The NBA playoffs are here- rejoice unto him

Key dates: 2018 NBA playoffs

April 14: First round begins | Tickets on Vivid Seats

April 30-May 1: Conference semis begin (possible move-up to April 28-29)

May 15-16: Conference finals begin (possible move-up to May 13-14)

May 31: NBA Finals begin

(1) Toronto Raptors vs. (8) Washington Wizards


(2) Boston Celtics vs. (7) Milwaukee Bucks


(3) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (6) Miami Heat


(4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (5) Indiana Pacers

(1) Houston Rockets vs. (8) Minnesota Timberwolves


(2) Golden State Warriors vs. (7) San Antonio Spurs


(3) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (6) New Orleans Pelicans


(4) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (5) Utah Jazz

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USA Men’s curling team should stick to curling

The gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic men’s curling team could use some work on the ceremonial first pitches, or maybe any type of sport that doesn’t involve ice, a broom and a rock.

Man, those were bad. Crummy opening pitches have become the norm, pretty much across the board. But every once in a while you get a REALLY shitty throw that makes everyone watching simultaneously say “tha fuck was that?”.

The combined efforts of (from left to right) Joe Polo, John Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton, and John Landsteiner resulted in one respectable throw—well, one and a half if we count Hamilton rolling his baseball to the catcher. By far the best/worst of the bunch is Tyler George (middle) going full “Wild Thing” by tossing it to the wrong catcher completely in curling-unison with John Shuster’s toss that ended up in the bottom of Lake Minnetonka.

Go team USA.

 

 

You’ve all been asking – what’s really going on with Korean basketball?

Determination masked as mouth-breathing

Recently many of you may have been pondering, as I often do, what’s going on in the world of professional Korean basketball?

Resting in the shadows of the 2018 Olympics, nuclear weapons and politics – we have the current state of hoops going through a bit of a renaissance in South Korea.

As reported by Deadspin:

The KBL instituted a rule last month to limit the height of foreign players to two meters, and to only have a maximum of two foreign players per team, according to the Korea Times.

The rule was reportedly put in place to encourage teams to recruit more locally. And in the true over-40 rec league sense of rule making – to find players who aren’t merely a tall drink of water holding a basketball above their head while “the littles” attempt to swing at the just-out-of-reach ball like they’re swatting at flies. If this sounds like a scene from Space Jam, well…..it kinda is:

He’s so little!

David Simon, a 35-year-old Anyang KGC center, has been playing overseas for more than a decade now, but this new rule means he’ll have to find a team in another country. He’s now too tall for the Korean Basketball League. At 6-foot-8 or 202 centimeters, Simon doesn’t cut it, the limit is now 200 cm per player.

Although height definitely helps on the hardwood, it doesn’t necessarily translate to skill—but it has for Simon, who led the league this season in scoring (26.1 points per game) and blocks (2.2). So, essentially the league just gave it’s best player the boot.

David Simon (not The Wire)

This isn’t the first time the Korean pro league has made some headlines of late, recently coach Yoo Jae-hak of the Korean Basketball League was livid during a timeout, even though his team was winning by 13 points, and one specific player caught his ire.

Jae-hak was so inexplicably furious that he had a staff member give tape for Ham Ji-hoon to place over his mouth. Now, I don’t speak Korean, so I’m not sure what was said, but the tape probably meant Jae-hak wanted that player to shut up.

And let’s not forget the greatest basketball themed mannequin challenge ever perpetrated on a basketball court (I apologize for the social commentary in this video):

 

 

 

 

The Masters immediately reminds us how NOT cool golf really is

There’s an incredible harbinger of excitement floating around the 2018 Masters tournament, mostly due to the Tiger Woods-buzz that is the buzziest it’s been in over a decade. Everyone is ecstatic to see if Tiger can FINALLY make “his comeback”.

But even with the most marketable golfer in the the history of the game that the Scotts originally referred to as “fahking hit the ball into the hole!”, somehow the old white guys in Augusta have managed to steal some fun away from the younger crowd that they soooo need to stick around.

The tyrannical word-Nazis of Augusta have outlawed the current beer-commercial phrase of the year, “dilly dilly”.

