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NBA Awards – 12/19/12

Tuesday Night Action- Lakers Win Tight!
 The Lakers barely survived a back-n-forth thriller while hosting the Bobcats, Charlotte trying desperately to snap an 11-game losing streak. The Bobcats started the game hot, leading 16-8 early…then the Lakers came back strong, up 40-29 in the 2nd Q…then it was Charlotte’s turn, this time going on a 51-22 spurt spanning a large chunk of the 2nd & 3rd quarters to go up 80-62. But then the Bobcats went ice cold, missing everything and turning the ball over, while the Lakers and Kobe got hot, outscoring them 28-4 to go up 90-84 w/ 9 min left. But the Bobcats battled as ex-Laker PG Ramon Sessions (20/6 asst) got a goal-tending call and free throw to make it 101-100, Lakers…47 sec left. After a Kobe miss, Charlotte had 20 seconds to win the game. A wild sequence starting w/ a Kemba Walker layup attempt and ending w/ a desperation Ben Gordon 3-point failure at the buzzer brought the drama to a close, the Lakers squeaking by w/ the one point win. Kobe (30/6/7 asst) and Dwight (16/18/5 blks) were the stars of the game for L.A. while Kemba was the hero for Charlotte – 28/5/7 asst, 3 stl – until the end when Dwight got his 5th and final rejection on Walker’s game-winning layup attempt.
Other Games    
Miami took care of Minn 103-92 as LeBron (22/7/11 asst, 4 blks) & Wade (24, 2 stls, 2 blks) led the Heat. Love grabbed 18 rebs, but again shot poorly for Minn, hitting just 2 of 10 shots. This is the 7th time in 13 games this season that he’s shot 30% or worse on the night….Atlanta survived a Jordan Crawford triple-double (27/11/11) to beat the Wizards (3-19) 100-95 in OT. Seven of Washington’s 19 losses this year have either been in OT or by 4 pts or less. The Joshua Tree went off for the Hawks (17/13/3 stl, 5 blks). One of his blocks was rather strong, rejecting a brave Bradley Beal attempt to throw down, leaving the rookie flat out on the floor – Joshua Tree Rejection. Seeing this made me think of all the other epic J Tree fly swats over the years, and I found this collection of his Top 10 blocks of 2007, some great fly swats here – J Smith 2007 Blocks…..Break up the Raptors! They won their 3rd straight, still w/o Bargs & Lowry, as Calderon (23/5/6 asst, 2 stl, 10-15 shooting) continues to shine when given the minutes. It was Cleveland on the wrong end of the 113-99 score, Kyrie Irving’s 23/7 asst, 3 stl & Anderson Varejao’s 22/10 not enough to stop Toronto….The Jazz (14-12) spotted the struggling Nets (13-11) a 57-44 halftime lead before shutting Brooklyn down in the 2nd half, allowing them only 33 more points to win a tight one, 92-90. D-Will continues to struggle, posting just 14 pts and 5 dimes in the game on 5-12 shooting. He’s hitting just 38.8% from the field this season, the worst percentage of his career after his horrid 40.7% last year. His scoring (17.0) hasn’t been this low since year 2 of his career, while his asst #’s (8.3/gm) were only lower his rookie year. The Nets have now lost 7 of their last 9 games….The Boston Celtics are finally getting too old, losing to Chicago 100-89 to bring their record to 12-12 on the season. Pierce (35 yrs old) is averaging 19.7 but hitting just 41.7% of his shots. KG (37) is averaging 15.7 in his 18th season, but grabbing just 7 rebs and at under 1 stl, under 1 blk for the first time in his career. Acquiring Jason Terry (35) while letting Ray Allen (37) go shaved a couple years off the roster, but Terry’s numbers are down rather sharply from a year ago, contributing just 11 pts, 2 rebs, 2 asst to the cause. He’s not the same player he was just 18 months ago when he was huge in Dallas’ championship run. For the Bulls, Joakim Noah recorded his 2nd career tri-double with 11/13/10 asst, and 3 blks….The Bucks snapped the Pacers modest 3-game win streak, winning 98-93, despite Paul George continuing his strong play of late – 16/10/5 asst. Since scoring zero pts in a loss at Golden St. 9 games ago, George has averaged 22.6/7.8/4.3 asst, 1.6 stl, 1.1 blk, and shot 49% in the subsequent 8 games. But last night Brandon Jennings poured in 34 points to go with 6 dimes while Larry Sanders had 5 rejections and 9 boards to lead the Bucks to the win….In Dallas, OJ Mayo (26, 8 asst, 3 stl) and Chris Kaman (20 & 7 rebs) led the Mavs to a 107-100 win over Philly. The 76ers lost their 4th in a row despite a season-high 25 from Dorell Wright as he sunk 7 long bombs. Jrue Holiday’s sprained left foot kept him out of his 3rd straight contest….The Nuggets (14-12) got up on the Spurs (19-8) by 15 after 3 quarters, then held on for a 112-106 win at home. Gallo (28, 9reb, 2 stl), Faired (19/11), Iggy (14/9/6 asst, 2 stl, 6-9), and Koufos (14 reb, 4 blk) were big for Denver while Duncan simply had one of the finer games you’ll ever see for San Antonio (more below)….Finally, Golden St. (17-8) continues to take care of business after beating the Hornets (5-19) 103-96 behind another large effort from Mr Lee (26/9/4 asst, 10-16), surviving a very strong & efficient Anthony Davis performance – 15/16/4 stl, 4-7 & 7-7 from the stripe. Ryan Anderson wins the Hollow Man Award for the night after scoring 28 pts for N.O. but failing to pull down a single rebound or or dish one dime in 41 minutes…just 1 stl, 0 blks. Gross.
The Akeem Olajuwon Award — Charmin Soft’s  Tim Duncan  —  31 pts, 18 rebs, 6 asst, 9 FTM, 2 stl, 5 blk, 0 treys, and 11-25 shooting…Check the calendar – is it 2002 again? Duncan flashed back big-time for the Spurs last night, turning in his best performance in about 10 years – I actually looked at his game logs going back to 2003-04 – there wasn’t a single game that you could say was definitively better than this Herculean effort. The problem is now, this performance comes on the heels of a 12 pt, 5 reb, 1 blk game – he never had those 10 years ago. Duncan currently lies around Top 12, Top 10 all-time status, depending on how you rank him compared to guys like Elgin, Oscar, West, & Bird. I still have him behind Akeem, & I don’t think that’ll ever change. 
The Jerome Moiso Award — Tie between  Danny Green  —  3 pts, 1 rebs, 1 asst, 0 FTM, 1 stl, 0 blk, 1 trey, and 1-10 shooting in 23 awful minutes…and…Harrison Barnes  —  0 pts, 2 rebs, 1 asst, 0 FTM, 0 stl, 1 blk, 0 treys, and 0-5 shooting in 19 painful rookie minutes…Green emerged mid-season last year for the Spurs, averaging 9.1/3.5 reb, & a combined 1.6 w/ blks & stls by the time the season was done. He’s posting almost identical numbers this year, despite the fact that Kawhi Leonard has missed most of the season so far with a thigh issue. So it’s probably his ceiling on this roster, if not for his career, as he’s just a mid 2nd round pick from 2009, now 25 yrs old. As for Golden St’s rookie SF Mr Barnes, by contrast a lottery pick, he’s been struggling of late. He’s only hit double-digits in scoring twice in the last 11 gms, and in 7 of those games he’s had 3 rebs or less. For the year, he’s at 9.0/4.3/1.6 asst, 42%. Combined under 1 stl & blk, in 26+ min/night. 

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