As much as a I tired, I could not get myself to watch the Pro Bowl. I watched a few snaps just to get a look at the Cowboys players but it was obvious that no one was trying from the start. Adrian Peterson, the best running back in the league, had a fumble from the first snap. So I spent most of my sports watching focused on the NBA and it was a good weekend, depending on what team you were supporting. The biggest news around the league was clearly the injury news of Rajon Rondo. The Celtics PG suffered a torn ACL and unfortunately for fans in the New England area, Rondo will be out for the remainder of the season. A lot of NBA fans around the country were taken back by the news because Rondo is a fun player to watch, plays a unique style and still manages to put up triple doubles like a well seasoned veteran.
Despite the devastating news about Rondo, the Celtics were able to rally around each other and defeat the Miami Heat in double OT. It was a game that had some pretty intense moments from the start. Social media was buzzing from information that had leaked about the Rondo injury but it wasn’t confirmed until after halftime and maybe the Celtics players that knew used it as fuel. Even though the Celtics beat the Heat because of tough team defense and clutch shooting, it felt a little like winning the battle and losing the war. How does a team overcome their best player having a season ending injury at the very apex of his career? And because of the age of the Celtics and it’s stars, the rumors will continue to mount about blowing up the team and starting a new era.
The other showcase game for the NBA was between the Thunder (best record in the league before the game) and Lakers, who were in desperation mode. The Lakers played well, at times looking like the team that everyone thought they would be. Kobe was once again 1 rebound away from a triple-double and once again had 14 assists; while unorthodox for time, it seems to be working for well for the Lakers. The Lakers have won two straight and are looking like a new team but watch out, they have a long road trip coming up that could very well define the entire season.
Other news around the Association: Melo dropped 42 points on the Hawks (making nine 3-pointers) as the Knicks continue to try and keep pace with the Heat atop the eastern conference. Blake Griffin lead the Clippers over the Blazers as they keep playing well without the star PG Paul. Oh yeah, my Mavs won last night as they continue to slowly but surely look better.
It’s only been a few weeks of NBA basketball but the Wizards were already beginning to be the butt of jokes around the league, starting at a horrendous 0-12 but they finally broke that streak as they got their first victory in a close game last night over the Trailblazers 84-82. My favorite pun about the Wizards being win-less was their name change to the “Lizards” because you know, their team only has Ls. Anyways, now that the Wizards have finally got their first victory the bigger question is, when will their NEXT win come? They have a few tough games in a row (at Knicks, Heat, at Hawks, Warriors) but then they go to New Orleans who still might be without their rookie sensation Anthony Davis. If the Wizards aren’t able to win that game, they’re looking at another tough stretch and it won’t be until the 3rd week of December until they face an opponent that they can compete against. Of course this is professional basketball and upsets do happen throughout the season but 1-21 is a really possibility for these Wizards. Keep an eye out for that.
The Brooklyn Nets were in Boston last night, taking on the Celtics in what could be seen as two of a few teams that can take down the Heat in the eastern conference. The game started out with some good basketball, both teams playing well but the Nets began to pull away in the second as just as the Celtics began to cut into the lead a fight/skirmish occurred between PG Rajon Rondo and F Kris Humphries. The incident occurred after Celtics forward Kevin Garnett took a hard from Humphries and Rondo (right next to the play under the basket) wasn’t too fond of the foul so he basically tried to retaliate in defense of his teammate. Were Rondo’s actions uncalled for? Yes and no. It was ok that he stood up for his teammate but Rondo was too aggressive and it resulted in himself and Humphries being ejected. Anyone who has played sports knows that sometimes in the heat of battle, tempers flare but this was an important game for Rondo as his assist streak was on the line. A little less emotional next time Rondo. Gerald Wallace of the Nets was a little too aggressive while trying to break up the fight so he also earned an ejection from the referees. Also, Paul Pierce got his ankles broken by Joe Johnson during the 4th quarter.
James Harden returned to OKC for the first time since the trade to the Rockets but his return was spoiled pretty quickly by the Thunders’ defense and Durant’s 37 points. Not only did Harden shoot bad (3-16) but he also had six of his shots blocked by his former team. While other teams seem to be taking the spotlight early this season (Knicks, Lakers, Nets etc.) i’m not surprised to see the Heat cruising along where they left off last season. This is their title to lose so we’ll see how other teams respond because when the Heat are next on a team’s schedule, it’s the biggest test of the season. The Heat are the best team so far, followed closely by three powerhouses in the western conference (Grizzlies, Spurs, Thunder) and my fifth best team is…the Brooklyn Nets. Don’t get mad at me Moe, I know your Knicks are doing well to start the season but i’m going to wait until Stoudemire’s return and see how that goes before I include them in the NBA’s elite.
Quick reminder: NFL action tonight as the Saints visit the Falcons. If you’re not feeling that game there two good NBA games tonight as well (Spurs at Heat; Nuggets at Warriors) so there’s plenty to watch tonight for sports fans. Enjoy!