Let's just call this post "Around the country."
Jordan makes a fair point: I haven't talked about Dallas point guard Jose Juan Barea. With all due respect, though, he hasn't done much this series until...yesterday. In the Mavericks season-saving 119-117 win, Jose went 5-8 for 10 points while playing almost 16 minutes with a +7 rating. The plus/minus stat in basketball is even worse than hockey's, but the Dallas players with at least a +5 rating are these: Dirk (+12), Jason Kidd (+5), and Jason Terry (+10). Not bad company, if you pretend Terry is actually, well, good.
Jose has played between 15 and 20 minutes for most games in the series, even getting a start in game three, but he hasn't taken more than 5 shots until last night. For those of you who remember JJB from his Northeastern days, he's definitely a rhythm shooter, and his best games as a Husky came when he took lots of shots. Missing the free throws, though, is unacceptable.
Dallas is probably done in 5, but I'd like to see Jose manage a double-double as he did several times during the season.
A great series already, the Caps evened it up to force a decisive game 7 with a 5-4 OT win in Pittsburgh. I've been rooting for Washington mostly because I find Sidney Crosby to be edging on Brett Favre drama queen status, but you really can't complain about the level of play from either side. Plus, the Penguins are currently utilizing Brad Thiessen as a practice goalie, and Joe Vitale is in the playoffs with the Baby Pens (0-0-0 with 12 PIM...ouch), so Pittsburgh isn't really an organization I can root against.
And no, Thiessen has not updated his blog.
At some point in every fan's life, often as frequently as once a season, one becomes disappointed when the realization is made that the players don't care half as much as the fans. For the Lakers, they've been pulling this act all year, but game 4 was the worst. It was extremely clear that they don't give a shit, and it took about 5 minutes for me to realize they thought they didn't have to try to win. If this team could, just once, play 48 minutes with the effort to match their talent, they would win by 60 points.
But they won't.
I fully expect them to win this series, but there's no way they win another without realizing that talent only gets you so far.
Luke Walton should see 0 minutes of playing time and come off the bench after Adam Morrison. Josh Powell should take his minutes. Walton sucks. Seriously. He's a turnover machine who can't shoot, also known as the guy in street clothes on every other team.
Another Angels/Red Sox series...already. The last time they played, the Angels miraculously took 2 of 3 despite playing some truly awful baseball. They're improving. Boston, somehow, is improving despite losing a couple SP's and infielders. Youkilis and Pedrioa are probably out for tonight's Weaver/Masterson matchup.
I'm cautiously optimistic about Weaver. He's kept his walks down, but his flyball tendency means he's always prone to the long ball, particularly against a team as proficient at hitting them as the Red Sox. That said, if Weaver pitches as well as he has already this season, I see a W tonight and a likely W in the series.
The Angels are a half game out of first place. Seattle has really, really screwed up, and it couldn't have happened to a better fanbase.