SPDBRNR – Eyes Wide Open
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NBA Awards – Dec 31st, 2012

Friday Night Highlights
1) It looked to be the end of the Clippers winning streak down 19 with under 8 min left in the 3rd Q at Utah, but the Red, White & Blue rallied hard, scoring 29 points in the last 8 min of the 3rd, then finally going up by 2 with 3 seconds left and watching a desperate, deep, Randy Foye trey attempt miss the mark at the buzzer. CP III had 29, and Blake contributed 22/13 in their 16th straight win.
2) Danilo Gallinari, aka Gallo, aka ‘Gallows Pole’ (good tune from Led Zep’s 3rd album) scored a career-high 39 as Denver whooped Dallas 106-85, making 7 treys along the way. Mr. Faried chipped in w/ 19 rebs and 4 steals. Postscript: Sat night…Gallo went 2-8 for 7 pts & Faried grabbed only 4 rebs while Den scored only 72 in a loss at Memphis. 
3) The Detroit bench stayed red-hot while leading the Pistons to an upset over the Wade-less Heat, 109-99. Will Bynum had 25 & 10 dimes, Andre Drummond 10 & 10 rebs, and even Charlie Villanueva got in on the action, sinking 4 of 5 from distance on his way to 18 & 6 rebs. LeBron (35/6/5 asst, 6 stl, 15-22) and Bosh (28/9 rebs, 3 blk, 11-17) were large for Miami, but no one else on the roster hit double-digits in scoring. Postscript: Sat night…yet another Heat loss, this time w/ Wade, to the Bucks. Larry Sanders had 16/11/4 blks while Jennings & Ellis combined for 39 pts, 16 asst, and 9 stls. Miami struggling a bit, but still 20-8.
4) The Wizards finally won again, snapping their 8-gm losing streak in beating the Magic 105-97. Nene started and had his best gm of the year – 23/11/4 asst, 7-11, 9 of 10 from the stripe. Postscript: Sat night…new losing streak has begun as Chicago beat them 87-77. 
5) The Nets took out their frustrations on the hapless Bobcats, winning 97-81 while extending Charlotte’s losing streak to 17 games. After that surprise 7-5 start, the now 7-22 Bobcats look a lot like the 2011-12 bobcats. Postscript Nets: Sat night…another Nets win (over Cleveland) as Brook Lopez goes off for 35/11, shooting 13-20 in the contest. Postscript Bobcatts: Sat night…Heartbreaker! Cats up 17 at the half vs. N.O., but lose 98-95. Eric Gordon makes his season debut for Hornets and leads team in scoring w/ 24 pts in 25 min while also dishing out 7 assists.
6) The Raptors welcomed back Kyle Lowry (17/8 asst after missing last 7 gms) and resumed their new, winning ways (6 of last 7), taking down the Hornets in OT 104-97 with DeRozen leading the way (30, 11 FTs, 3 stl). Greivis Vasquez continued his solid all-around play for New Orleans, barely missing a tri-double with 20/9/14 asst. Postscript: Sat night…the Raptors can’t be stopped! They annihilated Orlando 123-88. Musta been the one-dimensional play and terribly porous defense from Bargs that was holding them back, as they’re now 7-2 since he’s been out.
       
Saturday Night Highlights
1) Thunder go into Texas & abuse former teammate Harden, Rockets 124-94 as no mercy is shown to either. Westy hit 50% of his shots for the first time in 10 games, going 11-22 for 28 pts to go with 8 rebs, 8 asst, and 3 stl.
2) Minn frontline goes off vs Phx. The T-Wolve frontcourt of Pekovic (C), Love (PF), & AK-47 each scored at least 20 pts, led by Pekovic’s 28, while combining for 34 rebs. They shot 31-54 (57.4%). For Phx, Luis Scola ended a long stretch of mediocre performances with a season-high 333 pts & 11 rebs. Beasley, seemingly well on his way to playing in Europe, came off the bench and missed 7 of his 8 shots in 9 minutes.
3) Damian Lillard wins Hollow Man Award – Lillard scored 20 pts in a Portland win over the 76ers, but had 0 rebs, 0 asst, 0 stls, 0 FTM, and 1 blk to go with his pts. Jrue (29/9/9, 13-23) went off for Philly, while it was Batum (22/7/8, 2 blks) leading the Blazers.
 
