Justice League Review

justice-league-poster

Henry Cavill’s CGI’d face is burned into my memory forever.

Rating: đŸŠ‡đŸ—ĄâšĄïžđŸ€–đŸ§œđŸœâ€â™‚ïžâ˜€ïžđŸŠ‡

Advertisements

NFL Week 11 Picks

c2fc6fd3ecadf2718f39995e35dcc5d5_crop_exact

Somehow, some way, Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Where did the time go? One minute you own the 8th grade playground the next you’re a washed-up 25-year-old independent blogger with no future. Crazy how time flies. Anyway, as I was getting lost in the lovely shade of blue in the Titans jerseys (I refuse to call them Color Rush jerseys since every facet of the set is in their regular jersey rotation. The only difference is that the socks don’t have the white outer sock they usually have. I take Color Rush seriously), it dawned on me that adding more SkyCam to the broadcast is the most NFL thing of all time. Oh, we lucked into something people sort of like? Quick, jam it down everyone’s throats and ruin any shred of positive publicity! Good job, guys. Titans stink, by the way. Doesn’t really relate to anything, I just feel like it needed to be said. As opposed to last week’s wasteland, there’s actually some pretty good matchups this week. Should be fun watching the action unfold.

Baltimore Ravens (-2) at Green Bay Packers

Psyche!!!! You didn’t really think there were going to be good games this week, did you? This is the NFL! Every game is terrible because every team is equally terrible because the league desires it so. This is why no one like communism, folks. It yields an unpleasing on-field product, I think McCarthy said that in the 50s.

Pick: Ravens -2

Detroit Lions (-3) at Chicago Bears

I don’t know if I’ve ever had less of an emotional investment in a pro sports game than I have for this. I legitimately don’t care about this game whatsoever. If they cancelled it, my life wouldn’t be changed at all.

Pick: Lions -3

Kansas City Chiefs (-11) at New York Giants

This line can’t be high enough. Giants already quit, but then last week they super quit. Any non-NFC East team that plays the Giants from here on out should just ask the league for another bye week so no one gets hurt.

Pick: Chiefs -11

Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints (-8)

This season is so weird. Are the Saints seriously Super Bowl contenders? Seems less crazy by the week. Just feels so random that they’re good. They were a nothing team before the season. No buzz, no hype, no discussion about them at all. Yet here they are, playing great D and lighting up the scoreboard. Their offense feels very 2009ish. People forget they ran the ball more than they threw it that year (a little joke for everyone who remembers those days of old. Saints running more than they pass was that year’s Altuve is short and Judge is tall. Good times).

Pick: Saints -8

Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings (-2)

Possible NFC Championship preview? Inconceivable before the season (at least to me), I’d be more surprised if one of these teams didn’t make it at this point. These are pretty similar teams with lots of talent on both sides of the ball, but it really just boils down to the Rams having Jared Goff (good) and the Vikings having Case Keenum (bad).

Pick: Rams +2

Tampa Bay Bucs at Miami Dolphins (pick)

Remember when I said I’ve never cared about a game less than Lions-Bears? Yeah, I lied.

Pick: Dolphins

Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans (-1.5)

I feel like I’ve been too negative lately. Blaine Gabbert taking the high flying Cardinals into Houston for a shootout with Tom “Nic Cage” Savage is exactly what I’ve been looking for to raise my spirits. Appointment viewing for a league desperate for ratings.

Pick: Cardinals +1.5

Jacksonville Jaguars (-8) at Cleveland Browns

I gotta be honest, I’m a little disappointed, here. Jags-Browns was always a high point in the year for those of us who enjoy teams jockeying for draft position, and it always seemed to fall around this time of the season when both teams had already quit. But now the Jags had to go and ruin it by being good! How selfish! I’m trying to envision a scenario where the Browns score a touchdown that doesn’t involve a kick return or pick six, and I’m not seeing anything.

Pick: Jags -8

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers (-4)

What’s the point of starting Nathan Peterman? They can’t think he’s actually going to be good, can they? He’s a rookie fifth round pick whose only playing time came in a blowout loss. What do they gain by benching the clearly superior Tyrod Taylor? Unless they’ve accepted their fate and know they’re dead, in which case I applaud the decision to just cut bait and aim for as high a draft pick as they can possibly get. Throwing this random rookie out there against one of the most fearsome pass-rushing tandems in the league on the road (does it count as playing on the road if it’s at the StubHub Center?) for his first career start in week 11 doesn’t really seem like the move a team that’s trying to win would make.

