Posted 05/10/2010 at 04:12 AM
Lots to discuss from a weekend of bets, ballgames, fights and a sucker punch. Here we go…
--Let’s start with Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who thinks the Hawks should fire Mike Woodson but keep Joe Johnson. I agree with Bradley on the former, as the lack of effort in Game 3 is a reflection upon the head coach, as is the mind-boggling lack of ball movement offensively. Scott Skiles clearly schooled Woodson in the first round and nothing has changed in the coaching matchup with Stan Van Gundy.
On Sunday, Woodson told the AJC, “I’m not here to coach effort.”
To some extent, that may be true. Al Horord nailed it when he said, “The last thing we should worry about is effort. That should be a given.”
But it clearly isn’t with Josh Smith, who still plays like a knucklehead after six seasons of Woodson’s coaching.
Does Skiles coach effort? I say he does and that’s why an undermanned Milwaukee team took the Hawks to seven games in the first round.
I disagree with Bradley on keeping Johnson. For starters, Atlanta has clearly reached its ceiling with him as the team leader and go-to guy. Secondly, why would GM Rick Sund want to commit a huge amount of salary to a guy that’s not a great leader and has become increasingly reluctant to share the basketball?
Furthermore, I think you shop Josh Smith and if you can get some big-time talent in return, you think about it.
--Nobody is touching Orlando. I picked San Antonio to win it all back in October. That didn’t work out, obviously. I picked the Cavs before the start of the playoffs, but now I have to change to the Magic. Lame? Yeah, but it’s better to get it right late than never.
--Chipper will be back in the lineup today for the Braves, while rookie sensation Jason Heyward is hoping to return Tuesday.
--On Tiger Woods’ withdrawal from TPC with neck pain, Paul Azinger tweeted: Couldn’t all of this been prevented by a good Swedish neck massage?
--Mississippi St. point guard Dee Bost, who was a full-time starter for the Bulldogs as a freshman and sophomore, decided to stay in the draft. Bost has no chance of being drafted and will almost certainly have to play overseas. That hurts the Bulldogs, who will have Renardo Sidney after nine games and senior Ravern Johnson, who pulled out of the draft Saturday. It was bad news for Ole Miss, too, who lost Terrico White to the draft. Also, Muphy Holloway has transferred. Also in the SEC, Florida Alex Tyus elected to return for his senior year. Like Bost, he was looking at going overseas without a doubt. His return gives Billy Donovan five returning starters, with Dan Werner and Ray Shipan (transfer) the Gators’ only defections.
1-- Dallas Braden: Throws perfect game in leading Oakland to 4-0 win over Tampa Bay.
2-- Rajon Rondo: 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists to lead Celtics to crucial Game 4 to even up series with Cavs.
3-- Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua: Sensational performance in punishing formerly unbeaten champion Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida with a first-round knockout to win the light heavyweight title at UFC 113 in Montreal.
4-- Steve Kerr: The Suns GM made the right head-coaching hire with Alvin Gentry, correctly decided not to trade Amare Stoudemire, acquired Jason Richardson and other key parts around Steve Nash. And the dude was taking a lot of heat at this time last year.
5-- One-Eyed Steve Nash: After taking an inadvertent elbow from Tim Duncan that left him with six stitches and an eye nearly swollen shut, the perennial All-Star made several clutch shots at crunch time to lead the Suns into the Western Conference finals.
1—Lawrence Taylor: Last week’s rape charge and new reports Sunday that authorities have been called to Taylor home for five different domestic disputes since 2002.
2--Tiger Woods: He’s unraveling before our eyes. First, he gets heckled by a little boy Saturday. Then he withdraws from Sunday’s final round way out of contention due to…neck pain? Or is it a bulging disc in his back? Or is he losing his stomach for it? Or is he tired of the spotlight? Or, did Eldrick just quit at the TPC Sunday?
3--Joe Johnson: Calls out fans after team loses by 30 on a night when he missed all five of his shots in the first quarter, went 1-for-10 in the first half and 3-of-15 for the game. He’s barely averaging double figures in the first three games of the East semifinals.
4--A-Roids: Classic Stray-Rod getting into it with Oakland’s Dallas Braden, who then throws just the 19th perfect game in MLB history Sunday against the Rays.
5-- Paul Daley: Got beat by Josh Koscheck, then threw a sucker punch when Koscheck had his back turned well after the bell. Next, he got berated by Dana White in the octagon before being issued his pink slip from White and the UFC.