The Daily Dribble is a somtimes-daily feature here at Hickory-High. Matt Cianfrone offers his thoughts on a handful of the previous night’s NBA games, and then turns to Twitter to fill in the gaps.
This was a pretty fun night of basketball, at least in two of the three games I caught parts of.
Heat 101 – Hawks 92:
The Heat defense is just so much better with Joel Anthony in the game. He didn’t play huge minutes, only 18, but he was a plus nine and it felt like it. His rotations are normally on point and it helps everyone else.
Josh Smith making his first four threes helped keep the Hawks in the game, but it also ended up taking them out of it. Smoove’s confidence got up and led to some ugly airballs, I’m pretty sure there were at least three I remember.
Al Horford and Smith both played really well though and Smith’s passing really gave the Heat fits for a while. Also the Heat looked confused on a couple rotations as Al Horford was able to slip some pick-and-rolls and get dunks with no one around him. Though I don’t remember that happening with Anthony in the game.
In the end though LeBron James went into video game mode and man, was it enjoyable to watch. The passes, finishes at the basket and a couple jumpers just ended any chance the Hawks had. The highlight though was the dunk he had on a Norris Cole lob, in which he jumped so high his head was at rim level.
I wonder if teams are going to start trying abnormal rotations on LeBron. With the shooters the Heat have now LeBron just murders teams with passes to where their rotations can’t recover. He hit Shane Battier for a couple threes in a group of possessions as the Heat started to pull away with passes normal guys don’t make. It really just isn’t fair.
Spurs 134 – Rockets 126:
Just caught the last 5 minutes of regulation and overtime in this one but man was it fun.
I can’t stand Chandler Parsons (goes back to my time at UGA and his at UF, which overlapped a bit) but he is way better than I ever expected him to be as an NBA player. Never thought he would consistently shoot the ball as well as he has, and the other gifts, handling/passing/size, were always present. He has been pretty good this year.
Danny Green was really good late in this game, mostly on the defensive end. Green just ate up Jeremy Lin including on the final possession of regulation when he created a 24 second violation by not letting Lin past him, then poking the ball out to half court.
The Rockets late game offense is so terrible. I understand the team has two big time creators in Lin and James Harden but I would love something more than 18 seconds of dribbling before trying to attack via iso with 6 seconds left on the shot clock. At least use Asik or Parsons in a pick-and-roll.
Blazers 92 – Raptors 74:
I tried to watch this whole game but man was it boring.
I really like Damian Lillard and watching him play but he was pretty rough last night. When I turned the game off he was 2-10 with two turnovers and only two assists. Just a tough game for the rookie.
There isn’t really much more I can say about this game because it was that boring. I mean the Blazers started Victor Claver and Sasha Pavlovic. That pretty much describes this game.
The most exciting part of the game happened as I turned it off; the Amir Johnson ejection. Not sure exactly what happened before the free throw but with the way it played out my guess is Amir was baited at some point to cause that reaction from a normally mild mannered guy. But a suspension is coming for the mouthpiece throw, and it is well deserved.