While You Were Sleeping... 1 March 2010

Nuggets 89 @ Lakers 95

Do you feel a little dirty?  Well don't.  While there's not much that will give you more pleasure, a Lakers loss does nothing for us.  The fight is for #2 and we need to stay within range of that.

Neither team played well at all but the Nuggets had one of the worst offensive performances that I've seen in a long time from them.  They shot just 35% overall and just 28% from three-point land.  JR Smith was 1-7 (why can't he do that against us).  Add 20 turnovers and that spells loss.

From the Stiffs,

The Nuggets handed this game over to the Lakers within the first four minutes of the second half.  Out of their first five possessions in the second half, the Nuggets had four one-on-one shot attempts - all missed shots - and a turnover.  As a result, the Nuggets didn't score for the first three-and-a-half minutes.  Compounding problems, Nuggets head coach George Karl waited too long to call his first timeout of the second half (after four of the five bad possessions and a nine point lead cut to three, Karl finally asked for time) as that early second half performance called for an immediate timeout and lecture.

Silver Screen and Roll

As for Kobe, he struggled mightily with his shot, as Denver sent hard doubles at him. The only time in the first half he was able to exploit those doubles was when Powell or Odom would find the seams and made themselves available.

That all changed in the second half, as the Lakers made the needed adjustments against Denver's defense. The Lakers came out blazing, going on a 10-2 run, driven by two Derek Fisher threes, coming withing three of the Nuggets. But that turned out to be a false start, as the Nuggets answered back, pushing their lead back to 11. I have to admit, it looked at that point that the Lakers had given the Nuggets their best shot, and Denver had withstood it. I was wrong.

So go take a chemical shower, scrub yourself down, and rinse off the grime that comes from wanting a Laker's win. 

AK gives us his take,

Andrei_kirilenko_an_485360b_medium

You're right, it feels wrong, but you'll get over it.

Click on through to the other side

Suns 110 @ Spurs 113

This was a good win if you're a Jazz fan.  San Antonio was 4 1/2 back of the Jazz before this game but Phoenix was just 1 1/2 back.  So with the Suns going down, we get a smidge of breathing room.

Amar'e was huge with 41 & 12 but the Spurs had three players, Duncan, Jefferson, and Manu with 20+.  The difference in this game was free throws though as SA was 23/28 to Phoenix's 16/23.

From the Bright Side of the Sun,

In that 4th quarter the Spurs looked to be creating some separation, extending their lead to as many as 8 on a number of occasions.  Each time the Suns looked to close the deficit a bit they seemed to turn the ball over - doing so three times with the ball and down 4.  However the culmination of the Suns inability to draw even happened with just 40 seconds left when after a Jared Dudley steal, Jason Richardson missed an open dunk on a run-out.  After a series of made free throws from San Antonio, the Suns did actually have the ball with 3.2 seconds left and a chance to tie, yet what I would assume was confusion on the part of both Steve Nash and Channing Frye resulted in Nash passing to Frye - who was below the three point line - for a shot he wouldn't have had enough time to attempt anyhow.  Game. Set. Match.

Pounding the Rock weighs in,

Our defense was poor to terrible in the fourth quarter (except the defense on Richardson's dunk).  But our offense was fantabulous.  We scored on 17 of 23 possession in the quarter.  Three of the non-scores were turnovers.  Three of the scores were intentional fouls.  However, one of the intentional fouls was after an offensive rebound so that was a good possession.

The percentage of successful possessions doesn't tell the whole story.  We only took 4, yes 4, contested shots in the whole quarter and all of those were right at the rim.  Two by Blair and two by Tim and we made all four.  Of the 7 shots we missed, ALL were uncontested shots.  Of those 7 missed shots, we got 4 offensive rebounds.

[...]

Ladies and gentlemen.  We wanted it.  We needed it.  I'm taking this win.

There's going to be a lot of games like this to finish out the season where two western conference playoff teams are going at each other.  One's going to gain while the other will fall behind.  This is a good win though for the Jazz.

If you feel a little ill with a Spurs win, make sure to vomit, you always feel better after that.

Let's go to Yata Gaines for his first appearance on WYWS,

Gaines_inside_080620_medium

It's not hard Yata, just tell us what you think about the result of the game.  I guess that technically works.  Let's get you worked into the rotation and see if you can contribute a bit more next time.

Raptors 99 @ Thunder 119

Toronto didn't stand much of a chance in this one with Bosh out and landing in the Durantula's web.  Kevin had 29 points and the Thunder shot 52% from the field to take out Toronto.

