The Post Up: Three Kings

By: Holly MacKenzie

After a busy Monday, we have only two games to recap today, Suns/Bucks and Nets/Kings. The Suns/Bucks match up was a good one and the game was close throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Nash drop a season-high 37 and it was nice to see Grant Hill back from his appendectomy surgery. The Suns have dealt with a lot of questioning already this season, but they are still on top in the West and were the first Western Conference team to hit 30 wins.< p/>

I tried to watch the Nets/Kings game and it just did not happen. About midway through the second my interest in the game was gone and I started a Jordan marathon. I did stop to check in on the game every so often, but by the start of the fourth, I gave up.

As a Laker fan I’ve got to comment on how pleased I am with their constantly improving official website. They’ve just got a new blog up where they will be blogging from the road, adding video, etc. The first video was a montage of the Lakers getting ready to board the plane, dropping off their luggage etc. Pretty standard stuff they show on those types of things, but the music was awesome. Mos Def’s “Traveling Man” is one of my favorite songs. Mix that with the Lakers and it is a hit every time!

I forgot to mention that OJ Mayo was shown in the crowd of the Lakers/Nuggets game Monday night. Turns out he might be in a little bit of trouble because the tickets to the game were given to him by Carmelo which may be in violation of an NCAA rule. They both should have known this but, from the way OJ was talking up the tickets and how good the seats were (“I could talk to Reggie Miller and tease him about UCLA”), he didn’t seem aware of any possible sanctions coming his way. I think the whole thing is pretty stupid and if an NCAA player can get free tickets to NBA games, great. At least they’d appreciate the game more than those annoying fans who are more interested in keeping the opponent under 100 points so they can get free chalupas. The best part of the article was when Mayo was quoted as saying he got the tickets at a party hosted by Carmelo on Saturday night:
“I was talking to him like, ‘Man, you’re out pretty late. You’ve got a game tomorrow against Kobe [Bryant],’ “ Mayo said. “He said, ‘Nah it will be all right.’ And then he asked, ‘You want to come to the game?’ And I was like, ‘Sure.’ ”

I am certainly not making fun of Carmelo for the ankle injury because I hate seeing anyone injured and Lord knows I do not need any more bad karma placed upon the Lakeshow, but that party-hosting didn’t really work out so well for Mr. Melo the next night.

Caught some of Sam Mitchell’s media time with reporters after the Raptors practice today. Of course, he put one reporter in his place when he did not ask him a question politely enough for his liking. “Are you demanding me or telling me? Ask me nicer”. I love Sam.

He also spoke about Caron Butler and how well he has been playing. It will be interesting to see how things fall into place when Gil does get himself back. As good as the Wiz have been playing lately, personally, I can’t wait to see one of my favorite player/personalities back on the court.

Some more news on Nene was released yesterday. Unfortunately, the initial reports saying that the testicular tumor which has since been removed was benign were false, but thankfully it was caught very early and doctors said there would be a very low chance of recurrence. Thoughts and prayers will remain with Nene as he continues his recovery. As Russ mentioned yesterday, the tumor was found during a routine league-mandated drug test. Thank goodness for that drug-test.

“Hopefully I can make a name for myself and Michael Jordan sounds pretty good to me”

Since there were only the two games on the schedule and one was absolutely awful, I got to break out Ultimate Jordan and watch some old highlights of MJ last night. It’s been awhile since I’ve watched any of the discs and I always forget how skinny young Michael was. I get so nostalgic for my childhood when I see vintage Jordan. Come Fly With Me was a regular that had to be copied over to other tapes so that it wouldn’t wear out completely. Ultimate Jordan and the Lakers NBA Dynasty Series: The Complete History are still two of my most favorite presents of all-time.

Phoenix 114 Milwaukee 105

Leading Phoenix to their fourth straight victory last night was Steve Nash who scored a season-high 37 points in addition to his usual 10 assists to help the Suns put away a Milwaukee team who hung around until the final minutes of the game in a 114-105 victory on the road. Besides the win, Phoenix had another piece of good news as they saw the return of Grant Hill after missing seven games since having an appendectomy January 9th. Even with their starting lineup back to normal the Bucks were tough and thanks to a 38-point second quarter in which they held the Suns to only 24 points they held onto a 62-54 halftime advantage. The Suns would cut that lead to six going into the fourth and thanks to eight quick points from Raja Bell to kick off a 29-13 surge, the Suns found themselves back on top 106-99 with under three minutes to play as Nash knocked down his last of three triples during the stretch. While Michael Redd would knock down two free throws, Nash would set up Amare Stoudemire for basket and Shawn Marion would put the game out of reach on another basket that put Phoenix up nine with under a minute left in the game. The Suns won despite being out-rebounded 44-35, thanks to connecting on 11 three-pointers as Milwaukee hit only four. Besides Nash’s big night, Stoudemire had 19 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, Raja Bell finished with 19 points and Marion added 14. Hill had 8 points in his return. Redd would finish with 28 in the loss for Milwaukee as Andrew Bogut scored 19 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had 4 assists. Bobby Simmons scored 15 points, Charlie Villanueva added 14 and Charlie Bell had 11 points and 8 assists. The Bucks were without Mo Williams who sat out with a sprained finger.

Sacramento 128 New Jersey 94

The Kings are a very different team with Mike Bibby, Ron Artest and Kevin Martin healthy and in the lineup. Last night they showed just how good they could be on the offensive end as they routed the Nets 128-94 thanks to a fantastic all-around performance from Artest. The Kings shot a season-high 57% from the floor in the game and the Nets were helpless at trying to stop them. Down 11 at the end of the first quarter things just went downhill from there as the Nets trailed by double-figures for the entire second half of the game. The lead swelled to 29 early in the fourth and with the benches cleared the Kings got their most-lopsided victory of the season. The Kings out-rebounded the Nets 41-29 and while the Nets never led in the contest, Sacramento’s largest lead was 36 points. Sacramento had seven players in double-figures as compared to only four for the Nets. They were led by Ron Artest’s 27 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals while Kevin Martin had 19 and Bibby finished with 15. Beno Udrih and Brad Miller each had 14 points while Miller added 7 rebounds and 8 assists and Francisco Garcia added 13. Vince Carter had 21 points and 8 assists for New Jersey, Richard Jefferson scored 18 points and Jason Kidd added 13 points. Malik Allen had 14 off of the bench in the loss.