By Henry Abbott
Whoa. This is going to be controversial in Detroit: A claim the Ben Gordon is too good to compare to Vinnie Johnson. "The Microwave" practically defines the off-the-bench scorer, and played a key role in two titles. That said, I can't tell you Gordon isn't a better player. For the record, here's a comparison of each of them at age 26. They're actually very similar.
D.J. Augustin and Tyson Chandler played a combined 48 minutes and, against the mighty Celtics' defense, scored one measly point.
Minnesota rookie Jonny Flynn scored well against the Nets, and I'm sure Timberwolves fans are happy with the win, and his 18 points on 13 shots in his NBA debut. He got to the line, and was a pest on defense. But something to keep an eye on as he develops ... he did little to dispel the notion that he loves to pound the air out of the ball, finishing with just two assists.Net center Brook Lopez had twice as many. Does that sound like the kind of player who could play alongside Ricky Rubio? (Also worth noting, with two assists, Flynn tied for most on the team.)
Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown experimented with Shaqlessness for a stretch in last night's loss to Toronto. John Krolik of Cavs the Blog writes about a third-quarter lineup of Maurice Williams, Daniel Gibson, Anthony Parker, LeBron James and Anderson Varejao: "The result was some beautiful basketball and a 32-21 quarter for the Cavaliers, who had just looked god-awful up to that point. LeBron had space in the middle of the floor, Mo immediately made his signature dive to the corner for an open three, Parker was banging in open threes, and even Boobie was having a good time. It looked like real basketball for a little while there. (Kurt from the Laker blog Forum Blue and Gold: "Am I a bad person for gloating that Shaq was -25 last night?"
John Hollinger (Insider) points out that the Cavaliers' defense has been OK. They have been losing with terrible offense.
A tidy little rundown of Antoine Walker's financial situation.
Jeremy from Roundball Mining Company: "If [George] Karl trusts Ty Lawson enough to put him out there in the fourth quarter of a tight game against a division rival -- in his first career NBA game -- I think we can look forward to much more Lawson this season."
The night a half-eaten hot dog was an NBA star. A PG-13 assault on the Bobcats.
If the NBA was fake, like wrestling, what storylines would we see this season?
In his second game as a Rocket, Trevor Ariza comes alive.
Philadunkia on Marreese Speights: "He had 26 points on 10-11 from the field and he was everywhere. But our favorite part of Speights’ night will not show up on the stat sheet. After a follow slam over Dwight Howard, Speights was talkin’ up a storm and Howard eventually got in Speights’ grill and did some yapping of his own. We’re sure Howard gave our man the 'You’re kidding me, right young buck?' treatment, but to his credit, Speights did not back down. He really showed some toughness and attitude by staying toe-to-toe with Howard until the refs separated the two. The Sixers could use more of that attitude because there are too many nice guys on this team."
Basketbawful on Philly's other big man scorer, Elton Brand: "Philly's big free agent acquisition of 2008 was a big splatter of fail last season, but the return of a healthy Brand was supposed to make the Sixers a vastly improved team this season. Har, har. Elton looked just as bad as he did in the games he actually appeared in last year, scoring only 8 points on 2-for-7 shooting to go with 6 boards. For all the bad luck of the Clippers, it now appears that Brand's backstabbing farewell in free agency was actually a good thing."