A Muted Sound Of Thunder

On an idle Thursday night, I happened to tune in to the second half of the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets game on TNT. To the surprise of seemingly everyone–except yours truly–the Thunder are not playing like the new superteam that they were supposed to be.

The conventional wisdom going into the season would have had the newly reformulated Thunder easily handling the Nuggets. Instead, Denver pulled away from OKC and sent the struggling Thunder to a fourth straight loss. The presumed “big three” of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George are now looking that much further up at the Nuggets from last place in the Northwest Division.

It wasn’t supposed to be like that, for sure. The apologists are saying that the new-look Thunder just haven’t gelled yet; that once they get to know each other, they will surely right the ship and take their place as at least the third, and maybe even the second, best team in the West.

This result is a surprise, if you look at the thing as adding two All-Stars to a third. However, if you view the new additions, Anthony and George, in terms of accomplishment, the wisdom of the move suddenly becomes much less clear. Continue reading A Muted Sound Of Thunder

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Knights And Daze

A lot has been happening lately–so much stuff, in fact, that it’s been difficult to pick one sports story to think much about, let alone write a commentary about it. One thing that has stood out, just enough, in these recent, active days has been the unusual immediate success of the NHL’s expansion darlings, the Vegas Golden Knights.

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The Golden Knights: they’re having quite the time in Vegas

At 9-4-0 with 18 points, the GK’s are sitting in second place in the Pacific and breathing down the necks of the division-leading Los Angeles Kings. It’s pretty remarkable that an expansion team would shoot out of the gate with such winning ways. Clearly, the Vegas ownership has done a sparkling job of putting together a team that can compete right away with the NHL’s established squads.

But you have to wonder: is this really a case of the Knights being that good…or everyone else not being all that great?

Continue reading Knights And Daze

Fool’s Gild

A brief observation to put a bow on the just-concluded MLB season:

When the Los Angeles Dodgers picked up Yu Darvish at the trade deadline, it seemed like a superfluous addition. They were rolling to a dominating NL West title, things were going great, and it hardly seemed necessary to add Darvish, considered then one of the premier available pitchers in baseball. I even said so at the time and in this space.

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Yu Darvish: thanks for coming, chief, you lost us a championship

The Darvish acquisition made it perfectly clear that the Dodgers were going for it this year, and that nothing less than a World Series championship would be acceptable for LA’s team.

It’s one thing, then, that the team fell short of their goal. But it’s quite another, and a real eye-opener, to conclude that it was Darvish who almost singlehandedly sabotaged the Dodgers’ chances of winning in the World Series. Continue reading Fool’s Gild

Feeling Puig-nacious

We’re less than two full games into the World Series, and I’ve already had an assful of FOX and their love affair with Yasiel Puig.

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Yasiel Puig: not to everyone’s taste

I’m not sure who is supposed to find Puig’s continual mugging for the cameras to be funny–probably Generation AA; I blame them for everything now–but those of us who possess only a normal tolerance for foolishness have long since tired of those antics. Continue reading Feeling Puig-nacious

Camera Work From Camera Jerks

Postseason, regular season, any season–it doesn’t matter: greed never has an off-season.

I call this truism to everyone’s attention because I just noticed a new money-grubbing wrinkle while watching game 1 of the ALCS on FS1: the computer-imposed ads, usually seen behind home plate on the backstop, have now metastasized onto the batter’s eye in center field.

Continue reading Camera Work From Camera Jerks