Archive for February, 2011
In the NBA, the new-look Knicks, after coming off a putrid loss to Cleveland, headed to play the Big 3 of Miami. So, right away, we are greeted with excitement. What would it be like for LeBron/D-Wade/Bosh to take on Carmelo and Amar’e. Well, the game started out with a bit of a lackluster crowd. Apparently, fans in Miami can’t seem to get to the game on time. They don’t show up until around 8:00. LeBron and company got out to a big lead and the game was poised to be a blowout. But, late in the 4th, the Knicks rallied to take the lead. Unbelievable. Even Spike Lee made the trip down to Miami to watch the action. Carmelo finished with 29 points as the Knicks stunned the #1 seed Heat. By the way, the East #1 spot is totally up for grabs right now. NY Knicks 91, Miami 86.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the LA Lakers are on a winning streak after the All-Star break. However, they would be put to the test against an Oklahoma City team that gave them a headache in the playoffs last year. For the first time this season, they traveled to OKC to play in front of a raucous crowd that wanted Laker blood (in a respectful way of course. The Thunder fans are rabid, but classy). The Thunder got out to a thunderous lead thanks to the great play of all-star Russell Westbrook in the first half (17 points). But, in the second, they collapsed and let the Lakers back into the game. The Lakers didn’t have a singular hero in the game, as they got even output from all of their stars. The Lakers look fierce right now, and the Thunder need to regroup with their new addition Kendrick Perkins (who came over from the Celtics). Perkins will be back in a week. LA Lakers 90, OKC 87.
Finally, in the NFL scouting combine, what many consider to be an overrated/unimportant event, the quarterbacks were on display. This is when the draft prospects basically audition for the NFL. Even though we can see their college resume on film and paper, this is the time to record their 40-meter time and high jump height. Of course the main event is when the QBs go on display and the man-of-the-hour was Heisman QB Cam Newton. Many thought he was unimpressive, and that other first round prospects Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) and Jake Locker (Washington) were more impressive. But again, this doesn’t mean much, but it can deter a team from drafting you in a certain spot. And in the NFL, it’s all about the position in which you’re drafted. That determines the dollars you getNo comments
In the NBA, with Carmelo in New York, everyone was excited about his debut. Madison Square Garden went dark as they announced the arrival of their hometown boy Carmelo Anthony. The crowd erupted. This past summer, they wanted LeBron. They didn’t get him, but did get Amar’e Stoudemire, a fantastic draft pick in Landry Fields, former All-Star Chauncey Billups, and now Carmelo. So… would they win their debut? Well, the Knicks didn’t exactly play perfect basketball, but they did come out fierce. Carmelo had 27 points in his home court debut against the Bucks. Amare put up 19 and Billups scored 21 of his own. This new trio looks like they could be dangerous — and Fields is playing great to boot. There’s word that the Knicks are now looking to pick up a center before the trade deadline. NY Knicks 114, Milwaukee 108.
It looks like the Carmelo situation is going to work out in New York, but, in an incredible move, the New Jersey Nets stole the Thunder of the New York area debut. In astonishing fashion, meaning absolutely nobody saw it coming (that includes no media links, no Twitter posts, etc…) the Nets pulled off their own blockbuster trade. They acquired superstar point-guard Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz. Most likely, Williams wanted out of Utah before the potential lock-out this coming year. Plus, this puts him in a big market city and his presence could attract other top talent to the franchise. Basically, the Nets had to make a move as they lost on every other big name free agent. Still, this move comes as a huge surprise, and definitely marks the rebuilding of the Utah Jazz organization.
A few other trades: The Atlanta Hawks felt they needed a change at point-guard. They sent Mike Bibby, and a few other players to the Wizards for Kirk Heinrich (whom the Wizards acquired from Chicago when they were making room for LeBron). The Golden State Warriors obtained Troy Murphy from the Nets (and his valuable expiring contract) and shipped off Brendan Wright (who was supposed to have massive potential coming out of the draft a few years ago. And he still might). Finally, the Sacramento Kings sent Carl Landry to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for scoring point-guard Marcus Thornton. Landry will help out the Hornets defensively if they make the playoffs, and Thornton gives the Kings another scorer. And you can most likely expect some serious trades today.No comments
In the NBA, it was time for post All-Star break (and post Carmelo) action.
