Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yes, I am slacking

It's not my fault that I choose to slack but rather, I get busy often nowadays despite only working three days a week.

For users of Netflix, a baseball documentary is now available on streaming: Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story. I'll be viewing it tomorrow evening prior to the debut of Franklin and Bash.

I'm always saddened when I hear a Jewish day school is closing. This time, it is in Toledo, Ohio.

Over at JTA, Ron Kampeas spoke with four members of Congress following a joint session.

Mayim Bialik endorses a vegeterian place named Zen Garden in Louisville, KY.

In the meantime, let's go Mavericks!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beshear didnt snubso

So here's what exactly happened Derby week. The event at Fort Campbell was not meant to be a political event. A source just informed The Kentucky Democrat events that took place behind the scenes...events that were not reported in the media or by the other blogs.

The media found out that Wednesday about President Obama making a visit. However, nobody from the White House bothered to contact the Governor to invite him to the event. When the microphone hit the Governor's face, he had no idea what was going on and contacted the White House shortly thereafter.

As such, the Governor went about his regular business.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Offseason speculation

As the Eastern and Western Conference Finals go on, there's the offseason talk of who stays and who goes for the Boston Celtics. One thing for sure, retooling for another run at the 18th championship is not going to be easy as Julian Benbow reports.
This year’s draft class isn’t overflowing with game-changers. And the free agent class isn’t flooded with stars. And even if it were, with some $56 million tied up in Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and Paul Pierce, the Celtics have only so much money to work with.

Retooling will take some creativity.

First, they’ll have to decide which of their seven free agents to bring back.

Jeff Green is the obvious investment. To get him, the team traded Kendrick Perkins, seeing value in the 24-year-old Green and his ability to play three positions, from the paint to the perimeter. But if anyone on the roster meets the job description in the Celtics’ current classified ad — young, athletic, salary negotiable — it’s Green, who was like a Christmas gift for Rondo, giving the point guard someone to run the floor with and throw lobs to.

Celtics president Danny Ainge said he intends to extend Green the $5.9 million qualifying offer before July 1.
I was impressed with Green when he was at Georgetown and even during the postseason this year. I hope Ainge does something with Green before the lockout starts. Get his contract in place ASAP.

There's also the Glen Davis factor. He wants to start. That's a problem. Right now, there are at least four starters, health pending, in Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett.
Glen Davis can test the waters as an unrestricted free agent. Ainge has said he wants to bring Davis back, and will judge him on his body of work over four years in Boston and not just a disappointing nine games this postseason.

Still, as soon as the Celtics were eliminated, Davis made it known he wants to be a starter (and haul in starter’s pay). Beyond that, his relationship with coach Doc Rivers is father-son at best and love-hate at worst. All those factors will play into his decision.
If Davis is a starter, it's because someone is injured. He likely won't start until someone retires.

Just look at the draft alone this summer. There are very few underclassmen in this year's draft that will have a nice NBA career. Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight are sure things. I don't know how Kyrie Irving will do. He only played in 11 games for Duke due to injury. Sure, he's a 6'2" point guard. But the number one prospect? I don't think so. In 3 games, he did score over 20 against solid opposition so maybe, there's a chance but I don't know. If Boston wants an NBA caliber player that will have a nice career, they ought to trade up or look to next year's draft when it is expected to be stacked.
It’s been a while since the Celtics have had to cash in with draft picks. Their starting lineup has been veterans-only territory since they assembled the Big Three. First-round picks Avery Bradley and J.R. Giddens have gotten their most minutes in the D-League.

When Ainge says that Bradley, the team’s first-round pick last season, would be a top-five pick this year, it’s a compliment, but it’s also a testament to the depth of this draft.

The Celtics have the 25th and 55th picks, and Ainge has been evaluating talent for weeks. With a 2012 lottery-protected pick from the Clippers, Ainge has a trade chip to work with should he decide to swing a deal.
The Boston Globe looks at Celtics players on the roster and what to do about the free agents. Personally I voted to keep Jeff Green, dump Carlos Arroyo, keep Glenn Davis, keep Nenad Krstic, dump Shaquille O'Neal, dump Troy Murphy, dump Sasha Pavlovic, keep Von Wafer, keep Delonte West, and not parting ways with the Big Four. Of the fans that have voted before me, what to do with Davis the most mixed emotions by far.

I liked Shaq in his prime, although it was hard on me as a Celtics fan to see him playing for the Lakers.

Tea Party Not Strong in Kentucky

Turns out that the Tea Party of Kentucky only cares for Rand Paul. If it was truly strong and enthused about anyone else, they sure didn't show it on Tuesday. Just about 10 percent of voters actually cared to show up to vote.

Even in the Democratic Party, the only actual race was that of the race for Secretary of State between Alison Lundergan Grimes and appointed Secretary of State Elaine Walker. This race was really one between Beshear and Lundergan when you get down to it. Voters overwhelmingly supported Alison Grimes.

CW announces 2011 schedule

The CW announced their schedule. Sarah Michell Gellar's new show, Ringer, will be airing on Tuesdays at 9.

8 pm Gossip Girl [new time slot]

8 pm 90210 [new time slot]

8 pm H8R
9 pm America’s Next Top Model

8 pm The Vampire Diaries

8 pm Nikita [new time slot]
9 pm Supernatural

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CBS announces 2011 Schedule

CBS announced their schedule for the fall.

