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Premium Article Around the Rim (12/09)

December 9, 2010
PBP Roundup
Dec. 8

by Bradford Doolittle

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Read on for details on an 11-game smorgasbord in the league.

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LIVE AT BASKETBALL PROSPECTUS

1. Growing Pains: Disappointing Rookies. Kevin Pelton looks at the first-year players that so far have fallen short of expectations.(premium)

2. One-and-done's a really small bargaining chip. (Unfiltered)

3. Toasts of NYC: KU, Syracuse Cruise. (Free preview)

4. Poll Position: Rise of the Aztec Empire. (premium)

5. Cream of the Crop: Is Record vs. Winning Teams Meaningful?. (premium)

6. The Replacements. A look at big nights from little-used Ian Mahimni and Patty Mills. (Unfiltered)

7. Kevin Pelton, our resident expert on hoops in the northwest, breaks down Washington's win over Portland--college style. (free preview)

8. Sebastian Pruiti breaks down the Pacers' breakout season using video, text and all sorts of tricks. (premium)

9. The latest Trend Watch looks at the Lakers' slump, Wesley Matthews' ascension and the history of point guard scoring. (premium)

10. Why are so interested in the North Carolina Tar Heels? (Unfiltered)

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FANTASY PROJECTIONS

Our downloadable Basketball Fantasy Projection spreadsheets are available for anyone with a premium subscription to Basketball Prospectus. The sheet is updated daily and can be found on your 'Manage Profile' page. The download includes a forecast for the next seven days for every player, game-by-game projections and health status updates.

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UPCOMING CHATS

Basketball Prospectus authors will be taking your questions. All chats begin at 1 p.m. EST on the day listed, but you can go in and submit a question now if you like.

Dec. 16: Kevin Pelton

Dec. 29: Bradford Doolittle

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HOT FIVES

POWER RATING (POW)        GR (12/06/10)          WP82 -- ALL              WP82 -- ROOKIES
celtics,boston, 64.9      williams,deron, 44.1   james,lebron, 25.2       griffin,blake, 16.4
mavericks,dallas, 61.7    williams,reggie, 40.4  williams,deron, 23.4     wall,john, 9.1
spurs,sanantonio, 61.0    durant,kevin, 40.1     bryant,kobe, 21.8        bledsoe,eric, 3.8
heat,miami, 57.7          james,lebron, 39.2     ellis,monta, 19.3        fields,landry, 3.1
hornets,neworleans, 56.3  love,kevin, 34.9       westbrook,russell, 18.9  cousins,demarcus, 3.0
Note: GR leaders are from previous night only.

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WEDNESDAY'S BOX SCORES & RECAPS

NOTE: Glossary is at bottom of page.

CELTICS 105, NUGGETS 89 (box): The Celtics have been NBAPET's top-rated team for awhile now, and they've done it with Rajon Rondo functioning at less than full capacity because of his battle with plantar faciitis. Rondo has missed four games overall and has played hurt in several others and there have been whispers that he may be held out for an extended period of time to let the injury heal. That's really all you can do about that particular malady. In the meantime, Boston continues to build up an early-season buffer as it has the last couple of years with a fast start. However, it seems like the Celtics would be pushing their luck to let up on the accelerator and drop down the seeding ladder, as happened last year. The quality of the teams around them in the upper crust of the conference standings are too good to hope for a repeat of last year's run to the Finals from the four-seed. It'll be interesting to see how Doc Rivers manages his team's health situation with the need to win games this time around.