Canada doesn't care right now though as they won gold in hockey,

Unlike a few years ago, Bosh's continued absence has not galvanized this team, but has instead exposed the Raptors' interior defense.  For those that may continue to argue that Bosh is not that important to this club, or hasn't been having an absolutely outstanding year, the last few series of games have proven otherwise.

From the Daily Thunder,

It’s no gold medal, but at least the United States beat Canada in something today.

It was a very business-like performance by the Thunder at home tonight, disposing of a Chris Bosh-less Toronto Raptor squad 119-99, to get back to 12 games over .500. Oklahoma City was efficient offensively (52 percent from the floor), played excellent defense against a great offensive team (43 percent, 99 points for a team averaging 107) and came out with great energy to start and sustained it through the game. If this recap is reminding you of the Minnesota one, it’s because the games were pretty similar. OKC led by as many as 26, never let it get close and just kind of ran away and hid in this one.

When Portland gets healthy next season, the NW division is going to be crazy good.  OKC is going to be a dangerous match-up in the playoffs.

Fess, break it down for us

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Steve: "Let's throw it back to you guys for this one.

Hornets 100 @ Mavericks 108

Dallas had a 20+ point lead for most of this game but New Orleans came back to make a game of it.    Collison hit a three with just under three minutes to go to get NOLA within 4, 101-97.  They actually had a chance to cut into the lead some more but couldn't hit a shot and a couple of Collison turnovers sealed the game for the Mavs.

Hornets 24/7

The Hornets fell into their patented hole again tonight, watching the Mavericks click on all cylinders and go up by as much as 25 points in the third quarter. Luckily, New Orleans also seems to have a patent on unlikely resurrections, as they fought hard to get the Dallas lead down to 4 points with 2:45 left on the clock. It seemed Hornets fans might be in for their second incredible comeback of the weekend, but alas, Dirk Nowitzki was sipping the unstoppable and dropped in enough turnaround jumpers over James Posey to seal the deal for the bad guys.

Mavs Moneyball,

The game looked like it was in the bag at the half and then late in the fourth quarter I could have sworn the Hornets had Chris Paul back on the court.  While the Mavericks have "renewed energy" and are "The NBA’s hottest team right now", hopefully this game gave them a bit of a wake up call.  Even a championship contender has to play the full 48 minutes to get a win.

The Mavericks clearly took a few possessions off late in the third quarter (all those turnovers) and this happened just as New Orleans started making shots.  Without a spectacular rebounding effort from Brendan Haywood and a handful of clutch baskets from Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks do not escape with the win tonight.  Dallas also got away from the ball sharing that worked so well for them in the first half.  After only seven games together the "new look" Dallas Mavericks are still very much a work in progress.

After the Jazz tied the Mavs in the standings last night, Dallas moved 1/2 game ahead of us again with this win.  Their schedule coming up doesn't instill a lot of fear.  The good  teams they have coming up have already lost to Dallas.  The Jazz are going to have to play very well to keep up with them.

Let's kick it the expert on calling this game,

Kosta_koufos_medium

You might want to take something for that KK2.

Here are your up to date standings,

WESTERN W L PCT GB HOME ROAD DIV CONF PF PA DIFF STRK L10
LA Lakers 45 15 .750 - 28-5 17-10 9-2 26-11 102.5 96.1 +6.4 Won 2 7-3
Denver 39 20 .661 5 ½ 25-5 14-15 7-4 23-13 107.4 102.6 +4.8 Lost 1 6-4
Dallas 39 21 .650 6 20-9 19-12 7-5 21-16 101.0 98.8 +2.2 Won 7 8-2
Utah 38 21 .644 6 ½ 24-8 14-13 6-7 23-15 102.4 97.4 +5.0 Won 1 7-3
Phoenix 37 24 .607 8 ½ 22-7 15-17 10-3 23-14 109.3 106.4 +2.9 Lost 1 7-3
Oklahoma City 35 23 .603 9 18-11 17-12 7-2 17-17 99.5 96.0 +3.5 Won 2 8-2
San Antonio 33 24 .579 10 ½ 21-10 12-14 5-5 19-17 100.7 96.7 +4.0 Won 1 5-5
Portland 35 27 .565 11 19-13 16-14 6-6 22-14 97.8 95.2 +2.5 Won 1 5-5
New Orleans 31 29 .517 14 20-9 11-20 5-5 20-14 99.8 101.3 -1.4 Lost 1 5-5
Memphis 30 29 .508 14 ½ 18-12 12-17 2-6 17-20 102.2 103.0 -0.9 Won 1 4-6
Houston 29 29 .500 15 16-13 13-16 7-5 22-17 101.1 101.7 -0.6 Lost 1 3-7


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