Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day Notes


-The Celtics had as much to do with giving that game to the Lakers as the Purple and Gold had to do with taking it. Making only 5 of 22 threes, committing 22 turnovers, openly bickering with each other, and foul trouble from the Celtics “all-star” point guard were major culprits in the 19-game streak ending.

-Kobe played brilliantly in the last 3 minutes of the game. Instead of forcing it and trying to be the hero, the Lakers got the win. Bryant amassed four assists, three defensive rebounds and hit two buckets. The first, perhaps quietly the biggest of the game, came 20 seconds after KG had just given the Cs the lead 81-79 after the Green men had been trailing all night. Kobe brought the ball down and hit a fadeaway 18-foot jumper from the right corner to tie the game back up. If the Lakers don’t have that bucket, Mr. Mo (momentum) would have swung completely in the Celtics favor, and the Cs, instead of bickering and forcing quick/tough shots, probably pull this one out and everyone today would be talking about the end-of-the-world for the Lakers and who needs to be traded and Phil needing to be fired, etc. etc.

-After that big bucket though, the double team started to come and Kobe just kept giving the ball up to Pau. Pau gets credit for being the key to the Lakers win and while he did shoot 3-3 from the field and 3-3 from the line, his looks were all directly related to the wizardry of 24.

-I’m almost at a point where I want the Lakers to scrap the triangle offense at different points during games. Especially against tough defensive teams. Blasphemous? Perhaps. But, when Kobe and Pau, or Kobe and Bynum play pick and roll, there’s not much teams can do to stop it. Well, that is unless Bryant decides to force things. If he keeps the ball moving, then no team, the Celtics included, can keep up with the excellent passing or the wide open looks Walton or Radmanovic (who barely played), or Vujacic are going to be getting. Odom and Pau are excellent passers and Bynum is a willing passer. This team should average 25-30 assists a game.

-I love D-Fish, but there is never a time in a Celtics/Lakers game where he needs to square up his defender, dribble back and forth for several seconds and then chuck up a shot without passing the ball (I counted three times he did this). With the talent and shooting prowess and creative ability of his other teammates, there’s never really a situation where Fish needs to run this play.

-Odom played confident. He needs to play with that swag in every single game. He’s the man on that second unit. He’s the go to guy, the focal point who makes everything happen. He played a great game. Solid defense. He put up numbers across the board with 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2 3s, 2 assists and 7 boards to go along with 10 points. As always, he’s the Lakers X-Factor. When he’s on, the Lakers are unbeatable.

-Gasol got nasty. He pushed back K.G. letting him know that he ain’t no Jose Calderon. He also gave a hard body check to Rondo. Poor kid was crumpled on the floor, feeling that blow last night, and I’m sure he's feeling it today. Oh yeah, and Pau sealed the game for the Lakers by hitting all of his shots in the last three minutes. Que fuerte!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I know this sounds crazy. I've had some crazy ideas on here, for the Suns to bring Steve Nash off the bench. Well, here's another crazy idea. How about instead of benching Odom, who is really good at help defense, how about bring Gasol off the bench. Gasol, much like Odom, is a selfless player. That's how he's been able to co-exist with Kobe so well. What he's not so good at, is well, tough defense. Bynum's struggled a bit, but bringing him off the bench would just add to his mounting frustration. Pau Gasol is the perfect facilitator type that the second unit, now without Jordan Farmar, can rely on to keep the offense flowing. Think Boris Diaw in 06. Plus, he's legit down low. Surround him with Vladimir Radmanovic, Trevor Ariza, and Sasha Vujacic, and that's a great bench unit. Odom plus Bynum plus Kobe plus Walton plus Fish makes for a tougher, more help happy defense that is also a bit more versatile than with Pau and Bynum. Just a thought.

Eastern Point Guard All-Stars

Thoughts on potential Eastern All-Stars Rajon Rondo, Devin Harris and Jameer Nelson among others.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dimes of Wisdom Blog

New post on my Dimes of Wisdom Blog. Sam Cassell for the HOF.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Master Deceiver

I bit. I believed the dude. I’ve hated on him for quite some time, but this year, I said, “Jordan, you are going to be as unbiased as you possibly can be in your writing, and you are going to take the dude at his word.”

