While You Were Sleeping III: The Free Darko EVERY GAME PREVIEW
Who cares about predictions about playoff seeds or projected team records when you can find out how each and every game is going to go down? Amongst a sea of speculation and guesses, only Free Darko has the stones to tell you how exactly how this season is going to unfurl. Over the next few days, we will be previewing all 1,230 games. Today we take a look at December. Past previews can be found here.
Dec 01 Minnesota@Charlotte: Adam Morrison is instructed to spend the entire game (on both offense and defense) defending Kevin Love to prevent his legendary outlet from being unleashed. The plan succeeds in that Love only gets 3 touches, but Minnesota still wins by 5.
Dec 01 Orlando@Boston: Unhappy about his place on the depth chart and in the world, Redick bounces at halftime to pursue a career in glassblowing. Only Bogans seems to notice.
Dec 01 Miami@Golden State: Few foresaw the chemistry that would spark from reconnecting former teammates Dickau and Turiaf (especially given how rarely played together in their lone shared year at Gonzaga). Nonetheless, the magic they create together helps greatly with the adjustment to life without both Baron and Thunder.
Dec 02 L.A. Lakers@Indiana: Marquise Daniels continues to be a matchup nightmare for the Lakers, besting Kobe 38-34 in an epic duel.
Dec 02 Washington@New Jersey: The transition out of Milwaukee proves surprisingly difficult for Yi, who has yet to make any friends outside of Brook Lopez. The incessant hazing from relentlessly cruel Julius Hodge does not help the situation. Wizards by 20.
Dec 02 Portland@New York: Roy feels seriously underutilized, but what can you say when the team keeps winning?
Dec 02 Philadelphia@Chicago: Did you know they've added a third Andre in Andre Emmett to their (training camp) roster? Sure he hasn't played since '05, but the triple Andre threat is just too tempting to pass up. The trio combine for 84 of the team's 98 points.
Dec 02 L.A. Clippers@Dallas: The early-season MVP murmurs continue to swirl around Baron who ends up with a gnarly 42/15/12/4 statline.
Dec 02 Detroit@San Antonio: In the much-anticipated 2005 Finals rematch, tempers flare, hearts are broken, and we all learn a valuable lesson.
Dec 02 Toronto@Denver: Wanting to see what the fuss is all about, Bargnani decides to try out the arm sleeve. The results are mixed: 4/9 from the field, but a noticeable improvement in his tenacity on the boards.
Dec 02 Utah@Sacramento: Kevin Martin's career-high 48 points are universally dismissed as unimpressive by fans and commentators alike as well over half of them unfairly come at the charity stripe.
Dec 03 Memphis@Atlanta: More concerned with proving that they're stranger than Atlanta than with beating them, Memphis manages to do both. Iavaroni experiments with line-changes, swapping out Lowry/Conley/Crittenton/Mayo/Gay with Walker/Warrick/Milicic/Gasol/Haddadi in 5 minute bursts, which works swimmingly.
Dec 03 Oklahoma City@Charlotte: The Thunder rally behind a half-time uniform swap, overcoming a 24-point deficit while rocking emerald and gold.
Dec 03 New York@Cleveland: With the paint a dead zone that depresses anyone who even glance its way, this quickly turns into a hilarious 3-point shooting contest. Wally proves to be the difference-maker in the 144-138 win.
Dec 03 Minnesota@Orlando: In a bizarre twist, the Make-a-Wish kid is actually pretty good, netting a business-like 7 points in 12 minutes.
Dec 03 L.A. Lakers@Philadelphia: Kobe attempts to play the villain for the hometown, but few in attendance seem to remember that ever being a plotline. Lakers cruise.
Dec 03 Portland@Washington: Washington's Little Big 3, upset by all the attention being paid to Portland's promising young core, go on a tear, combining for 60 behind Nick Young's 28.
Dec 03 Indiana@Boston: The signature focus and intensity from their championship run is nowhere to be found during this 98-82 drubbing at the hands of the Pacers. Whispers of 07-08 Miami continue to pop up in columns across the country.
Dec 03 Chicago@Milwaukee: Prior to the game, Bogut tries introducing some of the guys to Freemasonry. Adrian Griffin's crack about the funny hats leads to a palpable tension between the duo throughout the 83-102 loss.
Dec 03 Phoenix@New Orleans: Robin Lopez does something awesome, but the Suns still lose.
Dec 03 L.A. Clippers@Houston: Easily the highlight of the week, the hard-fought 130-129 2OT Clippers win has both teams dreaming about April already.