Pick: Chargers -4

Patriots de Nueva Inglaterra (-7) contra los Raiders de Oakland

Ciudad de MĂ©xico, bebĂ©! La gente olvida que la Ciudad de MĂ©xico es mucho mĂĄs elevada que Denver, donde los Pats simplemente dominaron. TambiĂ©n practicaron en Colorado toda la semana, por lo que es como si estuvieran tomando esteroides con todo el aire extra que tienen en sus pulmones. TambiĂ©n estĂĄn en llamas y nunca, en ningĂșn momento, perderĂĄn ante esta versiĂłn de los Raiders, que apestan. Un equipo de calacas (una pequeña referencia de MĂ©xico, amigos) serĂ­a mejor a la defensiva que los Raiders, que usan verdaderos “jugadores de la NFL”. Los Pats son el equipo mĂĄs popular en la Ciudad de MĂ©xico, lo que me dice que nuestros vecinos del sur tienen un excelente sabor.

Elegir: Patriots -7

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos (-2.5)

Do the Broncos play road games? I’m starting to think no. Literally every game they play is in Mile High, and even with the only tangible home field advantage in the NFL, they still stink! Hard to believe most of this roster won a Super Bowl two years ago. Still better than the Bengals, though.

Pick: Broncos -2.5

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) at Dallas Cowboys

This one seem like it’s easy to overthink. It’s in Dallas. It’s Sunday night. Cowboys need a win badly. Eagles have been too good, so something has to go wrong. Just don’t think about it. Go with your gut. Eagles are way better than the Cowboys and should dominate. Tyron Smith is probably out again, rendering the Golden God known as the Cowboys’ offensive line a collection of mere mortals, and the Eagles’ d-line is just a liiiiiiiitle bit better than the Falcons’. Almost forgot to make a snarky comment about the impressive streak of consecutive NFC East division games played in primetime, just like the Cowboys will probably forget to show up.

Pick: Eagles -4.5

Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks (-3)

Of all the teams the Patriots have effectively killed over the last 15 years or so, I think the Seahawks and Falcons give me the happiest memories. Thinking about how many times Brady shoved the Bills’ or Steelers’ noses in the dirt is nice, but the Seahawks and Falcons are special. They turned Seattle from a potential dynasty to a dysfunctional, poorly run, unpopular group of crybabies and 9/11 truthers. Then beating the Falcons was the equivalent of a feudal lord squashing a peasant rebellion and putting some severed heads on spikes as warning. And now they’re playing each other and think the game has real stakes! How quaint. I’m happy for both of these teams for thinking they still have championship hopes, I really am.

Pick: Seahawks -3

Bonus College Picks:

  • Michigan +7.5 at Wisconsin
  • Virginia +18.5 at Miami (FL)
  • TCU at Texas Tech Over 53
  • UMass +4.5 at BYU
  • Navy +18 at Notre Dame

Is it Safe to Call The Process a Success?

636463952267429760-2embiid1115

After last night’s resounding/six point win against the stalwart/hapless Los Angeles Lakers, in which Joel Embiid, the human embodiment of Sam Hinkie’s hopes and dreams, put up an absolutely absurd statline, the Internet became saturated with takes and thinkpieces, most of which revolve around one central question: did the Process officially work? And while it seems pretty foolish to ask this after a November game against one of the worst teams in the NBA (who happens to start the league’s worst player at point guard), the Sixers’ relative success this season is certainly reason enough to take a look at the Process’s early returns. Due to the nature of everything the Process entailed, evaluating it in the moment seems a little counterintuitive. Considering that Sam Hinkie, a man the Sixers replaced almost two years ago, looks better by the day should imply that we won’t be able to give a final grade on the Process until the Sixers’ current core players are out of the league.

