Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
5/31/06 - Pistons 91-78 Heat - Heat lead 3-2
Technical note: whenever I edited yesterday's liveblog it slapped a new post up, and since they all had identical timestamps they were in random order. Thus it appeared that updating stopped sometime in the second quarter. I've deleted all the duplicates, so if you would like to review my ravings -- these things always descend into slight madness -- they can be found a post down. Or just click here. The comments thread from the first is here, if you care to review it for some reason.
Courtesy Detroit Bad Boys.
That was more like it. There were passes and (some) open shots and (some) easy points off turnovers and defense and one spectacular moment when Ben Wallace impossibly obliterated what looked like a sure Shaq dunk, reminding the viewer why, exactly, the Palace is filled with whiteboys in afros and the only player in town with anywhere approaching his stature is Steve Yzerman, who's been playing in Detroit since packs of dinosaurs roamed Pangea.
Game five felt vastly different than the previous limp performances. Even though it was touch and go most of the way, this prone-to-night-terrors fan could not conceive of a loss in this situation after the Pistons settled in, grimly determined to take the series back to Miami. Along the way some enjoyment was had.
No doubt Pistons fans, myself included, wondered who kidnapped them and replaced them with slightly-functional android imposters after the first two games of the Cleveland series. The team shuddered and clattered about, intermittently resembling the regular-season juggernaut that stormed to the best record in the league but generally pissing away the advantages they had. I don't know the reasons for the Pistons' extended funk -- the statistic bandied about on the teevee was 3-6 in their last nine games -- but at least that thing they do when backed into a corner is still there.
If -- and I want to stress "if," as the chances the Pistons win the next two are certainly below 50 percent -- the Pistons manage to win this series, then no matter what happens in the Finals they'll have cemented their reputation as best Rasputins in the history of the NBA*. Shot, stabbed, drowned, maimed, assaulted with hamburgers, attacked by leering gangs of bicyclists, thrown from a balloon, shot across the Channel in a V2 rocket, beaten, locked in a room with Stephen A. Smith on speed, run over by extremely determined ant skateboarders, abducted, or stuffed into the overhead compartment on a flight to hell: it matters not. What yesterday seemed like an insurmountable challenge is now just one slightly improbable road win followed by game seven in the Palace. It could happen. Maybe. Probably not. But maybe.
As Terry Foster might say in his indelibly melodramatic fashion, hope flows through the veins of southeastern Michigan again. Now do it again, you bastards!
*(Probably. I would not describe my NBA knowledge as encyclopedic.)
8:00 PM. What was a delightful summer shower has passed, leaving behind a hellish, humid miasma that causes your skin to crawl. Fresh off probably embarrassing myself in a (soon to be released!) EDSBS podcast interview.
Lindsey says "we can't really worry about the offense," then tells Jim Gray that no one from the team is blaming the officials or each other. Jim Gray calls Lindsey a liar before throwing it back to the studio. I am confused as to the reasons for his continued employment. Gray, not Hunter.
8:07 PM. Stephen A. Smith starts talking.
8:07:01 PM. Mute button employed for first time tonight. Over/under on final count: 6.
8:09 PM. The Bulls now have the second pick in the draft? Plus their own? They have to have enough ammunition for Garnett + actual team. Wouldn't Minnesota do Chandler, Deng, and two picks? A team with Garnett, Nocioni, Hinrich, and Gordon starting is an instant contender even if James Jones is the fifth starter. Sigh. Two weeks ago Detroit was poised to dominate the East for two or three more years. Now people are talking about letting Wallace go and about how dumb the Darko trade was. I miss two weeks ago.
8:15 PM. Flip showed the players tape of the 2004 Red Sox. Bill Simmons, upon hearing that, took a quick, determined trip to the bathroom. Tip to come. Talking in the breaks.
8:17 PM. Ben Wallace used to win all tips. Now he wins none. Exchange of jumpers goes for Detroit... Hamiton quickly 0-4. I hate that crap where Wallace gets the ball in the post and doesn't even threaten to get better position.
OMG BEN FREE THROW!!! An exciting 6-5 match four minutes in. And now we're rotating and running off of it. Wade just blazed past Hamilton but Rasheed was there to challenge instead of observe a dunk. Tentative hurrah. And Wallace annihilates a Jason Williams shot, plus a five second violation. Is this... hope?
Rasheed caps an 8-0 run by going to the hoops, and the forces of eeevil call a timeout. I feel vigorous and capable of anything by proxy.
8:25 PM. Commercials don't count for mute over-under. If the Pistons continue to perform well the under will be achieved, as Hubie will be entertaining instead of anger-inducing. I need a replay of that Wade "block" so I can scream about it being a foul... none provided.
Haslem finally hits a jumper. Holy Jesus! Ben drives, draws foul #2 on Shaq and gets an and-one! Free throw is bricked but who cares? Not I, I say. Heat are picking up a lot of fouls because the Pistons are out-hustling them. Attacking immobile Shaq has paid dividends, since he can't get his ponderousness over to turn blocking calls into charges. Hunter check in with 4:35 left in the first... Offensive Disaster Watch Engage.
I forgot to mention: after I bitched about Wade's shooting percentage through three games, it went up.
Mourning is such an asshole, and that should be a technical foul -- to paraphrase Hubie, "you cannot put your hands on another player, but Alonzo Mourning is one of the great assholes we have in this league."
8:37 PM. Hunter steal + layup, which is +3 in UFR-speak.
And... wow, that's a bad call. Hunter Haslem with his forearm, all ball, and a foul is called. Hubie Brown, of course, lives in Hubie Brown's Alternate Reality where refs are always correct in all instances and disagrees, causing me to wish him pain. End of one with the Pistons playing like notcrap and being rewarded for it: 25-20. Tom Petty causes mute utilization #2. The VIP room at the Sands goes crazy!
End Of First: 25-20.
8:46 PM. I don't think I want to see a movie that makes Kill Bill look like Sesame Street, because that movie is full of acid.
8:48 PM. I hate the NBA caring. Do it, and don't tell me about it.
Shut up about the layups, Hubie. Hamilton has his first two in the second. "Best that we have in regards to streak shooting" from Hubie re: Hamilton, since Hubie is given a small electric shock whenever he says "shooting" without streak in front of it.
Antoine Walker turnover special leads to a three on one break that Hunter almost blows but for a timely Prince tip in.
The Heat have gotten an eight second violation simultaneous with calling a timeout... the refs adjust the shot clock to 17 (potentially fair given the timing), and the announcers blither about tenths of a second. Detroit continues to push after everything, getting layups like they're... well, Miami two nights ago. Another Miami TO with Detroit up nine. This is just like two weeks ago.
8:56 PM. Wade took a desperation three about five feet behind the line with Hunter in his grill and panicked about it going in. Billups is taking a lot of bad shots, and yes, Mike Brey, Hunter is playing well. He sits down and I have nothing to complain about. Good on yer!
Pistons TO after a Rasheed shot -- a good one -- just barely ticks off the front rim, leading to a fast break dunk for Wade. Still up five, though, and the shots that they're getting are obviously far superior than those of the last few games. Cautious optimism.
9:03 PM. Chuck Daly has looked that old since 1989. Maybe he's Dick Clark. Nice basket cut for Rip leads to a layup... these are frequent tonight and nearly non-existent previously. Miami cuts it to two, then two Ben plays: a dunk and then he draws Shaq's third on the defensive end. Ben is here tonight.
Prince is now on Wade, but he still scores. It LOOKS harder, okay?
2:55 left and the Pistons only lead by two. Bollocks.
9:11 PM. Foul on the Pistons that's obviously Rasheed's third but NBA Magic turns it into Billups' first. Our Greatest Asshole splits the pair.
And goddammit. I swear to God, that's a foul on Hamilton but it goes uncalled because it's Wade and a runout dunk results. Detroit is pissed and runs off four quick points. Then some other stuff happens... Wade gets his second and is yanked with 12 seconds let in the half, which brings me to a pet peeve of mine: why is it verboten to play Wade with 12 seconds left in the half but okay at the start of the third? Do you get spanked if you have a player with three fouls before the half?
As I say this, Chauncey drives to the lane for a layup and the half ends.
9:38 PM. Rasheed opens the half up with a hit jumper. Chauncey does draw a foul against Williams, which causes Brown to talk about Chauncey's confidence against him... but it's been mostly bad shots thus far.
Hubie gets muted after calling someone "active" for the 300th time... and then it's SERENITY NOW time for the refereeing, as Hamilton gets banged while shooting with no call and picks up a technical, and for some reason ESPN refuses to show us any of these replays. Thanks, ESPN. Feel like cutting in for some Barry Bonds at bats any time soon? At least they've cut out the rolling camera stuff.