DEN (13-8)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   BOS (17-4)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
lawson,ty            70%  26%  1.26  + 4 28.8   pierce,paul          77%  24%  0.87  +23 21.3
smith,j.r.           55%  34%  0.76  - 5 15.1   allen,ray            74%  25%  1.41  +27 19.7
hilario,nene         74%  15%  1.00  -21 13.7   davis,glen           55%  27%  0.95  + 9 18.6
billups,chauncey     69%  15%  0.74  -21  9.7   rondo,rajon          63%  12%  1.59  +20 16.6
afflalo,arron        70%  14%  1.39  -16  9.2   garnett,kevin        64%  14%  1.83  +21 11.3
forbes,gary          41%  17%  0.74  - 7  6.1   o'neal,shaquille     44%  19%  0.99  + 3  9.0
harrington,al        67%  22%  0.52  + 1  5.2   erden,semih          28%   8%  1.56  + 2  4.5
williams,shelden     31%  21%  0.75  -22  4.5   robinson,nate        37%  23%  0.86  - 4  4.2
ely,melvin           23%   3%  0.03  + 7  0.0   harangody,luke        5%  18%  2.12  - 3  1.6
anthony,carmelo (DNP)                           wafer,von            13%  47%  0.25  - 6  1.1
balkman,renaldo (DNP)                           daniels,marquis      36%   7%  0.41  - 9  0.9
carter,anthony (DNP)                            bradley,avery         4%  22%  0.35  - 3  0.3
PACE: 96.4          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 96.4          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
nuggets,denver      92.3 .462  .116 .187 .114   celtics,boston     108.9 .588  .121 .197 .164

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BULLS 88, CAVALIERS 83 (box): The Bulls had a hard time maintaining their intensity in this one, at times looking like they were on the verge of blowing out Cleveland only to let the Cavs creep back into the contest. Then, in the third quarter, Cleveland got hot from three-point range and entered the last quarter with an eight-point lead. As well as the Bulls have played this year, they haven't yet been able to put together an prolonged winning streak, and a loss to the slumping Cavs would have been a buzz kill. Happily for Bulls fans, Kyle Korver scored all 12 of his points in the first half of the final period, igniting a stagnant offense, and Derrick Rose went to work down the stretch. Chicago's cause was aided by some horrific shot selection by Cleveland guards Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson in the last quarter--a seemingly endless barrage of contested three-pointers early in the shot clock, most of them missing badly. They combined to go 1-of-6 from beyond the arc in the last quarter and the only make came when Williams clanked one off the backboard, but banked it in. Didn't call that one, Mo. On "Seinfeld" they only referred to George's "chukking" and never actually showed it. This is what it must have looked like.

CHI (12-8)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   CLE (7-15)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
rose,derrick         79%  35%  1.18  + 3 32.5   jamison,antawn       71%  32%  0.93  - 2 24.3
korver,kyle          46%  24%  1.08  + 5 13.5   gibson,daniel        78%  27%  0.87  - 5 21.1
deng,luol            89%  15%  1.17  + 6 13.1   varejao,anderson     78%  13%  1.61  - 9 13.3
brewer,ronnie        61%  15%  1.44  +20 11.6   williams,maurice     79%  25%  1.01  - 3 11.4
noah,joakim          78%  21%  0.88  +10  9.6   parker,anthony       69%   8%  2.14  -10 10.5
gibson,taj           44%   7%  1.43  + 7  6.9   harris,manny         44%  19%  1.04  - 2  8.9
watson,c.j.          34%  10%  1.40  - 4  4.7   williams,jawad       41%  13%  0.87  + 2  2.5
boozer,carlos        43%  15%  0.71  -13  3.5   hickson,j.j.         19%  19%  0.09    0  0.4
asik,omer             9%  43%  0.44  - 5  2.4   hollins,ryan         22%   7%  0.04  + 4  0.0
bogans,keith         18%  16%  0.13  - 4  0.3   graham,joey (DNP)
johnson,james (DNP)                             powe,leon (DNP)
thomas,kurt (DNP)                               sessions,ramon (DNP)
PACE: 89.6          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 89.6          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
bulls,chicago       98.2 .487  .238 .179 .098   cavaliers,cleveland 92.6 .444  .244 .179 .088

