published Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

5-at-10: Miami shines, Chipper's coming to town and movie basketball players draft board

Wow, now that's starting the week with a flurry. Nice job yesterday gang.

From the "Talks too much" studios, who's got questions?

Heat get hot, get by

Experience is a funny thing. You can't get it until you suffer through the process of getting it, and when you need it most is when you are going through the process of acquiring it.

That was the fate of the Indiana Pacers, a young roster of players that have introduced themselves to the country on a national stage with a fiery defense and two young stars in Roy Hibbert and Paul George. It also is a roster of guys that had not been in this moment — a Game 7 on the road against the best team in basketball.

So when the Heat and LeBron James started swinging haymakers in the second quarter, the Pacers took a couple on the chin and quickly went from dazed and confused ("It'd be a lot cooler if you did.") to out cold.

James continued his excellence — he scored 32, was the aggressor and the engine all night, and took the challenge of completely silencing Paul George, the Pacers best perimeter player who fouled out with seven points. James' 33.8 career points per game average in four Game 7s is the highest in NBA history of anyone who has ever played more than one.

And he was a beast in all phases.

But the difference between this game and the previous games in this series that were supremely competitive and split 3-3, was Dwyane Wade looking like Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen hitting 3s. We'll get more into the Finals preview later this week; today is about praising the energy and composure with which the Heat played.

Still, if the Pacers keep this bunch together — David West is a free agent; and they will get another valuable addition with Danny Granger, who missed most of this season with an injury — they have a shot to be back for the foreseeable future. That's a good thing for basketball.

(Side note: And for Stewwie and the rest, and because we have enjoyed all of your views on this topic, we felt the officiating was still puzzling at best last night. LeBron and the Heat were more aggressive, especially with the ball, so that leads to some of the unevenness. But the "make-up" calls lead to inconsistencies that make it tough for players — especially shot-blocking centers like Roy Hibbert — to stay out of foul trouble. Again, we don't think the officials decided any of the games in this series, we just thought the level of play was markedly better than the level of officiating.)

———

Best of Preps

  • photo
    Former Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones throws out the first pitch for an opening day baseball game between the Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies in Atlanta.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Kudos to marketing whiz Lyndsi Lane and TFP head honcho Jason Taylor and the rest of the folks that had a hand in landing yet another whopper of a speaker for the Best of Preps banquet June 17.

Chipper Jones will be at our annual event that honors the best high school athletes from our area in the last school year.

Getting a speaker can be a nerve-wracking process, but the result has been eye-popping the last few years. From Michael Phelps to the Williams sisters to Super Bowl MVPs Drew Brees and Eli Manning, it has become a who's who in the sports world.

Well-played indeed.

Of course, in the newspaper BID-ness, like most other places, as soon as the deal was secured, the question was, "Who will we get next year?"

Any ideas?

———

Tennessee drops marathon

  • photo
    The Lady Vols gather before taking the field Monday against Oklahoma in the first game of the Women’s College World Series.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

If you made it to the end of the Tennessee-Oklahoma Women's College World Series softball game, well, good for you. (And you are probably reading this with bloodshot eyes, since the extra-inning affair went 12 innings and well into the morning.)

Oklahoma slugger Lauren Chamberlain hit a two-run homer into the night for a 5-3 walk-off win for the Sooners. Tennessee scored three in the top of the 11th; Oklahoma answered, using a misplayed pop-up and two two-out hits to tie it.

It was the first of the Best-of-3 series, and afterward Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said: "I don't even know what to say, except I think that was the greatest game I've ever been a part of."

UT co-head coach Ralph Weekly said it was just one game, and "we're ready to move on to tomorrow."

Amazing how the perspective changes from one dugout to the other depending on who's doing the screaming. And that's how it should be. Game 2 is tonight, starting around 8 and likely ending around 1:15 a.m.

———

This and that

— One more tidbit from Game 7 last night, two megastars were sitting courtside. Justin Bieber was there in his wanna-be-a gangster starter kit. David Beckham was there in jeans and a T-shirt. And you want to know when cool recognizes cool? After leaving the court to a standing O, LeBron James shook hands with Beckham. Two of the all-timers in their respective field. As for Beebs, not so much.

