- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2008

HE SAID WHAT?

“I’m not worried about people not pronouncing my name right. I ain’t tripping off that.” - Boston’s Leon Powe when told Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson mispronounced his name as “Pow”

TAKE YOUR PICK - MORE GRAND SLAM SINGLES TITLES, ROGER FEDERER OR RAFAEL NADAL?

Federer: Federer owns 12 Slam titles, three times as many as Nadal, and the second half of the season belongs to the Swiss stud. If he defends his titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, Federer will match Pete Sampras’ record mark for Slam titles in the Open era shortly after his 27th birthday. Unless they move another Slam to clay, Rafa won’t reach those epic heights.

Nadal: Like Bjorn Borg, Nadal seems to have a hard-surface block. But even without a breakthrough at the Australian or U.S. opens, he still has a solid chance to challenge for the Slam record. Anything less than eight titles at Roland Garros, where the 22-year-old owns a 28-0 record after completing his fourth consecutive conquest, would be a surprise. This is the year he takes over from Federer at Wimbledon and supplants the Swiss star as the game’s No. 1.

Our Take: Nadal is not catching Federer, not effectively playing two Slams a season. Sure, Rafa is still young, but Spaniards tend to peak early in all sports. We’ll give him five more years, four more French Opens and a pair of Wimbledon titles. That’s 10 Slam titles and a whale of a career, but he won’t belong in the same sentence with Federer, whose all-court brilliance should yield between 16 and 18 Slam victories.

TWT FIVE - FAILED COMEBACKS OF 2008

1. Lakers vs. Celtics, Game 2 of NBA Finals - Kobe and the Lakers went on a 31-9 run in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics iced the game with free throws to take a 2-0 series lead.

2. Stars vs. Red Wings, Stanley Cup Western Conference finals - Down 3-0 in the series, Dallas forced a Game 6 but fell 4-1.

3. Johns Hopkins vs. Syracuse, NCAA lacrosse final - Paul Rabil’s goal to pull the Blue Jays within one made the title game interesting. That is, until Syracuse went on a 3-0 run to seal the championship.

4. Louisville vs. North Carolina, NCAA basketball regional final- In a 12-point hole, the Cardinals tied the game but couldn’t stop Tyler Hansbrough (28 and 13), who led the Tar Heels to an 83-73 win.

5. Hornets vs. Lakers, NBA- The Hornets gave the Lakers a scare late in the season by overcoming a 30-point deficit in a 107-104 loss that cost New Orleans the top seed in the West.

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