The Imperfect Game

Talking NBA with Matt P.

An episode of The Imperfect Game

By Sean Melia
An unbiased look at sports, with a focus on the Boston sports scene. Subscribe on iTunes here:
More places to listen
An unbiased look at sports, with a focus on the Boston sports scene. Subscribe on iTunes here:

More places to listen

West Ham United Past and Present
In the second of their deep dive series, Both and Sean looked at West Ham United from all angles. Their past, built out of the hot steel and rivet hammers of the shipbuilders, to their present, a side looking for a new identity in a new stadium with some rather upset fans. Their Academy program arguably won England the 1966 World Cup and also flooded the Premier League with great players in the early 2000s. Hooliganism, songs about bubbles, youth development, and the eternal struggle to remain relevant among their London brethren marks this club's past and present. 
November 15, 2019
The Premier League is Taking Shape
Sean and Both discuss last weekend's big game between Manchester City and Liverpool. Is VAR making the referees more of a focal point? What is a hand ball now? They ooze about Liverpool's finishing and their young wing backs. They touch on the Leicester City v. Arsenal game, as Both laments the poor showing of his Gunners. Why can't Arsenal find an identity? Could Arsenal be a better version of Leicester City?
November 14, 2019
Wolverhampton Wanderers Deep Dive
Sean and Both decided it was time to learn about a non-Big 6 club, so they gave themselves some homework. Sean went all the way back to the 19th century and learned about the origins and history of Wolves; it's one of the OG clubs (and stadiums) in England. Both researched the present day club and how they have found success, particularly how they are targeting foreign players.  Have a team you'd like us to spotlight in the future? Email your ideas to or find Sean at the twitter handle: BostonHomer.
November 8, 2019
Overturned red cards, new captains, and Stamford Bridge hysterics
Both joins Sean to talk about this week's English Soccer happenings. Son's horrible tackle, the new captain at Arsenal, the inevitability of the relegation zone already, and what matches are worth watching this week that aren't Manchester City v Liverpool. They wrap up with the Champions League insanity that occurred between Chelsea and Ajax on Tuesday.
November 7, 2019
The Xhaka Saga and Club Power Structures
Sean and Both are back at it to talk about the Premier League. The Arsenal captainship might be up for grabs after Granit Xhaka's, meltdown. As Sean and Both unpack what's going on at Arsenal, they discuss the power structures and decision making at other big clubs. Who is in charge? How do different teams handle their legacy and managerial changes (00:00-41:30). Liverpool's win over Tottenham on Sunday was a big boy victory, as they continue to set the pace in England. Liverpool's schedule, along with the other top clubs, will prove to be a challenge the next 8 weeks. How will Tottenham right the ship? On the other end of the table, Southampton suffered the worst home loss in history after a 9-0 loss in the pouring rain. But the players tried to make it up to the fans by doing something no pro athlete would ever do in the United States (41:30-58:00). They wrap up by looking at some games to keep an eye on this weekend, both in England and the rest of the soccer world.
November 1, 2019
Is the Premier League destined to be a two team league?
Sean and a new guest, Both, talk about Liverpool v. Man United. Is there a tactical blueprint to stop Liverpool now? What was United's motivation on Sunday? Is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suited for the center of the pitch? What's going on with Paul Pogba (00:00-28:40)? Then they look at the developing trend of two team races in England and if it's something they think might become the norm. They look at the top 6 and top 4 over the last decade, and with managerial shifts, a lack of trophies and patience, and see a top heavy league, but with a growing middle class. Could the Leicester City championship be the season we look back on as a shift in the balance of the points shared in the top 4? 
October 23, 2019
NBA: China, Al Horford, Bucks, Beal, and Jimmy's Solo Tour in Miami
Sean and Matt dip their toe into the China/NBA madness, then dive into some Eastern Conference topics: Will the 76ers figure out how to make Ben Simmons shoot? Is Embiid scarier than Giannis? Can the Bucks win the NBA Finals? Will Beal finish his year in DC? Is Jimmy Butler's solo act in Miami the perfect next chapter in his NBA journey?
