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Thursday, June 16, 2005

US Open, NBA, and Other Stuff You're Dying to Know

Wide Open
Now that the weekend is shaping up, heres who I feel will take charge and march to the US Open title at Pinehurst #2.
The way I see it, this weekend should be a battle of the Big 4, no not Phil and Ernie, but Sergio and Goosen to go along with Woods and Singh. Goosen has the weekend lead with a few others as he looks to become only the fifth player to win 3 US Opens. Sergio is still looking for that marquee victory to put on his resume and is in a good position only 3 back of the leaders. Tiger and Vijay are also looming only a few strokes off the lead, and whenever they are around on the weekend of a major, they are sure to be putting pressure on the leaders, if not taking the lead themselves. I think that the Goose has the mental strength and the steady game to take another Open, but I'm routing for Tiger. While it may be getting tougher and tougher each year for him to even come close to his "Tiger Slam", I'd truly like to see him win the Grand Slam, and this would be the next step. Either way this should be an exciting weekend of action as the greens firm up and the pressure heats up at America's championship.

NBA Finals
- For someone that despises the NBA, I almost do not want the season to end. Mostly due to one name that we are going to hear even more in the offseason (if possible), Larry Brown. Whether he is complaining about the officials, which is classic Larry, or fielding questions about his health or his future job as president? in Cleveland. Yeah, thats right, the future of the NBA is in his hands. The same guy that wouldn't play Lebron in Athens, is supposed to help him "play the right way", and assemble a supporting cast that will help him win a few titles here and there. Well i hope that doesn't happen for Lebron's sake, and I hope Larry stays in Motown, has a few more hip surgeries, and finally walks away from coaching. He has his rings, and tons of people love him, so no better time to call it quits before his leg falls off or he collapses on the court.

- As far as the actual series goes, this is why its good to make several predictions. First, everyone was right in saying that this was going to be a boring series, but not for the reason everyone thought. Going into the series everyone was worried that games would be so focused on defense that the average score would be something like 70-65. However, none of the games have been close, with each team winning two blowouts at home by an average of 21 points. Which team will show up to win this best of 3? I'm still going with the Spurs, but I'm not saying that I am going to watch.

Mock Draft II
Several players improved their stock with workouts in Chicago, private workouts, and Reebok's European workouts. Also, since last week many players have either pulled out of the draft, or indicated that they are leaning towards staying in. With that being said, here is the way I feel the first round will shape up. There wasn't much change at the top, but things are up in the air throughout the rest of the draft.

1. Milwaukee Bucks - Marvin Williams, G/F UNC
2. Atlanta Hawks - Andrew Bogut, F/C Utah
3. Portland Trailblazers - Gerald Green, G/F Texas HS
4. New Orleans Hornets - Chris Paul, G Wake Forest
5. Charlotte Bobcats - Raymond Felton, G UNC
6. Utah Jazz - Fran Vazquez, F Spain
7. Toronto Raptors - Danny Granger, F New Mexico
8. New York Knicks - Channing Frye, F Arizona
9. Golden State Warriors - Hakim Warrick, F Syracuse
10. LA Lakers - Deron Williams, G Illinois
11. Orlando Magic - Martell Webster, G Seattle HS
12. LA Clippers - Antoine Wright, F Texas A&M
13. Charlotte Bobcats - Charlie Villenueva, F UCONN
14. Minnesota Timberwolves - Joey Graham, F Oklahoma St.
15. New Jersey Nets - Ike Diogu, F Arizona St.
16. Toronto Raptors - Johan Petro, C France
17. Indiana Pacers - Rashad McCants, G UNC
18. Boston Celtics - Yaroslav Korolev, F Russia
19. Memphis Grizzlies - Sean May, F UNC
20. Denver Nuggets - Francisco Garcia, F Louisville
21. Phoenix Suns - Chris Taft, F Pittsburgh
22. Denver Nuggets - Roko Ukic, G Croatia
23. Sacramento Kings - Julius Hodge, G/F North Carolina St.
24. Houston Rockets - Randolph Morris, F Kentucky
25. Seattle Sonics - Wayne Simien, F Kansas
26. Detroit Pistons - David Lee, F Florida
27. Utah Jazz - Jarret Jack, G Georgia Tech
28. San Antonio Spurs - Ryan Gomes, F Providence
29. Miami Heat - Andrew Bynum, C New Jersey HS
30. New York Knicks - Andray Blatche, F HS

*moved up
*moved down

Big Ted Machine
I hate Joe Morgan. It's bad enough that he will never be able to accept that any modern day players are any good, except Barry of course, but now he has stopped doing research apparently before doing games. Perfect example is his mid-game interview with Red Sox manager Terry Francona as the Red Sox faced off against the Chicago Cubs this past week:
Joe - "So Terry why is Mirabelli catching when Varitek has been one of your best players this season?"
Terry - (confused)"Well...uh...Mirabelli catches all the games Wakefield pitches."
Joe - "Why is Kevin Millar in the game when David Ortiz has been playing first for all the interleague games?"
Terry - (again confused)"Well David had played all the National League games until now so we wanted to give him a day off, and Kevin is hitting over .400 against Glendon Rusch in his career."

Joe - (after the interview was over) - "Oh I wanted to ask one more question."
John Miller - "What was that?"
Joe - "I wanted to ask him how it was without Pedro."

Dear Joe Morgan - If you are going to announce, at least try to pay attention and not ask the manager dumb questions right in the middle of the 3rd inning!

New Stuff!
Weekly Trivia Question
Who was the first NBA player to win Rookie ofthe Year and MVP awards in the same season?
A) Larry Bird
B) Oscar Robertson
C) Wilt Chamberlain
D) Karim Abdul Jabaar
E) Wes Unseld
*check back next week for the answer

Red Sox Week In Review
Record: 5-1
Best Pitching Performance:
(6/14) David Wells vs Cincinnatti - 7.0 IP 1 H 0 ER 5 K 2 BB
Best Hitting Performance:
Manny Ramirez - HR in 3 straight games 6/12 - 6/14 and raised BA up to .263
Games out of 1st: 2

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