Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Three random observations ...

... about the NBA:

1. That was a funky-looking lineup Charlotte used last night. They went with their two point guards, D.J. Augustin and Raymond Felton, starting together in the backcourt again, and loaded the frontcourt with centers Desagana Diop and Emeka Okafor with the versatile Boris Diaw at small forward. They were playing the Clippers, so the fact the lineup was successful enough to produce a 94-73 win doesn't mean too much. It'll be interesting, though, to see how it works against legitimate competition, particularly if they keep a short bench like they did last night, when forwards Vladimir Radmanovic and Cartier Martin made up the rest of the seven-man rotation.

2. Speaking of lineup oddities, there was another in Milwaukee where 6-foot-8, 230-pound Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who was the team's starting power forward earlier this year, started at shooting guard. The move appeared to be a gem on the defensive end, as Tracy McGrady and Shane Battier combined for just six points. It didn't work out for Mbah a Moute offensively, as he shot 0-for-5 and went scoreless, but the rest of the team worked around him brilliantly, as four Bucks scored at least 21 points a piece in a 124-112 upset of Houston that wasn't as close as the score indicated. Ramon Sessions had 26, Richard Jefferson and Villanueva had 25 apiece and Charlie Bell, who might have been a more traditional choice at two-guard, had 21.

3. Another night, another less-than-stellar affair in Memphis, where injuries and suspensions marred the Hornets-Grizzlies matchup. Ticketholders hoping to see visiting attractions Chris Paul and David West were disappointed, and the hometown crowd missed out on Rudy Gay and rookie Darrell Arthur. So players like Quinton Ross, Sean Marks and Ryan Bowen wound up starting in lineups that might have given some the idea that the CBA had restarted its season. At least those who stuck outthe combined 33 percent shooting performance for both teams in Memphis at least saw the home-team Grizzlies come away with an 85-80 victory.

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