Shock: I know that for many sports fans, the NBA season doesn’t begin until the playoffs start, but it should be noted how “one of a kind” this NBA season has been. The Mavericks won their 50th game yesterday and it came with a special prize; a trip to the first round of the playoffs. That’s right; it took them 50 wins just to get in. This stuff doesn’t happen. 50 wins gets you home court, at least for a round and usually more. This year, the Golden State Warriors are 47-32 and they are probably not going to get in. In the East, Atlanta is 36-42 and comfortably in eighth place. Do you want to know the next time a team wins 48 or 49 games and doesn’t make the NBA playoffs? How about never.
Awe: I’m not a golf nut like Drew, but you don’t have to be to appreciate the Masters. It is one of two events (The Daytona 500 being the other) where fans and participants show up every year for what almost turns out to be a pilgrimage. The Super Bowl site rotates, as doesn the NCAA Final Four. The location of the World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, and NBA Finals are decided mere days before the event. And the other golf majors rotate as well. Even though they often rotate between the same sites, returning every several years, Augusta is the one place they go every year, year after year.
You don’t have to be Jack Nicklaus to know about Amen corner, and you don’t have to be able to hit a booming drive to know about the eagle chances on 13 and 15. I don’t care who is in the final group on Sunday, it’s great television and it’s sports history right before our eyes. I tell people who don’t follow NASCAR, to watch the last 75 laps at Daytona and you’ll be on the edge of your seat. Even if you don’t like golf, watch the back nine on Sunday. It should start about 4:00. The coverage for the day will start way before, but the guys with a chance to win will be making the turn somewhere around then. Watch the last five or six pairs come in and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
Finally, I guess we’ve found what can finally beat the O’s. How about a little rain. You never want to see a rain out when you’re hot, and that’s the bad luck the Orioles just got hit with. And while I do think they’re going to struggle more than they succeed in ’08, I think adding Luke Scott to the watch list is worthwhile. Just think if he can be a .285 hitter with 20 bombs and 90 rbi’s. I think the Yankees would take that from Matsui and the Red Sox would take from J.D. Drew. Those guys are household names. I know that Scott’s no kid (he turns 30 in June) but if he could give the O’s five good years opposite of Markakis, that wouldn’t be a bad tandem. Then if Adam Jones would learn to take a few pitches, the outfield could be solid for at least Hillary’s first term……….. I’m sorry, did I just say that?
Remember, Sunday at 4:00.