Monthly Archives: January 2009

College Hoops Weekend Preview

Notre Dame at No. 3 Pittsburgh-The Irish are reeling and Pitt is coming off a road loss at Villanova. I don’t expect Notre Dame to win, although the game should be close. I like Pitt’s role players, and bruising Pitt C DeJuan Blair could get Harangody into foul trouble. The game will probably be sloppy and low-scoring, but be sure to tune in if you like defense.

No. 23 Washington at No. 14 Arizona State-The Pac-10 has played some exciting games lately, and this should be another one. The Huskies have a number of dynamic little turd guards, including Justin Dentmon and Isaiah Thomas (no relation to Zeke, thankfully) that provide support to big man Jon Brockman. I look forward to watching Brockman battle ASU C Jeff Pendergraph inside. The Huskies have more balance than the largely two-dimensional Sun Devils, so look for a Washington win unless Pendergraph and James Harden go crazy.

McNeal leads Marquette against Georgetown Saturday in Milwaukee

McNeal leads Marquette against Georgetown Saturday in Milwaukee

No. 25 Georgetown at No. 8 Marquette-Things sure look better at Marquette now that Tom Crean has moved on. The Golden Eagles host big Hoyas team in one of the most intriguing games this weekend. Marquette has three terrific guards while Georgetown has a big, talented, and physical front line led by Greg Monroe. The key to this game will be the injury to Hoyas F DeJuan Summers, who is not expected to play. I expect a solid home win for the streaking Eagles.

West Virginia at No. 7 Louisville-Bob Thuggins has yet to assemble a merry band of thugs in West Virgina, but he has his Mountaineers playing well. Louisville is 8-0 in the Big East and has been dominant for several weeks now, but this could be a trap game. WVU has good size and toughness, and the Cardinals could be looking ahead to Monday’s game against likely No. 1 UConn. Louisville should win, but it will be close.

Michigan at No. 16 Purdue-This could be a great Big Ten game, as a talented Wolverine team looks to make a statement with a big road win Saturday. The Boilermakers struggled early in the conference season but look to be playing better as of late. Robbie Hummel’s back is fragile, but Purdue has good balance and has learned to play without him. I am predicting a minor upset here, with Michigan getting a rare road victory.

South Carolina at No. 24 Kentucky-An undermanned Ole Miss squad stunned Kentucky Wednesday by shutting down sharpshooter Jodie Meeks. He should bounce back with a strong effort, but a home win is not a given. I look forward to watching Meeks and South Carolina G Devan Downey do battle on the perimeter.

Florida at Tennessee-This game is getting an awful lot of hype for some reason. Florida has Nick Calathes and some good young players, and seems headed to the NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, Bruce Pearl’s team is struggling and has horrible guards. UT has a good chance to win simply because the game is in Knoxville, but I am not sure why this game is worth watching, unless you like pretty colors.

Cal at USC-Although neither team is ranked, both have a good shot to make the tournament. Cal has been a surprise and still has a good chance to win the Pac-10. The Trojans are very young but Taj Gibson has finally started to play well. Percy Miller aka Lil Romeo is not expected to get in the game for the Trojans, but his best friend DeMar DeRozan will be a factor. Make Em Say Uhhh Percy!

No. 6 Wake Forest at Georgia Tech-The Aminu brothers do battle in the ATL Saturday, as vastly superior Al-Farouq leads his vastly superior Deacons against Alade and the Jackets. This game could be competitive, but the Jackets have young guards and struggle against pressure.

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NBA Nightly Roundup: Carmelo, Bogut, Big Z return to action, Celtics win 10th straight, Calderon’s streak ends

Cleveland Cavaliers 112, L.A. Clippers 95-Big Z looked great in his return, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 boards in only 28 minutes to help the Cavs improve to 22-0 at home. Mo Williams and LeBron struggled last night against the Magic but played well tonight. Mo Money scored 23 points and had six assists, while LBJ scored 25 and shot over 50 percent for the first time in recent memory. The Cavs are still without Delonte West, but Z’s return should spark a struggling offense and improve spacing on the floor. We’ll see how long he is able to stay healthy. Eric Gordon continued his impressive play for the Clip Joint, scoring 27 in the loss.

