Archive

Archive for May, 2009

Champions League Final, Man U’s to loose

By: Michael Dunham

May 27th is the biggest soccer, or futbol, day in all of Europe and around the world.  As Manchester United prepares to face FC Barcelona for the UEFA Champions League Final, all eyes turn to Rome in eager anticipation.

As we wait, all we can do is predict, analyze, and, for those die hard fans, hope our team wins.

United likes to get an early lead and then sit on what they have so they will likely come out of the gates strong and look for an early goal.  If they do not have the lead by the 20th minute then Barcelona is sitting in a good position and will likely have the momentum.

Barcelona has lost their last two league matches, and even though those games did not matter in the bigger picture, a team like Barcelona needs the momentum of a few wins when going into such a big game, against such a talented team.

Injuries could be a major factor on how both teams perform in the final.  Barcelona’s Thierry Henry and Andres Iniesta are both questionable for the game and, if they do not play, could put a huge damper on Barcelona’s ability to score.  While Manchester will be without Darren Fletcher, who was suspended from the game, they will be getting back captain Rio Ferdinand who will be returning from a calf injury.  While he will be returning, it is uncertain how well he will be able to perform during the game.

I think that Manchester will score one early and the game will be equalized with a late Barcelona goal to send the game to penalties where Manchester will take the cup for the second year in a row.

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Categories: Soccer, Sports

Lebron vs. Kobe, the showdown

By: Michael Dunham

Of all the stars and big time players in the NBA, two men stand above them all.  Thats right, Lebron James and Kobe Bryant.  Ever since it came time to vote for mvp it has been of great debate whether Lebron has taken over the reigns as the biggest star in the league.

Ever since the days of Shaq and Kobe, Kobe has been the face of the NBA and the most loved and hated player in the league.  After he famously had Shaq shipped off to the other side of the country, Kobe haters have argued that he can’t win a title without Shaq and that Shaq is what made Kobe great.  Those on the other side of the arguement say that ever since Shaq left Kobe has single handedly carried the Laker team on his back.

Lebron has been a huge star and basketball icon ever since his senior year at St. Vincent-St. Mary high school in Akron.  When he was drafted into the NBA out of high school he was instantly a star, winning the Rookie of the Year award his rookie year and making his first all-star team in year two.

It has been hugely hyped that Lebron’s per (player efficiency rating) was a record high 31.76 this year, which makes Kobe’s 24.46 look miniscule, even though its 10 points higher than the league average.

What really makes a great player and an NBA icon is what they are able to do in the playoffs.

Lebron has increased his per to an incredible 43.39.  He has also improved from his season average in every major statistical category, including ppg from 28.4 to 34.7, rebounds from 7.6 to 9.3, and steals from 1.6 to 2.0.  Kobe has countered by improving in most major statistical categories but not by as big of margins.

With a Lebron vs Kobe finals matchup looking inevitable I think that the winner of the finals will take home the crown as the face of the nba; for the next year, at least.

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More to read:

Cavaliers vs Magic preview:

https://themiclounge.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/preview-cavaliers-vs-magic/

Lakers vs Nuggers preview:

https://themiclounge.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/preview-lakers-vs-nuggets/

Kobe Doin Work review:

https://themiclounge.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/kobes-doin-work/

Categories: Basketball, Sports

James Harrison not to join Steelers at White House

By: Michael Dunham

James Harrison recently told reporters he would not be joining the Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers when they join the President at the White House later this week.  When asked why he would not be joining them he said,

If you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don’t win the Super Bowl;So as far as I’m concerned he would have invited Arizona if they had won.

When I heard this I was absolutely shocked and a bit dumbfounded.  I didn’t vote for President Obama but if he wanted me to join him at the White House I would accept in a second because I realize what a great honor that is.

Secondly, of course he would have invited Arizon if they won.  It has been tradition to invite and honor the winner of all major sports championships at the White House.  This doesn’t mean that the President does not respect you or what you have accomplished, it means the exact opposite.

It means that the President wants to meet and honor the best players and team in the sport and you are lucky enough to be included in that.  James Harrison needs to get out of whatever alternate reality he is in, rethink his decision of not going, and cherish the honor that has been bestowed before him.

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Categories: Football, Sports

Preview: Cavaliers vs. Magic

While it only took the Cleveland Cavaliers eight games to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, it took the Orlando Magic 13.  This huge difference in number of games presents fears for both Cavs fans as well as Magic fans.

