I'm still going back-and-forth on whether or not to compose a post delineating what I'm for and what I'm against regarding the 2006-07 NBA season. My pre-season posts may make all that clear, but a one-stop clearinghouse for all my predictions and predilections may prove useful to friend and foe alike.
I'll start with a game I watched.
Philadelphia 103 Phoenix 100 (Cologne, Germany)
Amare Stoudemire (6 pts, 6 reb, 4 PF, 5 TO in 17 minutes) does not look like his pre-microfracture self. Paul Coro in The Arizona Republic reports Stoudemire grading himself as "85 percent healthy." If that's true, we won't ever see the promise of Stoudemire's 2004-05 season fulfilled.
Orlando 109 Charlotte 90
Adam Morrison offered no surprises on his debut. He scored 19 points on 14 shots and made no other contributions (one defensive rebound, no assists, no steals, and no blocks).
Boston 109 Cleveland 93
One thing a for-and-against would make clear is that I'm not against Bassy, I just think Rajon Rondo is a better basketball player. After one game that doesn't count for anything, I appear to be right. Rondo played well in Cleveland last night, shooting 3-7 from the floor, 5-6 from the line, with 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals, and just one turnover. Telfair managed to negate the value of unexpectedly scoring 12 points (4-6 from the floor, 4-9 from the line) by adding a single rebound and a single assist while turning the ball over 5 times and committing 3 fouls.
The box score linked above has Rondo playing 35 minutes and Telfair just 10, but according to that box the Celtics as a whole only played fewer than 200 minutes last night which I consider unlikely.
Dallas 81 New Orleans/OKC 84
The supposition that Chris Paul is talented enough to make Tyson Chandler into an offensive threat took a hit last night. Chandler attempted one field goal (he made it) and two free throws (he made one) in 21 minutes.
Cedric Simmons and Hilton Armstrong both struggled, but promising backup power forward Brandon Bass went for 8 and 8 with 2 blocked shots in 24 minutes.
Memphis 75 Houston 69
The score indicates a prematurely micro-managed game from Coaches Fratello and J. Van Gundy, but it was played at a faster pace than either team averaged last year in the games that counted. The teams combined for 49 turnovers, 87 missed field goals, and 64% free throw shooting.
Rudy Gay, perhaps overreacting to long-standing criticism about his perceived passivity, attempted 18 shots in 23 minutes (approximate), making 5.
Three of the candidates to join Rafer Alston in the Houston guard rotation played (Luther Head and Bonzi Wells did not) with none of the three making a strong case for minutes that count. Little John Lucas went 2-11 from the floor with two assists and one turnover. Kirk Snyder started, shooting 2-7 from the floor, missing both free throws, and grabbing a single offensive rebound. Vassilis Spanoulis was 2-6 from the floor, missed all four of his three-point attempts, and turned the ball over five times. I think it's unlikely that any of those guys made up for it on the defensive end, either.
Detroit 84 Miami 64 (San Juan, PR)
Per Will Miami Win 50 Games?, I present the Heat bench from last night, in order of minutes played: Dorrell Wright, Wayne Simien, Jason Kapono, Antonio Burks, Earl Barron, Michael Doleac, and Chris Quinn. In 119 minutes (approximate) they combined to score 36 points on 42 field goal and 7 free throw attempts.