Round 1, Game 1: Warriors 106, Pelicans 99

Posted in Golden (State) Years on April 19th, 2015 by bill

Although the first game of this year’s playoffs had the right result, it was a little disappointing. For the first three quarters everything was just as it should be, with the Warriors slowly building a lead that reached 25 late in the 3rd. But in the 4th they took their foot off the gas and let the Pelicans cut the difference all the way down to 4, leading to some tense moments in Dub Nation.

I was watching at Sidelines in Arcata, after catching the first half at Big Pete’s Pizza. There was suggestion from some quarters that this may have been a mistake, that changing venues when things were going well may have been bad juju. But the W’s had a great 3rd quarter after the switch, so I’m not taking the fall for this one.

Blame can be more appropriately placed on bunch of missed free throws down the stretch, including an uncharacteristic clang by Steph Curry. For most of the game Steph was his usual scintillating self, taking advantage of the Pelicans’ determination to run him off the 3-point line to repeatedly take the ball to the hole. He had some sweet finishes, including a one-handed reverse high off the glass that he sunk despite a hard foul by Anthony Davis.

Davis was playing in the first playoff game of his career, and he struggled mightily for most of the game, but pulled it together to score 20 in the final quarter. He will be a force throughout the series; the Dubs will have to figure out how to deal with him. They’ll also have to figure out how to score while Steph is on the bench, which was a problem last night, causing Steve Kerr to shorten his usual rest in the 4th. Klay Thompson, I’m looking at you; the 6-for-17 shooting and two big misses from the line, these can be forgiven, but don’t let it happen again.

Game 2 is tomorrow night in Oakland. A little more definitive statement from the home team would be nice. Selah.

Let’s Do This

Posted in Whatever Else on April 18th, 2015 by bill

Family Feud Poetry

Posted in Picture du jour on April 14th, 2015 by bill

Album of the Year 2014

Posted in Dancing about architecture on April 8th, 2015 by bill

It has taken a while, partly through indecisiveness, mostly through laziness, but I am finally ready to name my album of the year for 2014: the self-titled LP by Benjamin Booker.

I use the term LP advisedly, as this music would sound right at home on scratchy old vinyl. It is a gloriously analog production — just guitar, bass, and drums, and of course Booker’s voice, which has the raspy authority of a grizzled bluesman though he is only 25 and this is his debut album. He just sounds like an old soul, sort of like Amy Winehouse did; hopefully he will be around longer than she was.
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I know I said

Posted in Golden (State) Years on April 2nd, 2015 by bill

I wasn’t going to post any more about the Warriors during the regular season, but, come on:

Utterly, Completely Amazing

Posted in Golden (State) Years on March 31st, 2015 by bill

Steph Curry won Western Conference Player of the Week again last week, averaging 30 points, 8 assists per game, and 63 percent on 3s. Yawn. Just another week at the office.

Over the weekend my Warriors won their 60th game of the season and clinched the top seed in the Western Conference this year, and they lead the Atlanta Hawks by 3 1/2 games in the race for best record overall and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. There is not much more they can accomplish in the regular season; at this point it’s all about being ready for the playoffs, which will begin on April 18 or 19.

So I don’t plan on writing about them again until then, but in the meantime, for my own reference as much as anything, I wanted to post links to some of the cavalcade of glowing press the Dubs have inspired lately.

Like this one from the NY Times, where the Warriors are referred to as “3-point-shooting cyborgs.”

Or this one, from Grantland, which contains the following lovely piece of prose-poetry from Bill Simmons:
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The Serve of the Thin White Duke

Posted in Because he's David Bowie, that's why on March 31st, 2015 by bill

Poking around Chris O’Leary’s Pushing Ahead of the Dame today, I was struck by the following passage about David Bowie’s 1999 sessions with the band Rustic Overtones:

The band had wanted to invite Bowie for a [ping-pong] match during the sessions but thought better of it: this was a serious rock artiste, after all. Later, they read that Bowie was actually an avid ping-pong player and once had an epic match with Lou Reed.

Sadly, I was unable to find any photographic evidence of a table tennis match between Messrs. Bowie and Reed, but I did find this:

And this:

And this, which I believe is from The Man Who Fell to Earth:

Which was enough to make me pretty happy. Note the Batman symbol on David’s kimono. Awesome.

Also Noted

Posted in Golden (State) Years on March 18th, 2015 by bill

8 years ago, when the Warriors made the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons, there was much rejoicing among fans and players, and I wrote a giddy post entitled “Hell Freezes Over.”

This week, they mathematically clinched a playoff spot in the middle of a game against the Lakers, when the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Dallas Mavericks. Everyone glanced at the scoreboard, shrugged, and went about their business.

Progress.

The Golden Age of Hype

Posted in Dancing about architecture on March 13th, 2015 by bill

Is it vinyl, CD, or wax cylinder in there?

We are not living in a golden age of music right now. Sure, there is good music being made; always has been, always will be. But there’s nothing like the depth and breadth of the 60s and 70s, or even the 80s and 90s. You could come up with a thousand reasons why, from the decline of Western civilization to the rise of downloading and the vegetative state of the music business, but it hardly matters at this point. We all have access to so much music, no one now living will ever run out of new things to explore. So in a sense, who cares if not much great stuff is being recorded these days? We don’t really need much more.

But one place where the boundaries are still being pushed, and new summits still being reached, is in the area of hype. Last week, for instance, the Wu-Tang Clan held a public event at a museum in Queens, New York to preview their new album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. Why would people crowd into an auditorium and consent to have their phones confiscated to hear 13 minutes of music by a group whose previous release – A Better Tomorrow, still just a few months old – did not exactly set the world on fire?

Because according to scluzay.com:

The sole existing master of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, of which all backups and digital files have been destroyed, is available through the New York auction house, Paddle 8. It is presented in a hand carved nickel-silver casing designed by the British Moroccan artist Yahya and accompanied by a 174 page volume containing lyrics, credits and anecdotes on the production and recordings of each song.

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What’s Blowing My Mind, 2015 Edition (Part 3)

Posted in Golden (State) Years on March 9th, 2015 by bill

“Your mind…blow it.”
-David Bowie, “The Gospel According to Tony Day”

Draymond Green

He will turn your money green.

I had just logged into WordPress intending to wax enthusiastic about Draymond when I clicked over to see what was happening on Grantland, and up popped this piece by Andrew Sharp:

Do You Love Draymond Green Like a Family Member?

And the answer is yes, yes I do. Andrew does such a good job of explaining why that I am tempted to just leave it at that:

So much of the NBA belongs to people who are gifted beyond comparison and talented beyond comprehension — guys who make impossible skills look routine. Guys like Steph, Klay, even someone like Harrison Barnes. I love Draymond Green like a family member because he was none of those things. He was the regular dude from Michigan who might one day be able to foul people professionally, and through sheer will and self-confidence, he has made himself as irreplaceable as anyone. This is the goddamn American Dream, at least for the 99 percent of us who shouldn’t bother dreaming.

But let me go ahead and add a few words of my own.
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