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Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  40 responses

Post Up: Sixers Win Sixth

No. 5 in a row for Philly, plus the Knicks survive and the Hornets win in Denver.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

Breathe easy easy-ish, New York. It wasn’t pretty, but the Knicks managed not to drop a second straight home matchup with Charlotte. And while last night wasn’t the most exciting round of NBA games, neither was LSU-Alabama. So let’s dive in, starting with the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers—winners of five straight.

Sixers 96, Pacers 86

Philly used a 15-3 third quarter run and got 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 dimes from Andre Iguodala to fend off the Pacers. Indiana got within six with just over two minutes to play when Roy Hibbert dropped in a mini-hook shot and was fouled, but he failed to convert the three-point play and the Sixers—now off to their best start in a decade at 6-2—took home their third win in four nights, all at home. In fairness, the Pacers played without Danny Granger and his team-leading 15 PPG. The rest of the Indiana squad shot 37 percent from the field and 31 percent from three-point range, while Philly had six players score in double figures, including 13 and 6 assists from Lou Williams and 12 apiece from Jrue Holiday, Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner. Even rookie Nikola Vucevic dropped 11 points (including a 3-ball to cap off that big third-quarter run) and snatched 8 boards in 17 minutes off the bench, as the Sixers played team ball, hustling, playing defense and even getting out on the break for 17 points in transition. Both these teams sit with six wins, and both look to be in the mix for a jump in playoff seed from last season.

Raptors 97, Timberwolves 87

Andrea Bargnani matched his season-high with 31 points while Kevin Love scored just 13 points on 3-of-16 field goal shooting and the Raptors won despite shooting only 16 percent from beyond the arc. Bargnani (who also had 9 boards in a whopping 45 minutes) tied the game on a reverse layup with 6:36 to play, then Amir Johnson slammed home a tip-dunk to give the Raps the lead, and the Wolves never got back in the game. Johnson notched his second consecutive double-double—this time 19 points and 11 rebounds—as Toronto won without Jerryd Bayless and Linas Kleiza who are still nursing injuries. But perhaps the biggest storyline of this game was the head-to-head matchup of Spanish point guards Jose Calderon and Ricky Rubio, in the first NBA meeting between the countrymen and Olympic teammates. (Okay, so Rubio is the storyline in every game, but still.) Their lines from last night:

Rubio: 10 points, 2-9 FG, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 turnovers, 30 minutes
Calderon: 14 points, 6-11 FG, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 41 minutes

Ironically, JJ Barea bested both of them (reppin’ Puerto Rico), scoring a season-high 16 points in just 17 minutes. Love ended his streak of 20+ point, 12+ rebound games at 8, but he still finished with a double-double (13 x 14). As a team, the Wolves shot just 34 percent from the field and only hit 6 of 20 shots in the fourth quarter.

Hawks 106, Nets 101

Add this to the list of scheduling quirks this year: the Hawks beat the Nets for the third time already this season. Atlanta has seven wins on the year, and 3 are against New Jersey. Ha! The Hawks led by as many as 16, though the Nets kept it to as close as 5 in the fourth quarter. Deron Williams scored 15 points and had 14 assists, but shot just 6-for-17 from the floor and had 6 turnovers. On the upside for the Nets, it was the first time this year they’ve scored 100+ points, and Anthony Morrow led the Nets in scoring with 20, while rookie MarShon Brooks continues to impress, finishing with 19 points and 10 boards. New Jersey couldn’t stop ATL’s hot shooting, though—the Hawks hit at a 54 percent clip and Josh Smith went 10-for-14, ending his super night with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. All 5 Atlanta starters scored in double figures.

