Reeths-Puffer boys fight off Mona Shores 59-54, gain a big conference victory

first_img Add Comments (Max 320 characters) 50PC Disposable Face MàSc/Mack Anti-Dust … Twelve Mail Add Comments (Max 320 characters) DEAL OF THE DAY Ads by Amazon Other Share (2) $37.99 Inappropriate / Offensive DEAL OF THE DAY DEAL OF THE DAY Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Other $0.00 Inappropriate / Offensive Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Shop Now Displayed poorly × Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Daven Fox gets to the basket past Reeths-Puffer’s Christian Johnson. Photo/Joe Lane Bestseller Report a problem This item is… Report a problem This item is… × Ke’Sean Sandifer moves the Mona Shores play along the perimeter. Photo/Joe Lane Not relevant Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Displayed poorly $9.99 $49.95 DEAL OF THE DAY × Add Comments (Max 320 characters) $15.29$17.99 Displayed poorly (7802) × Other $0.00 (17612) Inappropriate / Offensive Inappropriate / Offensive By Jason GoormanLocalSportsJournal.comMUSKEGON TOWNSHIP – The Reeths-Puffer-Mona Shores rivalry is not an unfamiliar topic for Rockets boys basketball coach Lance Johnson. It’s just been an unpleasant one, at least until this season.For the past three seasons, since Johnson took over the Reeths-Puffer program, his squads were 0-7 against Mona Shores. But this season his team is on a much different path, and the momentum in the rivalry has swung. Reeths-Puffer topped the Sailors 56-50 on January 19 in a tight battle. Josh Jordan goes up for the shot in the post over Mona Shores senior Christian Johnson. Photo/Joe LaneThen on Friday night, the Rockets held off the Sailors for the second time this season with a 59-54 win at home, giving R-P fans even more reason to cheer a very successful season.“Any time the two of us meet on the basketball court, you know it will be a tough game,” said Johnson, whose Rockets improved to 14-2 overall and 7-1 in O-K Black Conference action. “This (win) means a lot to us and our seniors too, because it shows us how far we have come.”The win was not an easy task for Reeths-Puffer, which had to fight off an incredible second half by Mona Shores’ James Gilbert. The 6-4 senior guard drained seven 3-pointers in the third and fourth quarters and finished with a game-high 29 points. The Rockets also had to shake off a 13-0 first-quarter run by the Sailors, who led 13-7 to start the second quarter, after Reeths-Puffer started the game with a 7-0 run. Reeths-Puffer managed to bounce back before halftime, taking a 24-19 lead into the break. Five different players scored in the second quarter for the Rockets, who managed to settle down in their half court game.“We don’t try to go to anybody, we want to wait for the best shots,” said Johnson about his team’s patient play on Friday night. “Six different players have led us this season, and that means no one can key on just one of our players.” The Rockets’ balanced attack was on full display in the second half when seven different players scored. James Gilbert dribbles around Reeths-Puffers’ Daven Fox. Photo/Joe LaneIn the third quarter, senior Carter Fulton jumped out of the gate for RP. The 6-2 guard scored the Rockets’ first eight points, back-to-back 3-pointers.  After a Josh Jordan bucket in the post gave Reeths-Puffer a 34-23 lead, the Rockets looked like they were taking complete control of the game. But in stepped Gilbert with a pair of 3-pointers, cutting the Sailors deficit to just 36-31.The Sailors managed to stay close to the Rockets and had 43-36 deficit to start the fourth.Reeths-Puffer started the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run and again looked like it was about to run away with the game. But again, Gilbert stepped in with a pair of 3-pointers that put the Sailors down 48-42 with four minutes left to play. After a back-and forth battle, the Rockets were able to build a 53-46 lead with under two minutes to play. But pesky Gilbert would not let his Sailors fall away. Hitting his sixth shot from behind the arc, Gilbert cut the score to 53-51 with 49 seconds remaining. Reeths-Puffer responded with a Gary Humphrey bucket and a pair of free throws from Kaleb Mitchelson, giving the Rockets a 57-51 lead with 11 seconds left. Fans thought that was it for the Sailors, but Gilbert still had juice left in his shot, sinking his final 3-pointer of the night. Mitchelson was able to seal the win with a pair of free-throws with 1.5 seconds leftt. The Rockets were paced by Fulton with 13 points, Jalen Williams scored nine points while Jordan and Mitchelson each had eight points. “It feels great when everyone is playing together and winning together (against Mona Shores), like we did tonight,” Fulton said. “I just got out there and ran our plays and found my openings from my teammates.” Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. ENDS IN Shares Add Comments (Max 320 characters) ENDS IN (34271) (117) Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. $0.00 Other Displayed poorly Displayed poorly Report a problem This item is… The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extr… Other Bestseller Fox Sports Gocenter_img Not relevant (657) Report a problem This item is… Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Carter Fulton move the ball up court in transition for Reeths-Puffer. Photo/Joe Lane FOX Sports: Stream live NFL, College Footbal… Logan Hekkema is guarded by Reeths-Puffer’s Kaleb Mitchelson while No. 20 Gary Humphrey III holds the sideline. Photo/Joe Lane × 0 Inappropriate / Offensive (31628) × Add Comments (Max 320 characters) MIRITY Women Racerback Sports Bra… Displayed poorly Bestseller Displayed poorly Other Bestseller ENDS IN DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN Bestseller × Not relevant Report a problem This item is… Bestseller Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Inappropriate / Offensive Bestseller Other Not relevant × Ads by Amazon Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. ENDS IN Not relevant ENDS IN Report a problem This item is… Mona Shores’ James Gilbert follows through as Kalil Stimage contests the shot. Photo/Joe Lane Inappropriate / Offensive Other (822) Bestseller Inappropriate / Offensive DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN NBC Sports $14.99$18.00 Displayed poorly Report a problem This item is… Not relevant Not relevant Share Report a problem This item is… DEAL OF THE DAY Not relevant DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Add Comments (Max 320 characters) The Leaguelast_img read more

