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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

NBA Finals 2010 Kobe VS Rondo

The NBA finals 2010 are now just a day away. However, the finals are already ramping up, as the Lakers and Celtics can't wait to take the court. Phil Jackson upped the ante by calling the Celtics a 'smackdown' team - though that style both helped and hurt Boston against Orlando. Has the break healed them well enough for them to smack the Lakers down, as they did in 2008? Or has Los Angeles learned from their mistakes , making a repeat more likely? The NBA finals 2010 will begin to answer those questions tomorrow at the Staples Center.

Boston and Los Angeles are the last two champions, and are meeting again under unlikely circumstances. The Lakers were supposed to be here, but the window of opportunity for the Celtics was thought to be closed. Now that it's wide open again, the Celtics come in as underdogs for the NBA finals 2010, instead of the favorites they were in 2008.

Home court made a different for Boston back then, as they took the first two games in the Garden, then returned for a Game 6 walloping. This year, the Lakers have home court, and have not lost at the Staples Center all postseason. If Boston is to pull the upset, they must win at least once in L.A., which has seemed unlikely.

However, although the odds are against the Celtics, the NBA finals are still regarded as a close call. Given the Lakers-Celtics rivalry hype, they certainly won't predict it to be a lopsided series. Plus, after Boston handled Cleveland and Orlando so convincingly, the Celtics bandwagon has become crowded again. Yet after shutting down Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Dwight Howard, Boston now has Kobe Bryant to contend with.

A main finals subplot is Bryant taking on the Celtics again, after he couldn't deliver against them two years ago. When Bryant lost to them, there were still doubts on whether he could win with Shaq. Those questions have already been answered, but the media perceives that Bryant won't be happy until he avenges 2008.

The odds are in favor for Bryant to do this, although the league would like some suspense first. Before the NBA finals 2010, there were three second round sweeps and two conference finals that only got interesting late. A six or seven game series between the Lakers and Celtics would fix that, but with the league's luck, and with the Lakers' home court success, Los Angeles could be able to finish things in Boston.

No matter what, the NBA finals 2010 start tomorrow at 9 pm est in Los Angeles, with the Larry O'Brien trophy on stand-by for next week and beyond.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers NBA Playoff 2010 Game 1 Preview

The Lakers have always had it going on. Ever since Kobe joined the team, the Lakers have been a dominant force in the NBA. With Kobe, Los Angeles has won four NBA Championships with titles in

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2000, 2001, 2002, and 2009. The Lakers are still up to the standard that they have set in the past with a star-filled lineup including Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, and Ron Artest. Lamar Odom is also a star player who is the Lakers' sixth man.

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The Suns on the other hand also have a handful of stars and their starters include Amar'e Stoudamire, Jason Richardson, Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and Jarron Collins. The suns also have plenty of scorers on their bench including Channing Frye who averaged 11.7 points per game during the regular season, while shooting 44% from behind the arc. Phoenix also has Leandro Barbosa who averaged 9.5 points and Jared Dudley with 8.2 per game. Overall, both teams have quality benches, but the team with the better one might be the deciding factor in this series.

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Los Angeles started the postseason off with a little bit of a scare, winning their first two games at home, but then losing two games on the road to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers won game five and game six, with a little help from a Pau Gasol put back lay-up at the buzzer. Advancing on the play the Utah Jazz, the Lakers looked dominant in this series with a four game sweep, against a team that had just defeated the Denver Nuggets in six games. In game four of the series, the Lakers looked like the Jazz should have looked, as they played like a team scratching and clawing to avoid a series sweep. They controlled the whole game and ended with a final score of 111-96.

The Phoenix Suns are also looking very strong coming off of a sweep over the San Antonio Spurs. In the Suns' first series, they ousted the

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Portland Trail Blazers in six games. Against the Spurs, Phoenix scored over 100 points in all four games with 107 as their lowest point total. They are definitely one of the highest powered offenses in the NBA. Steve Nash, who had his eye swollen shut and had to get six stitches after receiving an accidental elbow to the face from Tim Duncan, was still able to score 20 points. According to NBA.com, the swelling in Nash's eye should be nearly gone by the time the series starts.

This series looks to be a close one. The match ups are pretty even, although the Lakers have the height advantage and probably more experience. Amar'e might have some trouble with Gasol and Bynum in the post, which could affect the Suns point total. To win this series, the Suns must have good contributions from their bench players including Goran Dragic, who scored 26 points with 23 in the fourth quarter of game three against the Spurs. Kobe and the Lakers offense could explode too as the Suns rank near the bottom in defense. The key to the Lakers success involves constantly moving the ball and attacking the much smaller big men of the Suns in the paint.

