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NBA Awards 11/27/12

Bobcats Revert to 2011-12 Form in OKC Massacre 

It ended up a 114-69 Thunder victory, but it wasn’t even that close. It was 64 to 24 at halftime…79-27 five minutes into the 3rd Q, when the Bobcats were shooting 18.8% for the game. OKC starters shot 58.3% to Charlotte’s 30.8%. As a team, Charlotte shot 29.1% in the game and had just 3 assists in the 1st half – 12 total in the gm (OKC had 31). They got ‘hot’ in scoring 26 4th Q pts after just 24 in the 1st half, 43 in the first 3 quarters.  
Bucks Stun Bulls w/ Furious Comeback, Win 93-92
The Bucks trailed the Bulls by 27 pts in the late 3rd Q when Scott Skiles cleared his bench and went with all reserves in the game. They then trailed by 17 entering the 4th, as part of a 31-4 run to climb out of the grave and back into the game. Skiles kept the same subs in the entire 4th Q, which included the struggling Ersan Ilyasova (18, 6 rebs) who didn’t start for the 1st time this season. Epke Udoh (11, 6, 5 blks) was also big off the bench for Mil, overcoming the Bulls early domination led by Rip Hamilton (30) and the Booze Hound (19, 11 rebs). 
Other Mon Night Games
Memphis got by the Cavs 84-78 with Zach R (19), Rudy Gay (15), and M Gasol (19) as the only Griz w/ over 10 pts. Cleveland had no player w/ over 15 pts, but did get 22 rebs from Varejao (leading league in boards)…Monster efforts from Tyson (28, 10, 12-13 FG%) and Melo (35, 13) weren’t enough for the Knicks (9-4) as Brooklyn (9-4) rode double-doubles from Lopez & D-Will to a 96-89 win. The Knicks problem was their shooting outside of Melo & Tyson – 10 for 47, or 21.6%!…San Antonio (12-3) had no problem keeping the Wizards (0-12) winless, cruising to a 118-92 win behind a massive effort off the bench from Splitter (more on that later). No Wizard hit 20 pts, or had a double-double…Detroit defended their home court w/ a 108-101 win over Portland as 2nd yr surprise Kyle Singler had a career performance – 16, 10, 5 asst, 6-7 shooting, 3-3 from downtown. Br Knight (26) and G Monroe (20, 10 rebs) were also big for Det, while Port got L Aldridge’s best gm of the year (32/10) but not much else…Utah squeaked by the Nuggets at home, 105-103, as both teams moved to 8-7 on the year. Al Jeff had 28, D Favors had 19/7/2 blks, and Jamal Tinsley, filling in for an injured Mo Will, had 15, 6 asst, and 2 stls, 2 blks for the Jazz. Faried (21, 9 rebs) and Lawson (16, 9 asst) paced Denver…The Paper Clips (8-6) losing streak hit 4 gms after losing at Staples Center 105-98 to the Hornets (4-9). Caron Butler (33, 6 rebs) had his best game in years, and CP III contributed 20, 8 asst, 4 stl, but Blake went 1-9 w/ only 6 rebs in the loss. Greivis Vasquez continued his strong start to the season for New Orleans, pouring 25 pts to go w/ 10 dimes, 6 rebs, and 5 treys (alonside 8 T/Os).
The Akeem Olajuwon Award — Tie between  Lamarcus Aldridge  —  32 pts, 10 rebs, 2 asst, 8 FTM, 3 stl, 3 blk, 0 treys, and 12-22 shooting…and…Tiago Splitter  —  15 pts, 12 rebs, 7 asst, 7 FTM, 2 stl, 2 blk, 0 treys, and 4-5 shooting in only 23 minutes…..This is by far Lamarcus’ best game of the year, as he finally reached 30+ pts in his 13th gm of the year. It was only the 6th time he’s been over 20 pts, as consistency (and rebs) has been lacking from him early on. He’s had 7 or less boards 9 times this season, and overall is at 20.6/7.5/3.0 asst/1.3 blks on the year, shooting 44%. Splitter put up remarkable numbers for only 23 min of action, one of the best sub-25 minute efforts I’ve ever seen. The 6’11” Brazilian has been a decent reserve for the Spurs in his 2+ years in the league, giving them a solid 15-20 min/night off the bench. He was at 9.3/5.2/61.8% a year ago, 8.1/4.2/58.9% this year…never a hint though, that he had a game like this in him. Despite this just being his 3rd year in the league, he turns 28 on New Year’s Day.
The Steve Stipanovich Award —   Kemba Walker  —  0 pts, 0 rebs, 2 asst, 0 FTM, 1 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 0-6 shooting in 20 tragic minutes…Walker had been a pleasant development for the Bobcats up until this disaster, a big reason why Charlotte remains above .500 even after the OKC Massacre. After going 9th overall in the 2011 Draft, Walker had a rocky rookie year, garnering 27+ min/gm, but shooting just 36.6% while averaging 12.1, 3.6 rebs, and 4.4 dimes. This year he’s up to 16.6, 3.7, 5.7 asst, and 2.2 stls, while his FG%, still quite weak, has improved to 40.1%. He is shooting an awful 19.4% from distance, and despite the non-success, launches 2.8/gm. He’s really an undersized SG learning to play the point. He’s very dynamic & quick, looking to drive the lane whenever the chance presents itself, but still needs to work on his touch and shooting if he’s ever to be an elite guard in the league.

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