Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NBA Line of the Week: 11/17 to 11/23

It may not have been a great week for the Toronto Raptors, but you can't overlook Chris Bosh's performance. In a 103-90 losing effort to Orlando on Tuesday, Bosh (Georgia Tech) put up 40 points (14-19 fg%), 18 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.

Bosh became the first person in the Toronto Raptor's franchise history with at least 40 points and 18 boards in a single game.

For an encore performance Friday against New Jersey, Bosh put up 42 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. However it wasn't enough as the Raptors fell to Vince Carter and the Nets 129-127 in overtime.

Worth noting:

Chris Paul is again proving he's hands down the best point guard in the NBA. On Saturday, CP3 recorded his first triple double of the season, 5th of his career, as the Hornets held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 109-97.

CP3's numbers: 29 points, 16 dimes and 10 boards. Paul also had 3 steals, giving him at least one steal for his 96th consecutive game, 9 games short of the NBA record set by Alvin Robertson.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NBA Line Of The Week: November 10-16, 2008

Yeah, I'm starting this back up again.

This section is usually reserved for Lebron or CP3. They pretty much guarantee sick numbers every game they play.

Beyond the usual suspects, this week's award goes to the New Jersey Nets' Devin Harris (Wisconsin).

Back in the lineup after missing 3 games with a sprained ankle, Harris helped lead the Nets to consecutive victories over the Atlanta Hawks.

In last Friday's 115-108 home victory, Harris scored 30 points on 8-17 shooting, was 12-12 from the line and had 6 boards, 8 assists and 2 steals.

The next night in Atlanta, Harris put up 33 points, 10 assists and 3 rebounds in New Jersey's 119-107 win.

NBA: 3 Weeks In

Here's a quick look at the NBA season just 3 weeks underway.

Boston (10-2) and the L.A. Lakers (8-1) looked poised to meet again in the NBA Finals. Kobe's being Kobe, a healthy Andrew Bynum gives the Lakers much needed muscle, and Trevor Ariza has looked solid.

The Celtics back in the Finals? Don't tell that to Lebron James. Bron-Bron has the Cavs (9-2) looking better than ever and is solidifying is spot as the best on the planet. So far this year, Lebron is averaging just under 30 a game to along with 8 rebounds and 7 assists per. Freakin sick!

The biggest news? The Iverson/Billups trade. Joe Dumars and the Pistons look to be rebuilding, but don't look now, Detroit is sitting pretty at 7-3 and handed the Lakers their only loss of the season at the Staples Center.

Is it me or does Allen Iverson truly represent the perfect Piston?

As for Denver? Chauncey Billups looks comfortable to be back home as the Nuggets are 5-1 since the trade. And George Karl could not be happier.

"There are less bad plays, more solid plays," Karl said. "I think the wasteful, cheap possessions that we used to have 10 to 15 a game, they don't exist very much anymore."

Two teams looking to build off their momentum last year in the playoffs-Atlanta and Philadelphia. Looking for the missing piece of the puzzle, the 76ers acquired Elton Brand but have started of slow, sitting at 5-5.

As for the Hawks, Atlanta came storming out of the gate at 6-0 and were a last second Paul Pierce game winning shot away from beating the Celtics at the Garden. Something Atlanta failed to do last year in the Playoffs. That loss must of had some effect on the Hawks as they have now dropped 4 straight to drop to 6-4.

The injury bug is killing the Washington Wizards. Gilbert Arenas and Antonio Daniels have both spent significant time on the bench. Arenas has yet to suit up this year as Washington (1-7) could be in for a long season.

Delightful surprises?

Both Miami and the New York Knicks at 6-5. The Knicks! That's right, the Knicks! They won 23 games all of last year! See what happens when you exile Isiah and Stephon.

The Heat aren't really a surprise, considering how Dwyane Wade played in the Olympics. The trio of Wade, Michael Beasley and Shawn Marion are a fun team to watch, they should only get better as the season progresses. If only they had a decent bench.

Give Derrick Rose the NBA Rookie of the Year trophy already. The Bulls' offense is totally set up for Rose to run and he's the perfect fit. D-Rose is averaging 19.5 ppg, 4.8 boards and 5.9 assists. Pretty amazing considering the kid just graduated from his teen years.

Moving across to the Western Conference.

We've already covered the Lakers and Nuggets.

