by: Holly Mackenzie

Good Morning!

Monday, Monday. And what a weekend it was. New. York. Knicks. My poor Golden State Warriors. Winless on an East Coast road trip. Walloped by Washington and then going into the Garden and giving up HOW many points? 37 and 21 to David Lee, Then 22 assists to Chris Duhon. That one hurt just a bit. Or, a lot more than a bit. Hope you NY fans enjoyed it.

This Steph drama needs to end before this week is out. Thanks.

Jax sat out that disaster of a game with a wrist injury. Here is hoping he’s healthy and as good as new asap.

Carmelo with that elbow injury last night was a bit alarming as well, even if he says he isn’t worried about it. Also hoping he is back to being Melo nice and quick.

I hope some of you got to see the Phoenix/New Jersey game last night. Devin Harris was phenomenal. He had 47 points on 25 shots while also going 17-17 from the free throw line. How did Cuban make that deal again? While we spoke on the site last year about Harris and the All-Star potential for the years to come, I did not anticipate it happening so quick. He’s so much fun to watch.

So is Rondo, when he is going full-tilt. I’ve decided I’m definitely a sucker for point guards. They are just the most fun position to watch work.

The Raptors lost in LA last night, but it was a pretty good effort from Toronto considering they didn’t have JO again. The Lakers are scary good. Ariza continues to make me fall in love game by game and I think I can say he is my second favorite Laker besides Lamar. Kobe doesn’t count because he would be my favorite player no matter where he played.
The Raptors need an Ariza. That aggressive slasher who can play D and grab rebounds, hustle and always be in the right place at the right time.

As if I wasn’t confused about ROY before, Derrick Rose continues to make me shut up about OJ Mayo. 18 points and 10 assists in a victory over the Sixers last night. I think OJ is still my rookie, but my goodness, Rose is special. It’s almost as if you can see him getting a bit more comfortable, braver and smarter each possession. With each turnover or mistake comes an awareness that he didn’t have before. It’s just fun to watch him. Enjoy it, Bulls fans.

I’ve decided I really, really like listening to Eric Snow on NBATV. Thoughts?

Chauncey Billups in Denver. I was wrong. I was wrong. I was wrong. They look good with Billups running the show. Will JR get it together next? Please say yes.

So, at this point of the season who is your Most Improved Player? I keep on flip-flopping on this one. Defensive player would need to go to Dwight, but who’d you give MIP to? Or, Sixth man? I know it’s early, but it’s fun to hear your thoughts.

Portland 96 Detroit 85

The Trailblazers have been rolling and that continued last night as they rolled over the Pistons, 96-85. One game after Allen Iverson came off of the bench as punishment for skipping out on a Thankgiving practice session, Iverson was back in the starting line up, but it didn’t matter for Detroit as all but lost the game in the first quarter, trailing 25-13 at the end of one. While they would cut the lead to four at the end of three and then tie it early in the fourth, they could not make up the deficit and Portland moved to 11-7 on the season thanks to a 27-point effort from LaMarcus Aldridge. Greg Oden scored 11 points to go with 13 rebounds and Brandon Roy added 19. Rip Hamilton led Detroit with 18 points as Rodney Stuckey had 15 off of the bench and Rasheed Wallace added 11.

LA Lakers 112 Toronto 99

Once again without the services of Jermaine O’Neal, the Raptors were severely under matched in their match up against the Lakers in Los Angeles last night. With LA focusing their attention on Chris Bosh and doing their best to keep the ball out of his hands, they forced the other players to beat them and they simply were no match for this Lakers squad who are firing on all cylinders. Leading by 10 at the half, the Lakers turned it on in the third to ensure the Raptors did not make up any ground on them. While Toronto gave a good effort and shot well from three (11-25), they were only 38.6% from the floor as compared to the Lakers shooting 51% on the night. The Lakers also outrebounded Toronto 54-36 without JO in the middle to own the boards. Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant led LA with 24 and 23 points, respectively. Andrew Bynum added 18 points and 10 rebounds while Trevor Ariza scored 14 off of the bench. Chris Bosh was held to only 12 points on the night as Andrea Bargnani had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Anthony Parker scored 18. Jose Calderon had 12 points and 12 assists on the night.

Denver 104 Houston 94

Although Carmelo Anthony scored only 2 points and ended up leaving the game with an elbow injury, the new-look Nuggets continued to thrive defeating Houston 104-94 in Denver last night thanks to a 28-point, 10 assist performance from Chauncey Billups. While the Rockets were without Tracy McGrady for their third straight game, the Nuggets took advantage and led 48-44 at the half. While Houston would come back late in the game, using a 9-2 run to get within five points midway through the fourth, Denver didn’t panic, continued to run their offense and extended their lead to go on to the victory. Nene scored 17 points to go with 10 rebounds for the Nuggets while JR Smith added 19 points off of the bench. Yao Ming led the Rockets with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Rafer Alston scored 16 and Ron Artest added 13 in the loss.

New Jersey 117 Phoenix 109

In what was the game of the night the Nets came back from 13 down to defeat the Suns in Phoenix, thanks to a career-high 47 points from Harris. Shooting 14-25 from the floor and 17-17 from the free throw line, Harris single-handedly willed the Nets back into the game as he dropped in 21 points in the third and helped the Nets score 43 points in the fourth quarter as compared to the 24-point output of the Suns in the period. While Amare Stoudemire was solid for the Suns, he also lost his temper with his team leading by two, 100-98 with three minutes remaining. After getting ejected from the game, the Nets went off and Phoenix was helpless to stop them, with Harris leading the charge. In addition to Harris, Vince Carter scored 28 points for the Nets. Steve Nash had 26 points and 9 assists for the Suns as Matt Barnes also added 18 points in the loss.