Washington Wizards: I knew Gilbert Arenas the Wizards' best and most important player, but I didn’t know he was their lynchpin on defense. The Wiz gave up 123 and 124 points in back-to-back losses to the Warriors and Grizzlies. The Warriors shot 51 percent and the Grizzlies shot 52 percent. The Wizards were never good on defense, but they weren't that bad were they? From this point forward, I shall refer to them as the Washington Wizars: No "d."
Fun fact: Against the Grizzlies, Antawn Jamison scored 41 points (18-22). But he had zero assists. On the weekend, he took 41 shots and dished one lonely assist.
Jason Richardson: The Bobcats came within 4.7 seconds of beating the Celtics on Saturday, but Richardson couldn't do something as simple as inbounding the ball. Eddie House knocked away Richardson's errant pass and Ray Allen -- who had missed 11 of his last 14 shots -- hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to add another chapter to the Bobcats' misery. After the game, Richardson had this to say: "We handed them the game. Stupid turnover on my behalf. I lost this game for my teammates." Pretty much, yeah.
Mike Dunleavy: In the Clippers' Friday night game against the Suns, Sam Cassell single-handedly kept his team in the game by scoring 26 points (9-16) through three quarters. Then Dunleavy took Cassell out and never put him back in. As a sidenote, the Suns won going away, 113-94. Said Dunleavy: "[Cassell] played great, but when they jumped out on us, we play tomorrow night in back-to-back games, I just felt like I didn't want to take any more of his legs." So you "saved" Cassell's legs for a 10-point (3-10), 5 turnover performance in a 98-89 loss to the Hornets? Good call, coach.
Fun fact: The Golden State Warriors are 4-3 on the road...and 1-4 at home. Hey, weren't they supposed to have that wicked-awesome homecourt advantage? In other news, the Hornets are 7-2 on the road but only 3-3 at home, the Nets are 4-2 on the road but only 3-5 at home, and the Raptors are 4-3 on the road but only 3-4 at home. What is this, roadcourt advantage?
Pat Riley: Riles got his coaching ass politely handed to him by Stan Van Gundy, the man he stabbed in the back, as the Magic blasted the Heat 120-99. The season standings? Orlando is 12-3, the Heat are 3-10.
Marcus Banks: Remember a couple years ago when the Suns signed Marcus Banks to a five-year, $21 million contract? Man, they were excited about that. David Griffin, the Suns' vice president of basketball operations, said, "Every facet of his game is improved, and at 24 years of age, we feel like he's just starting to scratch the surface of what he can do in terms of his talent level, and his fit with our system is just spectacular." Uh huh. Banks is playing 11 MPG and averaging just over 4 PPG. His stat line for the weekend: 4 minutes, 2 personal fouls.
Kevin Durant: Friday night, he scored 12 points on 4-12 shooting. Sunday night, he had what might have been his best game of the season -- 25 points (11-17), 6 rebounds, and 4 assists -- but the Sonics still got blown out by the Spurs. Sometimes you can't win for losing, or can't lose for winning. Or whatever.
Fun fact: Seattle is 2-6 on the road. And 0-6 at home.
Kobe Bryant: While some people will look at his final line (31 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists) and insist that he had a good game against the Nets, he really didn't. He started out 3-16 from before finishing 7-21, didn't score a basket in the second and third quarters, and missed a clutch freethrow with six seconds left in the game. In the end, the Lakers coughed up a 102-100 home loss to the Nets. But it wasn't all Kobe's fault. You can also blame...
Vladimir Radmanovic: How bad was Vlad the Impaler against the Nets? Try 0-10 from the field, including 0-7 from beyond the arc. He also missed one of his two freethrows and committed three turnovers.
Fun fact: Jason Kidd is averaging 8.5 RPG. That’s more than Lebron James (8.1), Chris Bosh (8.0), LaMarcus Aldridge (7.9), Ben Wallace (7.6), Brad Miller (7.6), and Shaq (7.5).