If you shout out “dilly dilly” after a golfer whacks a drive off the teebox, you’ll be gently thrown the hell out of Augusta by a no-neck, pastel poloshirt-wearing security guard.

Ritchie reports a staffer for his site was told by a security guard they’d been handed a sheet with a list of banned phrases, which includes “dilly dilly.”

Although Budweiser’s “dilly dilly” ad primarily ran during football games last season, people have taken to yelling it at golf tournaments this year, probably because it’s hilarious.

On a similar but contradicting note, Charles Barkley hasn’t ever been thrown out of Augusta:

 

Yikes, Michael Rapaport just got tore up

Speaking as a self-proclaimed “cool-ass white dude”, this is a heartbreaker but also a real-life litmus test for all other “cool-ass white dudes”.

Message to white dudes rockin Jordans and carrying backpacks like old-school Kanye: Don’t take your “coolness” for granted, always remember that respect is earned, not given. And for god’s sake, even though he’s lways seemed like a funny guy that everyone (who knew who he is) liked, apparently don’t be like Michael Rapaport.

originally posted on deadspin.com


 

Michael Rapaport Is the Worst Kind of White Man

The story of the scorpion and the frog is an ancient African proverb that explains the importance of knowing whom to trust.

In the story, a frog is preparing to cross a river when it is approached by a cool-ass scorpion. The scorpion asks the frog to give it a ride on its back to traverse the river (the story doesn’t explain how the scorpion learned how to speak frog language, so let’s just assume scorpions are required to take a semester of frogspeak in high school).

The frog is wary of his prospective passenger’s intentions, but the charismatic scorpion sincerely promises that he won’t sting the frog. The amphibian, convinced by the scorpion’s genuineness, finally relents and allows the scorpion to hitch a ride across the water. When they reach the opposite shore, true to its nature, the scorpion dismounts the frog and stings it to death.

“But you promised,” the frog says as he slowly dies. “I thought you were one of the good scorpions. Why did you do this?”

The scorpion looks at the frog and, with a wry smile, responds, “Because I’m Michael Rapaport.”

Michael Rapaport is a cool-ass white dude.

Everyone knows a cool white dude. They listen to hip-hop. They know how to speak “urban.” Sometimes they even embed themselves so deep in black culture that black people might start believing the cool-ass white dude is somehow immune to the disease of racism that manifests itself in many white people.

Michael Rapaport is like this.

On Sunday, before appearing on an episode of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live,the half-chewed marshmallow center of a racism s’more posted and then deleted a picture of Real Housewives of Atlanta actress Kenya Moore alongside a photo of a gorilla.

During the episode, Rapaport chided the former Miss USA by announcing, “I didn’t wanna say it on live TV, but Kenya’s feet are ashy as fuck!” He continued: “Them shits are ashy. I didn’t wanna say it on live TV ’cause I’m a gentleman, but pan down to them shits. She can cut glass with them shits.”

This is what Michael Rapaport does.

The washed-up actor who built his career in films such as Zebrahead andHigher Learning has long benefited from being embraced by black audiences. Even his most recent gig as the fifth lead on Showtime’s White Famous was based on his proximity to the star, Jay Pharoah.

Perhaps Rapapotty’s greatest achievement in Hollywood was directing the hip-hop documentary on A Tribe Called Quest: Beats, Rhymes and Life.

Despite maintaining simultaneous careers in the fields of unemployment and anonymity, the phlegmlike fuckboy still somehow finds the time to continue his hobby of castigating black women.

In February, Rapapoot took time out of his busy schedule of looking like death warmed over in a malfunctioning toaster oven to go on an extended rant about Janet Jackson. While The Root could not confirm whether Michael Rapaport is simply rotting from the inside or method acting for an upcoming role as a zombie on The Walking Dead, Black Twitter took the time to clap back at his shenanigans.

During the Kaepernick protests, Rapperport instilled fear in the hearts of NFL players who have no idea who the fuck he is by announcing that he would drop them from his fantasy football team if they protested on 9/11. He called Spike Lee a “shitstain” while embodying what diarrhea would look like if someone existed on a diet of apple juice, cauliflower and Nilla Wafers.

