What happened Saturday while you were mourning the Arrested Development movie…
Spurs 104 Nuggets 85: Kenyon Martin’s back! Kenyon Martin’s back! Oh… that didn’t go quite how we planned.
The biggest way the Spurs have improved lately is that they’re catching teams off guard, finally. Those little cuts that seem to come out of nowhere, the screens and off-sets and things they do which create confusion are finally looking in sync. Denver on the other hand looked gassed and upset with the officials. Melo got tossed, and Billups and J.R. Smith both got T’d up. Richard Jefferson chewed up the Nuggets. He only had 15 and 7, but in reality, he was a huge factor for the Spurs.
I don’t want to alarm anyone, but outside of J.R. Smith, the Nuggets bench is about as bad as any team in the league outside of Memphis. They have some shot blockers, but that’s pretty much it.
Hawks 105 Wizards 95: You’ve got to hold JoeJamal to under 40. That’s just a rule. If you don’t limit Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford to under 40 points, you’re going to have a hell of a time getting a win. The rest of the Hawks are simply too talented and consistent not to fill in the rest, and they’re going to play solid defense too often.
A big warning sign is that point guards have a ton of success against the Hawks. Mike Bibby no longer matches up, Jeff Teague isn’t ready, and guarding a good point takes too much away from Johnson and Crawford. Mo Evans is shaky there. Something to keep an eye on.
Pacers 115 Nets 102: Little bit of column A. Little bit of column B. Little bit of terrific defense from the Pacers, who were locked in, talking to one another, shutting off the movement from the Nets and dogging them into bad possession after bad possession. Those airballs resulting in shot clock violations will kill you. And they did. I don’t know if the Nets were zoned out, but they were in the game, they were in the game… and then they were not. Good win from a Pacers team that is poorly constructed, but does have some true pros on it.
I’m pretty sure absolutely every person on earth is surprised when Dahntay Jones hits a bucket. Marv Alberts is a person on earth.
Nets have secured lottery spot number one. Since like, November, but officially, now.
Bobcats 99 Pistons 95: You can call off the APB for Ben Gordon’s jumper. It’s fallen the last two games and may actually be back. The issue? Everyone else’s took off.
I wouldn’t call it a good game for the ‘Cats, but it’s pretty typical. Lots of missed shots, lots of inconsistent play, and then someone random steps up and hits shots and everyone across America freaks out when the line goes across the bottom of the screen at your local sports bar, saying “THAT GUY had X points?!”
Larry Huges was THAT GUY. 18 points for Hughes, to go with 4 boards, 5 assists, 5 turnovers, but two steals.
Larry Brown will never cease to amaze me.
Sixers 120 Grizzlies 101: I haven’t looked it up, yet, but I’m pretty sure the Grizzlies may actually have a negative winning percentage on back to backs. I don’t mean it’s considered bad, I mean the number may actually be negative. They have zero bench, so they’ll compete for about two more quarters, and then they just run out of steam.
But they’re a bad defense anyway. And the Sixers? They earned this. Worked for it, hit huge shots, looked good. This is the best I’ve seen the Sixers all year. They looked plugged in, ready to play, and came out and executed. A big factor? Marreese Speights, who, if they will just accept his learning curve, can come out and be a decider for them. 22 and 5 in 20 minutes for the youngster. Dang.
The real issue was three point shooting. The Sixers were en fuego, and Memphis was too gassed to run ’em off. And they dropped all night long. Good win for the Sixers.
Celtics 105 Bucks 90: You know? Tony Allen really isn’t all that bad.
I don’t get it either, but he’s been good this year, His line isn’t huge (7 points, 5 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks), but he was a big part of a second quarter surge for the Celtics once they got their legs under them.
The Bucks have matchup advantages against Boston… when Andrew Bogut is playing. We’re going to be saying that no matter who Milwaukee ends up against. Luke Ridnour is going to have to play better if the Bucks are going to get anything done in the playoffs, even if it’s just a first round push. He’s struggling as of late, and it’s bad timing.
Paul Pierce is still Truth-ful.
Mavs 128 Kings 106: High-post. Cut, drive. Dish. Rotate. Rotate. Three.
And that’s your ball game.
The Mavericks lit ’em up, and the Kings don’t have enough weapons in the gunfight even with Evans and Landry combining for 58 points. Mavs shot 62% from the arc. That’s reDirkulous.
Oh, and speaking of, Dirk is good.
Clippers 107 Curry 104: Clippers realized that if you pound ’em inside, the Warriors will break. That’s what happened, with Kaman dropping 27.
Stephen Curry had another great line (29, 9, 4) and another night of really pretty terrible defense.