1) Does anyone want to spend New Year's Eve playing basketball in Orlando? Blecchhhh! This game had positives, and it had negatives. It also featured the two worst back-to-back referee calls of the season (from Miami's perspective). In the end, a road win is a road win - all you can do is grind it out and move on. One of the biggest plays of this game was when Mike Miller stole Hedo Turkoglu's dribble: white on white crime, now that's the way to ring in the new year! Let it fly!
2) Positives: KJ James had 36 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists. Dwyane Wade had 21 points and sealed the game with a huge steal. Chris Bosh had 22 points, including a couple of huge buckets down the stretch. Walter Ray Allen bounced back from a few rough shooting nights to score 17 on 6-9 from the floor (3-4 triples). Negatives: KJ spent much of the fourth quarter and overtime being guarded by Josh McRoberts, and seemed at times to willfully not try to take him to the rim off the dribble. Dwyane was 3-10 from the foul line. Bosh managed only 4 rebounds in 38 minutes, and Orlando's center, Nikola Vucevic, grabbed 29. That's not a typo, by the way: 29. In fairness to Chris, the ball really didn't bounce his way a couple of times, so it probably should have been a lot closer, like 26 to 7. Haaa! And Walter Ray got layed out by a fairly cheap Hedo Turkoglu screen late, when Turkoglu turned his shoulder through Ray's chin. We'll see how many games Turk gets suspended for - oh, that's right, you're allowed to take shots at the Heat, and they can't retaliate!
3) With this game tied and under 10 seconds to go in regulation, and the Heat not in the penalty, KJ measured up McBob, finally decided to take him to the rim, got below the elbow with one dribble, McBob tried to wrap him up, KJ played through it, leaned back and barely missed a banker as lead ref Scott Foster called a foul with about three and a half seconds to go. Yes, two shots for KJ! Except Foster came running out from the baseline pointing at the floor, indicating it was not a shooting foul. It wasn't even one of those plays from 30 feet away when the offensive player sees a foul coming and launches a shot he wouldn't otherwise shoot as he takes the hit; this was KJ in the launching zone, shooting a shot he shoots all the time. I'm not positive McBob was actually trying to give a foul on the floor - he was too close to the basket for that, I think he was just beat and tried to wrap up. It was an unthinkably bad call by Scott Foster - he's been in this league a long time, you have to take a little more pride in your job than that, that's a shooting foul every time, all night, day in and day out in this league. And there's two other refs on the floor - obviously they knew it should have been a shooting foul. Neither one could let him know that? They have to hang him out to dry like that, let him miss a call that bad, and not help him? Seems cruel. Also, one game ago we talked about how replay is used for some things, and not for other things. If McBob had stripped the ball, and the refs were unsure whom the ball went off of out of bounds, that's reviewable. But whether or not a team gets two free throws to probably decide the game - that's not reviewable? On what planet does that make any sense whatsoever? Oh, right - David Stern's planet! "No, we don't want to review a play like that, that's too important. We only like to review the unimportant plays." Soooo sad he's retiring. Whatever. So the Heat have 3.5 seconds left, they inbound the ball to Bosh at the top of the key, he okey dokes a guy by him, goes right, and shoots a little 12 foot banker which he makes all the time, Hedo Turkoglu reaches out and pushes his elbow, the shot goes 6 feet wide, off the corner of the backboard (not from the baseline - from a 45 degree angle!), and no one calls a foul. Really? You think, literally, one of the best 5 midrange shooters in basketball missed a 12 footer by 6 feet? Oh, and here's the funny part: that's not reviewable either! Haaaa! Cuz that makes sense! Nice job, David Stern, this league is really, really going to miss your visionary leadership! Jesus, are some of the rules in this league (and the refs) ridiculously bad...Then we removed the NBA's 17 foot pole from our rears and won the game. The end!
4) Actual conversation with 10 year old O.Minutos this morning, moments after he woke up:
O: "I had a nightmare last night."
Dos: "What happened?"
O: "Kevin Garnett wanted to fine me a million dollars, but I didn't have that much money."
Dos: "Why was he fining you?"
O: "He wanted me to root for the Celtics, but I didn't want to."
Dos: "How do you feel now?"
O: "I'm okay. It was scary."
Mon dieu, Kevin Garnett has discovered a way to infiltrate children's dreams! This is the same way Freddie Kruger started! Happy New Year, kids, sleep tight, AND PRAY KEVIN GARNETT DOESN'T FIND YOU WHILE YOU SLEEP!!!
5) If you're like me, it been decades since you went out on New Year's Eve. The only choice I have to make is which New Year's Eve show to watch. Who are you gonna "go rockin'" with, Ryan Seacrest or Carson Daly? Which entertainment titan are you going to watch? Tough, tough choice. By the way, those are two different people, right?
6) One of the questions we got a few times, in different forms, in this blog a couple of months ago was essentially: "why didn't you try to reverse jinx the presidential election one way or the other? It seems like this would have been something that you could have controlled." To all those who asked it, that's a great question, that probably is something I could have done. On the other hand, any person who had even a modicum of understanding of how polls work, and a vague notion of the concept of probability, or at a minimum had a subscription to the New York Times and can read (so that Nate Silver could explain polls and probability to you), knew that this election was over almost before it started. No drama on election day this time (or last time). You would have had to been living in a parallel universe where things like "numbers" and "logic" didn't exist to think my boy Rommey had a chance. What? Oh yeah, Rom-ney. Man, how quickly we forget losers! Anyways, I was thinking about this recently when I started hearing about the fiscal cliff. Finally, a good idea from both Democrats and Republicans! I can't say I've followed the story that closely, but from what I gather, it has something to do with dropping all our accumulated debt over a "fiscal cliff" - once we do that, it should be pretty smooth sailing from here on out for the old U.S. of A. Seems like it will benefit the middle class and the upper class, not too sure about the lower class, no one seems to care too much about them anyways. This is basically the same approach I used in college, by the way, and look at me now - I'm doing great! So, I feel lik-- hold up, hold up, wait, what?...Say what?...Ohhhhh my gosh, this fiscal cliff doesn't seem too great, not at all! I guess I should have read those Slate articles more closely. Same as it ever was, boys!
We play Dallas in Miami on Wednesday. That Dallas ship be sinking - uh-oh, Mark Cuban, I feel terrible for you! If need me before Wednesday, I'll be rockin' with Carson Seacrest...I mean, Ryan Daly...Listen, don't worry about it, just know that I'll be rockin'. Happy New Year, nerds!