At some point you would think people would learn a lesson. I got one pounded into my head some years back and have never forgotten how stupid I felt when it was proven I was wrong.
Several years ago, a big news story broke about the Duke lacrosse team possibly being in trouble for an off-field incident. It seemed as though the entire media, myself included, had all the info necessary to pronounce judgement. The spoiled rich kids taking liberties they had no right to storyline was prevalent everywhere. That it, until it turned out to be a false accusation.
I made up my mind after that deal to never again rush to a premature conclusion based on rumor and perception. I’ve stuck with that mantra, which explains why I never offered any particular opinion on the Jameis Winston investigation. I wasn’t there, I don’t know what, if anything, took place.
That’s why it really bugged me to have so many media people offering their views on whether or not Winston should get voted as the Heisman Trophy winner. More than a few decided that he should not be rewarded because of what was taking place. They did so without having any knowledge whatsoever as to whether he was actually guilty of anything. In fact, forget about that, they arrived at their conclusions without knowing if he’d even be charged with anything.
That’s just plain wrong. So is the aftermath, which now has so many holier than thou commentators lambasting some of those at yesterday’s press conference for apparently being pretty relaxed. Please get off your high horses. I’m reading one story after another about how uncomfortable it was to have to view laughter and occasional banter. Cut it out. When a pressure packed situation gets resolved as this one did, there’s going to be a sense of relief for the parties involved and there’s a good chance they might loosen up. That’s what happened here. The reaction was natural. The criticism is therefore, at least from this vantage point, unwarranted and more than a little pompous.
Tough 1-2 on Thursday with a bad beat on Cincinnati plus the points losing by seven in overtime to Louisville. Fortunately, way more good results than not so good lately, and I’m geared up for Saturday’s college action. The hoops continue to be rock solid, with a very high percentage of good reads, and that means good results.
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Thursday’s comp play missed as San Diego State physically overwhelmed San Diego but barely won the game. The stat line on this game was crazy. The Aztecs realistically could have won this by 15-20 points. They ruled the paint and got a ton of second chance baskets in the process. But SDSU also missed loads of free throws and inexplicably forgot how to make layups, missing at least a dozen over the course of the 40 minutes. Bottom line is the game lost. Tonight, a rare NBA free play as a good play on situation is at hand.
12/06 05:05 PM NBA (813) OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (814) NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
Take: (813) OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER -4
I’m more about matchups and the math than anything else when it comes to handicapping sports. But there are a handful of trends that I’ll willingly play when the situation arises, and that’s the case tonight as Oklahoma City heads to New Orleans.
This is simple enough. The Thunder are one tough team when they’re playing off a loss. The numbers speak very clearly here. 55-13 outright and 45-22-1 ATS. There’s a rationale in play here as well. When a powerhouse team loses a game, chances are you’re going to get a big effort out of them the next time out. It’s certainly not chiseled in granite this will happen every time. But when it takes place as frequently as it has with the Thunder through what is no longer a small sample, it’s worth following.
The bad news is that there’s no bargain to be found with the number tonight. The Pelicans are playing pretty solid ball lately, winning six of their last nine, and they’d love to knock off one of the league’s elite tonight. There’s no way I expect this to be any kind of cinch.
But the main catalyst here is undeniable. Until such time as it’s prove that Oklahoma City is no longer reliable in this scenario, they’re play on material off a loss. That’s the situation tonight, and I’m going ahead with the call on the Thunder minus the points.