The huge changes are The Good Wife moves to Sunday and CSI moves to Wednesday. Outside of that, for the first time in years, a non-rerun airs new shows on Saturday night as Rules of Engagement starts off that block of mostly reruns and encores. With the renewal of Hawaii 5-0, Alex O'Loughlin has a show on CBS that lasts more than one season! Two Broke Girls has had a lot of online buzz.

8/7c How I Met Your Mother
8:30 pm: 2 BROKE GIRLS
9 pm: Two and a Half Men
9:30 pm: Mike & Molly
10 pm Hawaii Five-0

8 pm NCIS
9 pm NCIS: LA

8 pm Survivor
9 pm Criminal Minds
10 pm CSI [new time slot]

8 pm The Big Bang Theory
10 pm The Mentalist

9 pm CSI: NY
10 pm Blue Bloods

8 pm Rules of Engagement [new time slot]
8:30 pm Comedy Encores
9 pm Drama Encores
10 pm 48 Hours Mystery

7 pm 60 Minutes
8 pm The Amazing Race
9 pm The Good Wife [new time slot]
10 pm CSI: Miami

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ABC Fall 2011 Schedule

ABC announced their new fall schedule, including several shows that will debut during the midseason.

8/7c Dancing with the Stars
10 pm Castle

8:30 pm MAN UP
9 pm Dancing with the Stars Results Show
10 pm Body of Proof

8 pm The Middle
9 pm Modern Family
9:30 pm Happy Endings [new time slot]

9 pm Grey’s Anatomy
10 pm Private Practice

8 pm Extreme Makeover: Home Edition [new time slot]
9 pm Shark Tank [new time slot]
10 pm 20/20

8 pm Saturday Night College Football

7 pm America’s Funniest Home Videos
9 pm Desperate Housewives
10 pm PAN AM

NOT RETURNING NEXT SEASON: Better With You, Brothers & Sisters, Detroit 1-8-7, Mr. Sunshine, My Generation, No Ordinary Family, Off the Map, The Whole Truth and V.

Monday, May 16, 2011

FOX announces 2011-12 Schedule


9 pm House

8 pm Glee
9:30 pm Raising Hope

8-9:30 pm THE X FACTOR

8 pm THE X FACTOR (Results Show)
9 pm Bones

8 pm Kitchen Nightmares
9 pm Fringe

8 pm Cops
9 pm Encores/America’s Most Wanted (Specials)

7:30 pm The Cleveland Show
8 pm The Simpsons
9 pm Family Guy
9:30 pm American Dad

8/7c House

8 pm Glee
9:30 pm Raising Hope

8-9:30 pm American Idol

8 pm American Idol (Results Show)
9 pm FINDER/Bones (Returning in Spring)

8 pm Kitchen Nightmares
9 pm Fringe

8 pm Cops
9 pm Encores/America’s Most Wanted (Specials)

7:30 pm The Cleveland Show
8 pm The Simpsons
9 pm Family Guy
9:30 pm Bob’s Burgers

Thanks, Brett

Thanks, Brett Dawson, for the memories over the years that you provided as the Kentucky Wildcats beat reporter for The Courier-Journal.
I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity in front of me as I move to Rivals.com to be the publisher of its Kentucky site, CatsIllustrated.com. I start there on Monday, and we have big plans ahead.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wildcats reach out to 5 star center

The Kentucky Wildcats, this past season, didn't really have a starter that could play the 5 spot. Had he been eligble, it would have likely been Enes Kanter playing the 5. Josh Harrelson is borderline 4/5. Media guides list him as a forward but he jumped center for Kentucky. Eloy Vargas is listed as a center but played as a backup.

Jody Demling notes that the Wildcats have shown an interest in Mitch McGary, a 6'10" kid out of Chesterton, Indiana.
Some of the top colleges in the country have taken notice and are now calling, including Kentucky and Louisville.

When asked for a list of schools showing interest, McGary reeled off: Duke, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, West Virginia, Connecticut, Kentucky, Kansas, Memphis and Louisville.

"I’m really wide open," McGary said. "I probably won’t make a decision until late."

McGary said Indiana has shown interest but noted, "I don’t know if they have any scholarships?" He said the interest from UK and U of L has been recent and he has talked with assistant coaches from both schools.

"They both said they wanted to recruit me pretty hard, so we’ll see," he said.

Some of the schools he already has offers from include: Texas, Arizona, Oregon State, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, Purdue, Indiana, Florida, Miami, Maryland, Marquette and Illinois.

McGary is listed in the rankings anywhere from the 60-80 range but most analysts believe he’ll be a top-30ish kid by the end of the summer.
Jody has some notes from his performance at the Adidas May Classic on Friday night:
I had been hearing all spring that one of the most improved players on the AAU circuit was SYF Players center Mitch McGary and those evaluations were dead on. While he didn’t score a ton, the 6-foot-10 McGary did a little bit of everything. He hustles, he scores, he rebounds, he talks his team up. SYF Player edged the Michigan Mustangs by one point after lead by 21. McGary has turned into one of the top 30 or so players in the Class of 2012. The former Chesterton (Ind.) star is now at Brewster Academy and his stock continues to soar with colleges all over the country.
Nation of Blue offers more information.
McGary has bursted on the AAU scene this spring and summer. He was formerly rated in the bottom 100 prospects my most recruiting services. Scout.com now ranks McGary as a five star and the number six center in the class of 2012.

