Friday, June 14, 2013

Tit for tat, bring it on, and a tweak

And so the game strategies continue. Between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, it seems like a total crap shoot what's going to happen next. First a close game, then a blow-out one way, followed by a blow-out the other, followed yet again by Miami retaking home court advantage by soundly defeating SA in Alamoland. Game 5 comes our way Sunday. Prediction? I'd refer anyone who wants to wager on it to the immoral, oops, immortal line uttered once uttered by Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. Do ya feel lucky, punk? This series must be driving the Vegas odds-makers crazy.

Yours truly thinks Miami brought their A game with an attitude for the thumping they put on SA in Game 4. After getting embarrassed the game before, it stood to reason the Heat would bring everything they had for the next contest.

And when Miami plays like that -- tenacious defense, blocking shots, crashing the boards -- and is allowed to get out on the fast break for easy buckets -- nobody can beat them. It was heat, heat, and more heat -- and finally San Antonio wilted.

Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich certainly knows that. Look for him to make adjustments for Game 5. If they work, and the Spurs prevail, the series gets interesting again with the last two games in Miami. If not, Game 6 might well be another rout with Miami successfully defending it's championship. Either way, if nothing else, this series has definitely been unpredictable so far.

The NHL Finals are quite the opposite. There was never any doubt that the Chicago Black Hawks and Boston Bruins matchup was going to be a rock-em, sock-em affair. Not only do both teams have an abundance of skilled players -- they're both very physical. Triple overtime in the first game, before Chicago eventually prevailed 4-3? Tell ya what, with all the skating and hitting that went on in that game, it's amazing how those guys can keep going sometimes. I have no idea who will win this series -- see Dirty Harry above -- but there's a few things I do know. When it's over, the playoff beards will be a little longer, and it will probably take the players on both teams a month to fully recover from the physical beating they've taken so far in the playoffs. And it's only going to get worse for the next 4-5-6, whatever games. These guys are getting after each other. Disagree if you will, but for my money, no other athletes are tougher and in better shape than those in the NHL. I love playoff hockey. Bring it on.

Of course, there's injuries, and then there's injuries. Alas, Tiger Woods looked like he tweaked his left wrist/elbow while hacking the ball out of the rough in the opening round of the US Open. Due to inclement weather, Tiger was only able to get through 10 holes. So, he'll have to play 26 holes on Friday. Long day. He's a few strokes back of the leaders, and while he made a couple brilliant shots, for the most part Tiger didn't look like he was anywhere near comfortable. Whether his arm injury is serious -- nobody knows. But hey, isn't the same guy that won the US Open a few years back when he supposedly had a broken leg? I wouldn't count him out just yet.

But I surely hope Eldrick never thinks he's tough enough to be an NHL player.

Ummmmmm........

Nah. That would be a very bad idea. If he thought that leg, divorce court, and his current arm problem hurt -- trying to compare that to what NHL players endure on a regular basis might be akin to complaining about an ingrown toenail -- to a paraplegic. Somehow, I don't think it would invoke much sympathy. It's best Tiger stick to walking around posh country clubs and doing commercials for megabucks. Put another way -- hockey players can play golf, even while they're rehabbing from injuries. Golfers would get destroyed within 10 seconds of skating on the ice, even if they were perfectly healthy to start off with. There's pain -- and then there's pain.

I suppose it's kind of like if my editor reads this column. He might have to take a few extra-strength Tylenols to ease the agony. But hey, he's a hockey player. He can take it. I hope....







No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment