11-24-08 Recap

Magic beat Bucks: Besides building a ten-point deficit in the first quarter, the Bucks played pretty well throughout this game … Still playing without Michael Redd, Milwaukee got plenty of scoring from Richard Jefferson. Unfortunately, Jefferson has had a down year, sporting a below average PER of 13.67 coming into tonight’s contest … The Magic were carried by their big three of Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, and Dwight Howard. The three combined for 39 free throw attempts … The Magic as a team had 54 attempts from the line. That was the difference in the game.

Bobcats beat 76ers: Philadelphia was upset by three-win Charlotte, and they’re back at .500 again … Offense continues to be the problem for the Sixers. Their defensive efficiency ranks fourth in the league, but their offense is 23rd. However, they have a new workhorse this year in Elton Brand. It may just take time for the team to gel … This was a rare bad game for Thaddeus Young, who shot 2-10 … Charlotte started two point guards, Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin. Much to my surprise, it worked extremely well. The combined numbers of the two are very impressive: 48 points, 16-22 shooting, 4-5 on three-pointers, 12-15 from the free throw line, 12 rebounds, and 16 assists.

Rockets beat Heat: The large and talented Rockets played the small and slightly less talented Heat, and the result was predictable. However, this game could easily have gone the Heat’s way had the Rockets made a few less threes, or if the Heat made a few more free throws, or if Dwyane Wade played slightly better. But none of those happened … As expected, Yao Ming was dominant. He didn’t force it when he was double-teamed but still scored 28 points on 9-15 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds … Rookie Mario Chalmers had a great night and was firing three-pointers all game … As I mentioned, Wade struggled. It may have more to do with Ron Artest playing good defense and giving Wade no room to operate though.

Spurs beat Grizzles: San Antonio quietly keeps winning and is now above .500 at 7-6 … Tonight marked the return of Manu Ginobili, and he was good in limited minutes. He missed just one shot on his way to 12 points in 11 minutes … Rookie George Hill was the star for the Spurs. He helped the team where it needed it most – scoring. For the year, he has an impressive PER of 17.06 … Another rookie starred, this time for the Grizzles. O.J. Mayo is scoring tons of points, averaging over 20 a game. However, he won’t be excellent until he can get those points more efficiently.

Bulls beat Jazz: Thanks to a buzzer-beater by Larry Hughes, the Bulls came up with a surprising victory over the Jazz … Utah was playing without Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams. Paul Millsap was a good replacement for Boozer in the starting lineup, but that just meant there wasn’t a good replacement for Millsap off the bench … Derrick Rose was brilliant yet again. He scored 25 points off efficient 10-18 shooting and added nine assists. Unless he gets hurt or really starts to struggle, I can’t see him not winning Rookie of the Year.

Trail Blazers beat Kings: For the second game in a row, the Kings hung tough with a top Western Conference team. However, they’ve come up short both times … I was singing Jason Thompson’s praises last time, so he rewarded me with zero points in 18 minutes of play … Greg Oden started, and struggled. He had six rebounds, which is actually quite impressive given that he played only 19 minutes. However, he struggled offensively and had four turnovers … Behind Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Joel Przybilla, the Blazers dominated the glass. They grabbed 40.9% of their misses, compared to just 16.7% for the Kings.

Hornets beat Clippers: The Zach Randolph trade is on hold due to concerns about Cuttino Mobley’s heart, so the Clippers were still shorthanded … With Mobley out and Ricky Davis hurt, Eric Gordon got the start and did not disappoint. He made half of his shots (including 4-8 on three-pointers) and finished the night with 25 points. He also had 4 steals … David West is undersized and went against a very tall Clippers frontcourt. Apparently he didn’t mind. He scored 27 … Chris Paul finished the game with another triple-double. Although triple-doubles aren’t necessarily as amazing as they seem, 17 assists is amazing.

Golden State at Washington: Warriors
Cleveland at New York: Cavaliers
Phoenix at Oklahoma City: Suns
Indiana at Dallas: Mavericks
New Jersey at L.A. Lakers: Lakers

Prediction Record: 114-60

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