Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Three random observations ...

... about the NBA:

1. The chances that the Cavs will make a deal at the deadline just shot up Tuesday night. LeBron is surely kicking himself for what happened at the end of the game, when his foul on Danny Granger with less than a second to go sealed the 96-95 win for the Pacers. Yet he was essentially a one-man show in Indiana, scoring 47 points on 15-for-21 shooting and a 13-for-14 performance at the line, while Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas got a similar number of shot opportunities but finished with only 15 and 10 points, respectively. The Cavs, apart from LeBron's numbers, shot 34 percent, including 2-for-14 from 3-point range and made only eight of 15 free throws. LeBron will surely push for more help, and he should get it if Cleveland GM Danny Ferry can pull something off.

2. What in the world has gotten into Matt Bonner? Is that guy on the juice? Well, probably not, but it's not often you see a second-round pick who has been buried on the bench for most of his four-plus seasons in the league turn into a difference-maker for a title contender. His three 3-pointers were key to turning a 54-51 halftime lead into a 73-59 bulge as San Antonio pulled away in the third quarter en route to a 108-93 win at New Jersey. Bonner wound up with 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting two days after scoring 23 in a win at Boston. His emergence as more than just a placeholder at starting center gives the Spurs one more edge that suggests they're a favorite for the title again this year.

3. You had to know when the Warriors got together with the Knicks this year, it was going to be fun. That it was, at least if you like a lot of points, as Nellie Ball beat Seven Seconds or Less 144-127 in a matchup of up-tempo teams. Is eight players in double figures for Golden State enough for you? How about some other wacky stats from this one: The Warriors took 94 shots and made 52 of them, good for 55 percent shooting. The Knicks went 49-for-90 for 54 percent shooting. The teams took a combined 49 3-pointers, nailing 23 of them. The Warriors beat the Knicks solidly in the turnover battle, committing just half the total of New York's 16 giveaways. The Warriors had not one but two 40-point quarters, and scored another 39 in the fourth quarter.

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