Saturday, May 25, 2013

5/25 (Very Saturday) Quickie

So impressed with the Pacers' win last night.

It flipped one narrative -- that the Pacers would be broken by how Game 1 ended.

It resuscitated another narrative -- that Roy Hibbert indeed is a series-changer.

It obliterated another narrative -- that LeBron has become infallible, particularly at the end of games.

It restored the "series doesn't start until road team wins" narrative -- the one we thought we lost in Game 1.

Good for Indiana -- hell of a win.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5/22 (Wizards Lottery!) Quickie

Guess I'm still in shock that the/my Wizards bounced from No. 8 in the NBA Draft order to No. 3.

For months -- since October or November, really -- I have been obsessing over the chance they have to draft Otto Porter, only to watch his draft stock skyrocket away from the Wizards' position.

Now, they have a shot.

I still think that there is a reasonable chance that Cleveland skips Nerlens Noel and drafts Otto Porter -- as weird as that might be to draft someone as sensible as Porter No. 1 overall.

But in the absence of the Cavs foiling Wizards fans for the umpteenth time -- I guess we got them last year when we got Bradley Beal, a player they coveted -- my Wiz just might land Porter.

It feels too good to be true -- that would be two straight years of ideal draftees, three in four years.

It actually makes up for the bungling of Jan Vesely in 2011 and the various other draft failures, in virtually every scenario other than the player falling into our lap as no-brainers (Wall, Beal).

That is the NBA Lottery at its best: Giving fans of largely hopeless franchises a boost of hope.

As I write in today's Morning Win column for USA TODAY Sports, I think that hope should extend to Cavs fans that bringing in Noel, combined with the rest of the talent (plus the cap space), might be enough to lure LeBron back to Cleveland after he finishes collecting rings in Miami.

-- D.S.

Monday, May 20, 2013

5/20 (Fun Times) Quickie

Had one of my favorite moments as a parent yesterday. We had Gabe's 7th birthday party at a local sports complex, one of those ones that has an indoor football field, soccer field, floor hockey rink, basketball court, ice rink, etc. There was a half-hour of flag football, a half-hour of soccer, a half-hour of bouncy houses and then a half-hour for the kids to sit exhausted and eat pizza and cake.

Anyway, the kids got set up for the football game -- football is Gabe's favorite sport (despite the understanding that he will never be allowed to play the tackle version himself). The sportsplex-supplied "coach/QB" gave Gabe the ball on the first play, a handoff where he was quickly surrounded by his friends.

Gabe juked outside, then inside, then bounced to the outside again... then just turned on the jets. I have never seen him run so fast - or look so happy. The whole thing happened so quickly, I didn't even have my iPhone set up to video it, but instead I watched it first-hand, and I am much happier with the mythology and the memory of him zipping down the sidelines.

My first thought was: "He looked like Tavon Austin! No, really!" But then I realized what I had just witnessed was the purest expression of joy I have ever seen from him -- it is a memory for a lifetime.

-- D.S.