Thursday, March 7, 2013

3/7: Hoops Roundup, etc.

  • The Miami Heat are on an absolute tear. When Lebron James hit the game-winning layup with 3 seconds to go, the Heat finished off their 16th consecutive win, extending their franchise record winning streak. It wasn't the prettiest win (i.e. 1-point home win against Orlando), but Lebron came up huge in the clutch (shocking!) and they sailed away with the streak intact. 
  • College Hoops Upsets! #6 Miami fell to a Marcus Georges-Hunt tip-in game winner that gave Georgia Tech a 71-69 win in Coral Gables. It was only the 3rd ACC loss for Miami (who still leads the conference), but this was a shocking one, as GT has struggled this season to a 16-13 overall record with 6-11 in the ACC. Elsewhere, #5 Georgetown fell 67-57 in Philly against Villanova. The biggest culprit in the loss was an uncharacteristic 22 turnovers from the slow-paced Hoyas, and they aren't beating anyone when they do that. Finally, #13 Oklahoma State had the most mild "upset", but they also fell to an unranked opponent in a 87-76 loss to Iowa State. This certainly isn't a bad loss for the Cowboys, as ISU is a bubble tournament team, but giving up 87 points (and 52% shooting) is always a concern. 
  • Reportedly, the "Catholic 7" will be leaving the Big East in June. Normally, I take the "let me know when it's all over" approach, but I'm actually glad that they're leaving to form a basketball-centric league. It's why the Big East existed in the first place. 
  • In the non-Miami NBA, Atlanta survived a miserable start to the game (8-0 deficit, six straight missed field goals and 4 turnovers) to grab a huge lead against Philly, and then hang on in 4th quarter of a 107-96 victory. Jeff Teague had his best statistical game of the year with 27 points (on 10-15 FG) and 11 assists, but the story of the night was the offensive explosion from Anthony Tolliver (!) who made 5-of-7 threes, 7-of-10 field goals, and finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Who knew? Kobe and the Lakers rallied from a 25-point second-half deficit with a 33-9 advantage in the 4th quarter and a 108-102 road win over New Orleans. Kobe finished with 42 points (on 21 shots), 12 assists, and 7 rebounds in another ridiculous performance, but the 25-2 game-ending run by LA is just crazy overall. Speaking of the West playoff race, Utah lost 104-101 in Cleveland, shrinking their lead on the #8 seed over LA to just 1.5 games. The consensus at this point is that LA will make it, but Utah is capable of stepping up and holding them off if they can put it together. 
  • Another Yankees injury!?! Mark Teixeira (who all Braves' fans hate) will miss 8-10 weeks after straining his right wrist. This, coupled with Curtis Granderson's absence, will make the Yankee offense pretty ugly in April, and further facilitate my belief that they're going to finish in the bottom part of that division. Yikes. 
What to watch for on Thursday...
  • 7:00 - NCAAB - Virginia @ Florida State (ESPN) - The Wahoos really, really need a road win on their resume, even against a mediocre FSU team. 
  • 8:00 - NBA - Thunder @ Knicks (TNT) - Two of the more entertaining offenses in the league face off. I have no idea how NY is going to defend either Westbrook or Durant, but that should be worth the price of admission in itself. 
  • 9:00 - NCAAB - #22 Wisconsin @ #10 Michigan State (ESPN) - Really fun match-up here. Wisconsin is scuffling a bit (even losing at home this week), but these two will play an all-out war and it'll probably be in the 50's. Enjoy. 
  • 9:00 - NCAAB - #19 Oregon @ Colorado (ESPN2) - Really tough game for Oregon going on the road to Boulder. Good test. 
  • 10:30 - NBA - Clippers @ Nuggets (TNT) - LA is better than Denver... but not in the Pepsi Center. I'm looking forward to the Lawson/Paul duel though.

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