Archive for April, 2009
In the NBA, there were 2 games in action last night. One marked the end of a series, the other changed people’s expectations.
In Atlanta, the Hawks looked to stave off Dwayne Wade and the charging Heat. People discounted the Hawks after Wade’s MVP campaign, but they are far from rolling over dead. In fact, this series has been quite strange, considering every game has been decided by double-digits. It’s almost like the teams alternate “night’s off”. Well, Dwayne Wade played brilliantly last night, scoring 23 points in the 1st half. However, he would have to take some time off due to hitting his head on the floor, and would only score 6 points in the 2nd half. On Atlanta’s side, Joe Johnson and Josh Smith led the way with 25 points and 20 points respectively, as the Hawks took care of business on their home court to send this series back to Miami. Atlanta 106, Miami 91.
In the other game, the Denver Nuggets did what everyone thought they would: finish off a lackluster season from the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets were the #2 seed last year, and looked like they would become a powerhouse in the West. But this season they were plagued by some in-house strife, trade rumors, injuries, and poor chemistry. Hopefully, their off-season will be fruitful. Meanwhile, Denver’s season has been just the opposite. They went from the “troubled” team, to a beautiful cohesive unit. With Chauncey Billups at the helm, they may actually give the Lakers some trouble (assuming they both get to the Conference Finals). Denver 107, New Orleans 86.
Elsewhere in the NBA, there was some controversy over Tuesday night’s Boston/Chicago game, in which Rajon Rondo laid a hard foul on Brad Miller in the game’s closing seconds. Rondo practically hit him in the face. sending Miller to the line for two stress-filled free throws (plus, Miller’s lip was bleeding). The Bulls were furious that the referees didn’t call a flagrant foul on Rondo. This would have given the Bulls 2 shots and the ball back. Very helpful given the situation. But… no dice. Mileer missed the shots, and the Celtics won. Well, yesterday, the league said there would be no further action on Rondo (i.e. a penalty or a suspension). The NBA ruled that the refs called the play accurately, and it was business as usual. The Bulls are now in a must-win situation for Game 6.
Finally, it appears that Michael Vick will be released from prison on May 20th. Sure, he will be confined to his home, but this guy wants to play football again and BAD. Teams will be taking a risk on him, but there are a bunch of teams in the NFL who sorely need a quarterback. Vick doesn’t have a perfect track record, but there’s no denying his athletic ability. Plus, he has publicly stated his remorse for the dog-fighting a plethora of times in the media. You can accept or deny his apologies, but it’s clear that this guy wants to at least get a second chance and reinvent his image. We’ll see how this story unfolds.No comments
The NBA Playoffs are really starting to heat up as most of the first round is nearing an end
Boston and Chicago kicked last night off with a bang. These teams are at each other’s throats. The Bulls had a comfortable 9 point lead in the 4th quarter, and then blew it, letting Boston comeback. However, Boston’s sharpshooter, and key end-game guy, Ray Allen, fouled out midway through the 4th quarter. They would need others to step up if they wanted to win.
Well, one guy did step up, BIG TIME. That man… Paul Pierce. He hit a clutch shot to send them game into overtime, and a key shot to put the Celtics up 2 with just 4 seconds to play. The Bulls had one last chance. They inbounded to Brad Miller, who drove the lane and was hammered on a layup. He would have two free throws to tie the game. But… he missed the first one, had to FORCE miss the second one, and the crowd erupted as the Celtics came back to win Game 5 and take a series lead. Pierce finished the night with 26 points, and is definitely the city’s favorite guy today. Game 6 is in Chicago, where it’s do or die for the Bulls. Boston 106, Chicago 104.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks looked to finish off San Antonio on the Spurs homecourt. Dallas has caught fire at just the right time, and San Antonio appears to have faded when it really matters. Plus, the Spurs are without their star 6th man, Manu Ginobili. Tim Duncan did what he could do, putting up 30 points, but this game belonged to Dirk Nowitzki. He was a monster out there, scoring 31 points, and nabbing 9 rebounds, as the Mavericks went on to win Game 5 and close out for the series. They await the winner of the Denver/New Orleans matchup, which will most likely be Denver. Now THAT will be a fantastic matchup. Dallas 106, San Antonio 93.
