Friday, October 9, 2009

NBA Preseason-October 7th

Atlanta 108, New Orleans 102

The Good
: Chris Paul had 20 points, 7 assists, and only one turnover, and Bobby Brown added 23 points off the bench for the Hornets, while Joe Johnson scored 17 points on 7-of-10 from the field for the Hawks. Atlanta also got solid contributions from Jeff Teague (19 points), Zaza Pachulia (17 points), and Mario West (11 rebounds).
The Bad: Peja Stojakovic was 1-for-8 for only 3 points in 22 minutes for New Orleans, and Hornets off-season addition Darius Songiala was 1-for-4 with 4 points, before fouling out in just 16 minutes of action.

Orlando 90, Miami 86

The Good
: Dwight Howard had 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks for the Magic, who got double-digit contributions from three bench players: Ryan Anderson (16), Mickael Pietrus (14), and J.J. Redick (13). James Jones made all three of his 3-point attempts and shot 5-for-7 from the field on his way to 16 points for the Heat. He also had 3 steals, with no turnovers and no fouls in his 24 minutes.
The Bad: Vince Carter, Jameer Nelson, and Matt Barnes combined to shoot 4-for-23 for the Magic, while Dwayne Wade, Michael Beasley, and Mario Chalmers were a combined 10-for-37 for the Heat.
The Ugly: Despite shooting 33.8% from the floor, Miami kept the game close, as Orland could only muster 39.7% in an ugly win.

Philadelphia 84, Toronto 79

The Good
: Philadelphia improved to 2-0 on the young preseason, due to great free throw shooting and a balanced offensive attack. The 76ers shot 93% from the free throw line (26-for-28) and had seven players above 8 points, with no one above 11 points.
The Bad: Toronto gave this game away by shooting a lowly 60.9% from the charity stripe and 1-for-13 from 3-point range.
The Ugly: Philadelphia won despite shooting 37% from the field.

Detroit 113, Milwaukee 104

The Good
: The Pistons shot 55.9% from the field and had three players eclipse the 20-point plateau: Ben Gordon with 24, Will Bynum with 23, and Rodney Stuckey with 21. Meanwhile, Brandon Jennings looked like a star in the making for the Bucks. The rookie netted 18 points, and added 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals in 27 minutes.
The Bad: The Bucks off-guard rotation of Michael Redd, Jodie Meeks, Carlos Delfino, and Charlie Bell combined to shoot 9-of-33 from the field.

Memphis 99, Oklahoma City 91

The Good
: Second-round pick Sam Young led Memphis with 22 points on 4-of-7 from the floor and 13-of-16 from the line in just 20 minutes. Kevin Durant had 17 points on a very economical 4-of-9 from the field for the Thunder, who also got 10 points in 26 minutes from Shaun Livingston.
The Bad: Durant's sidekicks Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden combined to shoot just 7-of-25 from the field.
The Ugly: Memphis chose to address size and defense rather than looking for a ball handler with the second pick in the draft, and it's easy to question their decision after a performance like this one. Hasheem Thabeet was slightly better, with 6 points and 7 rebounds in 26 minutes, but the Grizzlies' point guard rotation of Mike Conley, Marcus Williams, and Mike Taylor combined to shoot 2-of-13 from the field.

Houston 96, Boston 90

The Good
: Aaron Brooks built on a strong 2008-2009 season with a great showing against the Celtics, tallying 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting, which included three 3-pointers.
The Bad: Boston didn't have a player with more than 5 rebounds and had only one player, Michael Sweetney, in double-digits, with 10 points.
The Ugly: Trevor Ariza shot a deplorable 1-of-11 from the field and missed all four of his 3-point attempts in his 25 minutes.

LA Lakers 118, Golden State 101

The Good
: The Lakers looked like the defending World Champions in their performance against Golden State. A healthy Andrew Bynum led the way with 24 points, and Kobe Bryant added 22 points and 9 rebounds. The Lakers also got 11 points apiece from Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar, and Shannon Brown. Their most impressive performance, however, came from Ron Artest, who flirted with the illusive preseason triple-double on his way to 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists in his first game as a Laker. Golden State got impressive showings from its young up-and-comers, as Anthony Morrow netted 25 points and Anthony Randolph added 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks in 42 minutes of action.
The Bad: Stephen Curry continued his trend of poor shooting outings, with a 5-of-15 effort against the Lakers. Curry did have 11 points and 4 assists, but also committed 6 turnovers in his 42 minutes.
The Ugly: Stephen Jackson is clearly upset with his situation in Golden State, and an unhappy Captain Jack is an ugly Captain Jack. Jackson shot just 1-of-9, netting 5 points in 20 minutes.

Portland 89, Sacramento 86

The Good
: Greg Oden played 26 minutes and tallied 20 points and 12 rebounds, and a youthful looking Juwan Howard scored 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting for the victorious Blazers, while Kevin Martin led the Kings with 28 points and five made 3-pointers.
The Bad: The Kings' frontcourt rotation looked shaky at best, with Jason Thompson, Kenny Thomas, Jon Brockman, and Sean May combining to shoot 3-of-16 from the field. LaMarcus Aldridge was also off of his game, scoring just 3 points on 1-of-5 shooting in 24 minutes for Portland.
The Ugly: For the life of me, I can't understand why Sacramento would keep a proven commodity like Kevin Martin on the floor for 35 minutes in a game this early in the preseason. Martin played in just 51 games last season, has had a history of injury problems, and has nothing left to prove. In fact, he seems like the one player the Kings need to be careful with in the preseason, rather than running him ragged in games that don't matter.

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