Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2/26: Brady, etc.

Greetings! With MLB Previews in full effect, this one may be a bit brief.
  • Tom Brady reportedly has agreed to a 3-year, $27 million extension to stay with the Pats for the rest of his career in all likelihood. It's a brilliant move by the Pats as they lock him up while keeping cap flexibility, and (another) great move by Brady to take less money to help the team. It's important to note that Brady isn't "giving up" money, but rather taking a team-friendly extension. The man is a legend. 
  • In the NBA, the dueling stories of the night belonged to (shockingly) the Lakers and Celtics. Los Angeles fell 119-108 at the hands of the Nuggets in Denver to fall short of reaching the .500 mark. Denver shot a blistering 56% on the night and turned the ball over just 9 times, basically doing whatever they wanted on the offensive end throughout the night. LA did shoot 55% on their own end and they got a 29/9/6 from Kobe, but it wasn't enough to beat a dominant Denver home team. Elsewhere, Boston went into Utah and stole a 110-107 overtime win in Salt Lake. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 26 points, 8 assists, and 7 boards in an old-school throwback effort. On the Utah side, Gordon Heyward led the way with 26 points off the bench, but it was a lack of offensive execution at times that let Utah down in this one. Finally, the Hawks beat up on the hapless Detroit Pistons, 114-103. Al Horford matched his career-high with 22 rebounds in a monster effort that also included 23 points (on 10-13 shooting), 2 blocks, and 2 steals. It was a fantastic performance from Horford, but the contributions of Jeff Teague (20 points, 12 assists) and Josh Smith (9 of 17, 23 points, 7 boards) also were big in the win.
  • College Hoops! Kansas "squeaked" out a road win 108-96 over Iowa State. This game was much, much closer than the final score indicates (it went to overtime after all), but the Jayhawks basically ran them out of the building in the extra frame. Elijah Johnson had the best game of his Kansas career, scoring 39 points on 13-22 shooting and dishing out 7 assists. Huge. In the other ESPN game, Marquette snuck out a home win over visiting Syracuse. The Orange actually shot a higher percentage in this one (48% to 43%), but Marquette got to the free throw line at will (attempting 35) and they converted at a high rate to make the difference. The Big East is always a gauntlet, and this year is no different. 
  • NFL Draft news! I generally hate the combine, but the fact that Manti Te'o actually ran is a story. He ran a 4.82 40-yard dash, and the while the story wheel turns, it's important that he actually gets on the field, in a hurry. Also, star Utah DT Star Lotulelei reportedly has a heart condition. He's considered to be a top-5 pick, and it'll be interesting to see how far (if at all) he falls as a result of this. 
What to watch for on Tuesday...
  • 7:00 - NCAAB - #1 Indiana @ Minnesota (ESPN) - The Gophers are in a bit of rut right now, but they are fully capable of rising up (at home) and making this a game. 
  • 7:00 - NCAAB - #19 Memphis @ Xavier (ESPN2) - The Tigers are unbeaten (13-0) in hapless Conference USA but this is a true road game against a good team. Really nice.
  • 8:00 - NBA - Cavs @ Bulls (NBATV) - Can Kyrie outscore the entire Bulls team?! That, of course, is a dig at the Bulls and their putrid offense, but it'll be interesting to see if they can actually score against a bad defensive team. 
  • 9:00 - NCAAB - #8 Florida @ Tennessee (ESPN) - Another top-10 team hitting the road in-conference against a decent opponent. My bet is that one of them is tight. 

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