Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Three random observations ...

... about the NBA:

1. Dwight Howard got a lot of credit during All-Star Weekend for letting Nate Robinson dunk over his head, allowing the diminutive purveyor of kryptonite (you know what I'm talking about if you were watching) to win the slam-dunk contest. Well, Howard got his Tuesday night. He bolted out of the break with 45 points, 19 rebounds and eight blocks to lead the otherwise lethargic Magic to a win they needed to have, 107-102 in overtime. Howard was a truly dominant force in the paint, and his ability to get to the line was the difference, as Orlando attempted and made 20 more free throws than Charlotte.

2. The dunk contest had an empowering effect for Robinson, too. He popped for 32 points and 10 rebounds, the latter figure quite eye-popping for a 5-foot-9 guy, as the Knicks outlasted the Spurs in a 112-107 win. Robinson played 38 minutes off the bench as New York went super-small to foil San Antonio. Manu Ginobili was absent with a sore right ankle, while Tony Parker shot 5-for-20 and went to the line only four times, a tough combination for the Spurs to overcome when they play an up-tempo team.

3. Fans of teams along the western Gulf Coast were stabbed in the heart Tuesday. First, the Hornets admitted they weren't a title contender this season by trading away center Tyson Chandler in a move to avoid paying the luxury tax this offseason. They brought back the expiring contracts of Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox from Oklahoma City, but while Smith was much sought after for the frontcourt depth he can provide, he cannot compare with what Chandler could do as a starter. The Rockets, another team with legitimate title hopes before the season began, aren't going anywhere because Tracy McGrady's balky left knee has worsened to the point that he admitted Tuesday he needs microfracture surgery. That means he's out for this year and the first half of next year, too. Houston was rumored to be shopping him to the Nets for Vince Carter, but the surgery scuttles that deal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh I loved the references to the weekend show of form and fun...truly "delightful" commentary!