- The Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship last night, defeating the Miami Heat in 6 games. Maybe you disagree, but I find the NBA tough to get with these days. It's been a gradual process but the pro game has changed tremendously in the last 20 years and it's not as much fun any more. The difference is that the teams actually play defense these days. It used to be that when an NBA team scored less than 100 points in a game, it was a story. Those days are long gone now. I grew up watching the Milwaukee Bucks, a team that dominated most games during the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar era and could score at will. It's easy to forget how unstoppable Jabbar was in those days. He could do anything and the Bucks surrounded him with some excellent athletes like Bobby Dandridge and Lucious Allen, along with outstanding shooters like Jon McGlocklin. They also had the great Oscar Robertson, who was at the end of his outstanding career but was still capable of greatness when the situation warranted. I watched parts of the Mavs/Heat finals and while it's easy to enjoy the talent and will of Dirk Nowitzki and Dwayne Wade, the game feels more, I dunno, sloppy? It's always a fool's errand to compare teams across eras, but I liked the 70s era NBA better.
- It might be too late, but suddenly the Twins are playing well despite trotting out the road company of the Rochester Red Wings a lot of nights. Most of the difference has been pitching -- the starting pitching was mostly abysmal during the first part of the year, but lately Francisco Liriano has been outstanding and Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker and Carl Pavano have been more than adequate. There's no reason to assume that the Twins, as currently constituted, could make the playoffs, but I don't see any dominant team in their division right now. Stranger things have happened.
- There's probably a lot more to be said about Ohio State and Jim Tressel than I have time to say right now, but I do want to acknowledge one thing -- the one guy I know who's had this sniffed out from the start is my son, the Benster. Two years ago he told me he thought Ohio State was dirty and that Tressel was a bum. I never believed it, but it turns out that the Benster was correct. That's worth acknowledging now. Ohio State is the sort of school that shouldn't have to cheat. They have enormous built-in advantages over nearly every other school they compete with. That they did cheat is troubling in ways that extend far beyond Columbus. But that's another post.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Lightning Round - 061311
I'm tired of Weiner, there's no real news in St. Paul and it's still too early to talk about the 2012 election, so let's talk sports.