SportsNet - April 2013
The NBA playoffs got underway this weekend and it’s going to be epic.
In a recent blogs back in March I recall saying March Madness as the greatest spectacle in sports, and I stand by my words—but I would also like to add, the NBA playoffs is right up there with March Madness.
First round of the playoffs started Saturday April 20, 2013. The first game saw the New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 85-78, behind a red hot shooting Carmelo Anthony’s 36 points on ABC. The other matchups on Saturday are Golden State Warriors at the Denver Nuggets on ESPN; the Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets; and the night cap, Memphis Grizzles will play at the Los Angeles Clippers also on ESPN.
Sunday’s first Round games are Atlanta Hawks at the Indiana Pacers on TNT; Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs; Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat on TNT; and the Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder also on TNT.
As I stated earlier, the NBA playoffs are going to be epic. There will be drama and lots of excitement.
As the Chicago Bears look to rebuild their offense under new coach Marc Trestman, one obvious area of concern is depth at wide receiver. Brandon Marshall is a superstar and second-year man Alshon Jeffery shows great promise, but the pass-catching corps gets thin very quickly after those two.
Now, one of the biggest names (and loudest mouths) in NFL receiving history is expressing interest in joining Jay Cutler’s list of targets. As reported by CSN Chicago, Terrell Owens wants to get back into the NFL, and he wants to do it in a Bear uniform.
Owens’ affinity for the Bears (for whom he’s never played) stems from his past association with Trestman, who served as offensive coordinator and QB coach in San Francisco when T.O. was getting his start as a 49er. Additionally, the fact that the Bears have an obvious need at his position probably isn’t lost on a player who knows just how slim the market is for 39-year-old wideouts.
It all seems rather humdrum now, but when Jean-Marc Bosman successfully sued his then Club RFC Liege for restraint of trade in 1995, and won, the decision would change the landscape of football, player movement and contracts significantly and permanently.
His name is part of the parlance of how football is spoken about. To move on a free is to move on a Bosman. He and his actions are ingrained in our subconscious at least. And correctly so. Because of him the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that what was in place was a system that restricted the free movement of players. The fallout was that players were given the right to move at will, and for nothing, on the completion of their contracts.
Tribunals to seek agreement between two clubs over a player with no contract, appears now almost half-witted. But it was indeed the case at the time and necessarily so. To let a players contract run out and still retain his services as servile as it was, was how it was.
Regular Season Records: Boston Celtics 41-40 vs. New York Knicks 54-28
The 2013 NBA playoffs have finally arrived and it is time to see if the Boston Celtics are real contenders for this year’s NBA title. They enter the postseason as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Their first opponent will be the Atlantic Division champion and second seeded New York Knicks.
This will be a huge challenge for the Celtics, as the Knicks have finished the regular season playing great basketball. They have won sixteen of their last eighteen games and have been among the NBA’s best three point shooting teams all season long. Additionally, they have shown in the last month that they are a very good defensive team that rebounds the basketball on both ends of the floor.
For the Celtics to beat the Knicks in this series they will of course need Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to be at the top of their games. But, that will not be enough. If they are going to beat the Knicks they will need the following things to happen.
Rebound the basketball
Arsene Wenger made the right decision to publicly back striker Olivier Giroud. The inconsistent front man can overcome his issues to become the true focal point of Arsenal's attack.
Wenger was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Fulham. He was asked about Giroud's failure to take a trio of promising chances in the 0-0 home draw against Everton.
The missed opportunities seemed to encapsulate everything about Giroud during his debut season with Arsenal. He's a willing worker, but not a natural finisher.
According to Arsenal.com, Wenger responded by praising the attributes Giroud adds to Arsenal's forward line. He also underlined his faith that he can develop into a top-class striker with the Gunners:
“He has good physical potential,” he said. “He wants to play every single game, he has a good basic stamina and he can absorb the games.
“He can absorb the body to body [challenges] because he's a strong guy. I think you will see more from him next season, and there's a lot more to come from him.