published Monday, May 23rd, 2011

5 at 10: Beat-up Braves, Liar, liar, Lance on fire and CSI: Ray Lewis

It was a wild weekend, so let's get to it. From the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...

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    Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem, foreground left, redirects the shot of Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, foreground center, as Heat's Dwyane Wade, foreground right, watches during the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals basketball series on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, in Chicago. The Heat won 85-75. (AP Photo/Charlie Arbogast)

NBA clarity

Two things have become crystal clear about these NBA Playoffs after this weekend:

First, there is no way to handicap the Western Conference finals; everytime there appears to be a trend -- that trend ends and the exact opposite happens. Dallas dominated Game 1 (and Dirk Nowitzki looked like 1985 Larry Bird, minus the short-shorts and the whispy mustache). The Thunder stole Game 2 in Dallas without using four starters for the majority of the fourth quarter. So returning for Game 3 in Oklahoma City -- one of the NBA's most raucous settings that was hosting its first conference finals game -- what did we expect?

Raise your hand if you thought Shawn Marion would be the difference in a surprising Mavs' win. Yeah, we thought so.

The second thing we now know is if Chris Bosh plays like he did Sunday, go ahead and take your title talents to South beach. Bosh, the renowned No. 3 of Miami's Big 3 (and the small portion of the humorous nickname "Two and a Half Men," which is how some were describing the Miami Trio of LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh), showed out Sunday night with 34 points on 18 field-goal attempts. Nice.

Oh yeah, there's one other thing we know: If you're frustrated and need to vent, cover your mouth or scream into a towel. Joakim Noah's homosexual slur that was caght on TNT last night was very similar to the diatribe that cost Kobe Bryant six figures. For the record, Noah had as many slurs (1) as he did points Sunday night.

Hold on, there's one more: Prepare for the fallout of flopping after OKC super-sub James Harden took a dive that drew a technical on Tyson Chandler on Saturday night. Did Harden take a dive? Sure, but be very careful trying to legislate "flopping" in sports. Granted outlawing the flop would cut about 30 minutes of most soccer games (which is a sure-fire plus), but where would they draw the line? Flopping on charges? Acting like you caught a pass when it may have skipped on the turf? Acting like you tagged a sliding baserunner at second?

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    Atlanta Braves' Jason Heyward, right, celebrates with Eric Hinske after hitting a two-run home run against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010, in Chicago.(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Braves headed home hurting

OK, the 5-at-10 has had a window seat on the Braves bandwagon from the start. Well, there are plenty of good seats still available.

After losing two of three to the mediocre Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County, California in these United States of America on this planet Earth, the Braves are three games over .500 and three-and-a-half games behind the Phillies. Even worse is the news on the injury front.

Philadelphia is expecting all-star second baseman Chase Utley to make his return from the injured list this week.

The Braves are going in the opposite direction. Jason Heyward is on the DL. Tim Hudson, who was shelled Friday night, has a sore back. Lil' Nate McLouth left Sunday's game in the first inning after straining a muscle on a check swing.

The next three weeks could be very telling for this Braves team.

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    NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. waits while his crew makes adjustments to his car during practice for the Daytona 500 auto race at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Friday, Feb. 13, 2009.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

Edwards sprinting to the front

Are we ready for the Carl Edwards era in NASCAR? Well, we better be.

Granted, Jimmie Johnson is the five-time reigning champ and until somebody beats the man, he's the man (Shoutout to Macho Man Savage -- RIP).

But Edwards appears to be the fastest thing this side of Lance Armstrong's spin cycle.

He won the All-Star Shoot-Out Saturday night, and it was not really that close. In fact, Edwards was so dominant that some people think he wrecked his car on the victory lap on purpose so the post-race inspection would not show whatever "edge" Team Edwards was using. Poppycock. Edwards is riding the rocket right now and playing a million-dollar game of "Catch me if you can."

Three quick racing side notes:

-- NASCAR is on the right track when there are talks of conspiracies and rule-breaking. NASCAR, where "If you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin.'" happens.

-- They had qualifying for the Indy 500 this weekend. Some foreign guy (Alex Tagliani ) is on the pole driving a Honda. Danica will start 26th.

-- Dale Jr. finished the All-Star Shoot-Out 14th. What do we make of Dale Jr.'s career to this point? Is he more a victim of overhyped expectations? Is he only on the track because of his last name? Is he going to become a NASCAR version of George Hamilton and become the modern-day face of being famous for being famous? More on this later this week.

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    Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong of the US trains on the time trial track in the center of Rotterdam, Netherlands, Friday July 2, 2010. The race starts on Saturday July 3 with an individual time trial over 8,9 kilometers (5.5 miles) in Rotterdam. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski)

Liar, liar, Lance on fire

OK, two former teammates and close friends of cycling legend Lance Armstrong told "60 Minutes" that they each saw Armstrong use performance enhancing drugs and/or use blood doping techniques.

