Reporting Tim Kephart
The big story was who didn’t show up in Miami last night, but NBA commissioner David Stern is really overstepping his bounds. Plus, Drew Brees plays about as badly as he has in his entire career and the Orange Bowl/Sugar Bowl know at least one of the two at-large teams coming their way.
Quote of the Day:
“Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” – John Wooden
Miami Heat/San Antonio Spurs:
Okay let’s just dive into this head first…
Spurs head coach Gregg Poppovich threw a wrench into last night’s game by sending Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli home before the game.
Pop said they needed rest after a long road trip and they had played around four games in five or six days.
Plus, let’s be honest, these three guys are the AARP of the NBA.
Duncan is a 15-year veteran, Parker is 11-years, and Ginobli is 10-years.
So they’re all up there in age and playing that many games in a short stretch will tire them out.
There’s also the fact that Memphis is playing in San Antonio Saturday night.
Memphis, of course, being a Western Conference team, is a much bigger matchup than the Heat.
The game itself was surprisingly good because the Heat did what they always do this year….
Play down to the competition, then rely on LeBron and the big 4 to win the game.
I gotta say, kudos to the Spurs for playing so well and Pop for coaching them well. I still think he’s the best coach in the NBA, period.
But that’s just part of the story…
Not surprisingly, when Pop revealed his Big 3 were headed home, the media and fans freaked out.
I was a little stunned, but hey, he’s the coach and he knows his players best.
If he thinks they need rest and they tell him they need rest, who are we to tell him he’s wrong?
Last time I checked, he had multiple NBA titles to my, um, none.
So fans were ticked off, I get it, but hey it happens.
It happens in the NFL when a player who may be a little nicked up doesn’t play.
If you’re the Patriots do you play Tom Brady much in the final couple weeks of the season?
If you’re the Heat, do you play the Big 3 much near the end of the season?
I get the fact that people say it’s only November, but, remember the NBA regular season doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things.
Ask any NBA writer and they’ll tell you the same thing.
Just because you buy a ticket doesn’t mean you’re entitled to see the best game out there, it’s one of the risks you run.
But this story gets better…
Because NBA commissioner David Stern said he was going to issue punishment to the Spurs for their actions.
DANGER WILL ROBINSON
I’ve always thought Stern was the third worst commissioner out there, behind Bud Selig and the abysmal Gary Bettman.
But this one may push him down the ladder.
He’s going to tell a coach how to coach and if the coach doesn’t like it, he’s going to punish him through some sort of sanctions.
Umm…if I’m the players association I step in here and say not so fast.
Talk about a dangerous precedent.
Plus, if you’re the coach of say the Heat and you want to rest LeBron and Wade one night before the end of the season, does that mean you get punished too?
Were they to be punished only because the game was on national TV, does that make it more important to punish?
Are those fans more important than fans in say Sacramento?
Stern is treading into dangerous territory here and better watch his step.
As for everyone who got upset about it, get over it, it happens in sports. Sometimes players need to rest, especially older players.
Ouch. Did you see Drew Brees last night?
I mean there’s bad, there’s Cam Cameron bad, which Brees almost hit last night.
Check out this stat line last night…. 28-50, 341 yards, 0 TD, 5 INT, QB Rating of 37.6
That’s just, well, that would make John Beck look good. Paging Cleo Lemon! Just kidding.
Atlanta shut him down last night and looked locked in for the playoffs. I wouldn’t want to face Atlanta at the Georgia Dome if they get the running game going.
How about this for a Super Bowl…Atlanta vs. New England?
Ryan vs. Brady. New School vs. Old School.
I’d take that and run.
And since it’s championship weekend, how about a few picks to wrap up the week.
Northern Illinois over Kent State (Orange Bowl can breathe a sigh of relief)
Oklahoma over TCU
Okla State over Baylor
WVU big over Kansas
Alabama over Georgia
Florida State over Georgia Tech
Nebraska over Wisconsin
Texas over Kansas State
Louisiana Lafayette over Florida Atlantic
Your BCS matchups after this weekend:
BCS Championship – Alabama vs. Notre Dame
Rose Bowl – Stanford vs. Nebraska
Fiesta Bowl – Oregon vs. Oklahoma
Sugar Bowl – Florida vs. Kansas State
Orange Bowl – FSU vs. Louisville
(don’t be surprised if the Fiesta and Sugar Bowl Big XII teams are reversed)