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NBA Awards – 2/22/13

Thursday Games – Another Offensive Debacle for Bulls; Clippers Annihilated in L.A.
        In their last game before the All-Star break, Chicago scored just 69 pts in a loss to Boston. Last night, they couldn’t quite get to 69 in an ugly 86-67 loss to the defending World Champs Miami Heat. It’s the 6th straight game they’ve failed to reach 100 pts, and their record in February now stands at 3-6. On the bright side, Derrick Rose is now taking part in 5 on 5 practices, and clearly, they need his offense and play-making…desperately. All-Star Luol Deng (6/6/2 asst, 3-12 FGs) resumed his recent poor play after hitting for 20 pts Tues night. LeBron (more below) was…yawn…ridiculous yet again for the Heat, and got solid help from Wade (17/8/5, 2 stl/2 blk). Joakim Noah was the only Bull with a stat line worth mentioning, as he continued his best season yet (6th year) with 11 pts, 8 rebs, 8 asst, 3 stl, & 2 blk.
         In a rather surprising result in the late game, San Antonio rolled into L.A. and destroyed the Paper Clips, taking a 28 pt lead after 3 quarters before finally winning by 26, 116-90. All-Star MVP Chris Paul (more below) crashed hard in his first action since Sunday’s marquee game, and only Matt Barnes (18/6) and Jamal Crawford (15/6 asst, 3 stl) off the bench did anything of note for L.A. In a combined 38 minutes, Chauncey Billups and DeAndre Jordan combined for 8 pts, 1 reb, 2 asst, and no steals or blocks – UGLY! For the Spurs, Tony Parker (31/7 asst) continued his razor sharp play, hitting 12 of his 16 shots on the night, and all 7 of his free throw attempts. Old man Tim Duncan was able to rest, playing just 16 minutes to get his 9 pts, 5 rebs. 
 
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —  LeBron James  —  26 pts, 12 rebs, 7 asst, 3 FTM, 2 stl, 0 blk, 1 trey, and 11-15 shooting…And the beat goes on for Mr. James, playing incredibly well-rounded, efficient, and dominant basketball lately. He’s at 66.3% his last 10 games. 
 
The Mark Randall Award —  Chris Paul  —  4 pts, 2 rebs, 3 asst, 2 FTM, 1 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 1-6 shooting in 27 minutes…Chris Paul’s first Bozo Award…and I never expected this moment to ever arrive, certainly not right after his stellar All-Star game performance and subsequent 3 full days off. I didn’t see the game, but it looks like there wasn’t much to miss, outside of more magical play from Tony P. One thing is for sure, and I’ve been saying this for the last couple seasons – this is definitely NOT the same Chris Paul who averaged better than 20/10 in 2007-08 & 08-09…one of just 8 players in NBA history to accomplish the 20 pts/10 asst feat for a full season. He is not nearly as quick and explosive now, and uses his body to shield the defender and his guile to make plays, create space for his jumper. Still a stud…but unfortunately, his physical prime didn’t last too long, as he’s still only 27. 
 
P.S. The Other 20/10 Guys
Oscar…Tiny Archibald…Isiah…Magic…Kevin Johnson…Michael Adams (yes…26.5/10.5 in 1990-91)…& Tim Hardaway. 
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