From the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...
Miami Heat's LeBron James celebrates after scoring against the Boston Celtics during the second half of Game 2 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series, Tuesday, May 3, 2011 in Miami. The Heat won 102-91. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
NBA playoffs continue to dazzle
If you're not into the NBA, the 5-at-10 understands. But last night was more than just basketball.
Last night was about all the gripping things about sports. In the two games last night, there were four overtimes, more big buckets than we could count, more than a dozen highlight plays and questions that were asked and answered.
The Heat grabbed a 3-1 series lead with a 98-90 overtime win over Boston. It's hard to see any team winning three straight so we're staring at the Celtics and Lakers being on the golf course/beach before the start of the conference finals. Raise your hand if you thought that was possible.
Even more impressive was how the Heat siezed control of this series Monday night.
It was on the road, and the Boston crowd was rocking. It happened in the TD Garden, a house of horrors for Dwayne Wade (who had lost 11 straight games there) and LeBron James (who ha lost 13 of his last 15 games there). It also came less than 48 hours after Chris Bosh admitted to being nervous in a woeful Game 3.
And the Big 3 was bigger than even they could have imagined. James (35 points, 14 rebounds), Wade (28 points, nine rebounds) and Bosh (20 points, 12 rebounds) combined for 83 of Miami's 98 points and scored all 12 in the decisive OT. They also had 35 of Miami's 45 rebounds.
All jokes aside about the Hawks or the Grizzlies and it's still anybody's playoffs (well, anybody other than the Lakers, of course), it appears we're on the path for a Mavericks-Heat finals. If that develops, it wil be a big-time case study on building an NBA team — the Heat's star-dominated roster or the Mavs' 10-deep rotation anchored by one big-time Big-Timer (Dirk Nowitzki).
Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph, center, celebrates their win with teammates Marc Gasol, left, of Spain, and Darrell Arthur after an NBA playoff basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, April 17, 2011, in San Antonio. Memphis won 101-98. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
What will they do for an encore
Sweet Sore Shooting Elbows, what in the world will the Thunder and Grizzlies do to top Monday's amazing triple-overtime shootout that the Thunder won 133-123.
There were a series of highlights and the numbers were staggering.
The Thunder got 75 combined points from its dynamic duo of Russell Westbrook (40) and Kevin Durant (35). Memphis, which led by as many as 18 at one point Monday, had five players score at least 14 points, and the inside tandem of Marc Gasol (26 points, 21 rebounds) and Z-Bo (Zach Randolp had 34 points and 16 boards) was outstanding.
Now the series is tied at — just like the Atlanta-Chicago series — and it's safe to assume that Game 5 is a little more than important.
These NBA Playoffs have been simply great; at least they are creating a lot of wonderful memories before the summer of labor unrest. So it goes.
This Feb. 1, 2011, file photo shows Pittsburgh Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall wearing a sweatshirt as he answers questions during media day for Super Bowl XLV, in Arlington, Texas. Mendenhall has created a stir with comments made on his official Twitter page regarding Osama bin Laden's death. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
OK, fellows, don't forget the LOL or the smiley face
Last week, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall used social media to question why everyone was so happy about the death of Osama bin Laden. It was a misguided — and very public — river of thought that Mendenhall later apologized for and it understandably cost him at least one sponsorship deal.
On Monday, New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush tweeted he was enjoying the lockout. He naturally received some negative feedback to the NFL's labor issues and then tweeted "Relax people (deleted) it's called sense of humor! Cry me a river why don't you..."
"Reggie Bush to the common-sense courtesy phone; Mr. Bush to the red common-sense courtesy phone."
Social media has offered connectivity between friends, between family and even for fans like we've never before known. But there is no way to hear inflection or note sarcasm in 140 charcters and to expect otherwise is foolish.
The guys at SportTalk were discussing this the other day, and Quake was spot on when he said it was impossible for the NFL and even the teams to control the use of Twitter and/or Facebook, but that these players were only hurting themselves (and in the case of Mendenhall) costing themselves money.
Athletes having opinions or expressing them is not the problem here — no this is yet another cautionary tale about how to deliver those opinions. Maybe Bush was making a bad joke — and if making a bad joke is a crime, well, the 5-at-10 is headed to the state pen — but to deliver an opinion/joke in 140 characters and then to be shocked/insulted that some people may not like that view or get the joke is foolish and bordering on delusional.
Here's saying that the next person added to some of the big-time stars' entourages will be the social media expert. You know this is coming.
Everyone agrees with the 5-at-10, right? C'mon people, it's called a sense of humor! Cry me a river why don't you...
An Ealey good bye in Athens
Be it the looming arrival of five-star running back recruit Isaiah Crowell or his questionable decisions off-the-field, it's hard to remember a player who lost his luster faster than former Georgia running back Washaun Ealey.
Ealey led the Bulldogs with 811 yards and 11 TDs as a sophomore in 2010, but he was suspended twice for disciplinary reasons. Coach Mark Richt gave Ealey his unconditional release the school announced Monday.
"Washaun and I have had several conversations in recent weeks," Richt said in a statement. "We both have come to the conclusion that a transfer to another institution would be in his best interest."
Ealey was a higly regarded prospect when he arrived in Athens, but his career will end somewhere else. It's hard to know what this means for the Bulldogs, but Crowell just moved to the top of the list of impact freshmen.
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay delivers to a Cincinnati Reds batter during the fifth inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League Division Series, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
This and that
— For the first time since they have tabulated world tennis rankings, there are exactly zero Americans in the top 10 in the men's and women's rankings. That's right, nada.
— Holy Pitcher's Duel, Roy Halladay will go against Josh Johnson tonight when the Phillies play the Marlins. That game may take 90 minutes and the next team that scores wins.
— Maryland hired Mark Turgeon as its basketball coach. Turgeon, the former Texas A&M coach, has some serious skills. Nice hire.
— Remember about the Friday mailbag, and we're still looking for some questions.
— Want to know what's underrated? Cheez-Its are underrated. Cheez-Its is the official snack of the All-Tim Duncan first team. Just thought we'd share.
— The 5-at-10 is going out of town this weekend to celebrate one of our best friends Big 4-0. We're headed to Vegas, and curious about the clan's thoughts on some of the possible future bets we can place. Right now, we're going to check the sports books and see what the odds are on Alabama or Oklahoma winning the football title and UNC winning the college hoops title. Thoughts?
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...