Okay, so I was away for a couple weeks and, as such, missed some really big stories from the world of sports. The biggies were Tigers return to the Masters, where he played quiet well despite his own overblown expectations.
And of course the other big story was that Big Ben Roethlisberger avoided going to the big house when the DA down south decided not to file sexual assault charges. Though he wont be serving any jail time, the Commish is sure to put the smack down on him with a several game suspension next season. Dont be surprised if the Rooneys pull a Santonio with Big Ben. Then again, who would want that kind of baggage?
Cleveland is the team to beat with probable league MVP LeBron James leading his squad. They will have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Orlando and Boston have the talent and playoff experience to topple the Cavaliers, but it’s unlikely either team will.
Although that’s probably what most people thought last year when the Magic upended the Cavaliers in last year’s Eastern finals.
A look at the first round for the East:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 8. Chicago Bulls
Anything other than a sweep would be shocking. Cleveland has too much talent when healthy and still has more talent when it isn’t. Chicago, led by Derrick Rose, last season’s rookie of the year, struggled to nab the last playoff spot.
The Cavaliers were so far ahead in the standings they rested many of their players, including James. Center Shaquille O’Neal should return to the lineup (sprained right thumb). He hasn’t played since Feb. 25 against the Celtics.
Chicago might be competitive in all the games, but actually winning one might be too much to ask. Cleveland in four.
4. Boston Celtics vs. 5. Miami Heat
Boston got old quickly. Two years ago the Celtics won the NBA title with a veteran team that played stellar defense. They’re still a veteran team that plays stellar defense — sometimes. The addition of Rasheed Wallace didn’t lead to 70-plus wins as he predicted.
Miami, on the other hand, is a young team led by Dwyane Wade, one of the best players in the league. The Heat is also a recent NBA champ, winning in 2006, but that was with Shaq and a host of other veterans. This may be Wade’s last go with the Heat as he can opt for free agency during the summer.
The slight edge should go to Boston, but don’t be surprised if its inconsistent play leads to a Miami victory. Anyway, Boston in seven games.
2. Orlando Magic vs. 7. Charlotte Bobcats
The Orlando Magic is 23-5 since the All-Star break. They are the defending Eastern conference champs and center Dwight Howard beats up whoever he wants in the post. Although still limited offensively, Howard still Godzillas the opposition as he led the NBA in rebounding and blocks.
Orlando also led the league in three pointers made and has the perimeter players to stretch the floor and keep defenses from swarming Howard. Charlotte is a surprise as it has made the playoffs for the first time. Coach Larry Brown has pulled off another miracle, but he does have the horses to make the Magic sweat.
Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace are great perimeter players for the Bobcats, but in the end, Howard’s squad should overwhelm their inexperienced foes. Orlando in five games.
3. Atlanta Hawks vs. 6. Milwaukee Bucks
Atlanta’s “Iso-Joe” offense — letting guard Joe Johnson go one on one and jacking up shots — may work in the regular season, but in the playoffs, when possessions are precious and teams strategize to stop star players, this won’t work.
But it will be enough to get by the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hawks have plenty of athletic players (Josh Smith, Al Horford, Marvin Williams) and score a lot of points. The Milwaukee Bucks were gritty enough to make it to the playoffs, but this series will be a serious mismatch as two of their starters are out because of injuries (guard Michael Redd and center Andrew Bogut).
The Bucks are led by guard John Salmons (15 points per game). They acquired him at the trade deadline from the Chicago Bulls. But without Bogut’s 15 points and 10 rebounds a game, Milwaukee has no chance. Atlanta in five games.
The Lakers, last year’s top team, finished 11 games better than the No. 2 seed. This season, all eight playoff teams are jumbled together and the Lakers’ aura of invincibility has vanished.
A look at the first round match-ups:
1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. 8. Oklahoma City Thunder
The defending champs have underachieved all year long, but they still finished with the West’s top record and will have home court advantage in every series unless they play Cleveland or Orlando in the NBA finals. The Lakers have the most talent in the league, but that matters little to the upstart Thunder.
Led by scoring champion Kevin Durant (30.1 points per game), Oklahoma City won 27 more games than it did in 2009. The Thunder has very little playoff experience and their two best players, Durant and former UCLA guard Russell Westbrook, have none.
