Archive for May, 2008

A full season e-mail service for MLB games

May 30, 2008

Market Research

Are there any readers of this space with an interest in subscribing to a highly profitable Full Season E-mail Service that provides Daily Selections for Major League Baseball games? (yes or no)

To provide your feedback, either:

i) Use the Comments section for this entry


ii) Send an e-mail to: khandor at

Thanks, in advance.

This is a special team

May 30, 2008

The defending NBA champions were dethroned last night by the Los Angeles Lakers, who were tabbed by this corner on Dec 25/07 as the “Sleeper Pick” to win the title this season.

In turn, earlier this morning, the following is what yours truly wrote on another blog, 20 second time-out … which, btw, is highly recommended reading for those in search of insight into how the NBA game actually works …


On December 25, 2007 I identified this year’s Lakers team as my “Sleeper Pick” to WIN THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP THIS SEASON, when LA was still in arears of Phoenix in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and BEFORE they acquired Pau Gasol … THAT’S HOW GOOD I knew these Lakers were this season.

The only team in the West that could have beaten them this year was the Spurs, if San Antonio was completely healthy, which was clearly not the case given the injury to Manu Ginobili (their most dynamic scorer).

Whichever one of Boston or Detroit comes out of the Eastern Conference is going to have its hands full with this Lakers team in the NBA Finals as, right now, this squad is very, very good.

However, of even more interest to me (and, possibly, other astute NBA historians), at the moment, is where their team is going to go NEXT SEASON … when they fully re-integrate ANDREW BYNUM + TREVOR ARIZA into their line-up.

From my perspective, others would do well to carve in stone the forecast I made earlier this spring [’08] that says,

“The 2008-2009 LA LAKERS WILL WIN 70+ games enroute to capturing another of what will eventually be several more NBA championships … if their team remains relatively injury-free.”

What Phil Jackson & Co. have constructed in LA, right now, is a team that will one day go down in NBA history beside the Chicago Bulls (of Michael Jordan) and the old Boston Celtics (of Bill Russell) as arguably the greatest of all-time.

One of the differences between me and other NBA observers is that frequently I can tell you in advance what is going to happen, with a high degree of accuracy, before it does NOT just after-the-fact.

Enjoy the moment for what it is …

Life is fast and things happen quickly.” – Derek Fisher


May 19, 2008 … Charles Barkley actually had it right, but was just afraid to step that far out on a limb, in advance, vs Chris Webber & Co.

Fortunately, this corner has no such trepidation.

As was said earlier this week, in this space … it will take a special team to eliminate this group of San Antonio Spurs from the title hunt.

This Lakers’ squad is now that team.

Kudos to Air Force One, the Big Fundamental, TP, GINOBILI!, etc. … the better team won this Western Conference Final (watch ’til the end of the vid-clip).

Now … just as it was told to you, in advance, earlier this season, on Feb 9, 2008, what would eventually happen in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference …

And so It Begins, again … as Phil Jackson now heads toward what will eventually be his (legendary) 10th NBA Championship, as an NBA head coach.

The King is dead. Long live the King.

Pistons vs Celtics will go to Game 7

May 29, 2008

Before the Eastern Conference Finals began the one thing this corner felt confident about was the number of games this series would be going …

NBA Playoffs Conference Finals Preview

In the aftermath of last night’s Game 5 victory by the Celtics, at home, and well in advance of tomorrow evening’s Game 6 (@ Detroit) … EXPECT to see the Pistons respond like a champion, by … Buckling-up, Concentrating … and giving Maximum Effort … to give credence to that forecast made here 9 days ago.

Regardless what ‘the final number’ is, how bad Rip’s elbow injury is, how many TO’s they eventually make, how poorly they shoot it from the field or from the 3, or how drastically they get pummelled on the glass …

these DETROIT PISTONS are going to win Game 6.


PS. These 2 teams are that close in ability, and the winner of this series (overall) is going to be decided in the final few possessions of Game 7. Make a shot; Miss a shot … Make a stop; or, not … Make a FT; Miss a FT … Get a Rebound; or, not. These are both high calibre, championship quality NBA teams, and it will be a shame to see either one lose.

1 & 1A in the NBA’s Western Conference

May 29, 2008

Four months ago, on December 25, 2007, this corner correctly identified for you the best 2 teams in the Western Conference this year, before either had yet amassed the top W-L record in their half of the NBA.

Legitimate Contenders in the NBA: Part II

The reigning champs will try to stave off elimination tonight, as the soon-to-be DOMINANT power in the West seeks to close-out its opponent at home. 

