Indiana Pacers

The Triple Double Chase Continues

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I’m going to breeze through two less then overwhelming games and get to my latest chase for a triple double, ok? Ok. First of the trio is a game against the Knicks where it seemed we could not get ahead. We wee almost doubled up after one and still trailed at the half. Between poor defense and me being in foul trouble it took us up to the third quarter to get going.

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My D Goes AWOL

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We opened our recent game against Indiana by opening a 22-9 rift after the first quarter. We were playing great, but then my defense – as in, my personal ability to play D – took the night off. We were in trouble.

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Settling on the Score

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I’m back in uniform tonight against the Indiana Pacers, and this game was high-pressure.

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Burning Out

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We may be in trouble. A quick skid, my shot going cold and our defense disappearing all add up to losing ballgames.

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Fouling Out is Actually a Scam

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Three more games are in the books. First we played the Pacers in Indiana., where I was one of four scorers in double figures (Bosh had 18, LeBron 17 and Mike Miller and I each had 14). I chipped in 5 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block in a win.

021-BumShot

Our next game was against Toronto at their place. My first basket is seen here, a basket I hit as I fell on my hind end. I scored 17 points, 3 boards, an assist and a block. I witnessed an interesting event this game, as Jarrett Jack fouled out late in the fourth quarter but remained on the court for the remainder on the game. Uh, what? That made no sense, but we won so I didn’t get too concerned.

021-RookStarter

The Rookie-Sophomore game was next, and I got to start. Why, I don’t know. Apparently I supplanted John Wall in the starting five. I decided I was as good as any player out there, and I wasn’t going to settle for anything less then Player of the Game.

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I managed to score 18 points with 6 rebounds, 2 assists. 2 steals, a block and two turnovers to get that Player of the Game award I wanted. What was amazing  though, was Greg Monroe. Not satisfied with pulling a Jarrett Jack and playing after fouling out, he actually fouled out twice. Read that again. He finished with 7 fouls, which  I would have previously sworn was impossible  Apparently ‘fouling out’ is not as dire as I would have thought. I guess the rule goes, “if you foul out, it would be nice if you left the court. If you don’t want to though, don’t worry about it.”

My stats for the first half of the year were 7.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 2.8 apg. Now I’m off to the second half of the season. I’ll check in once I get some more games in.

- Rick Daniel

Back Up to Speed

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I apparently misjudged my recovery speed, because I took my limp to the court to play the Pacers. This was a frustrating game because we didn’t play real well, but neither did Indiana. The difference was Danny Granger, who lit us up for 29 points. I had 8 points, 6 boards, 4 assists and a turnover in the loss.

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I was finally back to speed when we arrived in Detroit to face the Pistons. I hit all four jump shots I took in the first half for 10 points and was really feeling confident. I led us in scoring at the half, but apparently that pissed off the team’s Alpha Dogs, LeBron and Wade. I was frozen out of the offense almost the entire second half! I touched the ball only on short passes and was never given an opportunity to score. One of Those Two would bring the ball up and quickly shoot it, resulting in a score or the Pistons getting a rebound. I only got to handle the ball and take two more shots at the basket in last minute of the game, and that was just because Those Two  were on the bench, relaxing. Oh, and the two shots I did take? I hit ‘em both. I finished with 14 points but could have easily cleared 20 if I’d been allowed to just touch the ball in the 2nd half. I also had 4 rebounds and 2 assists with no turnovers. Those Two each took just one more shot then I did and scored 19 (Wade) and 17 (LeBron) to just beat me there, too. I hope their egos feel better now.

The big news, post-game was that I made the Rookie Team all-star squad as a reserve. That almost made up for having my possible career night short circuited by my own selfish teammates.

Actually, not really.

- Rick Daniel

Not Looking too Good

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I’ve logged another three games, and I’m coming to a conclusion: there’s on place for a player like me in the NBA. I am, at best, a distraction, though to whom (the other team or mine) is up for debate. We beat the Grizzlies at Memphis and Indiana at home, but I had box scores of 5-0-1 and 0-1-2 and had three turnovers between them .

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It’s getting really tiresome to go out on the court and not contribute anything. I’m apparently past the point of taking teams by surprise. I’m not able to set picks like I once did because players go around them and look out for them now. My team knows I’m a liability and most of the time keeps the ball out of my hands so I can’t contribute in ways other then setting picks and running screens on offense. I can’t run plays when I don’t have the ball, and when I do pass to a teammates, they never get a shot off.

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Sometimes I wonder what’s going on in their heads because they’ll get the ball and just stand there, wide open, and not take a shot or go to the basket. Now, when the pass comes from LeBron or Wade, the play is crisp and they score. Maybe I’m a sucky passer.

