Sunday, December 25, 2005

Weekend Sports Update

NFL:

Right when I thought I had the AFC playoff picture down pat, the Bengals threw a spanner in the works by deciding to lose to the Bills and squander a first-round bye in the process. I'm sticking with the Bengals to make it to the AFC championship game, upending both the Steelers and the Broncos, but I might change my mind if they lose badly yet again next week.

My NFC picks are looking fairly solid with the exception of Carolina, which will probably end up switching places with Tampa Bay after dropping a home game to the Cowboys. But I'll blame the umps for that one -- an unwarranted "roughing the kicker" penalty was the culprit. (What's the deal with "roughing the kicker" rules anyway? If the kicker is so scared of being mauled, he should just try kicking from further behind the line of scrimmage!)

NBA:

After their manhandling of the Spurs today, the Detroit Pistons should be getting pretty reasonable odds on a 70-win season. Given the state of the rest of the conference, they might even have an outside chance to make it all the way to the NBA finals without dropping a playoff game.

Miami and their long-in-the-tooth coach Pat Riley are in pretty deep trouble. After the humiliation of Friday's home loss to Vince Carter and the nets, one would have expected the "angry" and motivated Shaquille O'Neal, going up against the hated Lakers on national TV, to lead the Heat to a blow-out win. Instead we saw the thin and cold-shooting Lakers, with Kobe Bryant having a terrible second half and with practically no contribution from their bench, nearly pull off a win, denied only by a few unlucky breaks towards the end. Worryingly for Miami, Shaq looked old and immobile as he strugged to score against -- don't laugh -- Kwame Brown. If Shaq's decline is as permanent as it seems to be, this year might be Miami's best shot at winning it all. And if they fall short of the NBA finals, Riley would bear the blame both for assembling a roster that failed to match last year's performance as well as for forcing out a coach who is arguably better than him at this point in their careers.

Cricket:

Sourav Ganguly makes a comeback into the Indian team. It's going to be fun to watch the selection of the playing eleven for the test matches. Given the lunacy gripping Indian cricket circles, I wouldn't be shocked if he ended up as an opener, or if Pathan is drafted in to open. The former option would spell Ganguly's doom -- imagine him facing Shoaib Akhtar with the new ball -- while the latter would be a bad idea for the team as a whole.

3 Comments:

Blogger Rajagopal said...

I can't imagine that the team management (Greg Chappell) is dumb enough to risk sending Pathan into open, especially with three legitimate openers in the squad (Sehwag, gambhir and Jaffer) and Parthiv Patel presumably being selected with the memory of his good job as opener during the last tour of Pakistan (I read somewhere he got 2 fifties as an opener in that series).

The selectors already made Ganguly a martyr by inexplicably dropping from the squad for the third test against SL. Sending Ganguly to open against Akthar (and Rana Naveed, who is not bad himself) would only reinforce the notion among the public that Chappell and Dravid are out to get Ganguly.

As for the NBA, what does it say about Larry Brown that tht team he coached into a basketball version of the New Jersey Devils of a few years ago, is now an offensive juggernaut (well not quite, but almost).

12/26/2005 10:53 AM  
Blogger bob2008 said...

Jimmy Roberts (born in 1957) is a sportscaster for NBC.
Roberts joined NBC in May 2000 after serving as a sports reporter for almost 12 years at ESPN, where he won 11 Sports Emmy Awards.
=======================================
Bob
Win a share of 1 Million Euros for 5.50

10/11/2008 4:23 AM  
Blogger bob2008 said...

Jimmy Roberts (born in 1957) is a sportscaster for NBC.
Roberts joined NBC in May 2000 after serving as a sports reporter for almost 12 years at ESPN, where he won 11 Sports Emmy Awards.
=======================================
Bob
Win a share of 1 Million Euros for 5.50

10/11/2008 4:24 AM  

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