Apologies for not having a legit recap up yesterday regarding the Thunder loss. I'm home for the holidays and prior obligations got in the way. Let's do a little shootaround the interwebz to dust off the cobwebs before tonight's big showdown with the Lakers.
Rodney Stuckey had a quality production against the Thunder (season-high 31 points), but the same criticisms keep resurfacing and that's an indication that he's not learning from his mistakes. Even John Kuester is starting to take notice of these things. 31 points sounds sexy, but Stuckey is trying to do too much at times and needs to learn to help his teammates generate offense, too. (H/T to Need4Sheed)
A lot of Stuckey trying to do too much is probably due to the fact he feels he has to make up for the injured 'stons. He might get a little help on Sunday, as Ben Gordon is questionable for the Lakers game. Tayshaun Prince (back) and Richard Hamilton (hamstring), however, will be out. It'd be nice to start seeing an increase in production from Will Bynum, as well. He started to get back on track Friday night (6-9 for 12 points).
During pre-game, George Blaha was raving about the Oklahoma City crowd. I remember thinking, how loud can they possibly be? But man, were they ever loud. I wasn't the only one who noticed, either. That's a huge home court advantage, especially when they start winning consistently. They have the young talent to do so, and soon.
Charlie Villanueva injured his right heel on Friday, an injury he said he's been dealing with for a few games. He will play against the Lakers, but he says he'll have to keep a close eye on this one. Just what the Pistons need is another injury to one of its top scorers.
The Chucky Atkins story is a nice one. He's overcome a couple injuries (one major) to continue playing at this point in his career (age 35) and has been averaging 20+ minutes a game as the starting point guard due to teammate injuries. He hasn't been putting up stellar numbers, but he's been effective, I guess.
When Jonas Jerebko was 16-years old, he served Joe Dumars popcorn in Sweden. Did you know that? Six years later, Dumars made him a second round draft pick and, well, you know the rest. He's quickly becoming a fan favorite due to his blue collared style of play. He really has been a pleasant surprise.
All good things come to an end, right? Darko Milicic has announced that he will return to Europe next season because the Human Victory Cigar wants the ball and an offense to run through him. That's going to be some offense...
It's pretty cool what Charlie Villanueva does around the league for kids with alopecia. In 15 to 20 NBA cities, he reaches out to those who suffer from the disease he started dealing with when he was 10-years old, kind of taking them under his wing. In Houston he met 11-year old, Joseph Capistran and posed for pictures with the youngster who shares his disease.
Rasheed Wallace's knack for racking up the technical fouls quickly grew tired in Detroit and after 5 1/2 seasons with the Pistons, it was nice to see them go. Just a quarter into his first season in Boston, Celtics fans are already growing tired of his technical fouls.