turnovers. The sweltering building hurt the road Heat. On the bench Miami's players were complaining about the temperature for much of the game.

The Spurs took a nine point lead early in the third quarter. Dwyane Wade helped spark the comeback with 5 of his 19 points during an 8-0 Heat run. Tim Duncan, who scored 21 points on 9 of 10 shooting, and Ginobili helped keep the Spurs even with Miami until Ray Allen exploded. Allen scored 6 consecutive Heat points including a running facial over Danny Green.

The Heat held a three point lead heading into the fourth and expanded it early with Bosh's four point play. Bosh finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds, but couldn't stop Duncan. With 7:31 left, LeBron James begged out due to cramps. He made one brief appearance when his body locked up. It was a huge blow to the Heat in what had quickly become a competitive game.James had scored 25 points on 9 of 17 shooting.

Danny Green woke up in the fourth and finished with 13 points including a ferocious dunk to make up for Allen's over him in the third. Tony Parker finished with 19 points and 8 assists. The Spurs outscored the Heat by 30 when Boris Diaw (2 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists) was on the floor.

The Spurs ended the game on a 13-3 run and finished the game by outscoring the Heat 31-9 from Bosh's fourth-point play. San Antonio took Game 1 at home 110-95 despite 22 turnovers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 Washington Nationals Baserunning Stats

2014 Nats baserunning stats in 2013 according to the Bill James Handbook:
Player Bases
Gained
Stolen
Bases
Gained
Net
Gain
Ramos -14 -2 -16
LaRoche +2 +2 +4
Rendon +3 -1 +2
Desmond +3 +9 +12
Zimmerman +4 +6 +10
Harper +6 +3 +9
Span +14 +8 +22
Werth -7 +8 +1
Espinosa - - - - - - - - -
McLouth +3 +16 +19
Frandsen -11 +1 -10
Moore -3 0 -3
S. Hairston - - - - - - - - -
Lobaton -2 -2 -2
Dobbs -3 -1 -4