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Sports Friday with Hal: The Celtics Are Back to Square One
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Boston Celtics NBA basketball Rajon Rondo Rebuilding Trade

I made the mistake of watching a few Boston Celtics games this past week (the wife was at school/clinical and there was no college football games during the week) and was absolutely disgusted by the effort put forth by Rajon Rondo. After eight years in the NBA, Rondo is in position for free agency this off-season. In the last four seasons Rondo--rather than entering his prime from age 25 to 28--instead had injury-plagued campaigns topped off by his missing almost all of last season.

 

Rondo has gone from one of the five best point guards in the NBA at age 23 in 2009-10 to a 25% three-point shooter, a poor shooter who does not get the basket with regularity and whose field goal percentage went from 50% down to 40%, and a liability at the end of games with his almost inconceivable 33% free throw percentage. Once a key cog on a championship-level team, he became the unmotivated, surly, and disinterested veteran on a rebuilding team.

 

The Celtics appeared to have pulled the trigger on a deal sending the mercurial point guard and last holdover from their World Championship team to Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks. Boston is sending Rondo with former Stanford big man Dwight Powell who is on team #4 in his brief NBA career after being a second round draft pick in June. Unless you watch a lot of the Maine Red Claws in the D-League or remember watching Stanford upset Kansas and New Mexico to reach the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament, Powell has just been a throw-in to three deals in less than six months. He’s done more packing than he has playing.

 

Boston gets back future first-and-second-round draft picks from Dallas and three players that will likely be gone by the trading deadline in February with skinny no-power forward Brandan Wright, washed-up ten-year veteran point guard Jameer Nelson, and third-year swingman Jae Crowder. None of the three are expected to be key pieces in Boston, but they should have some value in acquiring more assets.

 

The deal makes a ton of sense for both teams:

DALLAS:

The Mavericks are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff picture and on pace for 50 plus wins again. However, the point guard position has been a black hole as the team has had little to no production there so far this season with Nelson and Devin Harris sharing the job. Rondo suddenly goes from feeding a team full of misfits, mis-cast players and overmatched youngsters to a team with Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler, and Monta Ellis begging for a point guard who can set them up for open shots.

 

Rondo may be a gambler on defense, but he can generate pressure on opposing point guards when he feels like it. He is an excellent rebounder for a point guard and will gladly pass up any shot to feed a teammate the ball. Rondo has always been knocked for not bringing his “A” game unless it is a “television” game. In Dallas every game is a big game in the ultra-competitive Western Conference and the way Cuban makes every home game a production of pure excess.

 

Rondo is the right player for the right team in Dallas. He needs them (showcase for free agency) and they need him (distributor to their many scoring options).

 

BOSTON:

The Celtics simply needed to get rid of Rondo. He had wore out his welcome in Boston and was a bad fit for the rebuilding team. The draft picks are all that the Celtics are really going to get out of the trade. It was clear that general manager had no desire to re-sign Rondo after drafting Marcus Smart with the sixth overall pick in the last NBA Draft.

 

Wright, Nelson, and Crowder are fodder for the trade deadline since now they can be moved at the deadline since they will have been on the team for 60 days since the deal is being made now (It also allows Dallas to move Rondo if the deal blows up). The Celtics have little need for Brandan Wright with youngsters Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk already learning on the job at power forward/center.

 

Jae Crowder has veterans Jeff Green and Brandon Bass ahead of him at forward and being showcased to be dealt at the deadline potentially as well. Jameer Nelson is just a salary to match-up for cap purposes in a future deal (unless he is kept as a mentor for rookie guards Marcus Smart and James Young). Nothing is part of the Celtics’ rebuilding plans other than draft picks to accumulate.

 

One theory for keeping Rondo around for the last year is that he had to get his knee healthy enough to be traded. That may be so, but he was also the only draw Boston had for a free agent or player agreeing to be traded to Boston. With Rondo to feed the ball to a superstar and enhance his scoring, it was the only miniscule reason for anyone to agree to come to Boston. Once Kevin Love (one of the few players who did not have Boston as an automatic “No”) decided to go for the sure thing (Cleveland with LeBron James), there basically was no reason to rebuild around Rondo.

