The Dean's List: NBA East And Serena
OKLAHOMA CITY - EAST IS LEAST AND WEST IS BEST
Must be nice if your team plays in the Eastern Conference. According to the experts, in 2015-16 the Western Conference will have seven of the best nine teams in the NBA. After most of the free agent wheeling and dealing was done, the guys in the West only got stronger. The Spurs are almost given the same chance of the winning the title as the Cavs.
Don’t see much that can be done about it but it isn’t fair. After the 11-4 odds given Cleveland by Bovada, San Antonio (3-to-1), Warriors (5-to-1) and OKC (15-to-2) are given impressive odds of being champs. The Bulls are the only other Eastern Conference team in the Top 9 and they drop all the way off to 16-to-1.
For the record, the four Western Conference teams listed No. 5 through No. 8 ahead of the Atlanta Hawks (33-to-1) from the East are given these odds: Dallas and Houston 22-to-1, the Clippers way down there at 25-to-1 and the Griz 28-to-1.
Hey Thunder fans, look at it positively. You get to see more good basketball than the fans in the East.
SERENA JUST TOO GOOD AND HER SLAM IS NEARLY A SLAM-DUNK
I watched a few hours of Wimbledon this morning and saw a lot of more-of-the-same in the Serena Williams – Victoria Azarenka match on Centre Court. Serena off to a slow start but ultimately just too darn good for everyone in the women’s game. Her power, serves and confidence in the clutch are simply too much in this era where the men’s game has remarkable superstars but the women’s game is painfully short of elite players.
I’ll be shocked if after getting past an early scare today, Serena doesn’t waltz her way to a sixth title on the grass. She’ll meet the easy-on-the-eyes-but-not-ready-for-Serena Maria Sharapova in the semis. Serena has beaten Sharapova 16 straight times. How confident can Sharapova be knowing she hasn’t beaten Serena in over a decade?! A win would make her the prohibitive favorite to defeat the winner of the No. 13 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. No. 20 Gabrine Muguruza in the other semi Thursday.
Serena fought back after losing the first set to Azarenka to completely dominate the rest of the way (3-6, 6-2, 6-3). Get this. Serena won seven straight games at one stretch. And she’s now won 26 straight Grand Slam matches.
Williams is two wins away from winning her fourth consecutive major tournament – her Serena Slam – and that would match the non-calendar Serena Slam she last won thirteen years ago. A win here would set up a classic US Open which could complete a true Grand Slam, something not accomplished since 1988 when Steffi Graf won all four in the same year.
Here’s hoping Jordan Spieth takes advantage of Rory’s double-bogey soccer injury and wins the third leg of the Grand Slam next week at The Open Championship at St. Andrews. How cool would that be to have to Americans in line to complete what is one of the hardest things to do in sports. Grand Slams are truly unique. And we could have two of them in the same year. Highly improbable, but possible.