by Tom Weppel
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
The match up for these NBA Finals is rather interesting. We have the ‘prime time’ L.A. Lakers, featuring superstar Kobe Bryant, and his band of mates, against the Orlando Magic, a team that has been considered ‘small market’ for a long time, even though Orlando is a tourist town, without question. And so, these Finals are being looked upon as being a ‘Big vs. Small’ series.
And while fans in both cities are certainly jacked-up about their teams making it to the end here, they are certainly much more ecstatic in Orlando, simply because their team and franchise has not had near the success in the past that the Lakers hold.
You certainly have to give the Magic credit for the team they’ve assembled. GM Otis Smith, a Jacksonville native, has done a fabulous job getting the right players to fit into the organization. His abilities, along with those of Head Coach San Van Gundy, have made the Magic a formidable group.
And while a lot of the attention certainly centers upon Dwight Howard, Orlando does indeed have a ‘superstar’ roster. You can include their two 6’10” Forwards, Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis, that can score, defend, and are tough to match up with. Their Guard play includes Rafer Alston and Anthony Johnson at the point. They do a great job running the show. Courtney Lee has been impressive in his rookie year, and we have seen a lot of Mikael Pietrus on the wing.
So, all in all, this Magic team has done a very good job, as evidenced in their beating of Lebron and his Cavaliers. I think they are going to give the Lakers a tough time in this series. Orlando has already beaten L.A. twice during the regular season. Should be a good series…
This weekend on Long Island, in New York, the third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown takes place, as the Belmont Stakes will be run.
We know one horse will not will all three races. Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby, while Rachel Alexandra won the Preakness. What we do know is that Calvin Borel was the jockey on both horses, and so it is possible we could have a Triple Crown jockey! The fact he has gone that way has been a story within itself. Borel has a personality that is outgoing and affable. He will be back up on Mine That Bird this Saturday to run, and he has said he feels confident in winning this race.
That alone is the headline to the race, considering Rachel Alexandra is NOT running. And we shall see if Mine That Bird can take the Belmont…
by Tom Weppel