His Twitter timeline is filled with him feuding with black women and calling them out of their names, because that’s what he finds hilarious. To be fair, I did find one instance of him feuding with a white woman. He seems to really despise Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. He dislikes her because of her comments. He dissed Janet, Kenya and other black women because he thought it was funny.

The worst kind of racist is one who believes he is not racist.

Michael Rapaportly believes that years of proximity to black culture give him the right to say whatever he wants to about black people. In his mind, he’s immune to being called out because he was in a John Singleton movie. He’s not a bigot because he drops his r’s when he talks. He’s friends with Q-Tip, so he can’t be racist. Some of his best films are black.

The sad thing is, he’s probably right.

No matter how despicable Michael RipApart is, there are still some who will cape for him. He’s a cool-ass white dude, so they will excuse his habitual line stepping, especially when it involves black women. He’s the kind of person who says the n-word around his friends because they know “what kind of person” he is.

That kind of person is a racist.

The marginally talented Michael Rapaport has figured out a way to keep himself from drowning in Hollywood by riding on the backs of black folks for years. He doesn’t see anything wrong with his poison because ultimately, it is who he truly is.

There is another African proverb that goes: When someone tells you who they are, don’t believe them. When someone shows you who they are, believe them … unless it’s Michael Rapaport. Fuck that guy.

He’s the worst.

Note: This article may contain some misspellings of Michael Rapaport’s name. We tried to Google the correct spelling, but Google responded, “Who?”

The new catch rule: uhhhh what?

Here’s The New Part Of The Catch Rule We’ll All Be Confused About

It’s darkly charming that, more than 100 years after the legalization of the forward pass in football, one of the most frustrating parts of the game is not knowing what the NFL considers a catch. The league knows this is a problem, and set priority No. 1 this offseason as simplifying the catch rule. Now we know, in rough terms, what it’ll look like.

Yesterday, Troy Vincent gave a tease:

“Slight movement of the ball, it looks like we’ll reverse that,” Vincent said Tuesday. “Going to the ground, it looks like that’s going to be eliminated. And we’ll go back to the old replay standard of reverse the call on the field only when it’s indisputable.”

Today, the NFL competition committee revealed its recommendations, as relayed by head of officiating Al Riveron. It is expected to be approved by owners at next week’s league meetings.

“The ability to perform such an act.” Yep, that’s it. That’s going to be the main point of debate. A receiver’s going to get hit and lose the ball a beat after putting his second foot down, and the question will be whether he could have made “a football move” or not, and some people will think yes and some will think no and the referees, after a lengthy review, will rule the opposite of whatever you think should have happened.

The NFL is backed into a corner just by dint of using instant replay, because actions and intentions at full-speed bear the scantest resemblance to those same actions viewed on review. Slow motion is alethiological hell.

There’s not really a perfect answer here, but it’d be nice if the NFL’s definition of “catch” resembled what you and I and every English-speaker understand to be a “catch.” Like, if you toss your friend the car keys, you know what it means to say he caught it. (Or dropped it, as the case may be.)

To that end, I’d like to formally propose my foolproof solution to the NFL’s catch rule problem. There will be a tribunal consisting of three 9-year-olds stationed at the league office, or possibly at a California Pizza Kitchen. When a play is challenged or reviewed, the 9-year-olds will be shown the replay. The 9-year-olds will decide—majority rule—if the player caught the ball or if he didn’t. This couldn’t be simpler.

NCAA March Madness things to hate – get off my lawn

Grayson Allen drinks Mountain Dew

March Madness is here! No single month of the year exemplifies our culture’s need for gambling more than the month of March. The NCAA tournament is everything you would want in sports, incredible competitiveness, underdog narratives and of course hated opponents. It’s all the aspects of terrific story-telling in a 30 day-ish, 5-round meal. But with every meal, inherently there are aspects you love and hate equally…or possibly hate more than your soul would ever allow you to love.

Haterade in full affect

Since we’re all haters at our core, here’s who you can feel free to hate on during the month of March.

