Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NBA Recap 10-29-08

Several games on tonight and again, it's great to finally see the NBA in full swing. Let's get right to the games.

Toronto @ Philadelphia - While the Phillies were on their way to winning the World Series, the Sixers were stinking the joint up at the Wachovia Center. The Sixers didn't seem to worry about this game and they came out flat. They needed to get out and practice shooting with Brand (5-14), Iguodala (5-17), and Miller (6-16) not able to hit the broadside of a barn. The Raptors came out with their big guys blazing. Both Jermaine O'Neal (17 pts, 8 rebs, 4 asts) and Chris Bosh (27 pts, 11 rebs, 4 asts) showed up big for the Raptors. At least the Phillies won.

Atlanta @ Orlando - One of these teams was supposed to step up and show the rest of the world that they are for real, that last season's success wasn't just a blip on the radar. The team that stepped up wasn't the one that many had picked as the Hawks came out screaming. Joe Johnson got it going in the first quarter and finished with 25 points. The Hawks also got a monster game from Josh Smith (17 pts, 10 rebs, 4 stls, 5 blks) and a very unexpected 14 pts from Ronald Murray. The Magic were led by Dwight Howard with his own monster game (22pts, 15 rebs, 5 stls, 5 blks) but the Magic bench played a dissapearing act with only 11 points. Atlanta starts the season at 1-0 and they look like they are for real. Hopefully Bibby didn't hurt his hip too badly.

New Jersey @ Washington - Jarvis Hayes got a chance to play against his former team and was able to drop 14 points on them off the bench. Vince Carter chipped in 21 and Yi Jianlian helped with 17 points. The Wizards didn't look too interested and they also experienced a rough shooting night with Butler (3-11), Jamison (6-18), and Stevenson (5-13).

Miami @ New York - Is this the statement that D'Antoni wanted to make? All I have to say is Starbury got a DNP. Not one minute. Other than that, this was a decent game for the Knicks. They were led by Crawford (29 pts) and Zach Randolph (20 pts, 9 rebs), while they got all around production from the rest of the team. The Heat got their first look at Michael Beasley and he didn't impress going 4-14 for 9 points and 4 rebs. Wade had 26 pts and 9 rebs, while Udonis Haslem had an impressive 23 pts and 10 rebs. If both of these teams were actually good, I'd have a lot of positives to say, but this game proved very few things: 1) Neither of these teams can play defense 2) Niether team has a lot of size (that will play in the Knicks case) 3. This is what the bottom of the East is going to look like.

Indiana @ Detroit - This is Dumar's first game after not fulfilling his promise to remake this Piston's team. So far so good. The Pistons roared out to a lead and got good production from Tayshaun Prince (19 pts, 5 rebs, 3 asts) but tough sledding for the rest of the team. Indiana was led by Danny Granger who had a good scoring night (33 pts, 5 rebs) but the rest of the team didn't give much. Also a note, no Jamal Tinsley.

Sacramento @ Minnesota - Very good game. Both teams came to play and they both left it on the floor. Kevin Love had 12 pts and 9 rebs (off the bench) in his first game as a pro. Al Jefferson showed that he may end up saving McHale's job after the Garnett trade by turning in 21 pts and 10 rebs. The Kings were led by John Salmons (24 pts, 5 rebs, 8 asts), rookie Jason Thompson (18 pts and 10 rebs), and a Spencer Hawes (12 pts, 14 rebs, 6 blks) sighting. The Timberwolves escaped with a 2 point win.

Phoenix @ San Antonio - It looks like the Big Sensei found the fountain of youth, or this just happened to be the first game of the season. Shaq gave a 15 pts, 12 rebs performance. He also proved to be a little comical as the Spurs decided to Hack-A-Shaq from the tip (that was funny) and then later in the half. I watched this game and didn't see Stoudemire get the 22 pts and 8 rebs, that's scary. He actually looks interested in defense this year also. The Spurs were without the injured Manu Ginoboli, but Tim Duncan and Tony Parker (32 pts a piece) picked up the slack. Unfortunately, no one else did. The Spurs lost a close game down the stretch and I will go on record now saying that they can't wait for Manu to get back because TP can't play like this forever.

Milwaukee @ Oklahoma City - Maybe I was wrong about Charlie Vilanueva. After a lackluster game against the Bulls, he showed up and dropped 20 pts (along with Michael Redd and Richard Jefferson) to lead the Bucks to a win. This was a terrible home opener for the Thunder as none of them impressed. The Thunder were led by Chris Wilcox (15pts and 7 rebs).

Memphis @ Houston - This was the first game of Houston's Big Three (Artest, T-Mac, Yao). Yao (21 pts, 10 rebs), T-Mac (16 pts, 2 rebs, 5 asts, 3 stls) and Artest (16 pts, 3 rebs, 2 asts, 3 stls, 1 blk) each had their moments. The Grizzlies played pretty well, and lost this one late. They were led by Rudy Gay (20 pts, 9-22) and OJ Mayo played well in his pro debut (10pts, 5 rebs, 2 asts, 2 stls) although he was only 5-20 and 0-7 from 3 point land.

Denver @ Utah - This was a very close game right down to the end. The Nuggets actually played pretty well in this one. AI and Kenyon Martin both led the Nuggets with 18 points while JR Smith added 17 points. Ronnie Price got the start for the injured Deron Williams and he played horribly (6 pts, 3 rebs, 5 asts, 3 tos, and shot 1-9) while Carlos Boozer put the Jazz on hs shoulders (25 pts, 14 rebs) and carried them to this win.

New Orleans @ Golden State - Chris Paul is still the man. He got the winning layup late in the game (with 19.4 seconds left). Paul led the Hornets into Golden State with 21 pts, 11 asts, and 5 rebs. David West chipped in 24 pts and 7 rebs, while Tyson Chandler had 13 pts, 16 rebs, and 3 blks. Corey Maggette showed the Warriors that he can score with the best of them with an efficient 27 point outing (8-11 fg, 2-4 3ptrs, 9-10 free throws). He was helped by the ever present Stephen Jackson (26 pts, 3 rebs, 5 asts) and surprising Kelenna Azibuike off the bench (17 pts). Al Harrington did nothing to help his wish of being traded by turning in a clunker with his 5-17 shooting. This Golden State team can't wait for Game 31, and the return of Monta Ellis.

Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers - This was supposed to be a Clippers home game and the return of the Baron to La La Land, but this turned out to be a roasting. The Clippers showed up and played the Lakers close for about 1 1/2 quarters and then it got ugly. The Lakers showed that they were the better and deeper team as 7 players ended up with double digit scoring. The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant (16 pts), Jordan Farmar (15 pts) and Derek Fisher (15 pts). The Clippers were without new addition, Marcus Camby, because of a heel injury but Baron Davis put on a valiant effort with 11pts, 7 asts, 2 rebs, and 3 stls. Al Thornton (16 pts, on 7-15 shooting) played well early but dissapeared down the stretch. The Clippers are in trouble, even with Camby back there. They don't have enough scoring on the wings.

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