Post Up: DRose Goes To Work
And the Knicks are asked to win, but politely decline.
With John Wall sidelined, Washington was still able to shoot 56 percent from the floor and take down the Raptors at home. Andray Blatche led the team with 22 points, Gilbert Arenas had 20, and Kirk Hinrich scored 13 and dished 12 dimes. Not the most exciting of competitions, but definitely good to see the Wiz so competent, even without their floor general. Now can you guys never be in that situation ever again?
Wanna hear something strange? Three weeks into the season, the Cavs are 5-5 and sitting at sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Daniel Gibson came off the bench last night to lead them with 18 points, and the rest of the production was relatively spread out in the victory. Playing without Andre Iguodala, the Sixers fell behind in the third and just couldn’t get back in it. After four straight losses, they’ll look to get on track against Toronto tonight.
Now here’s a stat line: 25 points, 8 rebounds, 7 blocks, 2 assists, 1 steal. Not bad, Josh Smith. The Hawks defeated the Pacers pretty easily, upping their record to 8-4. Indiana didn’t shoot well and turned the ball over too much, but did get a huge night from Roy Hibbert (18 points, 15 boards). Through three games, not exactly the craziest night of hoops we’ve had yet. If you switched over to college bball right around this point, I understand.
Despite Brandon Jennings’ 31 points, the Lake Show still won relatively easily, led by Kobe’s 31 and Shannon Brown’s season-high 21. With the loss, Milwaukee fell to 5-6 (did anyone else think they’d be better than this?), while L.A. moves to 9-2 and remains atop the Pacific.
Starting in place of the injured Brandon Roy, Wesley Matthews dropped a cool 30 spot on the Grizz, leading the Blazers to a nice little road victory. The game ended with a one-point difference, but it really wasn’t that close; Memphis couldn’t catch up in the final minutes, and only lost by one after Mike Conley (16 points, 6 assists) hit a three-pointer at the end buzzer. Portland is now 7-5, good for third in the crowded Northwest division.
After the Rockets jumped ahead with a huge third quarter, DRose took over in the fourth, scoring 17 of his 33 in the quarter and leading the Bulls to a win. When this dude gets hot, there aren’t many, or any, more exciting players to watch. Houston dropped to 3-7, and I can’t really explain what’s going with them; Luis Scola (27 points) and Kevin Martin (18 points) are both doing their jobs, so it’s hard to pinpoint what the problem is. Aaron Brooks’ return can’t come soon enough.
The Knicks played poorly through the first three, well, they really played poorly through the entire contest—but the Nuggets, after three strong quarters, fell apart in the fourth and practically begged New York took get back in the game. It happened, and the Knicks creeped in, but a host of missed free throws and wide open shots kept them away from the lead. Denver was really terrible—terrible—in the final minutes, but NY had seemingly no desire to win. At all. The worst mistake came with 12 seconds remaining, when, down three and with the ball, an inbounds pass bounced off Raymond Felton’s hands and rolled out of bounds. Just bad stuff, all around. The Nuggets were led by Carmelo Anthony, who dropped 26 and grabbed 9 boards, while their opposition had some interesting stats: Landry Fields went for 21 and 17 (yup!), and Wilson Chandler scored 23 and blocked 5 shots. Coach D’Antoni (for now) and crew are in Sacramento tonight for one of those if-you-can’t-win-this-one-you-might-never-win-again matchups.
Performance of the Night: J-Smoove: 25 points, 8 boards, 7 blocks, 2 assists, 1 steal in a W over Indiana.
Moment of the Night: (UPDATE: Video below) Chauncey Billups hit a 3/4 court bomb—one of ’10-11′s sickest shots so far—but it was called back due to a traveling violation performed milliseconds before. Unfortunate. Back in 24 hours for more, fam.