1. Country Roads, Take Me Home
Nothing comes between a Texan and his rodeo, so for the next two weeks the Spurs will have to vacate the AT&T Center as the arena is inundated with denim and livestock. San Antonio began an eight game road trip yesterday with a close win over the Lakers in overtime. Going back to last week, the Spurs are in the middle of a stretch with 11 of 14 games coming on the road. But things could be worse; at least Tim Duncan has been putting up some of his best games of the year of late. Timmy has flirted with triple-doubles in each of the past two contests. Against Memphis on Friday Duncan finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high nine blocks; he followed that by coming one assist shy of a triple dip (21 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists) against the Lakers yesterday afternoon.
2. Randolph Shoots and Shoots and Shoots
Portlands Zach Randolph put up a career-high 42 in a double overtime win against Memphis on Saturday, but the points didnt exactly come in spectacular fashion. It took 47 minutes and 40 shots before Randolph finally grabbed his personal offensive record, and he only hit 16 of the franchises new record in attempts. Only one other player has jacked up at least 40 shots over the last five years, the Mamba himself. Kobe Bryant has done it with regularity as he has pulled off the feat six times in five years. The only difference between Bryant and Randolph is that Bryants 40+ shots usually result in point totals somewhere between 50 and, say, 81.
3. Long Balls
At the end of the first quarter of yesterdays game between New York and Milwaukee, Knicks guard Nate Robinson shot and made a buzzer-beater from just inside the midcourt stripe. Unfortunately, the trio of party-pooping refs wouldnt allow the shot to count after reviewing the replay. So, with time running out at the end of the first half, Robinson took a pass and heaved up a shot from about three-fourths of the court that hit nothing but net. Maybe Nate should be in the three point competition instead of the slam dunk contest. After all, he did go two for two from 35 feet and out, while it took him close to 20 attempts before hitting a slam off the backboard.
Sundays Player of the Day: Antawn Jamison @ Boston 41 min, 34 pts (FG: 13-22, 3FG: 4-8, FT: 4-6), 7 reb, 7 ast, 3 stl
Mondays Game to Watch: Phoenix (36-8) @ Minnesota (21-22) Since suffering through a season-high six game losing streak, Kevin Garnett has his team rolling after an impressive road win over the Clippers. Think that sounds good? Neither do the Suns. Phoenix is the hottest team in the league after they picked up their 17th straight victory, which is tied for the fifth longest in NBA history. The Suns are now over half way to the all-time record set by the 1971-72 Lakers who won 33 in a row. But dont expect Phoenix to be grabbing that record anytime soon. Should they win 34 straight, it would occur against Charlotte on March 7.
Buzzer Beater: Looks like Ben Wallace escaped with just a scare after colliding with Miamis Udonis Haslem on Saturday. An MRI on his left knee showed no structural damage, leaving the center listed as day to day. But the Bulls would love to get Big Ben back soon as they begin a seven game, Western Conference road trip on Wednesday. Three teams are separated by one game in the Central Division so theres not a lot room for error; and Ben Gordon can only do so much without a little help defensively.