Given that the NBA’s Head Office has now acknowledged a two-shot foul SHOULD have been called on this decisive play at the end of Game 4 …

it would not surprise in the least to see the Spurs … either:

1) Go down fighting like champions, in a last possession game, this evening,


2) Push this series back to San Antonio for a Game 6.

It’s going to take a special team to dethrone this group of Spurs …

and these Lakers (even without Andrew Bynum) just might be THAT team.

Stepping up in class … like a champion

May 29, 2008

For those of you who might not have seen last night’s Game 3 in the Stanley Cup Finals, Sid the Kid’s response to the most recent challenge placed in front of him exemplified how a champion responds to adversity …

Buckle-up … Concentrate … and give Maximum Effort, at all times.

Do these things and … come h* or high water … you will live to fight another day, Win or Lose.

Sports DO NOT build character.

Sports REVEAL character … and CLASS.

How the Lakers won a pivotal Game 4

May 28, 2008

Writing on prior to the start of this Conference Finals series, this writer explained in the ‘Comments’ section what the easiest way is for the Lakers to beat the Spurs …

Three Ways to beat San Antonio

which was clearly on display in yesterday’s gigantic W for LA, in San Antonio.

Lakers 93, Spurs 91 … Boxscore

Given this corner’s affinity for Phil Jackson and the Triangle Offense, it’s important that other NBA observers fully recognize the inherent beauty and effectiveness of this specific Offensive Basketball System and the role it plays in creating invaluable scoring opportunities for its practicioners …

(from a half-time interview during Game 4)

When the Lakers generate 5 more Offensive Rebounds in a game than the Spurs, LA exponentially increases its chances of winning … especially when one of those D-Boards-Lost (LA/Team Rebound) occurs at the 5.0 sec mark of the 4thQ … Full Play-By-Play … in a 1 possession game.

True character …

May 28, 2008

… is revealed during Life’s moments of disappointment.

The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. which this corner has for Gregg Popovich and his San Antonio Spurs is at its zenith today, due to an interivew like this …

Post-Game Interview (Game 4)

which captures what Air Force One stands for as a Leader and a Man.

On the court, the Spurs were not quite good enough to get the job done yesterday but, off the court, they were plenty good enough in The Ways of Life That Count The Most.

A tip of the hat to Coach Pop and his Spurs.

8 Possessions which extended the Pistons’ season

May 27, 2008

One of the things which many astute NBA observers fail to realize is just how many games are actually decided by the specific outcomes of a small set of Fulcrum Possessions, regardless what other advantages and/or disadvantages might be unearthed from a detailed examination of the various ‘Game Stats’ from that contest.

The final score of last night’s Detroit victory (at home) versus Boston was 94-75 … a 19 point differential.

However, save for the following 8 possessions [#1-8, below] in this game … 4 of which the Pistons played on Defense and 4 of which they played on Offense … last night’s eventual outcome would have been markedly different.


Pierce Layup Shot: Made (16 PTS) 4:51
[BOS 73-78]
  4:50 Team Timeout:Regular
  4:50 Hunter Substitution replaced by Billups
  4:50 Maxiell Substitution replaced by Wallace
  4:50 Stuckey Substitution replaced by Prince
  4:38 Hamilton Foul:Offensive (5 PF)
  4:38 Hamilton Turnover:Foul (2 TO)
[#1] Pierce Jump Shot: Missed 4:28  
  4:26 Prince Rebound (Off:0 Def:2)
  4:05 Prince Hook Shot: Missed Block: Garnett (2 BLK)
Pierce Rebound (Off:2 Def:6) 4:03  
[#2] Rondo Layup Shot: Missed 3:46  
  3:44 Wallace Rebound (Off:1 Def:3)
Perkins Foul:Shooting (6 PF) 3:23  
Perkins Substitution replaced by Brown 3:23  
[DET 79-73]
[#3] Wallace Free Throw 1 of 2 (13 PTS)
[DET 80-73]
Wallace Free Throw 2 of 2 (14 PTS)
[#4] Allen Turnover:Bad Pass (2 TO) 3:13  
[DET 83-73]
[#5] Billups 3pt Shot: Made (10 PTS)
Assist: Prince (3 AST)
Team Timeout:Regular 2:53  
Brown Substitution replaced by Posey 2:53  
Garnett Hook Shot: Made (16 PTS)
Assist: Posey (1 AST)
[BOS 75-83]
Allen Foul:Personal (2 PF) 2:14  
[DET 84-75]
[#6] Hamilton Free Throw 1 of 2 (15 PTS)
[DET 85-75]
Hamilton Free Throw 2 of 2 (16 PTS)
  2:04 McDyess Foul:Shooting (4 PF)
[#7] Allen Free Throw 1 of 2 missed 2:04  
Team Rebound 2:04  
Allen Free Throw 2 of 2 missed 2:04  
  2:03 Wallace Rebound (Off:1 Def:4)
[DET 87-75]
[#8] Hamilton Driving Layup Shot: Made (18 PTS)
Assist: Billups (6 AST)


