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Calibandar

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About Calibandar

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    Herald of Winter

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    Male
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    Out here in Minnie's Haberdashery
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    Interests range from Fantasy & SF books to quality films of most genres. Big fan of cars & football ( soccer), Tennis. Love to go to the cinema and take long walks with my dog. Also interested in history & nature ( watching the great BBC documentaries, as well as experiencing it firsthand) & science shows and books.

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  1. Calibandar

    Tennis Volume 7: Roger That!

    Just saw Federer at Cincinatti. Its his only warm-up tournament before the US Open and the first time he's played since Wimbledon. First round he played against a total nobody but now he played against 21 year old Rublev, who had an excellent match and completely outplayed and utpaced Federer from start to finish. Federer in his turn looked flat and even unmotivated, not an ounce of emotion, very strange to *such* a lacklustre game from him,
  2. Nah, they do not. Olympics is rated much higher in Europe as well. For the FIBA world Cup, there is at least the chance of beating the US this time through, which might make it more interesting for European teams. Next year at the Olympics you just know that most if not all the NBA stars will be preesent. You can already see it queuing up, it looks like everyone wants to participate next year, even the Lebrons and Durants for what might be one final go. The idea is that he is a player at a position where there is no real need once Klay comes back. If Klay turns out to be fine playing at small forward they might well decide to keep Russell, and this is plausiable. However if not, then the idea is that they trade Russell for players in positions where GS misses a great starter. Which in their case would be at small forward or center. Though with the system they play I could see Cauley Stein or even Looney being adequate for their needs at center.
  3. Calibandar

    Cycling - Nobody wants to win the TdF.

    No one really. Kruijswijk isn't really going to contend. Pinot looks like the best shot. Perhaps Alaphilippe and Mas will surprise. From the rest, Porte looks to be in mediocre shape. Uran is a follower. Bardet is in terrible shape and he knows it. Landa is two minutes down now because Barguil made him crash yesterday. Quintana will challenge for the podium at best but does not really challenge a Geraint Thomas. Adam Yates looks like he is at Quintana level. @ Karaddin: I don't personally think it's the team that is the problem for Quintana, this is just his ceiling,
  4. Calibandar

    Tennis Volume 8: Is a FedEx delivery coming?

    Thought this was a good article. https://www.theringer.com/2019/7/14/20693870/novak-djokovic-roger-federer-wimbledon-final-2019
  5. Calibandar

    Cycling - Nobody wants to win the TdF.

    Yeah that is a huge blow and he knows it from the interviews. As you said, for once he was in excellent position. It's still not lost, but this is going to be hard to get back. I still don't like the impression Porte has made so far.
  6. I think they felt they needed to act now when everyone else was loading up, that Harden's prime isn't going to last forever, on a team which has now narrowly missed out time and again. Standing pat was not an option. The fact that Harden loves this trade and arghued for it suggests there might be something to the rumors about him and Paul. So certainly, Westbrook is not an ideal fit. But there is a chance this team is better with him than last years, it gives Harden a running mate while in his prime and perhaps it's even a move that helps keep Harden in Houston, cause really, missing out again and again leads to players asking for trades.
  7. Calibandar

    Tennis Volume 8: Is a FedEx delivery coming?

    Yeah, that approach shot on matchpoint just wasn't good. And the other matchpoint he just mishit the ball straight after it was returned to him. His physical state is definitely still very good and certainly looks as good if not even better than it did 5 years ago to be honest. Still, I suspect he will continue to have huge trouble beating Djokovic in a best of five. Best of 3, that I think he can continue to do.
  8. Calibandar

    Bond 25: Hiddleswift Down

    I would not be surprised if this report turns out to be correct. Seems like exactly the sort of thing they would do right now. Casting a woman, and a black woman at that, as the new Bond is also a great way to cause massive controversy.
  9. Calibandar

    Tennis Volume 8: Is a FedEx delivery coming?

    I agree and disagree. Service wise it was clear that Federer was really on a roll and Becker kept commenting on the bbc as well that this remains Djokovic' biggest issue with Federer, he just can't read Fed's serve. Djoker can read anybody's serve well but even after playing Federer dozens of time he still really struggles to read him and sense his service rhythm. That of course is part of what makes Federer so good, other opponents can't deal with that either. Becker said Djoker even now keeps asking him where he thinks Federer will return, and did that a lot in the years Becker was his coach. So you gotta credit Federer for that. Where I agree with you is that Djokovic didn't seem to be playing his best game either. We have certainly seen him play more impressive games, true. And sure, maybe it's because of that, that Federer could have won this. For me the overwhelming feeling is that in this game, Federer should and could have won, but he choked when it mattered. And that is something that has plagued him much in his career when playing these two. A sudden massive downfall in performance when the points really matter. Conservative play when that doesn't suit him, nervous mishits, mental pressure just getting to him. And as much as he worked on improving his footwork and backhand these last few years, with great success, I fear that this is something that will never go away.
  10. Calibandar

    Tennis Volume 8: Is a FedEx delivery coming?

