Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday's Starting Five

1. Rajon Rondo. The slightest member of the small-two up in Boston made the biggest play of the night. Against all odds, against gravity and mass and the dynamics of space-time, 6-foot and 1-inch Rondo stole a rebound that was firmly wrapped up by 7-foot Dirk Nowitzki and in one fluid motion turned the steal into a reverse layup. This all happened with less than a minute on the clock and the score tied. It was the winning bucket.

2. Alex Ovechkin. He’s a hockey player. The phenom netted four goals last night, including the winner in OT. And, in true hockey form, he did most of this with blood leaking from his face.

3. The NBA’s Eastern Conference coaches. With the All-Star reserves announced yesterday there has been a rash of all-snubbed lists but it seems the most egregious omissions occurred in the West. This may be because there are just more hi-quality players out there but I still give kudos to the East coaches for not voting in name-brands like Shaq and Ray Allen even though their seasons have been duds. Caron Butler and Chris Bosh may be less heralded but they are much better choices and deserve to be recognized.

5. Tim Duncan. The Big Fundamental hit another fourth quarter bank-shot last night. This comeback-capping bucket came with 30 ticks left in the game and put his team ahead to stay against the Phoenix Suns. Even though the Spurs aren't wowing anyone this season they still win these statement games.

Benched: Faux Giants-backers. With the Super Bowl almost upon us and professional (and armchair) prognosticators finally having to make their picks it seems that the wave of support the Giants have gotten lately has crested and rolled back. Everyone I’ve read is picking the Patriots to win and to cover the spread.