I just can’t get over the contrast between the two playoffs that are ongoing. The NHL is totally haywire. The first seven series all started 1-1, and the eighth appears headed that way. Good teams have looked bad, and bad teams have looked great, and nothing is really making a whole lot of sense as of yet. On the flipside, the NBA playoffs couldn’t be more predictable. All six home teams that have played so far have won their first games reasonably easily, and the seventh looks like they will as well. The only one of those favorites that hasn’t covered is Orlando, and they only missed by a point, so you could probably have found a winning price somewhere if you got lucky. The public is having a very good start to the NBA playoffs and getting absolutely brutalized by the NHL.

Continue reading “Playoffs, Georgia, and Ginn”

Things catching my eye today:

  •  I know I have been writing about my hometown a lot recently, but, well, I can, so you’ll just have to deal with it. I was as shocked by the Calgary Flames as I have ever been in a lifetime (most of it, anyway) of watching them. They fell down 3-0 in the first three and a half minutes against San Jose on Sunday night. Normally, the team would just quit when that happens. They didn’t. They tightened up, fought back, and won it 4-3 with a late goal. I never would have said this a week ago, but the Flames are worth a serious betting look. That kind of heart can be deadly in the playoffs.
  • The Spurs got smoked by the Lakers this afternoon. They have also been beaten badly by the Suns and the Jazz in the last ten days. Not that it makes me sad in any way, but this does not look like a strong, confident team going into the playoffs.
  • Jimmie Johnson won at Phoenix. It was the first win for Hendricks this year after they won 18 last year. I expect this to open the floodgates for wins for the team. They clearly have caught up in testing, and they are not the kind of team that will tolerate losing.
  • Congrats to Trevor Immelman, but is it just me or was this a pretty flat Masters? It didn’t seem to have a lot of spark or interest, and it is telling that Tiger can play as badly as we have seen him play in a long while and still end up in second. With all due respect to Immelman, if a guy like him can win it wire-to-wire then it isn’t as good as it can be.
  • Michael Beasley is announcing his decision on his future tomorrow. If he stays in school I will chop of my right foot and eat it raw.
  • David Ortiz was benched on Sunday after starting the season 3-for-43. Ouch. Big Papi can’t be a very happy guy right now, and he is kinda scary when he is happy, so he would be terrifying when he is mad.
  • The game that Ortiz missed was not a pitcher’s duel. Dice-K looked pretty rough, allowing four earned runs in five innings. He was the reincarnation of Cy Young compared to the Yanks’ Phil Hughes. The young prodigy got dinged for seven runs in two innings. If both of those teams lost every night I would be a happy guy.

The sports info that has caught my eye today:

  • The Calgary Flames, my home town team (unfortunately), managed to do something last night in the second game of their playoff series against San Jose that I didn’t think was possible – they got outshot 27-3 in the second period. I am a bit surprised that either 27 shots in a period or three is possible. Disgusting. They have allowed more than 80 shots in the first two games. Not going to win a lot of games that way.
  • It will be very interesting to see what Tiger Woods does this weekend. 14 holes into his second round he is still at par. That’s eight strokes off the lead. He’s not out of it by any means, but he certainly needs to start looking far less mortal pretty soon. Since we are talking about my hometown today, Calgary resident Stephen Ames is sitting in sixth and playing very well.
  • The Orioles blew both ends of a doubleheader last night. I hope they enjoyed their time at the top, because the fall is going to be swift and painful.
  • I was happy to see the Nuggets beat the Warriors yesterday to take the lead in the race for the playoffs. It’s not just that I like the Nuggets better – they should be more interesting to watch, and bet on, in the playoffs, too.
  • Felix Hernandez goes tonight for the Mariners. He gets my vote as the unluckiest pitcher in the league so far this year – he has been brilliant and has nothing to show for it. He has allowed no earned runs over 15 innings in two starts, but run support and relief have been non-existent. He’s at home against the Angels tonight.
  • New Orleans and the Lakers play tonight in a game that could decide the MVP. As much as I like Chris Paul, I think he would have to have a truly massive game, because I don’t see how voters won’t give it to Kobe otherwise – it is almost impossible to believe he has never won one, and this is the chance to fix that. Paul will have lots more opportunities.Unless the Hornets crush the Lakers and shut down Kobe.

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