Before we start the recaps of last night’s 12 NBA games and preview the nine on tonight’s schedule, congratulations to the aptly-named “Lootmeister” for defeating 902 opponents in the Sheridan Hoops Freeroll at DraftStreet to win the $100 first prize. Foolishly thinking that Michael Beasley was a bargain, I staggered in at #269 — wait until next week!
February 1 Game Recaps
MIA @ IND: When the Pacers beat Miami three weeks ago, it was a mild surprise. Last night, with a superb David West (30 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST) leading the way, it was a statement. Paul George (15 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST) does not seem intimidated by LeBron James (28 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST) and while the Bulls, Knicks and Nets have a lot to say about the matter, this would be a dandy playoff series in the East final. Ray Allen was horrible (scoreless in 27 minutes) and Chris Andersen (9 PTS, 3 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK in 12:20) will be more useful when he’s in game shape.
LAC @ TOR: There was a change of schedule, and though he’d been ruled out earlier by team officials, Rudy Gay (20 PTS, 3 REB) was able to play 33 minutes off the bench for his new team. His buddy Kyle Lowry had a rough shooting night (1-fof-6) but contributed 8 AST and 5 REB, while Amir Johnson (19 PTS, 16 REB) played extremely well for a man with the flu. Blake Griffin (17 PTS, 9 REB) led the step-slow Clippers, who shot just 35% and for once, got next to nothing from their bench. Jamal Crawford did score 14 points, but missed 12 shots, and Matt Barnes sat out a one-game suspension.
ORL @ BOS: It’s going from very bad to even worse for Orlando. Already missing Glen Davis (foot) and Arron Afflalo (calf), the Magic lost Jameer Nelson to a bruised forearm after 18 quiet minutes. J.J. Redick (15 PTS, 5 AST) and Nikola Vucevic (14 PTS, 14 REB, 2 BLK) tried hard; rookie Andrew Nicholson (14 PTS, 10 REB, 2 BLK) looks like the new PF. The Celtics are 3-0 without Rajon Rondo (knee surgery) and have now lost Jared Sullinger (back surgery) for the season; Brandon Bass (6 PTS, 7 REB) will continue to start but Jeff Green (17 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 3 BLK) is the better pickup.