No posting on Monday because I had a long travel day. I'm in the Greater Phoenix area now through the holiday. Unfortunately, I won't have access to the Bulls-Lakers game, but I'll be front-and-center for the Bulls-Suns matchup. I'll post as things catch my eye over the week. Other than Wednesday's game against the Suns, I probably won't post a recap until after the game in Sacramento on Saturday.
- Penny "Alex's favorite player in 6th grade" Hardaway wants back in the NBA. He's only 39.... Yeah, Penny was my favorite. Here are some highlights from that season when I happened to be in 6th grade and they all made me feel better about having the shoes when I saw them on SportsCenter those morning before catching the school bus (#1 more than makes up for #3):
- Is Derrick Rose a top 15 NBA player right now? Top ten? Is he overrated? Are you hating on him for pointing out that the hype refers to him as a player he's not -- or at least isn't yet? Can Rose become Stephon Marbury or Steve Francis -- a punchline in eight or nine years? By giving attention to these questions, do I contribute to him being more overrated because it baits those overrating him? My answers are: Probably, no, seems like it, no, why not?, and *sigh* yes.
- The Spurs (12-1) won their 11th straight. Monday's victims were the Magic (9-4),despite Dwight Howard being a monster with a 28-18 double-double. At what point does San Antonio become a legit title contender?
- Amar'e Stoudemire and Russell Westbrook were named the Player of the Week for their respective conferences.
Amar'e is the only player who rebounds on that team and had three
double-doubles with over 25 points this week, including a 39-11 over the
Staples Center Red Team. That said, he didn't do anything against
anyone good all week. Westbrook led his Thunder to back-to-back wins
without Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. Basically, he beat the Celtics and
the Bucks because that team really sucks outside of those three.
- The Celtics (10-4) got beaten by Russell Westbrook and the Toronto CRaptors (5-9) in one weekend and managed to not develop drug addictions. Instead they responded by embarrassing the Hawks, 99-76.
The score was 39-13 after the first quarter and the highest paid free
agent signing of the summer scored six on 2-for-10 shooting, finishing
with a game-low -34 for his 23:19 minutes of play. Josh Smith has been assured he isn't on the trading block and Jamal Crawford admits trade rumors have 'affected his play,' so maybe it's reasonable to wonder if Joe-John's available. I say no and even if so, I answer Doug Thonus, 'Absolutely not.'
- Heat (8-6) lost to the Pacers (6-6)... badly. Like, really badly. Final score: 93-77.
LeBron scored 25. It's like Cleveland, but hotter. Maybe, Cleveland
really is purgatory. D-Wade had his worst shooting night ever, going
1-for-13, so it's safe to guess he isn't healthy. The Whipping Bosh had a
25-11 double-double. The Heat bench: four points.
- In one of the worst games I've ever seen in my life, the Hornets (11-1) beat the Queens (4-9), 75-71, Sunday.
Nawlins only broke 20 points in two quarters. Bear in mind, they won
the game. The Queens held their opponents to 32.2% shooting. Bear in
mind, they lost the game. CP3 said last summer that he was "open to be
traded" if the team was "not committed to winning and trying to get
better" and "contend with the Lakers." After this game, he said with a
smile, "Yeah, I'm happy."
Gasol is in the record books with Charles Barkley and his teammate Matt
Barnes as one of the only players to score 20, get five assists and
five rebounds without missing a shot, taking at least five shots from
the field and the FT line. Don't feel bad for not processing that performance for the record book. It was against the Warriors, but I like Kelly Dwyer's argument he's the best in the NBA... this month. Shannon Brown dropped 17 off the bench and Keith Bogans is still the Bulls' starting two-guard.
you're 32, among the league leaders in scoring for the season, closing
in on 22k points and 30 a genuine possibility, and trying to figure out
why your free throw rate 83.1 -- down from 91.5% when you were 31 and
your 87.5% career rate -- is so low, you are one of the best who's every
played the game. Yeah, he's taking it in stride, but he's also aware of how many straight he has to hit to get back to 90%.... Well, not really. 25 straight would bring him up to 87.3%.
- Udonis Haslem is "out indefinitely." He'll have surgery Tuesday to repair a "badly torn ligament in his left foot." A league source told Yahoo! he'll be out until at least the All-Star break in February. The Heat are responding by signing Erick Dampier to a one-year deal, David Aldridge is reporting. Dampier must be a tub of goo with arms and feet if the Lakers didn't grab him. They're more desperate for a backup center than even Miami right now.
- NBAPA executive director Billy Hunter says he's "99% sure" there'll be a lockout next summer.
"I think it's highly probable that there will be a lockout and that's
what I'm preparing for because I don't see anything else right now," he
said. The league wants a hard salary cap though the present soft cap has
lowered salaries while revenue has risen.
- T.J. Ford's been in trade rumors for about six years, but the Pacers are saying they intend on keeping him and paying him his $8.5'ish million for the last year of his deal.
Darren Collison has a health history, but seriously, Indy isn't going
anywhere and backup point guards are very hard to come by. Seriously,
just look around the league. Minnesota was holding tryouts, ffs.
Sacramento tried to shop a legit sixthman big, Jason Thompson, to
Atlanta for Jeff F'n Teague.
- Durant and Green came back Monday and the Thunder (10-4) beat like Darkopuppies (4-11), 117-107.
Darko dropped 21 for his sixth career 20-point game. KD came into the
game shooting 42.6% and didn't disappoint, shooting 6-for-16 from the
field. But, he gets all the damn calls, so he shot 16-for-17 from the
line. I think if Darko drops 20 on you and that bunch jogs up the floor
to shoot 50% against you, you lose.
- Chauncey Billups says he wants to be a Nugget for the rest of his career, but rational economics doesn't look good for that wish
unless he takes a buyout and re-signs for considerably less. He can
also be traded as an expiring contract and be bought out by the new
- Allen Iverson=BUSTO!!!!
- Hakeem's apparently only batting .500 with his Magic projects from the summer.
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