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KNICKS 113, RAPTORS 110 (box): The Knicks' sixth straight win, and 11th in 12 outings, didn't come easy. Ray Felton's three with 2.7 seconds left provided the winning margin, and Andrea Bargnani missed a 29-footer at the buzzer for the Raptors, who continue to play competitive basketball. NBAPET favored the Knicks by 11 in this one and the system has favored New York in 11 of the 12 games in this current stretch. The lone exception was the Dec. 3 win over the favored Hornets in New Orleans. The Knicks were actually favored in their home loss to Atlanta on Nov. 27. This means that the Knicks' schedule has been exceedingly favorable. There is a ton of buzz going around about New York right now, but I must again sound a note of caution. NBAPET is built to be forward-looking, ie., it's callibrated to determine which teams will fare best in the postseason. It does this by making a litany of adjustments to a team's results and calculating a "true talent" level for that team. At this point in the season, it's early enough that NBAPET is probably over-penalizing New York for its No. 29 ranking in strength of schedule. However, even though the Knicks are on pace for 50 wins, the system sees them as a 39-win outfit. Just sayin'.

TOR (8-14)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   NYK (14-9)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
bargnani,andrea      82%  33%  1.41  - 8 33.4   felton,raymond       90%  26%  1.26  + 5 29.4
derozan,demar        71%  18%  1.27  - 1 18.7   gallinari,danilo     79%  20%  1.14  +14 27.3
kleiza,linas         62%  21%  0.65  + 6 13.9   chandler,wilson      84%  15%  1.14  + 3 20.5
calderon,jose        61%  20%  1.11  - 5 11.6   stoudemire,amare     89%  32%  1.03  + 6 19.5
barbosa,leandro      53%  14%  0.98  - 4  9.5   douglas,toney        46%  14%  1.08  - 2 10.9
bayless,jerryd       39%  19%  1.31  + 2  9.3   fields,landry        70%  13%  1.14  + 9  7.5
johnson,amir         40%  18%  0.73  - 2  7.1   turiaf,ronny         17%   8%  0.09  -10  0.2
weems,sonny          69%  12%  0.90  - 2  6.9   williams,shawne      24%   1%  0.00  -10  0.0
davis,ed             22%  11%  0.43  - 1  1.8   mason,roger (DNP)
dorsey,joey (DNP)                               mozgov,timofey (DNP)
stojakovic,peja (DNP)                           randolph,anthony (DNP)
wright,julian (DNP)                             walker,bill (DNP)
PACE: 98.1          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 98.1          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
raptors,toronto    112.2 .506  .182 .112 .139   knicks,newyork     115.2 .528  .261 .153 .099

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BUCKS 97, PACERS 95 (box): It's pretty simple for the Bucks. If they can score a point per possession, they have a pretty good chance to win. If they don't, then the losses pile up. Milwaukee is 6-4 this season when positing an Offensive Rating of 100.0 or better. The Bucks are 2-9 the rest of the time. Against Indiana, the Bucks reached that magical barrier despite a shooting performance that was horrific even by their standards. Their .378 eFG% marked the second straight game in which they've posted below a 38 percent success rate. They've fallen short of 40 percent eight times this season, and they've hit the league average (49.7 percent) in just five of 21 games. On Wednesday, the Bucks were able to compensate for the lousy shooting by dominating on the offesive glass and getting to the foul line.

IND (10-10)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   MIL (8-13)         PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
mcroberts,josh        52%   8%  2.52  + 8 19.5   bogut,andrew        78%  22%  1.01  + 1 24.7
granger,danny         78%  33%  0.97  + 4 18.8   jennings,brandon    71%  31%  1.00  + 5 22.9
collison,darren       67%  29%  0.82  + 1 14.8   salmons,john        84%  22%  0.96  - 1 19.1
posey,james           47%  12%  1.39  - 8 11.2   ilyasova,ersan      82%  18%  1.46  +12 15.0
dunleavy jr.,mike     62%  16%  1.15  + 4 11.1   mbahamoute,luc      66%   6%  2.17    0  8.5
hibbert,roy           65%  22%  0.84  + 1 11.0   dooling,keyon       29%  21%  1.01  - 3  6.5
rush,brandon          61%  18%  0.43  -12  8.0   maggette,corey      34%  19%  0.92  + 2  6.2
ford,t.j.             33%  14%  1.13  - 3  4.0   douglas-roberts,chr 16%   2%  3.13  + 3  2.0
foster,jeff           22%   3%  2.28  - 2  3.2   sanders,larry       32%  18%  0.27  - 6  1.3
jones,solomon         13%  23%  1.10  - 3  2.5   brockman,jon         5%  22%  0.00  - 1  0.0
hansbrough,tyler (DNP)   skinner,brian (DNP)
price,a.j. (DNP)   boykins,earl (DNP)
PACE: 91.3          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 91.3          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
pacers,indiana     104.0 .493  .139 .131 .149   bucks,milwaukee    106.2 .378  .373 .120 .193

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THUNDER 111, TIMBERWOLVES 103 (box): The battered T-Wolves went small with Darko Milicic out of the lineup. Kevin Love led a charge on the offensive glass that nearly made up for the lack of size in the interior and poor shooting, but the machine-like Thunder salted the game away with another near-perfect (25-of-27) performance from the foul line. Oklahoma City remains on pace to set a new league standard for free-throw precision.

OKC (15-8)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   MIN (5-17)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
durant,kevin         82%  36%  1.02  - 1 40.1   love,kevin           85%  29%  1.01  + 4 34.9
westbrook,russell    68%  36%  0.99  - 1 28.4   beasley,michael      68%  41%  0.76  -13 25.6
ibaka,serge          74%  11%  1.23  +13 13.8   brewer,corey         64%  18%  1.30  +14  9.9
sefolosha,thabo      62%  11%  1.90  + 7  8.2   pekovic,nikola       52%  21%  1.18  - 7  9.4
harden,james         51%  13%  1.39  + 5  6.2   ridnour,luke         75%   6%  2.18  + 9  9.2
green,jeff           56%  16%  0.96    0  6.1   johnson,wesley       89%   4%  2.03  -10  6.6
maynor,eric          33%  26%  0.93  +11  5.9   ellington,wayne      36%  16%  1.30  -15  6.5
collison,nick        48%   5%  2.28  +13  3.5   telfair,sebastian    25%  31%  0.67  -17  3.9
krstic,nenad         25%   7%  1.36  - 7  2.0   koufos,kosta          6%  17%  0.00  - 5  0.0
ivey,royal (DNP)                                gaines,sundiata (DNP)
mullens,byron (DNP)                             hayward,lazar (DNP)
white,d.j. (DNP)                                milicic,darko (DNP)
PACE: 97.1          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 97.1          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
thunder,oklacity   114.3 .558  .107 .154 .122   timberwolves,minn  106.1 .462  .278 .124 .118

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HORNETS 93, PISTONS 74 (box): After an 11-1 start, the Hornets had lost six of eight against a pretty gnarly set of opponents, so it did them some good to see the Pistons come to town. On the downside, Jarrett Jack shot just 2-of-9 off the bench for New Orleans. He's now 12-of-47 since coming to the team from Toronto.

