Elster's World

Monday, February 26, 2007

Weekend Update

It was a pretty busy weekend in sports so let’s get right to it.

- First and foremost, I’d be remiss not to at least mention the sad early passing of Boston Celtic great Dennis Johnson, who died Thursday of a heart attack at the age of 52. I was young when Johnson played point for perhaps the greatest team I have ever seen (apologies to Magic, Kareem, Coop and James Worthy – though I really have to think it through to be sure) but my shaky recollections revolve around his great defense and the fact that, when teams were forced to pick their poison, it was always Dennis Johnson they were forced to leave open (to double Parrish, McHale or Bird – and you could never leave Danny Ainge with too good a look – at least until he became an executive) and Johnson would constantly be delivering daggers to the heart from 18-20 feet away. The Celtics continue to have a very tough year both on and off the court and this is just another example.

- The Knick continue to play win one lose one basketball, beating the Bucks Friday night in a close one and then chocking against the Nets on Oscar night, despite having a 9 point lead at halftime. Very high on the list of athletes I truly despise lies Vince Carter – who dogged it in Toronto to get out of that town and now, in a possible contract year, is managing to take it up a notch for the money. There is just nothing likeable about this guy (though, admittedly, if the Carter for Channing Frye and spare parts trade had happened last Thursday, I’d probably be singing a different tune right now – that’s sports hypocrisy at his finest).

But I digress. The Knicks are not going to make the playoffs this season and while Isaiah Thomas has shown the Dolan family enough to save his job, I firmly believe other coaches could be getting more out of the talent on the roster (which I continue to believe isn’t that bad). Aren’t the Knicks a playoff team with Phil Jackson as the coach? Don’t they have 35 wins right now with Mr. Smug on the bench? Is it even debatable? Not in my mind anyway.

- Absolutely huge (HUGE!) win by the #12 Georgetown Hoyas Saturday afternoon against # 10 Pitt. The Hoyas have vaulted into first place in the Big East, have prime position for a high seed, and if they can win out the regular season (at Syracuse tonight and at home against Uconn on March 3) and make a deep run in the Big East tournament, a number 2 seed is not out of the question. After watching Ohio last night, I’m not sure G’town is the best team in the country but it’s getting harder and harder to make the argument they aren’t one of the best 8.

Now watch them lose to The Orange tonight.

- Interesting news coming out of the combine this morning and it has nothing to do with Brady Quinn’s fall from grace. In the aftermath of the Pac Man Jones Vegas nightclub shooting incident (doesn’t that roll right off the tongue?) certain player reps who are at the combine have suggested a three and out policy which basically sets forth that if a player finds himself in three bad situations (drunk driving, nightclub shooting after you start throwing money at hookers, getting caught at the airport with your “friend’s” bong in your carry-on) you get yourself in some serious trouble with the league.

What is interesting here is that the suggestion is coming from the players themselves. The league has been taking a more – if it aint broke, don’t fix it approach and allowing thug players to basically run out of control. 9 Bengals arrested this season? Five Pac Man Jones run ins with the law? A Sean Taylor gun “incident” always a day away? And let’s not forget about Tank Johnson’s gun collection.

Sadly, the league is not willing to clean up the mess that they perpetuate by not being harder on the players. Kudos for the players themselves for stepping up.

13 Comments:

  • This post demonstrates what is so maddening about Elster. He's a decent guy, but his posts...

    1. Vince Carter did not play "lights out in his contract year." He signed his current contract before his contract year with Toronto.

    2. You really think the Knicks would be 35-22 with Phil Jackson as coach? Even though the more talented Lakers are 32-25?

    3. Dennis Johnson played some point, but he was a shooting guard for the Celtics. Danny Ainge was the point guard.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 3:01 PM  

  • 1. My bad - though he did intentionally play crappy in Toronto to get out of town and he clearly is playing harder this year for the opt out option.

    2. I think that, with the obvious Kobe exception, the Knicks have MUCH more talent than the Lakers. On top of the the Lakers play in the WESt and despite having a cruddy team (except for Kobne anbd Odon) then are 32-25!!!

    3. DJ was bringing the ball up way more than Ainge in the playoffs (the games I remember watching) AND averaged 9 assists a game in the playoffs. He also ballhawker the other team's PG coming up the floor defensively so he might has well have been the point even if not technically so.

    And I stand behind (most) of my posts. I am more of a feel writer and you are more of a fact guy. There is one factual error here which doesn't change the tone of anything else I've written.

    By Blogger Elster, at 3:10 PM  

  • Johnson average 5.6 assists per game in the playoffs.

    Carter is actually having a bad season.

    If the Knicks should be 35-22, Thomas should be GM of the year.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 3:25 PM  

  • I've told you before Thomas is a better GM than coach - he just needs his mid-level exception taken away.

    He average 9 assists on the /87 playoffs, not for his career.

    ok - 2 errors. Even so, almost 6 a game on a team where there were 3 or 4 other guys with high assist numbers is good.

    By Blogger Elster, at 5:04 PM  

  • I love the blog that you have. I was wondering if you would link my blog to yours and in return I would do the same for your blog. If you want to, my site

    name is American Legends and the URL is:

    www.americanlegends.info

    If you want to do this just go to my blog and in one of the comments just write your blog name and the URL and I will add it to my site.

    Thanks,
    David

    By Blogger David, at 5:50 PM  

  • 1. After some initial difficulty, even my 2 year old son can distinguish between 6 and 9.

    2. I'm glad you think Thomas is a very good GM who has done such a great job that "the Knicks have MUCH more talent than the Lakers." You wouldn't believe some of the nonsense this guy Elster has written:

    June 22, 2006: Larry "Brown is one the greatest coaches in NBA history. Does it really make sense to think that he suddenly lost all of his skills? Rather, look at the roster Thomas had assembled for him... He's simply a terrible GM prone to making horrible trades and stupid free agent signings."

    March 23, 2006: "Isaiah Thomas is a terrible GM."

    November 7, 2006: "There’s no way this team wins more than 30-33 games this year. The good news is, that won’t be “significant progress” enough to save Isaiah Thomas’ job. So someone else will get to come in next year, blow up the roster, and try again. Hopefully from scratch."

    June 26, 2006: "Thomas will take his horrible roster and try to turn them into the Phoenix Suns."

    May 16, 2006: "Thomas was never a particularly good coach and he was even a worse executive."

    "This Knicks team is such a jumble of misplaced and expensive parts, that I wonder if I could have done a better job myself ... Thomas is the master of the terrible trade."

    May 24, 2005: "Is it bad that I contemplate the murder of Isaiah Thomas for taking a terrible, salary cap stuck team and making it even worse."

    July 28, 2005: "good luck to Larry Brown. He's going to need it. I know his reputation but this roster is terrible."

    Elster, you are a nice guy and you seem like a good father and husband. But sports ain't your thing. Leave sports to your dad.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 5:50 PM  

  • Do you seriously expect me to even dignify any of this with a response? Ok I will - I'm always up for a good challenge.

    1. I didnt mistake a 6 and a 9 - I was going off of memory- read the immons piece on DJ last friday and I thought I remembered it said he averages 9 A for his career. In fsact, that was for '87 - A mistake i already noted.

    2. With regard to Brown -He was openly trying to get himself fired - never even figuring out who he had on his roster to play - giving too many minutes to guys like nate Robinson and never paring his roster down to 8 rotational players. So the answer was somewhere in the middle. Brown did a terrible job with the talent. Also, at that point, Thomas had not drafted Ronaldo Balkman (a very underrated pick) and we didn't realize what we had yet in David Lee. We were still smarting from the Jerome James panic move at that point (never defensible but at least we see where Isaiah was coming from. At the time though, I did hate Isaiah.

    3. yes, Isaiah makes horendous trades and terribnle free agent signing for this team. he's also drafted brilliantly, The fact that hes a better GM than coach doesnt make him a great GM. i'd advocated keeping him as GM not coach. i rethink that and take it back.

    4. The team will win slightly more than 33 games. Pribably beyween 34-37. Sadly, that IS significant progress for Dolan. That's too bad. Where am I being hypocritical?

    5. yes, blow up the roster - get rid of marbury, francis, James, Natemalik Rose Kelvin Cato - keep your core young guys like lee, Frye, Crawford and Q-rich. Again. ??????

