Friday, June 24, 2005All Hail the Champions...
Congrats to the 2005 World Champions..
The San Antonio Spurs didn't make it look pretty in their final hour, but they got the job done and won their third title in seven years.
And a special congratulations to Tim Duncan for his third final MVP. He didn't dominate like he wanted to, but he fought through the tough stretches and made the big shots when they counted.
Thursday, June 23, 2005Game 7 Gibberish: The Final Battle
-- Arizona State is pissing me, c'mon guys! Not that I don't think Texas will win (they should) but I don't want to deal with the Gators.
-- Unfortunately the Pistons didn't wear the belts during the entrance. That would've been great.
-- Ginobili is the guy for the Spurs, he's not afraid to take the big shots.
-- The Pistons are not a good team on the break.
-- Spurs in the midst of a game-tying 6-0 run. This will be a tough game for either team to breakaway from IMO.
-- Pistons pick up their fourth team foul at the 4:30 mark.
-- Spurs had a 10-0 run, but the game is back to two points, close game, will be a close game. Both teams might stay under 80.
-- Prince hits an open 3-pointer, his first of the series I believe, meanwhile Popovich goes back to Ginobili and I expect he'll stick for Manu and Horry as long as he can because they will take the tough shots.
-- Detroit has gotten a good share of the 50/50 rebounds tonight.
-- 'Sheed gets his third. Did I hear a call for Elden Campbell?
-- Ok, anyone else want to a goldbrick an injury? These guys are overselling worst than the average pro wrestler.
-- Big Ben gets three open slams in a row. I have nothing to add to that.
-- Detroit up 39-38 at the half. It's close and it's low-scoring. The Spurs will try to generate some better offensive flow in the second half.
-- Pistons come out storming, scoring nine consecutive points.
-- Duncan's putback end an 0-for-8 stretch and another bucket trims the Pistons lead to two points.
-- Third quarter ends in a tie. I guess these teams are pretty evenly matched.
-- Spurs up by six with six minutes remaining. Can they do what Miami didn't do. Can they hold off the defending champions.
Today's Top 10
-- Tim Duncan: It's safe to say that tonight's Game 7 will be his career-defining game. Phil Jackson said that the Spurs big man was "swallowing apples" late in the last two games. [FW Star-Telegram]
-- Larry Brown: This will probably be the last time the "vagabond genius" sits on a bench and definitely the last time he sits on Detroit's bench [Indy Star]. And is that him talking to Isiah about the Knicks job?!?! [Newsday]
-- Annika Sorenstam: Will try to get her third major of the 2005 season in the U.S. Women's Open today [Washington Post].
-- Maria Sharapova: Defending Wimbledon champion wins second-round match with ease. 18-year-old Russian is also hot [Sports Network].
-- Scott Kazmir: Barely legal Devil Rays pitcher stifles Yankees a day after Bomber score 20 runs [Tampa Tribune].
-- Bernie Ecclestone: Insults Danica, destroys Formula One in U.S. market, Call Danica to apologize and...insults her again? [NY Daily News]
-- Terry Porter: Milwaukee Bucks fire short-term coach. Publicly state that have hopes of luring Flip Saunders or Nate McMillian. Privately an operative says it's because Porter was demanding Bucks use top pick on Marvin Williams, while the front office wants Andrew Bogut [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel].
-- Texas baseball: Advances to yet another *ping* final thanks to dramatic home run by Chance Wheeless. Opponent will be decided today [Houston Chronicle]
-- Tim Henman: British tennis player falls out of home tournament in second round, saving his countrymen from devoting too much emotional time to his eventual failure [Reuters UK].
-- Brandi Chastain: Women's soccer great involuntarily retires from international competition when U.S. team coach says he has no place for her on national team [Knight Ridder].
Wednesday, June 22, 2005Today's Top 10
-- Phil Steele: The motherload of college football previews is OUT! Bought mine at Wal-Mart at around 2 a.m.,. It's the best $8-9 you'll spend and it destroys ever other preview out there. [NC Sports]
-- Lou Piniella: "Sweet" Lou has to be fuming after his Devil Rays give up a 13 spot in the 8th inning of Tuesday's game to the Yankees. BTW the Rays had an 11-7 lead going into the inning and had led 10-2 at one point [St. Petersburg Times].
-- Tim Duncan: I personally think R.D. is a little tough on him (he's still elite), but there was no Bob Horry to save "The Big Fundemental" from a fourth-quarter breakdown Tuesday [NYDN].
-- Baylor Baseball: Down 7-0 through six the Bears rally for 8 runs in the final three innings to eliminate top-seeded Tulane in the *ping* [Houston Chronicle].