So what about the LA Clippers and their big move bringing Baron Davis back home? Elton Brand leaving LaLa land wasn't part of the plan and the Clippers are downright dismal, 1-9.

The Phoenix Suns (8-4) have really been flexing their muscles of late and Shaq Daddy is showing he still means business.

Utah should win the Northwest Division and would be a serious contender for the Western Conference Crown if they could should figure out how to play outside of Salt Lake City.

Portland finally gets Greg Oden on the court and will definitely make some noise and probably make the playoffs. But their still too young to be a contender.

As for Oklahoma City and Kevin Durant? After landing a professional franchise, Okie City has little to get excited about this year, 1-10.

An unsung rookie to watch out West is Golden State's Anthony Morrow. Morrow, undrafted out of Georgia Tech, is finally getting some minutes and has led the Warriors to consecutive victories over the Clippers and Trailblazers, scoring 37 and 25 respectively.

The Southwest Division has to be the toughest in all of basketball.

After acquiring Ron Artest, Houston looks to be serious contenders in the Western Conference. At 7-4 and on top of the division, the Rockets took a blow Monday night when Artest, McGrady and Yao all went down with injuries. The extent of the injuries doesn't seem severe, but the health of T-Mac and Yao has always been a huge concern.

New Orleans (5-4) has gotten off to a somewhat slow start, but Chris Paul has still been on fire. Paul, one of the best overall players in the NBA, can lay claim to breaking a record previously held by Oscar Robertson. In his first 7 games of the year, Paul finished with at least 20 points and 10 assists, breaking Robertson's previous record of 6 to begin a season.

Age, Josh Howard's off season habits and Mark Cuban's scandal with the SEC may all be playing a part in Dallas's (4-7) slow start. In need of a good joke, look toward the Mavs.

Poor San Antonio. I don't really mean that. First Manu Ginobili's brittle body, and now Tony Parker has free time to spend with his hot ass wife. The Spurs started 2-5, but don't look now, Timmy's managed to lead them to 3 straight victories and they've crept back to .500.

As for Memphis? Well, I'm not even gonna talk about the Grizz. Except Rudy Gay looking nice and O.J. Mayo averaging just over 20 a game, including back to back 30 plus games.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fight On

Lee Corso called the 2008 USC defense the best in the history of college football. That's a pretty bold statement.

A closer look: After 10 games the Trojans have give up a total of 77 points! Yes, that's 7.7 a game! And 50 of those points came in two games.

So USC plays in a weak Pac 10 Conference. But still, that kind of domination deserves some recognition. Remember USC did play Ohio St. and allowed only 3 points to the Buckeyes.

Let's compare the 2008 Trojans' defense to some other recent dominating defensive teams.

The 2000 Baltimore Ravens. Arguably the best defense in the history of football. The Ravens gave up a total of 167 points in 16 regular season games-10.4 a game.
Baltimore continued its dominance in the playoffs giving up 16 in 3 playoff games and 7 in the Super Bowl, the 7 points coming from a kick return.

So in the postseason alone against the best competition, Baltimore gave up 23 total points in 4 games, 5.75 a game! And that's including the 7 points allowed on the kick return. Take away those 7 and the Ravens gave up an average of 4! count 'em 4 points a game!

The 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers' defense gave up 174 points all season, 14.5 a game.

Even better, the 1994 Nebraska defense allowed only a total of 162 points in 13 games, 12.5 a game.

USC's numbers are pretty strong, and they still have a few games left to play.

But how bad was that 27-21 loss against Oregon St (In Corvallis, a very tough place to play)? If Oregon St. wins out, the Beavers win the Pac 10 and receive a Rose Bowl berth where they'll most likely have a rematch with Penn St.

Think of this. Let's just say somehow a few teams ranked in front of USC stumble down the line, USC could play in the BCS Championship Game while not winning their conference! The Trojans would need a lot of help, but hey, remember the last couple of weeks from a year ago?

Bo Knows Football

So this Bo Pelini thing just might work out.

Pelini finally got his signature win at Nebraska two weeks ago by beating Kansas. Yeah, the Jayhawks aren't ranked, but remember Kansas is just one year removed from their one loss season, including a BCS victory in the Orange Bowl.

