My girlfriend and I went "deep in the Q" tonight to see the Kyrie Irving era begin in Cleveland. It looks like it may be another long winter for Cavs fans. Here are a few of my thoughts on the game, organized in no recognizable order, in honor of the Cavs coach Byron Scott.
- I'm sure other arenas in the NBA do it, but the pyrotechnics before the game are pretty cool.
- Coach Scott announced Kyrie was going to be starting earlier in the afternoon, and I was excited to hear that, as this was really the impetus for wanting to go and see his first game as a Cavalier. Defensively, he looked up to the task and his quick hands almost cost Jose Calderon of the Raptors a couple turnovers. He had only one turnover, which is great for your first NBA game. Now, shooting-wise, he couldn't buy a basket, but he didn't look afraid of shooting the ball, and I think that confidence will help him as the season goes on.
- Speaking of cold shooting, Antawn Jamison. 6-20 from the field, 50% from the line, NOT what we're expecting from the veteran scorer. It's almost as if he is trying to score 30 points a night, so that the Cavs can deal him away. Not if shoots like that. Also, he could not cover Bargnani at all. At the end of the game it would have made much more sense for Scott to have played 20-year old Tristan Thompson on Bargnani when the game was on the line.
- Tristan Thompson looked great. Even though Omri Casspi didn't impress much (and I think I just heard for the first time in my life on the Kings/Lakers game "What hustle from JJ Hickson!") Thompson should fill Hickson's dangling mouthguard just fine. He had a couple of great dunks (great, as in high percentage shot), and filled the paint nicely unlike EVERY single other "big man" on this team. He makes a great dunk and energizes the crowd, the Cavs are down four, and Scott goes to #4 Jamison and takes out the rookie. Apologies to Gregg Easterbrook, but at that point I wrote "Game Over" in my mental notebook.
- Ryan Hollins is the softest 7-footer in the league. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but if he was 6'11" he would not be playing Professional Basketball. He gets manhandled every time doen the floor. He made Jamaal Magloire look like a young Jamaal Magloire. He's terrible. He played 15 minutes plus. Hey coach. Please do not play him ever again. Can't wait for Semih Erden to be active. Even Samardo Samuels would have been a better option (apologies to #WNFYKirk, whom last week I expressed my opinion that Samardo should be in Canton).
- I'm going to lay off of Andy Varejao tonight. He played exactly the way he's played for 7 years, only now he's the Center. Luckily, he never learned how to play power forward so he looks a little less confused about where to be out on the court. OK, I guess that's not really laying off him, but it'll get much worse when he has to play against a REAL NBA center.
- Ramon Sessions played great, controlled both sides of the floor. If this were a team that had thoughts of the playoffs, he'd be starting. But, we're not, so Kyrie will get the minutes.
- Alonzo Gee really impressed me, a very incorrect travelling call negated what would have been the monster dunk of the night. He will be stealing a ton of Casspi minutes, especially if the Israeli continues to play like he did tonight.
- The Raptors are not a very good team either, and they are in for a long season as well. The second (third?) division of the NBA season is on.
My final take on the game is that it could have been much worse, but there were a few positives and I think we are going in the right direction. The seats were cheap, but we had a good view of the whole court.
Thanks to my girlfriend for supplying the pictures.
Thanks to Brian for forwarding me the "friends and family" discount e-mail his brother sent him. Next time we'll have to bribe his brother to get us on the jumbo-tron (my girlfriend wants to be on the "Kiss-Cam")!
thanks to david at http://longflyball.blogspot.com/ i've knocked 12 more stickers off my want list. My girlfriend has bought me the NFL sticker book, so I've got to start spending my money on that monster. Still looking for help on the MLB book! If you can help drop me a line! Thanks for checking it out!
2011 topps baseball stickers 4 10 13 17 24 36 55 57 75 86 91 99 108 111 116 123 126 144 174 187 211 221 235 253 261 266 272 287 293 294 134/296 135/295
Here are the stickers I need for the 2011 Topps Baseball Sticker album. I've bought 38 packs and am about 2/3 of the way finished. This is the point where I hate buying more packs and accumulating more doubles and triples (and quadruples Freddie Freeman!) So shoot me an email with your needs and if you can help me that would be pretty awesome. If any of you were working on the World Cup album let me know as I have a ton of doubles for that book too, and I'll try to get a needs list up myself. I'll update the list often (more often than I update the blog now, I promise.)
