published Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

5-at-10: Sports everywhere and a US Open contest?

NAVARRE, FLA. -- OK, there are two things beyond family that are relatively certain in the modest world of the 5-at-10. The beach rocks and sports slow down in the summertime. The first of those was spot-on Monday, with the rain moving out and the clouds providing nice cover. And if we could bottle the joy a 4-year-old sees in the sand and the surf, well, we'd be doing the 5-at-10 as a hobby rather than a profession. Sports slowing in the summer, though, appears to have taken a hiatus this week. (Hiatus sounds like one of those words that could really be an insult or slang for something inappropriate, right?) Here are five quick storylines of the day:

  • photo
    Miami Heat forward LeBron James, left, prepares to drive against Boston Celtics forward Mickael Pietrus, right, during the first quarter in Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Thursday, June 7, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

No. 1 -- The NBA Finals start tonight and we'll review Game 1 tomorrow. Two quick questions: Who wins (team) and who wins (Durant or BronBron)? We're early-90s-Tyson-fight excited about this by the way. And is there any way that this is now the fork in the road of Lebron James' career?

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    New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova works in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Monday, June 11, 2012 in Atlanta.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

No. 2 -- Yankees top Braves. Got to tell you, we're at the beach so we didn't watch a pitch of Monday's game. But knowing sports allows us to make the following conclusion. The AL is way, Way, WAY superior to the NL. Consider the following. Ivan Nova, the Yankees starting pitcher Monday night, had a plus-5 ERA entering the game but was 7-2. That's an offense that delivers. And to make matters worse, that less-than-super Nova with the plus-5 ERA shut out the Braves.

  • photo
    Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar celebrates after a second period goal by Kings' Jeff Carter against the New Jersey Devils during Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals, Monday, June 11, 2012, in Los Angeles.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

No. 3 -- Congrats to the L.A. Kings fans. It's a sweet moment to win a title, especially when you never know if your team would ever win one or when they could get back to the finals again. As an Auburn grad, we can speak at length about this.

No. 4 -- Our friends at pregame.com sent out a bunch of college football betting lines last night. Some interesting stuff in there, including there are four teams -- USC, Georgia, LSU and Oklahoma -- that are favored in every game. Alabama is a 2-point underdog at LSU and that's the first time since 2009 that the Tide are not favored. Georgia is a 13-and-a-half point pick over UT (which we're sure that will but Dr. B in the bed, to which we'd prescribe bed rest, but we're not a doctor after all). We'll be back with more on this around lunch. Crazy stuff indeed.

No. 5 -- Here's saying the boxing controversy with the rigged Pacquiao-Bradley result was an inside job by boxing bigwigs. Think of it this way, when was the last time you heard this much about boxing? The sport was on life support and needed an old-school Dr. Greene from ER "PADDLES.... CLEAR" jolt. Now, a rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley gives the sport a fight beyond Pacquiao-Mayweather that people would be intrigued by. (And no we're not normally the "Area 51 conspiracy types, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and the boxing of today is nothing if not desperate.)

OK, today's top-five will have a tall order to match the mayhem of yesterday. Well done all around gang. We decided to bounce back and forth between silly-and-sports. Monday was surely silly, so today, let's do sports. Let's give this a shot -- top five storylines at this week's U.S. Open:

5) Will the 5-at-10 have a contest? Hard to gauge at this point? Any takers?

4) Is Rory on the Ian Baker Finch track of self-destruction? We've watched this year as Rory as ascended to the No. 1 spot in the world but in the last six weeks, it's been a grab bag of meldtowns and missed cuts. Is there any way you see him contending this weekend with a swing as fragile as a rusty gate?

3) Andy Zhang got into the field, and if you don't know Andy Zhang, well, you will. Zhang is 14. Read that again. FOUR-teen. And teeing it up in a major. What were you doing at 14, and does it compare with playing a practice round with Bubba Watson and Aaron Baddeley, which is what Zhang is doing today? Zhang, that's good. (Bonus points today for any and all Zhang puns. We'll start... We're so excited to see this US Open, we're Zhanging on pins and needles. Or, if he plays well, does it mean he's "Zhanging it." And if Freddie Couples is Boom Boom, can this kid be Bhang Bhang?")

2) Who you got? Who's the winner this week? Forget it, who are we kidding, we're having a contest. We'll do a little twist on our normal rules -- Pick five golfers and we'll count the top four (that way if a player misses the cut, you're still not out of it). Add the places of your best four finishers and the low total wins. (The fifth golfer will be the first tie-breaker.) We'll have some Braves tickets for the winner.

1) What's Tiger going to do? We all know that WC777 thinks he'll win by 72 shots, but what's possible? What's impossible?

Discuss, and remember about Friday's mailbag.

about Jay Greeson...

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 ...

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Stewwie said...

[Two quick questions: Who wins (team) and who wins (Durant or BronBron)?]

Thunder in 5 and BronBron will have the higher ppg.

June 12, 2012 at 11 a.m.
Todd962 said...

I sure hope that Lebron and the Heatles are able to pull it out even though I have my doubts. And I dont necessarily think thats its a huge fork in his career because it isnt as though if they lose this one they wont be able to start reeling them off in the years to come.

