Thursday, July 21, 2005

LB Keeps on Suckin' and Tiger Rips Through St. Andrew's

Larry Brown Continues to Prove He is Not Worth the Trouble
ith his messy divorce from the Pistons now complete, its time to take a look at why you don't want Larry Brown on your team's bench. First let's recap a little bit here. 2002: Detroit goes 50-32 on its way to its first Central Divison title in 12 years and then goes on to lose the Eastern Conference Finals. 2003: Detroit again goes 50-32, but is instead this time bounced in the conference semi-finals. Then two things happened in 2004. Those that worship at the altar of Larry Brown will say that "thing that happened" was Larry being hired. Most of us with an actual brain in our heads will tell you that 2 or more things actually happened, with Larry's hiring being, at best, the 3rd most important "thing" to occur. The most important thing to occur has to be the addition of Rasheed Wallace. Never in the history of the NBA has adding a 6'10" player that can shoot 3-pointers been so undervalued (at least by those Larry Brown supporters). I mean don't you think that maybe had a little more to do with pushing this team over the top? Or how about the maturation of both Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups. Now some people will say that Brown is the one that forced this maturation. Here is a look at Chauncey's numbers the last year with Carlisle, as opposed to his last year with Brown to help disprove Larry's impact here as well:

2003 - 16.2 ppg 4.0 apg 1.8 TOpg 3.7 rpg
2005 - 16.5 ppg 5.8 apg 2.4 TOpg 3.4 rpg

Do those numbers seem all that different to you? If they do you need to have your head checked. I mean yes assists are up, but so are turnovers, which makes that essentially a wash. Also people like to look at how Hamilton has increased his scoring under Brown and become a more proven scorer. Then how is it that his scoring is down under Brown while his turnovers are up? These are just facts, as opposed to the "observations" Brown backers like to make simply by looking at what they see on the court. Listen, the fact here is that this team would have made and won the Finals without Larry, and his impact is overrated. Want more proof, watch the Pistons keep winning with Flip "one playoff series win in a decade" Saunders.

Look Out Jack, There's a Tiger On The Prowl
10 majors down, 9 majors to go. With his dominating performance at the British Open last weekend, Tiger Woods joined Jack Nicklaus and Walter Haegan as the only men to win double digit major championships. Tiger also became the only golfer other than Jack to win the career grand slam 2 times over, capturing his second British Open title. So, to all of you out there that felt the gap was closing between Tiger and the rest of the field, (namely Phil, Vijay, Goosen and Els) you better think again. Tiger has retooled his swing, and now seems primed to retool the PGA record books. Tiger himself said he didn't figure to have 10 majors until he was 30 or older, and here he already has with a full year to spare. Here is a man that will be able to play well into his 40's, and whose goal is to be the best of all time. That's important in figuring whether he can set the all time record, because sometimes players will grow tired of being the best for so long. So let's all take a step back and appreciate the fact that we are watching the best golfer of all time during his prime, and watch as Tiger marches on to more than 20 major titles. My prediction for his career ending total? I'm going to go with 25, including a record 7 Masters and winning the British every time its played at St. Andrew's.

Trivia! (this week in honor of hockey returning)
How many All-Star games did Gordie Howe play in?
A) 23
B) 27
C) 18
D) 25
E) 21

answer last week: E) Norway

Stat of the Week
Sam Snead holds the record with 82 career PGA Tour victories, but is in a tie for 7th with 7 Major victories. (tied with Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Gene Sarazen and Harry Vardon)

Boston Red Sox Week in Review (2 weeks)
Record: 4-7 (53-43)
Pitching Performance of the Week:
(7/15) David Wells vs Yankees: 7 IP 5 H R 5 K
Hitting Performance of the Week:
(7/21) Manny's HR after Joe Crede dropped the foul pop-up - I mean who gives Manny two chances like that and doesn't expect to pay for it?
Standings: 1 1/2 lead


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