1) Wow. I am underwhelmed. Miami scored their fewest points in a game this season -and won easily...Schedule makers helped again, as Utah was on the last game of a 5 game road trip; but, honestly, they just played bad. Miami wasn't good, but Utah was really, really bad.
2) Heat head into Christmas 14-12, okay, that's okay, but they have played 17 games at home, and only 9 on the road - that's troubling. On the other hand, 9-8 at home stinks, but 5-4 on the road is good. On the one hand, Dwyane Wade has been subpar - for Dwyane Wade - but the supporting cast has been pretty good. I think you know what we are saying. Tough to know where this season is going. If DWade plays himself into better physical shape, we'll see. For now, we're going to New York for a noon Christmas game against the Knicks. Five NBA games on Christmas this year - that's my present right there. That, and DJ Hero - Renegade Edition, featuring Eminem and Jay-Z, of course.
3) I say this every time we play Utah, but I love Utah point guard Deron Williams. Big, physical, good shooter, unselfish with the ball, weird beard, patchy combination hair, plays hard - he's everything you want in a ball player. He's one of "my guys" - Captain, put him on the list of "my guys" (which also includes Rasheed Wallace, Quentin Richardson, and Brooks Lopez - a controversial add last week, although he's now teetering at being kicked out because when you are the best player on a 2-27 team, we might have to question how good you really are).
4) The President, Quentin Richardson, just keeps setting records. Leads the league in shots taken without having one blocked. Eight more tonight makes 140 on the season. Not sure if that is good or bad - of the 140 shots, 91 have been threes, so I guess it would be bad if he was getting those blocked. Next on the list, oddly: teammate Dorell Wright, with only 77. For DWright, it is definitely bad - he should be going to the rim stronger. QRich was good tonight with 11 and 7, and a huge dagger three down the stretch (45% on triples for the season, by the way). DWright quiet, scoreless, with only 2 boards in 17 minutes - force it to the rim, DWright, make somebody stop you...
5) I think we have yet to discuss this, but the new replay rules in the NBA are ridiculously bad. Now, three pointers can be reviewed at the end of quarters, or during the next timeout to determine whether they were twos or threes. In the fourth quarter, late, the game is stopped immediately to look at the film, under the premise that the point right then would affect strategy. Also, out of bounds calls can be reviewed under two minutes to go in the game. How is an out of bounds call late in the game, which swings a possession one way or the other, different than an out of bounds call on the first play of the game which results in an extra possession, which isn't reviewable? It's the same two points - you lose by a bucket, it stinks either way. Also, why can't we review bad foul calls? I guarantee you referees miss foul calls a lot more often than they miss out of bounds calls - why can't those be reviewable? You know why? Because we'd all learn how inaccurate those calls really are. Finally, why have the same referees who can't make the call that needs reviewing correctly be the ones who judge the replay? Why are they competent to change their bad call? We wouldn't be reviewing the call if they were competent in the first place. It's just stupid, and a pointless waste of time because over 82 games it evens out anyways. It's the dumbest thing in the NFL, and now it's in the NBA, too. Even worse - tonight's referee Bob Delaney spent four minutes reviewing an out of bounds call with 1:45 to go in a double digit game, in which Utah had already pulled their starters. The game was over. I don't know if he was practicing, or what, but it makes me question his competence to be reviewing calls, certainly, if he thinks that was important to review...
6) Okay, this segment is called: "Reviewing Music With Jerome." Jerome is my father-in-law, a 55 year old-ish, large black man with a heart of gold, who also was a professional musician, and always asks me what I have been listening to. Keep in mind: I'm very, very white. Today, on a drive down to Miami Metro Zoo (highlight: a gorilla peed on his hand and licked it - several times - don't think I, O.Minutos, and P.Minutos won't be talking about that for, like, umm, forever) I grabbed an old cd case, let Jerome pick things out, pop them in the cd player (wasn't sure he knew how to operate an ipod), and review the music.
Radiohead, In Rainbows - Jerome has heard some Radiohead before, and he always likes it. He especially liked "All I Need," particularly the lyrics. Radiohead is so musically gifted, I think any musician would like them.
Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew, The World's Greatest Entertainer - Full disclosure: this is the greatest album of all-time, if you didn't know. Okay, Jerome was very skeptical of this before putting it in, could tell it was rap, which he doesn't love. I explained it is really old school, and he said What do you consider old school, and I said, Well, this album is like early to mid 80s, and he said, Well what about Gil Scott Heron, and I said, You mean the old jazz guy, and he said, Yeah, and I said, No, I mean old school that isn't totally boring. I thought that Doug E.'s easy charm and beat box skills would win Jerome over, but he wasn't too impressed. Doug E. doesn't have the fastest flow ever, but he isn't the slowest, either, and Jerome did complain that he had difficulty understanding him. I explained that pretty much all Doug ever rhymes about is that: 1) his name is Doug E. Fresh, 2) his initials are DEF, and 3) he is part of the Get Fresh Crew. Jerome pointed out, perhaps correctly, that seemed a little slight for an entire album, and I corrected him that, Oh, no, that's all his albums! We both did agree that at least he wasn't rhyming about killing anyone, or smacking his bitch up, so those were positives to build on. Overall, he wasn't feeling this album, though.
Arctic Monkeys, Favourite Worst Nightmare - I didn't think he would like this because it is snotty white boy pop-punk, but then again, he seems to like me okay. Monkeys are pretty musical, and Jerome liked it. He likes a lot of their breaks, where they suddenly shift to another rhythm, sounds like that might be something that happens in jazz a lot (which Jerome loves), not too sure, since I've never heard jazz. In any case, he did really like one of the ballads ("Only Ones Who Know") a lot - made me play it twice. Likes the Arctic Monkeys, in a mild upset.
Derek and the Dominoes, Live at the Fillmore, disc 1 - First of all, clearly, the Derek and the Dominos era is the only Clapton era which doesn't completely suck. And, in fact, it's quite great. During this time, Clapton was long-haired, fully-bearded, whacked out of his mind yo-yoing from heroin to amphetamines, and tortured by a burning love for his best friend's wife (and, of course, he was also a dear, dear friend). The Derek and the Dominos studio album is the only Clapton studio album which doesn't blow, thanks to the passion fueled by the drugs and his less-than-appropriate love, and by Duane Allman's incendiary slide-guitar playing. In this context, even the completely played-out, old warhorse "Layla" comes to life and makes emotional sense, allowing you to hear that, yes, it actually is "the" great tortured love song. On this live album, even without Duane Allman, Clapton brings the fire so hot that your face actually starts to melt during the twenty or so minutes that the two opening songs ("Got to Get Better in a Little While" and "Why Does Love Got to be So Bad") rage at you. He fuckin' rips it, and makes you forget his considerable body of lameness. Never remotely approached this overall level, before or since. Jerome just put back his head and smiled. "Vintage Eric," he said. I think that's a thumbs up.
Merry Christmas to all our readers, see you on Christmas for Heat and Knicks.