Shanoff's W.U.C.: Pierce, Favre, NHL, Obama

Today's Calls: Paul Pierce vs. the Bulls, Spurs vs. Oblivion, Favre vs. Vikings, Canes vs. Caps, Felix vs. Zack, Darren Sproles vs. Edgerrin James, Obama vs. First 100 Days and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: How was YOUR last 100 days as a sports fan? ↵

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↵In the spirit of the day's top news story, let's evaluate Barack Obama's first 100 days, from a sports perspective: ↵

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↵— His top supporter in the key 2008 election battleground region of western Pennsylvania — Steelers owner Dan Rooney — won the Super Bowl. ↵

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↵— He correctly predicted UNC would win the NCAA Tournament — and out-picked 80 percent of the country on his bracket. ↵

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↵— His Bulls are giving the defending champs all they can handle in the NBA Playoffs. ↵

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↵— His White Sox are competitive at the top of the A.L. Central. ↵

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↵— His Bears traded for a franchise QB in Jay Cutler. ↵

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↵— He got to meet Tim Tebow. ↵I hate to say it, but from a sports-fan perspective, the next 1,500 (or 3,000) days may not get much better for him. At least the economy still has nowhere to go but up. ↵

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↵Brett Favre Watch: No ... No! NOOOOOO!!!! ↵

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↵NBA Playoffs: Classic Paul Pierce. This was old school: No KG. No Ray Allen. It was like the Celtics before the Big Three.* Pierce hit a game-tying shot to force OT — the record-setting 3rd OT of this series — then hit three huge shots in OT to clinch the Game 5 W for Boston. It is impossible to overstate that this series is carrying the NBA Playoffs right now. How can it get even better? Elimination desperation. ↵

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↵— Stop saying that! Sure the C's were missing KG and Ray, but they still had the "Big Fourth" — Rajon Rondo, who had a game-high 28 points, to go with 11 assists and 8 rebounds. He didn't make the clutch baskets Pierce did, but without Rondo, the Celtics wouldn't even have been in the position for Pierce to play the hero. ↵

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↵More: End of the Spurs' run? Tim Duncan and Tony Parker remain one of the best big-small combos in the league, and they played the series without Manu Ginobili, who — if healthy — surely would have been the difference-maker in this five-game loss to the Mavs. ↵

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↵Are you really going to doubt the ability of the Spurs to make a couple brilliant, subtle moves to remain a contender? Still: They are only getting older; they're not close to the Lakers; and teams like the Blazers are gaining. (Related: Blazers hold off the Rockets ... for now.) ↵

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↵Tonight: The Heat's ability to beat the Hawks in Game 5 in Atlanta begins and ends with Dwyane Wade. (He insists he will be ready.) The Hornets' ability to stave off elimination in Game 5 in Denver begins and ends with being able to forget the epic 58-point shellacking they took at home on Monday. (No chance.) ↵

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↵NHL Playoffs: The Canes pulled off something staggering — down two goals with less than 2 minutes to go in a Game 7, they scored TWICE to take the game and the series. To me, that's even more impressive than the game-winner they scored with 0.2 seconds to play in Game 2. ↵

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↵It also eclipsed the marquee Game 7 in D.C., where the Caps rallied from an 0-2 hole in the series (both losses at home) AND a 3-1 hole to win three straight games and advance past the Rangers in a thrilling game 7 in front of a frenzied, "red-out" crowd. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points ↵

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↵— Streaking: Marlins finally win | Red Sox finally lose ↵

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↵— Injury Watch: Cole Hamels | Josh Hamilton ↵

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↵— Felix is the new Greinke! 8 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, W ↵

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↵— Not so fast: Greinke pitches today (Must-track) ↵

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↵— Fantasy Stud: Jorge Cantu (2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R, 3-for-3) ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: The NFL draft wasn't great for Chris “Beanie” Wells, but it was good for Edgerrin James — who finally got his release from the Cards that he has been lobbying for, three days after the defending NFC champs drafted his replacement. ↵

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↵Meanwhile: Darren Sproles got p-a-i-d: $6M for next season, after he was franchised by the Chargers, allowing him to get paid the average of the Top 5 RBs in the NFL. ↵

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↵Economy: Either because they couldn't stand seeing those empty seats on TV or because they couldn't stand not making ANY money from the lack of paying customers, the Yankees cut ticket prices on the premium seats. (They're still over-priced, for the quality of team you're seeing. Call me when they're priced like the similarly .500 Royals or Pirates.) ↵

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↵CBB: Isiah Thomas gave out his first three schollys, and — no surprise — he gave them to quick-fix junior college players, including Marvin Roberts, the leading ju-co scorer in the country last season. Some compliance officer at the NCAA just made a note to follow up. ↵

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↵The Last Word: Patrick Schuster's streak is over. After four no-hitters, he couldn't deliver a fifth. Man, is he terrible. ↵

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

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

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