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NBA, Hanging Santa on Christmas Day

December 25th, 2016 · No Comments · Basketball, Clippers, France, Lakers, NBA, NFL


We concluded most of our holiday activities on Christmas Eve, aside from getting a photo of “hanging Santa” (above, info below). So that left me free to eat a lot of turkey and watch NBA December 25th games till tryptophan and hoops overload knocked me out.

I saw the whole of the game of the day — Cleveland versus Golden State in a rematch of the past two NBA Finals.

It was an arresting game won 109-108 by the Cavs and events seemed to suggest that the Stephen Curry bandwagon is definitely slowing.

Christmas Day has become perhaps the biggest day on the NBA calendar. For certain, the league has come to dominate sports viewing on December 25, with its five games — most of them often attractive matchups — staged in succession over 10-plus hours.

It started with the Boston Celtics defeating the New York Knicks. Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, recently criticized by Phil Jackson for holding the ball too long, and excoriated in George Karl’s upcoming book, at a crucial moment lived down to his reputation by nonchalantly dribbling along the sideline until the ball was stolen from him.

Melo being Melo.

The big event was Game 2, the champion Cavaliers and the 2015 champion Warriors, which seemed to suggest that 1) LeBron James can do whatever he wants against the Warriors and 2) that Curry, MVP the past two seasons, is not even the best player on his team and 3) that MVP voters need to think long and hard any time they feel inclined to vote Curry MVP over LeBron.

Curry’s scoring is off about 6.0 ppg since this season, now that Kevin Durant has joined the team and seems on his way to making it his own.

Curry seemed to be pressing all night, trying too hard to make the spectacular pass or high-difficulty three-pointer. He finished with 15 points, nine under his average (15 under his average last season) and was not in the game when opposing point guard Kyrie Irving made the decisive basket.

I have never seen Curry play that poorly, nor complain so theatrically about being manhandled, nor shoot so badly (4-for-11), with an airball or two.

He seemed like a spoiled child as well as an entitled veteran. He seemed astonished he didn’t get a call for every little bit of contact.

As we saw in the Finals a year ago, the Warriors are a bit soft, aside from Draymond Green, who too often gets in trouble for provocative acts.

The Cavaliers seem to like to rough up the Warriors, knock them around until they lose their focus, especially in decisive moments.

(We don’t usually get NBA games live here, but with the NFL pretty much taking Sunday off, our French provider picked up the NBA five and made them into an all-day-and-all-night affair, with a “host” cast of five people, three of whom were yawning before Game 3 (Chicago v San Antonio) was over.

It was a treat to see that many good teams in one viewing session, even if the session did extend deep into December 26. I regret that I did not last until the Lakers’ victory over the battered Clippers, which ended at about 5 a.m. here in France.

And Santa-hanging-from-a-rope …

It’s a thing, here in the south of France. A Santa doll, dressed in the typical red and white, but suspended by a rope around his neck from a balcony.

We have asked around, and no one seems quite sure what this denotes, aside perhaps that Santa hangs from balconies at houses without chimneys so that he can climb in the window.

(Pretty sure he is not being executed.)

We do understand that children often leave a glass of wine for Santa and a carrot for his donkey/reindeer. Pere Noel, as Santa is known here, might be a bit tipsy even before he gets out of the first small town.


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