Manny Pacquiao, Kentucky Derby 2011, Dwyane Wade and Friday's Late Sports Buzz
Manny Pacquiao, Kentucky Derby 2011 and Dwyane Wade are the biggest sports keywords floating around the Internet today.
We're only a day away from the big Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight on Saturday night and as the anticipation continues to build up, there's plenty of Manny Pacquiao talk and predictions. Will Manny finally be the guy to knock out Shane Mosley?
Also, the Kentucky Derby will get underway tomorrow afternoon. With Uncle Mo bowing out of the competition with a gastrointestinal injury, is Dialed In the clear favorite?
Then we also have another round of NBA playoff action tonight; Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat will look to take a third straight game from the Boston Celtics tonight and prove to the rest of the league that they're smelling a championship.
If sports is your thing, you've come to the right place. We'll bring you all the latest news about the hottest sports topics today.
2011 NBA Playoffs Game 3 Reveal Another Lakers Collapse
Those that believed that the Lakers were done after falling behind 2-0 in the second round series against the Dallas Mavericks had it right, the Lakers are not capable of defending their NBA title.
Los Angeles played with their backs up against the wall and showed how as much fight as they could muster. But it just wasn't good enough. The biggest difference in the game was none other than Dirk Nowitzki.
Because of Nowitzki's clutch play, the Dallas Mavericks simply outplayed Los Angeles once again in the fourth quarter and put themselves within one game of upsetting the Lakers in this series.
Throughout the series, Nowitzi with that high-arching mid-range turnaround jumper is just plain unguardable. When he does get double teamed, he still has the great court vision and passing ability that allows him to find wide-open teammates.
Then there's his wicked three-point shot.
After 13 years in the league, Nowitziki has finally learned the importance of saving his best performances for the postseason.
Whether or not the Mavericks wrap up the series on Sunday or later next week remains irrelevant. There's no way the Lakers can come back and the reason their three-peat run ended is because Nowitzki has a emerged as a terrific team leader, and bona fide difference maker in the postseason.
Dwyane Wade Ready to Carry Miami Heat Again in Game 3 and Beyond
The biggest reason why the Miami Heat have taken a very important 2-0 series lead in this second round series is none other than Dwyane Wade. The Heat's star guard has been thriving against the Celtics this postseason after struggling against them in the regular season.
Wade has been thriving in transition and playing his best in isolation against Boston.
The pressure is all on the Boston Celtics. They need to find a way to stop Dwayne Wade on defense and figure out a way to ignite their owners players to pick up their offense.
Offensively Wade has found a way to penetrate and keep the Celtics on their toes. In fact, he's pretty much taken Ray Allen completely out of this series because he has pushed him to max as a defender.
As this series heads to Boston, the only thing the Celtics can be excited about is that they'll be getting a big body back in Shaquille O'Neal and they can finally rely on their home crowd for support.
Maybe Shaq's return can give them a big enough boost to remind them that the best way to stop Wade and his compatriots is if they played like the top defensive team they were all season long. If they clog up the lane with Shaq's body and defend against Wade's penetration then they'll still have a shot at coming back in the series.
Otherwise, Wade will light them up again and Boston's season is over.
Kentucky Derby 2011 Post Positions No. 11 Could Make Master of Hound a True Contender
Master of Hounds
Morning Line Odds: 30-1
Jockey: Garrett Gomez
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien
Post Position: 11
The only European contender from the 19-horse pack at the Kentucky Derby is Irish-entry Master of Hounds. But he remains one of the most hard-to-predict entries in this race, mainly because he's never raced on dirt.
One big thing that he does have going in his favor is that he has raced the farthest distance among all of the competition at Churchill Downs. The three-year old son of Kimbambo finished a close-second place at the 1 3/16 mile UAE Derby in Dubai where he went to head with some very solid competition.
In the Derby's history, only one foreign contender has ever won, Canonero II. But Master of Hounds ideal spot at the 11th hole makes him a very intriguing choice. Although a win may be a shocker, a Top 4 finish is definitely possible.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley Fight Could Test Mosley's Speed
In this upcoming Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley bout, the heavy favorite Manny Pacquiao is expected to go all out on Mosley in the from the opening bell. Word from Pacquiao's camps says that he plans to overwhelm the 39-year-old Mosley with a flurry of punches as part of a very aggressive attack.