There are two striking numbers that stand in complete contrast to each other. Now that former teammate Tyler Hamilton has come forward, there are at least five former cycling stars that have come forward and said they have first-hand knowledge of Armstrong using PEDs. There are hundreds of tests Armstrong has taken and passed in his cycling career.

The 5-at-10 watched the "60 Minutes" report, which Armstrong and his lawyers refused comment to the show and then went on the attack after it aired.

There seems to be no shortage of former cyclists (Why is it not cyclers? And if they're cyclists, does that make the 5-at-10 a "recyclist" when we take our newspapers to the recycling center?) who are willing to step in front of a camera and say the used PEDs and then say Lance used PEDs. Lance has never failed a drug test.

The questions from this are limitless: Do you believe Hamilton and Co.? Do you believe Lance? Do you care? Can you name any cyclers/cyclists other than Lance? Even if he's the biggest fraud in sports, at what point do they just let it go? What should we have for lunch?

We do believe this -- there were so many subtle details in Hamilton's story to "60 Minutes" that either he was telling the truth or he was working off a well-constructed script.

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    File photo of Ultimate Fighting Championship 40 taking place in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch, File)

This and that

-- Did you see what Ray Lewis said about the NFL work stoppage? Lewis said crime will go up if NFL games are interrupted. Well, Lewis would be one of the sporting world's experts on crime. That is all.

-- Spring Fling is this week, and Holy I-24 to Murfreesboro, there are a bunch of area players and teams headed that way. Follow all the action here.

-- MMA update: It appears that Jon Finch has a burn that only fighting BJ Penn and then some dude named George St. Pierre can cure. Finch may have to wait, though, because GSP may fight Nick Diaz, the 170-pound belt holder that Finch called a paper champion. And gang, the MMA dudes can do all the trash talking they want. In other news, Tom Watson TKO'ed Murilo Rua this weekend and Rua announced his retirement. Man, who knew golfing legend Tom Watson was that big of a tough guy. Huh, it's a different Tom Watson?

-- Shackleford officially ended horse racing as a spectator sport by dashing Animal Kingdom's Triple Crown hopes at the Preakness. Don't you know that the race officials at Belmont are miffed. Any word whether Shackleford was named for former N.C. State basketball star Charles Shackleford?


Until tomorrow.

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 ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Eustice_Chase said...

Nice MMA update...thank you! I have to apologize for my mistake, thinking that UFC 130 was this past weekend when it is actually this coming Internet access in the workplace... anyways...if you dont know whop GSP is...well check out the latest Sports Center Commercial...he has a cage around his desk...hilarious...Sportscenter has the best Commercials...and there are only two things I love more than their commercials..and thats Beans & Sports....

This weekend was huge for the 2nd uggliest basketball player in the NBA...Chris Bosh...(tied for first with Kevin Garnet) He flat out showed up..and sent the Bulls to the locker room crying and yelling homorsexual slurs..tisk tisk..did we not learn anything from Kobe? Should be interesting what kind of fine Noah gets...hes not the superstar Kobe will he get a six figure fine???

Earth to the cycling community...Earth to the Cycling community... no one seems to care if Lance Armstrong did or did not take PEDs....he seems to have passed every single drug test immaginable....lets give it a rest...and if you are gonna admit to using them...please dont play the "Jose Canseco" Card ...Im sick of it...

Bernard Hopkins won some WBA WBF WBC IBL IBM AOL MLS championship belt Saturday...tieing him with George Foreman with the most sons named after him...I mean the oldest champion in boxing...congrats to the executioner !

May 23, 2011 at 10:46 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

In other news ... Doug Flutie's daughter made the squad - for the New England Patriots cheerleaders. Let that soak in for a minute. Doug Flutie's daughter is old enough to be a skimpily-clad Patriots cheerleader, for the nine days of summer in the borough of Fox. Other than that, it's like really really cold. Billy Joel sang "Say Goodbye to Hollywood." Who sings "Say Goodbye to Childhood"? I sure hope it won't be Lady GaGa.

May 23, 2011 at 11:25 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

correction, he beat Foreman's record for being the oldest old dude to ever be champ in boxing

May 23, 2011 at 11:46 a.m.
jgreeson said...

EC —

It was a huge, Huge, HUGE game for Chris "Longnecker" Bosh, who is definitely in the running for ugliest NBA player (let's all agree to call this the Sam Cassell trophy).

Dude, love the "Beans and Sports" guy. VAN GUNDY! In fact, the four best Vans out there are:

— The Dr. Van guy that does commercials on SportsTalk here in Chattanooga;

— Art Van De Lay Industries — they're in plastics;

— The Van down by the river routine by the late Chris Farley;


Agree of the Lance — let it go guys, let it go. And for the love of goodness, we're going to have congressional hearings on this now.

