Warriors strategy fails, thankfully; plus beating out the 8-Ball
Was very nice of Dwane to give the lads a day off yesterday, made a Grunt’s day a wee bit easier. But it also took away the chance to fill up this space with entirely HOTH-related stuff so …
I am entirely conflicted over what I saw transpire out in Oakland last night in the part of the Magic-Warriors game I saw.
In case you missed it, and I feel asleep but I imagine the game went until about 3 a.m. Eastern time, the Warriors intentionally fouled and intentionally fouled and intentionally fouled Orlando’s Dwight Howard so much that Howard set an all-time NBA record with 39 free throw attempts.
He made 21, and the Magic won and Mark Jackson’s strategy failed. I think that’s a good thing.
Now, with Kwame Brown hurt and Andris Biedrins only lasting 21 minutes before fouling out, I guess I can understand why Jackson did it but it still rankles me a little bit.
I’m of the school of thought that you play the game the way the game’s supposed to be played, man against man, team against and you try to win on the merits of your personnel, not be cheapening up the game and making it a de facto one-man-free-throw contest. I’d rather Jackson had tried to devise some legitimate defence – various double- or triple-teams, maybe a zone, different looks on different possessions – than turn it into a wrestling match.
Might not have worked but would have been a bigger challenge to his players, and his own strategic abilities, than just hacking Howard incessantly.
"I can understand people thinking, 'Why?' but don't get caught up in the free throws. Think about when we didn't foul him. It was dunks, hooks, at the rim. He's a great player. And he's a bad free throw shooter. Giving ourselves the best chance possible, we tried to mess up their rhythm, take their 3-point shooters out of it, which we did. They made plays."
They didn’t make plays, though, that’s the thing. Howard made free throws and that’s how the game was lost.
I most certainly hope this doesn’t become the norm around the league – can’t imagine that it will since it hasn’t yet – because that would take all the fun out of watching the Magic play.
And denying fans the fun of watching Turk is a bad thing, right?
Still unsure how the weekend’s going to unfold here – game tonight, early trip tomorrow (and this icy rain/snow sure wont’ disrupt a flight to O’Hare, will it?) and another game tomorrow – but there will be mail and you have to do your part.
Eight Ball, Schmeight Ball
On this, the best professional football weekend of the year (I think we can make that claim after three of four games last week were dogs), we don’t need no stinking inanimate object to tell us who wins, right?
We’ve got it right here:
New Orleans at San Francisco
Drew Brees against Alex Smith?
Glad they’re playing in the afternoon, though, it’ll make the inevitable power outages at decrepit Candlestick or whatever they call it now less of an issue.
Saints; and I imagine they cover.
Denver at New England
If I remember correctly, the courtside monitors at the United Center are hooked up to cable so in the IGBT drags a bit, well, sorry.
Now, we all know The Power Of Tebow, right? And you may be struck down for suggesting that his time has run out but these are Tom Brady and Pats and even New England’s relatively atrocious defence isn’t weak enough for the Broncos to out-score New England. Right? Seriously. He can’t pull another miracle out, can he?
Pats, but don’t be surprised if Denver covers, it is Tebow, after all.
Houston at Baltimore
Glad the flight to Atlanta from Chicago is mid-day, gives me a perfect excuse to give this one a pass.
Maybe you should, too.
Ravens, in a rout.
New York at Green Bay
Think we’ve all learned not to underestimate the ability of Eli Manning to do something magical in the fourth quarter.
Trouble is, the Packers are so good, Lambeau’s so intimidating and, well, Aaron Rodgers is Eli Manning Squared that by the fourth quarter, this one might be over.
Packers; don’t concern yourself with the line, take the over.
Oh yeah, I don’t have a night off in Chicago (boo!) and know a handful of places in Boston for Tuesday but can someone help a guy out with some downtown suggestions in Atlanta?
The Marquis has a nice sports bar with good food and lots of TVs but I’ll listen to other suggestions since Sam hasn’t called to invite me over for dinner yet.
You’ll notice there was no news about Andrea yesterday, as we expected, and he’s the ubiquitous “day to day.” We may find out this morning about his availability for tonight and perhaps the trip but I wouldn’t count on him playing.
So what do they do?
Well, seeing it’s Indy and Roy Hibbert and David West up front, maybe they go with Magloire and Amir Johnson instead of Davis and Johnson to get more bulk.
But I do think what we’re going to see for as long as Bargnani’s on the shelf is much more of Kleiza and James Johnson joining the front court rotation as power forwards.
Sure, they’ll be undersized but I think both of them have the savvy to get the job done well enough; what a prolonged Bargnani absence truly does is put a whole lot of pressure and responsibility on Ed Davis and it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts.
Right after I close this umbrella I’m sitting under at my desk, I’m going outside to grab the neighbour’s black cat as it walks in front of me, step on all the sidewalk cracks as I go under the big ladder and get to my car.
Take that, Friday the 13th!