The Answer Man sprays the ball to all fields:
What’s wrong with your Miami Heat? I thought you said that no team could beat LeBron James in a best-of-seven series.
Answer: The San Antonio Spurs took a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals Thursday night and are doing a splendid job of debunking my theory.
James has played like King James but most of his teammates have played like court jesters.
The Heat came home with a 1-1 tie in this series and an 8-0 home record for the playoffs. San Antonio responded with two of the best back-to-back road performances you’re ever going to see.
I haven’t seen a basketball team move the ball like this since Hickory High in the Hoosiers. The last two games have been a beautiful thing to watch is you’re not a Heat fan.
James has been the best player but the Spurs are proving they’re the better T-E-A-M – by a lot.
I don’t know if the Heat could beat San Antonio right now if they had Carmelo Anthony. Defense is not his strong suit and the Spurs are toying with Miami.
A few more thoughts on this series:
Game 6 is Sunday in San Antonio. The Spurs figure to win unless Dwyane Wade’s knees miraculously return to prime form, Chris Bosh plays more like a 7-footer than a guy 6-foot-3, and Mario Chalmers finds wherever he misplaced his game.
Some people are touting Spurs emerging star Kawhi Leonard for Finals MVP. I disagree at this point. He gets extra credit for playing exceptional defense. But I believe the MVP has been steady Tim Duncan, averaging 16.4 points and 9.2 rebounds in 22 playoffs games and playing 10 years younger than his 38 years.
San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich is showing why he’s probably the best coach/manager in North American pro sports today. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are building their portfolios for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Toss in cinch future Hall of Famer Duncan and the Spurs have the NBA’s true Big Three.
Who is the all-time best basketball player – Michael Jordan or LeBron James?
Answer: I don’t understand why so much time is spent on this topic. There is no right or wrong answer. They were obviously the best of their respective eras. But who is best overall? No one knows for sure.
Who is the most valuable player in baseball so far this season?
Answer: Masahiro Tanaka. Where would the New York Yankees be without him? Entering Friday night, he was 10-1 with a league-best 2.02 ERA and the rest of the team’s pitchers were a combined 24-30.
What did you think about the call on the go-ahead penalty kick for Brazil in Thursday’s World Cup-opening 3-1 victory over Croatia?
Answer: It was a farce. If anything, I’d have given Brazilian striker Fred a yellow card for flopping. My guess is that referee Yuichi Nishimura referee never would’ve given Brazil that gift call and subsequent go-ahead goal if the match were played in Croatia or anywhere else. It was almost as bad as the foul call on Manu Ginobili for Dwyane Wade’s face flop in the NBA Finals. The World Cup is the greatest month-long spectacle in sports but Thursday’s bogus game-changing call got this tournament off to a sour start. Brazil is the host country. That should be enough of an advantage. A referee contributing mightily to Brazil’s victory was embarrassing. Things can only get better.
When will attendance pick up for the Red Wings?
Answer: When school ends and the weather improves. The team is really good this season and should be almost as significant an attraction as the food and fireworks.
Do you think Donald Sterling still will be owner of the Los Angeles Clippers when the 2014-15 NBA season begins?
Answer: I hope not, but if he is, the team figures to stink. The players probably would have the option of finding new teams under the terms of their current contracts and most of them likely would choose to leave.
The longer Sterling keeps his high profile, the more disgusting he becomes. Hiring detectives to dig up dirt on other NBA owners shows how low this guy can go.
What do you think about U.S. national soccer coach Werner Klinsmann saying his team can’t win the World Cup?
Answer: I agree with him – who doesn’t? -- but he should’ve kept it to himself. I’m glad 1980 U.S. hockey coach Herb Brooks didn’t express a defeatist attitude entering the Winter Olympics.
Do you think the Buffalo Bills will end their 14-year playoff drought this season?
Answer: Yes, if quarterback EJ Manuel stays healthy and performs decently – he doesn’t need to be great or even very good. I believe the Bills have the potential to win 10 games and be one of the NFL’s most entertaining teams.
What about the Atlanta Falcons being selected for HBO’s Hard Knocks training camp series?
Answer: I think the Bills would’ve been a better choice. Buffalo is a team on the rise and has plenty of interesting story lines, including the ownership situation. I know the ratings in western New York would be ridiculously high – like the rest of the country wouldn’t believe how high.
Do you think any NFL team will match or pass Buffalo’s record four straight trips to the Super Bowl?
Answer: No. The only other team to play in three straight Super Bowls was the Miami Dolphins (VI, VII, VIII). Players on Super Bowl teams often want more money and force trades – now more than ever.
What do you think about veteran New Orleans Saints quarterback Champ Bailey saying the Washington Redskins should change their nickname?
Answer: Good for Bailey. He began his career with the Redskins. It is safe to say he won’t finish his career with the Redskins.
Do you think Rochester should host an LPGA seniors’ event?
Answer: No. I believe we’ve proven that we’re better than that. We don’t need a consolation prize.
Can a golfer win two majors this year?
Answer: I’d give about 50-to-1 odds on that. Entering this week’s U.S. Open, the 27 PGA Tour events were won by 24 different players.
Will Alex Rodriguez be playing for the Yankees next season?
Answer: Yes, but only because the Yankees don’t figure to be a playoff-contending team with or without him and he’d still be a drawing card – sort of like a circus act or freak show.
What is the most disappointing team this baseball season?
Answer: In terms of talent-victory ratio, the Los Angeles Dodgers (35-33 record with baseball’s highest payroll). National League West rival San Francisco (43-24 record) isn’t nearly as good in terms of talent as the Dodgers but the attitude gap favors the Giants even more.
Should the Buffalo Sabres have retained Chadd Cassidy as coach of the Rochester American?
Answer: Sure, why not? In his first year, he took the Amerks as far as their talent level suggested they would go: first round of the playoffs. All Cassidy needs is a deeper roster, including a few top-notch, relatively expensive AHL veteran imports. Rochester hasn’t won the Calder Cup since 1996. Battling to squeeze into the playoffs and being eliminated in the first round is growing stale.