REASONS TO WATCH THE GAMES OF THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION TONIGHT:
Cover Your Kids’ Eyes, This One’s Gonna Be a Bit Violent:
This one can’t be good for the Bucks. As much as Matt loves to sing their graces as an interesting team and a fun team, they’re not built to handle a team like Orlando…especially when their starting backcourt is injured. Sessions/Ridnour have been doing their thang, but can a team of (basically) Sessions, Jefferson, and Mbah a Moute beat the Magic by themselves? CNuv is already getting snubbed in favor of Malik Allen (damn you, Skiles!), Bogut will have his hands full with Superman (Interjection: can we take a mulligan on the Superman nickname? It just seems so derived and ridiculous, especially considering it was kindasortaalreadytaken. Good dunk and all (err, kind of dunk), but I just feel like we could do better.), and the Bucks still look miserable on offense. But they’re trying! And they’re defending! …right?!
Orlando rebounds from their loss against the Rox by wearing down a team that frankly isn’t that good. They’ll look good, hit their shots, and ultimately claim victory by having the least Malik Allen on the court.
When Life Gets You Down, Just Remember: At Least You’re Not the Bobcats:
These teams got problems. For serious. No one knows what on earth is going down with the Sixers, where a post-injury Brand looks good-not-great. Iggy is contributing across the board, but hasn’t been the consistent scoring option that this team needs behind Brand. We knew they would be a beast on D, and they have been for stretches. But that hasn’t been nearly enough to account for the terrible offensive output Philly has produced thus far. They rank 8th in pace and yet they’re in the bottom third of the league in scoring, largely due to their 16.2 TOs per, which is good for second in the league. They’re not injured and they’re not even hobbled, really, but this team looks awfully uncomfortable at this juncture. They’re still 7th in the East at this point, but I don’t think being tied with the Knicks should be the claim to fame of a team that looked to contend this season.
The Bobcats are the Bobcats. They don’t have a real center. They lack depth at every significant position except for point guard, where Raymond Felton hasn’t made any real strides in his development. Sean May is still out of shape/injured/whatever. So naturally, it makes sense to strike Jason Richardson down with a bizarre knee injury that doesn’t register as being serious during exploratory surgery, yet noticeably changed his style when he was on the court. The Bobcats have been starting Alexis Ajinca. ALEXIS AJINCA. But they’re fielding a cute little backcourt of Augustin and Felton, who measure up to a combined 12’1”. Okafor is back to his real position at power forward. Annnnd that’s all I’ve got. Hang in there, ‘Cats.
A Looming Presence Over the Miami Skyline:
Yao Ming against a team that plays Udonis Haslem at center. I know he’s injured and I know he’s slow, but you’re going to have a hard time selling a Heat victory. Wade’s incredible (although still turns the ball over like it’s going out of style…I’ll cut him a break on that this season, though) but Marion has been out of his element since hitting Meeyami and Beasley hasn’t impressed the same way the rest of the ’08 standouts have. T-Mac and Crazy Pills are just the frills on the table cloth: this one’s a feast for the big fella.
Just Like a Dreeeeeeeeam:
Spurs at Grizzlies
I still can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that this game will be competitive. The Grizz play hard and keep up with some quality teams on their Dr. Jekyll nights, so let’s hope that team shows up tonight. Not that they need to be fantastic to take down Duncan, Roger Mason, a handful of rookies, some old dudes, the equipment manager, and a guy hanging around the stadium who looked like he might be able to ball, but it would probably rock my world if the Cubs ran over the Spurs in a manner that included (but, by all means, is not restricted to) a May to Gay oop, a flurry of Gasol post-ups from the middle of the lane on well-timed entry passes, and some output from Conley that mimics his play of the other night and does not include more than 2 turnovers. That’s all I ask. That and for Hak to poster Duncan. Pretty please?
I Hold One Truth Above All: There is No Way I’m Going to Watch This Game:
Bulls at Jazz
The Jazz have stumbled a bit, mostly due to injuries and Okur’s absence. But the Bulls are the Bulls. This game is in Utah. It doesn’t matter who the Jazz put on the floor, they are going to win this game. Plus, without Deron Williams in the lineup, Utah’s intrigue factor is incredibly low. Watching Boozer can be interesting or funny. AK is always awkward and delightful (even on his terrible nights). But with no player that I feel like I have to watch from the moment he steps onto the court…ehhh, I’ll pass.
The “Dunked On” Debates Continue After Steve Blake Slams One On Beno Udrih:
I’m looking forward to charting Oden’s progress in terms of his movement, but otherwise this is just an exercise in regular season-ness. No Kevin Martin (still…), probably too much John Salmons, and Brandon Roy being a freaking madman. Although, I’d love to see Aldridge get tough and really stick it to this Kings frontline. He really does have the makings of a dominant big man (on the offensive end, at the very least), but too often he gets taken out of games and pushed off the glass. He will never be that overly aggressive bull in the post, but is it too much to ask for a cow with some attitude?
The Jason Thompson army continues to impress, and I’m still amazed at what Hawes is able to bring off the bench. He’s energetic, he’s blocking shots, and though I don’t think he’s ready to take up that starting role just yet, he’s shown me things in this young season that I surely didn’t expect. Gold star for you, sir.
Slightly Above Average Beats Below Average Every Time…Well Not Every Time, But You Know What I Mean
But I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the first Zach Randolph sighting in Clipperland!