AAAH! BEN DESTROYSHAQ!!!!! AAAH BEN WIN TIP!!!!
Ahh Chauncey falldown? That's not right.
9:47 PM. "From The Creator Of White Chicks": not something I'd put in my movie preview. Mine would go something like "From a man who had nothing to do with White Chicks or, for that matter, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigilo..."
9:51 PM. Wallace dunk and foul. Horrah. WadeJumper(TM). Not horrah. Defense, offense, bitching at the refs: we look like the Pistons. Wade flops like fishy, gets call. AARGH. Could we hit an open three? We've had about six. Antoine Walker shows his true chucker nature by hoisting a three on a two on one break, which he hits. Riley calls TO; Pistons by six; 3:52 left in the third. Refs smell like death.
9:58 PM. 0 for 9 from three, and the Pistons lead by six... that's why this feels like a blowout but is not. Our Greatest Asshole commits a loose-ball foul (uncalled), shoves a du
nk at the rim and picks up a foul (phantom), and splits a pair. NO HUNTER NO JACK THREE. YES PRINCE YOU JACK THREE. 24 for Prince. Funky.
Chauncey's shot a lot of junk tonight but he has nine assists and one turnover.
After three: 73-65. Further playing, like, good and stuff will result in a game six.
10:09 PM. I find Burt Reynolds whining about a finger in a beer somewhat dillusioning. Peyton Manning, sure, but Burt Reynolds is supposed to be a man, man.
10:11 PM. Hunter gets an assist by taking an 18-foot jumper that McDyess puts back in. PS: I hate Wade, in the same way mice hate cats. Three minutes gone in the fourth and the Piston lead is down to four: not an acceptable attrition rate.
10:15 PM. It's a special time: we've been making fun of the WNBA for ten years.
A 24 second violation followed immediately by Chauncey's imminent return. Shaq goes to the line and one of two: Pistons up three. Wit and decorum have left for the next eight minutes of game time. Yes. Dice from his spot on the baseline. Goddammit. Ben successfully challenged a shot... a great, great defensive play. Ref checks to see if the shot goes in. It doesn't. Then a foul call. Most irritating thing in sports. Ball don't lie: Wade misses both.
Ach. Tension! Stuart Scott is still talking about things! Why?
10:26 PM. Pistons come out of a timeout and run a disjointed set. Screen switching raises its head again... Hamilton misses an open jumper and Wade banks it in, the bastard. Hamilton blocked by Shaq, ball bounces to Prince... three! Zing! The b key on my keyboard is getting wonky! Just in case you see references to "en Wallace" or "asketall"! Talking with exclaimation points is fun! I need some whiskey!
10:33 PM. Awesome: in many fonts the words "BLURAY" and "BLURRY" are nigh indisinguishable. Fire someone in marketing! More exclamation points!
10:37 PM. Dammit, with 3:25 left just foul Shaq when he looks dangerous in the post. Dice pre-emptively comes in so hack-a-Ben cannot be employed. Yuck. Wallace's line: 3-11. Misses first free throw. Makes the second. Hubie gets muted (#4). Haslem nearly airball a jumper and there's a total joke of foul call on Wallace. Ball continues to agree with my assessments of the refereeing as Shaq misses both. Hubie helpfully suggests that you should rebound missed free throws. Chauncey to the line, which is a wonderful experience relative to the Wallaces: Rasheed is shooting like Ben and Ben is shooting like a man trapped under a Yugo. 2/2. Pistons up seven with 2 and 35.
Wade misses as Prince challenges at the last second: Hack-a-Dice, who knocks both down... and then? D-PICTURE OF FENCE. Up 11. 1:50. Walker chucks one. Missed. Still Miami ball. Why is useless-on-offense Payton still on the floor? 1:33 left, up eleven. Game six beckons.
10:44 PM. Five second call. Ballgame. Mute-button under achieved. Game six in two days. Please don't suck.
Programming note: TONIGHT ONLY, a liveblog of Pistons-Heat game five. DO NOT MISS a chance to see someone melt-down in semi-public (again)! MUST CLOSE TONIGHT.
An unsolicited but not unwelcome second offseason roundtable that I am waaaay late to can be found over at Burnt Orange Nation; answers to the questions posed can be found herein.
