While recovering from an unusually tiring holiday season...
The Celtics headed into their extended Christmas break on a down note as the Indiana Pacers handed them a 106-79 loss. Avery Bradley had 13 points to lead the Celtics in scoring while both Courtney Lee and Jeff Green added 11 points.
But the early afternoon start on Saturday showed that not all is on the downside in Celtics land.
Despite giving up 32 points to the Cleveland's Kyrie Irving (the first player to score 30 or more points against Boston this season), Boston handed the Cavaliers a 103-100 loss.
The Celtics had 6 players in double figures led by 19 points from both Jeff Green (8 rebounds) and Jordan Crawford. Avery Bradley had 18 points and 8 boards. Brandon Bass scored 15. Courtney Lee (11) and Kris Humphries (10) were the others in double figures for Boston.
The team is now 13-17 on the season.
A couple of notes on the status of players still recovering from injury:
Rajon Rondo is in practice but he and coach Brad Stevens have been pretty upfront that his conditioning is not where they want it to be yet. It is going to be a while (January at least) before he gets back on the playing court.
Of course that is all dependent on whether or not he stays with the team at all. Rumors about going to the Knicks have continued to filter across the Internet all week. They've been kind of debunked based on the Knicks not having anything to part with that the Celtics really want.
Rookie Kelly Olynyk is back to playing after losing 10 games to injury but he's trying to work his way back into the playing rotation now. His minutes have been limited upon his return because those ahead of him now showed what they could do while Olynyk was out.
The holiday break coming as the Celtics were visiting Indiana allowed for Coach Stevens to stay in the state and visit with family and friends, which is a pretty sweet coincidence of scheduling.
And if the loss wasn't bad enough for the Cavaliers, there was the news of the team suspending Andrew Bynum for conduct detrimental to the team. According to the following article, it seems he just doesn't want to play basketball. You know despite signing a 2 year 24 million dollar deal to do that very thing. Here's the article link: http://nba.si.com/2013/12/28/andrew-bynum-suspended-cleveland-cavaliers/
Is anyone else having trouble getting excited for the bowl games? I've tried to watch a couple of the bowls and found myself relatively uninterested in what was going on. I saw some of the Pitt-Bowling Green game but it played more as background noise for me.
On Friday night, I had a different game on but for the life of me, I couldn't tell you what teams were playing.
I'm off from work on New Year's Eve and will tune in to watch the Boston College bowl game so I'm hoping that I'll be more interested in a game that I have a fandom/emotional interest in.
But while I did get into one of those Bowl Pick 'Em leagues on Yahoo Fantasy Sports, I just haven't been able to work up much enthusiasm otherwise.
I was reading an article on SI.com about star rookie receiver Keenan Allen and I just had to snicker at his diva-ish BS about how he felt like quitting early in the season because he wasn't getting the ball thrown his way. Injuries helped get him more looks and become the star he is right now, but it is embarrassing to see the sense of entitlement he had that it was all about him being a star instead of filling a role on the team. You can read the article here: http://tracking.si.com/2013/12/26/chargers-keenan-allen-considered-quitting-football/
BOSTON COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL
The women's basketball teams I follow have all been on a holiday break this past week. But the Boston College men's basketball team did get in a game against Auburn before they too went on a break. They ended up losing 77-67 despite a 28 point performance from Olivier Hanlan. Ryan Anderson had 11 points and 6 rebounds in support but it was just another disappointment for the Eagles.
On Saturday night, the men were back in action but ran into that vaunted full court press of VCU and got hammered 69-50 to fall to 4-9 on the season.
It was the Hanlan and Anderson show in the statline again. Hanlan had 17 points but also had 6 of the team's 23 turnovers (VCU had just 10 turnovers for the game). Anderson scored 13 points and grabbed a team high 7 boards.
Besides the bevy of turnovers, the 3-18 three point shooting percentage doomed the Eagles as well.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Just a brief note to say that the Wareham High girls track team won the small school title at the South Coast Conference holiday relays today. Besides Paige, I also learned another of my players, Brianna, is also on the team. Congratulations girls!
It's not a great picture but here's a look at the winning team:
TV - I watched the Doctor Who Christmas Special on Xmas Day. It featured the latest regeneration of the main character. But in all honesty, I was rather underwhelmed by the whole show. This is something I find very disappointing since I was looking forward to the episode so much coming off the pretty damn good 50th Anniversary special.
The third season of the BBC series Sherlock is coming soon and the show has put up a prequel minisode online. You can check it out below.
XMas - With the holiday now over, it was a decent time overall. The big family gathering went well with good food and this year's themed "Come Dressed as your favorite Xmas character". I went as Rudolph.
When my immediate family was over on Xmas Day, things went well too. I received a couple of sports related gifts. The first was a Patriots sweatshirt and the other was a Patriots T-shirt. The T-shirt has to be returned because it is the wrong size but it was a nice shirt otherwise.
I also received the Archer Mayor novel Three Can Keep A Secret while cashing in a Barnes and Noble gift card for the Hank Phillippi Ryan novel The Wrong Girl.
And I got the new Julie Roberts CD Good Wine and Bad Decisions. It's a country CD so I don't know if I'll be doing a review of it or not.
Books - I managed to finish reading the Ellen Hart novel Taken By The Wind this past week. It is the latest in the author's Jane Lawless series. It was a decent read but I didn't feel the resolution was all that intense.
Wednesday night news broke that Art Modell was gravely ill...I had posted on Facebook when the news broke, "Art Modell is "gravely ill" is the lead local news story...How many Clevelanders first response was a slight grin?"
By morning he was dead...Through the night, and all day Thursday, there were plenty of people admitting to being happy Modell had died...Even those who don't wish death on people, were still glad he had died...Clevelanders take what happened to their Browns very personally...And that's fine...I know I was pissed when Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore...But as time has gone on, and I looked at the whole picture, I don't have that same hate for Art Modell, that most Clevelanders do...Yep, you're about to witness a guy from Cleveland, defend Art Modell's legacy...
Back in the day, The Cleveland Indians sucked...But their owner knew how Cleveland loves it's sports teams...They also knew that city leaders were tired of the "Mistake by the Lake" jokes...So for a couple years, Dick Jacobs kept threatening to move the Indians...The City decided to give Jacobs what he wanted...His own stadium...Completely funded by the public...All Jacobs paid for was the sign that put his name on the place...
The City officials also thought this would be even better if they could get the Cavs to move back to downtown Cleveland, instead of playing in the sticks of Richfield...So they build Gordon Gund's Cavaliers a new arena right next to Jacobs field...Again, Gund, that blind bastard, only paid to put his name on the place...The city was all a buzz about what was dubbed, "The Gateway District"...This shit was going to bring us back!
Modell, who's Browns always sold out the 70,000 plus Municipal Stadium, waited patiently...He had just lost his tenant, the Indians...The Stadium was old, and surely the City would take care of their number one draw...But they didn't...Eventually Modell had to go to the mayor...He never went to the media like Jacobs, and made repeated threats to move...The city officials made it clear that there was no way they could afford to give him a sweet deal, and new home, like they did for the Indians and Cavaliers...Modell, was losing money...No one in Cleveland fought for him or the Browns...He was in debt,and got an offer from football starved Baltimore...We always hear about sports being a business...Well, Modell made the smart business move, and took HIS team to Baltimore...
In 1995 Modell told The Wall Street Journal, "The reason I'm taking so much heat now is every politician is covering his backside for failing to do anything at all. They took me for granted."
Yes they did...It wasn't until news broke that Modell was moving the team to Baltimore, that people finally took action...All the sudden the fans spoke up...Suddenly elected officials were trying to do something...Too little, too late...All this time fans have been pissed at Modell...They've had nothing but hate for him, when really they should have taken that out the mayor, councilmen, and the media, who cried to save the Indians, but didn't say anything about taking care of the Browns until they were already packing up...
And while Art is hated in Cleveland, he deserves the praise he is getting from around the country...He is one of the few key people, who made the NFL what it is today...He Pushed for the NFL/AFL merger, and he and Pete Rozelle were the visionaries that saw that TV was where Football had to go...Modell almost single-handedly strong armed his fellow owners into the first TV contract...Letting them know, that if they really wanted to make the money that they dreamed of, that TV was going to get them there...And then later, it was Modell, who strong armed the Networks into ponying up the BIG money, to put the NFL on their airwaves...You can also thank Art for Monday Night Football....
There are mountains of NFL history that couldn't have been written had it not been for Art Modell...The man belongs in the Hall of Fame...And Cleveland, he also deserves some respect for the countless acts of charity he contributed to during his life in here...
After much talk about the NFL having Modell Honored with a moment of silence before this Sunday's games, The Modell family has asked The Cleveland Browns to not pay him any Honor...The Browns were planning to keep it short, knowing the fan reaction would be bad...This takes any worry off the Browns...But it bothers me that pretty much everyone in the world knows that, a moment of silence to pay respect to one of the men that built the NFL into the monster it is, would be greeted in Browns Stadium with a chorus of boooo's...
This may be odd for a sports blogger to write...But it's just a football team people...There is really so much more to life, then to carry that kind of hate around for all these years.
I just wanted to make something clear...CLEVELAND, you didn't win anything! The Cavs didn't win shit, except for the draft lottery...There's no trophy or banner coming to The Q...The Dallas Mavericks beat stupid LeBron James and the Miami Heat...You CLEVELANDERS, and the Cavs didn't do shit!
Leave their logo alone, and give them the credit and respect they deserve...And you assholes who had the parade with 12 people in it, you're all fucking retarded...I can't believe the local news actually put you fucktards on the TV...You all should be fucking embarrassed!
The “Duke of Flatbush” has departed. AWOL Pistons?? Which teams missed the NBA trading deadline by a minute?? Okay Gabbers, you pick who were the winners and losers on the trades made by the teams. “The Duke” and the NBA in this edition of Rants and Raves.
This originally was going to be an NBA blog, but due to the unfortunate passing of one of Brooklyn’s greatest players, I had to include this sad story. Ed “Duke” Snider passed away of natural causes this past weekend at the age of 84.
It was always “Willie, Mickey, and The Duke.” But, Ed “Duke” Snider did not have to take a back seat to anyone. He was one of the Greatest Brooklyn Dodgers of all-time. His hitting in 1955 helped “Dem Bums,” as the Dodgers were happily called, win the World Series over the hated rivals the New York Yankees. In the 1955 regular season Snider hit 42 homeruns and led the league in runs and runs batted in while posting a .309 batting average. It was in the World Series that “The Duke” tour it up as he hit 4 homeruns, 7 RBI’s with a .320 batting average. Snider also won a World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1959. He lead all major league players in homeruns and runs batted in in the decade of the 50’s. His career numbers where a .295 batting average, 407 homeruns and 1,333 runs batted in. “The Duke” was listed in the top 100 greatest players in baseball history by The Sporting News. His number 4 was retired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1980 and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame the same year.
The trading was fast and furious in the days, hours and minutes leading to the NBA trade deadline. The Nets were burned by Carmelo Anthony as he was traded to the rival Knicks. Within a day the Nets got the point guard to lead the team into the Barclay Center in 2012. There was one trade that missed the deadline by minutes. That was the Indiana Pacers agreed to send Josh McRoberts and a 1st round pick to the Grizzlies for O.J. Mayo.
The New York Knicks won the bidding for Carmelo Anthony. I believe the Nets went back after Carmelo to make the Knicks ante up more players. Why else would New Jersey go after Anthony after he kind of gave the Nets the “cold shoulder” when the team went after him the first time.
The Knicks receive:
Forward Carmelo Anthony
Forward Shelden Williams
Forward Renaldo Balkman
Forward Corey Brewer
Guard Chauncey Billups
Guard Anthony Carter
The Nuggets receive:
Forward Danilo Gallinari
Forward Wilson Chandler
Center Timofey Mozgov
Center Kosta Koufos
Guard Raymond Felton
Knicks first-round pick in 2014 or later
Warriors second-round picks in 2012 and 2013
The Timberwolves receive:
Center Eddy Curry
Forward Anthony Randolph
This was all about Carmelo and his 25.2 points per game. For Denver fans this mean you will have to buy a press guide to figure out your new players. You do get players who were 54% of the Knicks offense. Hopefully Danilo Gallinari will live up to his potential. What the hell was Minnesota doing in this trade?? What a waste.
