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Monday, January 6th, 2014 at 9:00 am  |  30 responses

Post Up: Nuggets Win Big

Denver coach Brian Shaw gets a statement win in his return to Los Angeles.

by Jay Wallis | @JayWallis11

Grizzlies 112 (15-18), Pistons 84 (14-20)

The Pistons defensive woes continue, as they have now given up more than 105 points in seven of their last eight games. Strong play from Memphis forwards Zach Randolph (16 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists), Ed Davis (17 points, 11 rebounds, 17 minutes) and Jon Leuer (career-high 23 points, 8 rebounds, 21 minutes) helped the Grizzlies finish their current road trip 2-1. The Grizzlies outplayed the more renowned Pistons frontcourt, outrebounding them 59-43. In potentially his last game with the Grizzlies (rumors say he will be traded to the Boston Celtics for Courtney Lee), Jerryd Bayless (10 points, 5 assists, 0 turnovers) gave Mike Conley (15 points, 6 assists) some valuable rest on the bench. Andre Drummond (15 points, 14 rebounds) had himself another double-double, as he currently leads the Eastern Conference in that category (24 double-doubles). Brandon Jennings (4 points, 11 assists, 2-14 from the field, 0-6 on 3-pointers) had a miserable day shooting the ball. And he wouldn’t stop shooting. Greg Monroe (19 points, 8 rebounds) led the Pistons in scoring. This game was decided in the 2nd half, when Memphis outscored Detroit 61-28. The Memphis bench outscored the Pistons bench 52-19, providing a big spark in this 2nd half blowout. Jennings also missed all seven of his shot attempts and only had 1 assist in these final 24 minutes.

Pacers 82 (27-6), Cavaliers 78 (11-23)

As Frank Vogel put it, “No style points tonight. None. Zero.” The Pacers had to battle all night to sustain their League-best record while the Irving-less Cavs found a way to achieve a moral victory. After a Danny Granger (10 points, 3 rebounds) 3-pointer at the start of the 4th quarter, the Pacers led 74-58 and seemed to be in control. However, after a Cleveland timeout, Anthony Bennett (6 points, 3 rebounds, 12 minutes) and Dion Waiters (14 points, 5 assists) combined to scored the 16 points for the Cavaliers and pulled their team within 1, 75-74. Roy Hibbert (15 points, 6 rebounds) then had a big putback and two made free throws in the closing minutes of this game. Indiana let its defense do the rest of the work. C.J. Miles (21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) and Paul George (16 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds) led their respective teams in scoring on the night. The Pacers have now won 7 of their last 8 games and look to be a serious contender in the East.

Heat 102 (26-8), Raptors 97 (16-16)

They might have fallen short against the Heat, but the confident Raptors fought very hard, hung with an elite Heat team and showcased a refined offense. However, Toronto only had 5 of their 24 assists in the final 18 minutes, failing to execute late in this game. By avoiding defeat, LeBron James (30 points, 5 assists, 12-18 from the field) and the Heat ended the Raptors’ 5-game winning streak and have still not lost back-to-back games since March 2011. DeMar DeRozan (26 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds) continued his fantastic season while Amir Johnson (17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks) provided the grittiness the Raptors needed. However, a major downfall for the Raptors was their free throw shooting, as they shot 12-21 from the line while the Heat shot 23-27. James didn’t get much help from his teammates, but Michael Beasley (17 points, 7-12 from the field) gave Miami 20 productive minutes. He might not have the quantity of statistics that he had his first time in Miami, but Beasley certainly has more quality stats, slowly becoming the Heat’s scoring punch off the bench. Behind 100-97 in the final minute, Kyle Lowry (14 points, 9 assists, 3 steals) just missed a 3-pointer that would have sent this one to overtime. James then closed this one out by making 2 free throws. Lowry has had at least 9 assists in seven of the last eight games—the Raptors have gone 6-2 over these 8.

