Focus in on what’s relevant in sports. Today In Focus were hittin’ the hardwood with a lot of NBA action, as well as NFL reaction, and we will dabble in some Blues Hockey and NCAA basketball. It’s In Focus!
The Miami Heat suffered their first loss of the season last week to the Atlanta Hawks. Three nights later the Heat and Hawks would meet again in Atlanta. Albeit, this time LeBron James and Dwayne Wade were out of the lineup. Chris Bosh had a monster performance scoring 33 points and collecting 14 boards, but it was clutch buckets by Mario Chalmers and the energy level of Terrel Harris that helped the Heat grind out a triple overtime win.
James and Wade were back on the court together for the first time in a week Tuesday night against Golden State, but lost the game after only scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter and losing in OT. They were up 17 after halftime. Somehow they allowed the Warriors back into the game and the Heat had a chance to win it with the last possession in regulation, but Lebron bricked a 3-pointer with Chaminade’s David Lee in his face. Warriors 111 Heat 106.
To go back to the depth of this team, the Heat have Udonis Haslem healthy, which will help their chemistry, not to mention production. Haslem is leading the team in rebounds, and has been productive offensively. The Heat PG’s, rookie Norris Cole and Chalmers, are both averaging over 10 points a game, and have had clutch performances late in games, Cole against Boston, and now Chalmers at Atlanta.
Side note: Mike Miller should be returning soon for the Heat.
Upcoming: The Heat face the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday.
The Golden State Warriors own 3 impressive wins against Miami, the New York Knicks, and Chicago Bulls.
The Los Angeles Clippers had a good test Tuesday night at Portland. This was an evenly matched game, but the Blazers were able to close them out with free throws. The Clippers are talented, no doubt, and exciting to watch, but they will need to win on the road in order to compete in the playoffs.
The Trailblazers are really good. This is Lamarcus Aldridge’s team now, and he has been phenomenal. The 5thyear power forward is asserting himself the games best power forward. The Blazers are undefeated at home (6-0).
If you tuned in to some late night NBAtv, you got watch Kobe Bryant take over the 4th quarter against Phoenix. Kobe was in prime fashion, scoring 48 points, and leaving defenders in awe knocking down jump shot after jump shot. He didn’t score a 3 pointer all night. Head coach Mike Brown should “test” Byrant to share the load. It would be beneficial for the Lakers to keep Bryant fresh for the playoffs than to wear him out early. Right now, it seems that Kobe is more worried about his all-time scoring numbers than he is about the team
Rookies Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio are already better than than John Wall (last years 1st overall pick). Irving is a pure scorer and efficient ball handler. Rubio’s play making ability reminds me of Steve Nash, minus the 3 ball. Most importantly, Rubio and Irving have improved their team. This is where Wall is lacking.
The Timberwolves cannot get a break. They played great Tuesday night against Chicago, but Derrick Rose burned them in the end. He is the MVP after all.
There must be NCAA freshmen (Moe Harkless, Austin Rivers, Jordan Tolbert) who are watching Mike Bibby get minutes (16+/game) and saying, ‘I could do that job much better”. Let the boys play!
The New England Patriots hiring of Josh McDaniels is getting overplayed. Yes, McDaniels has a lot of NFL coaching experience, especially with the Broncos where he drafted Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas, but this is Bill Belichicks team, and his game plan will ultimately win out. There is no doubt Belichick will use McDaniel’s knowledge to his advantage. The Broncos run an option offense. It’s another Belichick ploy to win another big game.
The Raiders fired another head coach, Hue Jackson. I empathize for the Raiders franchise and fans. They lose the face of their organization and football legend Al Davis. They lose the leagues best running back Darren McFadden for their final 9 games. Lets go back to last season, where they went undefeated in the AFC West, and still missed the playoffs, leading to the firing of Tom Cable, who I feel is a very good football coach. I expect the Raiders to be competitive again next season, but they need to have more discipline as a football team. They set NFL records for the most penalties in a season, ever.
Are people still talking about the Jets? Shut up. Their season is over. Rex Ryan’s football knowledge is great, and his results prove this. But how he manages his team as a head coach isn’t working. Darrelle Revis holdout. Teammates anonymously calling out quarterback Mark Sanchez ultimately fall on the head coach. Quit focusing on your image, and maybe start focusing on a Super Bowl. 0 Super Bowl appearances.
The St. Louis Rams are still going hard after Jeff Fisher, who is worried about a relocation to Los Angeles. I don’t understand why he’d be concerned about moving the LA, where he resides. No move could happen until 2014 anyways. It looks like Fisher is going to slip through the cracks, and get away from the Rams. What is Plan B? Who knows. Todd Bowles was nothing more than a stunt to satisfy the rooney rule, and the Rams hesitation for Fisher is detrimental towards hiring a legitimate head coach. Jim Hanifan, ousted by Spags, has said he would join the franchise as a offensive line consultant. What’s taking them so long to take a legendary offensive line coach’s offer? Oh wait, the offensive line is set: Jason Brown, Jason Smith, Adam Goldberg…oh those 2-14 Rams.
Don’t look now but the St. Louis Blues are the best team in the Central Division (first time since 2001). Halak’s return to Montreal was epic, shutting the Habs out for the first time in Blues history since 1973, and getting a truly inspiring curtain call after the game. Also, enforcer Ryan Reaves signed a 2 year extension with the Blues. The Blues have a huge home game Thursday night against the reigning Western Conference Champion Vancouver Cancucks. The Blues will look to ride their momentum to their 5th straight win.
Kobe Bryant’s Tuesday night might have dominated the headlines, but it was Brandon Paul of the Fighting Illini who had the performance of the night in an upset of Ohio State. Paul had 43 points draining eight 3-pointers. He had 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 4 blocks.
#9 Mizzou has a big basketball game Wednesday night at Iowa State. They suffered their first loss of the season last outing at Kansas State. Big deal, it’s one game, and it wont hurt their tournament chances. Losing road games in college sports is to be expected. Iowa State is undefeated in conference play thus far. Mizzou needs to rebound to avoid going 1-2 in conference play.
Side note: could you imagine this team with Laurence Bowers?
Thanks for reading, In Focus.