Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Good Day to Have "Barb" In Your Name

Barbosa Scores 26, Suns Beat Lakers

Well, hard to say that the Lakers "choked" exactly, though I'm sure LA fans will put it that way. But when you score 90 points, and still lose by 31, you didn't choke. They were actively choked. Throttled, if you will. Getting throttled like that must be an awful way to lose a series that they were in control of at one time. Is it too easy and mean-spirited to say that this was divine retribution--he worked over a little white girl, and a little white girl worked him over in return?

That's probably too easy. I don't think it is too mean-spirited. It is, however, somewhat inaccurate. Nash had a typical average Nash game--13 points, 9 assists, but not one of his dominant performances. The Suns were extremely balanced. Barbosa hitting 10 of 12 shots? Boris Diaw pumping in 21? It is crazy the kind of production the Suns are getting out of guys that only the most meticulous NBA followers have heard of. They are a basically the flashy west coast version of the Pistons. Cast-offs and rejects, with a couple of genuine bad-asses. Clearly, Steve Nash makes everyone better, which in the minds of many sportswriters, was the reason he was the MVP. That, and their natural reluctance to vote for a suspected date-rapist.

Part of the story also has to be Kobe's lack of shooting in the second half. 1 point on a free-throw isn't typical Bryant statistics. 0-3 from the field might be, for the first 3 minutes of the game, but he'd usually still end up 5-9, or something. Three shots in a half is really unheard of. Perhaps carrying 700 pounds of teammates on his back finally tired him out.

We'll see how Nash is on Monday. If he isn't at full speed, the Suns are going to have a hard time with the very athletic, very quick LA Clippers (Dear God, it feels just simply wrong to type that). The Clippers are better than the Lakers. I think that very phrase is somewhere in the Book of Revelations. Towards the back.

The Other Barb having a good day?

A pony named Barbaro, which I think is a shitty name for a horse. It's a horse. Give him a funny pop-culturally name. Mr. Belvedere's Favorite Slacks, or something along those lines. Barbaro? fuck that.

Regardless, he won the Kentucky Derby, and looked good doing it. Bided his time, made his move on the final turn, and it was clear about 1/5 down the final straight-away that he was going to win the thing. Young colt, strong as shit. We may be looking at a potential Triple Crown winner here.

Interesting that the betting intellegensia didn't talk about Barbaro that much. Baffert's trio dominated, and a couple of other horses were in the mix. Apparently, this was a very deep field, and a very difficult race to pick. Barbaro made it seem pretty simple, though.

My friend, and perhaps contributor to this here blog, Garwood B. Jones, deserves some credit. In the City Pages (that's in Minnesota, ya'll) Sports Blog, he was given the opportunity to handicap the race. In his post, he narrows the field of 20 to 6 horses to watch, and then goes on to say:
I don't think you can leave Barbaro out of anything and in my book he's the most
likely winner. His Florida Derby win is particularly impressive given that he
started in the 10 hole at a track and distance that punishes outside
posts (mile and one eighth races start super close to the first turn).

Iffen you listened to Garwood, you owe him a Budweiser. He will also accept Miller, Bud Lite, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Amstel Light, or paint thinner. He ain't picky.

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