Saturday, May 02, 2009

Where Joakim Noah Happens

As THE defining play of the NBA Playoffs (so far), this play deserved the "Where ____ Happens" treatment.

Saturday 05/02 (Very) Quickie

Waiting for Celtics-Bulls Game 7...

Derby: What does it say when the best horse in the world right now -- Rachel Alexandra -- isn't racing in the Kentucky Derby, but cruised to a win in the Kentucky Oaks (...ladies).

NBA Playoffs: Heat-Hawks is going to a Game 7, too. It's just not as exciting as Celtics-Bulls, sorry. And won't the winner of Atlanta-Miami get crushed by the Cavs in 4 or 5 anyway?

MLB: AL East mania. Sox still can't solve the Rays... Yanks got a much-needed late rally... Jays remain the class of the division (fluke? well, just check out the AL-leading run differential).

More later.

-- D.S.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Obamaball: No. 44 Beats Unbeaten UConn

I cannot get enough video of Barack Obama playing hoops. In this clip, he greets the UConn Huskies -- and beats them in P-I-G. That would be their first loss of the season, right?

Possible Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor: Resolved 1994 Baseball Strike

As you see the names of possible Supreme Court nominees to replace David Souter, the one that comes up at the top is Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

She has a direct sports hook: She was the judge who ultimately resolved the 1994 baseball strike. If she can do that, navigating the thicket of Constitutional issues the Court sees should be easy.

-- D.S.

John Wooden Meets THE_REAL_SHAQ

If John Wooden's Pyramid of Success met Shaq's Twitter feed: This is brilliant. (h/t: TK)

Friday 05/01 A.M. Quickie:
Bulls, Rockets, Derby, Rays, More

Yes, that WAS Joakim Noah with the signature play of last night's epic Bulls win over the Celtics. (Take that, Joakim-haters!)

It was virtually impossible to think that the series could produce a better game than 4 of the previous 5. But it was so much better. How could it NOT lead today's SN column?

It's not unreasonable to throw out the superlative: Best. 1st Round NBA Playoff Series. Ever.

Here's why: Can you remember any, ever? Maybe Nuggets over Sonics in '94, but wasn't that simply for the novelty of the 8-over-1 upset factor, not the quality of the games themselves?

This series is amazing for the actual gameplay. And you don't even have to be a fan of either team to appreciate. Or a loyal fan of the NBA. This is the series for the Everyfan.

The one problem for the NBA: Where can things go up from here? They can't. No matter how Game 7 goes, no series can possibly compare -- not even Kobe vs. LeBron in the Finals.

So let's all appreciate that we have one last game left in this epic Celtics-Bulls series. We'll all be able to say "Man, remember Celtics-Bulls '09? How amazing was THAT?"

Meanwhile: Which is the more remarkable advancement to the 2nd round -- Nuggets or Rockets? The Nuggets added Billups: They SHOULD have advanced. The Rockets added Artest, but didn't have T-Mac: Hmm, maybe they SHOULD have advanced, too. The Rockets had a much tougher opponent and no HCA -- this was a breakthrough for them.

MLB: Is it possible that the Rays' turnaround from a slow start to 2009 started last night with their 13-0 obliteration of the Red Sox? Absolutely.

Complete column here. More later. Stop back at 11:30. By then, it might be everywhere, but it's the most clever sports conceit I have seen in 2009. (Not done by me, obviously -- it's a link.)

-- D.S.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jeremy Tyler and the NBA D-League Option

Must-read from the blog 48 Minutes of Hell on why the NBA's D-League is a fantastic fit for Jeremy Tyler and -- in fact -- any player (at any age) that wants to put pro development first.

I hope my old friend Dan Reed -- Commissioner of the D-League (and, I predict, a future Commissioner of the NBA itself) -- checks this out. It is right in line with the D's role as NBA R&D.

-- D.S.

UPDATE: Ridiculous Upside also covered this angle.

Thursday 04/30 A.M. Quickie:
A-Rod, Rondo, Hawks, Greinke, Caps

To lead today's SN column, I cannot muster much outrage about the latest A-Rod allegations. Or about Rajon Rondo not being suspended for his hit on Brad Miller. Or, really, about much.

For A-Rod, it's "what ELSE would you think?" For Rondo, it's "It's the CELTICS, people." Outrage is overrated, a wasted emotion.

Besides, if Rondo WAS suspended, the outrage would be on the side of the conspiracy nuts who think the NBA orchestrated a 7th game in their best playoff series.

