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NBA Awards – 2/1/13

Thursday Action
Just two games last night, the first one being the retooled Grizzlies (29-16) going against the Thunder (35-11) in Oklahoma. Durant (27/7/6, 10-16) and Westy (21/9/6, 9-17) were were efficient and well-rounded, while Ibaka made up for his lack of scoring & rebounding (4 pts, 1 reb) by rejecting 6 Memphis FG attempts in an easy 106-89 OKC win. Zach Randolph couldn’t shoot straight (4-17) but did grab 19 rebs for the Griz while Jerryd Bayless (23/6 asst) had one of his better games of the season as he started for the shorthanded Memphis squad. I know Memphis was trying to clear salary in the Gay trade, but it seems their roster is very unbalanced now, as they have two very nice young bigs in Darrell Arthur and Ed Davis backing up Gasol & Randolph, but are now quite suspect at the SF position. Do they start Tayshaun Prince? Are Quincy Pondexter & Austin Daye legit 20 min/night talents at SF? Seems like a team full promise and high aspirations a couple months ago has now wandered significantly off that path…..The Warriors (29-17) squeaked by the Mavericks (19-27) last night 100-97 as Dallas was without Dirk (abductor strain…getting old…worn down…fading). Lee was awesome (more below) and Klay Thompson (27 pts) led G.S. in scoring, though he also wins the Hollow Man Award for the night – 1 reb, 0 asst, 1 stl, 0 blk. The Warriors did it without Stephen Curry who missed his 2nd straight contest with a bad ankle…are his ankles made of China? OJ Mayo led Dallas with 25/5/6, 8-13 shooting. 
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —  David Lee  —  15 pts, 20 rebs, 9 asst, 3 FTM, 1 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 6-13 shooting…What a 4th round steal for Black & Tan on draft night! Lee has been golden this year for Golden St. (pun intended), averaging a career-high 3.9 assists to go with 19.5 pts, 11.1 rebs, and 51.7% shooting. He’s at 5.0 dimes his last 10 games, going into his 2nd career All-Star game (2010 his other). Kevin Love gets a lot praise and hype, but I’ll take D Lee over him all day. First of all – health. Love has missed 22, 9, 11, and now 24 games and counting over the last 4 seasons. Lee has missed 1, 9, 9, & 1 over the last 4 seasons. And I’d much rather have my PF staying near the basket and shooting 50%+ (career 53.6%) than showing off his range and making 44.9% for his career. And while Love’s passing is praised, D Lee’s assist numbers are far superior – a full assist better over the last 4 seasons.
The Mark Randall Award —  Chris Johnson  —  1 pts, 2 rebs, 0 asst, 1 FTM, 2 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 0-6 shooting in 21 minutes…Johnson was recently signed to a 10-day contract in Memphis and has been playing around 18 min/gm since. He’s a 22 yr old rookie out of Dayton where he averaged 12.4 & 6.4 rebs his senior year while making 46.5% of his shots.
Super Bowl
In recent Super Bowls my interest has been come from my general appreciation of the game rather than a strong rooting interest for either team…but Ray Lewis and Colin Kaepernick have changed that for Sunday’s game. Ever since Randall Cunningham 20+ years ago I’ve loved athletic QBs, and Kaepernick fits that bill perfectly – a blast to watch. And at the other end of the spectrum, I cannot stand the incredibly phony, self-hyping Ray Lewis. Whatever happened 13 years ago, outside the Atlanta nightclub – we’ll never know I guess, largely because he got by with not talking about it. He might have gotten away with murder, maybe just an accomplice, but certainly obstruction of justice, which he did plead to. Here’s a link to a recent story about it. I’d like to see Frank Gore stiff-arm him to the turf, Kaepernick and LaMichael James juke him to the turf, the 49ers win the game by at least two TDs, and Ray Lewis have to end his career quietly humiliated in front of a record TV audience. Good riddance to Ray.
P.S. Hopefully the younger generation learns about the real Ray, as my 7 yr old recently said to me in the car ‘Dad, my favorite linebacker is Ray Lewis.’ I immediately educated him about the real Ray, and changed his mind in 30 seconds. I’m sure many (most?) other kids 15 & under are likely completely unaware of the truth about this phony.

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