 

The Celtics reportedly will get a trade exception for Rondo in this deal since they are trading Rondo for basically nothing in return. If that is the case, it can help with trade flexibility later this season in getting rid of some of their few remaining pieces. This roster is not yet finished being blown up by the Celtics and anyone with more than two years of experience in the NBA would be wise to be living out of their suitcase.

 

Trading Rajon Rondo is turning out to be a deal that benefits both teams: Dallas has a distributor with playoff experience and renewed motivation at point guard and Boston gets a few more chips to use to try to continue to remake the roster and build for a championship in the future.

 
Weekly Grumble with IHM 12/19
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Harbaugh Pelini Dumars Jordan NBA NFL NCAAFB MLB

 

  Hello ladies and gents, and welcome to this week’s Grumble with IHM. We’re quickly approaching Christmas Day (less than a week away now, for all you shopping procrastinators out there), and I continue to wait to hear back about the job I want so badly! While I wait, I’ve got a second interview to go to today at 2… so hopefully I can use that to get an answer out of this other company! The two updates I’ve had from the staffing firm so far have been “no movement on the position”… either way, hopefully I’ll be back to work when the calendar rolls over to 2015!

  In the world of sports, we’ve got some big stories going this week! The first of course would be the shots fired on Nebraska’s campus between ex-head coach Bo Pelini and AD Shawn Eichorst. Pelini was allowed to address his players before departing for Youngstown State (his new gig), during which he said he’d rather work at fucking McDonalds than work with “some of those guys”, and called Eichorst cunt and a pussy during his profanity laced rant, which drew several rounds of laughter from players who are also disgruntled with Eichorst, but Nebraska’s brass is not laughing. Fortunately for Pelini, he does not have any no-disparagement clause that will prevent him from collecting the reported $7.9 million severance package he is owed. Of course, this is the same guy who multiple times has said he doesn’t give a fuck if he’s fired… and who has repeatedly berated Nebraska fans, going so far as saying “fuck you, fans” in a different rant. Well, if things don’t work out at Youngstown State Bo, we’ll save a spot here at the Gab for you!

  In another developing story, former Pistons GM Joe Dumars was fined $500,000 by the NBA back in 2010 for leaking confidential league information to a source in the media; the third biggest fine in NBA history! In fact, it had gone on for so long that the league had to set up a sting to find out which GM was responsible, so they sent messages worded differently to different NBA GM’s. The reporter in question is yahoo.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who apparently had some form of symbiotic relationship with Dumars. Wojnarowski would write nice stories about Dumars… Dumars would keep feeding him information. Embarrassing for the Pistons organization to say the least… but at least it got them somewhere near relevance for a day!

  The writing is on the wall in Chicago, and it looks like Jay Cutler’s days as a Bear are numbered. Cutler has been benched, likely for the remainder of the season, by coach Mark Trestman in favor of Jimmy Claussen, and rumor has it he may be headed to Tennessee via trade in the offseason. This, of course, comes a week after reports surfaced that offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said the Bears were experiencing “buyer’s remorse” on Cutler.

  This might look like good news for the Lions, who head down to Chicago to face the Bears this weekend… but given the Lions’ history against backup quarterbacks, I’m going to say I’d rather see Jay Cutler back there than Jimmy Claussen. For those who wonder what I’m talking about, I’ll say two words… Matt FUCKING Flynn!

  The good news for the Lions, provided they don’t shit the bed against an out of it and dispirited team in Chicago, is that they’re now a game up on the Packers thanks to an upset by the Buffalo Bills (finally Jim Schwartz does something to help the Lions!) last weekend. The Lions struggled against the Vikings last week, but the Vikings are a much better team than Chicago is at this point. Hell, if they find a way to use Patterson in Minnesota, they’ll be in some good shape! Of course, the Lions head to Lambeau Field week 17… a place that has been an absolute house of horrors for them, going winless there since 1991! But, the division title will likely be on the line (assuming the Packers rebound this week against Tampa Bay), so I’m hoping this will be the year the streak is broken!