DET (7-16)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   NWO (14-7)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
gordon,ben           60%  26%  1.31  - 9 17.4   paul,chris           61%  15%  1.90  +24 19.0
stuckey,rodney       73%  25%  0.81  -17 16.7   belinelli,marco      57%  24%  1.67  + 7 18.6
prince,tayshaun      49%  22%  0.54  - 9  9.9   okafor,emeka         59%  23%  1.08  +17 16.1
hamilton,richard     51%  28%  0.95  -14  9.7   west,david           63%  28%  1.38  +22 14.3
mcgrady,tracy        39%  11%  1.24  -15  8.9   ariza,trevor         61%  11%  0.92  +24  9.1
maxiell,jason        54%  15%  1.33  -16  7.8   pondexter,quincy     37%  19%  0.84  - 3  8.6
monroe,greg          46%  11%  0.95  - 3  4.9   smith,jason          49%   8%  1.29  + 1  7.2
wallace,ben          50%   1%  8.26  -13  3.2   andersen,david       29%  18%  1.03  - 2  6.3
daye,austin          42%  24%  0.31  - 5  2.8   jack,jarrett         45%  23%  0.56  + 3  5.6
villanueva,charlie   21%  28%  0.27  - 2  2.5   green,willie         38%  27%  0.83  + 2  5.2
wilcox,chris          7%  47%  0.68  + 4  2.2   ilungambenga,didier (DNP)
bynum,will            7%  13%  1.65  + 4  1.5   thornton,marcus (DNP)
PACE: 84.6          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 84.6          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
pistons,detroit     87.5 .400  .280 .154 .094   hornets,neworleans 110.0 .541  .118 .118 .109

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SPURS 111, WARRIORS 94 (box): The Spurs are a league-best 18-3 and have the NBA's top point differential (+9.3). Why then are they ranked just third in the NBAPET power rankings? It's a fair question. The answer, as it always is this early in the season, is the schedule. The Spurs' group of opponents so far gives them a No. 25 ranking in strength of schedule, and they've also played 12 of their 21 games at home. Also, San Antonio has gone 4-1 in close games, which pads their luck factor just a bit. None of this is to say that the Spurs aren't for real or aren't the league's best team. They've been terrific all season. It's just too soon to know exactly what they are and there isn't a whole lot to separate them from the other top teams in the NBA right now.

GSW (8-14)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   SAS (18-3)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
williams,reggie      74%  22%  2.00  - 1 40.4   parker,tony          57%  29%  1.33  +13 26.5
ellis,monta          91%  30%  0.73  -13 17.6   hill,george          56%  30%  1.09  +10 22.0
wright,dorell        84%  20%  0.97  -18 15.5   ginobili,manu        58%  23%  1.34  +21 16.9
lee,david            75%  20%  1.38  - 3 12.2   splitter,tiago       50%  20%  1.13  + 6 13.8
radmanovic,vladimir  34%   9%  3.02  + 1  7.2   duncan,tim           37%  20%  1.22  + 9 11.2
amundson,louis       45%  17%  0.75  -12  5.3   blair,dejuan         56%  18%  1.73  + 8  9.9
biedrins,andris      49%  10%  0.81  -10  3.6   jefferson,richard    56%  15%  1.29  +12  8.0
curry,stephen        23%  15%  0.53  -15  1.1   bonner,matt          57%   9%  1.95  +11  6.2
gadzuric,dan         12%   9%  0.74  - 4  0.5   neal,gary            33%  20%  1.21  - 3  4.1
lin,jeremy           10%   7%  0.83  - 7  0.4   quinn,chris           6%  16%  4.13  + 1  2.8
adrien,jeff           4%  26%  0.00  - 3  0.0   udoka,ime            33%   7%  0.91  - 3  1.2
bell,charlie (DNP)                              mcdyess,antonio (DNP)
PACE: 90.6          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 90.6          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
warriors,goldenst  103.7 .524  .295 .243 .053   spurs,sanantonio   122.5 .583  .238 .121 .087

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GRIZZLIES 104, SUNS 98, OT (box): The Grizzlies dropped an improbable game at Phoenix earlier this season when they allowed the Suns' Jason Richardson to score on a lob at the buzzer of regulation, sending the game into overtime. This time, Memphis blew a 15-point lead in the final quarter and were on the cusp of losing when Rudy Gay nailed a fall-away three at the buzzer, sending this game into an extra session. Once there, the Grizz took care of business, scoring 12 points on nine possessions and grabbing all four available rebounds. These Memphis-Phoenix games are becoming must-watch affairs.