NBC 2011 Fall Schedule released

TVLine revealed the 2011 fall schedule for NBC. The thing that pisses me off the most is that Chuck is now on Friday nights and word has it that it won't get the back 9 ordered. NBC has done away with the three hour comedy block and placing two sitcoms on Wednesday night.

Midseason shows will be new cycles of Celebrity Apprentice and The Voice; the new comedies Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, Bent and Best Friends Forever; and the new dramas Awake, Smash (which will air Mondays at 10, after The Voice), and The Firm (based on the John Grisham novel, yet to be cast).

I will say that with a new cycle of Apprentice, Trump must have decided against running because of the whole equal air time rule.

Here's the schedule:
8 The Sing-Off

8 pm The Biggest Loser
10 pm Parenthood

9 pm Harry’s Law
10 pm Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

8 pm Community
8:30 pm Parks and Recreation
9 pm The Office
9:30 pm WHITNEY

8 pm Chuck
9 pm GRIMM
10 pm Dateline NBC

Repeats “Encore programming”

7 pm Football Night in America
8:15 pm NBC Sunday Night Football

Friday, May 13, 2011

Networks cancel numerous programs...

It's upfront season for the networks, which means that we are starting to hear what shows are being cancelled. I've heard some rumors regarding programming on CBS but nothing official. The Defenders could go either way to be honest. I'm not surprised at the cancellations on NBC but I'd go ahead and ax Outsourced if I were them.

That said, ABC has renewed Happy Endings, which I am very happy to hear. They also picked up 12 programs (five comedies, seven dramas). Some are likely to be midseason replacements. New ABC comedies will include Last Man Standing, Work It, and Apt. 23. The new dramas include Good Christian Belles, Charlie's Angels, Pan Am, Once Upon a Time, and Scandal.

New NBC comedies include Bent, BFFs, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, Up All Night, Whitney, and Free Agents. Dramas include the Inception-esque Awake, The Playboy Club, Prime Suspect, and Grimm. They are also picking up the musical dramedy Smash.

New programs on FOX include Alcatraz, Terra Nova, The Finder, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, The New Girl

Human Target
Lie To Me
The Chicago Code
Traffic Light
Breaking In
(there is a slim chance that they could escape death)

No Ordinary Family
Brothers and Sisters
Better With You
Off the Map
Detroit 187
Mr. Sunshine

Law and Order: Los Angeles
The Event

Mad Love
Shit My Dad Says
The Defenders

Rivers to coach Celtics for 5 more seasons

Blogger had issues this morning so I wrote this elsewhere on the computer and copied/pasted here. Before copying and pasting, the news broke that Coach Doc Rivers will remain on the bench for at least five more seasons.

The good news for fans of the Boston Celtics is that the contract to keep Doc Rivers on the bench as head coach for a few more years is "basically done." It's good news for Boston as a transitional period with rebuilding is most definitely something that will be happening in the next few seasons. While KG, Ray, and Paul Pierce will remain Celtics, they are aging, too.
Rivers, who had a one-year option to return next season, is expected to sign a multiyear contract as team president Danny Ainge envisions his coach leading the Celtics through an expected transition period.

"We have to figure out a couple of things,” he said. “But we’ll get it done relatively quickly. I wanted to get this out of the way so we can concentrate on the summer and free agency. Everything should be done soon. We want to get this done as soon as possible so we can move forward."[...]

“Well the good thing is KG gets an extra month to get some rest and get healthy because last year since we went to Game 7 (of the Finals), he had a short summer,” Rivers said. “We have to do what we have to do to preserve him.”

Rivers said he is convinced the Celtics are capable of another run, even if they won’t enter next season as the prohibitive favorites. And the coach said he would not be against making lineup changes that would actually bring one of the Big Three off the bench.

“I really believe that (we can compete for a title),” he said. “But we have to make the right moves. We have to get guys to surround the Big Three. And depending on what we can get, (making lineup chances) is something you would have to consider."
Meanwhile, speaking on WEEI, Celtics President Danny Ainge reflected on the past season. Ainge had this to say about the future of the team:
"We need to make changes for sure. I don’t think [the roster is good enough to compete for a title next year]. But having said that that’s my job is to evaluate the reasons why we didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing ... We do have a team that next year come playoff time will be a year older and a team like Miami will be in their prime years."
Jef Green is a free agent so assuming a decent contract offer is given, he could be playing a larger role with the Celtics next season. Green does want to stay in Boston. I liked his play when he was playing for Georgetown in college and in an expanded role, this guy is really good. He's only in his mid-20s so he's still in his prime. Or just getting to his prime.

Glen Davis is a free agent as well. He, too, wants to remain with the Boston Celtics and eventually become a starter. This was a guy that was dominant in SEC play while in college. With more playing time, he, too, can evolve as an NBA player. No doubt about it.

