By Holly MacKenzie
Wow. I was reminded today why I am a meticulous planner and list type of girl. In a flurry of emails, quickly arranged plans and excitement, I made arrangements to go to the Phoenix/Seattle game last night. Early yesterday morning, those plans and my friend (who was also my ride), disappeared. Actually, they got tied up, which was completely understandable, but I wasn’t prepared to miss a chance to see the NBA live. Since my sense of direction is worse than a blind bat and since I thought it would give me a chance to go over my notes and prepare for the game, I figured out a bus schedule and decided I would be adventurous and take a bus to Seattle, all by myself.
I have yet to learn public transit here and I just end up cabbing everywhere so the bus was a big deal. It was also an awful ordeal. I hopped on the bus at 11:20am and did not make it to Seattle until just before 5:00pm. Yeah. So, I go to Key Arena, which is really busy with it being Seattle’s home opener and also being televised on TNT. There were media and TV crews everywhere, it was nuts. The atmosphere was 100 percent different than the preseason game last week and it was awesome watching everyone so focused. Also cool watching the photographer’s go wild as Durant made his way to the locker room. Once I got settled in, I watched the game, enjoyed it, or, I should say I enjoyed taking it all in because it left me lots to think about, but that will come in the game notes that I hope to have completed later on today. Point of the story is, I board at 11:00pm and finally make it home and into my bed, typing this at just before 4:00am. It’s been a long day. A brilliantly fulfilling evening, but a long day nonetheless.
Watching the Suns bus pull up at Key Arena, I felt nostalgic about all of the road trips I had taken my 4 years working with my university teams. As of right now, I think I’ve gotten my fill for awhile. Of course, once I get a few good hours of sleep into me, I’ll be ready to do it all again if I have the opportunity. Nothing beats the NBA. Nothing. It was a relatively quiet night, NBA wise. Boozer looks really good so far, the same goes for McGrady. And a big night from Tayshaun Prince, it’s nice to see him have such a great night on offense. His big block on Reggie is always the first thing I think of whenever I see his name in a boxscore even now, 3 years later. It was weird seeing Smush Parker in a Heat uniform. Really weird. It’ll be interesting to see how many touches Shaq gets in their next game.
Detroit 91 Miami 80
While the Pistons were without Richard Hamilton (family matter), they had Tayshaun Prince and he was just what they needed to down the Heat 91-80. Prince finished with a career high 34 points on 13-23 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds while Chauncey Billups assisted on more than a few of those baskets, going for 19 points and 11 assists. While Detroit was up 6 at the half (48-42), the Heat came out strong in the 3rd and made it a game going into the 4th. For the first half of the final period the game was close. Then, Detroit threw a zone defense at Miami, rattling their offensive execution, and from there they went on a 12-0 run to take control. In his first game as a member of the Heat, Ricky Davis led Miami in scoring with 23 points on 10-19 shooting while Udonis Haslem added 14 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out of the game. Jason Williams had 11 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds while Shaquille O’Neal had a tough time getting touches, finishing with 9 points on 4-6 shots.
Houston 106 Utah 95
Although it is only the second game of the season, Tracy McGrady has put up big numbers in both so far and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. In the first meeting between the two teams since the Rockets/Jazz opening-round play-off series last season, the Rockets took down the Jazz 106-95. McGrady exploded for 47 points on 17-27 field goals from the floor. The Rockets found themselves down 12 in the opening quarter of the game, but then McGrady decided to take over. For the rest of the way through, the Jazz could not get anything right while McGrady could do no wrong. Just as the Jazz were trying to narrow the gap late in the second half, McGrady rose up and nailed a three, and for every further attempt at a run, McGrady had an answer. Hitting jumpers, getting to the line, slashing in for lay-ups, the Jazz were unable to stop him. In addition to McGrady, Mike James added 15 points while Yao Ming had 11 points and 7 boards. In their first loss of the season, Boozer who has had back to back strong games finished with 30 points and 16 rebounds to lead Utah.. Mehmet Okur finished with 16 and 10 and Deron Williams also had a double-double with 18 points and 13 assists, but none of the combined efforts were enough to stop the Rockets from coming away with the victory.