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Article:WWOD?'s Starting Five For Friday

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Leap Year Day Edition

1. Tim Duncan. The Big Bore did it again last night. He hit for 31 points and snagged 15 rebounds against the Mavs. And, like clockwork, he got himself to the charity stripe with the game tied and 34 ticks left on the clock. He drained both shots. Spurs win.

2. Devin Harris. In the hours before Kidd was benched in crunch-time, Devin Harris was the shiniest thing in the swamp last night. He hit his first six shots after coming on as a substitute late in the first quarter. At that point the Nets and Bucks were level at 22. Harris netted 16 by halftime and had the Nets up 50-35 before he would take a breather. By the final whistle he had guided the Nets to a victory and scored 21.

3. Luke Harangody. I’ve talked about Michael Beasley and Chris Lofton and that Rose kid at Memphis and a few other student athletes, I mean college-aged basketball players, yet I’ve neglected the goofy looking center for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He’s apparently pretty darn good. He put up 40 points and tore down 13 rebounds last night in an Irish loss to Louisville. It was his 17th double-double of the season. And, to top it off, as the game was getting away from ND he stepped beyond the arc and canned the first three 3-pointers of his career just to keep it close. I’m impressed.

4. Bobby Knight. The famed hoops coach and the scourge of all court side furnishings has signed on with the Worldwide Leader to be a part of their NCAA tournament coverage next month. So, I guess he’s not alighting on Bloomington just yet to save his tarnished program. Either way, I think Knight will do well on television. I was watching Blue Chips two nights ago and I was pretty impressed with his acting chops during the climatic game between Western and Indiana. Of course, it’s entirely possible that he thought that was a real game and that the cameras belonged to CBS.

5. Sam Cassell. The fugliest point guard of his generation has been waived by the Los Angeles Clippers. Provided he passes through the waiver process, which he likely will because any team that picks him up would have to take on his 6.1 million dollar contract, he is then free to sign with the Celtics. Personally, I’d like to see the Knicks sign him off waivers just to screw with him and the Celtics. What’s another couple of million to Dolan?

6. NFL Free Agency. It’s on. Like popcorn. Word is that the Jets have traded a 3rd and a 5th round draft pick to the Panthers for Pro-Bowl DT Kris Jenkins. He is a house. Meanwhile, Derek Anderson rejected the Browns offer of ten guaranteed million dollars to test the free-agent water. Other pro-bowlers swimming in those waters are Asante Samuel, who may be headed to Philly, and Alan Faneca, who has also been connected with the Jets. Elsewhere, the Saints are after J. Vilma and the Titans and Vikes are hot for Bernard Berrian. Imagine if Tavaris Jackson just had a few more weapons…

Benched. Jason Kidd. He was literally benched during the final moments of last night’s game against the Spurs. Which totally makes sense. Right? Avery Johnson’s rationale was that Kidd is not a shooter and wouldn’t help spread the defense. Yeah, that works. Nothing like going out and getting one of the league’s most coveted play-makers only to bench him down the stretch of a tight game against your fiercest rival when you really, really need someone to make a play. Predictably, the Mavs squandered their last possession and lost the game. Well played.

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