It was a wacky Wednesday in the NBA, with blowouts on some courts and futility on others. Tonight’s final two games of the first half are must-see TV.
Even on short notice, two days earlier than usual, our Freeroll at DraftStreet attracted 755 entries, and “blequin97” won the $100 first prize with a total of 286.5 fantasy points. My team finished more than 90 points behind, on a night full of surprises and just plain mistakes, like talking myself out of Blake Griffin in favor of Carmelo Anthony. Thanks to everyone who took part; hope you had fun. We’ll do it again next Friday and are planning a “Beat Sheridan” contest for big money next Saturday.
February 13 Game Recaps
SAS @ CLE: Technically at full strength, the Spurs got Tim Duncan back ((13 PTS, 6 REB, 5 BLK in 25:26) and we told you that Tony Parker (24 PTS, 7 AST, 6 REB) would ‘recover’ from an allegedly swollen knee after taking off one game to rest. Manu Ginobili (5 PTS, 6 AST) played less than ten minutes and Tiago Splitter (6 PTS, 7 REB) took it easy on his tender ankle. They still won, with Kawhi Leonard (13 PTS, 10 REB, 4 BLK) hitting the decisive three. Hampered by a sore ankle, Kyrie Irving was awful (2-for-15, 6 PTS, 7 AST) but Dion Waiters (20 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST) and Tyler Zeller (16 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST) stepped up to keep the Cavs in the game all the way.
ATL @ ORL: One of many incorrect guesses on my part was thinking the Magic might come out with some intensity, rather than a 36-point opening half at home. Not that Hedo Turkoglu has done anything on the court this year, but his 20-game suspension for using a steroid seemed to deflate his teammates. Orlando offered absolutely no resistance to Josh Smith (30 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST, 2 BLK) or Al Horford (26 PTS, 12 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL) and the 17,649 witnesses to this debacle deserve refunds.
CHA @ IND: The Pacers didn’t need Danny Granger (knee) whose rumored debut was delayed until next week. Paul George had a triple-double (23 PTS, 12 REB, 12 AST) and with David West (eye) taking the night off, Tyler Hansbrough (19 PTS, 10 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL) made the most of a rare starts. Byron Mullens had 19 points and Bismack Biyombo grabbed 16 rebounds for the outclassed Bobcats.
CHI @ BOS: It was almost as low-scoring as a soccer game. Brandon Bass (14 PTS, 9 REB) was the game-high scorer, both teams shot 37% and the Bulls committed 20 turnovers. The entire Boston team scored 11 points in the second and just nine in the third — yet they won! Paul Pierce (8 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST, 2-for-12) was visibly tired, but Kevin Garnett (12 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST) turned it on in crunch time. Joakim Noah (10 PTS, 16 REB, 2 BLK) played 43:27 on his sore foot for Chicago, but his teammates went 3-for-17 from 3-point range as both teams really need a few days off.
WAS @ DET It’s easy to forget that Greg Monroe (16 PTS, 18 REB, 4 AST, 2 BLK) is only 22 years old. Imagine what he’ll be like in a couple of years. Jose Calderon hit six triples among his 24 points and Will Bynum (20 PTS, 8 AST) was a sparkplug in 21 minutes off the bench. John Wall (16 PTS, 9 AST, 3 REB, 2 STL) and Emeka Okafor (20 PTS, 9 REB) led the Wizards, but the Pistons poured it on in the fourth, to the delight of a few loyal spectators (allegedly 11,000) in the cavernous Palace.