    6. Yes Isaiah is a terrible coach and a horrible executive - see his work with the CBA. He is a poor GM and a great talent evaluator.

    7. Te Knicks ARE a jumble of misplaced, expensive parts - Marbury, Francis James, the bought out Jalen Rose - and I was wrong how???

    8. Yes - Isaiah has deepend the salary cap hell the KNicks already had. This is Dolans fault more than anyone. The team hasn't practiced fidcal responsiobility since Ewing. Again - ????

    9. Brown took a crappy roster and made it worse (see above). Thomas refined the roster as best he could with a no more money mandate from Dolan (got rid of Rose, etc) pared down the rotation - stopped giving minutes to Robinson, etc.

    10. So to review - I still hate Isaiah thomas as a coach and don't love him as a gm. he's at least finally learned a little from his mistakes, has identified the best players on the team (the talent evaluator thing) - some of whom under the right guidance (like, say PhilJackson) are pretty good (again the whole talent evaluator thing)and has improved the tema JUST ENOUGH to save his shaky job.

    Again, how does all this mean I know nothig about sports?

    And you are an expert because....

    1. You took a flier on Pennington probably just because everyone else said no and got lucky?

    2 Because you groused the entire season about the Mets, failing to get any pleasure from a team that was within a few innings of going to the world series?

    3. Because you berate me for abandoning a sport that no longer interests me?

    Yup - You totally destroyed me Joe. I'll be retiring shortly.

    Just keep holding your breath till I do.

    By Blogger Elster, at 8:50 PM  

  • Chill out, man. I have demonstrated conclusively that your posts go from one extreme to another, with Thomas going from a terrible GM to a guy who has built a roster much better than the Lakers. That is not akin to destroying you, God forbid. Anyway, now that the chicks have left this blog, it's basically just a two man debate (even Bellany, the sports chick has disappeared).

    Your comments about me are silly. I was pro-Pennington because common sense indicated that he could and would come back. I was right about the Mets, something you still refuse to concede. While the Rangers are terrible, saying hockey no longer interests you is like waking up one day and saying that women no longer interest you.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 9:21 PM  

  • I have composed a poem to summarize my feelings about Joe and Elster's argument. Here it is:

    waiting
    hoping
    wishing
    dreaming
    whatever it takes
    to win
    striving to be
    the best
    achieve greatness
    yet
    the ultimate
    reamains
    elusive

    unreal
    in denial
    disbelief
    can't be
    impossible
    how
    can this happen
    AGAIN

    distraught
    dejected
    let down
    frustrated
    angry
    disgusted
    another
    missed opportunity
    best yet
    painful

    blurry vision
    just need
    to knock
    some sense
    into...
    wake up
    do something
    you can't win
    by doing nothing
    show some emotion
    show you care
    show that
    it means something
    put up a fight

    can't pretend
    it didn't happen
    the world
    won't let me
    forget
    but
    give me
    some time
    back off
    let me lick
    my wounds
    let reality
    sink in

    obviously
    meant to be
    G-d wanted it
    but
    it doesn't mean
    I have to
    like it

    By Blogger Jewboy, at 9:33 PM  

  • Joe - how did you know women no longer interest me?

    Jewboy - I LOVE that poem.

    Yes 0 I do swing to extremes sometimes, but this is not necessarily the best example. The Lakers are an ok team at best carried by a superstar and (i begrudgingly admit) a great coach.

    And JB don't worry - this is how Joe and I play nice.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:04 PM  

  • Jewboy's poem offers a poignant sentiment about Elster's extreme flip-flopping.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:23 AM  

  • I'm an emotional fan, not a flip flopper - A flip flopper wouild be one who one day roots for Mets, next day yankees, etc. An emotional fan loves his team one day and hates them the next. Much like you and the Mets and Jets. We don't stop being fans because Herm Edwards is the coach, but we can hate the way Herm botches the clock in the last 1:15 of the half while eventually deciding to kick a 17 yard field goal on third down rather than try and punch it in from the one.

    By Blogger Elster, at 11:43 AM  

  • And by the way - if I know nothing about sprts, explain my uncanny ability to call the latest G'town loss, and the recent Knick losses. Ok the Knick ones were easy - just predict a loss every other game...

    By Blogger Elster, at 11:44 AM  

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