What I Saw, where the Heat are on a 3-game losing streak

11 games today, let’s get at it:

New York 99, Charlotte 95: Raymond Felton seemed to have a great time playing against his former team, going for 23 points and 13 assists, after having 16/9 on the front end of the home-and-home series against Charlotte. Wilson Chandler was effective off the bench for New York, 21 points (8-12, 4-5 and 1-2 FT) to go with 8 rebounds and a block, while Stoudemire had 20 points and sent back 6 shots in the win.

Tyrus Thomas got his first start of the season, at center, and responded with 26 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 blocks, while D.J. Augustin again had a good game against his former team-mate with 14/8/7.

Milwaukee 81, Cleveland 83: Not too much to say about this game. The teams combined for 40% shooting and it was fairly close throughout. Milwaukee played without Andrew Bogut, who sat out; Mo Williams hit a 20-foot jumper as time ran out to lift the Cavs to the win. 25/4/5 for Mo on 11-22, 2-6 and 1-1 FT.

Philadelphia 90, Toronto 106: The 6ers fall to 3-12 on the season, and that’s nearly Clippers bad. It’s really tough to look for any positives for Philly; number 2 overall draft pick Evan Turner is still struggling, just 9ppg on 43% from the field; Iguodala is at just 14ppg on 42%; and Jrue Holiday, while improved, certainly hasn’t taken the step some (read: me) thought he might have, he’s at 14 points and 7 assists per game but he’s at just 42% shooting also.

There were positives for Toronto, however. Reggie Evans hauled in 22 rebounds to go with his 12 points, he’s averaging 12.6 for the season; while Jerryd Bayless (13 points, 4-7, 3-3, 2-2 FT) and Peja (7 points, 2-3, 1-2, 2-2 FT) were effective in their debuts with Toronto. Andrea Bargnani had 24, right around his 22ppg average on the season.

New Jersey 83, Boston 89: The Nets scrapped and fought to stay in this one, but Boston just had too much, especially with Shaq winding back the clock to toss in 25 points and grab 11 rebounds, shooting 9-10 from the floor and 7-13 from the foul line. Ray-Ray helped out for the Cs with 15, including 3-5 from the great beyond.

Miami 95, Orlando 104: Dwight was a beast in the game, 24 points and 18 rebounds while just taking full advantage of the Heat’s small frontline; 8-13 from the floor and 8-16 at the line. 22 points and 12 rebounds per game on the season for Superman II, but I couldn’t help thinking that if Dwight makes just 70% of his free throws, up from the current 54%, his scoring would be 24ppg, good for 7th in the league. Currently his 22 points per are good for 14th. Still, he’s 5th in the league in blocks and I don’t think there’s anyone in the league that can match his work defensively (a healthy Andrew Bogut, maybe).

Back to the game at hand, and Orlando pretty much dominated the Heat, shooting 51% from the floor while holding Miami to 42%. J.J. Redick got the start for the injured Vince Carter and had easily his best game of the season, 20/4/5 on 5-12, 3-8 and 7-7 FT, while Jameer Nelson had 17 points and 14 assists (Jameer also had some words to say to Eddie House and the Miami bench with 38 seconds remaining and earned himself two techs and an ejection, not the smartest move).

Chris Bosh struggled with back spasms throughout but ended up with 21 points and 6 rebounds, while LeBron added 25.

Dallas 111, Oklahoma City 103: This one was the KD-Dirk show, with Tyson Chandler the supporting act. 32 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists for KD, 12-20, 2-7 and 6-6 FT; but it was Dirk coming out on top with 34/4/4 on 9-15, 2-5 and 14-15 FT, along with the W. Tyson Chandler had a huge game for the Mavs also, 17 points and 18 rebounds along with a block.

Detroit 84, Memphis 105: The Pistons are a mess, at this point. Their top-6 scorers play at shooting guard or small forward, Tayshaun’s not happy with the coaching, Rip’s been ejected from two of their last four games and Austin Daye went from opening night starter to DNP-CD in just 11 games. Meanwhile, the 2 guys that are playing the most positive ball are the two guys that Joe D gets all the criticism for signing – BG and Charlie-V.

