Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sporting Thoughts

Some random thoughts on the current sports world. What I love, what I hate, what I like, and what I could care less about.

What I Love

- Garnett taking charge in the fourth quarter last night and hitting two huge shots in the final minutes. Of particular delight to me was the way he drove to the basket for a layup instead of settling for an outside shot or fall away as has been his signature. Very good sign for both Garnett and the Celtics.

- The defensive game plan the Celtics used against LeBron last night. Anyone remember when the Celtics were playing the Bulls in that playoff series in 1986? Well, Doc Rivers remembered because he just used the same game plan KC Jones used. Back then Jordan had scored over 40 in game one, then a whopping 63 in game 2. The Celtics won both, but they were taking no chances in game 3. The second Jordan touched the ball over half court, the Celtics trapped him and made him give up the ball. This is exactly what they did to LeBron last night. Trap him, make him give up the ball and make the other Cavaliers beat you. See the ‘What I Hate’ section for the rest of this thought.

- The return of Big Papi.

- The return of the fun loving Manny. For those who can’t stand the guy, the reason Boston fans embrace him is because he (and Papi) are players who legitimately seemed to love playing the game. They smile, goof around and seem genuinely happy to be playing baseball.

- The Tampa Rays. I’m a die hard Sox fan, but this group of Tampa players is extremely likable. Even when they swept the Sox a few weeks back, I just couldn’t get that upset about it. Young, likable, hard working players up and down the roster.

- Chris Paul, MVP. I know Kobe just officially won the award, but have you seen what this kid is doing? If not, you’re missing out. After destroying Dallas, he posted 17 points, 13 assists and 4 steals in game one against the Spurs. Game 2? How does 30 points and 12 assists sound to you? I should mention that this is against one of the best defensive teams of the decade.

- Baseball Tonight back in my life.

What I Like

- Rumors of Rick Carlisle being hired in Dallas. Perfect match of coach and personnel. Always thought he was a great coach and got a bit of a bum rap in Indiana. Be fun to see what he does with his first true point guard in Jason Kidd.

- The team the Arizona Diamondbacks have put together.

- That the Celtics won despite playing like shit. This is why the saying ‘Defense wins championships’ is so popular. It keeps you in games you have no business winning.

- The San Francisco Giants basically benching Barry Zito.

- Leon Powe

- The Chicago Bears not drafting a quarterback thus giving me easy Rex Grossman jokes for another season.

- The state of the Yankees.

- Mel Kiper grading each team on a draft that just happened because it’s funny he thinks he can predict which rookies will be good when they haven’t even stepped onto an NFL field yet. Will he redo the grades after it becomes apparent one of the ‘highly touted’ prospects is a complete bust?

- This story.

- Trade rumors circulating around baseball. It’s just fun!

- Joe Torre getting the Dodgers on a roll and making the Hank Steinbrenner Circus look even more inept.

- That Lou Pinella commercial where he pretends to be flipping out on a third base umpire.

- Ozzie Guillen flipping out for real. Already. It’s only May!!

What I Hate

- This sickening story involving an ex Minnesota Viking. Any person that deliberately hurts a child just needs to go away for a long time. I’m disgusted every time another of these stories hits the news. Why can’t we make people get licensed in order to become a parent? We have to do it to fish, drive a car, or pilot a boat. Christ, you need to go through a 10 page screening process to get certain dogs, but any scumbag can have a kid and not be questioned, trained or tracked.

- Ray Allen and Paul Pierce submitting an absolute stink bomb last night. Both looked tired and intimidated. Let’s hope this is simply a residual effect of Game 7.

- Kobe constantly pulling his jersey to show what team he plays for. Kobe, that’s the same jersey you desperately tried to never wear again this past summer. It’s hypocritical to be constantly bragging about what team you play for when you would have been long gone if you had your way.

- That the Celtics held Lebron to one of his worst playoff performances EVER and just barely won the game. Color me scared.

- Everyone calling that game a ‘defensive battle’ when it was just horrible basketball. I counted 7 missed layups in the fourth quarter alone and they had nothing to do with defense.

- While we’re here, the referees calling every ticky tack foul. This is the playoffs, guys. You don’t have to call a foul when one player skims another player’s arm while trying to knock the ball away.

- The officiating in game two of the Detroit – Orlando series.

- The constant whining by every basketball player in every game. This is basketball and you are all grown men. I understand that working the refs is part of the game, but stop acting like a three year old when you’re called for a foul. And stop falling down when you’re barely touched, too. Man alive, just grow up all of you! Can you imagine Jordan falling down after a jump shot when he wasn’t touched to try and get a cheap call?

- Marvin Harrison involved in some bizarre shooting crime. Even if he is a Colt, he always seemed like a good guy and was one of the few players I respected. I hope this turns out to be a mistake.

- That ludicrous Tomlinson interview on ESPN over the weekend. Claiming he took himself out of the game because he caught a screen pass and only gained 10 yards when he knew he could have gained 25 yards. Really? That’s why you took yourself out of the AFC Championship game? Because you ‘only’ got a first down for your team? Hate to say it LT2, but the more you talk, the less I like you.

What I Could Care Less About

- The NHL Playoffs. Even when the Bruins were playing, I didn’t pay one bit of attention.

- Roger Clemens apologizing for all his mistakes and any story involving him and a 15 year old country singer. It’s shocking how quickly he’s morphed from ‘good guy, hard working, certain Hall of Famer’ to cheater at every aspect of his life. Two months ago I would have taken pleasure at this story, but now nothing surprises me anymore. I just want him to go away.

- By the way, I’m officially apologizing for all my past mistakes but I’m not telling you what they were.

- Kobe Bryant winning the MVP. Can’t wait for Chris Paul to destroy the Lakers in the next round and prove who the actual MVP is.

- Where the Olympic torch is right now.

- Billy Knight stepping down as Hawks General Manager. That sound you hear is the entire state of Georgia shrugging their shoulders.

Today’s distraction: Some amazing street art. I wish I had this kind of artistic ability.


A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

Good call on the Bears and Grossman. Living in Chicago and enjoying football is going to be tough. How about Benson, at least he doesn't look shit faced in his mugshot. Can more players for the Bears get arrested?

Hammen said...

I would guess that Atlanta is pretty pumped about Billy Knight leaving. He's an idiot.

BeachBum said...

What the hell has happened to the Bears? They've gone from Super Bowl to outright disaster in less than two years.

Hammen, Atlanta probably would care Knight was leaving if they cared at all. Which they don't.

Hammen said...

I don't know, they looked like they cared while they were giving your boys a serious run for their playoff lives....