Random Thoughts 1/27/14

-I forgot to mention the Australian Open yesterday.  I must say that I was shocked to see Wawrinka beat Nadal.  Nadal did suffer a back injury which really hurt his chances.  However, Wawrinka was dominating the match even before the injury.  He was already up a set and a break in the second set.  This was the first time since 2009 that someone other than Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray won a Grand Slam on the men’s side.  It’s really crazy how dominant Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have been.  Since the 2004 Wimbledon we’ve seen 39 Grand Slam Champions.  Guess how many have been someone other than those big 3?  Only 5.  That’s right, those 3 have won 34 of the last 39 Grand Slams.  That’s insane.  And 19 times one of those guys lost in the Final.  That means of the 78 players to play in a Grand Slam final since Wimbledon 2004, 53 times it’s been one of the big 3.  I’m fairly certain we’ve never seen anything like this in tennis.  Even on the women’s side, it’s been much more wide open.  Yes, Serena has dominated a lot, but not with anyone else joining her in domination.  In that same span we’ve seen 14 different woman win a Grand Slam.  If you picked the best combination of 3 people you’d have 19 victories.  That’s 15 short of the big 3 in men’s tennis.  Crazy.

-The Heat looked very strong agains the Spurs yesterday.  Are we finally seeing them start hitting their stride?  Everyone has talked about how they can’t catch Indiana.  That’s funny to me.  Right now they sit 2.5 games back of Indiana.  I don’t hear anyone saying Memphis can’t catch Phoenix or the Clippers can’t catch Portland.  I’m not saying the Heat will definitely catch Indiana.  However, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.  And the reality is I’m not sure how much they care.  The media is going to overreact to anything that happens to this team.  If they lose 3 in a row, all the stories pop up about what’s wrong with them.  If they win 3 in a row, everything is okay.  The bottom line is that they are 32-12 and they have the most efficient offense in the league.  Their FG% is 50.9.  The next best is San Antonio at 49.4 and after that we see a drop all the way down to 47.2 for Dallas.  They force the most turnovers in the league at 16.4 per game.  Are they perfect?  Heck no.  Far from it.  They are giving up 98.6 points per game which is 8th in the league.  And their opponent FG% is 20th in the league.  However, they definitely seem to buckler down more on D in the Playoffs.  Time will tell if they can turn it up again once the Playoffs start.

-2014 Topps 1 BB releases this week.  It’s a brand new start to the season.  It should be a great new year.  I look forward to seeing all the breaks of this stuff.  Topps 1 is always a nice way to start the year.  It’s a basic product, but it also has some nice high end stuff as well.  It’s a good mixture of set building, player collectors and high end chase.

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