Oklahoma City will play the Lakers tough, but their lack of frontcourt depth and inexperience will doom them in the end. Even though the Lakers played poorly down the stretch, it shouldn’t matter to a team loaded with players at every position. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and the rest of the champs should win in five or six games.
4. Denver Nuggets vs. 5. Utah Jazz
Both of these team showed flashes of brilliance this year, but when every Western conference playoff team wins 50 games or more, somebody has to take the dreaded No. 4 vs. No. 5 slots.
Denver has the frontcourt depth to be a West power and has fantastic skill players in Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. The Nuggets held their own against the Lakers in last year’s Western conference finals, but with coach George Karl’s absence the past few weeks because of cancer treatment the team has faltered. They just don’t look as threatening as last year’s club.
Point guard Deron Williams, the most complete player in the league at that position, leads the Jazz. Power forward Carlos Boozer is a bruising player in the paint and coach Jerry Sloan’s teams always play tough. This is a difficult series to call, especially since both teams, at times, looked as if they could make a run at the conference finals. Utah in six games.
2. Dallas Mavericks vs. 7. San Antonio Spurs
Is this the last stand for the Spurs? They have gotten older and wiser, mostly older, but they eeked out a 50-win season. Age and injury have slowed them down while their opponents, the Dallas Mavericks, have upgraded.
This is Dirk Nowitzki’s best supporting cast, even better than the team that went to the 2006 finals. With Jason Kidd running the show and newcomers Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood stepping in at small forward and center, the Mavericks are poised to go deep in the playoffs.
San Antonio’s top players — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli — still carry the team, but not as often. Parker and Ginobli were injured often this year and Duncan isn’t the all-world player he used to be. The Spurs and all their playoff experience will push the Mavericks, but in the end, Dallas should prevail. Mavericks in six games.
3. Phoenix Suns vs. 6. Portland Trail Blazers
The Suns got hot at the end of the year and the Blazers had a spectacular season despite losing a ton of players to injury. But the series is a no-brainer since Portland’s star player, Brandon Roy, is out of the entire series because of a knee injury.
Phoenix would be a tough out for any team with Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire playing their best ball at the end of the season. Portland won’t go without a fight, but without Roy to steady the team, Phoenix should win in five games.
Look at yourselves. You all screamed and hissed when young Samuel Jacob Bradford made the decision to return to the University of Oklahoma for his junior year in college.
“He’s flushing money down the toilet,” you said.
“He just cost himself millions,” you said.
Now look at you. There are three reasons staying in school turned out to be the best thing that could ever have happened to Sam Bradford.
First there’s the money.
In addition to the fact that rookie number one picks have made more money each successive season, the NFL is going into an uncapped year this season. This means that teams can sign as many free agents as they want and pay whatever they like without worrying about going over the cap. This also means teams can offer stupefying amounts of money as signing bonuses and front load, instead of back load, contracts. Sam Bradford’s agent knows this.
Sam Bradford’s agent – Tom Condon, in case you were wondering – also knows that the St. Louis Rams have already released their one-time franchise quarterback Marc Bulger. My guess, is that the Rams already had a deal in place with Bradford, but have yet to lay down the ink.
Second, let’s look at the situation he now finds himself in. Let’s not even talk about the debacle that is the Detroit Lions organization. Yes, they’ve fired Matt Millen, but given the front office’s pedigree for finding, hiring and then sticking with morons, there’s a good chance they hired another idiot who will do his damndest to continue running the franchise into the ground. There’s also the debacle that is the city of Detroit right now. The city has the highest unemployment rate in the country and in December it reached a surreal 50 percent. They also can’t seem to find a mayor who isn’t taken out of office and directly to jail.
At least the Jacksonville Jaguars can dream about moving to LA in two or three years. I can’t imagine a worse job than franchise quarterback for the Detroit Lions. In three years when Matt Stafford is still stinking up the joint and Detroit is picking in the top five for the fifth consecutive season, he’ll ponder this every night before he goes to bed. “Garbage man,” “angel of death,” “rock counter,” “repo man”…
The icing on the cake for Bradford is that he got to spend another year in Norman. There is nothing on earth like being the starting, Heisman-winning, soon-to-be-number-one-draft-pick quarterback of the Oklahoma Sooners. Sure, he had to wait a year for his millions. But when do you think the last time Sam Bradford paid for anything was? Do you think there’s a single girl in the state who will tell him no? He’s already got everything a man could ask for. And he didn’t even have to play football last season.
Let this be a lesson to the all kids out there: Stay in school.
Will he leave? Will they leave? Those are the questions NBA teams are asking as the much-anticipated summer of 2010 draws near. A crop of mouth-watering free agents will be available to teams who want to spend big bucks.
Some of these players have an option to leave if they want. Others have an early termination clause in their contract. And the vast majority have no contract whatsoever and are looking to cash in this summer.
The impressive list looks to be the biggest change in the league since 1996 when a multitude of players switched jerseys with the biggest impact being the earth-shattering move of Shaquille O’Neal to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Only King James can have as huge an impact as Shaq’s departure from Orlando. Make no mistake, if James leaves, the Cavaliers will never be the same again. The Orlando Magic, although an NBA powerhouse right now, have missed Shaq greatly.
He has won four championships with two different teams (Los Angeles and Miami). Could James do the same? Possibly. The New York Knicks have the money to spend and they have been eyeing James for years.
But would James leave the Cavaliers if they win a championship this year? The Knicks are an atrocious team. They have been an NBA joke for quite some time. However, their situation might change as they can also sign another huge free agent.
The Knicks could be championship contenders overnight with the addition of James and someone else. The Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets have enough cap space as well, but this will probably come down to Cleveland and New York.
Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
David Lee, New York Knicks
Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns
Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors
These players can carry teams and all of them, with the exception of Nowitzki, will probably leave. Lee is the least high profile out of this bunch, but he’s got plenty of game.
The other players, however, if teamed with James will make their franchise an instant championship contender for years to come. Wade and Stoudemire are the most coveted on this list. Bosh is on a team going nowhere and Johnson has already left a solid situation before (Phoenix) for more cash.
You’re The Man … Kind Of
Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
Yao Ming, Houston Rockets
Tracy McGrady, New York Knicks
Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz
This is an interesting group. These players are either older or are known to get injured frequently. McGrady has no shot of returning to the Knicks and he won’t come close to the fat contract he received from the Houston Rockets in 2004 (McGrady’s salary for this year is almost $23 million.
Pierce and Yao have options to leave. Boozer is a force in the paint averaging close to 20 points and more than 11 rebounds per game. Will Utah open up its pockets or will some other team nab Boozer?
Iverson is a huge unknown. He can score with ease and maybe help a contending team, but his off-court problems and questionable leadership will be a hard sell.
Championship Piece To The Puzzle
Ray Allen, Boston Celtics
Tyson Chandler, Charlotte Bobcats
Brad Miller, Chicago Bulls
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Cleveland Cavaliers
Shaquille O’Neal, Cleveland Cavaliers
Brendan Haywood, Dallas Mavericks
Udonis Haslem, Miami Heat
Jermaine O’Neal, Miami Heat
Michael Redd, Milwaukee Bucks
Peja Stojakovic, New Orleans Hornets
Al Harrington, New York Knicks
Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns
Grant Hill, Phoenix Suns
Marcus Camby, Portland Trailblazers
Richard Jefferson, San Antonio Spurs
Kyle Korver, Utah Jazz
Mike Miller, Washington Wizards
For a team on the cusp of a championship, these are the players that will get them over the top. There’s something for everyone: scorers, starting big men, veteran players with championships already, older big men who may be quality back-ups, spot-up shooters.
The Celtics’ Allen is the best player on this list (16 points a game, championship experience, deadly three-point accuracy). He can probably still score more than 20 points per game for a poor team, but on a contender, he could be the second or third scorer. Hill, Redd, Harrington, Miller and Jefferson fit that mold as well.
Shaq is the most decorated player on this list, but he has a ton of mileage. But he is a seven footer with championship experience, what team doesn’t want that? Camby is a great shot blocker and Haywood is the skilled center Dallas has been missing for years.
With all these big-name players available, the NBA will look dramatically different than it does right now. The regular season is over, get ready for a serious makeover with new elite teams, perhaps, in the works.
OUR CHAMPION: Phil Mickelson
Coming to The Masters, Phil was winless on the year in his first seven events, recording one lousy top ten. His remedy: Augusta National. With an incredible track record at this event, Phil found his A-game. He still struggled off the tee at times, but this course can be very forgiving, and Phil avoided the “big” mistake.
