Ah, the YouTube video post. It makes a blogger’s life so much easier — if by easy, I mean lazy (I do). Thanks to Dwight Howard’s relatively benign double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds and a ton of foul trouble) and to Courtney Lee’s impressive 24-point outing, the Orlando Magic find themselves tied with Philadelphia 76ers at one game each.
The highlight(s) of the game came courtesy of Howard and his astounding athleticism, which allowed him to throw down two nasty dunks, one of which is in the lead video. The second is after the jump:
Introducing your Rookie of the Year, Derrick Rose. The Chicago Bulls have a 2pm press conference where they are expected to announce their quickly-becoming-an-All-World point guard will receive the Rookie of the Year award, the first of many accolades Rose is bound to receive. Rose led all rookies in assists (6.3) and minutes played (37.0). He was second in rookie scoring to O.J. Mayo. Rose averaged 16.8, while Mayo averaged almost 19.
There’s little question Rose’s Game 1 performance against the Boston Celtics last Saturday left an undeniable impression on the voters — how can a 36 point, 11 assist outing not? The question is, can Rose bounce back from a less-than-stellar Game 2 performance on Thursday? Considering he’ll have some new hardware on his mantle, and the Bulls will be playing at home, chances are Rose is going to come out with something more to prove.
Add that potential motivation to the way Rajon Rondo has been playing, and we have ourselves the makings of another great throwdown between these two young, dynamic point guards. Thanks to NBA’s YouTube profile, we have the top 10 Derrick Rose moments in 2009.
After that, I’m quite satisfied the award was given to the right player.
Jason Terry’s game-winning shot against Minnesota last night — specifically, Sebastian Telfair, who got absolutely faked out of his sneakers — not only won the game, but it also moved the Dallas Mavericks out of the dreaded eighth playoff spot. The Utah Jazz now face the prospect of playing Kobe and the gang when the playoffs start on Saturday. Oddly enough, Utah plays their last game of the season tonight against said Lakers in Los Angeles. If they want to entertain chances of not seeing them in the first round, the Jazz have to win tonight and hope Dallas loses to Houston on Wednesday.
These factors make Terry’s shot that much bigger. The Mavericks match up well with all of the teams fighting for the second seed; currently occupied by Denver. If they maintain their seventh seeding, provided New Orleans doesn’t lose their last game while Dallas wins, the Mavericks would be in a good position for a run to the Conference Finals.
Of course, the same logic is true for any Western Conference team in the second-seed side of the bracket.
In light of the all this Western Conference leap-frogging going on, it’s hard not to look at the Eastern Conference and all laugh. If Dallas, New Orleans or Utah played in the East, they’d be high seeds going into the playoffs, while teams like Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia would miss the playoffs entirely — unless they were allowed to defect to the Western Conference as reciprocation for losing the Jazz, Mavericks and Hornets.
If that happened, Chicago and Philly would push Golden State and Minnesota aside and Shaq would be Twittering about “carrying” Phoenix to the NBA Playoffs. With that in mind, perhaps this type of nonsensical realignment is best for all parties involved.
Apparently, last night was a bad night to be a Cavalier. We’ve already mentioned LeBron’s struggles, but he wasn’t the only playing for the mascot having the horrible night. The Virginia Cavaliers got caught in the UNC buzzsaw last night as the Tar Heels try and erase any bad tastes leftover from their 0-2 start in the ACC. The highlight of the game–besides Tyler Hansbrough passing Christian Laettner on the all-time ACC scoring list–was a putback slam by Danny Green.
Are the Heels getting ready to roll again, now that they’ve got that first ACC win out of the way? There’s almost a month until they travel to Cameron Indoor for the first of their yearly, bi-annual game of the century of the year of the season against Duke (February 11). They also have Clemson at home and two away games at NC State and Florida State.
All three of these contests present potential pitfalls for the Heels.
The NLCS starts tonight as the Dodgers and the Phillies square off. Only a trip the World Series is at stake. Most seem to be favoring Los Angeles in hopes of seeing Manny and Joe go against the Boston Red Sox, the other presumed favorite. In fact, thanks to Tim McCarver and Manny Ramirez, the Phillies have been all but forgotten.
Tim Tebow is the getting a lot of attention as the world of college football watchers prepares for Saturday night’s SEC heavyweight fight when the LSU Tigers invade the Swamp to play the Florida Gators. Among the topics being discussed are his transition from sophomore to junior — he has regressed from last year’s Heisman-winning campaign — and whether or not the quarterback you’d most want your daughter to marry can ply his trade in the NFL.
In one of the most shocking announcements since Darth Vader told Luke Skywalker about his daddy, the Oakland Raiders have fired Lane Kiffin — according to sources gathered by Chris Mortensen, who looks like he actually beat Jay Glazer this time.
The details were about what you’d expect from Al Davis — Kiffin was told he was getting a phone call from Davis and would be fired, Kiffin isn’t allowed to speak to the players before he leaves, Davis was mad Kiffin showed interest in a college job and so on and so forth. What no one seems to be worried about, except the San Francisco Chronicle apparently, is the development of JaMarcus Russell.
The environment fostered by Davis isn’t exactly ideal for an up-and-coming quarterback who needs a stable franchise supporting him. Oakland is about the exact opposite:
The single biggest obstacle to the proper development of JaMarcus Russell is the current instability surrounding the Oakland Raiders. A player needs proper coaching to transition from the NCAA level to the NFL. As it stands, to describe the Raiders coaching situation as tenuous would be stretching it. It has the makings of a disaster that rivals the Hindenburg. The Raiders need to figure out what they are going to do, and allow this young team time to grow up together.
Now that Davis has taken care of his latest nemesis, perhaps he can give Russell the appropriate surroundings, complete with a coaching staff he trusts and smart, useful draft picks — and maybe I’ll be the overall top pick next season.
According to Mort, one of the following is expected to replace Kiffin: offensive line coach Tom Cable, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and Paul Hackett. There was no mention of James Lofton anywhere in the report.