Wednesday, April 17, 2013

4/17: Summerall, Smart, etc.

  • RIP Pat Summeral. The long-time NFL broadcaster and former NFL player passed away yesterday at age 82. Anyone from my generation remembers him exclusively for his work with John Madden, both on TV and for the Madden video game franchise, but Summerall's unique disposition is legendary, and you can always pick out his voice. RIP. 
  • The Braves have won 10 straight games after a 5-homer explosion last night against the Royals in a 6-3 victory. Juan Francisco hit two home runs in the early innings to keep the game tied at 2-2, and then the bats exploded in the bottom of the 8th, as Atlanta tallied four runs including three solo shots from Heyward, Justin Upton, and Uggla. Kris Medlen was solid again (7 IP, 2 runs, 1 ER, 5 Ks) and the bullpen slammed the door. This team is rolling. 
  • Multiple sources are reporting that Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart will return for his sophomore season in college. This is pretty shocking, honestly, because Smart is a consensus top-5 pick with nothing to really gain as far as draft stock by returning. I'm seeing a lot of references to guys like Jared Sullinger and Cody Zeller, but the difference here is that Smart is already a no-brainer top-5 guy and those guys weren't. Anyway, it's good for college hoops to have upper-echelon talent, and Smart certainly does. 
  • Tracy McGrady is... a Spur!? In a very interesting move, San Antonio signed McGrady yesterday out of China to take the roster spot previously occupied by Stephen Jackson. I don't know what T-Mac has left, but he looked good in spurts for Atlanta last year, and he can still pass and score.
  • The Hawks completely no-showed against Toronto last night (losing 113-96) and that opens the door wide open for Chicago to take the #5 seed and force Atlanta to play Indiana in the first round. Eesh. I'll have more detail on this as we go, but I'm not pleased.
What to watch for on Wednesday...
  • 12:10 - MLB - Royals @ Braves (FSS) - W. Davis vs. M. Minor - Mike Minor takes to the hill to try to extend this insane, 10-game winning streak. This is another game where ATL has the pitching edge, but weird things tend to happen in 12:10 first pitches. 
  • 7:00 - MLB - Phillies @ Reds (ESPN2) - J. Lannan vs. M. Leake - You think ESPN is thrilled about this pitching match-up? (lol) At any rate, both teams are 6-7 and could use a win. 
  • 8:00 - NBA - Jazz @ Grizzlies (ESPN) - It's the final night of the NBA regular season and all 30 teams are in action. Utah needs to win here and get a Lakers loss to Houston, so they are behind the 8-ball, but anything is possible. 
  • 8:00 - NBA - Hawks @ Knicks (SportSouth) - Atlanta needs to win here and get a Chicago home loss to Washington to get the 5th seed. Translation? Say hello to the #6 seed and Indiana. 
  • 10:30 - NBA - Rockets @ Lakers (ESPN) - The aforementioned Lakers simply need to win and they're in. Without Kobe, it won't be easy, but the Howard/Gasol duo has looked better in recent days, and they'll need to lean on it. 

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