It was on the opposite side of the court. Kenyon Martin didn’t fall a la Gary McGhee. And this likely won’t spark the Bobcats to a NBA Finals appearance in the way UConn pulled off one of the better national championship runs in recent memory in 2011. But Kemba Walker step back daggers in Madison Square Garden are the things of beauty.
With less than a minute remaining and Charlotte up four, Kenyon Martin switched onto the Charlotte’s point guard. To his credit, too, the defense wasn’t anything to scoff at. Kemba’s initial move to get to the basket was denied thus leading to him improvising into a step back jumper that sent most MSG faithful bolting to exits. Despite Charlotte damn near blowing the game in the last 20 seconds, they clawed back to .500 on the season behind Walker’s 25 points in a 102-97 win.
The victory was Michael Jordan’s investment first road W since last February in Orlando. Meanwhile, this isn’t exactly the start Mike Woodson, Carmelo Anthony and company were hoping for. The loss was their third straight and while Melo did drop 32 points (shooting a putrid 37% in his first four games), it took 28 shots to do so in his third game playing at least 42 minutes. Tyson Chandler missing the next four-to-six weeks with a fractured right fibula doesn’t help in the confidence department either.
A lot of times, guys’ll get paid and completely pack it in (**coughTimThomascough**). Paul George isn’t built like that. After securing his future in Indiana for the next half decade, PG24’s evolution continues as the Pacers remain the lone undefeated team in all of basketball and himself the league’s second leading scorer at 27 PPG. No disrespect to Danny Granger either – which is the universal sign for disrespect, huh? – but he’s resembling trade bait more and more by the day as Indy has undoubtedly become George’s squad and his 31-10-4-4 against divisional foe Detroit was only the latest example.
Indy’s keeping up with the theme of last year, too. Only allowing 85.5 points/game, Indy is by far the best defensive team in basketball, six points better than Cleveland. All this makes their nationally televised game against Derrick Rose and the Bulls tonight that much more enticing. You know, especially since D-Rose all but laughed at the thought of the Pacers being on his radar a few weeks back.
Again, Anthony Davis fantasy owners are loving life in the early stages of this NBA season. The Brow poured in 17 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks against the Suns. Unfortunately, Phoenix have yet to check their spam mail and realize they aren’t supposed to be winning every three out of four games (which they’ve done in their first four games). Phoenix used big second and third quarters to help secure a 104-98 road win over New Orleans.
Color me ignorant, but I had no clue Gerald Green was in Phoenix until I saw him score 18 points in a supporting role to Eric Bledsoe. The former Kentucky guard led the Suns with 25 points (10-12 FG), four rebounds, five assists and three steals in the John Calipari Alumni Game.
The good news for Jonas Valanciunas: He can tell his kids he dunked on LeBron James.
The bad news for Jonas Valanciunas: The Heat won 104-95 with Chris Bosh in Miami celebrating the birth of he and his wife’s second child, Dylan Skye Bosh (his third in total). Dwyane Wade finished with his third outing of at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists of the season.
Meanwhile, LeBron had one of those “LeBron-type” games with 35 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and only one turnover on 13-20 from the field, including 12-16 in the paint (the fourth such line since 1985-86). And at least no one heckled him from the court side seats this time. James also joined Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jaabar (twice), Karl Malone and Moses Malone as the only players in NBA history to score in double-digits for 500 consecutive regular season games.