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Monday, December 13th, 2010 at 8:50 am  |  38 responses

Post Up: STAT 101

The Knicks and Spurs stay winning. The Hornets, not so much.

by Adam Figman | @afigman

New York 129, Denver 125

So the Knicks are pretty good this season, huh? After a whole bunch of wins against subpar teams, this was expected to be their first real challenge, and a challenge it was. The two crews traded buckets—without much defense—all game long, and some clutch hoops from Amar’e Stoudemire (who had 30 points, giving him eight straight with 30-plus, a franchise record) and a couple of timely stops from New York made all the difference. Ray Felton handled the ball masterfully, scoring 19 and dishing 17, while Wilson Chandler was the Knicks’ role player du jour, putting in 27. Shortly after the contest, it was reported that Carmelo Anthony (31 points, 13 rebounds) would only accept a trade to MSG—a decision that (if true) most likely came as a result of seeing the Garden inundated with energy after the Knickerbockers won their eighth straight. They’ve also defeated their opponents 13 of the last 14 games, and will take on the Celtics at home Wednesday night. Color me excited.

San Antonio 95, Portland 78

Speaking of teams making some moves, the Spurs won again last night. They became the League’s first 20-victory group, moving to 20-3, and at this point are looking the Lakers’ primary in-conference competition. (I see you, Mavs.) George Hill was great, going for 22 points and 3 three-pointers, and the seemingly reborn Manu Ginobili put in 18 off 6 of 12 shooting. San Antonio will try to keep the incredible start in tact Wednesday night, when they host the Bucks.

Philadelphia 88, New Orleans 70

It was all good just a couple of weeks ago. The Hornets’ bad run persisted, as they lost for the sixth time in eight games, falling to 14-9 and continuing to negate their solid start. The Sixers, meanwhile, are quietly hot, winning five of seven. Both losses were close ones to good teams (Celtics and Hawks), too, so don’t underestimate these guys at all. Neither squad played especially well, but the Bees were just terrible—they shot 30.4 percent from the field and 73.9 percent from the charity stripe. Eek. Can’t even blame it on their leader, CP3, who scored 25 on 8-12 shooting. Every one else, simply put, was awful. Oh, and one more thing: New Orleans scored 23 points in the first half. Yes. Two quarters, 23 points. Rough times indeed.

L.A. Lakers 99, New Jersey 92

After a surprisingly close first three quarters, this game was sealed after Kobe did what he does, scoring 25 of his 32 in the second half and finding Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol for some clutch baskets down the stretch. It still seems worth mentioning, though, that after a close win against the Clippers, a loss to Chicago, and another tight victory against the Nets, the Lakers ain’t been lookin’ like the usual Lakers as of late. They’re in the middle of a hell of an East Coast road trip, which’ll continue at Washington tomorrow night.

Oklahoma City 106, Cleveland 77

From the field, the Thunder shot 53.2 percent, while the Cavs shot 33.8 percent. That’s pretty much all you need to know about this one. (Though I’d recommend peeping the MOTN below.) Kevin Durant scored 25, but didn’t need to play any more than 30 minutes, as OKC cruised en route to an easy W. Unfortunately for Cleveland, they’re off to Miami, where they’ll play that guy who used to be on their side Wednesday night. It’ll be interesting to see how the South Beach crowd treats the incoming Cavaliers, assuming a South Beach crowd actually shows up. How many people constitute a”crowd” these days? Twenty? Sixty?

Orlando 94, L.A. Clippers 85

Now that the #FreeKevinLove campaign has slowed down, how long until the #FreeBlakeGriffin movement gains steam? Professor Griff scored 26 and grabbed 16 boards, but the Clips lost again, falling to a deeper and more balanced Magic group. (Eric Gordon did score 28 and dish 8, for what it’s worth.) Dwight Howard was plagued by foul trouble, but still managed 22 points and 8 rebounds in 25 minutes. Brandon Bass stepped up in his absence, putting up a 13 and 11 double-double as Dwight played the sideline.

Actual Stats: Amar’e Stoudemire: 30 points (eight straight), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks.
Moment of the Night: James Harden puts JJ Hickson on the wrong side of a poster. Hey, it happens.

