1. Wrecked West
All-Stars are dropping like flies and now, in addition to Carlos Boozer and Yao Ming, Steve Nash and Allen Iverson will both miss the contest for the West. Mehmet Okur and Ray Allen were named as their replacements by David Stern on Tuesday. Stern also inserted Carmelo Anthony and Josh Howard into the squad for Boozer and Ming. Now, there are a total of 16 All-Stars in the Western Conference but it appears the East will be assigned a new player soon after Jason Kidd announced he will miss at least one more game with a strained back. No word yet on who could replace Kidd, but we do know that the Hornets Chris Paul will replace Nash in the skills competition.
2. Hes Not All Bad
Ron Artest has been playing great lately with at least 20 points in eight of his last nine games but, last night, Artest put together the best offensive output of his career. Artest went off against the Rockets and scored 39 (5-7 3-pointers) points and grabbed eight big boards for the Kings, but it wasnt enough as Sacramento lost to Houston in overtime. The Kings are now sitting in the basement of their division as Artest and Mike Bibby have both become hot commodities with the trade deadline approaching. The latest rumor had Bibby heading to Cleveland for Cavs forward Drew Gooden.
3. Hornets Get Stung
The Hornets were in position to move into the playoff picture last night, and all they had to do was beat the pathetic Grizzlies. But it wasnt New Orleans night as Memphis picked up their first division win of the season with an exciting 108-104 victory at home. It was the Grizzlies third crack at the Hornets this year; in all Memphis was 0-13 versus division foes (0-4 vs. DAL, 0-4 vs. HOU, 0-3 vs. SA, 1-2 vs. NO) before they finally picked up a win. Tyson Chandler went bananas, grabbing a franchise record-tying 23 rebounds while matching his career-high in points with 17. With the win, the Grizzlies are now only 11 ½ games out of the playoff picture. Keep up the good work guys.
Tuesdays Player of the Day: Dirk Nowitzki @ Milwaukee 43 min, 38 pts (FG: 15-28, 3FG: 2-6, FT: 6-6), 11 reb, 8 ast, 2 stl
Wednesdays Game to Watch: San Antonio (34-18) @ Detroit (32-18) The road trip continues for San Antonio and so far the Spurs have been on a pretty bumpy ride. SA is 3-4 during the stretch but gained some confidence last night after blowing out a struggling Nets team. Detroit will prove a tough task as they are 17-9 at home this year and currently riding a seven game win streak. Much like when the Pistons added Rasheed Wallace to their squad mid-season a few years ago, Detroit is becoming better and better as the postseason approaches.
Buzzer Beater: It took a few seasons but Eddy Curry is finally living up to the draft day hype. He scored 19 points against the Lakers last night and scored the go-ahead basket with seven seconds remaining. Curry is even received some All-Star consideration and if Jason Kidd misses the game, Curry could still be injected into the Eastern Conferences lineup but itll be tough for the commish to pass on a high scoring Joe Johnson.