Sports 56 WHBlog Q

June 18, 2008

Hot Sports Opinions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Will Askew @ 12:02 pm

–Nice effort from the Lakers last night. Their will to win was just palpable. I hope the comparisons between Jordan and Kobe can stop now. There’s no way Jordan plays as badly as Kobe did in this series, and there’s no way he lets his team quit in the 2nd quarter of an elimination game. There’s only one guy that’s playing now that you can compare to Jordan, and that’s Tiger Woods.

–Speaking of Tiger, the news broke this morning that Tiger will miss the rest of the season because of ACL surgery. A collective expletive just came emanating from the networks carrying the British Open and the PGA Championship, because, quite frankly, the average sports fan doesn’t give a damn about any tournament Tiger is not in.

–Someone explain to me why Will Hudgens is playing football. The guy was just drafted into baseball, and will spend the rest of the summer in the minors. Why would he continue to play a sport that he has absolutely no future in? Clearly, his future is on the diamond and not on the football field, and with his injury history, I think he’s making a terrible mistake.

–North Carolina returned all three of the water-testers on Monday, and looks to be an overwhelming favorite to win the National Championship next year in college basketball. The Tar Heels lost almost nothing, graduating third-string point guard Quentin Thomas and backup center Alex Stepheson, who transferred to USC…and they bring in a top 10 recruiting class. Here is what their lineup looks like now:
PG–Ty Lawson, Bobby Frasor, Larry Drew (will likely redshirt)
SG–Wayne Ellington, William Graves
SF–Marcus Ginyard, Danny Green
PF–Deon Thompson, Ed Davis
C–Tyler Hansbrough, Tyler Zeller

That’s a pretty tough lineup any way you slice it, barring injury. A couple of interesting things, though: 1) will UNC be favored in every game they play? and 2) will the overwhelming expectations that they are sure to have–I can’t imagine anyone else as a preseason #1–be too much to handle? This is a team that went 36-3 last year and went to the Final Four. Anything short of at the very least a Championship game appearance will be extremely disappointing. If you asked me now, they are the heavy favorites to win it all next year–but I would be surprised if they do. Weird things happen.

–Next week is the NBA Draft, one of my favorite nights of the year. A lot of questions surround the Grizzlies right now–will they draft Kevin Love, who by all accounts has had the most impressive workout to date with Memphis? Will they somehow swing a long-rumored trade and get Michael Beasley? How much impact should fan reaction to the pick have? If you asked me to say right now who the Grizzlies would take, I would answer one of two guys (assuming OJ Mayo is not there): Kevin Love and Danilo Gallinari. Tony Barone Sr. sounded extremely impressed with the Detlef Schrempf-ish Gallinari in a weekend workout when he talked about it on Monday.
I don’t foresee the Grizzlies making a trade to get Beasley, although that would inject some much-needed excitement into a franchise that has none. As far as fan reaction goes, short of the Grizzlies getting one of Rose, Beasley, or Mayo, I can’t see Grizz fans getting overly excited about a pick, regardless of who it is. I don’t think it is all that important to take immediate fan reaction into account when drafting–if you think that Love or Gallinari is the best player at 5, then take him, and if the team improves, the fans’ attitudes will improve as well. Winning will cure what ails the Grizzlies, and nothing else.

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