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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Raps rolling?

Is it a coincidence that Toronto Raptors point guard Jose Calderon missed last night's game and the Raps actually held an opponent to under 100 points? Methinks not. Yes, I know playing Minnesota helped, but Calderon's numbers show he's a black hole on the defensive end. B. Kennedy, we await stats. The Raps have now won three straight after bottoming out in Atlanta last week.

Of all the upsets you'd have thought possible in yesterday's Champions League play, you probably wouldn't have figured on Juventus to flame out 4-1 at home even against a team as strong as Bayern Munich. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a pair for Real Madrid, including a beauty from long distance, as Real advanced with a 3-1 win over Marseille. CR9 leads the Champions League in scoring with six. Today, Group F is full of possibilities with all four teams within three points of each other with the last game to go today. Not much of note beyond that, certainly not like yesterday.

Love that Curtis Granderson deal for the New York Yankees. He's a witch in the field, has speed to burn, has a good contract, and could hit 40HR's hitting full time at Yankee Stadium (he had 30 this year, but only 10 came at the massive Comerica Park). If they can cut down his whiffs, even better. And hey, we wears #28 so hopefully that's a good omen for a team looking for title #28. Tom Verducci at SI.com salutes the efficiency of the Yankees in making this move. For Arizona, they loaded up with a lot of young talent, and it is a real shame seeing the Detroit Tigers unload key pieces like that. Another rust belt team suffering.

Don't think that rules the Yankees out of the Roy Halladay Stakes yet as the Blue Jays are said to covet Jesus Montero more than anyone from what I'm reading, and Joel Sherman at the NY Post says the Yanks are stepping up their chase of Halladay. If I'm the Jays, I think I want Phil Hughes more than Joba Chamberlain, too. Joba is a little too tightly wound and the line between greatness and mediocrity is thin for him at times. But, he's just 24 so if he can get his lid on straight, still plenty of time and he's shown he can be a top flight pitcher in spurts. Definitely don't see both getting moved. The Yankees also have plenty of catching options and as Montero isn't their highest ranked, it wouldn't shock me if a Halladay deal still gets done.

If you're at all a hardcore baseball fan like yours truly, it will come as a bit of a downer that Peter Gammons is leaving ESPN and moving to the MLB Network and Boston station NESN. Shame a guy with that kind of history and connections is going lower profile.

Gatorade has shelved plans for a "Tiger Focus" drink and says the timing has nothing to do with Tiger's adventures the last two weeks. There is talk it may be re-branded "Tiger Trysts". And now comes talk that there are naked photos of Eldrick that Playgirl may be looking to run. Honestly, this stuff is amazing. Has a guy had things unravel so quick? If he doesn't hit that tree a few weeks back, does any of this come to light right now?

Most annoying thing about the Tiger Woods talk: the constant "world's most famous athlete" talk. That's nonsense. He doesn't approach the likes of David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo who are known literally everywhere, or guys like Michael Schumacher, retired though he may be. Honestly, do you think anyone in Central or South America or vast swaths of Africa and the Middle East knows Tiger? Come on.

Sports Illustrated is running a poll to ask who the biggest steal of NFL drafts was this decade. If anyone votes for someone other than Tom Brady, they're on glue.

If you believe the past dictates the future, then the Washington Nationals should be headed to the playoffs in the next year or two. After all, that's what happens with any team that has Pudge Rodriguez behind the plate, no?

I'd like to state for the record that if you think cleaning your car off of snow just means flicking your wipers on and off, you're a loser.

Have a great Wednesday.

5 comments:

YF said...

Spent the weekend in the tri-state area and got to witness the Nets first win at home. Unreal watching the other 10,000 for a 1-18 team at the time party like they just won the NBA Championship.

Caught half of the MorencySports show last night. Great interviews but I feel stuck with a bunch of stoners and alcoholic gamblers. Feel right at home.

Those Huskie Unis remind me of Duke. No thanks.

bukkake said...

what do you think the odds are that the mother-in-law was rushed to hospital in the middle of the night after awaking to find a dark shadowy figure standing beside her bed... naked. erect. hands on hips. greasy schlong glistening in the moonlight. Tiger is one horny dude.

Sign me up for half a dozen pics of Tiger's chowder sprinkler. I'm giving them out as Christmas gifts this year.

B. Kennedy said...

Stats? We got 'em.

In the previous 21 games, the Raptors with Jose Calderon playing over 20 mpg had only held opponents to fewer than 1 point / possession twice: against Chicago on Nov 11, and the home opener (you know, high energy + discombobulated opponent). But in the past two games with Jose playing < 20 minutes against Chicago and not at all against Minnesota, the Raptors have pulled that feat twice in a row.

I passed along an argument on RC that since Jose's stop% in the games I've tracked with Project Defensive Score Sheet for was actually less than thin air's this year (.339 for thin air to .338 for Jose) and he was bearing 19.9% of the team's defensive possessions, with 4.1 stops produced in 12.2 possessions faced, that if we did nothing else but add a point guard who did nothing else but produce an average % of stops (.505 is the league average stop% as of early last week), that the Raptors would improve as a team about 5.2 points allowed / 100 possessions, which would put our total points differential in the positives (assuming the offense doesn't drop off drastically, and I don't believe Jose actually does enough to make the offense good for his loss to have a huge impact). What that means is, we'd win a lot more games with Jose gone than here just due to his complete inability to guard people.

And that assumes that there are absolutely zero residual affects from him going, e.g. other guys not getting easy scores off the endless amount of blow-bys that he allows. As it turns out, I believe there are quite a few residual effects of Jose being here.

B. Kennedy said...

It should also be pointed out that Jarrett Jack has a stop% well above average, too: he's been impressive on the defensive end this year. He's a big part of the Raptors' recent defensive success.

TB said...

It will never cease to amuse me reading that thin air is better defensively than Jose Caleron.

Word is the popcorn vendor blew by him last night, too.