- Mike Mularkey is now the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I would (probably) not lead with this story if it didn't have direct ramifications for the hometown Atlanta Falcons, but with Mularkey under big-time fire after the abysmal offensive performance on Sunday, this couldn't come at a more curious time. On the Falcons side, it does them the PR favor of getting rid of him without actually having to make a decision on him, and for the Jags, I can't believe it would be a positive to introduce a guy as the head man who's offense just went scoreless in a nationally televised playoff game. Alas, here we are. Both coordinator jobs are now open for the Falcons and the search begins in earnest.
- Kobe Bryant had 48 points last night. This wouldn't be a big deal if it was 2007, but Kobe hasn't notched a total that high since 2009, and he did it in style after the game by basically saying that he hates the Suns AND making reference to someone listing him as the 7th best player in the league. I really like angry Kobe.
- More NFL coaching moves: Hue Jackson ousted by the Raiders in a very "Raiders" move. You'd think 8-8 would be enough to retain your job, especially when your star RB was banged up all year, and your QB went down in a heap early in the year only to sign Carson Palmer off the couch, but it wasn't in this case. Brian Schottenheimer is out as the Jets OC, as well. This was a done deal the minute they flamed out, because they weren't canning Rex Ryan, and someone was going.
- Ryan Madson is reportedly signing with the Reds for 1 year, $8.5 million. This is an absolute steal for the Reds if you consider the closer market that the Phillies hilariously set with that instantly ridiculous Papelbon contract, and you have to like the 1-year nature of this deal for the volatile closer position. I really like this move for them.
- NBA Box Score Roundup - The Wizards won a basketball game last night for the first time this season. It was a typically ugly Wizards box score, but the Raptors were plain worse, shooting 39% and committing 22 turnovers. Rashard Lewis led the way with 15 for Washington. The newly-starting Chandler Parsons notched 20 for the Rockets in their 82-70 road win over hapless Charlotte. I really like Parsons game but it was kind of a surprise to see him in the lineup over Budinger. Can't really say McHale made a bad move on this night, however. The Bucks scored 106 points last night. They should throw a parade through the streets of Milwaukee for that one, but the Spurs defense is a bit of a mess right now. Milwaukee got 34 from Stephen Jackson in the win. Derrick Rose threw up a big-time 31-point/11-assist performance to offset big games from Love and Rubio as the Bulls won by 11 on the road in Minny. Gerald Wallace put up a clutch 20 for the Blazers as they held serve at home against the Clips 105-97. LA was hit hard by Chris Paul's foul trouble and an ugly 13-32 from Billups and Butler. And finally, The Dubs beat the Heat in OT in Oakland. Nate Robinson rose from the dead with 24 points (14-14 FT) off the bench to help Monta Ellis (ho-hum 9 of 25 lol), but the story for me was 20-10s from both Dorell Wright and David Lee. Miami got 26/11/7 from Lebron and 34 from Wade, but LBJ disappeared late (stop me if you've heard this before), and they couldn't get the ball to go through the rim in the 4th and OT (22 points in 17 minutes). Done and done.
- College Hoops Look-in - Brandon Paul may have had the game of the year in college hoops last night. 43 points on 11 of 15 shooting with 8 threes and 13-15 FT for the Illinois junior in their 79-74 upset win over #5 Ohio State, including a ridiculous falling-out-of-bounds 3 to seal it late and a huge block on Sullinger. That's just one of those priceless nights where a kid can't miss. Awesome. Baylor holds off K-State on the road 75-73 thanks to 17 and 8 from Perry Jones to overcome Rodney McGruder's 30 for KSU. And, Providence absolutely throttles spiraling Louisville 90-59 at home last night. This was an outright upset, but the way in which they did it was the shocker. The Friars shot a 53/60/86 slash line and dominated the glass while getting a combined 54 points from Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts. Trouble in Louisville.
What to watch for on Wednesday...
- NBA - Hawks @ Pacers - SportSouth 7:00 - Really nice game here for the Hawks. Danny Granger missed their last game with food poisoning, but should be back here, and this could be a potential 4-5 matchup in the playoffs.
- NBA - Mavs @ Celtics - ESPN 8:00 - Rough starts for both of these veteran teams, but this is still a nice matchup.
- NBA - Heat @ Clippers - ESPN 10:30 - Battle of the 2 most hyped teams in the league this year. Done.
- NCAAB - #2 Syracuse @ Villanova - ESPN2 7:00 - Road tests in the Big East against decent teams. Always an adventure.
- NCAAB - Northwestern @ #13 Michigan - Big Ten Network 6:30 - These 6:30 tip times always freak me out. That is all.