And finally, the Portland Trailblazers needed to prevent being eliminated on their homecourt last night by the Houston Rockets. Many favored Portland in this series, but Yao and the Rockets have really turned it on and jelled at the right time. Even their 2nd year point guard, speedy Aaron Brooks out of Oregon, is doing a terrific job steering the ship. Brooks had a nice game with 13 points and 5 assists, but the Blazers wanted it more last night. LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy piled it on, each scoring 25 points as the Blazers sailed to a victory. Now, the series heads back to Houston for a crucial Game 6. Portland 88, Houston 77.No comments
In the NBA, the playoffs were in full swing.
First up, it was the Atlanta Hawks visiting the Miami Heat. Miami has a 2-1 lead in the series, and the Hawks were hoping to tie it up before heading back to Atlanta. Going against the Hawks: they haven’t had a playoff game on the road in 12 years — not exactly the most helpful statistic. Dwayne Wade had a nice game with 22 points, but he didn’t put up one of his MVP-caliber performances last night. The heroes of the game were Atlanta’s Zaza Pachulia, who had only 12 points, but 18 rebounds, and point guard Mike Bibby. He had 15 points, and nailed some clutch 3’s to stave off a Miami comeback. Atlanta 81, Miami 71.
Next up, it was the Denver Nuggets against the seemingly hapless New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets won the last game, and appeared to have some life in them, but last night was simply an embarrassment. The Nuggets absolutely destroyed the Hornets — they wiped the floor with them to tie the record for the biggest blowout in NBA history at 58 points. And this happened on the Hornets HOME COURT!!! Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Nuggets with 26 points, and nobody did anything of note for the Hornets. Denver now takes a 3-1 lead in a series that should be over VERY soon. Denver 121, New Orleans 63.
Finally, the Los Angeles Lakers were looking to finish off the series against the Utah Jazz on their home floor. Kobe Bryant’s the type of guy who just likes to finish things, and move on, and that’s exactly what he did against the Jazz last night. Kobe took matters into his own hands, scoring 31 points to extinguish a Jazz team that looked like it was ready for the off-season to begin. Now, the Lakers await the winner of the Houston/Portland series. And if it is Houston — that could be a very interesting series. Houston looks great right now. LA Lakers 107, Utah 96.
And in some NFL news, a few superstar standouts from college football weren’t selected in this season’s draft. These include Chase Daniel (a former Heisman candidate and ESPN-Magazine cover athlete), Graham Harrell (the guy who put up monster stats for the surprisingly good Texas Tech team, and Ian Johnson (the Boise State heroic running back who beat Oklahoma two years ago, then proposed to his girlfriend on the sideline. Yeah — you remember him). Well, these guys will actually get a chance to prove themselves, as they’ve all signed with a team to at least try and make the final roster. Chase Daniel is headed to the Redskins, Graham Harrell will be a Cleveland Brown, and Ian Johnson will join the Minnesota Vikings. A sigh of relief for these standouts.No comments
Wow, what a weekend in sports, with both the NBA Playoffs and NFL Draft in full swing.
On Sunday, the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics played Game Four in what is now becoming a classic series. These teams are at each other’s throats. Ray Allen hit a clutch three pointer to tie the game at 96 and to send the game into OT. Then, at the end of the first OT session, the Bulls Ben Gordon, who was red-hot, nailed a three to tie the game at 110. Yep, time for Overtime #2. Paul Piece hit a terrific three pointer to put the game within one, then the Bulls grabbed a quick basket to put them up by three. So, the Celts got one last chance to tie the game. Paul Pierce launched a three pointer again, but John Salmons got a piece of it, and the Bulls win to even the series at two games a piece. For any true basketball fan, Game 5 in Boston is a must watch. Chicago 121, Boston 118.
Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic have had their hands full with a pesky Philadelphia 76ers team, and they looked to even the series on Sunday. It wasn’t easy, but all of the Magic’s starters put up great games, with each scoring in double-digits. The hero of the game was Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu, who with just three seconds left busted a deep three pointer to put the Magic up by three. Incredible!! The Sixers had once last chance, but couldn’t make the most of it, and the Magic squared the series with Philly. This series may definitely need 7 games to decide a victor. Orlando 84, Philadelphia 81.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the #1 overall seed, the Cleveland Cavaliers, did away with their first round opponent. They marched into Detroit for the second time in this series, and just clobbered the Pistons. The Pistons had no answer for LeBron, and more notably, the overall chemistry of a fierce Cavs team. LeBron had monster game with 36 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists. This Cavs team looks unstoppable right now, and with both #2 Boston, and #3 Orlando struggling, it’s hard to say anybody can even touch these guys. Cleveland 99, Detroit 78.
Finally, it was upon us — THE NFL DRAFT. The Detroit Lions drafted superstar Georgia standout, Matt Stafford, with the #1 pick. And many wondered where the other hot guy on the QB list would go — USC’s Mark Sanchez. Well, in a huge surprise, the New York Jets traded up to the #5 spot and nabbed Sanchez. Jets fans are notorious for coming down to the draft in droves, then booing wildly at Jet draft picks. But when the Jets selected Sanchez, they erupted with cheers…well, at least most of them.
In another surprise, the Oakland Raiders were expected to take a stud receiver with the #7 pick. If Texas Tech phenom Michael Crabtree was still on the board, the Raiders would consider it a blessing. Well, Crabtree was still there, but in the biggest surprise of the draft, the Raiders passed on Crabtree to take Maryland’s Darius Heyward-Bay. Heyward-Bay wasn’t expected to be picked until late first round, but he wound up being the first receiver selected. Why? Because he had a slightly faster time in the 40-yard dash. These stat guys are ruthless. Even though Crabtree’s success in college far surpassed Heyward-Bay’s, the Raiders picked Heyward-Bay because of a statistic. Interesting! However, it was a true gift for the Raiders cross town rival San Francisco 49ers, who gladly took Crabtree when he fell in their lap at the #10 spot. What an exciting draft!No comments
Many were expecting this Boston/Chicago series to be classic. Both Game 1 & Game 2 came down to the wire, and this match-up was quickly becoming a favorite. Thus, Game 3 was on everybody’s radar with the Bulls back in Chi-Town with home court advantage. Ben Gordon and John Salmons, Chicago’s scoring tandem, did what they could do for the Bulls, scoring 15 and 14 points respectively. However, this game was just all Celtics from the get-go. Paul Pierce led the way for Boston with 24 points, as the Celts simply routed the Bulls. Home court advantage meant nothing to Boston, and hopefully the Bulls can get their act back in gear for Game 4. Boston 107, Chicago 86.
Next up it was the San Antonio Spurs traveling to Dallas, with the series knotted at 1. Even though the Spurs are the #3 seed, they might have just run out of gas. This does not look like a very threatening Spurs team, and one of their key scorers, Manu Ginobili, is out for the playoffs. Well, they put up a pitiful scoring effort last night, posting just 67 points. The Mavericks, however, look to be jelling at just the right time. Dirk Nowitzki lit up for the Mavs with 20 points, and the Mavs look like they just might take this series. Dallas 88, San Antonio 67.
