By Jason Wojciechowski on November 5, 2009 at 6:45 PM
E-Sex (I've called him that three times now, so I think it's officially his name) supposedly got confused today about what day my writeups were covering. The problem is that I've been doing it so late on day n+1 that by the time it hits Twitter or Google Reader, it's day n+2, especially since everyone I know is an hour ahead of me anyway. So I'm trying to get to this a little earlier today. Ideally, I'd do it in the morning, and it'd be fresh, but that'd either require waking up quite early and doing it before work or else doing it at work, which would be fine, except I'm having server issues.
So anyway, with visions of the SEIU dancing in my head, Wednesday's games. (With a note to read yesterday's entry for thoughts as I was actually watching the Houston-LA game.
Suns 100, Magic 122: Dwight Howard had an uncharacteristic night, grabbing just six rebounds, not blocking a shot, and committing five fouls and turnovers. Still, even without Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter, Orlando blew out the Suns, who got a combined zero points from Grant Hill and Jason Richardson. Ryan Anderson had a weird rebounding line for Orlando: seven offensive, just three defensive.
Heat 93, Bullets 89: Miami needed every one of Dwyane Wade's 40 to hold off Washington. Gilbert Arenas had 32, but he only shot 9-27, which is pretty ugly. Quentin Richardson's 5-7 three-point shooting looks like the difference in the game to me.
Detroit 99, Toronto 110: Chris Bosh got to the line 20 times en route to 25 points, helped along by Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye, and Chris Wilcox each picking up five fouls. Wilcox's five were most impressive, coming in just ten minutes. Rodney Stuckey, of all people, grabbed ten rebounds.
Denver 122, New Jersey 94: The Nets really suck. They got six guys in double digits, but so did the Nuggets, and Denver had two crack 20, while the Nets were led by Chris Douglas-Roberts's 19. Ty Lawson continued his impressive rookie run with 23 points off the bench for Denver, even outscoring Carmelo (22). The Nets are now 0-5 and Denver is 5-0, which I can say is not how I saw either team starting. The Nets weren't going to be good, but I really did not expect "worst in the league" bad. And Denver? They were supposed to be one-hit wonders. Maybe I should start being afraid.
Pacers 101, Knicks 89: Speaking of worst in the league! Indiana got their first win of the year, after three unsuccessful tries, by having all five starters score in double figures, with three of them getting double-doubles, two of those three being Brandon Rush and Dahntay Jones. Which is not really what you'd expect. Danny Granger had four steals, but also fouled out. David Lee continued to be David Lee with 20/19, four assists, two blocks, and two steals. Larry Hughes didn't quite follow up on his big night the other day, shooting 2-10.
Boston 92, Minnesota 90: Boston extended their season-opening streak to six games behind yet another balanced effort: 10 points from Paul Pierce was the low of the starting five and Rajon Rondo's 18 was the high. Obviously they didn't win this game with offense, even though Minnesota shot over 50%. Boston kept the Wolves off the line, though (12 free throws), and got turnovers (17, to just nine given up). Anyway, all that is irrelevant, because the game's leading scorer, with 24 points, was Oleksiy Pecherov. Yeah.
Lakers 103, Houston 102: As I mentioned yesterday, this was an overtime contest that went down to L.A. stripping the ball from Trevor Ariza (I typed that as "Ron Artest" to start, no joke) with the clock ticking down. Kobe scored 41 and Andrew Bynum continued to be a big-man monster with 17/17. Watching Bynum, I saw him get stuffed by the rim on a put-back attempt on one trip but skying for rebounds against Houston's swarming "big" men on another trip. I really think it is a Patrick Ewing thing: he can jump when he gathers himself and gets up, but he doesn't have any instant spring in his legs. I remember reading a note about Kobe ten or so years ago that mentioned that he was the best second-jumper in the league: he could sky for a rebound, come down with it, and go straight back up for a dunk while the defense was still gathering itself. Suffice it to say that Bynum does not have that.
Anyway, Carl Landry was the high scorer for Houston off the bench, with 20. Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes both fouled out, but they each put up double-doubles before doing it.
One last Bynum note, because he clearly still has a lot of skill and talent, and I don't want to come off like I'm down on him: he led the team in assists last night with five, blocked three shots, and seven of his seventeen boards came on the offensive glass. The Lakers miss Pau Gasol, for sure, but they've missed much less of a beat than many teams would if they were missing a guy of Pau's caliber.
Dallas 107, New Orleans 114: This was also an overtime game, and one I would have watched had the World Series not been on. (Damn Yankees.) Without Jason Terry's 35 points, the Mavs would've been sunk because Dirk shot 4-15, Shawn Marion scored eight, and Jason Kidd shot 3-12. They couldn't overcome David West finally waking up and taking my criticism, though, scoring 25 with ten rebounds. Chris Paul's 39 points and seven assists don't even make you blink anymore, do they?
Atlanta 113, Sacramento 105: Atlanta's had a soft schedule so far, being three weak teams and Portland, and losing to the Lakers, but 4-1 is 4-1. Jamal Crawford continues to battle Al Harrington for the points-off-the-bench lead -- he scored 26 here. Kevin Martin, meanwhile, continues to lead the league in completely meaningless points with 29 this time around. He managed eleven rebounds, though, which is pretty good if you've ever seen Kevin Martin. He's rather small.
Memphis 105, Golden State 113: This one was probably fun. The Warriors had two guys with 24 and two guys with 20, and one of each was a benchie. Anthony Morrow's 24 was the most surprising of the four. Marc Gasol and Z-Bo each had another double-double and Rudy Gay scored 29. Why is Memphis not good? Oh, wait, defense? That's a thing? Yeah, if you let Golden State shoot 54% and hit 7-12 from three, you might not win.