Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NBA RECAP 10/28/08

This will be a daily column of mine, which I will use to highlight the top performers of the day (in real life), noting players that could see a rise/decrease in ratings/tendencies.

CELTICS 90, CAVALIERS 85

STUDS
Pierce (BOS): 27 pts (10-19 FG)
James (CLE): 22 pts (9-21 FG, 0-4 3PT, 4-8 FT), 7 reb, 6 ast, 2 stls (36 mins)
Varejao (CLE): 9 pts, 9 reb (4 offensive), 3 stl (26 mins)

DUDS
R. Allen (BOS): 8 pts (2-9 FG), 4 TO (41 mins)
Hickson (CLE): DNP-CD

Ray Allen had another poor game against Cleveland, big suprise there. Fortunately for the Celtics, Cleveland hasn't figured out how to contain Paul Pierce yet. KG had a mediocre game which was the case against Boston last year, but you need to shut down all three to beat Boston.

The funny thing about LeBron's line is I actually consider it a disappointment. That sums up how scary good he is.

Varejao logged more minutes than Big Ben which could become a trend, especially if he continues to outperform him on both ends.

Hickson was late on opening night and lost his rotation spot to Lorenzen Wright. Should only be temporary (god-willing) and hopefully he won't have anymore hiccups on a team fighting for a playoff spot that is desperate for frontcourt offense. Leon Powe scored 13 pts in 23 mins, which is what Wallace/Varejao/Wright combined for in 55 mins.

BULLS 108, BUCKS 95

STUDS
Deng (CHI): 21 pts (8-13 FG)
Hinrich (CHI): 15 pts (5-10 FG, 2-4 3PT), 7 ast (26 mins)
Gordon (CHI): 18 pts (6-12 FG, 3-6 3PT) (26 mins)
Rose (CHI): 11 pts, 9 ast, 3 stl (32 mins)
Thomas (CHI): 15 pts, 10 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk (41 mins!)
Redd (MIL): 30 pts (10-19 FG, 4-8 3PT)

DUDS
Villanueva (MIL): 4 pts (1-5 FG), 3 fouls (9 mins)
Sessions (MIL): INACTIVE

I'm not gonna get too excited about the Bulls stats as the Bucks were the absolute worst defensive team in the league last season, and with their opponents shooting .485 in the preseason, they have hardly fixed this problem. Not only did the Bulls shoot over 50% from the field, but they also took a whopping 44 free throws!Redd/Ridnour is the absolute worst defensive backcourt in the league, and Bogut/Villanueva spent the majority of this game in foul trouble, which is bad news bears no matter how much of a defensive taskmaster your coach is. They've fired through a million coaches this decade because the team couldn't defend, and there comes a point where you have to put blame on the guys who take the court.

Still, it was nice to see Rose and Ty Thomas do well and they will have a close eye kept on them as the season progresses. That both Hinrich and Gordon both had good games off the bench is equally promising. Nocioni's minutes and production were hit hard by the game Tyrus had, and it remains to be seen if that's a trend.

I was surprised to see Sessions inactive, wasn't sure if he was nursing an injury or not (he didn't have the best preseason, but still...) I can understand Skiles sticking with Lue early in the year as Sessions isn't the most experienced guard in the world, but he certainly has the most upside of any PG in Milwuakee, and I'd certainly give him backup PG minutes over Charlie Bell. Maybe it was just a matchup thing since the Bulls have bigger/stronger guards. We'll see. Or maybe they were trying to avoid getting drawn into a stat padded blowout loss against the Bulls. There'll be plenty of time for that in April.

LAKERS 96, BLAZERS 76

STUDS
Bryant (LAL): 23 pts (9-17 FG), 11 rebs, 5 ast
Radmanovic (LAL): 8 pts (3-4 FG, 2-3 3PT), 5 rebs, 4 stls!
Ariza (LAL): 11 pts (4-7 FG, 2-2 3PT), 2 blks
Outlaw (POR): 18 pts (8-15 FG)
Fernandez (POR): 15 pts (5-10 FG, 3-5 3PT), 4 ast, 2 stl

DUDS
Oden (POR): 0 pts (0-4 FG), 5 rebs, 1 blk, 2 fouls (13 mins)
Frye (POR): 0 pts (0-7 FG), 4 fouls (17 mins)

The Blazers looked incredibly overmatched against the Lakers supreme depth and talent, as they struggled to create shots all game long. I've been saying for awhile now that the Blazers are a borderline playoff team and will not be challenging for a top seed in the west. They are just too young and lack the star power right now. Three years from now look out, but they still have a lot of growing to do.

That they aren't exactly a beacon of health doesn't help either. Oden left this one with an ankle injury and you have to wonder if he's gonna head straight to the lockerroom after any minor injury throughout the season. The Lakers are obviously a tough challenge, but it looks like the Blazers are gonna treat him with kid gloves throughout the year, and why shouldn't they, this year doesn't mean anything, it's the next ten that do.

On the positive note for Portland, Rudy Fernandez had a good game and he should contend for sixth man honors if he keeps putting up lines like that.