Which offseason story are you most tired of, and, on the flip side, interested in? (e.g. Reggie Bush's house, Jimmy Clausen, etc.)
I second everyone's Notre Dame fatigue. Buoyed by their almost-win against an almost-great team that fades considerably in the harsh light of things like that game against Fresno State and the Rose Bowl, Notre Dame has the right mix of hot oldness and hot newness to be thrust down the throats of ... er... nevermind. That sentence wasn't going anywhere my mother would approve. The point is: ND accomplished very little a year ago and does not deserve 10% of the tongue-bathing it's getting. Color me confused by the love for Brady Quinn -- what I saw when I watched ND was a spray passer who excelled against terrible defenses (and there were many of those) but confounded by anything with a pulse. The only thing keeping Michigan in the game last year was the fact that the only player on the field who looked worse than Henne was Quinn.
Let me not swing too far in the opposite direction: with Quinn's experience and a host of returning starters, Notre Dame should be in the lead pack of presumed NC contenders going into the most uncertain season in a decade or more. But can we stop pretending ND did much of anything last year?
The flipside: I love me some good scandal and relish the prospect of an apocalyptic swipe at the USC program that would suddenly give Michigan a victory in the '04 Rose Bowl. An implausible dream, but dreams are all we have left after that season.
Your head coach comes down with a mystery illness and has to step aside. You get to hand pick the replacement for the 2006 season. Who gets your vote?
Spurrier. Not only would Spurrier bring his frenetic offensive game, hilarious comments directed at opposing coaches, and visor, but he would probably cause noted anti-luxury-box crusader John Pollack's head to explode, Total Recall-style. I have nearly as much of a mancrush on Spurrier as the lads at EDSBS, and seeing phosphorus and water get together could be... wait for it... explosive. H!IKM*
*(Ha! I kill me!)
Lastly, we'll mix the football and the blogging together here. If you could have anyone switch allegiances and start covering your team, who you gonna pick?
This is actually a difficult question on pure quality grounds, as there are four or five bloggers out there who I count amongst my favorite writers period (If you have a blog and are reading this, yes, you are one of them. Hugz!). Perhaps we can narrow it down based on the specific needs of the Wolverine blogosphere.
- Ian from Sexy Results is out, since he has a near-doppleganger in Johnny from RBUAS, and that's a compliment to both.
- Stranko and Orson of EDSBS and House Rock Built are out, as Michigan bloggers already possess a blog full of hilarity in The MZone.
- Kyle King of Dawg Sports is out, as we would miss out on weeks of strangely entertaining intersectional sniping with Maize 'n' Brew about the proper place to put Northwestern in a totally fictional, totally implausibile total realignment of college football.
- Other Atlanta bloggers are out because Michigan already has one at Braves & Birds.
- Aaaand Syracuse's Matt Glaude (& co) are out, since Michigan already has a stat-obsessed engineery type prone to gibbering in the corner when things don't go his way.
Those blogs disposed of and many other blogs that cover their teams extremely well but would be largely redundant amidst the dozen or so Michi-blogs politely ruled out, there's one that stands out: Sunday Morning Quarterback. Matt Hinton, the pride of Southern Mississippi ever since Brett Favre turned into an ESPN soap opera, has the sort of prose knack that can keep you riveted to a preview about any one of D-IA's scrubbier members -- or, as he endeavors to do, all of them. Keeping up with my Bloglines account is sometimes a daunting task. Sometimes getting through all the information coming into it is a bit of a chore, but even after four days off and a hellacious number of posts to catch up to, I found SMQB worth lingering over. He's the Big Ten Wonk of college football and should be given gifts.
5/29/06 - Pistons 78-89 Heat - Heat lead 3-1
It's times like this when I wish I really knew basketball. I mean, I know that if you shoot from behind the line it's three points and you have to shoot within 24 seconds and all that stuff, but that level of knowledge is insufficient to explain what's going on in Miami. Watching the Pistons go down fairly helplessly in the last two games -- trailing the whole way, making one push that only serves to increase the pain of the loss -- would be somehow mitigated if I could whip out some obvious reasons. This is probably an after-effect from football season; in retrospect Michigan's losses were more tolerable when one could scream "ack! Pat Masssey." With the Pistons I am forced to shrug and blither, which is no fun at all.
