(By the way, McNasty Mahorn would start for the Wolves right now over the fossilized Ervin Johnson and Michael Olowokandi-puke. To borrow one of your phrases, I will not argue this. Tell me, why is it that whenever you write that, I think, "Yes you will"? And then I feel so ... used? So, Bill, would you like to go for Double Manipulation, where the scores can really change?)

This "Sopranos" episode was like the NBA All-Star Game episode. Weird substitutions, Antony subbing for Finn at the dinner table, etc. Bringing back Ralphie and Puss and Annabella Sciorra for curtain calls. It was like one of those promos where they mix the characters from "Deadwood," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Six Feet Under." No real reason for it, means nothing in the larger context of the season (that I could tell) but very nice showing off. Frankly, any episode where a guy, let alone two, gets whacked is a good one. Let's not kid ourselves about the basic deep-down subconscious allure of the show. And anything's better than watching Aida Turturro punching out a soccer mom. What-da, get-da ... HBO has such an advantage. Because of the profanity ban, which will only get worse after Janet Jackson's Breastgate, writing on HBO can't help but be more realistic because they can write profanity and they can write sex. What else is there?

Oh yeah, violence. Don't say that word too loud around Kevin Garnett.

I am disapointed in KG -- just as you said you were disappointed in me by going with the Wolves over the Kings strictly because of him. Break down these Game 7s for me in your nexty post please, Mr. Sports Guy, Mr. Cheers, Mr. Bahstan Garden, Mr. Fenway Park Luxury Box. I have really seen the Wolves' flaws now. Ervin Johnson is all but fossilized, I swear Mahorn would be more useful. Olowokandi should be arrested and charged with a felony, grand theft larceny; stolen more money than Jim McIlvaine

What's killing the Wolves is not having Troy Hudson, who might be the best second-rotation lead guard in the league, after the guy the Kings are missing, Bobby Jackson. What kills me that it doesn't matter who wins -- the Lakers will beat either one.

And the only guy who could change that is shrinking-ass violet.

Did you see that look on his face during the Peeler Incident? OK, he gets the shot to the gut and it knocks him to his (HBO dialogue alert) *&$#!# knees, and what does he $#!*!@*&! do? He gets this look on his face, this Gandolfini look, you know the look, and I'm thinking, "Oh-oh, this is perfect, this is when he becomes Wolverine."

Instead, he became Hugh Jackman. The Broadway version.

Summama*itch! He throws a little forearm shiver to Peeler's chest, then Peeler clocks him like he's Tarver and KG is Roy. KG backs up, mind you, with a look on his face like somebody just hit him with an ax handle. Which is basically what happened.

You said he was a second banana, Sports Guy. I admit it. You said it.

I didn't believe it. But you may be right. Which is the final blasphemy.

As to your other observations:


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