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NBA Random Thoughts: Lots Of Great Games On An NBA Fantastic Friday

Jose SalviatiCorrespondent IIDecember 4, 2009

SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 18:  The NBA logo after a game between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 18, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ten games on tap tonight and several have some pretty interesting story lines and/or intriguing match ups.  NBA League Pass anyone?

Break up the Wolves!

The 2-16 Timberwolves beat Denver then lost to Memphis by only two points.  Is this team coming together?  Has Rambis found his voice?

They battle the New Orleans Hornets, who looked like they were spiraling out of control early in the season.   CP3 is out, Byron Scott is out, Emeka Okafor looked lost; but although the ship took on water, it never went down. 

They come into this game a respectable 7-11 considering their trials and tribulations.  Although an injury to an All-Star is never a good thing, the emergence of Collison has got to bring a smile to the Big Easy.

I see this as a battle of two teams with the "potential meter" pointing up.



LeBron's tryout


Not that he needs to impress his potential 2010 teammates, but continuing to make a good impression is always nice.  It's one thing to shoot for "Jordan-esque" status, its another all-together to do it wearing the same uniform.  Although jumping from the Cavs to the Bulls has a very frying-pan into the fire feel to me, there is no denying that the Bulls are a player in the LeBron sweepstakes.

Derrick Rose already made the pitch saying, "I wouldn't mind playing with anybody, especially a guy like [James]. He can't do nothing but make the team better."

I also get a kick out of watching Andrew Bynum's future backup rumble up and down the court.  The "Big Re-do" will end his career in L.A.

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New A.I. against Old A.I's team last year


It was J.A. Adande, a former L.A. Times columnist and current ESPN scribe, who made the connection first.  Brandon Jennings plays the game like A.I. in his prime.  Adande said it was time for A.I. to hang them up because "...we’ve already seen the next of him: Brandon Jennings."

I used to love watching A.I. play and am excited to see what he has left in Round two with the 76'ers.  I never tuned in JUST to watch him however.

The Bucks have a team chalk full of nobodies (with apologies to B.J. who is still not a well known name outside of the basketball-geek-community where I have a winter home) and yet boast a winning 9-8 record. It's still premature to hand him the ROY award but there is no denying that Jennings is for real.

I'm watching this game to see the latest from the A.I. incarnation, the Pistons are just the opponent.


We won, we really won!!


I was a passenger being driven to an airport down a very lonely street in Argentina on a fairly hot day.  There was some commotion up ahead and we noticed something on the floor.  My uncle maneuvered the car around the obstacle and I heard my mom and aunt gasp.  Apparently, a motorcycle driver lost control and was now laying face down on the street.

It's odd seeing someone hugging pavement on a hot day.  We all heard a moan as we drove by.  It was gut-wrenching, but we all looked.

The Nets have been the unfortunate face-down-in-the-pavement motorcycle rider all year.  Tonight, the ambulance arrives!  You heard it here first, the Nets win, the Nets win.

I admit to being genuinely excited to watch this game.

The continuing evolution of Durant


I love this kid.  He isn't flashy, just really good.  It's not right to compare him to Tim Duncan expect to say he has the same unassuming mannerism.  He's a quiet but deadly assassin. 

He faces a battle against a Celtics team that is a lot better than I thought they would be.  The Green Team is playing inspired basketball looking young and energetic when they are really kind of old.  Tough to argue with 15-4 and 8-1 away, however.  This is a good team.

The game represents a great test to see if the Thunder are a playoff contender and if Durant can put up numbers against an experienced and tough team of defenders.



Finally, a Laker test   


Tonight's game with the Heat marks the first real test for the Purple and Gold since they played at Denver.  Lots of interesting story-lines here:

  • Wade vs. Bryant
  • Bryant vs. Wade
  • um...
  • Kobe vs. Dwyane
  • Will TMZ place "reporters" in front of all local L.A. liquor stores hoping for an Artest sighting?

The Lakers failed their only real test against a good team this year.  Losing this game will bring out the naysayers that expect nothing but perfection from L.A.'s other basketball team.

Staples will be rocking.

Which game are you watching tonight?

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