Friday, June 20, 2014

6/20 Friday/Weekend Quickie

*Uruguay-England was everything you could want a World Cup match to be: Epic stakes for both teams, huge moments for the biggest stars, dramatic victory (and equally dramatic defeat). Bravo.

*Today's Best: Italy-Costa Rica, with the winner advancing to the knockout round... Switzerland-France for supremacy of Group E... Honduras-Ecuador in a loser-is-out match.

*Joel Embiid's foot injury: I would still take him first overall, and sit him for the entire year, getting his body prepared for the rigors of a long, healthy NBA career.

Maybe the Cavs prioritize being 8th in the East in 2015 over having the center with the most potential since Tim Duncan for the 10-15 years after that, but I wouldn't.

(Now, it's possible that the Bucks and Sixers don't think they NEED him -- that John Henson or Nerlens Noel are their bets on the future in the post and Wiggins/Parker are more needed. Fine. But not Cleveland.)

*Kevin Love to Golden State for Klay Thompson et al? I get Thompson's star potential, but he goes from wide-open shots courtesy of Stephen Curry to being the focus of defenses.

(I'd take Boston's bevy of first-round picks -- hell, Minnesota could end up with Embiid at No. 6, which would be a franchise-changer -- plus Olynyk or Sullinger or both.)

*Mark Emmert vs. Ed O'Bannon: Needless to say, Emmert's argument fell so flat, it's time to start thinking about what NCAA 2.0 looks like.

-- D.S.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

6/19 Thursday No-No Quickie

*Clayton Kershaw throws 15K no-no: As good of a game as has ever been pitched (technically, by Game Score, the 2nd-best ever, but that's quibbling) for one of the few pitchers right now where you are watching and saying "Future Hall of Famer."

*Spain ousted from World Cup: THE headline so far -- the defending World Cup champs KO'ed earlier than any defending champ in WC history. (Meanwhile: Great scene-setting in Chile from Wright Thompson.) Oh, and Mexico-Croatia is pretty much a knockout-round play-in game.

*Today's Best: Uruguay-England at 3 ET is a knock-out game for the loser. Colombia-Ivory Coast at noon is a great way to start the day, between the two teams sitting atop Group C. (The other Group C game -- Japan-Greece -- is a knock-out game for the loser, also. Not quite as pressure-packed as Uruguay-England, of course, but still. Knock-out is knock-out.)

*Redskins lose trademark protection: At this point, the name-change is an inevitability, even if the timeline is in years, not months. The ruling is more symbolic than anything else, but yet another signal (perhaps the biggest yet) that the name can't stand.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

6/18 Wednesday Quickie

*Memo Ochoa is the MVP of the World Cup so far.

*Today's must-see game: Spain (in a must-win) vs. Chile at 3 ET.

*Should LeBron stay in Miami or leave? The answer is that he should stay in Miami if he had near-complete confidence the team can be constructed to remain a title contender. (Given that Wade is only going to decline further, he should not have that confidence and, thus, shouldn't stay. The problem: Where, exactly, could he go to satisfy that condition?)

*The Royals in 1st is the most delightful development of the MLB season.

*So many wonderful remembrances of Tony Gwynn. This one from his former bat boy, via Deadspin, is really amazing.

*The "Bitcoin Bowl" is absurd, even for bowl names and even for the bitcoin frenzy.

*So sad to hear of the passing of ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett. He was only 38. Terrible.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

6/16 Duncan Dynasty Quickie

*"Spurs in 5" is my best prediction in a decade -- and almost makes up for picking "Lakers in 4" on Around The Horn 10 years ago.

*It is hard to argue that any franchise has had a better run since the 1960s Celtics than the Spurs from 1999-2014 (yes, that includes the Bulls from 91-98 or the mid-80s Lakers).

*It wasn't merely that the Spurs won their 5th title of the Duncan Era -- it was HOW they did it. They obliterated the Heat, as if Miami was a Lottery team. That is astonishing.

*Is there any reason to not install the Spurs as the favorite to win next year's title? (Better question: Talent aside, why doesn't EVERY coach study Pop's system for ways to adopt it?)

*Best thing I've read last night/this morning on the Spurs:'s Kevin Arnovitz on how the Spurs' system works.

*Go go USA. (Prediction: Draw.)

-- D.S.