Posted: Thursday April 21, 2005 3:17PM; Updated: Thursday April 21, 2005 3:21PM
Fool's Gold: The Nuggets under George Karl had a great race to the finish. That has to be enough, because Denver isn't beating San Antonio, which will put the defensive clamps on 'Melo and Friends. It's too bad Denver didn't finish in the sixth spot in the West, because Seattle is susceptible. But that would have just prolonged the inevitable second-round beat-down by the Spurs.
Vin-Vanity: Toronto's favorite player was reborn in Jersey, and he should be good for some highlights against the Heat. But don't expect Vince Carter to carry the Nets to anything. If he's proven anything throughout his career, it's a crashing inability to come up big in important games. He'll benefit from Jason Kidd's leadership, but don't go looking for playoff heroics from Carter. At least he isn't graduating from anything this season.
And The Winner Is: If you thought last year's Pistons-Pacers series set new standards for defense-inspired ennui, wait until you catch Detroit-San Antonio in this year's finals. Just two teams held rivals to less than 90 a game during the regular season and here they are. Imagine what will happen when they ratchet up the intensity in the postseason. David Stern might just move the three-point line inside the paint by Game Three. The scores of this one will fit perfectly with the league's nostalgia craze, since they'll resemble late-1940s matchups between the Chicago Stags and Rochester Royals. In the end, Detroit has nothing to combat Tim Duncan, the Planet's Best Player. San Antonio in seven.
El Hombre Sez
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El Hombre is a huge soccer fan and wishes the MLS would plant a team in Philadelphia. But did you check out some of the names of the franchises this year? Real Salt Lake? FC Dallas? What's next, Bayonne Leverkusen and AC Milwaukee? ... Princeton University has told its Varsity Streaking Team to cease operations, after the naked sprinters appalled some visiting dignitaries at a school function. In a related story, the University of Tennessee has expressed interest in shutting down its Men's Assault & Battery squad.
And Another Thing
Kudos to Major League Baseball for its handling of the whole Gary Sheffield mess in Boston. The Sawx took away the offending fan's season ticket privileges, and the league didn't discipline Sheffield. Though Bud Selig and his minions have botched the steroid scandal -- expect Inspector Clouseau to head MLB's internal investigation -- they did things correctly here.
Let's assume for a moment that the dolt in question didn't try to hit Sheffield, that he was just trying to get to the ball. When exactly did fans become so obsessed with getting their hands on a baseball that they will reach into the field of play, despite repeated warnings to keep to themselves?
It seems as if there are two or three idiots escorted from ballparks every week for interfering with a ball in play, from doubles down the line to possible dingers, a condition which could well force some drastic action. Here's a suggestion: no more first-row seats in any ballpark. Keep the row open and eject anyone who steps foot in the banned areas. It's either that or a moat. With alligators. And piranha.