The obvious fear would be in the eyes of Magic fans, who not only have to go up against the Mvp of the league and the team with the NBA’s best record, but also have to worry about the fatigue of playing so many extra games.

To beat Cleveland you have to bring your A game, and when the Cavs are at home, even that will probably not be enough.

With all these extra games, fatigue could prevent that Magic from playing at their A game, in which case Lebron and the Cavs will keep on coasting strait to the Finals.

With Cleveland’s last game being a week ago, Cavs fans fears might be that Cleveland will come out rusty and give up a home game to the Magic.  While it doesn’t sound like a big deal to give up a home game, in a 7 game series it is huge.  Not only does it give the Magic home court advantage, it will also give them the confidence that if they can beat Cleveland at home, they can win the series.

While it is a possibility, I don’t think that a few days off will slow the Cavs roll at all.  This being said, Orlando will be more of a challenge than the Hawks or the Pistons were and they will not be able to sweep.  As long as the Cavs don’t come out rusty and give up one of the first two home games, they take this series in 5.  If they do lose one of the first to games then it will be more of a series than the Cavs want it to be and will likely go to 7.

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Categories: Basketball, Sports

Preview: Lakers vs. Nuggets

As the Lakers played the Rockets in Game 7 of their Western Conference Semi-final series the Denver Nuggets and the fans watched and waited to see who they would be playing.  What they saw was a fairly dominating game by Kobe, Lamar, and co. over the Yoa and McGrady-less Rockets; winning the game 89-70.

Kobe and Melo will square off in the Western Conference finals starting Tuesday, May 19th and you can expect it to be a show.  The Lakers have been the best team in the Western Conference all you, but as of late they have been very hot and cold.  They will go out and get dominated by a Rockets team that has just lost their superstar then win the next game by 40.

This inconsistency could prove to be a problem against the Nuggets (or Thuggets as we in Dallas like to call them) who have had their eyes on one thing this entire post season, the first NBA championship in the teams history.

Behind the Cavs, the Nuggets have been the hottest team in the playoffs.  With a playoff record of 8-2 they really haven’t been that tested either.  The Lakers are that team that can really test them and that is exactly what will happen.  If the Lakers can play with the same intensity and mindset that they played with in game 7 then this could be a very fun series to watch.

I think that the Lakers will heat up when the bright lights turn on and that is why I’m picking them to win in 7.

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Categories: Basketball, Sports

Kobe’s Doin’ Work

Spike Lee’s new “Joint”, Kobe Doin’ Work, premiered on Espn on Saturday.  By using multiple camera angles and mixing on-court audio with game commentator audio and commentation from Kobe Bryant, a new, interesting dynamic was shown on Kobe’s game.

I’ve always viewed Kobe as a ball hog and not much of a team player but after watching this show it is apparent that he tries to focus just as much on his teammates game as he does his own.  This is good from the aspect that most people do not know that about him but throughout the show also became kind of a negative to me.

As the show went on and on it seemed that Kobe did not respect the basketball I.Q. of his teammates.  He would talk to them and give them instructions as if they were a group of middle school basketball players instead of a group of top tier, NBA basketball players.

I can understand him calling out “i got ball” or “cutter, cutter” to warn his teammates about certain actions taking place on the court, but some of the things he would call out seemed completely pointless and a bit annoying.

By the end of the show, I would not have been surprised at all if he called out the he was about to dribble before doing so.

With all this being said, I acknowledge that Kobe is one of the best, if not the best, basketball players on the planet at this present moment; so he must be doing something right.  Outside of how he communicates with his teammates, this program showed me a lot of good things I did not know about Kobe, and how the professional basketball game is played.  I also gained a lot of respect for Kobe’s ability and knowledge of the game of basketball.

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Categories: Basketball, Sports

How ‘Bout them…Rangers?!

Who would have thought that 36 games into the season, the Texas Rangers would be in first place in the Al West?  If an Espn analyst had predicted this before the season he would have likely been fired.  If you had tried to predict this in any credible baseball community you would have been laughed at.

Yet the only ones laughing right now are those 22-14, Texas Rangers.

Two pitches into the game, Angels pitcher John Lackey was already being thrown out of the game and you knew that you could add another “W” to the record.  After starting May 12-3 they will be tested with a 6 game road trip to Detroit and Houston and they begin a 3 game series against those dreaded New York Yankees.

With All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton just rejoining the team all they can do is get better.

Categories: Baseball, Sports