New Jersey gets “star” point guard to take them to the Barclay Center. Wow, after not getting Melo, the Nets turned it on by getting Devon Williams from the Jazz.
The Nets receive:
The Jazz receive:
Guard Devin Harris
Forward Derrick Favors
2011 first-round pick
2012 first-round pick (Golden States)
The Nets get a playmaker!! He can score, and has the ability to make players around him better. He also can play defense. He even might be a better playmaker than Carmelo. Williams is the type of player other guys would want to play with, another reason why New Jersey went after him.
On the heels of the blockbuster trade the Nets made, New Jersey finally unloads Troy Murphy.
The Nets receive:
Forward Brandon Wright
Forward Dan Gradzuric
The Warriors receive:
Forward Troy Murphy
2012 second-round pick
Murphy didn’t have a chance in New Jersey. Now the Nets get 23-year-old Brandan Wright. Gadzuric will probably be gone by the end of the season.
With seven minutes left to go before the trade deadline, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, trades the face of the team, Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Bobcats receive:
Center Joel Przybilla
Forward Dante Cunningham
Forward Sean Marks
Conditional 2011 first-round pick (via New Orleans)
Conditional 2013 first-round pick
The Trail Blazers receive:
Forward Gerald Wallace
Does Jordan know what he is doing?? How could he get rid of a player averaging 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds a game. I guess its looking toward the future for the Bobcats. Wallace will help the Blazers go into the next round of the playoffs.
The Houston Rockets made two separate trades which netted them first-round picks and some players. The first was with the Phoenix Suns and the other was with the Memphis Grizzles.
The Rockets Receive:
Guard Goran Draic
Future first-round pick
The Phoenix Suns receive:
Guard Aaron Brooks
The Rockets Receive:
Center Hasheem Thabeet
Forward DeMarre Carroll
Future first-round pick
The Grizzles receive:
Forward Shane Battier
Guard Ishmael Smith
Carroll and Thabeet were Memphis’ top picks in the 2009 draft. Is Memphis trying for a playoff run?? Battier help the Grizzles the last time he was with the team in 2006. Brooks days with the Rockets were number when he left the bench during a game on February 5th.
The Boston Celtics were busy as they traded several of their workhorses in two separate deals with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder.
In the first trade,
The Celtics receive:
2013 second-round pick
The Cavaliers receive:
Forward Luke Harangody
Center Semih Erden
In the next trade,
The Celtics Receive:
Forward Jeff Green
Center Nenad Krstic
The Thunder receive:
Center Kendrick Perkins
Guard Nate Robinson
I can’t see where Krstic is a better center than Perkins. The Thunder do get the warriors of the Celtics in Perkins and Robinson. Will this help Oklahoma in the long run?
The Cleveland Cavaliers once again were involve in a trade. This time it was swapping of guards with the L.A. Clippers.
The Cavaliers receive:
Guard Baron Davis
2011 first-round pick
The Clippers receive:
Guard Mo Williams
Forward Jamario Moon
This deal give the Clippers a younger guard and save them money. It also gives Cleveland a first-round pick and a scoring point guard in Davis.
The Atlanta Hawks were involved in a five-player trade with the Washington Wizard.
The Hawks receive:
Guard Kirk Hinrich
Forward Hilton Armstrong
The Wizard receive:
Guard Mike Bibby
Guard Jordan Crawford
Forward Maurice Evans
The Hawks get a younger guard in Hinrich, while this does nothing for the Wizards
Which trade do you think helped or hurt a team at the trade deadline.
Did the Pistons players really go AWOL?? That’s what people are saying about Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Chris Wilcox missing a shoot around last Friday. Is it ironic that these players have clashed with coach John Kuester in the past. The coach held his ground and McGrady, Prince, Hamilton and Wilcox did not play against Philly.
