Sunday, January 1st, 2012 at 10:21 am  |  39 responses

Post Up: Welcome Back

Andrew Bynum returns with a vengeance.

by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad

Happy New Year everybody! Hope you all had a great night and are ready for what promises to be an exciting 2012 in the NBA.

A lot of teams looked like they were more interested in celebrating the New Year than handling business on the court last night which lead to a lot of blowouts and some poor performances. Andrew Bynum returned for the Lakers and helped L.A. best a pesky Denver squad while the Knicks righted the ship with an easy victory out in Sacramento. And don’t look now, but Kyle Lowry is putting together a breakout season down in H-Town. Let’s get right to it…

Lakers 92, Nuggets 89

Coming off a suspension stemming from this flagrant foul in last year’s playoffs, Andrew Bynum came through big time to lead the Lakers against Denver yesterday afternoon. The big guy looked dominant all day and got off to a quick start going 4-5 from the field for 10 points and used his fresh legs to out muscle and out play Denver’s front court. Despite Nene’s best efforts, the Nuggets had no answer for him down low, and Bynum finished with 29 points and 13 boards on 13-18 shooting. Displaying some flashy footwork and hustle, Bynum could not be stopped and reminded folks why he has been off the trade block and remains so valuable to the Lakers. With Bynum in the lineup, the Lakers looked dangerous, but once again it was Kobe Bryant who came through and made some clutch plays in the fourth. Finishing an assist shy of a triple-double (17/10/9), Kobe Bean overcame a slow start and finished strong to put away a determined Nuggets team led by Al Harrington’s 21 off the bench.

The Nuggets played their hearts out, but had a few bad breaks in the fourth that kept them from beating L.A. on the road. Danilo Gallinari had a shot to to tie the game up late in the fourth but saw a wide open layup rim out, sometimes the basketball gods just don’t let things go your way. Denver, who goes 10 deep, will be a problem in the Western Conference all season long but lack a true go to scorer in crunch time. George Karl has a tough group of players who play hard for him but got destroyed inside by the Lakers on Saturday afternoon; the trio of Bynum/Gasol/McBob finished 23-31 to outscore the Nuggets 46-32 in the paint. I’m interested as to why Kenneth Faried didn’t get a shot with the Nuggets struggling to contain Bynum, if anything he could have given them energy and fouls off the bench.

After a tremendous dunk earlier this week, Metta World Peace looked like he may have used up his springs for the season already. Also, Derek Fisher played his 500th straight regular season game. Props to him, he had an exhausting off-season but still comes to work like everyday he’s trying to make the team, he made some big plays for the Lakers last night and his hustle play is something that will trickle down the entire Lakers bench; Mike Brown must love having him around despite his limited ability.

Pistons 96, Pacers 88

Playing for the third time in four nights, the Pacers fell for the first time this season to the woeful Pistons on the road. Led by Greg Monroe’s double-double and Jonas Jerekbo’s 20, Lawrence Frank got his first dub as the head coach of the Pistons and ended his 20 game losing streak. Jerekbo, who is coming off last year’s season ending achilles injury, looked confident as he scored from both inside and outside. Jerekbo simply out hustled David West who was benched by head coach Frank Vogel in the fourth quarter after going 4-11 and playing some all around uninspiring ball. The Pacers once again shot poorly from the floor, shooting under 40 percent for the second night in a row. Indy has a talented team but they can’t expect to continue their winning ways if they keep shooting so dreadfully from the floor. The Pistons on the other hand, came out scorching in the third quarter and led the Pacers 82-64 heading into the fourth. Indy did cut it to six, but a Jerekbo steal with a minute left put an end to any hopes of a comeback.

Rockets 95, Hawks 84

Plain and simple, Kyle Lowry has been balling out for the Rockets thus far and continued his strong play last night against the Hawks with 18 assists and one amazing block (dude has serious bounce.) The Rockets have looked like a completely different team at home this season. At the Toyota Center, the Rockets have held opponents to 84.5 points on 40.5 percent shooting. Compare that to 109 points on 54.6 percent shooting on the road. Kevin Martin had another strong performance for Houston, notching 27 points most of which came from 6 treys. On his return trip to Houston, T-Mac caught a fair amount of boos but had a strong game going 6-11 for 13 points off the bench. ATL looked like they would rather be partying than playing a basketball game despite Houston doing their best effort to gift wrap the game for them after four straight turnovers in the final quarter of play. Houston, who was playing their third game in as many nights (this schedule is insane!) didn’t trail once the entire game and fed off Lowry’s energetic play to carry them to victory.

