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NBA Awards – Sunday 11/25/12

Saturday Night Activity  
The Lakers cut short their 2-game losing streak by going into Dallas and CRUSHING the Mavs 115-89. They had a 65-38 halftime lead as three guys paced the effort with 19 pts apiece – Artest, Kobe, and surprisingly, Antawn Jamison, who also had 15 rebs in a 2006 flashback effort. Mavs starters scored a combined 31 pts on 31% shooting…The Paper Clips have now embarked upon a 3-game losing streak to follow their 6-gm win streak after going down in Atlanta 104-93 as Teague (19, 11 asst) and Zaza Pachulia (19, 12 rebs) led the Hawks. CP III did have an impressive 7 thefts in the contest…The Warriors took down the T-Wolves 96-85 as Love missed 14 of his 20 shots while Klay Thompson continued his revival (8-17, 24 pts) and Carl Landry came off the bench with 18 & 9 rebs…Sacto has now won 2 of 3 after taking down Utah 108-97. Tyreke Evans scored a season-high 27 as Utah got mediocre to poor performances from it’s main 3 bigs (Al Jeff, Millsap, Favors), though their 4th big, Enes Kanter, had a decent 9 & 7 rebs in just 14 min…The Bulls defeated the Bucks 93-86 behind the Booze Hound (22 & 19 rebs) and old-man Rip Hamilton (22, 10-10 free throws). Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders had a nice 8, 8 rebs, 4 blks, 2 stls off the bench, but alas, as is his style, fouled out in 29 minutes. Br Jennings had 23, 7 asst, and 5 stls as he continues to lead the league in thefts this year…The Cavs, without Irving, had an 11 pt halftime lead over the Heat, and then were up 108-101 with just under 2 min left, before they decided to stop scoring, and lost 110-108, as they had an amazing 8 guys in double figures. It was the Big 3 getting it done for the Heat – LeBron, Wade, & Bosh combining for 71 pts…A year ago Charlotte won 7 games, lost 59. This year, it took them just 12 games to win 7 as they kept this year’s cellar dwellers, the Woeful Wizards, winless in 11 games. It went to double OT as the Wiz have been quite close lately, but in the end the Bobcats prevailed 108-106 behind Byron Mullens (27) and Ramon Sessions (21). Nene (19) & Martell Webster (21) were big off the bench for Washington…Finally, the Thunder (10-4) needed OT to take out Philly (7-6) in Philadelphia as Evan Turner (26) & Thaddeus Young (29) almost led the 76ers to an upset. In the end, KD (37) & Westy (30) were too much in the Thunder’s 116-109 win…
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —   Kevin Durant  —  37 pts, 8 rebs, 5 asst, 15 FTM, 4 stl, 3 blk, 2 treys, and 10-22 shooting…Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – KD had the best line of the night…again. This time it was a 7 category, stat-stuffing, gem of a night that brings his season averages up to 26.5, 9.4, 4.5, 7.9 FTM, 2 stl, 1.4 blk, 1.6 treys, and 49.0% shooting…NICE!!!! Runners-up for the Olajuwon included his teammate Westy (30, 9 asst, 5 reb, 2 stl), Blake Griffin (22, 11, 7 asst), LeBron (30, 6, 5 dimes), and Th Young (29, 15, 4 asst).
The Steve Stipanovich Award —  Troy Murphy  —  0 pts, 2 rebs, 0 asst, 0 FTM, 0 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 0-2 shooting in 14 ‘Why am I not Retired Already’ minutes…Murphy, playing in Dallas now, went against his old team last night and the memories of incompetence and ineffectiveness (16 min, 3.2 pts, 3.3 rebs for Lakers last yr) came flooding back. From the ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’ section of NBA annals, Murphy actually averaged a double-double 5 times in his career, peaking just 4 years ago when he averaged 14.3, 11.8, 2.4 asst, 2.2 treys (45.0%) and shot 47.5% overall in the 2008-09 season. Every one of those numbers is his career-best except scoring (15.4 in 2004-05). Murphy is one of the first big rebounding PF’s to also have a love affair with the long bomb. For his career he averaged 7.9 rebs/gm while draining over 600 treys at a 38.9% clip. He was the 14th pick of the 2001 NBA Draft, a draft class that had some legendary busts: #1 Kwame Brown, #4 Eddy Curry, #7 Eddie Griffin (now deceased), #9 Rodney White, and #11 Kedrick Brown…and those are just the busts taken ahead of Troy. Behind him went such forgettable talent as Kirk Haston, Michael Bradley, Joe Forte (I once named the Bozo Award after him…complete UNC bust), Jeryl Sasser, Brandon Armstrong, and Raul Lopez. All these names were top 24 picks, and were AWFUL!!! Haston player 27 career games in two seasons, averaging 1.2 pts/gm…PF Bradley averaged 2.8 & 3.4 rebs in 5 seasons with 5 different teams…Sasser played 2 seasons, averaging 2.5 pts…Armstrong 3 yrs, 2.2 pts…Lopez actually averaged a semi-decent 6.5 pts, 3.8 assts but only stayed in the league 2 seasons. And now for the really strange part: this draft, while being quite notable for so many God-awful 1st round busts, is additionally notable for numerous gems found late. The first round ended with these 4 picks in succession: G-Wall, Jamal Tinsley (still playing), Dalembert, and Tony Parker. One of the best 2nd round picks of the last 20 years went to Golden State 30th overall – Gilbert Arenas. Mehmet Okur, Earl Watson, and Bobby Simmons also went in the 2nd that year. Wild draft.

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