- JR Smith to the Knicks. I don't really understand this one for a couple reasons. Firstly, he's JR Smith, and what I mean by that is that he's not an impact player IMO, so the coverage of this is a bit overstated, and secondly, is he really better than Landry Fields? Thanks to the Lin-led renaissance, the Knicks are back in the consciousness, and I get that, but this move doesn't bring them any closer to winning anything in the East, and does nothing short of provide a nominal offensive upgrade at the 2-guard spot that's a headcase with bad shot selection. For the Clippers fan that are irate? Be glad. I'd rather have Mo Williams as my "shoot-first sparkplug" guy, and anyone with illusions that JR Smith is a crunch-time 2-guard on a contender is nuts.
- A Hawks rant. When did the Hawks losing games they should lose without Al Horford become a big-time topic? For everyone saying they're "underachieving" right now, I don't understand the rationale of a team playing competitive basketball without their best (yes, best) player for the season. And while we're here, after the circus of praise after Josh Smith's big statistical game against Phoenix that was drawing Lebron comparisons, please remember this. He took 11 jump shots in that game. Eleven! There is no justification.
To the weekend...
- NBA - Mavs @ Sixers - ESPN 8:00 - A nice matchup of teams I'd like to see more of this year, especially with Dirk back and playing better.
- NBA - Suns @ Lakers - ESPN 10:30 - With apologies to Steven Q. Nash, I don't need to watch the Suns on national TV again this season. Thank you.
- NCAAB - Northern Iowa @ VCU - ESPN2 7:00 - As I throw the college hoops nuts a bone here, this is a nice mid-major battle of two teams in different conferences. Remember VCU from March?
- NCAAB - #13 Marquette @ UConn - ESPN Noon - This is a must-win for a UConn team suddenly on the brink of missing the tournament, but Marquette is better. Interesting matchup.
- NCAAB - #11 UNLV @ New Mexico - CBS 1:00 - I really, really like this Vegas team, and New Mexico is 21-4, this is an awesome appetizer from the Mountain West.
- NBA - Nets @ Bulls - WGN 4:00 - Not everyone has WGN, but some people do and the college action is weak in that timeslot. Derrick Rose vs. Deron Williams please (if Rose plays).
- NCAAB - #16 St. Mary's @ #14 Murray State - ESPN 6:00 - The best of the bracketbuster games happens here. Murray St. has lost the luster of being the nation's last undefeated, but this is still a battle of top-20 teams sure to be around in March. I love St. Mary's too.
- NCAAB - #6 Ohio State @ #19 Michigan - ESPN 9:00 - The game of the day in the country, and for once, it's not just for me! Michigan is undefeated at home, and is a completely different team there, but with OSU coming in, it's their biggest test of the season. Oh, and beat the Buckeyes.
- NBA - Hawks @ Blazers - NBA TV 10:00 - My two favorite teams playing at the same time? Eesh. Anyway, depending on the status of Aldridge, this is a really nice game, but a mismatch. The Hawks are without any viable length outside of Pachulia and the undersized Smith, and Portland is huge. Interesting.
- NBA - Mavs @ Knicks - ABC 1:00 - The Jeremy Lin show takes to the stage on a broadcast network.
- NCAAB - #8 Michigan State @ Purdue - CBS 1:00 - Michigan State is a top-10 team, but going on the road against a decent opponent in conference is no easy task.
- NBA - Magic @ Heat - ABC 3:30 - This would be such a better game if Orlando didn't stink on a regular basis, but if Dwight is dominant (he should be), this will be competitive.
- NBA - Nuggets @ Thunder - ESPN 8:00 - The NBA night-cap features two of the more entertaining teams in the league. Done and done.