Well, Amare and Shaq came up with Amare’s new nickname, Sun Tzu, and, you know what? He’s lived up to that name perfectly. Amare has used deception, or, more blatantly, lies, to try and make me believe that he has become something that he is not. Here are some examples of his art of war…

"I want to be Ron Artest,” he said all the way back in September. “I want to be that guy you fear when you see him guarding you."

"My goal is to become a phenomenal defensive player,'' he said in November. "That's my goal, to be a phenomenal defensive player night in, night out, no nights off. And ultimately to win a championship.'

So far, the Suns are 21st in points allowed, 24th in defensive rating and 22nd in defensive rebounding. This from a team who with Shawn Marion, sported the best offense (SSOL) last year while also maintaining a ranking of 16th in defensive rating.

And speaking of D’Antoni’s offense…

"I couldn't be more ecstatic about the decision,” he said in September about the hiring of Terry Porter and the leaving of Mike D’Antoni. “[Terry Porter] is very organized. He knows what it takes to win. He wants to be the champion. That falls into the category of the Stoudemire brand and also the Phoenix Suns brand. We want to be champions, whatever it takes to do it."

"A lot of defensive drills,'' he said of his coach’s practices at the beginning of November. "We're going over the different tactics of defense. It's very important from my standpoint, being a young player. I never really had long practices on defense. It was never really forced. We talked about it, but as far as practicing it and really going through the preparation, it is the first of my career.''

Just last week, that tune has hit a sour note. He’s openly been questioning Porter’s coaching. After getting beat down by the Lakers in their first meeting two weeks ago, he said the Lakers "were fluid, flowing,” and added, “I remember when we looked like that."

So now, he misses his old style of play after he threw D'Antoni under the bus with his "this is hte first time I've ever been taught how to play defense..." quotes. Throwing former teammates and coaches under the bus while complaining and never taking any blame...Sounds very…uh, Shaq-like.

Way back in September, Sun Tzu oozed enthusiasm, and yes, quite a bit of cockiness as well. "Expectations are higher than they've ever been. As I improve and I get better, we get better. I have no problem putting the total weight and everything we have on my shoulders. If we lose, I have no problem taking that burden. If we win, just make sure you guys give props where props are due. We're ready."

At the end of November and into December, his enthusiasm has lost all of its shine instead weathering down to a harsh, loud glare.

He’s suddenly “absolutely” looking at free agency in 2010. "As a player,” he said, “You should look at the teams you might want to play for. The city you may want to live in. The system you may want to play in. The economy. The cost of living. Everything. It's about what's best for you."

Always what’s best for himself…

“Right now,” Sun Tzu said, “I’m a little frustrated."

Well, he should be. Despite being a freak of nature athlete, Stoudemire is 23rd in the league in rebounding with a paltry 8.3 per contest. He’s sitting behind his own teammate Shaq, who plays 11 minutes less then him; Andrew Bynum and Drew Gooden who both play nearly 8 minutes less; and David Lee who averages 2 more boards but plays nearly 5 minutes less.

Spin his per 48-minute rebounding numbers and he comes in at 68th in the entire league. While I don’t put too much stock in per-48 minute numbers (because, they aren’t real) any big man who thinks of himself as a superstar can in no way shape or form average in any stat form, less boards than Darko Milicic (59th) and Ryan Anderson (63). Or maybe that’s why he gave up his nickname, STAT, cuz he couldn’t live up to it.

I read an article
( that tries to make it sound like Amare’s very body is the reason for his inability to rebound. Ha Ha. He’s blamed everyone from his former coach to his present coach’s style, to the lack of another big man, to, now, finally, his small frame…

You telling me that Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol are stronger and more athletic than Tzu? Or that all 6-foot 5-inches of Chuck Hayes who averages half of Amare’s rebounding in less than half the time (4.4 boards in 15 minutes) is better equipped to rebound despite being 4-5 inches shorter? Or that David Lee’s body is more blessed.

Dude…just man up and get the rebound.

As it stands now, Suns Fu has utilized his new name quite well. He's mastered the art of deception...of deceiving himself.

You know, that new haircut he’s sporting got me thinking about who he looks like. And then it hit me. To borrow a line from the always eloquent Mr. T,

“I pity the Foo…”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Trade Me!!!!!!