So how would the Nuggets look without Carmelo? All their new acquisitions were in attendance — not as players, but spectators to see the team they would join. Of course Denver must be helpless without Anthony? Of course they would struggle without Chauncey? Nope! They looked great, outrunning and outplaying Memphis. The Nuggets were shorthanded, but they got some incredible play from J.R. Smith (26 points) and Ty Lawson (who will now most likely start at point-guard. Not having Melo might be a good thing for Denver. They are now in underdog status role, and they have a bevy of good young players coming in to help out. It would be great if they pulled off some upsets in the playoffs. Denver 120, Memphis 107.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the Lakers took a ton of criticism prior to the All-Star break. Everybody was saying they’re done, they’re old, they can’t defend, etc. You can believe that head coach Phil Jackson would have them ready and in-shape for the second half of the season. He held an extra-long practice on Monday and nearly worked his players to death. Plus, coming off an amazing All-Star game, Kobe would be ready to shine. Kobe put up 20 points before he was taken out during a blowout of the Atlanta Hawks. Every season, the media tries to put the nail in the coffin on the Lakers, and every year, about this time, they turn it back on. Prepare for a major Lakers run. LA Lakers 104, Atlanta 80.
Finally, with the Slam Dunk Contest behind us, the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan has bashed the competition. He has been an impressive contestant the past two years, but now he says he’s done. Why? DeRozan slammed the competition for being all about props today, not just impressive dunks. For example, Serge Ibaka used a stuffed animal on the rim, Javale McGee used a second basket, and Blake Griffin used a car and a choir. DeRozan, in sharp contrast, only prepared athletic acrobatic dunks. No props. DeMar says he’s finished with the competition unless they change the rules or if the All-Star game takes place in Toronto. That probably won’t happen anytime soon, so we may have seen the end of the DeRozan dunk era.No comments
In the NBA, after weeks and weeks of rumors and proposals, the Carmelo Anthony drama is finally over. There was speculation that he would go to the New Jersey Nets and some rumors were swirling that he might head to Los Angeles to play with Kobe. And of course he could just stay put in Denver and close out his career as Nugget. But, Carmelo has made his decision. He is headed back home to New York and will become a Knick. To be clear, this is where the stories started (i.e. Carmelo wants to play at MSG), and it’s where they ended.
So, what was the deal? Well, it was a monster. The Nuggets will send Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Carter, Chauncey Billups, and Renaldo Balkman to the Knicks in exchange for Wilson Chandler, rising-star Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton (who was coming on strong) Timofey Mozgov, and 4 draft picks over the next couple years. The deal also ships Eddie Curry and Anthony Randolph out of New York (they’re headed to Minnesota) and send Corey Brewer (a guy who had a lot of heat on him coming out of college) to New York.
This gives the Knicks a brand new look, and also makes them a competitor again in the East. Suddenly, the East is packed with talent and we can expect an incredible 2nd Half of the season. Having Carmelo gives New York another solid scorer. The addition of Chauncey gives them a skilled, talented, and experienced point guard to run an offense that now has two all-stars (Amar’e and Carmelo). Plus, the Knicks got to keep their 2nd round steal, rookie Landry Fields. They have a fantastic foundation for at least the next 5 years. So…. can they win a championship? The Nuggets, on the other hand, are now in rebuilding mode and we shouldn’t expect to see much from them for at least a few seasons.
And in baseball, Alex Rodriguez took the podium and tried to answer questions about his current ‘thing’ with actress Cameron Diaz. A-Rod began the conference by saying, “Did anybody see the Super Bowl”. This is in reference to the many shots of Cameron Diaz feeding popcorn to A-Rod. It was laughably ostentatious and the gossip outlets wanted answers. But A-Rod just laughed off the incident. He actually looked pretty bubbly and playful and even said that a few years ago he would have issued a bogus formal apology to the media about it. Now, he’s just laughing along with us. Perhaps A-Rod has changed ever since being caught for steroid abuse. He’s much more fun-loving and even somewhat likable again.No comments
In the NBA, it was the All Star Game. We saw the Clippers Blake Griffin win the Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday by jumping over a car, and now it was time for the main event: East v. West. The West All-Stars were slightly favored, primarily because this was a home game for Kobe Bryant. So how would it all play out?
The game got off to a rather slow start — not in terms of action, but because the teams were trying to get used to each other. There was an era when the All-Stars practiced hoping to jell, but now the weekend is all about parties and that leaves little time to develop a team chemistry. Early on, East All-Stars coach (Boston’s Doc Rivers) decided to put in his own 4 Celtics All-Stars (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Ray Allen). However, they didn’t quite produce and Rivers had to replace them. Meanwhile, the West started to pull away behind a fantastic night from Kobe Bryant. He was out there in front of his home crowd and there was no way he was going to take it easy.
In the third quarter, the East came roaring back, despite a very scary moment when Dwayne Wade landed awkwardly on Deron Williams foot and twisted his ankle. As a precaution, Wade wouldn’t come back in the game, and the East would have to find answers elsewhere. A major answer came in the form of King James. LeBron suddenly exploded and finished the evening with a triple-double. That’s only the second triple-double in All-Star Game history (the other belonged to Michael Jordan). It looked to be a close game in the 4th, but Kobe Bryant and the West were simply too much. Kobe finished with 37 points and 14 rebounds as the West took this year’s title. West 148, East 143
After the game, Kobe was asked if he thought the NBA should transform their all-star game into a “game that matters”. In baseball, the league that wins the all-star game gains home field advantage in the World Series. Kobe’s opinion: Absolutely not. He said the All-Star game is simply a showcase and should have no bearing on the regular season. He said it’s only for fun and to entertain the fans. Kobe added that they might as well eliminate the 82 game season if the All-Star game is to decide the home court advantage. So, it looks like we can expect more high-scoring All-Star games in the near future.
And in racing, it was the mother of them all: The Daytona 500. There were a record number of “cautions” in this game, meaning times in which a dangerous crash forces the race to stop until everything is safe again. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in first place towards the end and was poised to win (which would be an incredible honor in the 10th anniversary of his father’s death). But, at the end, 20-year old ROOKIE Trevor Bayne suddenly took the lead, hung on, and actually won the whole thing!!!! Wow! That’s a huge upset and something you typically do not see in racing. For a rookie to win a race this big is truly phenomenal. You can expect Trever Bayne to have a very fulfilling career, complete with a healthy amount of endorsements. Congratulations to the young star.No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT:LOVE TO START IN ALL STAR GAME, ROSE HIGHLIGHT REEL, BOY WON’T WRESTLE GIRL IN CHAMPIONSHIP
In the NBA, since Yao Ming is out of the Western All-Stars, they needed someone to start in his place. Kevin Love took his roster spot, and now the Western Conference will start Tim Duncan in the middle. Typically, this wouldn’t be relevant, but this year, the all-stars are expected to try. Usually the all-star game is a defenseless overblown dunk contest for 2 hours. But, the star caliber this year is through the roof, and since this has been such a competitive season, there is a lot of speculation that this game could be a throwback to the late 80s, early 90s when the teams were at each others throats to win. Having Tim Duncan in the middle is a good move for the West, but expect to see Kevin Love in there a lot as well.
Elsewhere in the NBA, with most of the teams done for the All-Star break, the NBA still had one marquee match-up on the board — Chicago vs. San Antonio. San Antonio is, record wise, the best team in the NBA. But, they’re at the tail end of a 9-game road trip and some teams out there have truly exposed some of their weaknesses (namely shoddy defense against quick players). Well, Derrick Rose certainly took advantage of that last night, putting on a pure highlight reel. Rose had 42 points and 8 assists as they Chicago Bulls simply handed it to the Spurs. Next up for Derrick Rose — a one-on-one match-up with Chris Paul in the All-Star game. A match-up that could shed some light on the ‘Who Is The Best Point-Guard In The NBA Argument’. Chicago 109, San Antonio 99.
