Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Clinic

Short on time this morning but had to comment on the Spurs...

If you can't appreciate the greatness of the Spurs offense last night, I don't think you like basketball. Perfect passing and cutting, 120 points, and 55% shooting with insane precision. Did I mention that Tim Duncan shot just 2 of 11 and only scored 11 points? San Antonio is the picture of unselfishness and it's beautiful to watch.

Oh, and the Braves won for the first time in forever.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5/29: East Finals Game 1, etc.

Greetings all... as a disclaimer, my posting will be short and possibly choppy this week as my personal schedule gets crazy starting tomorrow... bear with me...

  • Miami 93, Boston 79 - The Heat won the opening quarter 21-11 and never looked back. Lebron James was very aggressive throughout, moving off-the-ball and attacking the rim all night as he finished with 32 points (on 13 of 22) and 13 rebounds in 44 minutes. Wade also played pretty well with 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting, and Shane Battier was everywhere doing Shane Battier things and finishing with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. The big keys (other than Lebron) however? The Heat dominated the glass by a 48-33 margin and held the Celtics to just 39% shooting on the night. Those two numbers combined with 4 of 14 from three and a ghastly 11 of 21 from the line for Boston spelled doom. For the C's, Rajon Rondo was aggressive offensively, but shot just 8 of 20, and with Pierce (5 of 18) and Allen (1 of 7) scuffling as well, Kevin Garnett was the only Celtic star to play particularly well last night. KG finished with 23 and 10, but Miami continually attacked and finished at the rim against the undersized Celtics, and this could be an issue that continues going forward. 
  • The Braves have lost 8 games in a row. I was in the building yesterday to witness another pitching meltdown, and more silent bats. Tommy Hanson somehow escaped severe trouble in each of the first two innings, but the flood gates opened in the 3rd inning as he allowed 4 runs including a 3-run Daniel Descalso home run and that was enough against the struggling Atlanta lineup. No Braves regular had more than 1 hit on the day, and the last time the Braves scored 5-or-more runs was Friday May 18th. No, that's not a joke. I'm not in panic mode because I believe that the "real" Braves are somewhere in between this monstrosity and the team that was leading the NL in runs 2 weeks ago, but I'd like for the balance-out to come soon.
What to watch for on Tuesday...
  • MLB - Cardinals @ Braves - SportSouth 7:00 - Westbrook vs. Delgado - The above-mentioned 8 game streak is on the line and Randall Delgado gets the ball. Needless to say, not the guy I'd prefer.
  • MLB - Tigers @ Red Sox - ESPN 7:00 - Verlander vs. Bard - Watch for no other reason than to see the best pitcher in the game in Verlander against that powerful Boston lineup.
  • NBA - West Finals Game 2 - Thunder @ Spurs - 9:00 TNT - OKC could really use a split here if they want to win this series, and with as poorly as San Antonio played for 3 quarters in Game 1, I'd fear that they missed that window.

Friday, May 25, 2012

5/25: Miami Advances, Braves Swept, etc.

Greetings all...

  • Heat 105, Pacers 93 - I will save you the trouble of reading a full review on this game in this space because I covered it over at but Miami is moving on behind an absurd 41-point, 10-rebound performance from Dwyane Wade, and a 28/7/6 from Lebron James. Too much talent, too good in execution, and Indiana had no chance with those 2 guys putting on the show that they did. Bring on the Boston/Philly winner...
  • The Atlanta Braves just got swept in a 4-game series. Just a week after seeing the Braves in just about every top-5 in terms of power rankings, Atlanta lost 4 straight to Cincinnati, scored just 8 runs in 4 games, and were repeatedly bitten by the home run bug. Randall Delgado allowed yet another grand slam in Thursday's 6-3 loss, this time by rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco, and that one swing was enough to "swing" the outcome of this game. The Braves are still 26-20, and this isn't time to panic or anything, but with Minor and Delgado currently pitching at subpar levels (Minor especially) and Teheran available (or Roy Oswalt?), there could be some change in the semi-near future.
  • MLB Check - The White Sox slugged 5 home runs and beat the Twins 11-8 last night. I wouldn't mention this game without those 5 homers, or the fact that Minnesota got 2 bombs of their own from Justin Morneau. I think we're all rooting for the former AL MVP after his concussion issues, and it's nice to see him produce. Detroit fell to 20-24 as they squandered another fantastic Verlander start by scoring just 1 run against Justin Masterson and the Indians. Too early for panic, but a lot of their possible ills were overlooked by some (not me) in the pre-season, and their defense and lack of lineup depth could be continued issues. And finally, Dan Haren was utterly masterful last night in throwing a 4-hit complete-game shutout for the Angels. I know it was against the hapless Mariners lineup in that giant ballpark, but Haren also struck out 14 guys, and is an unquestioned top-10 starter in the league for me. Big-ups.
  • New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks broke his foot yesterday during OTA's and will miss about 12 weeks. This injury could still have him back before opening day, but it's never a good thing to see one of your elite players go down in May. I'm looking at you, Victor Cruz...
What to watch for on Friday...
  • MLB - Rays @ Red Sox - 7:00 MLB - Cobb vs. Lester - Alex Cobb is yet another talented Rays starting pitcher, and it's always worth it to watch Jon Lester go to work.
  • MLB - Nationals @ Braves - 7:30 Peachtree TV - Detwiler vs. Hudson - After an electric outing his last time out, Tim Hudson gets the ball to try to stop the backslide, and there's nobody on the roster I'd rather have out there.
  • NHL - Rangers @ Devils - 8:00 NBC Sports Network - Devils lead 3-2 - I don't watch much (read: any) Hockey, but when there's a birth in the Cup finals on the line (and no NBA to watch), it may be worth tuning in.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

5/24: Sixers/Cs, Suspensions, etc.


  • Sixers 82, Celtics 75 - What an ugly basketball game. Boston shot just 33% from the field in the loss, and the only reason this game was this close was because they dominated the boards 48-37 despite being one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. For Philly, Jrue Holiday was the bright spot, finishing with 20 points and 6 assists on 7-for-15 shooting to key the Sixer offense, and Elton Brand had a double-double with 13 and 10 up front. This series is headed to a game 7 in Boston, and I'd be shocked if Philly won there, but with how Boston played last night (and how Ray Allen's health looks), they aren't the lock that they should be.
  • The Miami Heat suspensions are out. Udonis Haslem will miss game 6 after his hard foul on Tyler Hansborough, and most seemed to feel that this was coming. The Haslem suspension is huge since he's easily their best front-court guy when Bosh is out on a team with already lackluster front-court play. Also, Dexter Pittman got 3 games for Miami, and I actually think that's pretty light in comparison to what he actually did. Alas, Pittman is inconsequential in this series so that move doesn't impact basketball on the court.
  • There is an apparently legitimate rumor that Shaquille O'Neal is going to interview for the Orlando Magic GM position. I hope they hire him just because of how much of a disaster it would be. Can you imagine Shaq in contract talks with a certified player agent? How would that even look?
  • The Braves have lost 3 straight games on the heels of a 2-1 walk-off loss last night in Cincy. Todd Frazier went lift-off against Cristhian Martinez and while the placement of the ball would've been a fly-out in most parks, it left the yard and that was that. A pretty good game out of Tommy Hanson here with 6 innings of 1-run ball, and Fredi Gonzalez even escaped mass hysteria when Chad Durbin actually managed to get 3 outs in the 7th inning at Great American Ballpark. Yikes. The Braves look to avoid the sweep later today, and need a win.
  • MLB Check - Remember when Cole Hamels was getting beat up on for all of the Bryce Harper madness? Well, he simply went out and threw 8 scoreless innings in dispatching of Washington last night. He's a top-10 pitcher and we shouldn't forget that. Boston is back to .500 after a 6-5 win over Baltimore. I've never wavered on Boston's candidacy as a playoff team, and I continue to believe they'll be there until the end. Trouble in Texas? The Rangers lost 5-3 to the Mariners yesterday, and now are just 7-8 in their last 15 games. I see no reason to panic because they are still the deepest lineup in baseball, and the pitching is better than its been, but the gauntlet hasn't been going full-steam lately.
What to watch for on Thursday...
  • MLB - Braves @ Reds - 7:00 SportSouth - Delgado vs. Bailey - Both starters are pretty mediocre, so it'll likely take some good offense for the Braves to avoid the brooms. 
  • NBA - Heat @ Pacers - 8:00 ESPN - Heat lead series 3-2 - Indiana looks to avoid elimination here at home. The Haslem injury tilts the scale a bit to Indy, but with Granger banged up and after the way they've played the last 2 games, it's tough to pick them. Gun to my head, I'd take the Heat, but Indiana will respond and compete.
  • MLB - Phillies @ Cardinals - 8:00 MLB - Blanton vs. Westbrook - If you enjoy watching pitchers that can't overwhelm anyone, this is for you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

5/23: Miami Cruises...

Greetings... let's go...

  • Miami 115, Indiana 83 - The word annihilation comes to my mind with this one. The Heat got a combined 58 points from James & Wade in just 71 total minutes and absolutely bottled up the Indiana offense to the tune of 33% shooting on the night. The real talking point? The 3 flagrant fouls including a possible suspension for Udonis Haslem for a crucial game 6 in Indy. Also, Danny Granger and David West both went down with injuries (ankle and knee respectively) so that's something to watch going forward. The Heat suddenly look to be in complete control of the series and it all happened in a 48-minute stretch.
  • The LA Kings are in the Stanley Cup Finals. I have no analysis on this at all, but LA won 4-3 in OT last night to advance. The LA/New York finals would be an apparent god-send for the NHL.
  • The Knicks are reportedly close to finalizing a deal with head coach Mike Woodson. This makes me laugh for numerous reasons, but chiefly among them is that I watched Mike Woodson coach for several years in Atlanta. This isn't going to end well for anyone but Carmelo since iso-Melo will now be a term in the NBA lexicon.
  • Reds 4, Braves 3 - Brandon Beachy is human. The Braves hurler allowed 4 earned runs through 7 innings on 3 home runs (2 by Brandon Phillips) and the Braves offense couldn't put up enough against Mat Latos. The weirdest part of the night was easily that Michael Bourn hit 2 home runs... in one game. For perspective, Bourn has 16 career home runs, and hit only 2 in each of the past 2 seasons total. Alas, the Braves now need back-to-back wins for a series split. 
  • MLB Check - Adam Wainwright is back. Well, he's been "back" all year, but after a complete game shut-out with only 4 hits and 9 K's last night, I'd say he's fully back. Speaking of dominant pitching, CJ Wilson of the Angels threw 8 innings of 1-hit shutout ball in dispatching of the A's in Oakland. And finally, Miami knocked off Colorado 7-6 and produced the single weirdest storyline of the night. Ricky Nolasco became the all-time winningest pitcher in Marlins history with 69 wins. Ricky Nolasco!!! I don't want to live in a world where he's a franchise wins leader. 
What to watch for...
  • MLB - Braves @ Reds - 7:00 SportSouth - Hanson vs. Arroyo - Bronson Arroyo stinks.
  • MLB - Nats @ Phillies - 7:00 ESPN2 - Jackson vs. Hamels - The big story line in the media is Hamels vs. Harper, but I'd be talking about Edwin Jackson. The Nats' rotation has been utterly ridiculous and Jackson is no exception.
  • NBA - Celtics @ Sixers - 8:00 ESPN - Celtics Lead 3-2 - Must-win time for Philly. I think they could hold serve here, and Vegas agrees (favored by 2 points at home). That said, would anyone be shocked if Boston closed it out on the road?

Monday, May 21, 2012

5/21: Lebron and a Sweep

Greetings... let's go quickly...

