Sunday, February 1, 2009

Three random observations ...

... about the NBA:

1. The Nets have major holes, but there's little reason to believe they aren't on the upswing long-term. Rookie Brook Lopez recorded a line of 24 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks, numbers the franchise has not seen in a single game in almost 15 years, as New Jersey amazingly held the Sixers without a field goal for the final 10:37 in an 85-83 win. The Nets trailed by a dozen before Philadelphia missed its final 18 shots in a row. New Jersey limited the Sixers to just five second half baskets in an amazing second half defensive performance and turnaround. And this was a Sixers team that was playing its best basketball of the season coming in.

2. There are times Chris Paul must feel as though it's him against the world. The MVP candidate put up 38 points in San Antonio, putting on a dazzling 15-for-22 shooting performance, including 5-for-6 from behind the arc, but no Hornet other than David West, with 16 points and 10 rebounds, could run with him, as New Orleans fell 106-93 to the Spurs, who had three 20-point scorers.

3. Want to know why Chicago won in Phoenix last night? Look at the offensive rebounding category. The Bulls pulled down a dozen, including an impressive four from point guard Derrick Rose. The Suns had four as a team. Statistically at least, you have to point the finger at Amare Stoudemire, who had six rebounds, all of them on the defensive end, in 43 minutes of play. He only had 12 points and a single assist on a night that's symbolic of a season in which his numbers are mysteriously down.

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