Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Around the League: 10/24/06

One week to go until these games count!

Thanks to the NBA League Pass (which is the greatest thing ever), I can give you several takes from five meaningless games tonight.

First up is Miami at Orlando.

  • No D-Wade and no Shaq, but the good news is that the Heat are working Wayne Simien and Jason Kapono into the rotation.
  • To say this is not going well for the Heat early would be an understatement. Dwight Howard is absolutely abusing Zo down low. He dunked on him, he ripped an offensive rebound away on the next possession, and then later he nearly killed him driving for another dunk off of a fast break. Dwight Howard is the real deal, I cannot stress this enough.
  • Apparently, the abuse has upset Alonzo Mourning because he just rejected a Grant Hill dunk as only he can. Totally clean and totally humiliating for Hill. At least Hill’s healthy. Should we start a pool?
  • By the way, this is my plan for this blog: complete total stream of conscious thoughts as I watch games. It starts Halloween with a live diary of both games, and yes, I know that sounds like Bill Simmons. Deal with it. There’s no way the wife lets it happen more than twice this season.
  • In eight minutes of play, Dwight Howard has 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and now a left-handed block of a Gary Payton lay-up. He’s not great with free throw shooting, but he’s now beating the Heat by himself in this game.
Meanwhile, in Detroit, Washington leads the Pistons 30-14. Somehow the Pistons have shot 24% in the first quarter so far. Oh, they’re playing without Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton. This is precisely why the preseason in totally unwatchable.

NBA TV brings the awesome early with a promo for “Tuesday Night with Ahmad” which is some pre-game show they’re doing on Tuesday. The only problem is they have classically misspelled “Ahamd”. Can someone tell the NBA TV crew that some of us are actually watching?

It’s Rajon Rondo time in New Jersey and unfortunately that means it is also Tommy Heinsohn time. We’ll see how long I can last with Atlantic Division basketball. I’m actually intrigued to see the Celtics.
  • After a whistle, Tommy muttered something incoherent to himself and then shockingly complained about the call. He’s in postseason form. Give him a Tommy point!
  • I don’t understand why Danny Ainge would make the rumored Al Jefferson for Carlos Boozer deal. I would much rather have Jefferson who is younger and bigger.
  • Jefferson looks confident on the offensive end, which is a very good thing for the Celtics. The other Jefferson in this game, the Nets’ Richard, is also scoring at will with 16 first quarter points. He just finished a beautiful pass from Nets rookie Marcus Williams. I really think this Nets team will sleepwalk to an Atlantic title.
  • Tony Allen, Sebastian Telfair and Rajon Rondo are getting to the basket whenever they want. They’re all playing very aggressively early in this one.
If you didn’t catch Sam Smith’s Monday column in the Chicago Tribune, he basically writes that scoring is way up this year and more teams are looking to push the tempo. I can see what he’s talking about watching the first halves of most of these games, and I hope this continues all year. This is way more fun to watch.

Let’s flip around for a few minutes.
  • Back in Orlando, Miami used an 18-5 second quarter run to get back in the game. They’re only down by 2 early in the third.
  • The Knicks have 61 points at the half against the Sixers. This could be a ridiculously long year in Philadelphia.
  • Former Minnesota Golden Gopher Vincent Grier is doing his best to make the Heat roster. He has 6 points and 5 rebounds to spark the Heat run.
  • Here’s a shocker: Gary Payton has a technical. How are guys like Kobe, Payton, Jalen Rose, Brad Miller, Rasheed Wallace and dozens of others going to avoid getting a technical in every game with the new focus on stopping the arguing after every play? This is going to be fascinating to watch all year.
  • In New York, Eddy Curry just picked up his first rebound at the 7:30 mark of the third quarter. Seriously, how can this be so difficult? I will never understand this one.
  • Vincent Grier just made a half court shot to end the third quarter, but it won’t count. He’s officially feeling it.
  • Isiah Thomas is sitting on the floor and talking to Eddy Curry. He’s literally on the floor. I may have to watch every game this season.
  • The Pistons are handling the Wizards easily late in the 4th. I couldn’t care less about this game.
Let's head back to Orlando for the finish between Southeast foes. Vincent Grier is up to 8 points and 7 rebounds. The great Eric Reid says he’s a long shot to make the roster, but he’s having a heck of a night.
  • Miami has grabbed a 77-74 lead. This game has devolved into Keyon Dooling vs. Vincent Grier to determine a victor. Only seven more days!
  • Grier misses a lay-up following a steal, but Mourning is there for the put back. This game can’t end fast enough for me.
  • Oh, terrific!! Miami is asking their fans to wear white for opening night against Chicago. That gimmick has NO life left in it.
  • I just realized I’m watching and blogging a game that Eric Reid described as “The Vincent Grier Show on Sun Sports”. I thought I had a life, but now I’m questioning everything.
  • OK, the Heat leads 86-77. I think they’ve got it.
New Jersey and Boston are tied 87-87. Let’s watch the exciting finish
  • Vince Carter follows a three-point play with a three-point play. I’m just guessing here, but I don’t think Sebastian Telfair can guard him.
  • Mikki Moore just finished a beautiful VC pass. Yes, that Mikki Moore.
  • The Celtics have seven players in double figures and they’re losing. I love the new NBA.
  • The Nets have used this game to show off how they’ll beat most of the East. Richard Jefferson has 26 points, Vince Carter has 20 points, Nenad Krstic has 16 points and Jason Kidd has 12 assists. It’s a pretty simple formula.
The Nets are going to win this game, so let’s wrap this party up.


The game is suddenly tied at 107. What happened?
  • Gerald Green fouls Brandon Walsh with 2.6 seconds left. Sorry, Matt Walsh. He makes both free throws.
  • I think Rondo is getting the ball here. He’s a barrel of energy and he’ll find a way to win this game for them.
  • Well, I’m wrong. Rondo will inbound the ball for the final play. Allen Ray can’t get a shot off. Good night, folks!
  • Tommy Heinsohn didn’t see the play and says he doesn’t know what happened. Terrific analysis. Does he not have a monitor?
The lesson learned here is that watching and writing about five games at once is hard.

I need your help. What teams would you most like to read about this season? I’ll focus on what you, the fans, have to say. It’s all about you here at the Nothing But Nylon Empire.


jb said...

I nominate the Magic. Will Dwight Howard be the next pre-knee surgery Amare? Will Grant Hill play after Thanksgiving? And Darko in a contract year...'nuff said.

It'll also be interesting to pay attention to the Hornets, and how Tyson Chandler reacts to being on a team that doesn't play defense on offense. Will he finally live up to Jerry Krause's hype? Are his hands still made of stone? Tracking his stats against Ben Wallace's throughout the year could be fun as well.

Even though they don't interest me, you should probably follow the Sonics and keep your constituents happy. I'm pretty sure you don't want to make Sene's cousin/brother/uncle angry.

JFKuz said...

Thank you for picking teams I actually want to watch.

Except for the Sonics.

mikeybooyah said...

1. Chicago Bulls
2. Utah Jazz
3. Orlando Magic

SS said...

1. Miami Heat - defending champs, enough said!
2. Chicago Bulls
3. NY Knicks - doesn't get any more entertaining than this mess.
4. Phoenix Suns
5. LA Lakers
6. Anyone but the Sonics

Seriously, please...no Sonics!!!!

That's more than you asked for, but I wanted to give you a good selection.