Russ Westbrook and the Stats – Playoff Edition

“Russell Westbrook had the single greatest season ever!”

“Russell is unguardable!”

“He’s the MVP!”

The Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs last night after a game 5 loss to the Houston Rockets. The series was a tale of one player and two narratives.

Here are the game by game shooting stats for Russ:

Game 1 – 6/23 (26%) for 22 points (L)

Game 2 – 17/43 (40%) for 51 points (L)

Game 3 – 11/24 (46%) for 32 points (W)

Game 4 – 10/28 (36%) for 35 points (L)

Game 5 – 15/34 (44%) for 47 points (L)

Total – 59/152 (39%)

Narrative One (I disagree)

Russ has no help. He’s the only player on his team who can score and his teammates constantly defer to him, so he has to shoot. He’s also a freak athlete who can get to the rim at will so it works.

Additionally, you don’t average 10+ assists a game by being a gunner. He tries to get his teammates involved and get them easy buckets. But clearly the team falls apart when he’s on the bench because his supporting cast just isn’t good.

Narrative Two (I agree)

Russ does everything because Russ wants to do everything. His teammates defer to him because that’s the culture that’s HE’S created. And I don’t buy the 10+ assist metric because he has the ball on literally every play when he’s in the game, of course he’s going to get 10 assists, that doesn’t mean he’s not selfish.

Russ is a career 31% 3 point shooter. He took 49 threes in this series and made 13 of them (27%).

Could his team be better? Of course. But I think Russ is partially the CAUSE of his team being so bad. They’re not playing basketball, they’re playing give-it-to-Russ-and-see-what-happens. That works in the regular season, but you’re not making it far in the playoffs like that unless you have another star like KD to carry the team while Russ sits.

There’s a reason Kevin Durant left OKC. You can’t win a championship with a player like Russ dominating the ball like that, and he shows no signs of changing.

Keep shooting Russ! You may go down as the best player ever to not win a championship.

My $17 Pair of Socks

I bought a $17 pair of running socks 6 months ago. I had no idea they were $17, but by the time I was at the register, I wasn’t going to put them back.

They’re really nice, too nice actually. They feel great. In the 6 months I’ve owned them, I’ve worn them twice; for the Rothman 8k and for my long run today.

My thought process for never wearing them is this:

“Jeez, I spent $17 on these, I don’t want to wear them out on a stupid 6 mile run on a Wednesday. These should be for special occasions!”

This is the paradox of buying nice things.

I buy it because it’s nice, but then I never use it because it’s too nice and I don’t want to wear it out. I’ll probably wear these socks four times a year and they’ll never be worn out, just because they were $17 and not $2.

The Food at South Bowl: A+

I bowl at South Bowl 1-2 times a week. Bowling alleys aren’t known for their food, but South Bowl is.

I’d tried most items, but they recently updated the menu and I had my first ‘new’ dish on Monday – the steak sandwich. It was a 9/10 and only cost $8.99. There’s 5 other new things on the menu that I haven’t tried but plan on doing so.

I don’t know how South Bowl does it, but they consistently put out restaurant quality food for a fraction of the price in a way better place – a bowling alley. I may start going there just for the food, it’s that good.

So if you’ve read my stupid bowling posts and are even 1% curious, make a point to go to South Bowl, get yourself a great meal, and bowl a game or two to see how stupid this hobby we’ve taken up is.

My Recommendations:

  • Steak Sandwich
  • Chicken Cutlet Sandwich
  • Burger however you prefer
  • Shroomin’ Pizza
  • Korean Fried Tacos
  • Grilled Shrimp Scampi Pizza

Thank you South Bowl.

Elvis Passing is the End of an Era

Elvis was put down last Thursday.

Animals passing sucks. I think it’s due to their innocent nature. Humans know when they’re dying and what it means, so you don’t feel as bad. Animals just know they don’t feel well.

Elvis passing is a symbol. For the first time in over 20 years, my parents’ house does not have a cat in it. Elvis was the last remaining cat of an era of cats that represented my childhood. That time in all our lives, the Stortz ‘childhood’, is formally done.

Unfortunately, JC’s birthday was the next day. JC loved Elvis more than anything, probably more than me. It’s a sad reality but it’s a part of life. So while we mourn the loss of Elvis, we celebrate the time we had with him, especially JC. Happy birthday dad.

That said, I’ve ushered in a new ‘era’ with Covy. He’ll be the cat I have for the next ~10 years as I transition through this stage of my life. Then, perhaps when he passes, I’ll be entering a different part of life and get a new cat. Pets are a timeline of life.

I’m embarrassed to say I can’t even find a good picture of Elvis. RIP buddy.

Beer Half Marathon

Last week a guy ran a half marathon and drank 13 beers. It’s similar to a beer mile. Run a mile, drink a beer, and repeat. After seeing that I decided this will be my next challenge.

I think you’ll easily accomplish this feat, Sam.

I said that if I don’t break two hours, I’d consider it a failure. Wacker immediately said that he doesn’t think I can drink 13 beers in two hours at all, let alone run 13 miles while doing it.

So as a precursor, I’m going to see how long it takes me to drink 13 beers, but I don’t think running 8 minute miles in between beers will kill me.

As it stands now, I still think sub 2:00 is a good goal. If the 13 beer time trial goes horribly then I’ll reconsider, but I really think I’ll be able to do it.

PolitEcho – My Political Bubble

I don’t like harping on this topic, but since it’s something I’ve mentioned before (and something that stirred a lot of conversation), I think this post is relevant.