Even his mom thinks he’s kinda ehhh

1. The Duke Blue Devils,but more accurately it’s their senior guard and overall rich-kid asshole, Grayson Allen.  Doesn’t he just look like the kinda guy that needs a smack to the grill? He’s essentially the reincarnate of Christian Laettner, minus the blonde highlights. Duke is a perennial Final Four school, which is annoying enough by itself, but Grayson Allen is a 10th year senior (seriously he was a freshman in like, ’99 right?), who has tripped 3 opposing players over the last 2 years AND threw a dirty hip-check to another last week. If that isn’t bad enough, after every incident he’s acted like a fat kid who got caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar, “who me?” and “I didn’t do it” faces are the only expressions Grayson has to offer. Feel free to hate on Duke and Grayson as much as your soul will allow.  

2. The play-in games. The four games before the REAL GAMES that determine which little school that no one has ever heard of, or big school that sucked this year, gets to play in games that actually count. The 8 teams that didn’t quite make the tourney but somehow kinda made the tourney play to see who gets two 11-seeds and two 16-seeds? I’ve never understood how teams that barely squeaked into the tourney, by accident, could somehow get an extra game in order to be an 11-seed in a bracket ranked above teams that won their conference out-right? How much sense does that make? I don’t know what the answer is to this stupidity, maybe have the play-in winners always be the four 16-seeds? Anyway, who cares…..unless Radford somehow beats Villanova in the first round, then this is scenario is awesome AND I LOVE IT.

Small school shout-out..and a headband

3. The NCAA/FBI investigations. Seriously, who cares at this point? EVERY D-I school on the planet has been paying players under the table since the mid-80’s in some way shape or form. It’s not a new occurrence, Blue Chips was made in 1994 and He Got Game was made in 1998  for God’s sake. The NCAA “amateur status” players is a broken and archaic model, don’t hate the player…hate the game.

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4. Crying fans. I get that it’s a funny moment, but I mean come on. Ok, ok I will admit I still laugh at the kid from last year who looked as if someone stole his Playstation controller mid-game at the same moment that his puppy died while his favorite Power Ranger got beat down with Harry Potter’s sword-stick thingy in a pool of Spaghetti-O’s……..or whatever these kids are into these days.

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5. People that don’t understand how to fill out a bracket. It’s not complicated, you pick a winner for each game and write it down next to the game. That’s it. THAT’S the  solution to the mind-blowing puzzle. Choose by team name, geographic location, mascot, team color, or some random family connection. Truthfully, you all have as much of a chance as a college basketball analyst. 

When does he come back?

  • Sidenote to this one, if you don’t watch college hoops all year and then annoyingly talk like you’re an ESPN analyst because you read Joe Linardi’s article this morning and watched Bracketology on the World Wide Leader, just shutup and sit down. Enjoy the games, root for whoever you want, but don’t regurgitate something you read and try to pawn it off like it’s your idea. Don’t be that guy.

 

 

 

NCAA March Madness guide for basketball idiots

originally posted here


  • written by Myron Medcalf
  • ESPN Staff Writer

March has arrived.

And with the new month comes the commencement of the greatest postseason tournament in sports. Yeah, the World Series is fun, but we all know the Milwaukee Brewers ain’t taking down the Yankees in seven games. The Golden State Warriors should skate to another NBA title. The New England Patriots still run the AFC.

But Middle Tennessee could make a run to San Antonio. Who? Exactly.

The NCAA tournament is built for the underdogs.

And we’re here to prepare you for the pending whirlwind. With this survivor’s guide, you’ll walk into that NCAA tournament party feeling omniscient.

The stars are here:

Marvin Bagley IIIDuke Blue Devils
Duke’s lead actor is a 6-foot-11 freshman with the most versatile set of skills in college basketball. He’s not afraid to handle the ball, go to work in the paint, take a 3-pointer or run the floor and score. He led Saturday’s comeback against North Carolina — Duke outscored the Tar Heels by 20 points after halftime — with an uncanny 21-point, 15-rebound, two-block effort.

Deandre AytonArizona Wildcats
Imagine if Shaquille O’Neal could hit the occasional 3-pointer. In most cases, any comparisons to one of the most powerful centers in NBA history would draw justified criticism and questions about the author’s credibility. But Ayton, a freshman from Nassau, Bahamas, is 7-foot-1 and 260 pounds. The most freakish prospect at his position since O’Neal is averaging a healthy double-double this year. He could go Anthony Davis on the field and carry Arizona to the Final Four.

