By Holly MacKenzie
In what was the final weekend of the NBA preseason there are some loose ends to tie up before we can officially move onto the regular season and wipe those slates clean, back to 0-0. My MSN name has been holding out strong at 42-40 all damn summer. Because there is so much new content on the site today in the form of game notes and news stories, I selected only some of the big games and surprises to happen this weekend. Also, to be truthful, my hands are about to fall off from all of the typing I have done in the past 2 days. Carpal tunnel….Carpal tunnel…Carpal tunnel…Please forgive me. I will ice these wrists and rest ’em up for the start of season which is….TOMORROW. In the closing weekend of the 2007 preseason some things of note are as follows:
Kevin Garnett’s big triple-double for the Celtics Against LeBron and the Cavs. 21-13-10. This will be the first of many for KG, especially now that he has guys who will make the shots helping him to rack up the assists. That’s going to help out you fantasy-guru’s.
Toronto finished things strong in the ACC, killing the Gil-less Wizards 98-64. Andrea Bargnani led the Raps with 17 points and 8 rebounds while the Raptors had a balanced scoring effort with Jason Kapano adding 12 points and both Carlos Delfino and Juan Dixon chipping in 10 apiece.
Indiana put up some crazy numbers as they beat the new “up-tempo” Grizzlies at their own game for the 2nd time this preseason 140-113. The Pacers were up by as many as 35 points in the 1st half and had 6 players in double-figures including 2nd year Shawne Williams leading the way with 26 points and Danny Granger with 21 points. Memphis’ anemic defense allowed the Pacers to shoot 69% for the first half of the game and they gave up 81 points in the first. 81! Casey Jacobsen and Damon Stoudamire each had 16 for Memphis who was still without Pau Gasol. Indiana was without Jermaine O’neal (knee) and Troy Murphy (strained achilles).
Amare showed he IS indeed back and ready for a big year as he scored 20 points in the 2nd quarter of the Suns 121-108 loss versus Seattle Friday night in Vancouver. Those 20 points were scored on 7-8 shooting from the floor and included a flurry of jump shots, a three-pointer, an alley-oop (courtesy of Steve Nash, of course) lay ups, and many and-1’s from taking it so hard to the basket. Suns fans will be happy to take note; Stoudemire is active, energized and ready to go.
Allen Iverson had a great game in Denver’s 133-125 win over Portland on Friday. Iverson had 30 points and 10 assists while Linas Kleiza led the way with 34 points for the Nuggets. Brandon Roy did not play for the Blazers due to inflammation in his heel. Although he suited up, he got the night off. The Blazers gave a great effort at a comeback, going on a 20-0 run in the 4th, but they were unable to completely close the gap. Travis Outlaw had 23 points for the Blazers and Martell Webster had 16. Sergio Rodriguez added 16 for the Blazers as well. Carmelo Anthony dressed for the Nuggets but he sat the game out as well. Denver shot 59% for the game.
In a game played without Kobe, the Lakers won against the Kings 101-97, behind 18 point performances by both Ronny Turiaf and Andrew Bynum. John Salmons and Kevin Martin each scored 22 points for the Kings. Derek Fisher chipped in 15 points and 5 assists for the Lakers.
After a scary preseason neck injury, Monta Ellis celebrated his birthday by scoring 27 points, grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing 8 assists to lead the Warriors over the Clippers 109-103. More important for the Clippers than the win was that fact that Ellis is healthy and ready for the season to kick off. The Warriors almost lost the game after blowing a 23 point lead in the final minutes and before Mickael Pietrus hit a huge three with just over a minute remaining in the game to give them back the lead for good. Al Harrington had 22 points for the Warriors while Corey Maggette’s 23 was tops for the Clippers who also got 20 points apiece from Chris Kaman and Sam Cassell.
And, even though preseason doesn’t mean anything conclusive, here are the final standings of your favorite teams. Yahhh Atlanta!
Final Preseason Standings
Eastern Conference Western Conference
Atlanta 7-1 Golden State 4-2
Orlando 5-1 Dallas 5-3
Indiana 6-2 Phoenix 5-3
Toronto 3-1 Denver 5-3
New Jersey 4-2 San Antonio 4-2
Boston 4-3 Memphis 4-2
Chicago 4-3 Portland 4-3
Detroit 4-4 Utah 4-3
New York 4-2 L.A. Clippers 4-4
Washington 3-4 New Orleans 4-4
Milwaukee 3-5 L.A. Lakers 3-4
Philadelphia 2-5 Sacramento 3-5
Charlotte 2-6 Houston 2-4
Cleveland 1-6 Minnesota 2-5
Miami 0-7 Seattle 2-6