11-30-08 Recap

Trail Blazers beat Pistons: Detroit got lit up to the tune of a 118.5 efficiency for the Blazers. This may came as a shock to some, but it shouldn’t. The Pistons’ D is actually below average for the year, ranking 17th in the league … He continues to foul too much and is often inept on the offensive end, but Greg Oden sure does two things very well: rebound and play defense. Tonight he had 13 rebounds and three blocks. Even if he made zero improvement over the course of his career (highly unlikely), there isn’t a team in the league that wouldn’t want him, and for good reason … Detroit needs to keep reminding themselves of the increased salary cap flexibility they have now, because Allen Iverson does not seem to be a good fit. In his last five games, he’s shot a combined 20-59 (33.9%).

Bulls beat 76ers: If the Sixers turn it around like everybody thinks they will, they’re still going to kick themselves for losing a lot of games like this one. There’s a big difference between being a number three seed and a number six … Philly actually played pretty well, except for one very, very bad quarter. Chicago won the third period 31-11 … Derrick Rose has been exceptional, but has it been at the expense of Luol Deng? Deng is shooting below 40% for the year (with a poor 47.1% true shot percentage to boot) and has a PER of 12.05 … Just like Deng, Andre Iguodala received a large contract in the offseason and is struggling. He’s no longer The Man with Elton Brand in the fold.

Nuggets beat Rockets: Denver showed it may be a legitimate contender in the West. However, I should add that by contender, I mean contender for second place (who’s going to beat the Lakers?) … To their defense, Houston was shorthanded because of injuries to Tracy McGrady and Shane Battier … To Denver’s defense, they played most of the game without Carmelo Anthony. No worries, though, thanks to Chauncey Billups’ efficient 28 points and ten assists.

Nets beat Suns: Phoenix got great games from Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash, but it was no use against the one-man wrecking crew that was Devin Harris … Harris made 14 of his 25 field goal attempts. He shot 17-17 (!) on free throws. He grabbed seven rebounds. He dished out eight assists. He scored 47 points … Playing the role of co-star was Vince Carter, who added 28. Add it up, and the Nets’ starting backcourt combined for 75 points.

Lakers beat Raptors: The Lakers’ defense may be for real, and I can’t wait for a potential Celtics-Lakers Finals rematch. It would be an absolute slugfest … The key for Los Angeles was neutralizing Chris Bosh. Bosh is one of the league’s leaders in scoring but tallied just 12 tonight … The rest of the stars playing in this game had no problem. Kobe Bryant scored 23, Pau Gasol 24, and Andrew Bynum 18 to go along with ten rebounds.

Minnesota at Charlotte: Bobcats
Orlando at Boston: Celtics
Miami at Golden State: Warriors

Prediction Record: 145-71

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