Friday , Oct , 14 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Thursday’s NBA Recap: Ron Artest, Darko Milicic, Andrew Bogut, and more…

What’s good, basketball fans?

Let’s take a look at last night’s games.

Thursday's NBA Recap: Ron Artest, Darko Milicic, Andrew Bogut, and more...

Indiana 99, Utah 92
–         This was Ron’s first home game since the you know what. He was received warmly by the crowd, and responded with one of his trademark dribble-drive moves, stumbling this way and that before finishing with an improvised teardrop. Even his game looks crazy.
–         Ron-Ron also treated the crowd to a preview of his new jumper, which, even when not falling, looked a hell of a lot smoother than it did last season.
–         The Pacers played in their old uniform. Are they wearing it as a retro strip already?
–         Mehmet Okur threw down a ridiculous right-hander off of a slick baseline spin. It’s as if he forgot that he sucked for a moment.
–         Deron Williams freaked Sarunas Jasikevicius with a nasty crossover. They don’t play like that in Europe, huh?
–         Does it sound wrong to anyone else when Sik Vicious (holla if you catch the reference) is referred to as a rookie? I’ve seen the guy in and around Europe and the Middle East for years now.
–         On the sidelines, Jermaine and Jeff Foster were looking sharp in their suits. Somewhere, David Stern is rubbing his hands together and laughing maniacally.
–         Deron Williams had a nice night, finishing with seventeen and six (and only one turnover).
–         Austin Croshere hit all thirteen of his attempts from the charity stripe. Ron missed only one of his eleven.
Detroit 95, Milwaukee 88
–         Big Ben made Bogut look as if he’d rather be back in Utah than in the league, bullying him into missing all four of his shot attempts.
–         Ben roused the crowd with an athletic put-back dunk, showing up the three defenders who failed to box out. Somebody needs to go to the NBDL for that one.
–         Mo’ Williams did his best Iverson impersonation, donning an elbow sleeve and dropping nineteen points in twenty-five minutes. However, he finished the game with more turnovers (three) than assists (two).
–         Flip has introduced a series of old-school backdoor plays to Detroit’s offensive set, several of which led to easy alley-oops. It doesn’t seem as if they’re missing Coach Larry yet.
–         People will rave about Darko’s ten-point, nine-rebound performance, but he still looks lost and awkward to me.
–         The Bucks managed not to record a single block in the game.
–         After so long away from the game due to a career-threatening spinal injury, it tickles me to see T.J. Ford sitting for a “sprained left index finger”.
–         The way they list “Lindsey Hunter – Arthroscopic surgery left ankle” makes it sound as if he’s having the operation while the game is going on.
New Jersey 95, Charlotte 76
–         Eight Nets scored eight or more points on the night.
–         Felton made his Charlotte debut, struggling with his shot (three of nine from the floor) and finishing with ten points in nineteen minutes.
         Charlotte shot a filthy thirty-one percent from the floor. That’s bad even for a second-year expansion team.
         Both Sean May and Emeka Okafor sat out, the former in recovery from his summer knee surgery.
Washington 95, San Antonio 91
         Hayes, Butler and Antonio all had nice games, and all three are competing for the starting guard spot alongside Gilbert Arenas. Caron may shift to the three, but that still leaves more players than spaces. Who’ll be the sixth man this year?
         You know it’s the preseason when Beno Udrih drops an easy twenty in twenty-seven minutes. You also know you’re a fan when your spell-checker already has the words “Beno” and “Udrih” programmed in.
         Awvee Storey scored twelve in the contest. In other news, “Awvee Storey” may be the greatest name I’ve heard this year.
         Caron had four thefts.
New Orleans 100, Denver 90
–         Interestingly, the Hornets didn’t stink. Still, it’s only the preseason.
–         Did anybody know that Alex Garcia – all 6’3’’ of him – is listed as a guard-forward?
–         Vo’ Lenard struggled, missing ten of his twelve attempts, a bad sign for a pure shooter.
–         I know George Karl doesn’t like rookies, but giving Linas Kleiza and Julius Hodge a combined fourteen minutes in a preseason game is just ridiculous.
–         How is Mark Pope still in the league? Also, when is somebody going to mention that hair of his? He looks like that military cat from the Street Fighter games.
For any questions, comments or suggestions, you can contact me directly at [email protected] or via the comment box below. Until tomorrow, take it easy.