Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Three random observations ...

... about the NBA:

1. The question now is whether you think LeBron or Kobe is the league's best player or should be MVP. But the personal rivalry that will soon take over the best-player debate is one that could provide the league it's best 1-2 punch since Magic vs. Bird. Dwayne Wade and LeBron, the league's top two scorers this season, already have a history of concurrent success, having been taken with picks No. 1 and No. 5, respectively, in the 2004 draft, having already been one time each to the Finals and having scored 40 points apiece in the same game in 2006. Monday night they did it again in a duel for the ages. Wade poured in 41 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed seven rebounds as he lifted Miami to an 11-point lead with 7:52 remaining. It was not enough, though, as LeBron's 42 points and eight rebounds helped fuel a furious comeback. Mo Williams scored 15 of his 30 points in the last 7:13 and LeBron got 10 points in the final 6:50 to power Cleveland to a 107-100 victory that may be just a prelude to several years in which LeBron, 24 and Wade, 27, aren't just two of the league's biggest names. They could be the names that, like Mikan, Russell, Wilt, Magic, Bird and Jordan before them, define an era in professional basketball

2. So no Kevin Durant, no Jeff Green, and the Thunder still beat the Mavericks? How the mighty have fallen! Yes, the Mavs were without Josh Howard in the second half after he aggravated a nagging left ankle injury, but Jason Terry looked strong in his second game back since breaking his hand more than three weeks ago, scoring 20 points. He and Dirk Nowitzki, who had 28 points, six assists and five rebounds, were a two-man show in Monday's 96-87 loss. No one else hit double figures in any category, and the team shot 29 percent from behind the arc. Russell Westbrook, who can't be forgotten in Rookie of the Year talk, had his first career triple double with 17 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, and Nenad Krstic had a season-high 26 points. The Thunder as a team was just shy of 50 percent shooting from the field.

3. Only the Clippers can have six players in double figures but still only score 78 points as a team. That's what happened Monday in the 106-78 loss at home to the Spurs, when no Clipper had more than the 14 that Al Thornton and Fred Jones put up. L.A. was without Eric Gordon, Zach Randolph and Ricky Davis, so what little chance they would have had against San Antonio was probably gone before tip-off. Still, there was occasion for a vintage Spurs performance, from Roger Mason, who found a way to contribute even on a two-point, 1-for-9 shooting night. Mason, arguably the most important offseason acquisition of the past year, wound up with nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks against not a single turnover.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

I love you, sweetie. Thank you for teaching me about basketball.