... about the NBA:
1. The Rockets have to be the most resourceful team out there. They got 22 points from the inconsistent Rafer Alston and a perfect 12-for-12, 26-point, 10-rebound performance from Yao Ming on a night when Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest were both missing. That combined with 17 points from journeyman Von Wafer and 19 minutes of run out of Brent Barry were enough to get by Miami. How a team can shoot 57 percent with limited offensive weaponry is a testament to Rick Adelman's coaching.
2. If Orlando doesn't go as far as I think they will this season, their bench may be the foremost reason why. The Magic reserves shot 1-for-11 and scored two points as a unit last night. But the starting five had enough on their own to beat the Carmelo-less Nuggets by 18 in Denver, and depth shouldn't be quite as much of a problem when Mickael Pietrus returns from a broken wrist. But it will still be a problem.
3. OK, I'll admit it when my suggestions don't exactly pan out for the parties involved. Charlie Villanueva didn't light it up as the starting power forward for the Bucks last night, going 3-for-12 with eight points and four rebounds in 29 minutes as the Bucks lost to the Clippers last night. But it was the second game of a West Coast back-to-back for Milwaukee, and that's hardly a time to pass judgment. I stand by my Villanueva backing for at least another night!