Couple of trades went down today. So, forgive me for interrupting the Lebron/Kobe team whatever it was I was trying to do last week.

First off, is the three-team deal involving the Hornets, Grizzlies and Wizards.

The Wizards got point guard Mike James and combo guard Javaris Crittenton. The Grizzlies got a Wizards future first-round pick. The Hornets got guard Antonio Daniels.

Now, from the Wizards standpoint, not entirely sure what they are doing. They’ve got a whole host of guards, DeShawn Stevenson, Nick Young, Dominic McGuire, Juan Dixon, and, oh yeah, Mr. $111 million man Gilbert Arenas. With the trade, they are subtracting one guard and adding two more. Mike James, let’s be honest, is a salary dump thing. And, adding JCritt means that they got the most potential talent out of the deal, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that, JCritt, much like he was on the Grizzlies, doesn’t really have a spot in the rotation. Of course, Crittenton does have a chance to be better than all of the guards on the Wizards' roster not named Gilbert (actually, kind of plays like GA without the range), but, he’s only 20 and Hibachi is supposed to be coming back into the rotation in the next few months.

As for the Grizzlies, I really don't like this deal. Critt was one of their more valuable pieces. Sure, the more DNPs or 3-minute outings he racked up, the further his value fell, but trading him for a conditional first round pick? Eh. This team needs veterans, not more youth. Hell, their starting rotation averages 21 years of age. Adding more draft picks to this team is like herding more kids into Neverland Ranch. Just more youth for the man in charge to screw up.

As for the Hornets, Antonio Daniels is exactly what they need…in theory. Daniels is pretty banged up. He spent the early part of the year recovering from a knee injury and has recently dealt with some back issues. After back-to-back seasons (05-07) where he averaged 80 games, Daniels has been injury-prone this year and last. He’s had all sorts of ailments all over his body: sprained wrist, messed up ankle, bone spurs. But, when he’s right, or, that is, if he can get right, he will be a welcome addition to the squad. His ability to play turnover-free basketball and run the point as well as consistently get to the line, is exactly the type of production the Hornets lack. On defense, he’s great at drawing offensive fouls. He’ll struggle to guard quicker point guards, but he’ll have a lot of help with a defensive-minded second unit.

As for the other trade between Phoenix and Charlotte that sent Boris Diaw, Sean Singletary and Raja Bell to the Bobcats in exchange for Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley and a second round pick…I have my reservations.

First and foremost, I have my reservations because I know who the respective GMs are. If you’ve read this blog, we all know what Steve Kerr has done to the Suns…hint, he’s really big and frequently pops off at the mouth.

As for Charlotte Bobcats GM Rod Higgins, he’s done some piss poor work himself. And, like Kerr, in only a season and a few months. He signed PF/C Emeka Okafor, SF Gerald Wallace and SF/SG Matt Carroll all to huge and lengthy contracts well beyond what any of them deserve (especially Carroll). Then he exercised the rights to two more SFs Adam Morrison and Jared Dudley (okay, he can kind of play power). This year he signed Marcus Williams, Donell Taylor, Andre Brown, Justin Williams, and Linton Johnson, and then waived each and every one of them.

So, forgive me if this trade smells of disaster from the get go. Higgins needed to trade for some big bodies, and instead flipped a guard and a small forward for two guards and a small forward on a team littered with, you guessed it, guards and small forwards.

I mean, I get why he got Bell. Bell’s a Larry Brown guy through and through. Bell came up with Brown on the Sixers. Brown helped mold him into the player he is today. But, that was 8 years ago. Bell isn’t close to what he was defensively, even two years ago. His 3-point percentage is up, but you have to consider that he’s trading in the passing skills of Steve Nash for the combo of D.J. Augustin and Raymond Felton, and the spacing provided by Shaq and Amare, for the no spacing provided whatsoever from Nazr Mohammed and Okafor.

But Diaw? Diaw is represents everything that makes Brown furious. A talented, lazy, non-head user. And that’s for three more seasons. Have fun with that Larry.

Worse comes to worse, in the end, the Cats saved a few million dollars.

Say what you will about Richardson’s overall game—lacks handles, can’t play D, doesn’t know how to pass—but dude could consistently score 20 a night. Diaw and Bell are the opposite of consistency.

