Washington beats the Lakers 147-141 in OT----- Well ummm, I guess Arenas is over his road woes, nearly tripling his road average of 21.1 ppg. Conventional wisdom: "You can't come back from 10 down in the 4th quarter if you allow 36 points." Lakers' counter with some solid arithmetic: "36 + 10 = 46". Gilbert Arenas responds to this arithmetic, baffling statisticians by making low percentage shot after low percentage shot... And getting to the free throw line an insane 27 times. The Wiz as a team took 60 free throws, twice as many as LA. It's hard to pick Wiz games because they never play defense, and they rely almost entirely on one on one play to score. That means that if a Arenas or Jamison is off, there's really no offensive set to fall back on and get the rest of the team shots. Whatever... The Wiz won a crazy game and I picked wrong. And no, I don't have to mention Kobe, even though he scored 45.
Houston beats the Clips----- Wow, the Clips must be a pretty good team if All-Star Elton Brand is their 4th option (Maggette, Kaman and Livingston all took more shots). This team is seriously lacking leadership, and by leadership I mean Sam Cassell. If Brand doesn't start demanding the ball then the Clips would be wise to get AI, because we all know that he will. This 3 way trade that sends Mobley to Indiana and lands AI in LA makes sense to me (note: LA and maybe Indy would be sending their picks to Philly). Clips get AI but have to take back problem child Stephen Jackson from Indiana in exchange for their cooperation. Houston, outside of Yao didn't play very well, but it was well enough to beat the confused clips. We also had another Bonzi sighting!
Toronto beats Golden State----- Monta Ellis is funny - he has had at least 1 turnover in every game this year, has had exactly 1 turnover in only 2 games, and in 12 of the Warriors' 24 games, he has had 4 or more. In other words, he's a shooting guard playing with a PG who dominates the ball and he's averaging 3.5 turnovers a game in less than 35mpg. I haven't watched any Golden State games so I can't tell you what the deal is here, but that is a ridiculously high number. In other Golden State news, Biedrins has fallen back down to earth. After having double digit rebounding games in 8 of 9, he has gone for 10+ in only 3 of his last 9. His minutes are down and his blocks are way down even in proportion to his reduced minutes. And the game? Well Toronto played a team that didn't look very good and get a career game from Bargnani - 18 points, 10 rebounds, 6 blocks. His previous rebounding high was 6 and his block high was 2. Mo-Pete also had his best game since returning from a ligament strain (23 points, 9 rebounds), and the rest of Toronto's mediocre starting lineup played above themselves. I'm surprised Toronto didn't win by more.
Detroit beats Seattle----- Seattle covered the spread. Sonics managed to shoot 50% against the "stifling" Detroit defense. It appears that Chris Wilcox was the biggest beneficiary of Wallace's absence - I imagine most of his points came off dishes after his man had to leave him to help on penetration. As a matter of fact that's the only way Wilcox scores, so I can say definitively that that was the case. Detroit still pulls this one out because Seattle sucks and Flip Saunders finally realized that Jason Maxiell is a very good player (17 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals). I'm sure he'll forget in time for their next game.
Utah beats Indiana----- Indy's only lead came at 2-0. Utah held Indy to a season low, 36.5% shooting, despite 10/19, 31 point performance by O'Neal (he appears to be healthy!). Stephen Jackson sucked. Tinsley was worse (3/18). Kirilenko dominated defensively with a season high 6 blocked shots. Several Pacers commented on how disciplined and steady the Jazz are, something unusual for such a young team and very reminiscent of the way San Antonio has been described in the last 7 years or so (I believe "methodical" is the buzz word most used to describe the Spurs). Jerry Sloan is well on his way to his first coach of the year award.