On Saturday, Henry played another 26 minutes, but he made just 4 of 11 shots against the Pacers. To Henry’s credit, he shook off his early shooting woes and scored all nine of his points in seven fourth-quarter minutes. He added six rebounds, two assists, a steal and zero turnovers for the game, but the Hornets lost, 102-84 (full stats here).
After the game, the Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry noted:
He missed a few bunnies that he should have made, but that could come with time. “I rushed them a little bit,” Aldrich said.
Mayberry also asked Thunder coach Scott Brooks about playing Aldrich ahead of backup center Nazr Mohammed (two points, three rebounds, seven minutes):
“I played Nazr and then Perk got in foul trouble,” Brooks said. “And then I went with Cole in the second half. I don’t know what I’m going to do next game. They both are professionals. They both prepare to play and we’ll see.”
Aldrich did not play (coach’s decision) on Thursday against the Orlando Magic. The Thunder beat the Magic, 105-102 (game stats here).
Hinrich also started for Johnson on Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks. In that game, Hinrich had seven points, three rebounds, three assists and five turnovers in 25 minutes. The Hawks won, 99-94 (full stats here).
After the game, Gooden himself summed up the Bucks’ night:
"Dwight got the ball in the paint when he wanted to and scored. And when they got the chance outside to shoot threes, they knocked 'em down. So tonight no matter what poison we picked, it was poison."
On Friday, Gooden put up 26 points on 21 shots in a 99-94 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Gooden was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line and double-doubled with 10 rebounds in 37 minutes (full stats here). He also had a kind-of-rare-but-not-as-rare-as-it-used-to-be make on a three-point attempt.
On Thursday, Collison made his only shot for two points, two rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block in 17 minutes against the Orlando Magic. OKC narrowly won that game, 105-102, but Collison and his fellow Thunder bigs couldn’t slow down Orlando center Dwight Howard, who had 33 points on 14-of-20 shooting (full stats here).
Markieff didn’t fare much better against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday. The Suns rookie picked up five fouls and had just four points on 2-of-6 shooting. Even worse, he had just one rebound in 17 minutes to go along with an assist and two steals. The Suns won, though, 104-95 (full stats here).
The poor shooting has been a problem for Markieff lately. In his last five games, he’s made just 8 of 39 shots and averaged five points a game. On the season, he’s shot just 38.5 percent from the field (104-of-270) — the worst mark among rookie bigs.
The area dragging down his shooting percentages the most? The mid-range, outside of the paint and inside the arc, where he’s hit just 20 of 78 shots (25.6 percent). He fares better behind the three-point line, where he’s made 32 of 80 shots (40 percent). His best spot on the floor, though, is the restricted area under the basket, where he’s made 39 of 76 attempts (51.3 percent). And yet, this season, Markieff’s shot more from the three-point line (29.6 percent of the time) and mid-range (28.9 percent of the time) than the restricted area (28.1 percent of the time).
One night before, on Friday, Selby played five minutes against the Toronto Raptors. Selby made one of two shots for two points. He also had one assist, but the Raptors outscored the Grizzlies by eight while Selby was in the game. In fact, Toronto’s backup point guard, Jerryd Bayless, scored seven points while matched up with Selby. Still, Grizzlies won in the end, 102-99 (full stats here).
Chalmers’ Thursday performance against the Portland Trailblazers was a bit smoother. In that game, a 107-93 Heat victory, Chalmers scored 12 points with two threes and zero turnovers in 34 minutes. He added a rebound, two assists and a steal (full stats here).
Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) couldn’t get his shot to fall against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday and had seven points on 2-of-9 shooting. Rush was just 1-for-6 from three-point range, but he added four rebounds, one assist and one block in 32 minutes. The Warriors lost, 105-83 (full stats here).
Marcus Morris (Houston Rockets) did not play (coach’s decision) against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. The Rockets lost, 117-105 (game stats here).
On Saturday, Wright kept up the efficiency, hitting 6 of 7 shots (including an important late three-pointer) for 13 points. But five personal fouls limited him to just 13 minutes, and the Toros lost, 110-105. Wright added four rebounds and two steals (full stats here).
On Friday, Morningstar played just 12 minutes and had five points and one rebound in a 99-94 loss (full stats here).
noon, ABC, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. the New York Knicks
2:30 p.m., ABC, Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Los Angeles Lakers
5 p.m., Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. the Toronto Raptors
6 p.m., Marcus Morris and the Houston Rockets vs. the Los Angeles Clippers
7 p.m., Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns vs. the Sacramento Kings
6 p.m., Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. the Washington Wizards
7 p.m., Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Philadelphia 76ers
7 p.m., NBA TV, Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Dallas Mavericks
9 p.m., Xavier Henry and the New Orleans Hornets vs. the Portland Trailblazers