Warriors 112 (23-13), Wizards 96 (14-17)

Stephen Curry (14 points, 10 assists) and Golden State struggled early on, but started scoring in bunches, eventually cruising to a victory to extend their winning streak to nine games. After 2 Martell Webster (11 points, 5 rebounds) free throws early in the 2nd quarter, the Wizards held a 38-28 lead over the Warriors. Curry only had 1 assist up to this point in the game. Behind 7 2nd quarter points from Andre Iguodala (9 points, 4 rebounds), the Warriors were able to tie this one up by halftime. Then one of those “bunches” came fast. Over the first 9 minutes of the second half, the Warriors went on a commanding 30-5 run and never looked back the rest of the way. Quality mid-range shooting from David Lee (21 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists) and long-range shooting from Klay Thompson (26 points, 6-9 on 3-pointers) were major reasons the Warriors ran away with a game that was competitive for 24 minutes. John Wall (14 points, 10 assists, 3 steals) had his 11th double-double of the season. By game’s end, the Warriors shot 50.6 percent from the field, 40.9 percent on 3-pointers and 85 percent on free throws. When the Warriors are making their shots at this rate, it is difficult to slow them down. After finally reaching .500 (9-9) in early December, the Wizards followed that by losing 4 straight. Since beating Detroit last Monday and reclaiming that .500 record (14-14), they have since lost three in a row.

Thunder 119 (27-7), Celtics 96 (13-21)

Kevin Durant (21 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals) didn’t have the type of performance like he did against the Timberwolves on Saturday, but he didn’t need to with the help he got from Westbrook’s replacement. Reggie Jackson (27 points, 9-12 from the field) had a career-high 27 points before the 4th quarter even began, including a lay-up at the end of the 3rd quarter to give the Thunder a 14-point lead going into the 4th quarter. Jeff Green (19 points, 3-5 on 3-pointers) and the Celtics never got within single-digits the rest of the way. Playing his former team, Kendrick Perkins (12 points, 6 rebounds) looked like the Kendrick Perkins from a former team. The big man reached double-digit points for the first time since February 22 of last year. The Celtics starting backcourt held their own, as Avery Bradley (19 points, 5 rebounds) and Jordan Crawford (17 points, 7 assists) put up good numbers. Jared Sullinger (9 points, 3-11 from the field, 5 offensive rebounds) and the Celtics did grab 12 offensive rebounds but only shot 1-10 on second chance opportunities. Serge Ibaka (17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks) had his 15th double-double of the season, which matches how many he had all of last season. The Thunder continue their easy part of the schedule, facing the Jazz (11-25), Nuggets (16-17), Bucks (7-26) and Grizzlies (15-18) over the next 4 games.

Knicks 92 (11-22), Mavericks 80 (19-15)

The Mavs played quite possibly their worst half of the season Sunday night. Being down 52-35 to the Knicks, Monta Ellis (13 points, 2 steals) and the Mavs had just 3 assists and seemed to have no interest in moving the ball. They were also outrebounded 28-19 during these 24 minutes. After Carmelo Anthony (19 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals) shot 5-9 in the 1st quarter, Dallas tried doubling him in the 2nd quarter but then his teammates stepped up. Kenyon Martin (14 points, 6 rebounds), Tim Hardaway Jr. (10 points, 12 minutes) and Amare Stoudemire (11 points, 7 rebounds) all played well coming off the bench, combining to shoot 15-23 from the field. During this dreadful 1st half, Dirk Nowitzki (18 points, 9 rebounds, 6-11 from the field) even vented and screamed at his Mavs bench, “What the (bleep) are we doing?” Dirk himself missed four free throws in this 1st half, and the last time he missed more free throws in a game was December 2004. Samuel Dalembert was a DNP-CD because he was late to Saturday’s practice, per Rick Carlisle. Even though the Mavs found a way to trim the deficit down to 6, 82-76, late in this game, they never showed the energy or ability to score that would be required to win this game. When Shawn Marion (2 points, 1-6 from the field) isn’t able to give 110 percent on both ends of the floor—especially on the defensive end—the Mavs turn into the team Dirk thinks they are. The Knicks competed their rodeo road trip 2-1, competing in all three contests. (Also—who knew J.R. Smith could be so stealthy?)

