Linsanity Takes His Talents to South Beach
For the past month, Jeremy Lin has taken the NBA by storm in the Big Apple with his outstanding and exciting play that has come out of nowhere. He's gone from being cut by the Golden State Warriors to playing in the D-League to starting for a playoff team. He faces his biggest challenge thus far as the Knicks take on the Heat in Miami tonight. The Heat are at the top of the standings as the trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, & Chris Bosh has really begun to click. The Heat have won 7 games in a row by 12 points or more. Carmelo Anthony has returned for the Knicks and the mini-storyline of the "feud" between LeBron & Carmelo gets reignited as well. It has all the hype in the world and God knows I'll be watching, but I'm pretty sure the Heat are going to demolish this Knicks team. Miami thrives on turnovers, often taking them to the house for monster breakaway slams. This spells bad news for Lin who has 59 turnovers in his first ten starts, which is the most of all-time for any player. I imagine Lin will have 8-10 turnovers in the game, leading to 16-20 points on breakaway dunks for Wade & LeBron. Not to mention Lin will have LeBron guarding him for some portions of the game, he'll be lucky to break 15 points I think. All in all, this game has all the hype, but once it gets down to thee actual playing...the Heat will win by 15+ and we'll all be bored by halftime.
And This Happened...
The NBA first half is quickly beginning to wrap-up - Appreciate these games now because the All-Star break is coming! Luckily there is no shortage of excitement as last night proved. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 96-91 in what was a blow-out until Dallas made it interesting down the stretch. The Oklahoma City Thunder blew up their boxscore by dropping 119 points on a notably good defensive Boston Celtic team, who managed to score 104 points in a losing effort. This was really the Thunder all game long, save for a few moments of excitement for a streaking Boston team that pulled within 7 in the fourth, but the Thunder muscled up and pushed away again. The Chicago Bulls destroyed the Milwaukee Bucks 110-91 as their center, Joakim Noah, messed around and got himself a triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds, & 10 assists. The team I wrote about in the top story, Knicks, defeated the Atlanta Hawks 99-82 in a great game to warm-up for against Miami. Baron Davis returned for the Knicks and got himself 6 assists while Jeremy Lin stayed hot with 17 points and 9 assists as he began to mesh with Carmelo Anthony who had 15 points as he continues to return from injury. Steve Novak came off the bench and dropped 17 points on 5 3-pointers while new-comer J.R. Smith added 12 points off the pine as well. The Golden State Warriors beat Phoenix Suns in an exciting game 106-104 as Monta Ellis hit a game-winning shot with 1 second remaining. There's no shortage of excitement here in the NBA and it's a shame we have to take a small break, but I can't wait to watch things unfold down the stretch.
Albert Pujols disapproves of billboards in Los Angeles centered around him - Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels this past offseason for a 10-year deal worth around $240 million. There's no doubt the Angels organization want to hype up his upcoming debut and they've launched a series of billboards around the city featuring Pujols with the words "El Hombre" next to him. El Hombre, which means "The Man" in Spanish is something Pujols made it clear he did not wish to be called when he played in St. Louis. Hall of Fame player Stan Musial went through his career as a St. Louis Cardinal with the nickname "Stan the Man" and Pujols doesn't want the same sort of nickname attached to him. He expressed an immense amount of gratitude and respect for Musial and wishes for him to be the one and only owner of the nickname. I admire Pujols quite a bit for his reasoning and hope the Angels honor his request for them to stop calling him that.
Miami Dolphin fans want Peyton Manning - This past week, some Miami Dolphin fans have shelled out the cash to erecte a billboard displaying their desire to see future Hall of Fame quarterback, Peyton Manning, in a Dolphins uniform next season. The billboard advertises the website they've created manningtomiami.com and depicts Peyton in a Miami Dolphins uniform. Once you go to the website, you are encouraged to fill out a petition urging the team to try and bring in Manning. This city is used to getting the big name players to join their teams by wooing them with the glitz & glamour of Miami so more power to them trying to push the Dolphins. I'm just not quite sure Peyton would be swayed by the party-life of Miami and the mediocrity of the Dolphins. Not to mention he's still under control of the Indianapolis Colts.
The Green Bay Packers re-sign tight end Jermichael Finley - In a bit of a surprising move, the Green Bay Packers managed to re-sign their former Pro Bowl tight end Jermichael Finley to a 2-year contract worth $15 million. The move is important in the sense that Aaron Rodgers still has one of the better tight ends in the league to throw to, but it also means the team can place the franchise tag on quarterback Matt Flynn. Flynn, who has backed up Rodgers his entire career, has shown flashes of brilliance in the games he has managed to get into and is expected to sign a multi-year contract elsewhere and become a starting quarterback as a free agent. Placing the franchise tag on Flynn means the Packers can retain control of him and thus, would be able to trade Flynn to another team and get something in return for him rather than for nothing.