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News » Court Awareness: Wednesday Review 2009-01-22

Court Awareness: Wednesday Review 2009-01-22

Court Awareness: Wednesday Review 2009-01-22
Before suffering his season-ending knee injury last January, Andrew Bynum was in the midst of the most productive month of his young career.

He had firmly supplanted Kwame Brown as the Lakers' starting center and was averaging 20.8 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.

It's been about a year and some change since that day last season and Bynum is once again using the first month of the Gregorian calendar to remind the world why the Lakers rewarded him with a four-year, $58-million contract extension, despite having not played a meaningful game since January 13, 2008.

Bleacher Report

Thursday's action

  • Celtics put clamps on Magic
  • Bynum again leads way in Lakers' win analysis

  • Rosen: Beasley has far to go
  • Hill: Is fatigue affecting Olympians?
  • Rosen: East midterm grades
  • Galinsky: NBA Power Rankings


  • Randy Hill's midseason MVP
  • Marques: Showtime shows off D
  • Marques: LeBron needs support


  • Kobe vs. LeBron in L.A.

LeBron James and Mo Williams combined to score 67 to lead the Cavs. Williams made 6-of-9 3-pointers and LeBron made 14 of his 30 field goal attempts -- including 3-for-6 from downtown.

There's no reason for the Blazers to be embarrassed by the loss. Unfortunately for them, they are now only 5-5 over their last 10 games. With nine teams fighting it out for eight playoff spots the Blazers missed a golden opportunity to use those past 10 games to create some distance between them and the teams who are currently missing valuable starters.

Rip in Reserve Role in Rout

Rip Hamilton had started every one of the first 611 games he's played in a Detroit Pistons uniform.

Wednesday night, he came off the bench for the first time since he was a Washington Wizard back in 2002.

Hamilton, who has averaged 33 minutes per game over his nine-plus season career, played 21 minutes and scored seven points on 3-of-9 shooting in the Pistons' 95-76 win over the Toronto Raptors.

There were a number of people who weren't at all surprised by Hamilton's move to the bench. The writing was on the wall when Joe Dumars signed Hamilton to a three-year, $34 million extension the same day he traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson.

There were many who believed that Dumars gave Hamilton the extension so that Hamilton wouldn't have to worry about how the presence of Iverson would affect his market value. Hamilton had an early-termination option that would have allowed him to become a free agent this summer. With the extension in place, Hamilton would have his guaranteed money regardless of how many minutes he played or if he was traded to another team in the future.

Von Wafer -- Basketball Player or Dutch Snack Food?

Even with each team missing two of its best players, you can still count on an exciting game when the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz meet up.

The Rockets (27-16) won for the sixth time in their last seven games Wednesday night, beating the Jazz, 108-99.

The Jazz (25-18) rallied back from a 16-point third quarter deficit before the Rockets ultimately pulled away for good with 2:35 left.

Five Rockets scored in double-figures, led by Rafer Alston's 23 points. Von Wafer added 21.

The Jazz were led by Deron Williams' 32 points and 11 assists. Paul Millsap continued his campaign for the league's Most Improved Player Award with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Wafer is one of eight second-round picks from the 2005 Draft to make their mark in the NBA. The others are Brandon Bass, C.J. Miles, Ronny Turiaf, Monta Ellis, Louis Williams, Andray Blatche, Ryan Gomes, and Amir Johnson. Even Marcin Gortat has had a chance to contribute for the Orlando Magic this year.

By comparison, only four second-round picks from the 2004 Draft are still in the league.

The Big Houdini

The New York Knicks rallied from a four-point halftime deficit in helping head coach Mike D'Antoni defeat his old team, the Phoenix Suns, 114-109.

David Lee led the way for the Knicks (17-24) with 25 points and 16 rebounds. Five other Knicks scored in double figures.

Shaquille O'Neal scored 18 points in the first half but was held in check in the second half, scoring only three points. Shaq is shooting a career-best 62 percent from the free-throw line this season, but missed eight of his 13 attempts from the charity stripe on Wednesday night.

The Suns (23-17) were led by Jason Richardson's 27 points. Steve Nash scored only nine points but he had 19 assists in the losing effort.


  • Chris Paul scored 29 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and had eight assists in helping the New Orleans Hornets defeat the visiting New Jersey Nets, 102-92.

  • The Milwaukee Bucks got 32 points from Charlie Villanueva and 27 points from Michael Redd in their 133-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. The Bucks outscored the Mavericks 69-41 in the second half. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 30.

  • Antawn Jamison had 33 points and Caron Butler scored 32 in leading the Washington Wizards over the Sacramento Kings, 110-107. John Salmons and Beno Udrih each scored 24 for Sacramento.

  • Jeff Green hit a 16-foot turnaround jumper as time expired to give the Oklahoma City Thunder a 122-121 victory over the Golden State Warriors. The trio of Green, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook, combined to score 83 points. Stephen Jackson scored 29 to lead the Warriors.

  • The Charlotte Bobcats got their sixth win in their last nine games, defeating the visiting Memphis Grizzlies, 101-86. Raja Bell scored 25 points for the second straight game. Rudy Gay led Memphis with 26 points but he also committed a team-high seven turnovers.

    For more from this Bleacher Report writer, click here.

  • Author: Fox Sports
    Author's Website:
    Added: January 22, 2009


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