Archive for May, 2009
It was do-or-die night for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They were down 3-1 to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals, and needed a win to stay in the playoffs. Fortunately for the Cavs, the game was on their home court, where they have been extremely difficult to beat. From the get-go, LeBron and gang jumped out to a 22 point lead. But, the Magic were incredibly resilient behind Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu, who finished the night with 24 and 29 points respectively. With that said, the 4th quarter simply belonged to LeBron James. He finished the evening with 37 points, 12 assists, and 14 rebounds. Incredible!! Another Triple-Double for LeBron. Now, the question is… can the Cavs beat the Magic in Orlando and bring Game 7 back home? Will the Magic finish the job, or fold under pressure? This game will really show what LeBron is made of. Cleveland 112, Orlando 102.
Elsewhere in the sports world, some controversy out of college basketball. The Memphis Tigers are under allegations for recruiting violations. The claim states that Memphis ignored the fact that their star player, Derrick Rose (last year’s #1 draft pick) took a fraudulent SAT test. There is a minimum score that athletes need to get in order to play collegiate basketball. Well, it appears that Derrick Rose may have had a High School teammate take the test for him. Where it gets thicker is that if Memphis is found guilty of this, it would tarnish that year’s great season. The NCAA might remove all their stats from the book. This also puts two strikes against their head coach at the time, John Calipari. He also was under suspicion of fraudulent recruiting when he coached UMASS with Marcus Camby. We shall see how this story unfolds.
And finally, some glorious news out of the NFL world. Not important news, but Boston fans are cheering everywhere. Yesterday… Tom Brady worked out in full padding. Now, this may seem irrelevent, but if you are a Patriots fan (or hater), this symbolizes that Brady is back — and by proxy, perhaps the dominant Patriot team of 2007. The Pats let go of Matt Cassell this off-season, because they had full confidence in their king (Brady). They are banking on the gamble that he is fully healthy, and ready to lead New England back to the promised land. Seeing him in full uniform throwing passes, either gave all Pats fans hope, or all Pats haters… severe anxiety.No comments
A pivotal game in the Western Conference Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers. The teams have volleyed wins, and were tied at two a piece coming into the game. Even the expert analysts weren’t sure whom to predict as victor. And LA fans knew that if the Lakers didn’t win the game, it might be the last time they see the Lakeshow in Gold for the season. Well, the first half was absolutely riveting with the game neck and neck up until the break. It stayed close in the 3rd, but midway through the 4th the Lakers began to pull away. Carmelo Anthony had another superb night for the Nuggets with 31 points, and Denver even cut the lead to 4 with 5 minutes to play. But — the Lakers were just too much down the stretch. Kobe Bryant finished with an average 22 points, but that’s all the Lakers needed to secure the key victory, and go up 3-2. LA Lakers 103, Denver 94.
Elsewhere in sports, it was the Super Bowl of soccer yesterday, as the final game of the UEFA Champions league took place. For those that don’t know, the Champions League is comprised of the best soccer teams in all of the European Leagues from the previous season. And this year, the championship game came down to the best two teams in the world: Manchester United v. Barcelona. This is essentially like Yankees vs. Red Sox, except 10x more important on a world scale. These two teams have gigantic payrolls and employ the absolute best (celebrity) soccer players in the world (Messi, Ronaldo, Eto’o, Henry). Well, it was simply Barcelona’s day, as they got goals from Eto’o and Messi to beat Manchester United. Again, Americans might not care, but the rest of the world practically stops for this game.
Finally, in baseball, a milestone is about to be set. Wednesday, ace pitcher Randy Johnson won his 299th game against the Atlanta Braves. Some of you might know him better as “The Big Unit”, and he played his glory years in Seattle and Arizona — even winning a world series for the Diamondbacks. Johnson also has a perfect game to his credit (also against the Braves), and is now playing for the San Francisco Giants. Well, he is on the brink of 300 wins, which is a tremendous achievement for a pitcher. To have that kind of durability and baseball IQ to capture so many wins is truly remarkable.No comments
This Memorial Day Weekend gave us some excellent NBA playoff games.
On Sunday Night, it was Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic. Cleveland took Game 2 with a miracle shot by LeBron James with 1 second remaining, and the Magic were looking to take the series lead on their home court. LeBron and Cavs were easily the team to beat coming into this series, but the Magic are playing their best basketball of the season right now. LeBron did his thing, putting up an insane 41 points and 9 assists, but the Magic just seem to be clicking out there. They had 5 players in double figures in Game 3, with Dwight Howard leading the way with 24 points. Now, the Magic are up 2-1, with Game 4 Tuesday night. Orlando 99, Cleveland 89.
