Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: Is Chauncey Billups done?
With six minutes left in regulation against Orlando, Clippers guard Chauncey Billups took a hard cut forward to chase a long rebound after back-pedaling. His left Achilles couldn't handle the force of the cut, and Billups went down.
Achilles injuries are horribly painful and take long amounts of time to heal, even when they're not serious. When they are serious, it takes a massive amount of time and energy to heal and recover. A ruptured Achilles, which is the worst case scenario, wouldn't just end Billups season... it might end his career.
If it is ruptured, and we'll find out today when Billups gets an MRI, he might be ready for training camp next season. And that's if Billups wants to go through six months of recovery and rehab. Let me rephrase that. He'll have to go through all that anyway, but it will have to be much more intense if he wants to play in the NBA. Depending on the diagnosis, Billups will have some thinking to do.
The Clippers, luckily, have depth at the point guard position, but Billups was a bit of a revelation for the Clippers. He quickly went from pissed off about being New York's amnesty victim to realizing he was a part of something pretty good. An extended period of time away would hurt both of them.
2: Two guys at opposite ends of their careers go off
Something about Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin going off on the same night speaks to me. On the one hand, we've got Kobe Bryant. 33 years-old and in his 16th year of terrorizing the NBA as a career Laker, a 28 point is almost pedestrian to him. It's what he had last nght... the first 24 of those points helped him get past Shaquille O'Neal and into 5th place on the NBA's All-Tiime scoring list.
Meanwhile you've got Lin, who also scored 28 last night. Lin is a 23 year-old Harvard grad in his second year who has already bounced around the NBA a bit. Officially, he's only played for the Golden State Warriors, but he had a summer league stint with the Dallas Mavericks before that and he hooked on with the Houston Rockets after. The Rockets cut Lin before the season started, and Lin was picked up by New York when Iman Shumpert got hurt.
24 of Kobe's 28 came in the first half. Once he passed Shaq, his shots stopped falling. He finished 10-26, 4-10 from 3, in a loss to Philly.
Lin made 10 shots as well. He took 17 of them, and also dished out eight assists in a Knicks win over Utah.
People are talking about both of these guys today for very different reasons. Kobe continues to cement his status as one of the NBA's greatest ever. Lin was a nobody to casual NBA fans. One struggling giant-market team continues to do so, the other hopes it's stumbled onto a solution to a huge problem.
There is no correlation between these two events. I'm not suggesting anything about either player, either. I just find the two things interesting in their own way for one night. For one two-and-a-half hour stretch of time, the image of a basketball savior was two completely different things with two vastly different stories
Jeremy Lin gets the MSG crowd on its feet.
Trevor Booker throws it down hard
Kobe passes Shaq to become the NBA's 5-th all time leading scorer
4: Line of the Night: LaMarcus Aldridge - 39 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block
Huge night for Aldridge, who had to make up for a four point outing from Gerald Wallace. Though Aldridge thinks his stat line should read "2 blocks" instead of one. That's because the game-tying basket with six seconds left came on an Aldridge goaltend, which might not have been a goaltend (you make the call).
Oklahoma ultimately won the game behind a combined 61 from Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
5: You can quote me on that:
"I want to personally congratulate Kobe on being the greatest Laker ever. His accomplishment is great and well deserved, and I'm really proud of him. He told me when he was 18 years old that he'd go down as the greatest Laker ever, and one of the greatest players of all time. And he wasn't lying.
"I'm a little jealous of him because I was never able to escape the injury bug in my career, while he's never really been injured at all. But all of that is a testament to his hard work and dedication. I'm proud of him. I'm happy for him. And, most of all, I want to thank him for being a part of the greatest 1-2 punch ever created, never to be duplicated."
- Shaquille O'Neal, on Kobe passing him on the all time scoring list
"We've been saying that he has talent in practice, but we didn't know if it would translate in the game. He's obviously showing all of us that he can."
-Tyson Chandler, on Jeremy Lin
“It could’ve been -- it doesn’t really matter, does it? I’m not trying to sound rude today, guys, but it’s just when you lose a game like that, I don’t really want to go back and forth on if it was or if it wasn’t because that would’ve changed the game. They played better than us, I guess.”
-LaMarcus Aldridge, on whether his goaltend was a clean block
|Like CC on Facebook||Follow CC on Twitter|