MEM (9-14)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   PHX (11-11)         PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
randolph,zach        82%  26%  1.46  +18 25.5   turkoglu,hedo        44%  24%  1.56  +17 17.2
conley,mike          84%  18%  1.30  +14 23.0   dragic,goran         66%  25%  1.10  + 3 16.8
gay,rudy             91%  17%  1.37  + 4 22.1   nash,steve           58%  33%  0.78  - 9 14.2
arthur,darrell       56%  30%  0.78  -11 15.6   frye,channing        64%  11%  1.56  -16 13.6
henry,xavier         63%  17%  0.62  + 9 10.3   childress,josh       44%  15%  1.25  + 8 12.2
gasol,marc           50%  15%  0.92  +10  6.6   dudley,jared         54%  16%  1.17  + 9  9.3
mayo,o.j.            46%  12%  0.91  - 4  4.1   hill,grant           46%  13%  1.48  -24  8.9
vasquez,greivis      16%  16%  1.26  - 8  3.0   warrick,hakim        44%  12%  1.42  + 8  5.4
young,sam            13%  29%  0.49  - 2  1.2   richardson,jason     40%  30%  0.30  -16  4.5
allen,tony (DNP)   barron,earl        40%  13%  0.86  -10  2.9
carroll,demarre (DNP)   clark,earl (DNP)
thabeet,hasheem (DNP)   siler,garret (DNP)
PACE: 93.4          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 93.4          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
grizzlies,memphis  111.4 .506  .333 .182 .104   suns,phoenix       104.9 .460  .365 .171 .127

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HEAT 111, JAZZ 98 (box): This was the best I've seen Miami this year, and by winning on the home floor of an excellent Utah team, the Heat now have a signature win to call all its own. Miami has won six straight after reaching its nadir of 9-8, a mark which had everyone either in a panic or just offering up an "I told you so" nod. The smallest margin of victory in Miami's streak has been 10 points. It was just one game, but Miami kept going on runs when LeBron James went to the bench and Dwyane Wade was left to dominate the ball by himself. However, down the stretch, the duo both went to work, with a string of disruptive defensive possessions and breathtaking transition baskets. This is what Pat Riley had in mind.

MIA (15-8)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   UTA (16-7)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
james,lebron         82%  29%  1.52    0 39.2   williams,deron       88%  24%  1.28  -13 44.1
wade,dwyane          85%  25%  1.35  +18 25.6   millsap,paul         84%  18%  1.05    0 21.5
bosh,chris           81%  21%  0.87  +19 17.2   jefferson,al         86%  27%  1.14  -13 18.5
jones,james          33%  16%  1.58  + 8 12.6   bell,raja            79%  10%  1.48  + 5 10.5
ilgauskas,zydrunas   54%  18%  1.67  + 2 11.1   kirilenko,andrei     81%  17%  0.95  -15 10.1
chalmers,mario       53%  19%  1.04  +16 10.6   miles,c.j.           38%  34%  0.57  -14  5.5
dampier,erick        46%   3%  2.79  +11  6.7   watson,earl          12%   7%  1.99    0  1.4
howard,juwan         18%  20%  0.85  - 6  3.5   elson,francisco      23%  12%  0.01  - 9  0.0
arroyo,carlos        47%   6%  0.00  - 3  0.0   price,ronnie          9%   9%  0.00  - 6  0.0
anthony,joel (DNP)                              evans,jeremy (DNP)
house,eddie (DNP)                               fesenko,kyrylo (DNP)
magloire,jamaal (DNP)                           hayward,gordon (DNP)
PACE: 87.8          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 87.8          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
heat,miami         126.4 .569  .455 .171 .125   jazz,utah          111.6 .513  .270 .171 .135

---

KINGS 116, WIZARDS 91 (box): John Wall was actually introduced as a starter before the game, but then pulled himself from the lineup because of his problematic knee. Kirk Hinrich started in his place, but the Wizards played shell-shocked, with an erratic offensive performance that saw just 11 assists on 31 field goals. Meanwhile, Jason Thompson continues to play so well for the Kings that you can't help but wonder what Paul Westphal was thinking when he had him buried on the bench earlier this season.

