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Thursday, November 15th, 2012 at 8:57 am  |  49 responses

Post Up: Best in the West

The Grizz and Clippers score early statement victories.

by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad

Pistons 94 (1-6), Sixers 76 (4-4)

Philadelphia is going down a slippery slope and have looked quite unimpressive in this very young NBA season. While there’s still plenty of time to turn things around and they still haven’t played with a full healthy roster, getting blown out at home by the Pistons is unacceptable. Detroit wiped the floor with Philly, beating them up inside and locking them down on defense. The Pistons outrebounded the Sixers 57-38 and outscored them in the paint 42-28 while holding them to under 30 percent shooting. With Andrew Bynum watching from the bench, the Sixers continue to get beat up inside and last night the fans let them know they have had enough, booing the home team as they left the court at the half. A season of great hope is quickly turning sour in Philly.

Quick Hitters:

– Greg Monroe continues to put up numbers. Last night he went for 19 points, 18 boards and 6 assists.

– Jrue Holiday’s up and down season rolls on. Against Detroit, Holiday shot 4-13 for 12 points and dished out 7 assists.

– Kyle Singler got the start and scored 16 points on 7-14 shooting.

– The only positive for the Sixers last night was their way below average four turnovers.

Celtics 98 (5-3), Jazz 93 (4-5)

After Rajon Rondo left the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter, the bench picked up the slack and carried the Celtics to a tough home win over Utah. Paul Pierce started the game missing 10 of his first 13 shots but eventually found his stroke and hit three straight three-pointers over a minute and change span in the third quarter. With about five minutes left in the third, Rondo came up limp after rolling his ankle and left the court. With Rondo out, Jeff Green and newcomer Leandro Barbosa led an 8-0 third quarter run that gave the Celtics a 68-60 lead. But the Jazz came back, scoring 10 of the final 15 points in the quarter to give them a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The C’s battled back in the final quarter and after Garnett hit Barbosa with a behind-the-back pass for a layup, they took a six-point lead with about six minutes left. The teams continued to trade baskets before Green dunked all over Al Jefferson and got the crowd rockin’. Despite the momenutm shift, Utah never backed down and cut the lead to two with under five minutes to go. With the game tied at 93, KG hit one of two freebies to take a one-point lead. The Jazz called a timeout with 33 seconds left and set up a play for Mo Williams who missed a left-handed scoop shot with 22 seconds remaining. The Jazz fouled Pierce who went on to hit both free throws and ice the game.

Quick Hitters:

– Even though Rondo only played 25 minutes, he still dropped 10 dimes to extend his consecutive 10+ assist streak to 32 games.

– Paul Pierce led all scorers with 23 points and Jeff green dropped 16 off the bench.

– Paul Millsap finished with 20 points and 12 boards.

Bucks 99 (5-2), Pacers 85 (3-6)

The Pacers are in trouble. Last night’s 99-85 final score is misleading; the game wasn’t even that close. Milwaukee led from wire-to-wire and built a 32-point lead and absolutely embarrassed their division foe. The Bucks shot 48 percent in the first half and led 60-34 at the break. Heading into the fourth, Milwaukee led 82-53 and played their reserves for much of the final 12 minutes which made the final score somewhat respectable for Indy.

Quick Hitters:

– Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis each scored 16 and Jennings dropped 10 dimes.

– A lot of hoop fans were expecting big things from Indiana this year and they have really stumbled out of the gate.

– Tyler Hansbrough led the Pacers with 17 points.

Rockets 100 (4-4), Hornets 96 (3-3)

After building a 21-point lead thanks to a 39-point second quarter outburst, the Rockets took their foot off the gas and gave New Orleans a chance to get a win in Houston. The Rockets took a 64-45 lead into the half and were in full control on their home court. In the third, New Orleans tightened up on the perimeter after giving up a number of three’s in the first half and were able to cut the deficit to six. Late in the quarter, Greivis Vasquez rolled his ankle and went to the locker room. While tending to his injury, the Rockets were able to build their lead back up and led 85-76 after three.

In the fourth, the Rockets turned the ball over four times in the first four minutes of the fourth and the Hornets took advantage. Even though his ankle was bothering him, Vasquez returned and went on to nail two three’s to trigger an 8-0 run that got the Hornets within two with under two minutes to go. Late in the fourth, the Rockets were stuck with the shot clock winding down when Chandler Parsons hit a fadeaway jumper from the top of the key that gave Houston a four-point lead and put the nail in the coffin of the Hornets comeback hopes.