The one thing I do admire about Phil is the way he stays true to himself and the game he plays. His risk-reward strategy may be crazy at times, but it paid off over the weekend. I mean why wouldn’t you go for the green in two, from 207 yards out, in the pine straw, behind two trees, on the down slope, have to carry a creek, up two shots, at The Masters, with five holes to go. It makes sense…
With the victory, Phil cemented his name in Augusta history with three green jackets. It’s hard not to be happy when he wins a golf tournament. His personality is contagious. He interacts with the fans. And he is exciting to watch play. He is a true champion.
To me, it was truly synchronistic that Phil won The Masters for two reasons:
1.) His wife, battling breast cancer, attended a tournament for the first time in almost a year.
2.) With all of the Tiger hoopla still circulating, what a refreshing scene it was to see Phil embrace his wife and kiss all of his children after the victory. Golf needed this. Sports needed this. Hell, I needed this.
On a side note: I am convinced that Phil and Bones (his caddy) are having a contest to see who can go the entire year without putting on any sunscreen. I give Phil the edge at this point with a slightly redder complexion.
THE RETURN OF TIGER
This is my take on everything “TIGER”:
* It is amazing to me how he always manages to end up in contention, no matter how poorly he is playing. It’s as though he has some magical magnet that pulls the field back to him.
* It is absolutely ridiculous that some so-called experts were picking him to miss the cut this week. It’s like betting the sun it will not set every night.
* It was ideal that he played in the same group as K.J. Choi every day.
* Saturday’s 6th hole showed Tiger has been working on his positive reinforcement. After a poor tee-shot, he loudly said, “Tiger Woods, you SUCK. God dammit.” What a beautiful day at Augusta.
* Was Tiger really wearing sunglasses all week as a result of his bad allergies or because it was an easier way to look at women?
* I love the idea, but it was way too early for the Nike commercial with Tiger and his father’s voice.
* My prediction: Tiger will win both the U.S. and British Opens.
THE SENIOR TOUR
* Fred Couples played well again at Augusta, and it is always fun when he is in contention. The first round leader and ’92 Masters champ hung around all week. Fans love the laid-back, no glove, free swinging Couples. The guy also wears spikeless shoes. I have to admit it; he may be even cooler than we think.
* Tom Watson continues to defy his age. For the second time in a year, the 60 year-old hung with the young guys at a major. He continues to defy his age. It goes to show that if you play smart, keep the ball in play, and stay within your own means, you can always be successful on a golf course. Look for him to be in the hunt again at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where he won the major in 1982.
* It looked as though England would end their 0 for 56 major drought with Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter leading the tournament heading into the weekend. They failed yet again to win a major golf tournament. The last player to win from England was Sir Nick Faldo at the 1996 Masters.
* Speaking of Faldo, he talks too much about his glory days on air. But I guess I would too if I had three green jackets.
* The youngest player and low amateur of the tournament was 16 years old — Italy’s Matteo Manassero. Wow!
* Wouldn’t it be fun just once to see the name Carl Spackler on the leaderboard?
* Rumor has it that Stevie (Tiger’s caddy) goes commando every year in his all white Augusta jump suit. I think it’s safe to say he put his briefs on this year in light of everything that has happened with Tiger.
* My dad is still convinced the birds heard in the background during play are computerized. I wouldn’t put it past The Masters committee in doing such a thing.
* I will never watch another Forrest Whitaker movie again after hearing his voice-over IBM commercial every break in action.
The Masters proved once again why it is the best and most exciting tournament of the year. The scores were low. The roars were loud. The weather was beautiful and the course in pristine condition. There were storylines everywhere. At an event filled with such tradition and history, the golf gods were smiling down, as Augusta shined in all of its glory.
I say it every year, but this time I mean it: I am going to Augusta next April.
For the second year in a row King James will reign supreme. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been the most dominant player in the NBA and the team will finish with the best record in the league.
Even though the most valuable player award won’t be announced for a few weeks, James has this locked up. The regular season ends this week and no one can catch the King. Every night James discourages opponents with his overall play, scoring whenever he pleases, distributing the ball to his teammates and harassing guys on defense.
Let’s not forget his frequent come-from-behind blocks, most of them in spectacular fashion as James swats the ball into the crowd leaving the offensive player wondering, “Where did he come from?”
Cleveland has won more than 60 games again, the first time a team has done that in consecutive seasons since the Chicago Bulls did from 1996 to 1998. James is the catalyst of this success, but Cleveland has also gotten better players the last two years, adding ballers such as Mo Williams last year and this season, Shaquille O’Neal and Antawn Jamison.
With these upgrades, James’ assist numbers have skyrocketed, averaging more than eight per game. If that average holds, James will have the NBA all-time record for a forward in a season, breaking Boston Celtic great Larry Bird’s mark of 7.6 in 1987.
James has said if he wanted to, he could lead the league in scoring, which few people would dispute. He still might as he averages 29.7 points per game. The closest competition is scoring dynamo Kevin Durant (30.1 per game), a second-year player on the youthful Oklahoma City Thunder.
Durant, although still a young buck in the NBA, is a legitimate MVP candidate as his team has improved tremendously, going from 23 wins last year to 49 with two games to go. But Durant’s overall play, while spectacular, doesn’t measure up to the consistency of James’.
Physically, no player is more imposing on his way to the basket. The Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard may be a beast in the paint, but he doesn’t possess the ball handling skills to create his own shot and drive to the hoop.
Every time James goes to the hoop it seems as if the end result is a layup, dunk or foul. No player in the league has the combination of sheer brawn and slashing to the basket. What brave player has the guts to take a charge from that freight train?
King James’ play is so dominating it demoralizes other teams the way Shaq did in his prime; the same way Wilt Chamberlain did in his. At 6’8” and a comic book character physique, defenders usually surrender the basket or foul to avoid being posterized.
His defensive presence is so great, players with wide-open lay-ups look over their shoulders in fear of being stuffed. Even then James sometimes makes a play that ends up on the nightly highlights.
Other than Durant, who else is there to challenge for the MVP race? Kobe Bryant, the last MVP other than James, has led the Los Angeles Lakers to the No. 1 seed in the Western conference. He has great numbers, but his team has underachieved, slumping at the end of the season.
For a while, Carmelo Anthony seemed like an MVP candidate. Although he is one of the top scorers in the league, his Denver Nuggets, once considered to be the No. 1 challenger to the Lakers in the West, have faltered down the stretch.
The Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade? He has incredible numbers too (26.5 points per game, 4.90 rebounds, 6.6 assists). The team, however, is just average.
It seems as if the MVP award is James’ to lose. At 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1 block per game you can’t argue. Only all-time greats such as Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson put up those types of numbers. The only question is if James will be the NBA’s first unanimous MVP. James’ teammate, O’Neal, was the closest, missing out by one vote in 2000. Maybe the King will make it a clean sweep this year.
Everyone is always dogging on this division. It used to be with good cause. However this group is deceptive. With the Rockies making noise in the playoffs in 2009 and the Dodgers beating the Cards in the divisional series, there is an argument to be made that this may be one of the stronger divisions. With that I dub the NL West the “sneaky hot” division.
Granted each team has their question marks. The top two teams may falter if their staffs cant hold it together long enough to get to their bullpens each game. This young season has already illustrated that the Dodgers pitching is so bad that the Pirates are able to tee off on them.
The Giants tout one of the best rotations in the game. They will also get a boost offensively with Pablo “I’m so fat they relate me to a panda around these parts” Sandoval having another year under his belt. The Padres have some depth, especially if Chris young can find his form. I will go out on a limb and say the Padres will win at least a couple of games this year.
Things should be tight out west. There is no clear cut power house in this small division. The two teams that will vie for control of the division may have their fortunes told by one key acquisition, Chone Figgins.
The Angels did not tout a powerhouse team last year. What they did well was to put runners on and work station to station. Figgins epitomized their strategy with his high OBP and ability to get into scoring position with his speed. Now on the Mariners, Figgins will change the fortunes of a few games in Seattle’s favor. This and solid defense will give them the edge in this division.
I would normally not count out the craftiness of Oakland. This year however, they are looking less young and promising and more old and decrepit. Their team is in perfect position to make some late season trades for more talent to stock into their farm system.
A collection of my tweets from Monday night’s championship game… Enjoy!
6:01 – How the hell did Diddy get this intro? And are there any actual lyrics in this song? All I hear is “let’s work.”
5:58 – All the experts are picking Duke. I’m gonna say it right now, Butler is winning this thing.
