Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2/29: The Association Returns...

Greetings everyone! Real, live NBA hoops returned last night, so let's get to that first.
  • T-Wolves 109, Clippers 97 - The first lifetime matchup between Chris Paul and Ricky Rubio was what drew me to this game the most, but there were some fairly unlikely heroes. Derrick Williams exploded for 27 points in 28 minutes (on just 10 FGA) for the T-Wolves, and Michael Beasley joined him with 27 points in 30 minutes (on 11-15 FG). When you get 72 bench points, it helps overcome an injury-shortened off night from Love (4 of 13, 10 points), and a 1-8 shooting night from Rubio for a win. I was very impressed with the play of Nikola Pecovic as well, as he is an absolute man inside and finished with 12 points. For LAC, I thought Paul was tremendous as usual (27 points, 6 assists), and Griffin had a great first half (24 of his 30), but Caron Butler was a grease-fire all night, and they got nothing from the Bobby Simmons/Kenyon Martin duo off the bench. Entertaining game though.
  • NBA Box Score Round-up - Boston snapped a 5-game skid in beating Cleveland on the road led by 22 from Ray Allen. Indy beat up on Golden State 102-78 at home to push the Dubs further from the playoff race in the West. When is the last time you heard anything about Detroit? They got waxed last night at home by 29 by the Sixers, and outside of Greg Monroe, good luck to everyone with that roster composition. Derrick Rose put up 32 and 9 to lead the Bulls to a squeeze-out win over New Orleans 99-95. Houston improves to a playoff-bound 21-14 record with an 88-85 win over Toronto. Kyle Lowry led the way with 26 points and 5 dimes. Brook Lopez busted out with 38 points in New Jersey's surprising road upset against Dallas, and I was impressed with what I saw from NJ on the final defensive possession against Dirk. Avery! And finally, DeMarcus Cousins dominated the paint to the tune of 22 and 18 in Sacto's home win over Utah. Two thoughts from this one, 1) It's awesome that mayor Kevin Johnson got a standing O when he entered the arena, and 2) Utah is on the doorstep of being done for good.
  • Braves 1B Freddie Freeman "tweaked" his knee and will be sidelined a reported 2 weeks. I'm openly praying that 2 weeks and a tweak is all this is, but the injury bug (Hanson, Hudson, Freeman, Wilson) has taken up residence in Orlando already, and I don't like it.
  • Red Sox C Jason Varitek is retiring. One of the weirder career stories just because he's receiving a ton of press that we all know he'd never get if he wasn't on the Boston Red Sox. That said, he's got 2 rings, was the captain of both teams, and did finish with a pretty solid .776 OPS and nearly 200 homers. Nice career.
  • Apparently Kobe does have a concussion now? I'm confused.
  • The NFL has moved it's season opener to a Wednesday night. Why, do you ask? Because the Democratic National Convention had already scheduled President Obama to speak that night. That's a random sports story if I've ever heard one, and it'll be the first Wednesday night game in the league since 1948.

What to watch for on Wednesday...

  • NCAAB - Maryland @ #6 North Carolina - ESPN 7:00 - Maryland kind of stinks this year, so this should be a cruise-control game for UNC.
  • NCAAB - #7 Marquette @ Cincy - ESPN2 7:00 - Remember when Marquette was ranked #7 in the country? The last time was when Dwyane Wade was involved. Anyway, this is a nice road test for them against a Cincy team coming off an ugly loss at USF.
  • NBA - Warriors @ Hawks - SportSouth 7:30 - Will we see Joe Johnson here? At any rate, always entertaining to see the Dubs.
  • NBA - Bulls @ Spurs - ESPN 9:00 - What an awesome game. San Antonio finally returns home after that crazy rodeo trip, and I'd love to see Parker and Rose go at it.


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