Speed Read: Derek Fisher Needs a Nickname Now

Dagger Derek? Darned Important Shot Derek?

Derek and the Three-Point Dominoes?

Perhaps the experts should handle the new handle for Derek Fisher now that he’s sunk another huge shot to carry the Lakers into overtime, where they took a formidable 3-1 series lead via a 99-91 triumph in Orlando last night. A three-pointer on an unusual inbounds play (taking it full court instead of using the opportunity to advance the ball on a time out) with just a few clicks left on the clock cinched the need for extra work from Kobe and friends.

Lakers Magic Finals

Neither team shot the ball worth a Mouse’s posterior, allowing the Magic to freefall from a 12-point lead into an overtime where they made one lousy shot from the field. Also not helping: the Vitamin Water that made Dwight Howard’s hands too slippery, causing him to turn the ball over seven times and miss over half of his 14 free throw attempts.

The series continues Sunday (because why rush greatness?) in Orlando, but it’s all over but the Kobe Koronation (™ SPORTSbyBROOKS Industries), barring three straight Creighton-esque repeats of Game 3’s wanton abuse of the three-point stripe.

The NHL, on the other hand, has gone the distance in the Stanley Cup Finals with home ice making the difference thus far. For one more night, they’ll be able to draw attention from the Phoenix Coyotes debacle and one man’s claim that the St. Louis Blues are even worse off than the Coyotes these days.

As always, Pittsburgh has brought the charm and grace it’s known for to the final Final game table:

Bill Guerin of the Pittsburgh Penguins

(That man is Bill Guerin, 87-year-old right wing for the Penguins. The sign is in Pittsburgh. The ridiculously large bird wearing the faux sandwich board probably isn’t a union member.)

On the other hand, the birds that sabotaged the Kansas City Royals last night in Cleveland have clearly organized. The Indians’ Shin-Soo Choo singled in the bottom of the tenth to score Mark DeRosa for a 4-3 win, but any possible throw to the plate to thwart the scoring attempt by DeRosa had to be abandoned when the batted ball bounced off a flock of seagulls in center field and ricocheted away:

First bugs and now nature’s winged rats… the Indians will rain down just about any ol’ plague on its enemies, won’t they? The only natural disaster of Biblical proportions left to terrorize opponents with has to be Dwight Howard’s free throws. (Bricks are the little-known 11th plague for obvious reasons.)

And now an errant hail of bullet points to enjoy while you avoid arrest while holding the police at bay by claiming to have swine flu:

Who’s winning Lord Stanley’s Cup tonight?

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Speed Read: Running Up The Score On Venezuela

WOOOO! YEAH! AMERICA ROCKS! OUR FOREIGN POLICY HAS JUST BEEN VINDICATED BECAUSE WE KICKED SOME ASS ON THE DIAMOND! YEAH! The score was USA 15, Venezuela 6 in first-round World Baseball Classic action last night, and with a 2-0 record in pool play, the Americans are assured of advancing to the next round. Your heroes are Chris Ianetta (3-run double in 6th inning) and Mark DeRosa (4 RBI). Wait, those guys are actually on America’s roster? Seriously?

Mark DeRosa slide
(DeRosa, proving that refs totally listen to you when you say you’re safe.)

As to whether we can glean too much joy from beating the tar out of a team from a country with a GDP that’s roughly the same as the state of Iowa? (By the way, you’ve got to click that link; I don’t know if Alabama’s or Texas’ corollary is funnier or more offensive to their residents.) Sure. For as meh a country as Venezuela is on the global stage, their lineup was filled with starting-caliber talent. The meat of the Venezuela order, consisting of Bobby Abreu, Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, and Carlos Guillen, is downright All-Star quality. If only their pitching wasn’t garbage.

In college basketball, we now know five teams that’ll be losing in the first round of the tournament, plus North Carolina smacked Duke down for the ACC regular season title, 79-71. The men of the match were Tyler Hansborough, giving the Dean Dome 17 points in his last home game, and Ty Lawson, who was doubtful to play (oh, please) with a sprained toe but poured in 13, 9, and 8 in the win.

UNC Duke Scheyer Face
(Scheyer Face alert! Code red! This is not a drill!)

UNC’s now 6 for their last 7 against the Blue Devils, who were beaten for the second seed in the ACC tourney by Wake Forest. Suddenly, even a 2 seed in the NCAAs doesn’t seem so assured for Coach K’s charges. FIRE THE BUM!

As for hockey (or as they call it in Europe, “football”), we do need to commend Washington Capitals fans with a spirited, to say the least, attack on Sidney Crosby’s worth as a hockey player and as a man. The singular fatal flaw in their plan, however, was the fact that Crosby’s still one of the five best players in the NHL. As it turns out, Crosby made Washington pay dearly: one goal, one assist, and the clinching goal in the shootout to give Pittsburgh the 4-3 victory. But hey… nice work on the signs, fans.

Sidney Crosby Crybaby
(And you can’t spell “Penguin” without “P-U-N!” Wakka wakka wakka!)

As for Alex Ovechkin, the Caps’ superstar, he had a magnificent performance of his own. No, it won’t show up in the stat sheet… but it will show up on TV and YouTube, because it’s incredible. Courtesy of the DC SPORTS BOG:

Some links to consider while you recover from being run over by a bull

  • Did you ever watch that “Real Housewives of Atlanta” show? No? Us neither. But apparently the one who’s the ex-wife former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield’s being sued by Whitfield for about $87,000. Honest mistake on her part, we’re sure.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs GM, on whether the NHL will ban fighting: “I will personally challenge anyone who wants to get to rid of fighting to a fight.” Um, that’s a joke, right?
  • Fat Ronaldo’s back from that horrific injury, and his first goal is a game-winner in injury time. Naturally, it comes replete with fans going completely ballistic and fences being torn down. Because hey, it’s soccer, and that’s just, y’know, what you do.

Will Duke ever be better than UNC while Coach K and Roy Williams are around?

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