Who wants to be a coach? These guys do. Spoelstra, Skiles, Adelman, Frank, Porter, McHale, DiLeo and Brooks are having varying success with their teams. Let's see how well they are doing.
Heat 95, Hawks 79
The Hawks experienced a first-half beat down that was the worst in team history. In a 15-turnover first half, the Hawks scored just 27 points. Even the Antoine Walker 13-win team of 2004-5 didn't do that.
- Williams' 43 carry Cavs past Kings
- Pietrus, Magic shoot down Pacers
- Nuggets hand Grizz 10th straight loss
- Spurs surge past Jazz in Utah
- Bobcats outlast Lakers in two OTs
- Hill: Blockbusters that backfired
- Rosen: Celtics' D in fine form
- Hill: Assessing the new coaches
- Galinsky: NBA Power Rankings
- Mo Williams goes off for Cavs
Suns 103, Wizards 87
Call him the center of attention. The Suns are a team torn between two playing styles. With Shaq making a case for playing slow-down, half-court ball, some say the Suns are setting in the West. Is Amare Stoudemire ungrateful for getting the chance to deal from power forward, his natural position? As it was in Dallas, Steve Nash looks far more human and underutilized when the game slows down.
It is Terry Porter's dilemma. While I was open to seeing how this could work out when Shaq arrived, the question of vastly differing styles was obvious.
Shaq bullied up on Andray Blatche for 29 points, and says he is in his best shape in two years. The Suns went 3-3 on a long road trip. Nash was classic Nash in this game with 15 assists. Amare added 22 points. Leandro Barbosa drained 23 points off the bench
It is the Butler (28 pts.) and Jamison Show (27 pts.) for Washington fans. In fairness, Blatche is learning to be more consistent and the Wiz were actually up by one point when he was in the game.
The Wizards just can't wait for this season to end. Butler finally learned how to pass the ball again recently. He had a spell around mid-January with two assists total in three games.
Knicks 104, Rockets 98
The Yao Ming-less Rockets (sore right knee) started Luis Scola at center, who provided a double-double (16 pts./14 boards). But the Rockets could not keep the Knicks out of the middle, where they scored 48 points to Houston's 34. The Knicks had 14 fast break points to the Rockets' five.
Versatile Knick forward Wilson Chandler was demoted from the starting lineup and responded with a solid game. He made a big 3-pointer with about two minutes left to give the Knicks the lead for good at 97-96. He contributed 18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 28 minutes. Reserve guard Nate Robinson has found the range recently and led the Knicks with 19 points. Chris Duhon has proved himself to a credible starting point guard this year and added 12 points and 11 assists.
M.A.S.H. brothers Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest both played, but not very well, as they shot a combined 11 of 39 from the field for 31 points. Coach Rick Adelman has done as well as can be expected with this team considering the ever present injuries to his three stars. Visions of competing for a championship seem remote at this time.
Hornets 101, 76ers 86
Sixer coach Tony Dileo's dilemma is the same as the Suns' Terry Porter's.
Even without David West and Tyson Chandler, the Hornets had enough to take down the visiting Sixers. Philly has Elton Brand back and is trying to figure out how to incorporate him into its offense. It is a similar problem to the Suns. Half-court big man on a running team. What is a coach to do? Many, including myself, thought this would be a good fit. Time will tell.
The league's best point guard, Chris Paul, had a triple double while three Hornet starters (Butler, Armstrong, Stojakovic) had zero assists. I don't know if I've ever seen that before.
Philadelphia was led by Thaddeus Young with 22 points, and Andre Miller with 19.
Thunder 94, Nets 85
OKC Coach Scott Brooks is getting results. Net Coach Larry Frank is not.
The Nets have lost 7 of 9, and once again the team's two main players didn't bring it. Coach Larry Frank has been highly criticized by some for his benching of Vince Carter and Devin Harris in a putrid showing against the Celtics on Jan. 15.
It was deja vu all over again, as Harris and Carter brought little, shot 6 of 29 and finished on the pine. The Nets bench players made a fourth quarter run to close an unforgivable 30 point deficit to a 9-win team to seven points in the final minute. The Nets role players caused the Thunder to put Kevin Durant back on the floor with a 31-12 pounding in the last period.
I don't know what is wrong in the swampland, but if it's a Vince Carter let down, many expected that from the start. He has been quite the team leader for much of the season from what I read. Closer evaluation required.
Nenad Krystic has keyed the Thunder's turnaround. They are a remarkable 7-6 since the deft shooting 7-foot Yugoslavian center joined the team.
Second year star-in-the-making Kevin Durant led a balanced Thunder attack with 18 points, while rookie 7-foot center Brook Lopez led the Nets with 18 points.
For more from this Bleacher Report writer, click here.