NBA 11/12 by Jason Wojciechowski Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 11:25 PM
Obviously, considering I'm like ten days behind on this, I do this more for me than for the two readers out there. It amuses me. So if you are a reader, feel free to skip anything you see that says "NBA" on it. It's not going to be very interesting.
The Clippers went to 5-1 with a 16-point win over the Hornets. Elton Brand did his usual damage, shooting 8-12 for 22 points and grabbing ten boards. He was the only Clipper to shoot over 50%, actually, which is pretty "impressive" for a team that won going away. Brand also added three steals and two blocks. The man's a monster.
Chris Paul shot well, at 9-13, but only had three assists compared to six turnovers. Tyson Chandler had thirteen boards and came out a lot better than Chris Kaman, who continued his struggling ways after signing a big contract this offseason. Kaman didn't make a shot and grabbed six boards in 27 minutes.
You don't see too many 12-point wins in overtime, but that's what the Nets hung on the Wizards, outscoring them 18-6 in the extra period. Minus Richard Jefferson, Nenad Krstic stepped up to be the third member of the New Jersey Big Three: Krstic scored 22 and grabbed ten boards; Vince Carter scored 34, hitting five of his eight threes, and dished seven assists; and Jason Kidd had another triple double despite shooting poorly, with 15 points, eleven rebounds, and a whopping eighteen assists. Kidd and Carter also combined for seven steals in the game.
Even Bostjan Nachbar got into the action for Jersey, scoring 15 points on 6-8 shooting.
Gilbert Arenas scored 25, but shot just 6-23. Combine that with Antawn Jamison's awful 3-16 night (nine points), and you have to consider it a miracle Washington even got to overtime.
Denver sent Charlotte to its fifth loss in six games, winning by seven in North Carolina. Carmelo Scored 36, but he wasn't the only guy for the Nugs: Marcus Camby had 12 points and 11 boards; JR Smith shot 4-10 from threes, leading to 17 points; Andre Miller had seventeen points and eleven dimes; and Reggie Evans shot 6-10 from the free throw line in just 20 minutes off the bench, ending up with twelve points.
Charlotte had three guys score twenty points (Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafor, Brevin Knight), but 29 turnovers (to 16 for Denver) killed the Bobcats. Okafor, by the way, is starting to remind me a lot of Elton Brand when I read these box scores. Emeka shot a very efficient 9-14, got to the line nine times (though he only hit four free throws), and pulled down fifteen rebounds, including an incredible nine on the offensive end. He also blocked three shots. That's the kind of all-around big-man game that's very valuable in an era when it's hard to find a decent big man.
Houston blew out Miami, winning by 22 in Florida. This was before Shaq's injury, so the Heat had their full complement of players. Those players just got outplayed by the Rockets. Shaq vs. Yao? Try 15-10 for Big Daddy against 34-14 for the Beast from the East. Battier vs. Walker was a wash, as was McGrady vs. Wade (D-Dub doubled up T-Mac's point total, but he needed 22 shots to get 24 points and had five turnovers, so I'll take McGrady's eight dimes and two turnovers, despite poor shooting and no trips to the free throw line). Houston's three quality bench players (Head, Howard, Snyder) outscored the Heat's two quality bench players (Mourning, Posey) 22-6.
Miami actually went to halftime with a three-point lead before losing the third quarter by seven and the fourth by eighteen. That's an ugly second half for a defending champion at home, innit?
Dallas finally won game #2, beating Portland by seven behind Dirk and J-Terry's combined 50 points. Jarrett Jack had a nice game for Portland with 20 points, ten assists, and four steals, as well as a perfect 12-12 performance from the line, but it wasn't enough, as Dallas slowed Zach Randolph down. Zach had to have a mediocre game at some point, right? Eight for twenty-two for 20 points, nine rebounds, and five turnovers aren't the kinds of numbers we've come to expect from the first six games of the year.
Sacramento beat Toronto by fifteen. Kevin Martin, as usual, led the team in scoring with 26 points. It was a balanced offensive attack for Sacramento, though, as Ron Artest, Mike Bibby, Martin, and Shareef Abdour-Rahim had 17, 16, 14, and 14 shots respectively. Only Shareef scored fewer than 20 points. John Salmons, who I've always liked but who hasn't lived up to my expectations, had a nice eight-rebound, six-assist game off the bench for Sacramento.
Nobody scored twenty for the Raptors, though Morris Peterson was certainly trying: he took eleven threes in the game, making four. He shot 1-5 inside the arc. Fred Jones joined in the action, shooting 0-5 from behind the arc, though he was 3-4 on two-point shots. The Raptors are a hard team to look at, box score wise. I can't imagine they're much more fun to watch in person.
The Lakers improved to 5-3 with a ten-point win over the still Pau-less Grizzlies. Mike Miller scored 21 by shooting 6-10 from three, and had 13 rebounds (again, his rebounding this year has been ridiculous), but his only real help came from Damon Stoudamire, who scored 16 points off the bench.
L.A. got 21 from Kobe, twenty from Lamar Odom (along with sixteen rebounds and seven assists) and enough minor contributions from other players to pull out the win.
By the way, it appears that my worries about an over-crowded roster are over. Chris Mihm, we found out a little while back, will be out for quite some time after surgery, so he won't need to push anybody off the roster anytime soon. I'm guessing Aaron McKie's a "stashed on the IL" guy, so we don't have to worry about him. Kwame's already back (and Andrew Bynum hasn't ceded his starting spot, nor really slowed down his play, since the return). As of this date, it was Shammond Williams who lost his spot on the active roster, which is not a real loss anyway, since he was hardly playing.