Tuesday baseball roundup: WMC, Shelby and Holton collect rainy day victories

first_img0 Shares Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Mail $0.00 Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Inappropriate / Offensive ENDS IN Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. MIRITY Women Racerback Sports Bra… × Add Comments (Max 320 characters) 50PC Disposable Face MàSc/Mack Anti-Dust … Not relevant Other Other Inappropriate / Offensive ENDS IN Not relevant (31628) × × × The League Inappropriate / Offensive DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Not relevant FOX Sports: Stream live NFL, College Footbal… The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extr… Report a problem This item is… Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Displayed poorly ENDS IN Displayed poorly DEAL OF THE DAY Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Not relevant $15.29$17.99 Displayed poorly Bestseller Report a problem This item is… Add Comments (Max 320 characters) (657) Inappropriate / Offensive Add Comments (Max 320 characters) DEAL OF THE DAY $0.00 Displayed poorly Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Report a problem This item is… Inappropriate / Offensive ENDS IN Displayed poorly Displayed poorly Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. $37.99 Bestseller Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Add Comments (Max 320 characters) LocalSportsJournal.comPitchers Nathan VanderWeide and Brant Zeerip combined to hold Ludington in check and lead Western Michigan Christian to a 6-2 victory on Tuesday in a Lakes 8 Conference matchup.VanderWeide tossed four innings and got the win while Zeerip pitched three, striking out five Orioles.WMC took control in the third inning when Zeerip hit an RBI triple and Sam Liggett hit a two-run single.Liggett led the offense with two hits. Nick Moser, Jameson Goorman, Michael Kamps, Andrew Hill and VanderWeide each had one hit.WMC is now 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Lakes 8.CSAAHOLTON 10, HESPERIA 0 – Holton pitcher Aiden Poling had an efficient outing, allowing no runs, two hits and three strikeouts in four innings.Poling, Nathan Slowik and Cody Wright all had two hits for the Red Dviils, who are now 9-6 overall and a very strong 6-1 in CSAA Silver Division play.Hunter Dickinson had two hits for Hesperia.SHELBY 11, HART 1 – The game was tied 1-1 until the sixth inning, when Shelby plated 10 runs to take control of the contest. (822) Report a problem This item is… $0.00 (17612) Displayed poorly Report a problem This item is… Bestseller Not relevant (7802) $9.99 × DEAL OF THE DAY Inappropriate / Offensive ENDS IN ENDS IN × × $14.99$18.00 Not relevant Displayed poorly Other NBC Sports Other Bestseller $49.95 Other Other Bestseller DEAL OF THE DAY (34271) Bestseller DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN Share DEAL OF THE DAY Bestseller (2) Shop Now Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Inappropriate / Offensive × Bestseller Fox Sports Go Report a problem This item is… Not relevant Share Report a problem This item is… DEAL OF THE DAY Other Other Inappropriate / Offensive Report a problem This item is… Ads by Amazon (117) Twelve Not relevant Ads by Amazonlast_img read more

All-rounder Labuschagne added to Australia squad for Sydney

first_imgMELBOURNE,  (Reuters) – Queensland all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne has been added to Australia’s squad for the fourth and final test in Sydney in the wake of the 137-run thrashing in the third match against India in Melbourne. Labuschagne, who played his only two tests in the 1-0 series defeat to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October, offers another slow bowling option with his legspin at the SydneyCricket Ground, traditionally Australia’s most spin-friendly wicket.Tim Paine’s side need to win in Sydney to avoid becoming the first Australian team to lose a test series at home to India.With Labuschagne drafted into the squad, seam-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh may be looking over his shoulder. Recalled after being omitted from the first two tests in Adelaide and Perth, Marsh made nine and 10 with the bat and failed to take a wicket bowling 26 overs in the first innings.Australia’s openers, Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris, are also under pressure after failing in both innings in Melbourne.Australia squad: Tim Paine (capt), Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starclast_img read more

Australian Open: Djokovic, Nadal, Williams Get Tricky Draws

first_imgMen’s champion Novak Djokovic will begin his quest for a record-extending eighth Australian Open title against Jan-Lennard Struff, while the man he beat in last year’s final, Rafa Nadal, will take the top seeding into a contest against Bolivian Hugo Dellien.Top seed and world number one Ash Barty’s bid to end the host nation’s long wait for a homegrown Australian Open champion will begin against Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko when the year’s first Grand Slam gets under way next week.Eighth seed Serena Williams, fresh from a title win in the warm-up tournament in Auckland begins her bid for an eighth Melbourne Park crown with a first-round tie against Russian Anastasia Potapova as she looks to finally match Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles.The draw, which took place in the evening in the arena named in honour of Australian Court, threw up an intriguing clash for Serena’s 39-year-old sister Venus, who will face fellow American Coco Gauff.Gauff, 15, exploded onto the tennis map at Wimbledon last year when, as a qualifier, she beat twice Australian Open champion Venus on her main draw Grand Slam debut.Japan’s Naomi Osaka has enjoyed an even more stratospheric rise over the last couple of seasons and won her second Grand Slam crown in Australia last year.The 22-year-old will start her title defence against Czech Marie Bouzkova, although she may not know it yet after vacating the stadium court before the draw was revealed.Another former champion, Maria Sharapova, needed a wild card to get into the tournament and could present quite a challenge for 19th seed Donna Vekic.Djokovic won a record seventh Melbourne Park crown last year to extend a still unbroken three-year dominance of the Grand Slam titles by the trio of the Serbian, Nadal and Roger Federer.With Djokovic and Nadal now in their 30s and Federer, who will open his quest for a 21st major title with a first-round match against Steve Johnson, heading towards his 40s, all eyes are on the young guns who might break their grip.“Daniil (Medvedev) is playing great tennis, he’s definitely in that small group of players who are getting closer to a Grand Slam title,” Djokovic said.“Alongside him is Dominic Thiem, who is knocking on the door, and (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, who won a big tournament at the (ATP) World Finals.“We are hoping this is not going to be the year they make the breakthrough, but it’s inevitable and that it makes it exciting.”Russian fourth seed Medvedev faces the toughest challenge of the trio in the first round against American Frances Tiafoe, who reached the Australian Open quarter-finals last year.Austrian Thiem, seeded fifth, plays France’s Adrian Mannarino, while Greek sixth seed Tsitsipas takes on Italian Salvatore Caruso.Nick Kyrgios looms as a tricky potential hurdle in Nadal and Thiem’s quarter of the draw but most Australian hopes of success will rest on the shoulders of Barty, who is out to end the 42-year wait since Chris O’Neill won the title at Kooyong in 1978.The Australian Open runs from 20 January to 2 February.Relatedlast_img read more

Local Black Stars likely to miss out on Obama Cup

first_imgThe local Black Stars of Ghana are likely to miss out on the inaugural President Obama Cup football tournament in the United States.This is because the team has yet to be given visas by the US Embassy in Ghana.The local Black Stars were among three countries selected to participate in the tournament alongside Nigeria and Kenya.The team must hope their visas are issued by close of day Tuesday or forget participation.George Afriyie, team manager for the local Black Stars told Joy Sports it will be a blow if Ghana fails to compete at the tournament.Source: Joy Sports/Myjoyonline.com/Ghanalast_img read more

A Wellington Wonderland of Christmas decorations…

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It is really getting to look a lot like Christmas. If you want to escape the relatives, or take them with you, just take a drive around town at the various outdoor displays. The Chamber recently announced the winners of the Christmas Lighting Contest for 2018.The residential winners were Chris and Andrea Kreifels at 704 N. Washington. Here is a video of their display. It’s worth the stop. Just tune your radio at 88.5 FM for the music and light synchronization.Here are pictures of the Chamber list of winners:Click on images for larger versions.First place business: Mane Innovations, 114 South C. Second place business: Wild About Hair, 221 S. Washington. Third place business: Advanced America, 215 W. 15th.First place residential: Chris and Andrea Kreifels, 704 N. Woodlawn.Second place residential: Trent and Kristi Sutton, 304 North B. Third place residential: Lee and Brenda Nelson, 1404 N. Plum. Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

Who gains from swap of sparring partners?

first_imgView comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBRISBANE, Australia-—Whoever gained in an unintentional swap of sparring partners between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn will be known Sunday.George Kambosos Jr. is an unbeaten Australian prospect who helped Pacquiao in his prepartions in the Philippines while Czar Amonsot is a Filipino veteran who now lives in Australia and served as Horn’s chief sparring partner in the closing stages of training camp.ADVERTISEMENT Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ LSU title parade draws massive crowds LaVine scores 42, Chicago rallies late to beat Cavs Ancajas ready for war vs Japanese foe Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite MOST READ Having felt Pacquiao’s speed and power, Kambosos (12-0 with six knockouts) readily picked the 11-time world champion to beat his compatriot, who said that Kambosos should have at least informed him that he’s going over to the Pacquiao camp.The 31-year-old Amonsot, who owns a 34-3-3 record, earlier said that Horn stands a good chance of wresting Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization welterweight crown.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Boxer Jeff Horn trains in a gym in Brisbane, Australia, Monday, June 26, 2017. Horn is preparing for his WBO welterweight world boxing title bout against Filipino Manny Pacquiao on Sunday, July 2. (Photo by JOHN PYE / AP)Horn and his chief trainer, Glenn Rushton, was all praises for Amonsot, a southpaw like Pacquiao.While no one will be able to exactly copy Pacquiao’s moves and style, Horn insisted that the Boholano was able to provide him with constant pressure throughout their 12-round sparring sessions at Rushton’s gym inside his mansion at Stretton. Amonsot has gone unbeaten since losing to Michael Katsidis in 2007 for the WBO lightweight title.He’s on an 18-fight winning run and is deemed capable of making another world title run.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Thousands join Kalibo Ati-atihan despite typhoon devastation End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Clippers, Lakers among most-watched NBA teams by Filipinos Tobias Harris’ late 3 seals Sixers’ win over Knicks Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Johnson’s rant has sullied the investigative process against these BHS teachers

