RAPTORS 95, SIXERS 84
Bosh (TOR) 27 pts, 11 reb, 4 ast
O'Neal (TOR) 17 pts, 8 reb, 4 ast
Dalembert (PHI) 9 pts, 17 rebs (28 mins)
Bargnani (TOR) 0 pts (0-4 FG), 5 rebs, 2 blks.
The Sixers Offense (29-84 FG, .345 FG%; 5-20 3PT, .250 3PT%)
Toronto's frontline was too much for Philly even with Barg's no-show. With the Phillies World Series victory tonight, I doubt their fans noticed. (Side note: Had Tampa Bay been able to take it to game 7, it would have been the 2nd WS played in November).
I have serious questions about the Sixers as they aren't much improved if they don't have pre-injury Elton Brand. They still have poor floor spacing yet are expecting to operate more in the the half court, which doesn't exactly play to the team's strengths of guys like Miller, Iguodala, Young, or Lou-Will.
HAWKS 99, MAGIC 85
Johnson (ATL) 25 pts (11-20 FG), 7 reb
Pachulia (ATL) 8 pts, 8 rebs (6 offensive), 5 fouls (12 mins)
Evans (ATL) 8 pts, 8 rebs (41 mins)
Howard (ORL) 22 pts (8-15 FG, 6-13 FT), 15 rebs (7 offensive), 5 stls, 5 blks
Pietrus (ORL) 20 pts
Turkoglu (ORL) 13 pts (5-17 FG), 8 reb, 2 stl
Lewis (ORL) 11 pts, 5 rebs, 6 fouls (29 mins)
Nelson (ORL) 8 pts, 2 ast
Redick (ORL) 0 pts (0-4 FG, 0-3 3PT)
HOLY HELL DWIGHT HOWARD. If only you could learn how to shoot. Cuz until you do, (or develop a Shaq-esque post game) your team will never make the next step.
Pietrus had a good game but I have to think it was due to the struggles of Turk and Lewis. It seems like they could have used a floor general tonight as Nelson/Johnson combined for 5 of the team's 10 assists.
Redick was 0-4 which means he contributed absolutely nothing (well, except his usual poor defense.
Mo Evans got a shoutout because I'm assuming his defense against his former team in those 41 mins was invaluable. He was filling in for the suspended Marvin Williams. Despite his inclusion in the starting lineup, the Hawks' bench still dominated Orlando's 27-11.
NETS 95, WIZARDS 85
Carter (NJN) 21 pts, 6 ast
Yi (NJN) 17 pts (7-11 FG, 2-2 3PT), 6 rebs, 2 ast, 2 blks
Hayes (NJN) 14 pts (6-9 FG, 2-3 3PT) 5 reb, 3 stl
Jamison (WAS) 14 pts (6-18 FG, 1-11 3PT), 3 reb
Carter quietly led the team to victory. There were questions about whether or not he'd be up to the task due to his slacker M.O.
Yi had a great game as Sean Williams rode the bench all game. It would be great if those threes are more consistent this year. He completely outplayed Antawn Jamison tonight, as AJ seemed content to jack up threes tonight.
Hayes outplayed Simmons but it might have been due to his return to Washington. If he can keep it up he might get the starting job however.
KNICKS 120, HEAT 115
Crawford (NYK) 29 pts (9-19 FG, 4-10 3PT, 7-10 FT), 4 reb, 4 ast
Chandler (NYK) 17 pts (8-15 FG), 9 rebs (4 offensive)
Randolph (NYK) 20 pts, 9 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 1 TO (30 mins)
Lee (NYK) 16 pts (6-9 FG, 4-5 FT), 11 reb (4 offensive), 5 ast, 1 stl
Richardson (NYK) 16 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast (5-9 FG, 2-5 3PT, 4-4 FT)
Robinson (NYK) 13 pts, 3 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl
Wade (MIA) 26 pts (9-23 FG, 0-3 3PT, 8-9 FT), 7 rebs, 9 ast
Haslem (MIA) 23 pts (10-14 FG), 10 rebs (6 offensive)
Chalmers (MIA) 17 pts (7-13 FG, 2-4 3PT), 7 reb, 8 ast
Cook (MIA) 13 pts, 5 reb (20 mins)
Beasley (MIA) 9 pts (4-14 FG, 1-5 3PT, 0-0 FT), 4 rebs, 0 ast, 3 TO
Marbury/Curry (NYK) DNP-CD
Gallinari (NYK) 0 pts (0-2 FG) (3 mins)
The Knicks offense was picture perfect while Miami just forced up shot after shot until the 4th quarter.... notably after they took "Beastley" out.
It was a close game as Zach Randolph floated on the perimeter, seemingly competing with Michael Beasley on who could hoist the most long-range jumpers to disrupt their team's offense. D'Antoni called time out and started force feeding Randolph in the post, whre Udonis Haslem was no match. This also allowed the Knicks to spread the floor some as Randolph wasn't his blackhole self, he made passes on seemingly every possession he didn't score or draw a foul.
