Bama beats LSU, Boris Diaw vs. the Knicks
by Andrew Kennedy
I almost forgot college football existed. In fact, I almost forgot anything that isn’t the NBA existed. But my attention was distracted from my first love to the national championship last night, but not for long.
Alabama beat LSU in dominant fashion to capture their 14th national championship all-time and first since 2009. Nick Saban also coached to win his third title in the BCS-era, the most of any coach.
The game was of course a rematch with LSU winning 9-6 in overtime in the first meeting this season in Tuscaloosa. In eight quarters plus overtime between these two teams, one touchdown was finally scored by Alabama on a 34-yard touchdown run by Trent Richardson with 4:36 left in the game.
The clear-cut two best teams in the country played twice and only one touchdown was scored between them. Yet it was never boring, just impressive, with the athletes on each side of the ball and the plays being made every down.
Even with the game in hand it was still amazing to see the Crimson Tide defense continue to dominate on their way to holding LSU’s offense to just 92 yards of offense and zero points in a national title game.
If LSU had found a way to win last night, I thought we would have had to consider them maybe the greatest team of all-time. To go undefeated and beat your super-talented rival Alabama twice including once on their home field would have been an unprecedented feat. And I guess it still is.
Watching these two teams really made you think if football would be better without kicking field goals because it just doesn’t seem right when Jeremy Shelley scores more points than anyone in the national championship this year.
Diaw torches Knicks again despite loss
The Bobcats lost to the Knicks 91-87 in another game that was a rematch last night from five days ago when Charlotte beat New York 118-110. Diaw has been killing his former coach, Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks this season.
In 2006 and in just his third season in the NBA, Diaw averaged 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists as the Phoenix Suns’ starting center. He started at center for them that year because Amare Stoudemire was injured and he was one of two players (the other was LeBron) to average at least 10-6-6 in that season.
D’Antoni was a huge reason why Diaw had such a great year then and now here we have Diaw showing D’Antoni that he still has something left in the tank this season.
In his two games against the Knicks this year, Diaw is averaging 23.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game as a center. Diaw is shooting 80 percent from the floor and 75 percent from three vs. New York. Last night, with Stoudemire on him for most of the game, Diaw dished out five assists at the rim for easy dunks to help keep Charlotte in the game.
While the 23-7-7 line (I always round up for Diaw) doesn’t surprise me, a humongous Diaw supporter through the years, it is a slight jump from his season average of 11-7-5.
And it’s not as if Diaw is having a great year this season only on offense. Good luck scoring against him in a one-on-one situation. Eleven times this season, opponents have been dumb enough to try this and Diaw is yet to allow a basket.
Diaw’s play against the Knicks this season make you wonder more than ever, just how good could he be if he lost 40 pounds and was in shape? Probably the closest thing we’d have to LeBron.
Rubio’s value shown in plus/minus rating vs. Raptors
The day that I write how bright Minnesota’s future is, they go off and lose in Toronto 97-87. Andrea Bargnani simply torched the Timberwolves for 31 points in 45 minutes. Every time Bargnani scores, it reminds you of Dirk or at least Mehmet Okur in his prime.
Despite the 10-point loss, in Ricky Rubio’s 30 minutes of action Minnesota was plus-one. On the flip side, in Luke Ridnour’s 30 minutes of play, Minnesota was minus-31. I think it’s time for Rubio to be starting and playing around 40 minutes per game, really no need to wait for this.
Rubio had six assists in the game (three for three-pointers and three for layups) and scored 10 points on just 2-of-9 shooting.
The real problem for Minnesota this night was Kevin Love being held to just 13 points on 3-for-16 shooting. His great run scoring to start the season was bound to run out soon, it’s just too bad it happened against a team like Toronto that the up and coming Timberwolves should have taken down for an easy win.