If you know anything about me or this blog, you'd probably assume that I'm leading with something on NBA All-star roster composition and you would be right. The reserves were announced last night, and I have a few issues. First of all, if you want my "complete" thoughts, hit up this link (http://bradsportsfix.blogspot.com/2012/02/2012-nba-all-star-rosters-my-way.html), but since we're here, I had 2 major issues.
- Luol Deng makes the cut - Personally, I think Josh Smith deserved this spot (as tough as that is to say for a non-fan such as myself), but it's got less to do with that than the fact that I'm against holding out Rondo and Wade for injury reasons (# of games) and still including Deng. You won't find many people that appreciate Deng's type of game more than I do, as he's a great defender who can literally do it all, but 16 points, 7 rebounds on 44% shooting isn't enough to get you there when you've missed a quarter of your team's games.
- Dirk over Millsap/Jefferson - It was a no-brainer for me that Dirk was making the team to the point where I basically had this written already, but that doesn't make it right. Dirk has played the worst basketball he's played in years so far this season (17 points, 6 rebounds, 46% FG and ghastly 21% on 3's) and if you couple that with missed games due to injury, I'm not sure how you can justify it. I think Paul Millsap (my choice), Al Jefferson, Pau Gasol and Rudy Gay all had more deserving resumes and I would've gone elsewhere.
Alrighty... that's that... back to the rest of the sporting universe...
- LA Lakers 88, Boston 87 (OT) - I caught the end of this game live before going back to watch the replay late night/early morning and my main thought was: wow, this was bad/ugly basketball. The 3-man team that is the LA Lakers basically mauled Boston up front with Gasol and Bynum teaming up to grab 31 of their 55 rebounds (Boston had 45) and, combined with the Kobe, their top 3 netted 68 of the 88 points. For Boston, they got an ugly 6 of 23 from KG which I thought was extremely rare since, if anything, he usually doesn't shoot enough so it's odd to see him keep getting them up when they aren't falling. I thought Rondo and Allen played well for the C's to keep them in it, but they couldn't overcome the inside play of Gasol/Bynum, and when Pierce's fadeaway went begging at the gun, that was that.
- In the rest of the Association - Steph Curry went off last night for the Dubs. 36 points on 13 of 17 FG including 6 of 9 from three, with 7 assists, and 7 rebounds to lead GSW to a road win in hostile Denver. He's Nash-like with his efficiency thanks to great 3-point and FT shooting, but Curry can be absolutely spectacular when he has it going like last night. Shoutout to rookie Klay Thompson on 19 points in 18 minutes off the bench, too. Getting buckets. For the second straight night, Houston had their bench outscore their starters, and with only 2 starters in double-figures and five bench guys in double figures, they have an interesting set-up at the moment. I'll spotlight the play of Goran Dragic who played 29 minutes and netted 11 points and 11 dimes in the stead of Kyle Lowry. And finally, break up the Kings! Sacto knocked off OKC 106-101 at the building formerly known as Arco last night. Demarcus Cousins continues to play well (19 points, 9 boards) following the Westphal fiasco, and they did just enough in this one. For OKC, all I need to tell you is that Russ Westbrook attempted 26 shots in 38 minutes and committed 7 turnovers. Yes, I know he had 33 points, but take a breath, Russ.
- College Hoops! - Murray State, the last unbeaten in the country, went down in a heap last night to Tennessee State. No loss in college hoops is that surprising in conference, but I was taken aback a little by the fact that they lost this one at home to a mediocre opponent. Perhaps looking ahead to St. Mary's? Speaking of the Gaels, they went to Spokane to lost to Gonzaga 73-59. Kevin Pangos went nuts for Gonzaga with 27 points on 8 of 16 FG with 5 triples, and the Zags shot 53% from the field for the game. Still one of the best rivalries in college hoops. And finally, Wisconsin beat Minnesota 68-61 in overtime last night on the road. Not a big story, right? I only mention this game to note that Wisconsin shot 15 of 17 from the free throw line... in the overtime alone! They only scored 17 points total in the 5-minute OT period and 15 of them were at the line. That's insane.
What to watch for on Friday...
- NBA - Hawks @ Magic - 7:00 SportSouth - The debut of Erick Dampier! Okay, that's probably not the lead story, but he may actually need to play some minutes since ATL is without the Dwight stopper in Jason Collins (aka the only reason he's employed). Always entertaining if nothing else.
- NBA - Lakers @ Knicks - 8:00 ESPN - This could be a trainwreck of a game, but I'm interested to see if Jeremy Lin can keep up the pace for one more night considering his LAL counterparts at the point are as ugly as it gets in the league.
- NBA - Zombies @ Jazz - 10:30 ESPN - Hasn't OKC been on TV every night this week? At any rate, they're on a road back-to-back here, and Utah has some all-star snubs that could be in a mood. I like the Jazz.