- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 15, 2012


Once again, it’s time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” — Things I Don’t Understand:

How you can avoid skepticism regarding the Wizards’ trade for Nene.

The Denver Nuggets signed center Nene to a five-year, $67 million deal three months ago. He’s been injured for most of this season. Now, after experiencing buyer’s remorse, the Nuggets are trading him for JaVale McGee.

The fear is that Denver knows something about Nene that the Wizards don’t.

Why Georgetown is such a popular pick to be upset by Belmont.

Yes, the Hoyas have exited the NCAA tournament early recently. Yes, they’re 3-3 in their last six games this season, while high-scoring Belmont is red-hot. But No. 3s are 92-16 all-time against No. 14s.

Upsets will occur somewhere, but the Hoyas are too deep and athletic this year.

How Orlando can survive another season of Dwight Howard drama.

He waffled for 24 hours before deciding to stay for next season. But the circus will remain in town until there’s a long-term deal. The Magic still risk losing him for nothing unless they trade him.

If he loves Orlando like he says, he doesn’t know how to show it.

Why the New York Knicks are struggling with so much talent.

“Linsanity” seems like ancient history at this point, way back when Mike D’Antoni was the coach. Now, Carmelo Anthony is pouting, Jeremy Lin is regressing, and interim coach Mike Woodson is in charge.

But the U.S. Olympic team has more star power and makes it work; the Knicks have no excuse.

How the Capitals could go so far toward the opposite extreme.

The Caps really have taken the commentary to heart. All they heard the past two summers was that their regular-season success was meaningless. They learned that we scoff at point titles and No.1 seeds.

If they squeak into the playoffs and advance to the Stanley Cup finals, all is forgiven.

Why anyone would begrudge Calvin Johnson’s contract from the Detroit Lions.

Not even a free agent, “Megatron” signed for a whopping $132 million, the biggest contract in NFL history. The All-Pro wide receiver gets $60 million guaranteed, an exclamation point on the NFL’s transition to a pass-happy league.

Mamas, if your boys can’t be quarterbacks, let them grow up to be wideouts.

How Shaka Smart can resist making the leap this time around.

He stayed put after leading VCU to the Final Four last season. But big-time schools will continue to pursue him. Smart reportedly is interested in the vacancy at Illinois, which could be a very good job.

At least that eight-year extension he signed last year worked for one season.

Why John Calipari would leave Kentucky and return to the NBA.

His has been mentioned as a possible candidate to coach the Wizards or the Knicks. Calipari’s 72-112 record with the New Jersey Nets might give him pause, though reuniting with John Wall might be tempting.

Calipari could always return to college, but he won’t find a setup better than Kentucky.

How anyone can pass judgment yet on the price for Robert Griffin III.

Today’s microwave culture demands quick takes. Consequently, we’ve been bombarded with opinions on the Redskins yielding three first-round picks for the No. 2 overall. No question, that’s a bundle.

But it’s a steal if (presumably) RG3 leads Washington to a couple of Super Bowls.

Why Bryce Harper should be on the Nationals’ Opening Day roster.

His spring-training numbers are meaningless, unlike an extra 365 days before he could become a free agent. Starting him in the majors would be shortsighted joy at a long-term cost.

Sorry, but three weeks of Harper at age 19 aren’t worth risking a full season at age 25.

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