Denver 100, Charlotte 99-Melo returned to the court after missing the last 10 games and played well, scoring 19 points in 29 minutes. Nene Hilario was on point once again, hitting 10-11 shots en route to 22 points. The Nuggets improved to 31-16 with the win and look primed for a strong finish this season. Raja Bell scored 27 for the Bobcats.

Boston Celtics 86, Detroit Pistons 78-The Celtics slugged out a win in sad Detroit Friday, getting 22 and nine from KG and 12 assists from Rajon Rando. Jason Maxiell sparked one final run by the Pistons, but Detroit looked disjointed for much of the game. Tayshaun Prince shot just 1-7 from the field and Rasheed Wallace shot 5-16. Michael Curry is pushing Vinny Del Negro for Dumbass of the Year, as he continues to play a small lineup that allows opponents to score in the paint at will. Kendrick Perkins is a very angry man, and snapped late in the game. Perkins clotheslined Maxiell under the basket and was ejected. He will probably not get suspended, but we will keep you posted. Nobody wants to watch Brian Scalabrine.

Milwaukee 96, Toronto 85-It was a rough night in Canada. Jose Calderon missed a free throw, ending his streak of made FTs at 87. Jermaine O’Neal got ejected, and Chris Bosh and Jay Triano also got technicals. Oh and the Raptors lost to the Bucks. Hairless wonder Charlie Villanueava poured in 26 points and grabbed 13 boards for Milwaukee, and C Andrew Bogut decided to play despite suffering from back spasms and added 13 points. The Bucks aren’t very good but have a shot to make the playoffs. The Raptors are the most disappointing team in the NBA this season, hands down.

Golden State 91, New Orleans 87-The Warriors put the clamps on the Hornets to earn a tough road win. New Orleans got 31 points from Chris Paul but shot only 35 percent from the field and looked just awful. Peja and David West, your 2009 NBA All-Star, shot a combined 8-27 from the field. Corey Maggette had a big fourth quarter and finished with 19 points for the Warriors.

Chicago 109, Sacramento 88-EVD and I are lifelong Bulls fans, so we were pretty excited to learn that the Bulls won a road game on the West Coast by 21 points – until we realized that they defeated the Kings. Sacramento suffered yet another loss to an Eastern Conference team. The Kings are 0-21 against the East this season and are quietly having a dreadful season. Joke’Kim Noah scored an alleged 17 points and Tyrus Thomas added 14 and 10. I wonder if this is the first time that the two former lottery picks have both scored in double-figures in the same game.

Patrick Mills to miss at least 4 Weeks

St. Mary’s star G Patty Mills has two broken bones in his right hand and will be out at least four weeks.

Mills sustained the injury last night in the first half against Gonzaga. The injury at first appeared to be in the wrist area, but X-Rays revealed multiple fractures in Mills’ hand.

The Gaels are 18-2 and 5-1 in the West Coast Conference after losing last night, but will likely struggle without Mills and are unlikely to secure an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament.

Diamon Simpson will have to shoulder most of the load until Mills returns. The injury is on Mills’ shooting hand, so it is unclear how effective he will be upon his return.

College Hoops Nightly Roundup: St. Mary’s loses Mills, Clemson Wins, Toolson Drops 63

Better late than never – I had internet issues last night so I didn’t get a chance to post my nightly college hoops roundup. Thursday night was a crazy night in college hoops, with a couple of upsets and a bunch of exciting games. It was a big night in the Pac-10, featuring four good games that led to a shake-up in the conference standings. Here is a look at the tonight’s scoreboard and a couple of nuggets and tidbits…

No. 12 Clemson 86, Virgina Tech 82-The Tigers rallied from 15 points down in the second half to earn a tough road win in Blacksburg. K.C. Rivers scored 29 points to lead Clemson, while Malcom Delaney erupted for 37 to lead Virgina Tech. This was one of the best college games I have seen all year. Bobby Knight handled the color duties for ESPN and was actually enjoyable, but we will see if that lasts. Both of these teams could make noise in March.

Heytvelt and the Zags got some help from magic unicorns last night against the Gaels

Heytvelt and the Zags got some help from magic unicorns last night against the Gaels

No. 20 Gonzaga 69, No. 22 Saint Mary’s 62-Things looked good for the Gaels in the first half until star G Patrick Mills got hurt. The Zags held St. Mary’s to just 23 points in the second half. Mills has a sprained wrist on his shooting hand, stay tuned for more updates on his condition in the next few days. The Zags now 6-0 in the West Coast Conference.

Washington State 65, No. 14 Arizona State 55-The Cougars d-up in the desert and came away with a huge road win. Freshman Klay Thompson cashed eight 3-pointers en route to 28 points, and Washington State held ASU to just 37 percent shooting. James Harden scored 26 points but got almost no help from his teammates. The Cougars will most likely be an NIT team this season.

No. 17 UCLA 81, Cal 66-The Bruins got a huge win Thursday against a much-improved Cal team. Darren Collison scored 18 points and UCLA went 21-23 from the free throw line. UCLA is now tied for first place in the Pac-10.

Arizona 106, No. 23 Washington 97-Maybe Chase Budinger should have gotten stomped earlier this season, because the Wildcats played with aggressiveness and passion seldom seen this season. Arizona went 41-51 from the line in the game. Nic Wise poured in 29 for the Cats and Budinger added 25 and eight. Jon Brockman had 27 and 16 for the Huskies, who are now tied with UCLA atop the Pac-10.

No. 9 Michigan State 71, Iowa 56-The Hawkeyes could have used Shonn Greene Thursday. The Doak Walker winner sat court side as Michigan State bullied and ran the Hawkeyes into submission in Iowa City. Kalin Lucas scored 24 points to lead the Spartans. Durrell Summers had another strong game for MSU, scoring 21 points on 7-9 shooting. Summers has played very well during the last two weeks. Iowa is now 12-9 overall and fading fast, raising questions about Todd Lickliter’s coaching ability. Lick is just 1-9 against ranked teams.

Minnesota 59, No. 19 Illinois 36-The Gophers smothered the Illini Thursday night to come away with a much-needed home win. Illinois shot a woeful, I mean really woefully, 29 percent from the field in the game. The Gophers had lost 20 straight to the Illini but improved to 18-3 with the win.

USC 70, Stanford 69-The disappointing season continued for the Cardinal Thursday night as Lawrence Hill missed a jumper at the buzzer that would have won the game. USC will probably be ranked next week.

Toolsan Goes Nuts in a Crazy Game: Utah Valley St. pulled off a 123-121 win in four OT’s against Chicago State. Senior G Ryan Toolsan had a historic game for the Wolverines (Utah Valley St.), scoring 63 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. I have never seen him play, but Toolsan averages 22 ppg on the season. See you in the D-League Ryan.

Felton Fired: This is really old news by now, but Georgia has fired head coach Dennis Felton after the Bulldogs dropped to 0-5 in the SEC with a dreadful performance against Florida. Things were looking up for Georgia after a surprising run in the SEC tournament last season earned them a berth in the NCAA tournament, but Felton’s team looked awful this season. His record at Georgia was certainly underwhelming, but remember that he took over a program in shambles after the Jim Harrick A+ scandal.

Who Got Snubbed? Breaking Down the All-Star Reserves

I missed the festivities this evening on TNT’s NBA Tip-Off, but I can imagine the spirited banter that surrounded the announcement of the 2009 NBA All-Star Reserves. Much to my surprise, most of the selections seem to be warranted.

Here is a look at the reserves…

Eastern Conference:

Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks G-Johnson has slumped as of late but still made the team. Smooth Joe is averaging 22 ppg and six apg and has became the face of the resurgent Hawk franchise.

Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic G-The former St. Joe’s star has piloted the Magic and put up solid numbers, averaging 16 ppg and six apg.

Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics G/F-The Truth hasn’t shot the ball well this year, but is still averaging 18 ppg. He made the team largely because the Celtics deserved at least two All-Stars.

