In case you were busy blowing $100k on trying to bump into a professional football player, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday:
Roy Williams improved to 7-0 against Tom Izzo since taking the helm at North Carolina as the Tar Heels upset the top-ranked Michigan State Spartans 79-65 on the road. When told of his dominant run against Izzo, Williams shrugged and replied, "Who's Tom Izzo?" When told that Izzo has been the head coach at Michigan State for almost 20 years, Williams looked concerned and replied, "Man, you really think I would have heard of that guy. But I'll be honest, I had no idea there even was a Michigan State. Michigan, sure, but Michigan State? No idea." When told that Michigan State was the team he had just played, and that there was no need to continue with the head games as his team had already won, Williams said, "Head games, what are those? Who has even heard of head games? Unless you're referring to the song 'Head Games' by Foreigner. I've heard of that." Williams then winked and added, "I bet that Izzo guy you were talking about is a real big Foreigner fan, if you know what I mean."
Portland snapped Oklahoma City's eight-game win streak with a 111-104 win over the Thunder. Despite the win, a lackluster shooting night for Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews knocked him out of the league's top spot in True Shooting Percentage. Heading into the game, the top five in that category were Matthews, Kyle Korver, LeBron James, Ryan Anderson, and Samuel Dalembert, notable for all being professional basketball players who shoot more accurately than you might expect, and having literally nothing else in common.
In case you were busy trying to figure out if the Xbox One is a prequel to the original Xbox, here's what you missed in sports on Monday:
LeBron James scored an extraordinarily efficient 35 points on 14 shots as the Miami Heat beat the Phoenix Suns 107-92. He did so despite a strange moment when James called over an official and yelled, "Xbox! Turn the difficulty up!" before realizing he was actually playing basketball and not a next-gen copy of NBA 2K14.
Colin Kaepernick and San Francisco's offense finally got rolling in the 49ers' 27-6 win over Washington. "They dared me to throw the ball," Kaepernick explained after the game. "And at first I was all like, 'Nuh-uh,' and they were all like, 'Double dare,' and I was all like, 'Nuh-uh,' and then they were all like, 'Double dog dare,' and I was all like, 'No way,' and they were all like, 'Triple dog dare,' and that was unorthodox 'cause they totally skipped triple dare, and also they start Josh Wilson in their secondary, so I don't know why they were daring me to throw at all."
In case you were busy clearing your name in the best place for levelheaded legal analysis: sports talk radio, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday:
The Knicks failed to make a late lead stand up, as Paul George and the Pacers topped New York, 103-96, in overtime. "But dad," a young boy in Queens said after the game, as he held his head in his hands. "All they had to do was not foul Paul George on the 3. Why would they foul him, dad? Why?" His father sat on the couch, staring forward, his gaze extending through the television, out to infinity. "Because, son," the father said, mindlessly crushing a beer can in his left hand. "Because the world is a cruel and ugly place. Because the universe bends toward entropic chaos. Because man is nothing more than a wad of rotten flesh stretched over an angry skeleton." The boy was crying a little now, but he managed to mumble, "But I don't understand." The father turned to his boy as he said with profound clarity, "Because Knicks, son. Because Knicks."
Despite a season-high 33 points from Dwight Howard, the Houston Rockets
fell, 123-120, at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, who improved to 6-0 at home. "Ha-ha, yes!" Howard said after the game despite his team's loss. "What a night! What a night!" When asked if he was talking about his own breakout performance, Howard replied, "Nah, man. Did you see when Dirk totally slipped and fell over? And I was all like, 'Nirk!' And he was all like, 'Nirk?' and I was all like, 'Yeah, Nirk D'oh-witzki!'" Howard then collapsed in hysterics before gathering himself and saying, "He didn't get it, but man, he got covered in Dwight-Out."