Who knows, Diaw could blossom under Brown and get back to averaging 16, 6 and 6. Truly scary numbers…

As for the Suns, they got the best player in the trade, but they also added his $12.5 million salary for three more seasons. He’s a dude who lives off his crazy athleticism (twice a dunk champion) coming off of arthroscopic knee surgery. He’s a bit one dimensional, but he’ll make that starting five a lot better…if everyone is willing to share the ball. Cough, cough, Amare, cough.

The problem here is that Phoenix swapped out Singletary as well, leaving them with statistically, one of the worst players in the NBA, Goran Dragic, backing up Steve Nash. And for a team whose main goal this season was to get a lot better at defense, trading J-Rich for your best defender is like a Mormon marrying a pornstar. Dudley’s got some game, like a garbage man (cleans up trash, gets down and dirty), but he’s sort of redundant with Matt Barnes.

We’ll see how this all turns out. Amare could be content in taking less shots and instead focus on defense and rebounding so J-Rich can get his 16-18 points per. The Suns defense could get better despite trading their best defender for a horrible one. Grant Hill could act as a point-forward off the bench…er, wait…this all sounds so familiar.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lebron's Got Great Teammates

I can’t get away from it because it has inundated our basketball news and the blogosphere and will continue to do so for the next two seasons. So, what the hell, I’ll just roll with this Lebron wanting out business.

Because he is not quick to stomp out the rumors, and in fact adds fuel to the media’s fire about wanting to leave, today, Westcoast Slant would like to dispel the myth that Lebron James does not play with good players.

Article after article, blog after blog talks about how Lebron’s team is nowhere near the talent-level of Kobe’s team and due to his out-of-this-world stats and inherent ability to “make his teammates better,” Lebron James is hands down the best player in the L.

We’ll skip his defensive shortcomings…huge blocks, like I’m sure you’ve seen on SportsCenter or something ( are great fun to look at, but let’s not get confused with those kinds of blocks being signs of great defense. Sean Williams of the Nets was second in the league last year in blocks per 48 minutes and had some monster blocks due to his athleticism and length. This season, however, he can’t dislodge his butt from the end of the bench because of fouls and horrible defensive fundamentals.

Blocks are an overrated stat. It’s really an image thing and that goes back to the “image” of the Lakers being better than the Cavs.

Taking a charge is definitely not as pretty or exciting to watch as sending the opposition’s shot into the 8th row, but it’s always better than a blocked shot because it punishes the offender with a personal foul and a turnover. Blocks have their place (mostly the intimidation/embarrassment factor) and shot blockers definitely can act as deterrents (Mutumbo, Hakeem, etc.) that act as huge game changers…but blocks, in general, are not as valuable as taking charges. That’s why Anderson Varejao, though not flashy, is every bit as good a defender as Andrew Bynum. Just in a different way. But we’ll get to that in a second.

Now, I’m not saying the Lakers don’t have more upside talent (they are younger), but as far as production goes, this battle is closer than some might imagine.

Let’s dissect the two teams. Because Kobe and Lebron play different positions, it’s hard to exactly match up, player-for-player, position-by-position. However, there are certain skill sets that individuals bring to a team: shooting, defense, ball-movement, energy, etc. That’s how I’ve paired the players off.

Pau Gasol vs. Zydrunas Ilgauskus
Andrew Bynum vs. Anderson Verajao
Derek Fisher vs. Mo Williams
Vladimir Radmanovic vs. Wally Szczerbiak
Jordan Farmar vs. Delonte West
Sasha Vujacic vs. Daniel Gibson
Lamar Odom vs. Ben Wallace
Trevor Ariza vs. J.J. Hickson

Pau vs. Big Z
Basically, Big Z is the hairless, OG Pau (by like two years). He has a great 15-17 foot jump shot. He’s a face up, finesse-style 7-footer who can also play with his back to the basket. Great freethrow shooter for a big. An excellent offensive rebounder, but weaker on the D glass than you’d want from the tallest dude on the court. He gets a good number of blocks just because he’s so long. And he keeps his PER in the 18 to 22 range with a high water mark this season of 24.9. Pau’s a better passer and more athletic but he’s also lankier and doesn’t take up nearly the same amount of space. And he’s not quite perfected the offensive rebound like Big Z. Pau’s better, but it’s close. And, Lebron’s had Big Z for all six years. Kobe hasn’t even played a full season with Spaniard—it just seems like they’ve been balling together since they were kids.