Thunder 107, Suns 97

Only 12 points for Kevin Durant? Fortunately the Thunder had Daequan Cook, who knocked down four straight 3-pointers in the second quarter…then left the game with flu like symptoms, just a bizarre game overall. The game was never really close though, and the Thunder now sit at 5-0 after becoming only the second team in NBA history to win five games in seven days. The Thunder led from opening tip to final whistle and were up by 20+ throughout most of the contest. The OKC bench dropped 53 points and severely outplayed the Suns starters who looked run down after playing in New Orleans last night. Big congratulations to Steve Nash for hitting the 1,000th 3-pointer of his incredible career.

Knicks 114, Kings 92

The Knicks and Kings have been playing a very similar style of gameplay this season: pass around the 3-point line than have one of your stars play one on five then play very little defense on the opposite end. But, the Knicks looked a bit more coherent last night and played much better offensively than the previous two games. With Amar’e on the bench, the Knicks saw all 5 of their starters score in double digits, including 23 from Melo and 22 from Tyson Chandler. Chandler had his best game in a Knicks uniform, shooting 6-8 from the field, 10-10 from the stripe, and provided tough defense inside. Josh Harrellson (Jorts!) earned his first career start and made the best of his opportunity scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 boards while outplaying his former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings have been playing some terrible basketball and just can’t seem to put it together despite some talented pieces and Coach Westphal must be pulling his hair out every night when he gets home. It’s maddening to watch a team with so much potential just refuse to play team basketball; the Kings only had 15 assists and shot 34.9 percent from the field. Sac Town looks much more interested in getting their individual stats than getting dubs, a shame since they have such a loyal fan base. This game was never close as the Knicks asserted their dominance early and often and led by double digits throughout the second half.

Spurs 104, Jazz 89

Greg Popovich earned his 800th victory as a head coach as the Spurs cruised to an easy victory on the strength of Manu Ginobili’s 23 points (5-5 from 3-point land); 14 of which came in the 2nd quarter. The Spurs were wet from the three point line, outscoring the Jazz 30-6 from beyond the arc and this game was never really close. Al Jefferson returned to the starting lineup for the Jazz after missing Friday’s game with an injury and had himself a nice game with 21 points and 11 boards.

76ers 107, Warriors 79

Another game, another blowout. The Sixers, who were playing their fourth road game in six nights, rode Lou Williams 23 points to an easy victory. Williams has been playing stellar off the bench and has provided Philly with solid minutes and instant offense. The Sixers were down 13 after one but outscored the Warriors, who were without Monta Ellis, 31-17 in the second quarter and the game was never close after that. Steph Curry returned from his ankle injury and dropped 21 but it wasn’t enough as he didn’t see much help from the rest of his teammates.

Play of the Night: Kyle Lowry goes high for the block

Tonight: Abe is back tomorrow and will recap tonight’s nine games including his beloved Wizards who take on the Celtics in D.C.. Happy New Year everybody, thanks for rocking with me this weekend.

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I was impressed with Bynum yesterday, looking stronger, and more aggressive on the offensive end. But that missed lay-up from Danilo Gallinari was unacceptable. Kyle Lowry is cookin’ at the moment. It will be interesting to see how the Rockets pan out this season.
    Happy New Year y’all…

  • charliewinning

    Happy New Year! Missed the game, as we put the kids to bed and had a house party like we were 21 lol, but I hope this is a sign of things to come from Harrellson. It’s one game (against the Kings), but I’m liking the Knick youngsters.


    Kings are a talented and dangerous team this season…the Lakers know that much. I’m just glad the Knicks finished their road trip up with a W, because it was a must win.

  • tomtom

    Where are all the registered and certified bynum haters that haunt this site usually? He is so superior to D12 on O and you can’t fault his (or pau’s) professionalism with all the trade rumours. Sick of hearing all the hate about speeding tix etc, nba players have done Much worse.

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

    It’s great to see Bynum back on the floor. He had a great game.

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

    Can we get more stats peter? Kobe? Lowry? Details man!

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Hope everyone had a good party yesterday happy newyear!

  • http://slamonline.com/ Peter Walsh

    @Tarzan will work on it..this morning was rough, ha. Kobe had 17/10/9 Lowry only had 2 points to go along with those 18 assists…Each score links to box scores from each game for more stats. Thanks for reading!

  • http://google J-Ro

    Denver loses its second straight game because of the lack of a true closer….and Westbrook shows up as the Thunder’s scorer last night, but no complaints here right??

