Wednesdays are my favorite

by Andrew Kennedy

Steve NashI couldn’t wait any longer to continue this blog. The NBA season has got me way too excited for this.

Last night I got a chance to see just about every NBA team in action so naturally, I now can make every prediction for what will happen for the rest of the season.

I’m just going to go game-by-game and give my impressions.

Pacers 109, Hawks 120
Let’s start with the Pacers-Hawks which couldn’t have been more exciting. Troy Murphy proved why he was a fantasy stud but did it in a way that I didn’t really expect scoring 14 points with seven assists and 10 rebounds.

Danny Granger was a monster in the first half but cooled off later in the game. He really may end up being worth the $70 he is projected for in auction fantasy leagues on ESPN just because of how many shots he is going to take this year. He is definitely no Kevin Durant though and I’ll get to KD later on.

The Hawks were just the better team and it looks like Al Horford may be starting to take the next steps into becoming an all star caliber power forward in this league.

76ers 106, Magic 120
I didn’t get to see any of the Magic game because I was totally focused on the League Pass games but it was never really close anyway. Give the Magic some time to gel and this team could be right around where they were last year although I still feel they slightly downgraded from Hedo Turkoglu to Vince Carter.

Cavaliers 91, Raptors 101
The Cavaliers are obviously never going to win a game this year and the Shaq Experiment is a complete failure. LeBron James got a triple double. Big deal, I will never be satisfied with him until he is averaging one.

I feel like the Raptors could get to where the Magic were last year or at least two years ago. They have a similar makeup obviously with Turkoglu now and anyone who watched the Olympics knows that Chris Bosh is better than Dwight Howard in a lot of ways. Throw a healthy Jose Calderon into the mix and this team just might be rising up the ranks in the East this year.

Bobcats 59, Celtics 92
I guess the Bobcats forgot the regular season started. When I saw they had 59 points I figured Boris Diaw must have had most of them. I was a little disappointed to see he only dropped six but am still looking forward to a lot of Diaw action via League Pass the rest of the season.

The Celtics did basically what they should be doing against teams like this and that’s the sign of a really good team. I still love their acquisitions this year and definitely see them as the team to beat in the East this year.

Knicks 93, Heat 115
When I saw the Heat lineup before the game I asked myself, “Why didn’t they make any moves in the offseason?” This is the same team as last year but if Jermaine O’neal can stay healthy and Dwyane Wade turn in another huge season, at least they will probably make the playoffs. They are just so far behind the top of this conference.

The Knicks are such a joke too. Obviously they are just hoping to get some big names this coming offseason. Danilo Gallinari looked awful to start the game but came around hitting seven triples. Still a dumb pick, this team is going nowhere.

Pistons 96, Grizzlies 74
Maybe the biggest disappointment of the night for me was my Grizzlies losing by 22 to Detroit. I thought maybe the Pistons were on the decline and the Grizzlies rising but Ben Gordon and Richard Hamilton both looked pretty good out there. Getting Zach Randolph and Allen Iverson is going to do nothing but stunt the growth of this youthful Grizzlies team. I don’t like it.

Nets 93, Timberwolves 95
The first of three great finishes on the night was Minnesota-New Jersey. Rookies Terrence Williams and Jonny Flynn were both very impressive in their debuts. If Williams keeps it up he will lend some nice depth to this Nets team which might give them a chance to make the playoffs.

The Timberwolves pulled out the last-second win despite getting only nine points from Al Jefferson. Flynn led the way with 18 and always thrives in big moments toward the end of games. But the only thing I can think about still is how Minnesota ruined any chance of seeing Ricky Rubio in the league this year.

Kings 89, Thunder 102
I now move on to my favorite young team in the league: the Oklahoma City Thunder! Who doesn’t love Durant and there is no way he won’t be a top-five player in the next year or two. The Thunder completely dominated this one behind 25 from KD and 24 from Jeff Green, who has developed a nice three point shot.

The biggest surprise for me was the kind of player that Russell Westbrook really is. I had no idea how much of a pure point guard he was and figured him just to be a defensive minded tweener type. Instead, he matched his career-high with 12 assists and was solid in all facets of the game.

Tyreke Evans looked just like the player he was early in his one-year career with Memphis last season. When he takes bad shots and misses, he looks really bad. He still has some flashes every now and then that he could be the real deal. He just has a lot of growing up to do.

Also, what’s with Sacramento drafting guards that shoot funny. We all know about Kevin Martin but now we have Evans who has such a strange release and the rookie Jewish guard Omri Casspi also fires from the hip.

Hornets 96, Spurs 113
I didn’t watch too much of the games on ESPN last night. The Spurs are no surprise to me to beat New Orleans like that. The Hornets peaked two years ago and will continue to decline until they change the makeup of this team.

Jazz 105, Nuggets 114
Denver was impressive as well in their win. My only worry for this season is that Denver finishes with the best regular season record in the West forcing a Lakers-Spurs matchup in the second round of the playoffs.

Rockets 108, Warriors 107
The two late games both had great finishes. The Rockets-Warrior got over first with Golden State making a late run to almost comeback. Stephen Curry looked pretty good. There is nothing prettier than his jump shot coming off picks (except maybe a Diaw behind-the-back pass to Nash). It is clear though that Monta Ellis isn’t too happy playing with Curry since they play pretty much the same position.

The Rockets get the win but hopefully they won’t get much more. I would hate to see them in the playoffs instead of a team like the Thunder.

Suns 109, Clippers 107
Finally, my Phoenix Suns get the one-point win over the Clippers behind my boy Steve Nash’s game-winning left-handed scoop layup with five seconds left on the clock. It looked like the Clippers were going to maybe win until Nash completely took over the fourth quarter going 5-for-5 with 15 points. There is no other point guard in the league I would rather have late in a game.

I love Nash.

That’ll do it for the Wednesday games. For the Thursday schedule, San Antonio will travel to Chicago and then Denver to Portland for the late game. That’s not enough for me in one night, I may have to force myself to watch some World Series action tonight.