Friday, December 28, 2012

12/28: Clippers, Avery, etc.

Greetings! A lot to get to on this freezing December morning...

  • The Los Angeles Clippers are unconscious. With a dominant 106-77 win over Boston, they've now won 15 straight games and look like a legitimate NBA Championship contender behind Chris Paul and company. Their depth is pretty outstanding at this point, with Lamar Odom shedding pounds and looking like an NBA player again (13 boards and 5 assists on Thursday) and 10 legitimate guys even before the return of Grant Hill and Chauncey Billups. Chris Paul is still the engine, however, and that's always a good thing.
  • In the early TNT game, OKC outlasted Dallas 111-105 in overtime. The Thunder came back from a 4th quarter deficit to take a late lead, and the only reason that Dallas was able to force OT was on the strength of an off-balance triple by Darren Collison at the buzzer. Kevin Durant was the best player on the court (no surprise) with 40 points and 8 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka added 19 points, 17 boards, and 5 blocks in 42 minutes for OKC. On the Dallas side, they got a huge 32-point night from Darren Collison, but it wasn't enough to overcome another bad shooting night from OJ Mayo (1-7) and the still rusty Dirk (3-11). Really nice game here.
  • The Brooklyn Nets have fired Avery Johnson after a 14-14 start. This one blew me away because of one thing. How good were the Nets supposed to be? I would've understood this one more if they were 10-18, but aren't the Nets a 45-48 win team? They have no depth, their roster is constructed very weirdly, and Deron Williams is in the tank. I don't get it. At any rate, Deron Williams officially garners the "coach killer" tag now as he gets #2 fired, and the coaching search is on. 
  • Dwyane Wade is suspended 1 game for his shot on Ramon Sessions private area. Moving along.
  • In college Bowl news, Baylor blitzed UCLA by a final tally of 49-26 in the Holiday Bowl last night. It always seems to be an offense-first affair, and this was no different as Baylor notched 494 total yards including 300+ on the ground, and beat up the Bruins. 
  • College Hoops! #8 and previously unbeaten Cincinnati fell at the hands of New Mexico by a 55-54 final last night in Ohio. Not a huge upset as New Mexico is 13-1 and a legitimate club, but a nice win for the Lobos. 
What to watch for on Friday (in chronological order)...
  • 2:00 - NCAAF - Independence Bowl - Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe (ESPN) - Midday football during the week!
  • 5:30 - NCAAF - Russell Athletic Bowl (huh?) - Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech (ESPN) - How the mighty have fallen in Blacksburg.
  • 7:30 - NBA - Hawks @ Cavs (SportSouth) - Kyrie Irving! The Hawks go into Cleveland to try and avenge an early-season loss to Cleveland.
  • 8:00 - NCAAB - Baylor @ #13 Gonzaga (ESPN2) - A really, really nice game here as Baylor heads to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Zags. It'll be a hostile atmosphere in Spokane.
  • 8:30 - NBA - Nuggets @ Mavs (NBATV) - Dallas on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, and yet another road game for Denver. Woo-hoo.
  • 9:00 - NCAAF - Meineke Car Care Bowl - Minnesota vs. Texas Tech (ESPN) - Go. Big. Ten.
  • 10:00 - NCAAB - #7 Missouri @ UCLA (ESPN2) - Another pretty nice college hoops match-up as the unbeaten Tigers head to take on a talented UCLA squad. UCLA is a mess right now, but there's no denying that Shabazz Muhammed and company could win this game at home. 

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