5 Takeaways from Wednesday Night's Lopsided Games
The NBA's Wednesday slate didn't provide much excitement, despite the presence of some solid matchups. I was all set for a thrilling battle between Western powers Memphis and San Antonio. Instead, we were served a Gregg Popovich dream of a dud.
The Miami Heat visiting the Golden State Warriors had promise. But Stephen Curry re-injured his ankle pre-game and ruined that quickly. Miami blasted Golden State off the court from the outset, trolling what should have been a fun ESPN broadcast.
LeBron Gets 20,000 Points
The basket LeBron James scored for point 20,001 evoked memories of Michael Jordan. He hung in the air, double-clutched and floated the ball softly through the hoop.
LeBron's the youngest ever to get there, and probably will be forever, or at least, so long as an age limit exists. Other players will get too late a start to challenge James' pace. LeBron is from an old era, where players were allowed into the league the second they became legal adults (what a concept!).
It's still an awesome accomplishment, given that James passes so often to his teammates. He also reached the 5,000-assist mark in this game as well, with a lob pass to Dwyane Wade. He's the best player in the world, and the occasional numerical benchmark can remind us of this.
Tim Duncan Is an All-Star
GIve Tim Duncan an All-Star spot. Give it now, get it out of the way.
The San Antonio big man missed out on All-Star festivities last season, but he's more than earned a trip back to the game. He was awesome yet again in a 103-82 win against the Memphis Grizzlies adding eight rebounds, five blocked shots and four assists to his old reliable 19 points.
As for the Grizzlies, they couldn't hit threes and struggled to generate offense outside of that. Perhaps this could be a long-term trend, and perhaps "grit and grind" just makes them tired on certain nights.
Hate to be a lazy analyst here, but Memphis honestly just looks kind of tired and Spurs don't. Their execution in first half was superlative— Alex D. (@DewNO) January 17, 2013
Fear the Horse: Mavericks Are Rolling
I counted the Dallas Mavericks out and you probably did too. Now that they're on a four-game win streak, expectations may be in need of a re-adjustment.
Dirk Nowizki had 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to help close out the visiting Houston Rockets, 105-100. Nowiztki hasn't been incredible since returning to the Dallas lineup, but they need the attention he draws to create looks elsewhere.
Turnovers killed Houston tonight (16). They lead the league in TOs per game, and it's usually the cost of doing business for their style of offense. But tonight, quite a few giveaways were unforced and untimely.
Pity the Wizards
The Washington Wizards had only won one road game on the season, but a visit to Sacramento looked to be a decent opportunity to tack on a second victory. No dice, as the Wizards fell 95-94 to the Kings.
The Jan Vesely experiment is not going well in Washington, and it's come time for us to concede that the sixth pick of 2011 is likely a bust. A Twitter account has already popped up that merely reads out his dismal stats on a nightly basis. Here's his line for this evening:
FINAL: 0 PT, 0-1 FG, 0-0 FT, 0-0 3PT, 0 AST, 2 REB, 0 STL, 0 BK, 1 PF, 0 TO— Jan Vesely Stats (@JanVeselyStats) January 17, 2013
Ouch. On the bright side, John Wall moved well and posted 14 points and 10 assists in his third game back. Nene had a vintage game (15 points and 9 rebounds). Bradley Beal is also making strides, finishing with a game-high 26 points.
Maybe next year, Washington. Maybe next year.
Landry Fields Has Been Brutal
Perhaps few in United States care because the Toronto Raptors play in Canada, but the Landry Fields situation has gone horribly for the Raps. Remember when they overpaid Fields as a tricky means of forcing the Knicks out of getting Steve Nash?
We all know how that went, with Nash spurning the Raptors for the Los Angeles Lakers. We collectively forgot about Fields, especially when he missed some games with an elbow injury.
Now that Fields is back and playing again, Toronto fans (and management, I'm assuming) couldn't feel worse about the $20 million owed Landry.
He was averaging a PER slightly above seven before Wednesday night's 107-105 overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls and he looked awful in the game. Fields went for one point in 18 minutes, looking listless the whole way.