Thursday, 10 February 2011
THROUGH THE WIRE: THURSDAY (02/10/11)
24. It's always special when the greats play at the Mecca, especially if it is the first time they walk onto the Madison Square Garden hardwood. It is extra special if they can provide the perfect matchup with New York Knicks monster Amare Stoudemire. So the MSG debut of L.A. Clippers rookie Blake Griffin was extra special. As the leagues two most improved teams duked and dunked it out the Clips championed the Knicks, 116-108. Blake had a great 21 point, 6 rebound performance as he battled STAT down low. Stoudemire had 23 points as Griffin added, "He's extremely tough to stop. I thought we did a good job as a team, corralling him in different areas." Griffin put on a dunk show but there is still more to his monster game then that. His point guard should know that as Baron Davis told press, "A lot of people give him credit for his dunks or his opportunities to score. They don't really know how he sets guys up. He's just going to continue to improve."
48. The L.A Clippers may have taken some sheen off their STAPLES neighbours but the Lakers have taken some of the shine off the Knicks/Carmelo stories with rumors of their own. All these Carmelo Anthony trade speculations may be fascinating for fans but the Lakers aren't entertaining the news. Bynum is remaining focused, telling press, "I'm going to keep playing basketball. That's all I can do. It's not really in my power. I can't control it." Carmelo himself has said, "Every day is something different. I guess now is the Lakers. Until I hear something from the people that I'm supposed to hear something from, then I don't pay no attention to it." The latest buzz sees 'Melo and teammate Al Harrington coming over for Bynum and Artest. A move that would gain L.A. another franchise player for their future star, but one that would see them lose a league leading defender for a great player, albeit one that is similar to Lamar Odom. Sure Anthony would be great for the Lakers, but as Kobe says, Bynum is "extremely important" to L.A. While Jackson joked, "I told Derrick Caracter that if Denver gave us Anthony straight up, then we would trade Derrick Caracter for Anthony. That's the only trade I want on this basketball club if that's one that works out." What do you think the Lake Show should do? Sound off in our comments section below.
82. It's getting salty in Utah. Versatile Jazz centre Mehmet Okur will miss at least three weeks due to back problems. The team are now playing against the wall as their inside and out pivot has a chronic disc problem. Okur has already missed the first of 26 games of the season and now will have to complete this 21 day rehab due to doctors orders. It gets worse as the Jazz's reverse centre Francisco Elson has inflammation in his left knee. With all these versatile big out, Utah's options are getting smaller.
O.T. Boston are missing some diesel and truth as Shaquille O'Neal and Paul Pierce are out injured...Dallas duo of bench Mavericks, Jason Terry and J.J. Barea continue to come up big as the small guys helped their team beat Sacramento...further news on Brandon Roy's return. He's ready for practice, but not big-time action. It's a good job Portland are used to being patient...make that 26 losses for the Cavs, who were out-motored by the Pistons...and make that 37 for Monta Ellis who shot his Golden State Warrior's past the golden Nuggets of Denver. TIM DAVID HARVEY.