Just when I think I've got the NBA all figured out, a Sunday like yesterday happens and I realize why I don't bet on games. Looking back at the great quadruple-header of NBA games on TV yesterday, and had I been a betting man, I would've taken the Knicks, Heat, Bulls and Spurs to win their games.
I would've been 1 for 4 with some debts to pay.
Yesterday's games taught me not only that I'd be a horrible gambler on the NBA regular season, but it also reminded me that on any given night, any team, any player, can come to play. While some performances may be more surprising then others, let's take a look at the craziness that ensued in the NBA on Sunday, March 4th, 2012.
Trading Rajon Rondo would be a FALLACY and Paul Pierce is an absolute G:
(Insert facetious tone here) So Rajon Rondo put up decent numbers, or numbahs (as they say in Beantown) yesterday. 18 points, 20 assists and 17 rebounds to be exact. Wait, WHAT?! Yes, you read that correctly. Not only did he account for roughly 61 of his team's points, but he snagged SEVENTEEN rebounds. The guy is listed at six feet one inch tall! (Remember I wrote about Rondo a few weeks ago as being one of the littler guys who plays bigger than he is. He certainly proved my point yesterday.) Keep in mind, there have only been two other players in the history of the NBA that have had a game of at least 15-20-15. And who were those gentleman you might ask? Oh, just that guy WIlt Chamberlain (he went for 22-21-25 on February 2nd, 1968) and that other random dude Oscar Robertson (who amazingly put up 32-20-15 on December 11th, 1961). If the sarcasm didn't come through there, I was trying to say that Rondo is in RIDICULOUSLY GOOD company; and he's playing like a total beast.
Just another comment about yesterday's game. The Knicks played well. The only reason they came out on the losing end of that game isn't because of Rondo's legendary performance; it's because Paul Pierce is ice cold. If Pierce (who ended with 34 points) doesn't make that three-pointer to tie the game with seconds left in regulation, the Celtics lose the game and there's less talk about Rondo and more talk about Linsanity. But, Paul Pierce came to the rescue once again, and made the big shot he always does. Ipso facto, he's a baller.
The Miami Heat need Chris Bosh to be healthy and Dwayne Wade to not foul out:
Yesterday, as good of a job Lebron James did guarding Pau Gasol on defense, it was clear that they lacked the presence of a big threat down low. Without Bosh in the lineup, the Lakers beat the Heat 93-83 in a game that was heavily controlled by the purple and gold. No Bosh meant that the Heat's guards had to get a little more physical with the Lakers in the post. As a result, Dwayne Wade got into some foul trouble and eventually fouled out with over five minutes left to play in the game. (Dwayne Wade fouling out made him the first Heat player to foul out of a game in 88 straight games, which had been the longest streak in the league).
In my opinion, it was the best win for the Lakers all season. They needed a win like this; not only because they were playing the best team in the league, but also because the game fell in the midst of the backlash/criticisms that the organization has faced in recent weeks. You couldn't tell that the organization has been having issues last night, however, as the Lakers held the Heat to 37% FG shooting and little to no transition game. Before last night, the Heat had been the most efficient offensive team in the league, shooting roughly 49% from the field, and have had the best transition offense in basketball. Kobe Bryant showed everyone again why he's Kobe Bryant, dropping 33 points with Shane Battier (one of the top three defenders in the league) in his face all game long. After a while, I couldn't believe how many shots Kobe was making with Battier in his grill. If Battier had been playing defense any tighter, he would've fouled out like Wade. It was Kobe's 3rd straight 30-point game; all of which he's had while wearing a mask. It's really just unfair how good he is.
A few other notes from yesterday's games:
-Derrick Rose had a season-high 35 points (including two buzzer-beaters, one at the end of the 1st quarter, another at the end of the 3rd) and continues to carry the Bulls on his back as they beat the 76ers 96-91.
-Six different players scored in double digits for Denver, who squeaked out a win on the road against the veteran Spurs 99-94.
-Deron Williams dropped 57 points, shot 21-21 from the free-throw line. Decent game. Again, sarcasm. Too bad he's on the Nets. Not sarcasm.
Any highlights I missed? Get at me and leave a comment below. Thanks for reading Hoopsvibers!