Dec 03 Miami@Utah: Spoelstra, revealing to the world that he's been a Berri Acolyte all along, plays Chris Quinn, Marcus Banks, Dorell Wright, Udonis Haslem, and Joel Anthony for 48 minutes straight. While they fail to crack 50 points, he does applaud his team's +22 rebounding margin after the game.
Dec 04 Phoenix@Dallas: Right about now both teams are beginning to realize that their post-trade records last season weren't just due to lack of cohesion. With both squads looking perfectly cohesive, the Suns scrap to take a narrow lead in the battle for 7th seed.
Dec 04 San Antonio@Denver: The Nuggets teach the Spurs the true meaning of teamwork, racking up 48 field goals on 43 assists.
Dec 05 Oklahoma City@Orlando: Dwight sleeps on the 3-headed-international monster that is Ibaka-Petro-Sene, which is a mistake. From now on, they will fill his nightmares.
Dec 05 L.A. Lakers@Washington: In his first game back, Arenas goes for 30 without ever looking close to 100%. The Lakers still win which the "better-without-Gilbert" crowd interprets as the final verdict.
Dec 05 New York@Atlanta: Josh Smith continues to make his case as the East's most dominant Power Forward. Brand and Garnett are not amused.
Dec 05 Indiana@Cleveland: Apparently the Eddie Jones we've been seeing in scrimmages lately is just a mirage, because try as he might, he just can't seem to duplicate those types of performances when it counts.
Dec 05 Minnesota@New Jersey: The battle for NBA's worst proves decently entertaining, thanks mostly to Sean William's trash talk that leads to Mike Miller's third ejection of the season.
Dec 05 Portland@Boston: With Travis, Martell, and Rudy all out with food poisoning from some nasty clams, the unheralded Luke Jackson signing finally pays off. Luke drills 4 corner threes in the close win.
Dec 05 Philadelphia@Detroit: Maurice decides to go with the Royal Ivey/Willie Green backcourt for long stretches to punish the Andres for getting too big for their britches. The gambit proves surprisingly effective during the important road win.
Dec 05 L.A. Clippers@Memphis: After weeks of trading barbs through the press, thousands tune in to see the heralded Marc Gasol/Chris Kaman rematch which fully lives up to expectations. A rivalry is born.
Dec 05 Golden State@Houston: Sometime during the third quarter Artest begins to feel wistful that he didn't end up in Golden State. He ends the game 3 of 13 from behind the arc in the loss.
Dec 05 Charlotte@Milwaukee: Not that it really matters I suppose, but Gerald gets 5 blocks and 5 steals.
Dec 05 Toronto@Utah: Suddenly the world remembers that Jermaine O'Neal got traded to this team. He looks impressive, if unspectacular, in his national television debut as a Raptor.
Dec 06 Cleveland@Charlotte: Following the 16-point road win LeBron tells reporters, "We came here wanting to make a statement, and that's just what we did. The league is on notice now."
Dec 06 Oklahoma City@Miami: Berri-ball has slightly more convincing results against the Thunder, who's second attempt at a surprise jersey-swap in a week just feels hackneyed this time.
Dec 06 New Jersey@Philadelphia: Goes down in the annals of referee-dom as one of the most "good, clean game"s anyone's ever seen.
Dec 06 L.A. Clippers@Minnesota: Mark Madsen's revealing blog entry following the game ends up significantly more entertaining than the game itself.
Dec 06 Memphis@New Orleans: Division rivals duke it out in the first of several quadruple overtime battles of the season. Unsurprisingly, Julian Wright ends up the hero tonight.
Dec 06 Washington@Chicago: Prior to tip-off Etan Thomas tries engaging Joakim Noah in a discussion about the health of the modern American labor movement. Concludes that Joakim doesn't actually know shit.
Dec 06 Atlanta@Dallas: Zaza goes baby helicopter all over everyone.
Dec 06 Golden State@San Antonio: Maggette and Udoka almost come to blows, but Steven Jackson plays peace keeper, eventually convincing everyone to join for drinks on the Riverwalk afterwards.
Dec 06 Utah@Phoenix: The Jazz make a mockery of the Suns' championship hopes during a 40-point landslide.
Dec 06 Denver@Sacramento: Donté Green has his best game of the season so far, drilling 4/6 from outside to go along with one especially pretty alley oop.
Dec 07 Detroit@New York: Due to a scheduling snafu, most of the audience arrives expecting a Jonas Brothers show. Danilo Gallinari ends up being a particularly big hit.
Dec 07 Portland@Toronto: Calderon looks out of sorts all night long, delivering several beautiful feeds to Rudy Fernandez, who happily exploits his copatriot's confusion.