  • Lebron James had a playoff performance for the ages yesterday in Miami's 101-93 series-evening victory. LBJ finished with 40 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists and became the first player in playoff history to achieve all 3 of those statistical totals. That's insane when you think about the greats to play the game, but Lebron has that ceiling and he showed it yesterday. Miami also got 30 points (including a 22-point second half explosion) from Dwyane Wade after there was noticeable concern brewing for his whereabouts in the series through the 1st half. You'll hear a lot about LBJ/Wade and their 70 total points, but I also thought Udonis Haslem's 14 points on 5-6 FG off the bench was huge for Miami here. The series is knotted at 2-2, and you've seen the best Miami has to offer in this one, we'll see if it continues.
  • Get your brooms out. San Antonio finished off the Clips by a 102-99 margin late last night to advance to round 2. San Antonio had 6 guys in double-figures led by a 21-point, 9-rebound effort from Tim Duncan, and their balanced scoring was enough. Chris Paul finished with 23 and 11 for the Clippers but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention his late-game struggles, especially when considering his reputation (and statistical backup) for being fantastic late. He simply wasn't in this series. In short, this was a 4-game masterpiece from San Antonio with the exception of the early-game struggle in game 3, and they are the best team in the league IMO. 
  • The Golden State Warriors are reportedly "committed" to moving to San Francisco. The majority of people probably have no idea where they play now (Oakland), but this would be a huge impact in both areas. Keep an eye on that.
  • Tim Hudson dominated the Rays yesterday and led the Braves to a 2-0 win in Tampa to win the series. 7.2 innings, 4 hits, 2 walks, 0 ER and with one fortunate 8th inning bounce of a ground-ball hitting a runner's leg in the 8th inning was enough to hold on to the win. The Braves are now 26-16, sporting the 2nd-best mark in the NL and tied for the 3rd-best in all of baseball (with Texas). It's been a good 2 months.
  • MLB Check - Has there ever been a more enigmatic pitcher than Max Scherzer? The Tigers hurler struck out 15 batters in a 4-3 win over Pittsburgh after entering the game with an ERA north of 6. I have no idea. Jonathan Lucroy hit 2 homers and drove in 7 for Milwaukee in their 16-4 win over Minnesota. You may ask who Lucroy is, and I would tell you that he's the Brewers' catcher. Yep. And finally, Josh Beckett was very sharp again in dispatching of the Phillies 5-1. Beckett threw 7.2 IP of 1-run ball, and improved his ERA back near the normal range with a 4.38. He's fine again.
What to watch for on Monday...
  • NBA - Sixers @ Celtics - TNT 7:00 - Series Tied 2-2 - Game 5's are always huge in this type of series, and Boston would be my pick.
  • MLB - Braves @ Reds - ESPN 7:00 - Minor vs. Leake - Two much-maligned pitchers squaring off. Minor has been wretched lately, but the numbers show he's been pretty unlucky too, and he's got a good chance here against Mike Leake and his 6.21 ERA. 
  • NBA - Lakers @ Thunder - TNT 9:30 - Thunder lead 3-1 - After the LA late-game implosion in Game 4, I think OKC finishes them off here in 5 games, but it wouldn't shock me if LA rose up and tried to steal this one.

Friday, May 18, 2012

5/18: Brandon Beachy!

Greetings everyone... Let's go...

  • First of all, I won't break down the NBA in-depth in this space because I covered both games over at Soaring Down South. The link is as follows:  
  • While we're here however, here's a brief synopsis. Indiana took it to Miami. Dwyane Wade didn't show up. Tim Duncan is turning the clock back. Chris Paul has been bottled up. And finally, San Antonio is fantastic. Done and done.
  • Braves 7, Marlins 0 - As the title of this post suggests, Brandon Beachy was utterly lights-out last night. In his first career shut-out (and complete game), Beachy threw 122 pitches, scattered 5 hits, didn't walk a batter, and struck out 6 Marlins. It was a dominant performance, and he now leads the major leagues in ERA with an absurd 1.33 mark. Is he this good? Probably not, as he sports a FIP of 2.54 and an xFIP of 3.81, but let's ride it out for now before the regression hits. At any rate, he's established himself as a high-end starter, and for an undrafted former 3rd basemen, that's big news.
  • MLB Check - Aaron Harang threw 7 scoreless innings for the Dodgers, as they moved to 25-13 and continued their early start as the best record in the league. Albert Pujols homered on back-to-back days but the Angels fell 6-1 at home to the White Sox. Baltimore won yet again behind Adam Jones' 13th homer of the year, and the Orioles now shockingly have the AL's best record. And finally, Texas lost a 5-4 decision in 10 innings to the A's to fall to 24-15. After a blistering start, the Rangers are 12-13 in their last 25 games, and while I still believe they are the class of the league right now, visions of 100 wins may have been premature. 
  • Jonathan Vilma is suing Roger Goodell. Yes, you read that right. The suspended Saints linebacker is suing Goodell personally for lost wages and the "inability to make a living" after the commish suspended him for the season. I'm actually riveted to see what happens here because I'm of the mind that the player suspensions for the bounty-gate scandal were outrageously severe, and no one has taken Goodell to task in this form yet.
What to watch for on Friday...
  • MLB - Braves @ Rays - Peachtree TV 7:00 - Hanson vs. Shields - Interleague!! Tampa is one of the most entertaining teams in the league, so this is must-watch TV for a Braves fan.
  • MLB - Red Sox @ Phillies - MLB 7:00 - Bard vs. Hamels - More interleague! 
  • NBA - Celtics @ Sixers - ESPN 8:00 - Celtics lead 2-1 - Absolute must-win for the Sixers here. They must find a way to slow KG, and I think they could steal this one at home.
  • NBA - Thunder @ Lakers - ESPN 10:30 - Thunder lead 2-0 - The front-end of the back-to-back in this series, and LA has their back against the wall. I firmly believe that this series is over unless there's an OKC injury, but LA has come back from the dead in the past.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5/17: The Association Leads...

Greetings... let's start with hoops because that's what we do...

