Friday, December 30, 2011

12/30: Onions!

Greetings all... I'll save the NBA for last again...
  • Albert Pujols' contract with the Angels is reportedly back-loaded to the point where he'll only make $12 million in year one, and over $30 million in the final year of the deal. This is one of the wilder backload jobs I've ever seen just because of the age he'll be playing at in the final years, and the obscene contract number he'll be receiving, but if the did actually did deliver CJ Wilson, the Angels have taken the calculated risk on this one.
  • Tom Brady has reportedly taken a shoulder x-ray, and of course, this is national news. I'll go ahead right now, and say he's fine. Done and done.
  • Michael Redd is headed to the Suns for 1 year, $1.3 million in a move that makes big-time sense for both parties. Redd needs to be rejuvenated in a huge way after multiple injury-riddled seasons, and Phoenix has a world-renowned training staff, so if there was ever a place (see Grant Hill) for him to do that, it's there. For the Suns, they have a pretty weak bench as constructed since they got rid of Pietrus, and he could flourish if he has anything left.
  • Bowl games! In the early game, Florida State scored 18 straight points in the 4th quarter to knock off Notre Dame in a really weird game. The Irish thoroughly dominated this one for 50+ minutes, but threw 2 interceptions in the end zone including a rally-killer on the final legitimate drive. I don't think there's much to take away from either side, but both are young and talented with a lot coming back. In the late game, Baylor won an insane 67-56 game RGIII doing RGIII things, but the biggest story of the night has to be Washington's Keith Price going for nearly 500 total yards and SEVEN touchdowns in the losing effort. It's not his fault his defense couldn't hold Baylor under 60.
  • In the world of college hoops, Rutgers got a huge double-OT win over Florida thanks to 31 points from G Eli Carter. Florida is a really interesting team, and I don't think this game knocks them off too far. Things happen on the road in college hoops. Elsewhere,Vandy beat up on Marquette on the road in a mild upset. Marquette shot just 33% from the field which was the catalyst for the poor showing.
To the association...
  • Thunder 104, Mavs 102 - If you were wondering about the title of this post, it was simply the word I yelled as Kevin Durant ice-colded the game-winner in OKC last night. With 1.4 seconds to go and Vince Carter just having put Dallas up 1 with a big-time three of his own, Durant buried a deep three to cap a 30/11/6 night where he attempted only 16 shots. On a night where Westbrook was bad again (6 of 15, 7 turnovers), Durant and Harden (15 points on just 8 FGA) carried the Thunder to overcome the best game of the young season from Dirk, who had 29 and 10. At any rate, Dallas played well so any rumors of their absolute demise were premature (as if anyone rational thought they weren't).
  • Box Score Round-up - Houston blitzed San Antonio by 20 led by Kevin Martin's 25 points. This was one of those nights where the Spurs look old on a back-to-back, and while they got a breakout from Blair (22 and 12), it was far from enough. Dwight Howard had 16 points and a ludicrous 24 rebounds in a blowout win over NJ last night. That's about the only basketball-related item worth discussing from that God-awful game. The Blazers are 3-0 thanks to a 70-point outburst from their 3-guard combo of Felton/Matthews/Crawford, and they are playing at a pace we haven't really seen from them under Nate McMillan (and I like it). And finally, the Lakeshow dismisses the Knicks by holding them to 31% FG shooting and Kobe getting his customary 28. I'm really impressed by what Steve Blake is giving the Lakers in the early going, and he's clearly the best PG option on that roster (if you didn't know).
What to watch for on Friday...
  • NBA - Nets @ Hawks - SportSouth 7:30 - The Nets are a bit of a disaster right now, so if the Hawks struggle at home here, it's not a good thing.
  • NBA - Suns @ Hornets - NBA-TV 8:00 - Not a great game in terms of talent, but Steve Nash is worth the price of admission always.
  • NBA - Bulls @ Clippers - NBA-TV 10:30 - Really, really nice late game here, but the headliner is obviously the chance to see Paul and Rose go at it.
  • NCAAF - Armed Forces Bowl - BYU vs. Tulsa - ESPN Noon - Midday sports is the selling point here.
  • NCAAF - Pinstripe Bowl - Rutgers vs. Iowa St. - ESPN 3:15 - See the above.
  • NCAAF - Music City Bowl - Miss St. vs. Wake Forest - ESPN 6:40 - I'm rooting for Wake because I'm still angry about January 1, 2011. That is all.
  • NCAAF - Insight Bowl - Iowa vs. Oklahoma - ESPN 10:00 - Late kick, but this is by far the most entertaining of the four bowl games for the day.

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