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NBA Awards 11/26/12

Sunday Night Activity 
New York had no problem cutting short a two-gm losing streak with the Pistons in town, 121-100, up 64-44 at the half. Melo had 29 while double-doubles were forthcoming from Felton (14, 10 asst) & JR Smith (15, 10 rebs)…The Spurs went north of the border and struggled to defeat the resilient Raptors in double OT, 111-106, as Tony Parker (32, 6 reb, 5 asst) and Duncan (26, 5 reb, 6 asst) led the way. 3 Raptors hit the 20 pt mark: rookie C Jonas Valanciunas (22), K Lowry (20), and DeRozen (29), but DeMar made only 11 of 28 shots to get his…The Celtics held off the Magic in OT, 116-110 as they overcame a 7 pt 4th Q deficit. 1990’s relics KG (24, 10 rebs) & PP (23, 5 rebs) were big, as was Rondo (15, 9 rebs, 16 dimes), while Nelson (20) & Reddick (21) led Olo in scoring, and Josh McRoberts contributed a surprise 14 rebs off the bench…The Nuggets breezed against the visiting Hornets, shooting 53.3% from the floor and getting 23 from Iggy and a double-double from Faried (14, 12 rebs, 7-8 FGs) in their 102-84 win. Only 3 Hornets hit double figures, as they were without #1 pick Anthony Davis for the 4th gm in a row…The Sun set on Phx in Philly, as the 76ers edged the Suns 104-101 on a big night from Jrue (33, 13 dimes). Beasley had a hollow 21 pts for Phx (just 1 reb, 1 asst) and Dragic was quite off as well (10 pts, 3 reb, 4 asst, 4-10 shooting)…Finally, Portland headed east to take on Brooklyn, had the game tied entering the 4th Q, but were then outscored 28-15 to lose 98-85. Double-doubles from Kris Humphries & D-Will (who also shocked with 4 blocks!) alongside a big night off the bench from Blatche (20 min, 13/8/2 blks) paced the Nets victory. JJ Hickson had 19/10 for the Blazers, who got ZERO from their bench: 3-14 shooting, 9 pts, 7 rebs.
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —   Jrue Holiday  —  33 pts, 3 rebs, 13 asst, 6 FTM, 0 stl, 0 blk, 1 trey, and 13-21 shooting…Holiday was a one-n-done at UCLA during the 2008-09 season, playing SG while Darren Collison manned the point. He went 17th in the 2009 Draft to Philly, and if that draft was held today, he’d go no lower than 6th (Blake Griffin still #1, then take your guard of choice: Harden, Rubio, Br Jennings, Jrue, and Stephen Curry…some GM’s might have Jrue go 2nd overall). The 33 pts is a career high for Holiday, who has ideal PG size (6’4″) and is a defensive stalwart. He stalled out during the abridged season a year ago, posting lower scoring (13.5 to 14.0), dishing (4.5 to 6.5), boarding (3.3 to 4.0) and shooting (43.2 to 44.6) numbers than his 2010-11 campaign. But with Iggy gone now and Bynum still hurt (hmmm….now we see why Olo didn’t want him for Dwight), Jrue is the undisputed leader of the team, and posting career-highs in pts (18.6), dimes (9.2), FG% (45.0) and long bombs (1.4/gm, 41.3%). He leads the team in scoring by 5 points over #2 Thaddeus Young (13.6). Rondo’s near triple-double with 2 steals was runner-up last night.
The Steve Stipanovich Award —  Andrea Bargnani  —  4 pts, 8 rebs, 1 asst, 0 FTM, 1 stl, 1 blk, 0 treys, and 2-19 shooting in 36 minutes…The #1 overall pick of the 2006 Draft. 2 for 19 from the floor. Ok, you can stop laughing now. It wasn’t the strongest draft, as much like the 2001 Draft, there were plenty of lottery busts (Adam ‘Porn Stache’ Morrison #3, Shelden Williams #5, Patrick O’Bryant #9, Saer Sene #10, and Hilton Armstrong #12), but Bargs went above well-known college studs like Aldridge, Brandon Roy, & Rudy Gay…and of course, the 21st pick of that draft – Rajon Rondo. Bargs has now spent the bulk of his career launching from distance (3.8 att/gm, 36.4%) while occasionally stumbling into rebounds here & there – at 7’0″ tall, a pathetic career average of just 4.9/gm. He doesn’t dish well (career 1.3 asst/gm), nor fly swat (career .9/gm), and as a guy who basically does nothing but score, he’s pretty mediocre at that as well (career 15.5/gm at under 44%, 17.6 this season on 38.6% shooting). In a word, he’s the very definition of Eurotrash. Probably not a coincidence that since that draft, every #1 overall pick has been from a U.S. college, and only 3 Euros total have gone in the top 5 – Rubio (2009), and Kanter & Valanciunas (both 2011).
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