Dec 07 Boston@Indiana: In honor of Pearl Harbor, both teams decide to play in sailor suits. Maintaining the jaunty angle of the hats proves difficult, leading to numerous game delays.
Dec 07 Milwaukee@L.A. Lakers: Despite a solid showing (6/9 from the field to go with 8 boards in 18 minutes), Josh Powell gets roundly booed for his substandard dance moves.
Dec 08 Charlotte@Miami: A perfectly healthy Dwayne Wade sees the floor for the first time in over a week, which just makes Beasley's sulking alone on the bench all the more pitiful. After handing the Bobcats just their third win of the season, Riley finally tells Spoelstra to cut the shit or he'll be forced to do something they'll both regret.
Dec 08 Houston@Memphis: Artest does nothing even remotely unusual or interesting.
Dec 08 Golden State@Oklahoma City: Stern's experimental offsides rule results in panic, tears.
Dec 08 Orlando@L.A. Clippers: Really Brian Skinner's just thrilled to be back where it all started.
Dec 09 Toronto@Cleveland: Jamario's act begins to grow stale. Bosh politely requests that he leave all the goofy stuff to him from now on.
Dec 09 Detroit@Washington: Still recovering from Oleksiy's historic birthday party that spanned three days and as many states, the sluggish Wizards provide little resistance to the Division-leading Pistons.
Dec 09 Utah@Minnesota: In the locker room afterwards, punches are actually traded between Brewer and Gomes over who has the rightful claim to the title of "glue guy."
Dec 09 New York@Chicago: Near-by fans insist that they can hear D'Antoni whispering helpful words of advice to Rose at various points throughout the game.
Dec 09 San Antonio@Dallas: Mavs continue to reel. Most of the finger pointing ends up going Avery's way, as he's the one behind most of the offensive sets they continue to use.
Dec 09 Atlanta@Houston: Al Horford and Marvin Williams make an outrageous wager prior to the game. Hilarity ensues.
Dec 09 Milwaukee@Phoenix: Elson and Gadzuric finally unveil their customized jerseys that read "The Flying Dutchmen" in place of their last names. In the four minutes they share the floor together, the Bucks go on a 9-0 run.
Dec 09 Orlando@Portland: As assertively as he knows how to, Rashard Lewis asserts himself.
Dec 09 L.A. Lakers@Sacramento: Bynum finally provides the definitive answer to the question, "How good can Bynum be?"
Dec 10 Indiana@Toronto: For the hell of it, the teams agree to a one-night-only backsies. TJ Ford throws up 30 on behalf of his former team, and a hearty laugh is shared by all.
Dec 10 New York@New Jersey: The entire cast of Real World: Brooklyn gets floor seats, but disaster strikes when their cameramen accidentally disrupt the action. Crawford, Jeffries, and Dooling will all miss at least a week because of the debacle.
Dec 10 Charlotte@New Orleans: Sean May misses most of the second half with a minor ankle sprain.
Dec 10 Memphis@Oklahoma City: Regardless of what the scoreboard says, there are no winners in this one.
Dec 10 Cleveland@Philadelphia: During a 4-minute stretch in the 3rd, LeBron is the only one on either squad to record a point, assist, or rebound. His 6 assists during that run are particularly impressive.
Dec 10 Atlanta@San Antonio: Hilarity ceases.
Dec 10 Minnesota@Denver: After the loss, Al Jefferson begs reporters on hand to explain why he's the only guy averaging 20 and 10 that no one seems to talk about.
Dec 10 Milwaukee@Golden State: Montaneous Combustion's triumphant return coincides with a 230-point rally in the Dow.
Dec 10 Phoenix@L.A. Lakers: The talking heads will likely focus Raja's hard pick on the superstar just before halftime, but the real drama was in the undercard battle between Matt Barnes and Sun Yue.
Dec 11 Boston@Washington: Arenas shuts a lot of people up.
Dec 11 Charlotte@Dallas: The Mavs just can't seem to right the ship, forcing Cuban to start making some calls. Del Harris doesn't return any of them.
Dec 11 Portland@Utah: During the post-game, both teams try arguing that in May this fight will be much prettier than what fans were treated to today.
Dec 12 Philadelphia@Cleveland: Brand finally snaps and tells Dalembert that his entourage is no longer invited to share their hotel room.
Dec 12 Atlanta@Miami: Thrilled to be playing again finally, Beasley goes off, but Josh Smith matches him point-for-point and rebound-for-rebound in one of the more compelling duels thus far.
