Archive for February 22nd, 2012
Derron Williams, the Nets point guard, took the Jeremy Lin insanity on himself. It was against the Net’s that the whole Lin thing kicked in, and he was certainly waiting to get a second round against the talented kid from Harvard. He said that he had circled this day on his calendar. And he certainly delivered. Derron Williams scored a season-high 38 points, outplaying Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony while leading the Nets to a 100-92 victory over the New York Knicks. It didn’t matter that Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony were playing their first game together. Let’s not forget that Melo had missed the previous seven games with an strained right groin. And that it had been during his absence that the Knicks had relied heavily on, until then unknown, Jeremy Lin.
For the most part the fans were extremely excited to have NBA star Carmelo Anthony back on the court. Sure enough, Carmelo was back, but his game was far away from being a in the all-star level we’ve come to expect from him. He was clearly rusty from seven consecutive games sitting in the bench and Carmelo finished the night with 4 of 11 shooting for only 11 points. “My mindset was not try to come in and do too much. Try to fit in. Try to play my game within the system the way that they’ve been playing the last couple weeks,” Anthony said in the game’s follow-up interview. “Passing the ball, find the open man, making the right play. I felt good with that. It was just one of those games where I had to come out and get the rust off of me a little bit and get ready for Atlanta (on Wednesday).”
Williams took it personally and won. But perhaps he took it a little too personally. He was too intense if you will and had to end the game early. Derron Williams scored 18 points in the third quarter alone. This performance included 12 straight Nets points during one of his runs. He was certainly thrilled about the game and he couldn’t control it. He fouled out when there was still little more than 3 minutes to play. But it didn’t really matter. There were plenty of other Nets pitching in. MarShon Brooks had 18 points to help out round a brilliant performance from a team that never looked like a squad that was playing its third game in three nights.
It’s funny how thing have unfold for the Lin and the Knicks. Lin got his chance at stardom on February 2nd against the Nets. The Knicks were coming 8-15 coming from losses on consecutive nights and to make it worse, they were already down by double figures against the Nets. Lin came out of the bench for 25-points to for a 99-92 win. Lin’s NBA future was so uncertain at that point that he refused to get his own place to live so Lin slept on teammate Landry Fields’ couch the night before that game. Lin had since averaged 25 points and 9.2 assists. I guess it’s time he goes apartment shopping in New York City.
The Boston Celtics are struggling big time at this point of the season. The injuries and the suspensions are adding up for the Celtics and at 15-15 for the season, Doc Rivers and his men were hoping for a win at Dallas. But it was just not going to happen. The Celtics jumped into the field already without suspended Rajon Rondo, and without the injured Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass. That’s a big issue alone, and a terrible mix considering that the Celtics lost starters Jermaine O’Neal (sprained left wrist) and Chris Wilcox (right adductor strain) in the third quarter. But even at that point, it was already a little late for the squad.
The Celtics might had hace a chance, but it would be Dirk Nowitzki making all the difference, and securing the win. Nowitzki scored 26 points with season-high 16 rebounds to give the Mavericks an 89-73 win over a short-handed Celtics who not once in the game found themselves ahead in the scoring board. On a personal note, this was enough to get Nowitzki into the top 20 on the NBA career scoring list. “I always say that it’ll be great to look back (at milestones) when my career is over. Right now, I feel better and got to keep it going,” Nowitzki said in the postgame conference. “Ever since I took the week off, I feel better and I’ve been moving better. I’ve got to keep attacking.”
This was certainly a brilliant performance from Nowitzki who despite a loss on his previous game against the New York Knicks, had recorded a personal season-high 34 points. This is certainly a good performance from a player that has been in the league for 14 consecutive seasons, all with the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks Head Coach, Rick Carlise, was excited to defend Nowitzki’s brilliant career. “For those people that didn’t think he was a top 20 all-time player, this is good evidence of that. You can’t have that accomplishment without a remarkable level of sustained excellence (…) The other great thing right now, he continues to do better physically. He’s moving every game seemingly better. We’ve got to keep building on that, too.”
At 21-12 for the season, the defending Champions have proved that they are finally finding their pace. Sure enough, the Mavericks still have to hold this rhythm in the final matches of the season, if they want to secure a spot in the Playoffs. But their situation is looking better than that of the Celtics. On the other hand, the Celtics have hurt themselves plenty. Point guard Rajon Rondo was suspended for two games for throwing a ball at an official and striking him in the chest during Boston’s Sunday loss in Detroit. Frustrated by a lack of a foul call on a third-quarter drive, Rondo flipped the ball at official Sean Wright. The referees charged him with a double technical and automatic ejection. Rondo now owns a team-high seven technical fouls on the season. The Celtics have now loss four games in a row and six of the last seven. They better get their game figured out if they want to take a spot in the NBA Playoffs.