Round 3: Mavericks – Suns
No rest for the weary, as we crank up a brand new series tonight. Let’s get it on.
Time to enjoy the greasy hair of Nash and the goofy shooting motion in the NBA of Marion. But do not underestimate them.
Sports Guy with another must read product …here are some isolated quick hits…
I don't care if Dallas ended up winning -- that was still one of the defining Dick Bavetta Games of all time. Hold your head up high, Dick. Hold your head up high. Duncan shot about 75 free throws and was allowed to jump over everyone's back on every rebound. You did your job. You still have the touch.
Did we ever figure out why Dallas fans were booing Michael Finley all series? "You jerk! ... We cut you to save $55 million on the luxury tax even though you wanted to stay here. ... You ... you jerk! You go to hell!" Let's just let Texas secede from the United States and get it over with.
I can't believe Tim Duncan has made it through nine years in the league without committing a foul.
Lebreton reminds us on why Nash deserves boos far more than Finley …
Two summers ago, the evidence spoke for itself. Nash's scoring average had dipped. The Mavericks had been cleanly spanked out of the playoffs by the Sacramento Kings, a series in which Nash had been badly outplayed by Mike Bibby.
At age 30, however, Nash was given a six-year, $63 million free agent contract by the Suns. Cuban's best offer was four years at $9 million per season, with a possible guaranteed fifth season based upon minutes played.
Nash took the money. Mavs fans got out the Kleenex tissues. The Lakers traded Shaquille O'Neal to Miami.
And, in a fortnight, the Mavericks became Dirk Nowitzki's team.
One of the sillier dispatches of the playoffs came from a Phoenix area newspaper this week. It said, paraphrasing, that since the Suns beat the Mavericks last year in the playoffs, there's no reason that they can't do it again.
Ah, the Groundhog Day movie theory.
Funny, but I thought last year's Phoenix team had Amare Stoudemire, now injured.
That Phoenix team also went on to lose to San Antonio. This Mavericks team just beat the Spurs.
More than that, though, Nash and his balky back are one year older. Meanwhile, Nowitzki and head coach Avery Johnson have just spent their first full season together, and the Mavericks are 12 months tougher and wiser.
Dan Bickley, the top Phoenix scribe, prepares the Suns fans …
By avoiding the defending NBA champion Spurs, Marion will not have to deal with defensive specialist Bruce Bowen, who is flypaper sticky and turned the Matrix into the No Trix in last year's Western Conference final.
In drawing the speedier Mavericks as an opponent, Marion has a much better chance to display his open-court talents. His defense of Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki could turn the series in the Suns' favor.
And best of all, Marion will get the national platform he so often craves.
Play well now, be the man here, and no one will ever call him underrated again.
"It's going to be up and down," Marion said. "It's going to be some nice basketball."
As for Nowitzki?
"Make it hard for him," he said. "Crowd him. Make him take tough shots. Keep him from getting easy baskets. Keep him off the free-throw line. It's easier said than done. You've got to make him play some defense, too."
Translation: Marion feels good about how his talents will translate against the Mavericks, and how his place in the series is up high on a pedestal. That was not the case last year against the plodding, physical Spurs.
"We feel great. We're confident," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We have a great sense of accomplishment and a great sense that we're not done yet."
A Great Game 3 in Edmonton last night puts the Oilers on the brink of the Stanley Cup Finals …And as the picture shows, can we please stop saying there is no fighting in the playoffs?
Leading 4-0 on goals by Toby Petersen, Michael Peca, Steve Staios and Chris Pronger - the last three coming in a span of 2:21 in the third period - the Oilers looked like they'd move to within one win of their first Stanley Cup berth since 1990 in a lopsided laugher, but the determined Mighty Ducks made this anything but.
Anaheim roared back on goals by Sean O'Donnell, Teemu Selanne and Chris Kunitz in a furious four minutes to cut the margin to 4-3 before Pisani stripped Francois Beauchemin of the puck on a faceoff and sifted it past Ilya Bryzgalov to make it 5-3 at 14:14.
"We knew they were going to come out hard," said Georges Laraque, who dropped the gloves with Todd Fedoruk three minutes into the game. "They started really physical to maybe intimidate us in our building and try to change momentum around, but we have the kind of guys in the dressing room who respond to that."
Pisani's ninth of the post-season sends the Oilers to Game 4 tomorrow on a seven-game post-season winning streak and with a chance to close out the Mighty Ducks in four straight.
GameDay in Austin for Buckeyes …get your signs ready….again…
Interesting read here: As Ricky Williams looks for a place to play, The NY Times examines the Canadian Football League …where drugs are cool…
Viewed from the prism of the N.F.L., the Canadian league is a quirky cousin, a pass-happy place with three downs instead of four, and an odd rush of receivers sprinting toward the line of scrimmage before the snap. It has long been a sort of island of misfit toys, filled largely with players who do not conform to N.F.L. standards and players hoping to use it as a steppingstone to the N.F.L.
Without mandatory drug testing, and with no move to start it, the C.F.L. is increasingly a place for those who are not welcome in the N.F.L., even if they possess the talent to play there.
"I'd probably be working a warehouse job, or trying to go back to school to get my degree, or trying to do some real estate, or hustling, scamming, something illegal," Soward said of what he would do without the C.F.L. "Probably just throwing away my life."
The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted him with their first pick in 2000. He signed a five-year, $5.5 million contract, caught 14 passes as a rookie, failed several drug tests and was banished from the N.F.L. The league does not disclose what substance is found, but it does test for performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.
After being suspended from the game, Soward drank away the next few years. An admitted alcoholic, Soward now makes $50,000 a year for the Argonauts, has five children and is thankful for the chance to rebuild some semblance of what he lost.
Comedy Here: awesome human beatbox "Lasse Gjertsen" …
More Comedy: But beware of BS, Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay farts on the air? …
Finally, an update on the George DeJohn Detox since I have received at least 50 emails from people who want an honest assessment of the program. Most want to know what I think about it, how I feel, and is it worth $250?
Well, let me explain a few quick things. I have no idea how it compares to other programs because I have never tried anything else. This is Day 10. Tomorrow, I can bring fish and chicken back into my life. For now, I have spent the last 10 days on nothing but fruit and vegetables. Not a huge veggie fan, but I have survived on salads for lunch (with organic dressing), and sweet potatoes or squash for dinner. (No corn, white potato, and bananas allowed). You can use organic butter on your squash or yam and it isn’t bad at all. Otherwise, it is mostly apples, pears, grapes, and watermelon throughout the day, with plenty of water. 3 Shakes a day of the supplement, George gives you when you start.
I feel great. I am down to 219 from 231. I was hoping for 215 when I was done, and since this goes another 11 days, I am pretty confident I will get there. I sleep like a baby, which is one of the many benefits of this program, but like I said, I am doing this for 2 reasons: lose weight and lose body fat percentage.
Is it worth it? I guess that is for everyone to decide on your own. I went for it, because I go to the gym 3 times a week and feel I am pretty active but have not been able to get my weight down since I stopped marathon training 2 years ago. I still ran plenty, but my weight would not budge off of 230, and my body fat was way too puffy for my liking. So, my strategy is to lose this weight, and in doing so ultimately improve what I eat so I can stay down there.
Anyway, as gay as this little update seems as I type it, I know many of you are curious, and I cannot answer each email during this busy playoff time.