Wednesday, January 4, 2012

1/4: The Good and the Bad

A bit of a personal spin on this one...

  • Michigan 23, Virginia Tech 20 (OT) - There should be a separate good and bad for this game in itself, but the end result is all for the good. Brendan Gibbons booted the 3rd of his 3 for 3 FG attempts from 37 yards out to win the game for Michigan last night, after a shank from Virginia Tech in the 1st half of the OT continued the kicking woes we've seen nationally over the last 2 days. The Michigan offense sputtered all night long with such uninspiring numbers as 9 of 21 for 117 yards passing for Denard, and a hilariously bad 56 total rushing yards for the usually potent ground game, but the special teams actually out-performed the vaunted "Beamer-ball" by a wide margin and that was the difference in the game. I'm admittedly frustrated with the play-calling from Al Borges last night, as he seemed content to run the ball out of the I-formation into a waiting defense when he has the most explosive QB runner in the country who performs leaps and bounds better out of the shotgun, but it's tough to complain too much on a day after a BCS bowl win. Shout-out to Mike Martin, Ryan Van Bergen, Kevin Koger, Will Heininger, and David Molk on their careers. Those who stay will be champions.


  • Bulls 76, Hawks 74 - What an absolute abomination of a basketball game. The Hawks never played what I consider to be "well" in this one, but the Bulls were so bad for 3 quarters that the Hawks actually led 56-37 with 2 minutes to go... in the 3rd quarter. From that moment on, the Bulls scored 39 points (more points in the final 14 minutes than the first 34) and the Hawks notched just 18 including 6 of 17 in the 4th quarter. It was as simple as this: the Hawks didn't run a play for about 5 minutes of game time in the 4th quarter. Don't believe me? Go back and watch it. Iso-Joe left. Iso-Joe right. Josh Smith contested 18-foot jump shot. Repeat. This was never more evident than on the final couple of sequences when the Bulls ran a picture perfect play to create a Luol Deng lay-up, and the Hawks (having just missed 3 of 4 FTs that would've sealed it) notched only a Joe Johnson off-balance heave at the gun that went begging. I can't talk about it.


  • NBA Box Score Round-up - Kyrie Irving had the best game of his young NBA career last night in the Cavs 115-101 win over the Bobcats, as he finished with 20 points and 6 assists in just 22 minutes of action. One note for Charlotte is that Corey Maggette (their default go-to scorer) is now shooting 29% from the field on the year after another 4 of 12 outing that actually raised his percentage. Yikes. Portland gave OKC their 2nd consecutive loss by winning a 10-point game on the road. They were led by 5 guys in double figures featuring LaMarcus Aldridge with a typical 30 point, 8 rebound explosion. On the side of the Zombies, Kevin Durant couldn't get anything going (8 for 26) and they won't win on most nights when he shoots like that. Sam Young made an appearance last night for Memphis. Why is that significant? Well, in traveling to Memphis over the weekend (don't ask), it was revealed that Sam Young is a huge fan favorite to the point that the crowd literally exploded when he hopped off the bench in garbage time against Houston. Last night, Young had 20 points and 7 boards in 28 minutes, and I'm sure that building came unglued during that and their 17 point win over Sacto. And finally, Bean Bryant exploded for 37/8/6 and Andrew Bynum notched a 21/22 game last night to lead the Lakers to a 108-99 win over Houston. The Rockets had no match for either guy (Kevin Martin can't guard a soul) and even with Kyle Lowry's 22/10/9 (I love him), it wasn't enough.
  • NFL Coaching Carousel - Norv Turner (and AJ Smith) is still employed in San Diego. I literally have no idea why anyone thinks that's a good idea. Andy Reid is returning in Philly, and while Andy is a terrible clock management guy, I actually endorse this move for one reason. This team is built to win now, and they can't possibly expect Michael Vick to be better in a non-Reid offense next year than he would be in the current model. Done and done. And, Mike Martz is out in Chicago, and while that isn't a head coaching move, it's a big one because of the instability of Cutler and Forte with injuries, and the fact that Lovie seems to continually be on the hot seat there.
  • College Hoops Notes - Michigan State got a rare OT win on the road in Madison last night thanks to an overturned call on a would-be game-tying 3 at the gun by Wisconsin. That was a wild one. And, Seton Hall knocked off #8 UConn last night in Newark led by 19 and 11 assists from Jordan Theodore.

What to watch for on Wednesday...

  • NCAAF - Orange Bowl - West Virginia vs. Clemson - ESPN 8:30 - Easily the worst on-paper matchup of the BCS Bowls, but the first 3 BCS games have been wildly entertaining and if nothing else, this game will produce a lot of points most likely.
  • NCAAB - Duke @ Temple - ESPN2 7:00 - Quietly nice game here as Temple is a legit opponent, and going on the road in college hoops is never easy.
  • NCAAB - Marquette @ Georgetown - ESPNU 7:00 - If you hate Duke, these are two top-20 teams battling it out in a conference game. Can't go wrong.
  • NBA - Wizards @ Magic - NBA-TV 7:00 - What a wretched game for NBA-TV to have. It'll be watchable to see McGee and Howard match up, but that's about it.
  • NBA - Rockets @ Clippers - NBA-TV 10:30 - Kyle Lowry vs. Chris Paul? Yes, please.


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