Saturday, February 11, 2012


It's been nearly 40 years since the New York Knicks have won the NBA title. It's been ten since they have even won a playoff game. That is the reason for the sudden Lin-Sanity that is sweeping the tri-state area.

It all started against Nets when Lin played 36 minutes. He had only one game with more than 10 all season to that point. Amare Stoudemire missed the next game, Melo got hurt and Lin took over leading the Knicks to four-straight wins.
His amazing stats:
vs. Nets: 25 points (10-19 FG), 7 assists, 5 rebounds
vs. Jazz: 28 points (10-17 FG), 8 assists, 2 rebounds
vs. Wizards: 23 points (9-14), 10 assists, 4 rebounds
vs. Lakers: 38 points, (13-23), 7 assists, 4 rebounds

Those are absolutely incredible numbers: 28.5 ppg and 8 apg on 57.5% shooting. But there are several reasons why I don't expect this to keep up.

1) Carmelo and Amare will be back eventually. When they come back they will demand the ball and they will clog up the middle taking driving opportunities away from Lin.
2) Teams are going to start to lay off him and make him shoot from the outside. That might be a weakness. Even during this amazing stretch, he has made only 3 of 14 from 3.
3) He's reckless. There are several ways this can manifest itself. First off, he could get hurt. Second, he makes a lot of wild drives resulting in some crazy layups, most have been falling, maybe that will stop. Third, he makes a lot of turnovers, 17 in these 4 games. An assist to turnover ratio of nearly 2 is decent, but if his teammates' shots stop dropping, his ratio will.

4) Nothing like this ever lasts very long. If Lin were the most heralded point guard prospect ever, it would still be implausible for anyone with so little experience to be performing at this high level. The only question remaining, is when he returns to a more normal level of performance will he still be a good NBA point guard, or is his natural level something closer to serviceable backup?
5) If this keeps up we're going to have to put Papa Poop in the Lin-sane asylum. He has the most severe case of Lin-sanity I have ever seen. And he hasn't even been able to watch all the games because of the dispute with Time Warner Cable and the Knicks. After every game he messages me the stat line, followed by a bunch of exclamation points. A few more games like this and he'll end up in a straitjacket that looks like this:

Thursday, February 09, 2012

In the Zone

For years the old school baseball fans and media have decried defensive statistics, saying you can’t judge defense with numbers. Well you can, if the numbers are derived from watching and analyzing every single play in every single game, which is what statistics like Range Factor and Ultimate Zone Rating do. And now similar metrics have been applied to basketball.
Please read this amazing article from Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn. He charted every play of Syracuse’s first 11 conference games (before Georgetown) and 4 non-conference games. The results are fascinating and I will encapsulate them here for those too lazy to read the whole thing.
Fab Melo is a great defender. Not only does he block shots and grab rebounds, he takes a lot of charges, three times as many as anyone else on the team. This creates turnovers at a higher rate than most big men. Baye Keita is a big drop-off when Melo is not in the game, because he fouls a lot. But the biggest reason SU struggled without Melo is because of Rakeem Christmas, who is the worst defender on the team.
Kris Jospeh is the best of the forwards defensively, he does everything well, challenge shots, force turnovers, but he’s not a good rebounder. This has been a huge problem against bigger opponents, and a lot of the responsibility to fix it is on Kris Joseph. James Southerland is a better defender than you might think, but he fouls too much. CJ is just Fair.
Dion Waiters is the best of the guards, by a wide margin. He forces more turnovers and challenges more shots, resulting in a lower shooting percentage against than Triche, and especially compared to Jardine. Opponents are almost twice as likely to make a shot against Scoop as against Waiters. And Scoop almost never fouls the shooter, because he doesn’t get out on open shooters.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Glad They Got Those Academic Issues Cleared Up

The return of Fab Melo (after a 3 game absence, due to reported academic problems) resulted in a return to the dynamic fast break offense Syracuse displayed during its 20-game winning streak to start the season.
Melo's blocks and the misses he forces often lead to fast breaks which result in easy points. So even though Melo scores only 6 points a game, he does a have a big impact on the offense, because he creates better scoring chances.
After some brief struggles to start the game, SU returned to its dominating ways, playing as they did before Melo left the lineup. They were fast-breaking and turning in awesome dunks, including one incredible dunk from Michael Carter-Williams, followed very closely by a good one from Dion Waiters.

For a few games there I was a little worried about the team’s title chances because the outside shooting was so bad. But if Melo is around he seems to make it easier for everyone.
But now Syracuse goes into a stretch where the schedule gets tougher. 5 of the last 7 games are against teams in the RPI top 30. I don’t expect to win them all, but even two losses, and another in the Big East Tournament would still give SU a good shot at a 1 seed in the tournament, not #1 overall, but a solid #1.
As for me personally, I ordered my tickets for the New York City Alumni Club, Big Apple Orange. The tickets were being distributed at Stout, an Irish bar half a block away from the Garden. The bar was incredibly crowded, even for 11 on a Saturday night, except it was 11 on a Saturday morning. The food was good, I had the delicious steak and eggs.
Our seats were not great, in the 400s, but we were in a section of all Syracuse fans. It seems liked the entire arena was a Syracuse section though. I would put the ratio of Syracuse fans to St. John’s at 3 to 1.
That explains why after the game Derrick Coleman was being mobbed on the 7th Avenue plaza. You could tell that he wanted to get going, but he was very gracious to shake hands and take pictures with all who were interested.

I'm Down with JPP, Reluctantly

Normally I don't like cheesy sports-themed spoof songs because the team and player names are normally shoe-horned in awkwardly. But this one makes perfect sense. And the song and especially the video have much higher production value than you normally see out of these things.
Plus JPP is a great player and I am thinking of changing my name legally, and changing this blog to Pierre-Paul's Poop.

Great job by Josh Hyman on this song and video.

Song of the Week

"Last Chance" - Ginuwine
"If I only got one shot, to win you, then call me Jordan 4th quarter in 92"

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

One Good Thing Came Out of the Giants Winning the Super Bowl

If there is one bright spot in this whole Giants winning the Super Bowl debacle, this is it.

Maria Menounos in a Giants bikini

Poop favorite Maria Menounos lost a bet with fellow "Extra" correspondent AJ Calloway. As a result she had to wear a bikini in Times Square.
I'm sure she's really upset about the chance to show off her awesome body and get her picture all over the internet.

Super Bowl XLVI is Poop

Congrats to the Giants Fans
For the second time in five years the New York Giants are celebrating an improbable Super Bowl title. Though throughout both of those playoff runs (which followed mediocre regular seasons) the Giants were blessed with incredible luck, they also played great. Tom Coughlin seems to have mellowed as a coach. And Eli Manning has blossomed into an incredible quarterback. In a close game dominated by defense one of the teams was going to make the one play that would win the Super Bowl. That play was Manning's perfect throw, over two defenders right into the arms of Mario Manningham who deftly got his feet in bounds for the reception that sprung the Giants to the winning points.
An unintended consequence of that was that Bill Belichick used a coach's challenge (he had to) and when he lost it (the correct call), the Patriots had one fewer timeout with which to stop the clock.

The Sit-Down Touchdown
When Ahmad Bradshaw tumbled into the endzone to give the Giants a 21-17 lead, he actually made a big mistake. He should have taken a knee, as he was being implored to do by Eli Manning, at the 1-yard line, and killed more time. Look at it like a math problem: what are the chances of Tynes missing a 20-yard field goal there? Maybe 5%. What are the chances of Brady bringing them back down the field for a touchdown with a minute to go? I've gotta think they are better than that.
One thing we should all do is take a list of which media members go out on a limb today and say yes Bradshaw should have scored the touchdown. There will be few. But one day, in a similar circumstance, a player will take a knee and his team will lose because the kicker misses the field goal. On that day, every single media member will criticize the strategy.

I guess the Sit-Down Touchdown gets to joined The Immaculate Reception and the Helmet Catch as uniquely named plays.

The Safety
It is so rare to see Tom Brady make mistake like this. But it was clearly the correct call by the referee. Brady was under pressure, he threw the ball where no receiver had a reasonable chance of catching it, and he was definitely in the pocket.

No Mo
After the Giants took a 9-0 lead, by totally dominating the game, not even letting the Patriots have the ball, I guess you could say momentum was on their side. Then the Pats defense stiffened, and finally late in the first half they Pats scored to make it 10-9. Then, using the advantage gained when they deferred, the Patriots scored again and led 17-9. Surely, momentum had turned. But the Patriots never scored again, and you know the rest. I bring this up, as always to illustrate my main thesis in life. There is no such thing as momentum in sports. Players win games by making plays. There is no invisible snowball rolling down a hill helping the team that's in front stay in front.

Picture of the Week
Maybe they should call it the Shit-Down Touchdown, because it looks like Ahmad Bradshaw is about to drop a deuce.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
In the last 6 years the Redskins have played the eventual Super Bowl champion every single year, and they actually haven't done too badly. In fact, over the last 12 years, the Redskins are 6-4 against the team that went on to win the Super Bowl, including 2-0 vs. the Giants this year.

We're All Incredibly Lucky
As much as the Giants are lucky, we as football fans have gotten even luckier. Of the 20 Super Bowls played in the 80s and 90s only two were really good games (the second 49ers-Bengals and Giants-Bills). Of the 13 Super Bowls played in this millennium, 5 are classics (Rams-Titans, Patriots-Rams, Giants-Patriots I, Steelers-Cardinals and Giants-Patriots II), 5 others were good games (Patriots-Panthers, Patriots-Eagles, Steelers-Seahawks, Saints-Colts and Packers-Steelers) and only 3 sucked (Ravens-Giants, ExpensiveCornPrices-Raiders and Colts-Bears). I remember in the 80s they did the Bud Bowl just to keep people interested in the game. Now everyone is glued the entire time. I hope it never ends.

200 Million Morons
The numbers are in and Super Bowl XLVI set a record with 111.3 million viewers. With roughly 312 million people in the country, that means 200 million people didn't watch. I'll grant you 30 million elderly, 20 million kids, incapable of watching. But that leaves 150 million didn't watch. Can these numbers be accurate? What were these people doing?

Monday, February 06, 2012

Shut Up And Look Hot

Giselle opens her pretty mouth and gets herself in trouble.

In case that wasn't clear she said "My husband can not f------ throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time."
Now I know the she's just standing up for her man. And I know the Giants fans were heckling her, and they are the worst scum of the earth.
But now she has created a problem for Brady who has to choose between his bitch and his boys. He's obviously not going to come and repudiate her publicly for her comments. But his teammates, especially Wes Welker, aren't going to like it.
Come to think of it, this is the first time I've heard Gisele talk. Do you know why? Because those aren't brains.
When she walks down the runway, does she talk, no. Because nobody cares what she has to say. She should just stand there and look hot, something she is very good at doing.

Super Bowl Ads

"Free to Pee" - TaxAct

"The Tease" - Oikos Greek Yogurt
It was nice to see John Stamos still working

"Thing Called Love" - Samsung
I love this song and Billy loved the Urlacher cameo. Did it really air in the full 90 second version? Is that $10m?

"Rescue Dog" - Bud Light
Very clever way to get the product's tagline ("Here We Go") into the vernacular. And they are doing a good thing for abandoned animals.

"Business Trip" - CareerBuilder
They're drinking banana daquiris, get it? I don't like animals in costumes and these commercials are getting old

"Vampire Party" - Audi
So Audi spends millions of dollars to advertise its new headlights?

"The Big Grab" - BMW
Or a heated steering wheel?

"Man's Best Friend" - Doritos
Anything that has to do with killing cats is fine with me.

"Sling Baby" - Doritos
Both of these Doritos ads were user-generated content. Doritos has had a lot of success with these, and saved millions on advertising agencies.

"It's Reinvented" - Toyota Camry
This is the reinvented baby, it doesn't poop. It is also a time machine. You knew when they said poop this was going to make my list of best ads. But I am little discomfited by the guy's nonchalant attitude toward the reinvented couch, in male.

"King's Court" - Pepsi
I hate Elton John, Flava Flav is annoying and I had no idea who the chick was. Turns out she is Melanie Amaro from X-Factor.

"Just My Shell" - M&Ms

"2012" - Chevy Silverado
This was my least favorite ad. Drive a Silverado or you will die. I guess it's a good message for the worriers among us.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Watching the Game At Brady's

An Upper East Side bar named Brady's was obviously worried about not doing a very brisk business for the Super Bowl.

I can't imagine many hardcore Giants fans would want the karma -- or the embarrassment -- of watching the Super Bowl at Brady's.
So the owner made a big spectacle (the mayor was there) of changing the bar's name to Manning's, for this week only.

Weekly Picks

The worst season of my life is almost over. At week 8 I had 23 points and was 5-3 on best bet (21-19 overall). Since then I have 13 points in 12 weeks, and went 2-10 on best bets (20-35 overall), just an amazing run of ineptidue.

new york giants +2 1/2 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Basically, I think the the Giants offense will be more proficient against the New England defense than the Patriots offense (with all its weapons) will be against a stronger Giants squad.
I do think the game will be lower scoring than most people anticipate. I'd definitely take under 54. I think the Giants win 27-24.

Last Week: 1-1 (0 points)
Season: 41-54 (36 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (7-13)
Home Favorites: 0-1 (17-21)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-3)
Road Favorites: 0-0 (11-16)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (13-14)