Friday, February 1, 2013

2/1: Ramblings!

Greetings! Thursday was a rare slow day in January so we're (gasp) low on content here. Fortunately, that gives me the opportunity to let you know that the Super Bowl Preview will be posting this afternoon. Check it out! Until then, let's go...
  • Thursday Night NBA! In the early game, Oklahoma City blasted the undermanned Grizzlies by a 106-89 margin. Kevin Durant (27 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) and Russell Westbrook (21 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) led the way for the Thunder as usual, but the biggest key to the win was holding Memphis to just 35% shooting from the field while shooting 55% on the offensive end. Memphis got a surprising 23-point performance from Jerryd Bayless, but Tayshaun Prince & Austin Daye haven't arrived from Detroit yet, and Ed Davis was nowhere to be found for the Grizz. Therefore, they were wildly undersized by having to start Conley/Bayless/Allen together, and they had to use Chris Johnson in a prominent role. It didn't go well. Alas, OKC is just the better team, and they made it look easy here. In the late game, Golden State escaped with a home win over Dallas thanks to some swarming late defense from the newly-healthy Andrew Bogut on a last-possession turnover by the Mavs. The 100-97 victory was especially impressive because Steph Curry missed another game with an ankle injury. The Warriors were led by 27 points from Klay Thompson, and a 15-point, 20-rebound effort from David Lee, who has been an absolute monster this season. 
  • On the college hardwood, the biggest story of the night was #9 Butler going down in a heap in Saint Louis against the Billikens. SLU blitzed them by a score of 75-58 and dominated the game defensively. Butler committed 23 turnovers as a team and shot just 43% in the loss. Elsewhere, Michigan State and Arizona got very solid in-conference wins. Sparty got 24/8/7 from Keith Appling in holding serve 80-75 over Illinois, and Arizona actually went on the road and beat Washington. The latter win was especially noteworthy, not only for the road venue, but because Arizona shot just 35% in the win. Impressive effort in a true road game.
  • On the links, Phil Mickelson had a putt lip out on #18 that caused him to "only" shoot a 60 on Thursday. Lefty had it all going, but finished par-par on 17 and 18 in an effort to shoot 58/59. Still a crazy day for anyone.
What to watch for on Friday...
  • 7:00 - NBA - Heat @ Pacers (ESPN) - This could be a scrappy game. Indiana has the wing personnel (read: Paul George) to give Miami fits, and playing at home, they could really challenge here. Look for Roy Hibbert to be the X-factor, because Miami has no answer for him if Indiana can afford to keep him out there defensively.
  • 9:30 - NBA - Lakers @ T-Wolves (ESPN) - The Worldwide Leader can't be happy about how this match-up turned out, but every game is critical at this point for LA, so at least there's that. Minnesota is really, really banged up and the Lakers could win here, even without Dwight. 

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