1. Master of the obvious
Michael Jordan took the court yesterday, practicing with his Charlotte Bobcats in an attempt to motivate them toward a better record; hopefully, a much better record. The Cats have lost 10 of their last 12 games, earning them an 8-14 overall record. While his game might be a bit rusty from the recent years spent as a front office fat-cat, M.J.’s ability to evaluate talent and overall understanding of the game has never been more on point.
I also told them yesterday that on this team we have no All-Stars — none,” Jordan said.
What’s next? Are you going to tell them that water is wet?
2. Lakers bully the Bulls
How bad are the Bulls? Turns out they’re so bad Kobe Bryant can shoot seven-of-19 from the field and the Lakers still roll to easy 12-point victory in Chicago. As Charles Barkley would say, Michael Jordan must be rolling over in his grave. Bryant finished with just 18 points on his poor shooting performance, but thanks to Sasha Vujacic’s team-high 19 points, Lamar Odom’s 17-point, 16-rebound explosion and Andrew Bynum’s double-double (12 pts, 10 reb), the Lakers won 103-91. Luol Deng showed up for Chicago, but that was about it. Ben Gordon had eight points, Ben Wallace grabbed five rebounds and the team committed a total of 18 turnovers as they fell to 8-14 overall, tying them with Charlotte for the conference’s second worst record.
3. Captain KAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAAANNNN!!!!
Not surprisingly, the Clippers lost again last night, falling to the Raptors 80-77. The Clippers fell into some success for a couple of years there, but after getting ravaged by injuries they are back where they feel most comfortable, the NBA’s cellar. But you can’t blame Chris Kaman for the Clips recent struggles. Kaman grabbed his 20th double-double in 24 games this season on Tuesday, finishing with 12 points and 16 rebounds against Toronto. The seven-footer only managed to amass 16 double-dips last season. With fat averages of 18.3 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.71 blocks per game, Kaman is well on his way to All-Star weekend even if the Clippers are headed nowhere fast.
Tuesday’s Player of the Day: John Salmons @ New Jersey 43 min, 31 pts (FG: 13-18, 3FG: 2-3, FT: 3-5), 4 reb, 7 ast, 3 stl
Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Phoenix (18-7) @ Dallas (17-9)
The old drinking buddies are together again! Meeting for the first time this season, Steve Nash returns to Big D for a clash against his former squad in Phoenix’s only trip to Dallas this year. The Suns are coming off a big win in San Antonio on Monday and will now try to defeat both Texas rivals on the same road trip for the first time since 1998. But it won’t be easy as Dallas is currently cruising, winning their last three (vs. NO, @ HOU, vs. ORL) and five of their previous six games. Josh Howard, not Dirk Nowitzki, has been making things roll for the Mavericks, averaging a team-high 21.8 points per game while pulling down a career-high 7.1 rebounds (2nd on the team).
Buzzer Beater: Don’t ask us why, but we try to keep up with Gilbert Arena’s blog entries. What stood out to us this week was Gilbo’s rather interesting Christmas gift selection.
We used to have a team gift exchange and they started getting mad at the gifts I was giving out. I gave Larry Hughes a bobblehead of me one year. I’ve also given out highlight tapes of myself. I give big, signed pictures of myself so they can look at me over the summer. You know, big ones that they can put on the wall or put it in the family room. That’s the kind of funny gifts I do. I don’t want to go out there and spend no money.
Of course, just a handful of paragraphs prior, the penny pinching Arenas mentioned how he went from making $4.2 million in Golden State to $65 million in Washington.