by Holly MacKenzie

Merry Christmas Eve!

I still can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that today is really Christmas Eve. It feels like this month has slipped by far to quickly and I just got home the other day. In actuality, I’ve been here a week and the lack of LP is starting to wear on me. Get to me. Make me itch for my NBA-fix.

I went out tonight so I could catch the Hornets/Lakers game on a big screen at a local sports bar. Yes, staked out a table in the corner and convinced the waiter that hockey did not need to be on in all of the 15 or so TV’s in the place.

Life was good.

Until I stumbled home and realized that there were only 11 other games on the schedule that I did not see. Bahhh. It’s the holiday season, so you’ll have to bear with my lack of NBA action and access.

Hope you are all finished your shopping, finished your wrapping and that none of you left your presents in Toronto as I did, rushing around and packing last minute. I’m horrible.

Since there will be no Post Up tomorrow, I’d like to take this time to get you all pumped for the Celtics/Lakers match up that awaits and would also like to wish you happy holidays, if you are celebrating, and a happy final week of 2008 if you’re not.

I know it’s not Thanksgiving, but I always reminisce and think about the things that I’m thankful for when this time of year rolls around. Being able to share my thoughts and opinions on this game that I love so very much is the biggest blessing of all. Having a community of people who share in my love (even when you all don’t share in my opinions, Jax-love forever!), of this game and this league, is simply amazing.

SLAM is THE basketball bible. We say it, but it’s true. Growing up on the magazine, devouring it cover to cover as soon as I could get it into my hands, I’d actually suffer a day or so of melancholy emotion, as I knew I’d now have to wait another month for my next fix.

I know you know what I’m talking about.

Christmas games, SLAM magazines and the playoffs during exam time. Those are three basketball times that stick out as landmarks in my childhood,  adolescence and lifetime.

I never lose sight of what SLAM is to me and what each and every reader and commenter has become to me. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, insight and craziness with me, thank you also for taking the time to stop by and read the Post Up. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

Okay. Enough love from me. This is what the reflection of a year coming to a close does to me. I’m a happy girl. I love the game and all of the amazing things and people it has brought into my life. I owe everything to the hoop, ball and its players. And, once I get league pass back, I’ll do my part to bring those games to you that you may have missed. For today, however, you’ll get a short rundown.

Lakers 100 New Orleans 87

In the game of the night and a match up between two of the best players in the league and two of the top teams in the West from last season, the Lakers took down the Hornets with relative ease in the Big Easy last night, 100-87. While the game looked as though it could be close in the early goings, the Lakers had busted out to a 19-point halftime lead thanks to outscoring the Hornets 32-17 in the second quarter. For the rest of the game, LA was clearly in front, with the Hornets unable to get any closer than 10 in the final quarter. Kobe finished with 26 points for the Lakers as Pau Gasol added 20 points and Andrew Bynum scored 13. Chris Paul led New Orleans with 17 points, 10 assists and 6 steals. Rasual Butler also added 17 points, as Morris Peterson had 16 off of the bench.

Monster night from Emeka Okafor as the Bobcats defeated the Wizards, 80-72. Mek finished with 29 points, 18 rebounds and 3 blocked shots on 10-15 field goals.

Mr. Underrated himself, Joe Johnson led Atlanta to a 99-88 victory over the Thunder with a triple-double of 20 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Jeff Green had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder in the loss. I like that guy a lot. He’s underrated in my books. No Joe Johnson, but still.

Those damn Cavaliers won again last night, this time taking down Houston, 99-90. I really can’t say enough about these guys. This team is fun to watch, they are playing the right way and they genuinely seem to be enjoying each other. Bron-Watch: 27 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. That this seems routine from him, is absolutely mind-boggling. Mo Williams continues to make Cavs fan smile as he added 23 to help Bron out.

Devin Harris was the man of the hour in New Jersey as he hit the game winner at the buzzer to defeat the Pacers last night, 108-107. While it was Vince who finished with 38 points, Harris saved the day for the Nets. He finished with 29 points and 11 assists on the night. Rookie Brandon Rush had 22 points for the Pacers in the loss.

8-22 for the Warriors with their latest loss against the Heat, going down 96-88. With Dwyane Wade dropping in 32/8/8, Daequan Cook also scored 20 off of the bench and Shawn Marion hauled down 16 rebounds to go with 9 points.

A meeting with the Sixers equaled another easy victory for the Celtics who rolled to a 110-91 win last night behind Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett’s 18 points apiece.

I was happy to see Leon Powe finish with 15 off of the bench in 15 minutes of action.

I was also happy to see the Pistons defeat the Bulls, 104-98. When the actual boxscore came up, my eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw that Rodney Stuckey finished with 40 points on the night. 15-24 field goals. Sheed picked up his 11th tech on the season if you are counting and Derrick Rose, Andres Nocioni and Ben Gordon each fouled out for the Bulls.

Tony Parker had 36 points and 8 assists for the Spurs who were able to grind out a 99-93 victory over the Timberwolves last night. Randy Foye had 26 for the Wolves, but it wasn’t enough as Tim Duncan had 19 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists on the night.

Avenging a  recent loss, the Blazers were able to take down Denver, 101-92 as they took advantage of a Carmelo-less Nuggets squad. With LaMarcus Aldridge scoring 22 points on the night, Brandon Roy adding 19 and Steve Blake chipping in 17, Denver was unable to keep up. Nene finished with 17 for the Nuggets who surrendered a 34-26 fourth quarter to the Blazers.

Okay, guys. We’ll talk soon!