I’m not going to suggest that the Boston Celtics weren’t completely focused last night, but…for God’s sake, they lost to the freakin’ Los Angeles Clippers! I know that they were without Kevin Garnett, and then Paul Pierce dislocated his thumb in the third quarter. And I know that the axiom that there are no easy road games in the NBA.
Except when you are playing the Los Angeles Clippers - I don’t care where you play them or what the circumstances are, that should be an “easy game” for any team. If they can’t beat the Clippers, then I guess we can eliminate the Celtics as legitimate NBA Finals contenders. We might as well go ahead and crown the Lakers…
…who lost to Sacramento earlier this year, who actually somehow have managed to be worse this season than the Clippers. OK then, how about the Cavaliers? What, they lost to Washington earlier this season? We’re going to wind up with the Spurs as champions again, aren’t we. The point is: it was a really, really bad loss, but no worse than any other team has during the course of a season. Let’s not freak out to much about it yet.
Nothing against Nolan Smith, but doesn’t anyone who isn’t a Duke fan feel good about seeing a Blue Devil get laid out by a vicious screen? Maryland’s Dave Neal was the one delivering the shot, flooring Smith and causing Mike Krzyzewski to fume. Smith had to be helped off the court but didn’t appear to be seriously injured, allowing us to enjoy our little moment of schadenfreude:
Of course, as the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER points out, that screen might have been the worst thing that could have happened to the Terrapins, as Duke’s Gerald Henderson came out of the ensuing time out as a man on a mission, scoring 11 of his 19 points in the game’s final 15 minutes and change afterward. Or, it could just be that Duke is a much better team than possibly NIT-bound Maryland; either way, Duke won 78-67.
Meanwhile, this is how bad it’s gotten for Indiana: they were swept by Northwestern. The Wildcats did what would have seemed improbable going into this season, breaking a 35-game losing streak at Indiana on Wednesday with a 75-53 victory. Then again, even with a young, inexperienced team, thinking that Indiana would be 6-21 overall or 1-14 in the Big Ten would have been pretty loopy before the season started.
More sports news as you fire up your NES and decide whether to play “Wrestle Jam” as Randy “The Ram” Robinson or The Ayatollah:
- Remember those Powerade commercials that had LeBron James sinking one full-court shot after another to the amazement of a local reporter. After watching this pre-game video found by BALL DON’T LIE of King James swishing a more than half-court shot - underhanded- I’m starting to wonder how much editing trickery was used:
- Congratulations to Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun for notching his 800th career victory, a 93-82 victory over Marquette. Go buy yourself something nice and extravagent, and make sure you send the receipt to that idiot writer.
- Further proof that Alex Rodriguez just doesn’t get it: FOX SPORTS says that after hitting a home run in his first Spring Training game, he left the stadium in an SUV … with his cousin Yuri Sucart, the same cousin who was allegedly his steroid supplier.
- Updating a story about 82-year-old former professional wrestling star Verne Gagne allegedly killing his assisted-living center roommate, the AP says a coroner in Minnesota has ruled the death a homicide.
- REUTERS says Australian swimmer Nick D’Arcy - pulled from the Olympic team after allegedly caving in another athlete’s face during a barroom brawl while celebrating making the team - will have to wait another month to learn his fate.
- I know it’s from the Celebrity Game during All-Star Weekend, so it’s a little bit old, but seeing ESPN’s Jon Barry bite this hard on the old Harlem Globetrotters “Confetti in the Bucket” trick is worth it. Didn’t he ever watch the Globetrotters on “Wide World of Sports” as a kid?:
- Another day, another investment scam impacting sports. This time NEWSDAY reports that two former New York Islanders executives have been arrested and charged with “with misappropriating more than $500 million in client investments, including tens of millions allegedly taken for things like expensive stallions and pricey Teddy bears.”
- More news in the slow, inevitable slog towards Manny Ramirez finally signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers: the LA TIMES reports that the team has made him a two-year, $45 million offer that he could respond to as early as today.
- CANES COUNTRY has another sign that either newspapers are dying or economy is falling through a well (or both): the News & Observer has decided to not send reporters to Carolina Hurricanes away games, likely for the rest of the season and possibly beyond.
- The PALM BEACH POST reports that Michael Jordan and his 30-year-old paramour, Cuban model Yvette Prieto, are moving in together in a house in suburban Miami. Michael: if you find Charlie Sheen coming out of your house at odd hours of the night, you have bigger things to worry about than your underwear.