I do know these things:
- Emotionally, I have turned against Flip Saunders something fierce. The ABC/ESPN coverage is wont to linger over the coaches' expressions after every play of consequence, and when they do Saunders gives off a very Bobby Williams-esque vibe. He appears pensive, biting his lip, probably thinking "God, I hope they don't fire me." By contrast, Riley looks like he's going to order a hit on the refs and Shandon Anderson, but not before he gets in some good Joe-Pesci-in-Casino bat action on them. This is where the knowledge would come in handy, as with it I could confirm or dis-confirm my emotional reaction.
- The Pistons are not in a shooting slump any more than the teams the Pistons faced when Carlisle and Brown found suddenly found themselves in a shooting slump. They're not getting quality shots -- no fast break points, lots of contested jumpers, seemingly all of them from Lindsey Hunter, and very few easy buckets at the rim. I don't know if it's the players or the coaching, but the offense has devolved into a one-on-one thing where the Pistons are often faced with an iso way away from the basket with the clock running down.
- Ben has not impacted the game and his free throw shooting has gone from atrocious to a war crime. He's hired an agent. He's offering snippy comments to the press. I need a hug.
- This does not feel like a series the Pistons can come back from.
That last comment is the most telling and disturbing. I hate this losing stuff on a variety of levels, but since people actually started reading this thing the worst part is having to sit down and not call for assassinations. I try to keep an artificially even keel when things are in progress but going badly; when the need for a post-mortem arises one shall be given. This is not that time. Yet.
4/27/06 - Pistons 83-98 Heat - Pistons down 2-1
I only just resisted titling this post "Is Flip Saunders An Idiot?" because it seems clear that a man who is paid more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes can't be all 'tard, but... there's a strong chance Flip Saunders is an idiot in some sense. If you did a Family Feud-style survey with the question "Who Is Going To Defend Dwyane Wade in the conference finals?" survey would say:
- What are you talking about? You want a mango? I am from France. (37)
- Um... I don't know his name, but probably the guy who looks like a heavily abused Stretch Armstrong doll? (34)
- Tayshaun Prince, you idiot. (31)
The third opinion would be given to you by anyone with even a smattering of NBA knowledge all the way up to, say, Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant, players of Wade's bionic shooting guard ilk who have run up against Stretch and who -- if not exactly stopped -- have been decently contained. Tayshaun is popularly regarded as the Kobe-Lebron-McGrady-Wade stopper, one of the few players in the league with both the size and the quickness to stop the NBA's unstoppable. Only an idiot or an expert would do anything other than stick Tayshaun on Wade and forget about it.
An expert? Si. A while ago, Bill Simmons sat down to talk/email($ -- archive) with writer, public intellectual, and spectacular jew-fro* possessor Malcolm Gladwell for his "Curious Guy" series. During this exchange the curious blindness of expertise was brought up during a discussion about -- you guessed it -- Isiah Thomas. Gladwell immodestly proposes that he would be a better GM than Thomas. He backs up his assertion like so:
So why do I think I would be better? There's a famous experiment done by a wonderful psychologist at Columbia University named Dan Goldstein. He goes to a class of American college students and asks them which city they think is bigger -- San Antonio or San Diego. The students are divided. Then he goes to an equivalent class of German college students and asks the same question. This time the class votes overwhelmingly for San Diego. The right answer? San Diego. So the Germans are smarter, at least on this question, than the American kids. But that's not because they know more about American geography. It's because they know less. They've never heard of San Antonio.
And now horrible, horrible San Antonio intrudes upon us once again whenever Dwyane Wade is astounded to find Tayshaun Prince guarding someone else.
In last year's conference finals, Dwyane Wade shot 44 percent and scored just under 24 points a game with Prince checking him every step of the way. That's good, though it was probably aided somewhat by Wade's rib injury. But Wade is a scary mofo who shot 48 percent from the field a year ago and 49.5 this year. If you can get 44 percent you take it and run. Go ahead, guess at Wade's shooting percentage through three games in the conference finals. No, that's too low. That's also too low. Just give up.
68.8 percent. Sixty-eight point eight.