Knicks 91, Bobcats 87

Carmelo Anthony scored the go-ahead bucket on a drive with 2:39 to play, and the Knicks survived a late push from the Bobcats to get to 5-4 on the year. That doesn’t mean New York fans didn’t sweat this one out, though. After Landry Fields made one of two from the free throw line, the Knicks led by four with 13 seconds remaining. But DJ Augustin drilled a corner three to cut the deficit to one, then had another clean look at a trey that would have tied things after a pair of Melo free throws. Sadly for Charlotte fans and the ever-present anti-Knickerbocker contingent across the L, his shot clanked iron, sealing Charlotte’s seventh loss of the young season. New York avenged last week’s embarrassing loss to Charlotte behind 22 points from Anthony, 25 and 12 rebounds from Amar’e Stoudemire (despite an ugly 7-25 FG shooting night) and a big game from Tyson Chandler, who had 20 and 13. Melo also had 6 assists, two of which you’ll want to watch, as he helps out the other Big Three members: take one, take two. The Knicks won even while shooting just 38 percent, and allowing Boris Diaw to show his continued love for playing at MSG—dude turned in a 19-point, 10-rebound, 7-assist night to lead the ‘Cats. And in the rookie “point guard” battle (is Iman really a 1-man yet?) Iman Shumpert posted 16 points, 6 boards, 4 assists, 4 turnovers and 3 steals in 35 minutes, while Kemba Walker played just 16 minutes and scored 10 points, with more turnovers (4) than assists (3).

Bulls 92, Pistons 68

Detroit is dead-last in the NBA in scoring offense at just over 82 points per game and were without Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva for a third straight game. And the Bulls are pretty darn good on D. But still, 68 points? Yikes. Greg Monroe “led” the Pistons with 14 points and 10 rebounds, as Detroit turned it over 18 times and scored just 9 points in the fourth quarter. They simply had no answer for Chicago on either end of the floor. Carlos Boozer scored 23 points and had 8 boards, Derrick Rose went for 22 and 8 assists as the Bulls cruised to their 8th win of the season. Or in DRose’s case, floated. Rip Hamilton and CJ Watson both sat out with injuries for Chicago, whose next three are Minnesota (cool!), Washington (eek!) and Boston (classic!).

Hornets 94, Nuggets 81

It feels weird to call a regular season NBA game an “upset,” but if you guys are cool with it, I’ll use it here: this was an upset. Denver was 4-0 at home coming in to the game, but turned the ball over 17 times and couldn’t handle the New Orleans frontline tandem of Carl Landry (21 points, 5 rebounds) and Chris Kaman (20 points, 7 rebounds) just a few days after beating the Hornets in the NOLA. Jarret Jack continued his solid play to open the season with 13 points and nine assists, the Hornets led by as many as 21 thanks to 52 percent field goal shooting, and they made a 12-2 fourth-quarter run to put the game on ice. Ty Lawson injured his foot in the second quarter and was taken for X-rays, but he returned to the game in the third and finished with 15 points, matching Danilo Gallinari for the team lead in scoring on the night.

Line of the Night: Tyson Chandler, 20 points (7-8 FG), 13 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks.

Moment of the Night: It’s not a game-winner or even a Top 10 SportsCenter highlight, but this play encapsulates the Sixers last night, and for the last few games.

Dunk of the Night: Anthony Randolph from a non-Ricky Rubio teammate. Kabloom! Dennis Scott had this to say on NBATV upon seeing the highlight: “Boy, young fella, you can stretch out on somebody.” Insert your own “pause” joke here. And peep an honorable mention from fellow Wolves forward Derrick Williams.

Tonight: 11 games in all for Tuesday night, including two gigantic matchups out West: Thunder at Grizzlies and Clippers at Blazers. Plus a pair of highly entertaining inter-conference games as Chicago visits Minnesota and Miami is in Oakland to play the Warriors. And, of course, the Lizards look for win No. 1 in D.C. against the Raptors. Deuces!

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  • http://sfjklf.com Jukai

    I’m rooting for the Wizards, because christ, I feel bad at this point.

