Archive for December, 2012

NBA RANKINGS

December 30, 2012

NBA power rankings

December 29, 2012|By Ben Bolch, Tribune newspapers

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder

Records through Friday; (last week)

1. Thunder (22-6): New Year’s wish is not to lose two consecutive games. (1) And by winning on Saturday night, that wish came true.

2. Heat (20-7): Without Dwyane Wade, put up little fight against Pistons. (4) One could say that there was no kick in the Heat’s game that night.

3. Spurs (23-8): Gregg Popovich just took Nets management off Christmas card list. (2) Pop’s coach tree lost another branch this past week.

4. Clippers (24-6): Franchise doesn’t need to wait until March to experience Sweet 16. (5) Long-time fans holding our collective breaths that nobody tells Donald T. Sterling that the team is winning.

5. Knicks (21-9): What’s next after Raymond Felton’s fractured pinky? (3) Locusts anyone?

6. Grizzlies (18-8): Must return gifts after losing to 76ers at  home on Wednesday. (6) Losing to the Sixers @ home is like a prostitute returning your money; damn near impossible.

7. Warriors (20-10): Warriors get 20 wins before Jan. 1 for first time since 1980. (7) Maybe coach/reverend Jackson’s prayers are being answered after all.

8. Hawks (18-9): If this keeps up, Hawks will have cap room and trade assets this summer. (8) I have a really funny joke about keeping this up, but it’s Sunday so…no.

9. Pacers (17-12): Fourth-quarter mantra: Go (David) West, young man. (16) David West hasn’t been young since the days of Reggie Miller.

10. Bulls (15-12): Derrick Rose injury updates getting as old as last season’s “Dwight Watch.” (9) Yes, but people still like D-Rose.

11. Bucks (15-12): Going .500 since mid-December good enough to stay in Central race. (10) And that tells you everything you need to know about the Central division.

12. Nuggets (17-14): A few more wins and George Karl might not think records are so overhyped. (15) George Karl is “overhyped.”

13. Nets (15-14): Deron Williams logs another assist in getting rid of a coach. (14) His name is now “Demoan.”

14. Timberwolves (13-13): Injury reports are on a knee-to-know basis. (11) Are the T-Wolves still in the association?

15. Celtics (14-14): Finding trips to Staples Center doubly dangerous. (12) Celtics are THIS close to playing “Old-Timers Games” every night.

16. Rockets (16-13): Learning perils of rocket-fueled offense combined with on-empty defense. (17) I got nothing.

17. Lakers (15-15): Fans worried that old, injury-prone roster will fall off physical cliff. (20) I never realized how annoying Mike D’Antoni’s voice is until he became Laker coach.

18. Jazz (15-16): Randy Foye’s late miss shows why he no longer is part of Clippers’ bench. (13) Not true. It was his last name that no one in Lob City liked.

19. Trail Blazers (14-14): J.J. Hickson’s double-double streak ends at nine. (18) I’d be more impressed if I actually knew who the hell J. J. Hickson is.

20. 76ers (14-16): Nick Young: 13 points in 2nd half vs. Warriors after 0-for-5 start. (21) Nick Young? The Nick Young?

21. Magic (12-17): Losses to Hornets, Wizards reveal team’s true potential. (19) Quick, without looking it up, name a Magic starter other than Jameer Nelson. I dare you!

22. Mavericks (12-18): It hasn’t exactly been Dirk Nowitzki (7.3 ppg) to the rescue. (22) Reverse “Jungle Fever” seems to have drained Dirk’s tank.

23. Suns (11-19): Talent-deprived Suns were New Year’s toast well before Jan. 1. (23) Suns reportedly looking at bringing back Alvin Adams, Tom Chambers, Connie Hawkins, Larry Nance and whichever Van Arsdale twin answers the phone first.

24. Raptors (10-20): 6-4 in last 10 games. Unfortunately, they’ve played 30 this season. (24) Canada ignoring two sports this season; basketball and hockey.

25. Kings (10-19): James Johnson’s 3-pointer (previously 0-for-11) shows power of perseverance. (25) Rick James is playing for the Kings? I thought he was dead.

