Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1/25: Prince to the D, etc.

Greetings everyone... my apologies on the absence yesterday, but here we go...
  • Prince Fielder is a Detroit Tiger. In a move that universally shocked the public, the Tigers locked in the portly first basemen with a 9-year, $214 million deal. First of all, that's entirely too much money for Fielder, but the fact that these exorbitant sums keep happening in baseball contracts make it less surprising. He's already a below-average defender, and there's little-to-no chance of him aging well with his body type, but he (smartly) heads to the American League where he can spend his final 5 years as a DH. The biggest issue is the fact that Detroit has backed themselves into a major corner. For the 2012 season, this is a slam dunk move, as they lost Victor Martinez for the year and were in need of a 2nd impact bat to play with Miggy Cabrera, but going forward to 2013 and beyond, where are all of these guys going to play? All three are bad defenders, and you can only stash one at DH. There are widespread reports of Cabrera playing 3rd base, but I think that would be an utter disaster defensively when he's put on literally 60 pounds since he last played there, and it'll be worth keeping an eye on.
  • Kevin Love to stay in Minnesota? The St. Paul Pioneer Press actually reported a "done deal" yesterday, but ESPN is now reporting that, although the sides are negotiating, the deal is close but not done. This is huge for the T-Wolves as they basically have no shot to re-sign him if he hits the market, and with what I've seen from Rubio, I like the Love/Rubio duo going forward. I understand the questions about Love as "Number 1", but there are only so many of those super-duper-stars and none of them are going to Minnesota unless they're drafted there. Lock him in and pencil in 24 and 14.
  • The Oakland Raiders will reportedly hire Dennis Allen. Who is Dennis Allen? Well, admittedly, I had no idea prior to yesterday, but the current Broncos DC is a fast-riser in the profession and this deal screams Raiders because it's cheap, etc. Who knows?
  • NBA Box Score Round-up - Dwight Howard is now the Orlando Magic's all-time leading scorer as he broke the mark during a 102-83 road win in Indiana. The guy who he passed (Nick Anderson) would've taken most people 10 guesses, but it's kind of funny to see a guy break this kind of franchise mark when he's begging out of town. On the court, this is an impressive bounce-back win for Orlando after a pathetic 56-point showing against Boston, and I still believe Orlando is the 3rd best team in the East. Tyson Chandler had his best game of the season with 20 points and 17 rebounds in a 111-78 blowout win by the Knicks over the awful Bobcats. It is honestly a debate between Charlotte and Washington for "worst" status, but it's just that the Bobcats don't have the utter clowns that the Wiz have so the attention stays away. Miami outlasts Cleveland 92-85 thanks to 35 from Chris Bosh including 17 in the 4th quarter. That's a nice win for the Heat without Wade, and a decent road showing for the Cavs, who are battling for the fringe East playoff spots. The Phoenix Suns stink. There, I said it. Steve Nash said as much last night after they dropped a home game to the Raptors, and that roster is just not going to cut it. At any rate, Andrea Bargnani put up 36 points last night for the Raps and that was enough to hold off Nash (17 and 14 dimes) and Gortat (21 and 12). And finally, Portland holds serve against Memphis 97-84. Marcus Camby had a Reggie Evans-like line with 3 points, 22 rebounds, and 5 blocks in 32 minutes, and LA added 23 and 6 in limited minutes. One knock on the Blazers is the continued willingness to shoot horrendous shots by Jamal Crawford, but I think they knew what they were signing up for.
  • College Hoops Check - Road wins galore! Kentucky, the new #1 team, keeps that in tact with a 13-point, ugly win at Georgia, but there is no shame in ugly road wins. Baylor did the same in Norman against Oklahoma with a 77-65 win led by 21 and 12 from Perry Jones. San Diego State has it going yet again in the MWC with 11 straight wins including last night's pretty impressive road win against a good Wyoming team. And, the Victors Valiant (aka the Michigan Wolverines) eeked out a 66-64 win at Purdue last night by holding Robbie Hummel relatively in check (16 points) and getting a big 19 from Tim Hardaway Jr. to off-set a lackluster game from Trey Burke. Alas.

What to watch for on Wednesday (chronologically)...

  • NCAAB - Villanova @ #25 Louisville - ESPN 7:00 - The names of the schools make this game sound better than it is because Nova kind of stinks and Louisville is in a rough patch, but still decent Big East hoops.
  • NCAAB - #2 Missouri @ OK State - ESPN2 7:30 - Missouri is better (much better), but true road games in conference are no joke in college hoops.
  • NBA - Pacers @ Bulls - NBATV 8:00 - Indiana is coming off a pretty bad home loss, but this is a certainly a potential playoff preview matchup in the East.
  • NBA - Hawks @ Spurs - SportSouth 8:30 - The annual death march to San Antonio. The Hawks rarely (if ever) play well there, but the Josh Smith vs. Tim Duncan matchup is hilarious for so many reasons.
  • NCAAB - Minnesota @ Michigan State - Big Ten Network 8:30 - Really nice matchup here. I'm really high on the fighting Izzo's.
  • NCAAB - #6 Duke @ Maryland - ESPN 9:00 - Big-time rivals, and it's on the road, but I can smell Maryland from here.
  • NBA - Clippers @ Lakers - NBATV 10:30 - The battle of LA has so much more juice this year than ever, and that'll continue this evening.


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