Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony were unable to carry their respective teams to the conference finals. This has prompted several experts to question whether these two players can be considered franchise players. It goes without saying the league's top two scorers can put the ball in the basket, but do they lack leadership and the intangibles to get their team over the hump? Do they need a complimentary all star to alleviate some of the pressure? Personally I think the criticism is overstated. KD and Carmelo are both top 5 players and their teams would be sub .500 without their contributions. There's no shame in losing when you consistently drop 35-40 points in the playoffs and the rest of your teammates give you little or no support. Recent history has shown us the new blueprint for success in the NBA is collaborating with other great players. Boston and Miami have both won championships with this philosophy and there's no reason to think the trend will change. Gone are the days of one dominant player leading his team to the Larry O'Brien trophy. Cut KD and Carmelo some slack. Their time will come. Once the Heat are dismantled. Here are some observations over the weekend.
Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are still on fire headed into the French open. Both Nadal and Williams added the 2013 Italian Open title to their resume. I'm almost ready to pick them against the field at Roland Garros.
Bruce Irvin has been suspended for the first 4 games of the season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. With little or no margin for error when it comes to out dueling the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC West title this is not good news. Should I be concerned with the number of Seahawks being suspended for drugs in the past 3 years?
The Los Angeles Angels (17-27) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (17-25) are proving that the amount of money you spend is not always an effective barometer in determining who will have a successful baseball season. Then again The Yankees are in 1st place and clearly have the highest payroll. It's hard to figure out baseball economics.
The San Antonio Spurs beat the snot piss out of the Memphis Grizzlies yesterday and look well on their way to returning to the NBA finals. What does this say about the great Tim Duncan? More on this tomorrow.