26. Pistons (10-22): Time to rethink rotations when bench scores 149 points in two games. (27) How Joe Dumars keeps his job as club president is a mystery to both remaining Pistons fans.

27. Bobcats (7-22): Vote of confidence from Steve Lavin won’t help Mike Dunlap. (26) If only Michael Jordan were alive, this team would be so much better. What? He is alive? Oh, my bad.

28. Hornets (6-23): Claim to fame could be as last team to beat Clippers in 2012. (28) They’re seriously considering changing team name to Pelicans. ‘Nuff said.

29. Cavaliers (7-24): Still scouring new CBA to see how it might benefit small-market teams. (29) Owner Dan Gilbert so mad, he’s about to write a letter to himself.

30. Wizards (4-23): Running clock needed in Magic game because of lack of interest. (30) Look at this way; Wizards need to conjure up a 19 game winning streak just to get back to .500. That’s as likely as the Pope officiating at a same-sex marriage at the Vatican.

 

 

 

ALICIA KEYS ON “LETTERMAN”

December 18, 2012

ALICIA KEYS GIRL ON FIRE ALBUM COVER

ALICIA KEYS CLOSES OUT A FANTASTIC YEAR OF
“LIVE ON LETTERMAN” CONCERT WEBCASTS, TUESDAY, DEC. 18, PRESENTED BY AT&T

Keys to Perform Fan Favorites As Well As New Hits from Girl on Fire, the #1 Album On Billboard’s Albums Charts

Performance Will Be Streamed Live and Available On Demand on CBS.com and VEVO

CBS Interactive’s award-winning webcast concert series, LIVE ON LETTERMAN, presented by AT&T, closes out a standout year of performances with 14-time GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Alicia Keys performing live from the world-famous Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, available on CBS.com and VEVO, Tuesday, Dec. 18 (8:00 PM, ET/5:00 PM, PT).

Keys will perform songs from her extensive catalog, such as fan favorites like “No One,” as well as new hits including the title track off of her fifth studio album, Girl on Fire, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Chart.

The LIVE ON LETTERMAN franchise, which has surpassed 130 million views to date on CBS.com and VEVO, has hosted some of the most established bands and musicians across the globe, staged in an intimate and dynamic setting for worldwide followers to enjoy. The 2012 LIVE ON LETTERMAN webcasts have included some of music’s biggest stars, from Carrie Underwood to Maroon 5, The Killers, Mumford & Sons and others, and celebrated the series’ 50th webcast with a performance from rock legends KISS.

Fans can watch Alicia Keys’ webcast live or on-demand on CBS.com at http://www.cbs.com/shows/liveonletterman/. Additionally, the show is available live and on-demand through CBS properties, broadcast on select CBS RADIO stations, viewable live on CBS’s JumboTron in Times Square, as well as via a live audio stream on Radio.com’s mobile applications. The webcasts are also offered on VEVO, the world’s leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform, through VEVO.com and its free mobile and tablet apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. The on-demand performances are available across the entire VEVO platform, including VEVO.com, its mobile and tablet apps, mobile website, connected TVs and syndication partners.

Since the 2001 release of her monumental debut album, Songs in A Minor, Keys has built an unparalleled repertoire of hits and accomplishments, with more than 30 million albums sold worldwide. She released her second studio album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, in 2003, which was also a worldwide success and garnered her four GRAMMY® Awards in 2005. Later that year, she released her first live album, Unplugged, and became the first female to have an “MTV Unplugged” album to debut at #1 – the highest since Nirvana in 1994. Her third studio album, As I Am, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, with the album’s lead single, “No One,” charting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks. In late 2009, Keys released her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom, which continued her successful track record, selling 417,000 copies in its first week, hitting the platinum sales mark in one month and spawning the #1 single “Unthinkable.” Her fifth studio album, Girl on Fire, released in November, marks her fourth album to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Keys holds the distinction of being the first female R&B artist to have three consecutive #1 album debuts on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Alicia Keys’ LIVE ON LETTERMAN webcast will precede her appearance on the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, which will be broadcast that same evening, Tuesday, Dec. 18 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Random Thoughts – Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012

Orangutans-Have-Bad-Days-Too_400

“Oye vey. Would Newt Gingrich please just go away?”