Yes, it's that time again! I will make my long awaited predictions for the 2011 MLB Season (this year with comments)! Don't blame me if I jinx your team this year! AL East 1.Yankees -- I think the rotation is fine. Garcia/Colon on the backend just feels right. 2. Orioles -- Two words: Buck Showalter. The Tribe would have a trophy if they would have replaced Wedge with him while he was an advisor. Two more: Wild Card 3. Red Sox -- They don't think Gonzalez will stay healthy, I don't think so either. 4. Rays -- The Maddon magic may wear off a bit this year. 5. Blue Jays -- Wrong place at wrong time. (Should have tried to take that NL spot the Brewers grabbed) AL Central 1. Tigers -- VMart was a great pick up, will help Miggy through his problems. 2. Twins -- Questions about Morneau health, can Mauer stay healthy behind the plate? 3. White Sox -- Although it would be fun to watch Ozzie manage a 100-loss team, wouldn't it? 4. Indians -- Just didn't do enough to contend, will be fun to watch these young guys. 5. Royals -- Love Royal Blue, not much else after that. AL West 1. Angels -- They don't stay down too long. There will be rally monkeys this fall. 2. Rangers -- Big rotation questions for me. Will miss Vlad. 3. Athletics -- Not enough offense to compete. 4. Mariners -- Could they shop Ichiro in July? NL East 1. Phillies -- Unbelievable Rotation, MVP infield. 2. Braves -- Will make playoffs. Think they could win 100. 3. Marlins -- Will regret losing Fredi to a division rival. 4. Nationals -- Young arms get healthy (Detwiler, not Strasburg) Riggleman one of the best skippers. 5. Mets -- How many great headlines will NewsDay get to print this year? NL Central 1. Brewers -- I've gone back and forth on this one all spring. I think they'll make the right deal in July. (Hate the Nyjer deal now though) 2. Reds -- They have to start hot. 3. Cardinals -- Distractions? Pujols is the only reason to follow the Cards this year. 4. Pirates -- Why not? 17, 18, 19 straight losing seasons? 82-80, you heard it here first. 5. Astros -- Hunter Pence will have a big year, but can't really carry the team that much. 6. Cubs -- Colossal collapse, Will be looking at 2013, not Next Year. NL West 1. Rockies -- Would like to see them in first by August this year, heck, even September. 2. Giants -- Buster-mania. 3. Dodgers -- No Manny? No problem. If only the divorce case would resolve itself. 4. Padres -- Didn't think they'd compete last year, no reason to think they'd do it this year, either. 5. D-Backs -- Still too many holes. Al Playoffs -- Tigers over Orioles Yankees over Angels Tigers over Yankees NL Playoffs -- Phillies over Rockies Braves over Brewers Braves over Phillies World Series Tigers over Braves Well, there you have it, I'm picking the Detroit Tigers to win it all this year.
Stale Gum has issued a call to fingers, time to type out our thoughts on the chosen topic at hand.
Just like in High School, apologies to Clay Matthews, one topic to rule them all...
Surprise! It's about Topps 2011!!
Michael Eisner has just fired the entire Topps Product Development staff and chose to hire you to take their place. Mr. Eisner has given you carte blanche to do whatever you want with Topps Baseball -- as long as you keep it under $2/pack.
If you were in charge of Topps, and based upon what you've seen of 2011 Topps Baseball Series One, what (if anything) would you have done differently.
This one is real easy for certain bloggers...BRING BACK TOPPS TOTAL!!
But I'm not gonna take that route, exactly...
The first thing that I want to do, is bring back one series of 792 cards. That's it. This is the flagship, it doesn't need all the bells and whistles, people will buy it. They will buy it all year long. The set doesn't need multiple series, it doesn't need thirteen cards of the most popular players. How are the other players going to be popular if, outside of the sticker autos and relics, you don't get their cards? We're gonna make Heritage and Ginter and half a dozen other "high-end" sets throughout the year. The Topps flagship set should be a yearbook of the 600 best players, the managers, team checklists/stats cards, and maybe a set of the best photos taken by Topps photographers throughout last season. Leave rookies who come in this year for the Traded set.
Parallels are awesome, I am an absolute sucker for serial numbered cards, also. They can stay.
Inserts, inserts, inserts. They drum up a lot of sales. They take away from the value of the base cards, and they are the same players over and over. They are essentially short-prints that set collectors don't have to collect to have the "set". Instead of a "giveaway" of cards that can already be found, use the transmogrifier to award different inserts and roll this into the eTopps marketplace. You get one code per pack. We would ship by volume, not per card and entirely at cost. This would also allow you to sell your unwanted inserts to pay for the shipping costs or you could use that money to buy from the Topps Store.
This would also not limit inserts to a print deadline. We could roll out a player of the week, rookie of the week, season highlights at the spur of the moment.
OK, those are my thoughts, can't wait to read all of the other bat-arounds!
Here we are, another Super Bowl Sunday without the Cleveland Browns. At least this year we have a definite rooting interest since the hated Pittsburgh Steelers have made the game. Here are a couple of my favorite Packers.
Jordy Nelson is an exciting possesion receiver who reminds me of Brian Brennan. When he's going over the middle today, he'd better be looking out for Troy Polamalu.
Clay Matthews (Jr.) is the guy all of Cleveland will be rooting the hardest for today. I'm sure his jersey sales in the Cleveland area tripled over the last couple of weeks. His father was the heart and soul of the Browns defense during the 80's, and used to (maybe still does?) own a car dealership in the area.
The worst part of the Steelers making it is the inordinate amount of Steeler fans that live in this area. Does this happen anywhere else between feuding franchises?