NBA General

Around the Rim: Happy New Year!

1. Kevin Likes It! He Really Likes It!
Well, at long last, the leather ball has returned and it has already been approved by Kevin Garnett. The Minnesota forward put up a season high 32 points against Charlotte in the NBA’s first game with the new old ball. “There is a God,” said Garnett. And K.G. wasn’t the only one feeling the magic of the rock. Four other players scored 20 or more points in the contest. The Celtics seemed to enjoy the change as well. After losing to Seattle on New Year’s Eve with the synthetic ball, Boston opened 2007 with a win over Portland, shooting 44 percent and snapping a six game losing streak in the process.

2. Philly Comes to Town
It wasn’t that long ago when Allen Iverson wore a Sixers uniform. Now, after over a decade of hoops, Iverson will play his first game against Philadelphia. Philly has been a joke all year long and A.I. would love nothing more than to make this reunion a memorable one. Obviously, he could do so by leading his new team to a victory over his old team but, he can also etch his name into the record books with a high scoring performance. If Iverson can drop 40 on his old franchise then he will move into fourth place on the list of players with the most games of 40 or more. The Answer is currently tied with Oscar Robertson with 77 such games. Only Wilt Chamberlain (271), Michael Jordan (173) and Elgin Baylor (88) are ahead of Iverson on the list.

3. Shaq’s Back?
Coaches around the league are searching for a team schedule as they are looking to see when they have to play Miami next. That’s because Shaquille O’Neal is expected to return to the Heat’s lineup on January 15. And what a surprise, if all goes according to plan then Shaq first game back will be against his old Los Angeles Lakers team. Consider it a late Christmas present since Shaq missed the now traditional L.A. versus Miami X-Mas match-up. But late is better than never as Miami has struggled this season and they are currently sitting in third place in their division.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Kevin Garnett @ Charlotte 42 min, 32 pts (FG: 12-18, FT: 8-10), 14 reb, 3 ast, 1 blk

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Phoenix (21-8) @ Chicago (19-12) Chicago has the best home record in the league and they will need to take full advantage of their crowd’s support as the Suns come to town. Phoenix is only 9-5 on the road but most of their road woes came early in the season. Steve Nash and Co. has won nine of their last ten away from home. No team has hotter than the Bulls recently and a four-time Defensive Player of the Year might be the only person that can slow down a now healthy Amare Stoudemire.

Buzzer Beater: Denver is not the safest place to live if you are a professional athlete. Just ask Nuggets guard Julius Hodge who was shot four times on April 8, 2006. Hodge considers himself lucky to be alive after the drive-by shooting. Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was not so fortunate after he was gunned down inside of his limousine. Oddly enough, Williams was killed in the same neighborhood where Hodge currently lives.

By Vin

Vin is a Philly boy who shouldn't be invited into your house because he'll judge you on your book and music collection. He owns Dawkins, Utley, Iverson, and Lindros jerseys, which is all you really need to know about him. He can be reached at [email protected].

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