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NBA Awards – Wed 11/21/12

Tuesday Night Activity
Watched some 2nd half Laker action last night – took them 7 minutes, 21 seconds to get a FG in the 4th Q as they had only totaled 3 free throws before Artest hit a corner 3. BKN went for the ‘Hack-a-Shaq’ strategy on Dwight, and it was working as he hit just 7 of 19 freebies in the game. Maybe the biggest play of the gm was by Kobe. D-Will hit 2 FT’s to make it 91-90 with a little over 10 secs left. Pau got trapped w/ the ball near sideline shortly after the inbounds play, and chucked it high to Kobe, who out-jumped two Nets to capture the pass and the game for the Lakers. Pass could easily have been picked off, but Kobe had enough spring in his 34 yr old legs to rise to the occasion, literally. Lakers win 95-90…Tor took a 7 pt lead into the 4th Q vs. the 76ers before being outscored 33-18 in the final stanza to lose 106-98, as Jrue Holiday had 19, 8, & 12 dimes…The Knicks had very little trouble dispatching the Hornets in N.O., 102-80, as rookie Anthony Davis missed his 3rd gm of the season, this time an ankle issue (concussion the first 2 gms). Melo had 29/6/4 assts for NY.
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —  Dwight Howard —  23 pts, 15 rebs, 3 asst, 7 FTM, 1 stl, 4 blk, 0 treys, and 8-11 shooting…Not sure if Dwight is back to 100% on his explosiveness yet (or if he’ll ever match his prime explosiveness…quick aside: I remember asking a good friend of mine, the best beach volleyball player in the world from 1978 – 82, when he felt he was definitely in his prime physically – his quickest, most explosive – and he said 23 to 25, but played his best around 27/28 cuz he was a smarter player then and was only barely off his best athletically. Dwight turns 27 in Dec, has had 689 games, including playoffs, of NBA pounding, and is coming off a back issue, so it’s likely we’ve already seen his quickest, most explosive days). He is 11th on the all-time rebs/gm list in the NBA at 12.98, right behind The Worm, Dennis Rodman (13.12) and just ahead of Willis Reed (12.94). He’s 56th in total rebs (for NBA…NBA/ABA combined he’s 66th) with 8,201. In blocks, he’s 19th at 2.18 a gm, sandwiched between two Atlanta Hawks – Tree Rollins above (2.20) and Joshua Tree below (2.17). He’s 39th in overall blocks with 1,375. Not a bad career resume for someone who’s not even 27 yet.
The Steve Stipanovich Award —  Al-Farouq Aminu  —  0 pts, 6 rebs, 1 asst, 0 FTM, 1 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 0-4 shooting in 24 minutes…Aminu was the 8th pick of the 2010 Draft, going to the Clippers and then playing 18 min/night, impressing no one (5.6 pts, 3.3 rebs, 39.4%). He was then traded to N.O. on the eve of the 2011-12 season as part of the CP III deal, and again, impressed no one, this time in 22.4 min/night: 6.0, 4.6, 41.1%. But the highly athletic, 6’9″, 215 lb SF out of Wake Forest has come alive in his 3rd season, garnering a starting gig and starter’s minutes (30.8) and producing 10.7 pts, 7.8 rebs, 2.3 dimes, 1.7 stl, 1.0 blk, and shooting 48.2%. He has also nabbed at least 1 steal in every game this year, and has only missed 1 game so far in his brief career. 
FYI…yes, there will be an NBA Awards on Thanksgiving morning – it’s a massive 13-game schedule tonight!

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