Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: KG MVP-ish, 'Bron Not

↵Today's Calls: KG vs. LeBron, Mike D'Antoni vs. Avery Johnson, Randy Johnson vs. Gavin Floyd, Jon Kitna vs. David Archuleta, Ryan Perrilloux vs. Tim Tebow and more. ↵

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↵The Opening Pitch: "That is why we have three superstars." The Celtics' Kendrick Perkins summed it up precisely. ↵

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↵Want a glimpse of what the Celtics would be like if they ONLY had KG? That was last night's Game 1 ugly-doesn't-do-it-justice win vs. the Cavs. ↵

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↵On the same day Kobe won his first MVP, Kevin Garnett (28 points) carried the Celtics in a way he hasn't had to since this entire "Big Three" experiment began: ↵

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↵Paul Pierce? 2-of-14 FG. Ray Allen? Held scoreless for the first time since 1997. ↵

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↵Amazingly, LeBron was lousiest of all: 2-of-18 FG shooting, including a couple of crushing easy misses down the stretch -- the worst game of his career at the absolute worst time ... ↵

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↵... Because this one was winnable (or should I say "stealable") for the Cavs; if they end up losing the series, they will look back on a 4-point loss in Boston as the missed opportunity of the LeBron Era. ↵

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↵But in the end, NO amount of star power could save this game from being a slog. ↵

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↵Presumably, LeBron will rebound. So will Pierce and Allen. The difference was that KG didn't have an off night when his team needed him more than any other time this season to be on. ↵

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↵THAT is worthy of the label "MVP." ↵

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↵Kobe wins his first MVP award: And Chris Paul, my guy, wasn't even close. Presumably, now MVP voters will note that Kobe has his and move along to the presumptive heir, LeBron. ↵

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↵Bulls to hire Mike D'Antoni? Note Toronto's success in the East using a "Euro-ish" system; D'Antoni is the master. He will turn Tyrus Thomas into a poor man's Amare -- and Joakim Noah into a star. ↵

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↵Knicks interview Avery Johnson: Johnson is Mark Jackson, if Jackson had a bunch of 50-plus-win seasons under his belt as a coach, in addition to an NBA Finals appearance. Tracking ... ↵

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↵Gee, thanks, NBA: The league's mea culpa about Billups' shot will ring hollow without reforms to its replay rules. ↵

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↵MLB Instant History: Hard-luck for Gavin Floyd? Hardly. He may have lost his no-hitter after 8-1/3 IP, but the White Sox have to be happy with the quality innings in a W. ... Randy Johnson wins No. 286. ... Josh Hamilton keeps rolling: 3 more RBIs and another HR (7). ... Another loss for Joba (again: if he's going to blow games late, you might as well pitch him early). ... I guess Barry Zito makes too much money to leave him in the bullpen, no matter how bad he is. ... Studs: Scott Olsen, Carlos Zambrano, Tim Wakefield, Nate McLouth (2 HR!)... ↵

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↵Bonds Update: OF COURSE team owners and execs are implicitly colluding against signing him. Duh! ↵

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↵Clemens Watch: Sure, Roger Clemens CAN keep Rusty Hardin on as his lawyer ... but why would he want to? ↵

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↵So: About the White Sox and their blow-up dolls. I expect misogynistic pranks in a locker room, but how stupid to let the media see. "Slump-buster?" Whatever happened to, like, the hotfoot? ↵

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↵NCAA smacks down teams over APR: How did Kansas make its leap in football? By putting academics second, obviously. Another 200 teams across every sport joined them in missing the NCAA's academic targets. ↵

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↵(It begs an intriguing question: Kansas football fans presumably enjoyed last season more than any other in a century; is it worth cutting a few corners academically to produce that result?) ↵

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↵Eight Belles Autopsy: Her trainer insists that the filly will come back clean for PEDs. We shall see. Fans have learned to take claims like "I guarantee there were no steroids ever" with a grain of oats. ↵

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↵NFL: Jon Kitna gives another "10 wins" prediction. He doesn't realize that he blew his credibility a year ago. (I want to see a QB say, "Hmm: How about 4 wins?" That way: Anything over 4 is a bonus.) ↵

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↵More: Bears cut Adam Archuleta, and I only mention that because he is currently behind Idol's David Archuleta among famous Archuletas. ↵

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↵(Idol dorkery: I don't like David Archuleta at all; I'm a David Cook fan -- I think Cook is the most talented Idol contestant of all time.) ↵

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↵Looks like Dominic Rhodes is headed back to the Colts after being bounced by the Raiders. It was a good fit for him there before. ↵

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↵Cowboys to appear on HBO's "Hard Knocks": Between Pac-Man, T.O., Tony Romo's love life and Jerry Jones' meddling, expect entertainment. ↵

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↵CFB: Ryan Perrilloux might be a bit of a head-case, but at I-AA Jacksonville State, where he is rumored to have an offer, he will be a monster talent. ↵

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↵More CFB: OK, so I admit to continued fascination with Tim Tebow as a mohel. It is the best detail yet of his already-crazy legend. ↵

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↵The Last Word: So A-Rod passed out during the birth of his daughter? I actually think that makes him a lot more endearing. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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