Dec 12 Toronto@New Jersey: Let's just say you're going to have to see it to believe it and leave it at that.
Dec 12 New Orleans@Boston: The Celtics look a little more championship-like, but the Hornets still pull off the nail-biter behind a dominant effort from Melvin Ely on the boards.
Dec 12 Indiana@Detroit: Fans in the Palace are out for blood. Specifically Troy Murphy's. Extra security has to be called to prevent things from getting out of hand.
Dec 12 Chicago@Memphis: Still bitter about missing out on both Pau and Kobe thanks to them, Deng and co. exact their revenge with a 117-92 throttling.
Dec 12 San Antonio@Minnesota: Rashad McCants and Sebastian Telfair are unsure what they're doing on this team. It just doesn't feel right anymore.
Dec 12 Orlando@Phoenix: With no one to blame but himself, Dwight Howard finishes this game with two less teeth than he started with.
Dec 12 L.A. Clippers@Portland: At the end of the game Sterling publicly vows to never do business ever again with any team that has traded or sold picks to Portland over the last few years. Sadly for him, none of those teams liked him anyway and aren't too beat up over the loss.
Dec 12 Houston@Golden State: While watching Golden State struggle to get rebounds, Joey Dorsey wonders aloud why the team that already has Luis Scola, Carl Landry, and Chuck Hayes was the one that drafted him.
Dec 12 Sacramento@L.A. Lakers: After watching Bynum rack up (precisely) 26 points and 17 rebounds for the second time in just four days, Sam Amick asks, "How good can Bynum be?"
Dec 13 Cleveland@Atlanta: The Hawks make the case that you don't want to face them in the first round, which is convincing enough for the Cavs the throw the game to ensure they won't wind up with a 1- or 2-seed with a chance of running up against them down the road.
Dec 13 Detroit@Charlotte: Some astute League Passers swear they saw Hermann alternate benches throughout the telecast, openly rooting for either team.
Dec 13 Washington@Philadelphia: Generally fails to live up to expectations.
Dec 13 New Jersey@Chicago: One of the more experienced towel boys is overheard lamenting how much he misses Duhon's sense of humor.
Dec 13 Oklahoma City@Dallas: Dallas take out their frustrations on a team that really didn't see it coming. Durant looks noticeably shaken afterwards.
Dec 13 Indiana@Milwaukee: The Francisco Elson 2008 Eastern Conference Wrecking Ball of Devastation Tour continues.
Dec 13 Golden State@Denver: The Birdman flies!
Dec 13 Orlando@Utah: Kirilenko and Korver avoid eye-contact for most of the game.
Dec 13 New York@Sacramento: Years later, pundits will point to this game as the death knell of interleague play.
Dec 13 Houston@L.A. Clippers: Because of a clock error during the memorable December 3rd matchup, fans are treated to a double-header tonight. Houston comes out on top in both this time.
Dec 14 New Orleans@Toronto: The game where Paul finally passes up Calderon's PER. There will be no looking back.
Dec 14 Miami@Memphis: We don't talk about what happened in Memphis anymore.
Dec 14 Oklahoma City@San Antonio: The Spurs hold off the upstart Thunder who make a valiant effort, but fall just short.
Dec 14 Minnesota@L.A. Lakers: Love, foolishly expecting a hero's welcome, ends up with a complete dud of a game. Farmar shuns his handshake after the game.
Dec 15 Charlotte@Atlanta: Anonymous sources close to the league insist that players on both sides are beginning to take this one more seriously.
Dec 15 New Jersey@Toronto: Quite a few fans miss the first few exhilarating minutes of this contest due to a particularly rollicking tailgate.
Dec 15 Indiana@Washington: This will be the game that Antawn Jamison enthusiasts point to most often when decrying his All-Star snub.
Dec 15 Utah@Boston: Going into this there's a lot of hype surrounding Rajon v. Deron, but the game ends up being primarily about Eddie v. Ronnie, with Eddie winning both the battle and the war.
Dec 15 Milwaukee@Miami: Unbeknownst to any of the participants, the life of an innocent girl in East Timor depends on the outcome of this game. Thanks to a late banked three from Villenueva, everything works out and no one gets hurt.
Dec 15 Denver@Dallas: Who needs Marcus Camby when you have Renaldo Balkman? The Plastic Man puts on a defensive clinic.
Dec 15 New York@Phoenix: Suspicions arise after Diaw and Barbosa combine for 7 airballs. D'Antoni's mischievous smile and one-word responses at the press conference just add fuel to the fire.
Dec 15 Minnesota@Sacramento: A sad day when, for the first time in history, the NBA falls behind the Xtreme Basketball Association in the Nielsen ratings.
