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NBA Awards Wed 11/28/12

Laker Woes Continue
 We got Kobe, we got Pau…now we got Nash & Dwight, oh wow!!! Ummm….maybe not such a big wow. They’ve had a fired coach, and injured Nash, an overburdened Kobe, a struggling-to-fit-in Pau, and a subpar Dwight, worse than ever from the stripe (at 47.8% this yr, career worst). Last night Kobe put the weight of the team on his shoulders again, sunk a trey for his 38th, 39th, and 40th points of the game to tie it up with 25 seconds left, but then watched Indiana’s George Hill sink a layup with a tenth of a second left, bringing the Laker record back under .500, now 7-8 on the year after the 79-77 loss. It was an ugly affair, as the Lakers shot 31.6%, Pacers 36.7%, and led by Howard’s 3-12 effort, the Purple & Gold missed 20 free throws, shooting just 53.5% from the line. Enjoy the season Laker fans, and remember that summertime cheer…”We got Kobe, we got Pau…now we got Nash & Dwight, oh wow!”   Wow indeed…what a mess.
Other Tues Night Games
The 76ers hosted the Mavs and won a tight one, 100-98 behind two more strong nights from E Turner (22, 4, 4) and Thaddeus Young (20, 7 rebs). Jrue Holiday had 18, 7 asst, and 3 stl, too…The Rockets destroyed the Raptors behind another massive Harden effort – 24, 6, 12 asst, and 3 stls. Bargnani paced Toronto with 21 pts, but in typical ultra-soft, Bargs, Eurotrash style, he had just 4 rebs, no blocks, 1 asst, and just 2 free throw attempts…The T-Wolves got another 20-20 from Kevin Love, the 15th career 20 pts/20 rebs game from the stalwart PF out of UCLA, as they handled the wayward Kings, 96-89, despite a strong night from Tyreke – 20, 7, 6 asst, and 2 blks, 2 stls, and 2 treys…Finally, the Suns handled the Cavs with relative ease, cruising to a 91-78 victory as Goran Dragic did a little bit of everything – 19, 5, 7 asst, 2 stls, 3 treys. Varejao attacked the boards yet again in the Cavs losing cause, grabbing 18 to go with his 20 pts. He is now averaging over 18 rebs/gm in his last 5 contests.
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —  Kobe Bryant  —  40 pts, 10 rebs, 3 asst, 11 FTM, 3 stl, 0 blk, 5 treys, and 12-28 shooting…yes, he also had 10 T/Os, but we don’t count those in our league. If we did, Harden would have won the Olajuwon. What Kobe is doing in his 17th season is absurd and unprecedented. He’s leading the league in scoring at 27.7 a night, at a career high FG% of 50.2. He’s also chipping in 5.4 rebs, 4.9 asst, 1.5 stls, and 7.2 FTM. Going w/ MJ, Wilt, Russell, Magic, & Kareem as the top 5 all-time, you have to consider Kobe strongly at #6. He seems to be rising above the 2nd tier of greats that includes Olajuwon, Bird, West, Duncan, and Oscar…with LeBron joining this group very soon. Too bad he can’t smile about his individual success as the team struggles so mightily.
The Steve Stipanovich Award — Darius Morris  —  1 pts, 1 rebs, 0 asst, 1 FTM, 3 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 0-6 shooting in 22 minutes…I’ve said it before, & I’ll say it again – this guy does NOT look like a legit NBA talent. He’s at 6.4/2.4 asst in 23 min/gm, shooting 38.5% from the floor and just 56.5% from the charity stripe. Of course, he’s just part of the larger problem that is the entire Laker bench, as they contributed just 5 total points last night, going 2-15 from the field, outside of Morris, as he started for the 8th time this season due to Blake & Nash’s injuries. 

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