In my mind, the Process was always going to be a success, because the Process was conceived to escape the vortex of mediocrity that traps so many NBA teams and stockpile assets that could be used to acquire top-end talent, and they were certainly no where near mediocre. When viewed through that lens, with the exception of Jah Okafor, pretty much everything Hinkie did worked. Shedding bad contracts and veterans on long-term deals in order to game the system got them Joel Embiid, in many ways the most tantalizingly talented player maybe ever and Ben Simmons, the clear Rookie of the Year and someone on the road to superstardom. They kept acquiring more and more picks from other teams that couldn’t wait to get rid of them, with the end result being Markelle Fultz, who, while easy to point and laugh at, has obviously been injured for the entirety of his very short career and probably shouldn’t be legitimately judged until next year. Robert Covington was in the D-League and is now a vital part of their rotation. Ask anyone- a rebuilding plan is only as good as the players you draft. Embiid was the first Process draft pick. Anyone who ever watched him play agreed he was awesome. And because he gets hurt a few times and he shut him down for the good of the Process, Hinkie gets fired? Huh? That was so head-scratching to me at the time, and it’s only gotten worse since. How are you going to fire a guy for losing too much when his whole plan, that everyone seemed to be on board with, by the way, was to lose every game to maximize their opportunity to land a franchise-altering player. They now have two because of the Process. If you have Embiid and Simmons, if you just fill the roster out with average to above average role players, things will probably work out. I really can’t understand why they didn’t let Hinkie see his baby all the way through. If you want to blame him for Okafor, that’s fine. Jah stinks. But you better give him credit for trading two second round picks to the Kings for two first round picks. That trade alone should get him in the Hall of Fame.

I think this question needs to be split into two different questions. One is Did the Process work? The answer to that is yes. By intentionally losing and acquiring assets, the Sixers now have four top-three picks on the roster, two of which are going to be All Stars for as long as they remain healthy, one could easily get to that level if he gets head on straight, and one will be out of the league in a year or two. That’s a pretty good hit rate. The point of the Process was to use all the valuable picks they piled up to get great players, and they’ve done that. So, yes, the Process worked. The second question is going to be Was the team the Process built a success? It’s obviously too early to tell. The full team has played, what, three games together? While they still have the Kings’ 2019 first round pick, the Process is over. Now that they have a roster filled with actual NBA players, the Result is in the players’ hands. I’m very curious to see what they do with it.

LeBron Should Thank His Lucky Stars that Fights in the NBA Don’t Actually Happen Anymore

In case you missed it, during last night’s surprisingly entertaining Cavs-Knicks game a bit of a brouhaha broke out between rookie Frank Ntilikina, LeBron, and Enes Kanter.

Love me a good NBA fight, especially when someone steps to LeBron. Some quick background here: LeBron recently made made by saying the Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith, Jr. in an attempt to troll Phil Jackson, but really all it did was throw Frankie under the bus. And then, in the build up to the scuffle, LeBron dunked then tried to assert his dominance by staring Frankie down and standing over him, as if Frankie was in position to stop the play, which he wasn’t (does LeBron secretly hate French people? Might be worthy of an investigation…). Kudos to Frankie for going against his natural instincts and not backing down, but once Enes Kanter came in from out of nowhere, he stole the show. LeBron got into his “Angry LeBron” act where he just moves his jaw really fast as he waits to someone to break it up. I hesitate to to say this because, as we know, LeBron is a father of three, but if this fight actually came to blows, I’d be writing a LeBron obituary right now.

Hey, LeBron, Kanter sort of spent time in a Turkish prison! I know he broke his hand punching a folding chair, but he’s still got that “Turkish prison tough” thing going. Turkish prison has to be in the top five of scary prisons (along with Russia, China, Thailand, and any Central American place) you can spend time in, and LeBron, even though he is a father of three, wouldn’t stand a chance. You’re telling me the person that did this:

is taking someone who (sort of) lived through this?

Not a chance. I’d even go so far as to say that if LeBron was a father of four he wouldn’t be able to handle Enes. He combines Turkish strength, which, not to generalize here, is pretty formidable with having a name that sounds like penis. I don’t know what the Turkish word for penis is, but if it’s close to Enes then he was probably bullied mercilessly as a youth. Builds an internal rage that you’re just waiting to unleash on the first father of three you see. LeBron would be a dead man walking.

The postgame comments were exactly what you would expect. Kanter, who lives to chirp everyone that moves, went with the impossible-to-come-back-from “mixing up the guy’s nickname” bit. Got everyone fired up, got the people excited for a Knicks team with some fire, everyone was happy. Then LeBron, being LeBron, completely dismissed the entire thing, because he’s LeBron and is so above every other player in the league. This might be my least favorite LeBron personality trait. In his mind, because he’s the best player in the league (which he is), he’s totally exempt from criticism and no mortal player can ever challenge him. Like Kanter has a decent case, here. You trashed his rookie in the press then tried to embarrass him on their home court. Kanter has a right to stick up for him a little bit. But no, it’s all just Kanter acting crazy and there’s no chance any of this is LeBron’s fault. And that he is, in fact, a father. I love that more and more players are going at LeBron. Absolutely no one respects him unless they’re in the Banana Boat or are on the Cavs and have to pretend they like him. At some point, someone like Marquese Chriss or Kelly Oubre is going to take a swing at the King, and it’s going to be glorious. Because I bet his teammates will wait a second or two before jumping in to stop it.

