Monday, May 17, 2004
Page 2 Quickie: May 14, 2004
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Can a fraction of a second be "epic?"
Hollywood's summer blockbuster "Troy" has nothing on
Thursday night's split-second finish -- the most
spectacular in NBA playoff history -- made
untouchably memorable by:
Who: Lakers over rival Spurs
What: Series-defining Game 5
Where: Hostile San Antonio
When: Climax of TV prime time
How: Where to start?!?!
Alone, Duncan's "winning" shot was ridiculous,
inspiring thousands of couch analysts to instantly
cry: "And he's not the NBA's MVP?!"
But then "The Point-Four Shot"
(as it will always be known), following those endless,
drama-ratcheting timeouts, by the most unlikely
player on the floor.
Stop calling it "lucky." Troy's Homer --
in the deus et machina attribution style of his
day -- would have used the word "fate."
Think the Lakers believe? The rest of us do.
Want a great conspiracy theory? The
Spurs filed a protest over the clock management for
that final shot; watch the NBA rule in favor of the
Spurs ... if the Lakers win Game 6, forcing the Game 7
you just know the NBA would like to see. (Maybe
not, but would you really put it past them? To wit:
watch that Game 6 officiating.)
Nets/Pistons: The Pistons better right
the ship at home in Game 5 on Friday, or it could be a
humiliating Game 6 over-and-out Sunday in
Kings/T'wolves: Given both teams have won at
the other guys' house, Game 5 tonight in Minny is no
gimme for KG and Co; neither is Game 6 on Sunday in
Sacto for the Kings. Watch each team snag a win, but
not necessarily at home.
Heat/Pacers: Really, we're going to get to
Monday morning and still only be through five games of
this series? Maybe this is what David Stern was
referencing when he said next year the playoff
schedule would be "tighter."
"Losing ain't positive": Between his
batting slump (.091 in May) and his team's shoddy performance, how
frustrated will Barry Bonds get?
Frustrated enough to leave San Francisco in the
offseason for a team he knows can be a winner? (West
Coast: Dodgers, Angels; East Coast: (ugh)
... Or will things get so depressing that he'll demand
a trade-deadline exit this summer?
Help on the way? Pirates manager Lloyd
McClendon says his team will pitch to Bonds. If so, by
Monday, it'll be What slump?
Paterno's New Deal
What was Penn State thinking ... giving
Joe Paterno a four-year contract extension
Thursday, off that fabulous 3-9 '03 season?
(a) Wins don't matter anyway
(b) New slogan: 80 is great-y!
(c) Steve Spurrier said "No"
(d) Alumni money talks
There's something about the word
"realignment" in auto racing. Always intrigued by
threat of core-fan backlash to NASCAR's rapid
For example: I would be concerned about
eliminating races from Rockingham and
Darlington -- cities where just saying their names
makes you think racin' ... except those places are old and small; on the flip side, the
replacement locations (Texas, Arizona) draw sellout
crowds at bigger, newer tracks.
Want to witness arguably the greatest
boxer ever? Watch Roy Jones dismantle
rival-in-his-own-mind Antonio Tarver on Saturday
Then, buckle up: Jones' next fight will be his
biggest (literally) -- current heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko?
Un-retired Lennox Lewis? Mike Tyson?
And remember who told ya "Smarty Jones
will win the Derby!"
Place: Rock Hard Ten
Win: Smarty Jones
Because Triple Crown hype is good for