AB vs. AV
Real talk. Anderson Varejao’s ceiling is the floor to Andrew Bynum’s two-story house, but in the here and now, they are both equally effective. Varejao is annually in the top 10 for offensive fouls drawn and is a beast on defense in ways that Bynum has not even begun to learn. He’s fantastic at showing on screens, making him great against the pick-and-roll, is the energizer bunny in the hustle department and controls the glass. Bynum’s got length and the intimidation factor going for him, but he’s 21, has never played a full season, and still seems to be a little bit too concerned with his scoring touches. Bynum’s got better box score numbers, but this is a tie.

Fish and Mo
Statistically, this one isn’t even close. Intangible-wise, it’s a wash. While last season, I would have argued that Fisher’s influence was worth at least 8 wins (6 in fact), this year, with everyone buying into Kobe’s leadership, that Fish intangible loses some of its luster. He’s putting up nearly identical numbers as last year, but shooting 2-point shots a whole lot worse. Mo’s playing worse than last year too (more on that tomorrow), but his presence is much like what Fish brought to the Lakers last year and his numbers are far and away superior.

Farmar and West
Again, this isn’t about upside. Farmar, at 22, would seem to have the brighter future. In the here and now, Delonte is playing out of his mind. He’s shooting an insane 51 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc for a whopping 64 percent TS% (true shooting). J-Far brings energy and floor leadership off the bench, but he’s shooting poorly. This one’s really close despite the stat disparity. Farmar’s importance as the second unit’s go-to scorer and floor general can’t be measured, and if they were getting equal minutes I’d sway to Farmar, but Delonte’s been HUGE this year. Edge has got to go to him.

Vlad Rad and Wally World
This comparison is pretty straightforward. The numbers are nearly identical across the board, so, we’ll have to go with more advanced stats. Wally’s PER 14.68 trumps Vladi’s 12.25. Wally’s 1.1 WS also trumps Vladi’s 0.6. Wally’s 105 and 124 offensive and defensive ratings are better than Vladi’s 97 and 100.

Machine and Boobie
They do the same thing, except one is a feisty defender while the other is a decent passer. Both signed to pretty decent money extensions this off-season. While both have struggled to live up to the money, no question the Machine has been better, though if Boobie could play against OKC, Golden State, and the Knicks every night, than he’d money.

LO and Big Ben
Both of these guys don’t necessarily fill up the box score to be effective. Their games are both predicated on things that box scores don’t show. Wallace is an aging defensive ace, who has regained some of his lost form from a year ago. He’s swatting nearly 2 shots a game (again, a bit overrated) but is rebounding much better than he has in two years. Odom has seen his minutes reduced and has taken on a sixth man role, but he’s been quietly putting together a stellar season. He gets the nod because he makes the Lakers second unit starter-quality, especially considering the starters OKC, Memphis, and Washington are throwing out there.

Riza and Hix
Trevor Ariza by a mile right now. But if Hickson can continue to improve on his game and bring energy off the bench, he could fill a very similar role that Ariza has on the Lakers. Right now, Trevor’s the Lakers MVP in my humble opinion.

The rest of the Lakers bench is better, but of the dudes that actually get PT, the talent disparity and the level of production is nearly equal. Tomorrow we’ll continue with this conversation and focus on how Kobe and Lebron do or do not “make their teams better.”

Monday, December 1, 2008

Been Wrong. Been Right.

So far so good on most of WCS' pre-season predictions.

Though, for all the ones we nailed on the head, there’s also been a few where we’ve hit our collective thumb instead.

Sure, there were some gimme calls. The Lakers and Thunder for example. Everybody got those. NASCAR fanatics could've called those. It's not brain surgery to predict the Lakers would rock and the Thunder would hit rock bottom.

Houston’s had injuries, played ugly, but still find themselves at the top of the West. Ditto for Phoenix. Ditto for Utah. All at 11-7. Though, of the three, Utah is still the most promising. They’ve compiled their record without the services of their best player (Deron Williams) while dealing with injuries up and down their lineup (Kirilenko, Boozer, Williams, Brewer, etc.)