I’m Sick of the Fast Food Dipping Sauce Armsrace

img-sauces

I’m a big fast food guy. Everyone knows it. If I had the finances and the willpower to ever actually exercise (and if I wasn’t such a good cook), I’d be fine eating fast food every day. But there’s been a recent, troubling trend that I can’t get behind. Ever since the fiasco that was the Szechuan Sauce release, every fast food place is scrambling to come out with their own signature, surely limited edition sauce that people will be pining for 20 years from now. And frankly, it’s making my smh every time I see a new one. I’m constantly amazed how such incompetent people wind up in prominent marketing positions. Every new sauce is just a liquid version of the dictionary definition of signature sauce. None are memorable, none are all that good, and they’re all just passing around the same sauces and changing one ingredient.

McDonald’s is, by far, the biggest offender. Not satisfied with causing a national stir with their last signature sauce and HAVING THE UR-SIGNATURE SAUCE ON THEIR ARSENAL (Mac Sauce), decided to trot out yet another “signature sauce” to pair with their new chicken selects tenders, aptly named Signature Sauce.

000_signature_sauce

It’s okay. McDonald’s claims it takes inspiration from Mac Sauce and lists the key flavors as sweet and tangy. Remember that description. Because, not to be outdone, Wendy’s release their own chicken tenders (which are better than McDonald’s, imo) with their own “signature” dipping sauce, S’Awesome Sauce (someone get me in a fast food boardroom, ASAP) like a week later.

wendys-canada-pairs-new-sawesome-sauce-with-homestyle-chicken-strips-678x381

Boy, that sauce sure looks familiar. Where have I seen it before? A real head-scratcher. Wonder what Wendy’s official description of the sauce is? “Tangy, sweet and smoky into one savory flavor.” Hmmm, that’s odd. That sounds like the new McDonald’s sauce. They couldn’t be using the same thing, right? It must be a coincidence. Burger King didn’t come out with a new sauce, did they? They did?

hqdefault

Creamy signature sauce? And it’s that same shade of orange? It couldn’t possibly be sweet and tangy, could it? It is? WHAT A SURPRISE! Did all these companies just get together and develop one sauce they all could use? And do they really think any of these things are super memorable and will make a big enough splash to get brought back years from now? I just keep thinking about sweet and tangy. Sweet, tangy, maybe a little smoky. Where have I heard that combination of flavors before? God, I know I’ve had it somewhere…

chick-fil-a

Are….are these companies just trying to pass Chick-fil-a sauce off as their own invention? Are you kidding me? Chick-fil-a sauce is one of the pillars upon which this great country was built, and you think you can take the perfect mix of sweet, tangy, and smokey, add some red food coloring, put your own logo on it, call it Signature Awesome Cool sauce or some other bullshit, and think no one will notice? Not in here. Not on my watch. You don’t come at the Fast Food Watchdog with some weak sauce and expect to get out unscathed. I’m onto Big Fast Food. They’re so far behind the elites they think they can just steal the keys to the kingdom. I understand that, much like the NFL, fast food is a copycat league, but have some pride. Have some competitive spirit. Hey, BK, you know what was cool? When you had green apple dipping sauce and weren’t just copying everyone trying to ride coattails. Hey, Wendy’s, you don’t need a signature sauce because your food is so much better than the other members of the Big 3. McDonald’s, I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. You invented the signature sauce game. Every fast food place has their own sauce, and all of them that aren’t stealing from Chick-fil-a base their sauce on Mac Sauce. And you think you have to stoop to Burger King’s level of imitation? For shame. Look, I get it. You do what you can to stay relevant. But you know what people remember? The originals. The ones that burned convention to the ground and built a new standard from the ashes. Not the people who just rip everyone off. Be better.

Still the GOAT fast food imitation. Can’t believe anyone was ever this shameless.

20131113-bk-big-king-promo

NFL Week 10 Picks

1024x1024

Nights like last night are what separates the Color Rush men from the Color Rush boys. Not only the highlighter green Seahawks jerseys, but the Cardinals inexplicably going all black instead of red. If you couldn’t handle it, well, the Color Rush game might not be for you. I have to confess, though: much like Russell Wilson after his “concussion test,” I don’t remember anything about this game. Might be for the better, though, because it looks like I jumped the gun a little bit declaring it #seahawksoffenseSZN. Last night served as the proto-Legion of Boom era Seahawks game: ugly, weird ass score, Russell Wilson makes some absurd escape, someone gets hurt, and Pete Carroll spends the whole game wondering if jet fuel can really melt steel beams. Seen it a thousand times by now. Rough, rough slate of games this week, but that doesn’t mean I get to turn off my NFL prescience. It’s more of a curse that a gift, really.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-6)

I don’t know if it’s because of the league or I’m just more cynical than I used to be, but every game I look at this week just suuuuuuucks on paper. Any game where the Bears (yes, the same Chicago Bears that completed four, count ’em, FOUR passes in a game recently) are six point favorites has to being played in some kind of alternate universe. Is this like a post-FlashPoint dimension or something where the NFL universe is getting a big reboot and the Bears are good now? Because if it isn’t, I can’t legitimately say the Bears will cover any spread as a favorite, I don’t care which cardboard cutout of a human being is playing QB for the Packers.

Pick: Packers +6

Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) at Indianapolis Colts

As much as I enjoy seeing the masterminds behind the national nightmare known as Deflategate struggle to remain competitive, the Steelers on the road are pretty much the answer to the age old question, “what would happen if a CFL team played in the NFL?”

Pick: Jacoby Brissett +10

Minnesota Vikings (-1.5) at Washington Redskins

Remember Teddy Bridgewater? The guy that literally perished on the practice field last preseason? Wears gloves all the time because he has small, dainty hands? Yeah, me neither. Well, he’s back. He won’t play this week, but he’s still back. Vikings have also won four straight while no one was looking, and everyone on the Redskins roster is still hurt. I’ve also decided to forgo a Native American joke this week, sorry if this offends.

Pick: Vikings -1.5

Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions (-11)

When Jesus said the meek will inherit the earth, he had Browns and Lions fans in mind.

Pick: Lions -11

Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4)

I would like to send my preemptive thoughts and prayers to Phil Rivers’ family, because I can’t see him surviving this one. Jags defense is making a stronger case that it’s the best in the league every week, and, stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Chargers are a West Coast team coming east for a one o’clock game.

Pick: Jags -4

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-4.5)

Are there any good games this week? At all? Luckily this week’s college football lineup is stacked or I’d be doing a lot of cleaning around the house all weekend.

Pick: Bengals +4.5

New York Jets (-2.5) at Tampa Bay Bucs

Alright, now we’re talking! Josh McCown Revenge Game combined with Ryan Fitzpatrick Revenge Game. Electrifying television. The Bucs might actually perform better now that Jameis isn’t giving them weird pump up speeches. I think the biggest surprise this entire season is the fact that the Jets are actually pretty fun to watch. The Bucs play defense in the most theoretical sense of the word, so I’m kind of pumped up to watch McCown light it up. Which means it’ll be a 9-3 final.

Pick: Jets -2.5

New Orleans Saints (-3) at Buffalo Bills

Bills are dead. Deader than dead, in fact. I’d be surprised if they won another game this season that didn’t have snow involved. I hope everyone who bought the hype feels stupid. Meanwhile, how about the Saints? Looking like a legit contender. Playing legit defense! Eighth in defensive DVOA! What were the odds of that before the season? Marshon Lattimore is already one of the five best defensive players in the league and I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to call him one of the best draft picks in team history. Saints playing in Buffalo feels like such a weird, random game.

Pick: Saints -3

Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams (-11.5)

I don’t know what’s crazier, the fact that the Rams can’t stop scoring and I pretty much trust them in any matchup despite predicting they’d finish with the worst record in the league, or that anyone would pick a Tom Savage-led offense to cover any spread. Their defense isn’t even good anymore- they’re 30th in points allowed per game. This is going to be a bllllooooowwwwoooouuuuttttttttt.

Pick: Rams

New York Giants (-3) at San Francisco 49ers

Oh my godddddd these games are sooooooooo badddddddddddddddddddd. I actually don’t hate the NFL scheduling every horrible game in one week to get them out of the way. Remember when the 49ers would lose in heartbreaking fashion and cover spreads? I miss that team. Until Jimmy G gets up to speed you couldn’t pay me enough to take the Niners. That’s a lie, but you get my point.