As Bob Ryan notes in his column, the core is getting older and they need to build around them with younger talent. Ryan seems to think that Davis' career with the Cs is finished. Ryan also endorsed the return of Green and Delonte West, who played great with an injured Rondo on the sideline.

Jermaine O'Neal's future, too, is an unknown. There's talk that he's considering retirement. If that's the case, one would think that Boston would have to trade up to draft a guy like Enes Kanter or make some trades for a big man or sign a free agent center that is in his prime and can start in the fall. That's all assuming that there won't be a lockout.
O’Neal wasn’t prepared to make a decision about his future immediately after the Celtics were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat on Wednesday. But O’Neal indicated the desire to spend more time with his family — he also has an 11-year-old daughter, Asjia — makes retirement a possibility.

"I have a little boy that’s a sponge right now and he’s looking for more and more time from me,” O’Neal said. “Fifteen years (in the NBA), I’m 32 years old. That’s half my life.

“The most important thing for me right now is my family and my kids. Basketball has dominated so much of my life for so long that I have to really take an honest look. Now, every time I leave the house my son is asking when I’m coming back. When I call home, it’s, ‘When am I coming back?’ My daughter has been forgiving of it, but it may be time. I don’t know. I don’t want to suffer when I’m 45.”[...]

“There’s a lot of things that have to play out,” he said. “Obviously, we may not even play next year. And if we play half a year, for sure I know everybody’s coming back here. It benefits us in a major, major way. But you can only take some time away. I don’t know what guys are planning on doing, but I need to get my head away from this. It’s time to get back with the family. We’ll see what happens.”

O’Neal has one year and $6.2 million remaining on his contract. That’s a lot of money to leave on the table, but he’s made almost $160 million in his career. The pull of his family may be stronger than that of one more contract and one more run at a championship.

“He wants to shoot 100 shots on the big goal to make one,” O’Neal said of the son who will keep him busy if he retires. “I was in the yard before we left just throwing the football with him. You don’t get those days back. As much as I want to win a championship and compete for a championship, it’s a difficult decision to make."
Who knows, maybe Boston does with they did in 1980, where they traded for Robert Parish and got Kevin McHale via the draft? Time will tell.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Boston can still win this thing...

The good news is that Rajon Rondo's MRI came back negative for any major damage to his left elbow as a result of a collision with Dwayne Wade last night.

If Kevin Garnett is dominant on Monday as he was last night and Chris Bosh is a non-factor as well, Boston has a really good chance of tying the series at two a piece. Granted, Rondo has to be Rondo and lead this Celtics team.

Jeff Green, Glen Davis, and Shaquille O'Neal have to have great performances coming off the bench. If someone on the Celtics has a performance like Jason Terry did against the Lakers today, they will be dominant.

Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers did have some comments before the MRI results were revealed this afternoon.
"Right now we're going with they're all playing," said Rivers, who was including Shaquille O'Neal. "Hopefully we'll know something by the end of our film session. Obviously (Rondo's elbow) was far more painful today, a lot of swelling."

Rivers said the Rondo decision may carry into tomorrow night.

"If he can't help our team (Rondo won't play)," the coach said. "And if he can play, how well can he play and will he help or hurt our team? No. 1, we're not going to hurt the player and we're not going to do anything to hurt the team. It may not be until game time and the game until we find that out. Right now, that may be the case. I am optimistic about both, that they're going to play. I don't know why I am, but I am. I just don't know how well either one can play. But like I said, if they're on the floor, we're healthy."
Make no mistake about it. If Rondo is hurt and can't play, it would be the right call on Coach Rivers' part. Game time decision, no doubt there. The Celtics need a healthy Rajon Rondo on the court. Obviously, Delonte West has a sore shoulder and I'm not sure how great of a player he can be as Rondo's backup if he's playing hurt.

It's a miracle alone that Rondo came back to play the fourth quarter.

Rondo wasn't concerned after last night's game though.

After the game, Jeff Green spoke about Rondo returning in the fourth quarter and Boston's improved bench play during Game 3.

That said, Paul Pierce's defense did make a huge difference when it came to defending LeBron James.
"Anything under 25 points for LeBron, you're defending well," said Pierce. "You know what type of talent he is, and you know you're used to seeing him go out and get 25, 30. That's what you expect from him. When you can hold him down to under that it gets ourselves a better chance."

The Celtics gave better help on James in Game 3, double-teaming earlier and forcing him into more difficult decisions. James made the wrong decision at least four times in committing four turnovers. But Pierce also dug down deep on his own, getting up into James's body knowing that the help was there.
Similarly, as stated above, Chris Bosh was simply a non-factor during Game 3.

Just like with Saturday night, Boston is going to have to play with force if they want to head back to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Liggins going pro

Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins is remaining in this summer's NBA Draft. He will speak at a press conference tomorrow to talk about his decision.

While most had thought that he would return to Kentucky for his senior season, he had a really good workout in New Jersey.

With Liggins going pro, here is what the 2011-12 Kentucky Wildcats will look like as they bring in four McDonald's All-Americans. They aren't done yet as Trevor Lacey makes his decision on May 18th.