Quick Hitters:

– Harden dropped 30 (his third 30 point output of the season) and Omer Asik had a double-double with 15 and 10.

– Vasquez had another great game at the point, scoring a career-high 24 points, dropping 9 dimes and only turning the ball over twice.

– Ryan Anderson hopped up off the bench for 20 and 12.

Grizzlies 107 (6-1), Thunder 97 (6-3)

Are the Grizzlies the best team in the League? Well, that can certainly be argued, but there’s no doubt that they are dangerous and no team wants to see them right now. Memphis has won six straight games and are off to the best start in franchise history. Memphis continues to beat teams up inside with their tremendous frontcourt duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. The two combined for 34 points, 17 boards and 3 blocks and helped the Grizzlies lead by double-figures throughout the second half. Memphis withstood 34 points and 10 boards from Kevin Durant and Russ Westbrook’s 17 and a season-high 13 assists thanks to Rudy Gay who finished with 28. In the third, OKC cut the lead to six but Gay scored on three straight 15-foot jumpers to push the lead back to double-figures and end the chances of a Thunder comeback.

Quick Hitters:

– The Grizzlies are getting great minutes from their bench. Last night, Jerryd Bayless scored 12 and Quincy Pondexter dropped 13.

– Memphis only turned the ball over once in the first half.

– Zach Randolph and Kendrick Perkins had to be separated in the fourth after exchanging words.

Bobcats 89 (4-3), Timberwolves 87 (5-3)

Was there any question that Kemba Walker was going to miss the game-winning shot during last night’s contest? After a sloppy final minute that saw Reggie Williams get a tech for calling a timeout on an inbounds play when the team had none left, a plethora of missed free throws by both teams and terrible turnovers, Walker saved the day with a game-winner from the top of the key. Peep the vid below:

Mavs 107 (5-4), Wizards 101 (0-7)

The Wizards were so close to their first victory of the season, they could taste it. D.C. made six three-pointers in the fourth quarter and ripped off a 15-0 run in three and a half minutes to make the score 88-85, putting themselves in prime position to get a dub. The Mavs got things under control and fed Chris Kaman, who finished with 23 points, and he hit a tough shot in the post. After that, Kaman grabbed a defensive rebound that led to an O.J. Mayo bucket that put Dallas back up by seven. But the Wizards wouldn’t quit. Kevin Seraphin hit consecutive baskets to make the score 101-98 with under two mintues to go. In the final minute, Cartier Martin hit a three to cut the deficit to three. After Seraphin stole the ball, Jannero Pargo had a chance to tie it at 104 with a three but missed and on the other end, Kaman hit a layup and got fouled. He went on to hit the free throw and sent the Wizards packin’.

Quick Hitters:

– C’mon, Wiz, win a damn game. Abe can’t take much more of this.

– O.J. Mayo scored 25 points on 9-15 shooting.

– Dallas beat up the Wizards inside, outscoring them 46-28.

Bulls 112 (5-3), Suns 106 (4-5) F/OT

Chicago went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter to take a 79-61 lead and were well on their way to an easy victory during their annual circus road trip. In the fourth, though, the Suns hit the boards and turned up the intensity on defense to get themselves back in the game. Martin Gorcat hit a hook shot to cut the Bulls’ lead to three, then Shannon Brown drove down the lane for a layup with four and a half minutes to go. With three minutes left, Bassy Telfair hit a three to tie it up at 93 which turned an 18-point blowout into a great game. The Bulls were able to take the lead back and were up 99-95 before Brown converted an and one play to trim the deficit to one. When Carlos Boozer missed a jumper on the other end, Phoenix had a chance to win the game. Instead, Brown missed on a drive to the basket with 19 seconds to go. Rip Hamilton hit the front end of a one and one after being fouled to put Chicago up 100-98 but P.J. Tucker was able to out hustle the bulls for a loose ball and put in a layup to tie the score at 100 and send the game to overtime. In the extra session, the Suns ran out of gas and the Bulls scored on each of their first five overtime possessions to open up a nine-point lead with a minute and twenty-three seconds to go and held off Phoenix for a tough road victory.