When the Knicks didn't match Houston’s offer sheet for Jeremy Lin in the summer of 2012, it struck me as cruel. Knicks fans had struggled through any number of confounding contracts, bizarre trades, brooding malcontents, and embarrassing scandals, yet had stuck by the team. It hurt to see Lin, who had saved their season and single-handedly generated a buzz that a decade's worth of big-name free agents and trade acquisitions never came close to generating, walk away for nothing. It was like catching lightning in a bottle and turning in the bottle for the nickel recycling fee. Writing as an Asian American and a Knicks fan, it was a truly brutal blow.
In case you were rocking a CFL jersey in court, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday:
Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts once again used their comeback magic to eke out a 30-27 win over the Tennessee Titans. "Wow, we were pretty fortunate to get that win," Luck said after the game. When asked by reporters to phrase his comments another way, Luck replied, "It was a hell of a fortuitous outcome, that's for sure. Chance favored us, as we were blessed with kismet." When asked again to phrase what he was saying in perhaps a simpler and more headline-friendly way, Luck said, "Oh, I see. Well, I would say we struck gold with this team. I would say the win was in the cards. Some may say we caught the breaks, that our run has been a fluke, that the gods were smiling upon us, that victory and my team were joined by serendipity. I mean, we got horseshoes on our helmets and clovers in our pockets, so what would you expect?" Luck then glared at the assembled media and added, "Suck it, for me."
Andre Iguodala's buzzer-beater was the difference as the Golden State Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 116-115, in a riveting Western Conference battle. "Another tough loss, but we're so close," an optimistic Kevin Durant said at the postgame press conference. "I mean, we're just one player away from being really good. And it's no one's fault that we don't have that guy. This front office and ownership group has only made smart decisions." Durant then went to take a sip of water, when things went horribly awry. Durant started shooting sparks out of his mouth, and saying in a horrific robotic voice, "FAILURE, ROBOTIC FAILURE, MUST POWER DOWN, WHY WOULD YOU PROGRAM ME TO FEEL PAIN?" before collapsing to the ground and bursting into flames. Suddenly, a human Durant burst into the room yelling, "They drugged me! They didn't want me to talk," before looking at his robotic double dying on the ground at his feet. "You tried to play God, you monsters!" Durant yelled, as he held his robot double's head in his hands. "All to save a couple million bucks on the Harden deal. This robot must have cost that much. Curse you, Clay Bennett! Curse you!"
So much amazing is happening, and the Shootaround crew is back to help you keep track of it all. You'll find takes on moments you might've missed from the previous night, along with ones you will remember forever.
What the hell was that? What was supposed to be a grudge match featuring the league’s highest profile free agent leading the league’s most rapidly ascendant team to a victory over his depleted former team turned out to be a nightmare in Houston. It was an ugly exposé of what might be gaping holes in the Rockets' ability to win basketball games.
In case you were out realizing the road less traveled is less traveled because it goes to Buffalo, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday:
Baylor's speed was too much for Oklahoma as the Bears throttled the Sooners, 41-12, in Waco. "They say speed kills, and it did a number on us here tonight," Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said after the game. "But I'm still alive." Stoops then looked around him; how did he get to this nondescript waiting room? Why was he talking to Bo Pelini? And what was the number "41” in his hand in reference to? "41," the talking skeleton behind the desk called. Stoops raised his hand. "Come on up, Bob," the skeleton said. "Welcome to limbo, Bob." Stoops looked around him, and saw the faces of Will Muschamp, Steve Sarkisian, and Mack Brown. "Limbo?" Stoops asked. "Limbo," the skeleton replied. "Now you can wait here for your second-tier bowl berth." Stoops raised his hand and said, "Now wait a minute, we're still alive for— " but the skeleton cut him off and said, "Limbo, Bob. Welcome to limbo."
