By Jason Wojciechowski on November 1, 2009 at 1:18 AM
(So the title is a mashup reference to Battlestar Galactica's Col. Tigh and Kris Kristofferson's Pilgrim's Progress. And I think, meter-wise, it works: you could sing that line in a parody. Anyway, Michael Hogan comes up at the very end of this post.)
I had started a livebloggish type of thing about the Lakers-Mavs game, but it was so ugly and infuriating as a Lakers fan (under 40% shooting, under 65% free throw shooting, and a whopping 19 turnovers had me yelling at the team; a 29-21 foul disparity and a 32-14 free-throw disparity had me yelling at the refs) that I just couldn't. Outside of Chicago/Boston, which I wrote about yesterday, here are the rest of the scores.
Phoenix 123, Golden State 101: Three different Suns went for 20+, and the other two starters each had 18, so I think it's safe to say that seven-seconds-or-less is back. Playing Nellie's Warriors, there wasn't going to be any kind of attempt to slow them down. Steve Nash managed a 20-assist night, which is pretty good. The Suns' bench sucks, though, doesn't it? Outside of Jared Dudley, is there anybody down there (Jarron Collins, Alando Tucker, Louis Amundson, Goran Dragic, Earl Clark) you'd want to count on?
Utah 111, Clippers 98: Each team had three 20-point scorers (the most surprising one being Paul Millsap), but Utah got 17 from Ronnie Brewer's high-percentage stylings (8-11 shooting) and 10 due to Kyrylo Fesenko's blind luck (5-6). Kosta Koufos managed eight rebounds (five offensive) in just 13 minutes off the bench for Utah, presumably taking advantage of the Clippers' lack of bench size (Craig Smith has trademarked the phrase "undersized power forward").
Memphis 115, Toronto 107: Chris Bosh dropped a 37/12, but Memphis had six guys in double digits, led by Zach Randolph's 30. Z-Bo had a rebounding line that only Z-Bo could manage: seven rebounds, six offensive. The guy is really the most indifferent defensive rebounder at his position in the league, isn't he? Marc Gasol, by the way, if not for his five turnovers, looks like a beast from the boxscores: he got just eight field-goal attempts, but turned that into 19 points, second on the team, by hitting six of them and going 7-7 from the charity stripe.
Orlando 95, Nets 95: J.J. Redick got big minutes after Vince Carter went down with an ankle injury of some sort, and "took advantage" by scoring 12 points on ten shots. Dwight Howard had a classic Dwight Howard game: 20 points, 22 boards, four blocks, 4/11 from the free-throw line. I'm not writing about the Nets until they ask Courtney Lee not to take 17 shots in a game.
Cleveland 104, Minnesota 87: Cleveland finally got in the win column against the hapless Wolves (so hapless that they're actually a half game ahead of Cleveland). Shaq had six points, seven boards, and five fouls in 19 minutes. He always had a few games like that here and there, but as he's gotten older, he's gotten a little slower, presumably causing him to reach more on defense and barrel over guys more on offense, and these quick-foul games that limit his minutes and effectiveness have become more common. It didn't matter last night because the Timberwolves have Damien Wilkins in their starting lineup. At least Nathan Jawai got four minutes off the bench. Ah, blowouts.
Miami 96, Pacers 83: The Heat got to the line 46 times, 19 by Dwyane Wade alone. That's pretty much the story of the game, aside from Jermaine O'Neal suddenly putting up 20/10's again (22/12 this time out). The Big Stiff (Roy Hibbert, in case you forgot) had five fouls in 16 minutes, a positively Shaqian performance.
Sonics 91, Pistons 83: Yes, I'm still holding on. Look, I was born in western Washington and lived for a time as a baby in Seattle. If they folded up the Lakers, the Sonics might've been my default go-to team. So I'm hanging with this. Anyway, this strikes me as a great "passing of the torch game", even though the Sonics are in the West and the Pistons are in the East. Kevin Durant et al. are the up-and-comers, and they might well have arrived this year, and the Pistons have fallen from their early-'00s heights to mediocrity: they're probably a safe bet for the playoffs, but they're just as safe a bet not to be a real threat to win it all. Ben Gordon did his usual work in this game, scoring 25 but needing 20 shots to get there. Rodney Stuckey, who's supposedly a point guard, had two assists. Kevin Durant? Yeah, he's here: 25/12.
New Orleans 97, Sacramento 92: Speaking of teams that missed their window, hey New Orleans. How y'all doin'? Chris Paul went for 31, although he only had four assists, which is weird because it's not like his team shot horribly: 25/59 outside of him. Kevin Martin had one of those "I'm on a bad team" nights, shooting 9/29. That's pretty amazing. It's not every day a guy misses 20 shots in a game. It's like the old baseball saw: "You have to be pretty good to lose 20 games." You know, even when you're missing and missing, they still keep coming back to you because what else are you going to do? Make Sean May your go-to guy?
Atlanta 100, Bullets 89: Gil Arenas scored 23, but needed 22 shots. Andray Blatche was the third-leading scorer. That's not a winning formula, even when you hold the other team to 41% shooting.
Charlotte 102, Knicks 100: Double overtime! Sweet! A little bird told me that the MSG Network's "Knicks in 60" thing, where they replay the previous night's game, edited down to 60 minutes, decided to completely omit the fourth quarter (when the Knicks outscored the Bobcats 27-13 to send the game to OT) and both overtimes. Nice job, guys. Gerald Wallace had 18/15, which is pretty cool, except he took 20 shots. Also, the Knicks' first-round (#8!) pick? Despite two overtimes, Jordan Hill did not get off the bench. Ouch.
Sixers 99, Bucks 86: Someone called "Ersan Ilyasova", supposedly a small forward for the Bucks, scored 11 in 18 minutes off the bench. (If you can't say anything nice ...) Six guys were in double digits for Philly, though, and nobody took more than 12 shots, which I always like seeing. Spreeeeeeead the wealth around, as a certain politician like to emphasize a year.
(Speaking of which, did you see the Dollhouse episode where they're working on this important Rossum guy's nephew, but it turns out he's a serial killer? I'm ashamed to admit I went the whole episode thinking about how creepily like John McCain the guy who played the uncle was, only to realize that it was Michael Hogan, i.e. Col. Tigh from Battlestar Galactica. What kind of geek am I? No kind of geek to write home about, that's for sure. But I do get some kind of credit for going all "hee!" when Frank Sobotka from The Wire (the actor's name is Chris Bauer) showed up as a possibly unethical defense attorney in The Good Wife, right? And for doing the same thing when he was a priest in Life on Mars last year?)