I can't even get outraged about Brett Favre joining the Vikings -- I think everyone agrees that, beyond the cliched media coverage, it would be good for Minnesota and good for the league.

There is an antidote to outrage: Zack Greinke. But even his story has become a cliche -- merely 5 starts into the 2009 season -- thanks to fawning magazine covers.

Wash your hands, with soap.

Complete column here. More later.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday 04/29 A.M. Quickie:
Pierce, Favre, NHL Game 7s, Obama

There is no way a politics junkie like me could not resist tying the coverage of Obama's "first 100 days" to sports as the lead of today's SN column.

And the President has had a pretty spectacular first 100 days, at least from a sports perspective: His buddy Rooney won a Super Bowl. He picked the NCAA champs. He got to meet Tim Tebow.

In fact, he'll be hard-pressed to top this first 100 days. Good thing he's got that economy to keep him busy.

*Damn, is this Celtics-Bulls series amazing.
*You cannot have asked for two better NHL Game 7s than last night.
*Condolences to friends and fans of NASCAR writer David Poole.

And, yes: The Brett Favre Unretirement Watch begins. Why would he get his unconditional release from the Jets if he wasn't thinking about coming back...again?

You KNOW he thinks he can still play. And, now, he can play for the QB-starved Vikings -- his original team of choice -- which happens to have the league's best RB, a hot new rookie WR and everything in place... besides a QB... to make a run in the NFC.

I hate to say it: But he should do it, and the Vikings should quickly sign him. Sigh.

Complete SN column here.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2010 NFL Draft Mania: Tebow Goes To...

Today's SN column led with a look at the 2010 draft. Looks like was thinking the same thing that the Tuesday after the NFL Draft is for looking ahead to the next year's draft.

(Yes: Tebow in the top half of the draft... to the Redkins. God, that would be ironic for me, given that I grew up disliking the Skins intensely, a rarity for a kid growing up in D.C. in the 80s.)

-- D.S.

UPDATE: So even though I have a pretty good theory that the Patriots will draft Tebow, there is an equally compelling case to be made that his hometown Jaguars would take him, even as a reach.

Tuesday 04/28 A.M. Quickie:
2010 Draft, Nuggets 58, NHL Game 7s

At least one Twitter person saw this coming: What does Pat White's draft selection by the Wildcat-crazy Dolphins mean? Tim Tebow's NFL future is on the line.

As I lead in today's SN column, if White takes the Wildcat to a new level -- and I think he will (I predict at least 10 TDs for White from the formation next season) -- Tebow's NFL future is secure. At QB, not tight end, mind you. And it probably even puts him in the top half of the 1st round.

Also, I put my sneaking suspicion/fear on the record: The team that will draft Tebow and deploy him creatively in their own version of the Wildcat? The Patriots. (Yes, I am dreading that, on so many levels.)

I also take a look at the top 2010 Draft prospects at each position, starting with QB: Sam Bradford. He will go No. 1 overall, and that's after the Lions secure the No. 1 draft pick, then trade out to the Seahawks, who have their own pick plus the Broncos' pick to dangle.

Meanwhile: 58 points! 58! That was the margin last night of the Nuggets over the Hornets. It was like New Orleans gave up, but Denver didn't let up at all. The difference between this year's Nuggets with Chauncey Billups and previous years without him is staggering.

There is nothing in sports as intense an NHL Playoffs Game 7 -- we get two tonight, including Caps-Rangers, which should be as intense as it gets. I'll need the split-screen to keep an eye on Celtics-Bulls Game 5 (take a sip of coffee/water/something stronger every time you see the cliche "pivotal").

Maybe it's because I'm in Denver. Maybe it's because I'm still stunned by the Nuggets' victory margin last night. Maybe it's the air. But I saw that Rockies OF Dexter Fowler stole 5 bases in a single game, and I had to pick him up for my fantasy team. And I'm already carrying Ryan Spilborghs as a reserve OF (my starters are Manny, Ellsbury and Choo), but I couldn't resist.

Complete SN column here. More later.

-- D.S.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday 04/27 A.M. Quickie:
NFL Draft, Sanchez, Crabtree, More

Traveling Monday morning kept me from posting, but hopefully you headed over to SN to see my column, led by my 2009 NFL Draft superlatives.

Big winners: Mark Sanchez, Percy Harvin, Pat White, Michael Oher, the Seahawks.

Big losers: Michael Crabtree, Matt Stafford (sort of, in a narrowly defined way), Chris Wells, the Broncos.

Complete column here. More tomorrow.

-- D.S.