October 11, 2019
Talking NBA with Matt P.
Sean and Matt discuss a new trend Matt has noticed in the media's coverage of NBA stars. Afterwards, they steer the conversation to Matt's favorite team the Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard's rap battle with Shaq, the Anfernee Simons excitement, and more. Then Sean voices a concern over the Los Angeles Clippers, which naturally brings them to talk about the Lakers and... the Suns! 
October 4, 2019
College Football's opening weeks
Sean has Mike on to talk about the opening weeks of the college football season. They start by discussing their love of Saturday football, College Gameday, and the wide dynamics that can appear between team’s philosophies and the fanbases in general. Week 1 had a few exciting games, particularly the Oregon-Auburn game. Lincoln Riley continues his role as transfer QB whisperer. Sean poses a hypothetical at Mike where he’s the AD of his favorite athletic program in all the land. They finish up with a preview of the two biggest games of the upcoming week when LSU visits Texas and Clemson hosts Texas A&M.
September 5, 2019
The Top 5 Golf Majors of the Decade
Sean has Paul on for the first in his "... of the decade" series. 2020 is coming and it's time to start reflecting on the things we liked and disliked.  In this episode, the guys start by talking about how they are filling their PGA Championship void with Korn Ferry Tour Finals and the US Amateur Championships. Then they dive in and discuss each of their top 5 picks, while sprinkling in their pick for the worst major of the decade.  At the 57:00 mark, the guys wander off and talk about some honorable mentions, golf this decade,'s top majors list, the worst 18th holes losses, and Phil's sliding door quest for the grand slam.
August 16, 2019
The Open Championship preview with Paul
Sean has Paul on to talk about The Open Championship at Royal Portrush. They break down the importance of golf coming to Northern Ireland, the redesign of the golf course, and how the TV coverage will tackle the history of the region (00:00-16:00). They move to Phil's "hard reset" video and his comments on Golf Channel from Tuesday. Sean wonders about Phil's health and if there's something deeper going on with him beyond a simple diet and cleanse, Rory's "home game" in Northern Ireland and how it might harm his ability to contend (16:00-30:30). Then they head off the trail and talk about the new schedule and how it could or couldn't effect the PGA TOUR going forward. Will the tour split into a big tour and small tour? Does the FedEx Cup really matter (30:30-44:30)? Finally, they pick their top 3, a dark horse, an MC Hammer, and an Icarus (44:30-END).
July 17, 2019
NBA Offseason and the Westbrook and CP3 trade
Sean and Tung discuss the Kawhi deal with the Clippers, contract lengths, if front offices need to plan differently going forward. THEN at the 38:45 mark the Westbrook-CP3 trade happens and Sean and Tung react in real time. They finish up with an appraisal of the Celtics and what their fate in the Eastern Conference will be.
July 12, 2019
Lakers get their max contract, Cs get Kara Lawson, and other NBA off-season news
Sean has Mike G. on to discuss the NBA’s off-season chaos. In Wizards news, they help the Lakers get to max contract money and they also lose commentator Kara Lawson to the Celtics coaching staff for next season. Does the player movement in the NBA hurt the fans or does it make the league more entertaining? Should the league consider a shortened season down the road (00:00-18:15)? How much better will the Jazz be with Mike Conley running the point and mentoring Donovan Mitchell? Did the Grizzlies make the right move in banking on JA Morant and their young players? Will the Lakers regret giving up the farm for Anthony Davis (18:15-25:00)? Then they hit on various teams that will likely be heavily involved in free agency. Is the potential Kyrie for Kemba swap a good one for the Celtics (25:00-35:00)? Will the Warriors keep Klay and/or KD? Is their something rotting in the core of the franchise after the loss in the Finals and how they handled the KD injury (35:39:00)? How can the Lakers use their $32 million to fill out their roster? Should they get a max player and build a big three or sign a few cheaper guys to add depth. Is Kyrie to the Lakers a real thing?Is it worth it for the Nets to sign Kyrie when D’Angelo Russell was so good and also cheaper and younger? (39:00- 47:45)? They wonder if the 76ers should run it back and keep both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. The dominos falling could leave Philly out in the cold, right? Someone will be left in the cold. Then they complain about the Rockets for a hot second (47:45-56:20). Can the Clippers lure Kawhi away from the Great White North? Will someone join him with the LAC if he does decide to sign there? What should the Knicks do and how Knicksy of a move would it be to sign KD and push their hope back one more year?  Will KD really join his friend in Brooklyn (56:20-59:47)? Finally, they do a lighting round and predict where each big name (and some small name…) free agents will sign (59:47-END).