Out third game was against the Magic in Orlando, and we got pounded. I scored two points and had two boards and an assist so I wasn’t much help. Times are tough for me here in Miami. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong so fixing my flaws isn’t easy. Where the Hell is the coach at a time like this?

- Rick Daniel

10 Game Win Streak

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This picture of Vince Carter pretty much sums up our last month of games. Everybody’s confidence is sky-high right now because the whole team is clicking at the right time. Here’s a summary my last three games.

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We played Philadelphia first, and I had 27 points, four assists and four steals. I also hit 3-4 on threes. This would be my last good shooting game recently.

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Against the Pacers I scored 25 points, had 9 assists (again with the near double-double!) two steals and a block. I hit another three but I shot well under 50% in the game.

020-003

The Lakers came to town yesterday and gave us a serious scare. By halftime we were down 21 points. I wanted so bad to get switched to shooting guard so I could defend Kobe Bryant, not because I really wanted to go head-to-head with Bryant, but because Vince Carter just couldn’t stop him. To my surprise, the Lakers moved Kobe to the PG slot, so they purposely matched him up on me.  I matched Kobe nearly shot for shot, and depending on your perspective, I may have gotten the better of him. He scored 29 points, had 1 board, two assists and a steal while I had 28 points, 1 board, four assists, 3 steals and a block. I also had this shot;

020-004

The latest episode of Dunking on the Stars has Kobe on my latest poster. The best news is that – despite that 21 point halftime deficit – we won the game by four. This was in due no small part to my shutdown job on the Mamba. At one point I got up to him on a fast break and swatted his shot. Yes!

The big picture has us on a 10-game win streak, bringing our record to 43-31. We’re two games behind the Nets and only a half game ahead of the Hawks for the 4th seed. That’s right – we now qualify for first-round home court advantage. We only have 8 games left so this is the time to be peaking, and we are. Go Magic!

- Rick Daniel

We Lose, Lose and then finally Win

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Ha, I bet you didn’t know I could dunk. Well, I can. Barely. Technically, I’m a ‘rim grazer,’ but hey – everyone starts somewhere, right? Anyway, this pic is from a dismal performance against Denver  We lost by eleven and I had 7 points and only 4 assists. I was down, but a surprise awaited me the next game (oh, and don’t miss my new cut. I trimmed it back for good luck).

love In the time between our game in Denver and our matchup with the Pacers in Indiana we traded Jameer Nelson for Kevin Love of the T-Wolves. I couldn’t like this trade any more. It’s not possible. A rival PG for a really good power forward to compliment the most dominant low post presence in the game (Dwight Howard)? Yes please.

The bad part is that, for this game at least, I was rendered moot. Seriously, I had one point and four dimes. I  missed every field goal attempt and my man (T.J. Ford) lit me up. I was horrible. The bad part was that this was a warmup for the matchup I’d been awaiting/dreading for almost two years: I was finally going to face the Cavs – and more specifically, Mo Williams – again.

moandme In general, Mo was far less effective this time against me, but then again I had 20+ more skill points then last time (rated 79 vs. 62). He still got 19 points 5 boards and 6 assists (plus a huge shot, which I’ll get to in a minute) but it was nothing like the show he put on when I faced him in  training camp before last year.

We trailed the whole game until the 4:24 mark in the 4th. I hit a three to tie and a ‘J’ to break the tie in the fourth. For whatever reason I got into a rhythm with my teammates (7 assists) and hit more threes then I’d hit in the last month (3). I had 13 points total on just under 50% shooting.

The big story was Rashard Lewis hitting a three to put us up three with 2.5 seconds left. Mo Williams was inbounding, and any basketball fan knows that the inbounder is the most lethal player on a last-second possession like that. Mo tossed it to LeBron who pump faked to get Rashard in the air before hitting Mo on the wing. I met him at the apex of his shot but alas – it went in. Overtime!

In OT we built a quick 7 point lead but the evaporated quickly, partially because I couldn’t hit a layup to save my life. All game I’d get to the rim and lay it off the rim, but in OT I did it on three straight possessions. (I did get to the line twice in the game that way, hitting all my freebies). We were up 66-65  and LeBron had the ball with 20 or so seconds left.  I just knew Mo was getting that ball again, and sure enough he took the last chuck at the rim but it let out a satisfying ‘clang’ when it bounced off the rim. WE WIN!! We broke our six-game losing streak, and did it against the Cavs, my hometown team. I love the Cavs but at the same time they’re team that cut me in training camp after Mo Williams lit me up for 40+ points. The bad part is that we have to get over this high fast – our next game is in Cleveland. I’d LOVE to sweep two of two from them here. Here’s hoping I’ve got another game like this last one in me!

- Rick Daniel

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