A big trade involving the Kansas City Chiefs. Chiefs Pro-Bowl Tight End, Tony Gonzalez, had stated he wanted out of KC. He expects his career won’t last much longer, and he’d like to play for a contender during that stretch. Well, yesterday, he got his wish. The Chiefs traded Gonzalez to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a 2nd round draft pick in 2010. This is great news for Falcons fans, as their offense is starting to look superb. They’ve got an amazing 2nd year quarterback in Matt Ryan, stud receivers in Roddy White and Harry Douglas, a fierce running-back in Michael Turner. And now, throw Gonzalez into the mix, and this offense looks truly lethal. Watch out for the Falcons next season.
The Carolina Panthers have signed their starting quarterback, Jake Delhomme to a 5 year extension. This is a risky move for the Panthers considering Delhomme is getting older and is injury prone, but he played fantastic in ’08, and the Panthers organization thinks he can lead them back to a Super Bowl. It’s also a surprise because in Delhomme’s first and only playoff game last year, he absolutely stunk — throwing for 5 interceptions, and even fumbling the ball. Getting a 5-year extention after that poor performance must mean they truly believe in him.No comments
In the NBA, Wednesday night was about getting even, as a few teams were looking to balance their respective series.
First up, the Orlando Magic looked to bounce back against losing in the final seconds in Game 1 vs. Philly. Well, the Magic clearly got their act in gear, as they dominated almost the entire game. Andre Miller, Philly’s Point Guard, had a great game with 30 points, while the Magic’s superstar, Dwight Howard struggled. He had only 11 points. But, an unlikely hero stepped up for Orlando: Courtney Lee. He led the team with 24 points on the night, and ensured their Game 2 win. The series is now tied at a game a piece heading back to Philly. Orlando 96, Philly 87.
Next up, it was the Miami Heat looking to make things square in Atlanta. People counted out Atlanta in this series, but they proved everyone wrong in Game 1. Could they do it again? Well, MVP candidate, Dwayne Wade took the game into his own hands last night, basically doing whatever he wanted against a lax Atlanta defense. He scored 33 points, and had 7 assists to boot. The Atlanta starters all scored in the double digits, but Wade and Jermaine O’Neal were just too much for the Hawks, and the Heat grabbed Game 2 to balance the series at 1 game a piece. Miami 108, Atlanta 93.
Finally, it was Game 2 between the Denver Nuggets and the New Orleans Hornets. Denver handily took Game 1, and Chris Paul and company were hoping they could get hot and exploit Denver’s weaknesses — namely, defense. Well, Paul had a decent game with 14 points and 13 assists, but his foe on Denver, point guard Chauncey Billups, is simply playing out of his mind. And he’s been this way since arriving in Denver near the beginning of the season. Billups had 31 points on the night, and continues to just pick apart the Hornets. Hopefully, the Hornets will bounce back in New Orleans, but Denver looks like they’re on a mission to win this whole thing. Denver 108, New Orleans 93.
Finally, another award was announced yesterday in the NBA: Rookie of The Year. This is a big deal considering all the hype around big rookies before the season starts (Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love, etc…). Well, the victor, and by a lot, was the #1 overall pick, Derrick Rose. Rose proved this season that he is destined to be a superstar in this league, coming in and playing starting point guard with tremendous success in his rookie season. Now, his Bulls are tied with the defending champion Boston Celtics and headed back to Chicago with home court advantage. They just might win the series over a demoralized, Garnett-less Celtic team. Congratulations to Derrick Rose.1 comment
The playoffs continue in the NBA, with 3 games in action last night.
First up, it was LeBron and the Cavs hosting the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons looked to bounce back, but the Cavs are just too much this season — especially at home. Detroit’s Richard Hamilton did what he could, putting up 17 points, but the Pistons look like a team that has to do some major rebuilding next year. Meanwhile, LeBron had 29 points and 13 rebounds, and just took a seat in the 4th quarter, put (back) on his warm-up pants, and watched his team continue to dismantle the Pistons. The Pistons are hoping that they will get some advantage going back to Detroit, but most expect this series to be a sweep. Cleveland 94, Detroit 82. Cleveland leads series 2-0.