Someone shared a link to PolitEcho which is a Chrome plugin designed to show you how your Facebook feed is skewed (if at all) politically. It looks at all of the page-likes of all your Facebook friends, ranks how liberal / conservative they are, and plots them on a graph (you can get more specifics on their site).

Obviously this isn’t an exact representation (since some people don’t like ANY pages, like me), BUT it does show you who’s popping up most on your Newsfeed, so you can see what you’re exposed to.

Here are my results:

The cool thing about this graph is you can hover over the bubbles and it shows WHO it is and WHAT pages specifically they like. The shade of the bubble shows how confident the algorithm is that this person ranks where they should rank. It’s confident that the dark blues are liberal and dark reds (there are none on my example) are conservative.

Another graph:


These results are likely very similar to what my readers would see, the feed skews liberal. This isn’t surprising, but it does go to the point of the name “PolitEcho” – are you in a Facebook political echo chamber or are you being exposed to both sides?

Nothing groundbreaking here, but it’s interesting to get data on the topic.

Things I’ve noticed since moving out (again):

  • I’m eating healthier
  • I like cooking (so far)
  • I’m drinking more and more often
  • Covy shits non-stop, it’s amazing how much this cat poops
  • I like commuting (except when there’s traffic)
  • Parking is amazing at this new place compared to the rest of Manayunk
  • I don’t like watching regular TV other than Seinfeld
  • I consistently sleep 7 hours or less a night, half because of Covy
  • I could play COD for days
  • I feel better being among people my age than in the suburbs
  • I’m blogging less (thank GOD)
  • This place is probably too nice for me and Rob
  • I’m going to be 26 soon which seems too old for me
  • I’ve slammed like 100 chicks this first week, it’s wild. I knew it was just being at my parents place that was holding me back.

Weens Bowled a 300

Weens, AKA Jordan Cohen, bowled a 300.

Also worth noting was bowling a 769 series (235 average for the other two games) which is far and away the high any Snake has had. Regretfully, I wasn’t there last night to witness the feat.

Fortunately, Weens isn’t part of the $1,000 bet that Tom and I have for bowling a 300. This definitely serves as motivation, as I’m both happy for Weens and jealous of him at the same time.

Congrats Jordan. I doubt you’ll read this, but it’s worthy of a blog post.

Here’s a video of the final shot for those who are FB friends with Evan.


Another Running Fraud – Dave Reading

Dave Reading of the UK planned on running 836 miles in 9 days to raise money for charity, which would be a world record for the distance. He has a dozen sponsors and thousands of supporters.

At 49, Dave’s story is fascinating. He used to smoke two packs a day until 2014 when he decided to stop smoking and start running. Since then he’s “run” a 3:12 marathon (no official time / splits), and decided to attempt this record, as he’s regularly logging 100 – 120 miles a week.

Letsrun called him out (shortly after the KP Kelly incident) and after hundreds of posts of (some) logic and evidence, it was concluded that this was surely a scam. Dave agreed to wearing a GPS watch for the attempt, but refused to use one that showed heart rate and cadence. Since this is a record attempt that would have RV support, by using just a GPS watch, there would be no way of telling whether Dave was running next to the RV, or sitting on his ass in the RV.  

Since the backlash, Dave and his team wrote a post on their Facebook page announcing their withdrawal from the record attempt due to the negativity and skepticism surrounding it.

My favorite comment was a supporter saying “if the world record is what he really wants then go for it!” (genuinely supporting Dave) and a member of his team responding that he “to be honest, he doesn’t want [the record] anymore”.

Yup, the guy who’s been logging 120 mile weeks for months is canceling his world record attempt because a group of people on the internet want him to provide proof that he’s actually going to do what he says he’s going to do.

Dave is now just trying to finish the 836 mile trek at this point regardless of time.

Why do so many people lie?

It comes down to two main reasons I think:

  • The Money – Between all of the gear, donations, and future speaking opportunities, Dave would’ve set himself up pretty nicely to profit from something he didn’t actually do. Robert Young and Alex Viada were in similar boats of literally making a profit off of something they didn’t do.
  • The Fame – I think this is more common. Normal people don’t think up elaborate public scams to make money, they do it much more discretely. It takes a real narcissist to lie to thousands of people and convince them that you’re doing something amazing for such a selfless reason. This is the Mike Rossi, Jane Seo, KP Kelly, Robert Young type.

I have no sympathy for people like this being outed or their gullible sheeple defenders. In Dave’s case, they’ll never admit to lying which is the worst part.

Another fraud outed, fine by me!

Successful Move

The move was successful, thanks in big part to Brookes. There’s free coffee in the lobby which is awesome. Covy is adjusting nicely. Within 10 minutes of being there he jumped behind the fridge which was worrisome, but he’s since gotten more comfortable and roams around freely now.

The biggest issue we’ve run into, and we both agreed, is that there’s too much space. We were not prepared to fill the amount of space we have, and because of that, everything looks very bare. Our main room has only a couch and TV right now. We’ve noted that as an area that needs improvement.

With no cable until tomorrow, we’ll have to find a place to watch the Championship game tonight. With the last bet of the college basketball season on the table, I think I’m going to place a big wager on my boys from Spokane. Zags +1.5 seems like a Zags line, and I may moneyline it just to be the man.

Lastly, this flu is still lingering. I went 10 straight days without running and hope to return to my normal schedule soon. I certainly haven’t improved my fitness, I’m just hoping I haven’t lost much.

I don’t like these “general check in” posts, but I just felt like getting something up.