6:07 – Anyone else realize what BS that NCAA “Where does the money go” commercials is? Short answer: into the pockets of our executives.
6:08 – I’m sorry, the money is not going to the kids. It’s just not. And anyone who believes otherwise is delusional.
6:11 – Over/under on how many coaches Tracy Wolfson has slept with: five. I would bet every dollar I have that she’s done Nick Saban.
6:21 – As much as I hate bandwagon Duke fans, the Duke student section is the best in college sports. The Cameron Crazies have no equal.
6:22 – Side note – Did you know Duke only has 6,000 undergrads. Seriously. (http://tinyurl.com/y8cc5f2) Makes the Cameron Crazies that much more impressive.
6:37 – I think Don “Moose” Lewis (http://tinyurl.com/ya33ltr) would love how this game is going right now. Very fundamental.
6:39 – I don’t know if there’s a single first-rd draft pick on either of these teams. I think Singler and Zoubek could make a roster, but that’s it.
6:48 – Butler is making ALL the hustle plays. And Duke just got its second traveling call in two minutes. Seriously…
7:03 – “Veasley’s gotta think about pulling that out, giving up so much size inside, after whipping it out.” – Clark Kellogg
7:08 – Jukes missed the dunk. The only black player on the court just blew a dunk. SMH.
7:12 – The first commercial for the Apple Maxipad. Am I the only person that realizes this thing is just a laptop without a keyboard?
7:19 – They’re replaying the Da’Sean Butler–Bob Huggins makeout. Priceless.
7:24 – I love Evan Turner, I think he’s one of four players this year who will make it in the NBA. POY he is not.
7:25 – Ask yourself this question: If you were making a college basketball team, who would your first pick be?
7:25 – If you said anyone other than John Wall, you’re either an idiot or just lying to yourself.
7:28 – Greg Gumbel’s perm still bothers me.
7:36 – I just looked up Greg Gumbel on Wikipedia and he’s 63-years-old. He’s 63! That’s incredible. This makes his perm even more offensive.
7:38 – I just realized how much Zoubek looks like Zangief from Street Fighter down there on the block.
7:45 – When did Kyle Singler become the white LeBron James?
7:47 – Seriously. Who is this kid in the Kyle Singler jersey? Because it can’t be Kyle Singler. I refuse to believe it.
7:51 – I’m going to start calling Zoubek “Zangief.” It’s official.
7:52 – Big basket by Zangief.
7:53 – Zangief gets his fourth foul. Damn it! I’ve been entertaining myself by imagining him cursing at the referees in broken Russian.
7:54 – Side note: I live in a house with two other supposed-heterosexual males and I am on the couch watching this game alone.
8:11 – Zangief puts too much mustard on the ball and throws it into the backcourt. I’m imagining him cursing in Russian again.
8:17 – There’s a little less than five minutes left and one of two things is going to happen: Singler is going to become a Duke legend or he’s going to lose them the game.
8:18 – Singler has absolutely taken over this game. He’s been the best player on the floor, by a mile, all night. This is officially his game.
8:24 – Duke finally makes a “we want it more” play to force a jump ball. That was big.
8:26 – Singler travels. I think the pressure might be getting to him.
8:28 – Holy shit! Howard just nailed the layup in Zangief’s grill. I imagine Zangief screaming, “Idi na xuy husesos! Mne pohui!”
8:28 – I google’d Russian swear words.
8:29 – Duke up one, 49 seconds left. Duke ball. It’s gotta go to Singler. It’s just gotta. Coach K must know this.
8:30 – Singler bricks off the front of the rim. Yup, pressure got to him.
8:30 – Great rebound by Zangief, by the way. Too bad he lost it off his foot.
8:33 – And we’re back. Butler down one, 13.6 seconds left. Butler ball. Just realized Butler has no go-to guy.
8:34 – Zangief is guarding the inbound pass. He forces Butler to use its last time out. “Na kaleni, suka!”
8:35 – Hayward on the fadeaway jumper?! WHAT?! You have got to be kidding me.
8:35 – Great play by Zangief. He’s been great .
8:37 – The heave…oh…wow. That was close. If you didn’t like that game, you hate America.
8:38 – Zangief runs down the court screaming, “Pokazhi pizdu detka! Pokazhi pizdu detka! Pokazhi pizdu detka!”