The Heat’s Unlikely Closer

Everyone who tuned in to yesterday’s exciting finish to the Oklahoma City Thunder-Miami Heat game saw the Heat spoil the Thunder’s hopes of pulling off a late-game rally. What was most surprising, though, was who stuck the final dagger in the Thunder. Here’s a hint: it wasn’t LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. Yup, Eddie House has suddenly emerged as the Heat’s go-to man late in games, which is obviously surprising given the talent level of James, Wade and Bosh. Yesterday afternoon it worked, though. Instead of pulling up for a wide open three, LeBron unselfishly dished the ball out to House for a three of his own that turned out to be the game-clinching play.

If you didn’t catch the play, here it is (and make sure to check out House’s “big balls” dance after):

This from Tom Haberstroh of ESPN:

“Eddie House, Heat closer. To borrow a baseball term, House has unexpectedly stepped into the role of Miami’s closer in the end of tight games. In back-to-back contests, the star-studded Heat squad has entrusted House to register the go-ahead points with the game on the line. On Friday night against the Pistons, the Heat were down one point with 15 seconds remaining, when LeBron James passed it to House, who earned a game-winning trip to the free throw line on the final possession. And on Sunday against Oklahoma City, in one of the Heat’s most theatrical games of the season, the Heat received an encore performance. Miami down one, less than a half a minute remaining — James to House for the win. Both times, House delivered. Although the Heat reserve is an unlikely candidate for closing duties, the veteran would have it no other way. ‘I’m just ready,’ House said about Sunday’s game-clinching play. ‘If [James] passes it or he doesn’t, we both had looks. He just made a pass for an easier look. He could have taken a shot, but at the same time, that shows trust in his teammates.’”

It will undoubtedly be interesting to see how the Heat continue to handle late-game situations. Yesterday Wade initially got the nod, but he couldn’t capitalize and because of a nice Mike Miller rebound, the Heat were able to get a second chance. Whenever the Heat isolate Wade or LeBron late in games, their offense gets awkward. Each guy tries too hard to pull of a heroic and it usually results in a botched possession. We’ve all seen the likes of Steve Kerr, John Paxon and, most notably, Robert Horry coming up clutch in huge moments for their respective teams. So far for Miami, House is doing just that.

Let’s see if that continues.



Knicks Make Important Move Towards Landing Carmelo

The team recently named former Nuggets GM Mark Warkentien as a special consultant to the franchise.  This is important because 1) Carmelo loved the guy when he worked in Denver and gave him tons of credit for assembling the team that made it to the West finals and 2) because Warkentien has long considered Knicks president Donnie Walsh a mentor and would jump at the chance to be the next GM of the Knicks, if only to work side-by-side with him.  From the New York Post:

Former Nuggets general manager Mark Warkentien, who had a strong relationship with Carmelo Anthony and has long rumored to be headed to the Knicks, has been hired as a top consultant.

Yahoo! first reported the move last night, but the Knicks have yet to announce it. Knicks president Donnie Walsh would not deny an announcement is forthcoming but said only, “I have nothing to report at this time.”

That Warkentien’s name has surfaced with Anthony in Newark tonight is interesting. Warkentien recently left his agent, Steve Kaufmann, to join William Wesley and the ever-powerful CAA. Wesley is the longtime associate of Leon Rose, Anthony’s agent. Wesley has emerged as a key player in Anthony’s future destination.

Anthony, who played in Philadelphia last night, praised the hiring of Warkentien.

“Did they?” Anthony said upon hearing the news. “[Is that] surprising? Yeah. As far as I am concerned, I guess that’s a great addition to that organization.”

You gotta love that last throw-in that Warkentien recently left his agent for William Wesley (aka Worldwide Wes) and CAA.  For those who don’t know, CAA is also the agency of Carmelo and the other cast of league stars (LeBron, Bosh, D-Wade, etc) who have long been rumored to be attempting an NBA takeover with the creation of the NBA “super teams.”  It’s a great move by the agency and especially the Knicks to land Carmelo in New York.

Sucks for Nuggets fans.

[New York Post]


Stuart Scott Set To Undergo Chemotherapy

Not how we wanted to start the day.  I personally don’t enjoy the persona Scott portrays on ESPN, but he’s easily one of the five most recognizable SportsCenter anchors ever (along with Chris Berman, Dan Patrick, Kenny Mayne, and Keith Olberman).  Regardless of how I feel about his talents, I wish him and his family all the best and that he recovers ASAP.  This is the second time he’s had to undergo this process.  From Media Bistro:

Sad news out of Bristol as ESPN anchor Stuart Scott will undergo chemotherapy treatments after doctors discovered cancerous tissue.

In 2007, Scott underwent chemotherapy after an emergency appendectomy discovered a malignancy surrounding his appendix. He will try to maintain a normal work schedule during his treatments.

“There are 28 million cancer survivors worldwide,” Scott said in a statement. “You know what that means?..we’ve got a strong army!! Once again, I join the fight and like 3 years ago, I plan to beat this thing. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate everyone’s well wishes and support. I’ll be back at work soon…probably sooner than you think. I am blessed to have the invaluable support of a great team of loving family, genuine friends, and my ESPN family.”

We wish Scott a speedy recovery.

Love his enthusiasm.  Get well soon!

[Media Bistro]


Good Morning Generation

No NFL yesterday? No problem! The first NBA Sunday of 2011 featured two intriguing matchups, only one of which lived up to the hype. The Heat proved that when the big three are together, they are nearly unbeatable, defeating a really talented Thunder team that had trouble matching up against LeBron and D-Wade.  In the latter game Kobe Bryant got in a hot tub time machine and went back to 2005 where he proceeded to start chucking an inordinate amount of shots — ultimately shooting the Lakers out of their finals rematch with the Celtics. But that wasn’t even the best sports event on television yesterday, as the NHL All-Star game was an instant classic.  The groundbreaking idea to select team captains and draft it up was a huge success. Team Lidstrom defeated the hometown Team Staal 11-10 in a game that was as exciting as that score indicates. Hockey! Coming back in a big way.

Generation Y, where as much as we hate them, the Cowboys are America’s team. Debate over.


Turn off the Celtics/Lakers

This is a public service announcement courtesy of Generation Y Sports. All of you sports fans are probably watching ABC’s coverage of the NBA. Well, if you turn on the cable box, and search at the bottom of the channel line up, you’ll find a channel called VS (known for TCU football games and the NHL — I obviously love this channel [minus the TOcho show]). VS is showing the biggest sports event of the day. The NHL All-Star game!

I think the NHL is making a comeback. I would implore you to watch this event.

If that’s not enough, this year’s format is such an off-the-wall concept that it may never be done again.

Originally the All-Star game featured the best North American players vs the best players from “the World”. I remember watching this as a kid and I thought it was pretty fetch.

Next, the NHL did like every other league and made the game a contest between the two conferences. In the NHL’s case, this is East vs West.

Last year there was no All-Star game because of the olympics.

Now, Bettman has either reached mad genius status, or the league is just going nuts. The model for this game has never been done, and it will be crazy to see if it succeeds.

Basically, the