Welcome again to Monday...Since Spring Training is getting underway, there has been a lot of blogs being posted about Baseball again...People are getting geared up for Baseball season...Me, I'm having trouble...One reason, Hockey season is going strong, the trade deadline is approaching, and teams are making their push towards the Playoffs...
The second reason I'm not fired up about Baseball...I live in Cleveland! We like snow with our Opening Day, and I'm sick of snow, as I look out the window, and see more falling...But even more than that...The Indians sucked last year...And guess what, they're going to suck this year too...This off-season, the big acquisition was signing aging infielder, Orlando Cabrera...Yeah, he's a decent guy to have on the roster, but this team already has 5 middle infielders...You see, GM Mark Shapiro is obsessed with utility players...Well a team full of those guys doesn't cut it...
Then there is the pitching staff...All young...All potential...Fausto Carmona is the "Ace" of the staff...He's got some good stuff, but he's young, and has had a tendency to be wild...After that it is a pack of unproven guys, that we've been told have lots of potential...Year after year this franchise has had loads of potential, and just when a number of those guys are reaching that potential, they are traded away...
Now most people in this town blame ownership, and say he's cheap...The few defenders will point out how he isn't cheap, that the Tribe overpaid Travis Hafner, and Jake Westbrook, and signed a worn out Kerry Wood...So then I guess he's stupid...Actually yes...Larry Dolan is stupid, because he has put all his trust and faith into GM/President Mark Shapiro, and he has done with his money, whatever Shapiro told him to do...So maybe stupid and cheap! Either way, the Indians won't be a good, competitive team, until Mark Shapiro is gone!
And the Indians brass is wondering why they're having trouble selling Season Ticket plans...Well, for the same reason the Cavaliers are having trouble selling tickets, and Season Tickets...The economy sucks, and it really sucks here...So if you put a shitty product out there, people aren't going to pay big money for it...Listen, if I want to go see Triple-A Baseball, I can go do it a lot cheaper then going to an Indians game!
As for the Cavs...Now I haven't gone to a NBA game since high school, and I don't plan on doing now...So you can imagine my joy when I got a cold call from the Cavaliers, trying to sell a special offer on tickets...EAT A DICK! I didn't pay to see them when "The King" was here, why the fuck would I start making myself suffer now?
Didn't I mention Hockey before? Yes I did...Hey did you know Sunday was "Hockey Day in America"? I'll assume most people didn't...Just us Hockey geeks...This was a little thing the NHL cooked up to get people fired up for Hockey...A bunch of feel-good stories about pond hockey, and this American hockey great and that American hockey great...Two televised games in the afternoon, and then finish the day off with "The Heritage Classic" in Calgary...Flames vs. Canadiens...
The NHL is hoping this will give them a boost...That's fine, and it may have today, but I think the NHL needs to start to except what it is...I believe Bill Burr put best when he said, "Hockey is a rogue sport." ...The NHL continues to reach out and try to grab the casual fan...Change rules to try and push scoring, and open the game up for the "stars"...Now sometimes you do land a casual fan...Everything does...But if you fuck with things too much, you start to turnoff your base...Hockey people love hockey, and they'll watch junior, and minor league, and college...I watch College Hockey every week...There's always something to fill the void...
So I'm asking the NHL, to except what you are...You'll never be the NFL, the NBA, or MLB...That's okay...Don't play to the lowest common denominator...Be what you are, and your fans will always support you...Also hope for the NFL and NBA to have serious labor issues, that shut them down next season...They may give Hockey another nice boost...As long as the NHL doesn't have another lockout!
Before I go, lets get a laugh in here...Saturday night Patrice O'Neal had a comedy special on Comedy Central...It was hilarious...Here's a taste of Patrice's brand of Humor...
One last thing...Last week, some people didn't like the tone of Monday Moaning...Not that it was very different from what it is each week...But some didn't like the 'hate' vibe it had...So each week, I'm going to make sure I put something in my post, that I love...
I love good music...I heard this version of this song driving home from work Saturday night...It was the first time it had been played on Cleveland radio in 20 years, and it was great...One of my favorites, Van Morrison, doing a great Bob Dylan song...