Yes, today is Saturday, so this article technically is not Friday Free Throws but more of a Saturday Free Throws. Either way, it has been a wild week of NBA action. The Celtics continue to lose, and the Thunder continue to lose even more!
The Streak Stays Alive
In last week's article, I mentioned that Jose Calderon of the Raptors had hit 72-of-72 from the stripe on the season and 75 in a row dating back to last season.
Well, this week he is still 72-of-72. He got injured the night I wrote that article (Jan. 2) and has not played in his team's last four games. He is reportedly making his way to a recovery. The injury is a strained right hamstring and FFT is hopeful that it will not hurt his stroke from the line.
The San Antonio Spurs have gone 9-1 in their last 10 games to improve their record to 24-11 and take the lead in the Southwest Division over New Orleans. They have been winning with defense; they are tied for third in the league in points allowed with 93.2.
Well obviously the Celtics have been horrible of late, going 3-7 in their last 10. Sadly, that is not even close to the worst. The Los Angeles Clippers have lost 10 consecutive games. They sit at 8-28 on the season, just 21.5 games behind their cross town Lakers.
The Round Mound of Rebound
Former NBA player and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley will be taking an extended leave of absence from his duties in the broadcast booth. Barkley was arrested on New Year's Eve on suspicion of drunk driving in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tests showed that his blood alcohol level was .139, almost double the Arizona legal limit.
Hot Item of the Week
While watching ESPN last week, I saw an advertisement for an item called a "Snuggie." It is a blanket with sleeves that makes the wearer look like a monk. The ad shows a guy sitting home alone eating popcorn and sporting his snuggie. It also shows a man and woman at some kind of sporting event both wearing snuggies. The narrator explains, "Great for sporting events!" as the two monks exchange high-fives.
If I ever saw a person wearing one of these at a sporting event I would have to leave. It would just be too embarrassing to know that you have the same interests as that person. The TV offer was for two snuggies and two book lights for $19.99, what a deal! Check out the website, http://www.getsnuggie.com.
Here is the original ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xZp-GLMMJ0
Now, back to sports...
Rookie of the Year Watch
Many people have called off all competitors and tagged this one as a two-horse race between O.J. Mayo and Derrick Rose, but not I. Beware of Russell Westbrook having an unreal end of the season to steal the award from the "Big Two."
Right now, Westbrook is averaging 30 minutes a game while Mayo and Rose have been averaging 38 and 37 respectively. Anyway, here are the top three in the race, as well as the others still in it.
- O.J Mayo (19.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3 apg)
- Derrick Rose (16.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 6.1 apg)
- Russell Westbrook (14.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.5 spg)
In the hunt: Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Brook Lopez, Greg Oden, D.J. Augustin, and Michael Beasley.
The former third overall pick in the 2000 draft is causing quite a bit of trouble around the league. Miles is attempting to come back from major knee surgery. If Miles plays in two more games this season, the Portland Trailblazers will have to pay $18 million, which would count against their salary cap and could possibly push the team over the luxury tax.
Blazers president Larry Miller reportedly sent an email to all NBA teams warning them if they sign Miles just to hurt Portland's salary cap situation, then you will see him in court. Well, I guess the Memphis Grizzlies did not check their email, because they have reportedly signed Miles to a 10-day contract.
Miles obviously wants to play to screw over his old team that released him after the end of the 2007-2008 season. The players' union has announced that it will file a grievance against the Blazers on Miles' behalf.
Home Court Advantage/ Disadvantage
Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have started the season 19-0 at home. The Lakers are 19-2 at home and the Celtics are 18-2 at home (but just 11-7 on the road).
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Los Angeles Clippers are just 3-14 on their home court. They have a better record on the road (5-14) than they do at home. Even though the Oklahoma City Thunder have won a league low five games this season, they still have one more home win than the Clippers.
Stat of the Week
The Atlanta Hawks were losing 71-33 at halftime in their game against the Orlando Magic Friday night.
Games of the Weekend
Be sure to tune into some regular season NBA action if your NFL team has been eliminated from the playoffs. The best game tonight is the Detroit Pistons at the Utah Jazz at 9:00 PM. That is, unless you would rather watch the great Minnesota vs. Milwaukee showdown!
On Sunday, be sure to tune in on the Miami Heat at the Los Angeles Lakers as two of the best in the game go at it head to head. Kobe Bryant versus Dwayne Wade you do not want to miss this one. (I will stop now since I sound like an ESPN ad.)
Most Improved Player Watch.