NOW that this San Antonio-Golden State Western Conference semifinal is down to a best-of-three series, it will come down to hobbled point guards Tony Parker and Stephen Curry. Of the two, I would be more concerned about Parker because there were times in Game 4 when he appeared out of sorts with that sore calf.
Parker is a pro’s pro who could still go for 25 in front of the home folks if healthy, but his game is more predicated on getting into the lane. Curry can still be effective shooting jumpers off that sore ankle.
It’s been proved over time that younger players perform much better in the playoffs at home than they do on the road, so don’t expect Golden State’s Harrison Barnes to go for 26 points at the AT&T Center as he did in Oaktown, even though Klay Thompson and Curry have shown an ability to come up big in any venue.
Expect Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to continue to use 6-foot-7-inch Kawhi Leonard on Curry, but don’t sleep on Parker, who has been known to follow an average road performance with a huge game at the house.
The team that wins Game 5 will win the series. That team will be the Spurs.
HEISMAN Trophy winner Johnny Manziel tweeted to his 346,700 followers during what he described as a round of 79 at Pebble Beach with his family. Manziel then took offense to those who questioned why he was on the golf course and not on a football field somewhere.
Truth be known, the Texas A&M quarterback is working with George Whitfield Jr., who tutored top prospects Cam Newton and Andrew Luck as they prepared for the NFL draft over the past couple of years. Manziel also worked with Whitfield last summer.
In true Johnny Football fashion, Manziel tweeted a pic of him and Whitfield sitting in the stands of Yankee Stadium a couple of weeks ago. On the heels of the golf tweets, he also responded to followers who were less than complimentary about him playing golf.
He tweeted: “Okay now that everybody ripped me for playing some golf with the family..how’s everyone’s day going?”
Manziel should know by now that not everyone will be on board with his high-profile lifestyle, from pics with LeBron James to playing a $500 round of golf at Pebble Beach to appearances at the Super Bowl and NBA All-Star games. He should let the haters hate, because he is what he is — a rich kid doing what many rich kids do during the summer, and that’s spend their parents’ money.
WE were all in middle school with that one guy who was bigger and better than everybody else. He seemed to be good in every sport, only to disappear from athletics by the time we got to high school. For whatever reason — more focus on academics, too much partying or the absence of another growth spurt — he wasn’t the dominant force in the 11th grade that he was in the eighth.
Here’s what I do know: We will be writing about Dylan Moses when it comes time for him to graduate with the Class of 2017. Dylan, an eighth-grade football player from Louisiana — I’m calling him by his first name because he isn’t an adult yet — has gotten more than 750,000 views on YouTube because he has a grown man’s athleticism and size (6-1, 215 pounds).
The kid reportedly ran a 4.46 at an LSU football camp, and that can partly explain why he has already received scholarship offers from LSU, Alabama and, of late, Texas. His father, Edward Moses, tweeted last week that “Texas offered Dylan,” making the youngster the first middle school student to get an offer from the Longhorns.
Wasn’t it just last year that Mack Brown was discussing his decision to change with the times and embrace offering scholarships to high school sophomores? Things moved forward in a hurry, huh?
It’s an uneasy feeling to know that kids who don’t even have a driver’s license are being handed a free education so early in the game. Hopefully, the pressure of expectations that are sure to follow won’t drive him away from football.
Now that the door has been opened, the copycat business that is big-time recruiting has changed forever. As we speak, there are college coaches scouring middle school campuses nationwide in search of the next Dylan Moses. Madness.