Gotta love that good old, never stops churning rumor mill. There’s basically not a single day that goes by without something to dig one’s teeth into. Today it involves an old face, and anyone even remotely surprised by what’s swirling simply shouldn’t be.
The individual I’m referring to is Phil Jackson. The buzz has already started with the firing of Derek Fisher as head coach of the Knicks. Fisher was Jackson’s choice for that job, and let’s just say that not everyone believes it was Jackson’s choice to can him.
That might not be the case, but the immediate aftermath is not exactly a jolt. Rumors are already in motion that Jackson will be moving west again since this season concludes, and it’s destination Lakers.
I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility. The Lakers are going to make some significant changes following this disastrous campaign. They figure to be going after Luke Walton as the next head coach, and while Walton is a cinch to have several offers, I have to think the Lakers job is his most likely landing place. Getting Phil Jackson back on board to run the organization would clinch it as far as I’m concerned.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that Phil stays put and lures Walton to the Big Apple. But I’ll suggest that Walton, being a west coast lifer, might prefer sunny California and a chance to resurrect the franchise he won a couple of championships with is pretty compelling stuff.
I obviously have nothing other than opinion to base all this speculation on. But it kinda makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, what goes around comes around, and I think this could very well develop into a stay tuned for more details story.
Okay Tuesday night on the college side, +1.55, although I gave back 0.6 in the NBA. I’ll take the nominal gain, and will look to add with tonight’s slate. I’m currently on four colleges, with one or two more possible adds. For info on getting all my plays, released at the same time I play them myself, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for all the particulars.
Hey, what happened? I’ve been struggling mightily in end game situations, but got one back Tuesday night with the free play winner on Toledo. The Rockets were down the entire game, but rallied at the finish line to get the win at Buffalo. Tonight, I’m giving some substantial points in what I believe could end up being a blowout.
551 MISSOURI STATE @ 552 NORTHERN IOWA
Take: 552 NORTHERN IOWA -12.5
I really cannot pinpoint the reason, other than the fact they weren’t playing good basketball. But whatever was ailing Northern Iowa for the better part of this season seems to have been remedied. The Panthers are in their best form of the campaign and I like their chances of extending the current win streak tonight.
Missouri State was an upset winner over UNI in the earlier meeting, and that was a pretty bad game for the Panthers. They seemed to have the proceedings pretty well in hand midway through the second half. But Northern Iowa went ice cold down the stretch and Missouri State got the surprising 59-58 victory.
I’ll be very surprised if there’s anything resembling that suspense this evening. Northern Iowa is unlikely to take the Bears for granted, as they might well have done in the prior hookup. That’s bad news for the Bears, who are a gritty bunch but simply are not very talented.
Missouri State cannot shoot the basketball. The numbers are disturbingly bad. The Bears get points for adhering to Paul Lusk’s system and working hard to get higher percentage shots. But they’re just not very good at actually getting the ball to go into the basket.
That’s likely to be a problem here as Northern Iowa is starting to find its rhythm, and if the Panthers are sharp again tonight, I don’t see that there’s much chance Missouri State is going to be able to hang in.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but as it applies here, I’ll do so again. I’m an advocate of backing superior teams in same season revenge if they have positive momentum on their side. UNI qualifies on that count, as they’ve rolled to four straight wins and covers. I like the chances for the Panthers to extend that run tonight, and I’m willing to lay the points with Northern Iowa in the process.