Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday's throwdowns

Los Angeles Lakers 100, Dallas 95: see, the Mavericks are good...but not good enough. On a night when Kobe Bryant only plays 11 minutes in the first half due to being banged up, the Mavs still trail by 4 at the break; and Bryant only scores 11 points for the game, but he hits the game-winner and the Mavs lose anyway. Another key stat: the Mavs shot below 40% for the game.

Frustrating, but then one supposes that pretty much everybody in the Western Conference knows they're playing to be #2 behind the Lakers.

Michigan State 60, Minnesota 53: Another bruising Big Ten game. But the Spartans ground out a win. Crucial stat: Michigan State's bench outscored the Minnesota bench 27 to 3; and held the Gophers to 41% shooting from the floor.

Some say the physical style of play in the Big Ten hurts conference teams when it comes to tournament time. Hmmm---but didn't MSU make it to last year's final two???

There seems no doubt that, in Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown has at least a chance at upsetting Democrat Martha Coakley in that special election for Ted Kennedy's old senate seat, as even the NY Times acknowledges that Dems are scrambling:
"With a crucial 60th vote in the Senate at stake, the perceived tightening has sent Democratic operatives scrambling to Massachusetts to help the Coakley campaign and has prompted groups on both sides of the aisle to bombard the state with advertising. Ms. Coakley forcefully attacked Mr. Brown this week, an unusual step for a front-runner, painting him as an acolyte of former President George W. Bush who is out of touch with the state’s values... Predicting the outcome of the vote on Tuesday grows more difficult each day. Many Democrats still insist that a Republican win is impossible, given that Democrats outnumber Republicans by three to one in the state and that Ms. Coakley, who was elected attorney general in 2006, has far more name recognition, money and organizational support. A poll published Sunday by The Boston Globe gave Ms. Coakley a 15-point lead. But the poll of 554 likely voters, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, found those who were “extremely interested” in the race virtually split between Ms. Coakley and Mr. Brown. And Democrats are clearly unnerved by other recent polls that found the two neck and neck."

Meanwhile, according to Pew Research, a very respected polling firm, when it comes to the generic congressional ballot question for 2010, Dems lead Republicans only 46-44%--almost a dead heat, great news for Republicans. Again, remember, Democrats usually lead this poll by a good margin.

By the way, on another political matter: Democrats and progressives rant and rave about Senate Republicans' use of the filibuster against legislation they oppose, such as the Democrats' health care bill. A minority flouting the supposed will of the majority, blah blah blah. Indeed, Gail Collins of the NY Times railed about it today in her column--and Jonah Goldberg at NRO sets her straight:
"But here's one reason why "90 percent of the country isn't marching on the Capitol" to protest the filibuster: Americans like it. Another reason: Nowhere close to 90 percent of the American people support the Democrats' health-care bill. If anything, trends are moving in the direction of 90 percent opposing it. Another reason: Americans are more worried about keeping their jobs or finding one, and marching on Washington doesn't seem like good way to go about that."

And don't forget too that when Democrats are in the minority in Congress, progressives love the filibuster.