  • Myung

    Marshon Brooks has been a very impressive young rookie (I’m also slightly biased because he played high school ball right down the street from here). Pretty weak rookie class so far, but this kid was just born to score. That being said, I wish we could play the Nets every game. We’d be 66-0. Go Hawks.

  • Riggs

    nice, the Lizards nickname is gaining traction..

  • Myung

    Once the Wizards actually win their first game, maybe we should just tack on a W for each win they get this season. By the end of the year, they just might be the WWWWWWWWWWizards. 10-56 sounds about right… until then, I like the whole L-izards things.

  • Mike From Spain

    @Jukai -> You mean the Lizards?

  • Fat Lever

    Sixer basketball is back! Love this team. They play hard, play smart, are very good defensively, and any one of the following can put the dagger into the opposing team: Jrue, Lou, ET, Thad(with the right matchup), EB, and to a lesser extent Iggy. The improvement in defensive rotations in 2 years is amazing and Doug plays a legitimate 9 every night, which is key with this condensed schedule. I know it’s early, but I’ve been waiting a loooong time to be excited about my Sixers.

  • Riggs

    When Dennis Scott said that, all three people I was watching the game with said pause.

  • DeeDre

    @ Fat Lever- Not so fast…lol naw but it’s always good to see struggling teams off to a good start. in any sport

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    I like Greg Monroe alot.

  • Fat Lever

    DeeDre, never said they would win the title, just happy that pro bball is relevant again in Philly! Hasn’t been that way since AI was here, and for a hoops junkie like myself, that’s an eternity.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    I’m cool with Detroit losing this season because the young guys are getting alot of burn and they’re not so dysfunctional. It actually seems like they’re rebuilding instead of going in reverse. Get a top 5 draft pick this year and they’ll start to look alot better in no time. Oh yeah, they need to amnesty CV very badly…glad coach Frank isn’t playing him just because of his check.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    @ Max – for sure, he’s been a bright spot so far this season. He’s a beast. I’d like to see his defense improve a bit though, although it looks better than it did last year. He gets pretty good position, but he’s just not athletic enough to be a great shot blocker.

  • http://Gmail Dirty Frank

    No mention of Radmanovic’s big night?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Kevin Love was the best PF in the L last night.

  • bull22

    still too early to tell but the bulls and heat seem to be headed for another collision course with each other in the eastern conference finals if they continue to play the way they do…

  • Allenp

    It is not too early to tell barring injuries.

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    Shump played great last night and he’s getting some good playing time and experience with the starters. I hope to see him in NY for a while. Norris Cole who?

  • http://www.nbadraft.net Showtime

    Whoa their… the kid okay but how they playing him so much hurt is not good look. knicks looking desperate at the guard position. but till the team plays D their just a hovering .500 team. Especial with the other teams like philly & Indiana

  • sefos

    Go Shump!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Diaw and Diop are so out of shape. It’s crazy.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    nbk, do I sense a hint of sarcasm there?

  • MUBWAR

    Amir handled nbk.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Yes just a hint.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    So how did Shumpert fall so low in the draft? Anybody know?

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    Yea… the Knicks are pretty desperate at the pg position (for now)… Shumps a good fit though he looks pretty cool, pressure isn’t fazing him. Tyson Chandler is looking more comfortable in the Big Apple now as well.

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    draft was guard heavy with Kyrie, Kemba, Brandon Knight, Jimmer, Klay Thompson…. I’m more surprised MarShon Brooks dropped to 25th. Providence College baby!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    How is Jimmer Freddette a better PRO prospect than Iman Shumpert? I just don’t see that at all. Either way though, Shumpert is a shooting guard, what happened with the other PG prospects is a little moot. I know for a fact Phoenix almost took him over Markieff Morris, but that’s the highest I heard of him even as a rumor. And so far, he seems like a much better pro prospect then a lot of the guys that went sooner. Does he have character issues?

