- The Suns (5-4) hit 22 threes of an astonishing 40 attempts to beat the Lakers (8-2) on the road, 121-116. Jason Richardson led Phoenix with 35, 7-for-10 from long range, and Steve Nash had a 21-13 double-double. The struggling and tired Hedu Turkoglu hit 5-of-7 threes for 17 pts, Channing Frye went 4-for-7 from long range to score 20 off the bench. What's amazing is that Phoenix only won by five, if you ask me.
In their second straight loss after winning their first eight, the Lakers turned the ball over 18 times to the Suns' 12, eight turnovers by Kobe, who had a 25-14 double-double, including a pass to himself for better positioning without traveling. The Suns shot better (51% to 49%) from the field and still got out-rebounded, 49-32, led by Paul Gasol (28-17) and Lamar Odom (22-11) also getting double-doubles. (Box Score) The Bulls have had turnover issues, but they have shown they can run in a 97-possession game like this. The Bulls play in Phoenix in the second week of the circus trip.
Matt Barnes discussed the game pretty well, but addressed questions about the new "respect for the game" rules in a very direct manner that stayed within league policy.
- "Already this season, there have been 10 games where a team lost after leading by 15 or more points, according to STATS LLC." The Jazz have done it four times (h/t: TrueHoop). The Lakers did it opening night against the Rockets, who the Bulls play, Tuesday. And the Rockets will be without Yao and Aaron Brooks, who played in that season opener.
- Chris Bosh isn't too soft for the Heat to win the title, just as Paul Gasol isn't too soft for the Lakers, David Thorpe writes at ESPN. Andrew Bynum's name, conveniently, doesn't appear once in his stupid article.
- Brandon Roy is "questionable" for Tuesday's game in Memphis, according to the Blazers GM.
- Jason Thompson is on the Kings' trading block.
They shopped him to the Hawks for backup PG Jeff Teague and the deal
was refused by Atlanta. This says a couple of things to basketball fans:
(1) Despite being a "diva" and reportedly being fined for clashing with the coaching staff,
the Kings' front office wants DeMarcus Cousins in a three-man
frontcourt rotation with Carl Landry and Samuel Dalembert, and (2) A
backup PG, is extremely difficult to find, these days, though the NBA's
top ten PG's are probably the best top ten in the league's history.
Think about it. Thompson more than competent,
but the Kings are in need of a backup and the Hawks value Teague over a
replacement so high that they won't take Thompson to upgrade their
frontcourt rotation. Add in the Darkopuppies holding tryouts as the
position, the Bulls searching high and wide for a #3 PG without even a
serviceable #2. Chauncey Billups is now a please-foul-me dribble
penetrating three-point shooter, Andre Miller's been a bit softer, and
Carlos Arroyo is starting in Miami, but no reasonable person can say
their jobs are in jeopardy to a replacement.
- Matt Bonner hit all seven of his three-point attempts to give the
Spurs (8-1) a boost to beat the Thunder (5-4) on the road, 117,104, with
Tim Duncan continuing to be limited in his minutes and San Antonio
shooting only 41% from the floor. Kevin Durant scored 23, only getting
to the line for two FT attempts, as OKC got out-rebounded, 45-36. The
Spurs' missed were negated not only by Bonner's threes, but moreso with
13 offensive rebounds to OKC only grabbing 31 off the defensive glass.
The Spurs went 34-for-38 from the FT line, getting more from their
aggressiveness, on top of Tony Parker's 24 pts (4-for-7 at the rim,
6-for-6 from the FT line) and Manu Ginobili 21 pts on only 4-for-14
shooting because he hit all 11 of his FT attempts. (Box Score)
The Spurs are 8-1 for the first time in franchise history, but still behind the Hornets' perfect early record (h/t: TrueHoop).
Yet, OKC is "5-4. Winning over 55 percent of its games so far. On pace
for 46 wins, a year after winning 50 and making no major upgrade," the
unsurprised, as I am, Kelly Dwyer wrote. I said this was a 45-50-win team, while Bill Simmons' dumb-ass actually called 62 wins for this two-man traveling circus. LOL!
- Kevin Martin's 28 pts and Luis Scola's 24 continue to be dangerous
scorers, leading the Rockets (3-6) to beat the Knicks (3-7) in NY,
104-96. The Knicks just looked awful on both ends of the floor. They
only went 3-for-16 from three-point range, and though they forced 17
turnovers to create easy buckets that made the game feel closer than it
was, got out-rebounded 47-42 and Houston scored at will down low (17-for-23 at the rim).
Timofey Mozgov was a big nothing and Anthony Randolph only played 11
minutes. It may be about time to force Randolph into a small, fast
starting lineup. Amar'e showed up with 25 pts and 8 rbs, but they can't
effectively depend on their backcourt to grab long rebounds and concede
the paint. (Box Score) The problem is that they're doing that now. Might as well put the most athletic lineup out there.
- Even if there's a lockout, Luis Scola says he'll play the 2011 summer FIBA Americas tournament.
"Scola says playing international tournaments is a great way to stay in
shape, so he sees 'no reason' not to and would get insurance and play --
risk many players might not take if the NBA is closed for business by a
work stoppage." Basketball players are the only athletes who say that
playing in their off-season is a positive, not a negative, as often.
Having seen what basketball players' feet look like as young ages, this
always surprises me to hear and read. The tournament will be hosted by
his native Argentina.
- Leave it to the Darkopuppies (3-8) to end the Hawks' (7-4) four-game
losing streak, losing 111-105. Credit the Pups with being mroe
efficient than usual in a 98-possession game, shooting a little under
48%. Kevin Love had a 22-17 double-double, continuing to be a rebounding
machine, and Michael Beasley scored 25 on 10-for-16 shooting. Al
Horford (28-10) and Josh Smith (23-10) led the ATL with their
double-doubles and highly efficient shooting from the floor and at the
FT line (combined 19-for-34 FGs, 12-for-12 FTs). The $20m men didn't
have pretty lines. Joe Johnson scored 17 on 5-for-12 shooting and Manna
From Heaven found a way to actually lower his abysmal 30% FG% shooting
only 1-for-7 from the floor in 20 minutes. (Box Score)
- Kobe Bryant is taking an early vocal role against the owners in the coming NBA labor dispute, saying, "I'm going to fight for our players." The president and vice president of the NBAPA are also Lakers -- Derek Fisher and Theo Ratliff. Good for him, I say.
- Pisspots (4-6) beat the Queens (3-6), 100-94, in an 88-possession game. I almost fell asleep just typing that. (Box Score)
- LOL College Jeopardy
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Tags: atlanta hawks, brandon roy, chris bosh, collective bargaining agreement, david thorpe, demarcus cousins, detroit pistons, houston rockets, jeff teague, jsaon thompson, kobe bryant, luis scola, matt barnes, miami big three, minnesota timberwolves, nba, new york knicks, oklahoma city thunder, phoenix suns, sacremento kings, san antonio spurs, tim duncan