By Jason Wojciechowski on October 31, 2008 at 3:33 AM
I'm not going to do like in the past and force myself to comment on every game, but here are some notes on Wednesday's box scores.
The Twin Towers in Toronto combined for 44 points, 19 boards, 8 assists, and two blocks in 76 minutes. Toronto can win some games with that kind of production.
Elton Brand had a disappointing Philly debut against the aforementioned towers, shooting just 5/14. He'll do better than that normally, and Philly will win some games if he and Sam Dalembert combine for 30 rebounds like they did last night.
Josh Smith? Still a monster: 17 points on 11 shots, 10 boards, four steals, five blocks. Good gracious.
JJ Redick is going to have to shoot better than 0/4 if he's going to crack the Orlando rotation for any length of time and work his way into the league as the new Steve Kerr.
Chris Douglas-Roberts, one of my favorite rookies, and a guy I think a lot of teams will eventually rue passing on, is still looking for his first NBA point after not scoring in 14 minutes against Washington. The Nets won anyway.
Look at the Knicks! 120-115 over the Heat, 29 for Jamal Crawford, 16/11/5 for David Lee, 17 points and nine boards in just 23 minutes for Wilson Chandler. It's a lot of good. The elevated pace of the game resulted in some inflated stats for the Heat, too: nine assists for Dwyane Wade and eight for Mario Chalmers, 23 points for Udonis Haslem, and 13 in 20 minutes for Daequan Cook.
You have to feel bad for Danny Granger, since he's obviously the only scorer on his team: he had 33 points in a loss to Detroit, but no one else on the team scored more than 13.
I love looking at Detroit's box scores -- they're models of spreading the wealth. Ten different guys scored at least five points and no one had more than 19. Nine different guys had at least two rebounds and no one had more than seven. Kwame Brown got stiffed in his Detroit debut, getting only three minutes, while everyone else who got into the game played at least fourteen.
Mikki Moore played 21 minutes and did not grab a rebound. That's absurd. I guess it's Spencer Hawes's fault: 14 in 33 minutes is pretty good for a white guy. Jason Thompson, the rookie from Rider, had a box score line that looks a lot more polished than his game supposedly is: 7/11 shooting, 4/4 from the line and ten boards. All that in 22 minutes. That's impressive stuff for an NBA debut.
Kevin Love also had a nice debut, filling up the box score in 19 minutes from the bench: 12 points, nine boards, two assists, a steal, two blocks. Not bad for a 6'8" chubby white guy.
The Spurs proved Bill Simmons's point that they're an incredibly thin team: Tim Duncan shot 13/21, Tony Parker shot 13/24, and nobody else got more than nine shots. (And that was Matt Bonner!) I can't decide, with Manu out, who the third-best offensive player on this team is. Roger Mason? Mason's a nice player, but he shouldn't be your #3 guy.
Robin Lopez? Shooting 1.000 for his career after a 1/1 debut.
Kevin Durant Year 2 looks a lot like Kevin Durant Year 1: 5/14 for twelve points, three boards, two assists, and four turnovers. If Oden can't stay healthy and Durant can't actually play the game all that well, the second-most ballyhooed draft in history might go down as the biggest 1-2 bust ever. Maybe the lesson is that we shouldn't judge skinny swingmen by one good season against mediocre competition in college.
Darrell Arthur got 27 minutes in his NBA debut and made them count: 11 points and 15 boards. Keep doing that and you'll keep getting minutes. And hey, Marc Gasol, getting a start in his debut, goes for a 12/12 double-double. OJ Mayo? 5/20, and 0/7 from three. Ouch. He's better than that, though, and if he's getting 20 shots a game, he'll put up eye-popping numbers a couple of times this year. Memphis will still lose 50 games, but whatever. (Hamed Haddadi didn't play.)
Carl Landry had an awesome rebounding line: six boards, five offensive. And yet he shot 0-3! He couldn't turn any of those into an easy putback? Joey Dorsey, potentially the new Carl Landry / Luis Scola / Paul Millsap, didn't play.
Andrei Kirilenko isn't starting for the Jazz, but he played 35 effective minutes off the bench: 16 points on nine shots, six boards (three offensive), three assists (best passing SF/PF in the game), one steal, two blocks. If Utah can get that from Kirilenko 75% of the time, they'll go nuts on the league. (Problem: they'll only get that 25% of the time.)
Tyson Chandler makes Chicago feel stupid like nine games out of ten. They couldn't use 13 points, 16 boards, and three blocks from their center? (Granted that probably 6-8 of his points were on alley-oops from the nonpareil Chris Paul.)
Corey Maggette went for 27 on just 11 shots in his Golden State debut. That's unbelievably efficient.
Hack-a-Biedrins should be the new strategy if Golden State manages any close games this year: 4/10 from the free-throw line undermined a 14 and 12 night. (That and fouling out in 29 minutes, that is.)
My boy Ronny had four boards, three assists, and four blocks in 24 minutes. He didn't score, but who cares? Four blocks in 24 minutes is awesome. And I bet none of them were cheap Pau-style blocks, either, but rather thundering swats into the stands following by beatings of that barrel chest of his. I love Ronny.
Don Nelson frustrates me as a box-score watcher: Marcus Williams, Marco Belinelli, Brandon Wright, and Anthony Randolph? DNP. DeMarcus Nelson? (Who?) Thirteen minutes.
Eric Gordon scored two points but didn't hit a field goal. The allegedly beautiful jump shot will go in another day.
Why no Lakers notes? Because their blowout of the Clippers meant a lot of garbage time, which means no notable lines, unless Jordan Farmar's 15/5/5 line is notable. (It might be now, but it won't be much longer. Watch for that to become more and more commonplace as the year goes on.)