Archivo de la etiqueta: basketball

Last Week in Sports (December 22-28)

NFL

After 17 weeks of action the NFL regular season came to a close yesterday night with the game between the Cincinnati Bengals on their visit to Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a game where most of the scoring opportunities came from big mistakes by the opposition it was the Steelers who won the game 27 to 17 clinching the top spot on the AFC North. They will now face the Ravens as the Bengals will pay a visit to Indianapolis.

Dallas is back in the postseason for the first time since 2009. The Cowboys did not have to win this game but they sure wanted to end the season with a bang as they visited Washington, a division rival. DeMarco Murray who had some unfinished business last week trying to tie the record of most yards rushed in a single season finally achieved and surpassed that mark. His 1,845 rushing yards by the end of the game left the 1995 record set by Smith of 1,773 in the dust. Also Dez Bryant became the player with most touchdowns in a single season with 16, a record that belonged to Terrell Owens since 2007. At the end of the game the Cowboys won 44 to 17 and will host the Detroit Lions this upcoming weekend.

The other Wild Card matchup will be between the Cardinals and the Panthers. In the AFC the Patriots and the Denver Broncos have the week off while in the NFC the Packers and the Seahawks will be also watching next weekend’s games from home.

NBA

In some basketball action Toronto is making the most out of a great season and still holds the lead in the Eastern Conference after 31 games with a 24-7 record. The Chicago Bulls are right now one of the hottest team in the league having a six game winning streak. The Dallas Mavericks with Rajon Rondo as one of the new stars for the team are still in playoff contention while they stand in fifth place in the Western Conference. They finished last week beating the Lakers at home and as well as the OKC Thunder. This upcoming Friday Rondo will travel back to his basketball hometown of Boston as the Mavs will take on the Celtics. Golden State is atop of the Western Conference with a record of 24-5.

SOCCER

While most of the soccer action is taking a winter break before 2015, the English Premiere League does not stop. Boxing Day (December 26) and soccer in England is almost the equivalent to football and Thanksgiving in the U.S., both need to coexist at a certain occasion. Some of the most interesting scores include Chelsea’s victory over West Ham United by 2-0, Liverpool beating Burnley by 1-0, Manchester United scored three goals over Newcastle, team which only scored once, with that same score Manchester City earned three points over West Bromwich and Arsenal came out victorious over Queen Park Rangers by 1-0.

Now after 19 games so far this season it is Chelsea who leads the leaderboard with 46 points. Manchester City is in second with 43 points and Manchester United runs in third with 36 points. If the tournament ended today Crystal Palace, Burnley and Leicester City would be relegated from the competition for next season.

RUNNING

Doping was a strange word in the vocabulary of long distance running events, not until this year when the world heard about Rita Jeptoo’s scandal. The back to back winner at the Chicago Marathon and Boston Marathon winner in 2014 tested positive early this month, this time it was the “B” sample. The “A” sample was tested in September but the results of that test did not come out until after her win at the Chicago Marathon. Jeptoo requested further testing and still failed to show no signs of doping. The punishments by the International Association of Athletic Federations and Athletics Kenya are be a ban from any IAAF regulated competition for at least two years, forfeit any prize money plus her World Marathon Majors jackpot.

Rondo To Dallas

Just how big is the move of Rajon Rondo to Dallas? In a few words, it is huge, and here is why. Bringing in someone like Rajon to Dallas is a key ingredient to an already strong team. The former Boston Celtics has been as consistent as you can be in a league where every season you play 82 highly competitive games every season.

He has played 527 games in his career with a field goal percentage of .473 but that is not the area where he excels, his go-to weapon while playing the game he loves is passing. Rondo has been in the top two spots in this league the past four seasons when it comes to assists. Last year the Mavs found in players like José Calderón someone to help the position that Jason Kidd had vacated a couple of seasons ago.The trade that brings in the number nine Celtic is actually compared to the one that was used to bring Kidd into the team.

Rondo was a crucial part of a championship team in Boston back in 2008 who will also make the trip to Dallas with Dwight Powell. In exchange the Celtics get Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson and Brandan Wright plus two draft picks that would go to the Mavs in the 2015 and 2016 drafts. That just quantifies how big the move is and how much Mark Cuban wanted to have Rondo playing at the American Airlines Center.

This could hurt a Dallas team that was working quite well almost halfway through the season with 19 wins and eight losses. A team that is leading the league with the most points per game average (110.1) and currently third in the southwest standings with the San Antonio Spurs as their next rival.

Obviously Marc Cuban, Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle don’t want to hurt a team that is in serious playoff contention. They are bringing in someone who could help elevate the already strong game the Mavericks have shown this season. Giving J.J. Barea a strong competitor for his position. Barea is a good player that also has a good player with already a championship ring in his resumé. It is still one of the weakest positions in the Mavericks roster that with Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis up front have made the Dallas team one of the most fearless offensive teams in the NBA.

