Sunday, February 22, 2009

Three random observations ...

... about the NBA:

1. It's not the Big Three in Boston any more, and not just because the "Big Three" name was already taken 25 years ago. Rajon Rondo showed why he is every bit as important to the Celtics as Garnett, Pierce and Allen are Sunday when his career-high 32 points against former MVP Steve Nash sparked a blowout 128-108 win in Phoenix. Rondo wasn't just looking for his shot, either, passing out 10 assists as he more than made up for the absence of Garnett. His continued development is overlooked by those who assume the Celtics are no better or even worse than they were last year. Four is better than three.

2. We know Charlotte is a defensively oriented team, but that does them no good if they continue to have nights like they did Sunday. Every Bobcat missed more shots than they made, and no one scored more than 13 points. The team as a whole shot 36 percent in a 99-78 loss to the Rockets, who shot an even 50 percent. Charlotte forced 14 turnovers, a decent number, but committed an egregious 21 of their own. Playing ugly is only effective when you win, and by that measure, the Bobcats still have a long way to go.

3. Dwyane Wade has to feel frustrated. He goes out and scores 50 points, but no one else on the team can find their shot and Miami gets blown out by Orlando 122-99. Of particular concern for the Heat is the way new acquisition Jermaine O'Neal was not even competitive with Dwight Howard. Superman shot 11-for-14, got to the line 15 times and grabbed 17 rebounds to go along with 32 points. O'Neal went only 2-for-10 from the floor, shot two free throws, and wound up with six points and two rebounds. Miami better finish at least fifth in the East so they can avoid the Magic and have any hope of making it past the first round.

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