I believe the Suns take this series in six games. The Lakers could get too reliant on Kobe and scramble to find some offense. Meanwhile, the Suns have some veteran leadership, they can hit shots like crazy from three-point land, they have an up-tempo offense, and they know how to score with ease. Steve Nash can break down the Lakers defense and make them pay with his brilliant passing. With head coach Alvin Gentry leading them, the Phoenix Suns will win this series and advance to the NBA Finals.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Tiger Woods at the Masters

A Tiger Woods Masters press conference has been scheduled. The Tiger Woods Masters press conference will take place on Monday, April 5th in preparation for his appearance at the 2010 Masters Golf Tournament. Tiger Woods has been out of the PGA Tour since his car accident back in November, and hasn't given an official news conference like this in quite a while. The drama in the personal life of Tiger Woods has also kept him off the golf course for that span of time, and there is no telling what type of golfer that the world is going to see at the 2010 Masters Golf Tournament. Will it be the same Tiger Woods? Or will he be very rusty in his first tournament back?
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The press interviews for the Masters Golf Tournament are intended to give reporters a chance to ask the golfers about the tournament and other PGA-related events. This meeting with the media could take on a life of its own though, because so many questions remain about the time that Woods spent away from the Tour. Woods may refuse to answer any questions about his personal life, the rumored affairs, or that infamous car accident, but that probably won't keep the press core from at least asking something about it. There are no other interviews scheduled for Monday at the Masters, so apparently they are setting aside more than the five minutes he gave his last two interviewers.
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Tiger Woods is coming back to defend his two consecutive wins at the Masters, the event that his name has become synonymous with over the years. In fact, Tiger Woods has won the Masters Tournament six times in his golfing career, and even after all his time away from the game he could still be the favorite to win this tournament. The Masters press interview is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST on Monday, April 5th, 2010 and may turn into a live broadcast for quite a few sports channels. Woods has always been interesting at the press meetings for events like this, but this one could end up being unlike anything we have witnessed him do before.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

USA's Olympic Ladies Figure Skating


You would think it would be disconcerting to the USA's Olympic Ladies Figure Skating contingent to be counted out as medal contenders, but their lack of "cred" doesn't seem to bother them much.

USA's 16-year-old Mirai Nagasu, who jokingly threatened to "bust out a quad," acknowledged, "We're 16 and 17, which has its advantages and disadvantages." Referring to gold medal favorite South Korea's Kim Yu-Na, she added, " (Kim) does have more international experience and she has more
experience in her skating because she's been skating longer. Because we don't know what she knows yet, we can just go in there with a blank mind and attack out there and have fun." Nagasu says, "I didn't come to the Olympics to be nervous and have the nerves overtake me. I came here to have fun, and that's what I'm doing."

USA"s 17-year-old Rachel Flatt, the newly-crowned US Champion, thinks coming in as an underdog helps."Mirai and I are both incredibly excited to go out there and kick some butt." Flatt is considered the most athletic skater the US has had since Tara Lipinski. Flatt performed seven triple jumps at nationals, most of them in combination. But she's heard the criticisms that "Flatt's program is flat." She concedes that she needs to work on her artistry. Flatt is a consistent skater, however, and has a good chance for a medal, especially if any of the leaders falter.
Reigning Olympic silver medallist Sasha Cohen, whose heartbreaking falls in her Romeo and Juliet program in Torino cost her the gold, told People Magazine, "The U.S. girls are young and haven't competed as much internationally, so they're kind of hit or miss. They're good skaters, they're just not at the same level as the international girls." Sasha, who could have been our best hope for a medal but can't seem to stay on her feet, didn't even qualify for the Olympics this year, so she might not want to speak out of school, especially after she predicted Evan Lysacek would only take bronze.

Even though these girls are being given short shrift, when you're counted out, and just go out there to do your best, your best just might end up being "the best." Odds are, however, this could be an Asian sweep. Favorites South Korea's Kim Yu-Na, and Japan's Mao Asada and
Miki Ando have all won the last three world titles.
South Korea's Kim Yu-Na and Japan's Mao Asada have a sizzling rivalry between them. Nineteen-year-old Kim is the reigning world champion, taking the title away from Asada. Kim has only lost twice in two years, both times to Asada. A gold for her would give South Korea its first Olympic figure skating gold.

Nineteen-year-old Mao Asada, the Japanese national champion, has been the only one to outskate Kim, twice in the past two seasons. She's had a rough couple of years, not qualifying for last year's Grand Prix final. But she does have those two wins against Kim, and all eyes will be on her. Asado's teammate, 22-year-old Miki Ando, is best known for her jumps, landing a quad in competition at age 14. Last year she won the Cup of Russia and NHK Trophy, and took bronze in the 2009 Worlds. She is definitely a contender. Japan's Akiko Suzuki, who won the Cup of China and placed second at nationals and third at the Grand Prix final, is also not counting herself out for a medal.

Twenty-two year old Canadian Joannie Rochette, six-time national champion, is Canada's best chance for a medal since Elizabeth Manley won the silver medal in 1988. Tragically, her mother has died in Vancouver over the weekend of a heart attack at age 55. Rochette is determined to compete, appearing on the practice rink the next morning, wiping tears away, but landing her jumps consistently.

The Ladies Short Program will be skated on Tuesday, February 23rd, the Long Program on Thursday, February 26th.

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