But Mosley believes he can still keep up with one of the best fighters of this generation. Mosley offered this nugget for us to think on via CNNSI:
I see in the Margarito fight that Margarito landed the most punches ever on Manny Pacquiao. So if Margarito is fast enough to land punches on Manny Pacquiao, then I know I am fast enough to land punches on Manny Pacquiao.
With all due respect to Shane Mosley, your best days are behind you. If you're going to use Margarito as an example you need to be reminded that he was 32-year-old at the time of last year's fall draw against Pacquiao. He was still in his prime.
It's time to face up to the music, age will be a big factor in this fight.
Margarito was young enough to throw punches on Pac-man, and it was still a one-sided battle.
Mosley is pushing 40 and simply cannot maintain that kind of pace, no matter how great of shape he appears to be in.
If Mosley can keep up with Pacman's speed, it will likely on be for a the first two or three rounds, after then, the legs will get weaker and his time in the ring will end soon enough with a knockout punch courtest of Pacquiao.
Atlanta Hawks Have No Answer For Derrick Rose in Game 3
In the first two games of this series, the Atlanta Hawks were able to limit Derrick Rose to two of the worst showings he has had this postseason. But Rose bounced back on Friday night with a career playoff performance with 44 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds.
Although the Hawks shot a higher percentage from the field than the Bulls, the biggest difference in the game was the Bulls' three-point shooting and rebounding.
Atlanta had very balanced scoring from their starters but only got seven points from their normally productive sixth man, Jamal Crawford.
After that 99-82 loss, it's obvious that the Hawks will need to respond with a strong showing in Game 4 or face losing control of the series.
As long as they rediscover the defensive pressure that slowed down Rose's penetration and continue to body up Bulls' bigmen Boozer and Noah then they'll still have a good chance at tying up this matchup. They're a gritty and motivated enough team to get the job done in Game 4 so don't count them out yet.
Derrick Rose Scores Playoff Career-High 44 Points in Game 3
The league's newly-crowned Most Valuable Player, Derrick Rose, played just like that in Game 3 of the Chicago Bulls' series against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday Night. Rose lit up the Hawks for a career playoff night: 44 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds.
After raising concerns about his injured ankle in the first two games of the series, Rose but those doubts to rest by taking complete control of the basketball game. On defense, the scrappy Atlanta Hawks were helpless—they did not have an answer for the MVP.
Rose appeared to be every bit as explosive as he's shown to be during the regular season, proving that he's more than capable of carrying the Bulls past the Hawks in this round.
What was blatantly absent once again was the scoring from their bigs Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer—who combined for a disappointing eight points.
Although Rose was the star, the play of their post guys will make or break their postseason. The Hawks may be a team that the Bulls can overcome despite the inconsistencies but sooner or later it's going to catch up and either the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics will make them pay.
Manny Pacquiao vs Shane Mosley Ready For May 7 Fight
The big Manny Pacquiao vs Shane Mosley fight starts on Saturday night and many expect this bout to be all about Manny and how he's going to use his speed, skills and powerful punches to keep Mosley off his feet.
But is this really going to be a one-sided match? Mosley does have four world-titles under his belt, however his best days are clearly behind him as he inches closer to 40 years old. Therefore, Pacquiao's camp plan to use his age against him.
Trainer Freddie Roach tells the AFP:
Most older fighters go forward well but they can't go backwards in the ring. They can be aggressive but if you can get them on their heels and they are kind of lost. The legs don't get them out the way like they used to.
With the variety of punches and the immense speed that Pacquiao has to offer, we just may see Mosley's legs buckle and ultimately fall flat on the canvas.
Manny Pacquiao refuses to underestimate Mosley out of respect. But the harsh reality is, he has not chance against Pac-man. If Manny stays aggressive the entire time, Mosley will have no time or room to retaliate and this this fight will be over sooner than anyone expected.
That's right, Pacquiao will definitely knock him out. The only question is what round will he do it?
