Another interesting week of sports has come to an end and like usual, there are many interesting things happening. Let’s start with the NBA, where the Indiana Pacers gave up their homecourt advantage to the Miami Heat in Game 3. The Heat put up 70 points in the first half and put it on cruise control for the win in Indiana. All the momentum the Pacers got by winning in Miami went away just like that. And now the Pacers are sent searching for answers again. But maybe the answers are not as hard to find as the Pacers think. The Pacers still got good performances out of their big men, David West and Roy Hibbert. The Pacers starting bigs combined for 41 points and 27 rebounds., but what was missing was the perimeter play of Paul George. He was 3/10 for the game and finished with only 13 points. If the Pacers want to win this series, they need George to play his best and make LeBron work defensively. If George shows up in Game 4 along with the likelihood that the Heat will not be scorching hot next game, the Pacers have a good chance. It should be interesting to see if the Pacers come out swinging or if they start feeling sorry for themselves. My feeling is they will come out swinging.
Also in the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats not only are going to change their names back to the Hornets, but they also have a new head coach. The Bobcats will name former Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford their new head coach. Unlike former Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap, Clifford has some NBA coaching experience. He was an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic with Stan Van Gundy before going to the Lakers last season. But even though Clifford has some coaching experience as an assistant coach, he does not necessarily catch your eye as an NBA head coach. In fact, I don’t think anyone knew what Clifford looked like until you saw the picture that accompanied this article. Hopefully he can come in and do a better job than Dunlap did provided he gets some better pieces. Dunlap coached the Bobcats to the second-worst record in the NBA. And with that roster he had, that was an easy thing to do. Clifford has his work cut out for him. A roster that does not have much consistent scoring or leadership needs him to give them some direction.
In the NFL, OTA’s have started for all teams and most teams are getting some extra work in before training camp begins. But unlike those other teams, the New York Jets are still trying to figure out what their quarterback situation will look like. Recently, Mark Sanchez was picked off a few times during the Jets offseason training session. Sanchez is being paid like he is a starting quarterback, but his performance over the last couple of seasons says otherwise. So who do the Jets go to if they believe Sanchez is not their guy: QB Geno Smith. The rookie out of West Virginia did not look all that special to some people, but we all know that he is a talented quarterback. And even though the Jets are not the most talented offensive team, Smith could come in and conceivably start for them. After all, he could protect the football better than Sanchez and he also has a higher ceiling at this point in his career. The Jets are a rebuilding team, so why not start all the way over and let Smith take the reins from the beginning of the season? It’s still too early to see what decision the Jets will make, but if I were them, I would go with Smith and kiss Sanchez goodbye even though his salary cap hit would hurt this season.
Another interesting happening in the NFL is that the Atlanta Falcons secured a $200 million loan from the NFL to get their new stadium off the ground. This stadium is supposed to have a retractable roof and a fantasy football bar as well. The loan is a good thing for the Falcons and their dome aspirations, but what does this mean for the taxpayers in Atlanta. Some say that they don’t think they will be affected by the new stadium, but that is far from the truth. Taxpayers can expect to see the repayment come out of them in the long term. The rates of parking around the stadium will more than likely go up. Along with that, expect the ticket prices and the prices of food to skyrocket. While all this is going on, look for the stadium to continue to price out the hard-working individuals that wanted to see a new stadium in the first place. In the end, the blue-collar worker who loves the team will not be able to afford the tickets to watch the team. Hopefully something is worked out to where the ticket prices can stay affordable because it isn’t fair to the everyday man to have to pay these crazy prices for one game.
Finally, in Major League Baseball has seen an uprising in Cleveland. The Indians have playing well under manager Terry Francona and have made their way to second place in American League’s Central Division. But while they are surging, the attendance continues to stay the same. The Indians are among the worst in attendance and it is totally unexplainable. If they practiced doing firesales like the Marlins, I could understand the no-shows, but to shun this team and they are doing well is not good at all. Maybe if they continue to play well, fans will come out. But when a team is doing well, they should not have to beg people to come watch them play at all. Come on Cleveland. You have to do better than this.
These are my thoughts and these are my words. Until next time……