Sunday Night Action
The Clippers (25-6) & Jazz (15-17) tangled again, this time at Staples, and this time a much smoother, easier, Clipper win – 107-96. This makes LAC only the third team in NBA history to record a perfect month, as they close 2012 with a 17 game winning streak. Speaking to their depth & unselfishness, Blake only scored 7 pts w/ just 7 rebs, but Caron Butler stepped up big-time, pouring in 29 pts on 10-14 from the field, including a perfect 6-6 from downtown. CP III (19/9 asst/5 stls) was also big for L.A., while Al Jeff (30/8/4 blks) was the only member of the Jazz to score more than 16 pts…..How bad are things going for the Celtics (14-16) these days, losers of 7 of their last 9? They went into Sacto and were blown out of the arena, 118-96. Rondo made only 1 of 6 shots, Jeff Green logged 30+ minutes for only the 3rd time this season, but only made 5 of 17, and Courtney Lee missed all of his 6 attempts. KG was solid all-around, scoring 16 to go with 12 rebs, 6 asst, and Pierce & Jason Terry scored 20 each, but both combined for just 4 rebs & 3 asst to go with their pts. For Sacto, DeMarcus showed a glimpse of why the Kings have been so patient with his emotional immaturity, notching his 1st career tri-double with 12, 10, & 10. Three other Kings scored at least 20, led by pint-sized PG Isaiah Thomas’ 27…..For the 2nd Sunday in a row, San Antonio (24-8) delivered a beat down to Dallas (12-19), this time at Dallas, 111-86. It was the Big 3 leading the way, as Duncan (18/10/3 blk), Parker (21/5/9 asst), and Ginobili (20/5/5) did their thing, despite the fact their combined ages add up to 101. OJ Mayo’s recent struggles continued for the Mavs, as he missed 10 of his 14 shots while grabbing just 1 reb and dishing only 2 assists. Darren Collison led Dallas with 18/5/8 dimes, while Dirk (8 pts, 5 rebs, 3-9 in 22 min) continues to struggle in limited minutes since coming back from his knee injury, now shooting 32.4% in the 4 games he’s been back…..Finally, Monta Ellis of Milwaukee (16-13) had a fine night at Detroit (11-22), but his 18 footer to tie the game with a second left missed its mark, giving the Pistons their 4th win in their last 5 gms, 96-94. Ellis was the only Bucks starter to reach double figures (more below). Tayshaun Prince paced Detroit with 20 pts and got help from Jason Maxiell & Greg Monroe who both double-doubled. 
 
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —  Monta Elllis  —  30 pts, 4 rebs, 9 asst, 3 FTM, 1 stl, 1 blk, 3 treys, and 12-22 shooting…A nice night from Monta, his 5th 30+ game of the season, but just his second that also included at least half a dozen dimes. The former 2nd round steal (2005 Draft, Golden St.) is now at 19.7/3.6/5.6 asst, 1.7 stl on the year but still just shooting 40.5%.
 
The Jerome Moiso Award —  Jason Collins  —  0 pts, 1 rebs, 0 asst, 0 FTM, 1 stl, 1 blk, 0 treys, and 0-2 shooting with 5 fouls in 17 minutes…quite similar to his last Bozo Award night. Amazingly, the Celtics start him. That speaks volumes as to their roster difficulties right now. It’s good to know Collins is there for me on a tough night to find the Moiso winner. 
 
NFL 2012 Statistical Recap
          There’s boatloads to cover beyond Calvin and Adrian’s pursuit of history, including many future Hall-of-Famers solidifying their case for Canton, while many youngsters burst upon the scene to show that they too belong with the NFL elite. It’s too much info to just add to the bottom of the Awards, so I’ll be sending out a separate email either later today or tomorrow covering everything.             
           But real quick on Calvin & Adrian…Calvin fell short in his chase of 2K, finishing with 1,964 yards, still 116 more yards than the old record. Peterson finished his MVP season (I assume) in dramatic style, busting loose for a 26 yard gain with under 30 seconds left in the game to give Minnesota a chip shot FG to beat Green Bay and make the playoffs, bumping out the Bears in the process. It gave AP 199 yds for the day, ending his season at 2,097 yards, just 8 shy of Dickerson’s 2,105 in 1984.
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