  • Thunder 77, Lakers 75 - A very, very intriguing game despite the low score. The Lakers led by 7 points with under 2 minutes to play before imploding before our eyes. After a Harden lay-up, Durant run-out, and repeated stops by OKC, they took the late lead, and when Steve Blake's open 3 with 5 seconds left went begging, LA was in an 0-2 hole. I thought Kevin Durant was the best (and most efficient) player on the floor in his 9-for-15, 22-point, 7-rebound performance for OKC, as he paced that offense. Westbrook (5 of 17 for 15 pts) and Harden (3 of 18, 13 points) had underwhelming games, but the OKC defense and Durant overcame that. For LA, Kobe was a ghastly 9 of 25 while Bynum wasn't much better at 8 of 19 shooting, and it's tough for them to succeed when those guys shoot like that. As a team they finished at 38% and STILL should've won this game if they would've gotten better-quality possessions down the stretch. I think this series is nearly over as Games 3 and 4 are on a back-to-back this weekend, and that certainly favors OKC despite the games being in LA. It's going to take a heroic 48 hours from Kobe and company to stay in the series.
  • Boston 107, Philly 91 - Somebody find the time machine that Kevin Garnett has gotten in the last few weeks. 27 points, 13 rebounds on 12 of 17 shooting in just 30 minutes of game action for Garnett, as he dominated the game and led Boston. He got help from Pierce (24 and 12), Rondo (23, 14, and 6), and a surprising 13 off the bench from Pietrus, but KG was the star of the night and Philly (especially Thaddeus Young) had no answer. It's a really bad sign when Philly shoots 8 of 15 from three (outstanding) in their home building, and gets the doors blown off. Boston is better.
  • Larry Bird wins the NBA's executive of the year award. I'm okay with this one because of the way they overhauled this roster without the benefit of a true super-star. The George Hill move worked out, Darren Collison and Paul George were draft-day steals, and the David West signing proved to be a shrewd move. Well done, Larry Legend.
  • The Braves lost an 8-4 battle with Miami last night. Mike Minor cruised through 3 innings before hitting another disastrous patch and finishing with 6 earned runs allowed in just 4.2 innings. His ERA has escalated to 7.09 and there's some real buzz about whether he should stick in the rotation with Teheran (or Medlen?) waiting in the wings. I'd stick with Minor for another start or 2, but there's no denying the results have been disastrous. On a positive note, Martin Prado is swinging a hot bat right now after 3 more hits including 2 doubles. Keep it going, Martin.
  • MLB Check - Albert Pujols hit a 3-run home run last night. This wouldn't be "leading" news in any other year, but it is now, as the blast led the Angels to a 7-2 win over the White Sox. The Rays halted Boston's 5-game win streak with a 2-1 win in Tampa. On the bright side for Boston, Buchholz surrendered only 2 runs in 5 innings, but he was out-dueled by 6 innings of 1-run ball from Hellickson. And finally, Philly reached the .500 mark at 19-19 with a 9-2 win over the Cubs. I'm still terrified of the Phillies and will remain so.
What to watch for on this fine Thursday...
  • NBA - Heat @ Pacers - ESPN 7:00 - Game 3 (Series tied at 1-1) - This series has taken a turn with the Bosh injury and another shrink job from Lebron, to the point where I'm seriously thinking that Indiana can (not will, but can) win this series. It's crucial that they hold serve here against an ultra-motivated Heat team, however, and remember that their front-court edge is where they should focus.
  • MLB - Marlins @ Braves - SportSouth 7:00 - Nolasco vs. Beachy - Brandon Beachy and his sparkling 1.60 ERA take the hill for Atlanta, and that's not a bad thing.
  • MLB - Red Sox @ Rays - MLB 7:00 - Doubront vs. Moore - Boston has shown life lately and Matt Moore has struggled for Tampa.
  • NBA - Clippers @ Spurs - ESPN 9:30 - Game 2 (Spurs lead 1-0) - San Antonio seemed firmly in control in Game 1 and it'll likely take something special from Chris Paul and company to steal a game on the road.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5/16: Heat, Spurs, etc.

Greetings... let's go...

  • Indiana 78, Miami 75 - The 1 vs. 4 matchup in the East is suddenly 1-1 after Indiana stole game 2 in Miami. The Miami offense stalled mightily down the stretch, and opened the door for Indiana to win the game even on a night where they shot just 38% from the field and 3 of 15 from 3-point distance. Lebron is going to get crushed this morning even after a 28-point, 9-rebound effort because that's what happens when the Heat lose, but I thought it was clear late that Miami was running their stuff through Wade and that was pretty indefensible on a night where Wade shot 8 of 22 and had the worse matchup. At any rate, I was impressed by the resolve of Indiana to grab 50 rebounds and absolutely grind to a road win here. One final note, Mario Chalmers was an absolute abomination for Miami, shooting 2 of 10 with 0 assists in 23 minutes including crunch-time. I can't fathom a scenario in which they believe he's one of their best 5 players, especially against a team without a dominant PG that he has to guard. Rant over...
  • San Antonio 108, LA Clippers 92 - Tim Duncan was Tim Duncan last night. 26 points and 10 rebounds on 12 of 20 shooting for the greatest power forward of all-time, and he got in the time machine to abuse Blake Griffin throughout. The Spurs also won the rebounding battle decisively (47 to 34), and got a bad shooting night from Chris Paul (3 of 13), but it's clear to me that they are head-and-shoulders better than the Clips. I can't see this series going past 5 games unless Chris Paul goes absolutely nuts.
  • The Braves got a nice bounce-back win over Cincinnati last night to split the 2-game series. Tim Hudson did Tim Hudson things, allowing just 2 runs over 7 innings as he induced 9 groundball outs and cruised once he had the lead. Brian McCann went lift-off in the 2nd inning of Johnny Cueto and Michael Bourn had 3 hits (again). Bring on the Fish...
  • MLB Check - Ervin Santana finally won a game last night. The Angels starting pitcher took it on himself this time, throwing 7.2 IP of shut-out ball to ensure he couldn't get a 7th straight defeat. Former Brave Derek Lowe threw a complete-game shutout with NO STRIKEOUTS yesterday afternoon. There's never been a more "Derek Lowe" performance, and it was the first time since 2002 that any pitcher threw a shutout with no K's. The Yankees are scrambling to replace another closer as David Robertson hits the DL. There was some question about whether it was his job, but now it's all eyes on Rafael Soriano... if he can stay on the field. And finally, Stephen Strasburg got chased after just 4 innings against the Padres after he allowed 4 earned runs. There's been a groundswell that he could somehow be a Cy Young candidate even with his 160-inning limit, but this performance hurts that chance. He'd need to post a 1.50 ERA or something close to it to even have a chance, and I don't see it.
  • ESPN is coming out with a "new" 30 for 30 series. If you had a chance to watch some or all of the original 30 documentaries of the first 30 years of ESPN, it was one of the best sports viewing experiences I've ever had, and I'm thrilled for this version. The second take is going to be 30 short films, and they will stream on Grantland. The first one, about Pete Rose, is up now. Check it out.
What to watch for on Wednesday...
  • NBA - Celtics @ Sixers - 7:00 TNT - Game 3 (Series Tied 1-1) - Boston is now in a position where they have to steal one of the next 2 in Philly, and Game 3 is the next target. Philly is up to the challenge, but I'd still be confident in Boston winning the series. 
  • MLB - Marlins @ Braves - 7:00 SportSouth - Buehrle vs. Minor - Mike Minor is scuffling right now, but the Marlins offense isn't too much of a bear, so it may be a bounce-back night.
  • MLB - Red Sox @ Rays - 7:00 ESPN - Buchholz vs. Hellickson - Clay Buchholz has been a disaster this year, and it won't get easier against Tampa at the Trop.
  • NBA - Lakers @ Thunder - 9:30 TNT - Game 2 (Thunder lead 1-0) - OKC utterly dominated the first matchup, and LA is reeling. I'd expect more fight from the Lakers here, but still an OKC win.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5/15: Quickly....