    It was just too many missed opportunities for Federer. I mean, I could talk all day about this in a way, cause I spent 6 hours of my Sunday watching this from start to finish, interrupting only to go get something to eat. Federer had some good break opportunities in set 1, two or three that he should have taken, but he didn't play strong at those points. Federer was outplayed in all 3 tie breaks. He didn't just lose them, Djokovic won all of them handily. When things got really tight and it was every point matters, again and again Djokovic was stronger mentally, while Federer didn't play strong points on those moments. Federer choked when it mattered. This is crystal clear. He played a fantastic match and as he said, yes he can be satisfied with how he played. He made some incredible points. I really enjoyed watching his stunning play. But as much as the term "choking" is overused to typify a losing player, Federer choked. Again. I have seen this so many times before and watching the game yesterday really brought me back to Federer-Nadal clashes of yesteryear. Now, he's been able to free himself of the Nadal stranglehold the last years and it is no longer an issue, but against Djokovic it still very much persists. This incredibly uncertainty in his strokes when it gets tight. The matchpoint that wins Djoker the game was typical, a complete misshit by Federer. And leading up to that point, when Federer had his own chances to win earlier, at each of those moments he didn't play good points. This is obviously a massive missed opportunity. I really wish Fed had taken this one. It's not as if he couldn't, he could have won this. Djokovic deserved credit for doing what he always does, counterpunch, get everything back, be super solid. He is an incredibly hard player to beat. It's just that if anyone can, it's Federer, you watch that game yesterday and Federer just feels like the better player like the bbc commentators said as well. But you have to be consistent and you have to take those opportunities when you get them. Especially against Djokovic who hardly gives anyone any chances. You have to pounce, and Federer failed to do that again and again, mostly by playing poorly when the big points came. And yet, we also saw some magnificent shots from Fed. And Djokovic was caught out by passing shots whenever he was forced to come to the net. But in the end, Djokovic'style of play is more low risk and super reliable. Fed is a phenomenal frontrunner, but when it gets really tight against Nadal and Djoker, he often has a tendency to stop playing his best tennis. And with his kind of style which needs that aggression, that is more damaging than with Nadal or Djokovic.
  11. Do we have the Raptors to thank for that, or Durant himself who decided to leave? Cause that to me is what makes the field wide open. He could have chosen to come back and sign on for 5 more years of Warriors dynasty. And then the league still wouldn't have been cracked open. Even next season would have had a Warriors narrative of "once Klay comes back, they will be much better, and then Durant might be back for the playoffs". And the years after that, well you'd still have had Curry, Durant and Thompson. The Raps won this finals against a GS team without Durant, let's not assume they would finished this dynasty if Durant didn't decide to play with Kyrie.
  12. Calibandar

    Tennis Volume 8: Is a FedEx delivery coming?

    As a tennis fan who follows the game all year, what happens in the Big Masters tournaments has to me almost equal value as the Grand Slams.
  13. Calibandar

    Tennis Volume 8: Is a FedEx delivery coming?

    That seems very biased and selective. Why would you only include majors? I can recall a few real nice wins in Masters tournaments that certainly mattered and were very impressive.
  14. I see this differently Maith. I'll concede that, as everyone observes, they seem like a bad fit. That is the one potential downside of this trade. However: I don't think there was a realistic path to an NBA title for this Houston team with a 34 year old Paul and Harden, given how other teams are loading up. They would be contenders again, and that's it, and Houston is clearly well aware of this. I do think a Westbrook/Harden team that still has Gordon and Capela mind you, is a strong contender. Its a feeling. Chemistry between these two guys might be excellent, and that can count for a lot. It will never be an ideal fit but apparently they both think it will work and they might surprise us. Above all this deal makes huge sense from a Rockets POV. They needed to upgrade. There was no one better available than Westbrook. They had been left out in the cold when LeBron passed on them last year, and now Kahwi and Butler again. They needed to offload Paul and upgrade and could that in one fell sweep. They've gone from a team with one superstar and a great no. 2 in Paul to having two superstars. I do think Morey is and should be very pleased with this trade. In their view, getting Westbrook is their best path to win or get to the finals, With Paul and Harden, this team wasn't winning the West anymore, I think that is safe to say based on the evidence we have seen. Westbrook is and should be considered an upgrade even if he is a very differnent type of PG. Plus there is the fact that Houston took Harden and Westbrook's pulse and both have indicated that this is the trade they wanted. Plus, the market had dried up for Houston, they were not getting anyone else. And I'm not even sure that Butler, their initial 2019 target, would actually be better in Houston than Westbrook. I'm not gonna judge Presti, clearly he had very little better choices. And what he did get, while not a big haul in my opinion, at least fits in his strategy. And they will trade Paul now, that is as good as certain, for more assets. I generally agree that all these far future picks for Oklahoma.....I get what they are doing and I get that this is the path they have been mostly forced on after failing to make it with all their stars... but dam their near-mid term future looks so bad because free agents already didn't want to come to OKC and when is one going to come now? Will you be getting real star players for all these picks you gathered, even just one or two? I'm just sceptical of such a long term rebuild, mostly because it takes sooooo long. OKC is now going to be bad for years.
  15. Calibandar

    Tennis Volume 8: Is a FedEx delivery coming?

    Totally agree Jeor. His sheer level of skill and craftsmanship is just unbelievable. Nadal and Djokovic put other things against that which are also incredible, but my heart goes out to the agressive style of Federer that just has so much beauty to it. Nadal's and Djoker's finest moments I feel, are always when they play Federer and are able to throw him some terrific counterpunches from crazy angles. It's nowhere near as much fun to watch Nadal or Djoker play Bautista or Ferrer, but Federer is a perfect foil for their own skillset.
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