That was hardly the tight defensive game we expected. The Bulls had seven players score in double figures and still lost by ten. Taj Gibson (10 PTS, 11 REB, 5 BLK) made another start for Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis) while Carlos Boozer (10 PTS, 5 REB) played just 23 minutes in his return from a sore hamstring. Indiana shot 53%, with red-hot David West (29 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST, 3 BLK) taking advantage of Boozer while Paul George (21 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK) stuffed the stat line with fantasy goodies. Both PG were sharp; Nate Robinson (19 PTS, 9 AST, 5 REB, 3 STL) and George Hill (22 PTS, 6 AST) each hit three 3-pointers. Marco Belinelli scored 17 of his 24 points in the final 16 minutes as Chicago at least tried to rally.
Other February 4 Game Recaps
DET @ NYK: Just another night at the office for Carmelo Anthony (27 PTS, 7 REB) and just another 20 rebounds for Tyson Chandler, who has hit exactly that number in three straight games, to the delight of his fantasy owners. Amare Stoudemire (20 PTS, 3 REB, 2 STL, 1 BLK) not only seems content with his role off the bench, he is shooting a ridiculous 67.5% and averaging 18 points over his last seven games. Making his Pistons debut, Jose Calderon (15 PTS, 3 AST) played 26:39, but Will Bynum (13 PTS) was on the floor for the entire fourth quarter as the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Sell Brandon Knight if you can and buy low on Rodney Stuckey (14 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL) who is at least two inches taller and better suited to play SG.
LAC @ WAS: In yesterday’s Spin, I stopped just short of predicting the Wizards would win. Had I known Blake Griffin (hamstring) would be a late scratch, I would have been a lot more confident. College teammates John Wall (13 PTS, 8 AST) and Eric Bledsoe (17 PTS, 9 AST) both played well, and Emeka Okafor (9 PTS, 14 REB) worked hard against DeAndre Jordan, who grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds. Masked man Jamal Crawford led all scorers with 28 off the bench; Martell Webster (21 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST) hit 5-of-5 from 3-point range for Washington, and Garrett Temple (15 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 3 BLK) did a fine job at SG for Bradley Beal (wrist).
ORL @ PHI: There was nothing Magical about this horrible game. Orlando had one healthy starter, Nikola Vucevic (9 PTS, 14 REB) as Arron Afflalo (calf) and Jameer Nelson (forearm) were joined on the sidelines by J.J. Redick (shoulder) and Glen Davis (foot) — Big Baby will be out for most, if not all of the season. Rookie Maurice Harkless (10 PTS, 5 REB) played 43 minutes with a broken nose. There was bad news amid the easy win for the 76ers and owners of Thaddeus Young, who left with a strained hamstring that could cost him several games. Spencer Hawes (21 PTS, 14 REB, 3 AST) was outstanding and Lavoy Allen (10 PTS, 6 REB, 3 BLK) becomes a more important role player until Thad returns.