first_imgDear Editor,I refer to Mr Ruel Johnson’s letter in Stabroek News of 25/11/2017: ‘There has been an apparent absence of any clear process of dealing with the complaints of BHS students’.To my mind, Mr Johnson’s allegations and rants at every level — at the level of the school, the Ministry of Education, and the Police — ought to fall early, based on his own doing. He has sullied the investigative process, and helped support the suspicion that he has a personal interest in pursuing this matter. How else can one explain his incessant tirades since he first broke the story on Friday, 17th November 2017, and his lack of a mandate to pursue this issue?Further, Mr Jackson’s alleged wrong-doing is said to have been covered up by the present and immediate past heads of the school’s administration. Without evidence, I smell libel and slander against those heads. It appears to me that Mr Johnson feels he can say and do as he pleases without consequence.Indeed, if I were any of those persons, I would surely seek legal advice to address Mr Johnson’s allegations against me.As for the person at the centre of this imbroglio, Coen Jackson, from what has been told to me, Mr Jackson has a Diploma in Communication and BSc. in Business Management from the University of Guyana. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Bradford (UK), and has been an outstanding teacher of Economics and Financial Services at The Bishops’ High School for over a decade, without a single degrading accusation or complaint lodged against him. For this reason and more, he should be accorded the right to due process and consideration.Yours truly,K. Anthonylast_img read more

Nimba Security Council Upset With Community Watch Forum

first_imgNimba County Security Council headed by Superintendent Fong Zuagele has distanced itself from activities of the Community Watch Forum (CWF) for its failure to help the police and other security agencies to contain violence that brought Ganta to a standstill on September 30.The decision to sideline the CWF was reached on October 6 in a meeting held in Ganta where a cross-section of local security personnel, along with other authorities discussed issues affecting the county as part of their usual routine.“For now, we will not work with the CWF in Nimba until we can review its activities,” Supt. Zuagele vowed.The CWF is a community based civilian security working to enhance the activities of national security by providing information that poses threat to the community and the state at large.But it was discovered that during the riot in Ganta recently, some CWF members were seen actively demonstrating, and not only that, some of them were suspected of looting, which characterized the demonstration. On September 22, two CWF members were reportedly detained by the police for their alleged failure to assist them in their investigation in connection with the death of a motorcyclist who was discovered with suspected mutilated parts in Blohn, Saclepea Mah District.Supt. Fong Zuagele meanwhile lashed out on the various community radio stations in Ganta for what he termed as, “exacerbating the violence when those stations provided live broadcast of voices of those suspected of killing the motorcyclist.”According to Supt. Zuagele, the early broadcast of the voice of suspect Bill Lawrence during the day of the demonstration undermined and further increased the level of violence by making the teeming crowd to become more angry and violent.Although, there was no penalty attached to his allegation against the media houses, he warned that the media should be able to exercise some level of professionalism in their duties by taking into consideration the level of security implications that the report might cause.There are three community radio stations in Ganta: they are Radio Kehghemahn (RKFM), Voice of Gompa, and Hot FM, but these stations are yet to make any comment since Supt. Zuagele expressed his disappointment in their respective reportage of the September 30 Ganta incident.However, CWF operations manager, David Mahn has defended the CWF’s action for not containing the situation, because, “If officers of the national security can run away from the demonstrators, then what can a civilian security unit without anything do to stop such a huge crowd?”In another development, six persons have been arrested in Gbar Gwehlay Town for their connection in the alleged killing of a seven-year old girl who went missing on August 7, 2015.The girl was found dead with missing parts after a weak of intensive search for her.Upon the discovery of the girl’s corpse, the community requested a witch doctor to identify those involved in the killing and as a result the six persons were identified for allegedly carrying out the killing.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

