Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: It was free basketball night in The Association
Lots of free basketball played last night in the NBA, as four overtimes were played in three games. The Lakers needed two of them to top the Grizzlies (more on that later). While Atlanta/Denver and Miami/Orlando both went an extra period as well.
In Orlando, it was Jameer Nelson who came up big for the Magic, dropping 12 of his 25 in the fourth quarter and OT. Miami had its chances, but they didn't come through like Orlando did. Orlando is up 2-1 on the season series with each team winning at home. For a team surrounded by so much drama, Orlando is doing pretty well for itself so far. Of course, that story is nowhere near over, but we'll save that for other posts on the site today.
In Denver, the Atlanta Hawks had plenty of chances to put the Nuggets away. They had a six point lead with less than three minutes left but couldn't put the final nail in the coffin. Then after an insane Danilo Gallinari 3 (coming up in the highlights) to put Denver up one, Kirk Hinrich missed one of two free throws with a second left and the game went into OT. The Hawks went up five in the OT, but didn't make a shot in the last 1:31, missing two layups, and turning it over on a shot clock violation in the process.
Credit Denver for not giving up, but Atlanta lost that game more than Denver won it.
2: Tracy McGrady is a little delusional
Tracy McGrady used to be pretty good. But was he Hall of Fame good? He thinks so:
“If we’re going by the numbers, I think they’re Hall of Fame numbers,’’ said the 15-year veteran. “You total (two scoring titles) up along with my points, my playoff average (28.5 in 38 career games), so, yeah, I think I have the credentials.’’
I'm not going to say it's not possible... the numbers make a case. But he's spent the last few years as a shell of his former self. He's four years removed from his last playoff appearance. And we live in a "what have you done for me lately" society where this "hanging on" for a few mediocre-at-best seasons are weighted a little more heavily than they should.
McGrady was great... but Hall of Fame great? Even if he's right, he's going to have a long, long wait.
Danilo Gallinari with the off-balance 3 to give Denver a lead with 3.9 seconds left
Russell Westbrook is a vicious dunker
LeBron swats Dwight's dunk attempt
4: Line of the Night: Andrew Bynum - 37 points, 16 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block
Bynum shot 15-18 on the night and made 7-8 free throws. On a night where Pau Gasol only had 14 points and 5 rebounds, the huge performance out of Bynum was what the Lakers needed to get past the Grizzlies in double OT.
5: You can quote me on that
"If they want to fire me, if Dwight wants to fire me – fire me. I really don't give a damn about being fired. That doesn't concern me in the least. If they want to fire me to please somebody -- fire me."
-Stan Van Gundy, addressing rumors that Dwight Howard would have the ability to fire him if Dwight signs an extension
"It's time. They're moving in a new direction. I can't be mad about that. I was in those shoes at one time, when a veteran guy was playing in front of me. It becomes time for that player to go. It's my time to go. It is what it is."
- Monta Ellis, on being traded
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