And the Cornhuskers are sitting at 7-4 and bowl eligible. They finish off the season with a home game against Colorado. If the Nebraska faithful decide to show up for the Holiday weekend game against the Buffaloes, they can help send Nebraska to an 8-4 record and a credible bowl game.

Pelini can realistically finish his first season 9-4. That's incredible! And more than any Husker fan could have hoped for. And just think, Nebraska could have and should have beat Virginia Tech at home. And remember Pelini took Texas Tech to overtime in Lubbock!

Growing Pains!

Nebraska did get taken to the woodshed against Mizzou and Oklahoma. But Pelini is basically still working with Bill Callahan's mess. The same team that Callahan went 5-7 with one year ago.

A bowl win accompanied with a 9-4 year will greatly help recruiting and you can expect Nebraska to be the cream of the crop of the Big 12 North for many years to come.

Marching 100

So I spent last weekend in Tallahassee, Florida. No, not for a Florida St. game, but I was on the campus of Florida A & M. I believe one road separates the two campuses, but each represent their own unique history.

We all know about the Seminoles, but the Rattlers?

First off, Florida A & M is a historically black university. According to Black Enterprise in May 2006, Florida A& M was the number one college for African Americans. In 1997, Time Magazine-Princeton Review named A & M "College of the Year."

Just under 13,000 students attend Florida A & M. In 1978, they won the first ever 1AA Playoff Championship, beating UMass 35-28. Some notable alumni include; "Bullet" Bob Hayes, Andre Dawson and Vince Coleman.

But more than anything, the pride of Florida A & M is the best band in the land, the "Marching 100." Now over 400 strong, the "Marching 100" have performed in 4 different Super Bowls, 2 Presidential Inaugurations, the French Bi-Centennial Parade in Paris, the Grammys with Kanye West and have even been featured in a Coca-Cola commercial.

In 1992, Sports Illustrated declared the "Marching 100" the best band in the country.

These guys are real serious. If you've ever seen the movie "Drumline," you have some idea what I'm talking about.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gameday At LSU

Baton Rouge does not get the respect it deserves. We all know how great women and tailgating are in the SEC, but I think LSU might be a little under rated.

First off, the weather in Baton Rouge can be very unpleasant. I've never been there during the Summer months, but I can tell you September is miserable. If it's not 95 degrees with a 100% humidity, it's pouring rain and 100% humidity. Yeah, stand in the shade and you're sweating balls.

But when it comes to Saturday Gameday in Baton Rouge, the Purple and Gold never fail to bring it, and then some. I'm talking young and old, male and female. There's nothing wrong with cracking a beer at 6 AM. Hell, you're a minority if you don't.

I just wonder what these guys do when football season is over? I mean they have to be completely lost!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm Just Saying

The Miami Dolphins are 4-4. They're already +3 in their win total from last year. They may be the current winners in the whole Brett Favre off season drama, via Chad Pennington to the Phins.

Let's not forget the Dolphins totally blew a game at Houston just a few weeks ago. The Dolphins could easily be 5-3.

Like I said before the season, you don't want to mess with this Miami team. They're not a pushover like previous years. They will win some big games.

Now, check out the Dolphins remaining schedule:

New England
@St. Louis
San Francisco
@Kansas City
@NY Jets

Five of those games should be gimmes. That's makes them 9-7.

The AFC West is in the crapper. The Titans have pretty much wrapped up the AFC South. The AFC North will likely send Pittsburgh and Baltimore to the Playoffs. So that leaves two teams from the AFC East. Miami could easily win the division, if not, maybe 9-7 gets them a wild card?

And considering what we've learned from all sports, qualifying for postseason play gives you as good a chance as anyone else.

Just ask the NY Giants or Philadelphia Phillies, just to name a recent couple.

I can actually say that for the first time in voting life I'm happy and comfortable with the President of the United States. I actually feel safe.

This is coming from a white male from the Midwest who grew up in an all white community.

I love Barack Obama. I'm confident in Obama mainly because the guy shows so much confidence in himself. He's young, driven and successful.

I know Obama will lead American in the right direction. He understands "the enormity of the task that lies ahead." Like Michael Jordan, Obama wants the ball. He is up for the challenge. He wants the challenge. He's the type of guy who needs a challenge.

And remember this guy started from nothing. He can relate to every class in society. Obama understands the value of hard work. He had to work his ass off for everything he's achieved.

