Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I can't remember a better day than yesterday. I think everyone needed that. It's been a down year for sports teams in the metroplex, but days like yesterday give this city hope. Let's start with the most important victory last night to the least important.
We lead off with the Dallas Stars. The Stars faced the Anaheim Ducks yesterday in their first round playoff match-up, to bad Anaheim didn't get the memo. The Stars put on a show and in the process demolished the defending cup champs. That was awesome to see. The offense kept coming and could've easily scored 10 goals last night. Turco continued to prove doubters labeling him as a playoff choker wrong. Posting his fourth shutout in his last eight attempts. The power play, which seemed like a concern heading in, couldn't have gone better. My pet child, Loui Eriksson played outstanding and contributed a goal and had a chance for one or two more. He's finally starting to emerge as a player and after all the talent we've been told he has, its nice to see someone from the farm produce. Yep, that'll give you a 1-0 series lead. Outstanding goaltending and converting on your opponents penalties, seems like the right way to go. I do realize that it is one game and they could easily lose the next four, the Ducks are that good. But for one night that was really cool. Go Stars!
Next up is the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks clinched a playoff spot with their win yesterday.They did it in most dramatic fashion, lead by none other than big German. The Mavs as usual jumped out to an early lead 42-30, before letting the Jazz creep back in it and eventually taking the lead at 60-59. However, the Mavs never let the lead get past one possesion. Which concluded as follows: 9 seconds left, Jason Terry makes 2/2 free throw, Mavs up 94-91. Deron Williams banks in a three from way downtown to tie it up at 94 all. Kidd quickly inbounds to Eddie Jones who dribbles up the court and finds a wide open Dirk for a three... Nothing but the bottom of the net with .09 seconds remaining. Deron Williams had a shot to tie it but promptly shot an air ball with Dirk running at his face. That was fun to watch. Dirk has ice in his veins. He is as clutch a player as you can come by nowadays. He has single handedly put this team on his back and carried them into the post season. In true MVP form, not to get carried away but if Dirk hadn't won the MVP last year, shouldn't he be right up there in the discussion this year? One thing that shouldn't be overlooked is the prescence of mind for Eddie Jones to find the best player in the game and just get him the ball. I have no doubts that if Howard or Stackhouse had they would've forced an awkward jumper. Go Mavs!
Finally, as much as I love the Ranger they are on the back burner this morning. But should not be overlooked. They swept a double header and are above .500 at 5-4 for the first time since September 20th 2006. They got another solid pitching performance from their starters. Millwood went 7 innings giving up one run in the first game of the doubleheader and Gabbard went 5 2/3 giving up 3 runs. CJ Wilson was perfect getting the saves in both games. While the offense gives cause for concern, you really can't complain about the pitching. The only pitcher to struggle so far has been Jason Jennings and he just came off elbow surgery. The defense continues to struggle and the substitutions by Wash can be questioned. But for this early in the season, can't really complain about what we've seen thus far. Go Rangers!
Monday, April 7, 2008
Ahh Yes. What a good day in the metroplex yesterday. A big Mavs win, a big Rangers win and a Stars win to end the season.
Mavericks: What a great win. The Mavs were down 14 at one point and came back to win. Thanks in part to the Big German , but how about that defense? Holding the high flying Suns to 9 points I think counts as a lock down defensive effort. Avery favorite, Devean George was awesome in the fourth he disrupted the pick and roll that Nash and Amare ran to death. After all the fire Avery stuff, time for a little Avery love. If Avery came up with that then I commend him, George was quick enough to guard Nash when he had to and big enough not to be abused by Amare. Another thing I thought Avery did that I thought worked wonders, is running the pick and roll to ignite the offense. How unconventional was that? Dirk and Damp running the pick and roll? Hey, it was effective and Dirk abused Shaq time and time again off the dribble. However, I don't want to get too excited. Last time we thought they turned the corner vs Golden St. Then LA smacked us back to reality.
Let's hope so.
“It felt great to finally get over the hump,” said Nowitzki, who logged more than 38 minutes, including every second of the fourth quarter. “Everyone in the locker room was pretty hyped up that we had finally pulled this one out, and hopefully this can build some momentum.
“We still have some tough games until the playoffs. If we can get some momentum here in these last games, then we could be a very dangerous team in the playoffs.”
