The hype for this game was off the charts: Two blood rival teams, and the NHL’s two biggest stars in Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin. Plus, the Penguins and Capitals were featured on the first season of HBO’s 24/7 series dedicated to the Winter Classic, which remains the gold standard for the genre. (We’ll always remember you, sauce-faced, profanity-laced Bruce Boudreau.)
Alas, the hype was not met. First, for having an 8 p.m. start time thanks to concerns about rain. At first, under the lights seemed cool, until one realized it killed much of the charm of the event.
The Celtics were also able to throw multiple waves at defenders at James, beginning with Marcus Morris and on through Brown, Tatum, and rookie Semi Ojeleye, who is a reliable jump shot away from being a rotation fixture for years to come. Having forwards who can not only switch everything but stay in front of James is the key to their defensive structure.
You know, against LeBron , there’s nobody that can guard him the whole game, so you have to throw as many bodies at him as you can, Stevens said. And then pray.
What is interesting about this season is that the other contenders — Boston, Toronto, and Washington — have all made strides in their development. The Wizards have proven dangerous against good teams, albeit with a stubborn inconsistent streak against lesser opponents. The Celtics are 31-10, their best mark at the midway point of their season since 2010-11. Then there are the Raptors who have updated their style and are playing out of their minds.
Jared Cook appears to have an 11-yard touchdown catch for the Raiders with 14 seconds to play in the half, but he’s called for offensive pass interference, negating the score. Carr follows with an incomplete pass and Giorgio Tavecchio enters to attempt a 39-yard field goal. He misses wide left and the Raiders head into halftime trailing by 10.
Dak Prescott’s pass to Cole Beasley on third down falls incomplete and the Cowboys punt. Oakland will start its drive at its 31 with 3:08 to play in the half.
Oakland picks up one more first down but fails to move the chains again. It punts and the Cowboys will take over on their 10.
Carr escapes the pocket and scrambles for 7 yards to pick up the Raiders’ first first down of the game with 11:55 to play in the second quarter.
Touchdown, Cowboys. Dallas puts together an eight-play, 65-yard drive that ends with a 1-yard touchdown run by Rod Smith. Dallas has outgained Oakland 153-7 so far and leads 10-0.