That is a reason this team did not need someone like Lebron James. Last season they suffered setting up big plays and getting rebounds, with Rondo in the picture things could change drastically. The 28 year is switching teams for the first time in his career, after 8 seasons in Boston, Dallas will represent a new challenge for the University of Kentucky alumni. But the guy has a tested ability and even though he is coming out of an injury the faith in the 3-time All Star is strong.

Because if Rondo can adapt his game to his new team I am certain the Dallas Mavericks should from now on be considered a Championship contender. Having Rondo in the roster is a vital part of that dream.

rondo celtics
Born in Louisville, became pro in Boston and now looks to solidify his career in Dallas. Rajon Rondo (masslive.com)

Last Week in Sports (Dec. 2- Dec. 7)

SOCCER

It was the farewell Landon Donovan wanted and most of the United States soccer fans though he deserved. The L.A. Galaxy, a team that had been Donovan´s home for many years with the exception of a short period when he went to play in England. On December 7th the captain of the team had the chance to step off the pitch on a high note and another championship on his impressive resumé. The game was as close as it was expected, New England Revolution made the trip to Carson to try and ruin a party they had already lost against the same team two other times. First half went by scoreless but in the second half the home team took the lead at the 70th minute while New England reacted quickly and tied it up before regulation time was over.

Even though the night was supposed to belong to captain America, his teammate Robbie Keane (named MLS MVP) had better plans for himself and scored the championship winning goal in overtime. That meant L.A. would earn their fifth championship trophy and Donovan his sixth MLS title.

In Mexico the final is now set between Club América and Tigres. Both teams took advantage of being better placed than their rivals in the general standings. America only needed a 3-0 win halfway through the week against Monterrey to pretty much clinch their championship ticket with a scoreless draw in the second game. Tigres did not score a single goal in the whole series and that was enough for them to leave Toluca buried in the semifinals. Now it will be the first time both teams face-off in the final series, but the third time America makes it to the final stage in the last four tournaments.

NFL

Coming into week 14 the Eagles were in a position that pretty had the Cowboys praying for a miracle to stay in the hunt for a playoff game. That miracle came pretty soon and the Seahawks tamed the Eagles on the road 24 to 14. Now both NFC East teams have a 9-4 record and will meet in Philly next Sunday Night for a game that could decide who makes it to the playoffs. The Cowboys will finally finish over .500 in the season after beating the Bears at Soldier Field on Thursday Night. It was a big game for SMU alum Cole Beasley that had two big touchdowns. 179 was the total yardage that DaMarco Murray covered during the game with one touchdown. That performance In a night where the Cowboys won 41-28 has #25 tied with legendary Emmitt Smith for 11 games in one season rushing for over 100 yards. Finally the San Francisco 49ers fell in the “Battle of the Bay” to the Oakland Raiders in Oakland by 24 to 13.

ALPINE SKI

With cooler temperatures some sports shut down for the winter but some others are just heating up. That is the case of Alpine Skiing and this week in Beaver Creek, Colorado some of the Giant Slalom greatest stars put their skills to the test. Even though the competition was done in American snow, that was not a reason for the Europeans to put their best foot forward in foreign ground. Out of the top ten athletes, eight came from overseas. The hopes of the home crowd not only rested on the American athletes but there was one that carried most of the pressure coming into the gates. Ted Ligety, who had four metal screws inserted into his hand after an accident in training just over two weeks ago had a performance nothing short of impressive.After staying within the top five after the first round, he took down Alexis Pinturault from France and Marcel Hirscher from Austria for a fifth win in the mountains of Colorado and his 23rd win in the World Cup Series.

FORMULA 1

Even though the season is over there are two stories to talk about here. The first one involving the future of Jenson Button with McLaren. While Fernando Alonso is coming into his old team, it is unknown who will be his teammate in the grid. After tests in Abu Dhabi, the high chairs of McLaren have not made a decision. They first said it would come at the beginning of December, then set the date for December 3rd and nothing happened, then nothing has been said and the speculation is even getting Jenson nervous. Meanwhile the decision could be taking some time after Kevin Magnussen proved to have great skills while driving for the British team and it could mean he is a better option if you are looking for years down the road.

Over 60 trophies were stolen from the Red Bull’s headquarters this past weekend by a group of six burglars. Christian Horner, the team’s sporting director reported that no one in the facility was injured but that the damage was not measured in the number of trophies stolen but the amount of work everyone in the factory had put in to make the drivers win those trophies. Until today there is no news about the whereabouts of the trophies or the people who committed the crime.

NBA

Hard to believe that one of the leagues best teams right now is the Golden State Warriors. After beating Chicago on the road last Sunday they reached a 12 game wining streak. They have only lost two games and even though the season is still young the team might be heating up for some big things no one expected them. Toronto Raptors are leading the Eastern Conference. The team has not been so consistent in racking up wins but lucky enough other teams in their conference have not found a rythm. Kevin Durant is back to play with the Thunder after healing from his injury, his team really needs him before its too late. Dallas had a busy week last week with four games and managed to win three of them. Miami lost all of its four games last week and sure hopes to bounce back this week.