Dec 15 Orlando@Golden State: Fans had almost grown accustomed to life without Monta, but performances like this remind them what they had been missing. He spends much of the game horizontal, to the endless frustration of Jameer Nelson.
Dec 16 Chicago@Charlotte: Larry Brown calls the game at halftime, and forces both teams to spend the rest of the allotted time running suicides.
Dec 16 New Orleans@Memphis: Posey and Stojakovich connect for a record number of high fives in a quarter, smashing the previous record of 13.
Dec 16 L.A. Clippers@Oklahoma City: Al Thornton, the forgotten sophomore, just isn't feeling the praise being heaped on Chubs Gordon when no one bats an eye at all the wonderful things he does. That changes tonight.
Dec 16 Denver@Houston: Juwan Howard looks surprisingly spry.
Dec 16 Sacramento@Portland: Things get awkward when some personal secrets that Hawes entrusted to Douby pop up in Channing Frye's blog just before the game.
Dec 16 New York@L.A. Lakers: Super stoked on the new Kanye, Luke Walton becomes the first player to rock an iPhone for the duration of a game. League officials say they'll examine in the offseason whether or not a rule should be implemented to prohibit that type of behavior in the future.
Dec 17 Boston@Atlanta: Joe Johnson backs up his pregame guarantee, "Last year was a sign of things to come. Boston does not win here. Period."
Dec 17 Golden State@Indiana: Tonight will primarily be remembered for the stirring Al Harrington tribute that precedes the game. Jackson feels a little left out, but understands for the most part.
Dec 17 Milwaukee@Philadelphia: You knew it had to happen sooner or later: the egos of Redd and Jefferson finally clash over who the true alpha on this team is. Tyronn Lue does what he's paid for and leads the delicate negotiations to get the two to finally agree to go back on the floor together, with the key condition being that Jefferson must limit himself to no more than 7 rebounds in a game. Balance is temporarily restored.
Dec 17 Dallas@Toronto: Contrary to popular belief, Kidd's defense during this game was actually quite effective. Nonetheless, the Raptors win 102-94.
Dec 17 Washington@Detroit: Arenas spends the second quarter trying to convince Billups to go into an alliance with him. Mistaking Chauncey's confusion for elusiveness, he concludes that LeBron must have gotten to him first.
Dec 17 Utah@New Jersey: Lawrence Frank spends much of the game shouting, "Objection!" Thankfully, most of them overruled.
Dec 17 Cleveland@Minnesota: Varejao finally works out his visa issues, and arrives just in time for his first game of the season looking remarkably svelte.
Dec 17 L.A. Clippers@Chicago: At one point Baron light-heartedly says, "Easy little fella," which doesn't go over well with Rose at all. Most consider the resulting 5-game suspension for spitting on another player to be a little harsh.
Dec 17 San Antonio@New Orleans: Bonzi leaves his imprint all over this one.
Dec 18 San Antonio@Orlando: No rest for the wicked, the Spurs topple their second Conference-leader in as many days.
Dec 18 Phoenix@Portland: There's a joke in here somewhere about Sarver sending draft picks Portland's way, but I don't really feel like making it.
Dec 19 L.A. Clippers@Indiana: After losing his starting spot to Jarrett Jack, Ford refuses to enter the game until Bird swears to him that it won't happen again.
Dec 19 Philadelphia@Washington: With the bar set substantially lower, greatly exceeds expectations this time around.
Dec 19 Golden State@Atlanta: A particularly brutal chest bump leads to some anxious moments as Speedy is helped off the floor by trainers. He'd go on to return in the second half looking fine for the most part.
Dec 19 Chicago@Boston: Somehow the Rose suspension costs Hinrich his spot in the rotation. Hughes takes advantage of the situation with a vintage 2005 performance to key the upset.
Dec 19 Dallas@New Jersey: After weeks of hearing Cuban bash everyone and anyone ever previously involved with the Mavericks, analysts keep a close eye on this game to see how Devin Harris responds. Few predicted it would be Maurice Ager who lashes back with a violent 22 points in 19 minutes.
Dec 19 Milwaukee@New York: Due to the stunning success of the JB incident, planners are forced to relocate the game to the Old Yankee Stadium to accommodate the increased demand. Diamond Joe's halftime performance leaves several fans in tears.
Dec 19 Utah@Detroit: With the score tied heading into the 4th, the teams let Amir and Millsap go 1-on-1 to decide the game. Children under 12 and expectant mothers are encouraged to clear the arena.
