Yes, I know I’m breaking new ground here — A sports blog linking to pictures of cheerleaders? Whoever heard of such a thing? — but what with the New Year coming up and all, I figured a little festive eye-candy wouldn’t hurt a bit. What we have is a nicely-done collection of the lovely world of NBA Dance teams, courtesy of NBC Sports. It’s a well-stocked gallery featuring 113 images that help provide some enjoyable visuals while you countdown to 2009.
Six players versus five. I’m sure many basketball fans have often wondered how a team would do on offense if they were allowed an extra player. In the case of Portland’s win over Boston, the result is an easy dunk for the team that “broke the huddle with too many men on the field.” Fortunately for the Blazers, the penalty didn’t cost them too much: a one-shot technical foul for the Celtics. Meanwhile, the Blazers were allowed to keep the two points; meaning they traded two points for one.
That’s not a bad strategy for a young team to use when they are trying to beat the defending world champions, something the Blazers did. By five points. Other teams that should consider the six-versus-five advantage: The Oklahoma City Thunder, Washington (even if Agent Zero every comes back), Minnesota, Sacramento, Charlotte and Memphis.
Hell, give these teams an extra draft pick so they can specifically address their sixth man needs.
The strength of the NBA lies in its ability to provide head-to-head match ups of the league’s brightest stars. The NBA is a a players league and because of that, when two of its upper-echelon players play against each other, it normally provides some entertaining theatre. Take LeBron James and Dwyane Wade for instance: Last night’s Miami/Cleveland game was the topper of the NBA’s 24 Hours of LeBron James celebration, and these two went at it as Miami spoiled LeBron’s birthday celebration to the tune of 104-95.
As expected, each opposing player led their respective teams with LeBron going for 38 points and 7 assists while Wade replied with 21 points and 12 assists. But the highlight of these two going at it was not the offensive fireworks they provided. No, it was each player’s ability to block shots that got everybody’s attention. In the lead video, Wade blocks James. Later, LeBron got a little payback, but I doubt it makes up for the new addition to Cleveland’s “L” column.
After the games have been played and the coaches have been fired, the NFL starts giving out its season-ending awards. The question is, who is the NFL’s MVP for the 2008 season? There are a lot of players that deserve consideration, even if most of the buzz seems to be going to that relatively unknown quarterback in Indianapolis. Adrian Peterson is also getting a lot of recognition and considering his incredible ability, that goes without saying.
Now that the regular season is over in the NFL, the coaching merry-go-round began in earnest yesterday with Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini and Rod Marinelli being the first to go. While Detroit indicated they would be focusing on the New York Giants coaching staff, both the Browns and the Jets want Bill Cowher to be their new head coach, as well as fans of other non-playoff teams. Unfortunately for these franchises, Cowher wants to be more than just a coach: He wants personnel control complete with a general manager of his choosing.
And the hits just keep on rolling for the Dallas Cowboys: Linebacker Bradie James — one of the few Cowboy defenders who actually showed up yesterday — has had it with Cowboy fans who offer nothing constructive to go with the fallout of epic collapses.
During Philadelphia’s emasculation of Dallas yesterday, Eagles defensive end Chris Clemons adding some stiff arm-style insult to the beatdown the Cowboys were enjoying. While doing his part to help Cowboy fans everywhere suffer through the offseason, Clemons collected one of the Cowboys’ bazillion third-quarter fumbles and took it to the Eagles’ end zone, a mere 81 yards in the other direction. During the run back, Cowboys running back, Tashard Choice, decided he wouldn’t give up on the play and tried to run Clemons down, only to be greeted with a Heisman-worthy stiff arm that repelled Choice’s tackling attempt.