Next up, it was the Blazers hosting the Rockets. The Rockets shocked them in Game 1, and looked to be much better than most believed. However, with a burgeoning superstar in Brandon Roy, the Blazers planned on knotting this series at a game a piece. It was a neck and neck battle, and point guard Aaron Brooks suddenly got hot for the Rockets, scoring 23 points, but the hero of this game… yep, you guessed it, Brandon Roy. He exploded for 42 points and put his mark on the league. This guy is ready for the post-season, and more importantly, prepared to lead his team when it counts. Portland 107, Houston 103. Series tied 1-1.
Finally, it was time for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers to get back in action. This is another series people expect to be four and done. Even Utah Jazz head coach has publicly admitted that he doesn’t really believe the Jazz can beat the Lakers (via subtext of course). The Jazz got off to a slow start, and Lakers pretty much held an average of 10-12 point lead the entire game. Jazz point-guard Deron Williams did his thing, putting up an electric 35 points and 9 assists. Kobe had 26 points and 9 assists, but he also had help, as Pau Gasol contributed 22 points to the bottom line as well, and the rest of the starters also scored in double-digits.
And even though the Celtics didn’t even play last night, they still got some bad news. One of their key reserves, Leon Powe, is now out for the playoffs with a torn ACL. This just makes an already Garnett-less Celtics even more thin. Currently, they’re trying to fight of a ferocious Bulls team, and losing clutch bench guys won’t make this uphill task any easier. Unfortunately, even if they do get past Chicago, they might make an early exit in Round 2.No comments
In the NBA playoffs, it was a thriller in Boston. The Chicago Bulls came into Game 2 having beat the Celtics in the final seconds of Game 1. Now, the Celts looked to even things out. The game stayed close the whole way, as this Bulls team is certainly for real. Derrick Rose was a bit cold last night, only scoring 10, but their other guards, Ben Gordon, had 42 points. But the evening belonged to Ray Allen, who has been in a shooting slump. In the closing seconds, with the game tied at 115, Ray Allen grabbed a screen pass from Paul Pierce, then hoisted a shot up from 3-point land with a hand in his face, and… SWISH!!! Celtics win!!! The series is now knotted at a game a piece. Boston 118, Chicago 115.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs were looking to even the series against Dallas. Dallas upset the Spurs in the opener, but Spurs point-guard Tony Parker (Eva Longoria’s husband) had no plans to lose another one at home. He had 38 points on the night, and 8 assists to boot. The Mavs were cold, as their leading scorer, Dirk Nowitzki, had only 14 points. Now, the series travels across the state to Dallas, where the Mavs hope to have an advantage. San Antonio 105, Dallas 84.
Also, some new members have entered this year’s NBA Draft Class. Ricky Rubio from Spain, who played fantastic in the Olympics, almost even beating the United States in the Gold Medal game, and Tyreeke Evans from Memphis, who was heavily responsible for Memphis’ marvelous season. These two guys will shake up the draft order — especially Rubio, as he could go as low as mid 1st round, and as high as #2 in the draft. We shall see.
Finally, in the NFL, a huge free agent signing. Earlier this off-season, the St. Louis Rams parted ways with their superstar wide receiver, Tory Holt. He was getting old, and the Rams decided not to resign him long-term. Well, playing the market, Holt found a nice new home in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have had a great running game, a solid defense, and the only big thing missing was their passing attack. They had no play makers. Well, with the addition of Holt, this offense could really become quite scary. He opens up the field, and if the Jags can nab another phenom in the draft, they could be Super Bowl bound.No comments
The playoffs were under way in the NBA, and there were some shockers right off the bat (or the rim).
