Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Grab Bag: Is May over yet?

Yeesh, May is boring.  The sports world continues to suffer through the post-collegiate hangover, while baseball and the NBA playoffs have yet to hit their stride.  Memorial Day cannot get here soon enough!

Today in the bag I'm talking pro basketball, baseball, and horse racing.

Click below for today's bag...

Around the nation of pro hoops -

Spurs vs Clippers -

Moment of silence for Lob City.... thank you.  For the second consecutive series, the San Antonio Spurs have swept aside an inferior-looking opponent.  The Clippers were out-played, out-coached, and out-lucked for four games, and barely made the Spurs sweat.  Thanks for playing.
For the Clips to get over the hump, they need to do two things: 1) Learn to shoot free throws 2) Fire Vinny Del Negro.
When's the last time the Spurs have looked this good?  I think they look better than they did in '07, so we're going back to at least '05.  Duncan, especially, looks like he dropped five years along with a little weight.  Next time you bitch and moan that Coach Greg Popovich doesn't bring the Big Fundamental on a road trip (He's skipped Denver twice in the past few years), remember that there's a method to his madness.

Oklahoma City vs Lakers - 

Tough weekend for the Staples Center.  Hosting four contests on Saturday and Sunday, the home team lost all four (Clips lost twice, while the Lakers and the LA Kings each lost once).  At least the Lakers salvaged a win Friday night, or they may have had to tear the building down.
Spurs vs Thunder should be damn good.

As for the Thunder, the team so rudely ripped away from Seattle looks to be a legitimate title contender.  The only question is whether they can get past the Spurs.  Before the playoffs started, I would've said "no problem," now, I'm not so sure.  Regardless, I'm expecting one hell of a series once the Thunder finish dusting off the Lakers.

Heat vs Pacers - 

That got interesting in a hurry.  Without Bosh, the Heat look more than challenged by the Pacers size.  Throw in the accustomed LeBron choke-ishness, and the series is tied 2-2 going back to Miami.  It took super-human efforts by Bron and Wade to take game four, and I wonder if they can keep it up to put the Pacers down.  Despite the struggles, I still say Heat in six.

Celtics vs 76ers - 

Don't care... I really don't care...

Big weekend for my Sox - 

Up on the North Side of Chicago, my Sox acquitted themselves quite well over the weekend.  In fact, my boys had more homers (eight) than the Cubs had runs (six) in a three game sweep.  It was the first Sox sweep in Wrigley since 1999 (Mike Caruso!), and I enjoyed it lustily.
WooHoo, a trophy!  Wait, a trophy?  From: the Trib
The weekend wasn't without some fireworks.  A Jeff Samardzija splitter rode up-and-in on Sox Captain Paul Konerko in the third inning Friday afternoon, cracking off the captain's brow, and resulting in a cut more often seen in a boxing ring.  Normally, no one would've thought twice.  A pitch got away; unfortunate, but shit happens.  The thing is, Paulie had driven a Samardzija fastball into the left field bleachers in the first inning, giving the incident a whiff of revenge.
Captain down!  From: the Trib
The rational side of me wants to say that Samardzija was just trying to get inside on a hitter who made him look stupid, and didn't intend to hit Paulie, certainly not in the head.  The fan side says: KILL THE BASTARD.  Tensions ran high Friday, and carried through Sunday, lending the series some fire that it had lost over the years.
Totally legal way to get the runner out.  From: the Trib
Samaradzija mishegas aside, the series only lasting effect is that My Sox are back to .500, and are playing some pretty good baseball headed into a week of in-division matchups with Minnesota and Cleveland. 

I'll Have Another one win away from... something -

With its win in the Preakness, I'll Have Another is on the precipice of history.  Not since 1978 and Affirmed has the horse racing world enjoyed a Triple Crown winner.  There have been 11 horses since Affirmed who have won the first two, but none has been able to take the final leg at Belmont.  I'm sure its owner is very excited.

This is an honest question: should I'll Have Another win at Belmont, will you care, even a little?  Will anyone you know? For all the attention afforded horse racing, I don't know a single person who follows it for anything other than gambling purposes.  Even if I could gin up some "give-a-shit" for some rich dude's horse, the massive amount of chemicals used to enhance the animal's skill is disgusting and reprehensible.  This sport has gone the way of boxing and tennis; what was big time 35 years ago, doesn't mean anything in 2012.

Happy Monday!

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