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2010 June | The Sports Report Girl - Part 3

Preseason College Football Top 25: #19 Auburn

Why They’re Here: Former Gator and 6’6 250 lb QB Cam “Lootin” Newton. Not only is he a physical monster, he’s got 4.5 speed. Just imagine for a second a 6’6 250 lb quarterback running at you with that kind of velocity. I call him “Lootin” Newton because he got kicked out of Florida for stealing another student’s laptop and then throwing it out a window when police came to ask him about it. Obviously, the young man is a mental juggernaut as well.

The Good: If you don’t know about “Lootin” Newton, check this video out (http://bit.ly/8vb6Q8). He single-handedly makes Auburn a threat this year. I have my doubts about coach Gene Chizik, but getting Newton, a player a lot of people (myself included) thought was a lock to Tennessee, is quite a coup. The Tigers also had the number four recruiting class in the country, according to Rivals and ESPN, which is huge. I may have to rethink my stance on Chizik. Also, they got rid of Chris Todd who was a bonafide scrub. AND WHEN YOU GET RID OF NOTHING AND YOU GET SOMETHING, YOU DIDN’T GIVE UP TOO MUCH!! Sorry, I was channeling Steven A. Smith again. The Tigers also get to play Georgia and LSU, their two toughest games not called The Iron Bowl, at home this season

The Bad: Ben Tate is a big loss for the running game. Mario Fannin will step in, but I don’t see the Tigers running game being on par with where it was last year. Also, the Tigers are attempting to run the spread offense with Kodi Burns listed as their number two receiver. Not that Burns is a terrible player, but he’s a quarterback. He was recruited as a quarterback and stepped in behind the center when Todd wasn’t capable of rolling five steps to his right to make a pass. A big, fast QB will take you a long way, but without the speed and talent around him to pull it off, the spread ain’t happenin. Also, there’s that Iron Bowl game at Alabama.

The Last Word: With a quarterback like “Lootin” Newton there’s always the potential that he’ll get caught trying to rob a convenience store (because he didn’t wear a mask and didn’t realize no one is going to miss the football team’s 6’6 250 lb quarterback on tape) and get kicked off the team. Newton is like LeGarrette Blount; he’s a hoe and you can’t make a hoe a housewife. If Newton can keep his nose clean and in his playbook, however, he could be one of the biggest names in college football. If he can’t, the Tigers season may be hinged on Kodi Burns…no, seriously.

Final Record: 8-5

Lakers Seek Revenge Over Celtics

2010 NBA FinalsWestern conference champions Los Angeles Lakers vs. Eastern conference champions Boston Celtics

Lakers regular season record: 57-25
Celtics regular season record: 50-32

Season series tied 1-1
Jan. 31 Lakers 90, Celtics 89
Feb. 18 Celtics 87, Lakers 86

Road to the Finals

Lakers defeat Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-2
Celtics defeat Miami Heat, 4-1

Lakers defeat Utah Jazz, 4-0
Celtics defeat Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-2

Conference finals
Lakers defeat Phoenix Suns, 4-2
Celtics defeat Orlando Magic, 4-2

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics renew their rivalry as the NBA finals tip off on Thursday. These teams have won the last two NBA titles with the Celtics hoisting the trophy in 2008 while the Lakers are the defending champions.

Although the Lakers are the team to beat they have a lot to prove after dropping the 2008 series. Their toughness was questioned, but they rallied to win the title. But it didn’t come through Boston, the Lakers’ nemesis who has denied them championship glory so many times.

This will be the 12th time the Lakers and Celtics play for the title; Boston has won nine times.

Why should it be any different this year?

Los Angeles has too much championship experience. This is its third straight appearance in the finals. Boston is on its last leg. The Celtics were a little long in the tooth when they won in 2008. Now, they are two years older and a slight step slower.

But the overwhelming difference will be Kobe Bryant. If he wasn’t considered an all-time great before this year, a fifth championship should solidify a spot.

Bryant torched the Suns in the Western conference finals. He should do the same to the Celtics, who don’t have the athletic James Posey to guard him.

Of course, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher will help. Ron Artest will harass Paul Pierce as best as he can.

The Celtics will try to win with defense, rebounding and nastiness in the paint. They banged the Lakers around in 2008 and have bullied their way past the other East contenders this year.

Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace will be the big men who will try to impose their will against the Lakers’ frontcourt.

Rajon Rondo will run the show for Boston. He’s no longer just another guy on the team. Rondo has matured into the type of player who can dominate games, filling up the stat sheet with rebounds and assists. His scoring has improved, but his outside shooting can still be suspect.

Ray Allen must knock down jumpers to give the Celtics a chance. Pierce must do the same. His effort in the 2008 finals earned him MVP of the series.

This time, however, the Lakers will counter with more muscle. Andrew Bynum sat out the entire playoffs when the Celtics won. Los Angeles probably could have used a 7 foot starting center against the physical Celtics.

And Artest is too strong a defensive player to let Pierce have his way. Pierce will still get his, but he’ll work hard to score.

The Lakers added toughness and the determination of Bryant will be the difference in this series. Expect dirty, low scoring games with Bryant finishing off games in the clutch.

Lakers in six games.

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