So I suppose I should say something about the Super Bowl, since it's the biggest thing in sports in this country...
I found myself rooting for Baltimore, mainly because I'm not a Kaepernick fan and I dislike Jim Harbaugh. Not because of the Jim Schwartz thing, and not really because he spurned Michigan for the NFL (okay, maybe a little), but because I don't like his face. He looks perpetually pissed off with that crease above the bridge of his nose, it reminds me a little of Mace Towani from the Ewok movies (incidentally, the actor who played Mace has really let himself go). You be the judge:
Harbaugh's SMILING and he looks pissed. Anyway, even rooting for the Ravens, I thought the 49ers got jobbed big time. There was definitely a pass interference by Jimmy Smith in the end zone on San Fran's 4th down play that the refs should've called. It was actually quite obvious, Crabtree was getting mugged. This is not to say that San Francisco definitely would've scored, but from the 1 yard line with 1 timeout and 1:46 left I would've liked their odds.
The other thing I want to say about the Super Bowl is this - I made the best guacamole ever. E V E R. I went to my folk's to watch the game and offered to make the guac for the party (my mom was going to make it the day before, BAD IDEA for guac). They provided the ingredients: 5 of the largest avacados I've ever seen, 5 cloves of garlic, 3 tomatoes, 3 small yellow onions, 4 limes, 2 poblano peppers and a couple handfuls of cilantro and some salt. I roasted the tomatoes, onions, garlic & peppers in the broiler, brushing them w/ olive oil. While that was going on I scooped out the avacados into a large serving bowl. When the vegetables were done roasting I let them cool & removed the seeds from the peppers, chopped everything up & added it to the avacado. I juiced the limes over the mix, chopped up the cilantro & added that, and added in probably a teaspoon of salt or 2... This was the first time I made guac that way, roasting the vegetables, and it made a huge difference. I'm never going back.
There were other sports events this past weekend more connected to Detroit than the Super Bowl, most notably the Michigan-Indiana game. Let me say that if Michigan had played OSU the way they played Indiana, they would've beaten the Buckeyes by about 15. Indiana is considerably better than OSU however, and Michigan lost by 10. Michigan has to be more focused defensively in the first half on the road. I expected IU to come out firing, but it was worse than it should've been because Michigan was leaving shooters wide open & not getting back in transition.
The Wings won on Friday & lost on Saturday. The only thing I'm going to say about it is this - they have got to figure out how to fix their road power play. They're now 0-22 on the road PP, 5-23 at home (which isn't great either but close to league average). This is a problem.
The Pistons played two really good games but only won 1 of them. I didn't catch the Cleveland game so I don't have much to say about that, but I did catch most of the 2nd half of the Lakers game. Drummond played the last 14:26 of the game, which was good. Monroe played about 2 minutes 20 seconds of the 4th quarter, which was less good. Charlie V had a couple big plays down the stretch, including a game-tying 3 and layup, but I'd rather have Monroe in there. Also, Frank was switching Monroe in for rebounding when LA was shooting foul shots & switching him out for offense. Uh, what? The Pistons were down 1, they didn't need a 3. The score was 98-97 with 1 minute to play. Detroit had 3 offensive possessions (one of which was with only 1.2 seconds left) and failed to score. Monroe was on the bench for every one of those possessions with Villanueva in his place. WHAT?
|Monroe as a free-throw rebounding replacement in the last minute...|
Taking out your best scorer and second best rebounder cannot be good strategy. Especially for Villanueva. That'd be like Vinnie Del Negro saying, man, I know we're only down by 1 but I think I'm gonna pull Blake Griffin on this offensive set for Matt Barnes because Barnes will give me SPACING. Actually, I could see VDN saying that, but only because he's a terrible coach...
So, after leading the team in scoring and rebounds through the first 3 quarters, coach Frank had seen enough. Drummond was typically spectacular in crunch time, just missing the game winning alley-oop, possibly due to Gasol undercutting him a bit. The best of the Drummond highlights was this steal-assist:
Actually, have a look at the last 2 minutes and note the mysterious lack of Monroe on the court). Kobe's +1 layup stands out a little because a) it was the difference in the game, and b) Charlie V's help D isn't enough to keep the layup from going in. Monroe might not have done better, but there's a difference between Kobe shooting over Villanueva & shooting over Monroe. And the last second play, I'd have preferred Monroe at the elbow, giving Drummond better spacing underneath. Monroe would've either had a higher percentage shot or opened a lane for Drummond to get a cleaner look at the alley-oop.
Word is Calderon is a go for tonight's game at MSG. I REALLY hope Frank has gotten over this phobia of playing his best 2 bigs together, especially since they'll need Drummond's rim-protecting presence & Monroe's offense to overcome these Knicks.