Starting 5: Williams happy homecoming, The Nets’ double alley oop & What Billy King might text Otis Smith after last night


Every morning, we’ll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1:  Derrick Williams sure likes going home

Derrick Williams rookie season as been what some might call “up and down.”  He’s certainly provided a few highlights, connecting with Ricky Rubio more than a few times.  But his production has been spotty.  Over just more than a month, Williams followed a four-game stretch of double-digit production with five straight games of six points or less (including a scoreless game).  Then a couple of almost double-doubles were followed with seven straight single-digit games. 

He as since book-ended the All Star break with big games… last night being his biggest as he dropped 27 points on his hometown Clippers off the bench.  Michael Beasley also had 27 off the bench in a 109-97 win.  Williams only missed once on the night, needing only 10 field goal attempts to score his 27.  Williams hit all four buckets at the rim and all four attempts from long-range, showing a versatility that further blurs the line between positions in the NBA today.  

Is he a four?  Is he a three?  Who cares?  Whatever the matchup dictates.  And if Williams is willing to go where that matchup provides the best opportunity to score and doesn’t fall in love with one particular aspect of the game (a.k.a. “let the game come to him”) then we can see more of this.

2:  I have some urgent, breaking news.  Derrick Rose is good at basketball

The MVP put up 32 points and 9 assists, but it was his last six points that Chicago needed most.  Chicago had squandered an 11 point fourth quarter lead, letting the New Orleans Hornets take a four-point lead with 1:25 left.  Then Rose took over first hitting a pair of free throws.  Then, after Joakim Noah tipped in a Rose miss, Rose took a Noah feed and hit a 19 footer from the corner with a couple of hands in his face.  Two free throws later, the game was iced.  Game over.  Bulls win by 4.

13 fourth quarter points for Rose.  Just in case you needed a reminder.  He’s kinda mastered the game of basketball. 


New Jersey pulls off the double alley oop


LOB CITY INDIANA!!  Sorry… sorry… Paul George did catch the oop on a nice inbounds play last night though


Ersan Ilyasova wins the game for Milwaukee

4:  Line of the night:  Brook Lopez – 38 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist

That’s just a very Brook Lopez line, isn’t it?  Big points, not so big rebounds, not much of anything else.  So I guess Brook is back and the foot is feeling better.  

Hey, look, the Nets have been pretty terrible.  But with Brook Lopez doing his thing, Derron Williams doing his, and Kris Humprhies doing the dirty work and grabbing all the rebounds Lopez is allergic to (Humph had 15 last night), the Nets suddenly go from terrible to “good enough to burn you if you overlook them.”  Just ask the Dallas Mavericks, who lost at home 93-92.

By the way, did anyone get a good look at Billy King’s face after this big performance from Lopez?  Was the grin from ear-to-ear, or did it erupt into childish giggling.  A few more of these, and King will be texting Otis Smith regularly.

“OMG. U C Brook 2Nite?  NAAASTY! Think ima keep him. LOL j/k!! :p  srsly tho, lets talk DH 2moro 😉 “

5: You can quote me on that

“In the first half of the season, I was just trying to do too much.  It’s just learning a different role. I felt like coming off the bench I was just trying toget the ball and score every time. Being a scorer like that it’s pretty hard but now I’ve learned Coach [Adelman]’s offense and his strategies and I think that’s what I did tonight. I picked my spots.”
     – Derrick Williams, on his big performance against the Clippers 

“I take crazy shots like that in practice all the time, they just give me confidence to take those shots where they are looking for me.  We work on that in the end of practice. I stepped back and tried to shoot the ball up as high as I could.”
     – Derrick Rose, on his game winning shot  

“It’s all I can do.  He knows it’s no ill intent of me to do that to him. Talk about me for taking the foul, but I never wanted that kind of outcome.”
     –Dwyane Wade, on apologizing after giving Kobe Bryant a concussion in the All Star Game