Shanoff's WUC: Lakers, LeBron, Phils, Favre

Today's Calls: Kobe vs. the Jazz, LeBron vs. Jordan, Phillies vs. the Universe, Roy Halladay vs. Johan Santana, Albert Pujols vs. Ryan Howard, Chris Bosh vs. Twitter, Brett Favre vs. Tim Tebow, Limas Sweed vs. Santonio Holmes, Rory McIlroy vs. Tiger Woods, Calvin Borel vs. the Wake-Up Call and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Who were the weekend's big winners? ↵

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↵• Kobe: 31 points in LA's G1 win over Utah, including the game-turning and-one with 3 minutes to go, where he bumped hapless defender CJ Miles to the ground, zipped around him, floated baseline, drew Miles into limp contact and made the basket (and FT). ↵

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↵• LeBron: What elbow injury? Oh, and a second straight MVP. (See below.) ↵

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↵• Roy Halladay: Following his first loss of the season, dominates the Mets on Saturday and starts the weekend slingshot that put the Phillies back into 1st place. ↵

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↵• Rory McIlroy: Umm, or not. ... ↵

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↵• And the biggest winner: Calvin Borel and Super Saver. But if you read the Last Word of Friday's WUC, you already knew that. (See today's Last Word below for more triumphalism ...) ↵

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↵NBA Playoffs: If LeBron could dominate the Celtics on Saturday night with a bum right elbow, it is hard to imagine he will have any trouble with them tonight with 2 more days to get healthier. Meanwhile: The Magic will benefit from playing a Hawks team that had to struggle through a 7-game series before putting away the Bucks. ↵

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↵More: Spurs-Suns starts tonight. I'll say Spurs in 6, as they continue their best impression of the '95 Rockets. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: Pretty exciting stretch for the Phillies, wouldn't you say? ↵

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↵• Last week, star Ryan Howard gets a gargantuan contract. ↵

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↵• This weekend, they took 2 of 3 from the Mets, including Halladay's Saturday gem and a primetime, nationally televised, slap-the-Mets-back-into-reality win last night. ↵

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↵• Today, starting a series against the Central-leading Cardinals, who are figuring out how (and for how much) to sign their own superstar, Albert Pujols. ↵

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↵The center of gravity of the baseball universe shifts every week or so, but for now it's hard to argue it doesn't revolve around the Phillies. ↵

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↵More: ↵

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↵• Oof, hard luck: Winless Zack Greinke. ↵

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↵• For real: Padres (Pitching!) ↵

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↵• Jim Leyland ... without smoking? ↵

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↵NBA Award Season: LeBron is MVP. Of course he is. The only question is: What voter in their right mind wouldn't rank James as their MVP? Durant (with 4 1st-place votes) and Howard (with 3) both had great seasons, but come on. I love how LeBron uses his MVP moment to offer yet another cryptic message, that Akron "would always be my home." ↵

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↵The big question is whether this is the moment where LeBron gets the "Jordan treatment." As with MJ, every season he steps on the floor, LeBron will be the best and/or most valuable player in the league. But voters will simply pick the next-best guy, so they don't end up with the same player winning MVP every year? ↵

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↵NBA Summer 2010: If Chris Bosh is asking his Twitter followers for advice about what he should do this summer, then it is obvious he wants to be in a market where he will get a lot more attention -- I think he wants to go to New York (or New Jersey if they can sell him on Newark being "almost New York"), but would probably settle for Chicago. ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: It wouldn't feel right unless there was a self-indulgent, self-perpetuated discussion about Brett Favre's future. We are so far beyond a backlash for these perennial antics that at this point it defies parody. ↵

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↵(Maybe Favre just didn't like all the attention being paid to Tim Tebow at Broncos mini-camp.) ↵

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↵Injury Watch: So much for Limas Sweed taking over for exiled Santonio Holmes in Pittsburgh. ↵

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↵Golf: As if to dovetail with Tiger's re-commitment to Buddhism, a koan for the morning: If Rory McIlroy has the round of his life at Quail Hollow, and no one is paying attention because Tiger didn't make the cut, does it make a sound? ↵

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↵CFB Spring Games: Wonder how Jeremiah Masoli felt watching two guys battle to take his job. ↵

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↵Scandal Watch: The situation down in New Orleans begs the question of how intensively will local authorities investigate the idolized local team (and the even more idolized favorite coach?) ↵

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↵The Last Word: One more gloat -- Super Saver! For those of you who took my advice in this space on Friday and put your bet on the Derby's winning horse, no cash gratuity necessary -- just knowing I was right is more than enough. ↵

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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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