May 27, 2009

King James And His Crumbling Kingdom

May 27, 2009
This is what this year's playoffs have looked like for Lebron James, his teammates seemingly non-existent.

This is what this year's playoffs have looked like for Lebron James, his teammates seemingly non-existent.

Jordan and Pippen

Duncan and Parker

Shaq and Kobe

Garnett, Pierce, and Allen

Lebron and…James?

It might be as simple as that. Even Michael Jordan needed a sidekick, a Robin to his Batman like heroics. Lebron James, MVP trophy and all, can’t do it alone. Let’s look at the supporting casts (the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th top point scorers) of teams in this year’s Conference Finals.


Denver Nuggets: Chauncy Billups, J.R. Smith, and Nene Hilario
49.2 points per game

Orlando Magic: Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, and Rafer Alston
47.6 points per game

Los Angeles Lakers: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Trevor Ariza
40.4 points per game

Cleveland Cavaliers: Mo Williams, Delonte West, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas
39.6 points per game

The Cavs are 0-3 when James scores 40 points or more. All three losses have come against the Magic.

You know what, let’s go back 2 years ago when the Cavs made it to Finals, but lost to the Spurs. The Conference Finals featured these teams and their supporting casts.

San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Michael Finley
48.8 points per game

Detroit Pistons: Chauncy Billups, Rasheed Wallace, & Tayshaun Prince
47 points per game

Utah Jazz: Deron Williams, Mehmet Okur, and Andrei Kirilenko
40.6 points per game

Cleveland Cavaliers: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Drew Gooden, and Larry Hughes
35.3 points per game

Starting to see the trend?

During the regular season, the Cavs averaged 100.3 points a game and James averaged 28.4 points, which means James was responsible for 28.3% of the team’s points. In this year’s playoffs, the Cavs have averaged 98.9 points per game, and James has averaged 36 points, meaning he scores 36.4% of his team’s points. This means from the regular season to the playoffs, James has become accountable for 8.1% more of his team’s points.

To make matters even worse, Lebron has scored 41.7% of the Cavs points in the current series against the Magic. Can Lebron get any help!?!

Two years ago, Lebron scored 28.3% of his team’s points in the regular season, but only 27.4% during the playoffs. Where did the team end up that year?… In the NBA finals.

Kobe Bryant is also struggling to get support from his teammates.

During the regular season, the Lakers averaged 106.9 points per game and Bryant averaged 26.8, making him responsible for 25% of his team’s points. In this year’s playoffs, the Lakers have averaged 104.8 points per game, and Bryant has averaged 29.8 points, which is 28.4% of the team’s points. From the regular season to the playoffs, Bryant has become accountable for 3.4% more of his team’s points.

One year ago when the Lakers made the Finals, Bryant scored 26% of his team’s points in the regular season and 28.4% during the playoffs, 1% less than he has had to score in this year’s playoffs. 1% does not seem like a huge difference at all, but it is when almost every game in this year’s Conference Finals has been decided in last possession of the game.

The moral of these numbers? No one player can win a championship on his own.

If Lebron still thinks his team (or lack there of) can make it to the Finals and win a championship, he can only hope that help is on the way.

Making Guarantees…Not Always A Smart Move

May 27, 2009

Guarantee: A promise or assurance, especially one in writing, that something is of specified quality, content, benefit, etc.

For those athletes who forgot what the word “guarantee” actually means, there is a small reminder.

After a heated game 3 battle between the Cavs and Magic on Sunday, which featured a boxing like bruise to the eye of Cavs point guard Mo Williams after getting “accidently” elbowed, both teams were a bit fired up and did some talking to the press yesterday.

With the Cavaliers seemingly losing momentum with every game that’s being played, the bruised and battered point guard Williams went out on a limb to say…

“[The Magic] are a good team. But we are the best team in basketball. I don’t feel that they’ve had to adjust to us one time in the series.”

When asked if he would guarantee a series win, Williams again made a bold statement…

“Guarantee we’re going to win the series? Yeah, yeah. We are down 2-1. But there is nobody on this team and definitely not myself that says we are not going to win this series. Yeah, it is going to be tough. We know that. We get this game tomorrow, go home, still got home-court advantage.”

There it is! The good-old guarantee! Oh how the sports world was due for a good guarantee to catch people’s ears.

With game 4 tonight, the guarantee will be put to test as the Magic have a chance to take a strong hold of the series with a win to make the series 3-1. The Cavs will give their best effort to try and even the series at 2 games apiece while trying to avoid making Mo Williams look like several other athletes who fell on their faces when making a guarantee.

Speaking of failed guarantees, who could forget these ridiculous sports guarantees over the years….

Matt Hasselbeck: “We want the ball and we’re gonna score.”
Oh, Matty. Maybe that was something you should have kept to yourself. There is a big difference between being confident and cocky and claiming your team was going to score probably wasn’t a smart idea. The result of Hasselbeck’s promise in the 2004 playoff game? A 52-yard interception return for a TD by Green Bay’s Al Harris. Good move Hasselbeck.

Nick Saban: “I ‘m not going to be the Alabama Coach”.
Amidst controversial reports of becoming the next head coach at Alabama, Saban squashed all talk when he claimed he was not going anywhere. One week later, Saban was wearing Alabama gear and preparing for the upcoming college football season. Watch the video around the 24 second mark.

Patrick Ewing: Guarantees three different times the Knicks will win.
Come on Patrick, I loved your game. A few hard dribbles in the post while backing down the defender and then the smooth high arching fade away jumper. Your guarantees though, not so much love for you there. Ewing guarantees to win the NBA Finals in 1994, a win against the Shaq and the Magic in 1995, and a championship in the 1997 during the playoffs. Needless to say, none of those happened. As the magic assistant coach this year, he did guarantee a win for the Magic over the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Semi-Finals, and it happened. Maybe Ewing should stick to making guarantees when he playing in the actual game.

Joe Glenn: Guarantees his Wyoming will beat Utah in a college football game.
You probably have never heard of this guy, and you probably would have never heard of him if it wasn’t for his ridiculous guarantee. Long story short, Wyoming got absolutely dismantled, destroyed, and just flat out embarrassed. At one point in the game, Utah decided to do an onside kick and recovered the ball. The score at that exact moment was 43-0. Check out the video and watch around 1:50 for just how Joe Glenn feels about Utah’s kick.

Okay, now for one great guarantee…

Plaxico Burress and Tom Brady: “The score will be 23-17”
Superbowl XLIII was one of the greatest sports games ever played, no question. Plaixco Burress knew his team was going to win, no question. The only question was the final score. Burress’ claim was close (the final score was 17-14) but Tom Brady was not a big fan of his prediction. If you are Giants fan, this is probably one of the best videos ever. If you are a Patriots fan, sorry guys, but sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles (a Mama Festa saying).

Quite Possibly The Best Trivia Ever

May 26, 2009

If you have heard of, then you already know. If you haven’t heard, then you are about to find out.

Sports fans everywhere should be extremely grateful for one of the greatest websites ever created, The website is full of sports trivia, enough to keep you occupied for hours without end. Creators of Sporcle update the site just about every day with new trivia topics for its users to get their daily dose of sports knowledge. Topics include the standard NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL, but also range to cricket, tennis, college sports, and even the Olympics.sporcle

Not a big sports fan? Sporcle has you covered. In addition to sports trivia, the website also provides trivia in these categories: Entertainment, Gaming, Holiday, Language, Movies, Music, Television, and there is even a Miscellaneous category. How could anybody pass up at least one try at It’s got something for everyone.

It may sound quite strange, but Sporcle has become a staple in my life as well as in the lives of many others. It was first introduced to me by my younger sister when she stumbled upon it at the University of Miami in Florida. She knew my love for sports and quickly sent me the link to the site. I must have been on the site for at least 3 hours straight before I came back to reality and realized that I had school work to do instead of trivia.

Amazed beyond belief, I told my friends about the new craze, who then told their friends, who told their friends, and before I knew it, Sporcle became recognized campus wide at Seton Hall University, in South Orange NJ. I still laugh to myself sometimes when I sit in class and witness a classmate next to me, their eyes mesmerized to their screen, trying to answer whatever trivia stands between them and their what they already know. Sometimes I don’t even know the person, which makes it even more astonishing as to how far Sporcle has come in relation my life and the area around me.

For a while, Sporcle became a force to be reckoned with, a distraction like no other. At work, in class, instead of doing your homework, Sporcle was a quick substitute and “great” excuse for not doing what you were supposed to be doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if student’s grades dropped a significant amount due to Sporcle’s addicting challenges. Once you try it, you might be hooked for a long while.

I would consider limiting your time on Sporcle to around 30 minutes a day, unless you are unemployed and bored off your ass, a theme that is becoming quite common among college students these days due to the lack of part time jobs and internships offered for the summer.

Have friends as interested in Sporcle as you? I recommend “Sporcle Challenges”. They are great to help pass the time during class, especially the ones where the teacher constantly looks down at the ground in front of them and rambles on in a monotone voice the whole time (Anyone remember, “Bueller…….Bueller…….Bueller” Yeah, kind of like that teacher’s voice).

For the challenge, one person chooses a topic, sends the link to their friends, and the challenge begins. Whoever answers the most correct gets the privilege of selecting the next topic, or you can just alternate who chooses the topics. Winner gets bragging rights and a bit of pride.

Not so bad for a 75 minute class period about Organizational Behavior, right?

If you dare to even try………

Today’s News!

May 25, 2009

Sports fans should be relishing what has gone on the past few days in the world of sports. One epic game after another, playoff basketball and hockey is close to its deepest stage as the best 4 teams from both sport are fighting it out for a coveted trip to the finals. Interleague play is just getting started and has pinned many teams against there in state rival, which always makes for an interesting showdown. Amongst all the television channels flipping back and forth from one sport game to another, as well as the non-stop replays of some of this week’s events on ESPN, I will never get sick of sports, and I’m sure many other people around the world can attest to how I feel. So let’s recap some of what went on the past few days.

Lebron James hit the biggest shot of his career the other night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Orlando Magic. On the verge of a deflating defeat, one that just might have killed all the spirit in Cleveland, and maybe even the whole state of Ohio, Lebron James was able to bring his team’s chances of a championship back to life when he hit a game winning 3 point basket as time expired. It was one of the most incredible shots I’ve ever seen, but words can’t really describe what it was like, so here’s the footage…

Kobe Bryant must have seen LBJ in action the other night hitting that incredible shot because Bryant did not shy away from the limelight last night over the Lakers comeback road victory over the Nuggets in Game 3. The win not only gave Los Angeles a 2-1 series lead, but it gave them back the momentum they had gained after their Game 1 victory. Bryant was brilliant all game long and finished with 41 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Has anyone noticed Kobe has hit a clutch 3 pointer every game of the series with about 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter? I know the Lakers lost game 2, but you cannot fault Kobe for much of anything. Some fans were upset after game 2 that Kobe didn’t get the final shot, but there was good reason for it. The Lakers were down 3 with a few seconds remaining, which meant that if Kobe got the ball, the Nuggets would have fouled right away and sent him to the free throw line, essentially ruining any kind of chance the Lakers had at tying the game with a three pointer. Instead, Phil Jackson drew up a play for Derek Fisher, but his 3 point shot was off the mark, giving the Nuggets the win and a great deal of momentum heading to their building in a tie series.

Notice who came up with ANOTHER game sealing steal last night in the Lakers game? Yes, Trevor Ariza struck again as he stole another half court inbounds pass from the Nuggets putting the game out of reach for them.

Alex Rodriguez must be the most satisfied .200 hitter in the MLB right now after yesterday’s game tying 2 run home run against the Phillies. With Johnny Damon reaching base by drawing a leadoff walk, first baseman Mark Teixeira struck out bringing A-Rod to the plate with 1 out to face Philadelphia’s flame throwing closer Brad Lidge. Lidge claimed he threw 6 straight sliders then thought he could catch Rodriguez off guard by throwing a fastball away. Not so much Brad. Rodriguez smoked a rope into right field a few rows back that sent the stadium into a frenzy. The game ended two batters later when Melky Cabrera sent a bloop single in right center field sending Robinson Cano home after his single and steal of second base. It was an incredible come back for the Yanks against an incredible team.

Remember that Raul Ibanez guy I wrote about the other day? Yeah, well he is still on fire. He has hit a home run in 4 consecutive games now, and has 7 in his last 8 games. Ibanez for first half MVP? Tough call right there, let’s see what he can do in his next 40 games.

Oh and how could I forget about the Mets? After hearing hours of angry Mets fans the past few days on the Mike Francesa show on sports radio 660, they have stepped up and were able to beat the Red Sox in the first two games of their series at Fenway Park. For now, Go Mets!

Got some great games on today…

You won’t want to miss today’s game beween the Yanks and Phils. It’s a showdown of arguably the best two pitchers in the National League last year as World Series MVP Cole Hamels takes on Yankees ace CC Sabathia. The game is at 1:05pm and is sure to make for an exciting one.

Cavs and Magic square off in game 3 in Orlando at 8:30 on TNT. Don’t miss LBJ, he might just hit another amazing shot!

Jayson “Babe” Werth??

May 24, 2009

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth and his wife Julia Werth celebrate their division pennant after a 6-1 win over the Washington Nationals in Philadelphia, September 30, 2007.

It is my understanding that a friend of mine has a slightly unhealthy, let’s call it…obsession, with Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth (yes, I know what you’re thinking, but my friend is female). #28 is not only her number one player on the field, but also number one in her heart. Call it crazy, but she refers to Mr. Werth as “Babe”, as if she knows him personally and is quite possibly having an affair with the 30 year old from Springfield, Illinois. 

Oddly enough, Werth is married with two children, which does not bold well for my friend considering she would shack up with him at any moment if she got the chance. Anyone in support of a little homewrecking?

After heading up to Yankee Stadium yesterday with a few friends of mine, one of them being the infatuated Werth girl, we were able to watch “Babe” in action as the Phillies faced off against the Yanks. With his lovesick fan watching his every move, Werth gave her something to cheer about and remember when he smacked a deep two run homerun in the top of the 5th inning, making him the first player to reach the left field second deck at the new stadium.

Werth reached another career milestone a few weeks earlier when he became one of only 49 players to steal all three bases in the same inning, ending with a dramatic steal of home against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Only nine players have stolen all three bases since 1942, which says a lot about how rare the feat really is.

Hitting record breaking homeruns, becoming a kleptomaniac on the base paths, and having an enormous patch of facial hair right below his lip has become Jayson Werth’s calling card. Leave it to my obsessed friend to spend hours flipping through the White Pages, searching on the internet, and possibly driving around Philadelphia, to find any trace of where Jayson Werth might be at any given time.

Being Robbed of the Winning Lottery Ticket and Snubbed by Santa Clause

May 23, 2009

If I were to compare what happened to the White Sox yesterday to a real life situation other than baseball, I would say it was the equivalent of someone walking down the street with a massive headache, then being kicked to the ground and beaten, getting their wallet stolen, and maybe having that nights winning lottery ticket that was in their pocket stolen too.

Pretty harsh, right?

Well you tell me how you would feel if you were 3-7 in your last 10 games. How about losing 13 of your previous 19 games? That doesn’t sound like a good situation and I would venture a guess that there are no happy campers in Chicago right now (Cubs fans, disregard that). If it weren’t for the disappointing Oakland Athletics, the Sox would be last in the AL in almost every hitting category. Take a look for yourself.

However, the White Sox could have scored a total of 19 runs yesterday and still lost the game after they were shellacked by division rival Minnesota by a final of 20-1. It was the worst loss in the team’s 108 year history. Watching the highlights on SportsCenter made me sick, just like when the Yankees got roughed up this season against the Indians, a final that yielded a 22-4 loss in just the third game at the New Yankee Stadium. After watching the highlights, I didn’t feel so bad anymore after remembering Minnesota has been struggling lately as well, especially after getting swept by the Yanks and losing 3 straight games to walk-off madness.

During Chicago’s game, trade rumors were circling that San Diego Padres ace pitcher Jake Peavy was going to be making his way to the White Sox for a few minor leaguers. If my favorite team had  a shot at getting Jake Peavy, I would gladly lose 20-1, maybe even 50-1, if I knew at the end of the day that Peavy was going to be joining my ball club.

Turns out Peavy has a no trade clause is his contract, which means he has the right to decline any trade he wants involving him (how about that for telling people what to do!?). To turn a day’s worth of speculation into one sentence; Peavy blocked the trade and decided to stay in San Diego. It was quite a shocker for me personally because he seemed so desperate this off-season to leave San Diego that he would have went anywhere. His reason for staying was he wanted to remain in the National League and not join a team that just got spanked 20 to 1 and is on the verge of falling apart early into this season.

For White Sox fans, it could have been like waking up on Christmas morning, finding no presents under the tree, maybe a hint of coal in your stocking, only to find out that Santa Clause actually DID come to your house, decided to devour his milk and cookies,  and then saying “Nah, I don’t really feel like leaving presents at this house this year”.

Either that, or getting robbed like I mentioned above. Take your pick. Got any other equivalents? Feel free to share them in the comments section.