Dec 19 Charlotte@Memphis: Antoine takes home the gameball for the night, but Mayo feels it's largely undeserved.
Dec 19 L.A. Lakers@Miami: During warm-ups Sasha comes to the sudden realization that he's actually 6'7", not 6'2", and it's about damn time he acted like it.
Dec 19 Toronto@Oklahoma City: Durant makes his third trade demand of the season. This time Robert Swift is sacrificed to appease him.
Dec 19 Sacramento@Houston: Shane Battier has mad, crazy swagger these days. The general assumption is that Artest has been rubbing off on him, but even Ron will tell you that he's the one who's been picking up a thing or two from the Battiering Ram (as he's fond of calling him).
Dec 19 Cleveland@Denver: After the 6th straight game where either Smith or Kleiza lead the team in scoring, some speculate that this is Melo's version of Kobe's selfish teamball. Others question whether or not he's lost a step already. Point of fact, he's developed a new experimental shooting technique and is still waiting for the proper time to unveil it.
Dec 20 Golden State@Charlotte: Richardson can barely recognize what he's left behind, which at first makes him sad, but that quickly turns to anger. And that anger turns into buckets.
Dec 20 L.A. Lakers@Orlando: Trevor Ariza severely outplays Brian Cook.
Dec 20 Indiana@Philadelphia: This one is just too hard to predict until Jamaal Tinsley's future is a little more certain.
Dec 20 Houston@Minnesota: Jason Collins and Brian Cardinal spend much of the first half thumb wrestling. The final tally ends up 12-8-3 in Brian's favor.
Dec 20 Miami@New Jersey: Jamaal Magloire can be heard muttering to himself, "I averaged a double-double once. A double-double goddamnit."
Dec 20 Sacramento@New Orleans: Brad Miller thinks it's absolutely hysterical to show up with a Vlade haircut, right down to the receding hairline and excessive scruff, but only Bobby Jackson seems to get the reference and Bobby never really did appreciate the subtle stuff.
Dec 20 Utah@Chicago: The Aaron Gray experiment is not going well.
Dec 20 L.A. Clippers@Milwaukee: Somehow all the excitement about the new faces has obscured the fact that Cutino Mobley has gotten pretty old and is no longer that good.
Dec 20 Toronto@San Antonio: Bosh, still high on gold, thoroughly outplays Duncan on both ends.
Dec 20 Denver@Phoenix: Not nearly as fast or as high-scoring as you hoped it would be.
Dec 21 Detroit@Atlanta: The Hawks honor the Solstice by massacring the team that at least one columnist refers to as "their Conference rival" from now on.
Dec 21 New York@Boston: Eddy Curry loses his last shred of dignity.
Dec 21 Dallas@Washington: To punish Devean George for his insolence, he's forced to play the entire 4th quarter.
Dec 21 Cleveland@Oklahoma City: After the game, LeBron tells Durant to take comfort in the fact that at least he never had to play on a team that started both Jeff McInnis and Ira Newble.
Dec 22 Golden State@Orlando: Inspires Nova Scotia's first annual Slam Poetry Festival.
Dec 22 Houston@New Jersey: Vince gives 110% in this one.
Dec 22 L.A. Lakers@Memphis: For the first time since trade went down, Buss starts to worry that he may have included the wrong PG. While Farmar is off celebrating the Festival of Lights, Crittenton lights up the Lakers for 24.
Dec 22 Sacramento@San Antonio: Matt Bonner's bench attire looks especially fresh today.
Dec 22 Portland@Denver: McMillan continues trying doggedly to slip a 6th man onto the court after every dead ball, but never succeeds for more than a few possessions at a time.
Dec 22 Toronto@L.A. Clippers: Baron insists on matching up with Bosh, which actually works out for the most part (holding him to 8/15 shooting and 9 boards), but Calderon scorches them for 35.
Dec 23 Oklahoma City@Atlanta: The Hawks look downright mature.
Dec 23 Washington@Charlotte: An unfortunate ringworm outbreak finally gives DeAndre Jordan his long-awaited chance. It does not go quite how he imagined it would.
Dec 23 Houston@Cleveland: The attention of most fans stays transfixed on the jumbotron's live broadcast of Ohio's historic fourth recount. Obama wins by 3% yet again.
Dec 23 New Jersey@Indiana: "I Miss Ike" signs start to appear with more regularity.
Dec 23 Philadelphia@Boston: When they drafted Bill Walker, I don't think anyone anticipated what a horrible influence he would end up being on Big Baby Davis. At least Powe seems to know better.
Dec 23 Golden State@Miami: Much like the previous game, only more so.
Dec 23 Chicago@Detroit: If you squint at the edges, some semblance of a rivalry begins to emerge, centering mostly around the brewing animosity between Afflalo and Sefolosha.
Dec 23 Utah@Milwaukee: Watching Ridnour and Griffin combine for 2 of 12, some start to wonder whether or not they really got the better end of the Mo Williams trade after all. Hammond supporters however are quick to point out that you can't forget the success of Damon Jones's new late night talk show when evaluating the deal.
Dec 23 L.A. Lakers@New Orleans: To be truthful, the Lakers just overlooked this one completely. Nevertheless, come April the Hornets' 4-0 record against the Lakers will go on to become the most frequently cited head-to-head record ever.
Dec 23 Memphis@Dallas: A frighteningly evenly matched contest.
Dec 23 Minnesota@San Antonio: The tickets-for-guns swap does not generate the response that planners had hoped for.
Dec 23 Denver@Portland: Roy has very little trouble getting to the rim time and time again.
Dec 25 New Orleans@Orlando: Pietrus comes to the game dressed as Santa, which Howard takes umbrage at, seeing as costumes and jolliness are sorta his whole bag.
Dec 25 San Antonio@Phoenix: More nostalgic than exciting really.
Dec 25 Boston@L.A. Lakers: The first half is actually a little more sedate than you might have expected, but the dynamic changes drastically after the break. Knowing a little better what to expect this time, the Lakers in a surprise move bust out the short shorts in the second half, which totally throws Boston for a loop.
Dec 25 Washington@Cleveland: Inspires FD's most-linked-to post of the year.
Dec 25 Dallas@Portland: How does this game fit with the other four? Don't get me wrong, Portland's definitely exciting, and Dirk is Dirk, but this one just doesn't have the gravitas of the others. Still ends up being pretty entertaining though.
Dec 26 Chicago@Miami: While Rose and Beasley's first clash seems to go to Rose, the eventual consensus will be that Beasley's performance was largely misunderstood at the time.
Dec 26 Charlotte@New Jersey: The first NBA game in over 30 years to suffer a pantsing epidemic.
Dec 26 Minnesota@New York: Jared Jeffries discovers crossword puzzles.
Dec 26 Oklahoma City@Detroit: Cheick Samb gets 4 blocks in just under 12 minutes. This one's really not even an exaggeration or anything.
Dec 26 Indiana@Memphis: After halftime, both teams agree, "fuck it, leave the trampolines out there."
Dec 26 Houston@New Orleans: This battle for Western supremacy would have felt much more intense had it not been for Artest and Bonzi periodically embracing between plays.
Dec 26 Philadelphia@Denver: Wait a second, has Smush Parker seriously been on this team this entire time?? Tonight we see a return to form for the once and future king.
Dec 26 Dallas@Utah: To Larry Miller's dismay, half the team fails to show up in honor of Kwanzaa. Dallas capitalizes on the situation with a much-needed win to stop the bleeding.
Dec 26 Toronto@Sacramento: Beno more than holds his own.
Dec 26 Boston@Golden State: Brandan Wright gives Anthony Randolph some homework to practice for next time.
Dec 27 Chicago@Atlanta: Some of the more militant members of the Referees Association organize a wildcat strike. Their central demand? No more games in Milwaukee.
Dec 27 New Jersey@Charlotte: While the league scrambles for replacement refs, players are forced to play the first half on the honor system.
Dec 27 Oklahoma City@Washington: Still exhausted from Thursday's heroic game, Arenas brings a portable hyperbaric chamber to use on the sidelines. He's even kind enough to let Durant give it a whirl during warm-ups, but Kevin doesn't really notice the effects.
Dec 27 Orlando@Minnesota: Steve Javie leads a scab officiating crew, seriously damaging his friendship with Joe DeRosa.
Dec 27 Utah@Houston: It's unclear whether the Jazz don't show out of respect for the picket line or because they're still celebrating Kwanzaa. One way or another, the Rockets win 102 to 12.
Dec 27 Detroit@Milwaukee: As the hotbed of the controversy, refs from across the country descend on the city to express how much they hate coming here. Thousands of whistles are dispersed inside the arena, successfully making the game completely unmanageable.
Dec 27 Memphis@San Antonio: With the Spurs up 85-36 when the scabs finally arrive, Popovich gets Iavaroni to agree that the honor system seems to be working just fine, and that it's really not a problem to just finish the game without the refs.
Dec 27 Toronto@Portland: Hours after the Blazers' 8-point win, a deal is successfully reached, with the crucial compromise being that from now on Bucks games will be held in either Waukesha or Oshkosh on a rotating basis. Most parties are generally pleased with the agreement.