Devin Harris, New Jersey Nets G-Harris has put up huge numbers at times this season, and is averaging 21 ppg and almost 7 apg.

Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers F-The Pacers are awful but Granger is one of the best young players in the NBA. He is dropping nearly 26 ppg this season.

Rashard Lewis, Orlando Magic F-Lewis averages 19 and six for the Magic, and also played well defensively this season.

Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors F/C-I didn’t know that Bosh played center, but I guess the coaches think that he does. He is averaging 23 ppg and nine rpg and plays hard every not.

Snub City:

Mo Williams, Cleveland Cavaliers G (Replaces Jameer Nelson)-Mo Money averages more ppg than Jameer and the Cavs deserve more than one representative. He has also played the entire season, while Nelson missed time. You could also make a case for Mo replacing Devin Harris, who has also missed some games with injuries. And because the Nets really suck.

David Lee, New York Knicks F/C (Replaces Rashard Lewis)-I am not trying to hate on the Magic, but I was surprised that Lewis made the team. Chris Bosh is deserving, so Lee would have to replace Lewis. Lee is averaging 16 ppg and nearly 12 rpg while shooting 57 percent from the field. He is bar far the biggest snub this season.

Ray Allen, Boston Celtics G (Replaces Paul Pierce)-Ray Ray has had a wonderful season, averaging 18 ppg while shooting 50 percent. Pierce hasn’t shot well has only slight better all-around numbers than Jesus Shuttlesworth.

Western Conference:

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs G-TP has played well, averaging 20 ppg and nearly seven apg.

Chauncey Billups, Denver Nuggets G-B B Billups has given a once fragile team stability and picked up his scoring during Carmelo’s absence.

Brandon Roy, Portland Trail Blazers G-Roy is the best player on a solid Blazers squad and has become a solid all-around player. He averages 22 ppg, five rpg, and five apg.

Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks F-Dirk is having an MVP-type season, but the Mavs aren’t going anywhere. You can’t argue with 25 ppg and eight rpg.

David West, New Orleans Hornets F-West is currently hurt and may not play in the All-Star game. He is averaging 20 ppg and seven rpg.

Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers F-Pau is playing with more toughness this season, and is working well with Andrew Bynum.

Shaq, Phoenix Suns C-The Suns are struggling but the Big Aristotle is not to blame. Shaq is averaging 18 ppg and nine rpg in just 30 minutes per game. He is also shooting 62 percent from the line and always has some tricks up his sleeve for the All-Star game.

Snub City:

Al Jefferson, Minnesota Timberwolves F/C (Replacing David West)-I can’t understand why West made the team. He had a better year last season and has modest numbers. The Hornets have a good record but the T’Wolves have played well lately, so Jefferson seemed to be a logical selection. It is hard to argue with the 22 and 10 AJ is putting up.

Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers C (Replacing Shaq or Gasol)-I knew Bynum wouldn’t make the team, but you could make a case that he has had a bigger impact on the Lakers than Gasol. His time will come, especially if he continues to put up huge numbers.



LeBron Enters Broadcasting – Will Serve As TNT Analyst

LeBron will serve as a color analyst alongside Kenny Smith, Craig Sager and Kevin Harlan for TNT during the Rookie-Sophomore game, according to TNT PR, via Awful Announcing…..

Perennial NBA All-Star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, a participant in the 2004 and 2005 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge, will join TNT’s Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Kenny Smith (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter) as part of the network’s telecast of the 2009 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday, Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. ET. The Emmy® award-winning studio show Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai will follow the game live from U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix. TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2009 All-Star Game from Phoenix, AZ will air on Sun., February 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

OK.  I’m there.  It’s official.

Kevin Harlan and Kenny Smith and Sages and LeBron.  Four of my favorite NBA personalities will be calling the game, and what’s even more exciting is that LeBron’s good buddies Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade will be coaching the sophomores and rookies, respectively.

Oh, and to make things even better, LeBron and Harlan will certainly talk about Harlan’s famous “NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE” call, which is quite possibly the best call of a dunk ever.

Stephan Curry Knocks Down 75-Footer

Stephan Curry = Superman of basketball.

Via Deadspin.