No time this morning so here we go with a hilariously short entry...

  • OKC throttled the Lakers 119-90. It was an absolute offensive masterpiece from OKC throughout, and they've already exposed just how bad Andrew Bynum is defensively as anything other than a post defender. Could be a short series.
  • Philly stole a 1-point win in Boston. Really ugly game here, but the biggest stat IMO is Paul Pierce attempting just 9 shots and scoring 7 points. Tough for Boston to win on a night like that.
  • Chris Bosh is out "indefinitely" after an MRI on his abdominal injury. This is a huge loss for Miami because, no matter what you think of Bosh, he's far and away their 3rd best player on a team that doesn't have much depth.
  • Matt Kemp to the DL with a hamstring injury. The guy had played 399 straight games and was absolutely mashing the ball for the league-leading Dodgers, so this is huge news. Speedy recovery.
  • The Braves lost 3-1 to the Reds last night. Not a bad loss because Randall Delgado pitched well and the big late "rally" was thwarted by one of the most dominant pitchers on earth in Aroldis Chapman. On to Tuesday.

Monday, May 14, 2012

5/14: Clippers, Heat, etc.

Greetings everyone... let's start with what happened in the Association...

  • Clippers 82, Grizzlies 72 - There's nothing quite like a Game 7 and this one delivered the theatrics even if it lacked in execution or high-level play. Neither team shot north of 40% from the field (38.5% for LAC, 32.5% for MEM), there were 29 turnovers committed, and the teams shot a combined 4 for 30 from long-distance on the night. Nerves? Maybe, but bad execution reigns. Even the immortal Chris Paul wasn't immune as he finished with 5 turnovers and just 4 assists after a pretty dominant opening half turned sour down the stretch. Even with this lack of production (and the disappearing act of Blake Griffin), the Clippers lead kept widening late thanks to a slow of unproductive trips by Memphis, and that was that. On to San Antonio for the Clippers in what could be one of the best days in franchise history... and that's a wild thought.
  • Heat 95, Pacers 86 - Miami is better than Indiana. That was illustrated in full view in Game 1 when Indiana seemed to be winning every battle, and have a decent grasp on the game before Lebron and Wade combined for 22 of the final 23 Heat points, and took control of the game. I thought the decision by Indiana to go away from West and Hibbert (who finished with 17 a piece) was, at best, curious, and when Indiana tried to integrate Granger and Barbosa, things went south. Lebron was the best player on earth yet again here, finishing with 32 points and 15 rebounds after a 16-point fourth quarter, and if he plays like that, good luck to everyone. No real surprises here, and I still think Miami cruises in 5 games.
  • WARNING! SOCCER CONTENT!!! I opened twitter to a barrage of thoughts on Manchester City's apparently epic comeback from a 2-1 deficit with 2 goals in stoppage time to win 3-2 and claim the English Premier League title for the first time in 44 years. If you read this regularly, you know I have no love lost for soccer as a whole, but I can appreciate this on a variety of levels. First, "football" fans are a dedicated bunch, and to have a fan base go 44 years between titles isn't something to sneeze at. And second, 2 goals in 5 minutes with your season on the line? in soccer? Come on... That's incredible. At any rate, big-ups to Man City and their fans...
  • The Braves swept the defending World Series champion Cardinals over the weekend. Granted it's May, but that's fairly impressive, and it culminated with a 7-4 win on Sunday. Tommy Hanson lasted just 3 batters into the 6th inning, but allowed only 1 earned run and struck out 9 while Jason Heyward paced the offense with a bases-clearing double in the 3rd inning in an incredible at-bat that swung the tide of the game. Coming home for 4 games with the Reds isn't an "easy" task, but this was a big weekend for Atlanta.
  • MLB Check - Joey Votto put all concerns about his power to rest with a 4-for-5, 3 home run outing in Cincy's 9-6 win over Washington. The Reds slugger had just 1 bomb entering the game, but his OPS is now over 1.050 for the year and all is well there. Tampa Bay avoided a sweep at the hands of the suddenly-credible Orioles with a 9-8 win in Baltimore. They held on for dear life after leads of 7-1 and 9-6, but came away with the win to stay within a game of the division lead. And finally, Minnesota became the last team to reach double-digit victories with a 4-3 win over Toronto led by Scott Diamond on the mound. I don't think Minnesota is the worst team in the league, but they will very possibly win the least amount of games on the year. How the mighty have fallen in the Twin Cities.
  • There is a wide-spread report that Kyrie Irving will win the rookie of the year award, and there was never any doubt. The Cavs guard averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in his initial season, and was far-and-away the highest-impact rookie of all with apologies to my man-crush Ricky Rubio. Congrats to Kyrie.
What to watch for on Monday...
  • NBA - Sixers @ Celtics - 7:00 TNT - Boston leads 1-0 after their 1-point win over the weekend and Philly is in desperate need of a split here. 
  • MLB - Reds @ Braves - 7:00 SportSouth - Bailey vs. Delgado - The red-hot Braves welcome Joey Votto and company. Should be fun.
  • MLB - Cubs @ Cardinals - 7:00 ESPN - Dempster vs. Westbrook - Both starters are having excellente years, and this is one of the best rivalries in the majors.
  • NBA - Lakers @ Thunder - 9:30 TNT - Game 1 of the highly anticipated series. Old vs. Young, Kobe vs. Durant, Size vs. Speed. This series has it all and I can't wait.

Friday, May 11, 2012

5/11: This is the End.

Greetings everyone... somber day...

