Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday's Starting Five

1. Chris Paul. Hello, History. Have you met Mr. Paul? Oh, you have? You two go way back? OK, great, we'll I'll just leave you two alone then. CP3 closed out the Mavericks last night with a triple double (24 points, 15 assists, 11 rebounds) in front of his home fans in New Orleans. He is only the seventh person ever to average 24 points, 12 assists and 2 steals in a playoff series.

2. Houston Rockets. They're whole again (well except for that big Yao-shaped hole in the paint) and it shows. Rafer Alston missed the first two games and Carl Landry played limited minutes. The Rockets went 0-2. Rafer Alston and Carl Landry have played large roles in the three games that followed. The Rockets went 2-1. The team that rolled off most of those 22-straight was back on their home floor last night and their defense made sure that the Jazz wouldn't be celebrating a series victory just yet. The interesting thing to remember is that if Houston can survive Game 6 in Utah then they will host Game 7 on their home floor in as electric an atmosphere as the first round will see.

3. Evgeni Malkin. There was this heavyset young lady-person wearing a retro Pirates pullover jersey sitting behind me at the Mets/Pirates game last night. She was constantly on the phone getting updates on the Rangers/Penguins. I kept hearing all about Mr. Maaaaaal-Kinnnnnn. Well, at least when she wasn't talking about softball or reminiscing about the Lilith Fair or her favorite all-time Skoal flavors. Although I don't think that her and I have a future together I do think that this Malkin fellow may have actually been worth the commotion. He netted two power-play goals and had an assist last night as the Penguins threw the Rangers into an 0-3 hole deep enough that they might find Jimmy Hoffa.

4. The Kibosh. This week's Sports Illustrated features Chicago Cubs import Fukodome and a headline (in Japanese) proclaiming that the team's 100-year title drought will be broken this year. When the editors at SI decided on this cover they also sent seventeen black cats and 34 fragile mirrors over to Wrigley Field.

5. The Spurs. You're the best around. Nothing's gonna ever keep you down. No matter how much fans and the TV execs may not want this to be true it is.

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