Scott Fowler

Quick takes: On LeBron James’s greatness and Josh Norman’s potential

Carolina Panthers secondary coach Steve Wilks believes cornerback Josh Norman (24) is on the verge of becoming an elite NFL defensive back.
Carolina Panthers secondary coach Steve Wilks believes cornerback Josh Norman (24) is on the verge of becoming an elite NFL defensive back. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Scott Fowler’s quick takes:

This has to be one of the most compelling NBA Finals I have ever seen.

With Game 5 Sunday night in California, my ultimate hope is that the series goes the distance. In a series where three of the first four games have been decided in the final seconds of regulation or overtime, we all deserve a Game 7.

My rooting interests keep going back and forth. In this space last week I mentioned that my two least favorite players in the series are Andrew Bogut and J.R. Smith. Since Steve Kerr finally – and smartly – benched Bogut for Golden State and Smith is still jacking up awful shots and committing terrible fouls for Cleveland, I do find the Warriors much more palatable to watch.

But what LeBron James is doing with that island of misfit toys he has for teammates – that’s amazing.

▪  KUECHLY AND NORMAN: It’s obvious listening to Carolina Panthers secondary coach Steve Wilks talk about Josh Norman that Wilks believes Norman is about ready to have a year where he breaks into the elite ranks of NFL cornerbacks. If that does happen, the Panthers are going to have to open their wallet wide for Norman, just as they will for Luke Kuechly (the two came together in the 2012 draft class). In fact, I think it is very possible that Norman will be harder to sign.

▪  SHHHH: Davidson’s contract extension for Bob McKillop was quiet – and also was absolutely the right thing to do.

▪  TRUEX IS ROLLING: Glad to see Martin Truex Jr., striking a blow for the single-car teams of NASCAR. He would be a worthy Cup champion if it comes to that – and there’s certainly a chance it will.

▪  FUTBOL TIME: I am watching some of the Women’s World Cup along with a couple of my kids, as we have gradually turned into more of a soccer family over the years. Still, the sport’s lagging status in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world reminded me of this Jimmy Fallon line from December 2014: “Yesterday, Facebook revealed that Ebola was the most popular Facebook topic in the U.S., with the World Cup coming in sixth. So welcome to America – where Ebola is more popular than soccer.”

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