NBA catchup post #2
November 28thBobcats 92, Wizards 76: "Awesome". Gerald Wallace: 14/14. Wallace was a contributor on the boards before this year, but as Bill Simmons noted on Twitter yesterday, the jump from 7.5 to 10.9 RPG is crazy. And it's not a playing-time thing. His rebound percentage (an estimate of what percentage of the overall available rebounds he grabs) jumped from a career-high of 12.8% last year to 17.9% this year. His overall rate is 13th in the league, and his defensive rate (29.4%) is fourth behind only noted board-hogs Carlos Boozer, Luis Scola, and Dwight Howard. Wallace, in fact, at 6'7", is the shortest guy in the top-15 of the defensive rebounding list (which is of course dominated by PFs and Cs), and the only person shorter than him on the overall rebounding list is Chuck Hayes, who's 6'6". But even Hayes is a power forward, not a wing. Mavs 95, Cavs 111: Dirk and JET combined for 52, but the Cavs shot 58%, led by Mo Williams shooting 9-12. LeBron had 25/5/12, and Delonte West had 10 points and 10 dimes off the bench. This was the game that got everyone in an uproar over Big Z getting a DNP-CD despite being just one game from breaking the Cleveland record for most games played. It was the first DNP-CD of his career. Shaq was super-effective, by the way, with nine points on ten shots, so clearly there was no room for Z on the floor. Magic 100, Bucks 98: Da-wight had 25/20, although six turnovers mars the performance somewhat. The Bucks as a team had just six turnovers, in fact, with Brandon Jennings putting up 22 shots while not turning the rock over once. Ersan Ilyasova had 20/16, and has had a number of good games this year. I don't even know what the guy looks like. I do wish the ESPN/TNT NBA coverage were a little more balanced. You don't have to put on the Charlotte-Washington game, but does every single week have to involve the same four or five teams? I'd like to see Jennings. I'd like to see Ilyasova. I'd like to see Gerald Wallace, for that matter. Blazers 92, Jazz 108: Another game with Roy at the two-guard and Martell Webster at the three, another loss. Carlos Boozer had 26/12/7 and Deron Williams had 24/6/15. Everyone else contributed, too, as the team shot 61% and racked up 36 assists on 43 field goals, which is a remarkable ratio. Lakers 130, Warriors 97: Ouch. Adam Morrison got to play nine minutes in this one. 'nuff said. Well, ok, here's some more: 19/5/4 for Artest; 22/12 and three blocks for Pow; 20/6/6 and five steals for Kobe; 17 for Shannon Brown; 39% shooting for the Warriors.
November 29thHawks 88, Pistons 94: It's a little sad, but the Pistons have fallen to the point where losing to them, even on the road, does count as a sign that a team like the Hawks are struggling. Josh Smith had 23/7/2/2/5, but Ben Wallace had 10/18, including eleven offensive rebounds, and the Pistons became the only team to win a game this year in which they had a player go over ten offensive rebounds. Detroit had 24 offensive rebounds overall, to 21 defensive by Atlanta. And Detroit grabbed 29 out of the 35 available rebounds on their defensive glass as well. If the Hawks want to get outrebounded like that and win, they need to force turnovers or get fouled or shoot the lights out or something. Instead, they got eleven turnovers and got to the line just eight times. (They did shoot 50%, but 33% from three, which is good, but not lights-out.) Suns 113, Raptors 94: This is a fun matchup, because Toronto is the team everyone thought the Suns were a few years ago: all offense, no defense. Toronto's offense has slowed down recently, though, and almost came to a halt in this game. 39% overall shooting and 1-20 from three (1-20!). The defense, though, was up to par: 51% shooting by the Suns and 43% from three. Steve Nash had 20/16 (again) and everyone else chipped in. Chris Bosh had 30/17, by the way, but it took him 26 shots and eight free throws to get there. Grizzlies 88, Clippers 98: Marc Gasol? Beast. Clippers fans could have been forgiven if they thought Pau came over from his house and suited up for Memphis as Marc went for 26/5/6/3/3 on 13-18 shooting. He never did get to the free throw line, a fact which probably frustrated him and the team, seeing as how it's unlikely that more than a handful of his 18 shots came from outside the paint. Marcus Camby shot 7-8 and ended up with 14/14, and also shot zero free throws. (This is less unusual, though, since Camby's offense often comes on short jumpers rather than post moves.) Eric Gordon reannounced his presence with 29/5/5 in his third game back from a 2.5-week layoff, and his highest scoring game of the year. Celtics 92, Heat 85: Kevin Garnett may not be a force on the boards anymore (eight rebounds in this one), but the man can still shoot, hitting 11 of his 12 shots for 24 points. Dwyane Wade had 27, but he shot 11-23, and missed all three of his threes. Magic 114, Knicks 102: Rashard, Da-wight, and Vince had 26, 24, and 23 respectively, and while Nate the Decent had 24 off the bench for New York, they couldn't keep up on the boards or at the line. Both teams shot 42-83, but Orlando hit four more threes (on 15 more attempts), took 18 more free throws, and grabbed 36 of the 39 available defensive rebounds. Sixers 89, Spurs 97: You start to see why the Sixers signed Allen Iverson. Iggy moved to the three and led the team with 21 points, but Jrue Holliday had just six points and one assist in 18 minutes as the starting point guard, while Tony Parker had 16 and 8. DeJuan Blair, who's a fun guy to watch as a classic undersized power forward, had 11/10 in 17 bench minutes, including seven offensive rebounds. Rockets 100, Thunder 91: Luis Scola had a rare zero trillion as a starter, as he managed just 22 seconds before being gouged in the eye. Houston won despite losing one of their best players and despite a Trevor Ariza Special (7-23 shooting, 1-9 from three) in no small part because of 1-15 three-point shooting from the Thunder. (Serge Ibaka, a 6'10" F/C hit the only three for Hijack City -- it was, in fact, his only three taken all year.) Carl Landry, meanwhile, had 21/10 in 30 minutes for Houston. Wolves 106, Denver 100: If teams always won every game they should win, the Bulls, Celtics, and Lakers would have all won 82 games a couple of times. But that's just not how things go. Sometimes you lose at home to a vastly inferior team. Denver can put this one on their backcourt, as Chauncey and J.R. combined to shoot 5-24, while Damien Wilkins, Jonny "The Homicidal" Flynn, and Ramon Sessions shot 16-32 and dished out 14 assists. Ryan Gomes had the big game for Minny, scoring 27, a season high. Hornets 96, Kings 112: David West had 24, and showed his manliness inside with a whopping two rebounds. Jason Thompson showed him how it's done with 22/14, and Sergio Rodriguez led Sacramento with 24 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Nets 87, Lakers 106: This was the one that tied the record, and the one after Lawrence Frank got fired, but Kiki wasn't the coach yet. Brook Lopez had another big game with 26/12, but he turned the ball over six times and nobody else scored over 16. L.A., meanwhile, got 30 from Kobe, 20 from Pau, and 15 from Jordan Farmar. Kobe and Pau each had seven assists, as well.
November 30thBulls 97, Bucks 99: The best kind of game. He said sarcastically. Luol Deng had 22/14, and my hero Joakim Noah had 16/17, but they couldn't keep up with Andrew Bogut's return: 22/15/3/3/4. Brandon Jennings has officially slowed down, as he shot 5-15 in this one and hasn't been over 20 since November 21st (that's as of today, not as of 11/30), nor over 50% shooting since November 20th. Sixers 102, Mavs 104: Hurry, Allen! They need you! Jrue Holliday had another eight-point, four-assist type of performance. Sam Dalembert had a vintage Ben Wallace game with nineteen boards, three steals, and three blocks going with six points, and Elton Brand returned to come off the bench for 21/10, but Jason Kidd had an efficient 22/6/11/4/3, helping overcome a 60-37 rebounding disadvantage. (Philly grabbed 24 of the 50 boards on its offensive glass.) Grizzlies 93, Jazz 120: Missing Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, Memphis had to turn to Jamaal Tinsley (3-13 shooting) and Sam Young (a solid 17, actually). You can't pin a 27-point loss on any one guy, but Marc Gasol shot 1-5 from the floor, 3-8 from the line, and had just three rebounds. Ronnie Brewer led the Jazz with 25, and Carlos Boozer had another nice game with 24/15/7. Boozer is what David West aspires to be, except meaner. Pacers 107, Warriors 126: Mike Dunleavy returned with 22 points in 23 minutes off the bench, but Brandon Rush put up a goose egg as the starting two-guard, and Monta Ellis had 45 for the Warriors.
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