Saturday, January 24, 2009

Three random observations ...

... about the NBA:

1. How bad is it for the Pistons? They lost by 21 to the Mavs at home tonight, and that was even though they went 28-for-29 from the line. It could have easily been worse for Detroit, which has lost six of eight and looks directionless since the Iverson trade. They're 20-18 with AI, and appear headed for a first-round playoff exit, which makes losing in the Eastern Conference Finals every year look a lot better. Normally, this would be a "Wait 'til next year!" moment for Pistons fans, but since the trade was made with the summer of 2010 in mind, it's more like "Wait 'til the next next year!"

2. Misery has company. The Phoenix Suns are perhaps even worse off than the Pistons, who at least have 2010 to look forward to. The Suns, too, gave indication they have plummeted from the league's elite with a blowout loss at Charlotte last night. Boris Diaw, the ex-Sun, made Phoenix rue trading him with a 26-point, 11-rebound performance last night. The only Sun to score more than a dozen points was 36-year-old Shaquille O'Neal, who looks like he's the team's best player right now. When you're being led by a guy whose 37th birthday is little more than a month away, that's not a good sign.

3. The official Rookie-Sophomore game is three weeks away, but last night's Thunder-Clippers game was quite the showcase for young players. Rookie Eric Gordon, who may now start hearing Rookie of the Year chatter, sprang for 41 points while second-year man Al Thornton had 34 as the Clippers beat Oklahoma City, despite a game-high 46 points from last year's Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant. Even more eye-opening was the play of Ricky Davis, who responded to an 0-for-6 shooting night by dishing out 11 assists. Now that's a performance worth noting!

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