Quick Hitters:

– Boozer finished with 28 and 14, Joakim Noah scored 21 and grabbed 12 boards and Luol Deng chipped in with 21.

– Markieef Morris left the game with a back injury.

– Six Suns players scored in double-figures. They were led by Luis Scola who scored 24 points and grabbed 14 boards.

Clippers 107 (6-2), Heat 100 (6-3)

While one LA team is in complete disarray, that “other” LA team is piling up wins and looking like serious contenders. Last night, the Clippers won convincingly against the defending World Champs at home for their fourth straight victory. Los Angeles led 72-70 in the third before putting together a 13-4 run triggered by the playmaking ability of CP3 that gave them a 85-74 lead heading into the fourth. In the fourth, the Clippers continued their hot shooting as Eric Bledsoe scored the first eight points of the quarter to push the lead to 17. The Clippers starters spent much of the final quarter looking on and watched their deep bench ge preserve the lead and ensure an early statement victory.

Quick Hitters:

– Ray Allen had absolutely no business guarding Jamal Crawford. J-Crossover had Allen on skates with a ridiculous amount of crossovers and finished with a team-high 22 off the bench.

– Dwyane Wade scored 6 points and was hobbled by an ankle injury.

– Chris Paul scored 16 points, dropped 10 dimes and earned 4 steals in a little over 30 minutes of play.

– LBJ scored 30, had 7 assists and grabbed 5 boards.

– Eric Bledsoe with the play of the night:

Warriors 92 (4-4), Hawks 88 (3-4)

A young Warriors team relied on their fresh-faced rookie to help guide them to a nice win over a good Hawks team. Harrison Barnes scored 19 points, grabbed 13 boards and hit a pair of big free throws down the stretch to fend off the Hawks. At the end of the third and early into the fourth, Barnes helped trigger a an 18-7 run with three big baskets to put Golden State up 13. In the fourth, Lou Williams hit three straight three-pointers to get the Hawks back within two. After Williams’ final three, Jarrett Jack was fouled and hit both of his free throws to ice the game.

Quick Hitters:

– With Al Horford on the bench battling an illness and Zaza Pachulia missing time thanks to a cut that needed eight stitches, David Lee put together an 18-point, 10-rebound performance.

– Lou Will finished with 18 off the pine.

– Golden State outscored ATL 46-20 in the paint and outrebounded them 44-29 but lost the turnover battle 23-12.

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  • Max

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyF6amZw82M
    I knew that Cross was coming!

  • http://twitter.com/stepfdelaghetto Stepfan Raiford

    I admit I didn’t realize how wide open the west is. Memphis and the Clippers are the current favorites to win the West. Memphis clearly can match up with any team in the league, and their bench is very good. Quincy Pondexter is playing so well that he’s basically taken Tony Allen’s minutes. 13 points in the 4th for OKC. That’s great defense by Memphis, and if Rudy Gay consistently plays like this the rest of season, book a trip to the WCF. BTW WIZARDS PLEASE FIRE Ernie Grunfeld.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    we are 8 games into the season and people think things have changed in the playoff races in this short amount of time. Every year people flip out at the beginning of the season and then everything evens out by the All-Star Break.
    .
    LAL and OKC are still the 2 best teams in the West.
    .
    Miami is still the best team in the East.
    .
    Let’s not talk about the playoffs until at least after Christmas, sh*t ain’t changing that.

  • Dutch Rich

    The Lakers will need some time to get things together but it’s becoming clear that OKC is seriously missing a playmaker now. Miami looks even smaller than last year when nobody had them winning it against a west coast team until game 3 of the finals. OKC is looking like the Mavs after their first finals appearance/collapse. They might not be back for a few years. The Knicks may very well make it to the ECF. There’s no team more stacked than the Clippers right now. Spoelstra had no answers whatsoever and they didn’t even play too bad. Bosh was completely manhandled in the paint. Clippers is must see tv. Mornings will be hard on the Eastcoast.

  • Brion

    I said it before im saying it again. Jamal Crawford is the most underrated player in the league! should be starting.

  • Max

    Marcus Morris has been playing well too finally.

  • Dutch Rich

    Btw, can Vinnie get some love now. He manages his roster masterfully. A team where a few of there starters have known flaws, he’s managed to make those almost invisible.

