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NBA Awards 1/9/13

Tuesday Night Action
In their last 7 games, the Miami Heat have been quite poor, losing 4 games by an average of 11.5 pts, including a 10 point loss to Indy last night, 87-77. The 3 wins are against some of the drecks of the league – Washington, Orlando, & Dallas. They were out-rebounded by the Pacers 55-36 after being out-rebounded 48-28 in their last loss – at home vs. Chicago. In the words of Heat GM & part owner Pat Riley: ‘No rebounds, no rings’. Paul George, often going against LeBron at both ends of the floor, out-scored (29 to 22) and out-rebounded (11-10) him for the Pacers, now 21-14 and 4th in the East. D Wade led the Heat with 30, 23 in the first half…..The Lakers went into Houston last night minus Dwight, Pau, Jordan Hill, and as usual, their defense. Poor Hill, his big opportunity to average 20/10 for a couple games and show his wares without Dwight & Pau in the lineup, but due to horrible luck for himself and the team, he’s also out. L.A. managed to allow 125 pts to the Rockets while scoring 112 themselves. Delfino (19/6 rebs, 5-7 from distance) kept getting wide-open looks at threes, while Harden (31/6/9) & Lin (19/6/5) penetrated and dished at will, giving Houston its 5th straight win and 10th in the last 12 games. The Lakers are now 15-19 & 4 games out of the 8th playoff spot while riding a 4-game losing streak. It’s time for Laker fans to get excited about the lottery – pray for some luck as the team hasn’t had the #1 overall pick since 1982 when they chose Worthy over Dominique & Terry Cummings. Quick stat note from the game: Nash (16/5/10 asst) joined Stockton, Kidd, Mark Jackson, and Magic in the 10,000 assist Club during the game. What’s truly amazing about this is that when Nash turned 30, he didn’t even have 3,000 career assists yet. The bulk of his greatness has come after his 30th birthday (Feb 7, 2004)…..The Bucks (17-16) kicked off the post-Scott Skiles era with a solid 108-99 win at home over Phoenix (12-24). Brandon Jennings (more below) did the job in the backcourt while Larry Sanders (10/8 rebs, 6 fly swats, 3 stls) did the job inside. Additionally, in just 19 min off the bench rookie John Henson had a nice double-double (12/11 rebs). The Suns got 21 from Dragic and double-doubles from Gortat (16/14) & Scola (12/10) up front, as well as 15/8 asst from Dudley, but very little elsewhere while also turning it over 16 times…..Brooklyn (20-15) is now on a bit of a roll after beating Philly (15-21) 109-89 behind 20/7 rebs off the bench from Blatche and a career-high 23 rebs from rebounding specialist Reggie Evans (career 4.0 pts, 6.9 rebs…3.1 pts/8.7 this yr). The Nets have now won 4 in a row and 6 of 7. The 76ers, who were led by Jrue Holiday’s 19/8 asst, are going in the other direction as they’ve lost 4 in a row and 6 of 7, their only win in that time frame coming against the Lakers…..The Minnesota Timberwolves got Ricky Rubio back again (back spasms) and what a delightful passer and spark plug he is for that lineup. In just 19 minutes he dished out 8 dimes and nabbed 4 steals, helping the T-Wolves beat the Hawks 108-103. Minnesota also got 25/18 from Nikola Pekovic (the Nikola’s are having nice years – Vucevic, too) and 21/6/5 asst from AK-47. Atlanta was led by the Joshua Tree (21/13/7 asst, 2 blk) and Lou Williams (21/4/8).
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —  Brandon Jennings —  29 pts, 3 rebs, 9 asst, 6 FTM, 1 stl, 1 blk, 5 treys, and 9-15 shooting…Jennings is posting some solid numbers this year – 18.1/3.6/5.9 asst, & 2.1 stl – the dimes & thefts career highs. It’d be nice to see him put a little more muscle on his wiry frame (6’1″, 170 lbs) and get into the paint more, draw more fouls. He’s never averaged more than 3.9 free throw attempts in his career, and with his top notch quickness, he could improve this number vastly (and also improve his career FG% of 39.4).
The Mark Randall Award —  George Hill  —  0 pts, 1 rebs, 4 asst, 0 FTM, 0 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 0-4 shooting with 5 turnovers in 23 minutes…Hill had been playing some solid ball this yr (14.7/4.4/5 asst, 42.1) until missing 3 games recently with a thigh issue. This was his 2nd game back since the injury, and it’s quite impressive that Indy could survive this stinker to still take down the Heat by 10. Backup PG DJ Augustine, who’s had an utterly forgettable season up to this point (15.6 min – 4.4 pts, 2.8 asst, 31.1% from the floor), was solid in reserve for the Pacers last night with 8 dimes, 3 boards, 2 steals, and 4 free throws in 25 minutes.

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