Filed under: College Sports, NBA, NFL, Uncategorized | Tags: Basketball, Football, Golf, Hockey, NBA, NFL, NHL, Sports, TV, X-Games
Even though the Super Bowl is a week away, the present weekend at hand offers sports fans galore a plethora of viewing choices. 3 of the 4 major professional sports command your attention, college basketball is in full swing, golf has started up again, and extreme sports blesses us with its greatest spectacle. Without further ado, here’s what’s on tap for Sports fans this weekend.
Saturday, January 29
College Basketball: Many will just be getting into their day as Georgetown and Villanova take the air at noon ET. The Big East has displayed the highest level of men’s basketball this season, and this game figures to live up to the billing. Rivalries are our theme here on the Sports Blast, as North Carolina squares off against NC State following GU/NOVA. Both are televised on ESPN, with the battle of 2 Carolina’s at 2pm ET. One of the most intense rivalries in all of college sports tips off at 7 with Kansas State visiting Kansas. Kansas boasts one of the strongest home court advantages in the nation, but Frank Martin and Jacob Pullen look to overcome the KU backdrop. Our college hoops rating on Saturday? 4.5/5
College Football: College Football? The National Championship was almost 3 weeks ago! Don’t fret football fans, the draft nerds are here. And with them they bring the Senior Bowl, based out of Mobile, Alabama. The Senior Bowl pits the top seniors in the country against each other, as pro franchises generate scouting material heading into the April draft. The game kicks off at 4 on the NFL Network. 3.5/5
Action Sports: The Winter X-Games are back for a 16th season, and they’ll be on the ESPN family of networks all weekend. You can catch the X-Games at 4 on ESPN 2, and at 9 on ESPN. While the extreme sport activists will love this, I question if the X-Games can get any air-time from me on a busy weekend. 3/5
NHL: The SuperSkills Competition will take place in Carolina, featuring the bright young guns in the NHL. While it may not be the most popular of sports, true NHL fans relish this weekend, and more “regular joes” should as well. Many new faces who will soon dominate the NHL spotlight will compete with current stars. You can catch this on Versus at 7. 3.5/5
Notables: Strikeforce MMA will square off at 10 on Showtime, featuring Diaz vs. Cyborg. 3rd Round of the Farmer’s Insurance Open takes place, featuring Tiger Woods amongst others. Devon Alexander vs. Timothy Bradley in a welterweight championship bout, pay-per-view.
Sunday, January 30
Action Sports: The Winter X-Games are back for day 2. They will air on ESPN at the 12:30, 7, and 11 time slots. All are Eastern Time.
Golf: The final round of the Farmers Insurance Open will air at 3PM on CBS. As a huge golf fan, I’m excited for the season’s infant stages and expect big things in 2011. Watch for Tiger Woods to be in contention. 3.5/5
NBA: The best of the best square off on Sunday in a double-header. Miami takes on Oklahoma City in a match up of young, evolving stars. LeBron James, D-Wade, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook headline this 1PM start. At 3:30, the best rivalry in the NBA(maybe even sports) takes center stage with their first meeting since an epic 7 game Finals just a year ago. Yes basketball fans, it’s the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. Boston will return to the scene of the crime, hoping for a better result than game 7. Both games will air on ABC. 5/5
NFL: Done with all of that? Perfect, because the Pro Bowl is on. While the Pro Bowl has been the butt-end of a lot of football jokes, it still displays many of the top stars in the NFL. This will serve as many fans football fix, and offers a unique mic’d up style atmosphere. Many fans will get to observe Bill Belichick up close. I’ll try to hold my attention through the game, I can’t make any bets. 3/5
NHL: Unlike the NFL, the NHL’s All-Star Game is often one of the most exciting games of the year. This years class is LOADED with firepower despite not having Sidney Crosby or Jerome Iginla. The teams will duke it out, matched up thanks to the All-Star Player Draft, held Friday night. Expect a lot of offense as well as true magnificence. You can catch the game at 4, on Versus. 4.5/5
While it may not dominate Sportscenter, this weekend’s crop of sporting events figures to be very interesting. On Saturday, I’ll focus most of my attention on the College Hoops and the Senior Bowl, looking to get a read on some of the top draft prospects. On Sunday, I’ll be backing my beloved Celtics at 3:30, while catching as much of the NHL All-Star Game as possible. I’ll get my football/golf fix in as well. Sunday should be great!
- Mark Chiarelli
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Basketball, Boston, Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA, Sports
Way to go ruin the New Year for me Kevin, nice work.
Seriously, if there is one thing the Boston Celtics could not afford to happen, it was lose Kevin Garnett. With Shaquille O’Neal, Semih Erden, and Jermaine O’Neal all missing time recently and nowhere near the perfect bill of health, it was crucial to have the one cog up front.
That cog was Kevin Garnett, and he has broken down(again).
Downplay the injury all you want. “They haven’t come out with anything yet, it isn’t his knee it’s just a muscle.” I’m pretty sure Doc Rivers has already gone into damage control, announcing that he has deemed this injury something he “isn’t too worried about.”
What? Did I catch that correctly?
Call me stupid, but I’ve seen this before. Kevin Garnett goes up for an alley-oop in 2008 uncontested and comes down with some type of knee injury. As if that isn’t enough, the Celtics turned into the New England Patriots of the NBA downplaying the severity of his injury for weeks. He goes on to miss 25 regular season games and all of the playoffs, seriously hampering the team in terms of production on both ends of the floor.
It’s also been noted that KG is not a quick healer. Look at last season, when it took him 3/4 of the year just to come “somewhat close” to playing at his old level.
The man has played 15 years in the NBA, nagging leg injuries are the last type of injury he should have to deal with. Just ask new teammate Shaquille O’Neal, leg injuries just aren’t the same as you get older.
Optimistically speaking, this isn’t the end all be all of the Boston Celtics. In 2008-09, the team went 18-7 without KG and reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. This year, the front-court is a lot deeper. Shaq, Erden, Jermaine O’Neal, and Glen Davis all play meaningful minutes. An addition by subtraction type deal will unfold in the coming months when Kendrick Perkins returns from his torn ACL.
If anyone is to step up it is most likely Glen Davis. Davis has redefined his scoring options, adding a much improved jump shot to his repetoire. He gives energy minutes and sizes up surprisingly well against bigger opponents. Obviously the man is no Kevin Garnett, but could fill his role if utilized correctly by Doc Rivers.
The biggest concern when losing Kevin Garnett is the leadership/intensity he brings on the defense. He is the floor general, commanding one of the stingiest defense’s in the league year in and year out. 6 million Glen Davis’ could not mask the fallout the Celtics will have on the defensive end without him.
Now I for the life of me hope that I’m wrong. Hopefully this is just a “calf-muscle injury” and KG may miss time this winter, but have ample game time to respond prior to the playoffs. This does not become a nagging injury like the last lower leg injury he suffered, and does not derail the explosiveness he’s regained for this season. Big Baby will fill in for KG proudly, and it will be a full team effort while the Celtics respond from injuries.
Alas, I’ve seen this before. And all the optimism in the world from the Celtics could not tone down the overwhelming feeling of concern. We’ve seen this before, it didn’t end well for KG. Maybe the most important stat missed in all this is that when KG has been in the lineup, this team has reached the NBA finals. Without him, can they seriously compete this season with the Magic or Heat?
Here’s to hoping the MRI reveals just a muscle strain!
- Mark Chiarelli