And Monday night, the Denver Nuggets hoped to even the series at 2 games. Kobe’s heroics allowed the Lakers to take Game 3, and with the series headed back to Los Angeles for Game 5, this was a must-win situation for Denver. Well, Kobe had 34 points, and Pau Gasol had a nice game with 21, but Denver was in THE ZONE. Chauncey Billups and J.R. Smith each had 24 points, and the rest of the Nugget squad is really jelling right now. Carmelo Anthony had an off night, and the Nuggets were still able to step it up. Now, with the series tied at 2, Game 5 is a must-watch pivotal game. If the Nuggets win, they will have the chance to close out the series on their home court in Game 6. Denver 120, LA Lakers 101.
In some sad news, former boxing super heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, is going through some serious family strife. His four year old daughter accidentally got caught in a treadmill wire, with the wire acting as a noose. She was unable to get free, and is now listed in critical condition at the hospital. Mike Tyson was in Vegas when he heard the news, and instantly returned to his home in Phoenix to be with his family. We wish the Tyson family the best, and hope for a recovery.
A-Rod made his triumphant comeback against none other than his former team… The Texas Rangers. This wouldn’t be too big a deal, except that the reason for Alex Rodriquez suspension was his admission of taking steroids while playing for the Rangers. Of course, A-Rod was booed beyond belief last night, but he played great, even putting up 5 hits. The Yankees are rolling now, and A-Rod’s reinstatement is only going to make them stronger. Meanwhile, the Rangers are also in first place, and if things (possibly) stay the way they are, the Yanks and Rangers could meet for a playoff series at season’s end. Could A-Rod come to Arlington, TX in a playoff environment??? NY Yankees 11, Texas 1.No comments
Last night, it was Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. Kobe and the Lakers won Game 1 with some last second heroics, and the Nuggets needed to put that behind them and collect themselves for Game 2. It was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams all the way until the end. Kobe Bryant was, of course, at it again with 32 points. But it seems like the true star of this series is Denver’s Carmelo Anthony. It’s as if he has something to prove. He lit it up again for 34 points, and helped lead the Nuggets to a Game 2 victory. This series is shaping up to be one of the best Conference Finals ever, and Carmelo Anthony is truly establishing himself as a bonafide superstar in the NBA. Denver 106, LA Lakers 103.
There has been some off-season QB controversy in Cleveland. Last year, they jockeyed quarterbacks between Derek Anderson and Notre Dame stand-out Brady Quinn. Well, they were both rather disappointing, and new head coach Eric Mangini said the QBs would battle it out for the starting job. Well, yesterday Mangini publicly said (and also informed the press not to read that much into it) that Brady Quinn has the slight edge in the competition. Of course, the press ran with this, practically dubbing Quinn the starter. In reality, the Browns woes extend far beyond just who’s under center.
And in baseball, the ice-cold New York Yankees, have recently been… red-hot. They have been on an 8 game winning streak, and were looking for #9 against Baltimore. Their star pitcher, Joba Chamberlin, was unfortunately knocked out of the game in the first inning after being struck by a line drive. The Yankees Robinson Cano and Hideki Matsui hit some clutch home runs to keep the Yankees on top, and get their 9th straight win. Wow — for a team that looked like they were headed nowhere fast, they look pretty fantastic. And lets not forget that A-Rod will still be joining them. NY Yankees 7, Baltimore 4.
Finally, there was a major trade announced in baseball yesterday, but it didn’t exactly end perfectly. Reportedly, the San Diego Padres intended to trade their star pitcher Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox. Normally, that’s all there is to it. But later on in the day, Jake Peavy rejected the trade and decided that, for the time being, San Diego was the right spot for him. More notably, this is certainly self-interested, as many experts think that Jake Peavy wants to stay in the National League, and also wants to play for a contender (possibly the Braves or Dodgers). For those wondering why he wants to stay in the National League — it’s essentially because pitchers keep track of all the batters they face. They face players within the league multiple times over the course of a few seasons, and they learn how to pitch to them. Switching leagues basically means that you need to start researching batters and hitting styles from scratch. We’ll see how this story develops.No comments
It was a major night in Los Angeles in the sports world.
