This game was far easier for me to predict than the Super Bowl. I said on the show yesterday that the Mavs would win this one easily, and despite a rough few minutes, they demolished the Lakers. This has been a point of contention for the Mavs since December, and they weren’t going to let Bryant beat them last night. Mavs lock down on Kobe and get another easy win…
This night, they held Bryant to 24 points, nearly 12 below his season average and 57 below his season high a couple of weeks ago.
It was Bryant's lowest scoring output since Dec. 23, and he's been held below 24 only six times this season.
"I wouldn't say it was personal," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "We were all just kind of embarrassed by him getting 62 on us in three quarters. We just hadn't played particularly well against them in the first two games. I'm glad we got this game behind us for a lot of reasons."
Adrian Griffin started the game on Bryant, who missed five of his first six shots. Then Josh Howard took a turn guarding him. With lots of help from teammates, they forced Bryant into a slew of tough shots, and his teammates couldn't compensate.
Asked if the defensive focus was strictly on Bryant, assistant coach Del Harris said: "It sure wasn't on Brian Cook."
How did Phil Jackson feel about the officiating …
"I thought it was really a poorly refereed ball game," he said. "I know there's a lot of pressure on the refs when they come here because Mark has them review the tapes and send them into the league. These guys are nervous Nellies when they come in to referee in this building. But they have to do a better job than they're doing. That's not acceptable."
Brown and Andrew Bynum were called for the flagrant fouls, and Bryant, Odom and Devean George were called for the technicals.
Bryant smiled when asked about Jackson's late protest.
"You eyeing my piggy bank too?" he said, suggesting he didn't want to be fined by the league.
He paused and then added, "It was cool."
I can’t promise that I believed he would make a great show greater, but it is no longer deniable from where I sit. Forest whitaker is a genius. And the Shield is better for it.
OMG! This is funny My favorite player, Steven Gerrard, gets owned by a 7-year old …
FWST John Sturbin previews the Nextel Cup Season 2006 …
It looks like Manchester United was fine with new FC Dallas Striker Kenny Cooper leaving ….Read: He wasn’t their level of quality…
Catching up with Moneyball …
I wish I could tell you that I had a great take on this situation. I am a bit confused, frankly, how a guy could gamble (rock me) his dream life, but Rick Tocchet screws up what might have been a perfect existence …Never a good idea…
Tocchet's stats probably wouldn't quite have put him in the Hall of Fame anyway; now I'd say whatever chance he had just got much more remote. That's a shame. His goal-scoring prime didn't last long enough, but he definitely was a man among men, a guy many of today's players idolized growing up. In 1993, he scored 48 goals for the Penguins, and added 61 assists for 109 points, while spending 252 minutes in the penalty box.
But Tocchet knew his value was as a hard-hitting, fearless, fearsome player who also could score. Without those first three things, the fourth was less rare. He never had a problem paying the price.
Now Tocchet is in another, less honorable situation in which a painful price is to be paid. It just seems so senseless.
It's no revelation that pro athletes like to bet on football and basketball. These are thrill-seekers, young men with lots of discretionary income who like to think they know a lot about sports, even the sports they don't play. It's important to note that this situation apparently had nothing to do with betting on hockey.
But we're not just talking about placing bets here. We're talking about allegedly financing an illegal gambling operation, and allegedly getting into some sort of arrangement with the sort of folks who oversee illegal gambling operations, along with other, much worse things.
Tocchet made many millions as a player, represented by an astute local agent, Steve Mountain. He surely made a decent living as an assistant coach to Wayne Gretzky.
So, who is Rick Tocchet? …
Nicknamed "Toc," Tocchet is a native of Scarborough, Ontario, and was a popular player with the Flyers during his two stints with the team. Flyers fans routinely chanted "Toc-chet" when he was on the ice and wore his No. 22 when they attended games wearing Flyers jerseys.
Tocchet, who listed "The Godfather" as his favorite movie in the Flyers' 2000-01 media guide, was especially popular with young fans because of his long dark hair that peeked out from under his helmet and rough-and-tumble style of play.
He was so talented and tough as a player that he is one of only two NHL players - Pat Verbeek is the other - to score more than 400 career goals and earn at least 2,500 penalty minutes.
And Tocchet could make the fans cheer. He scored more than 20 goals in a season 11 times in his career and had two 30-goal seasons and three 40-goal seasons. His best season was 1992-93 with Pittsburgh, when Tocchet scored 48 goals and had 61 assists for 109 points in 80 games.
Unable to win the big prize when the Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup finals in 1987, Tocchet won the Cup with Pittsburgh in 1992. He played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1993 and for Team Canada at the 1990 and 1991 World Championships and the 1987 and 1991 Canada Cup tournaments.
In his 18-year NHL careers, Tocchet played with six teams, the Flyers, Pittsburgh, Los Angles, Boston, Washington and Phoenix. He played in Philadelphia from 1984-92 and 1999-2002 and became an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche on Jan. 15, 2003. This season, Tocchet is in his first season as associate coach for the Coyotes.
Badger plays in Lambeau on ice …
I show the following picture because it is hilarious, regardless of who you cheer for. “Baa means no”! Holy Cow…