Brandon Rush drops 19 points on the Knicks; Selby, Aldrich debut
Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) continued his revitalization out west Wednesday. On a night when the Warriors were missing star guard Stephen Curry, Rush helped push the team past the New York Knicks with 19 points (on 7 of 13 shooting), six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 26 minutes off the bench (full stats here).
Rush sparked a Warriors run in the third quarter, when he had 12 points, two threes and two steals. He played 21 of the 24 minutes in the second half as the Warriors outscored the Knicks 55-35.
Rush’s second-half surge prompted Yahoo Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski to joke:
With the way Brandon Rush is attacking the Knicks, you'd almost think one of their scouts blew out his knee in an illegal predraft workout.
After the game, Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami praised Rush’s trademark defense and timely offense and called Rush “best player on the floor, period.”
In the season's first three games, Rush has averaged two blocks per game. One of tonight’s ended up on the NBA.com highlight reel.
Rush also had a couple other highlights, including a nifty layup (1:17) and a buzzer-beater three (1:34):
- One night after an ugly, six-turnover performance that led to a fourth-quarter benching, Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) quieted some of his critics. Chalmers played 31 minutes on Wednesday and finished with a much more efficient 15-point, four-assist, one-turnover line. Rookie Norris Cole, who generated some buzz after replacing Chalmers on Tuesday, played only 16 minutes and scored five points (full game stats here).
After the game, Chalmers spoke about his turnaround. From the Miami Herald:
“[Tuesday] night was just a rough game for me,” Chalmers said. “I’m not making any excuses. I know I can play better than what I did [Tuesday]. I just came out and my teammates told me to be aggressive, and that’s what I did.”
Later in the article, both Chalmers and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra acknowledged that the team will take a hot-hand approach to the point guard position this year. So in other words, right or wrong, this won’t be the last we’ll hear about a point guard controversy in Miami. Read on.
Nick Collison (Oklahoma City Thunder) played 13 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. Collison had two points, an assist and a block but played limited minutes after picking up some early fouls (full stats here).
Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City Thunder) made his season debut for the Thunder on Wednesday, filling in for seven minutes in the middle of the first half after Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison got into foul trouble. Aldrich registered a rebound and a block (full stats here) and provided “winning plays,” according to Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry.
Mayberry elaborated in his game notes:
... that block came against Marc Gasol on Aldrich’s first defensive sequence. Aldrich then won a jump ball against Gasol. And he hit the floor twice for loose balls. He also had a tap out that landed in the wrong hands but characterized how active he was in keeping plays alive.
- Josh Selby (Memphis Grizzlies) also made his debut on Wednesday after Grizzlies starter Mike Conley went down with an injury. Selby played 10 minutes as the backup to the backup point guard and scored three points with two assists in the first official NBA minutes of his career (full stats here). Selby’s sole highlight was a layup and-one with three seconds left in the third quarter. You can watch video of his first NBA points here (around 1:04).
- Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) played 26 minutes in a blowout loss against his hometown Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday in Phoenix. Markieff scored nine points (4 of 5 shooting, including a three and a highlight dunk) with three rebounds and an assist (full stats here).
Sixers blogger Dei Lynam caught up with Markieff and Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry on Wednesday. Gentry offered a glowing review of his rookie:
“I love him,” Gentry said. “I think he is going to be a really good player. He is a little bit different than your typical rookie because he is a real mature guy and a big-time competitor. He is going to go through some growing pains, but I think he is going to be fine. Actually, he’s going to be more than fine.”
Before the game, Gentry also praised Markieff’s work ethic, saying: "He wants to be a great player so he does a great job of listening."
- The NBA D-League’s Texas Legends officially announced the addition of Greg Ostertag on Wednesday.
"Greg is a big asset both physically and mentally. Having a player with Greg's experience is invaluable for these developing players. I hope that Greg is able to use this opportunity with the Legends to create one more opportunity at the NBA, similar to what Antonio Daniels was able to do last year,” said Head Coach Del Harris.
The Legends play tonight at 7 p.m. before taking on Brady Morningstar and the Tulsa 66ers on Friday at 7 p.m. You can watch both games (for free!) at nba.com/futurecast.
Mario Little (Ukraine-Superleague - SK Dnipro Azot Dniprodzerzhynsk - Ukraine) scored six points with four rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks on Tuesday. Little played 22 minutes and shot 3 of 10 from the field, missing all four of his three-point tries in his second game in Ukraine (full stats here).
Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns helped some local single mothers give their kids a special Christmas surprise on Dec. 23. The Suns put together a nice video about the event.
Jayhawks in upcoming NBA games
7 p.m., Marcus Morris and the Houston Rockets vs. the San Antonio Spurs
7 p.m., TNT, Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Dallas Mavericks