  • Peter Walsh

    Who’s talkin bout Playoffs?

  • Max

    He can.
    CP3 will still win coach COY tho..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    nobdoy here really, i mean that stepfan dude is talking about how the West is wide open. But I just been seein people talking about playoffs and how the conferences are shaping up all over the place, and this is where i go to vent.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lakeshow really may have been right about Beldsoe being the best backup PG in the league.

  • Slick Ric

    Memphis is for real people, They are the most complete NBA team IMO.

  • RayJr

    The Clippers have been really impressive so far with wins over the Lakers, Spurs and Heat. They have to be #1 in the West thus far.

  • Junior Taylor

    I’m with him on that. EBled could start for a handful of time at this very moment.

  • Junior Taylor

    It’s amazing that CP is the League’s best passer (even though some will say Nash) yet he can still score with the best of them when he wants to.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    a lot of people would probably say Rondo.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    if the Shock Exchange comes in here, i’d like him to take a peak at this and hear what he says, http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2012/11/15/3647132/shabazz-muhammad-eligibility-ncaa-investigation

  • shockexchange

    Until that dog catch a rabbit, “that dog don’t hunt.” The Clippers will get sent home in the 2nd round of the playoffs again. Blake doesn’t have a mid-range game and neither he nor DeAndre has a strong post-up game. In a 7 game series, they will get exposed … again.

  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange’s thoughts on the NBA, NCAA, etc. are all in my book … my thought process is backed up by facts and real world examples. I don’t think you want to open up that pandora’s box though. And to be clear, the only thing the Shock Exchange ever said about college was that (i) Russell Westbrook has a low BBall IQ and (ii) the Shock Exchange thinks it’s due to the fact that he skipped college. You and several others tried to catch fade with the Shock Exchange … saying that college would not have helped Russ. However, you never, ever addressed why he has the BBall IQ of a 3rd grader.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    That’s all nice. But I was seriously just looking for your opinion. Wasn’t even feelin to argue with you about it.

  • shockexchange

    It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s so asinine that I only read part of the article … didn’t want it to ruin my day. The NCAA is predatory and drunk with power. Because of (i) absurd rulings like this one and (ii) colleges switching conferences, not for the betterment of student athletes, but to generate more revenue, the Shock Exchange believes that eventually the NCAA will be forced to pay players or an alternative to the NCAA is going to be created. The NCAA and its member institutions are clearly “for profit” and public opinion is mounting against it.

  • http://twitter.com/stepfdelaghetto Stepfan Raiford

    And Chauncey Billups.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    why is it ridiculous? it pretty much completely agrees with what you just said….

  • shockexchange

    The NCAA’s actions are “ridiculous,” in addition to petty.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh my bad. i absolutely agree. i thought you were saying the article is ridiculous and asinine.

  • shockexchange

    The NCAA has so many rules that it’s virtually impossible for an elite HS player NOT to break at least one. So all of it comes across as selective inforcement. Somehow they never investigates Kids who sign with Duke.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    it really is…and it’s horrible. Like the Grizzlies have come out hot and now they are the 2nd best team in the West and a real threat to win the Western Conference? —- The Lakers are worse than the Clippers? Orlando is actually good? Really? And the Bobcats, i saw an article on the Bobcats today that had a comment section FILLED with people talking about them making the playoffs…..THE BOBCATS!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    *somehow*

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Russell Westbrook has the BBall IQ of a 3rd grader while playing PG. And most of what he does is a function of Scott Brooks’ offense anyway. He doesn’t shoot a ton out of stupidity (although some of his shots are incredibly stupid), he shoots a ton because that’s what he’s being asked to do.
    .
    Outside of facilitating, Westbrook is not a dumb basketball player. He still makes thinking/concentration mistakes, but generally he is pretty smart and has good awareness. He may just space out at various points in the game, just because he’s spacey. idk.. but more college wasn’t going to change that.

