I love days like this in the NBA. We got 14 games of action which meant I spent approximately 4 hours 25 minutes in the office Alt-Tabbing between “work” and ESPN’s NBA scoreboard. Not only did we get a heap of games but we also managed to score a wicked game on ESPN – the Suns vs Warriors. I can’t tell you how surprised I am that ESPN actually showed a game that wasn’t 1) featuring the Miami Heat, and 2) crap. You look at all those 14 games and tell me which was the best one – clearly it was the Suns vs Warriors, and we actually scored it on ESPN. If I sound a little shocked by this it’s because I am. Lately it seems like the broadcasters go out of their way to make sure we get the crappest games on Foxtel. Today restored my faith a little.

What else I loved on this very special Valentines day:

  • Manu Ginobili you are a superstar. 8-11 shooting from downtown and 46 points to outduel Lebron in the 4th (which no one does these days) and make the Spurs look like reigning champs again. While following this game I got the kind of shivers I felt back in the ‘05 Finals. The kind of ominous feeling that Manu is just way better than every one thought he was, and is so used to playing within that disciplined Spurs system that you forget he can break out ridiculous games like this. He was so good he almost entered dolphin-saving territory – he was just 3 rebounds and 1 steal shy of reaching Kobe’s mark back on the first night of the season. We’re almost two-thirds of the way through this season and I still haven’t donated one cent to the dolphins. C’mon Lebron, AI, Melo… take a good hard look at yourself and do something for the environment! If Larry Hughes pulls off a dolphin-saver I’ll not only donate $10, I’ll buy an entire dolphin family, build a swimming pool for them out of bricks, and teach them to shoot free throws.
  • Speaking of Larry Hughes, he actually started today’s game shooting well. At one point it looked like the impossible might happen and he could go for 40. But of course I was never worried. Lebron knows that if he let Larry Hughes go for 40 on back-to-back games he would lose all chance of a trade that would send Hughes elsewhere and turn the Cavs into title-contendors. Which made me think. As good as Lebron is at making his teammates better, is it possible he could purposefully be making Larry Hughes worse so the Cavs will trade him? Is it even possible to make Larry Hughes seem worse than he already is? Hmmm probably not.
  • The Magic had a great win over the Nuggs today, Howard inhaling several rebounds and Turkoglu putting up another solid 18 point outing. Not that you’d wanna choose him as an All-Star no way. The guy just happens to be having an amazing, career-best season on a team that is seriously contending out East. But still, he’s no All-Star. KG gets injured, we’ll go with Sheed instead. Probably best not to pick Hedo cos he’s not a centre. Yeah that makes sense. And when Caron Butler (a forward) has to also pull out of the All-Star game due to injury, it’s probably best we pick someone like Ray freaken Allen who is having a “solid” season at best. I really can’t believe this. I hope I’m missing some vital information here, some kind of rule I’m not aware of, such as “no player can be selected to the All-Star game when his name ends in ‘urkoglu’” Because I just don’t understand.
  • It looks like Kobe might pull out of the All-Star game as well. Using David Stern’s secret formula, I’m predicting he will end up choosing Peja to go instead, because Peja is a one-dimensional player who shoots threes, plays for the Conference’s best team, and is completely undeserving of being an All-Star. We wouldn’t want to pick someone like, say Baron Davis? Or Manu Ginobili? If Kobe pulls out and one of those two doesn’t go, I’ll write Mr Stern a letter.
  • The Philadelphia 76′ers are the 8th team in the East. Read that again.
  • Amir Johnson had 7 blocks today for the Pistons and actually lead the team in minutes played. He and Maxiell combined for 19 points, 20 rebounds and 9 blocks. You tell me ONE team who has two reserve forwards that could combine for 19 points, 20 rebounds and 9 blocks. There aren’t any. These two guys could make a very scary tandem in coming years. Pay attention to them, please.
  • Do you get the feeling Lamar Odom is enjoying playing along side Pau Gasol just as much as Kobe is? Lamar’s numbers over his last 5 games: 13 ppg, 12 rpg, 5 apg, shooting an incredible 64% from the field. Lamar has had to worry less about scoring and I think its loosened him up. I can’t wait to see what happens when Bynum comes back because then Lamar actually becomes the 4th option on that team. That is a luxury right there.
  • The Suns vs Warriors games lived up to all its expectations, but just fell short of Chucko’s reasonably-sounding prediction that they’d combine for 250 points. In the end it was B-Diddy and Ellis that were too much for the Suns to handle. You get the feeling that in a 7-game series between these teams Baron would completely get his way with Nash defending him, and with Ellis on the court as well it confronts the Suns with a serious dillema because Nash can’t defend. Quick look at the standings tells me if the playoffs started today, the Suns would be facing the Warriors in the first round. Oh oh… could there be another Mavs-like upset in the pipeline?
  • The Kidd trade was blocked by Devean George. For anyone that doesn’t know, Devean George is not the Nets GM. He is a player and he plays for the Dallas Mavericks. By the way he’s not a very good player. He doesn’t hold any special title like “Captain” or “All-Star” but he does have the power to veto trades. He also has the power to turn invisible and travel backwards in time. You go and check, it says it in his contract. Devean George is actually a superhero, and his everyday disguise is a Mavs player who is also an idiot.

Happy Valentines day everybody. Spread the love right through All-Star weekend. I know you will.

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