SF Darius Miller

SG Jon Hood
C Eloy Vargas

SG Doron Lamb
PF Terrence Jones
SF Stacey Poole
PG Jarrod Polson
G Tawny Beckham*

PG Marquis Teague
PF Anthony Davis
SF Michael Gilchrist
PF Kyle Wiltjer

* denotes current redshirt sophomore. Not eligible until December 2011.

Animal Kingdom wins 137th Kentucky Derby

Animal Kingdom has won the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby at historic Churchill Downs.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is getting slammed by critics for staying the course with gubernatorial traditions during Oaks Day. If the president wanted the governor there, he would have came to Fort Campbell on Wednesday instead of waiting until Friday.

Beshear made the right call in my opinion and I back him on this 100%.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Dude, WTF?

Over at KSR, BTI decided to post about the best players at each jersey number. It went well until you get to this line here.
44: Cotton Nash (Chuck Hayes)
All credibility lost at that line alone. Once you leave off the single most greatest player in Kentucky history, credibility is lost. How does one leave Dan Issel off a list like that? His all-time Kentucky scoring record is still intact. Hell, combine NBA and ABA stats, and he's still in the top ten all time in scoring!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Cetics great John Havlicek spoke with Glen Davis today during the afternoon practice session and it could inspire the team that is currently down 0-2 to the Miami Heat in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs.
This is the first time Boston has faced an 0-2 deficit since the current Big Three came together, and therefore they’ve never been afforded an opportunity to crawl back from this far behind. Doing so against the Heat will be incredibly difficult to accomplish, but just because this group hasn’t done it before doesn’t mean it’s an impossible feat.

Kevin Garnett’s famous words after his team took home the 2007-08 NBA title were, “Anything is possible!” John Havlicek is another Celtics legend who can attest to that statement, and he can apply it to the franchise’s current task at hand.

Havlicek, who played all 16 of his NBA seasons with the Celtics, was a part of an aging core group during the 1968-69 season that fought its way to the NBA Finals and lost its first two games on the road to the Los Angeles Lakers. Many compared last season’s title run by the Celtics to that ’69 squad, and the comparisons are returning again during the postseason.

There was no hoo-rah speech at this afternoon’s practice in Waltham, Mass., but Havlicek was present at the facility and one player was able to have a personal conversation with the franchise legend.

Glen Davis, who has not played to his capabilities during this series, took advantage of Havlicek’s presence and pinged him for some advice and story telling.

“I was talking to Havlicek today – Havlicek stole the ball – and I said, ‘Which one of these banners were you 0-2 (in a series)?’ “ recalled Davis. “And he said the one that stood out was ’69, 1969, when they were down 0-2 and they came back to win it in Game 7 against the Lakers.”

It was great to hear that another team in this historic franchise had accomplished the feat that this current Celtics team faces in the Conference Semifinals, but Davis wanted to learn more, and Havlicek gave it to him.

“He was just saying that it’s going to take everything in you to fight and crawl back to get back to the 2-2, to the even,” said Davis. “And then it’s going to take something special to finish them off.”[...]

Even with Shaq’s likely return, though, Boston has a difficult task at hand. It must defend its home court, or this series will be on the brink of completion. This Celtics team hasn’t been in this situation before, but Ray Allen, for one, is soaking it all in and is fully confident that he and his troops can pull off a comeback similar to Havlicek’s ’69 team.

“It’s fun to me,” said Allen. “Just look at the situation that we’re in. We’ve found different ways to rise from the ashes, so to speak, and winning championships, there’s never really a clear-cut formula on how there is to do it.

“We talk about having resolve all year, and we’ve proven that we have (it), we had it during the regular season. So now we’re just in a playoff situation where we have to prove it again.”

The tools are there to complete the task. The Celtics just have to use those tools in the correct manner. Boston has admittedly gotten away from its preferred style of play thus far in the series, but it can return in an instant, as we saw during the first-round series against the New York Knicks.[...]

Boston has shot nothing but blanks through the first two games of this series, but that’s exactly what happened to Havlicek and his teammates against the almighty Lakers back in ’69.

The table has been set for Boston to replicate such a comeback during this series. Now it’s time for the Celtics to serve.

Gary Williams to retire?

Jeff Goodman is reporting that Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams is retiring. It's huge news as it's come after the offseason coaching carousel was thought to be over.

Before starting his long run at his alma mater of Maryland during the 1989-90 season, Williams coached American (4 seasons), Boston College (4 seasons) and Ohio State (3 seasons).

He will end his career with a record of 668-380.

Gary Parrish at CBS Sports has a bit more.
“It’s the right time,” Williams said. “My entire career has been an unbelievable blessing. I am fiercely proud of the program we have built here. I couldn’t have asked any more from my players, my assistant coaches, the great Maryland fans and this great university. Together, we did something very special here."

Williams spent 22 seasons at Maryland and led the Terrapins to the 2002 national championship while making 14 NCAA tournament appearances, seven Sweet Sixteens, two Elite Eights and two Final Fours. In recent years, though, he struggled recruiting the Washington D.C./Baltimore area and had grown tired of the summer culture where most high-major recruiting now takes place, a source said. Williams had not made the Sweet Sixteen since 2003. The Terrapins were 19-14 overall, 7-9 in the ACC last season. Their best player, Jordan Williams, announced on Wednesday that he is hiring an agent and staying in the 2011 NBA Draft.

