NBA Finals: Game 3

With my first real post in more than five months, I figured the NBA Finals would be a perfect spot to begin. Last night’s Game 3 between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers was not won by the team that played better, but by the team that made fewer mistakes. The Lakers managed to squeak by with an 87-81 victory, but they cannot be happy with how they played. They had few good offensive possessions, but it was not because of the Celtics’ defense. The Celtics seemed lethargic, slow to play help defense, and just plain bad last night. Kevin Garnett, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, was weak on the defensive glass, slow to react to Lamar Odom’s reckless spin moves, and never seemed to have the unbelievable energy that he had possessed all season.

Yet, Los Angeles could not take advantage of the sloppy defense. They shot 43.5% from the field (30-69) and a miserable 61.8% from the free throw line (21-34). With the exception of Kobe Bryant, the other four Laker starters scored a combined 22 points on 7 of 28 shooting. Starting point guard Derek Fisher had only one assist while Lamar Odom had five turnovers. Vladamir Radmonovic played only 13 minutes because of foul trouble while the rarely-used Ronny Turiaf played 19 minutes, the most he’s played throughout the entire playoffs. Continue reading “NBA Finals: Game 3”

Daily Sports Roundup 1/1/08

It has been a pretty big day in sports so let’s get to the stories:

Penguins Win Winter Classic: The Pittsburgh Penguins won the first ever NHL Winter Classic 2-1 in shootout over the Buffalo Sabres. The game was held outdoors in the Buffalo Bills football stadium. This was the first ever pro hockey game held outdoors in the United States and the weather did not agree. A mix of snow, sleet, and rain covered the ice for almost the entire game and forced Zambonis to redo the ice during the middle of each period. The puck moved slower and players had to battle the wind, yet the event was a huge success. Sidney Crosby scored in the shootout to give the Penguins’ the win and jumped towards his bench in celebration when the puck hit the back of the net. 71,217 people braved the elements to see the NHL’s first ever Ice Bowl. Fans loved the game and created an energetic atmosphere that players loved. Watching it on TV, the ice looked small in the huge stadium, but it was a great game and I could feel the energy in the air.

Non-BCS Bowl Games: New Years has brought plenty of great bowl games today including the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. First, though, was the Capital One Bowl where Michigan defeated Florida 42-35. It is a sweet ending for Michigan who lost to Appalachian State earlier this year, erasing any hopes for a National Championship. The Wolverines came out on top in Lloyd Carr’s final game and will hopefully move back into the Top 25 after beating number 12 Florida. In the Cotton Bowl, number 6 Missouri destroyed Arkansas in what could have been Darren McFadden’s final collegiate game. McFadden ran for 105 yards and a touchdown, but was not happy with the result. “We had a bad game. You don’t want to lose a bowl game. You only have fun when you win a bowl game” McFadden said. He has not stated whether he is going pro or not, but most scouts expect McFadden to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL Draft. Also today, number 16 Tennessee faced off against number 18 Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl. Tennessee finished the year at 10-4, the Vollunteer’s first 10 win season since 2004. Led by Quarterback Erik Ainge, Tennessee had 365 yards passing with Josh Briscoe receiving 7 of those passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 1/1/08”

At The Top of the NBA

With over a month of the NBA season complete, the top of the league is a crowded. The usual Western Conference powerhouses, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Dallas, are all up there, but the Eastern Conference is finally making some noise. Detroit is good as always, but Boston and Orlando have burst on to the scene as title contenders. Orlando center Dwight Howard has become one of, if not the best, big man in the NBA. He averages 23 points and 15 rebounds per game, and his supporting players have picked up their play as well. Rashard Lewis is averaging 18 points per game and Jameer Nelson is averaging 12 points and 6 assists. After a 40-42 season last year, Orlando has jumped out to a 18-10 record this year and is poised to make a run at an Eastern Conference title. Continue reading “At The Top of the NBA”