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Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 at 9:01 am  |  65 responses

Post Up: A Speights Night

And O.J. continues to play for Ws.

by Holly MacKenzie

After a weekend (and week!), of excitement, the NBA slowed things down just a bit last night with only four games on the schedule. None of them really jumping out at me. With David West suspended and no Chris Paul, the Hornets were not their normal selves. With the Sixers struggling to find themselves and the Suns just struggling, that game wasn’t a bunch of excitement. The Bobcats and Clippers, well, they are the Bobcats and Clippers. And Houston/Milwaukee? No Redd, Ridnour or Bogut makes the Bucks a little tough to jump for joy about.

Still, I spent my night flipping, settling on the Clippers for a majority of the evening since I’ve been curious to see how they’ve been playing now that they’ve got some of their main guys healthy. I also wanted to check out Vlad-I-hated-being-a-Laker-Rad in his Charlotte debut as well. Also watched some Suns/Sixers as well. I like Thadd Young a lot, enjoy wating Dre Miller play and of course, Nash, Amare and Barbosa are always an okay choice.

Ramon Sessions is playing himself into some people’s notes, that’s for sure. 26 and 7 last night in the absence of Ridnour.

So….Wanna know how badly the Hornets shot last night? Let me just drop this stat on you: The Grizzlies outrebounded New Orleans 64-38 last night. No, that’s not a typo. That game was hard on my eyes, head and heart.

It’s pretty amazing how horrible it is watching the Hornets without CP3 zooming around the floor directing things. Sure, they were without Tyson Chandler and David West as well, but I think you could have any rang-tag team of four guys paired with Paul and it would be pretty or at least You're bleeding, son.entertaining to watch. I like Antinio Daniels, but, well, the Hornets were horrible minus Chris.

I was pumped to see Hakim Warrick get the start with Rudy Gay out and see him again make the most of it. He’s solid off of the bench, it’s nice to see him put together some nice performances while he’s getting the minutes. O.J. Mayo? Well, you all know what I think about him. The Grizzlies are fun, but frustrating, Like when they miss free throws or give the ball back to the opposition when they’ve got chances to close teams out.

I’m still stunned that the Bucks killed Houston. Tension in the locker room ca be an ugly beast.

It was pretty cool to hear Amare postgame, when asked about Marreese Speights and his many, many dunks on the night. Amare said he wasn’t surprised because he had seen them when Speights had attended Amare’s own basketball camp over the years. That had to have been pretty cool for Speights, to stick it TO Amare and his team. He was flying high for most of the night, head at the rim, it was fun to watch.

I was asked yesterday if I’ve ever played basketball. The simple answer to that question would be no. I have never suited up, practiced, tried out, or participated in a pick up game. I suppose I could make free throws, but my betting would stop there. Instead, I’ve dreamed it, sketched out plays during the final timeouts of games, and worked with basketball teams for nine years of my life before jumping into writing about them so while never being a player, I feel like I’ve played my part to ensure that my life is one that is immersed in the game.

I also chose my school because of the basketball program, deciding to ignore the fact that they did not have a journalism program. Maybe not the smartest decision for an aspiring writer, but it has worked out okay for me so far.

Man, the Clippers were really, really bad last night. When Baron goes 1-7 from the floor, you know you’re in trouble. Thornton struggled mightily as well but the bright spot was once again Zach Randolph who had another double-double since returning from injury. I was able to move back into first place in my fantasy league and I’m attributing it to the return of Randolph.

While I’m disappointed that Jason Terry had to have surgery on his broken hand, I am looking forward to seeing my guy Jose Juan Barea step it up in his absence. As most of you know, he’s one of my favorites in this league, dating back to when I was able to watch him play (and dominate), when he was only 18.

It’s s going to be great to have Barkley back in the studio after All-Star, but he will be missed during TNT’s coverage. Is anyone else starting to get excited for the weekend already? I certainly am. I’m also excited to watch Kevin Durant and the Lakers tonight. It’s pretty amazing how much this guy’s game has grown and how talented he is already. He’s going to be absolutely wild in a few more years, even if he is never able to bulk up. The Thunder have definitely become my favorite “bad” team to watch.

Just so you know, the Warriors are not categorized as bad in my head.

Okay, onto some recaps.

Charlotte 94 LA Clippers 73

With 13 points from Vladamir Radmanovic and a 19-point, 16-rebound performance from Emeka Okafor, the Charlotte Bobcats used a strong second half to cruise to an easy 94-73 victory over the Clippers. With Baron Davis unable to find his shooting touch for the night and shooting just 1–7 from the floor, the Clippers were doomed as they shot only 39% for the game and were limited to 30 points in the second half while giving up 52% shooting to the Bobcats. With Radmanovic dropping in three three-pointers in the final quarter, the Bobcats outscored LA 29-12 in the period to end a five-game losing streak. Zach Randolph had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers while rookie Eric Gordon scored 17 and Steve Novak added 13 off of the bench. DJ Augustin scored 17 for Charlotte while Boris Diaw added 15 points and 9 assists.