I just cant take another year of hearing Cavalier fans and the Lebron haters squawking about their "he betrayed us", "you cant get change for a dollar cause he aint got a fourth quarter", "the dingo didnt steal our baby, Lebron did" BS. You guys are a scorned lover who cant handle the fact that he moved on to bigger and better things.

And another thing, Cavs fans have a pretty cool new player on their roster and if they took the time to get all the hate out their hearts they would see. Go on YouTube and look up the video "Uncle Drew" from Kyrie Irvin and Pepsi Max. Pretty funny stuff.

June 12, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.
chas9 said...

Of late, college basketball coaches all wax eloquent about how defense wins championships. Some fans like beaucoup buckets better. If you're a fan of run and gun, I hope you were around from 1989 to 1997 when the top five scores of all time were recorded.

Loyola Marymount put up the two biggest numbers and Oklahoma also had two of the top five totals.

1) LMU 186

2) LMU 181

3) LIU 179

4) Oklahoma 173

5) Oklahoma 172

In four of the five the loser was also in tripe digits, but #3 on the list Long Island University bested its opponent by 117 points. 117 points.

Here's the weird thing. On January 5, 1991, LMU beat U. S. International 186-140 to set the all-time high mark. Exactly three weeks earlier LMU had been on the short end of the stick in one of these epochal games, losing to Oklahoma 172-112.

Get well wishes to Dr. B. Physician, heal thyself.

June 12, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

The non stop hype as Lebron left Cleveland left as bad a taste for the fans there as his actual switch of teams.

Anyone not watching the finals tonight can see some of the city and nearby area's best senior basketball players one more time before they go on to college. Girls and boys tonight in all star games at Notre Dame.

How many decades has it been since boxing had any more credibility than WWF? At least we get memorable moments from time to time such as the flyer interrupting the Las Vegas fight from above and the mom running in and beating the opponent with her purse.

June 12, 2012 at 12:37 p.m.
chas9 said...

Mr. Stew is right, but it'll take seven games for OKC to do it.

June 12, 2012 at 1:34 p.m.

Dustin Johnson Lee Westwood Brandt Snedeker Matt Kuchar Rickie Fowler

Tiger's driver goes on "hiatus" this week (gotta love that word). Tiger will use a lot of Zhang terms that cannot be repeated on this family oriented forum. And he finishes around 10th place.

June 12, 2012 at 2:13 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Q5, Yes, Q2, Luke Donald, Jason Dufner, Steve Stricker, Rory McIlroy, and my wildcard is Tiger Woods (Cause he is just as likely to win by 72 strokes as he is to miss the cut by half that many strokes.), Q4, Lets hope not seeing how he is in my top five and not listed as my wildcard, Q3, At 14 I was shooting around a 85 and that was just for nine holes. Impressive Zhang Master. Q1, 8 under par, plus or minus 5 strokes, which will be good enough for first or thirty first. What a bold prediction by myself.

What is the over/under on clubs thrown and kicked by Tiger this weekend? It was in California the last time he Zhang his driver across the tee box and kicked it after nearly killing a sunbather in a house adjacent to the fairway. But he did win the tournament following that, so maybe he could use a little more of that. Forget golf etiquette, the sport needs more Tiger anyway.

June 12, 2012 at 2:44 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Rory played pretty well last week in Memphis. Really could have and should have won. I think he'll contend this week, but not win.

I really don't see Bubba making the cut. He's played very little since the Masters and he's paired with Lefty and Woods in the first two rounds. I can see his game coming completely off the rails Thursday and Friday. And that might be a very quiet pairing alongside him. I don't think Lefty and Woods send each other birthday cards.

How about the Rory, Luke Donald, Westwood group? Wow.

With that, I'll take a winner from the quartet of Donald, Westwood, Stricker and Kuchar, the latter two of whom also are grouped together for rounds 1-2.

I'll take Stony Brook in Omaha to block.

June 12, 2012 at 3:56 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Gang --

We'll take the Heat in 6 and stealing a raucous Game 1 tonight We also believe some one got in LeBron's ear and flipped the switch. Game 6 in Boston was his version of Michael Corleone sitting in the office asking Sonny to set up the meeting and he'll kill them both.

Contest is on tap and we need everyone's entry by Thursday morning.

Quick review:

Stew --

Agree that BronBron's numbers are going to be high. We think Westbrook is going to sink the Thunder.

Mr. 962 --

So concur about the rumblings about the Decision. Was it a mistake? Of course. But if the worst thing you ever do is a egomanical info-mercial that raises seven-figures or the Boys and Girls Club of America, then you are ahead of the curve. Way ahead.

9er --

OK.

Laugher --

Great question. It's hard to think of the last boxing match we made an appointment to watch. Wow.

Addicted --

Great phrase. What's your over/under on Tiger's Zhang terms? We'll set it at five and a half Zhangs on TV. But 962 is spot on, the sport needs Tiger something fierce. If he's not in the mix it's another major with tough conditions that some guy will win. if Tiger's in the mix, it's appointment TV.

Spy --

Here's hoing for a Stony Brook-Kent State title game. War Seawolves.

5-at-10

June 12, 2012 at 4:31 p.m.
abankston said...

jason dufner, luke donald, zach johnson, rickie fowler, and jason day

June 13, 2012 at 10:17 p.m.
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