-- Rip Hamilton: He finally broke through Bruce Bowen's defense with 23 points to help the Pistons earn a series-tying road win [Detroit News].
-- Eric Gagne: Dodger closer and former Cy Young winner will go under the knife and return after the All-Star break...in 2006! [LA Times]
-- Jaromir Jagr: One of the NHL's few marquee players admits his union screwed up by not taking an earlier deal [AP].
-- New York Yankees: Scored 13 runs in an inning against the Devil Rays for the second time this season! Gary Sheffield has two 3-run homers and seven RBIs [NYT]
-- Shavlik Randolph: Armed with a great prep resume but a 6.0 scoring average in college, the 6-10 former McDonald's All-American will stay in the NBA Draft?!?!? What the hell is he thinking? [Durham Herald Sun]
-- Kozo Haraguchi: Japanese man, 95, breaks 100M world record in 95-99 by almost two seconds! Old time 24.01, new time 22.04 [Washington Times]
Tuesday, June 21, 2005Gibberish: Game 6...
-- 9:28 in the first and the Pistons are already overreacting on foul calls.
-- Parker just doesn't miss many open looks inside of 20 feet.
-- And there's a flood advisory in Brevard County. Not sure if I know anyone there.
-- No points in the frontcourt for the Spurs yet. This is a good thing though, the quicker Ginobili and Parker get involved, the better.
-- Everytime Prince has an open three he should take it. He's too good an outside shooter to keep passing those things up.
-- Rasheed Wallace is getting involved very early on offense with both the shooting and passing. Meanwhile Brent Barry is also looking to contribute to a championship team rather than pulling a Will Perdue.
-- Bruce Bowen's taking too many shots. Open threes are one thing, but he shouldn't be trying to make his own shots.
-- We're knotted at 23 to end the first quarter.
-- The Pistons are going to be hard pressed to keep this energetic play up for an entire game. They have played solid in the first half and only lead by a couple.
-- Hey look, Dan Crawford has decided to enter the game. Why is he officiating at all after Game 2. I'm not saying bring out Dick Bavetta or anyone, but I would think the NBA officiating situation gets enough snickers without this.
-- While we've had better basketball in tonight's game, it hasn't reached the emotional intensity of Game 5.
-- Yet the free throws remain horrid.
-- Had to take a break, the Pistons have an uncomfortable 71-67 lead going into the fourth.
-- Why was I on break? A 13-run 8th inning by the Yankees forced a bit of a panic here at the office. Yes the Devil Rays were up 11-7 going into the 8th and lost 20-11. Gotta love the Rays.
-- I think the Rasheed Wallace-Dan Crawford feud will have to be solved on Hollywood Deathmatch.
-- And when he leaves the game Duncan gets a couple of boards, a put back and a foul.
-- Now its an uncomfortable 5-point lead. Still a lead, but still uncomfortable. Both teams have decided to make the fourth a big-time scrum too.
-- This is just intense basketball, every call and every non-call seem so much more crucial then the next. Detroit is just holding on the skin of their teeth and every time they get a little breathing room, the Spurs get a big 3-pointer or move from Duncan.
-- With five fouls, Rasheed Wallace should not be guarding Tim Duncan. And where's Ben Wallace at right now, it's 87-86.
-- ROSCOE~! comes up big in the clutch tonight. Trying to make up for Sunday's mental failures.
-- Duncan misses two put backs and a couple of free throws will clinch Game 6 for the Pistons? Unbelievable determination shown by the World champs and another terrible fourth quarter for Duncan.
-- Game 7, Thursday night for the belts. I hope the entire Pistons teams wears their title belts during the introductions and gives them to the officials to hold in the air before the tip off.
Five Good Questions: Pre Game 6.
Do the Pistons have a chance?
Yes, but it’s extremely slim. They are a team that does things that haven’t been done before, but winning three-straight at home is a much easier thing. I would say they have to get out early, establish a double-digit lead and press on. The officiating has been noticeably different in the different arenas. Detroit was allowed to maul the Spurs in Auburn Hills and were whistled for breathing on the Spurs in San Antonio.
Is Robert Horry a Hall of Famer?
No more than Steve Kerr, John Paxson or any other role player who has hit a clutch shot in the postseason. If Horry were a Hall caliber player he wouldn’t be open to hit those shots. As it is, he’s been lucky to be a major contributor on teams with Hakeem & Clyde, Shaq & Kobe and now Duncan & Ginobili. Overall a solid basketball player and will be fondly remembered as one of the good modern-day role guys.
Who’s been the biggest disappointment so far in the playoffs?
This is easy. Rasheed Wallace has been below-average on offense and average on defense. Not a good mix and Ben Wallace, not Rasheed, gave the Pistons an emotional lift in Games 3 & 4. Tim Duncan hasn’t been as dominating as he should be but he did have 26 points and 19 boards in Game 5 despite struggling down the stretch.
What do the Pistons/Spurs need to win?
The Pistons need a strong game from Tayshaun Prince, he started to come around in Game 5 and now the Pistons need him. The Pistons also need to do a better job fighting for rebounds. The Spurs want to get Parker and Ginobili out quick, establish an early lead and build on the momentum from that. They shouldn't let the Pistons linger in this game.
Has this been a great series?
It’s been a decent series with a great game 5. Otherwise there were four blowouts, inconsistent officiating and a sense that neither team will be remember as anything more than a footnote in the NBA annals. And tonight the Spurs win 92-78 and clinch their third title in six seasons. A strong game from Tayshaun Prince, he started to come around in Game 5 and now the Pistons need him. The Pistons also need to do a better job fighting for rebounds.
Has this been a great series?
It’s been a decent series with a great game 5. Otherwise there were four blowouts, inconsistent officiating and a sense that neither team will be remember as anything more than a footnote in the NBA annals. And tonight the Spurs win 92-78 and clinch their third title in six seasons.
Sunday, June 19, 2005Gibberish: Episose IV
-- Meanwhile Formula One just set open-wheel auto racing back 100 years in America with its debacle at the U.S. Grand Prix. As a fan of racing that doesn't sound like "NASCAR" this is greatly disappointing.
-- Campbell just parred the very tough 15 to keep his three stroke lead. I think Even-Par will win this so Tiger has much work to do.
-- Bad, horrible, disasterous three-put for Tiger on 17. That's back-to-back bogeys and all of a sudden Campbell just has to survive a test at 16, and not drop anymore shots. Tiger must birdie on 18 to have a small prayer. Not sure what the rest of the leaderboard looks like.
-- Campbell survived 16 with just a bogey and has a potential birdie or two-putt at worse situation on 17. So he'll be up by two going into 18. If he birdies 17 it's over, if he two-putts this, things will be fun.
-- He birdied 17. Game over.
-- Now with that finished I'll try to work my way through a couple hours of the *ping* before the basketball game starts...I don't watch college baseball, I don't follow it and as long as the Gators don't win, I'm happy.
-- Young baseball players in general look like assholes don't they? Those cocky smirks and struts as if to say "look at me, I'm wearing pants three sizes too small."
-- And right away the leadoff batter for Florida his an aluminum-aided missle down the first base line and the second hole check swings a 420-foot homer.
-- Florida 7, Nebraska 4 is your *ping* score as we move to the Game.
-- Duncan scores right away and Parker follows with a jumper for a 4-0 Spurs lead. Me thinks they ran those two plays to send a message.
-- As quickly as the Spurs started, they have faded, allowing Detroit to go on a 13-2 run. Way to show that heart boys.
-- But just like that the Spurs score five straight at trim the lead to 13-11.
-- So far so good at 24-all. The Pistons have led a couple of times but the Spurs fight back. I believe Bowen hit a big 3-pointer to give Spurs a 27-24 advantage. Nice ball movement.
-- Spurs have extended said lead to 31-26 before Richard Hamilton sank a runner while being hacked.
-- Brent Barry finally drains an open shot. Haven't seen much of him since the early portions of the Phoenix series. Duncan adds a bucket and the Spurs have built a 9-point lead in short time.
-- Every time one team took a bit of an advantage the other side came roaring right back so it makes sense for the score to be tied at 42. So the advantage goes to the Pistons who won the final 3 minutes of the second period and got the crowd back into things with the spurt.
-- The Pistons didn't take charge early and trail by seven again. Duncan is having a big game so far and the Spurs are grabbing every 50/50 rebound.
-- Now this is the game we've been expecing, tied at 61 and both teams playing with serious intensity through several ebbs and flows. I think I'm going to come and say that the winner of this game will win the series. Both teams have too much emotional tied up in this game right now. The loser will be devastated.
-- Stop...Drop...Pop....Gotta love Big Shot Bob.
-- On a grading scale this game is approaching A- status. A few too many turnovers, but otherwise quality stuff from these two teams.
-- Tayshaun....where ya been?
-- And was that...emotion coming from Duncan?? Hell yeah!! Unfortunately he followed it with an awful free throw.
-- Bombs away for Big Shot Bob and we're tied again at 79.
-- Yay extra basketball!!
-- BIG SHOT BOB~! Oh my, whadda slam!...Uggh he jacked up his shoulder in the process.
-- What a game, surpassed A-, straight the A column and a buzzer beater gets us an A+...
-- BIG SHOT BOB~! He does it again!