  • The Atlanta Hawks season ended in such "Atlanta Hawks" fashion that it was almost the perfect ending. Josh Smith took an ill-advised, contested jumpshot from 23-feet with 9 seconds to go in the game and the Hawks trailing by one point, it went begging, and after an Al Horford missed free throw (and inexplicable make of the 2nd one), Jeff Teague's 70-foot heave was all that the Hawks could produce. This game had everything. An angry Kevin Garnett, after posting 28 points and 14 rebounds, assassinated Hawks owner Michael Gearon publicly following Gearon's comments concerning Garnett's "dirty" play, and it was clear that KG used this as motivation. That's "Hawks move" number one. Joe Johnson 7-for-17 shooting performance including an Iso-Joe 18-footer at the 1-minute mark, and a failed drive attempt late were pretty indicative of the Johnson era as a whole. Uninspiring is the term I keep coming back to. And then there was Al Horford absolutely battling through 46 minutes less than one week after his unexpected comeback, doubling as the best player on the Hawks on a night he attempted only 9 shots. Atlanta got only 9 points from the entire bench, as well as 5 points on 9 shots from Jeff Teague, and lost the rebounding battle to a team that it's difficult to lose the rebounding battle to. This game had it all. I won't go on and on about missed opportunities like giving away Game 2 to a Rondo-less Celtics team that had no business winning, talk about how no one on this team outside of Al Horford has "the look" that a Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett possesses, or rant about Josh Smith's shot selection for the umpteenth time today, because I don't have the energy. Just know that this one hurt, and my initial reaction is to call for changes. Here's looking at you, Josh Smith.
Quickly, let's head elsewhere in the NBA before we head out...
  • Sixers 79, Bulls 78 - What a weird game. The Sixers are moving on to round 2, but not without some late-game issues. Chicago's CJ Watson inexplicably attacked the rim with a 1-point lead and under 10 seconds remaining, and ended up dropping off a pass to Omer Asik, who was fouled hard by Philly. No issue, right? Well, let me remind you that a) the shot clock was off and they had a 1 point lead, b) CJ Watson is a career 81% free throw shooter, and c) Omer Asik shot 46% from the line for the season and is at 48% for his career. Which guy do you want shooting guaranteed free throws with your season on the line? Anyway, Asik missed both, Andre Iguodala went coast-to-coast for the game-winning bucket, and that was that. Neither of these teams has the ability to make the NBA finals (since Chicago is without Rose), so the series is mostly cannon-fodder, but this was a brutal end to the season for the Bulls.
  • Nuggets 113, Lakers 96 - We're headed to at least one game 7 in round one. Denver got 32 points, 6 assists (and no turnovers) from Ty Lawson to spur their offense and run LA out of the gym effectively. Kobe was fantastic even on a day where he had flu-like symptoms, as he finished with 31 points on 13 of 23, but Pau Gasol shot just 1-10, and Andrew Bynum wasn't effective on the block despite his 16 rebounds. The transition defense of LA was utterly laughable in this one, and I believe it stems from Bynum's complete unwillingness to sprint back, but we're getting too technical here. I still like LA in Game 7 because I don't think Pau goes 1-10 again and Denver is a different (read: worse) team on the road, but anything can happen.
What to watch for...
  • MLB - Angels @ Rangers - MLB 8:00 - Wilson vs. Darvish - Two of the most talked about pitchers of the offseason square off. For all of the talk of LA's demise, they are only 7 games behind Texas and it's early May. Long way to go.
  • MLB - Braves @ Cardinals - Peachtree TV 8:15 - Minor vs. Garcia - Mike Minor has really struggled two starts in a row, but his xFIP is much, much better than his ERA, and we'll see if he can rebound against that banged-up Cards offense.
  • NBA - Grizz @ Clippers - ESPN 9:00 - Win or Go Home time for Memphis on the road in this Game 6, and while I firmly believe that Memphis is still the better team, Chris Paul has been, by far, the best player on the court in the series, and the team with the best player usually wins. All eyes on LA.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

5/8: From the Road...

Greetings everyone... I'm in Orlando for the week, but trying to get some content up while I'm here... let's go...

  • Chris Paul is better than you. The Clippers PG finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists to lead the Clippers to an OT win over Memphis in taking a commanding 3-1 series lead. Paul was just 5 of 17 at one point in the game, but made his final 5 shots, including 3 straight jumpers in OT after Blake Griffin fouled out. My man-crush on Paul knows no bounds, and he was incredible last night. Speaking of Griffin, Blake played his best game of the series with 30 points on 10 of 15 before fouling out and that 2-man show with Paul had it going. This is a devastating blow to Memphis, who failed to steal one in LA despite dominating the glass 47-36, and getting a breakout 25/8/7 from Mike Conley. This series isn't over because I still think Memphis is the better team, but it's on life support. 
  • The Spurs swept the Jazz. No one is too shocked by this since it was the 1/8 matchup, but the Spurs hate in some circles still exists, and it's nice for a Spurs "guy" like myself to see them throttle Utah in 4. No one played more than 28 minutes for San Antonio and they (namely Duncan and Ginobili) will be glad to get an extended rest going forward.
  • Cole Hamels suspended 5 games for throwing at Bryce Harper... and admitting it. How stupid do you have to be to admit this? I'm irrational about the Phillies, but Hamels just climbed my list of dislike simply because he came off like a clown.
  • Cubs 5, Braves 1 - With the exception of a Jason Heyward blast, former Notre Dame receiver turned Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija threw a 7-inning gem to stifle the Braves bats in the series opener. Tommy Hanson threw fairly well (6 innings, 2 ER on solo homers), but O'Flaherty and Durbin both surrended runs (2 for Durbin) and it may be cause for concern on O'Flaherty going forward. He's simply not as sharp as last season and his ERA of 6.55 is indicative of that.
What to watch for on Tuesday...
  • NBA - Magic @ Pacers - NBATV 7:00 - Indiana looks to close this series out in 5 and I think they do that at home.
  • NBA - Celtics @ Hawks - TNT 8:00 - The Hawks try desperately to stay alive. Interested to see how Smith's knee looks because if he isn't right, this is over anyway.
  • MLB - Braves @ Cubs - SportSouth 8:00 - Delgado vs. Dempster - Randall Delgado is coming off the best and longest start of his career and will look to build on that here.
  • NBA - Sixers @ Bulls - NBATV 9:30 - Philly tries to close out Chicago on the road... I think the Bulls have some fight left and steal this one before bowing out in Game 6. 
  • NBA - Nuggets @ Lakers - TNT 10:30 - This one ends tonight as well. Too much size for LA.

Friday, May 4, 2012

5/4: Hoops, Mo Rivera, etc.

Greetings... Let's go...

