In case you were out getting back what's rightfully yours, here's what you missed in sports this weekend.
Duke avenged an earlier loss at Miami to beat the Hurricanes at Cameron Indoor Stadium, 79-76, behind 36 points from Ryan Kelly. Kelly, who had missed the previous two months with a foot injury, said after the game of Miami's NCAA title chances, "We have done far worse than killed them; we have hurt them. And I wish to go on hurting them. I shall leave them as they had left us: marooned, on the periphery of contention. Buried alive. Buried alive."
In case you were busy hunting for valuable royal bones in a local parking lot, here's what you missed in sports on Monday.
Tyson Chandler secured his third straight 20-rebound game, becoming the first New York Knick to do so since Willis Reed in 1969, as the Knicks topped the Detroit Pistons, 99-85, at Madison Square Garden. After the game, an excited Chandler said, "I hope to channel that energy in the postseason and have another Willis Reed moment when it really matters." When asked if he knew exactly what having a Willis Reed moment entailed, Chandler pulled a knife out of his pocket, stared straight into the camera and said, "Yes, I will do anything to motivate my team to win a championship. Anything."
Watching the Detroit Pistons try to score last season had a lot in common with being forced to watch a Whitney marathon. It was long, mildly offensive, and likely done against your better judgment. Finally feeling the effects of some disastrous personnel choices, the Pistons offense plummeted from 15th in 2010 all the way to 29th, only one ahead of the historically inept Charlotte Bobcats. Needless to say, "fun" was not a word used to describe their style of play.
This season has been a different story. Detroit has jumped all the way back up to 18th in offensive efficiency — and mere percentage points away from being firmly in the top half of the league — thanks in large part to the addition of rookie center Andre Drummond. The young big man not only has impressive individual numbers — posting a PER of 23.0 in limited minutes — but the Pistons’ offense as a whole is nearly five points better when Drummond is on the floor. What’s made the raw first-year player so good is the Tyson Chandler–esque role he’s taken on as part of a Detroit bench lineup that has quietly become one of the most entertaining in the NBA.
At the start of the second and fourth quarters, Drummond is often teamed with fellow reserves Charlie Villanueva, Austin Daye, Rodney Stuckey, and Will Bynum — a lineup that has completely demolished opposing defenses. In 81 minutes this year (small sample size alert!), that group has produced an astronomical offensive rating of 116.5 — good for the sixth-best mark in the NBA among five-man units that have played at least 80 minutes. Again, the sample size is small, but head coach Lawrence Frank has certainly found a way for his rookie center to thrive while still adjusting to the NBA game.
Locked in a tight game with the Detroit Pistons earlier this week, the New Jersey Nets found themselves up two points with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Looking to score and make it a two-possession game, Deron Williams brought the ball downcourt. Even though Williams was the point guard on this play, it was designed for him to work away from the ball. This misdirection, along with smart player positioning by Nets coach Avery Johnson, allowed New Jersey to get an open 3-point look.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
The Lakers used 12 fourth quarter points from Kobe Bryant to rally for a 96-91 win over the Clippers. After the final whistle, scuffles broke out on the floor when Pau Gasol patted Chris Paul on the head. "I don't know if Pau's got kids, but don't touch my head like I'm one of your kids," said an angry Paul. "I don't have kids," responded Gasol. "Yet." Then he winked at the camera, and held up a placard with his phone number and a picture of a rose.
Rafael Nadal continued his Grand Slam dominance over Roger Federer, winning in four sets to advance to the Australian Open final. Rafa is now 8-2 over his rival in the Grand Slams, and 18-9 overall, leading to the odd situation where Federer is the greatest player of all-time, and yet only the second-greatest of his own era. "It's a historian's nightmare!" shouted a frantic historian, fumbling with his glasses and tripping over a pile of history books.