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This and that

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

Each week I'll talk about the world of sports.

  • David Stern had to be smiling as the NBA playoffs got underway. Wow, the Suns and Spurs had a great battle in the opener. San Antonio won it in double-overtime and it was a classic. Tim Duncan showed why he is a winner (the Spurs have won four titles in nine years) as he put up 40 points and 15 boards. This should be the most intriguing series as the Suns won 55 games during the regular season and still were the sixth seed. Duncan also made a key three-pointer to send the game into a second overtime.

  • I feel that Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets should be league MVP. Look what he has meant to the franchise! Nobody is more important to their team than the former Wake Forest guard. Then to open the postseason he puts up 35 points and a double-double in a win over the Mavericks. He is a special young man and I remember wondering how the Atlanta Hawks could pass on him, as well as Deron Williams, in the draft a few years back. Yes, the Hawks have Mike Bibby now but imagine if they had Paul handling and distributing the rock, baby!

  • The Pistons were stunned by the Sixers in their opener. Flip Saunders and company know this is not going to be an easy series and the heavily-favored Pistons found out the hard way. Maurice Cheeks has a young team that fought hard to earn a big road win. You know that will be a major confidence boost for Philadelphia. Detroit is a veteran team that can regroup, though last year's loss to Cleveland in the postseason will be brought up again.

  • Who will go number one in the NFL draft? We will find out next weekend. Will it be Jake Long, the outstanding offensive lineman from Michigan? Maybe it will be Howie Long's son Chris, the defensive end out of Virginia. How high will Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan go in the draft? It will be interesting as there is a lot of talent, though not too many impact superstars coming in and making a difference right away.

  • Tiger Woods underwent knee surgery that will sideline him for 4-6 weeks. It is incredible that he played as well as he did at the Masters given his injury. Tiger is expected to be ready to compete at the U. S. Open at Torrey Pines out in San Diego. He tears that course apart and he wants to get healthy quickly.

  • While Tiger is the dominant name in men's golf, how about a salute to Lorena Ochoa. She has been awesome, baby with a capital A on the LPGA Tour. Ochoa won tournaments in four straight weeks, the first woman to do that in over four decades.

  • I wasn't really surprised by the news that Isiah Thomas was relieved of his duties as head coach of the New York Knicks. Donnie Walsh took over as leader of the organization and he had to make a change. Isiah will remain in the organization, and the rumor mill will churn out a number of names, including popular ex-Knick Mark Jackson.

  • Remember the name Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays. He is a future superstar who recently signed a six-year deal for $17 million, plus three years worth of options that could make the total package around $44 million. He got the multi-year deal after a short time in the majors. This will keep him from arbitration and Tampa Bay bought out some of his potential free agent years.

  • The college basketball coaching carousel continues with Travis Ford going to Oklahoma State. My friends, I don't think Stillwater will be his final stop as a head coach. Now Massachusetts is out trying to find a new coach and former Minuteman guard Derek Kellogg is high on the wish list; he served as an assistant on John Calipari's staff at Memphis the past few years.

    Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.