Oden/Thrilla/Aldridge/Frye were a combined 6-27 from the field (and 0-5 from the line). This is what happens when weak post offense meets strong post defense. They might be able to get by without Oden against some teams, but not against the team favored to win the championship this year.

The Lakers shut down the middle on defense as Portland hit only 19-60 from 2pt range and only attempted 14 free throws (compared to 24 threes).

I was most impressed with Trevor Ariza. I remember in NY this guy was bricking 15 footers off the side of the backboard. He was 2-2 on threes today which is a testament to how hard he's worked on his shot and he deserves a ton of credit. I could be cliche and say he has a chance to be a Bowen/Posey type contributor but the truth is he can be even more since he can actually take the ball to the basket and finish strong, as well as crash the boards.

13 comments:

Brandon said...

The Blazers looked nervous as hell and shot 34% from the field, so I'm not going to draw too many conclusions from that one..still think they win 45 or so.

bobday said...

I saw the Bucks Bulls match last night. Tyrus Thomas made a few midrange jumpers with pretty good %. As a matter of fact nearly half of his points came from midrange. Looks like it's his game now.

Anonymous said...

Who slider do you use?Benicio,Blu Lightening,Nogoster,etc.

Do you also change player tendencies when editing?

I love your what you're doing bruh so me complaining about your work feels weird but is there anyway you can give every player real shoes?

Joe said...

Good reviews altogether.

I watched all 3 games and I agree with your assesments.

I'm a Cleveland fan but I started my association with Charlotte just for the challenge.

Anyway, to add more insight, the word around Cavs message boards is that JJ Hickson is actually being fast tracked. So they will be more demanding on him early in the season. He was being disciplined in the last preseason game, but Coach Brown stated that he paid his dues and has a fresh slate for the season.

The one surprise from yesterdays game was how out of sync Andrew Bynum looked in the first game. Only 8pts 4rbs and 5pfs in almost 30mins of action mostly against Pryzbilla and Channing Frye.

We'll see if he bounces back against the Clips tonight, but that was a shaky debut.

Thanks for your work and I love your rosters

Anonymous said...

where's version 2.0? I really like your rosters but I am thinking that I should use o.s. outsiders so that I can start my season

Anonymous said...

joe, i hope you weren't on the cavs.com message board because its full of 10 year old homers.

JJ has shown promise but not on D and word is that darnell jackson has shown to be more NBA ready as of now. JJ had a clean slate before the celtics game but when he missed the wiz game, lorenzen wright overtook him in the rotation by being impessive so JJ cant be that much better meaning total overhype as of yet

Rashidi said...

Tyrus was hitting mid-range last year too, so that should only confirm his shooting ability.

I make my own tendencies and use default sliders.

Bynum is going to have games like that when Kobe and Gasol are doing their thing. I thought he played a great defensive game and the 5 fouls don't worry me since few of them led to FTA, and his aggression at that end is what helped the Lakers build their lead.

2.0 will likely hit after the games are completed just so I can get each team's starting lineup and rotations set in stone.

There's also an Obamamercial and a World Series mini-game tonight. In otherr words, there's a lot more going on than me uploading a file.

Brad said...

As far as the situation with Hickson, he was late to the bus for the last preseason game, and did not play in it. Now Wright is ahead of him... for now. I expect Hickson to be contributing for at least 10 minutes a night within the next week or two. He's too talented, and too explosive to not play. Plus, he's the Cavs' best post scorer.

Tyrus Thomas looked solid from midrange, which isn't really a big surprise, someone who's only 6'8" should be able to shoot a little.

Bynum looked more like an above average center that we all know he is than a superstar that the Lakers believe he can become. I'm not saying he can't become a stud, but last night showed that he hasn't taken that leap yet.

Although I'm a Cavs fan, I was really sad to see Oden go down... I hope injuries don't derail his career. When healthy, he's easily a top 10 center in the league, even with only playing one quarter of basketball so far.

Phil in AZ said...

Rashidi,

Looking forward to your 2.0 rosters. That was b.s. that the 2K moderator banned you for speaking the truth about the "2K insider". They should can his ass, and hire you!!!! You obviously know basketball and your work speaks for itself. Major thanks and props for your hard work.

bobday said...

Oden played only 1 quarter, but that was enough to block Bynum twice. Hehe was laffing. I hate LAL. Bynum may be overhyped a bit. It's a long time til a player gets back to his game after a big injury. But for the moment he might be a bit overrated in the game.

Joe said...

Good assessment Brad. JJ is their overall best post scorer. I was shedding light on the politics going on so that Rashidi didnt adjust his ratings because of DNPCD. Lo Wright isnt REALLY ahead of the kid, they are just going to kind of fast track him so that he catches up to speed quicker on defensive rotations.

And to the anonymous poster... nobody uses Cavs.com. If you want info on my cavs, go to RealCavsFans.com where the big boys talk.

Anonymous said...

So it looks like Rashidi is about as reliable as The 2k Insider, lol.

Rashidi said...

Yeah don't worry I don't judge players by DNP-CDs I just found it really odd to find Lorenzen out there after he looked done last year. It is always disappointing when washed up vets are getting game time over promising rookies. I watched Isiah Thomas in a lost season do everything he could to not play Wilson Chandler.