  As for this week’s hot stove in baseball… it’s not quite as hot as last week’s, but there are still some moves out there worth mentioning:

-The Royals signed Edinson Volquez to a two-year deal.

-Michael Morse signed with the Marlins.

-Brandon Morrow signed with San Diego.

-The Rays traded OF Matt Joyce to the Dodgers for RHP Kevin Jespen.

-The Rays were not done there, trading OF Wil Myers to San Diego in a three-team, 11 player deal that also involved the Washington Nationals.

- The White Sox continued to improve by signing OF Melky Cabrera.

-The Royals also signed 1B/DH Kendrys Morales.

-The Indians signed RHP Gavin Floyd.

-LHP Chris Capuano signed with the Yankees. The team also re-signed 3B Chase Headley.

-The Braves signed IF Alberto Callaspo.

- The Astros signed SS Jed Lowrie.

  The big buzz in the sport of baseball surrounds the new arrangements made between Obama and the leaders of Cuba, who have decided to re-start relations between the nations. What impact will this have on future MLB players coming out of Cuba? We’ll find out soon, I’m sure… but it might make things a whole lot easier for teams to scout and pick up players from the island.

  Over in the NBA, Rondo trade rumors are up and running once again… this time the rumors have him going to the Mavericks in exchange for C Brandan Wright, a few other players to meet the salary cap math work, and draft picks. This would give Dallas a starting lineup of Monta Ellis, Rondo, Dirk, Chandler Parsons, and Tyson Chandler.

  Milwaukee’s first round pick Jabari Parker is out for the rest of the season now after tearing his ACL Monday night in Phoenix. Parker was the #2 overall pick in last year’s draft, and was averaging 12 points and 5 rebounds per game for the surprising Bucks on the season.

  The Jordan 11 retro shoe release caused some idiots to riot in Toledo, Ohio. A crowd of 3-400 people gathered outside a store, and when the store announced it was delaying opening (the store only had 150 “tickets” available for the right to buy the shoes), the crowd became restless. The police were called and pepper spray was allegedly used. This isn’t the first time a crowd has become violent over Air Jordans… people are frequently hurt or even killed during these “shoe releases”, not to mention those who are shot wearing them when someone comes to rob them for their $180 shoes.

  As for news on the Michigan head coaching job, reports are that Jim Harbaugh is “considering” the Wolverine’s offer of six years, 49 million dollars, making him the NCAA’s highest paid coach, passing Nick Saban’s yearly salary by over a million dollars per year. Looks like Saban has a raise coming in his future… assuming Harbaugh takes the money that is. Harbaugh, of course, has two games remaining in the NFL season, so a decision is unlikely before the end of the 49ers season.

  That’s all I’ve got for today folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. I won’t be back til the day after Christmas, so Merry Christmas to you and yours. I’ll see you the day after Christmas… or as Santa calls it, empty sack day!

NFL Week 16 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Thursday December 18

Titans (2-12) @ Jaguars (2-12)

EverBank Field, Jacksonville 8:25 (NFLN)

Favorite Jags by 3 ½

Last Week Titans lost to Jets 16-11, Jags lost to Ravens 20-12

Fast Facts TEN: Titans are allowing league worst 139.6 yards rushing a game.  JAX: QB Bortles has been sacked a league high 41 times since

The last Thursday night game of the year is a real snoozer. Neither team going anywhere but home after next week. The Titans lost a sloppy ugly game to the equally woeful Jets and while Jacksonville got beat beat by the Ravens last they are at the very least playing competitive and pushing their opponents, the Titans have been getting housed on a weekly basis. The Titans haven’t won since they last played these same Jags in week 6. Im thinking that the Jags get some get back here.

