Shanoff's W.U.C.: LeBron, Caps, MJD, Kinsler

Today's Calls: LeBron vs. Expectations, Lakers vs. the West, Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Percy Harvin, Ian Kinsler vs. Nelson Cruz, John Wall vs. DeMarcus Cousins, Jonny Flynn vs. Greg Monroe, Charlie Weis vs. Notre Dame and More, Tim Tebow vs. Greg Paulus and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Is this it for LeBron? ↵

↵

↵He has put together one of the greatest individual seasons ever. His team had the best record in the NBA, virtually unstoppable at home (when LeBron is actually playing) -- echoes of the legendary '86 Celtics. ↵

↵

↵LeBron is clearly the NBA's MVP this season, all the more remarkable in a year when 5 players (LeBron, Wade, Kobe, Paul, Howard) arguably had seasons good enough to win MVP in any other year. ↵

↵

↵And this might be as good as it gets for him. ↵

↵

↵Oh, LeBron might get better as a player (even better -- shudder), but will his team have a better shot at a title? ↵

↵

↵Next year, the Cavs may be as good as they are this season -- then again, the Lakers may be just good enough to keep the Cavs from the home-court edge that Cleveland will need to win a championship. ↵

↵

↵And don't even talk about 2010: If LeBron bolts for New York, his supporting cast won't be nearly as good as the one he has in Cleveland right now, perhaps not for years. By then, it might be Dwight Howard's league to rule. Or Chris Paul's. Or Portland's. ↵

↵

↵Originally, I had this cockamamie idea that Cavs fans shouldn't root for LeBron to win a title just yet -- with a championship delivered and that hero's legacy secured, he could bolt the city of Cleveland for New York without apologies or regrets. ↵

↵

↵That is ludicrous, of course. In the NBA, you never know when your moment will come back around. Even when you are as absurdly good as LeBron. ↵

↵

↵He better win now. ↵

↵

↵Wake-Up Call NBA Awards Ballot: ↵

↵

↵MVP: LeBron ↵
↵Rookie: Derrick Rose ↵
↵Coach: Stan Van Gundy ↵
↵Defensive: Dwight Howard ↵
↵6th Man: Chris Andersen ↵
↵Most Improved: Nene ↵
↵1st Team All-NBA: LeBron, Wade, CP3, Kobe, Howard ↵

↵

↵NBA Playoffs: Lakers, and...? Does it really matter what the seedings turned out to be in the West? Like the Lakers are losing. My only question is whether the Lakers go "Four, four, four" all the way to the Finals. ↵

↵

↵That's not to say there aren't intriguing 1st-round matchups (Texas brawl, Melo vs. CP3, Battle of the NBA's best GMs). The East, meanwhile, feels grim in the 1st round until we get Celtics-Magic in the semis. Playoff picks coming tomorrow. ↵

↵

↵NFL Offseason: MJD gets paid. Maurice Jones-Drew will emerge as the NFL's most productive RB this season -- at the very least, signals are he will be this year's consensus No. 1 overall pick in fantasy football. Appropriately, the Jags locked MJD up with a new deal (5Y/$31, with $17.5M guaranteed). ↵

↵

↵NFL Draft: Percy Harvin is reportedly in free-fall down team boards. I think that's a lot of obfuscation. When teams are on the clock, they will rationalize Harvin's injury history and alleged off-field issues (please) and focus on "home-run hitter." Whatever pick he is projected at, I'll say he goes earlier. ↵

↵

↵MLB Myopia! ↵
↵
↵

↵

↵• Kinsler's line: Cycle, 6/6, 4 RBI, 5 R ↵
↵• Robinson tribute:
Rotunda ↵
↵• NL's Best:
Fish | AL's Best: M's ↵
↵• Stadium suit:
Yanks called out on "GBA" ↵
↵• Injury Watch: Dice-K ↵
↵• Fantasy Stud
: Nelson Cruz (5th HR) ↵

↵

↵NHL Playoffs: Caps choke. It's a good thing I didn't take a stand yesterday on how the NHL playoffs will play out, because I would have gone long on the Caps -- d'oh. Ovie's rivals in Pittsburgh took care of business, though. ↵

↵

↵Coaching Carousel: Isiah Thomas will work for free in his first year at FIU. That about sums up the value he will deliver. (Perhaps FIU can use the salary he will donate back to the school to hire an extra half-dozen NCAA compliance officers they will need to deal with the inevitable violations.) ↵

↵

↵NBA Draft: Jonny Flynn is in, for good. Patrick Patterson is testing (I think he will be a great pro). Despite being projected as a Top 10 pick, Georgetown's Greg Monroe is staying in school. (Top 5 lock in '10?) ↵

↵

↵CBB Recruiting: John Wall won't try to get in the NBA Draft this year, even though he would be a Top 5 pick. (Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins followed Calipari from Memphis to Kentucky.) ↵

↵

↵Paulus Watch: I think fans are even more intrigued by Paulus going to Michigan to play QB than trying to play in the NFL. Spencer Hall is a little more skeptical. (I love how Duke is offering him a chance to play WR -- why not let him try his hand at QB?) ↵

↵

↵CFB: Tebow, Bradford, McCoy. Who will be SN's Preseason All-American QB? (Well, you know who I think it should be. And, no, I don't mean "Greg Paulus." ↵

↵

↵The Last Word: "Did I expect that I was leaving? No. But did I have a conversation with my family about whether or not there's a possibility? Well, yeah. But you think about it." -- Charlie Weis, on his offseason "optimism" about leading Notre Dame football. ↵

↵

↵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. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

↵

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

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.