Philadelphia 108 Phoenix 91

The Suns struggled mightily to get things going early against the 76ers last night and Philly took advantage behind a career-high 24-point effort from Marreese Speights and 25 points from Thaddeus Young. With Steve Nash limited to only 2 points and Coach Porter playing him only 21 minutes, the Suns offense never found it’s rhythm, and they were outrebounded 54-41 on the night. The Sixers led by double-digits at the half, up 55-44 and they did not look back from there, going up by as many as 18 points in the fourth before earning their 26th victory of the season. Andre Iguodala scored 22 points to go with 7 assists for the Sixers and Andre Miller had 7 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 19 points as Jason Richadson added 16 in the loss.

Milwaukee 124 Houston 112

The Bucks must have heard myself and the rest of the NBA world talking about how unentertaining they can be to watch. They came out blazing last night, torching the Rockets 124-112 in a game that really wasn’t even close. Leading by 20 for much of the second half, the Bucks topped 30 in the first three quarters and won handily, despite giving up a 36-point fourth quarter to the Rockets. A 14-0 run in the third busted the game open in the Bucks favor and Ramon Sessions continued his strong play, finishing with 26 points and 7 assists as he started in place of the injured Luke Ridnour. Charlie Villanueva and Richard Jefferson each scored 25 points for Milwaukee and Charlie Bell added 21 off of the bench. The Rockets were led by Luis Scola’s 20 points on 7-8 shooting while Aaron Brooks scored 23 and Ron Artest added 20 off of the bench in the loss.

Memphis 85 New Orleans 80

While NO were without Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler and David West, the Grizzlies were shorthanded as well, playing without Rudy Gay. Still, the Grizz were able to take down the Hornets, holding them off, 85-80 last night. They didn’t win pretty and blew lots of chances to put away the Hornets by missing free throws and turning over the ball in the fourth, but when it mattered most, they grabbed the rebounds and got the necessary stops to escape with the W. OJ Mayo had 12points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists to lead his team while Hakim Warrick was big in the victory, getting the start for the injured Gay. Warrick finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocked shots for Memphis as Mike Conley Jr. added 18 points. Peja Stojakovic led New Orleans with 23 points while Antonio Daniels and James Posey each added 11 for the Hornets who shot only 29% for the game and were outrebounded 64-38.


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

    16 rebounds for OJ? Whoa.

  • Squirrel7

    Does Vlad Rad ever score any points in the paint? Every time I watch him, he only ever shoots from deep, or a very long two. Also, admittedly I’m a big fan of the Hornets, but I’d expect any team to struggle when they’re missing their best guard, best forward and best center.

  • Squirrel7

    Didn’t phrase that many well. I meant that people should cut them some slack, any team would struggle without their ‘big 3′.

  • http://www.hoopmixtape.com Simon S.Y Lawy

    i’m gonna miss Sir charles…

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Mike Conley has been looking like a real nba player recently. And I’m glad to see OJ do something other than score.

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

    Speights is talented. The Suns are so up-and-down, i’m upset the Pistons lost to them. And someone please explain to me why Ramon Sessions is not starting fulltime? Does he play absolutely no defense? Is he a ball hog? Did he confuse Scott Skiles with the ball boy?

  • starbury&stevey

    Hornets suck without Jannero Pargo(yes,im from Greece)…

  • matt the jazz fan

    at squirrel – didn’t vlad travel like about 5 or 6 steps before dunking in the finals or semis last year? (not called of course… even the lakers bench was embarrased ir at least laughing)

    ps this isn’t hating lakers or even vlad, travelling is rampant in the nba, for no good reason that i can see, these are the best athletes int he world they could adapt to, you know, the game being called by its rules.

    *ends rant*

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

    Hey Eboy: I just read a report where the Pistons are reportedly talking to the Heat about a trade, possibly a 3-way deal with the Suns. Have you heard anything?

  • The Seed

    The Miami Heat should have drafted O.J Mayo in the backcourt with Wade. To me Beasley is a beast in college, but is pro future looks too shaky. OJ is the truth, plus if you notice is game is patterned after Kobe’s. Heard they play against each other in the summer. OJ is rookie of the year.

  • Squirrel7

    Haha, I forgot about Vlad’s walk in the ’08 Finals. I think that’s the only time I’ve seen him score anything other than a jumpshot, and if that’s what he does when he ventures inside, he’s probably best off staying out on the perimeter!

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

    @ TAD…..no, enlighten a white guy, would you?

  • http://fdjkflc.om Jukai

    Eboy: Our favorite teams all shuffle their players, they all suck, none of them make the playoffs, we’re all unhappy!

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

    I don’t have much actually. It was just a rumor on the SI.com site. I haven’t seen anything on the Pistons side. Thought you may have something.

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

    I know that the Heat’s interest in A’mare is supposed to have been tempered since the Suns were more intrigued by the Bulls offer. There’s so much chatter though….it’s hard to tell what’s real or what’s not.

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

    Vlad-Rad went 3/5 from 3 point land in the 4th quarter, and sparked a 16-0 run. Good trade, Rod Higgins.

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

    Also Rammon Sessions 26 points 7 assists 5 steals 1 block stat line is more than ultra-sexxxy

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

    Okafor’s rejection of Al Thorton’s dunk attempt on him was wonderful. Dude blocked it from UNDER the rim. Amazing.

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

    Squirrel7 Vlad Rad did score a couple layups AND threw a nice lob pass to Diaw on the break, which Diaw caught and finished mid air. You humans refer to that as a ‘alley’, no?

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

    I should probably stop reading all the rumors myself.

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

    i havent read any Amar’e trade rumors in a while. HOWEVER i think Steve Kerr has replaced a certain Ex-Piston turned Knickerbocker GM as the worst GM in the NBA.

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

    If i could speculate though (which i will), i see Joe Dumars r@ping the Suns front office and giving them Iverson’s HUGE expiring contract for Amar’e. Or maybe even New York will send Starbury’s contract to Phoneix. Who knows?

  • Squirrel7

    I stand corrected then, I thought he was purely a gunner. Being in England and only having one live televised game per week, I can’t imagine I’ll be seeing him on the Bobcats any time soon (mainly as it’s always the Heat or the Bulls!).

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

    Its alright Squirrel, 95% of America doesnt even watch my team unless we play their team, your in England, you got a excuse.

  • Keith

    BETCATS knows the Bobcats only won by playing well for approximately 4 minutes in the 2nd half.

    BETCATS also knows the Clippers played well for precisely 34 seconds the entire game.

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

    Keith: I watched the game. Keith I am happy we won. Keith stop trying to rain on my parade when you are a dust storm.

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

    Spainish time!!! CAT out

  • Keith

    Be happy BETCATS. But know that beating the Clippers is tantamount ot bullying.

  • Myung

    The Bobcats did to the Clippers last night what the Clippers did to the Hawks Saturday night. BTW, Emeka has played really well the last 2 months or so.

  • mike

    Competitors for HORSE are up: Kevin Durant, OJ Mayo, Joe Johnson – I like it! Get it up SLAM

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    holly, you are not in love with basketball, you are in love with being a fan of basketball, there is a very distinct difference.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    KD, OJ Mayo and Joe Johnson are in the HORSE competition?! Thats a really sick lineup, I imagine, I can’t even say who I’d bet on winning it.

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

    Why Mr. Cooper? Why?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    because its the truth. yesterday, she wrote all that good stuff about loving basketball etc. and i wondered if she ever plays because she never mentions it, so she said she has NEVER played, NOT ONCE. i cant let that slide. thats not love of basketball, its love of watching basketball, love of being around it, love of being a fan of it.

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

    Um Ciol, where is this H-O-R-S-E list you speak of?

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

    Tarzan…..it’s still love though, no? And any kind of love is good love. (That was like some Sade sh*t right there)And Holly is highly educated (well she roots for the wrong dude) on the game and obsesses over it….so that’s pretty strong to me. IMO.

  • Myung

    I don’t know, Tarzan. That’s kind of harsh. I’d like to think most of us on here have played the game, at various levels, but that doesn’t necessarily make our love for the game greater than Holly’s. I play pick up ball any chance I get and played some intramural ball back at UGA, but I’m sure a ton of you guys on this site are 10X better than I am. Does that make someone’s love for the game stronger? I mean, look at John Clayton and Bob Costas. They’re two of the most recognizable football and baseball guys, respectively, but I’m not sure how much of the game they’ve actually played. Anyone who loves the game of basketball, be they someone who’s never played or someone on the MJ-LBJ level, is alright with me.

  • Myung

    I’m obsessed with movies and sneakers. I’d like to think I’m not obsessed with being a fan of movies and sneakers, even though I’ve never acted in a film, nor written a screenplay, nor designed a pair of sneakers, nor sold a pair of sneakers at a shoe store. They’re just hobbies, a passion, an obsession. I guess the same goes for Holly, even though she’s never played the game of basketball?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    holly obviously has copious amounts of love for the game of basketball, thats not even a question. she loves observing everything about basketball. however, she is not a participant. does that diminish the love she has to watch, blog, report, and post up about hoops? no. its just different from the love of playing the game.

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

    “its just different from the love of playing the game.” You should have just typed that from the jump, Tarzan. Makes a little more sense.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    that is what ive been inferring since the start. love of observing is different from love of participating. to me, the former lacks a heart. i love watching, reading, and studying basketball, but at the core of it is the joy and competition inherent in playing basketball.

  • Myung

    So if I consider myself a movie buff, do I now need to downgrade to merely being a movie observer, since I’ve never acted in a film? I feel what you’re saying, Tarzan, because to me, there’s nothing better than playing 5 on 5 hoops, but at the same time, I’m not sure if any of us was debating about Holly’s love for playing the game.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Love is love dude. I haven’t played in 6 months that doesn’t mean I stopped loving the game.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Its pretty counter productive and borderline antagonistic to bring something like that up without just cause tarzan. What was the purpose of pointing it out? To big up your own hoops love affair? Really, we’re very impressed.

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

    Myung is smart. Hey, as far as I have heard, Lil Lawrence Frank has never played a game of ball in his life (at least not structured), nor has Eric Spoelstra (I think? I know E will correct me);however, i’m quite sure they love the game and are damn good coaches.

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

    Spoelstra played college ball at the University of Portland. He was actually decent.

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

    I think the GAME love Shia more for not playing for the last 6 months.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Good one!

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    i’ve played organized ball from middle school to college. 5-6 practices and 1-2 games a week. I play soccer 2-3 times per summer. The only pro team I root for is Man Utd and soccer is the sport I enjoy watching the most. Playing the game and being a fan of the game are two completely different things. How much ball as JVG played? Yet, he has basically dedicated his life to the game. Same with Stan, I suppose. (I don’t know that for sure but they just don’t look like athletes)

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    i won’t lie, i’d wish that holly would not have 450 favorite players in the L and remind us of her love for the game in every post up BUT i could never question the genuineness (is that even a word?) of that love.

  • Keith

    Holly’s love > Tarzan’s love.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Tarzan loves it in the Pooper.

  • Candice

    Who you got tonight Tad? The Bull’s actually play good against the Pistons plus MJ and Scottie are going to be there tonight for Johnny “Redd” Kerr jersey ceremony tonight. Both teams are schizo so I don’t know which teams are going to show up tonight.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    you are all flying off on red herrings.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    this distinction between playing and watching does not correlate into shoes or movies, this is basketball were talking about. you cant go outside and make shoes or movies. hollys love is for watching and covering hoops, and thats great, i enjoy reading the post up. however, it cant be true love for the sport because she hasnt played it. she has no idea what it is to play for hours on the hottest days in summer on a blacktop court; sending the lil hoppers on gatorade runs. she has never felt the insistent urge to hoop after weeks of winter freeze. the feeling of oneness and calm that overwhelms after getting into a rhythm is eternal.

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

    Candice, you know I got my boys. Now, you are correct that the Bulls seem to always have the Pistons number. If MJ and Scottie there, then look for AI and Sheed to have big games.

  • Myung

    Tarzan, is a person who plays basketball well one who has more LOVE than one who enjoys playing but is just average? Or is it all TRUE LOVE, as long as you’re out there playing the game? You questioned the logic behind my analogy (fair enough) so I’m inclined to question yours.

  • Candice

    It’s so hard when your favorite player, play’s on a rival team. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me, my mother passed away on the 22nd of Jan. The Pistons basically have been sucking since then, especially on national TV.The Bulls for the most part have been acceptable(3-3). On top of that I watched the Pistons get beat by the Celtics and Cavs while having Strep(I was looking for a little pick me up, but no). Being a Bull’s fan I should not be torn but I want AI to be sucessful.

  • Myung

    Sorry to hear about your mother, Candice. I’ll lift up a prayer for you.

  • Keith

    Tarzan says 1:39pm – ‘holly, you are not in love with basketball, you are in love with being a fan of basketball’
    Tarzan then says at 2:46pm – ‘holly obviously has copious amounts of love for the game of basketball, thats not even a question’

  • Keith

    In conclusion, Tarzan doesn’t know what Tarzan means.

  • Candice

    Thanks Myung. She had Pancreatic Cancer and died eaxctly a year after her diagnois.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Really sorry to hear that Candice, hope she lived a good, full life.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    I played High School basketball for only two years and had to bail out of trying out for my college team about halfway through due to bad grades. Does that mean I liked basketball but wasn’t really in love with it but now we’re still good friends?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    myung, as long as youre passionate about playing the game. keith has obviously never told a girl he loves her, but hes just not in love with her.

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