Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Things did not go well for the home team tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Cavaliers win easily, 119-101. The Knicks were down by thirty way back in the first half and that is not an easy thing to do."
-Al Trautwig

Mobley Still Hearts Clippers

Knicks/Clippers Trade On Hold

The Zach-Hole Experience may not be opening up in Los Angeles just yet because Cutino Mobley is having some trouble passing his physical examination in New York. Every swap of professional athletes is followed by each team letting its doctors have at the fresh meat. These inspections are supposed to be a formality, but occasionally provide teams an escape hatch from deals that they already regret.

The second trade from Friday is in limbo as tip-off approaches tonight because of some heart condition that Mobley may (or may not) have. If the Knicks deem his heart one size too big or two sizes too small then the trade could be voided and all players do not pass go and the Knicks do not collect Lebron James.

I don't think that Donnie Walsh is really trying to undo the Z-Bo for Tim Thomas and Mobley pact by holding it up. He may, however, be trying to squeeze Mike Dunleavy and the Clippers for an extra draft pick or make them play short-handed for an extra night just to mess with them.

The 33-year-old Mobley has been averaging more than 33 minutes per game this season and has not missed time because of illness or heart problems. Of course, that doesn't mean that there isn't something actually wrong with him. It just means that it has never affected him on the court.

Tuesday's Starting Five

1. Drew Brees. The mole-faced boilermaker is on a tear this season and on pace to break Dan Marino's record for most passing yards in a single season. Quarterbacking the Saints to an astonishing 51 points against the allegedly good secondary of the Green Bay Packers did nothing to keep the Brees-for-MVP (or at least Offensive Player of the Year) bandwagon from picking up a few more water-logged hitchhikers down in the Big Easy. On Monday Night Football, Brees threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns. This gives him 3,574 yards and 22 touchdowns with five games left to play in the season. Marino's record is 5,084 yards passing and he set it in 1984.

2. The Over. Week 12 of the 2008 NFL season was the highest scoring week in league history, with 837 points scored during the weekend. And with an average of 52.31 points scored per game it was also the highest per-game scoring week since 1987. Not surprisingly the OVER bet won 11 out of 16 times this weekend. With the addition of the Wildcat offense and more empty-backfield spread sets we're seeing games with score lines more like college football than like the National Football League of our youths. Bet the OVER and bet it often until further notice.

3. Deuce McCallister. Every pro franchise has those certain players whose bond to the fans is stronger than anyone outside of the circle can really comprehend. It's usually not the guy who scores the most points or hits the most home runs. He's generally not the highest paid, either. It's usually the fiery lunch-pail carrier. It's Charles Oakley. And, it's the Deuce in New Orleans. Drafted by the Saints in 2001 after a record-setting career at Ole Miss, the bruising back took over ball carrying duties after the Ricky Williams debacle ended. He's been a mainstay in New Orleans ever since: Through the bad times, the less bad times and that one good time. Last night he scored his 54th career TD, a new Saints franchise record. And, in a ultimately self-defeating, ceiling-lowering way, Saints fans might be hoping that Reggie Bush never takes away that record.

4. Brandon Roy. After quietly stealing the show in last year's All-Star Game (where he tied as the West's leading scorer with 18 points), the third-year combo guard out of Washington who plays in Oregon is establishing himself as one of the game's best and the best youngster in Portland. That's right. Better than Oden. Roy netted a season-high 28 points last night, including 16 in the second half to lead the Blazers to a win over the Kings. Thus far, Roy is averaging more than 20 points per game and 5 assists.

5. DJ Augustin. Being a point guard under Larry Brown is no easy thing. Nor, would I imagine is being any person under Larry. And being coached by Brown is most assuredly not a good spot for a rookie point guard. Just ask Nate Robinson. Yet, DJ Augustin, selected with the 9th pick in the 2008 draft out of Texas, has already taken the lead guard reins from incumbent Raymond Felton and seems to be flourishing. He scored 25 points and doled out 11 assists as the Bobcats beat the Sixers.