Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Wake n Break

*The Hawks started off hot, winning their first 6 games, but fell extra hard when they lost their next 4. Finally a win, against a Wizards team totally drowning in sorrow since their $111 Million investment went back in for surgery. Josh Smith is still out, and also Al Horford missed this game with a sprained ankle. So it was Marvin Williams who stepped it up tonight, with 21 points, none more important than a 3 pointer to take the lead with 26 seconds left. It wasn’t so much the Hawks taking this one (although a Joe Johnson 3 off an inbounds play really hurt the Wiz), but the Wiz breaking down at the end and giving the game away. Both Nick Young and Juan Dixon took very bad shots with time left on the shot clock and down by 2. As much as I don’t like DeShawn Stevenson, he did have the hot hand, hitting a ridiculous long 2-pointer falling backward. Caron Butler had a great night, scoring 32 points on 12 for 21 shooting (including four 3-pointers), but it wasn’t enough and Atlanta gets the win. Hawks 91, Wizards 87

*Spurs went real deep into the bench, with everyone on the roster scoring except Kurt Thomas. That doesn’t mean they shot well, finishing at 38% from the field for the game. JR Smith another very slow night, but the starters really held it down. Denver’s defensive improvement since Chauncey Billups arrived has been nothing short of outstanding. With the wins, and impressive defense, we’re starting to forget they gave away former Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Camby. The Nuggets are now 5-1 with Chauncey on the team, and it looks like they’re getting better (especially on the defensive end) every game. Nuggets 91, Spurs 81

*Dwayne Wade is an absolute monster. 40 points, 11 assists, 5 blocks (!) tonight for Flash, with poster-like dunks. But it wasn’t enough to get the win, as Jose Calderon was back from his brief time on the injured list. The key to the win for the Raptors was the wing players, in Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker. Between the two of them, they went 8 for 9….from downtown (!), finishing with 25 and 19 respectively. Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal also had big nights, with Bosh getting 15 points, 11 rebounds, and O’Neal besting him in both, with 16 points and 17 boards (!). Raptors 101, Heat 94

*The Cavs win streak ended at 8, and the Pistons won their second big game against another hot team (the first being the Lakers undefeated spoiler). LeBron James and Co had good control over the game in the first half, and then the Sixers really pulled ahead with a few big shots from Rasheed Wallace late in the fourth, outscoring the Cavs 30-29 in the final quarter. Allen Iverson led the Pistons with 23 points, 4 dimes and 4 steals and after a slow start, the AI-led Pistons are now 4-3. Pistons 96, Cavs 89

*Portland is really good, or maybe Chicago is really bad? Maybe both. This game was a textbook clinic. Portland dominated on both sides of the court, dictating the tempo on offense, and imposing their will on the defensive end of the court. At the end of the first half the score was 62-37 (!). I was hoping that at some point the Bulls would waive the white flag, or maybe one of the refs calls the fight. The lead in the 4th quarter went up to 41 points. The Bulls should be ashamed of their lack of effort, and this was awfully similar to some of the games we saw from the Knicks last year. Greg Oden played his first home game in the Rose Garden was warmly received, rewarding fans with not only a win but 11 and 10 in only 17 minutes. Blazers 116, Bulls 74

*Wait, the Kings beat the Hornets without their best scorer, and with Chris Paul getting 20 points, 15 dimes, and 4 steals? The Hornets had more rebounds, more blocks, more steals, same assists, and less turnovers, but still didn't win the game. The hot shooting of the Kings, let by John Salmons 29 points, got them their 5th win of the season, surprisingly matching the Hornets win total. This was supposedly to be an easy win for the Hornets, and this was a big surprise. Good win for the Kings, who really needed to make some noise before head coach Reggie Theus get the blame for this horribly put-together team. Kings 105, Hornets 96

