Charlotte beats Utah----- I don't think many people picked this one. As I was thinking over this pick I did consider, for a brief moment, the fact that Charlotte has beaten a lot of good teams. I also considered the fact that Utah really struggles against the zone and Okafor makes the zone appealing for Charlotte. I guess I should have considered those factors more. I don't know though - if they were playing again in Charlotte next week with the same spread I would still pick Utah. Who wouldn't?
Quote from AP recap: Carroll, who hadn't attempted a shot in the first three quarters, launched a 3-pointer from the right wing. Andrei Kirilenko lunged at him and Carroll's follow-through hit him in the mouth, chipping his tooth. The shot fell and Kirilenko was called for the foul.
"It was hanging and he just grabbed it and threw it to the ground," Carroll said. "I said to him, 'Are you OK?' and he said, 'It's just a tooth.' I'm thinking this guy is one tough Russian. I thought he was going to break me the next time I came down court."
Golden State beats Orlando----- J-Rich only played 15 minutes (1/5). The story of this game was Baron Davis (38 points, 9 assists, 4 steals). When you are missing two of your top scorers and a guy with superstar talent is going off like that, you are going to lose. Some guys can just take over a game and that's what Baron did.
New York beats Chicago----- Ben Gordon always has big games against New York and tonight was no exception (27 points). The story of this game however was the Knicks absolute dominance on the boards. The Knicks had 20 offensive rebounds and outrebounded Chicago 57-36. Sick. I don't have to remind you that David Lee is a monster. And he's becoming the leader of this team. He's the one who comes over and unabashedly congratulates teammates when they make plays. He is always having fun and he's teaching the Knicks how to have fun again in the process. Having fun in the pressure of NYC is tough (just look at how NY started off at home), so Lee's effect on this team cannot be overemphasized. And Chicago continued to try to play Andres Nocioni, Deng and Wallace up front. The Knicks had Frye, Curry and Lee in. It's no wonder the Bulls were abused on the boards. It wasn't until late 3rd quarter that Skiles put Mike Sweetney in (remember him?). The Knicks looked like they looked against Utah. Every time someone got beat another guy would step up and help, and the defense recovered off of almost all the passes. Eddy Curry was into it. Jerome James and Kelvin Cato were on the floor at the same time because Lee and Frye were in early foul trouble. They were into it. I think I saw Jerome James contest a 3 pointer for the first time in his life. Also noteworthy is the crap game Hinrich played. He was missing open jumpers. He was passing up open 15 footers. He was committing bad fouls. His #s this year, other than a commendable increase in FG%, are down across the board. I wonder what the problem is. I've always been a fan of his, but it seems like he hasn't improved since his second year.
Indiana beats Atlanta----- Stephen Jackson went off. Joe Johnson's young friends struggled. Claxton still hasn't put together two straight solid games. Maybe next time Atlanta gets it straight? Eh, I maintain long term optimism (as in a couple of months), but they seem to be missing something for the time being.
Toronto beats Portland----- I guess TJ Ford is good. I think that's been my problem in comprehending how Toronto is winning. I still insist that it is in spite of Sam Mitchell and in spite of the fact that that Mo-Pete hardly plays. Brandon Roy almost had a triple double. Maybe Ime Udoka can go to the Nets and join Jason Collins in the starting lineup. His line last night: 20 minutes, 1/8 fgs, 4 pts, 1 rebound, 1 assist. It's funny, if you just looked at the minutes column in the box score for this game, you would be ready to put big money on the fact that this was a bad blowout. Between the two teams there were 3 starters who logged 35+ minutes. And this was an overtime game.
Washington beats Phoenix in OT----- I told you I don't like picking Washington games, but I was pretty confident that they would lose this one. Instead Gilbert Arenas goes nuts again and carries his team into OT then to victory. Yes, he had help, but if he regular old 10/25 fgs, 35 points Gil, the suns are double digit winners. Instead his 54 trump steve nash's career high tying 42 and the Wiz walk away winners. Arenas just likes to be unpredictable. I should try to use logic to pick the rest of the wizards games and then pick the opposite result.
Philadelphia beats Boston----- No wally, no pierce. Wish I'd realized pierce was out. Al Jefferson gets to experience what it's like to be the other team's focus defensively. Gerald Green got big minutes and will continue to until Pierce gets back. We can get something of a better idea if the Celts were wise to hang on to him instead of Iverson. My first impression here is that Green is like JR Smith, athletically gifted, defensively inept and uninterested, and a pretty good shooter.
Lakers beat Nets----- Krstic goes down earlier. VC goes for 33 but on 13/30 shooting. Kobe takes only 13 shots and scores 21 but also has 11 assists. I have no doubt in my mind that Kobe is the best player in the league today. He still has an inferiority complex, but he has learned to hold it back. He understands how to win and he is a bit more sensitive about the fragile psyches of his teammates. And the Nets still suck. Jason Collins plays 30 minutes, doesn't attempt a shot and manages 5 rebounds and a block. When are the nets going to realize that you can't win with a guy like this playing 30 minutes? Kidd is a dangerous passer. He has to work with 1 less target because not only is Collins a below average set shot shooter, but he is practically immobile. He isn't going to run the break, he can't catch the ball inside and then go up. His identical twin Jarron looks so much younger.
Houston beats San Antonio----- Like I said in me preview, the easiest and most effective way to kick Houston's butt is to run and attack. Use athleticism. San Antonio is below average in both athleticism and ability to run. Now guys like Juwan Howard look competent. Bonzi showed up for this one too. Maybe Houston should just let T-Mac have back massages for 8 hours a day until the playoffs. If Bonzi plays well they could still get a 5th seed or so. Then T-Mac would be good and loose.
New Orleans beats Memphis in OT----- Memphis came back late in this came and took the lead. New Orleans took it to OT and by then Gasol had used all the minutes he was allowed. That's the end of the story.
Milwaukee beats Minnesota----- Trade KG. That's all I'm gonna talk about it Minnesota losses until it happens. Trade him. The bucks suck. They didn't even have their second string small forward, Ruben Patterson. KG, look at your roster. Your team is bad and by sitting there and wasting away you aren't helping anyone. All you are doing is allowing Minnesota owners to cash in on your name. That's why they won't trade you - you're a cash cow. It has nothing to do with delusional faith that your team will one day magically click and be good.
Dallas beats Clips----- Dirk played and the mavs won by 32. I maintain that this would still have been a 20 point victory if Dirk had sat. I don't have anything left to say about this team. It's a simple equation. If starting pg ≠ (yes that's the "not equal to" sign) "Sam Cassell", clippers wins = "few far between". Another team that will regret not getting AI.
Sac beats Denver----- Artest sat again. AI had a good opener, but as I predicted the rest of Denver sucked. Also John Salmons had a triple double. Funny, he would be the second best player on the sixers right now if they had signed him instead of Willie Green, Korver and future all-star Kevin Ollie.
Last night's record: 6-6