Archive for December 19th, 2008

Jason Kidd visits the Nets tonight

Tonight in New Jersey the Nets host Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks. It’s Kidd’s first game in New Jersey since the team traded him to the Mavericks.

Kidd will be up against the point guard he was traded for, Devin Harris.

With 12 wins and 12 losses, the Nets are doing better than expected this season. And with averages of 23.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists, the super-quick Harris is turning out to be a better player than many thought.

Harris isn’t a pure point guard, though. He’s a combo guard. Or a scoring point guard. Whatever term you like, that’s him. But his playmaking ability is improving and he’s more comfortable running the show than he was when first coming to the team last year.

Kidd is still a do-it-all, true point guard who this season is averaging just 9.3 points but he continues to fill the rest of the stat-sheet, putting up a fantastic 6.4 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 2.42 steals per game.

Jason is also having his best season ever from three-point range, hitting 40.6% of his threes. His career average is 33.8%. And his best season ever was with Phoenix in 1996-07 when he nailed 40.0% from outside the arc.

Despite Kidd’s success, the Mavericks have 14 wins and 10 losses, and haven’t been as good as hoped. But, it’s still early. The Mavericks are under a new coach, using a new system, and relying on Kidd’s playmaking ability more this year than they did when first acquiring him. While early indications are that Dallas is good, sometimes very good, but not great, I’m going to reserve full judgment until probably early or mid January.

I was going to go cover the Nets-Mavericks game tonight but the massive snowstorm hitting the area right now may prevent me from making it. But if not, I’ll definitely catch it on TV tonight. Seeing Kidd and Harris go at it should be a treat.

–Jeff

Dec 18: Blazers 124, Suns 119

The AP reports: Brandon Roy kept scoring until the Portland Trail Blazers had finally finished off the Phoenix Suns. Roy scored a career-high 52 points, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:01 left, in Portland’s 124-119 comeback victory over Thursday night… Roy was 14-of-27 from the field and 19-of-21 at the line. He topped his career high of 38 set last Friday night in a double-overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, and ended up two points short of the franchise record of 54 set by Damon Stoudamire against New Orleans on Jan. 14, 2005… Blazers guard Steve Blake matched his season high with 22 points and added 10 assists, and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter to help Portland improve to 17-10. With the victory, Portland ended an 11-game losing streak to Phoenix dating to March 12, 2006. Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 23 points, Matt Barnes added 22, Shaquille O’Neal had 19, and Steve Nash finished with 15 points and 11 assists.

Dec 18: Magic 90, Spurs 78

The AP reports: Dwight Howard came back Thursday night to help the Orlando Magic take yet another step in their bid to join the NBA’s elite teams. Howard had 14 points and 13 rebounds after missing two games because of a sore knee, and Jameer Nelson scored 24 points in the Magic’s 90-78 victory over perennial Western Conference contender San Antonio… Rashard Lewis added 15 points, and Hedo Turkoglu had 11. Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 19 points. The Spurs, down by 23 in the third quarter, used a 13-4 run to draw within six in the fourth quarter, but Nelson hit back-to-back baskets to give the Magic a cushion. Nelson scored 21 of his points in the second half… The Spurs shot poorly in the first half. San Antonio made only 28 percent of its shots. Guard Tony Parker made only one of 10 shots, and Duncan was 2-of-7.

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