Chandler was the absolute star of this game, living up to his Marion comparisons all night long showing his superior athleticism on hustle plays, putbacks, cuts to the basket, better handle than I realized, solid passing, and a respectable jumper.
Lee looks like the second coming of Boris Diaw in this offense. He crashes the boards with a vengence, cuts to the basket, and makes seamless passes to cutters out of the post. He even orchestrated the break THREE TIMES tonight. Chandler might have stood out because he was an unknown quantity coming in, but Lee was even more effective even before you take his help defense into account. It honestly wouldn't surprise me a bit if the 16/11/5 Lee had tonight ended up being his season average.
Gallinari looked inredibly timid which was understandable given that he hadn't played in months. It probably doesn't say much for Shaun Livingston's comeback that DG was guarding him and he couldn't exploit it. It seems D'Antoni will give him some run to try and get him up to speed, but it shouldn't be anything more than spot minutes until he drastically improves.
Speaking of spot minutes, who would've thought Gallinari would play more than Marbury after the preseason he had? It's tough to complain given how well everyone played tonight though. He won't get a chance until someone else screws up. Curry on the other hand, is as unusable as Jerome James at this point.
On the Heat side, Wade pounded the ball inside all game, and it seemed like everytime he got to the rim David Lee was there to force him to adjust his layup which led to some misses that kept him from having a 30-35 pt game. The doubling of Wade allowed Haslem to turn those misses into easy buckets after he crashed the boards. Still, Wade forced the action too much tonight and took some ill-advised shots. He didn't make much of an impact on the defensive end either, fouling Crawford on TWO three point attempts and eventually fouling out.
There was some question whether Mario Chalmers would get the start at PG over Chris Quinn. Chalmers posted a monster line and solidified his spot. Banks and Livingston got off the bench. Quinn never did. Think that question is answered.
The other Miami rookie however, Michael Beasley, played terribly and fell in love with the three point shot despite the Knicks complete lack of post defense. One has to hope that he'll figure it out as he goes along, but for the #2 overall pick there are now legit questions about his basketball IQ. Has there ever been a hog PF that shot 5 threes in his first ever NBA game? Not even Z-Bo was that bad in Portland. Beasley posted the worst +/- rating on the team (-14) and the Heat were able to make a comeback in the 4th with him riding the bench like Ronald Weasley in crunch time of a Harry Potter movie.
And regarding +/-, Daequan Cook was tops on the team, as he couldn't miss in the 4th quarter. I'm left wondering why Miami really felt the need to throw all that money and years at James Jones (who is out for 3 months).
BUCKS 98, OKC BLUNDER 87
Redd (MIL) 20 pts
Jefferson (MIL) 20 pts (5-10 FG, 8-9 FT), 8 rebs
Villanueva (MIL) 20 pts (8-17 FG), 12 rebs, 5 TO, 6 Fouls
Wilcox (OKC) 15 pts (6-9 FG), 7 rebs (27 mins)
Durant 12 pts (5-14 FG)
Green 7 pts (2-7 FG), 5 TO
RJ had a game we can expect more of from him. Nice to see him grab some boards as he was one of the worst rebounding SFs in the league last year.
Villanueva rebounded from last night's no-show though there was still a lot to dislike about his game, with 5 TOs and fouling out.
The Bucks had three players score 20 pts and they aren't going to lose often when they do that. But then, they also aren't going to face the worst team in the league every night.
Durant had a so-so game and they will need more just to compete with lottery bound teams like Milwaukee.
Wilcox reacted to his bench role well, he is a near lock to be traded before the deadline.
Westbrook had a decent game with 13/4/4. Beasley had 9/4/0 in 6 more mins tonight.
PISTONS 100, PACERS 94
Prince (DET) 19 pts (8-15 FG)
Granger (IND) 33 pts (10-16 FG, 2-4 3PT, 11-12 FT), 5 reb, 2 stl, 3 blk
Jack (IND) 9 pts (3-9 FG), 2 ast, 4 fouls, 26 mins
Granger was today's top scorer but it wasn't enough against the depth of Detroit. Mike Dunleavy sat this one out as Marquis Daniels started in his place.
Side Note: Stuckey played 16 mins after summer promises he'd get 30 mins, something I've called unrealistic since day one.
WOLVES 98, KINGS 96
Jefferson (MIN) 21 pts, 10 reb, 2 blk
Love (MIN) 12 pts, 9 reb, 2 blk
Salmons (SAC) 24 pts, 5 rebs, 8 ast
Thompson (SAC) 18 pts (7-11 FG, 4-4 FT), 10 rebs
Hawes (SAC) 12 pts, 14 rebs, 6 blks
Telfair (MIN) DNP-Suspended (Kevin Ollie played 16 mins in his absence. Seriously.)
Mlller (SAC) DNP-Suspended
Kings obviously didn't miss Brad Miller tonight. Had Martin shot better they walk away with a win.
