- ... because Michigan got housed in East Lansing. Sparty dominated the glass (40-28) and 48% from the field while holding the Wolverines to under 40% on the night. It was a dominant effort from the jump, and a reminder of how Tom Izzo always gets his teams ready as we head into February and March. I'm not terribly worried about Michigan, as bad shooting nights do happen (especially on the road), but it certainly wasn't a good night.
- In the other college hoops battle, Florida knocked off Kentucky 69-52. However, the lead story ended up being that potential #1 overall NBA Draft pick Nerlens Noel (of Kentucky) went down in the second half with what looked to be a devastating knee injury. You never want to see something like that, so that's obviously the focus. On the court, Florida just executed all night and showed that they are the cream of the crop in the SEC. Plain and simple.
- Lebron James is a mutant. He became the first player in NBA history to score 30 points and shoot 60+% from the field in six consecutive games. Lebron finished with 30 points (on 11-15 FG), 9 assists, and 6 boards on the night to lead Miami to a 117-104 win. What else can you even say?
- Around the NBA, Toronto got a late basket from Rudy Gay to seal a 109-108 win over visiting Denver. The Nuggets shot 52% from the field and got an impressive 29-and-9 from Ty Lawson, but Toronto hit 10 threes and converted 21-23 free throws (91%) that proved to be the difference in the game. Memphis got 24 points and 12 rebounds from Marc Gasol to lead them to a 108-101 over the hapless Kings. The Grizz also shot 55% from the floor on the night in an impressive offense showing for a usually offensively-challenged team. The Jazz throttled Oklahoma City 109-94 at home in the most "surprising" score of the night. Hilariously, the Thunder shot 56% from the field and still lost by 15 points thanks to 20 turnovers and an uncharacteristicly terrible free throw shooting performance (13-23 FT). Utah had 6 guys in double-figures and dominated the rebounding battle (38-26) to key the win. The Lakers Traveling Road Show got a 91-85 home win over a bad Phoenix team. Dwight Howard looked spry with 19 points and 18 rebounds, but the story of the night was Kobe Bryant. Bean shot just 1-8 from the field and seemed to refuse to shoot (think back to those Smush Parker days). The bad part? He also committed 8 turnovers. Yikes. And finally, Houston went into Golden State and refused to let the Dubs avenge that embarrassing loss from a couple of weeks ago. The Rockets won the game 116-107 behind 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists from Chandler Parsons to go along with 27 points from James Harden. The Warriors simply have no defensive answers against Houston.
- Four Alabama football players (all freshmen) were arrested on Monday. Robbery and fraudulent credit card use were the charges. I don't even have a joke here, but this is the SEC! (send hate mail now)
- Remember the issues with the Felix Hernandez contract? Well, they were elbow-related... and apparently not that important, as the deal became official yesterday. 7 years, $175 million. That's a lot of money.
- Wrestling is no longer an Olympic sport. As of 2020, the IOC has removed it, and there is some outrage in the community. It does seem pretty insane to me that wrestling would be removed when you consider some of the sports that are still active, and with no professional version of this sport (at least in real terms), the Olympic removal could really, really damage things. I don't like it.
What to watch for on Wednesday...
- 7:00 - NBA - Hawks @ Magic (SportSouth) - The final Hawks game before the All-Star Break is a welcoming face-off with Orlando. They are wretched right now (having won 3 of their last 26 games), but it's still a divisional road game.
- 7:00 - NCAAB - #6 Syracuse @ UConn (ESPN) - Tough road game for the Orange here. This isn't the typical elite UConn team, but they're capable of stealing one.
- 7:00 - NCAAB - #3 Miami @ Florida State (ESPN2) - Miami is a veteran, awesome team, but road games in-conference (again) are really tough, and doubly so against rivals.
- 7:30 - NBA - Bulls @ Celtics (NBA-TV) - No Rondo! No Rose!
- 9:00 - NCAAB - North Carolina @ #2 Duke (ESPN) - This game doesn't have nearly the build-up that it usually does because UNC isn't UNC this year, but this is the best rivalry in college hoops and that carries some cache. Duke should have no trouble at home here, but would anyone really be surprised if the Heels rose up and competed?
- 10:30 - NBA - Rockets @ Clippers (NBA-TV) - One of the more entertaining style match-ups in the league. Houston can score on anyone, and Chris Paul directs one of the league's best offenses in LA.
- 11:00 - NCAAB - #23 Oregon @ Washington (ESPN2) - 11:00 tip-offs are awesome. Period.