Dec 28 Denver@New York: Duhon has the NY ballboys in stitches.
Dec 28 Dallas@L.A. Clippers: After months of rumors and speculation, at long last the Birthday Cake is recreated in-game.
Dec 28 Miami@Cleveland: Honestly, Pavlovic just doesn't see what the big deal is about this Beasley guy.
Dec 28 New Orleans@Indiana: Josh McRoberts' plus/minus rating for the game ends up at -28, though to be fair, a lot of that probably had to do with to the monster game Troy Murphy was having.
Dec 28 Boston@Sacramento: Most observers come away agreeing that Garnett seemed to be taking this one a little too seriously.
Dec 28 Golden State@L.A. Lakers: Forum Blue & Gold's preview of this game goes on to win a much deserved Emmy.
Dec 29 Denver@Atlanta: The repercussions of the pot-smoking scandal that rocked the Sumo world last fall finally reach the NBA.
Dec 29 Orlando@Detroit: The typically-affable Dwight Howard is really not feeling the fact that Oden is rivaling his dunk tally for the season so far. Kwame suffers for it.
Dec 29 Chicago@New Jersey: Watching Joakim and Brook get tangled up repeatedly is pretty comical.
Dec 29 Memphis@Minnesota: For some reason, the announcers keep expecting Mayo and Love to face off against each other. The play-by-play man comes alive momentarily when Love ends up on Mayo off a switch, but his hopes are quickly dashed when the ball is swung back to Gay at the top of the key.
Dec 29 Phoenix@Oklahoma City: From everything he can tell, Durant thinks he'd really get along well with Coach Porter.
Dec 29 Washington@Houston: It's odd that, until tonight, no one really ever noticed just how shaky Houston's point guard situation actually was.
Dec 29 Philadelphia@Utah: Brand gets called for a disproportionate number of 3-second violations.
Dec 29 Toronto@Golden State: Both teams simultaneously try setting the pace, but at any particular moment neither can seem to remember which pace they're trying to set.
Dec 30 New York@Charlotte: As predicted, the "Ajinca the sleeper pick" meme begins picking up steam.
Dec 30 Atlanta@Indiana: While he's certainly no Josh Childress, the Mo Evans signing is looking to be a pretty savvy move.
Dec 30 Cleveland@Miami: LeBron can't stop gloating over Wade that he has a real point guard finally. Wade just keeps responding, "Wait until Shaun's 100%, man, just you wait."
Dec 30 Phoenix@Memphis: Sadly, Conley + Crittenton + Lowry != Nash
Dec 30 Washington@New Orleans: Arenas and Paul face off against each other for just the third time of their careers. Almost worth League Pass on its own.
Dec 30 Minnesota@Dallas: Finally, a merciful end to a horrific month for the Mavs. Moving Howard to PG, Terry to SF, and Dirk to SG was a bold move on Carlisle's part, but it seems to be a step in the right direction.
Dec 30 Milwaukee@San Antonio: If they were being entirely honest with you, the Spurs would have to admit that they are missing Horry's veteran leadership just a little bit.
Dec 30 Boston@Portland: The most definitive proof yet that Portland is for real.
Dec 30 L.A. Clippers@Sacramento: Wounded by Ricky Davis's plea to stop doling out bear hugs, Eric Gordon focuses maniacally on getting into the paint to great effect.
Dec 31 Orlando@Chicago: On the advice of Etan Thomas, Adonal eagerly approaches Noah to discuss the fallout from the Refs strike. He dejectedly concludes that Joakim doesn't actually know shit. Etan Thomas has a good laugh.
Dec 31 New Jersey@Detroit: Deep down, Lawrence Frank sincerely believes that Curry hasn't been playing Stuckey lately so that he'll have another card to play for when these teams meet again.
Dec 31 Milwaukee@Houston: Yao bruises his ankle but soldiers on.
Dec 31 Denver@Toronto: Kleiza looks unusually angry.
Dec 31 Golden State@Oklahoma City: By the second quarter it becomes pretty obvious, Jeff Green is already looking ahead to his New Year's blowout and can't wait for this to be over. Luckily for the Thunder, the Warriors' entire frontline seems to be doing the same.
Dec 31 Philadelphia@L.A. Clippers: You'd think coverage of this one would be dominated by the Brand-betrayal plotline, but you'd be wrong. Most fans seem to have forgotten entirely that he was ever a Clipper, and his tenure in LA comes up on the telecast only a couple times in passing.