Wow—that was fun indeed. The NBA delivered almost all the entertainment for yet another fantastic weekend of hoops.
The Oscars and the rained-out Daytona 500 proved to be little match for last week’s All Star festivities, and—minus the Tiger Woods charged comeback that was too-little, too-late—there was nothing that could stand in the way of the NBA dominance.
The Power of the Mask.
Kobe Bryant has gone on a bit of a tear over the last three Lakers games—netting at least 30 points in each effort—and with the next three games being on the road, it couldn’t have come at a better time.
LAL plays a back-to-back that begins tomorrow, first Detroit and then Washington, followed by a trip to Minnesota on Friday, before coming home to host Boston Sunday.
These pose as no real threat to the Lakers, for, as stated earlier, but this time with more detail, Kobe has put up 31/7/8, 38&8 and 33 over the last 3 games. Behold the power of the mask.
Lots of Points…the Good First. More than a few players went north of 30 points since Thursday, yet not all of them had positive results for anyone other than themselves.
Saturday had a rare occurrence: Two players in the 40’s in the points column. Both Kevin Love (42&10 in fact) and Dirk Nowitzki (40 on the nose) were responsible for that; but then Deron Williams topped them both with 57 of his own the following day.
Other notable figures with totals >30: Kevin Durant (38&8), LeBron James (38/11/6) and Dwyane Wade (33 and 10 dimes) on Thursday; Jordan Crawford (31) and Josh Smith (30&12) on Saturday; Paul Pierce (34) and Derek Rose (35) on Sunday.
Now…the Bad. And there are more examples for the bad in this particular category, which should hint at something, yet I won’t say what.
The night after LeBron and Wade both went over 30, they did it yet again (35/10/6 for Bron Bron and 31 for DW), but the Heat lost; also, on the same day, Kevin Martin had 35 in a loss. Surprisingly, however, these two have something in common: The feats of Miami’s and Houston’s opposition.
Both Utah and Denver held off big-time scorers (two in the Jazz’s case, but there is a freakier happening forthcoming) because they each had 7 players in double figures. This balance, I believe, is what separated the contesting clubs.
The Atlanta Hawks beat two teams on consecutive nights during which they allowed a 30-pt scorer. Weird, isn’t it?
Brandon Jennings had 34—and 9 assists—and then Durant had 35&8, but they both lost to the Hawks. OKC’s loss was all about karma; the Thunder got away with allowing 33&9 from Dwight Howard on Thursday night (and it did help that they countered with Durant’s 38&8, as I mentioned before), yet there was no escaping their comeuppance when Smith had 30&12 on Saturday, as stated earlier.
The Bucks’ loss was not under the same circumstances as the Thunder’s, although the same Atlanta Hawk led the way each time. Josh Smith dropped 24 points and grabbed 19 boards against Milwaukee, leading the Hawks in each instance.
TV Time. NBATV holds the venue through which the NBA can be seen over the course of the next three days. (By the way: Check out the movie The Next Three Days; Russell Crowe is the man.)
DAL/OKC tonight—which is already underway—NYK/DAL tomorrow and ATL/MIA on Wednesday is the lineup, so get used to that channel. You’re going to need it…Back to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed