Saturday, April 06, 2002

Stephen A. Smith finally decides to show up for a Sixers game... Phil Jasner gives his take on the Sixers frustrating loss... Stackhouse had the audacity to say afterwards that "the game was refereed well." Of course he would say that, just look at his free throw stat sheet (15-16) for the game. He went on to say in "the last three minutes, they just put the whistle away and let us play ball. That's playoff basketball." First of all, what would Jerry Stackhouse know about playoff basketball? Second, if this was "playoff basketball", how do you explain the Pistons going to the line 11 more times than the Sixers? And on the game's most pivotal play, even the neutral, objective game recap on the NBA's own web site says (twice!) Stackhouse hooked Mutombo's arm as he was about to attempt a tying dunk. On one level, I can almost go along with the ref's not whistling the foul. But generally, the "unwritten rule" here is to at least award the "fouled" team the ball out of bounds. By not calling the foul (check out the video and judge for yourself on the recap page), Joey Crawford and Jess Kersey essentially gift-wrapped this one for Jerry's kids. Apparently a team can shoot over 45% for a game, outrebound the other team 43-33, and commit fewer than 10 turnovers and still manage to lose as long as The Next Kobe Bryant is on the other team.

Phil Sheridan on the Eagle's inexplicably rescinding the franchise player tag on Jeremiah Trotter. SI's Don Banks thinks this ongoing soap opera between Trotter and the Eagles is far from over. Expect Trotter to sign with the expansion Texans, whose head coach Dom Capers just happens to have the same agent (Jimmy Saxton) as Trotter.

Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett talk about how it took "a team of mathematicians" and C's PR director Bill Bonsiewicz said it would have been easier "to explain splitting the atom" than explaining how the C's clinched their playoff spot. Funny, I figured it out at 7:30 yesterday morning when looking at the current standings and looking at the remaining schedules for playoff contenders. I find it curious that the C's official web site posted the news just hours after I did. I hate to say it, but "I told you so." This turn of events supports my belief that the NBA (or one of its teams) needs to just hire me. Forward all relevant job openings to my email address, thank you very much.

Michael Smith gets amnesia and forgets that Shaq wasn't the regular season league MVP last year. Peter May turns into Peter Vescey and labels Kobe Bryant's 5-25 performance last night against the Celtics "Iversonian." Funny how Bryant can look very mediocre without the big Aristotle around. A quick look at the box score shows that Bryant went to the charity line 18 times. Looks like he's well on his way to becoming The Next Jerry Stackhouse. Rich Thompson notes the irony (and "historical significance") behind Paul Pierce's 33-point performances in both games against the Lakers this year.

Bill Simmons with two excellent Page 2 articles on ESPN.com. For those of you who might not know, Bill is the original "Boston Sports Guy," whose daily commentary on everything-sports was the inspiration behind Dave's Sporting News, Etc. End of acknowledgements.

Mark Montieth notes the latest Jordan-induced schedule change. A Pacers-Wizards game tip-off time was actually changed three different times before NBC executives finally made up their minds. I'm glad they take into account the actual fans who buy tickets, often months in advance, and who might make plans around events they plan to attend. Nice to know that the NBA cares so much about them that they do whatever they can to scrape up a few measly ratings points. And they wonder why ratings are on the decline... The Flyers still suck and their fans let them know about it... Mayor Street is still an idiot... Finally, a radio personality from Q102 attempts to pay his bill at a local IHOP with an IOU, landing him in a bit of hot syrup...

Friday, April 05, 2002

Pat Croce is set to interview Larry Brown in an interview to be aired during NBC's NBA telecasts tomorrow... Rick Carlisle gives Phil Jasner a call... Dave Coskey doesn't think parking is a problem down at the First Union Complex, since "35% of the Sixers' crowds typically arrive after the start of evening games." Gee, you don't think that's because season ticket holders, like yours truly, are forced to park nearly a mile from the complex (and still pay $10 for the privelege) thanks to the ineptitude of Philly's finest, which Comcast-Spectacor hires to direct traffic during events. Note to Mr. Coskey: maybe the Sixers fans should be able to park next to the Center, and Phantoms fans should be able to park next to the Spectrum. And you might want to tell the cops which is which. The Flyers suck.

Frank Fitzpatrick finds a cool website, What If.com (note: could be detrimental to workplace productivity; you've been warned)... Fitzpatrick also talks about the "dangers of fly balls." (no, really). I can almost hear the "Fox News special report" promo already on this one: "Tens of thousands of innocent fans put themselves at risk everyday. Stay tuned and see how you can protect yourself and your loved ones!"...Peter Vescey says that Jordan's Third Coming actually hurt the Wizards in the long run... Phil Mushnick hates everybody.

Peter May and Mark Cofman both have it wrong as far as the C's clinching their playoff spot. The worst record the C's could end up with is 43-39, and both the Raptors and Pacers are tied for the 8th seed at 36-38. While Cofman attempts to use "new math" to demonstrate that the Raptors could end up with a better record, he fails to account for the fact that the Raptors and Pacers have to face each other twice before the season is out, so both teams cannot run the table and end up with a better record than the C's. Therefore, NBA.com properly shows the C's as having clinched their playoff spot, while the webmasters over at ESPN apparently went to the same math class as Cofman... Regardless of the outcomes of tonight's games, it'll be interesting to see what mention is made of any of this on the FleetCenter Jumbotron at tonight's game against the Lakers...

And just went things couldn't get any worse of the Iverson-less Sixers, Speedy Claxton is out for the next week, still feeling the effects of the concussion he suffered in last weekend's game against the Nets. And to make matters worse, Michael Hunt hints at Ray Allen's return to the Bucks lineup (and this right before the upcoming home-and-home series between the Bucks and Sixers). Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for the Sixers...

Finally, Mayor Street is an idiot. While on the one hand, he can't seem to find a few dollars in his budget to return to the working residents of Philly by decreasing the nation's highest wage tax, he apparently sees no problem spending thousands of dollars of campaign funds to send his wife and kids to Rome. Nice. Reminds of why I hate politics. Note to Mayor Street: it's your refusal to lower this crushing tax that has been driving businesses and "well paid wage earners" (like myself) out of your city.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

The Inquirer's Ashley McGeachy talks about McKie coming up huge for the Sixers in overtime...Sam Donnellon talks about how an ugly win is still a win....Phil Jasner punches in with his take on the OT win...In other team's news, George Willis contradicts himself by prematurely speculating on last night's so-called "NBA Finals" preview (note to self: if the Nets make it to the Finals, I need to abandon the NBA and start following MLB right away...on second thought, maybe I'll just take up golf.) I only have one thing to say to Willis if the Nets make it to the championship round: FOUR-AND-OH...Fred Kerber manages to solicit a quote from Kobe the Punk (if this latest injury to Shaq is more serious than Phil is letting on, we'll just see how Lower Merion boy does without being able to ride O'Neal's coattails...