SUNS 103, SPURS 98
Stoudemire (PHX) 22 pts (8-11 FG), 8 rebs
Barbosa (PHX) 18 pts (26 mins)
O'Neal (PHX) 15 pts (5-10 FG, 5-8 FT), 13 reb, 2 blk
Nash (PHX) 13 pts, 13 ast
Duncan (SAS) 32 pts (13-21 FG, 6-10 FT), 6 reb, 3 ast
Parker (SAS) 32 pts, (13-24 FG, 6-8 FT) 5 reb, 5 ast
Rest of Spurs (14-35 FG, .400 FG%)
Spurs are going to have trouble contending if health gets in their way. Manu is out and now Oberto is out which is a big hit to their depth.
Good to know Steve Nash still can't stop Tony Parker though.
ROCKETS 82, RIZZLIES 71
Yao (HOU) 21 pts, 10 reb
Artest (HOU) 26 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast, 4 stl
Scola (HOU) 12 pts, 13 reb
Gasol (MEM) 12 pts, 12 reb, 2 blk
Arthur (MEM) 11 pts, 15 reb (27 mins)
Mayo (MEM) 10 pts (5-20 FG, 0-7 3PT), 5 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl
Milicic (MEM) 2 pts, 2 reb (17 mins)
Again, compare Arthur to what #2 pick Beasley did tonight. At least Beasley wasn't the absolute worst rookie of the night, that goes to Mr. Mayo tonight.
Houston's big three were solid, if not spectactular against one of the NBA's doormats.
98 JAZZ, 94 NUGGETS
Boozer (UTA) 25 pts (11-18 FG, 3-4 FT), 14 reb
Kirilenko (UTA) 16 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk (35 mins off bench)
Martin (DEN) 18 pts, 6 reb, 2 stl, 2 blk
Nene (DEN) 11 pts, 4 reb, 4 TO, 6 fouls (26 mins)
Kleiza (DEN) 4 pts (1-8 FG, 0-4 3PT)
Kleiza filled the suspended Melo's spot in the lineup, but didn't fill his shoes.
Nene/Martin/Kleiza combined for 33 pts and 13 rebs. Boozer/Okur/Kirilenko combined for 54 pts and 30 rebs which should sum up how overmatched they were without Marcus Camby.
Speaking of Camby, his new team didn't fare much better.
LAKERS 117, CLIPPERS 79
Bryant (LAL) 16 pts, 8 reb, 3 ast (30 mins)
Farmar (LAL) 15 pts, 5 reb, 5 ast (26 mins)
Fisher (LAL) 15 pts, 4 ast (21 mins)
Gasol (LAL) 13 pts, 9 reb, 6 ast
Bynum (LAL) 12 pts, 9 reb, 3 blk
Ariza (LAL) 11 pts (4-7 FG, 2-3 3PT)
Mihm (LAL) 10 pts (9 mins)
Thornton (LAC) 16 pts (7-15 FG)
Kaman (LAC) 8 pts (3-9 FG), 5 reb, 4 TO, 5 fouls (30 mins)
Rest of the Clippers offense (23-63, .365 minus Thornton)
Seven Lakers scored in double figures. They shot 41-80 from the field and loggged 28 assists. They're for real.
As far as I'm concerned the big story here is Trevor Ariza hit two more threes which makes him 4-5 through the season's first two games. He had hit 9 total over his first 4 seasons. His career high is 5 threes in a season.
HORNETS 108, WARRIORS 103
West (NOH) 24 pts (9-17 FG, 3-4 FT), 7 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk
Paul (NOH) 21 pts (9-17 FG, 3-4 FT), 5 reb, 13 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk
Chandler (NOH) 13 pts (5-9 FG), 16 reb, 3 blk
Maggette (GSW) 27 pts (8-11 FG 2-4 3PT, 9-10 FT), 8 rebs
Jackson (GSW) 26 pts (9-24 FG, 5-12 3PT, 3-4 FT), 3 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl (48 mins!)
Azubuike 17 pts, 3 stl, 1 blk
Biedrins (GSW) 14 pts (5-8 FG, 4-10 FT), 12 rebs 6 fouls (29 mins)
Turiaf (GSW) 0 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast, 4 blk
Everyone riding Golden State's pine.
I managed to catch glimpses of this well fought game while dozing off (I completely forgot that NBA League Pass is free at the beginning of the season!).
The Warriors minus Monta aren't going down without a fight. Maggette was very efficient and while Jackson won't be able to play every minute of every game with the success he had, he could come close on most nights.
What disenheartening is Biedrins is still a foul machine that can't shoot FTs. He would be good for 35 minutes if he didn't make so many poor fouls, which would be great for a guy who typically averages a double double in less than 30.
I've been touting Turiaf for awhile now as a great glue guy and he didn't disappoint tonight, contributing in other ways besides scoring. With Biedrins fouling propensity he's going to need to step up from time to time.
The Warriors went with a 7 man rotation, and one of those players (DeMarcus Nelson) only played 13 minutes. Brandan Wright, Anthony Randolph, Marco Belinelli, and Marcus Williams did not get off the bench. Nellie loves riding his starters but he's not gonna be able to do it for 82 games. Also, it probably says a lot about what Nellie thinks of Belly and Willy if C.J. Watson can tear his elbow and still get 30 seconds off the bench over them.