First up, it was the annual NBA Draft Lottery to determine which team gets to draft first overall. This is a big deal because one player could turn a team around entirely. This year’s prize is Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin. He is the undisputed #1 pick in the draft, and many experts feel that not much is available after that. The team with the best chance of getting the top pick was the league’s worst team — the Sacramento Kings. The best odds for #2 was the Washington Wizards. Well, both team lost out, as Sacramento fell to 4th and Washington 5th. And this year’s #1 pick belongs to… The Los Angeles Clippers. And boy do they need it. They will almost definitely select Griffin, or possibly trade the pick for some much needed talent. It was an upset #1 pick, but they got it. Congrats to the Clips.
Next up, it was the opening game of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets. This matchup was highly anticipated, as they Lakers haven’t been playing their best ball lately, and the Nuggets look a lot better than anyone thought. The Nuggets got off to an early lead, and also had the lead heading into the 4th. Carmelo Anthony played out of his mind, putting up 39 points. The Nuggets started to pull away a little bit, but the Lakers just wouldn’t go away.
Then… came the miracle play. With the Lakers up 2 points with just 30 seconds remaining, the Nuggets needed to inbound. And since the Nuggets were ‘on’, there was a good chance they would tie the game. Well, just as they threw the ball in, the Lakers Trevor Ariza read the telegraphed pass, and practically came out of nowhere to steal the ball. It was incredible, and that pretty much sealed the deal for the Nuggets. A tremendous effort by the Lakeshow to steal Game 1 BACK from the Nuggets — who were poised to win the game, up by as many as 9 in the 4th quarter. Plus, Kobe was Kobe, finishing the night with 40 points. This should be a fantastic series. Los Angeles 105, Denver 103.
And finally, some news out of the NFL. Michael Vick was officially released from prison yesterday, but he has told his agent that he plans to put football on the back burner for now. This doesn’t mean he won’t play next season, or doesn’t WANT to play next season, but rather he just wants to focus on his family first. Plus, Michael Vick needs to be reinstated by the NFL. He can’t just CHOOSE to play. And for this to happen, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he wants to see Vick really make amends for his crime. He wants to see a sincere Vick looking for a second chance — not just a guy looking for some quick money and contract. This story will continue, and it will certainly be riveting.No comments
All four teams are playoffs are at rest prepping for the Conference.
In other NBA news, it looks like the feud between Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Denver Nuggets Power Forward Kenyon Martin is far from over. Cuban made some harsh remarks towards Kenyon’s mother, and then later apologized on his blog for it. Well, in Kenyon’s eyes — this was cowardly. Martin felt that Cuban was hiding behind his blog and not facing Kenyon or his mother face to face. In response to this, Mark Cuban said that this is a two way street, criticizing Martin for not apologizing to those he upset in Dallas. Cuban cited an example where Kenyon called a secretary for the Mavericks organization a fat B****, or told a fan he would Beat the F*** out of him. It seems that Cuban is unafraid to keep the grudge going.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden has found a new job. Gruden was let go as Bucs head coach as one of their first off-season moves. They felt that even though he won them a Super Bowl, it had just served up too many average teams over the years. Well, now Gruden has a temp gig until he finds a new coaching gig. He’ll be a featured voice on Monday Night Football next season. Gruden will replace Pardon the Interruption host Tony Kornheiser in the booth. This should be a refreshing voice, as Gruden has been known to ‘say what he feels’. Monday Night Football is quickly becoming a must watch on ESPN.
Elsewhere in the NFL, the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers were invited to visit Barack Obama in the White House. James Harrison, one of the heroes from the Steeler Super Bowl victory (to refresh your memory — he was the defensive back who intercepted and ran back a 100 yard touchdown). He said he just wasn’t interested in attending the ceremony, and didn’t feel honored whatsoever by the invitation. Why? Harrison said that if the Cardinals had held on to win the game, Obama would have invited them instead. Basically, Harrison felt the invitation wasn’t necessarily honorary, but rather arbitrary. Either way, James Harrison will not be at the White House to shake Obama’s hand.No comments
There were two Game 7’s in action on Sunday, each with a prize of a spot in the Conference Finals.
