By: Holly MacKenzie
After a thoroughly amazing weekend, last night sort of disappointed with only three games on the schedule. Since two involved the Knicks and Clippers, I really only consider the Utah/Dallas game as an actual NBA game, so it was a quiet night.
We discussed Kobe and LeBron in full yesterday, but, if you managed to read the column before getting involved in the discussion (which was great, by the way), then you would have read me giving the love to CP3 and Deron for being the future. Those two guys went out last night and proved that the future is pretty damn close. 17 points and 20 assists for Deron in a win over the Mavericks. 27 points, 8 assists and a definite taking over in the final minutes of the game for CP. They have pushed Kidd, Nash and even Baron out of the picture in terms of the point guard game and have confirmed that the future is indeed very bright.
Cassell is set to be official with the Celts today. I think it’ll be fun to see the reunion between he and KG, but I really, really liked Rondo’s game and I was impressed with all that he has brought this season. Of course, any chance to get better has to be taken, so what I’m asking you is, how much better does Sam make the Celtics?
The flagrant foul Dirk committed on Kirilenko last night. Looked horrible and it will be interesting to see if anything happens as a result. I doubt it, but it sucks to see someone be taken down so hard. We don’t need that stuff in this game. While I am on the topic of Dirk, we also don’t need seven footers who flop.
Josh Howard. He took a lot of heat yesterday from posters who were questioning his effort since the Kidd trade. As a fan of his game (and his volunteering, character, etc), I was happy to see him step up with a solid 25 points on 9-13 shooting.
Discussing league awards, who do you have for Defensive Player of the Year? I can see Chris Paul walking away with that award, thanks to all of those crazy steals he has had and for threatening to drop the points/assists/steals triple-double on us. I actually would be cool with him getting this one too, although, I haven’t given it much though. Who is your pick for DPOY?
And, about this rookie thing. It was brought up lots yesterday but since I didn’t get to add my two cents. AL HORFORD. AL HORFORD. AL HORFORD. I know, I know, it’s not going to happen, but I still want to rep my pick. Durant is nice, he will be a great player and he can look smooth as anything out there with those long arms, gliding to the basket, but Al is solid all around. I wish he could steal the award away.
More bad news for the Miami Heat as they receive word that Dorell Wright will be finished for the season after having surgery to repair a lateral meniscal tear in his knee.
Gil has been cleared to start practicing with the Wizards. Wishing him the best in this return. Mentally and physically, the comeback process is a draining one. Lets hope his presence may provide a boost to his team who have struggled unfairly with so many injuries this season.
Utah 116 Dallas 110
When they are playing at home, the Jazz come out with a hop in their step that is missing while on the road. Last night, they continued the dominance on their home court, dropping the Mavs 116-110, and extending their home winning streak to 16 games. With their strong start, they went up by as many as 21 points in the first quarter and led 37-24 at the end of the period. While the maintained that lead throughout the half, Dallas started their push in the third quarter and after going into the fourth down 87-81, they opened the final quarter with an 11-2 run to take their first lead of the game. This would not last long as Deron Williams and the Jazz were not about to surrender a home game after being up by 21. The Jazz strung together a 16-0 run to hold off the Mavericks and they did it all without Andrei Kirilenko who was lost in the first quarter after taking a flagrant foul from Dirk Nowitzki, injuring his hip. Deron Williams was the leader of the pack, finishing with 17 points and 20 assists for the Jazz as Carlos Boozer scored 28 points, Mehmet Okur had a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double and Kyle Korver added 17 off of the bench. Josh Howard had a strong game for the Mavs in the loss, finishing with 25 points on 9-13 field goals. Nowitzki finished with 23, Jason Terry scored 21 points and Jason Kidd added 19 points and 9 assists.
New Orleans 100 New York 88
It wasn’t a pretty win by any stretch of the imagination but in the final minutes of a contest against New York, Chris Paul dazzled on consecutive possessions as he broke the backs of the Knicks and put on a show, leading the Hornets on a 10-0 run to close out a four-point game. While the Knicks kept up with New Orleans for the duration of their game last night, it never really felt as though they had a shot at winning even when they trailed by only four with 1:33 left in the game. This only intensified with coach Isiah Thomas substituting Wilson Chandler for Nate Robinson without any apparent reason. After the substitution, Paul fed Tyson Chandler for an alley oop, then scored a basket and drew the foul, completing the three-point play and then found Morris Peterson for a three-pointer with 12 seconds remaining to seal the victory as the Knicks went scoreless over the final 3:32 of the game. Paul finished with 27 points, 8 assists and 3 steals, Chandler had 15 points and 18 rebounds, Davd West added 19 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots and Peterston had 11 points. Jamal Crawford led New York with 20 points and 6 assists, Nate Robinson had 17 points and Eddy Curry scored 19 points to go along with 8 boards in the loss.
Philadelphia 106 LA Clippers 80
Coming off of an impressive victory against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night, the Sixers continued to roll against the LA Clippers last night. Starting out by leading 25-21 after the first quarter, they extended their lead to 54-42 at the break and did not look back from there. Holding the Clippers to only 38 second-half points, the 76er’s scored 33 points in the fourth quarter alone as they went on to rout LA, 106-80. The Clippers could not get anything to go their way, allowing Philadelphia to shoot 59% from the floor while they registered at 46%. It was a tough night for Clippers rookie Al Thornton who had 10 of LA’s 16 turnovers. Andre Iguodala had 18 points for the Sixers, Samuel Dalembert had a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double, Thaddeus Young and Willie Green each added 13 points and Louis Williams added 16 points and 8 rebounds off of the bench. Thornton had 20 points for the Clippers, Corey Maggette had 16 points and 9 boards, Cuttino Mobley had 12 points and Chris Kaman added 10 points but only 5 rebounds in the Clippers sixth straight loss.