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LEAGUE PASS SURFING
Posted by John Schuhmann on November 17, 2005 3:30 p.m. ET

RAMBLINGS FROM WEDNESDAY NIGHT

I drove home last night looking forward to a few hours of League Pass surfing, knowing that I was probably too tired to make it past the first quarter of the late games. Thanks to a Mary Kay session in my living room when I arrived, I missed the first quarter of Sixers-Raps. Oh well, at least there was stromboli waiting in the kitchen.

Since I do Rookie Rankings (every Monday people!), I tend to gravitate towards the games with prominant rookies. Hence, I turned on Pacers-Bobcats once the ladies had abandoned the couch. I checked the Sixers-Raps boxscore though to see that AI had gone off in the first and Mike James was playing well for my fantasy team (or so I thought). It seems defense was not addressed in either locker room before the game in the T-Dot.

And speaking of Toronto, ladies and gentlemen, clear another space in the Air Canada Centre home locker room as we welcome Darrick Martin back to the Association.
-- [Toronto Sun]

Switching back to Pacers-Bobcats, Charlotte forward Sean May has impressed me a lot in the past couple of weeks. He showed some nice low-post skills, but he needs some work on his jumper.

To the laptop...

I checked the Sonics-Celtics box to see that they were having the same defensive issues as Sixers and Raps. Boston and Seattle were shooting .619 after one.

Back to Indiana-Charlotte...

Man, the Pacers are deep. After watching them for a couple of minutes, I checked out their schedule to see when the first Pacers-Pistons game is... Damn! Not until February 4! And the Pacers scored 30 in the first. It is officially "No Defense Night" across the NBA.

The Bobcats and Sonics each made second quarter runs. I love Stephen Jackson's symmetrical look with the yellow wristbands, armbands, headband and of course, the symmetrical uniform number.

I'd say Ron Artest backing down Keith Bogans down on the block is a bit of a mismatch...

Working the remote again...

Raptors gave the Sixers a game. Mike James had 38 points and nine dimes, shooting 15-22 from the field, helping my fantasy team dig out of the field goal percentage hole that Chris Duhon, Kirk Hinrich and Ray Allen dug them earlier in the week (again: or so I thought). Heartbreaker for Toronto though as James' layup touched every piece of the bucket but the bottom with 25 seconds to go and the Sixers avoided the NBA.com Power Rankings Jinx (which I had just made up when it looked like they might lose to the 0-6 Raps).

And back to the Bobcats...

The Bobcats blew out the Pacers and Raymond Felton (18 points, 10 assists, 5 steals) came up huge replacing Brevin Knight in the starting lineup. His first big game of the season. He could crack the Rookie Rankings on Monday. Stay tuned!

I am an NBA.com features editor, but I will admit that I watched Lost in the P.I.P. (with audio) during the second half of these early games. Good episode.

I couldn't stay awake for the late games. If you ask me, Phil and Larry are both great coaches, but the matchup of the two best coaches in the league doesn't take place until December 27.

I came into the office today, checked out my fantasy squad and realized that I had Mike James on the bench! I'm still killing my boss, Rob Peterson, this week though (our features desk league is head-to-head).

Good double-header on TNT tonight, as well as Hawks-Mavs on League Pass. I have yet to get a real good look at Marvin Williams, so I will certainly check that one out.

TIP-INS

Jermaine O'Neal isn't too happy about the loss to Charlotte.
-- [Indianapolis Star]

Before they sent Desmond Mason to New Orleans/Okla. City for Jamaal Magloire, the Bucks talked to the Nuggets about a Mason for Nene deal.
-- [Denver Post]

Looks like Steph is having a hard time adjusting to this pass-first thing.
-- [New York Post]

With Brent Barry and Michael Finley injured, the Spurs are looking to add a young wing player. I don't think Spree qualifies.
-- [San Antonio Express-News]

REUNION IN CLEVELAND
Posted by John Schuhmann on November 15, 2005 1:30 p.m. ET

GAME OF THE WEEK

The 5-1 Wizards begin a three-game road trip in Cleveland tonight where they will take on the 4-2 Cavs and reunite with former teammate Larry Hughes for the best matchup of the week. Hughes will try to stop his friend Gilbert Arenas, who has been on a tear of late, earning Player of the Week honors while averaging 37.5 points on 26-of-36 shooting over the last two games. Oh yeah, that last game... in which he scored 43... was against the Spurs.
-- [Washington Post, Reg. req'd]

Cleveland coach Mike Brown says that he'll throw multiple defenders on Arenas.
-- [Akron Beacon Journal]

Nice piece on Cavs' GM Danny Ferry and why he felt guilty about signing Hughes and Donyell Marshall this summer.
-- [Washington Post, Reg. req'd]

DENVER FRONTLINE: CAMBY AND ?

NBA TV has the other Player of the Week, Marcus Camby and the Nuggets in Dallas tonight. Camby has been putting up some sick numbers as well, leading the league in rebounds and blocks. If he can keep it up, he's looking good for his first All-Star Game in February.
-- [Denver Post]

K-Mart may be able to return to play in his hometown, but it looks like he's going to have knee soreness for a while as he recovers from offseason (hold your breath) microfracture surgery. If that wasn't enough, Denver's back-up frontline of Francisco Elson (knee tendinitis) and Eduardo Najera (sore ankle) is also a little banged up. Oy!
-- [Rocky Mountain News]

In the other locker room, Jerry Stackhouse is almost ready to practice with the Mavs.
-- [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Reg. req'd]

BEST TEAM IN BASKETBALL

The Pistons are cruising, and don't think that Flip Saunders has nothing to do with it. They're deeper, they're more explosive and they're more efficient. They take on the Celtics tonight in a rematch of one of the most exciting games of the young season. (Video)
-- [Detroit News]

Paul Pierce believes the Pistons are even a lot better than they were 11 days ago.
-- [Boston Herald]

WORST DIVISION IN BASKETBALL

The Utah Jazz are as banged up as any team in the league and they just lost an ugly one at home to the 2-5 Knicks, but right now, they are the San Diego Padres of the Northwest Division.
-- [The Salt Lake Tribune]

Dwane Casey is trying to make a rotation out of all the new faces in Minnesota.
-- [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

See above for the Nuggets' woes and have patience if you're a Blazer fan. The Sonics are not satisfied with a win over the 0-6 Raptors.
-- [Seattle Times]

Gilbert Arenas is on fire.
(Mitchell Layton/NBAE/Getty Images)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Jay-Z, on his role with the Nets and the battle for New York market share:

"People grew up on the Knicks. The Nets have always been the cousins. I hope to change that. On all fronts, whether it be my relationship with players or the (VIP) rooms... everything besides messing with Rod Thorn. I am like the guy in 'Ray' who turns down the lights. It needs to be done."
-- [New York Daily News]

2005-06 ARCHIVE
Nov. 10 -- Setting The OWGs Straight
Nov. 4 -- Season Underway
Oct. 27 -- The Central Is Stacked
Oct. 19 -- All Dressed Up
Oct. 14 -- LeBron Out Of Hospital
2004-05 -- Archive
2003-04 -- Archive