WATERCOOLER CHAT: LEBRON BACK IN ACTION, MCDANIELS’ NEW JOB WITH RAMS, SINGLETARY ON DEFENSE AGAIN

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, LeBron James was back in action for the Miami Heat.  But, they would have to take on a surging Atlanta Hawks team.  The game was in Miami, but Atlanta wouldn’t be afraid.  LeBron James had a great night in his return, putting up 34 points and 10 rebounds.  But, Atlanta, behind solid nights from Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford, the Hawks were able to force an overtime.  In OT, LeBron tried to be the hero, launching up a super-long 3-pointer to try and win the game, but it bricked, and the Hawks grabbed the rebound to win the game.  Miami has been taking a few too many 3-pointers lately, but they simply don’t have the sharpshooting to attempt that many 3s in a game.  This is the fourth straight loss for the Heat, and this Hawks win shows that the Southeast division could be a three-team race (Orlando, Miami, Atlanta).  Don’t hand the Heat the crown just yet.   Atlanta 93, Miami 89.

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, a former head coach has found a new home.  Josh McDaniels was once the offensive coordinator under Patriots coach Bill Bellichick.  Having that on your resume can land you some pretty impressive jobs.  Take Charlie Weis for instance.  He won Super Bowls with the Pats, and landed a lucrative deal as Notre Dame’s head coach.  Josh McDaniels did have the head coaching position in Denver for 2 years, and even used a very high draft pick to make Tim Tebow their QB of the future (many experts think he took Tebow 2 rounds too early).  The Broncos let him go at the end of this season, and now McDaniels will be the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams.  The Rams have a solid young team that almost made the playoffs behind their rookie phenom Sam Bradford.  Look for them to be a contender to win the division next season with McDaniels calling some of the shots.

Finally, in some more news from the coaching carousel, Mike Singletary has also landed a new gig.  Singletary was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers for a season and a half.  He turned the team around in 2009, and there were big expectations on his shoulders in 2010.  Every pre-season pick had the Niners winning the NFC West.  San Fran started out horrible and ended horrible, and that did it for Singletary.  They sent him packing, and brought in the golden coach from Stanford, Jim Harbaugh.  That gives them a local fan favorite (and fantastic coach) to get the Niners on the right track.  Singletary landed in a good spot.  He will coach the linebackers in Minnesota.   In case you don’t remember, Singletary was once the most feared linebacker in football when he played for the legendary 1985 Chicago Bears defense.  He was famous for the scary, shifty beady eyes that you often see in NFL historic highlight films.  With him on the sidelines, the Vikings could be a very intimidating defense to play next year.

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