You know you are getting close to springtime when you can drive around with the sunroof open and the tunes crankin in the afternoon and the forecast calls for snow after midnight!
You also know springtime is near when Sports Illustrated unveils its much awaited swimsuit edition.
You will also know by the tone of the letters to the editors from outraged moms who gave their sons gift subscriptions to Sports Illustrated. I mean really, what's so bad about seeing some beautiful women in swimsuits? Go to any beach in Brazil for example. As a single male I am proud to say that I admire the beautiful creations that God has made to be companions of men.
Now, bodypainting? Well, I am not so sure that this isn't a thinly disguised attempt at nudity and I do not believe it belongs in a sports publication, I mean you can play beach volleyball in a bikini, right?
In other matters the NBA takes its mid-season break for the All Star game so this serves as a good point to look at our local hoops heroes.
The Brooklyn Nets are playing above expectations in there inaugural season at the Barclays. They play exciting basketball full and half court and Brook Lopez is having an outstanding season.
That the Nets are sometimes inconsistent can be traced directly to the uneven play of its high salaried and talented backcourt of Devin Williams and Joe Johnson. Both guards have been very erratic so far and Johnson specifically has been missing in action during crunch-time.
Interim head coach PJ Carlessimo has done an outstanding job the Nets at this point seem to be a cinch for a playoff spot...perhaps against their cousins at Madison Square Garden. The lone blemish for the Nets in my view is the shameful way Avery Johnson was dismissed as head coach shortly after being named the NBA coach of the months of November and December.
The New York Knicks have met expectations so far as the the number 2 team in the Eastern conference. Like the Nets, the Knickerbockers have featured exciting and energetic play all season.
The Knicks have been an offensive machine relying on superior ball movement and outside shooting and Melo Anthony is having an MVP type season. Amare' Stoudamire has returned from injury and has blended in well coming off the bench. This team doesn't always play defense and as we said at the start of the season there are 2 main concerns about this team.
There is no question the age of the squad must be watched. Right now Jason Kidd is playing way too many minutes for someone almost 40 years old.
The Knicks lack of a half court inside offense can be a crucial short coming in playoff action. What happens when the outside shots clank off the rim? Older legs tire easy and legs are whats needed to make jump shots. It bears watching.
Soon we will talk about our hockey season so far and spring training has already begun for the Mets and Yankees.