We second that

first_imgThe best thing to happen to these finals would be for them to mercifully end tonight and spare us anymore thrilling games with scores in the low 70s. Then ABC can go back to broadcasting its “Desperate Housewives” stars on the show they’re supposed to be seen. The kind that actually get ratings. This series is so devoid of entertainment, of high-caliber basketball, that the Spurs won Tuesday night with perhaps their most exciting player, Manu Ginobili, failing to make a single field goal. That leaves them one victory from their fourth title, which leads us to at least the twinkling of debate. It will give the Spurs one more title in the past 10 years than the Lakers. Wake up, snap out of that NBA Finals stupor. Show some life, some vague thread of interest. What these Finals need, besides something remotely resembling exciting basketball, is some controversy. Something to get the juices flowing, to divide the masses. Naturally, neither San Antonio nor Cleveland is capable of providing it. We are all witnesses to the dullest finals ever. The closest thing to a personality anyone on the Spurs and Cavs has is Drew Gooden’s hair. Anyway, pretty sure that’s hair. So simple math dictates that the Spurs be proclaimed the best team of our current modern era. Now I completely understand anyone making this argument, I’m just not buying it. The Spurs are efficient, methodical, play excellent defense and excel within the cozy confines of Gregg Popovich’s offense. Yeah, by comparison they can make a snappy game of checkers look thrilling, but they are consistent and reliable as a mortgage payment, and you get points for that. But when the Lakers were the Lakers, back when Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal feigned at getting along enough for those three consecutive championships, they were clearly better than the Spurs. The Kobe-Shaq Lakers met the Spurs in the playoffs four times, winning three times. The 2001 Lakers – one of the great, underrated NBA champions – swept the Spurs in four games. Now I realize this may not rate up there with concerns over whether the mayor will be happy in his new digs, or Paris in hers, or Dale Jr. with his, but it’s monstrously more interesting than watching Anderson Varejao painfully try to put up an off-balanced shot with the game on the line. It’s easy to downplay the Spurs’ greatness, because they can be agonizingly difficult to watch. I don’t know, dinner with the mother-in-law or watching the Spurs? But they have a truly great player in Tim Duncan, and two not far behind in Tony Parker, and honest, Ginobili. They have nice role players. They are an excellent team, who besides the Lakers, have only last season’s playoff loss to the Mavs to blemish their postseason resume. Yet if you were to put the Spurs at their absolute peak against the Kobe-Shaq Lakers at theirs, the nod has to go to Jerry Buss and the Dysfunctionals. The greatness of those Lakers teams has been overshadowed by the soap opera that always followed them to town, and remarkably, remains still. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the Shaq-Kobe feud, the outrageous comments, delayed surgeries, arrests, trade demands and general circus that was those Lakers. But that was a truly special team, a team that had the greatest superstar duo still at the peak of their powers in NBA history. A team with excellent role players and one of the game’s best coaches. And that’s why they usually handled the Spurs. Actually made them look bad in 2001. The Lakers and Spurs were typically each other’s biggest obstacle in getting to the finals. There was the Portland team in 2000 and the Sacramento team in 2002, but the biggest battle for the Lakers was usually the Spurs. Going really, really far out on a limb here and assuming the Spurs capture this year’s finals, that will mean either the Spurs or Lakers have won seven of the past nine championships. The real battles take place in the West. The NBA’s second-best team is left somewhere along road of the champion’s march through the playoffs. This year, the Phoenix Suns were the best team the Spurs met in the playoffs, and provided the only truly interesting series. When the Suns checked out, so did fan interest. LeBron James is a wondrous player, but he is hardly rising to the moment. Can I get a witness? Right now, the Cavs don’t look like they could even make the playoffs in the West. People tuned into the finals in record numbers when Michael Jordan was leading the Bulls in the ’90s not because of the intriguing championship matchup – Chicago never had to beat a truly great team for the title – but because they realized they were watching a special player. Now there is only a veteran, talented Spurs team systematically having its way with a one-trick team slipping in the spotlight. Maybe the Cavs will grow. Maybe not. But the Spurs are who they are. The second-best team of our time. Steve Dilbeck’s column appears in the Daily News four times a week. stephen.dilbeck@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more