Charlotte loses to the Celtics. Well this one's easy to explain - Sean May goes down with an ankle sprain in the second quarter and Brevin Knight sits the game out. There go two of Charlotte's three best and most consistent players. I was right about Tony Allen but wrong about Jefferson. When's Al gonna remember that in reality, he's lazy and not aggressive. Sheesh. I don't know, maybe he's the real deal. I was ready to say that about Eddy Curry though, and look at his performances these last two games.
Cleveland loses to Orlando. Dwight Howard and Grant Hill both have solid games and the Magic get contributions from a depleted bench. With Nelson and Turkoglu out, Ariza and Arroyo, 2 of the magic's 3 normal rotation players off the bench, started. They didn't play much though, as Travis Diener, Keyon Dooling and even Mr. Reigning College Player of the Year (6 points, 2/6 shooting, 2/3 3pointers) contributed. Milicic also almost had his first double double of the season with 12 points and 9 rebounds in a season high 32 minutes. These unexpected bench contributors were too much for Cleveland who, once again, looked like they were standing around waiting for Lebron (10/19 fgs, 29 points) to carry them to victory. Larry Hughes followed up his "I'm Back" game where he scored 25 on 11/16 shooting with a "Just Kidding" game where he went 5/17 for 14 points and a healthy 4 turnovers.
Chicago beats Atlanta in OT (doesn't cover). Marvin Williams looked comfortable in the starting lineup in his 6th game back from injury. In 43 minutes he shot 9/15 including 2/3 from long distance with 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. I plan to keep a close eye on him, as he seems very in control on the court and may just be blooming before our eyes. Chicago played a solid game, but Atlanta is a good team if Williams keeps it up - Joe Johnson, Williams and Josh Smith are all very dynamic players who affect the game in multiple ways. That's a scary lineup. If speedy stays healthy and contributes, this team really could make the playoffs in the east. Let's not get too excited though. They did still lose.
Detroit beats New Jersey. RJ ended up playing. The Nets still lost. The nets are really struggling and my feeling is that the problem isn't that Kidd is older (or VC for that matter), but that Jason Collins and Cliff Robinson are old and really really slow. Now I know robinson hardly plays and has been replaced in the rotation by CBA standout Mikki Moore, and Kidd has done a decent job of making Moore look like he deserves to be in the rotation, but the Nets need to make a move. Kidd is going to slow down, even if doesn't happen this year. My first choice would be to trade VC, but his contract is expiring and so, unless the nets want to go after AI, who doesn't seem like much of an upgrade, I'm not sure what the Nets can do with him. RJ on the other hand has a lot of value, as he is still pretty young and showed the abililty to be a team's first option when Kidd and Carter were hurt. I would move him and try to get some size and a starting caliber SF. Here's a trade that I think would work for the Nets (and for all teams involved).
New York gets blown out by Denver. Ahhh the pick of the night. I watched this game live to the bitter end and boy did I get a treat with 1:14 left in the fourth. Nothing like watching Carmelo Anthony run in and sucker punch a guy then sprint off to hide behind his teammates. May the Pistons brawl references and the NBA players are thugs comments commence. Ahhh hypocrisy. Expect another full fledged blog on this once they announce the length of the suspensions. Anyway, New York looked lost even with Marbury coming out and playing like the Starbury of old. Just like last night they played no defense. Just like a lot of their games, they didn't realize the energy level required to compete in an NBA game until about 1/2 way through the 3rd quarter. Of course by then it was too late.
Miami beats Memphis. Gasol looked much better in his limited minutes. Wade was Wade. The heat beat the pile-o-shit team of the NBA. This may be the last time I get to say that though now that Pau is back. At least until they trade him.
Dallas beats Hornets. Boring game. Dallas plays a decent game and wins by 11. About what you'd expect. The Hornets are not a deep team, so until West or Peja comes back, they are gonna keep on sliding. This run here may end up being the reason why they don't make the playoffs, because with West and Peja they are a dangerous team.
San Antonio sneaks past Philly. Weeeee doggy. Guess who's going on my All-Star ballot. Can I get a K, how about an E, how about a VIN and then... AN OLLIE!!!! (I used to be a cheerleader). Mr. Ollie, looked like the spirit of AI was inside him as he trotted by bored San Antonio defenders for awkward and unathletic looking layup after layup. He actually started off 9/9 but cooled off and missed his last two shots. It's a shame the other AI (Iguodala) exploded in the second half, because I was really looking forward to dedicating a paragraph to how Ollie has been the Sixers leading scorer for two straight games. Whatever, I still managed to dedicate this whole paragraph to him. Philly actually gave San Antonio a bit of a scare here, but in the end they got away with their 30 minutes of vacation time and won the game. And as I predicted, Philly covered the 16.5 point spread.
Minnesota loses to the Bucks. As I said Minny sucks and if AI goes elsewhere they need to trade KG immediately. Villanueva didn't even play in this game, so the bucks sent Brian Skinner out to guard Garnett, and they still pulled this one out.
Phoenix beats Sacramento. Phoenix wins by 7, despite the fact that Kevin Martin had a nice game. Another interesting thing to note here is that Sac moved Kenny Thomas to the bench and started John Salmons, shifting Artest to power forward. I hope this is permanent, as Kenny Thomas is a crappy player, but it may have just been a way of matching up better with Phoenix. Either way Salmons had a nice game, shooting 9/14 for 20 points in 43 minutes. He's a good player who has put up nice numbers any time he's been given the minutes. He is also a very good defensive player. In the end this game was much closer than I anticipated (I expected a blowout), but Phoenix still won and covered.
Todays record: 6-4