January 31, 2007

Thrashers 5, Devils 4 (SO)


Just when you are ready to applaud the Devils for getting some offensive life in their blood, they forget how to play defense. This is exactly what I brought up with John F. I had wondered if it was wise to wish for offense and to receive offense, because that might easily sacrifice the defensive side of things. That seemed to be entirely the case last night as the Devils scored 4 but gave up 4. And they couldn't settle things in overtime, so they headed to a shootout with the EXTREME handicap of not being good in shootouts and going against what is no doubt the best team in the league at shootous. They scrapped and fought and played with determination. And let's be honest here: the Thrashers are GOOD. And the Devils were able to adjust and match their tempo, match their scoring and matched their shot total as the teams combined for EIGHTY SHOTS on goal. Yikes. They played a decent, but highly uncharacteristic, style of play. It just wasn't meant to happen.

Mavericks 122, Sonics 102

It's nice to see the Seattle Supersonics. They're a good club, a fun bunch, but a team that the Mavericks can count on to beat. And that's always a nice team to have around. The score always seems the same, the flow of actions always seems the same, and the game maybe seems in doubt for a slight period of time but never seems that they are truly in trouble. Ray Allen will explode, as he did for 35 points this time around. This game was no different. Except for a key twist. Austin Croshere.

Mr. Croshere had a CAREER-high 34 points as he simply went off last night. Josh Howard was out attending to hise wife's needs as she birthed a child. Dirk Nowitzki, thinking that maybe since Josh Howard was out, he should DECREASE his ability, decided to pretty much suck. The Terry/Harris combo was effective, not spectacular, yet again. Greg Buckner contributed solid minutes off the bench. But Croshere was the story, as he drained 7 of 10 3-pointers, the most he's ever had, made, or taken.

The shooting was spot-on and the Mavs were able to get to the free throw line a lot more than Seattle was. The odd stat was that the Mavs got killed on the boards, but when they made so many of their first shots, it wasn't a big deal this time around.

My only complaint is Eric Dampier has been a joke lately. He started strong, lost his way, got back to being strong, and is now not even a factor. He better get his game into gear.

What's up with the Cleveland Browns?

Troy Smith, the great Ohio State QB, has now thrown his name in the hat to be the future QB of the Cleveland Browns. He is the second superstar ball-chucker to do so since the college football season ended, with Brady Quinn being the first. Granted, it makes more sense for Smith to do it. Ohio State happens to be in Ohio, and Cleveland happens to be a major city in Ohio. Brady Quinn was more surprising, but this is surprising as well since Quinn already said he wants to go here. Perhaps the Browns package all of their draft picks together, get picks #2 and #3 and get them both. Maybe.