Just 40% shooting for the Pistons, as the Grizzlies rack up 9 steals and all sorts of transition buckets on their way to 52% shooting; Z-Bo led the way with 21/14 with a nice soft touch inside on those hook shots, while the Memphis bench contributed 39 of their 105 points, which is a decent return.

San Antonio 113, Minnesota 109 OT: Wow, can anyone stop Kevin Love? 32 points and 22 rebounds on the game, but it wasn’t enough – the Spurs come back from a 21-point deficit to win their 12th straight game. Darko Milicic continued his surprising play with 22/8/4 with 5 blocks, while Beasley managed just 11 on this night. Team effort by the Spurs to grab the victory, Manu had 26 while RJ added 19. Timmy added 9 points and 13 rebounds as he continues what may become his worst season ever, statistically at least.

Golden State 101, Houston 111: The Rockets snap a 4-game losing streak and improve to 4-10 on the game, with Kevin Martin and Luis Scola leading the way. Martin had 25 on just 4-12 from the floor, but 3-6 from deep and 14-15 free throws were nice. Scola had 24 to go along with 12 rebounds, and there’re probably not too many people that realise that he’s averaging 22 points, nearly 10 rebounds and 2 assists per contest.

Dorell Wright led the Dubs with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, and that’s a decent night out. Steph Curry added 21 and Monta 18, but he shot just 7-21 from the field.

New Orleans 87, Utah 105: With the win, Deron Williams’ Jazz improve to 15-4 against Chris Paul’s Hornets since both entered the league back in 2005. While Williams was superb in this game, 26 points, 11 assists, 5 steals, 9-18, 4-5 and 4-4 FT, Paul was no slouch either, 17 points, 9 assists, 5 steals, 4-8, 1-3 and 8-8 FT. However, D-Will had ample support from his frontline (Jefferson had 23/10) while West and Okafor struggled. Hot shooting from the Jazz too, 49-43-100 in the victory.

Chicago 123, Phoenix 115 2OT: Oh my, the Suns really should have won this game. If not just because they were holders of 23-point lead in the first half, or because Jason Richardson missed the second of two free-throws with 5 seconds to go that would have put them up 112-109 and the Bulls needing a 3 to force a second overtime; it was costly turnovers in the second OT, like Nash having his pass picked off by Noah with under a minute remaining.

Derrick Rose dominated the highlights, which is course will lead fans to conclude that ‘OmGzzz Rose is lyke da bestest’, but he needed 33 shots for his 35 points, shot just 1-5 from range and dropped only 7 dimes; meanwhile, on the other end Nash had 16 assists with his 14 points (to be fair, he needed 15 shots and went 0-5 from deep, so maybe it was just not a good shooting night for either point man).

Pretty much a fair few guys had big numbers in the game, so you may as well check out the box-score. I don’t even know whether it’s worth pointing out that the Suns were out-rebounded, it happens every game anyway.

***

I was thinking earlier whether we might see a big trade happen at some point, and who the particulars may be, when this idea came to me:

Memphis receives: Josh Smith, Jamaal Crawford

Atlanta receives: Zach Randolph, O.J. Mayo

The way I see it, Memphis gets a young, athletic forward that fits in well with their young core (Gay, Conley, Gasol and Henry), while seeing what Jamaal can give them as an experienced sixth man off the bench. If he excels, cool, offer him the contract extension he’s been seeking. If not, it’s an $11 million expiring, freeing up a bit more cap space to ensure Gasol Jnr. sticks around.

The deal for Atlanta, they get two very talented players. Provided Randolph keeps up the team-first attitude he’s had in Memphis, he could form a pretty nice high-low combo with Horford in the frontcourt. The real prize in the deal for the Hawks, however, is O.J. Mayo. You can start him next to JJ and either free him up to score while Joe handles the ball, or trust in his playmaking and try him as a PG. Atlanta is going to need some sort of replacement for Bibby at some point, and Jeff Teague hasn’t exactly made a splash yet this season. Additionally, it appears that the Hawks have already drafted a ‘gunner off the bench’ guy to replace J. Crawford, and it’s another J. Crawford.

So yeah, another deal that I think could be pretty interesting for both teams. Of course, both Memphis and Atlanta insist that neither is available, but you never know. What would you guys do?

***

Thanks for reading.

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