Full Play-By-Play (Bost @ Detroit, Mon May 26)

In a 3:04 span of the 4th Quarter (4:51-1:47), Detroit converted on 4 of their 6 possessions (66.7%), to the tune of 9 points, while allowing Boston to convert on only 1 of their 5 possessions (20.0%), for a total of 2 points (including 2 crucial missed FTA’s by Ray Allen, the leading percentage free throw shooter in the 2008 Playoffs). 

Given the time & score, at that point of the game …

* 1 Jump Shot: Missed (Paul Pierce)
* 1 Layup Shot: Missed (Rajon Rondo)
* 1 Turnover (Ray Allen)
* 1 pair of FTA’s: Missed + Missed (Ray Allen)

by the Celtics … in concert with the Pistons offensive execution, which included …

* 1 pair of FTA’s: Made + Made (Rasheed Wallace)
* 1 3Pt Shot: Made (Chauncey Billups)
* 1 pair of FTA’s: Made + Made (Rip Hamilton)
* 1 Driving Layup Shot: Made (Rip Hamilton)

proved to be THE difference between the Pistons’ season coming to an abrupt end on Wednesday night in Boston (Game 5) or ensuring that at least one more home game is played in Detroit during this post-season (Friday night’s Game 6).


Penguins must learn on the fly

May 27, 2008

After last night’s resounding victory, Detroit now leads Pittsburgh 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals, with mainstream media stories beginning to take a different approach to this series overall …

Like the ’83 Oilers, must these Pens lose before they can win?

in comparison to the advance billing for Game 1 …

Pens-Wings matchup something grand for NHL.

Unless Pittsburgh’s coaching staff can unearth a rapid remedy to Detroit’s deadly combination of:

1) Top notch NHL goaltending (Chris Osgood)
2) The three-headed monster of Henrik Zetterberg (C), Pavel Datsyuk (C) & Nicklas Lidstrom (D)
3) Skilled talent up throughout its line-up
3) Vastly superior Stanley Cup experience,

the 2008 version of the Playoffs will culminate in the exact same way as the 1983 edition did, with a dominant 4-game sweep by the favoured team.

Game 3, tomorrow night, is the most important of the Penguins’ season.

If they’ve learned their lessons quickly and can (i) stay out of the Penalty Box, (ii) exert a consistent fore-check against the Red Wings … specifically when Lidstrom is off the ice … (iii) score a Power Play goal, and (iv) get a stand-on-his-head performance from Marc-Andre Fleury (G), the Penguins can win a tight defensive game, on their home ice.

If not, cue the parade in Hockeytown, USA … as the Red Wings organization, from top-to-bottom, remains the best operation in the game today.

Rock & Hammer – How the Spurs won Game 3

May 26, 2008

What’s the reason(s) San Antonio was able to rebound last night and win Game 3 against the Lakers, at home, trailing 0-2?


Reason One


According to last night’s TNT broadcast this is the quotation which hangs on the wall in the San Antonio locker room, inscribed in each language spoken by a member of their team:


When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much a a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” – Jacob Riis (American newspaper reporter and photographer, 1849-1914)


This is all you need to know about Air Force One.


Reason Two


If you’ve followed what this corner has had to say about this Spurs team, this season … in this space and elsewhere (i.e. different Live Blogging Events and other sites run by other bloggers) … you already know it was suggested earlier in this series that two of the things which HAD TO HAPPEN, if the Spurs were going to be able to get themselves back in it were: (i) Gregg Popovich was going to have to solve a certain riddle, pertaining to one Lamar Odom (6-10, 230) and the “normal rotation” of the Spurs and that, if Coach Pop finally does “figure it out”, (ii) the proper players for him to use more this series are (A) Robert Horry and (B) Brent Barry, in place of Ime Udoka.


Well … as the old saying goes,


The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” – Anonymous


Robert Horry, Brent Barry & Ime Udoka, Game 3

Reason Three



Manu Ginobili, Game 3

Nuff said.





It is going to take a special team to knock the reigning champs out of this year’s NBA title chase; a very special team.