First off, it was the #6 seed Philadelphia 76ers v. #3 seed Orlando Magic. The Magic have been a bit cold as of late, but the playoffs make things different. A cold team can suddenly become hot. Well, this is what happened, but not for the Magic. The 76ers were down by 18 at one point, but battled back to keep things close in the 4th quarter. Then, with the game tied at 98, and only three seconds on the clock, the Sixers Andre Iguodala did a beautiful fake out move at the top of the key, then shot a falling fade-away and… SWISH! The Sixers up by 2 with just 2.2. The Magic took one last shot, but it didn’t fall, and the Sixers get the upset to open the series. Philadelphia 100, Orlando 98.
Elsewhere, it was the #5 Miami Heat v. the #4 Atlanta Hawks. Even though Atlanta was ranked higher coming into the series, all the buzz has been around Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat. Both Wade and Heat have looked awesome as of late, and people were pretty much penciling them in for the second round. Well, the Hawks weren’t too keen on that, as they came out and trounced the Heat in Game 1. Wade had only 19 points, but all five of Atlanta’s starters were in double digits. Now that’s team ball. Did we count out the Hawks too soon? Atlanta 90, Miami 64,
Sunday also marked the debut of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers quest to get back to the championship and win a title. They would have to get by a pesky Utah Jazz team, but fortunately for the Lakers, the Jazz are a bit banged up now (not that it really matters, because the Lakers would beat them at full strength too). Carlos Boozer led the way for Utah with 27 points, but Kobe was hot on the other end with 24 points and 8 assists, as the Lakers easily took Game 1. LA Lakers 113, Utah 100.
And in baseball, the Dodgers continued their hot start, winning their 8th straight game. The Dodgers Matt Kemp had a stunning two home runs on the day, as the Dodgers demolished the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers appear to be quite serious this year about winning a World Series. They did everything in their power to sign Manny Ramirez in the off-season, and although he’s been off to a slow start, they know he will come around and add even more force to their current tremendous team. Watch out for the Dodgers this season! They could be historic. LA Dodgers 14, Colorado 2.No comments
In the NHL playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins appear to be off on the right start. They opened the series against Philadelphia with a win, and seem to be pushing the Flyers to the brink. What’s hurt Philly so much is all the penalties, and it definitely cost them the game last night as they had two players in the penalty box during the overtime session. That gave the Penguins a 5 on 3 advantage in terms of players on the ice, and then Bill Guerin scored his second goal of the game to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead in the series. Pittsburgh 3, Philadelphia 2.
In baseball, the storied career of Gary Sheffield now has another asset to add. Sheffield blasted his 500th home run against Milwaukee yesterday to become the 25th player to reach 500 home-runs. Sheffield was always known to be a power hitter in the first stages of his career, which earned him a roster spot on the Yankees for quite a while. Now he’s on the Mets, and looks like he’s got some good baseball life left in him. And the Mets went on to win the game to boot. NY Mets 5, Milwaukee 4.
Elsewhere in baseball, the NY Yankees were still looking for their first win in the NEW Yankee Stadium. Cleveland had really turned it up a notch against them (basically because everyone wants to beat the Yankees, especially in their new expensive terrain). However, in the 8th inning, the hero, Derek Jeter crushed a home run to put the Yanks up one. Then, the veteran Mariano Rivera came in, iced the Indians in the top of the 9th, and nabbed the save. Yep, for you trivia buffs 50 years from now, the Yankees first win in the new Yankee stadium came against Cleveland. NY Yankees 6, Cleveland 5.
But, the Yankees better be careful, because it looks like the Boston Red Sox are starting to pull it together this season. They’ve been off to a slow start, and looked to break that yesterday against Baltimore. They were down seven runs, and looked horrific, but then rallied behind clutch home runs from J.D. Drew and Jason Bay. Now, they seemingly appear to be the Red Sox we all know and hate (well, if you’re a Yankee fan). The first showdown between the Red Sox and the Yankees in the new Yankee Stadium is going to be a grueling battle. Boston 10, Baltimore 8.No comments