Wednesday Afternoon Notes

The Bucks didn’t stop their wheeling and dealing, and they made a move I am a big fan of. They sent Fabricio Oberto and his serviceable contract to Detroit for Amir Johnson. The Pistons had no room for Johnson, but he’s a player I really like. When he did find a few minutes to play he made the most of them. He’s a good shot blocker and surprisingly good at stealing the ball, and he can score and rebound as well. He’ll take some of the pressure off of CharlieVillanueva, and he gives the Bucks some flexibility if they can’t or don’t want to afford Villanueva next year. This move makes the Jefferson deal look even better in my eyes than it did yesterday.

Phil Jackson is reportedly considering only coaching home games next year and letting assistant Kurt Rambis coach on the road. This would be easier on Jackson’s health. That may be the case, but this is the dumbest idea I have ever heard.Coaching is about consistency of message, and you can’t have a consistent message if different people are giving the message at different times – especially if those coach’s views aren’t perfectly consistent. It also makes it harder for Jackson to preach 100% commitment when he’s only partly committed himself. There are just too many ways for this to go wrong for it to be worth the gamble.

I simply cannot believe that the Americans beat Spain at the Confederations Cup today. There is no way to explain how much of an upset this is if you don’t watch soccer. Sufficed to say, it’s really, really, really big. The Spaniards are the co-favorites along with Brazil to win the World Cup at 5/1, while the Americans are way back at 50/1, and that price didn’t seem big enough until today.

It’s hard to know for sure what the Timberwolves are going to do next, or where they are going to stop with their efforts over the next day and a half, but I like that they are at least making some moves. This is a team that really needed an overhaul, and a roster shake-up combined with a coaching change is a good start. I’m not sure that what this team needs to do is get younger, but with two high lottery picks they will at least get more talented. I’m not sure that there is enough available in this draft to make him a contender, but the bold moves should be a spark for the team.

Philadelphia kicked the crap out of Tampa Bay yesterday in their World Series rematch. First indications are that the result last year wasn’t a fluke. Of course, it would have been more convincing if it were in Philly – the Phils are truly lousy at home, and better than anyone on the road.

Maria Sharapova was upset today at Wimbledon. That’s robs the tournament of a lot of visual fun. I watched Federer play today, and he’s in absolutely no danger of getting upset like Sharapova was. He looked brilliant – as focused and efficient as he has ever looked at Wimbledon.

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