Pick: Giants -3

Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-3)

I’m really just dumbfounded. Where are all the people betting on Atlanta? I would like to meet the person who’s still holding on to the dream. I could use that kind of positivity in my life. It doesn’t matter that Zeke is currently suspended, because he’s either going to end up playing anyway or Darren McFadden will have his annual Turn Back the Clock game. Saying the Falcons are dead is just old hat at this point, but I’ll say it anyway: Falcons are dead.

Pick: Cowboys +3

New England Patriots (-8) at Denver Broncos

I know the Pats always struggle in Denver. I know the Broncos defense will be all fired up after getting emasculated last week. But last time I checked, Brock Osweiler is viewed as the best option to play quarterback for the Broncos. That’s good enough for me.

Pick: Pats -8

Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers (-9)

If you want a real reason to protest the NFL, how about the fact that the Dolphins are on in primetime for the second week in a row? One of the most offensive things I’ve ever seen.

Pick: Panthers -9

Bonus College Picks:

  • Michigan State +16 at Ohio State
  • Georgia -3 at Auburn
  • Iowa at Wisconsin -11.5
  • Notre Dame -3.5 at Miami (FL)
  • TCU +6.5 at Oklahoma

Will the Celtics Ever Lose Again?

DSC_1043.JPG

No. No they won’t.

When the Celtics Express comes rolling down the tracks, you’d better get out of the way or you’re getting steamrolled, plain and simple. Yes, this season was always going to be bittersweet when Gordon Hayward went down, but after seeing what the rest of the East looks like after ten games, there’s really no reason to think they can’t do what they set out to do in the preseason and make the Finals.

Obviously, they’ve had horrible, horrible luck with injuries. Hayward is out for the year. Al Horford got a concussion and they’ll hopefully be very cautious with him. This isn’t 1990, it’s okay if he sits out some November games. Marcus (Markieff? I honestly have no idea which one they have) Morris is just now getting back after starting the year hurt. Jayson Tatum needs an MRI on his ankle. But outside the injury bug, absolutely everything has been coming up Celtics (and particularly my boy Danny Ainge). Tatum has been a revelation as a secondary scorer and ballhandler who looks like someone who’s going to be averaging over 20 points per game sooner rather than later (while Markelle Fultz looks absolutely lost and injured). Jaylen Brown has morphed into a combination of Andre Iguodala and DeMar DeRozan overnight, at least at home. I was never a “Jaylen sucks!” guy and thought that anyone claiming a 19-year-old rookie who hadn’t found his place in the rotation was somehow a bust was a complete idiot, but I definitely wasn’t expecting such a big leap forward. He just looks so much more confident than last year. And for a guy with his natural talent, that could make all the difference. Aron Baynes-Semi Ojeleye might be my favorite Celtics duo since Gerald Green and Justin Reed (R.I.P.), and my 1-2 picks in a “who do I want to have my back in a scrape” draft. Kyrie Irving has been as advertised and more. His shot is still warming up, but, freed from the oppressive shackles of LeBron, his ball movement and, most surprisingly, his defense have been way better than they ever have before. He’s actually trying on defense, now! It’s incredible. Maybe he’s just trying to make a good first impression, but if Brad Stevens can get a full 82 of Defensive-Minded Kyrie, he should get Coach of the Millennium. Or Tyronn Lue and LeBron should just get the Anti-Coach of the Year award. Either way, I’m officially throwing out all of my old Anti-Kyrie takes. I’m sure it’s a load off his mind. Lastly, Al Horford has just been jamming on h8trz all year long and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve always been #teamal. I loved the signing when it happened and understood what his game was coming in. The Boston media was quick to turn on him for “not rebounding,” but, in my opinion, anyone who doesn’t get why Al is the most important player on the Celtics you’re either just not watching or don’t know what you’re talking about. His passing is the cornerstone of the offense. He’s the anchor of the best defense in the league. According to Basketball Reference, seven of the top fourteen players in defensive rating are on the Celtics, and Al controls all of it. He’s an underrated post scorer and a dynamite pick-and-pop guy. I love Al and can’t wait until he makes an All-NBA team this year and forces everyone to eat their words. Just imagine how good they’d be with Gordon! Aaaaaaaaand now I’m depressed again.