Monday, December 27th, 2010 at 8:45 am  |  32 responses

Post Up: Holiday Hangover

‘Twas the night after Christmas…

by Adam Figman | @afigman

When it comes to the NBA, December 25 > December 26. It’s just math. But still, we got seven decent contests to hold us over until the week picks up. You might not have seen ‘em, because they weren’t on national TV and you were busy watching football and/or slowly managing through your holiday food coma. Understandable. Well, good news: Now you can read about them. On to it.

L.A. Clippers 108, Phoenix 103

Are the Clippers progressing upwards, or were the Suns just downgraded? Hard to tell, but this we know: When the Clips have all their pieces working (or working out, word to Baron) properly, they’ll be pretty dangerous. Phoenix learned that the hard way, going down early (33-18 after one) and fighting/failing to get back on top during the subsequent three quarters. The Suns got close late, trailing by only one point with under 30 seconds to go, but a clutch Eric Gordon steal followed by a Al-Farouq Aminu put to bed their comeback dreams. Blake Griffin (28 points, 12 rebounds) posted his 18th straight double-double, along with—if you can believe this—some absolutely ridiculous dunks. The newly-acquired Mickael Pietrus led Phoenix with 25 (while Vince Carter is still sidelined with…I don’t know, serious injuries), and Steve Nash matched his usually-strong output with 21 points and 15 dimes.

Chicago 95, Detroit 92

The Bulls probably should’ve had a hold of this one well before OT, but their sloppy shooting from both the field (39.6 percent) and the line (67.9 percent) kept the Pistons in it. As the clock expired in regulation, a Charlie Villanueva tip-in forced extra time, but Chicago’s double dose of Carlos Boozer (31 points, 11 boards) and Derrick Rose (23 points, 12 boards, 8 dimes) helped the road team seal things up. Tayshaun Prince led Detroit with 17, though Rodney Stuckey (16), Richard Hamilton (15) and Tracy McGrady (15) all pitched in. Talk about an overcrowded roster. After back-to-back contests, the Bulls can now chill for a night, as they’ve got Milwaukee at home tomorrow.

Minnesota 98, Cleveland 97

Michael Beasley, for the win. First, Beas cut to the lane and drilled a lay-in to put his team up one with under five ticks to go, and then the 6-8 forward D’ed up on Antawn Jamison, forcing a contested runner that bounced out and gave the TWolves the W. Other Minny notables: Kevin Love, who had 16 points and 18 rebounds, and Luke Ridnour (what?), who had 23 points, 6 assists and 5 boards. Good to see the Wolves get a much-deserved victory, but hard to take much of a longer-term positive out of this one…in all fairness, somebody had to win.

Memphis 104, Indiana 90

From the looks of it, Rudy Gay wanted this W pretty damn badly. That’d explain his 30 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals, along with the fact that he led his team to its first victory in four games. The Grizz dominated on the inside, too, behind Zach Randolph’s 18 points and 16 boards. Danny Granger scored 29 for the defeated squad, who moved to 13-15 but continues to sit right inside the fringe of the Eastern Conference Playoff picture.

New Orleans 93, Atlanta 86

To be kind about it, the Hornets have been, um, inconsistent, and really need to get things turned around before their chances of a postseason spot dwindle and/or their star gets unhappy. Which is all to say efforts like this are important, as the Bees took down the visiting Hawks, coming from behind in the second half behind Chris Paul (22 points, 8 assists) and Emeka Okafor (14 points, 15 boards). Seems like CP3 will look to take things into his own hands, as he fired the most shots and put in the most buckets for New Orleans, a group that’s struggled without a go-to scorer thus far.

San Antonio 94, Washington 80

John Wall returned, kind of, playing 19 minutes and scoring 4 points, but the Spurs’ talent was just too much. Manu Ginobili (21 points) and Tony Parker (20 points, 14 assists) stepped up, though all of San Antonio’s starters were able to play under 31 minutes in another easy W. Even after the pre-Christmas loss to the Magic, the Spurs still have the L’s best record (26-4), which they’ll look to improve upon tomorrow night against the Lake Show. That’s one I wouldn’t recommend missing. Oh, and the loss moved Washington’s road count to 0-14—guess I gotta mention that. Sorry Wiz fans.

Philadelphia 95, Denver 89

With Carmelo Anthony out for personal reasons for the third straight game, the Nuggets lost their, well, third straight game, falling to the Sixers at home. Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young combined for 41, though this one probably wouldn’t have be so close had Denver’s best player been on the floor. Hopefully he can make it back soon, and it’ll be interesting to see how Denver’s front office treats that trade situation, now realizing just how bad the team is without its leader. Chauncey Billups scored 24 in the loss.

