What Happened Last Night: A Whole Lot Of NBA, Including A Very Sad Deron Williams
Didn’t watch sports last night? Well, if you’re an NBA fan, hope you learned your lesson, because you just missed 26 of the 30 teams in the league playing. If you’re among that crowd who missed all the action: let’s get to a roundup of what happened. Maybe that’ll teach you. If you’re not an NBA fan: OK, I don’t have much with which to shame you today. (Note: blanket link – the scores and stats about to be reeled off come from the box scores here.)
The good teams are still good, and the bad teams are still bad.
That’s the message much of last night’s action hammered home, anyway. The Heat: they won by 30, easily dispatching the Nets, 103-73. No one played more than 32 minutes. LeBron put up 20, 12, and 8. Deron Williams turned it over seven times (against just three assists). The Heat shot 52 percent. Ho hum. And the Mavericks continued their surprisingly strong start, holding off the Raptors 109-104. Sure, the Raptors don’t look good so far and are now without Kyle Lowry, but: how the hell is this Dirk-less Mavs team 4-1? One surprisingly big reason: O.J. Mayo, who scored 22 more ponts last night and is averaging 28 over his last three games.
On the bad side of things, the Bobcats dropped their second straight following their season-opening win, falling 117-110 to the Suns. Byron Mullens’ “shoot a crapload of threes” strategy worked, though: he made six of 10. He’s taken 24 threes through three games. He is seven feet tall. The Wizards and Pistons stayed winless too, with the Wiz dropping one to the Celtics in overtime and the now-0-5 Pistons narrowly escaping a win with a 105-103 loss to the Kings. Bright side for Detroit? Greg Monroe had a triple-double. That guy can play. And especially painfully, the Hornets, playing without either of their prized rookies, fell to the Sixers by the it-hurts-just-to-look-at-it score of… 77-62. Eww.
Elsewhere: some reversion to the mean.
Remember the Magic and their surprising 2-0 start? Well, they’re 2-2 now, following a 90-75 loss in Minnesota. Granted, the Magic are still without Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu and should be better when they get them both back, but they couldn’t sustain that early pace, as last night’s 35 percent shooting suggests. And while the Spurs are way better than the Magic, they couldn’t win every game, and when they lost their first of the season to the Clippers last night, they lost it big: 106-84. The Clips’ big man duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan couldn’t be contained, combining for 42 and 21. And Chris Paul had 12 assists against just one turnover, because he is a wizard. Meanwhile, no Spur scored more than 12 – clearly, in this case, not the good kind of balanced attack.
There was some happy reversion too, though: the Nuggets have now won two in a row following an 0-3 start. Their victims last night: the Rockets, who are reverting themselves after a 2-0 start. And on a micro scale, that’s true of no player more than James Harden, who looked ready to conquer the world after his first couple games but last night shot just 5-of-15.
And a brief Jeremy Lin update: his game last night was pretty much the opposite of the Lin from last season. He struggled to score, shooting 2-of-9, but his assist-to-turnover ratio was a very solid 3:1, and he added six steals on top of that. But it was a continuation of the ’12-’13 Lin we’ve seen so far: he’s shooting just 36 percent through four games. If he manages to fuse his scoring ability from the Knicks with his ballhandling and ballhawking of the present, he’ll be something to watch. For now: it’s a struggle.
Speaking of struggling: the Lakers.
They get their own sub-category. They lost to the Jazz last night, 95-86. The only team they’ve beaten is the Pistons, and the Pistons haven’t beaten anyone. Yeah, Steve Nash is out. Yeah, the Lakers are adapting to the Princeton offense. But: yeah, the Lakers are playing like crap. Mike Brown’s job is safe for now, but if the Lakers’ struggles last too much longer, Brown won’t. Our guess is still that the Lakers have too much talent not to come together, but this? This is ugly.
Other scores I didn’t get to: the Hawks beat the Pacers, the Grizzlies topped the Bucks, and the Warriors bested the Cavs. Hopefully all but the most die-hard NBA fanatics understand why these games didn’t receive their own capsules.
There was a college football game last night – it was a MAC game, as these midweek games usually are. In it, Bowling Green beat Ohio 26-14, dropping the Bobcats to 8-2 on the year and boosting the Falcons to 7-3. In other college football news, Bobby Petrino has interest in the open job at Kentucky, according to Bobby Petrino’s dad. Whether Kentucky has any interest in Bobby Petrino is less clear. He’s probably still too radioactive to chase just yet (especially when Western Kentucky’s WiIlie Taggart is sitting right there as a prime, non-mistress-turned-staffer-having candidate), but he’ll get a job eventually, and he’ll probably win.
See you tomorrow morning. Not a big NBA night tonight – good thing football ramps up.
Photos via Getty and AP