*Same story with Randy Whitman, who will eventually take the blame for the Wolves putting together this ball club. Their backcourt is too small, their front court is too small, but when hot, they can shoot the lights out of the building like Mike Miller and Co. did tonight. Miller almost got a triple double with 10 points, 10 boards and 6 assists. Al Jefferson added 28 points and 8 boards, with Craig Smith stepping it up and adding 21 of his own. The Wolves haven’t won a game in 3 weeks, but with the Sixers coming into town, it was a good chance to get a win against a team still struggling to find an identity on the court. The Sixers just aren’t moving the ball well, and didn’t get into the passing lanes enough, letting Minnesota out-assist them 29 to 19. Elton Brand continues struggling from the floor, shooting 9 for 21, giving him his lowest FG% of his career at 43%, when his career average is over 50%. Wolves 102, Sixers 96

*It was looking good for the Thunder in the first half, but the second half, the Clippers came out and dominated, with Chris Kaman leading the way with 25 points, 14 boards, 6 assists (!) and 4 blocks (!). Cuttino Mobley was also on fire in the second half, hitting big shots to extend the lead, and getting a whopping 7 steals (!). This second half team was what Mike Dunleavy knew he could get out of his players eventually. If the Clippers can play like this night in and night out, they definitely should be contending for that 8 spot going into the playoffs. The Clips beat the Thunder 59-36 in the second half, giving OKC their 11th loss of the season (with only 1 win). Clippers 108, Thunder 88

*Dallas had control of their game the entire time, never giving up the lead after the first quarter. For Houston, Yao Ming sat the game out for precautionary reasons, after feeling slight pain in his surgically repaired foot. The big story/player of the night was definitely Jason Terry, going 13 for 21 from the floor, finishing with 31 points, with two points coming late in the fourth quarter, putting the final nail in the coffin. Much to most people’s surprise, T-Mac did make it to the game, after telling reporters a day earlier that he’s going to have to shut it down for a while. That was a pretty quick recovery. The Mavs improved their record to 5-7, but still haven’t been able to capture a win at home in front of their fans. Mavs 96, Rockets 86

*Utah continues to be a consistent and quiet winner. Has there been a more consistent competitive team over the past 15 to 20 years? No way. Richard Jefferson led the Bucks with 25 points, but CJ Miles matched that, and led his team to another win without Deron Williams. Congrats to former No 1 draft pick Andrew Bogut for pulling down 20 boards. If this guy could stay out of foul trouble who knows what his game could look like. But the defense of the Jazz really stepped it up, beating the Bucks on blocks 10-1 (!), 9 blocks coming off the bench by Andre Kirilenko and Paul Millsap. The smothering defense only allowed 18 points in the closing quarter. Carlos Boozer added 20 points and 11 boards, giving the Jazz their 8th win of the season, improving to 8-4. Jazz 105, Bucks 94

4 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Way to break it down DMiz.

What rooks have been disappointing so far, which have exceeded expectations ?

Tks,

D.Miz said...

I guess you'd have to say a big disappointment (so far) is Michael Beasley. Not because he's not performing well stat-wise, but his body type seems to be in no-mans-land, somewhere between playing the 3 and playing the 4.

The easy answer, is the #6 pick, Danilo Gallinari....who's played just over 11 minutes so far this season (wack!)

As far as exceeding expectations, i wish i could say Mayo, but i thought he'd be on fire. Russell Westbrook is flying under the radar, but he better be this good for a #4 pick in a draft this deep! Rudy Fernandez definitely is adjusting to the NBA game better than anticipated. This kid Anthony Morrow...went undrafted, so he's a surprise rookie.

What do YOU think?

Anonymous said...

Oden, rookie of the year. A lot of people don't realize this but he qualifies as a rookie.
Most disappointing, probab ly Robin Lopez, due to Shaq's great start.

Peace.

David said...

Morrow only had couple good games...Rudy is sick...Dude has been automatic from free throw line, has great 3 point shot..Whats up with Wade getting so many blocks this yr