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NBA Awards 12/17/12

Weekend Snapshot
FRI:  I watched some of Denver vs. Memphis Fri night, a big 99-94 upset win for the Nuggets, and saw this one arm snatch out of the air, completely emabrassing Zach Randolph. Javale McGee is undoubtedly one of the most athletic 7-footers of all time, as this play was made basically at the peak height of the shot, right before goaltending would have been called. 
 
SAT:  Golden St crushes Hawks 115-93 – Golden St. is now 16-8 after beating Miami (15-6) and Atl (14-7) in their last 3 games, though they did have a mental letdown against Orlando in between, losing 99-85 Fri night. The Orlando loss snapped a 5 game winning streak, every game played on the road. Stephen Curry is playing like an All-Star (19.7, 4.1, 6.5 asst, 1.7 stl, 2.7 3’s (41.8%) and shooting 42.3% overall. David Lee has been better than ever in his last 10 games, pouring in over 23/night and grabbing over a dozen boards as well. They could use another trade with Milwaukee, try to get another big man on their roster with Bogut out indefinitely. Milwaukee is still playing around with their plethora of bigs, even adding Drew Gooden into the mix recently. Larry Sanders would be the most exciting Mil big to see join the Warriors, but I don’t think they’d let him go.
 
Sunday Night Action
 The drama has subsided a bit in Lakerland, as they now have a two-game winning streak going after a 6 point win at Washington Fri and then a drubbing of the 76ers minus Andrew Bynum (another ‘out indefinitely’) yesterday, 111-98. Kobe went off again (34, 12-21, 8-9 FTs, 6 asst) while Dwight was bigger than he’s been lately with 17, 11, 5 dimes, 2 blk, & 3 stl. Also, Artest somehow grabbed a career-high 16 rebs – what are the odds? A career high in boards in his 14th season? Hats off to Ronnie, he’s been far more productive than I thought he could be this year. Jrue Holiday remains sidelined for Philly….Toronto beat Houston 103-96 for their 2nd straight win, w/o Bargnani (no loss at all there?) and Lowry as Jose Calderon not only recorded a triple-double (18, 10 14 asst), but also played good defense on Lin, holding him to 7 pts, 2 dimes on 3-9 shooting. Journeyman Alan Anderson had 24 for Toronto, while DeRozen had 19, 7 rebs, & 3 stls. Harden led Houston with 28, getting exactly half of that from the line (14-15)….The Nuggets had no problems at all with the hapless Kings, going up 18 at the half and then cruising 122-97. 6 Nugs hit double-digits, Javale leading the way with 19 in just 20 minutes (7-9, 5 of 8 FTs…very active offensively). Jason Thompson & Cousins double-doubled for Sacto, but DeMarcus shot only 5-14 from the floor….Damian Lillard also shot just 5-14 Sunday, but that 5th FG was a game winning three pointer to beat the Hornets 95-94. JJ Hickson was large again, notching 24 & 16 rebs, his 5th straight double-double. Batum also went nuts, more on him below. Greivis Vasquez did everything for New Orleans, posting a 23/8/11 asst line, while Ryan Anderson drained 7 treys on his way to 26 pts.
 
 
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —  Nicolas Batum  —  11 pts, 5 rebs, 10 asst, 0 FTM, 5 stl, 5 blk, 3 treys, and 4-11 shooting…Pardon the slight to Calderon’s fat tri-double and great all-around effort, but steals & blocks are GOLD in fantasy hoops and getting a 5X5 is treat that happens just a couple times if you’re lucky in a fantasy hoops lifetime. Batum is a skilled, athletic Euro who’s known for his solid all-around game, now at 15.8/5.6/3.7 asst with well over 1 block and 1 steal a game on the year. He is shooting a poor 41.6%, but is at 45.5% lifetime. I actually have a spreadsheet that calculates the Awards winner by the stats in 8 categories and Batum’s night crushed Calderon’s 169.5 to 139. Kobe was at 130.4 with his nice effort, right there with Dwight’s night (130.5).
 
The Jerome Moiso Award — Tie between Travis Outlaw —  0 pts, 2 rebs, 0 asst, 0 FTM, 0 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 0-4 shooting in 17 lame minutes…and…John Salmons —  4 pts, 0 rebs, 1 asst, 2 FTM, 0 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 1-8 shooting in 20 minutes while actually starting! Outlaw is another classic bad contract, one of my favorite NBA idiot GM stories…Summer 2010, and Outlaw is coming off a season where he was traded from Port to the Clippers, along with Steve Blake, for Marcus Camby, 36 yrs old at the time. Outlaw’s #’s that year: 9.1 pts, 3.6 rebs, 1.0 asst, while shooting just 39.1% and playing in only 34 gms. But that doesn’t deter New Jersey, who signs him for 5 years, $35m, a cool $7m per. He stinks, and is amnestied 1 year later shortly after the lockout ended. He’s with Sacto now, as is his has-been teammate John Salmons, who also signed a beautiful contract for him, horrific for his team in Summer 2010 – 5 years, $39m. He was already 30 yrs old and coming off his worst season in 4 years, but nonetheless Milwaukee inked him to the deal. After just 1 year though, they were able to basically dump his contract in a 3-team trade to Sacto while receiving very little in return. It is now the Kings stuck with paying him $8m/yr while getting his rather measly 7.6/2.6/2.9 asst, 39.5% numbers. Wonder no more why they’re 7-16 right now, 22-44 a year ago. 
 
NFL Greats – AP & CJ Keep It Going
Now both seasons on their own lie inside the top 20 all-time after just 14 gms, Adrian exploding for an 82 yd TD in the first half on his way to 212 for the game, while Calvin was slow and methodical in his accumulation of 10 recs, 121 yds (2-1-2 & 1-2-1…kinda neat symmetry there). Calvin’s 1,667 yds stands 8th all-time, right behind his 2011 total of 1,681. He’s well on pace to break the Rice record of 1,848 if he can manage 91 yds per game in the last two. Peterson’s 1,812 yds so far is the 19th most rushing, right behind LaDanian Tomlinson’s 1,815 in 2006, and in front of Dickerson’s rookie year total of 1,808 in 1983. He’s suddenly an odds on favorite to join the 6-man 2,000 Yard Club, but still needs 147/gm to pass Dickerson’s 1984 record of 2,105. Marshawn Lynch (1,379), rookie Alfred Morris (1,322), and Arian Foster (1,313) have also crossed the 1,300 barrier, Lynch and Morris becoming the 76th and 77th members of the 1,300 Club. Arian did it already two seasons ago when he led the league with 1,616 yards. In receiving, Brandon Marshall (1,398) and Andre Johnson (1,360) are already posting seasons inside the top 90 all-time for yardage.
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