  • shockexchange

    Just for the sake of entertainment, I would love to hear the NCAA explain that of the 20 out of 25 McDonald’s All-Americans who accidentally broke a rule, how they decide which ones to investigate. I bet that would be epic.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i’m sure that would be a flaming dumpster fire on wheels flying down a mountain

  • Caboose

    1. Who’s the worst All-Star of the past decade, Jameer Nelson, Josh Howard, or Roy Hibbert?
    2. Jarrett Jack is ridiculously underrated and underused. (To nbk, I think he’s a better backup PG than Bledsoe)
    3. Chris Paul is the best PG in the league. C’mon guys, we all know that.
    4. Ryan Anderson is quietly building a 6th Man campaign, averaging 16/9/2
    5. Kemba’s outside shooting looks worse than last season but man, he is learning how to control a team’s offense. Bobcats have a future with him and MKG (believe it or not).
    6. Bonus points if you knew Z-Bo was leading the league in rebounding. Glen Davis should learn from Zach.
    7. Marcin Gortat=Tim Duncan lite in terms of consistency. Out of 9 games this year, Marcin has scored between 10 and 16 points in 7 of them and got between 8 and 13 boards in 8 of them. Dude is a steady 12-10 machine.
    8. The success of the Rockets is directly correlated to how well James Harden plays. If that’s not the definition of “carrying a team,” I don’t know what is.
    9. Jeremy Lin: 11/6/5 on 35% shooting and 2.5 turnovers. Is that a bust? Underachieving? As predicted?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ah yes, Jarrett Jack. I would say he is still better than Bledsoe today, but he hasn’t been lately. Plus, the whole, Bledsoe is a defensive juggernaught (or as close to it as a PG can get) thing.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    and jeremy lin is pretty much exactly what i thought he would be.

  • shockexchange

    One thing we can agree on is that Russ is a top 10 player.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no doubt

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    this is completely true. —- VDN is basically Mike Brown in Cleveland.

  • LakeShow

    Notes:
    1. Wade, looks like garbage this year.
    2. I was right about Bledsoe.
    3. Jamaal Crawford is one of the most fun players in the L to watch when he’s got it going.

  • LakeShow

    Nice, thanks for the acknowledgement man. Preciate.

  • LakeShow

    I’m with you on that. Negro is not a good coach, but he is doing well this year with his subbing patterns.
    Give credit where it’s due.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I would much rather acknowledge something some else got right, then remind people I was right.

  • LakeShow

    Yeah it’s a little less pretentious.

    Dude, just gotta say it again(just watched the press conference), i’m so excited to see what Mike D has up his sleeves. I’m giddy right now. I wanted him more than Sloan and maybe more than PJax, but I just didn’t know if he was the right fit…. Needless to say, i’m psyched to see how this team looks under his system.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Let’s just say, he is definitely better than Laker nation seems to think. .
    If I were a heat fan I would not be excited. This guy changed the league really. Now he has Dwight and Kobe. Kobe isn’t Melo. Those comparisons are ridiculous and absurd. I hate the Lakers but I love good basketball more so I’m geeked. I think Phil would have been just as successful (actually D’Antoni has a better shot in his first season, While Jackson would have rhw advantage in every subsequent year) honestly, but D’Antoni is a long term option and he actually prolongs Nash and Kobe’s effectiveness because he takes the wear and tear out of the season and turns it into an exercise. You can’t say that about the triangle, as beautiful as it is. And Jackson only has 3 years left at max to coach anyway

  • Comment_System

    still too early.

  • shockexchange

    Imagine how good he’d be if he worked out in the off season.

  • Dutch Rich

    I have to acknowledge that you called D’Antoni’s hire first. Respect!! And the more I look at the roster the more it seems that he will have immediate success. Phil might have had a few too many pieces missing for his system to work well in the immediate. In the end, Nash+Pringles=Success and Buckets.

  • Dutch Rich

    The early bird catches…not too many Clipper games I see. Blake needs to do tons of work for sure. DeAndre however is a completely different offensive option than last year. Their back-ups can rebound, score, stretch the floor and make freebies, unlike last year. Some of the pros: Lamar will get in better shape. Grant Hill will be healthy at some point and possibly Chauncey as well. Jamal Crawford is straight up unstoppable. Kenyon, Wedgie and Mo Williams, offensive liabilities, all gone. This ain’t last year’s squad by a mile. The end result won’t be the same either.

  • shockexchange

    (Denny Green voice) “The Clippers were who the Shock Exchange thought they were!”

  • asdas

    One of Barkleys best quotes that s relevant here : “Beginning of the season don’t mean jack- because the bad teams don’t know theyre bad yet!”

    I think some teams could apply to this….

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