While you’re focusing on the fallout from surprising NBA coaching moves, let’s not forget that plenty of other things were going on in the sports world last night, too. If you missed them all, or just forgot them to make room in your brain to adequately process the D’Antoni-to-Lakers news, let’s run through them now.
The Texans beat the Bears, and it was not pretty.
Go figure: when two of the league’s best defensive teams face off in rainy weather not conducive to offense, you get a defensive battle. The Texans topped the Bears 13-6 to move to 8-1, knocking Jay Cutler out of the game while they were at it. While the normally-prolific Texans pass rush didn’t produce any sacks, the defense forced four turnovers (two on Cutler interceptions) and limited the Bears to 249 total yards.
Not that the Texans did much more on offense. In fact, in terms of yardage, they did a little worse, producing just 215 total yards, 35 per play (the Bears, saved by a couple good runs from Cutler and Michael Bush, averaged 4.4 per play). The difference: the Texans managed to get in the end zone and took slightly better care of the ball (two turnovers). Arian Foster, who still managed to have a good game with 102 yards rushing and 15 receiving, scored the game’s only touchdown on a two-yard reception. Funny the score came on a pass play, given how miserable this game was for quarterbacks: three saw significant action, and none even topped 100 yards.
Ugly or not, though, this was a huge win for the Texans. The Bears are one of the frontrunners for the Super Bowl, and to go into Chicago and beat them firmly cements Houston as one of the league’s elite teams this year. They have one loss, to a good-and-capable-of-greatness Packers team that caught fire for a night. As far as bad days in the NFL go, that one’s pretty understandable. Maybe this great early run means the Texans are peaking too soon, but we wouldn’t our team to be facing them in the playoffs.
In 4 p.m. NFL news: the Rams and 49ers tied, the NFL’s first deadlocked result in four years. Noteworthy: Alex Smith was knocked out of the game, Danny Amendola returned and caught 11 passes, and… really, Niners? You couldn’t beat the Rams at home? The Seahawks dominated the Jets 28-7, in a game where Mark Sanchez did this. And the Cowboys beat the Eagles 38-23, putting Andy Reid’s job in further jeopardy. If I were Reid I might be secretly hoping the Eagles put me out of my misery at this point, which is one of many reasons I will never be an NFL head coach.
In the Association…
The result that jumps out most to me is the Grizzlies demolishing the Heat, 104-86. The Heat had an off night, shooting 38 percent (Dwyane Wade, who shot 3-of-15, in particular), but actually held the Grizzlies to just 44 percent shooting themselves. Where Memphis killed them: behind the three-point line. From that distance, the Grizz made 14 of 24 shots, while the Heat were just 4 of 15 beyond the arc. And Memphis’ 26 assists to Miami’s 18 speak to a team that was flat-out playing better as a unit. When you shoot 20 more free throws than your opponent and lose by 18, it’s safe to say you’ve been thoroughly outplayed. And it wasn’t a fluke: the Grizzlies are 5-1 now. Look out for Lionel Hollins’ crew.
Elsewhere in the league, the Lakers continued getting back on track, beating the Kings 103-90 – granted, it helped that the Kings aren’t a good team to begin with and were missing both DeMarcus Cousins and Thomas Robinson. Still, a win’s a win. And it was a good night for L.A. in general – the Clippers beat the Hawks 89-76. Also, the Thunder beat the Cavs, and the Nets continued the Magic’s bad run following their two early wins, beating Orlando 82-74. I, for one, am a little sad the Magic are having this much trouble keeping their initial momentum going.
And in college…
Pretty simple: a bunch of good teams beat a bunch of cupcakes, and Syracuse beat San Diego State on an aircraft carrier.
Need a Monday pick-me-up?
Just look at how happy strongman Magnus Ver Magnusson is to get his hands on that Coors Light.