  • Beginning in the association, Miami defeated the Knicks in MSG by a 87-70 margin to hand the Knicks their NBA-record 13th straight playoff defeat. 13 straight is tough to accomplish, but when you package Mike Woodson with no guards and no Amar'e, this is what happens. Lebron was tremendous despite a so-so shooting night as he finished with 32 points, 8 boards, and 5 assists while Wade added 20, and Chris Bosh (fresh off a plane where his newborn child was born yesterday) added 10 boards. Melo (7 of 23) and JR Smith (5 of 18) combined to shoot just 29% on nearly two-thirds of the NY shot attempts, and that's a recipe for a 70-point total output. This series is effectively over at this point.
  • In the other game, the Zombies asserted their dominance in putting away the Mavs. OKC led by 9 at the half, but a big run in the 3rd quarter was what iced this one. Kevin Durant shot the ball better (11 of 15) and easily led all scorers with 31 points, while Russ Westbrook added 20 points in 32 minutes. The key stats? OKC committed only 7 turnovers to 15 for Dallas, and the Zombies made 12 of 28 threes to Dallas' 7 of 22. At a 3-0 deficit, this one isn't quite as over as the Miami/NYK series is simply because Dallas is a much, much better team than NY is and they're battle-tested, but again, this one is effectively over. 
  • Mariano Rivera has a torn ACL and will miss the entire 2012 season with retirement possible. Mo was shagging flies during BP and got caught in the grass near the outfield wall before taking a tumble and clutching his knee. What a shocking/weird way to potentially end a legendary career, but at 42 years old, you'd have to wonder if this is the end. The craziest part? He hasn't appeared in less than 45 games since he arrived in 1996, and appeared in 60+ games in 14 of 16 seasons. Life will not be normal without the Sandman trotting in from the bullpen for the Yanks. In the meantime, I'd imagine they go with David Robertson, with a potential for Rafael Soriano, and while Robertson is a tremendous reliever, he isn't Mo Rivera. 
  • Phillies 4, Braves 0 - Joe Blanton tossed an 88-pitch, 3-hit shout-out in Turner Field yesterday afternoon. If I wasn't still basking in the glow of Wednesday night's madness, I'd be even angrier, but there's pretty much no excuse for allowing the worst starter on Philly's staff to do a Greg Maddux impression in your home park. That said, it was getaway day and you could certainly tell. One positive note was Randall Delgado throwing 8 innings of 2-run ball, and on a day where the 'pen was taxed, this was fantastic. 
  • MLB Check - Pablo Sandoval will miss 4-6 weeks with a broke hamate bone in his hand. Big loss for an already bad Giants lineup as he is their best hitter and the options behind him (since they REFUSE to play Brandon Belt anywhere) are limited. Brandon Morrow tossed a 3-hit shutout against the Angels late last night and the Jays won 5-0. After all the "momentum" of the Weaver no-no, this sends the Angels crashing back to Earth and Albert Pujols was 0-3. I have no idea. And finally, most people are in agreement that Texas is the league's best team, but Tampa Bay is really playing well. They are now 18-8 after a sweep of Seattle, and churning out victories behind that ridiculous pitching staff. I'm interested to see how they are going forward without Longoria, but that's a playoff team.
  • Terrell Suggs tore his achilles. That's the big story, but the off-shoot story is whether he did it playing basketball or in a "conditioning test". At any rate, the Ravens may be without the reigning defensive player of the year for the entire season and that's a huge blow.
What to watch for...
  • MLB - Philles @ Nationals - 7:00 MLB - Kendrick vs. Strasburg - If you need an appetizer to the basketball, you get a few innings of Strasburg.
  • NBA - Hawks @ Celtics - 7:30 ESPN - No Josh Smith. No Al Horford. No Zaza Pachulia. I'm not exactly excited about this. The only scenario where the Hawks can steal this game revolves around Joe Johnson strapping the team to his back a la Paul Pierce in Game 2. Does he have it in him?
  • NBA - Bulls @ Sixers - 8:00 ESPN2 - Suddenly a series that no one cares about, but I'm actually riveted to see how Chicago responds after the no-show in Game 2. Aren't they still as good as Philly even without Rose?
  • MLB - Braves @ Rockies - 8:40 Peachtree TV - Hudson vs. Moscoso - Hudson makes his second start and if there was ever a guy to pitch effectively in Coors, he's it. Moscoso is an extreme fly-ball pitcher that the Rockies traded for in the off-season. Just think about the rationale there, and get back to me. 
  • NBA - Lakers @ Nuggets - 10:30 ESPN - I thought Denver would give LA a run in this series, and to do so, this is an absolute must-win in Mile-high. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

5/3: The Old Man Strikes

Greetings everyone... wild night in Atlanta...

  • Braves 15, Phillies 13 - In one of the crazier Braves game in recent memory, Chipper Jones blasted a 2-run, 11th inning, walk-off home run to lift the Braves over the Phillies. Just two pitches earlier, Jones had seemingly homered, but the ball drifted foul and the air let out of the building... for two pitches. What an unbelievable end to an insane game. The Braves trailed 6-0 in the 5th before hanging 6 runs (on Roy Halladay!) in the 5th, then followed it up with 2 more in the 6th for an 8-6 lead. Philly then put up back-to-back 3-run innings in the 7th (a Carlos Ruiz bomb) and 8th (a bases-clearing double by Ruiz again) to take a 12-8 lead and it looked like the comeback was for naught. That is until the bottom of the 8th, when Atlanta put up a 5-spot to take a 13-12 lead. Kimbrel time and a win, right? Wrong. At least on this night. Kimbrel walked Juan Pierre to lead-off the 9th, he promptly stole second, and scored 2 batters later on an infield single. 13-13. Can you see the craziness I was talking about? At any rate, this will be remembered for the Old Man blasting off in the 11th, but everything that happened before that made it even more meaningful. 
  • Jered Weaver threw a no-hitter last night in Anaheim. Normally, that's the lead story with no questions asked, but when local news hits (lol), we have to hold things. 9 strikeouts, 121 pitches, 1 passed ball, 1 walk, and a pretty clean no-no. Weaver is one of the best in the business, so the surprise shouldn't be too great, but at any rate, it's impressive.
  • In a sad story, Junior Seau was found dead in his home yesterday. The 43-year-old Chargers legend passed away via a gun-shot wound and is being investigated for suicide. You never want to discuss these things (at least I don't) until all the details are out there, but we can pray for the family. 
  • In the Association, San Antonio absolutely throttled the Jazz 114-83 to further assert that they are going to win that series in short order. 7 guys in double figures and no one played more than 28 minutes for the Spurs. Just how they drew it up. Indiana took control back in their series against Orlando with a 97-74 road win. Danny Granger (26 points, 9 boards) and Roy Hibbert (18 points, 10 boards) did whatever they wanted, and the Pacers held Orlando to 42% shooting while dominating the glass 46-33. That's the recipe for a dominant road win. And in the late game, Memphis  held serve at home 105-98 over the Clips. Six guys in double-digits for Memphis led by 21 from Rudy Gay and 20 from OJ Mayo (the Juice!) off the bench. If the Grizz can win with Marc Gasol providing very little (8 points, 7 boards), that's a good sign for Memphis, and I still like them in this series. For LAC, Chris Paul was spectacular (29 points, 10-17 FG, 6 assists, 5 steals), but the Clippers lost this game on the glass (37-28) and in the turnover battle (20-12). That's the only way to lose a game when you shoot 57% from the field. Yikes.
What to watch for...
  • MLB - Phillies @ Braves - SportSouth Noon - Blanton vs. Delgado - The worst starting pitcher for both teams, but when the best pitcher (arguably) for both teams matched up last night and the game produced 28 runs, you never know. 
  • NBA - Heat @ Knicks - TNT 7:00 - The series moves to the Mecca, and if the Knicks want to make this a long (-er) series, they need to win this game. Amar'e seems to be out, but that isn't as big of a blow as it should be, and I could see Melo going for 40 here. 
  • MLB - Yankees @ Royals - MLB 8:00 - Phelps vs. Duffy - Nothing like turning on the Yankees and seeing that David Phelps is starting. Who is David Phelps? I actually have no idea. 
  • NBA - Thunder @ Mavs - TNT 9:30 - Best of the 8 series so far, and it changes scenery to Dallas. Absolute must-win for the Mavs here, and I actually expect them to hold serve.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