— The Braves' way. Want to know how a team hitting .246 (only 19th best in the 30-team MLB) is 13 games over .500 with the largest divisional lead in baseball? Atlanta has hit three or more homers in the same game an MLB-best 13 times this season. And one of those three homers in last night's win over Pittsburgh was by the slugger formerly known as Jason Heyward. (Rest easy though, Danny Struggla managed to locate a strikeout in his four plate apperances, so he has at least one K in 10 consecutive games.)

— And combining the previous two 'This and thats' — Kris Medlen got the win with his extreme flat-bill. Beebs also sported the flat-bill cap (you know with the horizontal bill that looks like it just came out of the box). We are ready for the flat-bill era to go away, and we believe seeing a few more Justin Bieber shots like last night will expedite that process.

— Recently saw a TV commercial for Teen Wolf the TV show. Yeah, it's probably been a round a while, but since it's on MTV and we haven't watched MTV since they quit showing videos, well, there you go. Anyhoo, thinking back to Teen Wolf the movie, if you all of the movie basketball characters declared for the NBA, what is the draft board for the lottery? We'll set the top seven as follows (heights are movie listing of course):

1) Neon Boudeaux, the 7-foot-4 center in Blue Chips (yes, played by Shaq)

2) The 7-footer center in "Air Up There" (which was a dreadful Kevin Bacon movie in the early 1990s)

3) Teen Wolf, but only as the wolf; if he plays as Scottie Howard, then he's going to walk-on for a year and be an intramural terror at a Pac-12 college

4) Jesus Shuttlesworth

5) Hustler (played by Bernard King in the Gabe Kaplan classic "Fast Break")

6) Jimmy Chitwood

7) Penny Hardaway's character in Blue Chips

How's that for a top seven?

— Rest in peace to Deacon Jones, the Hall of Fame defensive end who is credited with coining the term "sacking the quarterback." If Deacon had been a generation or two later, he would have been an icon with today's media coverage and his embracement of a sound bite. As longtime show regular Eustice_Chase asked on the Twitter this morning, where is Deacon Jones' place on the all-time defense or the Rushmore of Defensive Ends? (We say Deacon is second-team on the all-time defensive with Reggie White and Bruce Smith as the first-teamers — and that has LT as a linebacker rather than a DE; if LT is a DE, then it's Reggie and LT on the first team with Deacon and Bruce on the second team. Either way, that puts Deacon on the Rushmore of Defensive Ends in NFL history.)

————

Today's question

Jason Kidd and Grant Hill each retired in the last week.

Hill was on his way to being one of the game's best all-around players before injuries sidetracked his career. He still was a very good pro, just not the year-in, year-ou All-Pro player his first five years portrayed.

As for Kidd, his career is pretty well established. In fact, if we ask for the all-time point guard Rushmore, Kidd deserves consideration.

So today's question is who is on your Rushmore of NBA point guards?

Extra bonus: We love the draft. You know this. Hill and Kidd were part of the 1994 draft, which amazingly only produced five players who made an NBA all-star game. Glenn Robinson (1st overall), Kidd (2nd), Hill (3rd), Juwan Howard (5th) and Eddie Jones (10th) were the only players to make an all-star team, which could make the 1994 draft one of the worst ever.

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 ...

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ordinaryguy said...

JG...I am indeed worried about you, that is more than one Beeber ref in the past several days...That is almost as bad as The Stones who have recently had Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift on stage with them, during what is probably their swan song tour...what is next our little local karaoke queen...

Congrats to the Heat, I know all the Lebron worshippers are happy...

Indeed what a great game last night between OU and the Lady Vols and have you noticed that Knoxville and Chattanooga are one of the few remaining schools to use the "Lady" moniker...second best game I have ever seen...tops on my list was 2008 when Lauren Flores hit a extra inning grand slam as the Lady Mocs beat Kentucky.

