For What it's Worth--on the Heat, Chalmers and new kids in town

Heating up---

Down three in the third the Heat opens up a can on the Spurs, outscoring them 33-5 over the next twelve minutes to ties the NBA Final at 1-1 heading back to San Antonio for the next three games.  San Antonio didn’t get much from Tim Duncan and Manu Genobili is more of a rumor than a factor through the first two games.  It’s pretty simple; the Spurs turned it over only 4 times in game one, they coughed it up 17 times in game two, when Miami defends like it did in game two they’re hard to beat.  That’s how they won 27 straight games during the regular season.

Since 1985---
Since the NBA went to the 2-3-2 format in 1985 the team that won game three in a 1-1 series has gone on to win the title 12 of 13 times.

Super Mario---
His shot against Memphis, ironically in San Antonio, is still one of the most electrifying moments I’ve ever covered—but Mario Chalmers performance last night was no less important for the Miami Heat.  His 19 points lead the way as he continues the quest for a second straight NBA championship.  What a career Chalmers has already enjoyed at the age of 27 --a national title at KU, three straight NBA Finals with a chance to win his second ring.  That’s a long way from growing up in Anchorage, Alaska.

New look in Omaha---
K-State is going to have to get after it for nine innings today at Oregon State to do its part but there are some refreshingly new faces headed to Omaha already.  North Carolina State’s win over Rice on Sunday sends the Wolfpack to the College World Series for the first time since 1968 and Indiana, which eliminated Florida State on the road, will be a first time performer in Omaha. 
Hope you got him for your fantasy team---
What a debut week for the Dodger’s Yasiel Puig—4 homers, 10 driven in, assists from the outfield, hitting .464—he’s done it all.  Just twenty-two years old the outfielder is from Cuba and his breakout has been as dramatic as any I’ve seen in the big leagues.

Break up the Royals---
It helps that they’ve been playing the Twins and Astros, two teams which between them are 26 games under 500.  But the Royals have won five straight behind some really good pitching, their bullpen has gone 17 2/3 innings without giving up a run.  Only four games under .500,  things get a little tougher over the next two weeks with ten games against the Tigers, Rays and Indians.

Eight is great---
Raphael Nadal wins his eighth French Open title and I wish I was more impressed with that.  The Spaniard has won 4 other grand slam events and is unquestionably one of the game’s all-time greats, but I wonder how many people care?  He has no equal on clay, which I think is the most uninteresting surface to watch tennis on.  He’s certainly had a great rivalry with Roger Federer, but he’s played at a time when there simply isn’t a lot of depth in men’s tennis.

Open week---
The U.S. Open is this week outside of Philadelphia, also this week the Air Capitol Classic at Crestview Country Club.  Certainly their timing could have been better, but this is the closest thing to a big time athletic event in Wichita and has always been one of my favorite events to cover.  Casey Wittenburg, who won in Wichita last year, is currently 116th on the PGA money list with earnings over $400,000.  Over $237,000 of that came from an eighth place finish at the Players Championship, other than that it’s been a tough year for the pride of Oklahoma State.

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