Friday, June 08, 2012

Random Thoughts (June 8, 2012)

If it's possible to offer up a small piece of criticism for a player who saved his team's season - and possibly changed his own legacy - with a legendary 45 point, 15 rebound, 5 assist performance then I'm going to try.

The first thing I noticed about LeBron James last night was the look he had on his face.  There was no smile, no false bravado, just a glare that showed he was totally locked in and focused.

He kept that glare on the entire night and ruined the evening for the TD Garden crowd that came expecting to see the Heat crumble and the Celtics celebrate an Eastern Conference title.

My issue with LeBron is that he doesn't play with that intense focus every night.  Michael Jordan did.  Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett do.  James is a phenomenal player with the ability to dominate every game but the reason that he doesn't is that he doesn't always seem locked in.  In order to win championships and be considered one of the all-time great players, he needs to have that killer instinct and focus every time he takes the floor.

If he comes with that focus tomorrow night, he probably will lead the Heat back to the Finals.  If he doesn't have that focus, his season is likely to end and questions about his ability to come through in the clutch will once again be the main topic of discussion wherever people talk about the NBA.


My mission tonight is to find a way to sneak over to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox take on the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg.


I feel bad for the NHL.  Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Kings and Devils is tomorrow night but outside of New Jersey, Southern California, Northeast Ohio, and any other bastions of diehard professional hockey fans, most viewers will be watching the Heat and Celtics.


I don't think enough is being said about Adrian Gonzalez' selfless decision to volunteer his services in right field so that Bobby Valentine can squeeze Will Middlebrooks and Kevin Youkilis into the Red Sox lineup as much as possible.

Gonzalez is still struggling at the plate (.272/.323/.417, 4 HR, 31 RBI) compared to his career 162-game averages (.292/.372/.508, 30, 102) but by moving from first base (where he is a three-time Gold Glove winner) to the outfield, he has allowed his manager to maximize his offensive talent.

This move was the unselfish act of leadership most of the Boston media was begging for after last September's collapse and I feel like it's being ignored.


I love the news that the Patriots have re-signed Rob Gronkowski to a new 6-year, $54-million deal that includes $18-million in guaranteed money.

Gronk is the most talented tight end in the NFL and his presence makes life much easier for the entire Patriots offense.


Enjoy Adrian Gonzalez tonight.

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