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  • http://bugmarley.com LeoneL

    I’m not sure but didn’t the Hornets only got one field goal in the second quarter? But it was a beaut.

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/ Anthony

    I didnt want to include Amare’s name is the MVP discussion but now i dont know. Atleast he deserve some love.
    My Spurs keep rolling, i check the schedule, we have LA,Dallas,OKC,NY and Boston coming up after Christmas, cant wait to see how we’ll respond to the test.

  • JTaylor21

    If I were ranking top-3 MVP candidates at this very moment would be 1.Dirk 2.Amare 3.Rondo. Dirk would be #1 because he’s simply the best player on the best team, #2 would be Amare because no one is playing at an higher level than him plus he has awaken the knicks from their decade long coma and #3 would be Rondo because even though he’s not the best PG, he is the best player on the EC’s best team and to be avg. 14+apg is downright bonkers.

  • add

    the sixers are finally meshing

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    MVP
    ___
    Dirk
    Amare
    *token Spurs player*
    LeBron
    Pau
    Deron
    Rajon

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Also. James Harden is a hairy chinned beast.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    That dunk was disrespectful. That dunk lacked a sense of mercy for the human condition. That dunk highlighted that the Cavaliers bigmen love a poster.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    @Jtaylor, Rondo over Rose, interesting but I see your point, 14+ assist is def amazing and the C’s are obviously a winning team. I think it’s really cool NY is actually doing something, I’m not a Knick fan but after all these years of misery they deserve this man, the fans deserve it. Color me excited too for Boston – NY. If New York wins that game the hype train will really gain major steam going into the Heat game. Fun but tough stretch coming up for the Knicks, let’s see how they do.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Spurs, Mavs and Lakers are going to be there in the end…. Nuggets and Jazz rounding the top five…. portland, you don’t know what they’ll look like in 2 months time, let alone next week… (anyone got a spare knee for Roy?) and New Orleans….? Hello? Whats happened?

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Floor general Fa Fa Felton IS playing (19pts and 17 dimes last night) like an Eastern Conference All-Star! Amar’e IS playing (30-8-4) like an MVP! Landry Fields IS flirting (18pts and 9 boards) with ROY! Carmelo will only sign an extension if traded to the Knicks! POW!

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    WINNING and GRINNING!

  • Anon E Mouse

    Yeeeeessssss! it’s nice to finally win a couple of games. I won’t go overboard though, as a long suffering Knicks fan I know that disapointment is always lurking around the Garden. Also I’m loving Stats play but I still want more rebounding from him before I invoke MVP. Oh, and lets go Mello!

  • riggs

    harden looking like a warriors era baron davis in that clip, all he needed to do was raise his jersey lol.

  • http://www.slamonline.com ShadiestBen

    Chris Paul’s stat line – 25 on 8-12, 2-2 from 3, 7-7 from the line. The rest of the Hornets shot 12-67!! I can’t put any other PG ahead of him in ranking, CP3

  • http://www.slamonline.com ShadiestBen

    this year is playing phenemonal basketball, but now that Nawlins arent sneakin up on teams they can’t win a game. Trade someone for a scorer! Or play Marcus Thornton!

  • Hammer

    Surprised that not even ewing had 8 str8 30 pt games. Props 2 amare

  • http://www.twofistedpress.com Pve84

    Does anybody else feel like the Knicks have NO BUSINESS trading for Carmelo? They are winning right now and appear to have good chemistry. Why trade away half of their core to get Carmelo and entirely disrupt their flow when they can just sign him as a free agent in the summer? Of course he can get more years and more money if traded to NY, but if he truly wants to play in NY, win, and experience this charged atmosphere, he needs to not come to NY prior to this summer.

  • Max

    Spurs

  • lalala

    kobe mvp
    co mvp with pau

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    lalalacking intelligence

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Paul was efficient, but not dominant.
    12 shots is not enough in that game, he should have had DRose type shot attempts. That’s the one thing I don’t like about Paul right now. He almost never just goes out and dominates as a scorer, even though his team clearly needs that. He’s more John Stockton than Isiah Thomas right now, and I wonder if it’s the knee.

