The NBA: Almost Is Never Enough

Erik Spoelstra was bailed out by Dwyane Wade's game-winner
as the Heat escaped a tough Bobcats team.

*All images by the Associated Press. 

The Charlotte Bobcats looked good for one half, and then they melted under the pressure of the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh finally had a good game, and Dwyane Wade came up big (what else is new?) in the dying seconds. He’s still the leader of this team, even if LeBron is the one filling up the sheets. Joining Miami at 3-0 are the Oklahoma City Thunder, who defeated the Memphis Grizzlies. Also undefeated are the Indiana Pacers after disposing of the Raptors. Atlanta also got win #2 at the expense of the Wizards. In the meantime, Brandon Knight got the better of Kyrie Irving, but the Cavs beat the Pistons. The Clips and the Knicks got ambushed by the Spurs and Warriors respectively. Phoenix lost its home opener to the Sixers, and, yes, Boston is still winless thanks to the Hornets.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

IND over TOR, 90-85 – Danny Granger makes his presence felt! That’s one of my Fantasy keepers right there!
MIA over CHA, 96-95 – Damn. Almost beating the Heat is still NOT the same as beating the Heat.
ATL over WAS, 101-83 – Marvin Williams with his second straight good game. Pick him up!
CLE over DET, 105-89 – Kyrie Irving shows some flashes of the future.
OKC over MEM, 98-95 – Durant’s third straight 30+ game.
NOH over BOS, 97-78 – They’re missing Paul Pierce.
SAS over LAC, 115-90 – The torch hasn’t been passed, YET.
PHI over PHX, 103-83 – Something ain’t right when Ronnie Price is the Suns’ best player.
DEN over UTA, 117-100 – Nene justifies his new contract by outplaying Al Jefferson.
GSW over NYK, 92-78 – Tyson Chandler still hasn’t really made his presence felt.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
LeBron James (MIA) – 35
Kevin Durant (OKC) – 32
Blake Griffin (LAC) – 28
Nene (DEN), Chris Bosh (MIA), & Ben Gordon (DET) - 25

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Boris Diaw (CHA) – 16
Zach Randolph (MEM), Marc Gasol (MEM), Javale McGee (WAS) & Rudy Gay (MEM) - 12

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Darren Collison (IND) & Andre Miller (DEN) – 12
Jarrett Jack (NOH), Tony Parker (SAS) & Chris Paul (LAC) - 9

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
James Johnson (TOR) – 6
Andre Iguodala (PHI) & Al Harrington (GSW) - 4

James Johnson gets held up, but he also held up
the Pacers with 6 steals.

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Greg Stiemsma (BOS) – 6
Emeka Okafor (NOH) – 5
Chris Kaman (NOH), DJ White (CHA), DeAndre Jordan (LAC), Serge Ibaka (OKC) & Shane Battier (MIA) - 3

Greg Stiemsma victimizes Trevor Ariza in
one of his 6 blocks in the game.

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Manu GInobili (SAS) – 5
Ben Gordon (DET), Joe Johnson (ATL), Paul George (IND) & Ray Allen (BOS) – 4

Manu Ginobili rifles one of his 5 triples over Chauncey Billups.

Dec. 28, 2011 First Five
C – Nene (DEN) – 25pts, 7rebs, 3stls, 2asts & 2blks
F – Boris Diaw (CHA) – 16pts, 16rebs, 8asts, 1stl & 1 blk
F – Kevin Durant (OKC) – 32pts, 8rebs, 3asts & 2blks
G – LeBron James (MIA) – 35pts, 7asts, 6rebs, 3stls & 2blks
G – Manu Ginobili (SAS) – 24pts, 6asts, 5 triples, 3rebs & 1stl

Nene was the night's best big man.

Honorable Mention:
Blake Griffin (LAC) – 28pts, 9rebs & 2asts
Jarrett Jack (NOH) – 21pts, 9asts, 4rebs, 2blks & 1stl
Brandon Knight (DET) – 23pts, 6asts, 3 triples, 2stls & 1reb

For a full summary of the day, here’s today’s NBA Daily Zap:

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