In case you were busy backing up your asshole son by trolling online forums incognito, here's what you missed in sports on Monday:
Josh McCown led the Bears to a 27-20 win over an injury-depleted Green Bay Packers squad at Lambeau Field, creating a three-team logjam at the top of the NFC North at the midway point of the season. "There's only gonna be one way to settle this," said Packers head coach Mike McCarthy after the game. "We'll have to play the rest of our schedules." McCarthy then looked down at a laminated sheet of paper that said "Trust your gut, big guy," looked back up, smiled, and said, Yep, I'm almost positive we'll just have to play the rest of the games to determine who wins."
In case you were busy coming around to the idea that Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is just the sort of guy who sometimes has to be yelled at, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday:
In what may prove to be the biggest upset of the entire NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers stormed out to an early 19-0 lead before holding on late to beat the two-time defending champion Miami Heat 114-110. Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams looked like a star, putting up 22 points, 12 assists, nine steals, and seven rebounds in his NBA debut. Unfortunately, Carter-Williams was shut down for the season after the game by 76ers GM Sam Hinkie for what he described as "precautionary reasons." When asked to clarify, Hinkie said, "I'm hoping this will serve as a precaution to the rest of the team as to where looking like a star will get you."
The Red Sox are your 2013 World Series champions after John Lackey powered Boston past the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-1, in a deciding Game 6. "Just as I predicted," said Boston superfan Aaron Sullivan. "Lackey brings us another banner. Never doubted that it would happen." When asked specifically when he made that prediction, Sullivan replied, "Fourth inning, right after we went up 6-0. And I swear I only backed off it three or four times," before promising to name one of his middle children John Lackey Sullivan, assuming that one of them came out looking a little squished.
In the lead-up to the 2013-14 NBA season, Grantland will examine key players — X factors — for contending teams. Shea Serrano talked to James Harden and Jeremy Lin about Lin’s role this season.
Me: Yo. Harden: Nope. Me: Dude, come on. Real quick. Two things: Harden: go fast Me: got it. One: Do you have Jeremy Lin’s number? I’m working on this thing and I need to ask him some questions. Harden: Is it weird? Me: what? No. it’s about the x factor on championship contenders, which you guys are this year. Harden: OK. I’ll send you the card. Me: thank you. And the second thing. Harden: uh-huh Me: how many times have you been in the middle of lovemaking and had a small woodland creature crawl out of your beard? Me: does that happen a lot? Me: and when it does happen does the girl freak? Me: or is she cool about, like, “oh hey. What’s up, tiny adorable squirrel?” Me: because my dad always said that a girl that’ll stand by after an animal has crawled out of you is worth marrying. That’s how him and my mom got together.
[No response.] Me: hello?
[No response.] Me: OK cool. Thanks for Lin’s number.
Just a quick one to end the day after a long week of NBA preview stuff from our end. Check out the Triangle All-Stars, The X-Files, Bill and Jalen's NBA Previews, and all of Zach Lowe’s stuff getting you ready for the NBA season. It's almost here, brothers and sisters. Last night the Rockets beat the Spurs by 17 in a preseason contest and I got legit euphoric at the thought of these two Texas teams clashing all year long. We'll leave you with some Harden and Howard highlights. Four more days!
A sterling combined effort from a trio of rookie pitchers led the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox, evening up the World Series at a game apiece. The game hinged on the Cardinals' aggressive baserunning and a clutch hit from veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran, once again proving that the same things that won big games in the mid-'60s will still win them today.
Revenge of the nerds! Bill and Jalen decide whether the addition of Dwight Howard will bring a championship to Houston, wonder where Omer Asik will finish the season, and predict that Kevin Durant will eventually join James Harden and Howard on the Rockets to form a new "big three."
During Bill and Jalen's preview of the Houston Rockets' season, Jalen predicts that Kevin Durant will join James Harden and Dwight Howard on the Rockets at the end of his run in Oklahoma City. Not done there, Jalen also predicts that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love will team up on the Los Angeles Lakers. And you thought only Clairvoyant Bill could see the future
For more of Bill and Jalen's NBA Previews, click here.