Thursday, February 5, 2009

Three random observations ...

... about the NBA:

1. So let me get this straight: The Lakers just lost their starting center long-term, they're playing on the second night of a back-to-back, they shoot 58.6 percent from the line in a one-point overtime game and they wind up beating the Celtics in Boston? That shows you how important it is that Kevin Garnett be at or near 100 percent for the Celtics. He has been saddled with a severe flu for the past several days, and it was clear he didn't have the unmatched energy he usually brings to the court. He fouled out with 4:22 to go in regulation, and Boston was forced to go with Big Baby Davis, who missed a pair of open looks in the last two minutes that could have put the Celtics in front. The result is a season sweep for the Lakers and the tiebreaker for home-court advantage in the not-so-unlikely scenario the teams finish the regular season tied.

2. I give the Magic credit for making a trade that addresses the mere dearth of point guards on the team in the wake of Jameer Nelson's injury, but Tyronn Lue does nothing to put this team back in the upper echelon of the league. He's a veteran backup who can moonlight as a two-guard if Nelson makes it back. Keith Bogans, whom the Magic gave up, is a former starter for the team who had fallen out of the rotation behind newcomers Courtney Lee and Mickael Pietrus.

3. Don't weep for the Sixers, at least in a basketball sense, on the heels of the announcement that Elton Brand is out for the season with more surgery due on his injured shoulder. There are plenty of tears to be shed about the salary cap implications of $80 million due a guy who has missed most of the last two seasons, but the Sixers play just fine without him. Samuel Dalembert pulled down 20 rebounds last night, albeit against the Pacers, and Andre Iguodala was just two boards shy of a triple-double in a 99-94 win. Andre Miller had 12 assists, and Willie Green led all scorers with 23 points, a bonus that Philadelphia is glad to take.

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