June 28, 2019
Yawkey Way Sushi, Stanley Cup Final, and the NBA Finals
Sean and Tung kick off this pod talking about US Open golf, bad sushi outside Fenway, and NHL hot takes (00:00-13:30). The NBA Finals takes up the rest of the pod. They discuss the final play of game 5, the Boogie Cousins moving pick and goal-tending fiasco, and Nick Nurse's decision to call a timeout, and the unusual pace of the final minutes of the game (13:30-29:00) The building pressure on the Raptors for games 6 and 7 and the Kevin Durant injury fallout and how it will effect NBA contracts (29:00-48:45). The Raptors and Kawhi, Steph, and Klay's strengths and weaknesses, and have the Raptors missed their opportunity to win the series (48:45-1:03:30). They wrap up by going off the rails talking Kyrie, his agent, Beyond Meat, and they put out a search for a new sponsor.
June 13, 2019
US Open Pebble Beach Preview
Sean and Paul discuss the US Open at Pebble Beach. Can Tiger get his second major this year? Will Pebble Beach hold up as a US Open site? Massachusetts golf has come a long way with four reps in the field. Of course, they also make their three picks and a darkhorse.
June 12, 2019
From The NBA Finals to summer Free Agency
Sean has Tung on the pod to discuss the first two games of the NBA Finals (00:00-23:00). Then they digress into a discussion about Toronto and watching a game at Jurassic Park and what stadiums are on their NBA bucket list (23:00-30:30). Then they dive into the NBA playoffs and try to figure out what teams are at home right now kicking themselves. What the Sixers should do with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The Blazers great run to the WCF and what might happen with them next (30:30- 51:30). They finish up the with inevitable: what will Kyrie and Celtics do next year? Are the Nets the next landing spot and does it make sense? (51:30-1:12:00).
June 5, 2019
PGA Championship at Bethpage
Sean and Paul break down the 2019 PGA Championship. They start with the course and what they like and dislike about it (00:00-23:00). Including a good 3 minute dissection of David Duval.Then they discuss the new timing of the event now that it's in May. Will the weather be more of a factor? Will people be as interested considering the other sports distractions going on in the NBA and NHL (23:00-32:00).Get your bookie on the phone, because they wrap up talking about the players in the field. Should John Daly be allowed to use a cart? Is Tiger really a favorite? When can we start saying DJs career is a disappointment? Finally, they pick their top 3 contenders and a darkhorse.
May 15, 2019
The Bachelorette: Like a Bullet in the Foot
Sean and Tiff discuss the Hannah opening package, their first impressions of the guys, and try to figure out who our favorites are (0:00-29:16).Then they break down the cocktail party, in particular the strange Scott FBI-sting led by Demi and Katie that ended in his expulsion from the mansion forever (29:16-51:42)!They wrap up with a Rose Ceremony recap and wonder if John Paul Jones was a producer rose (51:42-59:18).
May 14, 2019
Bachelorette Reunion
Sean and Tiff catch up on Colton and Cassie and how they've been doing since Colton's season ended. Then they rehash some of their favorite moments from last week's Bachelorette Reunion.Finally, they talk about the upcoming season with Hannah and discuss a few of the guys that Tiff thinks are worth the time, for good and bad. NOTE: This Bachelorette season, Sean and Tiff will be posting episodes on The Random Division. A new podcast they are launching. Find the Spotify link here:
May 13, 2019
Masters Review 2019
Sean and Paul talk through Tiger's Masters victory. Sean has to defend a questionable choice he made.
