Sunday, March 3, 2013

Duke is back?

A headline in the New York Times sports page today reads, "A Star Returns as Duke Shows It's Back."

Yesterday, in a very good basketball contest, Duke, playing at home, beat Miami 79-76.  A player, Ryan Kelly, who had not played in several weeks because of an injury, had a terrific shooting game scoring 36 points.  As a result of the game, pundits are lauding Kelly and claiming that "Duke is back."

Well, I can't agree.  Miami demolished Duke when they played in Florida (albeit without Kelly).  In the game yesterday played in front of deliriously screaming Duke fans, Miami had two opportunities in the closing seconds to tie the game. Despite the remarkable performance by Kelly, and the home court advantage, Duke only won by three points.  Take away Kelly's stunning shooting, and Miami wins this game easily.

I don't think Duke is back, and watch out for Miami in the approaching March Madness tournament.  If Kelly could play like this every game he would be starting for the Knickerbockers now, not the Blue Devils.  He was hot, and Miami did not think he would be so sharp after sitting out so many games.  Oscar Robertson could not shoot like Kelly shot on a regular basis, so Kelly--who averaged 14 points a game before the injury is not going to score like that again.  Miami neutralized the two other stars from Duke, Curry and Plumlee, and really outplayed Duke most of the game.

It's risky to go into the waters I'm about to wade into, but would all the hoopla be made about Kelly if he was black? I don't think so. A player for Miami, Shane Larkin, scored 25 points last night and was as valuable to Miami as Kelly was to Duke. True, Duke won.  Still I think the hosannahs for Kelly are a little beyond what they should be.  He was hot. Shooters get hot, AND shooters get unhot. He is a valuable player and playing as he did yesterday after not playing in weeks is special.  But let's not make his hall of fame bust in Springfield yet.

 It will be interesting to see how Duke does in the tournament.  I think Miami is as well coached and came within two missed three pointers from taking a game into overtime played in front of wild fans in North Carolina.

No comments:

Post a Comment