Some Saturday Morning Sports Thoughts

  1. So, Tiger Woods fired a 72-71 and is hanging around Torrey Pines for the weekend. I’m a lifelong golf fan and have religiously followed the PGA tour regardless of Tiger’s status.  But I’m here to say: let’s be all in for Tiger to shock the world in 2018. Honestly, every time Tiger tees it up, I’m waiting for him to blow out his back or knee and feed us some bullshit at the press conference about how it’s all part of the “process.”  As golf fans, or just general sports fans, we have nothing to lose– I mean, worst-case scenario, Tiger re-injures himself and the golf community is back to relying on Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler for excitement. But best-case scenario?  Tiger wins a major (or three) and 2018 gives us perhaps the greatest sports story of all-time.
  2. I’m slotting Houston in behind Golden State as the second-best team in the NBA. And I question this ranking’s accuracy, considering the Rockets won the regular season series against the Warriors 2-1. Regardless, the NBA regular season has passed its halfway point and I see a Houston-Golden State Western Conference Finals as inevitable.  This series will be scintillating.  Daryl Morey has literally built his team to compete with Golden State from the three-point line and, in fact, Houston is currently averaging four more three-point field goals per game than are the Warriors. Further, I’d argue that James Harden’s 31 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds per game render him a legitimate favorite for league MVP.  I only hope that his MVP campaign does not mirror that of Russell Westbrook in the 2016-17 season.  Please, James, understand that the MVP trophy is not the finish line.  My NBA watching has been lacking this season, but I’m all in for the second half and seeing whether the Warriors will be dethroned in the 2018 playoffs.
  3. Cleveland has won four games since Christmas. I think they are actually bad this year and am placing them behind Boston and Philly in the Eastern Conference Rankings.  Toronto?  Nah.  If I’ve learned one thing about the Eastern Conference, it’s to NEVER trust the Raptors.
  4. Kentucky basketball takes the court in Morgantown to face Buckwild University for the fourth time of the decade. Since the 2010 Elite Eight, these two fan bases really haven’t liked each other.  Unfortunately for Big Blue Nation, this evening’s matchup has an entirely different feel than the teams’ previous three: West Virginia is favored by nine points and, according to ESPN’s BPI Rankings (not that they should be trusted under any circumstances), has an 81% chance of besting the young Cats.  If I’m not mistaken, the 10-point line makes the Cats the largest underdogs they’ve been in any game during the Calipari era.  But throw the numbers out.  Both UK and WVU have lost two of their previous three and this game is certain to be pivotal for both teams. With PJ Washington, Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander arriving from huge performances against Mississippi State, I’m taking a Kentucky team on a confidence high to hang around and at least cover, if not win in the final minutes.  Kentucky +10.
  5. Boogie Cousins suffered a season-ending Achilles injury last night in what was, in my mind, his last game in a Pelicans jersey. Whether this ends the Pelicans’ playoff hopes is inconsequential compared to Cousins’ future as an NBA player.  My prediction for 2019 is that Boogie will take the court alongside LeBron, whether it be in Cleveland, Houston or, the most likely scenario, Los Angeles
  6. Jemele Hill has decided to leave SportsCenter to join The Undefeated, an ESPN affiliate currently in the throes of a culture war.  The host, best-known for her labeling of President Trump as a “white supremacist” and ensuing Twitter war with the President, claims that she’s leaving in order to get back to real reporting. This feels like the right call—maybe the 6:00 SportsCenter, and ESPN in general, can get back to real sports.

-Admin Tam(@tomhall2323)

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