Nuggets 137 (16-17), Lakers 115 (14-20)

After being passed on as the successor to Phil Jackson, Nuggets coach Brian Shaw must have enjoyed his first return to Los Angeles. Denver used a fast pace and a balanced scoring attack to take down the Lakers and score a season-high 137 points in 48 minutes of basketball. Ty Lawson (20 points, 12 assists) led the way for the Nuggets, helping his team outscore the Lakers 30-9 in fast break points. Lawson’s backup, Nate Robinson (21 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 0 turnovers), also played one of his best games of the season, looking like Nate the Great from the Bulls postseason. There were seven total Nuggets that scored in double-figures, while Pau Gasol (25 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks), Jodie Meeks (23 points) and Nick Young (21 points) did everything they could to keep their team in this game. Kenneth Faried (17 points, 7 defensive rebounds, 6 offensive rebounds) did a good job crashing the boards on both ends of the floor all night and Timofey Mozgov (20 points, 7 rebounds) had a solid night. Oh, and if you haven’t heard of him yet, Kendall Marshall (9 points, 17 assists, 6 rebounds) is yet another product of a D’Antoni system. He may struggle to make his teams play defense, but D’Antoni certainly has a system to point guards’ liking. The Nuggets had 44 points in the 4th quarter alone, extending an already double-digit lead to 22. Andre Miller has still not returned to the Nuggets.

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  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    was thinking about how mediocre Washington looks with John Wall out there doing his thing ….. then looked at the actual numbers…

    that team is +15.1 points better per 48 minutes on offense with John Wall in the game this season…

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    The heat need to keep Beasley and spo needs get him more minutes. Look at his per 36. Heat need to get rid of wade and bosh next offseason Look at what both averaged last playoffs… If it was for hot shooting 3 balls… Lbj would never gotten 2nd ring.

  • Goortwhy

    J.R. Smith…lolololololololol

  • brothasdontsurf

    Does anyone else still scroll past the “YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN” section right above the comments on some articles and find the “Karl Malone used to hunt for Little Mexican Girls” link? Makes my day anytime I still see that lol

  • candlewood jay

    When was the last time you actually picked up a basketball?

  • Max

    Yet we have mister Saleem here hating on him every day..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yesterday.

  • candlewood jay

    Sure.

  • guest

    Picking up your phone with a picture of a basketball doesn’t count.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Good one.

  • spit hot fiyah

    beal needs to step up. he has been underwhelming since coming back from injury

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    definitely. 13 points on 40% shooting since he returned. Absolutely not going to cut it.

  • spit hot fiyah
  • davidR

    the heat need to get rid of wade and bosh?! dawg…

  • LakeShow

    If the Pistons can’t stop or at least outplay a mediocre front-line, why have that front-line??

    It’s like the starting Asik and Dwight thing…. Ummm, no, actually, terrible idea.

    Phil Jackson wouldn’t play Lamar Odom at the three very often at all. I wish he would have utilized him there more often, but Phil understood where his strengths were, and that is at the 4 spot. Josh Smith is worse at playing the three than Lamar Odom. A lot worse. Yet the Pistons continue to act as if this relationship can work… STOP, it can’t/won’t.

    I haven’t let a lot of things get to me as far as the Lakers go, but watching Brian Shaw (one of my personal favorites for the head-coaching gig post Phil era in LA) come into LA and put nearly 140 points on this hapless squad was a bit cringe-worthy.

    In other news, Kendall Marshall has a 16:2 assist/TO ratio in his two starts :)
    (You need to go kiss Mikey D’s shoes bud)

    WAKE UP, the Warriors are here. They are looking good. They are winning with-out their bread and butter (ton’s of made threes) even, so look out everyone.

    The Knicks are 11-22 now after that win… God they are awful. How do you have a worse record than the Lakers in the f*cking EAST? Worse yet is that they really aren’t any better with Tyson Chandler, by record, so far this year. They need to pull their heads outta their collective asses.

    When the Thunder play to their talent level, they have a very formidable squad even with-out Westbrook.

    I’m just going to say it now. The Heat are bored. And boring. And will not get out of the East this year.

    LeBron is having the most boringly impressive season ever. LeBron is possibly the best he’s ever been right now. And how does he show that off? By scoring the 2nd lowest point total of his career. Below average assist numbers, below average rebound numbers. Career low Steal numbers/Block numbers. (By quite a margin) Career low offensive rebounds. Same amount of TO’s per game as his rookie season.

    You can look at in another way. He’s having the most efficient scoring season in the NBA. (ever?) He’s right at or above his career per-36 minute numbers for must of his stats. His team is a top 3-5 team in the L without his exorbitant numbers. I believe NBA . com has him as the #1 MVP choice right now…

    I’m not impressed. Go cry LeBron, you heard right, I’m not impressed!

  • LakeShow

    No.
    I guess “Karl Malone used to hunt for Little Mexican Girls” isn’t of interest to me lol…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    He’s playing the least minutes of his career lol. As you said they are bored. They are beating people with 85% effort …. And minutes.

  • brothasdontsurf

    Not the actual action, just the fact that at one point on this website that was actually a headline.

  • i_ball

    They need to play the Pacers more often – they looked really interested in that game.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, i’m not going to make some claim that they are going to lose just because of regular season games. that’s repeatedly proven to be a foolish way to predict the future.

  • LakeShow

    He’s playing 1.5 minutes less than he has averaged with the Heat franchise.

    So yeah, you’re right.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    this upcoming off season……… YESSIR… Look at their playoff averages.

    They need to pair up lebron with a new big two.

  • LakeShow

    Look at their winning history. You don’t ditch your 2nd and 3rd best player when you have been to the Finals three times in a row and won the chip the last two.

    Unless you’re an idiot…

    Pat Riley is not an idiot.

  • davidR

    when the dubs move the ball, cut to the basket, and attack the rim, they look great!

    i hope they continue to play this way, cuz it is something else to watch them right now. bogut and lee are also balling out of control. it’s refreshing to see them more involved in the offense.

    now if curry could just cut down on the TOs…

  • davidR

    doesnt matter what their playoff averages are. as a team, they are still champions, and still have all the reason to be favorites. maybe lebron doesnt play as well as he does if bosh and wade aren’t on the floor relieving pressure

    anyway… who would make up the new big 2, and how do you propose the heat get them? just curious

  • LakeShow

    The Warriors are crazy good when they are good.

    I can see why you have frustrations, but let your team gel for a bit. They have only had Iggy (whom I think is more valuable than any other player on the Warriors not named Curry) for what 20ish games?

    I think the TO’s will subside as they start to become more accustomed to each other. Too many players have been in and out with injuries.

    Bogut is playing fantastic and starting to look close his old self again. And as you mentioned the return of J.O. Once they are completely comfortable with themselves and each other I see them being as good as any team in the West outside of a healthy Thunder squad.

    Lee is one of those guys that will never get his true appreciation due to his lack of influence on the defensive end, but what he gives you on offense rivals the top 5 pf’s in the L.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    lol ” if bosh and wade aren’t on the floor relieving pressure” no. Lebron elevated his game to carry them.

    the new big 2. ideally i’d like more distribution so it’d be a solid 5 line up like the bulls. We are talking about trying to help lebron win at min 5 rings

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    I’d like to see this type of team built around lebron. Im giving player types not necessarily specific players

    Mike Conley, Evan Turner, Lebron James, Bosh, Al jefferson … I am opposed to Bosh playing center for the heat… He needs to go back to PF.

  • davidR

    most of currys turnovers come from lazy one handed passes that he telegraphs, or lazy dribbling. he gets swiped once or twice a game just from dribbling himself to sleep. other than that, yea they are still figuring out each other’s timing. but from what I’ve been seeing these last few games that is finally coming together

    with cp3 out for weeks, I expect the dubs to that division easily. as for a deep playoff run… I think they can reach the finals if they can avoid the spurs. they can beat all the other top teams

    I’m on a phone so excuse the typos. and yea, lee is definitely under appreciated for what he brings to the team. I actually want the team to stay intact for at least a few seasons cuz they play so well together when they’re on

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