Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Case of Thierry Henry and the French Nickers

Before we get into the NBA rounds for today, the big story from Wednesday was France's controversial football world cup qualifying win over Ireland in Paris.

French striker Thierry Henry clearly handled the ball. That is beyond doubt. It was deliberate and it led to the goal that secured victory for France.

The question is whether or not the goal should have been allowed.

The answer is yes.

If the referee didn't see it, then it doesn't matter. Whether or not Henry is a cheat because of it, is a different matter, but unless the referee determines it to be handball or not, then the goal stands.

Simple as that.

This Irish based blogger also posed an interesting question.

Twentymajor says that Ireland captain Robbie Keane was whistled for handball twice during the match, which begs the question, is Keane any different from Henry, just because he got caught?

I mean, wasn't he trying to cheat the ref as well?

I don't see how it is any different.

Best newspaper headline goes to British tabloid, when they screamed "French Nickers".


Anyway, on to the hoops.

And there was a couple of upsets in the NBA on Wednesday night.

Who would have known that the New York Knicks actually had some fight in them. The Knicks looked gone at half time trailing by 15 points; Indiana led by 30 points from Danny Granger, were shooting a scorching 59-percent.

The Knicks were still down by 13 late in the fourth quarter before storming back to win.

You know it was a bad loss for the Pacers when Eddy Curry, who was playing his first game in about a decade scored 10 points.

Mike Wells from the Indy Star has a few other insights into the Pacers worst loss of the season.

Still on the Knicks and it looks like Allen Iverson will sign with them soon, possibly as early as Thursday night.

They deserve each other really. Iverson will no doubt think that the Knicks want him there because he can lead them to the post season, but in reality, he's just going to be another side show for the circus that is New York Knicks basketball.


Back to the upsets and how about the Wizards dumping LeBron by 17 points.

Antawn Jamison had 31 points and 10 boards in his return and gave us our first look of what he, Gilbert Arenas (18 points, eight assists) and Caron Butler (19 points, six rebounds) are capable if they can just stay on the floor together.

They might want to work on their three point shooting though; they combined to go 3-for-17 last night.

The Minnesota Timberwolves aren't getting any nearer to a second victory. The T'wolves are just dreadful and coach Kurt Rambis thinks that it is more on the players shoulders than anything else.

He's right.

Minnesota has had its share of injuries, but every team goes through that.

The Wolves just don't have any spark or fire and Rambis was dead right to call his players out on it.

I thought that Rambis would never have walked away from the cushy role he enjoyed as Phil Jackson's assistant, but he stepped out of his comfort zone to take the job in Minnesota.

I hope he can get something out of this franchise that has struggled for most of its existence.


One franchise who knows about overcome struggles is the Atlanta Hawks.

Yet, the Hawks keep rolling, last night they brushed past the Miami Heat 105 - 90.

It's great to see Atlanta continuing to build on their strong start to the season. Regular readers of this blog know that I've been harping on about Josh Smith's maturity as a major factor behind Atlanta's success and it was evident again last night.

He was whistled for a tech foul (second for the season), but he logged his third straight double-double and also led the team in assists with seven.

It's a different story for the Miami Heat though. Or should that be the same old story in Miami.

They've been playing really badly of late. I personally think that Dwyane Wade is capable of carrying this team deep into the playoffs, but their form of late hasn't been impressive.

Dwyane Wade is too good of a player to let the slide continue and they get the defensively inept Toronto Raptors on Friday night, who Wade averages 27 points on 53-percent shooting against.

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