November 1, 2007

A night of firsts

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

A few things happened for the first time in the NBA last night, some were expected while some, well not so much.

For the first time in his career, Lebron James failed to score in the entire first half last night against the Dallas Mavericks. Lebron would go on to shoot 2-for-11 from the field, ending up with a pithy ten points. Now, everyone shouldn’t panic yet and remember a) Lebron had a busy summer. b) He was facing the team who had the best record in the NBA last season and c) Cavaliers management didn’t improve this team at all so now teams know that if they can stop James, they’ve pretty much got a great shot at winning. Then, we should also be reminded that Lebron can coast for a half of a season, then lead his team into the playoffs. But, that may be harder with the way the East improved in the off-season.

Kevin Durant played in the first game of his career when the SuperSonics visited the Denver Nuggets last night. Durant shot a lousy 7-of-22 for 18 points in a 120-103 loss. He still plays the way a college player would, jacking up shots whenever he thinks he’s open and last night he showed that if he continues this, he’s not going to be incredibly successful. He also finished the game with five rebounds and three assists.

On the Kobe-trade front, he’s now said that he would not waive his no-trade clause if a deal sending him to Chicago includes Loul Deng. This shows that Kobe realizes that Deng is one of the upcoming and coming stars of the game and if the two get to play together, the Bulls will be scary-deadly.

Also, an apparent three-team deal has died that would’ve sent Kobe to Chicago, Ron Artest and Ben Wallace to Los Angeles while Ben Gordon would’ve ended up in Sacramento. I like this deal except for Sacramento’s end; they would have Kevin Martin and Ben Gordon creating a traffic jam at shooting guard while losing their starting small forward.

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