This is an article from the May 9, 2011 issue
An NBA-best 62--20 season and a round 1 win over the Pacers earned first-year Bulls leader Tom Thibodeau NBA Coach of the Year honors on Sunday. As for Chicago's chances in round 2 against the Hawks, whom it opened against on Monday after winning their last two meetings by a combined 51 points: Tommy likey!
Daniel (five goals) and Henrik Sedin (five assists) helped the Canucks stave off the Hawks, while center Mike Pouncey joined his look-alike bro, Maurkice, in the NFL via the draft. Meanwhile, Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey welcomed a baby boy and girl. Identical? No. Successful? Bet on it.
Four QBs went top 12 at the NFL draft, including reach pick Jake Locker (right) to the Titans. Carolina took Cam Newton at No. 1—but what about Jimmy Clausen, who went 48th in '10? Said Clausen, at a kickball game: "I'm looking forward to competing with [Cam]."
Despite a fussy appendix, Matt Holliday had his best opening month ever (.408 BA, 1.129 OPS), putting the Cardinals atop the NL Central; and the Phillies' Roy Halladay began a 2--1 win over the Mets last Saturday with 18 straight strikes, the most to start an MLB game in 20 years.
Whatcha gonna do, Atlanta? The Braves were in damage-control mode last week after pitcher Derek Lowe's DUI arrest (he is said to have been drag racing) and pitching coach Roger McDowell's two-week suspension for directing offensive sexual comments at a group of fans in San Francisco.
The franchise's losingest April ever (17 L's) put Minnesota at a league-worst 9--18 through the weekend and last in the bigs in HRs (12) and ERA (5.06). After getting the loss against K.C. on Sunday, Carl Pavano tried to break a bat over a dugout trash can. Naturally, he failed.
Didn't the draft seem, well, sort of depressing this year, what with the constant boos and the looming lockout (not to mention Suzy Kolber's emotional ambush of Mark Ingram)? No surprise, labor strife has turned off fans. ESPN's ratings were down 17%.
Let preemptive free agency begin! After the Hornets and the Magic lost in the playoffs, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard—each with one contract year left—were asked about leaving. Online, The Orlando Sentinel put Howard in 16 unis, including that of the former WNBA Miracle.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
WHO IS THE MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER IN BASEBALL?
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians OF 13%
Martin Prado, Braves OF 5%
Michael Young, Rangers DH 4%
Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox 1B 4%
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals 3B 3%
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano also received 3% of the player vote.... Each of the top six has finished at least 16th in MVP voting in his league at least once. Through Sunday, however, only Cano ranked better than 14th in the majors in batting average, home runs or RBIs.... The No. 3 vote-getter among fans, the Giants' Matt Cain, was 27th—and the pitcher most mentioned—in player votes.
Based on 259 MLB players who responded to SI's survey
Facebook Fan Picks
23% SHIN-SOO CHOO, INDIANS
13% RYAN ZIMMERMAN, NATIONALS
10% MATT CAIN, GIANTS