Last Week In Sports (Nov. 17-23)

FORMULA 1

Lewis Hamilton wins the 2014 F1 Championship (daily.co.uk)
Lewis Hamilton wins the 2014 F1 Championship (daily.co.uk)

It was a much anticipated race under the lights of Abu Dhabi without a much anticipated result. The final 55 laps of the 2014 Formula 1 Season decided the winner of the entire year. Lewis Hamilton came in as the favorite but just 17 points behind was a german with an incredible will to win. Nico Rosberg, who has been friends with Hamilton since their days back in karting series when they were both around 12 years old took their lifelong rivalry to the biggest stage there is in motorsport. Rosberg who had qualified in first lost his lead before even getting to turn one. After being able to keep his teammate within reaching distance after one pit stop Rosberg faced his worst nightmare. His engine lost a tremendous amount of power and instead of fighting for a championship he had to fight the car to finish the race, which he did ending up in 14th spot. That way Lewis was able to relax for most of the race just working to keep Felippe Massa away from the lead. The brazilian put up a fight but was about 2 seconds shy of going past the now two-time world champion. Lewis Hamilton, who had been serious and barely talking the past week showed quite some emotion in the post-race stage when he had already sealed the deal. Rosberg was obviously not happy with his result but conducted himself appropriately and congratulated his teammate, plus acknowledged the superiority of Hamilton not just that day but throughout the season.

NFL

Interesting week in the NFL. The first shocker came from the Oakland Raiders who had not won a single game throughout the season but managed to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 24-20 on Thursday Night Football. On Sunday Seattle and Denver got back to their winning ways and defeated Arizona and Miami respectively. It was also a good day for Aaron Rodgers who led the Green Bay Packers over the Vikings claiming the first spot on the NFC North with a 24-21 win. But the most exciting game once again involved the Dallas Cowboys as they showed up at MetLife Stadium in New York to face the Giants on Sunday Night Football. The Cowboys came off from a bye week where all their division rivals including Giants had lost. Eli Manning had thrown five interceptions on the past game. The game headed in the right direction for the local team who had a 21-10 lead heading into halftime. The Cowboys responded with 21 points on the second half including a game-winning drive of 80 yards with less than two minutes to go in the game. With a 31-28 win the team owned by Jerry Jones is 8-3 this season, about to clinch a playoff ticket.

SOCCER

It was a record just like any other that was meant to be broken and Leo Messi had been lingering around it for a long time. Telmo Zarra had of 251 La Liga goals. Messi had tried to break it at the Santiago Bernabeu during the derby but was unluck for that one and the next two matches. Saturday against Sevilla not only did he tie the record, but with a hat-trick he set a new one in 253 and counting. Barcelona ended up winning the game 5-1. Real Madrid defeated Eibar 4-0 to keep the lead of “La Liga” after 12 weeks. In the MLS Playoffs L.A. Galaxy took the lead on the first leg of the Western Conference Final with a 1-0 win and the New England Revolution beat Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls 2-1 on the Eastern Conference Final. In Mexico the playoffs are set and America will be facing Pumas, Tigres against Pachuca, Atlas will play against Monterrey and Toluca will have Chiapas as their opponent in the first elimination round.

CENTRAL AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN GAMES

Medal Count as of November 24 at noon. (Veracruz 2014)
Medal Count as of November 24 at noon. (Veracruz 2014)

Mexico continues to dominate the medal count in Veracruz with just a week to go in the games but Cuba is closing in strong and with the wide range of track and field events they might find what they need to attack the host nation. Some of the highlights from last week were Horacio Nava’s (MEX) first place in the 20 km. race-walk with a time of 1:25:05 while Mirna Ortiz from Guatemala took gold on the women’s side with a Games record of 1:35:43. In soccer both teams from Mexico (men and women) advanced to semifinals with a perfect streak during the group stage. The men will face Cuba while the women will play Costa Rica. Mexico dominated the synchronized swimming events with seven out of seven wins and that can be considered as to what is making the difference between Cuba’s 63 gold medals and the 67 earned by Mexico so far. Colombia is in third with 51.

NBA

We are just getting started with a long basketball season and some teams are over the expectations while others are below. Lebron James came back to Cleveland hoping to be the secret element to bring the Cavs back to title contention. Up to this point we can say King James is missing having Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh by his side since the team he is now playing for is in an early season crisis after a four game losing streak. Toronto is the best team in the league so far with a 9-1 record after ten games. Both Dallas and San Antonio have a 7-3 record heading into the last week of november while the Lakers even with Kobe Bryant being Kobe Bryant can’t find a groove and are 3-7. Last week they were demolished by the Mavericks at Dallas 140-106 just after beating the Rockets on the road.