Luke MayeNorth Carolina Tar Heels
We like our stars to possess imposing physiques and cocksure personalities. Well, that ain’t Luke Maye. If you put all the top players on the court for a pickup game, Maye would not stand out. But the lighthearted, subdued star is an All-American and the key to UNC’s evolution this season. He entered Saturday’s game against Duke averaging 17.9 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game, while connecting on 46 percent of his 3-pointers.

Devonte’ GrahamKansas Jayhawks
The 6-foot-2 guard leads a Kansas squad that just snatched its 14th consecutive Big 12 championship, a record for Division I schools. He’s a potent guard who averages 17.7 points, 7.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game, while connecting on 42.6 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Against zone defenses, he has made 48.7 percent of his shots, an “excellent” mark, per Synergy Sports.

Jalen BrunsonVillanova Wildcats
The smartest player in college basketball commits turnovers only about once every 10 trips up the floor. Brunson is solid everywhere: at the free throw line (81 percent), 3-point line (40.5 percent) and on isolation plays (52.2 percent, per Synergy Sports). He’s the confident leader of a serious contender for the national championship. He’s not an above-the-rim threat, but he’s savvy and wise, a point guard worth watching.

Never leave the room when these teams are playing:

Villanova head Coach – Jay Wright

Villanova Wildcats
On Selection Sunday, Xavier will probably secure one of the four coveted No. 1 seeds. In two matchups this season, Villanova beat Xavier by a combined 40 points. This is a Villanova squad that has the same qualities Jay Wright’s team boasted when the Wildcats won the title in 2016. Small ball is the new chic style, and no team in America plays it better than Villanova, a squad with three players 6-foot-5 or taller who’ve made at least 39 percent of their 3-pointers. This is the most exciting and efficient offense in the country, and it could rumble through the field in March.

Virginia Head Coach – Tony Bennett

Virginia Cavaliers
Tony Bennett’s team plays a defensive style that’s led to numbers we’ve never seen in the analytics era. The Cavaliers (.839 points per possession allowed) are ranked first in adjusted offensive efficiency on KenPom.com. Check this: 13 squads have failed to score more than 50 points against Virginia in a 40-minute game. It’s a gradual decline for opponents when they play Virginia, a team that plays the slowest pace in America. Fifty-point outputs and a slow tempo are a turnoff to some. But Virginia’s unmatched ability to submit opponents and force them into folly is a beautiful thing to witness. This is the most daunting defensive matchup in the field.

Michigan State Head Coach – Tom Izzo

Michigan State Spartans
Tom Izzo’s team’s greatest asset is its interior depth. He has six players who are 6-foot-7 or taller, a revolving fleet of size that’s the anchor to a defense that has held opponents to a 38.4 percent mark inside the arc, the No. 1 team in America. You combine that with a 6-foot-11 lottery pick named Jaren Jackson Jr. who made 43 percent of his 3-pointers in Big Ten play, a 6-foot-7 Wooden Award candidate named Miles Bridges and a squad that has connected on nearly 42 percent of its 3-pointers this season, and you have a legit contender. The Spartans, who lost to rival Michigan in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, are one of the most fascinating products in the field.

Wichita State Head Coach – Gregg Marshall

Wichita State Shockers
Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati was just the second setback since Jan. 20 for Gregg Marshall’s squad (the other was at Temple on Feb. 1). Six players on the roster are averaging at least 8.4 PPG and 10 players average 4.8 PPG or more. The Shockers are led by Landry Shamet, a point guard trying to play his way into the first round of the NBA draft. He’s made 44 percent of his 3-pointers this season, and Wichita State generates a whopping 1.21 points per possession with him on the floor (hooplens.com). This is a team with an explosive, diverse offense and a smooth point guard who leads the attack. Fun squad to track in March.

