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Monday, May 17, 2010
Updated: May 18, 6:06 PM ET
Power Rankings: Celtics edition

By Greg Hardy
Special to Page 2

It's easy being green with the latest Page 2 Power Rankings! Our formula combines the results of two surveys: A human poll concocted by ESPN Page 2's Greg Hardy and a scientifically calibrated poll generated by computer analysis. Unfortunately, our computer was bought secondhand from DreamWorks after the thing started randomly generating alternate titles at the last minute for the new Shrek movie, ranging from "Shrek Forever After" to "Shrek: The Final Chapter" to "Shrek IV: There Will Be Donkey Blood." To the results!

1. Unstoppable Celtics

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.6 9.5 19.1

Credentials: The members of Doc Rivers' aging crew have made it clear what they want in exchange for the time they have left: They don't want a plaque for knocking LeBron James out of the playoffs. They don't want a congratulatory ad in the newspaper for overpowering the Orlando Magic to start the conference finals. The just want The Ring. And they want it known that it's being done by outhustling the opposition -- not because they're lucky miracle workers. Although we did hear that Rasheed Wallace wants to prove he's a miracle worker by taking a boat into the Gulf of Mexico so he could clean up the oil spill by the time of the Game 2 tipoff in Orlando. By all means, good luck with that.


2. The Preakness

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.2 9.2 18.4

Credentials: We're not exactly crying that Super Saver missed out on a chance for the Triple Crown. But we are upset at how over-commercialized horse racing has become. It was a sad sight to see Russell Crowe riding Dublin as a promotional tie-in for the opening weekend of "Robin Hood." Besides, not only did the horse finish fifth but the movie couldn't even knock "Iron Man 2" out of the top spot in the weekend box office. C'mon, this is Pimlico, not NASCAR.


3. Miss USA

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.1 8.4 17.5

Credentials: Is it a big deal that Rima Fakih, a Lebanese-born Muslim from Michigan, won Donald Trump's beauty contest? Not for The Don. Of course, maybe he's just trying to find a woman whose background is so controversial that none of the judges will notice if he enters himself as Miss Utah.


4. Suns vs. Lakers Breakdown

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.0 8.9 16.9

Credentials: We'd be willing to offer a dollar to anyone willing to ask Shaquille O'Neal, "Between Phoenix and L.A., which team do you think is helped most by the fact that you don't play for it anymore?" … We'll throw in another buck if you follow up with, "Are you disappointed that only three of the NBA's final four teams are ones you used to play for?"


5. Ronnie James Dio, R.I.P.

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 7.5 15.2

Credentials: Some people might say the best way to honor the iconic heavy metal vocalist is with a moment of silence at an arena or stadium. We think a moment of silence is the exact frickin' opposite of the best way to honor his work.


6. LeBron James

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.0 5.8 11.8

Credentials: Why bother even predicting how this free-agent story is going to end? At this point, the best way to bet this will end is by using "Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe." Of course, Cleveland fans should pause a moment before they put their money on "Eeny, Meeny, Miny Mo Williams."


7. Mariano Rivera

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.7 7.7

Credentials: Big deal, so The Hammer got nailed for his first grand slam as a reliever since 2002. His contract does stipulate he is allowed one, and only one, such slip-up per Yankee Stadium era in which he plays.


8. "Law & Order" Canceled

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.8 3.5 7.3

Credentials: After 20 years and 456 episodes, the original New York City version of NBC's landmark police procedural is going up the river. However, the network has agreed to air a new spinoff this fall called "Law & Order: Los Angeles." Although a pilot has yet to be filmed, each weekly episode is expected to depict how different branches of the law enforcement community prosecute the crimes and misdemeanors of USC. That ought to be worth at least a 10-year run.


9. Tampa Bay Rays Fans

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.9 2.8 6.7

Credentials: The phrase "baseball's modern era" doesn't even begin to describe the mind-bending concept of Rays fans running from security in the green expanses of Tropicana Field. Some might think it's all good, clean fun, but it's a huge embarrassment for the front office. After all, for every one fan who jumps onto the field, that's an entire section of the stands that's now vacant.


10. Stan Van Gundy

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
2.8 3.7 6.5

Credentials: We're not saying ESPN is banking on an Orlando Magic implosion, but our higher-ups have hinted that they'd be OK if the Page 2 Power Rankings staff had an edited "30 for 30" special in the can titled: "Stan Van Gundy: Shouldn't True Wizards Have a Trick To Not Sweat That Much?"


11. NFL Assistant Coaches

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
2.6 3.3 5.9

Credentials: The brains behind the NFL's sideline support system say team owners have cut their benefits, so there are rumblings that the assistants should form a union. This would be a landmark chapter of America's organized labor movement because it would be the first group that insists it's OK to work 100-plus hours a week breaking down game film.


12. Japanese Wedding Droid

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.3 2.2 5.5

Credentials: In Tokyo, a 4-foot-tall robot manufactured by Kokoro Co. named "I-Fairy" can pronounce a human couple as husband and wife. Let's just hope the need for robot-processed divorces isn't why Skynet will eventually invent "The Terminator."


13. Boston Bruins

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
2.5 2.2 4.7

Credentials: Choking away a monumental lead in a best-of-seven series? At least Boston fans can say with a hint of nostalgia: "The Bruins? They're no Red Sox."


Also receiving votes:
• Independent Notre Dame: How can the Big Ten trick the Fighting Irish into joining the conference? Create a 15-team league with seven teams in the Schembechler Division, seven in the Hayes Division and Notre Dame in the Independent Division.

Never receiving votes:
• NASCAR attendance: Estimates are that Dover International Speedway was filled to half its 150,000 capacity for Sunday's race. Hint to NASCAR on how to boost interest when this happens: Have the paying customers sit on one side of the track, then let one or two cars crash into the empty sections of the stands. OK, you might not sell more tickets for the next race, but you'll be guaranteed to get a heck of a lot more eyeballs on the TV coverage.

Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at Twitter.com/HardyVision.


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