A Great Day for DFW Sports, But…….
The literary classic A Tale of Two Cities begins, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” As I navigated my way through Wednesday this week I was reminded of this line. That classic sports day was the best of times…and then it only got better.
Now, we are two days removed from the glow of what some have called the best sports day of the year, and I have three words for you; “Tap the Brakes!”
I heard fans and talk show hosts alike talking all day yesterday about the immediate future. One host went so far as to predict a Mavs win over the Heat in six. He was kidding, I think?!? For their part the Mavs are not thinking about the Heat or the Thunder or the Western Conference Finals. That would be the equivalent of printing a parade route in the paper after winning game 2 of a finals series. Anybody remember how that worked out?
The truth is the Mavs are only concerned with tomorrow’s game 3. In fact, I contend that one of the reasons that Rick Carlisle was so effusive about Gregg Popovich after game two was to remind his team that the Spurs are not going away. Pop didn’t become the “Best coach in NBA history” by missing an opportunity to motivate. He will have the Spurs ready to play. In some ways, I think a 21 point loss is exactly what Pop needed to get his team’s attention.
With the win on Wednesday the Mavs stole home court advantage which the Spurs had worked all season to get. I still don’t see the Mavs winning this series. But that does not detract from the fun they provided on Wednesday night.
The Stars have not stolen home ice advantage from the Ducks. The old adage states that a series does not begin until one team loses at home. Since that has not happened, history favors the Ducks. However, If you have watched the last two games you can’t help but be excited about the possibility of an upset. A number 8 seed can win a cup, the Kings did it just a couple of years ago. But first things first, now how about a win in Southern California before we start talking about a Stanley Cup?
I do think the Stars have figured out a way to get inside the Ducks players’ heads. The thing I have liked best about the series so far is that the Stars have had success without Kari Lehtonen standing on his head in goal. A team can ride a hot goalie all the way to a cup, and if the Stars advance they may need him to do that. But so far they have won the old fashioned way, with a solid team game.
That great day of sports watching on Wednesday started with a Rangers’ pitching gem by Martin Perez. This young guy is off to a great start, but not a surprising one. When asked by the Dallas Morning News who I thought would lead the Rangers in wins this year I said Perez with 17. I figured he would have something of a break out year. The most shocking thing about what the Rangers did by sweeping Oakland is that they did it with guys you did not expect to have prominent roles.
Donnie Murphy and Michael Choice combined to account for the tying and winning runs in Tuesday’s game. Kevin Kouzmanoff scored the winning run on Monday after being named American League player of the week. These guys weren’t supposed to be doing that kind of thing. These guys weren’t supposed to be on the team. But they are and as the Rangers get healthy the team will get better.
None of the teams have played since Wednesday, so we are still basking in the glow of the “Best of times.” Here’s hoping we never experience the “Worst of times.”