NBA Game of the Day – 12/28/11 – Clippers at Spurs

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Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio Spurs

12/28/11

8:30 PM Eastern Time

TV: League Pass

AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX

Line: San Antonio – 4.5

2010-11 Records:

San Antonio: 61-21 (1st in Western Conference)

L.A. Clippers: 32-50 (13th in Western Conference)

Players of interest:

San Antonio: Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker

L.A. Clippers: Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Why you want to watch:

The first real test for the newly formed western conference powerhouse Los
Angeles Clippers comes very quickly in the season. Chris Paul and Blake
Griffin go to San Antonio to take on the reigning Western conference
regular season champions at the AT&T center. Clips will have a much harder
time than their season opener in Oakland as the Spurs were the best home
team in the NBA last year by only losing 5 games there all year. The
combination of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan teamed with Chris Paul
should make the Clippers a must watch all season long.

Raining 3’s Twine-Tickler of the day – 12/26/11

Twine-Tickler of the day is the player that was scorching the nets from the
outside on game day. The deeper the shot, the more the twine gets tickled.
Efficiency, range and volume are emphasized in this award.

Marcus Thornton was wearing out the nets in Sacramento in the Kings’ 100 to 91 win over the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night. Marcus was 4 for 7 from behind the arc and totaled 27 points in the Kings’ opener at Arco.

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Stat Line from 12/26 game vs. Los Angeles Lakers (win 100 – 91):

Points: 27

From the field: 9 – 13, 69.2 %

From 3 point land: 4 – 7, 57.1 %

From the stripe: 5 – 5, 100.0 %

NBA Game of the Day – 12/27/11 – Celtics at Heat

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Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

12/27/11

8:00 PM Eastern Time

TV: TNT

American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL

2010-11 Records:

Boston: 56-26 (3rd in the Eastern Conference)

Miami: 58-24 (2nd in the Eastern Conference)

Players of interest:

Boston: Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce

Miami: Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade

Why you want to watch:

A rematch of the 2011 eastern conference semi finals that saw Miami take
out Boston quickly in 5 games. There have been minimal changes since these
2 teams last met in the playoffs. Boston has lost Jeff Green and Glen Davis
and replaced them with Brandon Bass and Sasha Pavlovic. Miami acquired
Shane Battier in free agency and an impressive rookie thus far, Norris Cole
in the draft. The core players, Boston’s Garnett, Pierce, Rondo & Allen and
Miami’s James, Bosh and Wade, are unchanged. Miami is coming off an
impressive blow out win in Dallas with Lebron leading the way with 37
points. Boston is coming off a narrow defeat to the Knicks on Christmas
Day. Boston might be without Paul Pierce for a 2nd game as he is being
listed as doubtful for tonight’s game.

NBA Game of the Day – 12/26/11 – Grizzlies at Spurs

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Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs

12/26/11

8:30 Eastern Time

AT & T Center in San Antonio, Texas

2010-2011 Records:

San Antonio: 61-21 (1st in Western Conference)

Memphis: 46-36 (8th in Western Conference)

Players of interest:

San Antonio: Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili

Memphis: Zach Randolpph, Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley

Story line:

A rematch of last years first round match up that saw Memphis upset the #1 seeded Spurs in 6 games. The Spurs already well aged roster are now a year older and you would figure are going to start showing their age. The Grizz are stacked talent wise with Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Rudy Gay who wasn’t even part of the Grizzlies late season run and playoff push. The addition of a healthy Rudy Gay in the rotation might be what catapults the Grizz to the elite of the Western Conference this season. The Spurs have the advantage in this game as they’ll have the support of an excited San Antonio crowd. Memphis has the advantage in terms of talent, especially inside with the two skilled bigs in Gasol and Randolph. Expect a close game in San Antonio and should be the best of a 12 game night in the NBA.

Lakers Show One Glaring Improvement in Bulls Loss

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It is sometimes hard to focus on positives after a disappointing loss, but there was a least one that stood out for the Lakers in their one point defeat to the Bulls Christmas Day, you just had to look really hard and ignore the stat sheet.

The Lakers shot an uninspiring 4 for 16 from three point range against the Bulls Christmas Day. The 25 percent from behind the arc does not elicit great feelings of confidence from the fan base about the Lakers deep range prowess. What it did show is that there is a core group of outside specialist in the Lakers rotation that are going to be counted on to space the floor for the Lakers low post game, especially once their primary low post threat returns in 3 games, Mr. Andrew Bynum.

Troy Murphy only took one three point shot and missed, but he did knock down some mid rangers and his stroke looked good. Murphy is an established long range bomber that just experienced a set back last season with the Nets and Celtics, mainly because of injury. It appears by the way that Murphy is moving on the court that he is back to being at full health. Murphy is going to get many opportunities during the season to get shots up from deep with the amount of attention that defenses are going to be paying toKobe, Gasol and Bynum. Murphy at 6,10 and with his high release, will have no problem getting those shots up in the Lakers’ offense. If he can be anywhere near his roughly 40% career percentage from behind the arc, he will be deadly.

Steve Blake, likeTroy, had experienced regression in his game last season. Coming into last season, Blake was known as a heady playmaker with a good outside shot. Whether it was Blake’s game not fitting in the triangle offense or him just experiencing a fluke down year he just didn’t perform and was a major disappointment as a free agent acquisition for the Lakers coming into this year. Based on his preseason performance and his game against the Bulls, he appears to have renewed confidence in his outside shot. Blake shot 60 percent from behind the arc in two preseason games and went 2 for 6 on Sunday. More so than just his production thus far, Blake does not look hesitant at all when he is out on the court.

There have been a few reports from camp that Gasol has increased his range to the point of extending to behind the 3 point line. You typically don’t like your 7 footer playing so far away from the basket, but in the case with the Lakers having another 7 footer that will occupy the space in close proximity to the paint, Gasol getting offense from the perimeter will be beneficial to his game and the Lakers’ offense. From what we witnessed on Sunday, Gasol and the coaching staff appear to have confidence to take deep shots. Gasol missed both of his 3 point shots Sunday but the shots looked good and he definitely didn’t look out of place in 3 point land. If Gasol can successfully implement a 3 point shot, and improve in his mid range game, he will be able to solidify that consistent 2nd scorer to Kobe Bryant on this team and return more to the Gasol that we were accustomed to seeing in the Lakers’ two championship runs.

The Lakers in desperate need to improve their efficiency from the 3 point land after shooting just 35 percent last year, they drafted sweet shooting guard Andrew Goudelock from the College of Charleston in the second round this year. So far, Andrew Goudelock has showed that he can shoot at the NBA level as well. Goudelock only played 12 minutes Sunday against the Bulls but in that short time he was able to get 3 shots up from behind the arc and made 2 of them. More importantly, Goudelock displayed his sweet stroke and quick release in getting up his 3 shots which should provide him with more playing time. Goudelock could develop into a specialty role player in Mike Brown’s system similar to how Brown used a player with a similar skill set in Daniel Giblson inCleveland. Unlike Goudelock’s time with the College of Charleston, he wont be asked to carry an offense, just take shots from outside to help space the floor and hit them at a high success rate; Goudelock appears to have what it takes to fit that role.

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