The sports week has definitely been captivating. Let’s start with the action in the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers had been left for dead by many this year. In fact, plenty of people thought they would not make the playoffs. But thanks to the Utah Jazz stumbling after the All-Star break and the great play of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers are now back in the playoff hunt. After their win versus the Chicago Bulls, the Lakers are now in the eighth slot in the NBA’s Western Conference. And with a little over a month left in the season, the Lakers could climb even higher in the West if they continue their hot streak. With Dwight Howard playing well alongside Kobe, the Lakers could end up being a dangerous team if they get the right matchup in the playoffs.
The Pacers, just like the Lakers, were playing well coming out of the All-Star break. They had taken over the second spot in the Eastern conference and looked to make a statement heading into their game Sunday versus the Miami Heat. And as of recently, the Pacers had been dominating the Heat. Well, instead of the Pacers making another statement to the Miami Heat, the Pacers were on the receiving end of the message. The Heat, behind point guard Mario Chalmers’ 26 points, beat the Pacers 105-91. And what is even crazier about this game is LeBron had only 13 points. The Pacers were thought to be the team that could challenge the Heat in the East. But if this is how they show up against a focused Miami Heat team, then they have some work to do. They will meet one more time this season and Indiana still holds the season series edge (2-1 vs the Heat this year). But after this one, the Pacers will definitely be smarting.
In the NFL, the trade market has been pretty quiet since the San Francisco 49ers agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs. Well, leave it to Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin to liven things up a little bit. Per the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the electric returnman/wide receiver is demanding that he be traded from the team. It is believed that this demand is in regards to Harvin looking to get paid and he does not believe the Vikings will be that team to step up and pay him. So instead of playing the season out, he is trying to force his way out. I believe Harvin should go about this a different way. Even if the team does not want to pay you, at least play out the situation and then go forward. But on the other hand, I understand Harvin’s side too. He wants to make sure to get paid to secure himself financially. This is definitely a tough situation the Vikings are in and it should be interesting to see how this one gets worked out.
An unfortunate part of the offseason is when a veteran player gets cut. And in the instance of James Harrison it was his turn to face the music in Pittsburgh. The Steelers and Harrison could not come to an agreement on a pay cut and now the veteran linebacker is on the open market.He was an impact player for the Steelers, but his production did not match the amount they were paying him. Unfortunately, Harrison is towards the end of his career and his playing days are coming short. He has a small window to play and could potentially help some teams. But as far as him being the stud that he once was, those days are over. Hopefully he understands that much and understands that this decision by the Steelers was not a personal one, but a business decision.
The college basketball season is about to come to a close and with that, March Madness is upon us. And unlike in year’s past, there are no dominant teams anywhere to be found. The usual dominant teams like North Carolina and Kentucky are teams that no one is worried about and the number one team, Gonzaga, is a team that no one is sure about since they have not been tested very much. You can also add teams like Indiana and Michigan in the mix for teams that could potentially win the National Title this year. But like all the other teams that are named in the National Title hunt, they are subject to lose to a team they should beat. The eveness of this field surely will lead to some exciting basketball. Madness will surely be around in March this year.
Finally in golf, Tiger Woods won his 76th PGA tour event when he closed out the WGC-Cadillac Championship in style Sunday. Tiger looked very impressive as he held the field at bay. And after his performance, everyone believes that Tiger is back. But let’s keep this performance in perspective. Tiger, for all the good things he did today, still has not exuded that dominance he once did in the big-time events. If he is able to take the smoothness he played with this weekend and transfer that to the Masters, then we can clearly say that he is back at it. Until then, Tiger needs to continue to work on his short game while still exhibiting his power.
These are my thoughts and these are my words. Until next time…….