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NBA Awards Thurs 11/22/12

Wednesday Night Activity — Big men flirting w/ tri-doubles, long bomb drainings, multiple 18+ reb efforts, Kevin Love sighting, and the best 3-17 effort I’ve seen in a while…plenty of action to cover from a 13 game night.
1) The Bigs – We had a super-rare triple double w/ blocks (Hibbert – 10 pts, 11 reb, 11 blks), and another big who almost tri-doubled (Horford – 15 pts, 9 reb, 10 asst…and 1-10 on FTs). 3 bigs had at least 18 rebs – Bosh (18), Varejao (19), and out of nowhere, rookie John Henson w/ the bucks (18). 3 more had 15 boards – Ariza (career high), Dunc, and Boozer.
2) Long Bomb Squad – Ten guys had at least 4 treys last night, led by Paul George’s career scoring night: career-high 9 long bombs & 37 pts overall. Kobe, Vince Carter, Jason Kidd, Kyle Korver, and Ryan Anderson all had 5 treys (Anderson 5-5), while Alonzo Gee, Kyle Lowry, JJ Barea, and Jeremy Pargo all had 4 from distance.
3) 3-17 Gold – It’s not often you’re happy with a 3-17 night from your guy, but Robin Lopez made up for his errant shooting w/ dead-eye marksmanship from the stripe (15-17), big rebs (13), 21 pts, excellent fly-swatting (4 blks), and 2 thefts. This was all as teammate Anthony Davis missed his 2nd straight gm due to an ankle injury.
4) Kevin Love Sighting – He was supposed to be out until mid Dec due to his knuckle push-up mishap that broke his shooting hand, but here he was last night, back before Thanksgiving, going off for 34 & 14.
P George’s monster scoring effort alongside Hibbert’s tri-double paced the Pacers in a 115-107 OT win over R Lopez & the Hornets…The Wizards were split seconds from their first win of the season at Atlanta, but Martell Webster’s put-back as the OT buzzer sounded was ruled a fraction of a second late, and the Hawks escaped with a 101-100 win. At least Nene finally got back on the court for Washington, playing 19 minutes (12 pts, 1 reb)…The Mavs and the Knicks put defense aside in a three-fest that saw the teams combine for 28 total long bombs. Dal lost the trey competition 15 to 13, but won the game 114-111…The Cavs played their first of at least a dozen without PG sensation Kyrie Irving (broken finger), and his replacement Pargo (28, 5, 4 dimes) led them to a win over Philly 92-83, despite another fine all-around effort from Evan Turner (12, 10, 7 asst)…Boston’s very mediocre start (6-6) continued as they lost at home to the Spurs (9-3) 112-100. Dunc (20, 15, 4 dimes), Parker (26, 6 asst), and Tiago Splitter (23, 9-11 FG%) led San Antonio while Rondo’s 20 & 15 assts was the only noteworthy performance from team Green…Phoenix destroyed the Blazers at home 114-87 behind a well-balanced attack that included 17 year vet Jermaine O’Neal contributing 17 & 5 rebs on 7-9 shooting in 17 minutes of play. Damian Lillard (24) was the only Blazer w/ more than 13 pts…The Clippers used a high-scoring 4th Q to come back and tie things up at OKC (outscored Thunder 33-26 in 4th), but fell in OT 117-111 to end their 6 game winning streak. Durant (35, 5 stls) and Westy (23, 9 dimes) were too much, and CP III (2-14) couldn’t shoot straight in L.A.’s loss…The Heat (9-3) needed OT to overcome a strong Bucks effort, winning 113-106 as LeBron (28, 10, 8), Bosh (24, 18), & Wade (28, 4 asst) led the charge. Mil hung tough despite neither Jennings (9-25) nor Ellis (4-16) being able to find the hoop consistently. 8 of Henson’s 18 rebs were on the offensive end…The Rockets took out the Bulls 93-89 as Harden finally got back on track (28, 5 stls, 3 treys) and 3rd yr pro Patrick Patterson, another John Wall teammate at Kentucky, continued his strong play of late with 20 pts, 8 rebs. A nice night from pint-sized combo guard Nate Robinson (21, 5, 5 asst) was wasted in the Bulls loss…Break up the Bobcats (6-4)! They won again, 98-97 over Toronto, behind a well-rounded attack that saw no Bobcat reach 20 pts, but did see 7 of them reach double-figures. Lowry (21, 8 asst, 4 treys, 2 stl) came back strong for the Raptors in his first game back from a bone bruise that saw him miss the 6 prior Raptor contests…The Lakers (6-6) went north to Sacto (3-8) to battle the rather hopeless Kings, but their defense disappeared in the 4th Q (outscored 40-28) as Sacto won 113-97. Kobe had 38, but the next best Laker scoring effort came improbably from Jodie Meeks with 15 off the bench…Orlando hosted the pitiful Pistons (2-10) and buried them 90-74. Det shot just 32.9% as only Greg Monroe (19, 8 rebs) and Rodney Stuckey (13, 7, 3 dimes off the bench) scored more than 10 pts for the Motor City non-Marksmen…Despite Love’s comeback, the T-Wolves (5-5) fell to the Nuggets (6-6) 101-94 as Gallo (19), Iggy (18, 9 rebs), and Lawson (18, 9 asst) led the Denver win…Finally, Brooklyn’s west coast woes continued as one night after their tight Laker loss, they headed north to G.S. and took another L, going down 102-93 to the Warriors. David Lee (20, 13, 6 asst), Stephen Curry (25, 6, 4 dimes), and Klay Thompson (23) led the charge for Golden St.
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —  Kevin Durant  —  35 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asst, 19 FTM, 5 stl, 0 blk, 2 treys, and 7-19 shooting…If I’m not mistaken, Durant has dominated the Olajuwon Award this season…this is his 5th of the year, 3rd in the last week. His shot wasn’t falling, but he certainly got to the charity stripe (missed only 2 of 21) and stole enough balls to make up for it. Because this is his 5th already this year, I have little more left to say at this point except…he’s the early leader in the MVP race.
The Steve Stipanovich Award —  Ersan Ilyasova  —  4 pts, 1 rebs, 0 asst, 0 FTM, 1 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 2-7 shooting in 17 minutes…Illyasova was a revelation last year, as he not only averaged a career-best 13.0 & 8.8 rebs on 49.2% shooting, but also had 19 double-doubles from Feb thru the end of the season. Milwaukee rewarded his breakout campaign with a 5 yr, $40m deal this past summer, but the 6’9″ SF/PF from Turkey has been truly disastrous so far this year, which is one reason why the rookie Henson got such big minutes last night. Through 10 games, Ilyasova is averaging just 6.3 pts and 4.7 rebs on abysmal 31.3% shooting in 22+ min/night. Originally it was highly athletic PF Larry Sanders who started getting his minutes, but Sanders is a human fouling machine, averaging 4.8 personals per game in just 22.3 minutes. He’s either fouled out or had 5 fouls in 7 of their 10 games this season, despite showing nice promise as a shotblocker (2.1) and a rebounder (6.9). Enter rookie John Henson out of North Carolina, the tallest (6’11”) and youngest (21 yrs old) of the three, and whose career high in boards before last night’s 18 was 3. It’ll be interesting to see how the minutes shake out between these three this season, as they also have PF Epke Udoh (6’10”) on their roster. Ultimately, they’ll have to choose among them and trade 1 or 2 for some depth and size at the guard position.
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