by Holly MacKenzie

Good Morning!

I know, how can it possibly be Monday morning already? I feel the same way. Weekend flew by and yesterday was a bit of a tough one, with the Raptors losing a close game to the Blazers. I’ve got notes going up over at The Score from the game, but I will say that the guys wanted that one badly. So close, too close, to end up losing like that.

The combination of LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy is ridiculously nice to watch and scary for opponents. Wow.

Everyone notice that the TWolves fired (or are in the process of firing), Coach Wittman? Sam Mitchell. Sam Mitchell. Sam Mitchell. Please? Okay, thanks.

Can I also just say that I was entirely emotionally exhausted, trying to keep up with the Raptors interviews, articles and news coming out of Denver and Utah last Thursday and Friday. I’ve decided it is entirely impossible to prevent yourself from becoming emotionally attached to a team and it’s coaching staff when you see then day in and day out. At least, when you’re still a rookie and are unjaded, it is.

Stephen Jackson going in for an MRI on his hand. Thinking about one of my favorites. I hope he just needs some time to heal, even though time is one thing the Warriors do not have.

The Lakers game last night. Where were the Bucks starters? A combined 18 points? It looks like they were hanging out with Detroit because for the first half of their game against the Knicks, the starting five for the Pistons were certainly not in the game either, that’s for sure.

Sitting at the ACC and seeing the Knicks being up by 20 against the Pistons in the first half just did Big Show Alnot look or feel right. We checked the stats on Yahoo! to see if we were being tricked. We weren’t.

I joked with Russ that the Knicks would win by 30, since Detroit had been playing so badly on Sundays. Wasn’t such a joke after I saw the final box for that one. What a disaster these Sunday games have been for them. What’s going on?

The Boston/Indiana game was yesterday afternoon and I’m guessing a lot of people probably didn’t end up seeing it. That’s too bad, because it was a great one. Ray going off for 35, the Pacers holding on when they were down by 11 to turn it around and then Paul Pierce knocking down a three to force overtime.

The Pacers are a really, really good team when they want to be. Of course, they fell apart in the overtime session, but who doesn’t against the Celtics. Indiana plays up (and down), to it’s opponents and that’s too bad because they are/were really fun to watch when they are giving it everything.

Did anyone else notice that Chris Mihm = a handsome Michael Phelps? Too bad they couldn’t have the best of both worlds.

Sun Yue got into the game for the Lakers last night. Scored his first NBA points as well and boy, was he serious. 2 minutes left in the game and he was focused. Loved it.

We all know about Steph Curry (who scored 44 on Saturday night), but, did you know there’s a younger brother, Seth, who is currently leading all NCAA freshman in scoring? Unreal.

I worked all weekend, and I’ve already forgotten all of the NBA action that went down Friday and Saturday night. Let’s discuss.

Boston 122 Indiana 117 OT

While the Pacers delivered the Celtics their first loss this season and the Celtics returned the favor in their second meeting, this match up yesterday afternoon was a great one. With the Celtics leading early, and opening up a double-digit lead at the end of the first quarter by going up 10, 32-33, the Pacers quickly came back with a 35-point second quarter and took a two-point lead into the half. With the Pacers leading 105-102, Paul Pierce knocked down a three with seven seconds remaining to force overtime and in the extra period the experience of the Celtics overpowered Indiana with Boston going on to grab their 12th straight victory. Ray Allen led the Celtics with 35 points including 7 three-pointers. Kevin Garnett added 17 points, 20 rebounds and 5 steals while Paul Pierce added 17 points and 8 assists. Marquis Daniels scored 26 points to lead Indiana while Danny Granger was held to 20 points on 7-22 field goals and Jarrett Jack added 17 off of the bench.

Portland 98 Toronto 97

Coming home from a three-game West Coast swing that saw the Raptors lose all three games and their head coach, this Toronto team needed a win. With their new coach Jay Triano wanting them to run, they came out to start the game blazing, jumping out to a 16-point lead early. This did not last, as Portland regrouped at the end of the first quarter and cut the Toronto lead to only two at the half before taking control in the third and going into the fourth up, 78-75. The final quarter was a see-saw battle with the Blazers refusing to go away despite tough defense from the Raptors and thanks to the lack of rebounding on Toronto’s behalf. In the end, it came down to the Blazers needing a three. They got it, as Steve Blake pushed off Jose Calderon (no foul), to drain his fifth of the night. With eight seconds remaining, the Raptors final play broke up and Bosh missed on a layup attempt as time expired. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points for the Blazers while Greg Oden grabbed 10 rebounds to go with his 10 points. Brandon Roy had 15 points and 7 assists while Blake finished with 19. Jermaine O’Neal led the Raptors with 24 points to go with 6 blocked shots while Bosh finished with 19 points and Calderon scored 15 points to go with 13 assists.

LA Lakers 105 Milwaukee 92

This was one of those games that as a Lakers fan, you’d think would be fun to watch. Not so. Bad basketball, is just bad, regardless of whether your team is winning of not. This one was ugly. With the Lakers back from an East Coast road trip that saw them surrendering large leads in the fourth quarters, their focus was on defense. They did a great job on the Bucks, holding them to only 54 points by the end of three while also leading by 20 going into the final period. With their starters on the bench the reserves for the Bucks poured in 38 for the fourth, but it was too late as LA rolled to their 17th victory on the season. Kobe Bryant finished with 20 points and 8 assists, Derek Fisher had 19 points to go with 5 steals and Andrew Bynum added 14 points and 14 rebounds. On the other side of things, the Bucks starters managed a combined 18 points. It was just that kind of night for Milwaukee. Ramon Sessions had 10 points and 6 assists off of the bench while Joe Alexander scored 15 points and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 14.