WAS (6-15)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   SAC (5-15)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
arenas,gilbert       84%  26%  0.85  -31 26.2   thompson,jason       80%  18%  1.53  +45 31.2
thornton,al          68%  21%  1.05  -12 15.8   casspi,omri          52%  30%  0.90  +17 21.2
hinrich,kirk         77%  18%  1.35  -21 14.8   udrih,beno           54%  30%  1.59  +20 17.0
mcgee,javale         60%  17%  1.18  + 3 11.0   evans,tyreke         55%  17%  1.19  +29 12.7
martin,cartier       20%  26%  1.32  + 6  6.5   jeter,pooh           56%  12%  2.64  +21 12.0
seraphin,kevin       33%  27%  0.53  -16  6.2   greene,donte         58%  18%  1.18  + 1  8.2
jianlian,yi          28%  32%  0.35  - 6  5.8   cousins,demarcus     48%  24%  0.75  - 5  6.1
booker,trevor        62%   3%  2.78  -16  4.9   garcia,francisco     22%  15%  0.99  -14  5.1
young,nick           54%  18%  0.32  - 8  4.5   jackson,darnell      32%  12%  1.41  +15  4.9
gee,alonzo            7%  24%  0.15  -12  0.2   head,luther          14%  26%  0.94  - 6  3.1
armstrong,hilton      7%  14%  0.00  -12  0.0   landry,carl          30%   9%  0.23  + 2  0.9
wall,john (DNP)                                 dalembert,samuel (DNP)
PACE: 94.8          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 94.8          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
wizards,washington   96.0 .447 .289 .253 .158   kings,sacramento   122.4 .590  .410 .200 .111

---

LAKERS 87, CLIPPERS 86 (box): Come on, throw the Clippers fans--a decided minority in what was actually a "home" game--a bone. The Clips built a nice lead, lost it, then re-established a working advantage going down the stretch. Eric Gordon's free throw with 1:14 remaining put L.A. up 84-79. But then Pau Gasol hit a jumper and Kobe Bryant hit a pair--both coming off of Gordon turnovers. The Clippers went back ahead when Gordon got into the paint and found DeAndre Jordan along the baseline for a stuff. Bryant ran the clock down on the last possession and Gordon fouled him when he made a move and just 3.1 seconds remaining. The Clippers had a foul to give, however, so it looked like a great play. Only Gordon's reaction suggested that he didn't know there was a foul to give--he was pissed. So the Lakers called timeout and set up a play for Kobe. The Clips denied him the ball and you could see him drop his arms, visibly annoyed that he didn't get the inbounds pass, which instead went to Derek Fisher on the weakside. Fisher drove and threw up a runner just a millisecond before the clock expired. And, since we're talking Lakers-Clippers here, I almost don't have to tell you that the ball banked in at the buzzer.