All those basketball movies and not one shout out to "The Fish That Saved Pittsburg"

Big Kudos for the Chipper Jones get...as a former regular attendee, hate I will miss this one

June 4, 2013 at 10:24 a.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Did not use the Fish that save Pittsburgh — with Stockard Channing and Dr. J — because they were already pro players. Those would have been more free agent acquisitions.

We're pretty stunned with the multiple Bieber references, too, but his punk-ed out get-up last night was as striking as D-Wade playing well and Chris Bosh's neck.

— 5-at-10

June 4, 2013 at 10:26 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Bob Cousy, Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas,Jerry West (although he also played SG at times), Oscar Robertson, and Walt Frasier have to be in strong consideration for inclusion on Mt Rushmore. Only talking retired players on my list.

June 4, 2013 at 10:31 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring: 1) Magic, 2) Dave Stockton, 3) Isaiah, 4) Jerry West 5)Dennis Johnson.

Yesterday was a Red Letter day for #1 receiving his first offers from UTC and Vanderbilt. Anchor Down!

June 4, 2013 at 10:41 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Ten Ring,

I agree with everyone the Beeb references are getting overloaded. But in reality, I'm pretty much ready for basketball to be over (actually, I was ready for it to be over back in March). I know you have to cover/commentary but for those of us who don't follow the Neverending Basketball Association this makes for a very short 5 at 10 read.

Teen Wolf on MTV

You are correct, this show has been on for a while and has absolutely nothing to do with the original story or even a reboot. In Dallas, MTV is on one of the backend channels (like 71 or 72) and I rarely go past channel 64 (Comedy Central) so I haven't watched that channel in forever (same reason as you). Heck, I even wrote a bit regarding why can't radio personalities can't tell us who sings what anymore.

However, my apartment complex decided not to renew it's contract with Time Warner so I've been without television of over a week now. Thus, I've discovered Hulu. I've only been following one show recently, "Defiance" (Think "Babylon 5" only set in a post-apocolyptic western-town) which I'm enjoying but other than that, not much going on here in N. Texas.

June 4, 2013 at 11:22 a.m.
orangeguy said...

What a home run for Best of Preps. Chipper coming to town is a big deal.

I actually watched NBA Basketball & College Softball on the same night last evening. Think there might've been an eclipse or comet nearby.

Jason Kidd retiring does bring back memories of when I loved the NBA. Has there been two greater eras for any sports league than 80's & 90's NBA?

The Lady Vols loss was a heartbreaker, but luckily all I had to do was re-read the many tweets about the Biebs ridiculous get up & I was laughing again.

Go Spurs (I might watch all of this series).

June 4, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[Again, we don't think the officials decided any of the games in this series, we just thought the level of play was markedly better than the level of officiating.)]

The key phrase that you mentioned is that the officials didn't decide any of the games in the series. Using a different set of officials for each game means that certain gray areas in the rule book can and will be interpreted differently at times. That's expected, and the players should realize that if they don't already. And there's no denying that the home crowd can be a factor too. That said, I think the refs overall have been fine in the ECF. Besides, a lot of these guys also did the WCF games and no one is complaining about the refs in that series. I think you hit the nail on the head yesterday when you noted LBJ's unprecedented strength at his position. That fact alone makes it even harder to get the calls right on plays involving LeBron. It was a similar issue with Shaq in his prime.

[Of course, in the newspaper BID-ness, like most other places, as soon as the deal was secured, the question was, "Who will we get next year?" Any ideas?]

Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, Stephen Curry, Andy Roddick.

[So today's question is who is on your Rushmore of NBA point guards?]

Magic, Oscar, Stockton, Nash. Kidd is on my 2nd team.

June 4, 2013 at 11:55 a.m.
chas9 said...

Basketball season is over. It ended when UL cut down the nets. Kevin Ware's back in the gym shooting jumpers. Hooray! Pitino calls Gee a "pompous ass." Hmmm. Don't guess Ricky'll be spreading sunscreen on Gordon's bare back.

June 4, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.
Huesmania said...