Pick- Jacksonville

 

Saturday December 20

Eagles (9-5) @ Washington (3-11)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 4:30 (NFLN)

Favorite Eagles by 7 ½

Last Week Eagles lost to Cowboys 38-27, Washington lost to Giants 24-13

Fast Facts PHI: Ranked second in QB sacks WAS: Allowed second most  sacks in NFL

Stung by a second straight home loss the Eagles now need help to return to the playoffs they head to DC to face a Washington team that is light years away from contention. The Eagles allow way too many points on defense primarily because their high speed offense isn’t on the field long enough to give a proper rest, but the anemic Washington offense should not give them that much trouble. Mark Sanchez should be able to get enough time to pick on the soft Washington secondary to make the road to victory pretty easy.

Pick-Philadelphia

 

Chargers (8-6) @ 49ers (7-7)

Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, CA 8:25 (CBS)

Favorite 49ers by 1

Last Week Chargers lost to Broncos 22-10 49ers lost to Seahawks 17-7

Fast Facts SD: Have won the last three meetings  SF: The 49ers 3 game losing skid is the longest in the Jim Harbaugh Era

The Chargers are on playoff life support after their lackluster loss against the Broncos while the 49ers are dealing with the cold fact that for the first time since 2010 they will not be going to the playoffs after being dominated by another despised rival. The Chargers will be without leading receiver Keenan Allen who broke his collarbone but the Niners are a virtual MASH unit in comparison Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman , Ahmad Brooks, Frank Gore and standout rookie Chris Borland all either out or uncertain with injuries. Combine that and the growing ineptitude of the Niners offense. I think the Chargers are good enough to keep their feeble playoff hopes alive with a win and further fuel speculation of Harbaugh's exit

Pick-San Diego

Talking Sports
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL NHL JoJo

It’s a week away from the big day and all the craziness ends. The presents, the parties, and the food. Are you ready? Will we ever be ready?

A have few sports related things on my mind. The thought crossed my mind the other day that The Chicago Bears, The Miami Dolphins and The Detroit Lions (despite being 10-4) are all the same team. They are all loaded with talent and they all can’t get out of their own way. But why is that, is it coaching? , is it, the system they are using? Are the players buying in and engaging in the team concept? Like the patriots, Packer, and Broncos.

Talented teams that don’t win or can’t make the playoffs usually mean a few things. Players put an I in team too many guys thinking it’s about them. They usually don’t by into the common goal maybe to many Clicks in the locker room players are being pulled in several directions. It also could mean that the coaches and management aren’t invested and player view that has a negative. The biggest one is talented guy just aren’t making plays maybe they don’t get enough chances maybe Kyle Orton, Ryan Tannehill, and  Mathew Stafford aren’t the solution maybe they are the problem.

I guess we really don’t know what the answer is with the exception none of these teams are consistent or make enough plays to win consistently.

The NHL Update

They hot the puck a lot like 20 times each and man the penguin have the chilly willies in the for of the mump. The Penguins visited a children’s hospital and few guy including Syd the Kid came down with the Mumps, I guess they spread the wealth with a few other teams. The Ducks and The Leafs had similar problems as well.

The Panthers and the Capitals  went twenty rounds in a shoot out the other night. The Panthers capitalized on it and won. Lots of pucks for 1 point. It is seriously time for the NHL to revisit getting rid of the shootout. I understand they don’t want ties. So play 4 on 4  5 minute Ot’s until there is a wiunner. It would be far more exciting than after both team probably battling in an even game and then it all rests on a tired goalie. It just doesn’t seem fair.

I don’t know anybody who doesn’t live high intensity 4 x 4 hockey were guys have room to move and shine  as they will. I think it’s a much better than a damn 20 round shootout.

Lil Warrior update

The Boys were losing 4-2 going into the third period and ended up winning 6-4 No shootouts here just up and down action.

Coach needed Lil Lanz to play Defense . He was pissed and said his Parakeet died. It did on Friday so the coach had a moment of silence for Jo Jo the Parakeet .  The coach came out after the game and told me they had a moment of silence I pissed myself laughing. He says I needed him to play.S o I did what I had to. One cool thing about this game was another team from our town the next age level up were playing after our guys and they all know each other so everytime we scored . Those guys were banging on the glass cheering them on. It was pretty cool.