  • T-Money

    Superiorto Dwight on O? Lol

  • http://slamonline.com the nerve

    AYO PHUK Tarzan Cooper. nah
    Waddup my n!99a!

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    That miss from Gallo was just hard to watch..

  • http://knicks.com Gametimeweezy

    @Orange – I have Marcus Thorton on my fantasy team he is such a pure scorer. But I had no idea Josh Harrelson could shoot like that!

  • tomtom

    T-money, explain the lol? he has better footwork and a greater selection of post moves. Howard is a dunker with one or two moves..

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Howard is better than Bynum at everything. Bynum might be more skilled, but Howard is more effective & productive on both ends of the court.

  • http://knicks.com Gametimeweezy

    Oh yea just watching the 2 run up the court you can see the difference between Bynum and Howard. But Bynum put up 29 and 13 plus 2 blocks. If he can do that on a consistent basis can’t he be right there with Dwight?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Peter Walsh

    Dwight with 2 straight 24 rebound games…just sayin’.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    If Bynum could put up 29 and 14 on a consistent basis not only would Bynum be better then Howard, the Lakers would be the beat team in the league. But he can’t. He hasn’t even been able to consistently stay healthy.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Kobe made some clutch plays last night? I must have been watching the wrong game.

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    @nbk not better at free throw shooting. But Lakers gettin to tha finals

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Are we really gonna compare Bynum to Dwight after 1 game?

  • http://knicks.com Gametimeweezy

    2 straight 24 rebound games is remarkable, that’s so hard to do… Bynum is still younger than Howard though, and when he’s healthy isn’t he the 2nd best center in the league?

  • http://knicks.com Gametimeweezy

    @max yup lol

  • tomtom

    No max. He has been in the league for 6 years…

  • http://Slamonline.com Kap

    Bynum is actually a better man to man defender in the post while Dwight gets most of his blocks off of help D. However, the offensive skills of the two is maybe a wash but I give edge to Dwight because of his athleticism. That’s truly what separates the two when healthy.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Bynum is not a better man-to-man defender than DHow, matter of fact he’s not better than Howard at anything.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    max…..we shouldn’t. lol

  • http://knicks.com Gametimeweezy

    he doesnt have better skills than Howard, no… but I can see how he is a possibly better post defender simply because he’s 2 inches taller than Dwight, and he has a longer wingspan. His feet aren’t as quick though.

  • http://www.nbadraft.net showtime

    i strongly hate disillusionally Stan… Bynum will never be in the same breath as D12.Big Al has the best skill set of Bigs, but he not smelling d12 either.Untill bynum can stay on the court consistent , he greg oden….

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    tomtom, I know and because of that you are a fool comparing him to DH.

  • tomtom

    Well, that’s where you are wrong because i’m not comparing Andrew Bynum to Dwight Howard, i’m comparing Andrew’s OFFENCE in terms of footwork, skill, soft hands, patience and ‘bag of tricks’ to that of Howard. And in that respect Andrew wins. Bynum is not as good as Dwight right now (and even with a full healthy season wouldn’t be comparable) because he lost some explosiveness and quickness with the knee problems and D12 is a natural on the boards and a more versatile defender as well as being a leader.

  • http://Slamonline.com Kap

    @jtaylor…let u tell it the lakers are a team of average players including Kobe. He will be a 20 &10 guy with 2 blocks. I guarantee it.

  • http://Slamonline.com Kap

    Since February of last season Bynum has put up the second best statistical numbers by any center and that includes the playoffs where he was the lakers best player.

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

    That’s peter. Nerve needs to go back to the clink. .. Dwight is light years ahead of bynum. Watch dude go for 5 6 next game, if he’s not hurt.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Kap, are we in the 90s?

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

    Even now, T-Mac is way better than Marvin Williams, and if Atlanta had any bench whatsoever, they would have started Tracy McGrady from day 1. Unfortunately Atlanta has no bench, and McGrady provides a much needed spark. He should still be playing 30+ minutes a night and closing games for them.

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

    It’s disgraceful that NBAstore doesn’t have a Kyle Lowry jersey or player shirt for sale. In fact the only jerseys/shirts they have in stock now are Yao Ming and Hakeem Olajuwon. wtf.

  • http://knicks.com Gametimeweezy

    Another big game for Bynum…

  • http://www.t-mac.com/tmac/index unf*ckwitable

    Glad tmac is playing well, I wish he could get a few more minutes. He would of been awesome of the bench for a contender imo.