Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday's Starting Five

1. Bobby Jackson. Forget about Jason Kidd and Ben Wallace, this was the new addition making a difference on Sunday. (And, yes, I know that Kidd had 17 assists. But that was against the T-Wolves.) Rick Adelman seems to now how to use Jackson (you first met them both in Sacramento), who scored 11 of 14 in the second half as the Rockets edged the Bulls. Houston has now won 12 on the bounce and 16 of their last 17 games.

2. Rufio and the Jurassic Park kid. They’re alive. Phew! That was close. The people-who-passed-away montage during last night’s Oscars featured pictures of these two fellows, sending my living room into an IMBDing frenzy. After some confusion and rewinding (thanks to DVR) the telecast, we realized that they were both still amongst the living and that it was the guy who did the makeup for Hook and Jurassic Park that passed away. Of course, my condolences go out to his family.

3. The Detroit Pistons. In the “Don’t Forget about Us” performance of the month the Pistons routed the Suns in Phoenix yesterday. Rasheed showed why he could be the best player in the league if he actually cared about such things and the Suns showed why the Shaq trade was lambasted at first. By halftime the only reason worth watching was Jeff Van Gundy. Whether talking about his love for Superbad (he staunchly believed that McLovin should have been nominated in a performance category) or the way that Shaq is officiated very differently than he was a few years ago, JVG is personable and honest. He had a much better day than the Suns.

4. Wladimir Klitschko. Fighting at the Garden on Saturday night, Klitschko handily beat Sultan Ibragimov in a 12-round decision to bring together two of the heavyweight championship belts. With a record of 50-3, Klitschko now holds the WBO and IBF title belts. Two more to go. And, I’ve got to give credit to the severely overmatched Ibragimov for taking the fight. It seems like the heavyweight division has been plagued by fighters who having secured one of the championship belts have held tightly to it, protecting their fiefdom rather than having the ambition to take on the division’s other champs. Finally someone actually wants to be heavyweight champion of the world.

5. Eduardo de Silva. If you haven’t seen pictures/video of this then you’re lucky. Well, unless you’re the sort of guy/gal who re-runs the Theismann knee injury every morning with your Fruit Loops. In that case, you best get over to YouTube. Arsenal striker Eduardo had his leg broken on Saturday and there were bones through skin, lots of blood and guts and losses of appetites. It is one of those plays that is so awful to watch that television stations, those bastions of decency and respect, opt not to ever show the replay. Today is Eduardo’s 25th birthday. And, he almost, according to something I read this morning, lost his foot yesterday because the damage to his leg was so severe. At best he’s nine months from soccer-related activity but this could be the end of career that was just taking shape. The Brazilian born, Croatian-national had 12 goals and 8 assists in all competitions during the first half of his first campaign with Arsenal before being cut in half by a vicious tackle that saw the offending player immediately tossed from the game. There is already talk that the tackler could potentially be banned for life. That might be too harsh (or not). I say that, at the very least, he shouldn’t be allowed back on a Premier League pitch until Eduardo is back.