Actual Stats: Rudy Gay: 30 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals.

Moment of the Night: I’m not seeing any video of it up, but it’s gotta be Michael Beasley’s clutch play on both sides of the floor in the final minute of the TWolves-Cavs game. Say what you want about Minny, but hopefully this season is giving multiple guys on that roster some reps that’ll be real valuable in the future.

Alright, kids. Happy to be back rocking with you after the holidays, though I won’t be here tomorrow—some official SLAM business will have me MIA all night. But a familiar face will be holding TPU down, so while I’m sure you’ll miss me uncontrollably (I won’t hold it against you), hopefully the change of pace and a fresh take will be pretty cool. See you Wednesday.

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  • Hursty

    Rudy Gay has been having a career year. Over the last month he’s averaging over 2 steals and 2 blocks. Looks like he deserved that money, no?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    What’s up with John Wall, seriously? This guy has played like 5 games, atleast that’s what it feels like. Don’t remember him missing much time at KU, except for a stomach issue during UNC-KU, if I remember correctly. Great game by the Clips, Blake was working his ass off all night, he had 19 points in the 1st half (6-7 shooting) but in the second half he got double teamed every time he touched the ball, it kind of worked, once Blake gets more experienced, he’ll know how to be effective with teams really game-planning for him. The Blake Rules: Don’t let him dunk on you and put his nuts in your face.

  • dsleepy

    ^ too early in the contract to tell, but he def has been ballin

  • http://Www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Jahmai- KU is Kansas. UK is Kentucky.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Enigmatic, my bad :P University of Kentucky, your absolutely right.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    could be wrong here but the wiz look like they’re lockin in on tanking mode

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    I figured the post up would be bangin’ today.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Meh. This is a crappy year to tank. I could be wrong, but I don’t see any future franchise players coming out the 2011 draft.
    Speaking of franchise players, Blake Griffin is that dude! Every time I watch him play, I’m just amazed by his skill set, athleticism, poise and all that good stuff. Dude’s gonna be one of the greats.
    The Bulls have GOT to get more consistent offensively. An overtime victory over Detroit? We should’ve finished them off long before then!

  • JTaylor21

    Enigmatic, Harrison Barnes is hella nice. He may lack the flashiness of past #1 overrall picks but dude gots serious game. He’ll probably be the most complete guard to enter the draft since CP.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408237-bryant-vs-jordan-theres-still-no-debate-jordan-is-king nbk

    Harrison is losing his grip on that #1 spot…actually he has fallen out on a few draft boards. Staying in school an extra year might be the best thing for him.

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Kyrie Irving if healthy can be a game changer.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408237-bryant-vs-jordan-theres-still-no-debate-jordan-is-king nbk

    Kemba Walker reminds me of Ben Gordon sooo much. Better playmaker, but very similar

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Yeah, I had high hopes for Barnes myself but I think he’s shown this year he either was a tad bit overhyped in high school, or he’s not as effective on a big stage as he needs to be.
    Maybe the pressure’s too much for the kid? I mean, it’s UNC, and he was expected to lead the revivial and all that. Some players, like LeBron James, excel under pressure. Others don’t. I’d have to put Barnes in that second category.
    JTaylor, would you say Barnes is a guard though? I’d think he’s more of a 3. He could play the 2 though I suppose.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I see some great players in college this year, no doubt. I just mean, there’s no one there worth getting super excited for. There’s no Kevin Durant/Derrick Rose/ Blake Griffin types that I see. Someone that you can draft and he’ll come in and immediately play head and shoulders above other rookies and be the face of your franchise and all that.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408237-bryant-vs-jordan-theres-still-no-debate-jordan-is-king nbk

    You right enigmatic, this is like the Andrew Bogut year. Could be someone that comes on late that’s going to be a good pro, but hard to find a “sure-thing”

  • JTaylor21

    Enigmatic, I think he could excel at both the 2 and 3 spot and that is what makes him so good in my eyes. Also even though he has been struggling lately, give him time. You can’t just expect every freshman to come in there and start dominating from the start especially in a school like UNC. By mid feb. I expect him to start balling and living up to his potential.