5/2: Doom and Gloom

Greetings everyone... let's go..

  • Celtics 87, Hawks 80 - Just to let you know where we are as a city this morning, I actually read a column calling this loss the worst in Hawks history. I don't agree with that notion, but any way you slice it, this was a game that the Hawks a) couldn't afford to lose, and b) gave away. First of all, credit Paul Pierce for getting into the time machine and annihilating the Hawks throughout the game, finishing with 36 points and a gritty 14 rebounds to carry the C's offense. But after that? Blame was passed around. Josh Smith's shot selection has reached joking levels in the last 2 games with 12 jumpers in the opener, and 10 jumpers last night (he made only 2 and that's being generous with "jumper" on a 9-footer he made in the 2nd quarter), and I can't even begin to discuss the egregious reverse dunk attempt in the 1st quarter. Just know that I wasn't a fan of a circus dunk attempt in a crucial playoff game with the defense trailing close enough to alter such an attempt. Smith wasn't the only guy to blame (and he did have 12 rebounds while holding KG in check), as Marvin Williams was probably the worst player on the court in his 21 minutes, and Joe Johnson did "Joe Johnson" things, going 7 of 17 including an completely uninspiring 4th quarter effort that saw the full-scale return of Iso-Joe and negative outcomes as a result. Have I mentioned yet that Josh Smith has a sprained knee and could miss time as he undergoes an MRI today? There is no visible scenario for the Hawks to win a game in this series without Josh Smith unless Al Horford magically returns at 100% no-rust health, and even if Smith is healthy, the Hawks have lost home-court against a better team, and they did so in a game that didn't feature Rajon Rondo. There are no winners.
  • Elsewhere in the Association - Philadelphia beat up on the Rose-less Bulls 109-92. Six guys in double-figures led by 26 from Jrue Holiday and 20 off the bench from Lou Williams, and the Sixers shot 59% from the field on the road here. That's an impressive effort against Chicago regardless of who isn't playing for them. And in the West, the Lakers held on for dear life against Denver and got a 104-100 win. Bean Bryant had 38 points (on 15 of 29) for LA to lead all scorers, while Bynum had 27 and 9 against the outmanned Denver front-court. I was high on Denver entering the series, mainly because of their speed, and while Ty Lawson was spectacular last night, it's clear that if Kobe has it going, Denver has no chance in this series with the front-court matchup as it is.
  • Tyson Chandler reportedly won the defensive player of the year award, and that's okay with me. He's an elite guy in the middle who somehow transformed that Knicks unit into an above-average defense while carrying the carcass of Amar'e Stoudemire and the defensively-inept guard trio that features Mike Bibby and fat Baron Davis. Congrats to him. 
  • MLB Check - The Braves dropped game 1 to the Phillies 4-2 as someone finally touched Jonny Venters. The Braves set-up man gave up 2 runs in the 8th that proved to be the difference in this one, and while any loss isn't fun, this one isn't cause for alarm. Brandon Beachy was tremendous (again) with 7 innings of 2-run ball, and losing to Cole Hamels isn't a crime. On to Wednesday. Jerome Williams decided to put the Angels struggling offense on his back last night to tune of a complete game, 3-hit shutout for LAA. Albert Pujols went 0-4 and is slugging .292. Yep. And finally, the Orioles are chugging along at 15-9 after a 7-1 win over the Yankees last night. Brian Matusz got the win for Baltimore, and while he has fallen off the earth for about a year, it's nice to see the former uber-prospect pitch well.
  • One bad MLB note is that Rays 3B Evan Longoria will miss 4-8 weeks with a tear in his hamstring. He had going this year (.994 OPS, 4 HR, 19 RBI) and they'll miss his bat in the lineup, but the Rays will be fine for a relatively short time period, and this loss will have greater effect on my fantasy roster. Not bitter.
What to watch for on Wednesday...
  • MLB - Rangers @ Blue Jays - 12:30 MLB - Harrison vs. Romero - Midday baseball and two quality starting pitchers to go along with the best offense in the league in Texas.
  • NBA - Jazz @ Spurs - 7:00 TNT - San Antonio looked like a gauntlet in Game 1 and that'll likely continue here. One note to watch is how the "big" line-up performs for Utah. It had been dominant in the regular season (with Favors, Jefferson, and Millsap playing at once), but got killed in Game 1. 
  • MLB - Phillies @ Braves - 7:00 SportSouth - Halladay vs. Hanson - Awesome pitching matchup, even if no opposing fan ever wants to see Roy Halladay on the mound. 
  • MLB - Orioles @ Yankees - 7:00 ESPN - Arrieta vs. Nova - As stated above, Baltimore is playing well right now, and Arrieta is another strong young arm. 
  • NBA - Pacers @ Magic - 7:30 NBA-TV - They should rename this the NBA-TV series. Give me the Pacers.
  • NBA - Clippers @ Grizzlies - 9:30 TNT - After the epic Game 1 comeback/meltdown, all eyes are on Memphis to see how they respond here.