It’s been an interesting few weeks in the Fox household to say the least. After slipping down my stairs to the tune of a dislocated right shoulder (I know that banana peel was left on the top step by accident, honey) I’ve been about as pleasant as a constipated James Lipton. But a new 46″ Toshiba LCD in Full HD in the bedroom has done the trick for my spirits, and last night I was able to break away from Jersey Shore reruns long enough to catch the end of Warriors/Nuggets. Golden State seemingly pulled out a 122-120 victory only to have Jason Phillips determine the outcome by calling a cheap foul on Monta Ellis 40-feet from the hoop with 0.4 remaining as J.R. Smith was attempting an off-balance prayer.
What was Ellis doing hounding Smith so closely when hoisting such a low percentage shot? Why wasn’t Nellie insisting to his players during the final time out to avoid any contact? Regardless, Phillips should be drawn and quartered for making that call. It didn’t seem that Ellis made any contact with Smith’s hand or wrist to interfere with the attempt. There may have been a nudge to the lower body, but not enough to deter the trajectory of the ball. Nelson is so shot as a coach that I don’t think he realized what had happened and went home to celebrate career win No. 1319.
Despite the miscarriage of justice, it was an entertaining game that featured huge totals from Corey Maggette (35 pts, 12-16 FG, 11-12 FT), Ellis (32 pts, 6 ast), Stephen Curry (26 pts, 5 reb, 6 ast, 6-6 3-pt FG), Kenyon Martin (27 pts, 13 reb, 11-18 FG) and Ty Lawson (21 pts, 8 ast), who left the game after spraining his ankle.
There were a few upsets last night, including Indiana defeating Orlando, 97-90, Memphis winning in Portland, 109-105, and Washington coming from way to back to catch Philly, 104-97, as the rootinest, tootinest gunslinger in the East, Gilbert Arenas, handed out a season-best 14 assists.
I’d talk about the Bucks/Nets, but after watching the first half I turned on Schindler’s List just to cheer myself up.
Sam Dalembert: Recorded a 20-20 last night as his Sixers blew an 18-point lead in the loss to the Wizards. The Dalembert/Brand/Speights troika can’t be trusted right now as none of them are seeing consistent minutes.
Vince Carter: Posted a 6, 3 and 2 and shot 2-of-15 against the Pacers’ stifling defense that I think was lit up by Carver High’s Salami last week. JJ Redick (13 pts in 28 min) and Mickael Pietrus (16 pts in 21 min) carried the offense last night.
Boris Diaw: Has anyone been more of a disappointment this season than Diaw? Last night’s line (5 pts, 4 reb, 6 ast, 5 bk, 2 st) may have been his best of the season which is saying something. I’m not exactly sure what, but it’s saying something. With Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson hogging the spotlight, it’s time to pawn Diaw off for a player with injury upside.
Yi Jianlian: The Chairman continued his inspired play with 22 points, 2 blocks and 2 steals in an ugly Nets home defeat to the Bucks in front of family and friends in the Meadowlands. Yi is a legit 7-feet and has solid all-around skills. If he continues playing 30-35 minutes a night this is someone to target in a trade. Most importantly, if you’re the father of a 13-year old Jewish lad, if you purchase season tickets, Yi will make an appearance at your son’s Bar Mitzvah. You can’t put a price tag on that.
Zach Randolph: Randolph’s averages over the past month fell after last night’s 27-point, 14-rebound, 3-steal effort in the Grizz’s win at Portland. Playing out of his mind right now, Randolph shot 10-of-16 from the floor and continues to convert free throws at a solid clip.
Martell Webster: Posted his third consecutive game of more than 20 points and has knocked down 14 threes during this period. The deadeye shooting won’t last, but with all of the Blazers’ injuries, he is playing huge minutes and is a decent source of threes, rebounds, blocks and steals.
Omri Casspi: This guy could have singlehandedly led the Raid on Entebee. The best Israeli athlete since Shlomo Glickstein, Casspi has been one of the league’s top rookies this season. Last night he poured in a season-high 24 points and added 7 boards and 3 threes in a game-high 44 minutes of work. He should not be available in any leagues.
Tyreke Evans: Another 27, 11 and 7 for the soon-to-be Rookie of the Year. He’s been terrific, but his stats could suffer with the impending return of Kevin Martin. If you can get a nice package for him, it might be worth a try.
Lamar Odom: Pau Gasol‘s latest hamstrings woes greatly benefitted Odom who registered 17 points, 19 rebounds and 9 assists in the Lakers’ win over the Rockets. His marriage to Chloe Kardashian has re-energized the New York native and it shouldn’t be long before he is hitting on smoking-hot sister-in-law Kim.
Andrew Bynum: Last night’s 24-point 8-rebound effort makes it three straight solid outings for the man-child. If Gasol misses significant time, Bynum immediately becomes a top 5 center.
There are 10 games tonight in the Basketball Association, including Celtics at Heat, Raptors at Magic, Rockets at Suns and Lakers at Clippers. Or is it Clippers at Lakers?