Line of the Night (12/16): Michael Redd

Normally, I pick a player from a winning team, but tonight I’m going to give the Line of the Night to Michael Redd because the Bucks got royally hosed against the Lakers. There were a series of bad calls down the stretch and in overtime, but the killer was a travel and charge by Kobe that was somehow turned into a three point play. Lakers win, 107-106, in OT. Ridiculous. You’d think the game was in L.A. the way the officiating crew was cowtowing to the Lakers.

Anyway, Redd has been coming off the bench the last few games as he tries to come back from his ACL surgery, and tonight he finally looked like himself. He posted 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and hit some big shots in the second half to bring the Bucks back from an eight-point deficit. In a game where Brandon Jennings had an off night, Redd stepped up. If he can get back to being an efficient scorer, the Bucks will have a pretty potent backcourt.

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Line of the Night (12/15): Kobe Bryant

The Lakers started their longest road trip of the season in Chicago last night (5 games, which isn’t very long) and Kobe was in shoot-first mode for the entire game. He posted 42 points (on 15-26 shooting), three assists, two rebounds, three steals and EIGHT turnovers.

Is the Ron Artest move working out? Against the Bulls he went 3-14 from the field for nine points, four assists and five rebounds. He is shooting just under 43% for the season, which is right around his career average. I expected his accuracy to rise this season as he really doesn’t have to be much of a scorer and should be exercising better shot selection. So much for that.

Line of the Night (12/9): Aaron Brooks

After losing to the Grizzlies the night before, I fully expected the Cavs to come out sharp and focused in Houston. But the Rockets jumped out to a 33-19 lead at the end of the first quarter and went on to win, 95-85. A big reason for the win was the fine play of Aaron Brooks, who thoroughly outplayed Mo Williams at the point. Brooks posted 27 points, six assists and three rebounds. He wasn’t great from the field (7-17) but he nailed 12 of 13 free throws on the night.

Trevor Ariza (26-5-2, two steals) also played well. After his Laker deal fell through, he reportedly had an opportunity to sign with the Cavs in the offseason, but didn’t think it was a great fit.

LeBron’s supporting cast didn’t show up. Williams (7p, 4a) and Shaquille O’Neal (7p, 10r) combined to shoot just 4 of 18 from the field.

With the win, the Rockets advance to 12-9, while the Cavs fell to 15-7.

Line of the Night (12/3): DeJuan Blair

The Spurs lost at home to the Celtics, 90-83, but it was a national television coming out party for rookie DeJuan Blair, who posted 18 points and 11 rebounds in one of his best games of the season. He hit 9 of 11 shots from the field, and scored eight straight points in the fourth quarter to keep the Spurs in the game.

Interestingly, Manu Ginobili only played 18 minutes and sat much of the final period even though the Spurs were trying to mount a comeback. With the loss the Spurs fall to 9-7 on the season, while the Celtics advance to 15-4.

Line of the Night (12/1): Dwyane Wade

The Miami Heat came into last night’s game at the Rose Garden as losers of six of their last nine games, but Dwyane Wade led the way in a semi-surprising 107-100 win over the Trail Blazers. Even though Michael Beasley actually led the team in scoring (27), the offense ran through Wade, who posted 22 points, 12 assists and five rebounds in the win.

The Blazers were playing without LaMarcus Aldridge, so the loss is somewhat understandable. But this is the kind of game that Portland needs to win if they are to be taken seriously as contenders in the West.

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