NBA Whip Around

Photo Credit: Michael Nelson/EPA
There’s so much going on in the NBA right now, it’s hard to keep it all straight, but I’ll try. This may jump around a bit, yet I feel it’s all worth it.

Lakers and Clippers stand their ground. The Mavericks came to Los Angeles to play both the Lakers and the Clippers, in that order, with a much-needed day of rest in between.

The Lakers/Mavericks game was a defensive showcase in the seventies, and the only individual highlights were Dirk Nowitzki getting 21&7 for Dallas and Andrew Bynum with his 17&15 for LA; the rest was team basketball of the defensive variety at its finest.

Final score: LAL 73, DAL 70—thanks to Derek Fisher hitting the game-winning three to break the tie in the closing seconds. What a game.

Two nights later, the song remained the same, except there was a little more scoring, and the Clippers were without CP3. Mo Williams stepped in brilliantly, however, dropping 26 on Dallas, alongside Blake Griffin’s 14/17/7.

The Mavericks had their stars show up, as well, with Dirk having 17&7, plus 3 blocked shots, and Shawn Marion contributing 12&10, with 3 steals.

But in the end, Dallas lost their second heartbreaking game in a row as Chauncey Billups hit a three at the end, to take the Clippers from a point down, to two points up, 91-89.

Both games just go to show you that no matter how good the Western Conference gets, the road goes through Los Angeles in one way or another.

Two firsts. The San Antonio Spurs won their first road game, and the Philadelphia 76ers lost their first home game. Both games were impressive in their own way.

The Spurs beat the Magic in Orlando despite Dwight Howard’s 24&25, and the Denver Nuggets handed Philly its first lost at their place thanks to Andre Miller pulling a ‘remember me?’ on the 76er fans with his 28/8/10; furthermore, both contests went into overtime, so they were fascinating television.

Lower-tier teams making waves. The Wizards turned their win column plural—doesn’t sound like that bold a statement; until you find out they did it against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In a game were both the Thunder’s stars go north of thirty, it’s John Wall who ruled the highlights and headlines. Wall had 25/7/8 in his team’s second victory of the season, and not to say things are heading in the right direction for Washington, but at least Wall is playing to his abilities at long last.

Another team flying under the radar, and lead by a player with even less experience than John Wall, is the Cleveland Cavaliers and one rookie point guard named Kyrie Irving. He’s averaging 17 points and 5 assists a game as a NBA first timer, and the Cavs are hovering around .500, and that keeps them alive in the race for the eighth spot in the East.

Enough randomness, for there’s basketball this fine evening—and next. TNT has MIA/LAL and DAL/UTA tonight; then, ESPN has LAL/ORL and MIN/LAC on Friday. Sounds too tempting to resist, so I’m off to indulge.

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