What’s good, basketball fans?
Let’s take a look at last night’s games.
Dallas Mavericks 104, New York Knicks 102
– Nate Robinson might be the first player listed generously at 5’9”. Did you know that he weighs in at 180?
– Talking of Nate, he had a mixed game. Although a line of 13, 10, 4 and 4 may look nice, he also missed five of his eight shots and turned the ball over three times.
– To remind us that this is his breakout year, Josh Howard knocked down eight of thirteen field goals for sixteen points.
– Dallas continued their hot shooting, recording a field goal percentage of fifty-two.
– New York, in comparison, shot only forty-three percent.
– David Lee – for many a surprise selection in the draft – had an encouraging seventeen and three steals.
– Fellow rookie Channing Frye also showed up, scoring eleven in eighteen minutes.
– After throwing down a two-hander on the break, Q makes to slap the backboard, but restrains himself before he can pick up the technical. It’s now the third time I’ve seen that this preseason, and it makes me think the league made a point of reminding the players that doing so results in an automatic tech.
– Like Sam Cassell, Dirk shoots jumpers with a hand in his face as well as he does a wide-open look.
– Dirk takes the ball from his own arc right to the rim, finishing with a running right. It may not be pretty, but it’s impressive.
– With the scores running high and the two teams battling for the lead, this actually looks like a game in the fourth.
– To make it a one-point game, Nate Robinson drives, draws two defenders and finds Channing Frye all alone for the dunk. If they can keep these kids in town, the Knicks should have a strong nucleus in a few years.
– DeSagana Diop’s game-winner at the buzzer was just good, leaving his hand at the last possible moment. The replay shows that he made the shot blind. You don’t get much luckier than that.
– Why did the Mavericks run a play to give Keith Van Horn the last shot? Even in the preseason, that seems like a horrible idea.
Detroit Pistons 91, Minnesota Timberwolves 80
– Flip and K.G. have a surprisingly subdued reunion before the game.
– Darko finished in double figures again, but missed all five of his shots from the floor.
– K.G. pulls off a gorgeous baseline up-and-under play. At nearly seven feet, that’s just not right.
– To remind Darko who was the first Kevin Garnett, The Big Ticket squares him up and scores easily with a running hook.
– Rip Hamilton is playing without his safety blank…I mean mask.
– Rip throws a beautiful over-the-shoulder alley to Big Ben, who now seems to score even more of his points on lobs and put-backs.
– ’Sheed takes a leaf out of Bill Walton’s book, catching the pass high above his head, turning and shooting without bringing the ball down.
– Carlos Delfino throws a pinpoint no-look bounce-pass to Ronald Dupree on the break.
– Rashad McCants had a mediocre outing, making only two of seven shots.
– Darko played twenty-one minutes. Last year, the first two words of that sentence alone would have come as a surprise to most.
Sacramento Kings 114, Golden State Warriors 99
– They may look vastly different from the team of a few years ago, but Sacto can still run a slick passing offence.
– Baron Davis appears to be wearing some sort of shoulder sleeve, although the knee support from past years is gone.
– Shoulder problem or not, he completes a crazy double-clutch layup, looking as athletic as he has since he left UCLA.
– Francisco Garcia had a decent night, scoring thirteen points in twenty-five minutes. I still have no idea why the Nuggets passed him up in the draft.
– Baron leaves the game for good with an easy 22, 6 and 4.
– As always, the Kings spread their scoring excellently, finishing with six players in double figures and ten with eight or more points.
– Ike Diogu’s “fractured hand” sounded nasty before, but the confirmation that he had injured the fourth metacarpal was very bad news. He’ll be out longer than many expect.
In Other News
Allan Houston to Announce Retirement
Although it was no surprise to hear that H20 had decided to call it a day, it’s no less disappointing to see his comeback efforts come to nothing. Of late, he’s been the punch line to many a joke, but people forget that he was averaging twenty-plus points as recently as the 2002-2003 season.
With one of the smoothest jumpers in history and an almost unparalleled focus, Houston could have been a Hall of Famer under the right circumstances. Unfortunately, he only ever had one real shot at the title (with the Knicks in ’99), and following serious problems with his left knee, he was never quite the same again. At thirty-four and with developing arthritis, Houston realised that enough was enough, and that even the forty million dollars he would have earned over his final two seasons weren’t reason enough to return.
Ron Artest Talks to Penthouse Magazine
Apparently, Ron-Ron would be willing to give up his salary for a year to help the poor if twenty other celebrities vowed to do the same. However, he also proposed that he and Ben Wallace should fight on pay-per-view for ten million dollars. I hate reality television, but if Ron had his own show, I’d have the DVD on pre-order before the first episode. If any executives from one of the major networks are reading this, make sure you pitch that one at your next meeting.
LeBron Back at Practice
Following a swift recovery from the pleurisy that kept him sidelined recently, King James was back with the Cavaliers at their training facility today, although word is that he won’t be playing against Memphis this Wednesday.
David Stern: Players Will be “pleasantly surprised” by Dress Code
Apparently, the evil overlord went soft and backtracked (even if he’d never admit it). Here’s what the commish had to say:
"It’s a lot less than all of you are talking about, a lot less…Right now we have a number of teams that are jacket and tie. We are not going there. Never were. We’re going to give teams the option to continue that…But we’re just trying to raise the lowest level up to a place where we can all still feel comfortable. I don’t think it will be a problem. The gloom and doom [speculations] have so softened up everybody that by the time we issue the dress code, which will be some time next week, everybody will be pleasantly surprised."
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. Until tomorrow, take it easy.