Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008 at 9:00 am  |  35 responses

The Post Up: Denver Tames Roy

While Houston rolls over Jersey.

by Holly Mackenzie

Six games on the schedule and none of them really grabbed me last night.

This could be partially due to the fact that I’m League-Pass less over the break and I’m watching bits and pieces of games here and there all throughout the night. I did enjoy the Raptors game. It was the ugliest of the bunch, but boy, did Torontonians need that one. A twenty-point lead at the half and instead of feeling relived, I actually felt nervous we’d lose it.

You know it’s been rough when.

Also, you know how the Raptors have needed that tough guy? Turns out, they’ve been looking for Jake Voskuhl. Yes, Voskuhl. He took out Zach Randolph last night without so much as even a shrug. G of the night.

Houston looks really good when they’ve got Tracy, Yao and Ron all in the lineup. Most nights it feels like it’s an unlikely role player to step up and join them and it’s working.

The Lakers took care of business in Memphis last night, but they nearly gave me a heart attack Lots of Gasolwhile doing so, waiting until the final three minutes of the game to bust out a 17-3 run. Goodness. Nothing like waiting until the last minute(s). Thankful we got out of there with a win.

Not thankful to hear that Jordan may need to have surgery on that knee with the torn meniscus. Yeah, hopefully just a scope and 6-8 weeks of downtime, but you know how I feel about knees in general, specifically those attached to guys on a Lakers roster.

I’m not going to recap that Warriors/Magic game because I haven’t seen even so much as a glimpse of a highlight from it and honestly, a 32-point loss is just deflating. Noticed Jameer Nelson finished with 22 points and 7 assists, though. It was mentioned in the comments over here the other day, the guy has been fantastic as of late.

Also skipping out on the Raps/Clips match up. Another blowout. This time by the Raps, 97-75. Thank goodness. Thank gooooooodness. 18 of Bosh’s 31 in the fourth quarter after the Raps did allow the Clippers to cut into the halftime lead in the third.

Still, MIP has to be Harris. I just wanted to say that again.

So, All-Star. We’ve discussed before, but has anyone earned their way on (or off), of your ballot?

I just heard the news that Melo will be sitting out three games due to soreness in that elbow. Get healthy, Carmelo.

News that SJax and Don Nelson had a heated exchange about his shooting woes and hand injury neither upset nor surprised me. A guy who is as passionate as Stephen and who wants so badly to be on the floor will not take sitting out easily. I think Nelson knows and understands that and all will be fine in Golden State when he does return.

That, and he’s got bigger things to worry about.

Houston 114 New Jersey 91

With their big three healthy and in the line up the Houston Rockets suddenly look very dangerous. The Nets discovered this firsthand last night as Houston rocked them 114-91 at the Izod Center. After a 29-13 lead at the end of the first quarter, this one was all but over. With the Rockets shooting 58% for the game and reserve Aaron Brooks stealing the show by tying his career high with 22 points, the Nets didn’t stand a chance and lost the game before it really began. Yao Ming scored 24 points to go with 16 rebounds and 4 blocked shots while Carl Landry added 13 points. The Nets were led by Keyon Dooling with 17 points off of the bench while Yi Jianlian, Devin Harris and Vince Carter each scored 10 in the loss.

LA Lakers 105 Memphis 96

For the third straight game on this road trip, Kobe Bryant led the Lakers offensively, the only difference this time around was that the Lakers won, taking down Memphis 105-96. Still, this victory did not come easily. Against the youthful Grizzlies, the Lakers found themselves trailing throughout the fourth quarter and it was only after a 17-3 run to close out the game over the final three minutes that the Lakers were safe. Besides Kobe’s 36-point performance, Pau Gasol scored 15 points, Andrew Bynum had 13 points and Lamar Odom added 12 off of the bench. Rudy Gay led the Grizz with 23 points while OJ Mayo scored 22 points and Hakim Warrick added 14.

Denver 97 Portland 89

Without Carmelo Anthony and coming off of three straight losses, the Denver Nuggets found a way to overcome the Portland Trailblazers and get the 97-89 victory. While the game was not a pretty one for either team, the Nuggets were content to take the victory and run, while holding Brandon Roy to only eight in the game, on 3-11 shooting.  Without Anthony, Nene picked up the scoring slack, finishing with 19 points to go with his 11 rebounds and JR Smith, starting in Anthony’s place also added 15 points and Chauncey Billups had 19 points and 10 assists and Linas Kleiza was the spark off of the bench with 17. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers in the loss with 20 points as Travis Outlaw added 15 off of the bench and Steve Blake added 14.

San Antonio 101 Sacramento 85

After weathering all of the injuries and speed bumps to start the season, the San Antonio Spurs are rounding into form. Did we really dare doubt them? Of course, we always do. Last night those Spurs took on the Kings and handled them easily, 101-85. Jumping out to a 33-22 point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Spurs were able to fend off every comeback attempt by the Kings and had balanced scoring as five players hit double-figures with two others just missing out, scoring nine apiece. Tony Parker led the way, finishing with 18 points and 6 assists while Roger Mason Jr. scored 11 points and Tim Duncan, Manu Ginolbili and George Hill each added 10 points apiece. The Kings were led by 22 points from John Salmons, Beno Udrih scored 13 points and Francisco Garcia added 10.

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  • Ken

    I’m surprised at how good the trade has been for Denver. Go Chauncey!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    You know, while their record doesn’t show it today, the Grizz are going to be pretty good in a year or two.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    This HAS to be a contract year for Jameer.