Didn't Bernard Hopkins beat Gentleman Jim Corbett in his debut?

BIspy4 —

Why you gotta go and make a 5-at-10 feel all old and stuff? Thanks a lot. And we pray that Lady Gaga's 15 minutes are up, and the only worse candidate for singing "Say Goodbye to Childhood" would be that shady Father Whatshisname.

— 5-at-10

May 23, 2011 at 11:58 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

That Carl Edwards guy is really taking the show here lately....could it be due to the fact its a "contract year" for Mr Edwards? I think so....guys tend to step up their game when its time to cash those checks....and can ya blame em? Either way the man does one heck of a victory flip....GSP does a very similar flip after his wins in the octogan...but he does his flat footed...anyways....Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake were on SNL this past week...awesome in its awesomeness..."Bring It on down to Liquorville" check it out...awesome! not sure if it was a re-run or what...but it was awesome

Not sure who Hopkins' first fight was, but I do know He beat a Baptist, a Counsil and lost to a Taylor....twice....

May 23, 2011 at 12:10 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

I've been so outta touch this weekend its like a time warp worm-whole in the universe of sports. Seriously?! Doping in Cycling?! Somebody please walk over here and punch me square in the face if this crap goes to the Senate. And if it does, i am boycotting ESPN during it and all of its live coverage it will have on it. As far as the wordy dird that Noel spewed out, when is enough, enough?! I mean no, i dont like the words and dont use them personally, but isnt this getting close to the "ooooo-ooooooooo you said THAAAAAT...I'm tellin!!!!" point?!?! What are they gonna start reporting them every time they drop an F-bomb on the court too?! I mean if thats the case, dont point the camera to the sidelines during Football Season (if and when they play football again) I mean i understand it was a particular slur that would have sure somebody's feelings....but come on!!! Can we stop wearing our feelings on our shoulders yet?! I get called White Devil (the Ace Ventura version that i am not about to attempt to spell) all the time by my Best Bud and you dont hear me screaming "Fine Him!!" I dont know...maybe im just in an Ill mood today and im reading this wrong. Also heard that SNL was one of the best ones this past weekend. Need to check it out when i get home...Did i miss anything?!

May 23, 2011 at 12:46 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I have a question for the group. Seeing that the NBA is going towards a "Big 3" style of play, how would your 3 superstars on one team be and why? And to keep it clean...Cant use Jordan..simply because he won 6 with no other superstar...well ok he had Steve Kerr and Luc Longley but that was it

May 23, 2011 at 1:09 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

How about a Reggie Miller, Allen Iverson and Shaq...that would have made an interesting combo

Or Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and John Stockton

May 23, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CANT USE JORDAN?!!? Oh sry...all caps bad! That can you NOT use we go...Chamberlain, Kobe, and.....JORDAN!!

May 23, 2011 at 1:16 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

The reason I say no Jordan is because he would be everyone's first lets just make it easier and not use him lol

May 23, 2011 at 1:27 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

lol....fiiiiiiiiiiine.......Chamberlain, Kobe, and James...although that is a lot of big men on one team....maybe i need to throw in like Stockton or a Kidd or an AI in there somewhere...

May 23, 2011 at 1:31 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

or Magic... !

May 23, 2011 at 1:32 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Oso —

Great call on this getting out of hand. Hopefully Noah's fine will not be as severe as Kobe's — Kobe was yelling at official/Noah was yelling at a heckler. And some times hecklers can go way overboard.

And with the cameras and microphones of today, it's kind of unbelievable we don't hear more cusses and slurs honestly. (And Holy Wash My Mouth Out With Ivory, if David Stern was head of the PGA, Tiger Woods would have seven-figure fines — which means he'd only be worth $998 million.)

EC —

Great Big 3 question. Tough, tough (and great trio with A.I., Reggie, and Shaq). You have to have a pure shooter and you have to have a point guard. Here's a quick double-triple. Magic was out of this world running the break; Stockton was the best at the pick-and-roll, which is more important in regard to a Big 3 and in regard to today's game.

All-time: Bird, Duncan, Stockton

Current: Rose, LeBron, Durant

May 23, 2011 at 2:11 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Not a big Magic/Sodexho fan....sry. I wouldnt pick him. I would pick Spudd Web however, i think the only thing that he did that was memorable was win the dunk contest that one year...whos a good three shooter...that one person thats money from the top every time...thats what i need...

May 23, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I like your All Time team..5@10...thats some serious WhiteBoy-Short Shorts-power!!!

I dont think Reggie could have handled AI...but AI could have benfited from having Reggie around...and well Shaq in his prime could win with almost anyone....

May 23, 2011 at 2:19 p.m.
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