Friday, November 20, 2009

FIFA Gives Ireland the Dikembe Mutombo and the Jazz and Hornets Make Progress

As expected, FIFA rejected Ireland's request to replay their match with France.

No surprise there. If FIFA had agreed to it, it would have sent the wrong message and they also knew that if they bended here, they would be inundated with requests to replay matches anytime a controversy occured.

In other words, almost every time international games are played.

There will be plenty more controversies and you can be sure that the World Cup will have it's fair share, just like there was in Germany in 2006.

Given all the drama, who would have thought Roy Keane would be the person to provide a voice of reason.

Just one note, if you go to a press conference with Keane, be sure to turn your phone off.


And it's on to NBA action from Thursday night.

No Chris Paul but the New Orleans Hornets outworked the red hot Phoenix Suns.

The Hornets are 2-2 under Jeff Bower and 2-1 without Paul, although they lost the game when Paul went down.

The NBA: where Amazing does happen.

Phoenix had been one of the hottest teams in the league, while the Hornets were already in disarray.

New Orleans were looking shaky at best even when Paul was in the lineup. Peja couldn't shoot anymore and David West was out of sorts.

Suddenly though, a quick coaching shakeup and an injury to their superstar was all the Hornets needed to regain their buzz. (I hate that pun, but it works here!)

This game was won on the glass where the Hornets pounded Phoenix; New Orleans grabbed 25 offensive rebounds alone !

It also helped that Stojakovic nailed seven 3-pointers and rookie Darren Collison overcame a bad shooting night to finish with 15 points, five boards and five dimes, including two big buckets in the closing minutes.

In the last three games, Stojakovic has scored 65 points after he scored just 80 over the first 10 games.

That was easily Phoenix's most unexpected loss of the season and it will be interesting to see how they respond.

The Suns start had many people thinking that they could be contenders again in the West, but this loss could be a sign that they might have already peaked this season.


The Utah Jazz beat the San Antonio Spurs in Texas for the first time this century.

When it last happened, Karl Malone led the Jazz with 30 points and no current Utah player was even in the league then.

Of course Jerry Sloan was coaching, although he was only in 47th season in charge back then.

Seriously though, it's incredible to think that the Jazz hadn't won there since 1999. It's not as if they've had dreadful teams either.

It just shows how dominant San Antonio has been at home, mentally and physically.

It's also worth noting that the Spurs were without Parker and Ginobili, but still they defeated Toronto and Dallas earlier this season while missing those two.

San Antonio are notoriously slow starters too, but this is the first time they have a sub .500 record through 10 games since 1996.

Good to see Deron Williams back for the Jazz.

His daughter had been unwell and he missed a couple of games, but since returning he's posted solid numbers which suggests that whatever his daughters illness is, it isn't playing on his mind too much which is great news.


Unrelated to NBA, but this why basketball is better than hockey.

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