The Maryland job is now the biggest available job from this offseason.

Coaches widely consider it to be one of the nation's best jobs because of its natural recruiting base.
We'll see who takes his spot. These will be some huge shoes to fill.

Greenberg writing ABC pilot

According to Variety, Mike and Mike in the Morning co-host Mike Greenberg is working on developing a single-camera comedy based on his book, Why My Wife Thinks I'm an Idiot, with ABC Studios. I have had the chance to read it and I think any sitcom based on his life would be a success. If you listen to the morning show on ESPN with Greeny and Mike Golic, you know that this can be entertaining.

Producing the pilot with ABC Studios will be Lowell Mate and Mayhem Pictures. If it were not for Humanitas and their New Voices program, this project may have not happened.

The project was brought to ABC Studios through the Humanitas organization’s New Voices program, which nurtures projects from aspiring writers. Greenberg will write the pilot with aid from a trustee from Humanitas.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Paul Pierce disccuses ejection

Sports may seem trivial in comparison to yesterday's news that came late at night but this afternoon, Paul Pierce discussed the ejection that ocurred yesterday afternoon with just over 7 minutes remaining in the first game of the second round series against the Miami Heat. You might recall that Pierce was nowhere to be seen during the postgame interviews. To be honest, I don't blame him.
"I was more upset about letting my teammates down,” Pierce said. “I'm too important to this team."

“Referees called what they saw. I did a bad job keeping my composure. I overreacted. I thought it should have been a flagrant on both of the plays. I was surprised at getting kicked out. I didn’t think what I did warranted an ejection.”

Asked if he expected the physical play to continue, Pierce hedged, saying, “It’s not a movie or a script. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen game-in or game-out.”
Pierce disagreed with the call.

During game one, both teams shot about the same. However, during the second game, Boston is going to need to come out strong and not overreact at any bad calls by the officials. Miami, as evident by the first game, is going to be physical.

Interestingly, the Boston Globe's NBA writer,Gary Washburn, notes the following:
James Jones' foul on Pierce upgraded to Flagrant 1 but tech was rescinded. Jermaine O'Neal's flagrant downgraded to personal.
Pierce will not be punished further. It's excellent news for the Celtics because they need every player against the Miami Heat.
Pierce was issued two technical fouls in a 59 second span for separate altercations with James Jones and Dwyane Wade. The incident with Wade got him ejected, but during his dust-up with Jones, the two got face to face with Pierce pushing his face into Jones's.

Lead official Dan Crawford determined that Pierce's action wasn't a head-butt, however, this afternoon, Pierce sounded concerned, saying he expected to have a conversation with league officials.
Coach Doc Rivers did talk some more about the matter this afternoon.
"If we're calling flagrants the way we've been calling flagrants, if you go above the head, then that's a flagrant foul. Do I actually think any of them are flagrants? No. I really don't. I don't think any of them are flagrants, honestly. But if we're going to start citing the rule book on why we give techs, then you've got to call flagrants."

Asked if he was satisfied with the officials' explanation for Pierce's two technical fouls last night, Rivers simply replied, "no."
Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan notes that the Miami defense makes the loss real hard to get past.
It took about two or three possessions yesterday for the Celtics to realize the fun was over, that now they’d be playing a team that was interested in, and capable of, playing defense. There were many reasons for Miami’s 99-90 series-opening victory, but we can start with the fact that the Celtics actually had to work to get a decent shot, and by the time they established some kind of decent rhythm, they were in catch-up mode, and they never would recover.

That horrible start against a legitimate D was the big story, that and allowing sub James Jones to go off for a killing playoff-career-high 25 points. Dwyane Wade had 38, but so what? He’s Dwyane Wade. LeBron James played a superb all-around game, but the Celtics gladly would live with repeat performances of his 22. This game wasn’t about the Celtics’ defense. It was about their difficulty in solving the Miami defense, at least until it was too late.
Ryan notes that fans do not need to panic when it comes to the Celtics.
There is no need to panic. A team in the Celtics' position always wants to get one of the first two, and it really doesn't matter which one. Even if they go 0-for-2, it doesn't mean the series is over. I refer you to the Boston Bruins.[...]

Can we not reasonably assume that will be Rajon Rondo's nadir in this series? He will not go nearly 27 minutes into Tuesday night's game before getting an assist. Can we not assume that Kevin Garnett will be more of an offensive factor? These strike me as reasonable assumptions.

The bench remains worrisome, and it may be Boston's undoing. Baby hit his first two jumpers and never scored again. Delonte West is slowly scraping off the rust from all that inactivity. Jeff Green continues to tease with some nice offense, even as we wait for him to be the defender and rebounder the Celtics need him to be. What he does best is run the floor, but that seldom comes into play. And Nenad Krstic is still a bit player.

Congressman Yarmuth releases statement

Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-03) issued the following statement in response to the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed:

“The death of Osama bin Laden stands as our nation's most significant strike in the fight against al-Qaeda to date and a military victory unrivaled for decades. While we hear so much about what divides this country, there is no question that with this historic victory, America stands united, as one. We stand with the thousands who were killed in the tragedies of September 11, with the families who lost loved ones, and with the brave men and women of our military and intelligence community who fought and sacrificed to protect our nation and to bring this murderer to justice. We will never forget the pain and loss of that terrible day in 2001, but now, the world will always remember that when things seemed darkest, the United States of America never let up, never gave in, never stopped fighting until success was achieved -- just as we always have and as we will continue to do.”

Some in-depth thoughts on Bin Laden's Death

Blog Posting
Because of the late night presidential address by President Barack Obama, I really didn’t have the time to type up my thoughts on the news that Osama Bin Laden was finally captured.

I remember thinking back to my thoughts during the horrible attacks on September 11, 2001. It brought some interesting discussions in the classroom. Some of which, I can still remember to this day. My comments, if I recall, were that there is not a single inhumane thing that can be done to the mastermind of the tragic attacks.

Hell, if I had my way, I’d kick Bin Laden in the nuts a few times and then punch him in the guts. I would like to do it to him while he was alive so he could physically feel the pain. Was a bullet through the head what I was expecting? No. But the guy resisted capture and as such, he was gunned down. I celebrate the fact that he died.

Some are saying that we should not be joyous of another person’s death. That said, however, Bin Laden lost the ability to be referred to as a person ages ago when he took up killing people for a living because he had some philosophical disagreements. Bin Laden is a criminal and as such, he will be treated as one.

If I had it my way, I would have been one of the folks cheering outside the White House last night and into the morning. It’s called patriotism. Bin Laden was the #1 Most Wanted fugitive and it’s sad that Pakistan did not do as much as it could have, if it bothered doing anything at all.

I’m not going to bother with the conspiracy theorists as some other bloggers are doing today. It gives their insane ideas credibility in the process. Unfortunately, one of those giving them credibility is a sitting United States Senator that, to this day, should never have been elected to the Senate.

It’s really interesting though that several media outlets cannot agree on the spelling of his name. That’s just some food for thought. I digress.

I don’t mourn the death of Bin Laden like those in Hamas chose to do. Any peace partner of Israel would praise America for wiping out an enemy of the state.

The following article is from AISH and I suggest that you read it.

Major Props to Brian Williams

I give major props to NBC and Brian Williams for his frequent flying over the course of the past few days. Whlle all the networks sent their anchors to London for the Royal Wedding, NBC made the call for NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams to leave for Tuscaloosa, Alabama almost immediately as soon as he landed in London, England.
As I left New York for London last night, I was haunted by one thing: the radar image I had seen on the Weather Channel before departing. It showed an active tornado over the top of Tuscaloosa, Alabama—just one cell in this active, sprawling weather system, which for the 4th night in a row was firing off brutal, monster intensity storms. We talked about it in the newsroom before I left—about how it would take hours before we knew anything.[...]

Rather than driving from Heathrow all the way into Central London, we decided to get off the highway and park in the residential neighborhood of Chiswick. We symbolically aimed the car back toward Heathrow. We watched as people left for work and school, people walked their dogs and collected the trash, some pausing to notice the idling car with passengers in it, talking on the phone. Our NBC News staff in London was just awakening to the news from home. Minutes later, NBC News President Steve Capus made the call: He said I should go home. We both agreed the tragedy would dominate our newscast and our coverage. I never got to see our infrastructure in London, or any of my colleagues beyond the confines of my car. We had a magnificent setup—the result of months of planning—to cover the big day in London, and we still will, live and wall-to-wall. But for now, for us, for this story, one of us had to go back and lead a separate coverage team—as the death toll grows.

NBC made the right call on this one. Disaster in the south was more important to cover than the royal wedding.

Bin Laden Dead

It was around 10:10-10:15 PM last night when I learned that there would be a statement by President Obama. Close to 10:30 PM, I flipped over to MSNBC and there was nothing. He wouldn't be speaking for a good hour, which makes me wonder as to why all the networks broke in before regular primetime programming was over.

The big news is that we finally caught and killed that bastard Osama Bin Laden.

It's only fitting that the news was announced on Yom HaShoah.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

To regular readers

Don't expect political news for a while. I'm done with that for the most part. Sports or entertainment commentary can be expected here on out. Mainly sports...

Go Celtics!

Boston-Miami Game 1 Recap

Ed Malloy, the NBA official that threw Paul Pierce out of today's Boston-Miami game, is going to have to answer for himself. Pierce was heating up in the second half.

I can halfway understand the double technical fouls for the first play, where Pierce got into it after almost having his head taken off. But to be ejected following a clean screen? Moments later, Dwyane Wade shoved Pierce as he was setting a screen on the baseline but they both drew technicals for talking. It was a clean play if you ask me. You have got to be kidding me otherwise.

The ABC commentators were spot on. So was Michael Wilbon in the postgame show. It was a clean screen that led to a ref ejecting Pierce after he blocked D-Wade from going after Ray Allen.

Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers took issue with the fouls that led to Paul Pierce's ejection. I don't blame him for taking issue. Rivers' comments from the postgame:
"I thought James Jones was a clear fragrant," said Rivers. "He just went to the head and grabbed. I thought Dwyane Wade was a definite flagrant. I thought both were flagrants. They were not called. We reacted, and that's exactly what they wanted us to do. So we have to be better than that."

Rivers said he expected Miami's physical play.

"You knew it was coming," said Rivers. "All they did was talk about being physical. That wasn't physical. It wasn't physical. That was chippy."
Officiating aside, Ray Allen led the team with 25 points. The Celtics did manage to outscore the Miami Heat in the second half but the first half deficit was just too much to make up.

Game 2 can be seen on Tuesday night on TNT with Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller behind the mike.

Celtics vs. Heat: Game 1

Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat will tip off on ABC at 3:30 PM this afternoon. It pits the Big 4 against the big 3.

Awful Announcing has the broadcast team for this series:
Game 1: Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat (ABC 3:30PM) Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy
Game 2: Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat (TNT 7PM) Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller
Game 3: Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics (ABC 8PM) TBA
Game 4: Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics (TNT 7PM) TBA

Records of note:
All‐Time Record vs. Miami: 55‐36 (.611)
All‐Time Home Record: 29‐15 (.659)
All‐Time Road Record: 26‐21 (.625)

Boston vs. Miami in 2010-11:
MIAMI 100, BOSTON 77 – AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL (4/10/11)
BOSTON 85, MIAMI 82 – TD Garden, Boston, MA (2/13/11)
BOSTON 112, MIAMI 107 – AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL (11/11/10)
BOSTON 88, MIAMI 80 – TD Garden, Boston, MA (10/26/10)

As of Game 4 against the New York Knicks, Paul Pierce is ranked 13th in Celtics history when it comes to playoff games played. He is inching close to the top 10. On April 24th, he passed Tommy Heinsohn for 13th all‐time with 105 games, which ties him with K.C. Jones. Bob Cousy is next with 109 games.

Similarly, Pierce is 8th in Celtics history in minutes played with 4,188.

Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan notes that Miami is on the hot seat. He goes so far as pointing out that this was supposed to be the series in the Eastern Conference Finals.
We all can say we knew this clash was inevitable, but who knew it would be this humbling?

I mean, wasn’t this supposed to be for the Eastern Conference championship?

Both the Celtics and Heat took their eye off the prize, allowing upstart Chicago to claim the No. 1 seed. So what we have here is the most anticipated, most hyped, most fascinating undercard in NBA playoff history. When this thing is over, the winner and its fans will be saying, “Wait a minute . . . there’s more?"[...]

Nope, that’s not entirely true, either. This Heat thing is about their Big Three. The playoffs are a test to see whether LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh can do what many people say can’t be done, and what even fewer people (outside of Miami) want to see done, and that is win an NBA championship with a completely lopsided roster that defies the notion of a proper title team.
Here's this tidbit on how the Celtics have done the past few seasons in the NBA Playoffs:
May 4: Celtics eliminate Hawks in Game 7, 99-65
May 6: Celtics beat Cavaliers in Game 1, 76-72
One day of rest, four-point win

May 18: Celtics eliminate Cavaliers in Game 7, 97-92
May 20: Celtics beat Pistons in Game 1, 88-79
One day of rest, eight-point win

May 30: Celtics eliminate Pistons in Game 6, 89-81
June 5: Celtics beat Lakers in Game 1, 98-88
Five days rest, 10-point win

May 2: Celtics eliminate Bulls in Game 7, 109-99
May 4: Celtics lose to Magic in Game 1, 95-90
One day of rest, five-point loss

April 27: Celtics eliminate Heat in Game 5, 96-86
May 1: Celtics lose to Cavaliers in Game 1, 101-93
Three days rest, eight-point loss

May 13: Celtics eliminate Cavs in Game 6, 94-85
May 16: Celtics beat Magic in Game 1, 92-88
Two days rest, four-point win

May 28: Celtics eliminate Magic in game 6, 96-84
June 3: Celtics lose to Lakers in Game 1, 102-89
Five days rest, 13-point loss
Gary Washburn wrote about how Danny Ainge has helped to resurrect the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics would not have reestablished themselves as an elite NBA organization — or be championship contenders again this year — had it not been for Ainge’s unconventional and sometimes defiant style.

“It’s not my job to listen to the outside world, the media, or the fans,’’ said Ainge. “It’s my job to identify what our weaknesses are and to improve those weaknesses and not listen and respond to those outside forces.

“My experience as a player and my experience as a head coach has helped me do better and define the real reasons we were winning or losing. That is my job.’’

Ainge, 52, is remembered by many as the fiery Celtics shooting guard who after a short career in professional baseball helped Boston to NBA titles in 1984 and 1986, one of the faces of the workmanlike Celtics who battled the Showtime Lakers for NBA supremacy throughout the decade.

Now Ainge is the fiery Celtics president, determined to squeeze at least one more NBA title out of this Hall of Famer-laden crew. He is a risk taker, a headstrong general with enough arrogance to make brash decisions and enough humility to allow those under him to work without interference.

“The more we were together, the better it got," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who was hired by Ainge in 2004. “That’s probably the league’s problem — the two parties [coach and general manager] don’t want to wait long enough to figure each other out.

“Danny knows what you want and goes and gets it, and I don’t know if there’s a guy who’s better at it. He just lets me do my job."
I think it's very possible that we can get another title out of this group. Maybe 2. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are getting older. So is Paul Pierce. Who knows, maybe they draft Anthony Davis in two seasons. Or Michael Gilchrist.