Shanoff's WUC: KG, KD, Suns, Suh, 20 Innings

Today's Calls: Kevin Garnett vs. the Heat, Kevin Durant vs. the Lakers, Vince Carter vs. Jameer Nelson, Andre Miller vs. Brandon Roy, Ndamukong Suh vs. the Lions, Dan Boyle vs. Infamy, Josh Selby vs. Xavier Henry, Greg Monroe vs. the NBA Draft Lottery, Ubaldo Jimenez vs. the Pitchers in the Mets-Cards 20-inning game, 91,000 Alabama fans vs. Anyone and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: The NBA Playoffs -- especially the 1st round -- can feel endless. That doesn't mean we can't learn a lot from the opening games: ↵

↵

↵• Is Garnett really a "dirty player," as Joakim Noah claimed? Well, let's let the league's ban of KG for Game 2 of the Celtics-Heat series for that elbow speak for itself. ↵

↵

↵• Welcome to the Playoffs, Kevin Durant: 7/24 FG shooting as the Lakers made life miserable for the NBA's scoring champ. The Thunder are a great story, but they will be lucky to take a game off the defending champs in this round. But it should be quite an education in playoff basketball. (Meanwhile: What Andrew Bynum injury concern? 13 and 12 with 4 blocks.) ↵

↵

↵• Vince Carter's Magic playoffs debut: Atrocious 4/19 FG shooting, offset by Jameer Nelson's brilliant 32 (10/18 FG incl. 4/8 3-pt). Remember: Nelson was out Orlando's entire Eastern Conference playoff run a year ago. Guess he (and not Carter) is the Magic's X-factor. (I'll withdraw my X-factor of Brandon Bass, who got the DNP from SVG.) ↵

↵

↵• The most surprising result of the playoffs: Without Brandon Roy, Blazers over the Suns in Phoenix. (Picking up the slack? Well, just about everyone -- but Andre Miller was the star, with a career playoff high 31, including 15 in the 4th. Uh-oh, Suns.) ↵

↵

↵It was entirely predictable that KG would get over-emotional, that Kevin Durant would kind of freak out a little bit in his first playoff game, that Vince Carter would shoot too much. That last one -- the relatively shocking Blazers win -- is why we follow playoff NBA: for the unexpected. Here's to getting more of it over the next 8 weeks. ↵

↵

↵(Great analysis of Sunday's games from Eric Freeman.) ↵

↵

↵Tonight's Game 2s: Bulls at Cavs (speaking of Noah), and Jazz at Nuggets (Let's be sure we tip the cap to Melo's 42 in the series opener on Saturday night.) ↵

↵

↵NFL Draft: The presumption is that the Rams will take Sam Bradford with the No. 1 overall pick, even if they don't have a deal. With the No. 2 pick, it looks like the Lions will take Ndamukong Suh, despite shopping the pick. ↵

↵

↵(Meanwhile: Here come the leaks of combine drug-test results. ...) ↵

↵

↵Mock Drafts: If you're looking for good draft prognostication, a team's beat reporter has as much insight into the team's needs and thinking as anyone. SN got its beat folks from all 32 teams to make their teams picks. No takers for Tebow in Round 1 - not even the Vikings, who SN's rep says needs a CB more than TT. The only QB besides Bradford is Clausen to the 49ers at 17. ↵

↵

↵NBA Draft: Greg Monroe is the final big-name big man to put his name into the 2010 draft. Monroe looks like a Top 10 lock. Despite questionable athleticism, he is the best-passing big man in college basketball with a deft touch. ↵

↵

↵(The final big "name" player -- across any position -- is Duke's Kyle Singler. Fascinating that he seems to be deliberating so intensely.) ↵

↵

↵CBB Commitments: Josh Selby will take over the "Xavier Henry" role at Kansas -- the one-and-done shooting guard who will show tons of talent during the regular season, but ultimately be part of an underwhelming KU result in March. ↵

↵

↵CBB Coaching Carousel: Wow, does anyone want the Oregon job? (Mike Anderson says no.) I'm with DeCourcy: The obvious answer is right down the coast: St. Mary's coach Randy Bennett. ↵

↵

↵MLB Talking Points: ↵

↵

↵• That 20-inning win will be the Mets' season highlight. ↵

↵

↵• Weekend Star: Ubaldo Jimenez, with the Rox' 1st no-no. ↵

↵

↵• Rays sizzling: Unbeaten on road (incl. wins at Fenway) ↵

↵

↵• Score 10 runs in the 1st and you'll win the game. ↵

↵

↵• Today's Best: 11 a.m. start at Fenway. ↵

↵

↵NHL Playoffs: Dan Boyle finds his place in San Jose hockey history. And it's not a good one. ↵

↵

↵CFB Spring Games: 91,000 at Alabama's. Just let that sink in for a sec ... then recognize that the defending champs have the best RB tandem in the country in defending Heisman winner Mark Ingram and his backup, Trent Richardson, who is better. ↵

↵

↵Economics: What does the higher-than-expected NBA salary cap mean? That teams will have a tougher time than they thought prying Dwyane Wade away from the Heat, who have the room to re-sign Wade and get him a top-flight running mate. Meanwhile, the Knicks need to come up with a backup plan if LeBron stays in Cleveland. (How about CP3 in NYC?) ↵

↵

↵The Last Word: "He's a dirty player." -- Joakim Noah, with refreshing candor, about Kevin Garnett. ↵

↵

↵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,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

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.vc97ec6e

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.