LAL (16-6)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   LAC (5-18)          PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
bryant,kobe          64%  33%  1.08  - 3 20.8   griffin,blake        70%  33%  0.72  -10 19.1
brown,shannon        36%  27%  1.88  + 4 13.6   gordon,eric          72%  29%  1.20  + 5 18.6
gasol,pau            83%  19%  0.85  + 2 12.3   bledsoe,eric         72%  14%  1.42  + 5 12.5
odom,lamar           72%  15%  0.75  - 2 10.4   jordan,deandre       71%  10%  1.41  - 7 12.0
barnes,matt          51%  20%  0.96    0  8.5   aminu,alfarouq       45%  18%  1.00  + 1  9.6
blake,steve          49%  19%  0.70  - 7  7.9   smith,craig          32%  26%  0.90  + 8  6.0
artest,ron           72%  15%  0.61  + 6  7.8   davis,baron          28%  19%  1.00  - 6  5.4
fisher,derek         51%  12%  1.05  + 8  6.3   butler,rasual        29%  26%  1.17  - 4  4.4
walton,luke          16%  17%  1.47  - 4  4.3   gomes,ryan           61%  11%  1.18  - 6  4.0
caracter,derrick      5%  15%  1.24  + 1  1.1   collins,jarron       21%   2%  1.80  + 9  0.5
ebanks,devin (DNP)                              cook,brian (DNP)
vujacic,sasha (DNP)                             warren,willie (DNP)
PACE: 93.5          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 93.5          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
lakers,losangeles   93.1 .469  .133 .182 .089   clippers,losangele  92.0 .456  .283 .214 .089

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FAB FIVE

A selection of our favorite NBA links

1. Guard Stephen Curry turned his ankle yet again in Golden State's game at San Antonio on Wednesday and while x-rays didn't reveal a fracture, it's possible the second-year player could be out a while. Anybody that has sprained an ankle knows how easy it is to re-injure once those ligaments get stretched out.

2. Apparently Rashad McCants is tired of getting passed over by the NBA, because it looks like he's leaving the D-League and heading overseas.

3. The league suspended Andre Miller for his hard foul on Blake Griffin the other night, snapping his consecutive games streak at 632, and he's not happy about it.

4. The success of Kevin Love has at least one scribe re-thinking the Kevin McHale era in Minnesota.

5. The Lakers' Ron Artest is contemplating giving away his entire salary next season, but also gets in a nice shot at the tax rates in southern California.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ON TAP

Tonight in the NBA

WTC  VIS @ HOM,  GAMETIME     NBAPET LINE    OFFICIALS
+ 9  bos @ phi,  8:00 PM EST [ bos by  7 ]   Ken Mauer, Scott Wall, Leon Wood
+ 7  orl @ por, 10:30 PM EST [ orl by  6 ]   Marc Davis, Eric Dalen, David Guthrie
- 3  njn @ dal,  8:30 PM EST [ dal by 17 ]   Bill Kennedy, Mark Lindsay, Zach Zarba
Note: WTC is a junk stat rating the "watchability" of a game, taking into
account the quality of the opponents and the likelihood of a close game.

Through Wednesday, 325 of 1,230 games (26.4%) have been played in the 2010-11 NBA regular season.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GLOSSARY
+/- (Plus-Minus) Raw data is from official box scores from NBA.com.
GR (Game Rating) Reflects a player's Points Created total, or the portion of his team's offense for which he gets credit based on his box score line. This number is then adjusted for estimated defensive performance based on box score counterpart productivity. GR is pace-adjusted so you can compare players from game to game.
PCP (Points Created Per Possession Used) An estimate of each player's points created per possession used, a measure of offensive efficiency. The stat accounts for a player's entire box score line, not just the scoring categories.
PLY% (Play percentage) An estimate of the percentage of a team's possessions on which the player was on the court.
USG An estimate of how many of those plays a player used by shooting, going to the line or committing a turnover, with a portion the team's offensive rebound total subtracted.
TEAM STATS
PACE: Estimated possessions in the game.
ORTG: A team's points per 100 possessions.
eFG%: Team's shooting percentage with an extra half-point added for each made three-point field goal.
oRB%: Percentage of a team's misses that they retrieved off the offensive glass.
TO%: Percentage of at team's possessions resulting in a turnover.
FTA%: Percentage of a team's possessions resulting in a trip to the foul line.

You can follow Bradford on Twitter at twitter.com/@bbdoolittle.

The 2010-11 Pro Basketball Prospectus is now available in paperback form on Amazon.com. For sample chapters and more information, see our book page.

Bradford Doolittle is an author of Basketball Prospectus. You can contact Bradford by clicking here or click here to see Bradford's other articles.

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