Kentucky Derby 2011 Post Position No. 4 May Be Bring Stay Thirsty Success
Morning Line Odds: 20-1
Jockey: Ramon Dominguez
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Post Position: 4
At No. 4 in the Kentucky Derby, Stay Thirsty is dealing with some favorable history with the four-hole producing 10 winners in the Derby's history, but just two wins in the last 35 years.
The colt's seventh place finish at the Florida Derby is still reason to worry. However, he should get a pass for that performance because of the hot and humid weather where he was seen sweating profusely before the start of the race.
If we throw out that poor performance, all we have is his tremendous showing at the Gotham Stakes where he defeated Wood Memorial winner Toby's Corner.
That said, he could be a surprise winner this weekend and his inside position definitely helps his cause.
Kentucky Derby 2011 Post Position No. 14 Is Tough Spot For Shackleford
Morning Line Odds: 12-1
Jockey: Jesus Castanon
Trainer: Dale Romans
Post Position: 12
The 14th hole has only produced two winners in the Kentucky Derby's history and becomes a very tough spot for the 3-year-old Shackleford.
His last two races of the year have netted mixed results—finishing in fifth place at the Fountain of Youth and more recently taking second place at the Florida Derby, behind favorite Dialed In.
The most impressive part about his performance in Florida was the fact that he nearly won despite his lowly 68-1 odds. Either that was the best performance he'll ever have in his career or he's got even better showings up ahead in his future.
Shackleford's strong workout and impressive physical appearance makes us believe that it's the latter and he could find himself among the leaders when the Run for the Roses concludes.
Kentucky Derby 2011 Post Position No. 12 Gives Santiva a Small Chance to Succeed
Morning Line Odds: 30-1
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan
Trainer: Eddie Kenneally
Post Position: 12
Kentucky Derby 2011 may have a very competitive field but Santiva remains a longshot despite netting a favorable No. 12 post position.
The longest race under his belt is the 1 1/8 mile Blue Grass Stakes—which he ran instead of the Louisiana Derby—and finished a disappointing ninth place.
He may have won the Kentucky Jockey Club in November but his poor Blue Grass Stakes is distressing and could be an indication that he won't be able to do well in a distance race like the 1 1/4 mile Derby.
If he finishes in the Top 4, it will definitely be because of luck.
Kentucky Derby 2011 Post Position No. 7 May Bring Positive Result for Pants on Fire
Pants On Fire
Morning Line Odds: 20-1
Jockey: Anna "Rosie" Napravnik
Trainer: Kelly Breen
Post Position: 7
The Kentucky Derby 2011 post position of No. 7 has produced eight other Derby winners in the past and definitely gives Pants on Fire a solid chance at doing very well in the race this weekend.
Although the three-year old colt has not been billed as a favorite to win this race he's bringing a lot of positive to the track with him on Saturday. His most recent race was the longest of career in the Louisiana Derby, where he outlasted both Nehro and Mucho Macho Man.
In addition, he's being ridden by sentimental favorite Rosie Napravnik, who is vying to become the first female Kentucky Derby jockey winner in history. Napravnik is known for aggressive style and could be the difference-maker in this race where Pants on Fire will need to have a strong finish.
The elements for a possible powerful end in the final furlough are all there with Napravnik and Pants on Fire peaking at the right time. If all goes according to plan, he's in store for at least a Top 4 finish.
Kobe Bryant Ready to Take Third Place on NBA's All-Time Playoff Scoring List
Last season, Kobe Bryant passed over his former teammate turned rival Shaquille O'Neal by winning his fifth NBA title, one more than Shaq.
This year, talks about the Kobe-Shaq rivalry have all but subsided with O'Neal aging and Bryant proving that the only great that he's worthy of being compared to nowadays is the one and only Michael Jordan.
Bryant, with his next two points, will tie O'Neal in the all-time playoff scoring list. Although O'Neal is expected to return for the Boston Celtics this weekend against the Miami Heat, his days of being a dominant scoring option are over.
This another major milestone for Bryant, who is a clear lock to make the NBA Hall of Fame. Despite being only 32 years-old, he has made his mark in the sport of basketball and has been the best and most successful name since the Michael Jordan era.