And, like Old Faithful, the freaking Spurs have been the freaking Spurs.

Here's a link to all those predictions if you missed them the first time around.

As for the miscues…

I went against conventional wisdom and believed that the Clippers could eek their way into the first round of the playoffs. I thought Ricky Davis would have a great year. I thought Kaman and Camby would form a formidable duo. I thought the team defense would be one of the best in the league…yeah, well, I should’ve known. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine them trading for Zach Randolph. I even joked about Dallas doing that trade in desperation. Well, these are desperate times in Clipper land, and that’s saying a lot. The main problem is simple. It’s talent (Baron) versus ideology (Dunleavy), and so far, it’s produced a 3-13 record. Yuck.

I also misfired on Minnesota. I didn’t really think they had a shot to make the playoffs, but I did believe they would be a much improved team. I listed seven factors that were necessary for the Wolves to make the postseason. Here’s the ones they’ve got semi-right. Al Jefferson is close to averaging 23 and 11 (22 and 10), but, in spite of a slightly better team defense, Big Al’s D isn’t close to where it needs to be. Half a factor fulfilled there. The Clippers, have, well, been the Clippers. 1.5 factors fulfilled. Kevin Love is kinda a legit NBA player, which makes it half a factor bringing our total to 2 factors fulfilled. And the ones that have gone wrong? Dallas has not fallen off a cliff—J Kidd’s actually playing pretty well (nowhere near Devin Harris however). Denver has risen to scary playoff opponent (more on this in a sec). Randy Foye had one transcendent game, and has otherwise been a huge disappointment. Corey McCants never happened (Brewer is now out for the season, which, with the infusion of Rodney Carney into the mix, might actually help the team’s offense). In the end 2 of 7 ain’t going to get it done. And it hasn’t. Minny’s currently sitting at 4-11.

I give myself a little bit of a break on the Denver prediction (still somewhat of a miscue) because I didn’t know they were going to trade for Chauncey. Mr. Big Shot has been a revelation for the team, and now, if everyone stays healthy (I’m talking to you Nene and you Kenyon Martin) this team could be very scary come playoff time. Their defense got better in spite of losing Camby (that’s thanks to the AI/Billups tradeoff) and they even have a decent bench. Once J.R. Smith smoothes things out with Karl, bringing Chris Anderson, Smith, an underrated Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Linas Kleiza off the pine is a definite asset.

Okay. So we've established some of the predictions I reached on. Some of the ones where a lot of things had to go right for them to be, well, right. As for the things I actually did get right? There are two big thoughts that have been money when most everyone else was saying differently.

The Hornets look dreadful. Their defense has been awful. Their current rating is worse than the league average. While Chris Paul has been stellar, David West, Peja Stojakovic, and Tyson Chandler are all playing worse than they did last season. And the bench? The bench has killed the team. Especially the lack of a point guard and any semblance of a decent bigman. If you added up the PERs of Hilton Armstrong, Sean Marks, Melvin Ely, and Mike James, their collective PER is 8 points less than Chris Paul’s PER (22.8 to 30.9). Pathetic. But, the bench is and will continue to be their problem. Using Devin Brown at the point guard position is not a long term nor short term solution. James Posey has played big, but his presence has made Julian Wright relatively, well, irrelevant.

And finally, my babies. I put them all the way into the top four in the West, and they’ve played a smidge better than that. That’s the Portland Trailblazers. While everyone was off riding the Hornets’ stinger, we here at Westcoast Slant believed that the Blazers, with an excellent, top-of-the-line coach (Nate McMillan, remember what he did with that Seattle team a few years back) and a huge host of talented, energetic, youth (as in 10 deep) would be a big player in the West. Atop the Northwest division (tied with Denver) Aldridge and Roy have been playing well (Roy got player of the week honors), the rooks, Batum, Fernandez and Oden have been better-than-expected to great, and Joel Przybilla has been out-of-this-world. Oh, and the bench is one of the best in the biz.

The reason for this post, is because Westcoast Slant is a new site. We want our faithful readers to know that we have a good to great grasp on the happenings of the NBA. Of course, there’s still 60 plus games to play, so the back-patting and/or razing should be held off until the end of the season.

In the meantime, keep reading and commenting!