Yes you read the headline correctly. Lithuania almost beat Team USA basketball. The final score being, 99-94. This comes on the heel of Team USA mighty victory over Nigeria. We have all been expecting the toughest competition for Team USA to come from Spain but I guess we counted Lithuania out too soon.
And the guy on the Lithuania who gave them a run for their money was none other than the Toronto Raptors, Linas Kleiza. Yes a member of the Raptors actually challenged Team USA. He scored 25 points for Lithuania. It was clear that Lithuania was not going down without a fight they scored 58.5% from the floor and had 38 field goals. USA had 13 assists compared to Lithuana’s 21 assists. A team that contains the some of the best players in the NBA finished a game with just 13 assists.
Thank goodness LeBron James was there to save the day. He scored 9 of the final 12 points in the last four minutes of the game. And shot 4 for 5 from the field, ending with 20 points. Carmelo Anthony also had 20 points for Team USA.
There is some tough competition coming up for the US if they take on Russia. So nobody get too comfortable.
The Los Angeles Kings made franchise history Monday night by winning their first ever Stanley Cup. After losing two straight game to the New Jersey Devils, the Kings came back with a 6-1 victory. This is the first time in 45 years of existing that the Kings have won the Stanley Cup. The Kings made it to the Playoffs twice before but never got a Stanley Cup.
Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick was back in action last night with 17 saves. As expected Quick was award Playoff MVP. Dustin Brown had a goal and two assists. Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis both had two goals for the Kings. It was such an amazing performance for the Kings, it makes you wonder what happened in the last two games?
I can also report that I went downtown in Los Angeles for the celebration, which last only till 10:30pm. There were more police than regular people, I guess they were expected a violent Laker win celebration. The lack of partying proves my point that LA is not a real hockey town. If you really loved the Kings you would be partying all night long and showing up for work the next day still drunk. That’s how they do it in Canada.
It looked like the Boston Celtics might totally sweep the shit out of the Miami Heat but I knew the Heat would return. The Heat came from a 18 point deficit to tie with the Celtics and push the game into overtime. But is just wasn’t enough the Celtics won 93-91.
The usual things happened in the game Paul Pierce fouled out with 4:22 left on the clock. At least Pierce stuck around to watch the rest of the game this time. And boy was he happy because he got to see MVP LeBron James foul out with 1:51 left in overtime. It was only the 4th time in James’ NBA career that he fouled out of a game. He couldn’t have picked a worse time to have it happen. It was James’ 3-pointer that tied the game and sent it into overtime. Without him everything fell to Dwayne Wade. With just 21 seconds on the clock Wade went for a 3-pointer that would have won the Heat the game. Instead of having that instant amazing moment the ball bounced off the rim and the Celtics tied the series, 2-2.
It is that time of year when college basketball players decide to forgo a college degree for the chance to make millions in the NBA. It is kind of like playing the lottery, you may win the jackpot or you may just get
drafted to the Jazz $10 bucks. I personally think that a lot of these athletes would do better resisting the money temptation and waiting until at least their junior year. The saddest story of them all is Austin Rivers who just completed his freshman year at Duke. Rivers was breakout player averaging 15.5 points per game. The problem is that Rivers lacks consistency, he has 66.6% free throw shooting way below any point guard in the NBA. Of course Rivers feels like since his father is the coach for the Boston Celtics, he could easily land there. I say don’t count your money before it hatches because you could end up on Portland Trail Blazers just as easily.
The UNC line-up is really bleeding with the lose of Kendall Marshall, John Henson, and Harrison Barnes. Marshall, a sophomore won the Cousy Award Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award and has 351 assist the fourth most in NCAA history. Losing Marshall is unexpected and probably going to hurt the Tar Heels next year, it certainly made a difference when he was injured. Barnes also a sophomore averaged 17 points a game. Henson who stayed the longest, junior year, averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.
None of these compare to Kentucky’s freshman basketball machine Anthony Davis who is likely to be a number 1 pick if he enters. I think we can all feel how annoying the NBA’s one and done rule is for coaches. I think it should be at least 2 and done, even though it doesn’t have the same ring to it.