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

    @Allen – I was just having that conversation with a few of my boys last night, he looks like its either bothering him, or he’s worried about re-injuring it from what we came up with. Its juts weird, before the injury he would have those monster games of like 32 and 12 but hasn’t had anything like that this season.
    __________________________________________
    P.S. props to the Slam top 50 voters for predicting Rose’s production jump. good call ya’ll

  • http://www.slamonline.com ShadiestBen

    Allen – Your right, its more than almost never, its never. The only game he was aggressive from the jump was Dallas on the road, where he had 20 plus in the first half, something like 18 in a quarter. Problem is Dallas went zone in the second half and no one else could get anything going.
    I honestly think he is going to come out firing some time soon and go for 40, but the way New Orleans are playing right now that might not be enough.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Ben
    It’s really surprising that he doens’t score more, particularly given the dearth of scorers around him. Many times I’ve seen him turn down open looks to try to get the ball to a teammate. That’s beautiful when you’re teammates are confident and playing well, but when they are struggling it’s almost like you’re giving them more opportunities to fail. I think he should use his scoring to open up the other team’s gameplan, then start getting everybody else easy looks. I hope he does because I want to see Monty Williams succeed.

  • http://www.slamonline.com ShadiestBen

    Your right he does turn down good looks a lot. I love his game so I have trouble finding the bad in what he does, but by the time he’s finished passing up good looks and trying to get his team mates involved there down double digits. Maybe he lights up Miami tonight? Monty is a good coach but they just haven’t got enough scoring to get to 100 regularly, which would win them most games. I feel he needs to play Thornton more, he could develop into a Jamal Crawford type IMO.

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

    Ben, marcus thornton is already a solid scorer, is rookie season was bucket after bucket. …….. The bugs have problems, but the honeybees arent one of them.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Clyde

    The look on Hardens face after he threw that down was priceless.

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

    The lakers miss jordan farmar, dont laugh, im serious. He was the only guy they have that had a chance defending paul, tony, rondo, etc. And he really pushed the fastbreak. Blake cant do those things.. Opposing pgs are getting excited when they see fisher and blake. ……. Lakers have blown their easy early schedule. When bynum comes back, I expect he will be injured again in two weeks. Not a good start at all for lakers. Im disapponted.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Knicks have had the second easiest schedule in the league next to the Lakers.
    It’s funny how people have held the Lakers up as true contenders, but have downplayed the Heat.
    And by funny, I mean illogical and asinine.

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

    ^^ lol

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Easy schedule or not, part of being a good team is beating bad teams consistently. That’s what the Knicks are doing right now. It doesn’t mean they’re contenders but it definitely means they can be called a middle of the pack, decent team. Eventually with another dependable scorer the Knicks can make some noise, don’t sleep on them just because they’re beating “weak” teams. The last ten years they’ve been a “weak” team. Give them credit for pulling themselves out of the gutter.

  • Pharoah

    Lakers have played 5 + .500 teams and Heat have played 8 (minus JJ on Hawks)so it’s not that big of a difference and Lakers are defending back to back champions. OBVIOUSLY there gonna be labelled as true contenders, they’ve done this and earned the benefit of the doubt unlike the Heat.

  • http://slamonline.com ShadiestBen

    Tarzan – Yeah he is! Monty doesn’t play him much though.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Bryan
    I wasn’t trying to downplay the Knicks just threw them in there because I was talking about easy schedules to make a point about the lakers.
    The lakers are champs they deserve respect. But when the main argument made about miami is that they are beating up on easy teams then I think the fact that the lakers were doing the same thing is relevant. You play the schedule. You have to consider the schedule but you can’t give it too much weight either way.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    I hope nobody is getting excited at the thought of NYK taking the homecourt in the 1st round. Once they start playing the second half of their schedule…

    Also, does anyone who said “Amare can’t do ish without Nash” wanna ‘fess up?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Bryan: The Knicks HAVE a second dependable scorer and his name is Wilson Chandler.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    LOL @ all the people who laughed at IAMORANGE when he said Amare would be playing like the MVP. LOL @ all the people who underrated Amare and refused to call him a “great” player. Just saying…

  • http://sdfklfds.com Jukai

    Amare is going to lead the league in scoring. Outside of Rondo tearing it up, I’ve predicted this season like a book

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