Post Up: Lakers Fall Again

by November 15, 2010

by Adam Figman | @afigman

Detroit 100, Sacramento 94

Two straight road wins for the Pistons? Sure, why not. In yesterday’s early game, they took down a Kings squad that’s dropped five straight and isn’t looking too hot these days. Detroit was led by Rodney Stuckey, who scored 17 and dished 9, though the team’s 53.9 percent shooting was ultimately the difference. Tyreke Evans dropped 20 for Sacto, who’ll look to pick up a much-needed W Wednesday against New York.

Atlanta 111, Minnesota 105

The Hawks finally ended that four-game losing streak, taking down the TWolves, who had won two straight and, you know, were bound to lose eventually. Both Al Horford (28 and 10) and Josh Smith (23 and 10) put up double-doubles for ATL in the victory. For Minny, the surging Michael Beasley scored 25 and Kevin Love followed up his 31-31 night with 22 and 17. For what it’s worth, they won’t win a lot, but Minnesota—with a host of beastly performances from Love, a much-improved Beasley, and a few developing young’ns (Wesley JohnsonLazar Hayward )—is turning into a relatively fun to watch group. This is a good thing, I think.

San Antonio 117, Oklahoma City 104

Led by Matt Bonner’s 21 points and 7 three-pointers, the San Antonio Spu—wait, what? So, apparently that happened. And behind the Red Rocket’s 7 treys and Tony Parker’s team-high 24 points, the Spurs defeated the Thunder. San Antonio has that Portland thing where its scoring is always spread out, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly how it won, and last night was a good example of that. Four Spurs finished in double figures and DeJuan Blair went for 9 and 11, as San Antonio moved to 8-1 and continues to hold down the third-best-in-the-West spot.

Phoenix 121, L.A. Lakers 116

The Suns drained 22—yep, 22—threes, a team record and the second most in NBA history, and handed L.A. its second loss of the season in last night’s late game. Phoenix’s top performers: Jason Richardson had 35 points, 8 boards and 7 threes; Steve Nash scored 21 and distribute 13 assists; and Hedo Turkoglu dropped 17 and hit a huge triple in the final minute that sealed this one. Pau Gasol’s 28 and 17 performance was impressive, but not enough. Worth noting is that Alvin Gentry’s squad is still utilizing the D’Antoni All-Three-Everything system, and, apparently, it works sometimes. Which brings us to…

Houston 104, New York 96

And it keeps getting worse on Broadway, as the Rockets took down the Knicks and sent them to 3-7. Kevin Martin scored 28 and Luis Scola had 24 for Houston, who was down one in the middle of the third but took off between then and the mid-fourth. Amar’e Stoudemire led NY with 25, but 3 threes won’t cut it in this offense. Speaking of:

Quick Knicks-related tangent before I sign out. A prediction: Beginning today, and continuing after each and every NYK loss on their upcoming four-game road trip (eek) and beyond, an undertone (or overtone) of “Fire D’Antoni” will come blowing in via the New York media. It happens. But still, is it deserved? Let’s take a look.

1. A solid portion of the “Knicks are relevant again!” coverage from the summer was based on the assumptions that A: Players with big potential (Anthony RandolphTimofey Mozgov) could be good, and B: Young players (Danilo GallinariWilson ChandlerToney Douglas) would get a little (or a lot) better. A’s been a bust, thus far, and B has only taken place in small amounts and in small spurts. At best. Coach’s fault? Honestly, I don’t know. You tell me.

2. After the front office all but admitted that the first two post-Isiah years were a wash as the roster was gutted and rebuilt, this season is really Mike D’s first official opportunity to do some positive things (read: make the Playoffs) with the team. Which, through 10 contests, hasn’t happened. But if the front office is going to put the starting line during the summer of 2010, then is 10 games into ’10-11 the right place to stop and evaluate whether or not the coach is doing a quality job? I’m going with no. I don’t even know if 20 or 30 is enough time.

This I do know: There’s a defensive-minded former Knicks coach from the 90s who everyone would love to see take over, and I can think of a certain ex-NYK point guard (and current ESPN analyst) who I’m guessing one SLAM Ed. will have in mind for the job. But let’s give these guys a minute or two to figure some stuff out before we collectively freak out. After that? Yeah, go for it. Freak out. It might even be kinda fun. But can we chill with all the overreacting for a while, media dudes?

(All of that said, losses to Minny and Houston aren’t acceptable. They should be better. So stay tuned. Or something.)

Performance of the Night: JRich: 35 points, 8 boards, 7 treys, 3 steals.
Moment of the Night: “Yo Serge, throw this down! Ugh, bad pass. My fau…Oh. Never mind.”