April 15, 2019
The Masters 2019 Preview
Sean and Paul continue their annual Masters preview tradition. They begin with a Game of Thrones rant, then reminisce about some Masters anniversaries. Bubba's second win, Angel Cabrera's playoff victory, Phil's first, Jose Maria's double, and Faldo's playoff win in 1989 (00:00-22:30).Then they go through some quick talking points: Spieth's recent struggles, Grand Slam chasers, DJ's Augusta mediocrity in the face of high expectations, Patrick Reed's green jacket defense, and if Brooks Koepka can maintain his major domination (22:30-37:20).They wrap up the pod with their top three picks and some dark horses.
April 9, 2019
2019 NCAA Basketball Preview
Sean and Tim talk through the NCAA hoops bracket. Is it fair that three ACC teams got #1 seeds?What day should people take off: Thursday or Friday?What's the toughest region?Who are Tim's favorite college players to watch?Who are Tim's favorite NBA prospects (not named Zion)?Who will be a surprise Sweet 16 team?Who will flame out?Who will be the Final Four?Who is be National Champ?
March 20, 2019
Coast to Coast NBA catch-up
Tung is back on to discuss all things NBA. Unhappy NBA players and societal issues (00:00-12:45). Celtics draft picks, trade options, Kyrie, and AD (12:45-26:50). LeBron as All-Time scoring leader, his Lakers problems, and who could Lakers get in a trade for him (26:50-40:00). Draymond's free agency, frustrated Warriors, James Dolan, and who could pull a 76ers and run off a strong finish to the season (40:00-end).
March 12, 2019
Red Flags and a Fence Jump
After two dates and a lot of tears, the fence jump finally happened! 00- 27:00: Colton goes on a date with Tayshia where they reach new heights (again...). 27:00-END: Cassie and Colton explore Portugal (all of it). Then a surprise visitor shows up and rocks the boat.
March 5, 2019
Microwavable Relationships
It's time for hometown dates! Horse pulled carriages, Southern Gentlemen training, sky-diving, surfing. Colton goes 3 for 4 on marriage "blessings." Tiff and Sean discuss each one: Kate's Corner and Caelynn: 0:00-17:00Hannah G: 17:00-31:00Tayshia: 31:00-50:00Cassie: 50:00-1:06Rose Ceremony: 1:06-end
February 26, 2019
No Fence Jump!
Colton settles on the four women for hometowns. Before getting there, he brings the remaining seven woman to Denver for some home cooking of his own. Tayshia, Caelynn, and Hannah B. get one-on-one dates. Tayshia and Kirpa form a Survivor-like alliance. Cassie and Caelynn fight back, while Hannah G. tries to figure out what's going on. Sean and Tiff notice a pink notebook that makes more than one appearance.  All this happens as we wait for the fence jump. Which doesn't happen.
February 19, 2019
Bachelor Inception
Colton gets dumped... again. The Game is afoot, some women are ready and others aren't. Demi makes a big move. Colton thinks he has it figured out...until he doesn't. A promising end of the season begins to take shape as Colton doubts his choices and the women begin to stab each other in the back.
February 12, 2019
Everyone's Been Kissed!
New dramas arise. Hannah B. is falling in love. Cassie makes herself known as a frontrunner. Heather gets some fireworks. Colton gets dumped. It's all on this week's episode of The Bachelor.
February 5, 2019
The Bachelor's Singapore Sling
Sean and Tiff have a special guest! Our friend Kate joins us as we journey with Colton on his quest for love in Singapore. As usual, we watch, press pause, react, watch some more, and then react some more. Colton gets a lot of baggage unloaded on him this week as Taisha, Demi, and Caelynn open up about their pasts. Pageant Queens bury the hatchet and Demi says good-bye to two enemies.
January 29, 2019
A Competitive Environment
Sean and Tiff break down episode 3 of Colton's season. Pageant contestant woes, an early exit, finding the adults in the mansion, and Chris Harrison swooping in for some relief.
January 22, 2019
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