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @nbk. I think Iman’s FG% probably hurt him the most. 39.1% first year, 38.5% second year, 40.6% third year…And yea, I was more surprised how far MarShon Brooks dropped considering how deadly of a scorer he was in college.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Brooks went to Providence. I think that had the most to do with him falling. Plus before the end of last season, Brooks was a projected 2nd round pick. Shumpert’s draft stock actually fell over time. Maybe it had a lot to do with G-Tech not winning last season?

  • http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Marshon-Brooks-6347/playerblog/ nbk

    I shouldn’t say falling. Brooks was 18 on NBADraft(net)’s mock draft for example. He only really “fell” 7 spots, after rising a full round (mid second round pick in March, too mid 1st round pick 6 weeks later) in 6 weeks.
    .
    .
    From Draft Express (link is in my name)
    “June 20, 2011
    On the same note, I’m also surprised by the way that Marshon Brooks has risen up the boards. He was a mid second-round pick six weeks ago, but then he started going through the process, he had good measurements, he had a good showing at the combine, and his stock has really, really risen to the point that he’s probably going to be a mid-first-round pick. He might have gone at 45 six weeks ago.”

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Shumpert seems like the type of cat who would looks worse in college. The pro game suits him. Not to mention Mike D’s particular style.

  • http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Marshon-Brooks-6347/playerblog/ nbk

    Right. I just read Shumpert’s scouting report from college though, I guess him being considered a SG/PG kind of hurt his stock because he played with the ball in his hands so much in college and G-Tech struggled. So I guess it makes sense why he fell, if he couldn’t positively affect games as the best player on a college team then how was he going to do it as a role player in the NBA. I guess he was just too much of a question mark to take that kind of a risk on?

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    How did Shumpert “fall” in the draft?
    He was projected to be a late 1st round/ early 2nd round pick.
    If anything, him being picked 17th meant he was picked much higher than anticipated.
    I actually thought the Bulls might have a chance to snatch him up at 28.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Well I meant over time he fell. He was McDonalds All American and was supposed to be a big time pro prospect. I think his draft stock fell every year he was in college.

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    Well yeah, he was a top 50 recruit at Oak Park and a McDonald’s AA but he wasn’t a for sure big time pro prospect.
    It’d be silly to consider every McDonalds All American a future pro prospect because so many get exposed in college.
    I get what you’re trying to say though.
    He went high profile high school player to under the radar in college for the most part.
    But the pre-draft camps helped him really shoot up the board in GM’s minds.
    “Knowledgable” Knicks fans, as usual, didn’t get the memo tho and booed their draft pick, as usual.
    And now they swear their rookie is the sh*t, as usual.

  • 12ising Phoenix

    Shump Shump isn’t scared of the bright lights of the garden… I like it.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Yea I didn’t mean sure fire pro prospect. I just meant High School All American, big time athlete, position flexibility. “big time” pro prospect doesn’t come off how I meant it. If he sat on the bench for like UNC don’t you think he would have gone higher, like Marvin Williams? I dont think he would’ve jumped THAT high, but as a SG/PG at 6’5 with that athleticism I think he would have been a late lottery pick any year he came out. Dominating the ball so much basically put him against opposing coaches in college rather than opposing defenders. If he didn’t and got to play a role he would have been labeled as full of potential. Atleast from what I’ve seen of him. Which isn’t that much.

  • ripslam

    Anyone else feel hella tripped out on that Randolph vid when he sort of fell through that 3D baseline logo?
    -
    Also, Calderon has been surprisingly good this year.

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    Enigmatic – Right, wrong or indifferent NY wanted Jimmer…
    Don’t be mad cuz he didn’t fall to 28…
    NY boos everybody Kris Humphries, Justin Bieber, A-ROD…
    Maybe you didn’t get THAT memo…

  • https://plus.google.com/photos/106403650426394352312/albums/posts davidR

    ripslam, that raptor baseline is trippy. i really thought he ran into some kind of ad display

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