Jo jo arrived at out house at LiL Lanz’s 5th Birthday party Lil Lanz will be 13 in May. I’m guessing somebody let it out on purpose. So I have a bunch of moms of 5 year olds saying you have to catch it before a hawk gets it. I was like vidals for the hawk. Anyway I captured JoJo after the party Mrs. Lanz went off and bought JoJo a cage. She tried to find the right full owner through the police department. I don’t know who was more distraught about keeping JoJo me or Ruby the wonder dog. Who at times took to JoJo kind of the same way Slyvester took to Twitty if get my drift. Finally after almost 7 years JoJo had his last tweet on Friday. I thought I caught a slight smile through her sadness from Ruby the wonder dog. That’s the tail of JoJo the Parakeet. I did see that one particular mom who encouraged me to capture JoJo her son had a game after Lil lanz’s . I went up to her and said the parakeet died and the dog is happy. She smiled than gave me a slap in the arm and said your awful.

OH Thursday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Christmas family NFL

 

This is happening too fast this year, here we are one week from Christmas and 3 days away from the official first day of Winter.

I can tell you this, Winter set in here in southern New England about a month ago.

Christmas is one of my favorite Holidays.

It’s about the only time of year that I get all five of my kids in the same place at the same time. My Mom and my wives parents will be with us on Christmas Eve.

We host Christmas Eve and the family, extended family and many friends stop and visit, eat drink and laugh together with a fire roaring in the fireplace and tidings of comfort and joy.

Christmas morning we have a great breakfast of homemade scones (the beautiful and talented mrsharry is the best baker I know)  I make the hair curling coffee… which I do every morning.

Around noon I take my Mom home so she can tend her 4 cats and then take a nap before my siblings drop in.

The rest of us head over to my brother and sister inlaws for a traditional Surf& Turf Christmas dinner, gift exchange, music, we sing  the 12 days of Christmas with everyone of the 31 of us joining in.

We draw the # day from a hat and let it fly. My sons and I usually share a # and sing in our best Monte Python or Dumb & Dumber voices.

One year I drew the much dreaded first day of Christmas, I had to sing alone. Much to my dear wife’s dismay I unleashed my best Bob Dylan voice and from that day forward I’ve had to buddy up, no more solos for Dave…some folks just don’t appreciate ”how does it feel… to be a partridge without a home…a complete unknown…

Once upon a time you dressed so fine   you threw the bums a dime    in your prime…didn’t you

After the singing we do a Yankee joke gift exchange. Lottery tickets, DD coffee, gift certificates and one year I wrapped a pair of old sneakers. The same year one of my brother in laws wrapped up a used pair of gold toe socks. My father in law always wraps a $50 bill in some of the strangest wrappings…everyone know its there but can’t figure which one it is.

 

After that and continuing on till 1 AM, we pair up and play the second leg of our family billiard tournament. My son Luke and I are in second place after the Thanksgiving leg. Son Chris and nephew Pete (defending champions) have a narrow lead on us because I managed to send the cue ball into the next room and land it on the foosball table on my 8 ball shot.

The other four teams of in laws and sons will have moments of glory but they will be short lived…they haven’t learned the oldharry rule… every 3rd drink needs to be water. Hydration is a must.

We’ll wrap up the 3rd and final leg on New Years Day.

NFL

As we roll onto the next to the last game of the 2014 regular NFL season I took a look back at my preseason predictions made with the help of ol shorty.

My final four teams were

New England & Pittsburgh in the AFC and

Green Bay and New Orleans in the NFC

it looks like these are still

Possible

 

The Saints are hanging on by a thread at 6-9 but benefit from playing in the NFC South, a division that the Jets and Oakland would compete in.

The Steelers are still in a dog fight with Cincinnati and Baltimore and it’s possible all three could make the playoffs

New England captured it’s 12th AFC East flag in 13 seasons and has the number one seed unless they stumble vs the Jets or Buffalo in the last two weeks.

Green Bay looked invincible 3 a couple of weeks back holding on to edge the Patriots but after a 2nd half meltdown that almost cost them a game vs Atlanta

And being shut down in Buffalo

They find themselves behind the Lions in the NFC North

Enjoy the week and Have a great week and a Merry Christmas

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