Chris Bosh scored 44 points and 12 rebounds in Milwaukee last night. No other starter had more than 13 points, and the Raptors lost to the Bucks by six. Note to the Raptors – hanging your best player out to dry like that is not a very good way to get said best player to stick around once he becomes a free agent.
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The Buffalo Bills are a team I really want to like. I’ve been to a game at Ralph Wilson, and I thoroughly enjoyed it – it’s a pleasant stadium with good sight lines and very good tailgating in my experience. They’ve had their share of iconic players over the years, and they often seem to be on the verge of big things. They’re the poor little cousin of the NFL, so as a guy who always likes the underdog I have an obvious soft spot. With their latest move, though, I’m afraid that they may have finally lost their minds. If you missed it, Chan Gailey has been named coach of the team. Yes, that Chan Gailey. Brutal.
1. Have you seen the lineup for the slam dunk contest this year? It may finally be time to take this horse out behind the barn and shoot it. When the biggest name in the contest is Nate Robinson – a guy who can’t even get consistent playing time for a terrible team – you know you have problems. He’s joined by a few more players no one will care about any more than him – Gerald Wallace, Shannon Brown, and the winner of a Friday contest between Eric Gordon and DeMar DeRozan. Painful. Really, really painful.
The Cowboys are the first team to make a mistake today – they have decided to keep Wade Phillips on board for at least another year. I really don’t see that going well and think that they should have made a change, but what’s done is done. The Chargers really need to not make the same mistake – they must fire Norv Turner right away. Here are six good reasons why:
1. My beloved Wolverines beat UConn today, and looked good doing it. The tournament dreams are still on life-support, but this certainly helps keep them alive. The next three games – all conference contests against good, ranked squads – will be crucial.
Five Thoughts about each of Sunday’s games:
Dallas (+2.5) at Minnesota
1. Is the Dallas defense for real? They have allowed just two touchdowns in the last 12 quarters, and have looked almost unbeatable, but that has come in two games against the obviously deeply flawed Eagles and a game at the terrible Redskins. This is a big step up in competition for them.
Five Thoughts about each of Saturday’s games:
Arizona (+7) at New Orleans
1. The total is interesting here. The books set it at a sky high 57.5 – higher than either team had faced all year. Still, because of what Arizona did last week and what New Orleans is capable of doing I was expecting that the public might push it higher still. They haven’t – it’s down as low as 56. That’s more restraint than I typically give the public credit for having.
1. Can someone please explain to me what the NFL offensive player of the year award means. I thought I knew – it seem self-evident – but this year’s voting leaves me totally mystified. Peyton Manning won the MVP award in a landslide because he was far more dominant and effective than any other player. It wasn’t really a debate. I’m pretty sure he’s an offensive player. If he’s the best player in the league then he should, I would think, be one of the best offensive players in the league. Apparently not. Chris Johnson won the award with 38.5 votes, while Manning was third with just 1.5 votes. Johnson won this award overwhelmingly, yet he didn’t get a single vote for MVP. Not one. There’s a logic problem here.
1. The more I think about it, the more I become convinced that Lane Kiffin is the worst hire a major contender has made in, well maybe ever. He’s proven nothing as a coach, he has absolutely no loyalty or staying power, and recruits won’t trust him as far as they can throw him after what he did to Tennessee. Remarkably terrible decision.
Update: Forget about everything I wrote below. Reportedly, Lane Kiffin is leaving Tennessee for USC. Apparently the Trojans are determined to suck. Brutal.
There is precisely one thing that, in my eyes, USC absolutely could not afford to have happen – have the first coach they offer the job to turn it down. That’s just what appears to have happened today, though. Jack Del Rio is reportedly sticking around with the Jacksonville Jaguars for at least another year. He’ was a star linebacker back in the day for USC, and he even won a Rose Bowl MVP, so he has ties to the program even if he doesn’t have college coaching experience. He’s not actually saying that he was offered the job, but the rumors are plentiful enough and strong enough that we can assume he was.