Friday, June 24, 2005
Page 2 Quickie: June 23, 2005
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Pistons in 7.
Two weeks ago, when I made that pick, the "expert"
bandwagon was with the Spurs (collectively wiser
ESPN.com users were split nearly 50/50.)
Now, 70 percent of fans are finally joining
those who originally picked the Pistons to win
But why did fans come around?
By merely taking it to seven games, the Pistons have
proved to themselves (and apparently everyone else)
that they can win when it matters most:
Survive an early blistering on the road...
Recover to win a couple games back home in
Here's the key: Win at least one in San
Antonio (preferably on the back end and not in a
And consequently put all the pressure on the Spurs to
not choke, rather than to win.
Simply put: The Spurs were expected to win; turns out
they were saddled like a Texas stud.
Just as fans learned last June (and should have
remembered this month), expectations can become the
MVP sixth man...
...For the other team.
Which pitchers should start in next
month's MLB All-Star Game?
AL: Mark Buehrle. ChiSox teammate Garland
gets the hype, but Buehrle (eight straight W's after Wednesday's
5-hitter) is the ace of the team (and AL).
NL: Roger Clemens. Strong comp (Willis,
Peavy), but Rocket's ever-shrinking MLB-leading 1.51
ERA (after last night's W) seals the pick.
More MLB Wednesday
So much for "Turned Corner": After a 5-3 loss
to the D-Rays, that Yankees' 13-run 8th inning from
Tuesday doesn't quite retain the zing.
The Buddy Bell Effect: Need a boost? Fire a
manager. The Reds beat the Cards, winning their second
straight under interim skipper Jerry Narron.
Tiger Mania! No .500 swoon! Nate Robertson
tames the Twins to move the team two games over .500
and within 2.5 games of second in AL Central.
Must-Follow Start: ASG-starter wannabe
Dontrelle Willis goes for his NL-leading 12th W
today vs. ATL.
U.S. Women's Open
All About "Slammika": Only the greatest
women's golfer ever and her march toward a Grand Slam
could distract attention from confident 15-y.o. phenom
Michelle Wie. But the presence of both
storylines makes this Women's Open more must-see than
it's ever been.
NBA Labor Deal, Cont'd
My week-long obsession
continues: There's one element of the new CBA
I love -- putting "development" into the
My understanding is the NBDL age limit drops from 20
to 18, allowing preps to go to the D-League for a year
before being draft-eligible at 19.
Prediction: Even more preps decide to skip
college, this time for the NBDL, where they can get
NBA coaching and work on their game full-time before
they're draft-eligible a year later.
As I argued yesterday, college coaching simply can't
beat NBA coaching for the purposes of prepping an
18-year-old for a job in the NBA.
And isn't it better if preps who have no interest in
the "college" part of "college hoops" have a pro
outlet, while colleges can keep scholarships for the
players who actually want to be there?
P2 Sneaker Week
Don't forget to vote in the
Ultimate Sneaker Bracket on Page 2.
Meanwhile, as a sneaker-phile, I wanted to pass
along a couple of my favorite books, for you or
perhaps a sneakerhead you know:
"Where'd You Get Those?": From legendary shoe freak
Bobbito Garcia (host of an upcoming ESPN2 show on
shoes), the photos of old-school ballers is enough to
make this my coffee-table staple.
"Sneakers: The Complete Collectors' Guide": Just came
out a few weeks ago, and it photogenically delivers on
the title's promise.
"Soul Provider": Page 2's own Scoop Jackson wrote this
to promote the 30th anniversary of Nike Basketball.
For Nike fans, it's a must-have.