Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Offseason Open Thread

Talk about whatever is on your mind here today, which is pretty much what we do every day anyway. Which is awesome, of course. We appreciate our small but dedicated readership bringing new topics to the comments section.

Talk about Doc Halladay winning the Cy Young, dominating the National League the way I think most of us expected he would. I suspect the announcement of the American League winner today will cause a little bit more of a stir. Halladay was a pretty obvious choice.

Talk about the absolutely wild NFL and college football seasons. I can't remember both being this wide open in the same season. A lot of parity. Some power matchups in both sports in the coming weeks should start to give it some shape, but the way these seasons have gone, who knows.

Talk about the first few weeks of the NBA season (see yesterday's comments) or the very start of the college basketball season. Tough loss for St. John's at St. Mary's to open the year, but it was good to seem them play competitively on the road against a team that has all but one player back from last year's Sweet 16 run. Very well-coached and disciplined. It was an interesting experience staying up to watch a game starting at 2 AM that didn't end until after 4 AM on a Monday night/Tuesday morning. It was also good to get the Steve Lavin era started. Hopefully they can have a solid season and build on the momentum they've generated with Lavin's first full recruiting class, ranked #2 in the country behind Kentucky or #3 behind Kentucky and Duke, depending on your source. Either way, the fact that Lavin has them back in that conversation that fast is incredible.

Maybe DV can tell us a little bit about his big race this Saturday if he gets a few moments, since we haven't heard much about the status of his running career/rehab from surgery since the summer.

Everyone have a great day.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

PF

I can't tell you how impressed/scared I am with/for the Celtics. I really did not think they were going to be as good as they have been, mostly because they looked so worn down by the end of the Finals and at times during the regular season last year they were downright bad. This year? They look younger, fresher, and everybody seems to have more lift (especially KG).

So why am I scared? Because of 2009. The Celtics were coming off a championship and started 27-2. Then what happened? Kevin Garnett got hurt and there goes your season. The 2009 Celtics were better than the 2008 Celtics and never got a chance. Similarly, the 2011 Celtics are better than the 2010 Celtics, but it's only 10 games in. They're a Rondo (or more likely Pierce/Allen/Garnett) injury away from being a second round playoff team. I hope to hell they can stay healthy.

Also, the Lakers are better than I thought they would be this year. Kobe is down a bit and that's not surprising--I saw somewhere that he played like 200 more games through age 31 than MJ had through age 35. But Gasol has been an absolute champion and the fact is that the Western Conference sucks. It's just like the 1980's all over again--the Celtics have fight a war to get to the Finals while the Lakers play the NIT to get there. Clearly, I'm bitter.

Lastly, can we start getting some free agent movement out there? I know it's kind of early, but for Red Sox fans, we can't put 2010 behind us fast enough.

--the Gunn

TimC said...

Let's talk pigskin. My playoff picks in order of seed, with the purpose of getting some good predictions on the board:

AFC: NE, PIT, IND, KC, NYJ, BAL
NFC: GB, NO, NYG, SF, PHI, ATL
Picks: NE over BAL, PIT over KC, GB over PHI, NO over NYG, NE over GB

NFL Comments
-Love the Pats this year as the SB favorite. Brady is sharp, defense is getting there, and the running game can be effective if the short passing game sets it up. The Cleveland game was a great wake up call in the physicality department and the team responding in a big way at Pittsburgh. With Indy coming in, I like their chances to get out in front of the pack a little.

-Speaking of that, thank goodness Indy finally comes to Foxboro. I think it has been once in six years or something, with all other showdowns in Indy. The general feeling is that Manning has the upper hand in the rivalry but the home-field should be considered (as should the fact that NE was pretty much always at home for '01-'04). Can we get this on a neutral field sometime? Wembley, maybe?

-Giants v Eagles, give me the Giants. I think we have all seen this a million times in the history of sports; one team wins big, big, BIG, one loses in a 'shock' to those who have never played a real sport, like Quidditch. We saw this LAST WEEK with Pit and NE but apparently everyone already forgot, anointing Vick God and the Giants as flakes. Umm...

First, the Giants are too familiar with Dallas, like Mangini with Belichick. You throw out records in those cases. Second, win streaks are great but you get no real feedback on team issues. It is not hard to go undefeated due to 'pressure', it is hard because you never get constructive criticism. The Giants got a good does, as did NE two weeks ago. Third, the opponent is coming off a MNF game on the road- that's a tough turnaround and no team has won coming off MNF in over a month. Finally, the Giants match up well here. They can run, the Eagles cannot stop the run. They can move on D, which helps against Vick. They have the players to target weak areas in the Philly secondary. Give me the points- but since I'm always wrong when I'm right, give me the under, too, as I anticipate a shootout.

-The one wild-card in the NFL here is Tennessee- I like Miami but they have QB and running game issues, Tampa is too young and yet to beat a good team, and the Bears stink. Tennessee is good enough to get a bye but I'm not sure Moss clicks with Young soon enough. As for the Wests, anyone can win those division and I do not care who. The 49ers and Chiefs are strong at home, are getting good QB play of late, and have easy schedules.

Ross Kaplan said...

I use this open thread to accuse Featherstain of being too lazy to write anything original so he's just leaving us the readership to the do all the work for him.

Yes Pat I know you're still in your 3rd law school and are busy with finals right around the corner, but if you think you're stressed and busy now, wait till this summer when you're studying for the Bar. Then again, between myself and Gunn we've passed 3 bars so it can't be that hard.

Patrick said...

gunn,

that will make up for 2008 and 2010 when the roles were reversed.

timc -

i hope you're right regarding the giants. i don't share in your optimism, but i'm hoping that has to do with my closeness to the situation.

Patrick said...

good job with the obvious open diss there rossy, we can always count on you.

Patrick said...

especially since you didn't even nail the diss. i wrote plenty of original things, i just didn't get in depth with anything. so that's what you would have wanted to accuse me of if you wanted to effectively execute that comment, wily mo kaplan.

Anonymous said...

PF

I don't know what you mean about 2008 and 2010.

--the Gunn

Patrick said...

just that the west was at that time a substantially tougher conference than the east, at least in 2008. many have spent time in this space talking about what a winner lebron is not, so certainly taking care of him can't now be claimed as a major feat. and that's really all there's been in the east the last few years (the pistons were on the back-end of their run, the bulls haven't been ready yet, and the magic just aren't that impressive in terms of beating them in the playoffs). last year they had more similar trajectories, with the lakers making it look easier because they were a better team. i agree with your assessment that the east is a much tougher road this year, and i was just countering that those of us who root for the east can't really complain, because this is the first year in a long time where that has definitively been the case. the celtics, magic, and heat have had generally easier roads to the finals the last 4 years than what was a much tougher western conference with better players and better teams.

TimC said...

Gunn,

The difference with the '09 and '11 Celtics are that I think this group is less interested in regular season dominance. They played their cards right and peaked at the perfect time last year and had about as even of a finals with the Lakers as could have been played. I think this year they are going to try to avoid injury, win some big games, and try to get the team ready for the playoffs- beating Miami and losing at Cleveland in the first two nights was a signal of intent for me. This should help them avoid the kind of injury suffered by KG in that season.

TimC said...

Also, PF, I think the shift came last year but I agree with the point. And the Giants and Eagles are too evenly matched- it'll come down to those factors like rest, motivation, and a bounce or two. I think the side factors favor the Giants.

Anonymous said...

TimC,

The Chargers are so much better than the Chiefs it's not even funny.

There is no way in hell the Chiefs make the playoffs regardless of how easy their schedule is. With the Chargers lurking just one game back it's completely ludicrous to predict that the Chiefs will make the playoffs. Your love of Cassell, Romeo Crennell, and Charlie Weiss just typify's the typical New England fan naivete. They have some talent on offense but cannot get to the playoffs with Cassell at the helm.

the gm said...

You'll find out about the race after the race. People don't care about what I do, as most people think my running career was two and a half hours long and took place solely on April 21, 2008.

TimC said...

Not talking talented teams here, though, just predicting winners...special teams, injuries, home field, schedules...they tend to overcome talent. Does not even matter, anyway- it's like talking about the MAC Champion in the midst of a BCS discussion.