Denver @ Boston - The Celtics are moving along without all of the controversy and notoriety that you see in LA and Miami, and that's just where they want to be. Without Carmelo playing the Nuggets could keep up with the Celtics despite a big game from Ty Lawson (24 pts, 7 asts, 2 rebs, 3 stls, in 34 minutes) off the bench. The Celtics were paced by Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen) and his effortless shooting (28 pts, 5 rebs, and 4 asts). When you add in Rondo (13 asts), Garnett (17 pts, 9 rebs), and Pierce (17 pts, 3 rebs, 4asts) you can easily see why this is the team to beat in the East come playoff time. Other than an almost altercation between Nene and Big Baby (I'm sure someone will get a fine for that one) and KG's brief discussion with George Karl after the game (about Garnett's cancerous statement to Charlie Villanueva) this was pretty much a no contest. Next up for the Celtics are the 76ers and for the Nuggets the Knicks.
Chicago @ Cleveland - Are we all just piling on the Cavaliers? The Bulls went in to Cleveland and came from behind to beat a game Cavs team. As usual, Derrick Rose (29 pts, 8 asts, 4 rebs) along with Joakim Noah (13 pts, 14 rebs) led the Bulls as Carlos Boozer (4 pts, 3 rebs) had a stinker in his old Cleveland home. Just for a second, imagine this,......Boozer and LBJ in Cleveland with Big Z, and some shooters around them. That's exactly what the Cavs needed, but as we all know, that is just a dream. The Cavs were led Antawn (don't call him Antwan) Jamison (21 pts, 6 rebs) but the Cavs bench (8 pts on 3 of 15 shooting) wasn't able to make a shot for the majority of the night. The Cavs are 7-15 and it's looking real bad (if it wasn't already) for this franchise. Note to Clevelanders, yes LBJ left, the WAY he did it was wrong, but if you want to blame someone, start looking Dan Gilberts' way. He is the owner and should have had a plan on what to do if/when LBJ left. AND, if LBJ was all of the things that Gilbert said he was (after LBJ left) then he definitely should have had a plan in place for life after LBJ. Just my two cents. Up next for the Bulls, the Lakers. For the Cavs, they get to play the Houston Rockets.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers - Derek Fisher!!! The Lakers ran into a rather pesky bunch of young Clippers last night. The Clippers were the more physical team and they also showed just how athletic they are when they have Jordan (9 pts, 11 rebs) and Griffin (16 pts, 11rebs) on the floor together. In the end, the young bunch fell to the old men on a last second layup by Derek Fisher. Not sure if Bledsoe (11pts, 7 asts, 4 rebs) forgot but Fisher (6pts, 4 rebs, 2 asts, 2 stls) is a lefty, who likes driving left, and Bledsoe played his right hand with time ticking away. Kobe (24 pts, 4asts, 2 rebs) led the way for the Lakers with an efficient 9 of 15 shooting preformance (5 of 7 from the line). The Lakers are still the cream of the crop in the NBA, but they may have some trouble with this Clippers team when they play them again. Quietly, Shannon Brown (16 pts, 5 rebs, 2 asts, 1 stl, in 17 minutes) has become a very reliable scorer, defender, or whatever this team needs off the bench. Could you imagine him in a Bulls uniform? The Bulls are up next for the Lakers and the Clippers get the Grizzlies next.
Miami @ Utah - I'm not going to jump on the Heat bandwagon like everyone else (I've actually never gotten off) as everyone writes stories about the team gelling, but they did look good last night and they will get better. I've said this before, once they get Chalmers (8 pts, 3 asts, 2 rebs, 2 stls, +16 when he's on the floor) back to playing like he was last year and put Arroyo (0 pts, 1 to, 1 stl in 23 minutes) back on the bench and they get Miller back (with a fully healed wrist) that this team will be dangerous. LBJ (33 pts, 9 asts, 7 rebs, on 12 of 20 shooting) and Wade (28 pts, 4 rebs, 4 asts on 9 of 14 shooting, 8 of 11 from the line) played well together last night and even some of the Jazz players were saying that they might be close to putting it all together. Utah got an impressive performance from Deron Williams (21 pts, 12 asts, 4 rebs, 1 blk), but it wasn't enough as the Heat held on late for a 13 point win. Moose, the Heat have won 6 in a row and you've gotten WAY too quiet. The Heat will run with the Warriors in their next game and the Jazz get Orlando (coming off a back to back).