Some great games last night and here is what I saw.
Lakers- This team is in trouble. Up 17 on the Rockets and they lose the game. Besides my growing admiration for everyone on Houston not named Jeremy Lin, I noticed the footspeed issue with Los Angeles. Pau and World Peace are not geared to D’antoni’s system. Sure Jamison and Meeks will put up some numbers off the bench but the roster is not there for 7 seconds or less basketball. How does the system even utilize Howard and why was he kept on the floor during hack a Dwight time? The Lakers aren’t even top four in the west. They can’t keep up with Memphis, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and the Clips. Nash should improve things a bit in terms of moving the ball but seems like the year is already over for the Lakes. Locking them into a four or five seed, and that is about it. Pau needs to be dealt soon because the guy has been the lightning rod for all of LA’s problems for too long now. Everyone one has turned on him, even the head narcissist, Kobe. Will Howard even want to re-sign in LA after this season?
OKC/Brooklyn- Props to the Nets for making this game interesting at the end and coming back. They were shorthanded, without Lopez. This team has surprised me, winning in Boston last week, and Joe Johnson seems to have found his swagger. OKC is the class of the west again. Kevin Martin is beginning to answer the Harden questions. Sure he doesn’t create for others but he knocks down shots. The Thunders title hopes will rest on the development of Ibaka. Offensively he showed some nice moves last night. I do think the Thunder could use another productive big. Perkins and Collison are not enough.
Memphis- Zach Randolph was huge with 38-22 versus the Suns. Love his non-aerial dance in the post. Impressive comeback win for the Grizz. Sure they played down to their competition but they turned it on when needed.
CHI/IND- Great play by Hibbert at the end, smartly jumping straight up and not being called for a foul. George seems to be really producing in spurts. The Pacers are playing better ball. Chicago keeps on keeping on with defense and great play from Noah. Here’s hoping good health and a return for Rose. The game really needs him. Sorely missed.
Miami- Triple double for Lebron in a loss to the Wizards. Losing to the worst team in the league was brutal. Jordan Crawford is a bit of a vacuum/black hole player. Time for the Heat to turn it on, hopefully the loss will be a catalyst.
Boston- Rondo showed some heart last week in the Humphries duel. I loved the little guy sticking up for his teammate. The entire team now needs to take his lead, toughen up and start winning games Celtic style.
Toronto- Showed heart in coming back and almost winning in Denver. Kyle Lowry, who has not been the same since his injury, displayed a bit of the spark he was hired for. Loved the lineup of athletes around Bargnani at the end versus the Nugs. Ross has shown some glimpses as has Davis. Start developing the youngems Dino’s. The signing of Pietrus is classic Colangleo. Bryan won’t leave his comfort zone with players. The hack needs to stay out of the playing time decisions and the lockeroom. Barg needs to be dealt and Colangelo axed.