Tag: betting on sports
A few people out there would say that some things are funny. That is, some things are funny until somebody get’s hurt. The newly formed USA Olympic Basketball team is yet to make it’s first trip over to the London Summer Olympics in 2012 and yet, rumor has it, some of the players involved are taking some guesses as to see if these team has the same potential and star-driven force as the original Dream Team that went on to the Barcelona Summer Olympics in 1992. Twenty years ago, it was up to Micheal Jordan, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, and you get the idea, right?
Two decades later, things are certainly different. For the first time in years the star-power is finally anywhere similar to the original dream team, and although the other national basketball teams fighting for Olympic gold have seriously uplifted their game, chances are still as good as they got for team USA. The 2012 Olympic team consists of returning 2008 Olympic gold medal winners small forwards LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, point guards Chris Paul and Deron Williams, and shooting guard Kobe Bryant. That’s the core of the USA Olympic team, but even the backup is quite spectacular. They have also called upon small forward Kevin Durant, power forward Kevin Love, center Tyson Chandler, and point guard Russell Westbrook. Small forward Andre Iguodala and shooting guard James Harden were the last two names added to the final roster, after a very successful postseason this last month.
But not all is good at the Olympic team’s training camp. The Americans have already lost two centers, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh, to injuries even before the training camp began. As if that was not enough, they are a bit concerned about the injuries suffered by Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade. Chris Paul sprained his right thumb on the first day of camp and has been sitting out scrimmages. And now it is the LA Clippers recently resigned Blake Griffin who has been diagnosed with a medial meniscus tear in his left knee. He will most likely undergo arthroscopic surgery early next week. He’s already back with the LA Clippers doctors and will soon be seen by the orthopedic specialist, including Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Rumor has it that he will be evaluated on Sunday and could be in surgery as early as next Monday.
“We’re relieved that this does not affect Blake’s ability to be ready in time for training camp,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said in a statement. He seemed quite calm, considering that they just signed a $95 million contract with the player. “Missing out on the Olympic experience will be tough for him to take. I know how dedicated he was to doing that. We’re glad we can get this fixed now and take advantage of the available time for him to fully recover.” USA Basketball is now saying that the injury is not knew and that this is only a aggravation of an injury that Blake suffered during the playoffs where his team was defeated by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round.
When there were 28.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Boston Celtics head coach, Doc Rivers, pulled out Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen all at the same time. With a brilliant run from LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, who scored all of the Heat’s fourth-quarter points in a 28-15 run that put the game away. And the veteran Celtics coach made a grand gesture. He was accepting his defeat, yes, that’s certain, but he was giving credit to the core of his group, to the three players that had given this team half a decade of success. Rumor has it, the Celtics Big Three will not be back together next season. At 36-years-old, both Garnet and Allen are now officially free agents and it is not far fetched to expect the Celtics to build a new team around their all-star point guard Rajon Rondo.
The Miami Heat won two games in a row to turn around a 3-2 deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals. At the end, despite Rajon Rondo’s 22 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists, the Heat took an 88-101 win at home. LeBron James finally came out with a victory in a game 7. It took him three chances to get that win, and a 31 points, 12 rebound performance to close the deal. But once again the Miami Heat are up for the NBA Finals. Miami will open up the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thuesday night. This has been a highly anticipated matchup. It is still uncertain how the Heat will work out against Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Their explosiveness and game style are far away from what the Celtics gave them.
Dwayne Wade scored 23 points for the Heat. Chris Bosh finished with 19, including a career best three 3-pointers for the game while Shane Battier added 12 to help the Heat win a Game 7 for the first time since 2004. Last year, the party ended a little too soon as the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Finals in game 6 at Miami. For the Boston Celtics this could very well be the end of an era. Brandon Bass scored 16, Ray Allen finished with 15 and Kevin Garnett scored 14 for the Celtics. “Give them credit,” Rondo said. “They spread the points out as a team tonight. Give them credit. They played great tonight as a team and we just came up short.” And a brilliant game, filled with true teamwork might be exactly what this squad needs to finally give LeBron James his first title.
The Heat had to deal with 3 weeks without Chris Bosh. He proved vital in game 7 and is certainly going to be a reference in the offensive end in the finals. “We all had a pit — even though we didn’t admit it — we all had a big pit in our stomach when we saw him walking off the court in Game 1 of the Indiana series,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Bosh. “We played tough, but we knew that for two years he had been our most important player, because he makes it all work.” Well, the finals are here, it is time for this squad to deliver.
At an age at which most American men bear with pride a plentiful belly, empowered by a weekly extenuating routine of at least one six pack per week, Lance Armstrong, the men who survived cancer on his way to becoming one of the toughest guys in a very rough and physically demanding sport, is still proving that he’s got what it takes. Sure, he is not in the top of his sport like he used to. Many fans and sports commentators alike were a bit dubious about his performance this season. He had a very slow an irregular early season, and not much was happening for the seven-time Tour de France champion.
Still, he managed a brilliant comeback in a couple of stage races, particularly in the Tour of Switzerland. But things got very complicated for the Texan once the Tour began. On all of his previous races, Armstrong had manage to avoid most of the chances of falling. And yet, on Stage 8 in the Alps, he hit a curb in one of the roundabouts and suffered a painful crash. He almost went down again on the same stage when a couple of riders in front of him went down towards the end of the stage.
It was basically over for him from the point on. Behind were all the speculations of his use of EPO and other illegal performance enhancing drugs. Behind were the times when he fought both Marco Pantani and Jan Ulrich in the most compelling climbs of the Alps and the Pyrenees. He knew that the 23-stage race was going to be fought between Alberto Contador and Andy Shleck. He also knew that this was it. It looks as if this is going to be the official retirement of a great athlete.
And then came stage 16. Armstrong went on from the start. He made an early, very early attack. He went for it, but towards the end, after the four very difficult climbs, he did not have the legs to go and fight for a sprint after a complicated downhill. It is a shame that Lance will not make a stage win in his last tour. He has managed to win it all. Be it the solo all-out explosiveness of the time trials, be it the endurance and just the plain ability to suffer on the big mountain stages, be it his ability to survive the 150+ mile flat stages. Lance has made a very significant contribution to the sport of cycling.
Most important, he has made a large contribution coming clean. The sport has suffered greatly from doping charges and cheating that at a point involved international police intervention. Landis, Pantani, team Cofidis… they have all done their part at blemishing the name of such a beautiful sport. Lance, despite the accusations and the suspicions has come clean after every test. He has done his job. It is time to sit back and enjoy the rest of his life.