Remember this: Barack Obama has forever engraved his stature in American History.

His portrait will forever hang inside the White House as the 44th President of the United States. The same portrait will forever be featured on every "Past Presidents" poster.

And today, I am proud to be an American and I will support Barack Obama for the next 8 years.

Congratulations Barry O!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Guns Up!

Wow! What a game!

Texas Tech's 39-33 victory over the Texas Longhorns was the game of the year with the play of the year.

This was definitely one of the best games I've ever been in attendance for.

The game was up and down, finally climaxing on Graham Harrell's last second pass to Michael Crabtree, and then Crabtree finishing off the play with a broken tackle and a clear path to the endzone. All this coming just barely over a minute after Texas took the lead.

The Red Raiders definitely deserved to win. They were the better team all night and the electricity of the crowd and the entire town of Lubbock behind them, there was just no stopping Tech.

If these teams played 5 times, the Longhorns would win 4.

You have to give Texas a lot of credit. When your first offensive play from scrimmage results in a safety, you know you're in for a long night.

Texas Tech built up a 19-0 lead at home and the Longhorns were able to comeback and take the lead with 1:29 left in the game.

But Graham Harrell put together a Heisman Trophy winning drive and led the Red Raiders to an improbable win.

The funny thing is, Harrell may not be even be the best player in his huddle. Michael Crabtree is straight up sick. I've heard people say he's the best receiver since Tim Brown. Remember that name, Michael Crabtree, because it'll be a household name for years to come on Sundays.

So obviously now the Big 12 is the best conference in College Football. If not the Big 12, than the Big 12 South. The North is definitely looking weak with preseason front runners Kansas and Missouri not holding up they're end of the deal having more difficult schedules than last year.

Not only will there be another BCS mess come December, but you can see maybe a bigger catastrophe in the Big 12 South. There's a great chance that Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech each finish the regular season with one loss.

Texas Tech has Oklahoma St. at home this weekend. Following a bye, the Red Raiders than travel to Norman, a game they'll most likely lose.

So then you have Texas with one loss coming to Tech. Texas Tech with one loss coming from Oklahoma. And the Sooners with one loss from Texas.

Who goes to the Big 12 Championship Game? Well, from what I've gathered, the team ranked the highest in the BCS Standings following the final regular season weekend.

Wow! That's like picking the team from a hat!

I have no problem with Tech at No. 2 ahead of Penn St. I would rank USC, Oklahoma, Florida and Texas above Penn St.

The Florida Gators are the best team in College Football right now. They've got to be kicking themselves losing at home to Ole Miss-on a missed extra point!

So both the Gators and USC have one loss from very weak teams. That could really hurt both teams.

You know what? Not playing an extra game in a conference championship game just might kill Penn St. and JoPa. The winners of the Big 12 and SEC Championship Games get another quality win to factor in the BCS ratings, most likely against a Top 10 team. That extra quality win may propel a one loss Big 12 and SEC team above Penn St.

So USC's out.

But there's Penn St. and the Big 10 still sitting pretty for another BCS Championship embarrassment.

I'm actually rooting for the Iowa Hawkeyes this weekend. Iowa City is a tough place to win on the road and an upset over undefeated Penn St. would be the biggest Hawkeye victory since the early '80s. The scary thing is, I can totally see Iowa winning this weekend.

How is Ohio St. ranked No. 11? I guess because the Buckeyes' have 2 losses coming to Penn St. and USC.

But what about Missouri at No. 14? Their two losses are from Texas and Oklahoma St.

So where are the best football players in the country from? That's easy, the usual suspects. SoCal, Texas and Florida.

Texas, Texas Tech, and TCU are having great seasons. QB's from the likes of Colt McCoy, Graham Harrell, Chase Daniel, Matthew Stafford and Todd Reesing all hail from Texas.

Pete Carroll and USC have a monopoly on SoCal football.

The Gators are clearly the dominant team in the state of Florida, but we've seen South Florida rise to a Top 25 team. And you can expect Florida St. and Miami to be major players in the near future. It's hard to keep those Florida programs on top because of all the in state talent has so many options to choose from. Also, we've seen these programs succumb to controversy and mishap.

The biggest surprise of the year? Nebraska taking Texas Tech to overtime in Lubbock.

Enjoy the scenes from Jones AT&T Stadium following Tech's upset over No. 1 Texas.