Implied Dissent

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

NBA Finals

First, I should review my record so far. Round 1, 6 out of 8 right. Round 2, 3 out of 4 for my pre-playoffs picks, 2 out of 4 at the time. Round 3, 1 out of 2 pre-playoffs, 0 right in between rounds 1 and 2, and 1 out of 2 at the time. So 9 out of 14 overall, counting just the picks made at the beginning of each round. Probably average.
So, the Finals. Miami Heat against Dallas Mavericks. As Bucher said, "good versus evil" (not that I see it that way, but it is the way it seems most do). People look at the Heat as either a 2 or 3 man team (I sometimes have), but Mike Miller (and to lesser extent Haslem as well) has played well for them. It appears as though they now have a legit 5 man lineup to put out there at crunch time. People are looking at Dallas as a one man show with a lot of depth; I think that overlooks how very good Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler are. I kind of look at it as 2 through 5 the teams are pretty much even, Dallas has a much better bench, and LeBron is the best player in the league (so obviously in the series as well). Benches are less important in the playoffs than the regular season, plus Miami has homecourt advantage. If Dallas wins, it will be because they can take advantage of Miami's bench, maybe because of foul trouble for Wade or Bron, and if Dirk and the other shooters (with the team's excellent ball movement) can keep hitting shots. The Heat win by getting to the line a lot and by not giving up many open shots. I think The Heat win in 6.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How Would a Patriot Act?

The Senate is trying to extend the Patriot Act without debate. Rand Paul apparently is the only senator opposing this. Go Paul! Boo everyone else.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

(Implicitly) Making Stuff (Up)

This is a pet peeve of mine, but I think it's important (so maybe pet peeve isn't the right term). Paul Krugman wrote a column on the state of US manufacturing, and can't find two sentences to note that the idea of long term decline is a myth. Not only that, but he very carefully constructs his sentences to leave the impression on people that it's true, without actually lying that I can see. Check out the data, while US manufacturing does dip a little during recessions, it is clearly rising over time. It's one thing when some random pundit without much economics knowledge doesn't know this stuff, but Krugman either does, or absolutely should. Chances of DeLong noting this? Approximately 0.1%.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NBA Playoffs, Round 3 (Thunderous update)

I thought about it a little more (with a little help from Berri), and I still think the Thunder will win in 6. If not that, it will be Mavs in 7, but the "official" pick is the Thunder. I was clearly underrating the Mavs last round, but not sure if they will be able to do much to stop/slow Durant and Westbrook, and the Thunder should be able to put enough athletic big men on Nowitzki to keep him from dominating (though no one can stop that ridiculous shot once he gets it in one of his spots). So, for the NBA Finals I'm still picking the Thunder to win the championship in 7, but would probably switch to either the Bulls or Heat if the Mavs make it. TBD, of course.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

NBA Playoffs, Round 3

Hmm, that wasn't so great. With a healthy Rondo, the Celtics probably don't win, but it almost definitely goes 7, and it would not have been shocking to see a victory in that case. Oh well. Here's hoping Ainge has couple of smart moves up his sleeve to address the team's issues, mostly at center.

Round 3: Conference Finals
Eastern Conference
#1 Bulls against #2 Heat. I guess it almost had to come to this. The all-likable team, against the villains. The team that goes 9 deep, against the 2.5 man team. The Bulls are certainly the better defensive team, but don't knock the Heat there. However, their weak spot on D is with point guards, particularly with the faster ones...trouble. However, I don't see Chicago being able to control/hold down the Trio 4 times, which is pretty much what they need to do. Charlie Sheen take notice, Two and a Half Men will be winning. Heat 4-2.
Western Conference
#3 Mavericks against #4 Thunder. Interesting. My quick take is Thunder in 6, but I want to think a little more about it and put something up tomorrow.

NBA Finals
(Conditional on me still picking the Thunder to win the West) I'm sticking with the Thunder, 4-3. Will update this as well tomorrow.

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Royal Terminology

Apparently Kate isn't a princess, due to the vagaries of how titles of nobility work. So they made William a duke so that she would be a duchess. Why not just call her the princess-in-law instead?