- According to widespread "reports", Peyton Manning has been medically cleared to play football. What does this mean exactly? Well, there are varying accounts, but by definition it'd be nothing more than a pure medical clearance that would allow him (if someone wants him to) to start doing football things i.e. throwing, training, etc. in preparation to play. I still fully believe that the Colts will release him simply because $28 million is too much money when they're drafting a QB at #1 overall anyway, but things are certainly more interesting if he can play.
- The NBA announced it's all-star starters last night, and, as usual since the fans vote, there were no real surprises. Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard for the east. Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Andrew Bynum for the West. For my full thoughts, you can check out my full ASG roster posting (from yesterday 2/2), but quickly, the only guy I have a legitimate beef with is Blake Griffin, and there was never a doubt he'd get the starting nod as the hype machine that he is. There you have it.
- Josh Hamilton allegedly drank alcohol this week. I'm confused as to how this became a national story, and while I know he's recovering from substance abuse issues, it is absolutely none of our business if he drinks. None. This "story" bothers me on so many levels.
- NBA Box Score Round-up - The Hawks absolutely didn't show up on Thursday night at home against Memphis. The final was 96-77, but that simply doesn't represent how bad the Hawks were in this game, trailing by 30+ throughout the second half, getting massacred on the glass, and "ole"-ing on defense. Not a single starter played well. Memphis did whatever they wanted, but chiefly, Mike Conley impressed me with his command and quickness and Marc Gasol went for a +40 last night. That's insane lol. Derrick Rose did Derrick Rose things against the hapless Knicks backcourt in Chicago's 105-102 win over NYK. Rose finished with 32 points and 13 assists with just 2 TO's, and the Shumpert/Douglas duo was no match. On the brighter side for NYK? Amare actually showed up with 34 and 11 in defeat. Sacramento gets a surprising win at home over Portland 95-92 as the Blazers continue to struggle on the road (now 3-9). The play of Jason Thompson stands out to me for Sacto as he finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds with a +12 and offset the always erratic play of the Thornton/Evans guard duo. For Portland, LA finished with 28 and 14, but no other player had an above-average game. The Warriors got their perfect storm last night. Steph Curry (29 points, 12 assists, 10 of 14 shooting) and Monta Ellis (33 points on 13 of 21) both played out of their minds, and David Lee put up very "David Lee" line with 23 points and 14 boards on 9 of 23 in the 119-101 blowout of a good Jazz team. Golden State dreams of nights where those 3 guys do that. And finally, Denver blew the doors off a visibly underwhelmed Clippers team late last night 112-91. Nine guys had 8 or more points for Denver as the depth blitzed LAC along with 53% shooting and 41-28 rebounding annihilation. Not a whole lot to say about this one.
- Quick Super Bowl note: Every time I see a "report" or a "sources say" link saying Rob Gronkowski will play on Sunday, I have the same thought. "Duh".
- College hoops! - Duke was impressive in their 75-60 road win in Blacksburg over VT. 15-point conference road wins don't just happen. St. Mary's cruised to a win over San Diego 84-73, but more importantly for them, BYU upended Gonzaga in Provo to place STM firmly in the driver's seat for the WCC regular season title. That's a really nice league and all 3 of those teams should be tourney teams IMO. And finally, did you know that Murray State is still unbeaten?....
What to watch for on Friday...
- NBA - Knicks @ Celtics - ESPN 8:00 - The thought of more Knicks basketball makes me cringe a little, but these two squads usually play high-intensity games, so that's something.
- NBA - Lakers @ Nuggets - ESPN 10:30 - Contrasting styles (slow vs. fast, depth vs. no depth) and with Denver playing at home in altitude, they should run, run, run even on the 2nd of a back-to-back.
Enjoy! Stay tuned for the Super Bowl preview post dropping this afternoon...