  • Ptown

    Guys with the recent history of oft injured top picks would you seriously draft kyrie irving #1? If he couldn’t survive a college season how do you expect him to play an 82 game season. Kyrie would be a game changer for the only team that would need him immediately, the Clippers perfect setup for the kid

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper


  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I don’t expect every freshman to dominate from the start, but I do expect it from the top-ranked high school player coming into a program where he basically becomes their go-to guy from day one.
    Jared Sullinger is putting up 17 and 10 a game at Ohio State.
    Kyrie Irving was putting up 17, 5 and 4 before his injury at Duke.
    Terrance Jones – 18 and 9 at Kentucky.
    Tobias Harris – 15 and 6 at Tennessee
    Harrison Barnes was supposed to be better than all those cats, but he’s only putting up 12 and 6, again, on a team that was supposed to be his from day one.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » The Nuggets Need Melo…Badly

  • http://www.slamoline.com Max

    John Wall has tendinaitis in his knee, and drom my own experience: if he comes back to early, he will get it back.

  • http://www.slamoline.com Max


  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408237-bryant-vs-jordan-theres-still-no-debate-jordan-is-king nbk

    Tendinitis never goes away. Its chronic, the question is, can he cope with the pain, and how well does he deal with the swelling?

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    It sucks to say this, but if john wall cant deal now, just starting his rookie year, then his career might be alot like brandon roys will be from now on. ….

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408237-bryant-vs-jordan-theres-still-no-debate-jordan-is-king nbk

    No brandon roy literally doesn’t have cartilage in his knees. Tendinitis is just inflamed tendons. John Wall is in the same boat knee wise as jason williams. ANd he is in his 13th season

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    Rudy Gay was phenomenal last night, as was Chris Paul. DET-CHI was a great game. You know who the difference maker was down the stretch? Kurt Thomas, he held of Prince for a Brewer lay-up, tipped in a Boozer miss, stripped Prince cleanly on a lay-up, then contested CV34′s attempt to tie the ball game. Great game from the veteran. I know there are a lot of D Rose fans on here, but he was pretty dissapointing down the stretch IMO, and looked tired throughout. He also got away with a foul on Stuckey on a lay-up that would of given Detroit the lead with under 10 seconds to go.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @AllBall247 – DET – CHI was a HORRIBLE game! Especially from a Chicago fan’s perspective. Bulls shot just 39% from the field, 68% from the line. Rose had a great all-around game but shot just 9 for 23 and had a game-high six turnovers.
    I don’t think he fouled Stuckey on that layup attempt, if anything Stuckey should’ve leaned into Rose rather than falling away from him, he would’ve gotten a better chance at either going to the line or making the shot, or both.
    Rose meanwhile, was getting no calls as usual. I hate to say it, but I think he’s gonna have to start flailing his arms around and screaming like a banshee like other players do when he gets hit going to the rim to get more calls.
    Our rebounding was the only thing that really kept us in the game.
    And yes, Kurt Thomas does a lot of little things that go unnoticed but are really huge in terms of the impact they have on a game.
    Chicago would’ve lost that game by thirty-plus if they had played the Heat/Magic/Cetlics/Mavs/Spurs with that type of effort.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I know he won’t be in the 2011 draft, but, Austin Rivers may become an NBA franchise player, his potential is so sky-high it’s almost freakish

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Nbk, obviously his knee problems are different than roys. Im saying the results will be similar. Wall will sit out many games, as he has already early in his rookie year, for a condition that cannot be fixed. Sucks to be a wiz fan. All that hope and potential fading away so quickly. Many are probably lying to themselves……. …… ….. … I cant help but laugh at bulls fans complaining of rose not getting calls. Maybe, just maybe, rose isnt fouled every time you think he is. Maybe good defense occurs. Maybe rose initiates the contact on a defender who is jumping straight up. …… Maybe rose should whine and complain after every drive that doesnt result in a bucket or foul, ala kobe.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @Tarzan – Rose isn’t fouled every time, of course. But more often than not, the contact is there. And more often than not, he doesn’t get the call. As often as he slashes to the rim, as often as multiple defenders collapse on him once he gets there, he should have more free throw attempts. No doubt.
    @BlackPhantom – I still like Michael Gilchrist from that 2011 class. Though Rivers is dope too.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    I’m not a Chicago fan, so it was a good game to watch. Neither am I a Detroit fan. Tight game, came down to last few possessions. What more can you ask from a game where you have no bias?
    The reason D Rose doesn’t get to the line as often as someone who drives that much normally would, is that he spends so much time avoiding contact.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Just curious, are folks still laughing at Boozer?