It’s time for the midweek edition of 5Hundred. There haven’t been quite the huge headlines over the past few days, but nevertheless, there are still plenty of things to talk about, including another spectacular show from the greatest shooter in NBA history.
1) Stephen Curry Knocks Down 11 Threes in 3 Quarters: Just what is it about playing the Hornets that takes Curry’s game to the next level? Steph caught fire early against his hometown team, dropping three triples in the first two minutes of the game, and by halftime, he and Klay Thompson each had 26 points. The biggest highlights from Curry’s 39-point, 11/15 from downtown performance were a nasty move that sent Marvin Williams to the ground before knocking down a deep ball and a three from a foot inside the logo. If the game was closer, Curry would’ve gotten a chance to break his record of 13 made threes in a game.
2) Raiders’ Move to Las Vegas in Serious Jeopardy: The mystery of the Oakland Raiders’ future only became more complicated this week, as Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs have each pulled out of a deal to finance a new stadium in Las Vegas. Owner Mark Davis is determined for his team to make the move, but even if he manages to get a new deal done, there is no guarantee the NFL will approve of the plan. I’m generally not a fan of professional franchises moving, but the Raiders currently play in the same stadium as the Oakland A’s baseball team, an embarrassing situation that needs to be fixed.
3) Brent Musburger Retires: Tuesday’s college basketball game between Kentucky and Georgia marked the final game of the historic, hall-of-fame broadcasting career of Musburger, which began at CBS Sports in 1973. Musburger has hosted or called just about everything, including the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, the World Cup, the Masters, and U.S. Open tennis. He is best known for his college football broadcasting and was in the booth for seven BCS National Championship games. The announcement of his departure from ESPN came abruptly, just six days before Kentucky’s overtime victory at Rupp Arena. Starting Sunday, he will host a sports betting radio show in Las Vegas.
4) Duke Basketball: Coach K will be returning to the sidelines for Duke on Saturday against Pitt for the first time in a month since taking a leave of absence to recover from surgery. The Blue Devils struggled without their head coach, going just 4-3 and falling to #21 in the country. A running theme in these games seemed to be opposing players running into or trying to provoke Grayson Allen. I never thought I’d be defending Allen, but this nonsense has to stop. Luckily, since serving his suspension for tripping, Allen seems to be keeping a cool head while others try to irritate him.
5) Isaiah Thomas- NBA’s Best Closer?: It was an incredible January for Thomas, who led the Celtics charge to the #2 seed in the eastern conference by averaging 32.9 points per game, good for 4th all-time for scoring in a month in Celtics history. The key behind his recent tear has been fourth-quarter scoring explosions. Thomas averages 10.5 points per game in the fourth quarter, and his 10 15-point performances double the next best player. Just this past week, the 5’9″ point guard dropped 24 against the Pistons and 19 to finish a comeback versus the Raptors. These clutch final period of action helped Thomas deservedly win Eastern Conference Player of the Month.
The NBA’s All-Star Weekend rosters for the Slam Dunk Contest, 3-Point Shootout, and Skills Competitions were announced today. Expect my thoughts and predictions tomorrow.