NBA News: Miami turns up the heat on Chicago
3DW View: For all the nonsense LeBron James takes, it is impossible not to marvel at his ever-improving skills. On a night where Chris Bosh was sitting out and D-Wade needed a spraying of RustOleum to get his game in order, James stood above the crowd.
It was another intense encounter with Chicago and for a change; the Heat actually matched and sometimes surpassed the Bulls frenzied approach. If this is the year Miami is to win a NBA crown, continued strong showing from Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers is a must because the Big 3 are not going to deliver each time and the supporting cast has to give them that edge.
While worlds apart, James reminds me of Phil Mickelson before he won his first Masters. Lefty was acknowledged as one of the best of his era, but did things to undermine his own success. Once he won a green jacket, all was forgiven; the same could well be true of LBJ.
NBA News: Houston, we have problem
3DW View: The Houston Rockets have lost six in a row and are in critical condition to make the playoffs. The Rockets have been defenseless in surrendering 107.1 points per game in this miserable stretch and only have three games left to play. Houston will need a sweep to have a chance for postseason play, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
MLB News: Early Pitching Concerns
3DW View: For baseball bettors, the first piece to the puzzle in choosing a team to win is the starting pitcher. In the last week, I have talked about the failures of Tim Lincecum and Adam Wainwright, but they are not the only ones.
With modern medicine today, we assume shoulder and elbow surgeries are just routine and a baseball player can return to how they were performing before the injury. That is not the case for every player, especially pitchers. Wainwright has not been right and Florida’s Josh Johnson has struggled with lower velocity; explaining his eight strikeouts in almost 17 innings of work. Johnson has not missed many bats either with 28 hits allowed.
Mat Latos was supposed to be at least a No.2 starter in Cincinnati, but has been anything but so far with an 8.22 ERA. Jair Jurrjens has also seen his pitches lack the previous zip and has been tagged with an 8.10 ERA. The Braves right-hander has surrendered 21 hits in 13.1 innings and his WHIP of 2.25 is the highest among hurlers with at least three starts, thanks to nine walks included in this period.
If you want to know why the Cubs, Angels, Boston and Tampa Bay are underperforming, they have the four worst bullpen ERA’s in baseball.
NHL News: Some do and some don’t
3DW View: Phoenix and St. Louis placed themselves in advantageous positions winning on the road and can wrap up their respective series with winning at home in Game 5.
Washington and New Jersey both won their home contests to make their series a best two-of three.
The road winning express continued last night with two more winners, taking the playoff record to 20-11, with units won at +14.75.