- Greg Schiano is the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs. First off, I do think Schiano has been an above-average college coaching in transforming Rutgers from perpetual doormat to legitimate Big East threat, so let's get that out of the way. That said, I think this is a confusing hire (at best), and I'm not sure what he's done to warrant one of the 32 NFL jobs. Tampa swung for the fences and missed on Raheem Morris, who was a young guy who had never been a coordinator even, and this time they courted Chip Kelly (who passed), and settled on Greg Schiano? The entire search was kind of a mess with names like Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Sherman prominently involved, and while I would've rather gone with Schiano than an aging re-tread, I still don't believe in college guys on the whole. As a Falcons fan, I'm pleased.
- Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay are reportedly "at odds". Irsay is upset that Manning went public with negative comments that portray the Colts and their facilities in a negative light at the moment. Here's where I'm confused: If you're Jim Irsay, you can cut Peyton Manning today. What is there to be "at odds" about? This is in no way an even relationship.
- Celtics 91, Magic 83 - If you woke up this morning and saw the box score with no game story, you would've thought this was a ho-hum game between two of the better teams in the East. What that wouldn't tell you is that Orlando led by twenty-seven points in the first half, before a complete implosion in the 2nd half that saw them score just 25 points. Boston keyed up the intensity in a noticeable fashion in the 2nd half, but there's absolutely no excuse for the performance of Orlando in the final 24 minutes. Dwight Howard finished with a 16 and 16, but it was no coincidence that he posted a -25 rating for the game, as he was generally uninspiring, and not particularly assertive/aggressive. Here's the key/problem for Orlando: Jameer Nelson is bad. As recently as 2009, Jameer was playing at an all-star level before being injured, but he's now in the bottom-third of the league's starting PGs, and there's no end in sight with his 39% FG and 8 point/5 assist averages. 8 points! For Boston, I really liked what I saw from Pierce (24 points, 10 assists, 6 boards), and Garnett was the Garnett of old in the 2nd half, but to win this game without Rondo, on the road, and down 27 is pretty crazy.
- Clippers 98, Grizz 91 - The key for me in this one was Vinny Del Negro's willingness to limit Chauncey Billups' minutes. It's weird how quickly I've soured on him in that situation, but his lack of conscience shooting the ball is alarming. At any rate, I thought Chris Paul was masterful as usual netting 18/7/7 and despite a rough shooting night, he made a conscious effort to get to the line (1o of 11), and there's a lot to be said for that at 6 feet tall. Blake was efficient and effective (20/9/8) and Mo Williams had it going in parts of this one to finish with 18 off the bench. For Memphis, it came down to guard play. I thought Mike Conley and OJ Mayo were flat-out awful here, and Mayo (5 of 19) was doing his best Iman Shumpert impression. I'm generally a fan of OJ, and would like him to be more aggressive and get more minutes, but jeez. One positive was the play of Marc Gasol, who continues to threaten his brother in the "best Gasol" debate.
- College Hoops Round-up - North Carolina defeated the in-state rival Wolfpack behind 21 points and a career-high 17 boards from Tyler Zeller. Dominant from the tip. Florida eeked out a road win in Oxford 64-60 despite a 10-point halftime deficit. Patric Young keyed the run with a team-high 15. And, Wisconsin edged Indiana at home 57-50 despite shooting under 40% as a team and 4 of 17 from three thanks to an absurdly low 4 turnovers. The real key? Holding Cody Zeller to just 7 points in his 19 foul-strapped minutes.
What to watch for on Friday...
- NBA - Hawks @ Pistons - SportSouth 7:30 - The Pistons stink, but Greg Monroe is worth watching.
- NBA - Knicks @ Heat - ESPN 8:00 - This game would be infinitely more entertaining if it was at MSG just to see what Lebron would do, but the Knicks are a mess right now.
- NBA - Zombies @ Warriors - NBATV 10:30 - Really nice night cap, and with Curry now back for GSW, they can threaten anyone at home.