If Bryant maintains his current form and the Lakers remain competitive for the next three or four years, he's likely to pass over Jordan as tops in that playoff scoring list. Jordan is number one with 5,987, Kareem Adbul-Jabbar is second with 5,762 points and Bryant is sitting at 5,246 points prior to the Lakers' Game 3 matchup against the Dalas Mavericks.
In case the Lakers do flounder against the Mavs this postseason, Bryant fans can look forward to seeing Bryant pass over O'Neal in the all-time regular season career points list. O'Neal is at No. 5 overall with 28,596 points and Bryant is in sixth place with 27,868 points.
2011 Kentucky Derby Results May See Nehro Peak at the Right Time
Morning Line Odds: 6-1
Jockey: Corey Nakatani
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
The 2011 Kentucky Derby gives Nehro a prime opportunity to take advantage of the withdrawal of Uncle Mo. Now that Mo is out from the No. 18 post, Nehro's spot at No. 19 may be a little more wide open. If there's a horse that could thrive from outside in this Run for the Roses, it's Nehro, he's a candidate to do extremely well in this race.
The Steve Asmussen colt fits our criteria — an improving three-year-old who appears ready to put it all together with a career-best in the Derby — and the race will set up well for the late runner. Also like the fact that he was able to extricate himself from trouble in upper stretch of the Louisiana Derby before finishing full of run. That ability to maneuver could serve him very well in a bulky Derby field, and Nehro could be along in time under Corey Nakatani.
After winning his maiden in February, Nehro has looked great in his last two races—the Arkansas and Louisiana Derby—where he finished a close second each time. In those races, he fell to Archarcharch and Pants On Fire, respectively.
But he showed that he could still keep going well beyond the 1 1/8 miles of those races. With an extra 1/4 mile at the Run for the Roses, we may just see Nehro do what he's shown he can do best, come from behind.
But this time, he may just win it all.
2011 Kentucky Derby Results May See Comma to the Top Struggle to Keep Up
Comma to the Top
Morning Line Odds: 30-1
Jockey: Patrick Valenzuela
Trainer: Peter Miller
The 2011 Kentucky Derby may be one of the most wide-open races in recent memory. With the withdrawal of top contender Uncle Mo, there is one less favorite to make Saturday's Run for the Roses even more interesting.
But one of the 19 contenders that will likely be battling long odds is Comma to the Top. Despite, his gritty nature and hard-working appeal, he may not be the ideal choice to win this race.
Comma to the Top won’t sustain his speed at 1 1/4 miles. Bred for sprints on both sides of his pedigree, he’s run out of gas in both starts at 1 1/8 miles this year and would need a breather on the front end to have any chance at lasting the entire way. That’s not going to happen in the speed-laden field.
This horse has a habit of jumping out of the pack to start the race and ultimately pays for it in the end when he can't maintain the pace. Comma to the Top brings experience from racing in multiple surfaces but just doesn't project well on a muddy racetrack on Saturday afternoon.
He needs to start slow to have chance but that's just against nature. That's why he will never win, let alone take fourth place with the great distance required for the Derby.
Kentucky Derby 2011 Sees Top Favorite Uncle Drop Out of Race
One of the top favorites in this weekend's Kentucky Derby 2011, Uncle Mo, has officially withdrawn from the race.
After showing such great potential early in his young career, Uncle Mo was viewed as an early Derby favorite going into the Wood Memorial. But he struggled and lost to Toby's Corner, who incidentally was also scratched from this weekend's competition.
Historically, the Wood Memorial has been viewed as a great prep race for Kentucky Derby contenders and winning the Wood Memorial Stakes usually boded well for the horse. Now that Uncle Mo and Toby's Corner are out, this competition truly becomes wide-open.
But the health of Uncle Mo prevails as a major concern, trainer Todd Pletcher told the Louisville Courier Journal:
It’s very, very frustrating, but what we’re really concerned about is the horse’s health. We’ve got something going on inside that I don’t know what it is. The best veterinarians in the world don’t know what it is. Sometimes you can deal with issues when you know what they are. But when you don’t know, that’s when I get scared...Until we know what is wrong with him, no race is in mind.
This could potentially mark the end of his up-and-coming racing career. With his health regressing and his physically appearance diminishing and a mystery illness still lingering undiagnosed, we may have seen the last of Uncle Mo.