Fred Faour: Observations on the Rockets, Derby and more
To the surprise of no one, the Rockets took a 3-1 lead in their series with the Jazz with a grind-it-out, wire-to-wire win Sunday night in Utah. Chris Paul took control with his midrange jumpers, scored 27 points and the Rockets are one inevitable win from what we have all been waiting for -- a series with the Warriors.
There really is not much left to say about this series. The Jazz had a nice season, and should be happy to get this far. But they are simply not in the same stratosphere as the Rockets, who did not play all that well Sunday night, yet still did the Jazz in their own barn.
Consider this: The Rockets shot just 42 percent -- 26.3 percent on 3-pointers -- and turned the ball over 13 times. They played a Jazz-style game, and still they coasted to a 13-point win. Their defense carried the day, and Utah simply does not have the weapons to compete with the Rockets in a seven-game series. The Rockets should close this out in five and we finally get what has been inevitable for months -- Rockets-Warriors for the whole thing.
If you followed us leading up to Saturday's Kentucky Derby, you did not win money. But you did see a historic performance from Justify. He survived ridiculous early fractions, and accomploished something that had not been done since 1882 -- won the Derby without racing as a 2-year-old. His trainer, Bob Baffert, compared him to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and the incredible Arrogate afterwards. He might even be better than those two monsters. To win the Derby in just his fourth start is incredible.
Our horses did not have much excuse. Bolt D'Oro chased the hot pace, then wilted when the real running started in the worst performance of his career. Combatant should have had the perfect setup, but he did not fire either. Enticed had a world of trouble -- like about 10 other horses -- and never had a real shot.
As we move to the Preakness, Justify looks very tough to beat. We will be trying to make money off exactas and trifectas with long shots behind him. One of the oddities of the Derby is with 20 horses, you will always have at least six or seven that get taken out due to traffic. Saturday's race eliminated even more than that. That will give us some good prices on legitimate contenders. But barring something weird, we are probably looking at another Triple Crown winner. Horses make their legacy by accomplishing special things, and what this horse did Saturday could not be done. On a side note, it was great meeting so many blitzers on raceday. Nothing better than getting a chance to meet fun people. We did not win, but expect us to bounce back in a big way two weeks from now.
Stop being jerks, please
I am going to dive into this with more detail later in the week, but the inner city is really growing when it comes to the bike community. As such, car drivers need to be more aware and considerate. But it goes both ways; cyclists need to do the same. We did a ride on Sunday, and many of the cyclists were frankly inconsiderate jerks who almost caused several issues. Stay tuned to SportsMap for more details later in the week.