[Bleacher.Report] Courtside on Christmas
Typically Christmas wishes consist of Macbooks, iPods, iPads, jewelry, cell phones, etc…but not this year; everybody wishes were granted: NBA OPENING GAMES WERE FINALLY HERE! What better way to spend Christmas than surrounded by family sipping eggnog and watching some of the most elite teams compete for the first time this season [any smart parent woke their kids up at 7am to open gifts, assemble anything toys, and show them how to operate everything so that by 12 noon, they were either back asleep or too excited with their new toys to bother you during the games]! I just want to thank WHOEVER set this year’s 66-game schedule up BIG TIME because we got to see Knicks/Celtics, Mavs/Heat, Bulls/Lakers, Magic/Thunder, and Clippers/Warriors all in one day! Click below to get complete coverage!
Tipping off at Noon yesterday, in front of a sell-out crowd at Madison Square Garden, Stoudy and Melo look to get their first victory over KG, Rondo and the Celtics of the season. Celtics [without Paul Pierce] came out a little shaky, trailing most of the first half, and Amare draining 3 pointers did not help the cause. The 16 point lead after the first quarter had coach Doc Rivers livid:
“Everything is soft! Everything! We will never win basketball this way…”
Led by Rajon Rondo the Celtics rallied back in the second quarter going into the half only down 10. Coming back out still on fire, Celtics take the lead 85-77 after 3 quarters of play [Knicks rookie guard Iman Shumpert was injured during the 3rd and had to be escorted to the Knicks locker room not to return; Reports say he will be out for about 2 to 4 weeks with a sprained right knee].
4th quarter was an all-out battle, exchanging baskets and leads the whole way through, but Money Melo’s short jumper between two defenders, followed by KG’s missed jumper at the buzzer, left the Knicks 1-0 and the Celtics 0-1 to start the season.
Rajon Rondo– 31 points, 13 assists, 5 rebounds
Brandon Bass (Celtics Debut)– 20 points, 11 rebounds
Carmelo Anthony– 37 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists
**Knicks was also without veteran guard Baron Davis, who was acquired after the Chauncey Billups waive during the off-season”**
Following the Knicks victory over the Celtics, we head to American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX where Miami’s Big 3 try to drown out the roaring crowd in the stands cheering on the banner hanging and ring ceremony taking place before the season opening game between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks, a 2010 NBA finals championship rematch!
I am not sure whether it was revenge motivated or the Heat were just very mentally and physically prepared for this game, but whatever it was, let’s hope it lasts the whole season…THEY CAME OUT BLAZING! A couple of fast break transitions and buckets from rookie guard Norris Cole, in his heat debut, put the Heat up by 13 after one quarter of play! Bron and the Heat didn’t slow up in the 2nd, instead they added to the lead, going into halftime up by 21 [Lebron leading all scorers with 18 in the first half].
By the 8:23 mark in the 3rd quarter, the Miami Heat was beating the Mavs by 33 points, with Bron and Wade having 45 points collectively to the ENTIRE Mavs team’s 43 points for the game! The Heat went on to beat the reigning champs 105 to 94 in an blowout!
Lebron James- 37 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists
Dwyane Wade- 26 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists
Jason Terry– 23 points, 3 assists
At 5:00 pm, last year’s MVP Derrick Rose and the Bulls take the hardwood in LA to take on the Los Angeles Lakers! Under new head coach, Mike Brown, Lakers look to start this season off on the right track after being swept by the Dallas Mavericks ending their season last year. This game was one for the books!! First half was pretty close knit; with a couple assists from veteran guard Rip Hamilton in his debut in a Bulls jersey, Rose went into the locker room at the half with 10 points, and Bryant with 14, the Bulls leading the lake show 56 to 49.
The small lead slowly faded minutes into the 3rd quarter as the Lakers began their comeback, led by Pau Gasol [14 points for the game]. Late in the 4th, the Bulls find themselves trailing by 9 points with only 3:30 left of gameplay….
45 seconds on the clock and Laker lead was down to 5, Deng misses a tre-ball, gets his own rebound and drives inside for an AND 1 [made free throw] and fouled again 15 seconds later, to make two more free throws, bringing the Laker lead down to 1 with twenty seconds to play!
Off of a big steal from Deng, 11 seconds left, who better hands to put the rock in other than the reigning MVP? *NO ONE… with a quick blow by past Fisher, Derrick Rose puts up a short jumper OVER 7FT Pau Gasol to give the Bulls an one point lead! In a FAILED ATTEMPT to score against three Bulls defenders, Kobe is blocked by Deng and Bulls go on to win 88-87 in the season opener.
Derrick Rose- 22 points, 5 assists
Kobe Bryant- 28 points, 7 rebounds
Loul Deng- 21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals
Westbrook or Nelson? [I’ll take Westbrook for 400 Alex]. Durant and the Thunder open up the season against Howard [how much longer he will be in a Magic jersey the world will never know] and the Magic. Thunder’s 1-2 combo of Durant and Westbrook led the way the first quarter ending 27 to 22 [Thunder up], which increased to 55-41 at the half! [Dwight Howard ended the half with 8 points and Kevin Durant with 14]. Thunder did not take their foot off the Magic’s neck the whole second half, leading the entire way. Final score was 89 to 97, despite Anderson’s 25 points, Magic fall short to the Thunder…
Kevin Durant- 30 points, 6 assists
Ryan Anderson- 25 points, 10 rebounds
James Harden- 19 points, 6 rebounds
To wrap up opening night, we had the new and improved Clippers, with the CP3, Big Shot Billups, &| Caron Butler additions, going head to head with the Golden State Warriors, in Mark Jackson’s debut as their head coach! First half was a hard fought battler between Curry/Lee and Paul/Griffin, ending with a two point lead for the Warriors at the half.
Starting to trail in the 3rd quarter, Warriors starts the “Hack-a-Jordan” campaign: Why you ask? Because DeAndre Jordan is only an 41% free throw shooter… Warriors make a run in the fourth, only down three with six minutes left, but it wasn’t enough! CP3 took over, coming down hitting three consecutive jumpers in a row to close out the game. Clippers win 105-86…
Blake Griffin- 22 points, 7 rebounds
David Lee- 21 points, 12 rebounds
Chris Paul- 20 points, 9 assists
Posted on December 27, 2011, in Pretti Problem Xclusive, Sports and tagged bleacher report, courtside on christmas, editorial, nba 2011, pretti problem xclusive. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.