Chalmers, Rush and Collison take the court on Christmas
- Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) scored three points (made his only shot and only free throw) with four assists, four steals and a rebound in 24 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks (full stats here). Chalmers split time at point guard with rookie Norris Cole, who played 23 minutes. Cole shot the ball more, had a few more points, more turnovers and not as many steals, but he still impressed media members who covered the game.
That said, it’s only one game (and a rout at that), Cole is still a rookie and Chalmers is still the starter. And it doesn't hurt Mario's case when he can initiate fast breaks like this:
- Nick Collison (Oklahoma City Thunder) scored four points with two rebounds, an assist and a steal in 21 minutes against the Orlando Magic (full stats here). Collison was also part of the Thunder’s defensive effort against last season’s MVP runner-up, Dwight Howard. Collison and the Thunder held Howard to 4-of-12 shooting.
- Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City Thunder) did not play on Sunday. 34-year-old veteran Nazr Mohammed is still the Thunder’s main backup at center along with Collison, and Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoma writes that Thunder coach Scott Brooks is sticking with a 10-man rotation... for now:
I think what we saw tonight with the rotation is what we can expect for the first 15-20 games.
Of course, that means no Reggie Jackson and Cole Aldrich for now. That’s not a bad thing. It’s actually a luxury. If they’re as talented as some think, this team is in a great spot.
- Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) played his first game as a Warrior and scored 12 points (3 of 6 overall, 2 of 2 from three, 4 of 4 from the free-throw line) in 28 minutes against the Los Angeles Clippers. Rush added also added three rebounds, two blocks and a steal (full stats here). Warriors coach Mark Jackson kept Rush on the court for quite a few minutes during what was a closely contested game, and Rush rewarded him with an efficient performance. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Rush was active defensively, breaking up a patented Clipper lob and even blocking the shot of All-Star Blake Griffin. Looks like Rush’s “fresh start” is working out so far.
Rush's block of Blake Griffin:
- Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) did not play against the New York Knicks on Sunday. He is recovering from a bruised right heel and, according to the Boson Globe, Pierce might miss a few more games before he’s fully healed.
- Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) has impressed Suns coach Alvin Gentry so much that Gentry says he might start Markieff on occasion, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Coro also included this bit, which might be music to Markieff’s ears:
Like most Suns newcomers, Morris needs to be prodded to shoot more. The Suns chart open shots that were not taken, saying they hurt the team as much as bad shots. Morris passed up four in Thursday night's preseason loss to Denver.
"On one, he said, 'Well, I just took the last two shots, Coach,'" Gentry said. "I said, 'You don't understand. Here, if you have five open shots, you shoot five open shots.'"
Sherron Collins (Turkish Basketball League - Hacettepe University - Turkey) scored 17 points (6 of 11 overall, 2 of 5 threes) with two assists and a rebound in 29 minutes on Saturday (full stats here). Collins will play again next on Dec. 30.
Russell Robinson (Turkish Basketball League - Trabzonspor - Turkey) also scored 17 points for his Turkish team on Saturday. Robinson was 6 of 13 with 2 of 6 threes and 3 of 3 free throws. He also had four rebounds, two steals and an assist (full stats here). Robinson will play next on Dec. 31.
Jayhawks in NBA games
6 p.m., Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Charlotte Bobcats
6 p.m., NBA TV, Marcus Morris and the Houston Rockets vs. the Orlando Magic
7 p.m., Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich (likely DNP) vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves
7:30 p.m., Josh Selby (likely DNP) and the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the San Antonio Spurs
8 p.m., Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns vs. the New Orleans Hornets
9:30 p.m., Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. the Chicago Bulls