The Raptors just can’t catch a break. They are just barely hanging on to a playoff spot – one that is worthless anyway because it just means they’ll get crushed by the Cavs – and now they have to try to hold off the Bulls without Chris Bosh. Bosh tried to eat Antawn Jamison’s elbow last night. The hit wasn’t intentional, but it was so hard that he smashed his face, broke bones, and will be missing some time. The Raptors are lousy with Bosh, and without him they are impossibly bad. It’s possible that Bosh has played his last game for Toronto. What a pathetic organization the Raptors have turned into.
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Kevin Garnett is being held out of action until the playoffs. The official story is that there is no point in playing him in two totally meaningless games, but I’m not buying it. Wouldn’t you want to have a chance to test your knee and your fitness before the games got intense? Wouldn’t you want to ease back into action gradually? I sense that there is more to this story than we are hearing, and that makes me a bit uneasy.
It’s a shame that no one (full disclosure – myself included) cares about women’s basketball, because what UConn finished off last night was truly impressive. They thumped Louisville in the championship game to cut down the nets. More impressively, they weren’t beaten all year. I know that women’s basketball is more top heavy than men’s is, but it still seems incredible to me that a team can go all the way without faltering. Never mind that UConn is always about that good. This accomplishment is almost enough to make me want to start watching women’s basketball. Not quite, but almost.
I watched the hockey game tonight, and I was left stunned by what I saw. The Red Wings are freakishly good, and Pittsburgh is in serious trouble. The Penguins haven’t scored a goal yet in 120 minutes. Ouch. What is most amazing, and most contributes to the outcome, is that Detroit is just sticking to their game plan. Pittsburgh keeps doing stupid things to try to get Detroit mad, the Red Wings don’t respond, and Pittsburgh commits a penalty out of frustration. That would be great at the best of times, but it is especially effective because neither Sidney Crosby nor Evgeni Malkin kill penalties. The best possible way to neutralize those two is to keep them off the ice. I feel fairly sure that Pittsburgh will win game three at home, but this series so far is just testament to how good Detroit is. It also makes me think that the week off before the series was the worst possible thing that could have happened to the Pens – their young guys had too much time to sit around and freak themselves out by the immensity of what was in front of them. It’s clear that the team lacks a player in a central role who has been here before. Detroit – start planning your parade route.
- After two games in Boston LeBron James is 8-of-42 shooting. Ouch. Boston is good and all, but that’s no excuse for a guy that good to be that bad
- Zab Judah hurt his arm and had to pull out of a fight against Sugar Shane Mosley scheduled for the end of the month. Boxing is in a sad state when the biggest story of the week is that we don’t get to see a fight between a couple of mostly washed up guys that nobody really needed to see anyway
- Here’s a news flash – Brandon Webb is pretty good. He made his eighth start of the year today and earned his league leading eighth win. He did it by tossing a gem – two earned runs and four strikeouts without a walk in a complete game. He’d picked on some lousy teams in his first six starts, but he’s beat the Mets and the Phillies in the last two, so the impressive factor just ratcheted up a bit.
- Dallas can start booking tee times for about 10 days from now. The Stars have only played one game against the Red Wings, but it looked like the men against the boys. The world would have to tilt on its axis for Detroit to beat Dallas.
- Sergio Garcia is leading the first round of the Players Championship by two strokes, but a stat jumped out when I saw it – the Spaniard is sitting 158th on the tour in putts per round. It’s not a wonder that he isn’t living up to his potential of late. That’s ugly.
- Chauncey Billups says he isn’t sure if he is going to play in game four after he strained his right hamstring in game three. I’m sure he ultimately will play unless he is confined to a stretcher or something, but that’s not very good news for the Pistons. Obviously.
- It’s funny how baseball works. If you had asked me six weeks ago I would have told you that Cleveland was dangerous because there rotation was so good, but if I had a guy who was going to be carrying a heavy load who I was worried about it was Cliff Lee. Now, Lee is 6-0 and giving up less than a run a game, Fausto Carmona is solid at 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA, and the rest of the rotation is 3-12. You couldn’t have seen that coming anymore than you could have seen that Detroit’s staff would be 6-16, or that Justin Verlander would be stinking it out at 1-6 with a 6.43 ERA. I was rock solid on Verlander as my Cy Young pick, and I was feeling painfully unoriginal doing it.