Hope your weekend was swell - and we're sure it was sweltering (Holy Bill Race the weather ace it was South Georgia hot this weekend). Let's get to it.
From the 7-Up Stinks Studios in scenic downtown Chattanooga.
Wade Heat-ing up
Dwayne Wade was money. Chris Bosh hit the game-winner from a perfect pass from LeBron James, who kept Mavs sharpshooter Jason Terry scoreless in the fourth quarter. Combined, it was enough for Miami's 88-86 win over Dallas and dazzling Dirk Nowitzki. Barely.
Nowitzki scored a game-high 34 points, including the Mavs' final 12 points. His 17-footer that would have forced overtime bounced off the back of the rim and Miami now leads the series 2-1. It was an awesome game
Nowitzki's individual brilliance aside, the Heat now are in control (remember that since the NBA switched to a 2-3-2 schedule, the winner of Game 3 has won 100 percent of the time - and that's even better than 60 percent of the time it works every time).
And a Heat NBA title would shape the future of the NBA. Three stars are better than one. It's science.
Dirk scored 34 points - the rest of the Mavs starters scored 27. It's science.
And while LeBron is getting some big time heat about playing second-fiddle in the fourth quarter (whether it's deserved or not is another debate, but consider the 5-at-10 more impressed that he leads his team in fourth-quarter assists and has embraced his role as a shutdown defender than troubled by his 3-for-11 shooting in the fourth quarter on these NBA Finals), here's saying that he's be happy to watch Wade get the Final MVP if it means LeBron gets a ring.
And that's an easy Decision.
It's a monster week in Indy
The NCAA's headquarters are in Indianapolis.
The University of Tennessee will turn a lot of its attention later this week to the actions there. A slew of former Vols coach, including ex-football coach Lane Kiffin and former hoops boss Bruce Pearl, will be in attendance along with UT AD Mike Hamilton and a team of lawyers as UT faces the music of a list of NCAA violations.
TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer broke down the scenarios nicely in Sunday's Sports section (and you can read that hear).
The 5-at-10 feels certain that we'll be discussing more throughout the week.
But with the recent scandals at THE Ohio State University and the rumblings and ruminations that have become the central theme across college sports, the Vols' case will be closely watched.
Here's saying that Pearl will be branded with the Scarlet "Show Cause" penalty, which means any future college that plays NCAA hoops will have to show cause to the NCAA on why Pearl deserves to be employeed.
As for Kiffin, his NCAA violations were more frequent but less serious. The NCAA's opinion aside (it's hard to fathom the NCAA hitting him with the SC), how USC AD Pat Haden, who will be in attendance in Indy, views the findings will be the most important thing for young Lane. Plus, remember that Kiffin was hired by former USC AD Mike Garrett, who was excused from his job amid the NCAA scandal for the Trojans football and basketball programs.
Enter Haden, who has vowed to clean up the program.
Let's just say it's going to be an interesting week in Indy.
Wow, and now we're here?
The face of American golf belongs to Steve Stricker. Yes, read that again.
After winning the Memorial on Sunday, Stricker is now the world's No. 4 ranked golfer. He's one spot ahead of Phil Mickelson. It's the first time since 1999 that the highest ranked American was not named Mickelson or Tiger Woods.
Woods has fallen to No. 15 in the world and seventh among Americans, behind Stricker, Mickeslon, Matt Kuchar (No. 6), Dustin Johnson (No. 9), Bubba Watson (No. 12) and Nick Watney (No. 14).
Wow, Stricker as the face of American golf is like Jim Thome being the face of American baseball. They're both fine players and they both had more success later in their career - Stricker has seven of his 10 career wins after the age of 40; Thome has hit 360 homers after turning 30. But the face of the sport for our country?
It'd be like the face of American tennis being... Oh nevermind.
Junior so close - again
Brad Keselowski won the NASCAR race on Sunday. It was his second career Sprint Cup win.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second, coming short for the second consecutive week on a fuel-mileage gamble. It was his 106th consecutive race without winning.
That said, Earnhardt Jr. continues to have the look of a contender, even if his post-race news conferences are held in places other than Victory Lane. For the first time in several years, Junior's team looks like a championship contender. Even his post-race comments about being fast - and especially about qualifying better - have the sound of someone that has matured and is expecting to be upfront.
Let the 5-at-10 be the first to say it, "Welcome back Junior." And soon (maybe very soon), the hosts in Victory Lane will be saying the same thing.
- Speaking of NASCAR, did you see that Richard Childress put Kyle Busch in a headlock and started punching him in the top of the head? OK, that sentence brings to mind only one thing - Nolan Ryan's "education" of Robin Ventura when Ventura charged the mound. That is all.
- Kudos to Raffy Nadal for winning the French Open, a place that he will be forever linked to, like Jack and Augusta and Ruth and Yankee Stadium.
- Wow, these Braves are hard to figure, huh? And did anybody see that moonshot Chipper Jones hit at Shea on Saturday. Friend of the show AJ, who is a huge, Huge, HUGE Braves fan, astutely said that even after Jones retires in the near future he should comeback for games against the Mets.
- New feature here at the 5-at-10 - the Dan Uggla update. Or should this be a "downdate?" Either way, Uggla is now at .172 through 60 games. Ouch. Compare that batting average with a .208 strike-out average - Uggla has 38 hits and 46 strike outs in 221 at-bats.