  • Ken

    Oh, and as good as Harris has been this season, I think that Duhon actually should get MIP.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    I think Mike Bibby should be an All Star. Yes, this is dripping with bias. No, I’m not ashamed at all.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Dare to dream, Co Co, dare to dream.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Bibby has been shooting lights out, maybe not an all star but he’s as big a part of the Hawks resurgence as anybody. Harris over Duhon for MIP in a LANDSLIDE. And I think E’s right about the Grizz. At first I was worried that Rudy Gay may have regressed a little bit with another scorer in the lineup, but it looks like OJ and Rudy are going to build some chemistry and improve together.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    ciolkstar, I think they can make similar strides in their growth like the Hawks have. Plus with OJ, they have a more dynamic player on their roster than a lot of other teams in the lower half on the NBA ranks, so they have a good shot to improve sooner than later.

  • blackice87

    Hawks and Griz 2010 finals……if that every happened the league should just take a year break…kinda like they did after MJ’s last chip.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    Rajon Rondo is going to get MIP, especially if the Celts finish with a better record than last season.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    2 years from now with current talent, Timberwolvers>>>Grizzlies.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    ^DUM DUM

    Teddy the Bear>>>>>BET
    A Pint of spoiled milk>>>>BET
    A dead frog>>>>BET
    A lump of coal>>>>BET
    A Dirty Sanchez>>>BET

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I’d like to see them give OJ a look at the 1. I don’t believe in Conley at all and neither do they. Hakim Warrick is expendable, they could package him and a few other pieces for a 2-guard. With Mayo, Gay, Arthur and Gasol… I like their young nucleus. Now the question is will they be patient enough to let ‘em grow.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    OJ at the 1?! Um, no.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ Moose

    I’m going to the Warriors@Heat game tonight!

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    OJ is not a PG. And the Grizz need to keep Warrick because with Marc Gasol and Darko they have NO athelticism on their front line. Rondo could definitely swipe the MIP. Does anyone know whether or not Danny Granger is supposed to play tonight? I can’t decide if I should just put JR in there instead.

  • Isaiah

    OJ is a good passer, he just doesn’t have the point guard mentality really. If they can trade Hakim and kyle lowry or mike conley for raymond felton to run the point I think they’d be nice.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I remember a story from last year that was saying that OJ felt a bit frustrated at USC because he thought he had an agreement with Tim Floyd that he would be running the point. I see him as a Chauncey Billups with hops. I think he can thrive at the 1, he’s an underrated passer and he’s definitely a leader and already a consumate pro.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Didn’t the Grizzlies start the year with like 12 point guards, not including O.J.? FREE KYLE LOWRY!!

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    If OJ wanted to run the point at SC it was just so he could improve his draft stock and make sure he’d get enough shots up.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    12 mediocre point guards, that is. I like Lowry but when you’re best quality is being ‘tough’ or ‘gritty’, you’re no all-star. Well, unless you’re Pedroia or something.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Maybe they could work something out with Portland. Send Conley to POR to reunite with his pal and take Webster (I don’t know if Outlaw could play the 2 and they’re not giving up Rudy).

  • Tom

    Funniest thing before z-bo limped off the court was that he was jawing at Voshkul for a good couple of minutes or so, then his knee looked like it buckled and he just shut up and limped away.

    Also, condolences to Marcus Camby who lost his father

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero dma

    they trapped roy every time they ran a pick and roll. and i mean every time. there were a lot of no calls both ways, but a lot of them were in denver’s favor – 20 free throw difference…. makes you wonder sometimes.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I’m claiming ignorance in this, but has’nt Conley been improving? I have caught only a handful of Grizzlies games, but they seem to be still high on Conley. He also came out after 1 year, so he is only 21. Patience.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Aaron Brooks baby, click my name to see a short summary of what this guy is doing recently and an impressive stat belonging to Houston…they shut down devin and carter, only 10 pts each, the real test is tonight against cleveland though..

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    I’d think Aaron Brooks was for real if he wasn’t 5’8″. Also, Devin Harris only played 18 minutes last night. The Rockets held himm to 2-9 shooting but, Harris had foul trouble and the game was “over” early, so he didnt come back in.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    TAD: That’s the issue with drafting potential and upside. You’ll have to wait to find out what exactly you’re getting. I’ve noticed that with a bunch of players who come out early, they don’t really start to produce until the last year of their rookie deal.

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero dma

    conley has been overrated and helped by oden through a lot of his career. look at how he’s been performing since being separated. he can’t even get burn in memphis. kyle lowry!?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Kid Presto

    Kyle Lowry is freaking hooping bananas right now dma! last night I can’t count how many times he just burned the Lakers defense to either get to the line or set up rudy or O.J. for the three. now I know this isn’t saying much considering how the lakers play little if any defense anymore but c’mon. and was it just me or was O.J. just giving up on some ocassions when kobe had him down low in the post. He was straight up abusing kid. fly society in the house.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Kid Presto

    and I disagree with the commentors last night on the grizz-lakers game: pau gasol is soft as muffins.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Ciol: I didn’t even know you had a blog. At least, i’m assuming it is yours. Very nice.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    ciolkstar, the Rockets were the reason Devin was in foul trouble and why he stayed in the game, so “held” still applies……I’m not sure what Brooks’ size has to do with it. It’s a valid argument for a guy coming out of college, but he’s shown in the NBa consistently that he can hold his own. He’s too quick to crowd and too good of a shooter to step back on. His hops help him finish against taller defenders. Size is only an isse when you don’t have those other abilities.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    i am touched that Eboy talks about me when i am not even here. Life is not beautiful, life is sexy.

  • Anton

    that counted more like a “almost loss”, like last week’s “win” against the Knicks.