The Blog About Nothing
What up world, it’s your boy EJ and I’m back with another edition of The Blog About Nothing. This is Volume 4, and like that dude The Weekend I’m in my zone. As usual I’m going to riff on a couple of topics and weave in and out of this blog like a boxer dodging the jabs. Stick and move… stick and move. So let’s get into it, shall we?
First off props to the Louisville Cardinals for winning the Men’s NCAA Title game and to the Women’s team to making it to their Championship game. I got love for the Lady Cardinals, who unfortunately were blown out by UCONN in their Championship game, but for this blog I’m going to concentrate on the job Rick Pitino did with the men’s team. Pitino had to channel the emotion of losing Kevin Ware and his freak injury in the Sweet Sixteen game to lead his team to the coach’s 2nd NCAA title and the school’s first title since “Never Nervous” Pervis Ellison took them to the mountaintop in 1986. The Cardinals have no stars. Guard Russ Smith? He’ll likely be a 2nd round pick in the NBA Draft this June and the same could be for point guard Peyton Siva. Big man Gorgui Dieng? He could be a 1st round pick, and he does play solid D, but he offers little impact beyond that at the next level. What Pitino did was take good college players, made them work extremely hard, managed some emotional pain, and the end result was the Cardinals celebrating in the Georgia Dome on Monday night. Not a bad job Slick Rick. Not a bad job at all.
Speaking of Rick Pitino, how about those New York Knicks! The Knicks have won 13 straight games, and have just clinched their first Atlantic Division title since 1994. That’s a long time. Shoot, I was 12 years old the last time they won the Divison. I’m 31 now so yeah… think about that. Anyway, I’ve been impressed with the Knicks this season. Carmelo Anthony is having a MVP type season, JR Smith is a strong candidate for 6th man of the year, and even Coach Mike Woodson (who some Knicks fans actually criticize which makes no damn sense!!) is a coach of the year candidate. So, the question that needs to be asked is are the Knicks a legitimate Finals contender? On this I’m torn. The Knicks are an excellent 3 point shooting team and play hard nose defense. They also have beaten the top seeded Heat 3 out of 4 times this year. That’s something to keep in mind if the two teams face off in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, as much as I do like this Knicks team I don’t think they have a realistic shot at the Finals for one reason: injuries. Yes, the team has played through them all season but not having a 100% healthy Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Marcus Camby, and Rasheed Wallace hurts the Knicks and their depth come playoff time. Also, Jason Kidd has played a ton of minutes this season. His legs are far from fresh to be counted on in crunch time. This is going to be the season where the Knicks finally make it out of the first round, and I think they’ll get by the Pacers in the 2nd round, but they’ll lose a tough 7 game series in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Heat. Count on it.
Speaking of counting, doesn’t it amaze you how a team looks like they are about to lose, and at that right moment their superstar leads them to victory. That happened twice this Thursday, in two different sports, on two different continents. Who am I talking about? Lionel Messi, the Argentine soccer phenom for FC Barcelona, and Mr. Vino himself, Kobe Bryant. Bryant, who is a Barcelona fan, scored 47 points in a must-win for the Lakers. In playing all 48 minutes against the Portland TrailBlazers, Kobe a.k.a. Vino imposed his dominance on his team. On paper the Lakers should never be in this situation where they are now, scrapping for 8th place but due to injuries, and poor coaching they are fighting for that last playoff spot in the West. The Lakers and the Utah Jazz, who are a game behind the Lakers but hold the tie-breaker, both have 3 games to play but the way Kobe is just pulling his team along for that final spot, there’s little doubt that the Lakers will be the 8th seed when the playoffs start next week. Will they advance once they get there? Only time will tell.
Time is something FC Barcelona still has since their little genius Lionel Messi, who is battling a knee injury, came off the bench in the 62 minute and led his team to a tie with Paris-St. Germain but still advanced in the UEFA Champions League due to the away goal differential. Now, I’m a Manchester United fan who has plenty reasons to hate Barcelona (Champions League finals losses to Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 are painful memories for me) but I do admire the way little Lionel plays the game. At only 5’4″ Lionel is an attacking and creative genius that knows how to play into space and is crafty with the ball. His little flick into the goal box that led to a quick pass and a smashing goal by Pedro in the 71st minute would ensure that Barca would advance into the semis of Soccer’s top club competition. Just like the Lakers counted on Kobe Bryant for victory, FC Barcelona counts on Lionel Messi, the best player in his sport, to lead them to victory and trophies.
So that’s it. I’d like to thank you for reading another edition of The Blog About Nothing. Since I have to take care of a little business, I’m taking a 2 week hiatus from the blog. I’ll be back with Volume 5 on May 3rd. Until then… peace.
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