Some of that is a fluke based on small sample size, but when Wade is pulling up for his uncontested WadeJumper(tm) he is not even troubled by Hamilton's presence. Riley is beating Saunders' head in with one simple adjustment: going big. With Antoine Walker and Udonis Haslem in the game, the Pistons line up Rasheed Wallace against Haslem, Prince against Walker, and Rip against Wade. Wade shoots 70 percent; Wallace's role on defense is to watch Haslem do nothing; Prince struggles against Walker like he does against most players who are 50 pounds heavier than him. None of this makes any sense. Gladwell sounds the bell for the sports fan who can't believe how... why... aaargh:
The point is that knowledge and the ability to make a good decision correlate only sporadically, and there are plenty of times when knowledge gets in the way of judgement.
It's a cold comfort.
*(I'm not sure if Gladwell is Jewish or not, but his hair damn well is.)
No column-type thing, as I have many things to say, all of them disjointed. Thus we resort to your standard "musings" or "thoughts" post. No doubt these are "random."
- One is inclined to like the concept of Dick Bavetta. He is an NBA referee at the ripe old age of seven hundred and forty-two. I'm sure somewhere in the Bible it says "And Bavetta begat Hastor." He's the definition of the word "spry," and it's always handy to have a platonic ideal wandering around in case you run into foreigners having difficulty with the langauge. Despite having all the aforementioned oldness about him, though, he makes calls with a simple, childlike enthusiasm. To translate Bavetta into sarcastic internet speak:
OMG OMG OMG Pistons ball out of bounds LOL.
This is all very entertaining.
- HOWEVER, when Cute Old NBA Referee and his merry band of travelling minstrels flash back to the days when there wasn't a no-charge circle under the net, ignore requests for timeout, or pretend to not notice James Posey getting very up-close-and-prison with Chauncey Billups in the waning moments of a game that's within two points because you ignored a request for a timeout, well, it is very annoying.
- The difference was night and day, but then we got quite a bit of night at the end again. What? Compare the Pistons offense from the waning days of the Cavs series and Game 1 with what we saw up until about the third quarter tonight. There's been quite a bit of debate about whether the Pistons were just missing open shots or if they weren't executing their offense as well. I think it's some of both, but with an emphasis on the latter. The Pistons sometimes get into funks where they stand around until the shot clock is down to about ten and then rely on a one-on-one play to score. Since they are not in possession of a Shaq, Wade, Lebron, or any of the other genetic lottery winners that can get something useful at a whim, this is extremely damaging. They require the movement, penetration, and kick stuff to get open shots.
- A side effect of not having a spectacular one-on-one player is that the Pistons seem to have major trouble when opponents switch all their screens, since it lures them into that iso-exploit-the-mismatch game that causes everyone to stand around, watching one guy work.
- 50% less crap... 50% less crap... so you only get a few sentences on Lindsey Hunter and his totally incorrect notion that he should be shooting contested threes with time on the shot clock. For that, Linsdey Hunter, you get this:
- His name is Prince and, as the turbaned man's Best Sign Ever said, he is funky. I don't have much add. I love Prince's quiet efficiency, his range, his swooping drives, and his ability to block everything from three-pointers to the entire Indiana Pacers franchise (seriously: from that moment on the team that seemed poised to dominate the East for five years has slumped to mediocrity). I also love that he reminds me of a pterodactyl.
(Does anyone have that picture somewhere? I desperately need it.)
- They are giving Ben the same respect they gave Jason Collins and are calling Shaq when he attepts to make pate out of Ben's jaw with his elbow. And as a result, Ben is doing a great job on Shaq, stats aside. Most of Shaq's points were off wide open dunks that other players created for him by forcing Ben to rotate. All night Shaq's hooks were six inches to a foot short because Ben had him juuuust that much out of his comfort zone. I have privately worried that Ben has been slipping and have had deeply panicked internal monologues about it: last night was soothing.
- We all know ESPN is violent death as a sports broadcast, but really, that awful camera angle with the sliding camera that's way too close to see the corners and at an angle in which you can't understand anyone's movement is beyond even my expectations for their stupidity. As King Kaufman always says, "show the game."
- Hubie Brown has no short-term memory. That is all.
Most annoying was the Posey stuff, since at any other time in the game he would have been called for a foul and everyone would have been like "yes, that is obviously a foul," but for some reason they got all NHL playoff ref on us.
Also, a note: the pregame/halftime guys annoy me even when I am fast-forwarding past them. (I have had to tape the Piston games the last two nights, as they are being shown simultaneously with Edmonton Oiler games and ESPN keeps telling me what the score is when I try to watch basketball first.)