When it comes to movie basketball players, Clarence "Coffee" Black (played by Outkast's Andre 3000 in the movie Semi-Pro) gets drafted for his afro alone... not to mention he was one of the game's true pioneers as the first-ever recipient of an alley oop pass. The man is a legend and a stone-cold, lead-pipe lock as a lottery pick.

June 4, 2013 at 12:18 p.m.
mrspud said...

Did anyone else wonder why the Lady Vols weren't in a "prevent" type defense in the outfield? Play back...nothing gets past you..no doubles and certainly not triples? It was heart breaking for sure ...especially after I stayed up til midnight watching...ran out of spud light...and got all excited after the 3 run homer. And what the heck was up with the wind on that pop up? I thought all the twisters were gone.

When does college football start again? I've resorted to watching women's softball but I refused to watch the NBA so I'm not completely out of my mind yet.

June 4, 2013 at 2:14 p.m.
jgreeson said...

MT —

That's a strong list, and we concur with your discussion that only retired players get a look.

We'll go Magic, Stockton, Robertson, Kidd.

FE to the C —

Saw that in the TFP. Good times.

And a Vandy offer is like hitting a $250K lottery ticket.

Orange —

Thanks. Lots of folks did the heavy lifting to make that happen.

We did the heavy sweating because if it had not been Chipper, we could have been left with the comedy stylings of the TFP sports editor — and no one wants that.

And go Heat.

Stewwie —

Fair point about the mixing and matching of the officials. A practice we loathe, by the way, since it is paramount to everyone gets a trophy.

Have a committee review the refs, pick the best eight — four for each series; three on the floor, one alternate — for the conference finals. Then pick the best four for the Finals.

We almost picked Nash — and likely would have using all players (retirees and active guys).

9er —

Pitino using that language makes us get the picture of "Pot meet kettle; Kettle meet pot."

Huesmania —

He's a fringe top 10er. Some of the off the court antics hurt Coffee Black's draft measurables. That said. Andre 3000 was excellent in that movies and in Be Cool — the sequel to Get Shorty.

Athletically, he's a top-fiver; intangibles are in question however. Could be an incredible sleeper — the kind of player the Hawks skip on and makes 10 All-Star teams.

Mr. Spud —

Fair question.

But how in the world do you run out of Spud Light on a Game 7?

You have to have eyes in the back of your skin for these types of situations.

As for college football — 12 weeks from Thursday.

— 5-at-10

June 4, 2013 at 2:53 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, my understanding Vandy's $75,000 a year. 600K Lotto with great coach and a team that is SEC relevant.

June 4, 2013 at 3:41 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, Savannah has started doing its own Best of Preps. You may want to research copyright infringement (their speaker this year - Marshall Faulk).

Best point guards: Cousy, Tiny Archibald, Oscar, Magic (pains me but yes), Steve Nash. More outside game than Kidd had.

June 4, 2013 at 3:59 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

FE the C: will your #1 be at VU 8 years? $75K * 4 = $300K; I would be excited also if mine had been smart enough to go there...or anywhere for that matter...good job raisin' him.

Billy-In-Brainerd, Chatt State '97

June 4, 2013 at 4:41 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

Whatever the tag, Vandy is a big deal.

And Franklin is the real deal.

Spy —

Savannah is one of the slew of papers we have spoken with in the past few years who wanted to emulate our Best of Preps operation.

Our mothership — the Arkansas Democrat Gazette did the same, and they got Peyton Manning this year.

We're fine with newspapers copying our idea — hey, we're all fighting the good fight. We just want a cut from the agents' take because believe you me these sports stars are not showing up for nothing.

They assuredly, don't cost nothin' if you know what we're saying.

B-in-B —

Amen and pass the sixth year of college.

— 5-at-10

June 4, 2013 at 7 p.m.
Buschleague said...

Chipper 'monotone' Jones.. Seriously??? Did you ever catch an interview with this moron?

Can't wait to hear him speak!

-No one ever.

June 4, 2013 at 7:17 p.m.
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