Hollywood Nights: The Detroit Pistons’ Season in One Play


As Marcus points out, the image of the next generation of Lob City fans, who will know the Lakers as little more than middling renters of their team’s arena, is heartening.

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Previously
Hollywood Nights: Generally, No man is an Island
Hollywood Nights: No World Peace in the Windy City

Hollywood (Disco) Nights: A Hero at the Forum

Hollywood Nights: A Magic Haiku

Hollywood Nights: Z-Bo and Bishop Don The Magic Juan

The Clippers are on a winning streak that’s impossible to ignore

It’s true. Lob City has won fifteen straight games, and they haven’t even been close. The biggest consequence? NBA analysts are running out of things to write about them. Everyone worked through the novelty of LAC being good last season, along with every criticism and critique of Donald Sterling, Clipper Darrell, and Vincent “Vinny” Del Degro. After the fifteenth-consecutive noncompetitive win, what’s there to say?

ESPN’s J.A. Adande has an idea: winning easy actually is a bad thing for the Clippers. I mean cheese and potatoes you guise! What are these guys supposed to do?? They tried not winning for, oh, forty years or so, and that didn’t work out. Then they decided to draft Blake Griffin, had Chris Paul thrust upon them, and tried winning for a change, and now you’re saying that’s bad too? These guys just can’t win. Err…

But don’t worry, because Adonde’s found a silver lining to this dark cloud of endless, dominating victories:

But for every flaw the Clippers have, it’s easy to point out areas in which they can get even better.

Really easy, in fact. He later noted that the first rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club.

Hollywood (Disco) Nights: A Hero at the Forum

Who was that masked man on the floor at the FedEx Forum in Memphis for games five and seven of the Clippers-Grizzlies series? The internet can’t figure it out, although BaconSports and SB Nation have some gooddecent pictures and GIFs.

What we do know is that his use of the towel and mask (and, apparently, the Force) was not enough to will his team to competency in a home game seven. A full four quarters of competency is all it would have taken for these Grizzlies to win– even sweep– this series. Instead, they made like Lebron James and mailed in the fourth quarter each time before totally skipping game seven.

The Clippers now limp down to San Antonio, where Pop’s Geriatrics are unlikely to be interested or flapped by LAC’s nonsense, and injuries are likely to curtail any traditional advantages Paul and Blake Griffin could have exerted over the Spurs.

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Related
Raiford’s Hollywood Disco is back on the market – Memphis Business Journal

Previously
Hollywood Nights: A Magic Haiku
Hollywood Nights: Z-Bo and Bishop Don The Magic Juan

Super Monday

Winner: The New York Giants. They scored first, with a technical safety on the Patriots’ opening drive, when Tom Brady stood in his own end zone and intentionally grounded the ball, and they scored last, when Ahmad Bradshaw carried a little more momentum than he probably expected on a largely undefended running play, to beat New England 21-17.

Loser: The New England Patriots. Despite going down 9-0 early in the game, they took a lead into halftime, thanks for a field-traversing drive on which Tom Brady was 10-10 in passing. The Pats suddenly looked like their old, domineering, mechanistic, enemy-vaporizing selves. And they got the ball to start the second half! I sent a text message to Bdoyk at halftime: “Tide has turned.” Her response: “Don’t say that.” To the hyperstitious greater Massachusetts sports community, I’m sorry if that in-game prediction of victory caused your players to develop stone hands on the final drive.  Keep reading…

Special teams Monday

On Friday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves hung around long enough and took advantage of a Los Angeles Clippers’ offense that, despite dominating most of the game even without Chris Paul, stagnated after Mo Williams, who couldn’t miss, got himself ejected. Minnesota won the game on a Kevin Love 3-pointer off an in-bounds play with 1.5 seconds remaining. The 101-98 game-winning margin was the T-Wolves only lead of the night after going up 2-0 to start the game.

In college action, Michigan State was all over Purdue in East Lansing, 83-58, the Boilermakers being a much better team in West Lafayette than on the road. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, hasn’t quite been able to right its ship, dropping a tough one in overtime to #15 Mississippi State, 78-77. Other notable games included Virginia Tech upsetting UVA in a low-scoring affair (47-45), Notre Dame upsetting previously undefeated #1 Syracuse, and Florida State salvaging its season with an upset of Duke in Durham just a week after it blew out free falling North Carolina. There also was this neat fact:

Sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning, former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno died after a battle with lung cancer.  Beyond the longevity of his tenure, recent information about his handling of the Jerry Sandusky situation has obscured and clouded Paterno’s legacy. One has to wonder, though, whether Paterno would be alive today if he had been allowed to remain in his post. It isn’t a sensational suggestion: he and others addressed this very question in years past (in an article, probably in Sports Illustrated, for which I spent a good amount of time unsuccessfully searching on Sunday). The other footnote on this story right now is the mishandling of the death announcement by the media– particularly CBS Sports, which lifted a premature story without attribution from Onward State, a PSU student site, and then attempted to blame that site when the error was revealed.

Sunday featured the NFL playoffs’ final four and saw New England and New York advancing to the Super Bowl. In each game, the losing team appeared to be in control at the end, only to commit crippling special teams errors that delivered the victory to their opponent. When the teams meet in the Super Bowl, Eli Manning will have the opportunity to double his brother’s championship total, while Tom Brady could join Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only quarterbacks to win four Super Bowls. Super Bowl XLVI will be a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, which the Giants won 17-14, thanks in large part to a fourth-quarter catch by WR David Tyree.

In the Australian Open, Serena Williams lost 6-2, 6-3 to Ekaterina Makarova. Williams was the last American alive in the tournament.

Merry Monday

Christmas came early for the Detroit Lions, who dominated the Chargers on Christmas Eve and earned their first playoff berth since 1999, giving the team a chance to win their first playoff game since 1991, their first NFL championship since 1957, and their first Super Bowl ever. I’m carried away one sentence into this post, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. In other NFL news, the Packers proved that, if another team is to beat them, they will need their starting quarterback and running back in action. They face the Lions next week, and given the chance that those teams will see each other again in the playoffs, I expect the game to go one of two ways: 1) both teams lay out cautions gameplans, with the Packers particularly careful to protect their starters; 2) the Lions miss the memo detailing option (1) and go all-out in an attempt to knock Aaron Rogers out and get the remainder of their defense suspended in the process. All Lions-Packers games that happen from here on out will be played in Lambeau. Cold weather proved to get the better of Tim Tebow, who got destroyed by the Bills of Buffalo.

The NBA regular season returned yesterday, and most of the games were pleasantly close. Two that were not were the finals rematch between Miami and Dallas, where the visiting Heat handled the defending champs easily, and a game involving Oklahoma City. (That’s all I can say about the latter.) The Knicks won a close one over Boston in the early game, and many have been saying that, despite the win, New York’s weaknesses were exposed. I have been saying that, despite everything and nothing, Spike Lee is so, so tired. By contrast, the Bulls won a close game over the Lakers when Derick Rose blew right past the SAT check-in table to flip in a game-winning floater in the lane, and most people are saying that this close win for Chicago showed their strength. I have been saying that, despite that, it shows that the Lakers are going to have a really long, somewhat bad year. Finally, the other LA team continued its winning ways. This was the only game I watched most of. The Warriors hung around for the first three quarters, but new Clipper addition Chris Paul took charge in the second half of the fourth quarter (known as “the start of the game” in player parlance) and secured a comfortable win for his new team. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, someone said, “basketball?”

On the docket for this week is more bowl game coverage and some looks back at the year that is soon to end (i.e., 2011).

UPDATE:

Isn’t one of you supposed to be….? Oh nevermind.