Friday, 20 May 2011

Boozer and Noah

   As our rolling news blackouts continue to be in effect, we’re just gonna throw a few talking points at you today and you lazy buggers out there can do some work.


   Is there a better monikered combination in sport in existence than the pairing of Boozer and Noah? Not only that, as our NBA obsession rapidly deepens (we’ve seen in their entirety all 13 of the games played since we jumped into it barely 2 weeks ago; are both dreading the off-season and salivating about the new season starting; and we are only able to stave off Fever L’Estrange’s encouragements to take the final step and start gambling on games due to the Comments Team being banned from all sports betting due to our considerable influence over players in every sporting arena) in the Chicago Bulls we’ve found a new team to barrack for.
   Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah (who is the 6 foot 11 inch offspring of former tennis star Yannick Noah and Miss Sweden 1978) are frankly awesome to watch. In our ignorance we stated that aside from MVP Derrick Rose the Bulls didn’t have a lot of scoring players on the court, but in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, Boozer and Noah really stepped up, as did British player Luol Deng. Noah is a rebounding machine, particularly on offence, and Boozer has a sweet rainbow shot that swishes the net time after time. Deng, over two metres tall and tipping the scales at over 100 kilos, somehow plays around 45 minutes every game, and performs everywhere on the court.  We generally look scornfully at folks who jump on the bandwagon of a successful team, but this Chicago side is just so good to watch, and in their fight against the evil Heat there’s only one way we could ever have jumped. After an incredible win in Game 1, the Bulls were subdued in the second match and the Heat ran out the winners, but we’re backing the depth of the Bulls squad to see them through.
   In the Western Conference Finals, the Dallas Mavericks won Game 1 versus the Oklahoma City Thunder on the back of a simply incredible performance by Dirk Nowitzki. Most seven footers in bball lumber up and down the court, grabbing rebounds, blocking shots, and shooting poorly, especially from the free-throw line. Nowitzki is the complete antithesis of this. In Game 1 he scored an awesome 48 points and set an NBA Playoff record, hitting 22 out of 22 from the free-throw line. That’s right: 22 shots, and not a single miss. Freaking fantastic. Game 2 is being played right now and the Thunder will need Russell Westbrook to really improve on his performance in the first match and give the scoring support that Kevin Durant needs. We don’t really like the Thunder for some reason, despite Westbrook being a dead-ringer for Bodie, one of our favourite Wire characters, and James Harden’s great beard, but we do recognise that they have the tools to progress if everyone starts firing for them.
   Ok, we’ll stop here before we really get carried away, but we invite any thoughts any of you might have on the ongoing Playoffs series. Please though, no scores, as we continue to be around 18 hours behind the action.


   As the Premier League staggers to a depressing conclusion this weekend, only one important game remains to be played this season. Swansea will take on Reading on the 30th to see who secures the last promotion position to the Prem after the Swans saw off Forest 1-0 on aggregate and the Royals defeated Cardiff 3-0. We hope Reading makes it, due to our fondness for the ginger-filled team that they brought with them the first time they made it to the top flight, although having a Welsh side in the Prem might be interesting too.
   And for those of you claiming the Champions League Final is another big game, sod off. Not only did it’s scheduling force the FA Cup Final to be played two weeks early, robbing the Cup of any grandeur and significance, but it features a team we hate versus a team we used to love but really can’t stand any more due to their horrible diving, whining, ref-surrounding antics. We pine for the days when all the European competitions were straight knock-out encounters, featuring actual ‘champions’ and ‘cup-winners’, and the overblown, overlong farce we are now stuck with honestly sucks.

   So people, what are your footballing thoughts? Do you enjoy the Champions League? What do you think about the current version of the FA Cup? And we’d love to get some feedback on the Prem: player of the year; who would you pick in your 2010/11 team of the year etc. Some great roundups to stimulate your mind can be found here.

Some other stuff

-      Is this some sort of elaborate farce, or is Martin Crowe really planning a comeback at 48? The man who once described himself to a comely young Yankee lass he was making time with as ‘the Joe Montana of world cricket’ (true story, as related by the young lady in question to Roby Towe and Hard Times Molloy in a Melbourne hostel) and was once clean bowled by our Comments Team Stats Freak Roby Towe at the Basin Reserve on a lunch-break in the distant past (also a true story, technically making Roby a more dangerous bowler than Richard Hadlee who never managed to dismiss Crowe in domestic competition), is apparently attempting to gain selection for one of the sides in the NZ domestic competition. He claims he wants to score the 392 runs he needs to get to 20,000 first class runs, but we suspect the lure of IPL riches may be what truly lies at the heart of this. Thoughts?
-      The French Open begins next week, and we’ll have plenty of coverage as Novak Djokovic seeks to continue his unbeaten streak. Also we have everything crossed for Kiwi star Marina Erakovic: she won her first two matches in the qualifying tournament, and is now just one win away from making the Main Draw for just the second time in her career.
-      The Giro d’Italia continues, but after the death of Wooter Weylandts we’re finding it hard to get back into. Also due to the fact that Alberto Contador is leading at the same time as court cases are ongoing regarding the cleanliness of a certain test he failed. We really really really really really really really hope he is innocent, because he has won too many major races in recent years for cycling to be able to afford otherwise. After repairing so much damage to its reputation in the last few seasons, a scandal of the potential proportions here would be devastating.

That’ll do it from us; get in touch. We’ll be back next week with more hoops, tennis, the Spanish Grand Prix, and hopefully plenty of submissions from you lot.


  1. Champions League: I agree about the bloated nature of this competition. Although the opportunity is there I don't start watching until the knockout stages. Fortunately by then it has pretty much sorted out the Champs from the Alsorans. And what ever you think of the actual teams we are seeing a final played by the Champions of their countries.

    Cycling: Giro D'Italia doesn't rate here for some reason. But we are getting reasonably full coverage of the Tour of California. Just as it did with previous cycling events MYSky assumed I wanted to watch this and is dutifuly recording each day. I'm a couple of days behind at the mmoment but it was good to see Greg Henderson take a stage a couple of days ago and share the Yellow Jersey.

    And let's remember that Martin Crowe has been a bit of a joke for some time now so the latest activity come as no surprise. Cricket Max anyone?

  2. Yeah, nice to see Henderson doing well, maybe an outside chance at a Tour ride. Good call on the Champs Final too.
    Definitely a good call on Crowe being a joke. Reckon he'll forever be gutted that Max failed and 20/20 succeeded; should never have gone for that 4th stump...

  3. I think if Crowe plays again it should be under Cricket Max rules:

    The Joe Montana of World Cricket may enjoy shooting for the Max zone and the lack of LBW's, but would this outweigh the disadvantage of the fourth stump?

  4. Yeah, Cricket Max, what a strange one. Thinking about it though, the one thing it possibly had going for it was the Max Zone. Sure, the concept is pretty wack, but at least it encouraged batsmen to play straight rather than cross-bat munting like you see creeping from 20/20 into the longer forms of the game...

  5. Arjuna Ranatunga21 May 2011 at 12:36

    Whats the bet his come back will tally 299 runs for the season.