I don’t know about you, but I was excited about seeing Nate Robinson lace ’em up against his former team, the New York Knicks. It was time for some sweet, sweet revenge. Or at least it seemed like Robinson would like to get in there and show Mike D’Antoni what his doghouse looks like. Burn! Well, Robinson had a quiet four points, going 2-of-7 from the line in 16 minutes. Who is this guy? Stephon Marbury? Ho!!
The Knicks were happy to move on, especially now in hindsight as their new starting backcourt is beginning to look more like, well, starters for an NBA team. Out with Robinson and Chris Duhon, and in with Sergio Rodriguez and Tracy McGrady. Rodriguez took the opportunity on Tuesday night to nail in his role as the starting point guard for the Knicks. He dropped 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting with three treys, five rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block in 37 minutes. Muy bueno. T-Mac, wasn’t as effective, but I think many thought he wasn’t even going to play in this one after he injured himself on Monday. McGrady scored just six points in 26 minutes, but he did manage to dish out a team-high eight dimes. Both players have upped their value in D’Antoni’s system. Though it is worth noting, this is still David Lee’s team.
The line of the night belonged to Marcus Thornton, a guy who has a great knack for getting the ball in the basket — 37 points on 15-of-22 shooting and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes off the bench. Say goodbye to Morris Peterson. It should only be a matter of time before Thornton is in the starting lineup. He’s a nice bulk scorer who should get look in most formats.
What else happened?
Minnesota 91, Miami 88: Dwyane Wade did not play, as expected, but boy what a surprise Dorrell Wright was — 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting, six 3-pointers, seven rebounds, two blocks, and three steals in 30 minutes off the bench. Somebody had to show up and play for the Heat!
Portland 102, New Jersey 93: It’s about time we finally got to see Brandon Roy take his game to that All-Star level we know he’s capable of (28 points in 36 minutes). The question is: should you sell high on Roy? I wouldn’t. You’re not going to get equal value. And who’s to say he’s not” back.” Speaking of injuries, Marcus Camby went down with a sprained ankle after just five minutes of action. The big man curse in Portland is alive! For the Nets, Courtney Lee dropped a team-high 28 points. Pick this guy up. He’s been one of my favorite waiver adds for some time now.
Lakers 99, Grizzlies 98: Look who else is back: Kobe Bryant! It didn’t take him long to get things going, as he dropped 32 points on 13-of-19 shooting, three treys, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks in 40 minutes. Paul Gasol got the best of his younger brother by posting a double-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Little brother Marc Gasol had a quiet eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in 36 minutes.
Suns 104, Thunder 102: The battle in the sky! No Steve Nash in this one, but no worries for Phoenix. Not as long as they have Goran Dragic in the lineup — 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 10 assists. I was just as surprised as you were to see him play so well against Russell Westbrook (or, don’t let me put words in your mouth). Westbrook has been the best fantasy point guard over the past week and he continued to show why with his third straight double-double — 21 points, 10 assists and three steals. Really, who’s been better than Westbrook? Same can be said for MVP candidate — yeah I went there — Kevin Durant. With his 36 points, Durant has kept his 25-plus point streak alive. It now sits at 29 games.
Pistons 101, Kings 89: The story in this one may have been the play of Tayshaun Prince. He scored 22 points in 36 minutes, which matched the total points the two big offseason acquisitions Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva combined. For the Kings it was a two-man show. Tyreke Evans (28 points) and Carl Landry (18 points)were the only two Kings to score in double-figures.
76ers 110, Warriors 102: Without Allen Iverson in the lineup (will he ever return?) Louis Williams took advantage of his role as the starting two-guard. He scored a game-high 26 points with five 3-pointers and 10 rebounds. Who needs Iverson? Remember too that this one was against the Warriors. Our very own Jeff Andriesse could score 26 points against the Warriors! Believe that.