Friday, November 28, 2008
What can Happen in 2 Games
*In the two games where Eric Gordon has started, where he’s been given more than 5 minute increments of time to play, he’s averaged a cool 24.5 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3 rpg, 4 spg, and a sparkling 47 percent from beyond the arc including a beauty of a 3 pointer that tied the game against the Nuggets in the final half minute. That’s against two good teams. The Hornets, though not playing that well, are still considered elite, and the Nugs have moved up on everyone’s power charts. Both of them were Clippers losses, but the Clips had a real shot of winning the Nugs game, but came up short on a Marcus Camby 3-point heave with 3 seconds on the clock. You read that right. Anyways, Mike Dunleavy should relieve himself of coaching duties and let Kim Hughes, who filled in admirably on Wednesday night, coach the rest of the season. The team just looked more fluid with him calling the plays. He even let DeAndre Jordan get PT (well, he had to thanks to Kaman’s injury, but it was nice to see Jordan get time).
*In two games as a starter, Paul Millsap of the Jazz has averaged 22.5 ppg, 13 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1 bpg, 1 spg, on 65 percent shooting. Sure, one of the games was against Chicago, who lack any sort of interior presence, and the other game was against the super young Memphis Grizzlies, but that sort of production doesn't just materialize out of nowhere. Millsap is the real deal, and a big reason why watching Carlos Boozer walk, or trading him before the deadline, is not going to be that difficult for the Jazz this off-season. He’s a better defensive player, and has improved in all aspects of his game. His inside moves, mid-range jumper, passing out of double teams, and defensive recognition have all improved, and he’s shooting a career best 55.9 percent from the field and 74.5 percent from the line.
*Kevin Durant’s so far 2 game experiment at the SF position for the woeful Thunder has produced mixed results. Against Phoenix he got to the line 8 times and converted all 8, leading to a 30-point performance. He only had 4 boards however. Against Cleveland a night later, he managed only 13 points and 1 rebound and shot 6-16 in a game that Lebron only played 17 minutes. In the end, I think this move will benefit his overall game, though, he'll need to add muscle for sure. The interesting aspect of this is what this does to Jeff Green, who has been playing much improved from last season. Green, no matter how well he's been playing, is still a questionable draft pick in my mind especially considering guys like Rodney Stuckey, Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young, Julian Wright, Brandan Wright and even Joakim Noah were still available.
*Better without Shaq? In the two games the Diesel has sat out this season, Amare Stoudemire has only compiled 24 ppg, 7 rpg, 2.5 apg, on 65 percent shooting. Steve Nash almost had a triple double against Oklahoma City the other night, 20 ppg, 15 apg, and 8 rpg, but also had 7 turnovers and the Suns barely beat the worst team in the league. Against Chicago, Nash played only 24 minutes and had 6 points and 5 assists. While I’m still convinced the Suns should have never traded for Shaq, especially giving away Marion, I won’t go so far to say that Shaq has been the main problem with the Suns this year. Look no further than the manchild. He’s got game like a man, but a brain like a child’s. I thought the key to the season would be Amare’s maturity and ability to play defense and rebound. If he did those things, the offense would come naturally and he’d be a legitimate MVP candidate. So far, Amare is under 8 rebounds per game and averaging over half a block per game less. Plus, he’s whining about wanting to be the man and seriously considering his options in 2010 (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=smith_stephen&page=Stoudemire-081128). The curse of 2010 has reached all corners of the NBA. Even Darko Milicic is talking about going back to Europe in tw years (http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/nov/27/milicic-admits-hes-homesick/?partner=RSS).
The NBA, where forgetting 2008 and focusing on 2010 happens.
Thanks a bundle New York.
Keep it Slanted West…