First up, it was the Los Angeles Lakers vs. a very pesky Houston Rockets team. Houston has been absolutely resilient playing without their two best players — Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. But they have been able to force the mighty Lakers into a Game 7. Unfortunately, however, the Rockets were simply out of gas by the end, and Kobe and the Lakers were in get-it-done mode. The Lakers led throughout the game, and Pau Gasol had a monster day for the Lakeshow with 21 points and 18 rebounds. The Lakers advanced with ease, and now must face an extremely dangerous Denver Nuggets team that thinks they can beat anybody right now. Plus, keep in mind that Kobe will have to travel to Denver in a playoff environment. And because of his serious trial there, he isn’t exactly well liked. LA Lakers 89, Houston 70.
Next up, it was a prime time matchup between the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics. This was the second Game 7 Boston had to deal with in the playoffs, as the Chicago Bulls pushed them to the brink in Round 1. Plus, this series was just as good as the Bulls/Celtics series, as a few of the games came down to last minute clutch shots. Well, Boston did what they could behind a key performance from Ray Allen (he had 23 points), but the Magic simply played better and wanted it more. Their man was Hedo Turkoglu, who put up 25 points and 12 assists. Dwight Howard also had a great game nabbing 16 rebounds. This sets up an incredible matchup between the hungry Magic and seemingly invinsible Cleveland Cavaliers. And as an item of note, the last time they played, Orlando crushed the Cavs. This will be a great series. Orlando 101, Boston 82.
The biggest surprise of the baseball season so far has been the Toronto Blue Jays. They have come out of nowhere to sit atop the super competitive AL East (a division which boasts the Yankees, Red Sox, and last year’s World Series reps — The Devil Rays). And a big contributor to all of this has been their ace pitcher, Roy Halladay. On Sunday he went for a major league leading 8th win against the Chicago White Sox. Well, he got it with ease, even striking out 8 batters. He is on fire this season, and the city of Toronto is stoked that they have the long dormant Blue Jays to root for again. Toronto 8, Chicago White Sox 2.
And in some Olympic related news — Michael Phelps is swimming again. But this does not look like the same Michael Phelps who won a record 8 gold medals in last year’s Olympic Games. In fact, he lost the 100m freestyle, an event that is really all about speed swimming. He finished second to French superstar Frederick Bousquet. Of course Phelps was very hard on his efforts after the match, but bottom line — he seems beatable right now.2 comments
In the NBA, two important Game 6’s.
First up, it was the Orlando Magic playing host to the Boston Celtics in a must-win situation. The Celtics did what they could and kept it close, and Rajon Rondo had a brilliant night with 19 points and 16 rebounds. But… the Magic simply wanted it more, and had no intentions of going quietly into the night. Dwight “Superman” Howard was the hero for the Magic with 23 points, and, count ’em, 22 REBOUNDS. The C’s simply had no answer for him, and the Magic would prevail. Game 7 is Sunday night, 8pm ET. Orlando 83, Boston 75.
Next up, it was another crucial Game 6 between the Lakers and the Rockets. The Rockets are without their superstar Yao Ming, but have seemed to jell even more without him. While they did get trounced by the Lakeshow in Game 5, they sure did bounce back for a do-or-die Game 6. Kobe Bryant did everything in his power to try and get the Lakers a win, finishing the night with 32 points, but the Rockets simply left everything they had on the court. Aaron Brooks and Luis Scola were the main dudes for the Rockets, scoring 26 and 24 points respectively, and led the Rockets to a victory. Now, like the Celtics/Magic series, a deciding game 7 waits for them on Sunday night after the Boston/Orlando match-up. Wow, Sunday is going to be insane. Houston 95, LA Lakers 80.
Finally, in some NFL/entertainment news, HBO has decided on this year’s team for their annual Hard Knocks series. For the past few years, HBO thoroughly chronicles an NFL team as they go through training camp. We’ve seen the Ravens, the Chiefs, and the Cowboys. But this year, they’ve truly chosen a great team to watch. That’s right, the Cincinnati Bengals are on display. This is special because the Bengals have been a team in absolute disarray. They have numerous ‘troublemakers’ on their roster, many of whom have been arrested, and are infamous for having “chemistry” in the clubhouse. Now… we get to see all the behind-the-scenes action. Get ready for the sparks to fly on HBO. It’s gonna be great!No comments
In the NBA, an amazing game between the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics. It was a pivotal Game 5, and with the series tied at 2, both teams needed the win badly. Well, it looked like the Magic wanted it more, as they had the lead heading into the 4th quarter. Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu did the most damage for the Magic, scoring 19 and 18 points respectively. But, just when the Magic thought they had the game won, the Celtics came surging back, led by their 1.2 million mid-season insurance policy, Stephon Marbury. Marbury finished with 12 BIG points, and acted as the catalyst for their late game surge. Down 9 with 6 minutes left, the Celts were able to battle back, and with a key 3-pointer by Ray Allen with a little over a minute left, the Celtics took the lead and would hang on for the victory. The primary reason: The Magic were absolutely abysmal down the stretch. They looked like a High School team. It’s almost as if the Celtics stole a game from the Magic in Boston Garden. Now, the series heads back to Orlando, and it’s do-or-die for the Magic. Boston 92, Orlando 88.
Next up, it was the Houston Rockets taking on the Los Angeles Lakers with the series tied at 2. The Rockets were without Yao Ming for Game 4, but it was if that made them want it more. They destroyed the Lakers in Houston without BOTH of their star players (Yao Ming & Tracy McGrady). Unfortunately for Houston, the Lakers had no intentions of giving them another game, as Kobe and LA came out and destroyed Houston last night. Kobe had 26 on the night, and Pau Gasol had 16. Plus, the Lakers bench came to play. So now the Rockets must win at home, or their post-season is complete. And even if they do hang on, they really don’t have the firepower to hang with the Lakeshow. LA Lakers 118, Houston 78.
And finally, the Mark Cuban/Kenyon Martin soap opera seems to have come to an end. Nuggets star forward Kenyon Martin was upset with Cuban for yelling at his mother, and Cuban came out publicly and apologized to KMart’s mothe in his blog. Cuban said, “No one takes more abuse and gets more threats on the road than I do. So I know exactly how it feels. I’ve also had my family and friends spit on at games in this series. So I know how unpleasant that is as well. Cuban closed by saying, “so at this point I would like to apologize to you and your mom, KMart, for my comment. I should have not said anything and I was wrong. Hopefully you will accept the apology and we can move on.” From Cuban’s POV, this is finished, but Kenyon Martin may not be satisfied.No comments
First up, it was the Cavs looking to sweep yet another series this first season. They were up 3-0 on the Hawks, and Atlanta was hoping to at least get one victory in front of their home crowd. Well, didn’t happen. The Cavs are just too fluid and too powerful for anybody to get close to them. Josh Smith had a nice game for the Hawks with 26 points, but LeBron was the hero of the game with 27. Now the Cavs advance to play the winner of the Magic/Celtics series. And those teams are beating each other up so badly, it’s hard to imagine either team having the energy left to face Cleveland. Cleveland 84, Atlanta 74.
Next up, it was the Dallas Mavericks against the Denver Nuggets. The Mavs are down 3-0 in the series, and were (like Atlanta) hoping to get at least one win at home. Well, UNLIKE the Hawks, they put up a fight. The Nuggets led at halftime, but the Mavs would come surging back in the 2nd half. While the had trouble stopping Carmelo Anthony (who finished the nigh with 41 POINTS), it was Dirk Nowitzki that was the playmaker in the 4th quarter. He had 19 of his 44 points in the 4th quarter, and definitely carried the Mavs on his back. It worked, as Dallas survived Denver’s onslaught, and will get the chance to play a Game 5. Dallas 119, Denver 117.
Elsewhere in the NBA, it looks like the drama from Game 4 of the Boston/Orlando series continues. Here’s the story: When Glen “Big Baby” Davis hit the gamewinning shot, he was so excited, he ran down the baseline and pushed a 12-year old fan out of the way. No HUGE deal, but now the boy’s father is demanding that Glen Davis apologize to his son. The man in question is Ernest Provetti, and he told an Orlando newspaper, that Davis was like a “raging animal with no regard for fans’ personal safety.” Provetti said it’s doubtful that Davis will actual do anything, but he did want to shed light on the issue.
And finally, in some more NBA soap opera news, it appears that Mark Cuban is in hot water again. This time… it’s for yelling at an opposing player’s mother. After losing Game 3 to Denver, Cuban walked back to the locker room shouting, and then had some words for an older woman. Well, that woman was the mother of Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin. When asked what he would do about the issue, Martin said, “I’m gonna handle it. Not in the media, but in person, face to face”. The media continued to press him for details, but Martin kept private and repeated that he plans to handle it with Cuban one-on-one. This could get nasty. You just don’t mess with the Moms!!! We’ll see how it develops.No comments