Rangers: Couldn't ask much more than what we've seen so far. Albeit, 3-3 isn't all that great. But, when you consider how the teams played and the fact that they haven't played a home game I'd consider the start of the season an overwhelming success. Through six games the Rangers starters have an era of 2.31 and all but Jennings have thrown at least six innings. The only negative so far has been the atrocious defense. Hopefully that's just jitters to begin the season, but the defense wasn't all that great last year either....Laird fueled the offense yesterday And Padilla went a strong 7 innings. This stood out:
When Washington went to him after the sixth, Padilla, with 93 pitches under his belt, said he wanted to go one more. "First time," Washington acknowledged. "Last year, he didn't say much."
"Everybody was patting each other on the back,"(Padilla said) "I think it's important that all the starters are doing the job and that we're all talking to each other and helping each other. We need to keep doing that."
Awesome. Is Padilla showing maturity? Time will tell.
Stars. What a last game of the season, huh? Every few minutes a fight would break out and the physicality of the game was incredibly high even for division opponents. Well, now the real season begins, as the Stars try to erase playoff memories of the past and make a run at Lord Stanley once again. They get a tough draw to begin with the defending champs Anaheim Ducks. They've played the Ducks well this season and even though they won't be favored here, I think this is a good match up for them and they should be primed to make a run at this thing.
Viewing: NCAA championship. Kansas vs Memphis 8:21 CBS
Saturday, April 5, 2008
As I'm typing this the Rangers are choking the hell out of a 11-o lead. And... Game over. Deep fly out by Garrett Anderson. Good outing by Gabbard, BB might actually have something and Nippert might not. Really would get into the Rangers some more but I'm pissed about something else.
Mavericks. What the hell. For the eleventh time the Mavs have a top tier team in the West beat and choke in the 4th. Message for Josh Howard: Get your damn head in the game. That technical foul changed the game. The Mavs still had a lead and Josh blew his cool and emphatically slammed his headband to the ground, so blatant and inexcusable. You can not give away points. Period. We've seen this from this team time and time again. The going gets tough and they lose their cool. Whose responsibility is that? The coach. Avery has been an offender himself, getting detrimental technicals in key points in games. What's funny is for once I didn't think Avery did anything wrong for most of the game. Until the final minute came and Avery has to draw up a play to get the game within one or two. What does Avery come up with? Two isolations plays to Dirk. Now, Dirk was superman as usual throughout the game, but with one leg it's kind of hard to create on your own. It comes down to this they CAN NOT EXECUTE in crunch time. Again, coaching is solely to blame. As much as I love the Mavs, I am officially done with them. I was done with them earlier and then they teased us with the Warrior game. It's insufferable watching them get your hopes and then leave you hanging until the final seconds only to put a dagger in your chest. Unbelievable.
Friday, April 4, 2008
I've been having some Internet troubles, so I'll keep this short.
Mavericks have the Kobe show to deal with tonight as they face the Lakers and are without Stack again. I'll put the over/under on points for Kobe at 35. Big test to see if the Mavericks can build some momentum off their last victory.
Stars know who they will face in the first round of the playoffs, after their 4-2 win last night vs the Coyotes, the Anaheim Ducks. The defending champs. Looking forward to it, should be fun.
Rangers face the Angels. Still awaiting the debut of Botts. Big series. The Rangers have to win the series, they can't get off to a slow start.
Viewing: Coyotes at Stars 7:30 on FSNSW
Mavericks at Lakers 9:30 KTXA 21/ESPN
Rangers at Angels 9:05 KDFI 27 - Gabbard vs Moseley
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Mavs win, 111-86. It was do or die and finally the Mavs come through. The first win in the Kidd era over an above .500 team. Now, Dallas holds every tiebreaker against the Warriors and are a virtual lock to make the playoffs. An overall exceptional game with the Mavericks getting contributions from everybody. Terry with 31pts/6rbs/5a Howard with 28pts/7/5 Kidd with 5pts/11/17 assists! Good times. They undoubtedly got a huge spark with Nowitzki coming back. Howard is finally attacking the basket. Terry found his shot and Avery's love child, Eddie Jones provided an unexpected jolt. Avery finally let Damp play vs GS and he made a difference. Finally what can you say about the big German? He gutted it up and played when the Mavericks needed him most and was fairly efficient. Although I did hold my breath every time he hit the floor.
"If it would have been November, there's no way I would have been out there," said Dirk, "But we've got to get this playoff spot. We've been fighting all season long."
The Mavs were desperate and when they were down for the count they responded. Now, I'm not saying that the Mavs are going to steamroll through the playoffs. However, if they play like they did tonight, I like their chances versus anybody.
Monta Ellis: He good.
Now that we saw this from the Mavericks, an even bigger game comes this Fri at the Lakers. But for now, I'm riding a Maverick high. Right before I came crashing down to earth with the Rangers game. Oh well, can't get too greedy.