Finally, some very interesting news from the world of High School wrestling. In Iowa, a female wrestler, Cassy Herkelman, made the State Championship. She was set to wrestle Joel Northrup, one of the best wrestlers in the state with a 35-4 record. However, instead of trying to win the championship, Northrup’s biggest dream, he instead opted to forfeit the match and not wrestle a girl. Northrup cited that wrestling a girl is against his religion because women should be treated with the utmost respect. He noted that wrestling is a sport that can turn quite violent at times and he wouldn’t feel right or comfortable harming a woman. Some might be offended by this story (i.e. he should have wrestled a woman and treated her as an equal). But wrestling is very popular in Iowa, and a mother at the tournament said they are trying to raise kids that are bigger than wrestling — to show them there is a lot more to life. She said that he felt that strongly about his religion and moral code.No comments
Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. The Los Angeles Lakers have been on a losing skid lately. They lost to Dwight Howard and Orlando. That’s justifiable as the Magic are one of the NBA’s top teams. Then Kobe and the Lakers lost to Charlotte, a team on the decline this season, but every now and then you have a bad game and lose to below-average teams. But last night, the Lakers lost to Cleveland!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One more time: Cleveland!!!!!! Please note that the Cavaliers lost by 55 when they visited LA. It was a complete blowout. Sure, you would expect them to play better on their home floor, but to beat the defending champs? Wow! This says a lot more about Kobe and the ailing Lakers than any type of sign that the Cavaliers are improving (they are not). Clearly, there is a serious problem with the Lakeshow. They need to make a move before the deadline. Cleveland 104, LA Lakers 99.
Elsewhere in the NBA, it appears that New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has reignited trade talks with the Denver Nuggets regarding Carmelo Anthony. The details aren’t too public, but it’s likely that it might be a smaller deal than the previous time. This means that fewer players would head elsewhere. The Nets may just land Anthony, and not necessarily Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups. However, the Nuggets are also talking with the Knicks, but they might be asking for too much. They want at least 2 and maybe 3 of the following from New York: Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Ray Felton, Landry Fields. Still no definite leads as to where he’s headed (if he’s headed anywhere at all), but the Anthony drama is back in the headlines.
Finally, the cover of the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue came out. Each year, there is drama surrounding who the cover girl will be, as they are typically launched into the zeitgeist for the coming year. Last year’s cover girl, Brooklyn Decker, even landed a role in a major film with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. This year they have selected a Russian: Irina Shayk. Shayk is not only the cover girl, but is also the girlfriend of the biggest soccer star in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo. Talk about a powerful good-looking couple.No comments
In the NBA, the Miami Heat headed to Indiana — a place where they previously lost. This time, the Big 3 (Wade, LeBron, Bosh) were ready for some serious revenge. At the same time, the Pacers were prepared to give them a fight. The Pacers spread the ball around and got a strong team effort behind solid scoring from Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, and even former UNC star Tyler Hansbrough. It was a close game up until the end, but the Heat’s Big 3 were just too strong. They scored a total of 90 points themselves as the Heat eventually surged to a victory. The Heat are slowly putting together a very strong TEAM focus, and come playoff time they could be a polished atomic bomb. Miami 110, Indiana 103.
In the NBA, the Miami Heat have taken the a half game lead for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference over the Boston Celtics. This is largely due to their recent win streak, and Boston’s rough schedule. So, on Sunday, we got a chance to see a potential preview of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Heat and the Celtics. So how would it turn out? Well, the first half was all Celtics. They played as a perfect cohesive unit and got a big day from point-guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo would actually finish the day with a triple-double (11 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds). But the Miami Heat would make a run late in the 4th quarter behind some terrific play from LeBron and Wade. They even got the game to within 3 points. And who would take the last shot for the tie? LeBron? Dwayne? Nope, Mike Miller. And he, um, threw up a big brick. Of course Miller was brought in as a 3-point specialist, but he was knocked down earlier in the game by Kevin Garnett and even tested for a concussion. Maybe he shouldn’t have been the guy taking that specific key shot. Boston 85, Miami 82.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the end of a (horrible) streak. A few days ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers ended their disgusting 26 game losing streak to the Los Angeles Clippers. That’s good, but it spoiled what was supposed to be a battle of the putrid. The Cavs (had their losing streak still been alive) vs. The Washington Wizards (who have lost 25 straight road games). The Wizards came to town with an agenda: Win. They got off to a good start and never looked back. Star rookie John Wall had 19 points and 14 assists, and shooting-guard Nick Young kept up his scoring average with 31 points. While they may have broken their streak, the Cavs continued to look horrible. These teams need some serious help this off-season. Washington 115, Cleveland 100.
Finally, tomorrow, the #1 football recruit in the country will make his decision on TV. Defensive End Jadeveon Clowney didn’t sign on signing day and has recently made up his mind. It’s between Alabama and two South Carolina schools: The Univ. of South Carolina and Clemson. If he goes with Alabama, they would just get even stronger and experts would rank them as the best recruiting class over Florida State. If he signs with Clemson, they would surge to the top of the ACC. But, if it’s South Carolina, they would give them a serious shot at winning the SEC. They already have a good defense, and adding Clowney would make them superb. On offense, they have one of the best running backs in Marcus Lattimore. If Clowney chooses the Gamecocks, they would be dangerous. Catch his announcement today on ESPN.No comments
In the NBA, it was a rematch of the NBA’s biggest rivalry. The Lakers and The Celtics. Earlier in the season, The Celtics came into LA and pummeled the Lakers hard. That game showed that the Lakers couldn’t beat the contenders, and started a string of “The Lakers are done” articles. Well, the Lakers knew that they had to come into Boston and teach them a lesson. The Celtics got out to a big early lead behind some phenomenal play from Ray Allen. Not only that, but last night, Ray Allen set a very notable record. He now sits on the throne of “Most 3-pointers made in an NBA career”. He has hit 2,562 3-pointers. He topped Reggie Miller, who was there to give him a hug of congratulations. But, the Lakers would come surging back in the 2nd half behind their man Kobe Bryant. He finished with 23 points as the Lakers took care of business in the Garden. Maybe they can finally turn their season around. LA Lakers 92, Boston 86.
Elsewhere in the NBA, a surprising end of an era. Jerry Sloan has coached the Utah Jazz for 23 seasons. He is revered in Utah and is one of the only constants in the league. He coached the great Stockton-Malone teams, and kept them competitive when his stars retired. Then he led a resurgence this decade which moved the Jazz into one of the most respected teams in the league. But, yesterday, Jerry Sloan announced his resignation. This is a shocking move, especially because he never mentioned that this would be his farewell season. He just stepped down mid season, which makes you believe something was terribly wrong. The Jazz started off strong at 15-5, but have truly fallen from grace lately. There are rumors that Sloan and his point guard/captain Deron Williams don’t get along. Late in a recent game, Williams called his own play and ignored the play that Sloan drew up. Something wasn’t right behind the scenes and it led to Sloan’s retirement. Sloan has been the longest running head coach in all of the major 4 professional sports. It was a great era.
Finally, in college basketball, some great news for fans. This year, the March Madness Tournament will be broadcast across 4 networks. Typically CBS has all the games and runs them 4 at a time. This typically leads them to jump around in the closing minutes of games trying to show you all the close buzzer-beaters. However, it really ruins the flow of things. Now the games will start 15 minutes apart on different networks so we can see the games in their entirety and choose exactly what we want to watch. You will be able to watch the entire final 5-10 minutes of a game without having to switch over to another close finish. This is going to be great!No comments