What I Saw, where Phoenix were unconscious

Just 5 games today, a nice easy Sunday schedule for the US:

Minnesota 105, Atlanta 111: The Wolves rallied to make a game of this one, but the Hawks just had too much class, with Joe Johnson nailing a pull-up jumper late to put the game away. Al Horford was simply superb in this one, 28 points and 10 boards on 9-14 from the floor and 10-10 at the stripe, while Josh Smith chipped in with 23/10. Unfortunately, Smoove took 2 threes in the game, and he’s attempted 14 for the season after taking just 7 last year. He has made 6 of 14 to be shooting 43% on triples, but it’s not his game. The 1.3 attempts per game is right in line with the 4 seasons before last season, and his career percentage is just 27%. With that size and athleticism, there’s no need to settle for the 3-ball.

Kevin Love continued his crazy run, grabbing 17 rebounds in this one, to go along with his 22 points; he’s averaging 18.4 points and 14.8 rebounds per game this season, and is grabbing 25.1% of available rebounds so far (the other leading rebounders? Dwight’s at 19.4, Jo Noah’s also at 19.4 and Pau Gasol’s at 17.1). As ridiculous as that rebound percentage is, Reggie Evans is the leader so far with a Total Rebound Percentage of 25.5% (all stats from basketball-reference.com). Still, averaging 15 boards and 25% rebound rate is astounding. Beasley’s also continuing to ball, 25 points in this one, and it’s great that the Wolves can pair Mike with an elite rebounder to free him up to score.

Detroit 100, Sacramento 94: The Kings smashed the Pistons on the boards, grabbing 18 offensive rebounds, but couldn’t convert on all those extra shots, shooting just 45% compared to Detroit’s 54%. Stuckey led Detroit with 17, but Ben Gordon came off the bench and scored 16 on just 6 shots (4-6 from the field, 2-3 from deep, 6-6 at the stripe). Contrast that with Tyreke, leading Sacto with 20 points, but it took him 21 shots to get there.

San Antonio 117, Oklahoma City 104: In fairness to the Thunder, Matt Bonner had only scored 8 points for the season before hitting all 7 of his threes en route to 21 points in this one. I think it’s fair to say that Bonner wouldn’t have been high priority on the Thunder’s scouting report. In addition to Bonner’s 21, Parker had 24, Ginobili 21 and Jefferson 18, while Tim Duncan had just 6 points on 2-7 shooting, 2-4 from the line. Timmy’s scored in single-figures in his last 3 games, which is the first time that’s ever happened in his career.

The Thunder stars were forced to be volume shooters in this one, Westbrook’s 19 came on 17 attempts, while Durant needed 23 shots for his 23 points; amazingly, although Durant’s shooting just 42%, he’s leading the league in scoring at 29 per, thanks to 8 free throws made per game.

Houston 104, New York 96: New York didn’t have a huge amount of turnovers in the game, just 12, but most came at key moments as Houston put the game away late. Kevin Martin led the victors with 28, 8-18, 3-7, 9-11, while Scola added 24. Amar’e had 25 for the Knicks.

Phoenix 121, L.A. Lakers 116: Well, I certainly didn’t expect this result, and I think it’s fairly safe to say that the Lakers didn’t expect Phoenix to hit 22 threes, from 40 attempts. L.A. smashed PHX on the boards, 49-32, but that hardly matters when they’re shooting the lights out. 31 assists on 43 field goals for the Suns, J-Rich 7-10 from deep, Turkoglu 5-7, Frye 4-9, Dragic 3-5 and Nash 2-3, which is just stupid. Lots of big games for L.A., too: Gasol 28/17, Kobe narrowly missed a triple-double with 25/9/14, Lamar Odom added 22 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to combat that insane three-point shooting.

Cheers.

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  • […] I’ve talked about it before, but I think it’s something that bears repeating: Josh Smith is taking too many threes this season. Last season, he finally seemed to understand, that that’s not his range. He only attempted 7, in 81 games. It was a startling, and certainly welcome, drop from the sheer volume of attempts he’d had in years past. […]

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