15 Footer 1/12/12: DwightGate

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Charlotte Bobcats at Atlanta Hawks (7:30 PM EST)

This one’s all about whether or not Byron Mullens can draw Josh Smith into a jump-shooting contest, am I right, or am I right? Seriously though,  since being dealt by Sam Presti from the Thunder to the Bobcats, Byron Mullens has quickly become an injection of offense that draws opposing centers away from the basket with his 52% FGs from mid-range. It’s a shame Charlotte lacks fun finishers around the rim to take advantage of the opportunity. But hey, when it’s the Bobcats you gotta take what you can get.

Atlanta rolls unspectacularly onward.

Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks (8:00PM EST)

Don’t look now, but the Bucks are out of the offensive cellar and scoring the 18th-most PPG. Okay, this has more to do with the truncated season and it’s frenetic schedule than anything — league-wide, as expected, scoring is off more than five PPG, at 94.4, which is still 2.8 points higher than the last lockout-shortened season. Milwaukee’s 93.3 PPG would have been good for only 29th in the NBA last year, one step up from their actual last place ranking on offense, but with this year it has them squarely competitive on the O-end. Bucks haven’t lost at home and the Pistons haven’t won on the road. But, hey, at least 3,624 more people will get to see Detroit lose in Milwaukee than would have in the Motor City.

New York Knicks at Memphis Grizzlies (8:00 PM EST)

Last season’s Cinderellas, the Grizzlies, have yet to beat a playoff team from last season in five tries this, while the Knicks come in having found their stride after a sluggish start. As expected, the Knicks are among the league leaders in pace, but so are the Grizzlies now too, up two possessions per-100 from last year. I don’t know about you, but for me this one is all about Tony Allen on Landry Fields. You will be entertained.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Phoenix Suns (9:00 PM EST)

Steve Nash

Kyrie Irving

Get spun on this one.

Orlando Magic at Golden State Warriors (10:30 PM EST)

The Warriors are stockpiling quality wins against quality clubs at Oracle Arena. However, the Magic just joined an elite club of one by becoming the first team this season to silence the Rose Garden crowd by downing the Blazers in Portland last night before rolling down the Pacific Coast highway to try the same trick on Mark Jackson and Monta Ellis.

 

Seth Carstens