WATERCOOLER CHAT: THUNDER ROARS BACK, ARMSTRONG UNDER SCRUTINY, BECK DUBS HIMSELF QB

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, it was Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks.  The Mavs took Game 1 behind a stellar game from Dirk Nowitzki, but the Thunder came out with a fire in Game 2.  Sure, the Mavs had the early lead, but the Thunder were just too poised and came roaring back.  Kevin Durant had 24 points and James Harden, an emerging star, contributed 23.  The Mavs kept it close, and, in a shocking move, Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks benched their all-star point-guard Russell Westbrook.  Westbrook was ball-hogging it, not passing the ball, and Brooks sat him throughout the 4th quarter — even during crunch time.   A few starters were benched actually in favor of a reserve bench that came on strong (led by excellent point-guard play from Eric Maynor).  And those reserves were actually able to hold a narrow lead and win the game.  This series is far from over — look for some amazing basketball in the coming week.  OKC 106, Dallas 100.

CYCLING

And in some cycling news, it looks like superstar cyclist Lance Armstrong is under scrutiny again.  Over the past few years, he has been scrutinized for taking some type of performance-enhancing substance during his miraculous Tour de France winning run from 1999 – 2005.  Now, a former teammate is saying that he witnessed Armstrong take a substance called EPO — which is a blood-booster.  The former teammate said he saw EPO in Armstrong’s refrigerator, in addition to testosterone and even a blood-transfusion.  The Tour De France is for some of the most amazing athletes in the world, and hearing that they might try to give themselves a lift is no shock (after all they ride miles and miles up mountains).  Sure, there’s still no proof that Armstrong is doping in any way, but the cycling community seems out to prove that he needed help of some kind.

FOOTBALL

Finally, some funny news from the NFL.  John Beck recently dubbed himself the starting quarterback of the Washington Redskins.  He did this in the media, despite the fact that the Skins have both Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman on their roster AND players aren’t even talking to coaches right now.  On top of that, John Beck hasn’t even won a game in the NFL.  He’s been a perpetual back-up. Skins back-up Rex Grossman has come out and called himself the starter, saying, “I’m the starter here as far as I’m concerned”.  Then Grossman followed this up by saying that his statement was just an assumption, because he doesn’t even know if the team will re-sign him.  Grossman mused, “I’m assuming a lot of things right now”.

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