Quote of the Week (Thus Far) South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint said on Thursday that he believes President Barack Obama will win his push to raise taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent. “He’s going to get his wish,” DeMint said on “CBS This Morning.” “We’re going to be raising taxes.”

Call me old-fashioned if you will, but I cringe each and every time Kobe Bryant curses during a TV interview.

Is it too much to ask of the media to take Hillary Clinton at her word when she says that she has no plans to run for president in 2016 and give her a much earned and deserved break?

Is Meagan Good poised to become the “Kerry Washington” of the 2013 TV mid-season new shows?

They’re called “house shoes” for a reason. I’m just saying…

Lakers ownership and front office to living legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson”: STFU!

Q: “Charles, what do you need/want for your birthday/Christmas this year?”

A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpJvrBt_HwQ

Laker fans: Phil Jackson ain’t walking back through that door so get yourself used to Mike D’Antoni’s “system” for the next few seasons, good, bad or indifferent.

I know it’s “Pile on Matt Lauer” time because of Today’s sliding ratings, but hey, it was Anne Hathaway who chose to leave home without “them”, right?

This very well just may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard/seen.

“Lincoln” is the “To Kill A Mockingbird” of this generation.

Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of “Bring Back ______”, but how the hell do you not bring back Phil Jackson?

Don’t think for a moment that President Obama isn’t going to be a much different negotiator with Republicans in his second term than he was in his first one.

Dodgers and Angels are involved in nuclear warfare, baseball style, for the greater Los Angeles fan base.

You read it here first; Steve Nash might not play another game this season until after All-Star break if then. And even if he does, a 39 year-old (in February) point guard coming off a broken leg and subsequent nerve damage isn’t exactly a “savior.”

Biggest loser last Saturday night in Las Vegas: Floyd Mayweather, Jr by far.

When I hear Lakers center Dwight Howard bitching and moaning about his being “emotional” over how he left Orlando for LA, I can’t help but laugh and I bet Kobe Bryant, who during his Colorado legal troubles during the ’03-04 season flew back from court appearances on several game days and still played at an All-Star level, does too.

Mark my words; we haven’t seen the last of Susan Rice.

El Pollo Loco is selling beef now? ¿Decir qué?

I simply can’t get excited about the New York Knicks and I say that before they beat the Lakers tonight (probably) as long as Carmelo “Do I Have Enough Crap Besides My Uniform On?” Anthony is their top player.

Here’s how bad the New York Jets are this season: a little bit over a week ago, their former receiver Braylon Edwards, who was about to get cut by the Seattle Seahawks because, well, he’s played like crap this season, called them “idiots” for various reasons, including the whole Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow fiasco. Earlier this week, they signed Edwards off the waiver list.

Dr. Jerry Buss is still alive, right?

Isn’t it time for another “Mitt Romney Sighting”?

“LINCOLN”

December 10, 2012

LINCOLN

I am not a historian nor do I play one on TV or in the movies. Therefore, I cannot speak to the historical accuracy of this film. But considering that it was directed by Steven Spielberg, I will assume that a great deal of research went into making certain that it was in fact, historically accurate. But what I can speak to (write about) is what a great, moving and entertaining film this is.

The performances of all the main characters are excellent but, with three Academy Award winners heading the cast – Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones – and being directed by another Academy Award winner who just happens to be one of the greatest directors in film history, that’s to be expected. What moved me and kept my eyes riveted to the screen was the attention to detail, the beautiful cinematography, the performances (James Spader was great) and the overall historical elements of the story.

I was also struck by the fact that since the time shown in the film, the Democratic and Republican parties have pretty much “flipped the script” and today are complete opposites of what they once stood for and represented. It was also apparent to me that the isolation, the heart wrenching decisions and vote wrangling and the ultimate power of the presidency are exactly the same today as they were then, albeit with the technological advances. For as Lincoln and his Cabinet and advisors waited for telegraphic word of battles being waged hundreds of miles from the capitol, last year President Obama and his people watched and waited for word from Pakistan as Navy Seal Team 6 hunted Osama bin Laden.

I don’t know how the Oscars will reward this remarkable film and all who worked on it,  but I believe that it will go down as the To Kill A Mockingbird of its generation.