Turkey Day is one of those guilt-free days where you can cheat on the NBA without feeling bad. NFL football is a tradition on Thanksgiving of course, and we’re left with Texas (Cowboys got RG III’d) and New York (a Jets fail for the ages) as two of the biggest stories coming out of a day without any NBA games. You won’t even have to readjust to make room for one of Friday’s biggest games — the Knicks at the Rockets. Do we even need to state the obvious about the matchup to watch in this game? Watch the hot-shooting guard who’s been solid when few expected, Raymond Felton. No, that description doesn’t befit Linsanity anymore. The problem is Jeremy Lin‘s play hasn’t been easy to watch entering his matchup against the team that made him a star last February. He’s shooting 33 percent this season and just 22 percent from deep. It’s made him two-dimensional as a point guard, either diving to the rim for easier, closer attempts or dishing, which he’s still quite good at. Felton has been strong this season as Lin’s replacement by not just managing games but creating within them. So while Lin said Thursday that it was all a higher power’s plan to bring him to Houston from his couchsurfing in NYC, in line with his very polite stance toward the Knicks all since July, you know he wants to destroy his successor, and vice versa. That matchup makes this game a must watch on the 12-game schedule. We’re just glad to have the NBA back after its one-day respite. … Toronto won’t get two free throws back from an apology but the NBA admitted its crew working Wednesday’s Charlotte-Toronto game swallowed the whistle on a foul by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on Andrea Bargnani with 2 seconds left. Not to bring up a sore subject but the Raptors lost by one in that game. … No. 2 Louisville almost got burned badly Thursday when it held on to beat Northern Iowa by five at home. The game was within three with four minutes left until Russ Smith‘s big jumper. … Speaking of the Big East, its shaky footing with five teams bolting soon had Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim not very happy with the powers whose decisions have made this a reality. He called out “people playing games” and said conferences should just hold a draft. Boeheim’s Orange will, of course, be one of those five leaving when they leap to the ACC next season but he sounds none too happy about the shift. Basketball helped build the Big East after all. Football’s TV money is helping dismantle it now. … Still, you won’t find us bummed about watching Duke-’Cuse and the Tar Heels in the Carrier Dome in the regular season.
Smack / Nov 23, 2012 / 4:28 am
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