Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12: Hoops, MLB Trade, etc.

Greetings! Not a lot of time this morning thanks to a 1,200-word piece on Josh Smith's jump shooting (which can be found here)... Let's go!
  • NBA! Carmelo Anthony exploded for an NBA league-high 45 points last night in leading the Knicks to a 100-97 win in Brooklyn. Melo was absolutely bonkers in the 2nd half and he's playing the undisputed best basketball of his career right now. The Lakers got 42 points from Kobe and a 19-point/20-rebound game from Dwight Howard against Cleveland last night. They still lost 100-94. Kyrie Irving returned in a huge way for the Cavs as he had 28 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds in his first game in a month. There are severe problems in LA, folks. Denver got a road win in Detroit by a 101-94 total. The Nuggets are road-tested as they've played 16 of their first 22 on the road, and with their normal home-court dominance, their record should reflect big-time improvement soon. Finally, the Clippers won their 7th straight game in defeating the Bulls 94-89 in Chicago. Blake Griffin led the way for LAC with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the Clips held Chicago to just 40% shooting on the night. 
  • Michigan's college basketball team won a 67-39 decision over Binghamton last night. It isn't news when the #3 team in America beats a 2-9 small-conference team. I just have to mention this (contractually almost) because Michigan is now 10-0 and off to their best start since the national championship-winning team of 1988-89. That's all I will say.
  • There was a massive (and confusing) MLB trade last night. Cincinnati acquired Shin-Soo Choo (the headliner of the deal from a major-league-ready standpoint) and Jason Donald, Cleveland acquired Drew Stubbs, Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers, and Bryan Shaw, and Arizona acquired Didi Gregorius, Tony Sipp, and Lars Anderson. The best possible analysis of this deal can be found here (insider required), but the short version goes like this. Arizona gave up one of the best pitching prospects in baseball (Bauer) and basically got a defense-only shortstop (Gregorius) and a LOOGY (Sipp). That is borderline insane, and no one in the industry can seem to figure out what they were doing. Cleveland bought low on Bauer, which I loved, and got a major-league OF in Stubbs in exchange for Choo. There's no question that Choo is the best player in the deal, as he's a high-OBP guy (his .373 OBP this year was his worst in years, which is crazy) who can really hit, but the difference between Choo and Stubbs certainly isn't Bauer, so that's a steal for Cleveland. On the Cincy side, they basically went all-in for offense, with Choo being a much better offensive player than Stubbs, and Donald being a utility guy capable of playing 3 spots. I love the deal for Cleveland, it's okay for Cincy, and a trainwreck for Arizona. 
  • Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has vacated the player suspensions from the Saints Bounty scandal. Of course, this move received far less publicity than the original suspensions, but I still like it. There was clearly not enough evidence for the severity of the punishment, and Tagliabue saw through the tyranny of Roger Goodell.
  • One more MLB move saw the Yankees lock up former Red Sox 3B/1B Kevin Youkilis to a 1-year, $12 million deal. This is a pure desperation move from the Yanks, as A-Rod is out for months with a hip injury. That said, I'm not sure Youk can really play 3B effectively anymore, and the only way this deal makes sense for that much money is if he can. Either way, if he's healthy, he'll draw walks and get on-base, but NYY fans better hope he can defend that position with reasonable effectiveness.
What to watch for on Wednesday (in chronological order)...
  • 7:00 - NBA - Hawks @ Magic (SportSouth) - Atlanta takes on a feisty, but underwhelming Magic team in Orlando. The Hawks are looking to avoid 2 straight losses, and Orlando should be the recipe for that. 
  • 8:00 - NBA - Mavs @ Celtics (ESPN) - This isn't your older brother's Maverick team without Dirk, but they've played fairly well in his absence, and OJ Mayo has been a revelation. Boston has underachieved thus far, but at home, it's tough to pick against them.
  • 10:30 - NBA - Spurs @ Jazz (ESPN) - What an awesome game. Utah is devastating at home (8-1 record) always and their massive front-line faces off against Tim Duncan and company. Highlight of the sporting night.


JDH said...

Besides age, what is your take on this years Celts? Rondo gets possible loyalty points amongst players for an immature fight. I do not know what it is but on most occassions (even in their wins) they seem to leave the boston crowd wanting a bit more.

Lots of games this weekend; what's your 'game to watch' Thursday through Sunday?

Brad said...

I still think Boston has the best chance of beating Miami from the East... they don't have their full team until Bradley gets back, and they can't afford to play Pierce and KG enough minutes right now to have them be as good as they'll be in May. They're just different when KG isn't on the court.

I'll do a full post on games to watch, but the best game Thurs-Sat. is probably the Arizona/Florida college hoops game on Sat. Night at 10:00. Two top-10 teams. K-State @ Gonzaga at 9:00 is nice too.