Duke Head Coach – Mike Krzyzewski

Duke Blue Devils
In recent weeks, Mike Krzyzewski’s squad switched to a zone and commenced a late burst that culminated with a win over a North Carolina team that Duke outscored 49-29 in the second half on Saturday. Wow. The last time Krzyzewski made a similar transition to zone with a talented roster that has struggled on defense (10th in the ACC in adjusted defensive efficiency during league play, according to KenPom.com), he won a national title with the 2014-15 team. He has two lottery picks in Wendell Carter Jr. and Marvin Bagley III. And when they play their best basketball (see: second half of UNC win Saturday) the Blue Devils are hard to stop.

Squads on the rise:

Murray State Racers
Murray State, which just captured the Ohio Valley Conference title and the automatic berth attached to it, has lost just one game since Jan. 11. The Racers are led by versatile guard Jonathan Stark (21.8 PPG, 41 percent from the 3-point line, 89 percent from the free throw line), and the team connects on more than 37 percent of its 3-point attempts. Dangerous underdog.

Tennessee Volunteers
Rick Barnes has manufactured a magical season in Knoxville. His team is 10-2 since Jan. 17. The Vols have made 38.1 percent of their 3-pointers, too. They’ve beaten Purdue and swept Kentucky. With Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams, the Vols can play with any team in America.

Gonzaga Bulldogs
Mark Few lost key players from a team that reached the national championship game last year. This current Gonzaga crew is different but equally potent and stacked with matchup nightmares. The Bulldogs boast players like 6-9 Johnathan Williams, who can guard multiple positions and play inside and outside. Killian Tillie, a 6-10 NBA prospect, has made 46 percent of his 3-point attempts this season. This has been a promising finish for a team with just one loss since Christmas entering the WCC tournament.

Michigan Wolverines
At some point, we’ll begin to recognize John Beilein as one the game’s top coaches. Against Michigan State in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament, Moritz Wagner — a 6-11 big man who connects on 39 percent of his 3-pointers — struggled in the first half, but the Wolverines hit the switch in the second half of a key victory. Behind Wagner’s team-high 17 points, Michigan defeated Purdue on Sunday to claim the Big Ten title and take a nine-game winning streak into the tournament.

Missouri Tigers
Cuonzo Martin’s squad was left for dead after Michael Porter Jr. suffered a back injury that cost him all but two minutes of the regular season. Yet it seems that the Tigers sit comfortably in the field of 68. They’ve made 39.5 percent of their 3-pointers. Jontay Porter, Michael Porter Jr.’s younger brother, is helping with 9.8 PPG and 6.8 RPG. And big brother could come back for the SEC tournament. Watch out for the Tigers.

Don’t the bet the farm on these frustrating teams:

Kentucky Wildcats
This ain’t the typical one-and-done crew John Calipari assembles in Lexington. They’re long and bouncy, and these Wildcats can overwhelm teams with their athleticism. But you never know whether you’ll get the squad that launched a successful comeback at West Virginia in January or the team that forgot to defend the 3-point line in a loss at Florida on Saturday.

West Virginia Mountaineers
The Mountaineers are one of two teams in America that can say they’ve defeated Virginia. But they’re a more reasonable foe when their rabid Press Virginia defensive style fails to stall opponents as intended. The same team that beat Virginia couldn’t handle a Texas team on Saturday that did not have three of its top six scorers.

Florida Gators
There are two Florida teams. Good Florida hits 3-pointers from the parking lot and beats teams like Gonzaga and Cincinnati. Bad Florida gets swept by South Carolina and loses to Ole Miss on the road. We’re not sure which one will show up in March.

Texas A&M Aggies
The promise and peril of Texas A&M was punctuated by one stretch in Saturday’s win over Alabama, which gave the Aggies a 7-3 record in their past 10 games. In the final minute, TJ Starks was ejected after he got physical with Collin Sexton. It was a silly play that ruined Texas A&M’s momentum, but it also highlighted the problem with this talented roster: The Aggies might not be disciplined enough to get out of their own way in March.

Oklahoma Sooners
When Oklahoma beat Wichita State, USC and Kansas, Trae Young and the Sooners were praised. Young looked like the clear favorite to win the Wooden Award then. Now, we’re looking at a squad with just two wins since Jan. 30. The Sooners are playing poor defense, and that could thrust the program into a dangerous opening-round game. We know how high they can go. Their early wins proved as much. But Oklahoma’s floor is quite low.