Monday, January 9, 2012

1/9: 24-2

Greetings... not the best of times for the Atlanta sports fan...
  • Giants 24, Falcons 2 - If you were asleep all day yesterday, this score is not a misprint. The Falcons were dominated in every facet by the Giants, and in one 4-play sequence in the 3rd quarter, the Falcons were stuffed on a curious 4th-and-1 call which was followed by Hakeem Nicks taking a crossing route over 70 yards to the house, and that was that. I've been hearing calls for Mike Mularkey's head every 5 minutes since 4:00 pm yesterday, and that is a bit overblown. Was yesterday's game plan tragically flawed? Probably, but I'll remind everyone that the OC takes his cue from the head coach, and Mike Smith isn't the flashiest guy. At any rate, the only individual play I had an issue with was the above 4th-and-1 and for only one reason. You can't possibly tell me that coming out in an "empty" set and QB sneaking there after the way that game was going was a good idea, AND if you're going to do it, it's certainly not advisable to huddle before the play (instead of quick snapping) and allowing NYG to get their heavy personnel on the field. Yikes. The defense isn't without blame in all of this either, but I have a hard time killing their performance outside of the inexcusable tackling display on the Nicks catch-and-run. Okay, I'm done for now.
  • Broncos 29, Steelers 23 (OT) - So much for the new overtime rules! Tim Tebow hit Demaryius Thomas on a post route that Thomas took 80 yards to the house to cap a wild game in Denver last evening. Tebow completed only 10 passes, but they went for a ludicrous (and highly coincidental) 316 yards to lead his team to the win. Thomas was the breakout star on this national stage with 4 catches for 204 yards including the game-winner, and the stiff-arm he delivered to Ike Taylor was what sprung him. I won't focus entirely on the Tebow narrative except to say that I thought he played really well here, and made big throws on the deep balls he attempted as well as throwing in 50 yards rushing. Typical Tebow. Anyway, the Broncos D didn't play particularly awesome football (400 yards allowed including over 100 to Redman, yikes), but they bowed up late, and the hobbled Roethlisberger couldn't eat them up to the point where it would matter. Just a really fun game and storyline, at least until about Tuesday when it's still going.


  • T-Wolves 93, Wizards 72 - How fun is this T-Wolves team? At any rate, Kevin Love threw up a now-typical 20 and 16, and Rick Rubio notched a career-high 14 assists to beat up on the hapless Wizards. It's really tough to watch the Wizards right now with the Blatche/Crawford combo launching up ridiculous shots (8 for 27 last night) and with John Wall off to a fairly dreadful start to this season. Rubio and Derrick Williams were both +29 on the night as they utterly destroyed the Washington bench.
  • Magic 104, Kings 97 - One of the weirder games/box scores you'll ever see. Dwight Howard finished this game with 5 points and 4 rebounds in 20 minutes, and the Magic won by 7 on the road against a full-strength opponent. Huh? It lends itself to just how bad this Kings team can be, but give a nod to Glen Davis (20 and 8) and J-Rich (22 points) on their best game of the season on both counts, and can someone PLEASE give Ryan Anderson some love? The former Cal product put up another 19/11 last night, and is now averaging 18 and 7 on the season. Yep.
  • Zombies 108, Spurs 96 - James Harden is my hero. I won't give the full breakdown here as it was kind of a ho-hum game, but I'll use this space to lament the loss of Eric Maynor for the season for OKC. He's a favorite of mine, and I've always felt that he was kind of a perfect backup to Westbrook. Enter Reggie Jackson.
  • Suns 109, Bucks 93 - Steve Nash had 17 assists in 27 minutes. All is right with the world. Oh, and the Bucks best player in this game (in the time I saw at least) was Shaun Livingston. That should tell you all you need to know about the Bucks offense (I do love Livingston though).
  • Lakers 90, Grizz 82 - Another weird game, but the Lakers win their 6th straight at home. Memphis got an unlikely 46 bench points from the Speights/Mayo/Pondexter trio to keep them in this game, but they couldn't afford to get a 2-point output from Marc Gasol (eesh) and shoot just 1 of 9 from 3 on the road here. LA had 5 in double-figures led by Kobe's 26 and a 15/15 from Bynum who's playing really well so far this year. The most pressing question: When will Mike Brown realize that Steve Blake is better than Derek Fisher? March? April?
  • CBB Round-up - Michigan shut down Wisconsin yesterday with a 59-41 win in Ann Arbor. Tim Hardaway Jr. went for 17 and 10 but the big story was the Michigan defense locking up the Badgers to 31 percent shooting and winning the rebound battle 34-27. Nice win for the Victors. Indiana took yet another step to being "back" with a legitimate road win at Penn State. No one cares about this game, but if they're at the point where they can win these road games routinely, that's huge. And finally, Butler is 9-8. I only tell you this so that we all, as a nation, prepare for life without the Bulldogs in March. It's over.

What to watch for on Monday...

  • NCAAF - National Championship Game - Alabama vs. LSU - ESPN 8:30 - This is obviously the story of the day. Let me say this first, I like Alabama in the game. For all of the talk about how dominant LSU was this year (and they were), I thought Bama was the clearly better team in their previous matchup, and if they made even one kick, we'd be talking about this game differently. Of course, none of that is the reason I like Bama. The reason I'm picking the Tide is that they have Nick Saban, and LSU has Les Miles. That's enough for me. Alabama 20, LSU 16.
  • NBA - Hawks @ Nets - SportSouth 7:30 - Feels like this is the 8th game against the Nets this year, but it's "just" the 3rd. I can't even talk about Josh Smith rationally at this point, but his near 5x5 on Saturday was fairly impressive.
  • NBA - Bobcats @ Knicks - NBA-TV 7:30 - The 'Cats beat the Knicks soundly in MSG last week, so I'm interested to see where this goes. Ummm, is Mike D'Antoni on the hot seat yet?
  • NCAAB - West Virginia @ #8 UConn - ESPN2 7:00 - Really nice game here. Two upper-echelon coaches, and these Big East battles usually deliver.
  • NCAAB - Cincy @ #9 Georgetown - ESPNU 9:00 - JT3 has managed not to kill them yet this year. I'm shocked by this.

Enjoy it, folks... there's a title on the line tonight...

No comments: