Daily Lies & Statistics: Irish Eyes are Smiling

We dedicate today’s Damn Lies blog to the great Irish players in today’s NBA. Troy Murphy, stand up and be recognized. Okay, so basketball has not exactly been the game of choice for the Irish. Even the Irish of Notre Dame barely have any Irish players. The NBA is a league in which three guys named Red -Auerbach, Holzman and Meinhold – were all Jewish.

The Irish rivalries in the NBA are intense. Here Troy Murphy battles with fellow countryman JaVale McGee.

But let’s raise a glass and toast Marty Conlon, Pat Burke, Pat Garrity, Murphy, Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal, and my all-time favorite patron of saints, Patrick O’Bryant. This one’s for you.

Speaking of shamrocks, I fully expect the Knicks to go into Boston tonight and come away with a close loss. Despite an easy win against the pathetic Pistons the other night, the Celtics are a team not in array. Rasheed Wallace should do them a favor and take his 300 lb derriere back to Detwah, so he can locate remnants of his former self. To the credit of Mike D’Antoni, he has the ‘bockers competing just about every night, and with talent bordering on Washington Generals territory, has them on pace for nearly 30 wins.

It was an inglorious night for the basterds of the NBA on Tuesday. Let’s see what transpired.

Indiana 99, Charlotte 94 – The Bobcats couldn’t make it seven straight wins as they played this one without fantasy beast Gerald Wallace, out with a left ankle injury. The Pacers took this one despite a 9-for-25 shooting performance out of Danny Granger, who finished with an inefficient 26 points and eight rebounds. Murphy contributed 16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Captain Jack led Charlotte with a vintage 20 points (8-22 fg), nine boards, six assists, three steals and two blocks. With Wallace out, Stephen Graham started and totaled 19 points (8-10 fg) and eight caroms and could be a nice spot add for as long as GW is sidelined.

Cleveland 113, Detroit 101Lebron yawned his way to a triple-double (29-12-12) in this one as John Kuester and his Pistons have a tendency to put even the very best into a deep coma. Will Bynum has remained the starting point guard in the Motor City after the mysterious collapse of Rodney Stuckey and finished with 12 points and four assists. Stuckey is expected to resume playing shortly, but Bynum is still a nice add.

San Antonio 88, Miami 76 – The Spure made it eight of the last last nine with a convincing win in Miami. Manu Ginobili, who has been on a buttered roll of late, dropped in 22 points (7-14 fg, 6-6 FT) to lead the way. Richard Jefferson‘s resurgence continued with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists. It’s nearly impossible to count on any Heat players in the world of fantasy right now with the exception of Dwyane Wade (28-3-5).

Atlanta 108, New Jersey 84 – Playing without Joe Johnson, the Hawks still manhandled the Nets. Jamal Crawford‘s magic carpet ride of a season continued as he posted a game-high 25 points (11-18 fg). Josh Smith has been a top 10 fantasy player the past month, and even though he recorded only nine points, he filled the stat sheet with eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. The Nets were led by Mike Gminski who had, oh wait, wrong era. They were paced by Brook Lopez‘ 21 points and Josh Boone added 13 points and hauled in 20 boards. I’ve always liked Boone’s toughness and he is clearly one of the league’s best on the glass. Yi Jianlian should be returning soon, which will probably send Boone back to the bench, but he has earned his way into the rotation and is worth a look. Devin Harris sat this one out with the sniffles and is a gametime decision for tonight.

Memphis 104, Chicago 97 – OJ Mayo had one of the most efficient lines by any guard last night, finishing with 24 points (8-12 fg, 4-5 3-pt fg). He has quietly averaged 23.7 points over his last three and is shooting 59 percent (26-44) over this period. The highlight of the night was the return of Hasheem Thabeet, who started and played 28 minutes because Marc Gasol was out with a stiff neck. The 7’3″ rookie notched 10 points (4-6 fg), nine boards and two blocks, but his role will likely be short-lived. Don’t discount him for next year. The star of the night was Mike Conley, who is doing his best impersonation of Mike Conley down the stretch of the ’08-09 season. The purnt guard finished with an eye-dropping 19 points (6-9 fg), 10 assists and five steals. With Derrick Rose injured and Kirk Hinrich suspended, Flip Murray started and led the Bulls with 25 points (4-11 3-pt fg) and five steals. He could be good for another start, but still has value as a reserve.

Denver 97, Washington 87 – I stormed into my editor’s office this morning and told him that I refused to report on any more Wizards games this year. Hopefully my nose will clot in a few hours.

Phoenix 152, Minnesota 114 – The stingy T’Wolves defense held the Suns, literally. This is a game in which Kurt Rambis should have shaken hands with the opposing team, shaken hands with his players and owner, and calmly walked off into the sunset. This team is an absolute embarrassment. They have had a bazillion lottery picks the last five years, yet Darko Milicic is starting at center and Ryan Hollins is playing significant minutes off the bench. Louis Amundson tallied 20 points in 20 minutes for god’s sake! Hey, Corey Brewer did go for 21 points and nailed three more threes.

LA Lakers 106, Sacramento 99 – The greatest man in the history of western civilization tossed in 30 points on 10-of-26 from the field as the Lakers squeezed by the Kings last night. He jacked up 18 shots before the intermission when Phil Jackson realized that no one on the Kings could stop the indomitable Pau Gasol (28-12-4, 12-14 fg) or Andrew Bynum (21 pts, 9-14 fg, 12 reb, 2 bk). Of course if you polled 50,000 people, every man, woman and child would give the Kobester all the credit for leading the Lakers to victory.

Eleven games on tonight’s slate. I wonder what Troy O’Leary will be doing.

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