Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wednesday A.M. Quickie:
Heat Are Defending Chumps?

My favorite part about the first game of any major pro sports season is that it's the ultimate moment for Instant History:

(1a) The Bulls routed the Heat by 42 points in Miami: The Bulls are ready to take over as the best team in the East! (Oh, who predicted THAT?)

(1b) And coming off a title, have the Heat players lost their motivation?! (Uh, didn't predict THAT.)

(2a) *Without Kobe*, the Lakers beat the Suns: So much for my pick of the Suns as the best in the West (or my pick of the Lakers as destined to miss the playoffs).

(2b) And let the speculation begin: Could it be that the Lakers better off without Kobe?! (Hmm: Maybe they should build their team around man-child sophomore C Andrew Bynum, who had 18 pts, 9 reb and 5 ast.)

Tonight's NBA slate is a packed one, with the featured matchup being the most popular player in the NBA (LeBron James) vs. the player who SHOULD be the most popular (Gilbert Arenas).

More on today's top storylines:

Shawne Merriman will sit his 4 games for using steroids, without an appeal. It's an implicit admission of guilt, but more trouble for the Chargers' defense to lose its best player.

The Bulls signed Kirk Hinrich to a 5-year contract extension ($47.5M), and he must have felt either liberated or motivated, because he led all scorers last night with 26 points.

What do the Suns and Heat share – besides an opening-night "L" in the standings? Both are rumored to be in the running for paid-off ex-Knick Jalen Rose, who seems like a good fit on either. Hmm: Which team would YOU rather play for? The defending champ or the fun-n-run contender?

MLB Free Agency: My Top 3 most intriguing free-agents, in order: (1) Daisuke Matsuzaka, because he could command a package of up to $100 million (and we all know starting pitching is everything); (2) Barry Bonds, who will likely break the all-time HR record in whatever uniform he's wearing in 2007 (I love the idea of a reunion with Jim Leyland in Detroit); (3) Barry Zito, because he's the best (not to mention most expensive) domestic starting pitcher available.

Texas Tech hoops problems: Hold off on those predictions of a Top 15 season, friends. Red Raiders leading scorer Jarrius Jackson has been suspended indefinitely for academics.

It's going to be official today: Curtis Martin's season is over. The only question is whether his CAREER is over, and how soon we can start the clock ticking for his Hall of Fame induction.

What do the Maryland women's hoops team and the Florida men's hoops team have in common? Both won the national title last year, both return all five starters and both are No. 1 in their coaches' preseason poll.

Only one more day until the first half of college football's de facto national-title semifinal showdown. Much more tomorrow...

And, in today's sad story, 111-year-old former Negro League player Silas Simmons – who it feels like fans only these last few months got to know about – died yesterday. Truly the end of an era.

-- D.S.


Unsilent Majority said...

Only two words need to be uttered today.


Jake C said...

I don't think anyone in the East will be able to match up well with the Bulls. They have too much energy and depth (as seen last night)...and Thomas might have the most, that kid was everywhere. Plus, that defense is STIFLING!

Brian in Oxford said...

Usually, it's the Marlins that stink it up the year after a title down in Miami.

I'm interested in seeing what the Celtics will do for Red tonight. (although I'm not sure my cable has FSN.....but can't you get the league pass for free the first week of the season on the channels in the 400s?)

Mega said...

Tyrus Thomas broke his nose. Here comes the mask!

Nice win by the Bulls though. They are pretty deep and have 4 different guys who can drop nearly 30 a night if the other guys are shooting cold.

With the addition of Wallace I think the Bulls are a legit title contender.

Greg said...

re: Oh Shit!!!

I saw Bob at a "Price is Right" taping a few months ago. He seems like he lost a step or two, but still did a great job, and everyone still loves him.

35 years with the same show, 50 years in the business... what would be the fportf equivalent to Mr. Barker?

(And since he announced this during the season, I wonder when Michael Irvin will call him a distraction...)

TBender said...

Re: Bulls vs Heat

Further proof that any NBA game played before New Years' is worthless.

rukrusher said...

After watching last nights ring ceremony I am not sure Shaq is going to be able to play himself into shape for next season let alone a nother playoff run. The Big Diesel looked very content getting that ring. How many years till Shaq retires?

Gary said...

I think the sports equilivant of Bob Barker just died. Red Auerbach

Unknown said...

Three of four teams last night scored over 100 points - yep that new ball has destroyed the scoring in the NBA.

EPorvaznik said...

With all due respect to Gary's Red Auerbach call, with which I agree, hard not to mention (even for me) Joe Paterno. In his 41st season as head coach and on the Nittany Lions staff since 1950. The little wop could still probably kick all our asses, too.

Polack Porvaznik