Here's why the Lakers rule: All that turmoil, all year long -- yet they moved into a tie for the best-in-the-West record Thursday night.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
If the Duke-UConn Final Four game really is
the de facto national championship, then
Chris Duhon might be a lock-down defender (and,
apparently, ready for canonization, if you ask the
media), but Ben Gordon is playing better right now
than anyone else Duhon has ever matched up
Sheldon Williams may be emerging as the next coming of
Carlos Boozer, but Emeka Okafor is as healthy as he's
been in weeks, which makes him the best big man on the
Duke has a terrific first five, but -- as usual -- no
real depth. UConn has depth inside (super-sub Charlie
Villanueva) and shooters outside (scorching Rashad
Anderson) to wear out Duke's starters.
Funny: Everyone is jumping to conclusions with
this semi, but here's the catch: Oklahoma State will
beat UConn on Monday night.
Freddy Adu's debut is make or break for
There are more people in the "curious about Adu"
psychographic than there are total number of MLS
These casual fans are willing to tune in (4 p.m.,
Saturday, ABC), but probably just once. Not to put too
much pressure on the kid, but he needs to do something
-- anything -- spectacular. Just one telegenic play:
Sweet pass, nifty juke... a goal will do
Just enough to tantalize those who tune in (and to
make a nice SportsCenter clip for those who
Opening Day II
It's Opening Day: The
Boston at Baltimore (8, ESPN2)
Pedro got shelled in his final spring tune-up,
so this is going to go one of two ways for him (both
Racked by the revamped O's O:
Red Sox Nation in hysterics.
Displays his usual dominance:
Red Sox Nation in hysterics.
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|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
Red Wings: Win Prez Trophy, looking unbeatable for Cup|
76ers G Willie Green: 22 Thursday. Pushing AI out door...
Matt Doherty: UNC outcast first to apply for Johnnies job
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Glen Grunwald: Raps axe GM; Laimbeer a replacement option?|
Lions-Pats draft trade: Execs deny rumor of swap of firsts
Duhon-doubters: Drowned out by the roar of overhyped love
Watch Tennessee-LSU (Sunday, 7 p.m.,
ESPN) to see how crazy the New Orleans crowd gets,
either for LSU (or against the Vols).
Watch UConn-Minnesota afterward to see one of
the top 5 women's college hoops players ever (UConn's
Diana Taurasi), plus Minnesota's under-radar star of
their own (Lindsay Whalen).
But sorry, underdogs: Root like crazy for the
Tennessee-UConn title game that will be the biggest
event in women's college hoops in this (or possibly
NBA Minor League
ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford has the NBA
must-read of the week: A sit-down with David Stern
about this expanded NBA minor-league idea that has
everyone talking. (See "Q It Up," right)
Race forward, Mr. Commish:
The "Have-Cake/Eat-Too" League:
The LeBrons go straight to the big League, while the
NBA develops the rest of the Top 50 preps while making
money in emerging small markets.
And the NCAA gets to reinforce their "amateur" facade:
Wait...so why is the NCAA balled up in the
corner... rocking back and forth...
Indians OF Milton Bradley is a good case
study to explore tension between the SABR camp and
SABR woo! Stellar .421 on-base percentage last
season (third-best in the AL). So when his head's on
straight, he's an asset.
"Gut" boo!" When's it's not, he's just an ass.
Latest run-in: Wednesday, when he freaked out on
cherubic manager Eric Wedge, finally leading the team
to hang a "Trade" shingle.
Verdict: You just know the data-driven GMs are saying
"I can change him... I can change him..." SABR guys
secretly love the "bad boys."
Been waiting for ND coach Ty Willingham's
reaction to this week's Hornung debacle. Here it is:
It has "no merit" and "deserves no real comment...
Let's move forward."
How'd he do?
I give it an "8" for defusing,
but only a "2" for spice.
||Final Four refs:
Just have this gut feeling that a controversial call by a ref is going to significantly affect the outcome of one of the semis Saturday night.
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You know I love a good "best-ever" label: How about
India's cricket team being called "best ever" -- by
Pakistani media, no less...|
As predicted here Tuesday, G-Tech's Paul Hewitt got a
contract extension. Not 10 years, but through 2010.
Michigan wins the NIT. In a game between Michigan and
the Top 12 from the McD's All-Americas game this week,
I'd take the preps...
Have you checked out the "Fab Four" in ESPN.com's
Cheerleader Challenge? (L'ville, GTech, LSU,
'Cause you forgot to TiVo: In-state star Andre Emmett
(TX Tech) won the dunk title at Thursday's dunk/3pt
festivities in San Antonio...
Who else can't take anything about Milton Bradley
seriously because of the whole name thing?...