Three Point Play:
This Week in Sports
By V.R. BryantPosted Feb 15, 2012
Is it March yet? Short answer: no. But there was plenty of top-flight basketball played over the last week. Consider it an appetizer to tournament time, which is now less than a month away. The closer we get, the more I resemble a bespectacled teen girl from the early 1960s, making guttural noises and sobbing because The Beatles just sang "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Speaking of phenomena ...
Yeah, I know 'Linsanity' is the preferred nomenclature, but I have to at least try to be original. The best I've heard is 'Super Lintendo.' It's all in reference to the New York Knicks' breakout young guard and Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin. The second-year player got injected into the starting lineup after dropping 25 points on the New Jersey Nets back on February 4th, and all he did was score the most points (109) of anyone in NBA history in the first four starts of a career. I'll admit, I was a little skeptical at first. Then he poured in 38 along with seven assists against the visiting Lakers, and hey, the Knicks are 5-0 since that win over the Nets. As all the kids are saying: Just Lin, baby. You have to imagine he'll come back down to earth at some point (he can't average 27 points and eight assists for the rest of the season, right?), but his energy has put the Knicks smack dab in the middle of the playoff discussion in the Eastern Conference. When all the pieces/parts (Melo, Amare, Baron Davis) are back in place, this could be a very dangerous team.
Sunday Tiger used to be a hell of a thing. Now it's just hell, apparently. Tiger Woods looked poised to notch another win this past weekend after posting two 68s and a 67 leading into the final round of the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Still in contention after six holes, Woods's Sunday round turned into a complete clunker (a +3 75) after multiple three-putts and poor decisions. Didn't seem to faze Phil Mickelson, who played alongside Tiger and roared his way to a tourney-best 64 and came from six shots back to win the whole stinkin' thing. Mickelson has bested Tiger in heads-up play the last five times they've been paired, and it was the second time in his last two outings that Tiger's worst round came on Sunday. I still imagine that the world has inexhaustible patience when it comes to Woods, and the moment he hoists another major trophy, everyone will be right back on board. But is it still just a matter of when?
Spring's the thing
Ready or not, here they come. Baseball and college football both revved up spring practice this past week, making one wonder where the past several months went. No matter--the return does bring up other interesting questions. In no particular order: will Albert Pujols be able to get the Angels back to the World Series? Will Urban Meyer's arrival in Columbus spell instant success for the Buckeyes? How will the two big foreign imports (Texas's Yu Darvish and Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes) fare in their first seasons in the majors? Will USC live up to the hype? Can Tampa build on its energy from the end of last season? Will Alabama continue to kick everyone's behind? And will the Cincinnati Reds ever actually put it all together? It's a lot to chew on, but fortunately, we've got time. That's assuming, of course, that we won't be busy watching March Madness.