Friday, November 27, 2009

No Love For Ex-Gators Team Mates Horford and Noah, Lots of Love Two of Argentina's Best

Two of the leagues best young big men were in action on Thursday night but neither came away with a victory.

Al Horford's Atlanta Hawks lost at home for the first time this season, going down 93-76 to the Orlando Magic, while in Utah, Joakim Noah's Chicago Bulls were never really in it against the Utah Jazz, losing 105-86.

Both guys though are having monster seasons and it's great to see.

Noah is averaging career highs in points (11.1ppg), rebounds (11.7rpg), blocks (1.6bpg) and even assists (2.4apg). It helps that he's playing almost 10 minutes more per game this season than last, but he's earned it.

Horford, he's also posting career bests in points (12.9ppg), rebounds (10.0rpg) and blocks (1.7bpg) and the Atlanta Hawks at 11-4 are tied for second best record in the East.

The Bulls aren't travelling quite as well at 6-8, but they are in the middle of a tough Western road swing.

Their record should even out over the next month or so.

Apart from the numbers though, it's the way they've both been playing. Noah's confidence is sky high and a lot of it stems from his performance in the playoffs last year against the Celtics. He knows that he doesn't have a shooting stroke like Ray Allen but Noah is aggressive and always attacks the rim hard.

I love that.

Too many players still go too softly when going inside and get the ball spiked away, but Noah always puts the emphasis on the defenders to try and block him.

That's the way big men should play.

Horford is the same. Throw it down like a man. And he does.

It's great to see these two former team mates rounding into big-time big-men at around the same time. Hopefully, they develop some form of mid-range jump shot and become truly dominant.


Friday night on the sched, the New Jersey Nets get their 16th shot at going for a win.

They are in Sacramento and while it doesn't look good for the Nets, if they don't get it done tonight, their bid to avoid the worst start ever means they'll have to beat the Lakers.

The Kings have been one of the surprise teams in the league (6-8) but have lost four of the last five. Rookie Tyreke Evans has been outstanding (19ppg, 5.1rpg, 4.9apg) and fellow rookie Donte Greene is coming off a crazy night - 24 points (6-for-7 three pointers), five assists and SIX blocks.

Good luck to the Nets. Head coach Lawrence Frank probably will be fired within the week, but I think we'll see him coaching again soon. He might look like a 12-year-old, but he's proved that he can cut it.

Elsewhere, two Argentines go at it in Houston. Manu Ginobili's Spurs take on Luis Scola and the Rockets.

I have the utmost respect for the way these two play the game. Tough, hard and fair. Both are World Champions and Manu is a three-time NBA champ. Hopefully Luis gets an NBA ring during his career. I doubt it will happen this season with the Rockets but you never know.

I interviewed Luis Scola earlier in the season (it will feature on soon and he was one of the most professional and polite people I've ever met. There was no attitude or ego with him at all.

We talked mainly about soccer as it was just after Argentina had qualified for the World Cup so he was happy but also relieved as the albeceleste almost missed out.
Also, while many England fans will never, ever forgive Maradona for the 'hand of god' goal, Scola said that he felt sympathy for England.

True Class.

No comments: