Player of the D.A.Y.

By Sam Rubenstein

Lots and lots of ground to cover. Naturally this would be the day our internet is at its very slowest. Let’s get right down to business. I was out last Wednesday, getting an early start on my journey north. So we have to go all the way back to games played last Tuesday night.

Games Played Tuesday: Big battle in the Central division. That’s right it was Milwaukee vs. Cleveland. LeBron had a slight off-night going for just 34-7-7. You think I’m being sarcastic. Okay, it’s an exaggeration, but it was Michael Redd getting the best of that match-up with 34-7-6 plus 3 steals and 2 blocks. He did a lot of his work from the line, getting there 20 times. He’s more than just a shooter. Hey, remember how he chose to get rich with Milwaukee instead of getting rich with Cleveland, despite his Ohio State connection and everyone has been scratching their heads for two years? Well, this is Michael Redd laughing at us all. He’s the man on a team with a lot more support than LeBron’s got.

Games Played Wednesday: Waaaaaaay too many options. This is what happens when a league has to cram in all of its games before everyone gets the holiday off. LeBron had 45-8-5 against Minnesota and Chauncey had 25 and 15 against the Knicks, the Suns scored 47 first quarter points against the Kings, and that takes care of the big numbers against bad teams portion of the evening. Chris Kaman had 17 and 21 in a win over Denver, Jamaal Tinsley put up 18 and 13 in New Orleans against Chris Paul. There are a lot of ways to go here, with Tony Parker and his 32 and 9 for the Spurs against the Magic in another surpise big early game. Buuuuuuut… I will play the sentimental emotional side and give it to Caron Butler, who led the Wizards with 39 points over the emerging to competitive Bobcats, hours after finding out that Gilbert’s knee is back in the shop.

There were no games played on Thanksgiving. Unless you count the scrabble we played at my girlfriend’s parents house. I had horrible letters, and I let some non-words slide, but I’m not making excuses. The winner escapes me.

Games played Friday: Another night where there were 10,000 ways to go. I will once again go the sentimental route (because it’s the Holiday season) and give it to Shaq, who shot 10 of 12 versus his old nemesis Yao, and what should be a much better team. Honorable mention to Danny Granger for his role in the Pacers beating Dallas. The Mavs are not regular season hungry this year like they were last year. I don’t blame them. FYI: We rented Spiderman 3 on Friday night. It was one of the worst experiences of my life.

Games played Saturday: There are many worthy ones, but it wouldn’t be right if I did not acknowledge what LeBron is doing to the NBA. Wow, I just used a double negative, my own worst pet peeve. Chris Bosh seems to be back, and had a big night in a loss, and this was LeBron putting together what’s becoming the daily triple double. We have seen guys get fairly regular triple doubles in recent times. Jason Kidd and Grant Hill come to mind. But they weren’t triple doubles of intimidation like this. Did you notice I wrote the phrase “triple double” 3 times almost back to back to back. And now this is four… I blew it.

Games played Sunday. Yesterday: And we’re back to the present. Carlos Boozer made 17 of 20 shots against a Pistons team missing Rasheed and was getting its rebounds from Antonio McDyess and Nazr Mohammed. The Nets hung on to beat the Lakers in L.A., and I happened to turn that game on to see the final shot attempted by Vlad Rad. He finished 0 for 10 and 0 of 7 from three by the way. Either Phil Jackson outsmarted himself or that play didn’t go off as designed. I will break my policy of trying only to reward big nights against the better teams by giving it to Jose Calderon for his 19 and 14 against the Bulls. Can I just say that as a Knicks fan with no pride, it’s nice to see other teams can be just as much of a disaster. Sorry Russ.

Okay, we’re caught up. Heroes tonight. Can they put an end to the writers strike? The show has been improving the past few weeks after bottoming out. Maybe the writers/excutives/stage hands/whomever else is inolved (and the Knicks and Bulls) can learn a lesson there? Nah, probably not.